The Best Trail and Game Cameras For Hunting in 2016: Ratings & Reviews

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Thinking about using a trail camera to amp up your hunting game?  The great news is that finding the best game camera is a lot easier now than it used to be. Newer technology has helped almost every industry imaginable in recent years, especially digital cameras.  Manufacturers are now stepping up their game to match the demand of more technologically advanced hunters. While getting the best trail camera for the types of game you hunt can depend a lot on “what” you hunt, there’s still some universal criteria that you should consider when making the plunge.  Check out our favorites and read on to educate yourself to a whole new world of hunting.

Top 10 Trail Camera Comparison Grid:

User Reviews: Megapixel Rating: Rating: Price:
Browning Strike Force Sub Micro 10MP HD $$
Amcrest ATC 1201 12MP with LCD Screen $
Stealth Cam STC-P12 6MP $
Stealth Cam No Glo STC G42 10MP $$
Primos Truth Cam 35 3.1MP $
Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD 8MP $$$$
Moultrie No Glow M-990i 10MP $$
Bestguarder HD 12MP Trail Cam 12MP $$
Kodiak Game Camera 12MP $$$
Moultrie Game Spy 2.0 5MP $

Table of Contents:

A Brief Introduction to Trail Cameras:

Hunting always needs patience. It doesn’t matter if you hunt with a rifle or a crossbow.  If you’re not good at waiting, often with nothing to show for it, you’re never going to be a good hunter. There are no guarantees when it comes to game animals. They might walk into your sights or they might not. If you expect to go out and have animals obligingly present themselves to you, stand by for some major disappointments. They have lives to be getting on with and they’re likely not going to cooperate with your plans.

The good news is that it’s possible to find game more reliably, though. When it comes to hunting, there’s no substitute for knowledge. You need to know the area you’re hunting in – where the food is, where animals go to drink, what places give some shelter from the weather. You need to know how to spot the trails animals use, the range and distances that they travel.  You also need to understand their behavior. If you’re not fully in tune with the alert and elusive creatures you’re looking for, you won’t find them.

Once you have that knowledge, however, technology can help you out. Trail cameras are a perfect example – if you don’t know what you’re doing they’re not going to do much for you, but used properly they can eliminate a lot of frustration and vastly improve your hunt.

The concept behind a trail camera is simple. It’s a camera and control unit that can be set up to cover an area, then left behind. The control unit automatically takes photos depending on how it’s set up, and the hunter can return at intervals to find out what’s been snapped. They’ve actually been around for a long time – since the late 19th century.  For a variety of reasons never really caught on until technology started to advance over the last couple of decades.

Early cameras had to be loaded with plates and could only take a single shot. They also needed a flash to take pictures at night, and these – either using a pan of explosive flash powder or a high-intensity lamp – would instantly panic any animals for hundreds of yards in every direction. Because of the response time of the cameras you’d be lucky to get a snap of the animal’s rear as it raced away. Trigger mechanisms – usually a tripwire – were also unreliable, and if an animal got tangled in the wire it could even wreck the equipment. While these cameras could take useful pictures there was a real risk that they’d frighten the wildlife away for weeks – or for good.  That’s not the case any more and there are many great uses for trail cameras in wildlife management.

Modern camera technology changes all that:

  • Digital cameras can store thousands of photos, so you can build up an accurate record of what’s happening on your trails.
  • Electronics let you control exactly how you want the camera to operate – you can set it up for time-lapse shots at regular intervals, or have it wait until an animal approaches. Many let you do both.
  • Digital photography is silent, so there’s no shutter click to spook your quarry.
  • Infrared LEDs allow for an invisible flash, so your camera can take perfect shots in complete darkness.
  • They are often camouflaged.  Get the right one and the game won’t even know it’s there, never mind be frightened by it.
  • Modern trail cameras are weatherproof and rugged, so they’ll keep working reliably after weeks or months outdoors.

Trail cameras with this technology built in are a real game changer. By setting two or three of them up around likely game trails, grazing spots or watering holes you can build up a picture of how the local wildlife spends its time, when animals are likely to come to the pond to drink, what’s the best time to set up near a trail and much more vital information. The advantages are huge.

Yes, you’ll still spend time waiting – animals don’t work to a precise timetable. Sometimes they just won’t show. But, overall, your hunting will be a lot more productive. If you know the deer move along a particular trail near dawn, you can set up a little while before and be there waiting when they approach – you’re not working from spoor, knowing that they come this way but having to guess when.

Of course trail cameras are like any other piece of hunting gear – it’s not going to be much help unless you pick the right product and learn to use it properly. It’s easy to get lost among all the new features that are appearing right now and end up with an unsuitable camera, so here are a few things to look for when you buy.Best Trail Camera For Deer Hunting

A Buyer’s Guide – What to Consider:

Storage capacity:  The higher the capacity, the more shots your camera can take. This doesn’t matter much if you plan to check it daily but if it’s going to go a few days, or even weeks, between visits you’ll want as much storage as you can get. One that takes memory cards is a good idea – you can swap out cards and leave the camera in place.

Battery life: Again this will affect how long you can leave your camera set up. Most trail cameras run on AA batteries but some have the option of an external power source. Hook up a 12V battery and you can get weeks of use.

Image quality:  This is a hard thing to judge. It’s not easy to get an idea of image quality from raw numbers like megapixel count; factors like the quality of lenses will also have a big influence. You’ll need to read reviews, and test cameras yourself if possible, to decide which ones suit your needs.  With most trail cameras you need to either connect it to a computer to view the images, or take out the memory card and put it in a reader. Some have the extra option of a built-in screen that lets you view images directly. This can save a lot of time. The ultimate is a camera with its own cellular connection, so you can view images remotely – but this comes at a much higher price.

Flash technology: All modern trail cameras use LED flash units, but there are different kinds. The cheapest and simplest is a white flash, but that will probably to spook the wildlife and can even change the movement patterns you’re trying to learn. Better units only emit a red glow, which is less likely to upset most animals. Invisible infrared flash uses less battery power and few animals will notice it, but it gives lower image quality. Infrared flashes also respond much quicker because of their lower power requirements – white flashes can take up to a second to go off after being triggered.

Viewing options:  With most trail cameras you need to either connect it to a computer to view the images, or take out the memory card and put it in a reader. Some have the extra option of a built-in screen that lets you view images directly. This can save a lot of time. The ultimate is a camera with its own cellular connection, so you can view images remotely – but this comes at a much higher price.

Other features:  Trail cameras now come with a huge range of options. Being digital, most of them are capable of video as well as still photography. It’s simple to add extra data to the images – temperature and air pressure are common options, as well as time and date stamps. This gives you even more options for analyzing wildlife behavior in your area.  Figuring out exactly what you want is one of the important components to finding the best trail camera for your next rifle or bow hunting expedition.

How many Trail/Game Cameras should you get?

Once you’ve chosen the camera that suits you, the next decision is how many to get. One is a huge asset; it lets you check out a potential hide location to see what activity goes on around it. With one camera, though, you have what analysts call a single data point. Add a second or third and you can really start to learn patterns. That’s what will eventually let you predict where the game will be when you’re ready to go hunting.

Before you start buying cameras be aware that they don’t suit every kind of hunting – but they have some uses for most. Predators aren’t as ruled by habit as herbivores; they’re usually territorial, or follow their prey animals, but they aren’t as predictable in their movements. Trail cameras won’t be as much use in working out when they’re likely to be at a particular spot – but they can confirm if they’re there or not. Obviously setting up cameras won’t tell you a lot about transitory or migratory species that pass through your land. They can be useful for confirming what varmints are around, but like predators these are opportunists and often don’t set behavior patterns.

So just what kind of hunting are Trail/Game Cameras Best Suited For?

Where trail cameras really shine is for deer hunting.

Deer are territorial and they’re creatures of habit. A few well set up cameras around your favorite hunting area can quickly tell you a lot about the deer that inhabit it and how they behave – just the information you’re looking for.

How to Use Your Trail & Game Camera:

It’s vital that you know how to use your cameras properly. First, choose the right locations for them. Start by looking at the local game trails; you won’t see much if you set them up randomly in the woods. Once you’ve located the trails find spots where the ground sign suggests animals feed, or look for water sources. Any points on the trail that give good visibility from a hide location are good, too.

When you’re picking spots for your cameras try to find ones you can approach from behind; that will let you swap out batteries or memory cards without disturbing the trail. Make sure the camera has a clear line of sight. It’s easy to miss twigs or foliage that get in the way of the lens. Try not to aim your cameras directly across the trail. Even a digital camera delays a fraction of a second between being triggered and actually taking the shot, so you can find yourself with a lot of photos of deer butts. Angle them at about 45 degrees, in the direction you expect the animals to come from. That way you should get good snaps of them.

Before deploying your cameras get some experience of how they work. Set them up in your yard and walk around in front of them, then check how the photos turned out. That will tell you the best angles to set them up at to ensure good shots, as well as what height they work best at. A common error is to mount trail cameras too high – usually they work best at around waist height.

Cameras are small and usually well enough camouflaged that most animals won’t notice them, but humans might. If the area is popular with other hunters there’s a good chance they could find your cameras, and sadly that brings a risk of theft – not all hunters respect others’ gear. If you use bungee cords or quick release straps to mount your cameras they can be easily stolen. If a lot of people use the land you hunt on, consider using cable locks instead. It’s not likely that anyone who finds the camera will have bolt cutters handy, so they won’t be able to take the camera without damaging it. Cable locks start at under $10, which is a small price to pay for protecting an expensive camera. Concealing the camera will also help – just be careful not to obscure the lens and flash.

Some hunters recommend testing the camera by walking the trail after it’s set up, then checking the photos. That’s always an option, but it does disturb the trail and might spook some game. It’s better to test it under similar conditions somewhere else, then leave as little sign as possible at the actual site.

Deerlab.com also does a great job of outlining 8 camera trips for better results which we think is a must read for anyone getting into the trail camera game.  The Deerlab app is also a new innovation in technology and we’d recommend testing out the free trial they currently offer.

While the video below is not ours, it does give a great walk through of how to properly setup a game camera.  We’d recommend you take a look at it just to recap what we’ve already covered.

So that’s an introduction to the basics of using a trail camera. Your own experience and knowledge of the ground should give you the rest of what you need to know. The next thing Is choosing the cameras that are right for you. Here are ten of the best.

Choosing the Best Game Camera: Reviews

Below are the 10 picks above that you saw in our comparison grid, broken down into a lot more detail.  If we’ve left out your favorite model, please feel free to drop us a line in the comments section and let us know.


Browning Strike Force 10MPBrowning Strike Force Sub Micro:

Browning needs no recommendation as a gunmaker, but they produce a range of other high quality hunting gear, too – including some fantastic trail cameras. The Strike Force is one of their most highly recommended models, a compact 10MP device with loads of options and great performance.

The Strike Force is good in most areas, but it really stands out for its exceptional daylight clarity and amazing battery life. The images this game camera can capture put most 12MP cameras to shame. It also uses power very efficiently, even with heavy use of video – especially if you install a set of lithium batteries.  You can expect several months’ use out of them which is even more impressive when you consider that it runs on six AAs, instead of the more common eight.

On the down side there’s no way to quickly preview or download your snaps – you’ll have to take out the SD card and check it on another device. But overall it’s a sturdy and reliable product that will give you excellent, sharp images round the clock. This one is highly recommended.


AmCrest ATC 1201Amcrest ATC-1201:

The ATC-102 from Amcrest is a relatively inexpensive game camera, but it’s packed with features. One of the nicest is a built-in 2 inch LCD screen, so you can view your images directly from the camera. It doesn’t feel cheaply built and the case is IP54 rated, meaning it’s dust and water resistant but not completely proofed. Very heavy rain might cause problems but it should shrug off an average shower.

In most ways this is a fairly standard camera. It comes with a strap for easy mounting on a tree or post, it saves images and video to an SD card (up to 32Gb) and it’s powered by four AA batteries. There’s also space for a backup set, which will kick in when the first set run flat.

This camera has a nice selection of modes to choose from – three different sensitivity levels on the passive IR trigger, multi-shot modes, video recording lengths and many more. It has a decent 65-foot night vision range, too. Picture quality is very good in daylight and acceptable at night. If you want a workable trail camera at a good price the ATC-1201 is definitely worth a look.


Stealth CamStealth Cam STC-P12:

Another budget camera, Stealth Cam’s STC-P12 retails for less than some of the others on our list. There are some compromises – it has a 6MP resolution, for example – but it still has a lot of performance and plenty features aimed at making your hunting easier.

The main selling point of the STC-P12 is that it’s easy to set up. It comes with three quick setup modes, and it has a mini USB port so you can quickly download images without disturbing it. The images themselves, if you use the high setting, are reasonable quality – and for taking video this camera outperforms a lot of more expensive ones. On the down side the trigger time is 0.7 seconds, which is very slow. Unless you set it up carefully you’ll get a lot of pics of tails.

The Stealth Cam can overprint images and video with date, time and phase of the moon. The case is molded with irregular raised patterns; the shadows these cast help break up its shape, adding a camouflage effect.


Stealth Cam G42Stealth Cam No-Glo STC-G42NG:

The G42 is a higher-spec model from Stealth Cam, and with the extra price brings you a lot more features and performance. The camera itself is a 10MP unit, giving much higher image quality, and it also has a completely covert flash system. The STC-P12 gives off a red glow when the flash operates but the G42 has full-spec “black” infrared LEDs, so there’s nothing at all to spook even the most nervous game.

With 42 LEDs this camera also has a respectable 100-foot night vision range. You can set it to take shots at intervals or on the PIR trigger only, or combine both with an override mode. It’s powered by eight AA batteries, for long life, and takes SD cards up to 32Gb. It also has a password protection feature, so if someone does steal it they won’t be able to use it.

This is a very good mid-range camera that gives high quality still and video images with good audio. It also has pretty much all the options you could want, including the ability to be run from an external 12V supply. It’s particularly good a night photography, which is going to be an important point for many hunters.


Primos Truth CamPrimos Truth Cam 35:

Another inexpensive camera, the Truth Cam 35 has some features that make it extremely interesting. The flash range is quite short at 40 feet, and resolution is just 3.1MP, but it’s a tough little unit and has plenty of options. For example you can reduce the number of LEDs used by the flash, which reduces range but extends battery life – although, with four D cells, battery life is awesome anyway.

Inside the hinged front cover is an easy to read backlit LCD screen and a row of switches that let you quickly change the camera settings. There are even instructions printed inside the cover.

The Truth Cam is slow to trigger out of sleep mode – it takes 1.5 seconds – but once it’s awake trigger time falls to just 0.3 seconds. That’s better than some much more expensive models, so if you place this well it should give you some great shots. It’s ideal for placing on trails where its shorter range is less of an issue.


Bushnell 8MP Trophy CamBushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD:

Anyone who knows optics knows Bushnell, and their trail cameras uphold the same high standards. The Trophy Cam HD is a feature-packed high performance unit that’s particularly good at video capture – but its still images won’t disappoint you either. One nice touch is that it can capture stills, in bursts of up to three shots, while it’s recording video. The PIR trigger is also adjustable, with selectable ranges to let you focus in on the area of interest.

Bushnell have put a lot of effort into the case, which is very effectively weather sealed but allows easy access for setup and changing cards. This model is powered by four or eight AA cells with lithium ones giving the best results – a single set should last at least a year.

One nice touch is that Bushnell has added GPS geotagging to the Trophy Cam HD, so it can automatically add coordinates to your images as well as date, time, temperature and moon state. This is a very effective trail cam at a moderate price.


Moultrie M990i No GlowMoultrie M-990i No Glow Game Camera:

Moultrie’s M-990i is a mid-range camera with no-glow LEDs for completely covert night operation. The flash works entirely in the infrared range, so there’s nothing visible to spook game. It also uses motion freeze technology to reduce the blur that plagues a lot of trail cameras after sunset, so if you expect a lot of action at night this is an excellent choice.

It’s just as capable at daylight photography though, with an array of video and burst options, and the 10MP sensor gives bright, crisp shots. It’s capable of taking up to four images a second and overprinting them with temperature, moon state and barometric pressure as well as time and date.

The M-990i has a built-in 2-inch LCD screen for viewing images direct from the camera, and can also be set up to run from an external power supply. This is a very capable camera that should suit most hunters perfectly. We also like their support forum and FAQ’s section that supports all of their cameras.


Bestguarder HD Waterproof InfaredBestguarder HD Waterproof Infared Night Vision Trail Camera:

The Bestguarder is a newer model to the trail camera market, but has gotten many favorable reviews by numerous hunters.  The best feature about this game camera is the fact that it can take 12MP images and also take full 1080P videos if you choose to do so, up to a full 75 feet.

It can record both digital photos and videos and also has Time Lapse and Motion detection features that make it a contender in our top 10.

The Bestguarder also carries a bunch of other features which include Barometric Pressure readings, GPS Geotags (like the Browning) and it also captures the time/date of the images it retrieves, so you that way you know what time it is that you see the deer or elk crossing your camera’s field of vision.  Mapping the times of day and dates are both extremely important when tracking in today’s digital age, and this trail camera does both.


KodiakKodiak Trail Camera:

This model from Kodiak is one of the more expensive trail cameras, but it’s worth every penny. It comes with a built-in Bluetooth and WiFi modem, so you don’t need to swap out cards or connect a cable to retrieve your images; you don’t even have to go anywhere near the camera. You can simply download to your smartphone or tablet from up to 200 feet away (depending on conditions – in broken ground or thick woods it could be cut to 100 feet). You just have to install an app on your phone to let you access the camera; once that’s done you can remotely adjust settings, too.

The camera itself is high quality and gives you a wide range of options. It’s built around a 12MP sensor, so image quality is sharp and vivid. It also has high definition audio capture and a no-glow LED flash, so it’s covert at night. IR pictures are remarkably bright, and the flash range is up to 70 feet.

Overall the Kodiak Trail Camera is solidly built in a tough weatherproof case, with a nice camouflage finish. It doesn’t just let you capture high quality images; it’s easy to recover them as well.


Moultrie Game SpyMoultrie Game Spy A-5 Gen 2:

Finally another budget model, and with the quality that Moultrie typically delivers. Moultrie’s update of the Game Spy A-5 is a modest 5MP camera but for this price it has an amazing array of features. The big one is low glow IR flash, so you can rely on it operating discreetly even at night.

For this update practically everything about the A-5 has been changed. There’s a new case, matching the style of the company’s other new cams. It doesn’t have any real camouflage, but it’s molded from coyote plastic and isn’t too conspicuous. It also seems tough and weather resistant. Trigger speed is quite slow at 1.5 seconds, but there’s a respectable detection range of up to 40 feet and the flash will illuminate out to 50. Delay times have been improved and there’s a useful multishot mode. It also runs on AA batteries in place of the Gen 1’s C cells, so you can use lithium power, and there’s a power port for external batteries or a solar panel.

For the money this gives very acceptable images, and it has features you normally have to pay a lot more for. If you want a budget camera with some great extras consider this one.


So what’s the best trail camera for the money?

While we think this is subject to the needs of each hunter, if we had to pick one it would probably be the Browning Strike Force Sub Micro 10 Megapixel Game Camera.  Browning does so many things the right way – from Gun Safes to firearm accessories, it’s hard to find a product that’s not outstanding that they manufacture.  We could have easily picked any of the of the Moultries or a higher end model like the Kodiak.  But honestly, if you are on a budget like most people are when shopping for a hunting luxury like this, we’d find it hard to say that the Browning wouldn’t end up being the best trail camera for the money in the price range that it’s in.

Wrap Up & Final Thoughts:

It doesn’t matter if you are heading out on your first compound bow hunting expedition or if you are a seasoned recurve bow archer that has their draw weights memorized, technology can be your biggest hunting ally if you properly do your research.  We are confident that any of the game cameras we’ve talked about will do the job you need it to.  Whatever it is you hunt, whether that’s deer, elk, or even smaller game, we are confident that any one of these options will end up being the best trail camera for your next outdoor adventure.  If you feel like there’s a model we missed, or one that you are particularly fond of, please feel free do drop us a line in the comments below!

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US Death Rate Goes Up, And Experts Are “Surprised”, They Ignore Radiation

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http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/01/health/american-death-rate-rises-for-first-time-in-a-decade.html?_r=0

“It’s an uptick in mortality and that doesn’t usually happen, so it’s significant,” said Robert Anderson, the chief of mortality statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “But the question is, what does it mean? We really need more data to know. If we start looking at 2016 and we see another rise, we’ll be a lot more concerned.”
The death rate rose to 729.5 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015, up from 723.2 in 2014, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. It was one of the few times in the past 25 years that the rate has increased. A bad flu season pushed it up in 2005, and AIDS and the flu contributed to a sharp increase in 1993. In 1999, there was a tiny increase.
Experts said the current rise was surprising.
“We are not accustomed to seeing death rates increase on a national scale,” said Andrew Fenelon, a researcher at the C.D.C. who did not work on the paper. “We’ve seen increases in mortality for some groups, but it is quite rare to see it for the whole population.”

Hiding Food In The Wild

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Hiding Food In The Wild If and when a crisis hits, one of the most important things for you and for those depending on you will be food. Having access to ample backup food, properly hidden somewhere, will make all the difference between life and death of you and your bug out group. You need …

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Survival Gear Review: Sig Sauer P320

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Best Survival Handgun

So I got a Sig Sauer P320.  I saw it in a local pawn shop, sitting there in the glass case, perched on green velvet, Survival Handgunlooking all blocky and businesslike and badass.  I handled it, fondled it, wiped the drool away, and made a trade for it. It went home with me where I glared at it in consternation, half furious with myself and half in wild elation.  You see, I really wanted to not like this pistol.  I really wanted to chalk this one up to “the next flash in the plastic pistol pan” and go back to being ensconced in uninhibited true lust over my beloved P220ST.  I wanted to eschew the molded polymer grip with its slight seam lines and go back to trusty, heavy, metal pistol frames.  But the more I handled the P320 and the more I shot it, the sweet siren song of a single trigger pull to master, brutal simplicity, accuracy, and large capacity called to me, and pulled me in.  I finally gave in to the dark side, and am now firmly in its camp. Let me explain.

By Drew, a contributing author of Survival Cache & SHTFBlog

You see, I grew up in a transitional period in firearms development.  In the late 1970’s and early 1980s, police Best Survival Pistoldepartments were starting to replace their time-honored .357 Magnum and .38 Special revolvers with semiautomatic handguns.  The 9mm was starting to gain traction, as high-capacity double-action handguns were starting to come unto their own with designs that were reliable enough to feed hollowpoint ammunition regularly.  Also aiding the 9mm’s acceptance was the U.S. Military’s adoption of the 9mm caliber in 1985, along with the Beretta M9/92F platform. Sig P226 pistols, S&W 59s and 459s, and several other designs were starting to be seen in Law Enforcement holsters when one of the most decisive and studied gunfights in history – the 1986 Miami FBI shootout – occurred.

In the Miami shootout, FBI agents went up against two combat-hardened military veterans who had some serious armament – a semi-auto 12-gauge shotgun, a Ruger Mini-14 with multiple 30-round magazines, and several handguns.  To counter this, eight FBI agents fielded just two 12 gauge shotguns loaded with buckshot, and mostly revolvers – though two agents had Smith 459s in 9mm with Winchester Silver tip ammo.  Although the two suspects were neutralized eventually, they wounded or killed all but one of the eight FBI agents who engaged them.  One agent named McNeill suffered one of the worst fates possible in a gunfight: he was shot in the hand by one of the suspects, and when his revolver ran dry, he could not reload due to blood and gore in the gun, and his injuries.  He was then shot in the head and neck and though he survived, he was left paralyzed for some time.

I remember my father talking about the gunfight when it occurred, and reading about it in gun magazines – notably Pistol Defensein several analyses by Massad Ayoob.  (A 25-years-later article by Mr. Ayoob is here, and is excellent.).  Firepower and semi-autos suddenly became the have-to-have for LE.  Gaston Glock’s entry into the marketplace in 1985 couldn’t have been better timed.  Officers quickly flocked to Glock’s first offering, the Glock 17.  A reliable, tough, 17-shot 9mm semi auto was a peace officer’s dream, and as we now know, Glock quickly took over the market, where it still remains the king of the pile.

Related: Sig Sauer P227 Nitron Review

I also remember hearing my father complain about the flood of  “those damn plastic pistols”, and he clung to his Smith & Wesson revolvers tightly (he only started to begrudgingly accept “tupperware” Glocks in the past couple years – and he refuses to try any other polymer framed pistols!) His grousing led to permanent impressions being left in my young brain, and to this day, I have a tough time embracing modern, polymer-framed, striker fired handguns.

Back To The Sig

To bring this around full circle: Glock’s striker-fired monopoly on the handgun market was definitely noticed by all Survival Pistolthe other handgun manufacturers, and some decided to do what they could to dig their heels in and try to push the king off the mountain.  Initial offerings weren’t enough: Smith & Wesson’s Sigma and SW99 offerings were lame ducks, but they evolved into the excellent M&P series of pistols that have been taking the market by storm since 2005.  Others have jumped into the fray, and now there are many polymer framed, high-capacity contenders out there to keep Glocks and M&Ps company: the H&K VP series of guns, Walther’s PPQ/PPM, Springfield’s XD line, and the FN FNX series (and others) have all been gaining traction.

However, one of the premier firearms manufacturers in the world were strangely silent: Sig Sauer, a German company that has a huge manufacturing facility and new headquarters in New Hampshire, USA, never said “peep” about making a “Glockfighter” handgun.  Maybe it was because they’d always made expensive, high-end DA/SA handguns; they didn’t want to undercut their niche.  However, you could see that maybe they were testing the waters on lower-cost handguns:  The SP2022 was a polymer-framed evolution of the 226/228/229 family, and the P250 was an innovative hammer-fired handgun that used a stainless steel fire control group chassis that could be interchanged into inexpensive grip modules.  All of these were well-received as being high-quality handguns worthy of the Sig brand, but they weren’t what the world wanted.  But then, in January 2014, Sig unveiled their new P320 to the world and promptly dropped the mike.  BOOM.

For the past few years, Sig had quietly been watching and researching.  They wanted to address the major shortfalls of the early striker-fired genre (we’re looking squarely at you here, Glock): terrible out-of-the-box trigger pulls, blocky grip frames, glaring lack of ambidextrous controls.  Sig had been waiting in the wings, interviewing veteran military and police officers to get their take on what makes a good handgun great, to make sure their offering was just right…and it was worth the wait.

Also Read: Smith & Wesson M&P 40C Review

Sig Sauer wasn’t content with having tacky add-ons for existing designs to address issues – the Glock Gen 4’s feeble attempt at fitting differently-sized hands with add-on backstraps being a good example.  They wanted a full-tilt modular pistol, and that’s what they rolled out.  The P320 isn’t just a great, reliable design that shoots well; it is a masterpiece, a platform of unequaled modularity.  You see, the P320’s design is centered around a central stainless steel fire control group chassis. This small chassis is serial numbered, and is considered the firearm.  As a consequence, the owner of the pistol can completely swap out the rest of the gun…the grip module can be swapped out to full sized, carry (full sized grip length with a shorter railed dust cover for a shorter slide), compact, and subcompact sized frames.  Each of these sizes of frames are also available in large, medium, and small grip frame girths to accommodate almost all sizes of shooter hands.  Likewise, the slide, barrel, and recoil spring assemblies can be swapped out as well; Sig offers multiple lengths for these as well.  Want a different caliber pistol?  No sweat!  The 9mm, .40 S&W, and .357 Sig barrels and magazines all drop into the same grip/slide assemblies.  Sig offers “X-Change” kits that let you select the configuration/length/caliber you’d like, and buy them all in one shot.

This all ensures that you can have the pistol you want, in the caliber you want, in the configuration you want, tailored to fit your hand.  This sort of modularity is a game-changer, and leaves all the other manufacturers with pin-on grip adapters and change-out backstraps way back in the dust.  It also ensures that the military is certainly considering it deeply in their new MHS (Modular Handgun System) platform competition, and it cinched the American Rifleman Golden Bullseye Award for the 2016 Pistol of the Year.

The Nitty-Gritty

Let’s take a look at what all this modularity specifically brings to the table, as well as some other great stuff the P320 offers.  There are four basic platform sizes available for the P320, each of them with three different grip sizes: small, medium, large. The platforms are:

P320 Full-sized: 8.0” overall length, 5.5” overall height.  The Full-sized configuration sports a 4.7” long barrel, and a 17-round magazine in 9mm.  Weighs 29.4 ounces with the magazine in it, unloaded.  Five slots on the dust cover accessory rail, to mount lights, lasers, etc.

P320 Carry: Same grip frame as the Full-sized with 17-round 9mm magazines, but with a shorter 7.2” overall length and 3.9” barrel and 26.0 ounce weight unloaded.  Shorter dust cover, four slots in the accessory rail.

P320 Compact: The Compact has the shorter 7.2” overall length of the P320 Carry, but utilizes a grip that is a tad shorter, at 5.3” high. 25.8 ounces unloaded.  The magazine capacity is reduced to 15 round in 9mm due to the shorter grip. Four slots in the accessory rail.

P320 Subcompact: The Subcompact model pares away everything not needed, and enjoys a small 6.7” overall length and 4.7” overall height to enhance concealability. 24.9 ounces unloaded.  The 9mm version carries only (!) 12 rounds in the magazine.  The subcompact also has sleeker lines, eliminates the accessory rails, and sports a rounded, no-snag triggerguard in place of the familiar square, hooked Sig Sauer triggerguard.

Okay, so there are four basic pistol offerings.  That’s all well and good. But a really cool thing about the P320’s design is that you can, to a reasonable degree, mix-and-match frames and barrels.  You don’t have to stick to the Sig standard factory-offered configurations.  For example: you can buy a full-sized P320 like mine.  Then, for about $45, you can purchase a P320 Compact grip and mount your full-sized slide and barrel to it. I’ve seen lots of cool builds online from P320 owners making custom configurations out of their guns, even to the point of people cutting off sections of grip frame to make offball configurations like a full-sized slide that sits on a subcompact frame.  And before you ask, yes – the full-sized mags all fit and function in the smaller grip frames.  All of the sizes are available in 9mm, .40 S&W, .357 Sig, and .45ACP. Caliber X-change kits are $399 from the Sig Sauer online store – however, I’ve seen them sold privately and locally for less than that.  I don’t believe the .45ACP components will marry with the smaller-caliber components due to case size – but I don’t have one to test, so I can only surmise.

Also Read: Rothco Concealed Carry Jacket Review

The glass-reinforced polymer grip frames all have nice grippy texture on them – likely a response to many polymer framed gun owners sending their guns out be stippled or have grip texture enhancements.  The triangular shaped Browning-style magazine release is reversible for southpaws, and the small black steel slide catch is 100% ambidextrous with catches on both sides of the gun.  Looking at the grip, you’ll notice the pistol has an odd profile at the magazine well at first glance.  However, once you realize that it’s notched to enable the user to grasp the magazine baseplate for a good hearty magazine rip-out in an emergency, you wonder why other guns don’t have similar features.  A lanyard hole in the back of the grip is standard – a slick offering for people who appreciate the retention possibilities of a good lanyard.  The only other control on the frame is the takedown lever, which is on the left side of the gun.  Mine is an earlier generation gun and as such, the takedown lever is slightly stepped and contoured.  Newer model takedown levers are flat to the frame – however, I really like the tapered design of mine, since it provides a bit of a natural thumb rest for the off-hand thumb in a modern thumbs-forward shooting hold.

Solid 9mm Pistol

The slides are matte black Nitron coated, and are beveled and contoured to keep weight down and allow the gun to be re-inserted into holsters more smoothly.  Sig is offering standard on the P320 what is an expensive custom detail on other pistols: forward slide serrations in addition to the standard serrations at the rear of the slide.  These forward serrations are a godsend when doing press-checks to see if there is a round in the chamber, and all the serrations are deep, wide, and very positive to utilize. Really a great feature of this gun.  Also of note: every P320 I’ve ever seen comes with SigLite night sights.  I’m told they come with Sig 3-dot standard contrast sights, but I have yet to see them. So chances are you’ll find one with night sights installed– and they’re right about the same price as a Glock without night sights.  Just sayin’…I was at the local Cabela’s last night, and a brand new P320 with night sights was $599.  A new Glock 17 without night sights was $549.

Related: Survival Carbine

The stainless steel Fire Control Unit (FCU) is the heart of the whole gun.  It encompasses the trigger, frame rails, ejector, and all the necessary safeties and guts that make the gun work.  The FCU sits in the top of the grip frame, and runs from just forward of the takedown lever, back to the rear of the frame.  Removing and reinstalling it is a breeze, and a tip of the hat is required to the engineers who designed it.  The FCU, as stated previously, has the serial number stamped on it, which shows through a window that is moulded into the right hand size of the frame.  It’s an ingenious setup, one that I bet will be imitated by others in the future.

As a side note: The Sig P320 and P250 platform are brothers – the P320 is striker-fired, while the P250 is double-action-only hammer fired.  As such, magazines and grip frames are interchangeable between the two guns. A nice little tidbit to know while looking for accessories such as holsters.

First Impressions

The first time you pick up a P320 Full Size, you immediately think, “Geez, that’s BIG”.  And it kind of is big, but much of it is due (in my eyes) to the deep, long, blocky dust cover that runs from the triggerguard all the way to the end of the 4.7” barrel; it makes the gun seem taller than most other handguns.  But the grip is long as well, made to house a magazine that holds 17 9mm rounds or 14 .40 S&W/.357 Sig cartridges.  The overall size is probably close to a Beretta 92/M9, though not quite as long.  The Sig feels much more svelte than the M9, though, and points better in my hand, feels more intuitive.  When making the obvious comparison to a Glock 17, the P320 is indeed bigger, but not by much…and the P320 grip feels like it was made for your hand when comparing it to the made-out-of-Legos feeling Glock grip.  The contours, the balance, the reach to the controls – all are very well thought out and executed on the P320. And then you get to the trigger.

Also Read: Magpul Armorer’s Wrench Review

Oh, the trigger! The trigger on the P320 was the deal breaker that sold me on the gun.  Sig obviously directed a LOT of time and effort into getting this aspect of the pistol right.  And if you’ve shot a box-stock Glock or M&P, you know why: the factory triggers of most striker fired pistols are just plain awful.  They have a ton of takeup and creep, and the sear letoffs are gritty and mushy.  It’s understandable, though: There are many internal levers, safeties, draw bars, strikers, and interfacing parts that need to move, slide, drop, and actuate in concert to allow the gun to fire. And while all of those parts do a wonderful job of ensuring that the guns will not fire until the triggers are fully pulled to the rear, they also ensure that the trigger pulls are less than stellar.

This can all be addressed with aftermarket parts, for sure: Ghost and others make great drop in springs and disconnectors for Glocks, and Apex’s Action Enhancement Kits are wonderful treatments for ailing M&P triggers. But the P320? Well, it has a wonderful trigger, straight from the factory.  It’s not “tuned 1911” perfect, but the trigger is definitely head and shoulders above the similarly-priced competition.  There is a slight takeup, maybe 1/4” of travel, but then the trigger breaks cleanly and crisply after about 7 pounds of pressure.  However, the pull seems lighter than the advertised 7+/- pounds due to the exceptional action and clean break.  Apex and others are starting to make aftermarket triggers and other goodies for the P320, but I simply haven’t felt the need.  The trigger is superb for a striker fired gun, straight from Sig. If it ain’t broke…

Also Read: Firearm Maintenance When The SHTF

The rest of the gun on first inspection just exudes Sig quality.  The finish is beautiful, hard-wearing and even, the sights are well-defined and highly visible, and all the controls feel solid and look good.  The only thing close to chintzy in the whole setup isn’t even the gun – the P320 comes with an almost-an-afterthought paddle-type plastic holster. It’s nice that Sig made a holster available to the owner upon purchase, and the holster works okay – it holds the gun on your hip, the triggerguard is covered, the pistol is reasonably secure.  But the moulded plastic is kind of cheap, the design is blocky and it doesn’t hug the body.  I’ll admit I used it, but only until my GunfightersINC Ronin OWB kydex holster came in the mail. After that, the stock Sig offering went into the dusty black-hole bin of forgotten holsters.  Honestly, I would have rather paid $15 less on the overall price and not had the holster come with the pistol. But that’s my call; the included holster is a nice thought for the run-of-the-mill pistol owner who goes out the range with his buddies three times a year.  But, for serious usage and hard duty, spend the money and get a good holster.

Breaking It All Down

Taking the P320 apart into its key components is a breeze.  Sig also incorporated a safety feature into the P320’s Best Survival Pistolfield-stripping method: you don’t have to pull the trigger (like a Glock) or need special tools (like an M&P) to disassemble the pistol. The magazine needs to be out of the pistol as well.  These two attributes are designed to eradicate accidental discharges that could come hand-in-hand with the other offerings of handguns of this ilk.

To disassemble, clear the gun.  Make sure it’s empty.  Then do it again.  Drop the magazine out of the pistol if you haven’t already, then lock the slide ito the rear.  Rotate the takedown lever just over 90° clockwise, until it stops.  Then, controlling the spring tension the slide is under, release the slide by pushing the slide stop down or pulling slightly back on the slide, allowing the slide stop to drop out of its engagement catch.  Let the slide ride forward and off the frame.  The recoil spring assembly and the barrel can then be removed out of the bottom of the slide, just like most other semi-auto pistols. The pistol is now essentially field-stripped for cleaning.

However, to clean the FCU or to change grip modules, you simply take the field-stripped grip frame, grasp the takedown lever, and give it a pull while rotating it slightly back and forth, removing it from the frame.  Then, hook your finger under the front of the FCU, and pull it up and out.  That’s it. The whole process is brutally simple and easy.  The FCU can then be cleaned up, or placed in a new grip module if you so desire.  Re-assemble in reverse order.  That’s it, folks.  It likely took you longer to read this paragraph than it would to disassemble a P320 down to its key components of slide, barrel, recoil assembly, takedown lever, FCU, magazine, and grip frame.  The simplicity and modularity is breathtaking, and worth every penny of the price of admission.

Shooting The P320

I’ll admit, it took me a bit longer that I would’ve liked to find my “groove” and get familiar with this pistol to the Best Survival Handgunpoint where I shooting it well.  Maybe my mind was thinking it would feel like my old familiar M&P when I shot it, or possibly I’m too used to my P220ST.  But after launching a couple hundred rounds of ammo downrange, I can positively tell you that this pistol shoots like a laser beam once you get it dialed in, and once you find ammo it likes. Let me explain.

When I first got the pistol, the pistol was hitting high.  Way high.  Like 8 inches higher than point of aim at 15 yards. I tried different bullet weights – 115s, 124s, and 147s – and they all shot similarly high.  I then jumped on my laptop, took a deep breath, and waded through the mall ninja dribble online.   A bit of internet research eventually informed me that this point of impact issue is a common problem with the P320s with the 8/8 sights.  Sig Sauer numbers their sight heights to denote levels of impact – the higher the number on the sights, the higher the point of impact.  I had these sights – #8 front, #8 rear.  I contacted Sig Sauer, explained my problem, what I’d done to make sure it wasn’t me, and sent pictures of the groups in.  Three days later, I had a new #6 SigLite front sight in my mailbox.  How’s that for customer service?

I installed the new front sight, and the point of impact came right down.  It’s still slightly high, maybe 1 ½ inches high from point of aim at 15 yards, but now it’s usable, and I’ve gotten used to it.  I now cut the target in half with my front sight, and if I do my part, the pistol rewards me with solid hits time and time again.

I really wanted to use this Full-Sized 9mm P320 as a steel plate match and IDPA gun.  To shoot lots of matches on a budget requires reloading ammunition, so I took the plunge.  I purchased 2,000 124-grain lead round nose bullets and several different powders that friends had recommended for 9mm loads.  However, I’m finding that even after trying several different handload combinations, 4”-6” groups are the norm at 15 yards.  I’m planning on trying other powders and other bullets, but I have yet to find a 124-grain lead bullet load the pistol likes.  To Sig’s merit, there are many people running P320s as match guns with several of the loads I tried, resulting in excellent accuracy.  Mine just doesn’t like the handloads I’ve tried so far.

However, factory ammunition is a different story altogether. My pistol dearly loves Winchester “white box” 115-grain full metal jacket ammuntion, and routinely shoots ragged one-hole two-inch 10-shot groups with it. It also shoots Sig Sauer’s Elite V-Crown 124-grain JHP ammunition superbly, so that is the defense load I carry in the pistol.  PMC Bronze 115 grain FMJ ammunition and Federal American Eagle 147-grain FMJ both shoot very well out of the pistol. I rested the gun on a shooting bench, and was rewarded with a 20-yard, 10-shot group with Winchester 115-grain FMJ measuring just under two inches. The Sig Elite V-Crown 124s performed similarly.  That’s excellent accuracy for an out-of-the-box pistol…I’m pretty sure that with ammunition it likes, this pistol will shoot better than I can. Functioning over probably 750 rounds so far – mostly dirty, lead-bullet handloads – has been absolutely flawless.  You can’t ask for more than that, friends.

Wrapping It Up

In conclusion, it’s definitely telling that Sig Sauer took their time and made an outstanding offering straight out of Best Survival Handgunthe gate…and they did it without breaking the bank or compromising the high-end reputation the Sig Sauer brand has come to represent over the years.  I’m a serious gun snob and admitted fanboy of the Sig Sauer “Classic” line (P220, P225, P226, P228, P229, et al), but I like this P320 so much it comes with me everywhere I go now, even if I’m not carrying it on my person.  It’s a great choice as a gun to have with you or in the vehicle as a serious defensive tool you can rely on when the chips are down.  The accuracy is excellent, the pistol is dependable, the gun is light for its size, even when stuffed full of eighteen 9mm rounds.  Keep an extra couple magazines in a mag pouch, and you have 52 rounds of warm and fuzzy ready to go when you are.

Related: SHTF Grab ‘N’ Go Pistol Bag

The P320 platform, on a whole, makes an excellent choice for the person who needs multiple roles in their pistols (full sized “belt” gun, concealed carry gun, plinker, training firearm, home defense, etc.) but can’t afford multiple pistols or doesn’t want the maintenance or liability hassles that owning many guns can bring.  If Sig Sauer would follow suit with many of their other handgun designs and offer .22LR conversion kits (you hear me out there, Sig??) you could truly have a damn-close-to-perfect-do-it-all handgun.

Do me a favor, especially if you already own a polymer-framed striker-fired handgun.  Next time you see a Sig Sauer P320 in a gun shop’s case, ask to handle the gun.  Ask to dry-fire it.  Ask to try out or be shown the disassembly feature, and how the modularity comes into play.  I bet you’ll be impressed; maybe even impressed enough to look sideways at other striker-fired guns, give in to the dark side like I did, and buy a P320.  Trust me, it was worth the wait.

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Drew
Panteao Productions
The Miami News

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How To Make DIY Fire Logs from Recycled Newspaper

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How To Make DIY Fire Logs from Recycled Newspaper If you’re like me, you have loads of scrap paper and old newspaper laying all over the place. I even have access to paper from work. This is a great way to save money and make a long, hot burning log. These would be great to …

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Do You Need to Attend a Wilderness Survival Class and What Can You Expect?

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You have read the manuals, watched the videos, and have read dozens of articles online about wilderness survival, but does this mean you are ready, maybe, and then again maybe not.

There are several schools of thought when it comes to survival training. Some believe that pain equals gain. In other words, if you are not hungry and cold with an aching body during your survival training then you are not doing it right and simply will not learn anything.

This type of training course would be similar to the Naked and Afraid series where you are dropped off without even the clothes on your back. In the real world, you probably would not survive the night if put in this situation. It is unrealistic to think you are going to wake up naked in a faraway land, and then are expected to survive for days or weeks when you are starting from nothing.

The thought behind this method is that if you know what can happen if you are not well trained and prepared with the essentials for survival, then you will always be prepared. The knowledge and hands-on training will be better absorbed. Absorbed that is, if you can ignore how cold, wet and hungry you are and can ignore your aching back caused from sleeping on the cold ground.

Well, this sounds good on paper and some people do thrive in this environment, while others do not. This method is essentially sink or swim.

Another method of training is to provide a comfortable learning environment. The belief is that people do learn more when in a comfortable environment. However, any training you take should be conducted in a controlled environment where your mistakes are not deadly but instead can be used as a training tool.

Even if you decide to go it alone and learn on your own, you need a support system in place as you train. Even experts can make mistakes, and everyone needs a support system whether you believe it or not. If you do get lost, you will in many cases, have to rely on others to rescue or help you.

Do your research and know your instructor. The Internet is full of so-called survival experts with impressive sounding resumes but does this mean they can convey their knowledge to you while at the same time controlling the environment so no one in the class gets hurts.

What to Expect

Expect to learn the basics of wilderness survival. Learn how to construct an emergency shelter, make a fire under any conditions, find and purify a surface water source and learn how to forage for food. In most cases, you are taught to survive long enough to be rescued, so in most classes you will also learn how to signal rescue personnel, and learn basic land navigation techniques.

While most experts recommend that you shelter in place if you find yourself lost, you may have to self-rescue so knowing how to navigate through the woods is critical.

You should learn how to detect and provide treatment for hypothermia as well as hyperthermia, and learn how to combat dehydration when water is limited as well.

The above are the basics, which can essentially be taught over a long weekend. There are advanced courses that you can take that would delve into bushcraft versus survival techniques taught to keep you alive until rescued.

Once you have had a few days of hands-on training at a survival school, it is up to you to hone those skills, by getting back out in the woods and practicing. Gaining knowledge and skills is one thing, but applying what you have been taught in a real life situation is something entirely different. Your survival class is just the beginning. You cannot expect to attend a 3 or 5-day class and say that’s the end of it, your trained, so nothing more to see here let’s move on. Classes are just the beginning.

It takes practice, trial and error and a dedication to advancing your skills, so you build confidence, and thus, have the right reaction when the time comes. Pre-programmed responses are something that takes a tremendous amount of practice and hands-on training to perform without thought.

Primitive living techniques are taught by many schools, but you have to choose carefully, and it will be costly. Learning bushcraft on your own is difficult. You really do need the tutoring of those that came before you. Much bushcraft and primitive living skills have been passed down through the generations, and in some cases, the information is never written down, but passed on orally.

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The 11 Cardinal Sins of Prepping – Pitfalls Every Prepper Should Avoid

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The 11 Cardinal Sins of Prepping – Pitfalls Every Prepper Should Avoid Mistakes are a part of the learning process. Ignoring those mistakes or not recognizing them is not. These mistakes and pitfalls can keep you from being a SHTF asset  and turn you into a SHTF liability. Many of these cardinal sins may seem like common …

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Solar-Powered Island Made Out of 150,000 Recycled Bottles

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Solar-Powered Island Made Out of 150,000 Recycled Bottles A man has build his very own private island and wants to show it to you all. The island is made up of over 150,000 recycled plastic bottles all connected to bamboo frames. Which makes the island very buoyant and stable. The island boasts a three-story house …

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Get Great DIY Preparedness Project Ideas With The King Of Random

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Get Great DIY Preparedness Project Ideas With The King Of Random Grant, the King Of Random, has made quite a few SHTF and emergency preparedness “weekend projects” on YouTube, and the good thing is he shows you how to make them too. One of my favorites is the video below… this is an oldie, but a goodie. …

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Interview With Jean-Martin Fortier

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Dateline: 1 June 2016

Jean-Martin and his wife, Maude-Hèléne.

Jean-Martin Fortier’s book, The Market Gardener, really impacted the way I garden. First, his use of 30″ wide permanent planting beds with 18″ walkways is the ideal size for me to work with. I had experimented in years past with wider beds and narrower walkways and I wasn’t happy with any of them. But 30″ and 18″ is just right.


And it was Fortier’s book that broke down my 30+ year bias against black plastic in my garden. His use of heavy plastic as an occultation cover makes so much sense that I had to give it a try, and I’m glad I did. 

So it’s no wonder that the current Planet Whizbang Giveaway is for a DVD documentary of Jean-Martin’s 1.5 acre farm in Quebec. There are 6 days left before the contest ends. There will be three winners.

Besides the new documentary, I want to let the avid gardeners among my readership know about the recent interview with Jean-Martin. I highly recommend it. Here’s the link:  J.M. Fortier on Six-Figure Farming With The Market Garden.

There is so much for a home gardener to consider in the interview. Jean-Martin discusses his gardening system, including bed/walkway widths, and  the use of occultation plastic. But I learned something new when he discussed the use of a broad fork (his favorite tool). It turns out that the fork is NOT used to turn or seriously disrupt the soil in his garden beds. It is used only to aerate the beds. Check out the interview.

One more thing… The Farmer to Farmer Podcast (where the interview can be found) is an exceptional web site and resource for people who are interested in gardening and small-scale agriculture.

I’ve listened to several of the interviews at that web site and another good one that I recommend is Karl Hammer on Microbes, Carbon, and The Compost Connection.   That title may sound a bit esoteric but, WOW, I really enjoyed listening to Karl Hammer. He has a way with words and the man is passionate about soil biology, manure, compost, and all of that. 

For those who don’t know, Karl Hammer owns the Vermont Compost Company. The compost-based seed starting mix he makes is legendary. 



State of the Blog

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To be honest I am pretty tired. A lot of stuff is up in the air with my life and at times it takes all the energy I have to do basic essential life stuff. Writing on a regular basis at all, let alone posts that are any good is more than I am willing to do.

Towards the end of my marriage this was a welcome diversion. A place where people appreciated what I did and only had good things to say. Of course it helped that you only saw what I wanted to share. Anyway the blog and preparedness at large got way out of balance in my life across the board from time and energy to money and space/ logistical constraints. Not living the right way to prepare for stuff that will probably not happen is stupid.

After consideration of your input I am going to give the blog a stay of execution. One of my character failings is that I want to do everything 120% or failing that to not do it. In the past I have quit things I enjoyed when my energy to go full bore faded and regretted it later. I do not want to do that here. I have put a lot of time into this and made some really good friends. At a minimum it is something I want to be very deliberate about quitting. Also so much is up in the air right now that I am sort of spinning so I’m not sure it is a great time to make any major life decisions anyway.

So what happens now?

In the short term I am going to take a break for a few weeks. I need to work on myself and get my head in a better place. There will not be new posts for this time. All content will stay up but comments will be closed (tomorrow). Say that puts us in mid summer.

Since I will be offering a much less consistent service I plan to cease advertising except contracts that have commitments attached. This is easy as I haven’t even bothered to do my admin stuff like ask people for money in months. It says a lot about how little you care when its too much trouble to ask people for money. I haven’t felt great about the service I was offering anyway.

From there my current intent is to shift from almost daily posts to well whenever I darn well feel like it. I am not going to make myself write at any set interval. I will write when I feel like saying something and have the time/ energy to do it. After awhile I will re evaluate how I feel about the blog.

So that is the plan as of today.

Zika News and Video

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The first birth in the continental U.S. with Zika-related birth abnormalities occurred in a hospital in Hackensack, NJ. The baby reportedly has microcephaly, a condition where the head fails to grow normally, inhibiting normal brain growth.

While mentally challenged, most of these babies are otherwise healthy. Many will require lifelong care, which has been estimated by President Obama to cost 10 million dollars over the life of the child.

The mother had traveled to the U.S. from Honduras to seek better medical care. As of yet, local cases of Zika have not been proven beyond reasonable doubt. However, consider this scenario: the mother of the baby has Zika virus, is bitten by a mosquito, and the mosquito transmits the virus to American citizens during her stay.

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Luckily, Zika virus is thought to only stay in the blood for a week or so. This limits the window in which a mosquito can pass the virus from  one human to the next. It does appear, however, to spend much more time in other bodily fluids such as semen. Sexual transmission is believed to be the most likely way for a human to pass it to another human.

The CDC reported May 20th that at least 279 pregnant women in the United States and U.S. territories like Puerto Rico have documented evidence of Zika virus. This is a spike from last week’s report. Many hundreds more Americans citizens, non-pregnant, have been found to have had the infection. As only 20% of patients develop symptoms, actual numbers are probably several times higher.

Still, these are cases in which the victim has traveled from the epidemic zone in South America or had sexual activity with someone who has. No epidemic is expected in the United States, although small clusters of locally-transmitted cases in warm-weather states like Florida and Texas may occur, as well as in major populations centers like New York City during the summer.

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Here’s my recent video on the book I’ve written on Zika virus, The Zika Virus Handbook, pretty much all you need to know explained in plain English. No-nonsense, non-panic, it’s the only book, as far as I can tell, written by a doctor who delivered his share of babies during his career and who writes about medical preparedness.

To watch, click below:

Wishing you the best in good times or bad,

 

Joe Alton, MDblaze tv 2

Safe Drinking Water in Any Situation

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Safe Drinking Water in Any Situation Everyone agrees that you should have an emergency supply of water. Most experts advise that you should have a minimum water supply for 72 hours and the CDC recommends that you have 1 gallon of water for each person in your family for each day. If you have a …

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The post Safe Drinking Water in Any Situation appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

5 All-Natural Weed Killers, Straight From Your Kitchen (No. 2 Will Kill ANYTHING)

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5 All-Natural Weed Killers, Straight From Your Kitchen (No. 2 Will Kill ANYTHING)

Image source: Pixabay.com

Weeds — they creep up in your garden, sneak through the cracks in the sidewalk, and make it a point to grow everywhere that’s inconvenient to reach.

The easy-out, of course, is to reach for a bottle of store-bought herbicide. Readily available and modestly priced, it’s no wonder that many home gardeners choose it.

Unfortunately, many of these herbicides can be detrimental not only to weeds, but to humans as well. Studies suggest that the chemicals in these products can have a wide range of impacts. Some are relatively minor, such as the potential to cause skin irritations or allergic reactions, while others are more serious, such as nervous system problems and even cancer. In all cases, children and pets are especially vulnerable. Many of these products also have a long-term negative impact on the environment.

Seamazing: The Low-Cost Way To Re-mineralize Your Soil

Homemade weed killers offer the best possible alternative to manufactured herbicides. Inexpensive and made from common household materials, these natural weed killers can help keep unwanted plants at bay without unnecessary exposure to harmful chemicals.

Let’s look at several:

1. Boiling water

One of the simplest solution to weeds involves nothing more than water. To use this technique, boil water in a kettle, then, before it has a chance to cool, pour the water on the crown and roots of the offending plant. The hot temperature will scald virtually any plant it comes in contact with, generally dealing a mortal blow. Although plants with long taproots may require more than one treatment, this is an easy and completely natural way to combat pesky plants.

2. Salt

There’s a reason armies used to salt the fields of their enemies — salt has a powerful ability to render soil barren. Because it affects the ability of roots to take up water from the soil, salt effectively dries out existing plants and makes it difficult for new ones to take hold. While not an ideal solution for gardens and lawns since it can cause permanent damage to the soil, salt can be useful for treating pathways, sidewalks and other areas that are meant to be plant-free. For easy application, dissolve one part salt in eight parts water and apply to the desired locations.

3. Vinegar and lemon juice

5 All-Natural Weed Killers, Straight From Your Kitchen (No. 2 Will Kill ANYTHING)

Image source: Pixabay.com

Plants are picky when it comes to soil pH, and lowering the pH immediately around a weed will almost always cause it to wither. For this reason, it’s not unusual to find acidic ingredients in many commercial herbicides. Before resorting to an unknown chemical concoction, though, it’s worth trying a version made from common pantry items.

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

Vinegar and lemon juice both contain strong acids and can be combined for a pH-targeting weed treatment. Simply combine four ounces of lemon juice with one quart of vinegar and apply directly on the offending plants. This solution will kill most plants, but without causing residual damage to the surrounding soil.

4. Pickle juice

Finish off a jar of pickles recently? Don’t throw away the bottle without putting the leftover liquid to good use first! Pickle brine is full of vinegar and salt, making it a natural combination of these two weed-tackling substances. Apply directly to problem plants and pat yourself on the back for finding such a creative way to handle uninvited garden guests.

5. Soap

One of the most popular homemade herbicides involves combining two of the treatments mentioned above (vinegar and salt) with a third household product — dish soap. While not necessarily damaging to weeds in and of itself, soap contains surfactants which help the other ingredients “stick” to the plant, enhancing the weed-killing properties of the solution. To create this triple-whammy weed control, combine one gallon of vinegar (to lower the pH) with one cup of salt (to dry out the roots) and one tablespoon of dish soap (to help it adhere to the plants).

Controlling weeds doesn’t necessarily need to involve harsh chemicals and impossible-to-pronounce ingredients. Take advantage of these homemade alternatives to safely keep unwanted plants in check.

What all-natural methods would you add to this list? Share your ideas in the section below:

Bust Inflation With A Low-Cost, High-Production Garden. Read More Here.

Timely and Expert Commentary

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      This is not my work product.  It is the timely and very important writings of Charles Faddis .    Please read this.  It appears in Homeland Security Today.  I am reprinting it here so that as many people as possible read this. Luckily for us, Charles (Sam) Faddis is running for Congress.


SPECIAL ANALYSIS: Charles Faddis on, Time is of the Essence to Prevent Global Chaos and Conflict

 
By: Charles Faddis

06/01/2016 ( 6:56am)

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In the summer of 2002, I was sitting in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan on the Iranian border. I was the leader of an eight man CIA team which had been sent into Iraq to locate and acquire intelligence on a suspect terrorist weapon of mass destruction (WMD) manufacturing facility under the control of a Muslim extremist group called Ansar Al Islam and Al Qaeda operatives.
Over the course of several weeks, my team acquired chapter and verse on the facility, and the operatives associated with it. Avoiding detection, we mapped the enemy’s positions down to pinpoint accuracy, transmitted hundreds of pages of intelligence back to Washington, and then put together a detailed proposal for an immediate strike on the facility.
We were in the right place at the right time. We had the advantage of surprise. With one quick blow, we could have ended this growing threat to our national security. But our request for an immediate strike was denied.
Subsequent proposals were also turned down. Action was instead deferred for further analysis and deliberation.  When the attack on the target compound did occur, it was nine months too late … and telegraphed too far in advance. All of the key terrorist personnel at the site escaped and lived to fight and kill Americans another day.
Business as usual
What happened to me and my team in the mountains of Kurdistan was not an aberration. It had happened before … and it has happened since — on innumerable occasions. Like a lumbering, awkward giant chasing a smaller, more nimble foe, we stumble after our prey.  We build giant bases. We moved mass numbers of troops and spend billions of dollars in a vain attempt to corner the enemy, which can be vanquished when caught with a relatively minimal amount of force. We become mired in ruinous nation-building exercises when we should have kept our eye on the prize and focus all our energies on the elimination of terrorist cells which threaten the homeland.
At home, our methods are just as ill-suited for the task at hand. We suffered the tragedy of 9/11 because we did not have the right human sources in the right places to give us advance, actionable warning. What we needed was to reenergize human intelligence, destroy the culture of risk aversion that was crippling our efforts to penetrate terrorist organizations abroad, and turn loose a small number of select, seasoned operators to hunt our enemies to the ends of the earth.
Instead, we built massive new bureaucracies, filled hundreds of new buildings with flat screen computer monitors and “analysts,” and made the preparation of PowerPoint presentations virtually our state religion. Process became king. We were, apparently, going to win the “war on terror” by burying those who would attack us in paperwork and forms.
Fifteen years after 9/11, the results are clear to see. Usama Bin Laden is dead … Al Qaeda is not. While we have prevented another mass casualty attack on US soil, we have not come close to destroying the organization that brought down the Twin Towers. It lives on in a variety of guises in a variety of locations — in places like Syria and Yemen it retains considerable power. Threats to the homeland persist.
More ominously, Al Qaeda’s progeny, groups like ISIS and Boko Haram, continue to grow in power and influence. ISIS has created a true terrorist nation-state in the heart of the Middle East. Boko Haram has carved out its own caliphate in West Africa.
A very grim future
The future looks even grimmer. We live in a dangerous world which is becoming more dangerous and chaotic by the day. Threats are not diminishing; they are merely multiplying, and their ability to threaten us is increasing proportionately. As we look across the globe, we see the proliferation of extremist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram.  This trend will continue to be driven by demographics and competition for resources.  The poor of the world will become more desperate — not less so — in coming decades, and the forces that have fueled the rise in extremism and extremist groups will only intensify.
In many parts of the world — the United States, Europe and China, for instance — population growth has stopped and population totals are declining. In the developing world, though, it is a very different story. There, populations are exploding. Nations that can barely sustain their current populations are faced with the challenge of feeding, educating and employing vastly larger populations.
Many of these nations will not meet this challenge. They will fail, and when they fail, they will unleash the forces of chaos and conflict. What American geopolitical thinker Saul Cohen calls the “shatterbelts” of the world — areas where nation-states are disintegrating and chaos reigns supreme — will explode in size.
In 2013, the world population reached 7.2 billion. The developing world was home to 5.9 billion of those.  As of 2050, the world’s population will reach 9.6 billion, and almost all of that growth will occur in the developing world.  In fact, by 2050, the developing world will be home to 8.3 billion human beings. That means over 85 percent of the people on the planet will be living in the poorest, most economically and politically challenged nations.
As this population explosion in the world’s poorest nations takes place, the average age of persons in these countries will continue to plummet. By 2050, 24 nations will have populations with an average age under 25. The youngest populations on Earth will be in Niger, Mali, Zambia and Somalia.
The impact of this population explosion in the poorest, least resilient nations on the planet can hardly be exaggerated. Nations already wracked by violence and teetering on the brink of chaos are going to be buried under billions of new citizens. Nations with astronomical unemployment rates are going to be faced with hordes of angry, unemployed young people unable to find work, unable to feed themselves … and looking for someone and something to blame.
The impact of this population bomb will be magnified by the struggle for resources. A planet already struggling to find enough energy, water and food will be even more desperate.  Entire cities and nations may face collapse as a result.
Estimates are that worldwide demand for energy will increase by 35 percent by 2035 as compared to 2010. Fossil fuels will provide about 75 percent of this supply, with the gas sector seeing the largest growth. Most of the growth will occur in emerging economies, throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
In short, while the United States is rapidly moving toward self-sufficiency in energy, the rest of the world will be locked in a desperate race to keep pace with growing demand.  Competition for oil, natural gas and coal, already fierce, will only increase. And as it does, this competition will spark conflict and soaring prices.  The increased cost of energy, and, in many places, its scarcity, will in turn generate more conflict.
The basic resources
Perhaps more threatening than competition over fossil fuels, however, is the increasing difficulty of satisfying the need for the most basic resources of all, water and food.
Forty years ago, when intensive modern farming started, there were 120 cubic miles (500 cubic kilometers) of water beneath the Saudi desert.  In recent years, up to 5 cubic miles (21 cubic kilometers) has been pumped to the surface annually for use on farms. Virtually none of it is replenished.  Experts estimate four-fifths of the Saudis’ “fossil” water is now gone. The rest will be exhausted in the very near future.
Yemen has one of the world’s fastest growing populations. But because of overuse of groundwater water tables there, the nation’s aquifers are declining an average two meters a year. In Sana’a, the capital city, tap water is available once every four days. In Taiz, a smaller city in the south, tap water is available once every three weeks. Because of falling water tables, the grain harvest has declined by one-third over the last 40 years. Yemen now imports more than 80 percent of its grain.
The story is grim even in relatively well off Jordan. Forty years ago, Jordan was producing over 300,000 tons of grain a year. Today, it produces 60,000 tons and imports 90 percent.
Across the planet, similar stories are unfolding. In the face of an exploding population in the poorest nations, water and food are becoming increasingly scarce. Endemic violence and forced mass migration are the result. What we see in Europe today with waves of migrants from the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa is only the beginning of what promises to be a generational phenomenon, with tens of millions fleeing war and famine.
Succinctly stated, we are headed into a long period of instability, and, in the middle of this whirlwind are an increasing array of deadly weapons whose proliferation is virtually certain. For years we speculated on when terrorist groups would begin to avail themselves of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. The use of chemical weapons by ISIS on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq is now routine. The threat of the use of chemical weapons in Europe is so immediate the French have issued nerve gas antidotes from military stockpiles to civilian clinics and hospitals across the nation.
The investigation of terrorist attacks in France and Belgium recently uncovered efforts by ISIS-affiliated terrorists to attack nuclear power plants near Brussels. In response, several European nations have issued stocks of iodine tablets to their citizens living near nuclear plants. The tablets are to be taken in the event of a terrorist attack and a catastrophic release of radiation.
Just a few weeks ago, Kenyan authorities reported the arrest of ISIS operatives in that nation planning a biological terrorist attack using anthrax spores taken from a research laboratory. The plot was not simply aspirational — the cell in question already had personnel in place in the target lab.
Analysis
None of these events is isolated or unique. The age of terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction is upon us. Prior to 9/11, the notion of a terrorist attack that could cause 3,000 deaths was considered science fiction. No longer. In the not so distant future, if we are not vigilant, biological terrorist attacks may kill tens of thousands, while attacks on nuclear power plants may force the evacuation of major metropolitan areas for a generation – or longer!
Taken all together, the kind of factors I’ve outlined paint a picture of a violent, turbulent future.  Mass migrations of impoverished populations will continue, and increase in scale. Poor nations will crumble under the pressure of population growth, poverty and resource scarcity. Failed states will be common. Extremist states like that being carved out by ISIS will continue to plague us. And weapons of mass destruction will become more and more widespread.
We will need to continue to protect the citizens of the United States in this dangerous world, and we will need to do so in a way which is affordable and sustainable.  We cannot invade and occupy every nation that threatens us, nor can we simply sit and wait while threats gain strength. We will need to learn, or perhaps relearn, how to fight in bold, unconventional ways which maximize our strengths and exploit the weaknesses of our enemies.
So far, we have pursued the so-called “war on terror” as if time were inevitably on our side; as if muddling along was good enough because the enemy would inevitably fade away. But time is not on our side. The enemy is not withering or faltering. In fact, new enemies are appearing all the time, and arming themselves with ever more deadly weapons. A protracted stalemate guarantees only that we will pay an ever higher price in lost lives and treasure.
Business as usual will not do. We do not need, nor can we afford, mere bureaucracy and half measures, but rather bold, decisive strikes against terrorist groups that threaten us. As fast as a threat materializes, we need to detect it, act against it, and destroy it. Delay means the loss of lives, perhaps a great many lives. Time is not on our side. Time, is, in fact, of the essence.
Faddis served more than 20 years in the CIA as a Clandestine Services operations officer who led the first CIA team into Iraq nine months in advance of the post-9/11 2003 invasion of that nation.


After serving abroad in the Middle East, South Asia and Europe, Faddis retired in 2008 as head of the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center (CTC)’s Weapons of Mass Destruction unit charged with pursuing terrorists’ weapons of mass destruction programs around the globe. He’s also managed large organizations, worked across the Intelligence Community and Department of Defense, and has been involved in national security matters at the highest levels of government. He’s also spent more than his fair share of time running sources and covert action operations in the field.


Prior to joining CIA, he was a US Army Armor and JAG officer who later served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Washington.

Post-Collapse Skill: Weather Forecasting

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A post collapse skill that would be very useful is the ability to make accurate weather forecasts several days in advance, without depending on modern technology (weather satellites, doppler radar, etc.). Weather has a huge impact on our lives. It affects our crops, our animals, our ability to do work, our comfort, and even our very life. Weather can destroy our property, and even kill people.  A knowledge of weather, and the ability to forecast it at least a day or two in advance, helps immensely in planning what we need to do and when, and in warning us when we need to prepare for possible dangerous weather events.

All weatherman jokes aside, it is possible to predict, with a fair amount of accuracy, the weather several days in advance.  And you don’t need modern technology to do so. A few basic instruments to monitor current conditions (temperature, humidity, wind direction & speed, and barometric pressure), along with the ability to recognize various types of cloud formations and good understanding of weather patterns, is really all you need. In fact, I’ve done this quite successfully.

My Meteorology Lab

Growing up I was a science geek (actually a “nerd” in those days). For Christmas during my seventh grade year, I got a Meteorology Lab as  present. It came with three main pieces: 1) an outside weather station to monitor wind direction & speed, temperature, humidity, and precipitation, 2) an inside station with a barometer to measure barometric (air) pressure, along with a set of cardboard wheels that could be dialed to the current specific weather conditions and give you a basic forecast, and 3) an instruction book and cloud chart (you would use the cloud types and cloud coverage % to refine the basic forecast), along with weekly cards for recording each day’s weather conditions.

I actually kept about four years with of daily records, before my equipment started to wear out and I lost interest. I couldn’t make forecasts more than a few days away. But, frankly, my forecasts for 1, 2, and 3 days away were at least as accurate as the local forecasts from professionals with way more expensive equipment.

My meteorology lab and records were thrown away many years ago, but I’ve developed a renewed interest in the subject, and really do think it will prove a very useful skill in any post-collapse scenario. I’ve recently pulled out my weather books (see the resources listed below), and am looking for a weather station similar to the one I used to have.

I plan on relearning my weather forecasting skills, and understand the microclimate of the area I’m living now by daily monitoring of my local weather. A fun hobby now, an important skill later… 

Resources (I have and can recommend these)

Golden Guide – Weather – This small book (4×6 inches, 160 pages) is a rather through introduction to the science of meteorology.  Filled with pictures and diagrams, it explains in an easy-to-understand way, the science of the weather and weather forecasting. Appropriate for middle-schoolers through adults.

Peterson Field Guide to the Atmosphere – An extensive guide to clouds and other weather  & atmospheric phenomenon, has over 400 photographs and illustrations, this book is currently out-of-print, but second-hand copies can still be readily found. A condensed version, Peterson’s Clouds and Weather, is available new. 

Weather: A Folding Pocket Guide to to Clouds, Storms and Weather Patterns – is a well-done, laminated fold-out chart to clouds, storms and weather patterns. 

Weather Stations

There are a wide variety of weather stations and meteorology educational kits available, with a wide range of appropriate age levels, capabilities, and prices. I haven’t yet found one similar to the one I had in school, and am still looking. If you have any suggestions, please leave it in the comments section!

Camp Craft Challenge: The One Billet Boil Up

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by Todd Walker

Camping is a time to renew friendships and experience the fellowship of kindred spirits. There is no other place quite like the glowing sticks of a campfire to rejuvenate my soul.

Camp Craft Challenge- The One Billet Boil Up - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Fun times at Georgia Bushcraft campouts are often around a fire. Fire challenges, to be more specific. Most competitions consist of bringing a container of water to a rolling boil. There are other ways to gauge the woodsman’s or woods-woman’s firecraft skills, but none are more important (or fun), in my mind, than boiling water in the woods. With hot water, a camper can disinfect creek water and cook squirrel stew while sipping hot coffee, tea, and cocoa.

To prepare for these fire challenges, I’m known for collecting a trash bag full of “smalls” (pencil lead and pencil size twigs). Gathering enough twigs to boil water in under three minutes can take 30 minutes to an hour depending on how sidetracked I become in the woods. Squirrel! 

Collecting resources on woods treks is wise. However, you won’t find me walking through the woodland with a 55 gallon bag of sticks unless I know there’s an upcoming water-boil competition. With that being said, I’d like to introduce, and challenge, our readers to a time-honored way to boil water which incorporates ax, knife, and fire skills…

One Billet Boil Up

One-stick-fires are not new to me. However, I discovered the interesting history behind this challenge on Chris Noble’s site, Master Woodsman. Chris is always willing to share his wealth of woodsy knowledge at our campouts and his website. Find more on the history of this challenge here and here.

Challenge Guidelines

Here’s what you’ll need. Keep in mind that these are challenge guidelines not competition rules. You’re only competition is you for the sake of testing your skills.

  • One dry wood billet (species of your choice) around 6 inches in diameter and about one foot long – I used a standing dead red cedar billet for my challenge
  • Sharp ax or hatchet
  • Sharp knife
  • Bush pot or tin can large enough to hold one quart of water (32 ounces)
  • Kitchen matches (strike anywhere type)
  • Timer and camera (optional) if you’d like to share with us

I filmed the challenge on our channel if you’d like watch. The previously mentioned Master Woodsman links have useful video examples. Those guys and gals are fast!

Disclaimer: I’m well aware of the competitive spirit among my camping buddies. Should you take the challenge, know that you are using sharp cutting tools which do not discriminate about what they cut… fingers, shins, and hands included. If you are new to ax and knife work, spend time learning to properly handle these cutting tools. You are responsible for keeping appendages if you take this challenge, not us. No prizes are involved, so keep it safe.

Challenge Strategies

With my normal twig fire for water-boiling, surface area is guaranteed. Not so with a solid log. You must create surface area from the log as quickly and safely as possible. Split off a few one inch shingles from the round with your ax. Cut one of the shingles into smaller pieces. Immediately create shavings or fuzz sticks with your knife or ax from one of the smaller pieces. Light these shavings/fuzz sticks with a match as soon as possible. If you’re match goes out without achieving ignition, you’re allowed another match.

Split down more wood to begin building a log cabin fire lay around the fire. Use the smallest split wood to lay over the fire inside the base of the fire lay. The object is to build a couple of layers of burning kindling inside the log cabin.

Place the water container on top of flames supported by two of the cross pieces of the log cabin. Blow the base of the fire as needed to fan the flames.

Build the log cabin up to the top of the container with more split wood. Use what’s left of the original billet to split off four shingles. Lay the shingles against the fire lay in teepee fashion to trap and funnel the heat around the water container.

Just as a blacksmith billows air into his forge to increase the temperature, lay on the ground near the base of your fire and blow. This should only be done if your container is positioned on a steady log cabin structure. You wouldn’t want hot water falling and hitting any part of your body… another inherent risk.

Camp Craft Challenge- The One Billet Boil Up - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

My tin can is somewhere in there.

Once you’re satisfied the fire lay is sustainable, stand back and get your timer ready. Stop your timer once you have a rolling boil in your pot. Side bubbles around the edges of the container does not count as boiling. The entire surface of the water should be dancing and rolling with bubbles.

If you take the challenge, be sure to let us know your results. On social media, use the hashtag #OneBillitBoilUp so we can find you. Remember, the only prize you’ll receive is enhanced camp craft skills. Have fun and be safe!

Additional Resources

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

~ Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

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Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

 

Article – Secret apocalypse bunker ‘buried beneath Denver airport as US government prepares for end of days’

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Conspiracy theorists claim a secret bunker has been buried beneath Denver International Airport as the US government prepare for the apocalyspe.

And, they say there’s plenty of evidence to back up their incredible claim.

One video examines several theories, from murals and artwork to secret blueprints, as they seek to prove something suspicious is occurring under the Colorado site.

The DIA has been a swirling dumpster fire of conspiracy theory since they built the thing. To be fair, building an airport with a ‘secret purpose’ makes sense…you have the advantage of air transport, huge swaths of space for storage, a built in security component, communications networks and facilities, large fuel stockpiles, etc.

Really, the only way to solve this one is for someone to ‘get on the inside’ and go spelunking in the lower depths under the place.

Do *I* think there’s some sort of NWOZOGCIACFROMGWTF!!11!!! connection to it? No. The last time .gov built an enormous bunker and camouflaged it to keep it secret was around 1960 when they built the Greenbrier. They managed to keep a lid on it for about 30 years, but that was before the age of cellphones, internet, and flying drones. I’d think that keeping a place that a secret in this day and age is much harder.

But..I’ve been wrong before. Maybe it really is the interstellar JFK airport from ‘Men In Black’. Nonetheless, an interesting article for those of us who like the idea of secret underground facilities and bunkers.

How to Survive With Just the Clothes on Your Back

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

There are some cases where we don’t have our Bug Out bags with us at the moment. There are times when we don’t have our EDC gear because as much as we hate to admit it, sometimes we walk out the door unprepared.

The post How to Survive With Just the Clothes on Your Back appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Camelbaks for Hydration to Prevent Heat Related Illnesses

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camelbaks

Here is a Camelbak with several pockets for carrying extra gear. These are good for day hikes.

I live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains and been hiking in them for many years.  Now in the summer you have to be careful because of heat.  In many of the canyons, it can exceed 100 degrees.  Every year people have problems because they do not carry enough water and become dehydrated.  To prevent dehydration, we carry Camelbaks or one of their knockoffs.

Now dehydration occurs when the body loses water faster than it takes it in.  The human body loses water for many reasons.

  • You lose moisture every time you take a breath
  • Sweating from exercise, you can sweat 2 quarts of water per hour.
  • Urination or bowel movements
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

To protect yourself against dehydration in a hot environment, when hiking you should drink 1 gallon of water for every 20 miles you hike at night and 2 gallons per 20 miles during the day.  This is a minimum.  Never underestimate the amount of water your body requires.

For day hikes, I like the Camelbaks that are actually small backpacks.  The one I am currently using is at least 10 years old and has enough pockets that I can carry addition gear.  I usually, carry snacks, water purification pills, fire starter, space blankets, a small first aid kit with moleskin and maybe an extra long sleeve sweater.

My Camelbak holds 2 liters of water and I carry water purification pills because I have had to refill my pack from the river on extremely hot days.  Fortunately, many of the areas in which I hike have good running water.

Camelbaks

this style Camelbak is good for attaching to existing backpacks

Now if you are hiking in winter, don’t make the mistake of assuming that dehydration is not a danger.  You still want to carry plenty of water.  Every year we hear of people being lost in the mountains and when found most of them are dehydrated even in the winter, with snow on the ground.

If you are going to carry a Camelbak in the winter here are a couple of tricks that will help you.  In the winter be sure and use insulators on the drinking tubes of the Camelbaks.  This is the part that always freezes up the quickest.  Once you have taken your drink, blow the water back out of the tube and back into the reservoir.  Carry your Camelbak close to your body for heat transfer.  Between your body heat and movement it will keep it from freezing until the temperature drops into the teens. Then you will need an outside source of heat every few hours to keep them from freezing.  At night always put the water in your sleeping bag with you.

If you are going to be in cold weather for long periods of time there are other canteens that may work better.  We will discuss them in another post.

Howard

.

The post Camelbaks for Hydration to Prevent Heat Related Illnesses appeared first on Preparedness Advice Blog.

Why Every Home Should Have A WaterBOB

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What could you do with an extra 100 gallons of clean water during an emergency?

Think about it for a minute.

Instead of running around like crazy to find supermarket shelves that aren’t stripped of water before a violent storm blows in, you could be sitting in the comfort of your home with a ready […]

The post Why Every Home Should Have A WaterBOB appeared first on The Weekend Prepper.

Whales Continue to Be Decimated — The Ocean Food Chain Is Disrupted

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Per CodeShutdown

The other whales, a few weeks earlier

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/officials-ponder-how-to-remove-dead-whale-from-surf-spot/

A second deceased whale about the same size was spotted over the weekend floating off shore. That carcass is breaking apart in the water.

Dead Humpback Washes Up on Block Island
The whale washed up sometime overnight on North Mansion Beach
http://patch.com/rhode-island/narragansett/dead-humpback-washes-block-island

2 Dead Whales Wash Up on Long Island
https://www.longislandpress.com/2015/06/30/25-foot-dead-whale-washes-up-on-fire-island/

A True’s beaked whale was also recovered Tuesday from a beach in Westhampton
The incidents came eight weeks after a humpback whale carcass washed up near the Wilderness Visitors Center west of Smith Point County Park on FI
North Atlantic right whale calf found dead off Cape Cod

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_coverage/2016/05/north_atlantic_right_whale_calf_found_dead_off_cape_cod

There are an estimated 500 North Atlantic right whales left. But we are humans, so we dont really care that much…

Basic Bannock Recipe

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Basic Bannock Recipe
courtesy Karen Hood

This recipe for bannock will come in handy during a day hike or an overnight camping trip. Mix the ingredients at home and then seal them in a zip-lock bag. The basic mix will stay fresh for up to a month if kept sealed, dry, and reasonably cool. The quantity given will yield four bannock cakes, each approximately 3-1/2 to 4″ in diameter.

Dry Ingredients

1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. margarine
2 tbsp. skim milk powder (optional)

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and milk powder. Cut in the margarine by hand or with a mixer on low, until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Seal it in a zip-lock bag. Squeeze out excess air.

Bannock on the Trail

Grease and heat a fry pan or foil. Add enough COLD water to the prepackaged dry mix to make dough. Form the dough into cakes about 1/2″ thick. Lay the bannock cakes in the warm frying pan. Hold them over low heat, rotating the pan a little. Once a bottom crust has formed and the dough has hardened enough to hold together, turn the bannock cakes.

Cooking takes 12-15 minutes. Test readiness by inserting a clean toothpick or wood sliver into the loaf. If it comes out clean, the bannock is ready to eat.

If you don’t have a fry pan …

Roll the dough into a ribbon, no wider than an inch. Wind this around a preheated green hardwood stick and cook over a fire, turning occasionally, until the bannock is cooked.
Snapshot-1

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NRC Is No Longer a Regulator Of Nuclear, They Are A Captured Lap Dog Promoter

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NRC sent me an email today, with an article they just published.    I took issue with the “Weasel Words” of their writeup.   Here is the link to the full article.   Please also leave them a comment.

https://public-blog.nrc-gateway.gov/2016/06/01/more-on-baffle-bolts/comment-page-1/#comment-1655921

comment left on the NRC blog, 6-1-2016

You guys need to return to being a regulator, instead of a soft sell promoter.   And stop using weasel words, they are the basis of lack of regulation.   Kind and gentle is not what we ARE PAYING you to do.  

Your pay comes from the ratepayers, extracted by the utilities, and then given to you.  Its OUR MONEY.

Weasel examples….

So the NRC-approved EPRI guidance advises PWR operators to inspect their baffle-former bolts sometime between 25 and 35 effective full-power years.

We dont want guidance and “advice” we want demands and reports, reports that any citizen can easily inspect online.
—————–
Even during an accident, the danger of core damage would be minimal. For these reasons, the NRC does not believe it necessary to shut down any additional plants and order immediate inspections.

This sounds like a false argument of :limited number of consequences”.   In fact, I do believe, that having dozens of rusted bolts and nuts bouncing through a reactor cooling system, is a potential large problem all on its own.   They could jam in a valve that is seldom operated, but critical.   They could jam in a pump.
—————————
We have been aware of the phenomenon.

This is another false argument I call  “familiarity minimization”.    Being aware of a problem does not make it less of a problem, and in fact points at your prior non action in IMPLEMENTING mandatory inspections at every outage.
—————————————–

So the NRC-approved EPRI guidance advises PWR operators to inspect their baffle-former bolts sometime between 25 and 35 effective full-power years. The NRC requires the inspections as part of aging management plans for reactors with renewed licenses.

Really, just one inspection, chosen at the operators convenience, in a ten year period?
—————————————-
Get back to regulating, we are paying your salary, we are your boss, and WE DEMAND IT.

Dutch Oven Baking – Meat Pies

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Today we revisit the past and bring an episode all the way from Season One that ties into our Dutch Oven series. In this episode we bake two pies: a Cheshire pork pie in an earthen oven, as well as a mock passenger pigeon pie in a Dutch oven. These are some of our favorite recipes, you’re sure to enjoy it!

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Click Here for the latest Cooking Episode – http://bit.ly/1Ro9QTe

More great information!
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16 Preppers Reveal Their Favorite Survival Tool

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16 Preppers Reveal Their Favorite Survival Tool

Shared with APN by: truthsurvival.com

I think we can all agree:The right Survival Tool can mean the difference between life and death. And since there are thousands of survival products to choose from, how can you decide which one to buy?

To better rephrase the question:

“If you could only choose one survival tool, which would you choose and why?”

To get to the bottom of this, we asked 16 preppers/survival experts what their favorite survival tool was.  

Here were the top 3 recommendations:

  • Knife (4 Votes)
  • Knowledge (3 Votes)
  • All Others (1 Vote Each)

Keep reading to discover why each expert considered these items to be the most crucial for survival. Note, you can also use the following links to navigate to each professional’s website and/or social media page. We hope you find some value in this post. Enjoy!

Michael – On Point Preparedness

Recommended Tool: Bolt Cutters

“There is one prepper tool that I have not seen written about too much. However, it is critically important: small bolt cutters. Scenes of refugees climbing through razor wire and border fences bring a stark reminder that we may face similar situations. While these small bolt cutters cannot cut through pad locks or other thick metal, they can definitely chew through razor wire and wire fencing. They are also small enough and light enough to add to your BOB.”

 

 

 

Here’s a video from Michael’s YouTube page:

 

Expert Bio: Michael is the owner of On Point Preparedness, a website dedicated to teaching people how to prepare for any SHTF situation. Since 9/11, he’s been involved in liberty, truth seeking, and preparedness movements across the country. Be sure to check out his site!

Follow Michael: Website | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter

Dan – Survival Sullivan

Recommended Tool: Band-Aid

“I know many preppers are going to choose the survival knife or the multi-tool as the most useful survival item and- they’re probably right. But my favorite survival item so far was the one that actually helped me survive: the small and humble Band-Aid. I used it last year when I visited some piers with some friends and injured my fingers. I used it a few days ago when I cut myself while using a folding saw to cut wood.

Many forget the possibility of injury or death in SHTF situations. When you’re injured, you’ll be unable to perform basic tasks, just like I was a few days ago. A small bleeding can prevent you from carrying wood, washing your hands, jumping, climbing and doing anything efficiently. Get an assortment of bandages (that are dirt-cheap, anyway), and keep them everywhere: inside your survival bags, in your gym bag, your laptop bag, your purse and even in your wallet.”

 

Expert Bio: Growing up, Dan spent a lot of time outdoors. He’s been a prepper since 2014, and today shares his knowledge with people across the world. He’s not a conspiracy theorist nor does he believe in the zombie apocalypse- he’s just a regular guy who wants to be prepared…for anything.

Follow Dan: Website | Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

John – Prepper Zone

Recommended Tool: Knowledge

“Knowledge. When you have knowledge, you can create everything from cutting tools (via techniques such as flint knapping) to constructing cordage (while utilizing both natural & man-made materials around you) all with your bare hands. Understanding how to leverage your knowledge regardless of your surrounding is key to every successful survivalist’s strategy. Equipment alone will not guarantee your survival – ever. You need to arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can prior to a survival situation taking place.”

 

Expert Bio: John is the founder of Prepper Zone, a site dedicated to teaching people how to prepare for anything- biological attacks, nuclear war, natural disasters, and much more. When disaster strikes, you’ll be glad that you read this articles.

Follow John: Website | Pinterest

Alan – Urban Survival Site

Recommended Tool: Multi-Tool

“Since I spend most of my time in an urban environment where anything can happen, I like having a multi-tool because it can help me out in a variety of situations. My personal favorite is the Leatherman Wave. The latest model (830040) has 17 tools, several of which can be accessed without even opening it. The knives, pliers, scissors, ruler, wire stripper, screwdriver and bottle opener have all come in handy on countless occasions, which is why I never go anywhere without it.”

 

Expert Bio: If you’re trying to survive in the city after a disaster, Alan is the authority figure to turn to. His website contains loads of information for surviving in an urban environment post SHTF. You can also follow him on any one of his many social media channels.

Follow Alan: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube | Google+

LeAnn – Homestead Dreamer

Recommended Tool: Knowledge

“The most recommended survival tool is not a piece of gear. It’s not the latest and greatest knife or tent, cooking set or water filter. Those are just things that can be lost, broken, or stolen from you and then you’re down to just your hands and head. SKILL is the most important tool out there to survive.

More often than not, it’s not the gear you have that saves your backside, it’s your head. The knowledge and practice of survival skills will serve you long after the knife breaks, the ferro rod is lost, and you have nothing but the clothes on your back to work with.”

 

Expert Bio: Not only does LeAnn teach people how to become more self-sustainable, but she’s also an avid prepper. From gardening, food storage, recipes, to preparedness articles and more, her website contains a lot of valuable information.

Follow LeAnn: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest

Steve – Let’s Talk Survival

Recommended Tool: Knife

“I live in an urban environment where you can run around in shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops at 2am in the morning in the middle of winter so there is really no need for me to carry tools for starting fires or to building elaborate shelters. I am more concerned with my car breaking down miles from home, buildings falling from an earthquake or being attacked by unruly crowds so if I didn’t have my EDC pack hanging from my shoulder, a Leatherman or Swiss Army-style knife would likely be my go-to survival tool if I could only choose one. But a high-power tactical flashlight would definitely be a close second.”

 

Expert Bio: Steve’s blog, Let’s Talk Survival, is focused on teaching people about self-reliance and emergency preparedness. At his website, you’ll learn a ton about survival skills and techniques. Check out his website and social media pages to learn more!

Follow Steve: Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Pinterest

Robert – Off Grid Survival

Recommended Tool: Knowledge

“I’m usually pretty reluctant to give gear advice. What’s good for one person may be totally wrong for another. The best thing a person can do is to get away from thinking they need a certain piece of gear or tool to survive; instead, I recommend stocking up on knowledge. It’s the one thing that can’t be lost, can’t break, and will always be there for you when you need it. The less reliant you are on gear, the better off you will be when something bad happens.”

 

Expert Bio: Robert is the founder and writer at Off Grid Survival. With 20+ years of experience, he knows his stuff about survival and preparedness. His articles have been featured in major news outlets as he continues to educate people today.

Follow Robert: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube

Jason – The Survival University

Recommended Tool: Knife

“Other than my brain, knowledge, and acquired skills, my most valued survival tool is my knife. I could make a primitive knife but having a quality blade at my side makes jobs 1000 times easier. Though I do not need two, I carry two bushcraft style blades with me.  The first is a Benchmade Bushcrafter, the second is an ESEE5.

One is smaller for more precision work while the other I use for larger jobs such as chopping or batoning wood. With these two blades I can make just about any other survival item that I need. I can craft a bow, arrow, spear, trap, shelter, dress and skin an animal, defend myself and so much more with a knife. I can use it to fashion a digging stick to dig a seep well to purify water. I can use it to craft a bow drill to create fire. I can skin an animal to make clothing or shelter. There is little I cannot do with my knife.”

 

Expert Bio: Jason is a primitive survival instructor for Sigma 3 Survival and the Owner of Mountain Man Survival. He owns and operates a survival school located on 1,500 acres of land in Colorado. His website, The Survival University, teaches people about how to survive in the wilderness.

Follow Jason: Website | Facebook | Twitter

James – Plan And Prepared

Recommended Tool: Cell Phone

“Hi, I’m James L. from Planandprepared.com. David asked me to list what I think would be the most important survival tool. If I could pick only one thing, I’d pick my cell phone. A charged cell phone can help in about 95% of all emergency situations. Simply being able to alert others to your emergency condition and your location can save your life faster than just about anything else out there. But I know saying “Cell phone” may not be a sexy pick. So in that case, I would say a good, solid knife. With a solid knife and the clothes on my back, I can build a fire and make a shelter depending upon my location. Hence, my pocket knife (and cell phone) is ALWAYS a part of my EDC.”

 

Expert Bio: James is a former outdoor survival instructor, and currently works as a police officer in Oklahoma City. He’s a firm believer in being prepared for unforeseen events. You can check out more of his work at his website, Plan And Prepared.

Follow James: Website | Facebook

Evan – Know Prepare Survive

Recommended Tool: E-Reader

“My favorite prepper/survival tool is an e-reader. I know it isn’t the most popular or obvious tool, most people would say a knife or flashlight or paracord. But, to me, having a resource that I can consult at any time to find out if a mushroom is poisonous or how to skin a raccoon is invaluable.

I’m never going to remember all that stuff on my own so having dozens of survival/bushcraft/homesteading books in a package that weighs almost nothing and takes up little space is a no-brainer for me. Plus, you can put some fiction books on there to keep your morale up when things get tough.”

 

Expert Bio: Know Prepare Survive is an excellent resource for learning how to survive any disaster. Here, you’ll find articles ranging from archery to preparedness and everything in-between. Evan also writes gear reviews that are worth checking out.

Follow Evan: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Chris – The Bug Out Bag Guide

Recommended Tool: Tomahawk

“My most recommended tool: A Tomahawk. Why: It is a great multipurpose tool that can help make a lot of survival situations easier. You can use a tomahawk for self-defense, shelter-building, cleaning game, hunting, breaching doors and windows, building traps, signaling (banging on another object), fire starting (bang it against flint or use it to build a fire drill or bow saw), cutting cloth to make bandages, and a lot more! The tomahawk has been used by outdoorsman for hundreds of years, it is a reliable tool that is easy to use and serves as a force multiplier when out in the field.”

 

Expert Bio: Chris is the founder of The Bug Out Bag Guide, a website that teaches ordinary people how to prep for SHTF. If you’re interested in building a bug out bag, he’s the guy to get advice from. Be sure to check out his website for more awesome tips!

Follow Chris: Website 

Stefan – Knife Scout

Recommended Tool: Knife

“The best survival and prepping tool is obviously a good knife: If you have nothing but a knife you can survive almost anything. No matter if you’re stranded on a tropical island, Canada’s harsh northern forest or somewhere in the desert in Nevada. A good knife allows you to trap, hunt, skin and prepare food. Dig for water. Make a fire. Build shelter. Fish. Do first aid.

And in the worst case you can use your knife to defend yourself. The most important thing though is that a knife helps you to build other tools: Yeah you could bring an axe, or make one from your knife. Sleds, weapons, traps, a makeshift hammer. The list is endless. A well-chosen knife costs less than $100 and lasts for a lifetime. I am sorry, but if you don’t own one you’re a moron. You can check my website for recommendations on how to choose a good survival knife.”

 

Expert Bio:  Stefan is the founder of Knife Scout, a website where he writes about knives and survival. He focuses on providing readers with honest reviews on the latest survival knives on the market. Stefan also writes about survival backpacks and more.

Follow Stefan: Website

Cari – American Preppers Network

Recommended Tool: Gill Net

“Aside from the basics that we all carry in our gear such as knives and fire starters I would say my favorite thing to have is a gill net. They are light and do not take up much room. Gillnetting is a common fishing method. The fish may be caught by gill nets in 3 ways.

Wedged – held by the mesh around the body. Gilled – held by mesh slipping behind the opercula, or tangled – held by teeth, spines, maxillaries, or other protrusions without the body penetrating the mesh. Most often fish are gilled. A fish swims into a net and passes only part way through the mesh. When it struggles to free itself, the twine slips behind the gill cover and prevents escape.

There are bodies of water all over the place and if we are in a survival situation I feel that this would be a wonderful way to obtain food that has a lot of nutritional value.  You can set it up and forget about it while you get your shelter ready and take care of other important things. Another plus…you do not need bait. Just make sure you do your homework on the different mesh sizes and decide which is right for you and the area you will most likely be in. You will want a net that will fit the size fish that are plentiful in your areas.”

 

Expert Bio: If you’re looking for quality, well-researched information on emergency preparedness and survival, then check out American Preppers Network. They are followed by people all around the world and are a top resource in the industry.

Follow Cari: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

BG Smith – Bug Out Military

Recommended Tool: Portable Water Filter

“As the rule of three states: water is a high priority item in a SHTF event. One of my favorite Items to help me with water is my Sawyer Mini. I am a firm believer in you need to build your bag around your Sawyer Mini. For the price and size I don’t think you can beat it. You can run it in multiple ways to produce nice clean water for consumption.

In conclusion, you also need a good way to carry your water. The Sawyer Mini can be run in tandem with a camelback or other hydration systems straight off the line. That works well if you need to grab and go then filter later. At 100,000 gallons of clean water for $20 the Sawyer stands alone.”

 

Expert Bio: BG Smith runs a popular Facebook page, BUG OUT Military. If you’re looking to meet like-minded people in the industry, I highly recommend you join his page. Not only will you learn a lot, but you’ll also be able to connect with people from around the world!

Follow BG Smith: Facebook 

Steven – The Weekend Prepper 

Recommended Tool: WaterBOB

“As someone who has lived through three hurricanes, the thing I found the most useful was a WaterBOB. Hurricanes (and all extreme weather events) could cause you to lose power – which means no well water. And even if you are on city water, the storm could stir up the reservoir and cause a boil water alert – sort of hard to do with no electricity. A WaterBOB gives you a full bathtub full of water in a sealer container to keep it clean. It even includes a pump to extract only the water you need.”

 

Expert Bio: Chris is the founder of The Weekend Prepper, a website that will teach you how to survive any disaster, natural or man-made. From food preservation to self-defense and more, his website is an excellent resource for anyone interested in prepping or survival.

Follow Steven: Website | RSS

Aaron – Smart Prepper Gear

Recommended Tool: Knife

“Out of all of the survival gear that I currently use, I would highly recommend the Schrade SCHF9 Extreme Survival Knife. Cutting and building a fire will be essential in a survival situation. The Schrade SCHF9 does an excellent job of chopping wood, cutting, fettering and can even be used to spark a flame for a fire. The fire will be essential to keep warm, to purify water and cook food. Chopping wood can also help you build an emergency shelter to keep you safe from any harsh weather. So this knife is something that I would highly recommend as it is capable of performing many functions.”

 

Expert Bio: Aaron is a 33-year-old prepper from Central Florida. You can learn more about him at Smart Prepper Gear. Here, he not only reviews the latest survival gear, but he also teaches people survival tips and tactics for any SHTF situation.

Follow Aaron: Website | YouTube | Facebook | Instagram 

Wow!

A huge thanks to everyone who contributed to this article.

Hopefully, you’ve been able to find something of value in it. If you did, consider sharing it on social media. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more survival tips.

Now it’s your turn:

If you could only choose one survival tool, which one would you choose and why?”

David

My name’s David, and I’m an avid survivalist, outdoorsman, and prepper. I built this website to teach newbies about survival and disaster prepping. If you enjoyed this article, please share it on social media. Also, join my Facebook community for daily survival tips. Thanks for stopping by!

 

The post 16 Preppers Reveal Their Favorite Survival Tool appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Emergency Preparation Video Created By and For the Disabled

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Emergency Preparation Video Created By and For the Disabled

Shared with us by: Steven Dutro

Emergency preparation makes sense for everyone.  Being prepared for disasters, man made or natural, is vital for those who have access and functional needs.  In addition to the basics we all should do, being prepared personally and as a support group just takes a bit more planning when capabilities are different.  We find the greatest obstacle is often inertia created by a sense that nothing will be effective to keep me safe given my particular disability or special need.  Thankfully the folks at Ready Colorado created a video prepared by members of the access and functional needs community addressing emergency preparation for the disabled.  Hosted by Josh Blue, winner of the Last Comic Standing, the 24 minute video is available on YouTube.  Please share this with both special needs individuals and with their families.  Emergency preparedness is for everyone.  Registering for your local Reverse 911 emergency alert services is an easy first step.

 

SafetyInformed.org has created a free book that contains twenty-four pages of step-by-step guidance and fill-in-the-blank worksheets that help you complete an emergency plan for your entire household. It’s a great for planning together with the entire family and as a homeschool exercise.

It’s freely available for download at the SafetyInformed.org web site. To support SafetyInformed you can also purchase a hardcopy that includes the Kindle version on Amazon.

Why Get Started with an Emergency Plan?

When an emergency or natural disaster affects your home or community, how would you know when to evacuate or avoid affected areas? What should everyone do if there is a fire in your home? What if a storm causes widespread damage and power outages in the community? Do you have a communication plan in case your cell phone network goes down? Do you know where to meet in case your family is physically separated during an emergency?

That’s where making an Emergency Plan for your household comes in. Disasters and domestic emergencies often come swiftly and without warning. Most people don’t think of what to do in the event of a natural disaster or community emergency until it is too late; then they suddenly realize how unprepared they are for the massive changes it can make in their lives. On top of that, local officials can be overwhelmed and emergency response personnel may not be able to reach everyone who needs help right away. Each type of disaster requires clean up and recovery and the period after a disaster is often very difficult for families and can be as devastating as the disaster itself.

The old adage is true “An ounce of prevention (and planning) is worth a pound of cure.” Families that are prepared ahead of time can reduce the fear, confusion and losses that come with disaster. They can be ready to evacuate their homes, know what to expect in public shelters and how to provide basic first aid.

Get Your Emergency Plan Workbook
Free PDF Download:
https://safetyinformed.org/download/emergency-plan-workbook

Purchase On Amazon:
http://safetyinformed.org/order/epw
(Kindle version is included free with the purchase of a paperback but does not include the worksheet pages)


Don’t miss the call to evacuate or shelter-in-place

The first step in keeping your family safe is to register all your mobile phones with local Reverse911 services

Learn step-by-step how to set up Reverse911 and create an effective Emergency Plan to protect your whole family before, during, and after the most common emergencies. It’s FREE to sign up.

 

The post Emergency Preparation Video Created By and For the Disabled appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Three Layers of Home Security

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layers of home securityWhen we talk about security and defense, it seems as though many people are just concerned with stockpiling weapons and ammunition. The reality, though, is that it takes a layered approach to adequately address the issue. Any real and effective security isn’t accomplished just by:

  • Buying a loud, scary looking dog
  • Putting bars on the windows
  • Posting a “This house protected by Remington” sign on the front door
  • Planting thorny bushes under each window
  • Paying for an expensive security system

Your home security plan might include some of these (the sign is definitely not a good idea!), but other steps as well.

Bear in mind, too, that we’re not just talking about security and defense in a grid down, no “rule of law” situation. This stuff applies to our day-to-day lives as well.

There are different ways to look at and approach the home security puzzle but I like to boil it down to three
basic layers – Deter, Delay, and Defend.

Deter

Deterring an attack means convincing possible intruders that they should seek a better target elsewhere. Human beings generally make decisions based on risk versus reward. The higher the perceived reward, the more risk they are willing to take to obtain it. Of course, the flip side to that is also true – the lower the perceived reward, the less they are willing to do to get it.

From a home security standpoint, much of deterrence involves keeping things low-key and hidden from view. For example, you finally have saved up enough money to buy a new TV. After bringing it home and setting it up, don’t just toss the box out with the trash bins! Doing so tells every person walking and driving by that you have a brand spanking new TV, just waiting for someone to steal. Instead, either cut the box up and put the pieces in your recycling bin, or do what we do and reuse the cardboard for projects around the house. The basic idea with the deter layer is to limit the perceived reward so ne’er-do-wells look elsewhere.

Getting a dog is another thing you can do to make your home a less-attractive target. Burglars are less likely to hit homes with a loud yappy dog. Another strategy for some people is to buy a home security system, but then let the subscription service quietly expire. Sometimes the sticker or sign out in front is enough to keep a potential thief away.

Delay

The next goal is to delay any intruders. The objective is to give yourself as much time as possible to react to the threat. You want to be aware of the intruder as soon as possible, while at the same time slowing them down. The delay layer utilizes things like alarms and cameras as well as keeping entry points secure through the use of locks and such.

One very easy thing you can do today is to strengthen your outer doors by replacing the hinge screws with longer, stronger ones. Most doors are installed with fairly small screws on the hinges. Go to the hardware store and pick up a handful of screws about 2.5 – 3″ long. Open your door and, one at a time, remove and replace the screws affixing the hinge to the door frame. The longer screws will go through the frame and into the studs, making your door stronger. If you don’t have a deadbolt on your exterior door, consider buying and installing one.

Defense

The final layer is the one entirely too many think they should start with – defense. Taking physical action against an intruder is your last option. Simply put, it means your other security layers failed. Defense involves the use of weapons such as firearms, pepper spray, stun guns, even improvised things like baseball bats or wasp spray. In a pinch, pretty much anything can be used as a projectile weapon, including cans of soup or books. It really boils down to what you are comfortable using to defend yourself and your family.

READ MORE: If you have kids, you probably have questions about firearms in the house. Read my 5-part article series on “Common Sense Strategies for Teaching Gun Safety”, beginning with Part 1, “A Gun is No Big Deal“.

While firearms are generally seen as the best option, if you aren’t trained in their use or, even worse, are deathly afraid of handguns, then don’t buy one! Without training and proper respect for the weapon, you’ll likely do far more harm than good. Far better to use a defense weapon with which you are reasonably comfortable. Practice using it, to such a degree that you’ve ingrained some muscle memory. This will help prevent you from freezing up should the moment arrive you need to use it for real.

I also highly recommend looking into some form of martial art or other self-defense class. Not only are the skills taught useful, it is great exercise. Knowing Karate is often a deterrent in itself; most Martial Artist who have studied for decades have never needed to use their skills for defense. Click here to read up on how to choose a Karate Dojo.

To tackle the problems of home security properly requires a layered approach. Investing all of your time and energy into only one of them leaves you far too exposed to danger. Common sense will go a long way, too.

layers of home security

Jim Cobb, Liz Long, and Beth Buck contributed to this article.

Incredible 220 Gallon Rain Barrel System

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Unless you live near a reliable source of water such as a stream or lake, you should consider harvesting rain water when the SHTF. As with stream or lake water, you will have to filter it. But if you have a good system, you can acquire all the water you need without ever having to […]

The post Incredible 220 Gallon Rain Barrel System appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

BREAKING NEWS: Obama, EPA Lose MAJOR Property Rights Case At Supreme Court

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Obama, EPA Lose Major Property Rights Case At Supreme Court

Image source: Pixabay.com

Homeowners and landowners won a major victory over the EPA and the Obama administration Tuesday when the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that property owners have the right to challenge, in federal court, efforts to use the Clean Water Act to restrict land use.

The court ruled that property owners can go directly to court if the US Army Corps of Engineers says the land falls under Clean Water Act restrictions.

The Obama administration had argued that property owners must wait to sue until they are denied a permit – a lengthy bureaucratic process which could take years.

Want To Know About The REAL Constitution And What The Founders Truly Intended?

“If that were correct, the Act’s ominous reach would again be unchecked by the limited relief the Court allows today,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote of the federal government’s argument.

The justices, in an 8-0 decision, ruled that Hawkes Company, which mines peat in Minnesota, has the right to file a suit challenging a Corps of Engineers decision not to grant a permit to dig peat on the property. The Corp ruled that the area was part of the “water of the US.”

“They may proceed without a permit and argue in a Government enforcement action that a permit was not required, or they may complete the permit process and then seek judicial review, which, the Corps suggests, is what Congress envisioned,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote of Hawkes.

The Corps argued that it had the right to stop Hawkes from digging peat because it was mining in wetlands on a tributary of a river.

If Hawkes Company proceeds without a permit or court ruling on its side, it would be subject to fines as high as $37,500 a day.

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.

Preventative Medical Preps Episode 103

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Preventive Medical Preps

Preventative Medical Preps

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Preventative Medical Preps

This week Mike and I discuss Preventative Medical Preps. What can you take care of now that would be much harder in a SHTF scenario. Easy and safe procedures now that could be deadly without professional care.

Some of the topics covered are getting your wisdom teeth removed. Teeth pain is some of the worst pain possible. Getting them removed now could save  you a ton of pain later. No one wants to remove teeth with ice skates.

Mike and I both agree that getting lasik done might be the best prep you can get done. Not having to deal with glasses or contacts ever again would be great. Breaking glasses when the grid is down goes from uncomfortable to deadly.

Later We disagree about whether to get your gallbladder removed. Mikes point is that it can burst and you can live without it. My counter is that the gallbladder is needed to properly digest dietary fat. So having it removed and needing to go into ketosis during periods of starvation could be bad.

 

 

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The Lure Of The Supernatural: Where The Church Has Failed Our Youth

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     I’m going to make a little detour in today’s post and write about something that my spirit is just screaming about.  I remarked in an earlier post that we, in the modern Body of Christ, who are called “The Church”, have a difficult time admitting the existence of the unseen world.  What goes on in the spiritual realm is largely unknown to us, and frankly, is considered both borderline heresy and scary — if we allow ourselves to consider it at all.
     But here’s what that blindness has accomplished… it has given satan the opportunity to lure our kids (both Christian and secular) into that invisible realm without any sound Scriptural discernment to avoid the perils.  Through the fantastically rapid advancement of technology and the entertainment industry, our kids have been inundated with videos, movies, and computer games that invite them to interact with the spirit world.  They are enticed with the offers of secret powers, unabashed freedom, and out-of-this world (literally) adventure — all without the rules and control that they are told are part of Christianity.
     Kids raised in the Church are kept innocent (and ignorant) of the truth about the supernatural and spiritual realm and how it is interwoven throughout the Bible.  The world shows them creative images of magic, spiritual powers, and the ability to interact with cosmic creatures, but the Church says nary a word of Paul and Isaiah being taken out of their bodies and visiting the spiritual realms as a spirit being.  They are also not taught that Jesus was tempted by satan, just as they are, and was shown “other worlds” where He was promised power, fame, and riches.  But with each temptation, Jesus knew how to fight back … with the Word of God.  And seeing that he could not defeat Jesus, the devil left him.  We, and our kids, have that same ability to defeat the enemy by speaking the Word and calling on the Name of Jesus.  But, sadly, this generation of youth are unaware that they are opening themselves to satanic attacks by seeking these diversions, and they haven’t a clue how to fight back.
     In effect, modern Christianity is largely seen as impotent and “boring” by our youth, while the spiritual realm is portrayed as daring, heroic and superhuman.  With this diminishment of the Authority and Power of Jesus and God, our kids begin to question and compare their perception of one-dimensional Bible characters with the larger-than-life, multi-dimensional, heroic figures they see every day on their computer and movie screens.  And they are opening themselves up to the dangers of the dark side and “spiritual forces of wickedness” that Paul tells us are very real.
     Case in point:  A dear friend’s discerning son came home from the movie theater this past weekend and said, “Mom, you have to see the trailer for the new movie, Dr. Strange”.  After watching it, she called my husband and me, and we were astonished at what this movie is showing our kids — but not at all surprised.
     Here is a synopsis of the movie plot:  The movie is a spin-off of the Marvel Comics character, Dr. Strange.  It is the 14th movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, (MCU) and distributed by Walt Disney Studios (that should be your first clue that it is not an “innocent” family movie).  I also found it disconcerting that MCU was referred to as an American movie franchise and shared fictional universe that is centered on a series of superhero films.  So, keep in mind that not only is Dr. Strange going to be presented as a superhero (meaning, “good guy”), but the movie promotes the idea of a “fictional universe” with events, and often elements, that differ from the real world.  It can also be indistinguishable from the world in which we live, thereby suggesting that there is nothing to fear in this invisible universe, and it is interchangeable with our world, and accessible.
     But back to the plot:  Doctor Strange was an egotistical but very brilliant surgeon. After a car accident destroys his hands and hinders his ability to perform surgery, he searches the globe for a way to repair them and encounters the Ancient One. After becoming one of the old Sorcerer Supreme’s students, he becomes a practitioner of both the mystical arts as well as martial arts. Along with knowing many powerful spells, he has a costume with two mystical objects – the Cloak of Levitation (gives its wearer the ability to levitate and fly) and Eye of Agamotto that gives him added powers (inspired by the All Seeing Eye of the false god Buddha). Strange is aided along the way by his friend and servant to the Sorcerer Supreme, Wong, and a large assortment of mystical objects. He takes up residence in a mansion called the Sanctum Sanctorum, located in New York City. Later, Strange takes the title of Sorcerer Supreme.
     I could write volumes about the personification of Dr. Strange by the creator of his comic book character, Steve Ditko, but I think you get the picture.  What was alarming to me was the rather casual way Ditko referred to the character as being involved in black magic, as having become the host to a dangerous demon in New Avengers, and as the leader of the Black Priests.  Ditko’s Dr. Strange is also described as the right-hand man of Doctor Doom, who has become the ruler and god of this world.  And did you get it that Ditko even has the audacity to call the New York townhouse where Strange lives, Sanctum Santorum, which is the name for the Holy of Holies in the Jewish Temple.  Another part of the Dr. Strange legend involves a plot line where, as the Ancient One’s disciple, Strange encounters the entity Nightmare, and other mystical foes before meeting Dormammu, a warlord from an alternate dimension called the “Dark Dimension”. Are you getting the picture?  And do you see the mockery being made of the Bible?  This guy is bad news, yet he is portrayed as a super hero, and our kids are eating it up because they do not have the spiritual eyes to see the deception.

     This movie is only the tip of the iceberg in regards to the deception being spoon-fed to our kids.   Dr. Strange openly, and enthusiastically, encourages the “hidden world of magic,” and includes alternate dimensions like the Astral Plane.  What is that, you might be asking?  The Astral Plane is the “realm of minds” that only telepaths and magic users are able to visit.  Since the Dr. Strange character was created in 1963, Strange has used astral projection to travel outside his body and engage enemies in this strange dimension.  And I can assure you that kids in your community are seeking to do the same thing!
     Do not think they are “unchurched” or “lost” kids, either.  Our kids who grew up in Sunday School  are just as fascinated with astral projection and black magic; and they are engaging in it.  But what horrifies me is that they haven’t a clue what force is behind these exciting new adventures.  They don’t know what is waiting for them out in “the parallel universe”.  These entities are powerful and they are real — and they are very, very dark.
     If all this scares you, it should.  We have a generation of youth that is actively seeking to engage with the dark side, but they do not see that it endangers their immortal souls.  It is not make-believe, nor mere fantasy.  It is waiting to seduce them and attract them with promises of excitement; the potential for expanding their minds and consciousness; and the suggestion of obtaining greater knowledge than that of the Christian God.  Is it too late to save them from this false message of enlightenment?  I pray not, but right now, the Enemy’s box office hype is drawing them like sheep to the slaughter.  If only they were as excited to flock to supernatural Scripture like the following ….

2 Corinthians 12:3-4     “And I know that such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, [only] God knows— was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words which man is not permitted to speak [words too sacred to tell].”
   
   

21 Prepper Skills You Can Improve This Weekend

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We’re in that strange part of the year where some days are nice and some days are too cold. If it’s a nice weekend where you live, you should get outside and practice some prepper skills. But even if it isn’t a nice weekend, there are plenty of skills you can practice indoors. One of […]

The post 21 Prepper Skills You Can Improve This Weekend appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

How to handle refrigerated food when the power goes out

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A massive blackout is not a far-fetched scenario and these events occur almost every year. When your home is left without power you need to know how to handle all your refrigerated food and there are some strict rules that everyone should follow. Once the power goes out, guessing when it will be back on … Read more…

The post How to handle refrigerated food when the power goes out was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

The cowards who call themselves ISIS and their true agenda.

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Hello my friend and welcome back!  In today’s post, we are going to look at the cowards who call themselves ISIS and their true agenda.  While I have tried to avoid this subject,  I just have to speak out and say something as the world is being deceived.  Grab you a cup of coffee and …

The post The cowards who call themselves ISIS and their true agenda. appeared first on American Preppers Online.

The Secrets To Making Crisp Pickles

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One of the most popular garden vegetables used in home preserving is the cucumber – especially with the intent of making crisp pickles. Cucumbers are considered easy to grow, are abundant on the vine, and can be turned into pickles

The post The Secrets To Making Crisp Pickles appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Strawberry Cobbler via Dutch Oven

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Strawberry Cobbler via Dutch Oven

Empty Dutch Oven for strawberry cobbler via dutch oven Anyone that has been reading here for a while knows we like Dutch Ovens and Cobblers. Today I figured I would share with you a strawberry cobbler via dutch oven. Always good to use fresh fruit and we are so blessed with a local supply.

I was not very happy with the crust on this particular version, but that just means we need more practice. It is always good to keep practicing and refining those skills. You can see in the picture below the strawberries look magnificent.

Strawberries in a Dutch Oven for strawberry cobbler via dutch ovenIt was almost criminal to not pair those strawberries with a great crust. A strawberry cobbler via dutch oven should have a good crust. You can see in the picture below it started out the gate not matching up to the strawberries.

Empty Dutch Oven for strawberry cobbler via dutch ovenOnce you have the ingredients in it is time for cooking. That is one of the beauties of dutch oven cooking. If you are using charcoal briquettes there is a formula to get the exact cooking time and temperature.

coals on top of dutch oven for Empty Dutch Oven for strawberry cobbler via dutch ovenOne thing that this cobbler was lacking was a good crust. It also never really got as brown as I would like. Finally we gave up on it and ate it. This strawberry cobbler via dutch oven still tasted good.

Strawberry cobbler via dutch oven tht is doneI hope you have a chance to get into dutch oven cooking if you have not already. It circles back to the way all cooks used to cook in the US. You would be amazed at the creations you can turn out. The strawberry cobbler via dutch oven was a disappointment in this instance, but practice makes perfect.

Must Have Clean Water

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I believe in having several different ways of getting clean water to drink. In a SHTF situation you might not be able to get clean water at will, so have a few ways to get some. I have filters, ways to make filters, ways to boil, and now I also have some Oasis Water Purification Tablets!

  EACH 5 YEAR STRIP CONTAINS 10 TABLETS – 100 Tablets = 660 Gallons of Safe Drinking water
    1 Tablet Treats 20 – 25 Litres or 5 to 6.6 Gallons of Water –  EXPIRATION DATE = 09/2020


Oasis Oasis Water Purification Tablets ill Bacteria, Bacterial Spores, Cysts, Algae, Fungi, Protozoa and virus and is also effective in prevention of:
Ddysentery and eliminating common diseases such as Typhoid, Cholera, Polio, Diarrhea, and Giardia. Oasis are especially lethal to Entamoeba Histolytica.


The following causative water borne organisms among others are killed by Oasis Water Purification Tablets
 


***      Escherichia coli              ***
***      Entamoeba histolytica   ***
***      Giardia                            ***
***      Salmonella typhi             ***
***      Shigella sonnei                ***   
***      Streptococcus Faecali    ***
***      Vibro Cholerae               ***  

 
—-INSTRUCTIONS—-                            
  
 
To use: simply add one tablet to 20 to 25 Litres or
5 to 6 1/2 Gallons of suspect water and wait thirty minutes.
The treated water will then have the World Health Organization’s recommended dosage of 5 ppm of available chlorine per litre of water.  

Homestead Blog Hop #85

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Homestead Blog Hop will take place every Wednesday featuring real food recipes, natural health remedies, DIY, crafts, Gardening Tips, and more...

Welcome to the Homestead Blog Hop!

 

Lots of seasonal changes going on here at our little homestead. Seasons of life and Spring to Summer.

How do you handle them?

Now on to the hop…
Homestead Blog Hop will take place every Wednesday and is for all things homesteading: real food recipes, farm animals, crafts, DIY, how-to’s, gardening, anything from-scratch, natural home/health, self-sufficiency, self-reliance, natural remedies, essential oils, & more! Basically anything related to homesteading.

Meet and Follow Your Hosts!

Homestead Blog Hop will take place every Wednesday featuring real food recipes, natural health remedies, DIY, crafts, Gardening Tips, and more...

Bonnie – The Not So Modern Housewife (Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | G+ | Instagram)

Danielle – The Rustic Elk (Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Instagram)

Gregg – The Rural Economist (Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | G+ | Instagram)

Jennifer – Homesteading on Grace (Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | G+)

Katey – Mama Kautz (Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter)

Kelly – Simple Life Mom (Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | G+)

Featured Posts from the Last Homestead Blog Hop

Each week we will choose three posts to feature. Each post will be shared on all social media platforms by all of the hosts! Here are the features from Last Week’s Hop:

Make Your Own Honey, Rose & Oat Face Cleanser {DIY} - Featured on the Homestead Blog Hop

 

1. Make Your Own Honey, Rose & Oat Face Cleanser {DIY} from Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth

Setting Up for Goats - Featured on the Homestead Blog Hop

 

2. Setting Up for Goats from Hostile Valley Farm

10 Things I've Stopped Buying - Featured on the Homestead Blog Hop

 

 3. 10 Things I’ve Stopped Buying from Oak Hill Homestead

Congrats! Feel free to grab the featured on button for your post.

Just right click and ‘save image as…’

Homestead Blog Hop every Wednesday featuring real food recipes, natural health remedies, DIY, crafts, Gardening Tips, and more...

Guidelines for this Get-Together:
  1. Click on the “Add your Link” Button below and add a great image of your project or recipe. Make sure you link to the page of your family friendly post – not the main page of your blog!
  2. Try to visit at least a few other blogs at the party. Be sure to leave a comment to let them know you stopped by!
  3. Please link back to the Homestead Blog Hop somehow (a text link is ok). This is one thing we look for when choosing who to feature. We will share on multiple social media if you are featured!
  4. By joining the party, you are giving the hosts permission to use one photo from your post with a link back to your site if it is selected as one of next week’s Features.

Let the Party Begin!

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Homestead Blog Hop will take place every Wednesday featuring real food recipes, natural health remedies, DIY, crafts, Gardening Tips, and more...

The post Homestead Blog Hop #85 appeared first on Mama Kautz.

Survival Gardening: What Grows Where

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SVP what grows whereWhich crops grow best? How long is the growing season? When is the last average frost date (assuming you aren’t living in a tropical zone)?

These are the sorts of questions to start with when planning your survival garden.

And you really need this knowledge, because even experienced gardeners find themselves overwhelmed when trying to grow food in a completely new climate.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a nationwide standard of splitting the country up into 11 basic hardiness zones based on the area’s coldest average temperatures in winter. Their interactive USDA Hardiness Zone Map is therefore an excellent place to start.

plant hardiness zone map - CopyHow Do I know My Climate Zone?

Once you know your region’s USDA climate zone, you can identify the factors that influence your survival crops, such as how long winters last, how cold it gets, the length of the growing season, and which food crops can and can’t thrive.

The USDA hardiness definitions and map does provide a great basic framework to get you started, but keep in mind that it does have its limitations. Hardiness is only measured by the coldest temperatures of the year, and it doesn’t take other climate factors into account. Still, you need to be aware of:

  • The amount of precipitation,
  • Humidity,
  • Maximum temperatures
  • Soil conditions.

Both the high deserts of New Mexico and much of Connecticut, for example, are USDA Zone 6a, but their climates are still completely different. If you happen to live in the western United States, for example, and you’d like a more specific climate zone map, Sunset’s detailed climate zone map takes much more into account, helping you pinpoint your area’s overall growing conditions.

Before you get planting, you should also be aware of micro-climates, which are basically mini-climate zones created by features like bodies of water, parking lots or, more likely, the walls of your home. Taking advantage of micro-climates in your garden can help ensure that you’re plantings will thrive.

For more information on your region’s growing conditions, as well as help with common pests, soil amendments and other gardening stuff, consider visiting a local nursery, botanical garden or County Extension Office.

What Grows Where?

Each USDA climate zone has its own planting schedule, and has two basic growing seasons: warm and cool. The cool growing season, perfect for growing carrots, greens and radishes, takes place every spring and fall, and sometimes winter in the warmer zones. The warm growing season, featuring tomatoes, corn and squash, gets going in late spring and lasts through early fall.

Growing seasons in the sub-tropics and the tropics work a little differently, as the growing season technically lasts all year. Their planting times are generally based around annual rainfall patterns.frost in us

Below is a basic overview of the 13 USDA plant hardiness zones. Note that you can extend your growing season by utilizing micro-climates and by offering protection from the cold with row covers or cold frames.

Zones 1-2

  • Located in Alaska, the northern continental US and high mountains, this zone is defined by long, cold winters and a very short growing season.
  • Growing season: April – September
  • Coldest temperatures: -60 to -40F
  • Best plants to grow: Vine tomatoes, lettuce, kale, broccoli, asparagus, eggplant, other vegetables with short time between planting and harvest

Zones 3-4

  • Located in the northernmost US states and cool mountain regions, these zones enjoy a slightly warmer and longer growing season with very cold winters.
  • Growing season: April – October
  • Coldest temperatures: -40 to -20F
  • Best plants to grow: Vine tomatoes, lettuce, kale, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, strawberries, eggplant, sweet peas, pole beans, winter squash, red and white potatoes

zone4Zones 5-6

  • Encompassing much of the continental US, these planting zones stretch from Washington and Oregon, down to New Mexico, and across the midwest to New England.
  • Growing season: March – October
  • Coldest temperatures: -20 to 0F
  • Best plants to grow: Tomatoes, corn, squash, melons, beans, strawberries, lettuce and other greens in the spring and fall

Zones 7-8

  • Defined by long, hot summers and mild winters, these zones cover much of the southern US, including the desert southwest and many southern states.
  • Growing season: March-November
  • Coldest temperatures: 0 to 20F
  • Best plants to grow: Corn, tomatoes, melons, squash, collard greens, carrots, bush beans, asparagus and leafy greens during the cooler months

Zones 9-10

  • These sub-tropical to mild temperate growing zones cover much of the deep South, the Gulf coast, most of Florida and southern California. If protection is offered, the growing season can last throughout the year, though the occasional frost may still occur.
  • Growing season: February-November
  • Coldest temperatures: 20 to 40F
  • Best plants to grow: Tomatoes, melons, squash, corn, peppers, yams, citrus, peaches, figs, bananas, salad greens and sweet peas during the cooler months

Zones 11-13

  • Found only in Hawaii and the US territory of Puerto Rico, these tropical growing zones feature a tropical climate and year-round growing season with planting times based around the wet and dry seasons.
  • Growing season: Year-round
  • Coldest temperatures: 40 to 70F
  • Best crops to grow: kale, okinawa spinach, pole beans, passionfruit, sweet potato, red potato, cassava, pineapple, pumpkin, mango, papaya, Thai chili peppers, citrus, bananas, taro
  • Crops to avoid: Any fruits requiring chill time, including berries, cherries, apples and peaches

Growing your own food is a fun, family-friendly hobby with tasty and nutritious rewards. Whether you’re a newbie trying out your first tomato plants, or a seasoned pro moving to a new state, understanding your garden’s climate zone is the first step towards planning and growing a successful, productive garden.

EMPCover1References:

http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

http://www.sunset.com/garden/climate-zones/climate-zones-intro-us-map

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Survival First Aid Basics: Skills and Gear to Keep You Alive

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survival first aid basics

With the current state of modern medicine, getting a cut, sprain, or broken bone is no longer the death sentence that our ancestors faced. With proper medical attention, you can get patched up and on your way in no time.

But what do you do if these medical systems fail, are destroyed, or are jammed with other survivors?

How will you make sure you or someone you love doesn’t die unnecessarily?

The best way to insulate yourself from this type of tragedy is to make sure you learn some basic survival first aid.

First aid is an invaluable skill set to learn and to help get you started we have teamed up with Dr James Hubbard of TheSurvivalDoctor.com.

Besides being a practicing doctor for the last 30 years, Dr Hubbard has also published five easy to understand books on survival first aid (see them here). In this article he walks us through some basic problems that are likely to occur in a survival situation and what you can do to save lives when it matters most.

What are the 3 basic 1st Aid skills you should learn for a survival scenario?

JH: The skill I most recommend learning is how to stop a wound from bleeding. Most of the time, applying pressure to the wound will work. Also know how to use a tourniquet.

Learn abdominal thrusts for choking. A person can die from choking within minutes, so even in normal times, when emergency services are available, this technique can save a life.

A third important skill is the skill of improvisation. Remember to use what you’ve got. If you don’t have the perfect medical equipment, you may be able to make it out of something common. For example, you can make a decent tourniquet from a belt or a T-shirt. I go over a lot of other ideas for makeshift supplies in the book.

But what about CPR?

JH: That is important to know, but a lot of people are surprised to learn that CPR is only going to keep you alive for a certain amount of time. So it’s most helpful if emergency services are on the way or if you have access to an AED—automated external defibrillator. A lot of public places and even some homes have them.

The longer you keep doing CPR without a defibrillator to restart the heart, the less likely the person is to survive. Experts say to do CPR until you’re completely exhausted. I agree, but in truth, after about ten minutes, the person is unlikely to survive.

Exceptions are victims of hypothermia and drowning. They’re likely to live longer, without irreversible brain damage, because they have lower metabolism—less need for blood and oxygen. Some people, especially children, have survived after multiple minutes—even an hour—of having CPR.

What’s your number-one piece of survival equipment?

JH: Besides my book, I’d say the brain—knowledge. You’re not always going to have the specific equipment you need. If you have knowledge, you can improvise.

Thrive Leads Shortcode could not be rendered, please check it in Thrive Leads Section!

What are your top-five must-haves for a “go” bag?

JH: Vinyl gloves to protect yourself from infectious disease and fluids. I like vinyl because some people are allergic to latex. It’s better to buy too large than too small because you can always get a larger size on. And if someone else is using the gloves, they may have bigger hands than you. You could improvise by putting any type of waterproof material over your hands.

I like to keep some SAM Splints. They’re flexible splints that become rigid when you bend them. They’re so versatile, and you can use them for many types of sprains and broken bones.

Have some elastic bandages to use on sprains. They help with stability and with compression, which in turn can decrease swelling. With compression, watch the circulation though; your toes or fingers shouldn’t become numb or cold. You can also use an elastic bandage to keep a SAM Splint in place.

You’ll need bandage scissors or any type of strong scissors that can cut cloth, tape, and the SAM Splint.

And throw in some tape. Duct tape is my favorite. It’s a good waterproof, very sticky type of tape. However, any type of tape will do—the stickier the better. You can use it on bandages or to cover a wound after putting down some sort of cloth or padding. If you have to walk for help and your shoes are causing blisters, put duct tape in the shoes on the pressure points to relieve the friction. Duct tape does have latex in it, so it’s good to keep a latex-free option in case someone is allergic.

One reason I like these supplies is you can use most of them in multiple ways for multiple problems.


I live in a busy city and never go hiking; do I really need these skills?

JH: Yes. There’s always the risk you won’t be able to get medical care due to natural disasters, upheaval, or all kinds of other things.

A few years ago, there was an episode in England when some city dwellers, because of riots, were not able to get medical treatment in a timely manner. Ambulances were overwhelmed with calls, and it wasn’t safe to go into the streets and try to get to help. For unsafe times like that, the book also gives hints on when you really need to get to the doctor if that’s possible and when it can wait.

Even in ideal times, with emergency services just down a couple of streets, that first few minutes before they reach you can save a life.

What are some common household items you can use to treat a cut or wound?

JH: You can stop the bleeding by applying pressure with any clean cloth material, like a T-shirt. Wadded up, the material can apply deeper pressure than your hands would to a rough wound’s nooks and crannies.

You can clean the wound with drinkable water. Or many types of clean liquids will do.

And you can tape the wound with duct tape if the person isn’t allergic to latex. Not all wounds should be closed, but for those that do, a specific taping technique, which I go over in the book, can substitute for stitches if necessary.

What’s the main concern with broken bones and dislocations?

JH: The main concern is usually blood and nerve supply. If the bone is out of place, it can press on a nerve or blood vessel, and you could develop permanent problems. If blood flow is stopped, you could even lose the limb. In the book, I go over ways to check for these problems and try to fix them or minimize the damage, at least temporarily, if you’re unable to get professional help.

If you’re dealing with an open fracture, a main concern is infection. “Open fracture” means a broken bone has gone through the skin—maybe only briefly before going back in. This puts you at high risk for a serious bone infection.

How can you tell if someone has had a concussion?

JH: If a person has had head trauma—from either a hit or a jerk of the head or neck—and then has any symptom caused by that trauma, they probably have a concussion.

Many years ago, we thought you had to be knocked unconscious to have a concussion. Now that belief has changed, and we know there can be at least temporary brain damage with much less. For example, you might be dazed, have a headache, feel nauseous or dizzy, or have trouble sleeping. These are just some of the possible symptoms of a concussion.

What’s the first thing you should do if you get bitten by an animal?

JH: Get away from the animal!  If we’re talking about wounds: If it’s dangerously bleeding, stop the bleeding. Wash the wound out well with water.

Do not close it or get it sutured. Animal bites are especially prone to infection, and closing the wound will give those germs a nice breeding ground. Keep it open so you can regularly clean it and so your body can get rid of some of the germs.

With most normal wounds, cleaning with plain water will suffice. But for animal bites, there’s some indication that Betadine-type solutions work better when you’re trying to wash out rabies germs.


survival first aid basics

If you get bitten by an animal: FIRST get away from the animal, then do what you can to avoid infection.

What do TV shows and movies get wrong about CPR?

JH: The actors don’t press hard enough—because they can’t. You’re supposed to press the chest down about two inches, but you don’t want to do that on a living actor.

Also, the actors usually still do artificial respirations with the chest compressions. Today, it’s recommended that in most circumstances, when laypeople perform CPR, they only to do the chest compressions. Exceptions are when you’re performing CPR on children younger than puberty or on drowning or drug-overdose victims.

Also, in the movies and on TV, people come back to life just from chest compressions. In real life, that’s basically unheard of. It’s very, very rare. You do the chest compressions in order to keep the brain alive until you can shock the heart back.


survival first aid basics

Don’t do what the TV Doctors do. Especially this guy.

Where is the best place to be in a thunderstorm to avoid getting hit by lightning?

JH: In the inside part of a house—away from windows—or in a car. If you’re in the woods, there’s no great place.

Some experts have said to keep walking, so if lightning strikes you, hopefully one foot will be up and one down and you’ll be grounded. Others have said squatting on the balls of your feet, heels together, head down, hands off the ground, will help.


survival first aid basics

These theories are debated. I think the best idea is to stay away from metal poles and structures, and make sure you’re not the tallest thing around—or beside the tallest thing. Squat under a low-lying group of short trees.

People don’t usually die when they get struck. They sometimes have burns. There will be a boom that can cause hearing loss. They can have abnormal nerve troubles and are prone to get depression later on.

Can you really drink seawater, urine, and blood?

JH: Yes. It might help very short-term—meaning several minutes or so; it may get you out of a dangerous situation. But after that, it’s going to do more harm than good.

There’s too much concentration of chemicals in these fluids. Your body will try to dilute those out, so you’ll urinate more than usual. In turn, you’ll become more dehydrated.

Also, you’re putting toxins into your body. With urine, your body has just expelled those chemicals because it doesn’t need them. They’re not like a poison; they won’t kill you immediately. But they’ll be more concentrated in your body and will affect your kidneys in multiple ways.

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Conclusion

As you can see, there are a lot of skills we can learn to improve our chances of survival. If you are interested in this topic, start off with the basics and build your survival skill set from there. This is a skill that no one ever regrets learning. Always remember, Chance Favors The Well Prepared.


Further Reading:

Your Thoughts?

Is there a survival first aid skill you think everyone should know? Do you have a piece of first aid gear that is a must have for a bug out bag? Let us know in the Comments Section below, thanks!

The post Survival First Aid Basics: Skills and Gear to Keep You Alive appeared first on The Bug Out Bag Guide.

How to Tie a Handcuff Knot

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by Karen

Sometimes, when we are in a situation where our survival is at stake we have to deal with people we would rather not have to deal with.  We have food, water, and supplies to protect.  More importantly, we have people to protect and we want to be sure we have a way to restrain people that cause trouble for us when needed.

The handcuff knot is a very clever knot that is capable of doing as its name implies, restraining someone by either the hands or the feet.  It is relatively easy to make, once you get the hang of it, and it can be made with the use of rope or any other number of webbing, strings, or lines.  Best of all, the handcuff knot is a brilliant knot that can help you out in other ways, as well.

Uses for the Handcuff Knot

The handcuff knot is useful when you need to restrain an individual, as mentioned above, by either restraining the hands or the feet.  This might be a looter or burglar or someone who is a threat to your survival, but someone you don’t want to injure if possible.  You can even use fishing line, if that’s all you have, to secure a person’s thumbs behind their back.  They won’t fight it because they will end up with the line cutting into their skin.  Once you have the person secured, you can easily lead them along with you if you are on the move or you can tie them to something to secure them and make sure they can’t get away.

Aside from restraining people, the handcuff knot is extremely versatile and has a number of other uses.  Let’s take a look:

  • You can use the knot to hobble an animal by securing the handcuff knot around the animal’s legs. This also allows you to haul or carry an animal carcass that you have hunted out of the woods and it may well have been the first use for this type of knot, the reason why it was created.
  • You can use the handcuff knot to create a fireman’s chair by securing the cuffs around the ankles and then pulling the person up by the rope. You need to be careful here when using a rope with a small diameter because there is a chance of cutting off the person’s circulation, so webbing makes a better choice.
  • You can use the handcuff knot to pull an unconscious person along with you (again, be mindful of the potential to cut off the person’s circulation).
  • When using webbing, you can use the handcuff knot as a harness in a variety of settings
  • Tie oars together and lash them to the rails of a boat.
  • Tie doubles of other objects together to secure them.

How to Make the Handcuff Knot

To make a handcuff knot you will need to take your length of rope and do the following:

  1. Make one loop by crossing the left side over the right side, so the right side crosses behind.
  2. Make a second loop identical to the first loop so you have two opposing loops.
  3. Cross the two loops in the middle.
  4. Grab the right side of the bottom loop through the middle of the top loop.
  5. Grab the left side of the top loop through the middle of the bottom loop.
  6. Pull the top loop through the bottom loop and the bottom loop through the top loop.

You will then have a set of handcuff loops that will work to restrain a person.  The cuffs can be tightened by pulling the loose or working ends of the rope.  Once you have someone restrained, you will need to tie the loose ends of the rope in a knot to secure the handcuffs.  This can be a regular overhand knot or a figure eight knot.  These knots will create a stopper that will make it so the cuffs can still be tightened, but they cannot be loosened, thus securing the captive person.

Check out this video to see how it’s done:

Knot Rating for the Handcuff Knot

All knots have a knot rating that provides the following information about a knot:

  • Difficulty: How difficult it is to tie the knot; the easier the knot is to tie, the lower the number
  • Strength: The strength of the rope with the knot that is specified (all knots weaken a rope to some extent); the higher the number, the stronger the knot
  • Security: This tells how well a knot will stay tied and not come loose even when subjected to a standard load; the higher the number, the more secure the knot is
  • Stability: This tells how well the knot will hold up under above normal loads, for example when the knot is pulled in wrong direction; the higher the number, the more stable the knot is

The different ratings for a knot are all on a scale of 1-5.  The handcuff knot rates as follows:

  • Difficulty: 4
  • Strength: 4
  • Security: 4
  • Stability: 4

How to Escape a Handcuff Knot

If you are tied up using the handcuff knot, it might be possible to escape from it.  Since it is rope that is restraining you, it is possible to cut it or untie it if the circumstances are right.  Here are the ways you can escape from the handcuff knot:

  • While looking as though you are being cooperative when being tied up, if you can hold your hands with knuckles toward your captor and keep a little space between your wrists (or ankles) it might keep the handcuffs of the knot from going too tight. This will provide you with some wiggle room to get out of the restraints.
  • Since you are bound with rope, you can cut yourself free if you can rub the rope on something sharp. This can be a piece of glass, a sharp rock, a nail sticking out of a board, or anything with ridges or a sharp edge.
  • If you have been tied in the front and you have not been gagged, you might be able to use your teeth to loosen the stopper knot on the handcuff knot. Even your fingers might be able to work at the knot because it has to be as close to your wrists as possible to create an effective stopper.  If the knot is too far away, you will be able to loosen the ropes, but if it is close to the wrists you can reach it with your fingers.

It does take a little time to get the hang of tying the handcuff knot, but once you have it, it is incredibly useful in a number of scenarios.  It is yet another knot that you can add to the growing number of knots you are learning to tie and yet another skill to add to your prepper skills.  Happy knot tying!

Four Axes That Every Prepper Should Own

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This post was originally published in Surviving Prepper Written by Marc When the SHTF and there is no electricity or fuel, hand tools and the knowledge of how to use them, will be incredibly important. When you escape to the woods the almighty axe is the go-to tool. Axes can be used to fell a tree, build a shelter, chop firewood, and even defend yourself if needed. There are many different types of axes. Some have very specific purposes, while […]

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Troops From A Dozen Countries Practiced Military Drills In A U.S. City — And You Didn’t Even Notice

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Special Operations forces from the United States and more than a dozen other countries took part in a mock mission in downtown Tampa last week in an operation that drew applause from some but concern from others.

The troops from the U.S. and countries such as Ireland and Jordan “jumped out of helicopters, rappelled from buildings and expended hundreds of rounds of ammunition” as they pretended to rescue the mayor of Tampa, The Washington Post reported.

The operation involving Navy SEALs, Marine Raiders and Green Berets was part of the Special Forces Industry Conference, a trade show for the world’s commandos that drew 12,000 people.

“This type of mission would be undertaken during the cover of darkness,” an announcer told a crowd. “The sniper over watch team is equipped with high-powered rifles that can hit a target from more than a mile away.”

Bombshell Book Reveals… How To Survive The Coming Martial Law In America

The “mission” was to rescue Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn from mock pirates armed with AK-47 semiautomatic rifles.

Thousands of spectators watched the event and cheered, The Post reported, and afterward some even had their pictures taken with the few troops who were allowed to talk to the media. Some of the troops who didn’t pose for the cameras covered their faces so they would not be seen, The Post reported.

The rescuers were supported by helicopter gunships, a rubber boat equipped with a .50 caliber machine gun and a Blackhawk helicopter.

“A lot of what we do is a bit secretive, we don’t really advertise much of what we do and there is a reason for it,” US Special Forces Lt. Col. Chris Robeshaw told reporters following the Tampa event. “I think … this is maybe a stark reminder that there are young men and women out there putting themselves at risk.”

But the operation touched off an interesting debate on social media and in the comments section on The Post website.

“Why are soldiers from other countries doing this here? Answer: They’re practicing tactics to put the American population under control (martial law),” one person wrote. “Why don’t they do this in, say, Russia? Or Venezuela? Or even Germany, with its horrendous illegal invasion? It’s bad enough having U.S. soldiers practicing their martial law tactics here. But GET THOSE FOREIGN TROOPS OUT!”

Wrote another person, “No big deal; just a little martial law training plus perhaps testing the efficacy of Posse Comitatus.”

Others, though, supported the drill.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to join in the applause,” the person wrote. “These men and women keep us safe in a very dangerous world. Without a strong U.S. military force, many outside of the U.S. would not enjoy the freedoms they have today.”

What do you think – was this an innocent drill or one that never should have taken place? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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

Are You Ready to Bug Out?

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Explosions. Fires. Thousands of vehicles fleeing a burning city. Are you ready to evacuate your home quickly and effectively if – or when – the need arises?
You have five minutes to evacuate your home. Can you do it?

When I first began writing and talking about preparedness, it was considered a joke by most people. Eyes glazed over when I mentioned long term survival situations, the possibility of economic collapse, resource scarcity and emergency evacuation of homes. After all, everyone argued, these things do not happen to regular people.
It is a sign of the times that most people now understand that not only do these things happen to regular people, but they have been happening.
Are you ready to evacuate your home quickly in a disaster? Do you know the signs of when to leave, and how to increase your chances of getting to a place of safety?

There is a term among the preparedness community – “bugging out”. It means getting out of a dangerous situation quickly and finding safety until the situation is resolved. Frequently, when this is brought up, a large number of people will insist that they will always “shelter in place”.
The problem with that thinking, though, becomes apparent in situations like the horrific wildfire in Fort McMurray, Canada (May 2016). It also becomes clear when we look at devastated, uninhabitable cities like the ones in Syria. 
Sheltering in place is not always an option when the entire city is on fire or under overwhelming attack. 

Wildfire, tsunamai, terrorist attacks, flooding and more can make your home a death trap very quickly, no matter how safe it seemed moments before.
Even if you plan to “shelter in place” for storms, food shortages or other events like that – and certainly, that’s what we do – you still need an evacuation plan.
Imagine for a moment that you have five minutes to grab everything you need before leaving your home – with the knowledge that you may not be able to return to your own, perhaps not your city, and maybe not even your country. 
There are so many reasons why this could happen, and there is no excuse for people to remain ostrich-like, head-in-the-sand, and insist that these things only happen to other people.

What Are The Risks?

This is going to be different for everyone. Here in Nova Scotia, we really don’t have to worry about earthquakes or tornadoes. They just don’t happen here. Floods, forest fires, severe storms and even tsunamis on the coast, though, are all very real threats.

Are you ready to find out the danger signs that indicate you need to bug out, and what you need to increase your chances of getting to a safe place? Keep reading and find out!

Preparedness Advantages of Holding on to Your Older Vehicle

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pickupReadyNutrition Readers, I’m the last person on earth who would ever advocate going out and buying a brand-new vehicle from a showroom floor.  For any of you who may be selling automobiles, this is no insult to you or your products.  This article is meant to point out the advantages to “recycling” that older vehicle you have, and making an old thing into something new.  This has to do with a preparatory and survival mentality, not about saving dollars.  It has to do with things that may help you when you need them after the SHTF.

We have already seen and read a myriad of articles on the Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP), and the susceptibility of newer-model cars and trucks to the pulse, due to the reliance of the vehicles on complex circuitry and integrated computer systems.  OK, so you have an old 1973 Ford pickup truck, and it’s on it’s last legs.  It is a five speed and doesn’t utilize any of the ultramodern component parts just mentioned; however, the engine is not what it used to be.

Before you scrap it, I want to bring before you the possibility of doing a complete engine overhaul on the vehicle.  Understand if this avenue is pursued, you need the services of a competent mechanic…one who you can totally trust and rely on.  What an engine overhaul entails is detailed, but not complicated.  You will put out some money on this one, however, it may turn out to be a goldmine for you.  The pragmatic, non-preparatory reason is that if the engine is completely fixed and placed into reliable working order, the money you would have sunk into a new vehicle is completely eliminated.

The engine overhaul is just as it sounds: taking your vehicle’s engine completely apart, cleaning the parts that are serviceable, and replacing any parts with new ones as needed.  You can spend several thousand dollars on this, and once again, this will vary with your factors of the vehicle’s condition, availability of parts, and what not.  A good mechanic will do this and certify your vehicle after completion for an additional hundred thousand miles.  Then what?

Well, you’ve eliminated a car payment, as we mentioned.  Your older model should be well within the limits of being protected from an EMP, as mentioned, as it does not hold all of the modern hardware.  There are some other factors worth considering as well.  Remember those “black boxes” installed in the vehicles after 2012/2013 and (some firms) even earlier?  Well, that “secret agent” inside of your engine that tracks your every move with the vehicle is then eliminated.

In some states (Montana is one of them) if your vehicle is a certain age, you can apply for a “permanent” tag that will eliminate the yearly fee of their sticker on your license plate.  In addition, an older model may not be subject to the same emissions requirements as a new one, eliminating the needs for inspection, compliance, and funds expended.  Also, your insurance may even be reduced if you present paperwork showing that your vehicle has been improved in this manner.

Camouflage is another issue.  Your “beater” of a pickup truck doesn’t attract as much attention, both pre and post-SHTF.  It is less likely to be stolen or interfered with (interior looted, etc.)  Another thing is its simplicity.  The good mechanic will be able to advise you on what extra parts to obtain, pertaining to those that frequently wear out.  If the engine is simple, it is usually simple to repair it.  Of course there are other factors to weigh in, such as if it’s a gas guzzler, but here again, the mechanic can help you out in the initial assessment and can tell you whether or not the engine overhaul will significantly improve the gas mileage you’ve been getting.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that you may have “tailor made” this vehicle to serve your needs, such as weapons racks or tool brackets and boxes.  You are familiar with it, and know its limitations when you’re driving it…what it can and cannot do.  Think of how it was when you picked up the vehicle new.  You’ll be taking it back in the direction of that capability.  You won’t have to start out on a brand-new slate; it’s almost akin to having a surgery that will extend your life, and in this case it is the life of your vehicle.

Consider the engine overhaul on that early-model vehicle, and you’ll save money in the long run, and keep that anonymity that you so desperately desire as a prepper and survivalist.  The key is the good mechanic.  When all is finished, you’ll have something that will not look pretty on the outside as a new vehicle but you’ll have restored an asset that you need.  You will have invested in something that you know inside and out…capabilities and limits.  Then you can capitalize on this, and rely upon it again to suit your needs.  Happy motoring, and find that good mechanic!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

History Channel “Alone” Randy Champagne

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History Channel “Alone” Randy Champagne Josh “7P’s of Survival” This week we will have Randy Champagne from History Channel Alone on the show and we will be talking about his life’s journey leading up to his choice to take part in ALONE. Once we learn a little about his background we will dig into what … Continue reading History Channel “Alone” Randy Champagne

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