Top 10 Veggies to Start Growing In June

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Top 10 Veggies to Start Growing In June This question comes up every single year, “Am I to late too start a veggie garden in June?” The short and great answer is NO. It is not too late so get planting. I always plant in June and even into July. If I can do it so …

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How to Choose the Best Emergency Food and Why

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How to Choose the Best Emergency Food and Why Have you ever wondered what the best emergency food is? Is it rice? Is it canned food? As a general rule of thumb, you want foods that A) Take up low volume, and B) Contain high calories. By finding foods with those two qualities, you’ll be …

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How to protect your home from rioting mobs using fire as a weapon

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As the presidential political landscape takes shape, even a passive observer can tell it is looking like a violent year.  I have been taking careful notes on these developments and

Black Seed – The Remedy For Everything But Death

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Black Seed – The Remedy For Everything But Death Historically, black seed has been used for treating many different ailments including headache, toothache, intestinal worms, pink eye and parasites. Today, black seed is used for a huge variety of issues including allergies, constipation, diarrhea, colic, fle and congestion among many others. Black seed is also …

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Top-10 Survival Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

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Top-10 Survival Gift Ideas for Father's DayFather’s Day is close at hand. How about getting the old man something a little different this year? Something he can use—that might even help him survive the unexpected.

Here are 10 survival gift ideas for Father’s Day that I think any man would relish. Whether Dad is a camper, fisherman, hunter, hiker, prepper, DIYer, homesteader, or even a traveling businessman, there’s something in this list for him. And I bet he doesn’t already have everything on it.

Full disclosure: Most of these links are Amazon affiliate links. But the products are simply examples, not meant as specific recommendations. Short on time? Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime, and you can get many of these gifts within a couple of days.

Nutritional And Medicinal Value Of Garden Vegetables (FREE PDF)

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Nutritional And Medicinal Value Of Garden Vegetables (FREE PDF) Nutritional And Medicinal Value Of Garden Vegetables is a great FREE PDF that we all should print off or have bookmarked. You can grow it, but do you know just how good it is for you??? The chart shows you vegetable nutrition chart, a compilation of vitamins, minerals …

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The Most Affordable Survival Superfoods To Stockpile

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The Most Affordable Survival Superfoods To Stockpile See what affordable survival superfoods you should be storing. Some you may be surprised to see on the list! I am a big fan of stockpiling healthy and nutritious foods, I still can the usual, common foods like meats and veg but there is so many more foods that …

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The Tiny RV / Bug Out Vehicle

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The Tiny RV / Bug Out Vehicle Like I do everyday, I was harmlessly surfing the interwebs and came across this camper / scooter. It’s a new breed of cheaper bug out vehicle and accommodation combined into one compact scooter. Yes, it’s only a 3 wheeler so this wouldn’t be the best off-road vehicle but …

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28 Brilliant Garage Organization Ideas

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28 Brilliant Garage Organization Ideas This article shows you 28 different ways to organize your garage for cheap. Having a tidy, organized garage works wonders when it comes time to get motivated to garden or get your hands dirty with a few DIY projects. Garage organization ideas are often looked over and before you know it …

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Time To Take Back Australia.

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Election Special

We have decisions to make and the 2 Million licenced Shooters in Australia are now 10% of the population. We together, can make the difference, but what difference do we want. Australia has ‘sleepwalked’ into a continuous Nightmare. We all accept that the traditional LIB LAB GREENS are greedy, deadbeats, we all accept that none of them even want to improve the economy. If we really think hard about it, we know that none our traditional leaders really want to fix unemployment. We all know that huge entities that put the donations into the party coffers, whether they be Unions, Banks, Oil Companies, Chemical companies all want cheap labour, so want unemployment, or want massive immigration for left wing votes, who have to vote their way to keep their flow of benefits that are paid for by the ever reducing number of tax payers.
Our traditional leaders want a One World Wage, they want us, All to be Poor Consumers. The want their New World, where people are just cogs in a gear box, as fortold by Aldous Huxley in his book ‘Brave New World’, or George Orwell’s ‘1984′.

We are trained to think that one side is better than the other, if we pick Party Lib, or Party Lab that helps to reduce the pain, but really we all know that neither of them is any good. None of them hold out any hope for the future of Australia. They have been systematically looting our country since both parties agreed to the Lima Agreement in 1974 where they agreed to remove tariff protection and send billions of our tax dollars to third world countries to build our competitors.


Why would they do that you might say, the answer is power and money, if they had refused the donor’s would not have put the money into these parties and power and money would be lost. So now Union Carbide, or Sony (Standard Oil New York) or Dow Chemicals can have its products made with the cheapest labour and freely exported to the planet. Why did the Unions not scream the house down and demand the re-introduction of the ‘White Australia Policy’ and tariff protection for industries as it had in the early 20th Century? The answer, is that in the early part of the 20th Century the unions were motivate by their members and now they are motivated by big money interests who use the unions to control the donations to the Labour Party.

Our World Turned Up Side Down.
Alice in Wonderland or Just another Nightmare?

When I was a teenager during the 1960s, several cultural revolutions occurred, notable ones were the Chinese Cultural Revolution which was responsible for the death of twenty, or sixty million people and in Britain there was a musical revolution that turned into a peace movement. On reflection that peace movement left untold millions to die, in places like Vietnam, Nigeria, Cambodia and South America all due to Western civilisations search for peace. So for some time we have had beginnings of the Alice in Wonderland topsy turvy, upside down decay of our Western civilisation, but now are we living the Alice dream or is our world turned into a nightmare?
For just a brief example.
‘When a street-corner preacher mentioned to a passing shopper that the Bible calls homosexuality a sin. That comment got him thrown in jail. A homosexual policeman contended that since Dale McAlpine’s remark was loud enough to be overheard, he had broken the Public Order Act of 1986. Police carted McAlpine off, and he spent seven hours in a cell for causing “harassment, alarm or distress.’

At about the same time. After an Israeli official gave a lecture at a University and was attacked by pro-Palestinian Muslim protesters. Police responded to this provocation by escorting the official from the premises in a police car. The protesters climbed onto the hood of the vehicle and tried to break the windshield. They were not prosecuted. Apparently this is “protected free speech.”’

Our Upside-Down World Is confusing for voters as it is a world where truth is trashed and lies are lauded. Where the honourable are despised and the depraved are empowered. Where sound morals and strong character are relentlessly mocked—while immorality is praised, paraded and protected.

Post-Election America: My advice for older people

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Hi Fernando,

I just finished reading your book published in 2009 It was very eye opening to say the least, and I can see some of the events happening here that you described in Argentina back in 2001.  I am considerably older than you and not exactly in “fighting trim” as they say, but am contemplating what steps I should consider to prepare for the possible future.

I live in a resort community and own a small resort motel that is now only open half the year.  My boys are now grown, so only my wife and I still run the place and in the past 35 years I have had various jobs to make ends meet, but now rely on SSI to do the job.  I am very concerned about the future of America, especially if Trump loses the election!  So I will be very interested in what thoughts you may have.   Thank you for your kind efforts on my behalf

Regards,

Tom

Hello Tom,

I’m glad you liked my book. In it I explain the steps to take so as to prepare for a socioeconomic collapse and following the advice in it will serve you well in case of a worst case scenario in America or even for the slow slide into a 3rd world version of itself. This last one seems to be the current trend and what is most likely to continue.

In your specific case I have the following advice:

1)Try not to worry too much, but do try to keep a tight budget, save as much money as you can and keep working hard. Trump or anyone else, I personally don’t believe it will make much of a difference. I honestly don’t like ANY of the candidates and believe all of them will keep the current trend, benefitting the ones that already have the most while subsidizing the gained wealth of the elite by squeezing the poor and middle class through various methods including one that is particularly vile which is inflation. Inflation is particularly hard on those relying on SSI. In your case you own your own company which is always good so keep it up. A place like that also means you have room for family and friends in case you want them close.

2) Get the necessary tools in case things don’t work out that great. You already have my book. If I may say so myself it’s a great first step to prepare for this kind of thing, including information regarding what you should get. Stock up on food and don’t forget water, medicines and other emergency supplies. Work towards improving your home security, upgrading it as much as you can so as to make it a “hard target”. Having a gun is important, but it’s just as important to learn to fight with it. I already mentioned saving money. You want to have at least a month worth of expenses in cash at hand. Two would be even better.

You mention not being “fighting trim”. That’s ok, none of us will be 20 years old forever. This only means its even more important to be armed and it would be good to get used to carrying concealed if you don’t do so already. One thing I’m planning on doing when I’m older is getting used to walking around with a good dog. A good guard dog can help you compensate for age, visibly turning you into a harder target in the eyes of criminals. Walking the dog also helps you exercise and stay fit which brings me to point three.

3) Last but most important. Take care of yourself, body and mind. Be in good terms with your loved ones, enjoy your life as much as you can. Sounds silly but these days so many people forget to just live, always worried about work, money or other personal goals.

Take care of your body. It’s your most important tool and the only one you’ve got. Go for walks, exercise and most of all eat healthy. If your mind and heart are in the right place, and you take care of your body by staying slim and fit, the rest falls into place rather easily.

Good luck and thanks for your email!

FerFAL

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

How To Grow Paw Paw Trees In The West [New Video]

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What the heck is a Paw Paw? While some of you may be familiar, there are likely many of you that have never heard of one before. Well…. I’ve never actually eaten one myself, but from everything I’ve read and heard, they taste like a cross between and banana and a mango, with select properties of […]

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Five Inflammatory Foods That You Should Eat in Moderation

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donutsThese days, most people associate the word ‘inflammation’ with ‘unhealthy.’ Truth be told though, inflammation can be a very good thing. It’s your body’s way of healing. When you’re sick or injured, your body flushes the effected area with blood, immune cells, and nutrients, in an effort to combat pathogens and heal what is damaged. Obviously, this results in pain and discomfort, but in the big scheme of things it is exactly what you need to survive and live a healthy life.

When someone says that inflammation is bad, what they’re really talking about is chronic inflammation, which is a bit more insidious. It doesn’t always make you feel like you’re sick or in pain, but it is highly damaging to your body. Chronic inflammation has been associated with heart disease, diabetes, depression, and even cancer. It can be caused by a lack of sleep, stress, pollution, certain allergies, or a poor diet; and it can add more damage on top of whatever is causing the inflammation.

However, diet is often associated with inflammation more than any other cause. Certain foods and can do a number on your body, and if you’re eating them every day, you may be on the path to an early grave. Foods that you should either eliminate from your diet or consume in moderation include:

White Bread

You’ll find that most foods that are “refined” typically have a higher glycemic index, which causes inflammation. White bread is one of the worst examples. It causes your insulin levels to spike, creating the perfect environment for inflammation to run rampant. Whole grain foods however, can reduce inflammation.

Sugar

Of all the inflammatory foods that you eat, sweeteners are the most notorious. The human body simply did not evolve to process straight sugar. Rather, our digestive systems were made to take sugar in small amounts, preferably bound in whole foods like fruit, which take much longer to digest. The consumption of white sugar gives your body a massive spike in blood sugar, which is highly damaging and inflammatory. Not only that, but refined sugar leads to weight gain, which is also inflammatory. Artificial sugars can also create an immune response, since your body does not recognize them.

Fried Foods

Foods like french fries, potato chips, and donuts are cooked at a high temperature, which creates advanced glycation end products, or AGES. Your body doesn’t recognize these compounds, so they are treated to an immune response upon ingestion. Not only that, but fried foods are also often cooked in vegetable oils, which typically contain very high levels of omega-6 fats. Normally these fats are good for you, but if they’re not balanced with omega-3 fats they are inflammatory.

Alcohol

Not only does alcohol often contain inflammatory gluten and sugar, but by itself it can initiate your body’s immune system. The way your liver breaks down alcohol produces toxins, and alcohol can make your intestines more porous, which allows bacteria to spread throughout the body. On top of that, alcohol can have a devastating effect on the good bacteria in your digestive tract, which plays a significant role in your immune system. Overall, alcohol is pretty hard on your immune system. It weakens your immune response while simultaneously giving your immune system more to fight, both of which can be inflammatory.

Meat and Dairy

While meat and dairy products provide an excellent source of nutrition, they should be consumed in reasonable portions. They both contain saturated fats, which while essential to a healthy diet, are also inflammatory. They contain arachidonic acid, which your body produces naturally when it needs to create inflammation. Meat is especially inflammatory, since like fried foods, it is often cooked at a high temperature which produces AGES. Again, these foods can be quite good for you, and their pros typically outweigh the cons, but only when you don’t go overboard on them.

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Canteens are an Important Part of Your Field Gear

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canteens

A two quart military canteen with it cover and carrying strap

After a disaster whether you are bugging out or just scouting around your neighborhood, you will need to carry water.  You never know what may happen that will keep you away from home a bit longer than you expect.  Now Camelbaks are great, but there are other canteens that I like and that are readily available.

I like the 1 and 2 quart US Military canteens.  I have used them for many years without a problem.  The two quart is a plastic canteen that is designed to hook on to your gear or be carried with a shoulder strap.  The 1 quart can be attached to your gear or carried on a pistol belt.  If you can still find them, the older 1-quart stainless steel ones are my favorite, but the new plastic ones are functional.  I avoid the older aluminum ones; they always seem to be corroded.

canteens

A plastic military 1 quart canteen

canteens

a 1 quart canteen cover

The newer 1 quart canteens come with a good sturdy cover and clips that can be attached to a large variety of belts or straps. The older ones were designed to only work with the pistol belt.  A canteen cup and a stove will fit in the cover with the canteen.  The cup is extremely handy and can be used for heating hot drinks or cooking.  It is made of stainless steel.

The stove is designed to work with military heat tabs but can be used with a variety of fuels.  I have used mine with small quantities of hot coals when the wind was blowing and been able to heat up drinks.

If you take care of the military canteens, they will last for years.  I have not found any civilian canteens that will outlast the military versions.  When you go to purchase one, be sure to get a real US one and not a cheap knock off.

canteens

A military canteen cup.  These are great for heating liquids or cooking

canteens

As you can see the canteen fits inside the cup and stove. This will all fit in the cover

A few tips for using canteens

  • The 1 Quart is great use for in winter, do not fill it more than 3/4 full because of freezing.
  • The soft 2-quart military canteens make great pillows.  If it’s cold, wrap them and if it’s hot the cold water will help keep your head cool.

    cnateens

    The canteen cup set on top of the stove for cooking. Notice where the heat tab is placed

  • If you just bought a canteen in a garage sale or from a surplus store, always check the inside with a flashlight for any strange residues.  I then always wash them out with water and chlorine.  Make sure you include the cap and around the threads.

There are other good civilian canteens on the market, but for the price I have never been able to beat the cost of the military surplus ones.

Howard

 

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More than 100,000 People Can’t Drink the Contaminated Tap Water in Alabama…Until September!

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It really seems as though issues with municipal water supplies are occurring more frequently. More than 100,000 residents have been told that they can’t drink or cook with the contaminated … Read the rest

The post More than 100,000 People Can’t Drink the Contaminated Tap Water in Alabama…Until September! appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

10 Best survival foods at your grocery store

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An emergency can strike without warning and unfortunately, most people find out too late that they are missing the essential supplies. Far too many times you’ve seen on the news how people line up in front of grocery stores hoping to get some last minute survival foods. If you end up doing the same, you … Read more…

The post 10 Best survival foods at your grocery store was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Did 100 Year Old Prophesy Point to Future Collapse?

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

We know what is coming. We’ve let it happen as a nation and now we will suffer. As a nation, we’ve cared too much about our wealth and our ease and not enough about whether our Constitution was staying intact.

The post Did 100 Year Old Prophesy Point to Future Collapse? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

More For The Stockpile

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Pretty sure that my mailman doesn’t like me much the past few weeks. Been getting a few packages a week. Stockpile is growing!! Getting the family prepped is a great feeling.

Saturday we got a Mountain House 10 Can Rice and Chicken , bulk sized Country Style Gravy Mix , and 3 boxes of baking mix.

Trying to keep the cost around $30.00 a week. Not let it get above $50.00.

The chicken & rice was on sale so I got it for $21.99.

The bulk country gravy was $17.00

The 3 boxes of baking mix was $4.50

Not too bad.

D-Day: A La Pine, Oregon veteran recalls Omaha Beach landing

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Ahead of the amphibious assault soldiers lay “Fortress Europe.”  Behind them was the rising sea. At stake, was the final outcome of World War II. Here is the story of an American hero.

D Day Landing on Omaha Beach in World War II

Soldiers head for Omaha Beach from the Higgins Landing Craft.

by Leon Pantenburg

June 6, 2016 marks the 72th anniversary of D-Day. Today,  I honor my friend, Bob Shotwell, 92, of La Pine, Oregon, by re-posting his recollections.

As a member of the 149th Amphibious Combat Engineers, Private Shotwell landed in the first wave of the Dog Red section of Omaha Beach.

I was privileged to interview 12 Central Oregon World War II veterans for a Bend Bulletin Special Section “Vanishing Heroes,” which was published on Veterans Day, 2004.

Here is an excerpt from Private Shotwell’s story as he heads toward Omaha Beach at dawn in a Higgins landing craft.

“The noise was deafening. Big guns fired, engines on vehicles roared, men shouted and geysers of water erupted around our craft. It seemed like mass confusion.”

Still, Shotwell said he wasn’t really scared.

I felt excited, probably because I had no combat experience at all,” he said. “Like most kids, I had this feeling of invincibility and I though nothing could happen to me.”

These images of Omaha Beach were shot by Robert Capa, who landed with the 16th Regiment of the U.S. Army First Infantry in the first wave.first wave of

These images of Omaha Beach were shot by Robert Capa, who landed at “Easy Red” beach with the 16th regiment of the U.S. Army’s First Infantry.

That feeling “evaporated” as the boat stopped and the front ramp went down. The Germans had every inch of the beach presighted for accurate firing of mortars, machine guns, and 88mm cannons.

The slaughter started before the soldiers disembarked, and the first wave was almost decimated.

“Bits and pieces pop into focus…a hand. An arm with no body around it. A foot. A helmet with a head still in it,” Shotwell said. “I wondered if the next shell would be mine.”

By late afternoon, enough equipment had come ashore that the engineers could start clearing the wire. In the face of heavy fire, Shotwell and other engineers blew holes in the wire and advanced to the bluffs.

They stopped at nightfall, and Shotwell, exhausted, “slept fitfully” about halfway up the cliff.

By nightfalll of  June 6, about 175,00 Allied military personnel were ashore in France. But the cost had been very high – some 4,900 died on the beaches and  in the battle further inland that day.

Of the 40 combat engineers who landed at Dog Red in the first wave, only four were alive at the end of the day. The next morning, Shotwell reached the top of the cliffs.

He looked out to sea, over the armada of 5,00o anchored ships, with a sense of disbelief, and surprise that he was still alive.

“So this is France, I thought,” he said. “I had no idea of what I had just been a part of.”

Shotwell went on to fight in four major combat actions before the war was over. He was recommended for the Silver Star for his part in the crossing of the Rhine River in Germany.

Like many veterans, Shotwell rarely mentions his service, and initially, was reluctant to let me interview him for the “Vanishing Heroes” project.

His memories have “thankfully softened,” he said.

“War memories are best held in limbo,” he said. “They take on a softer glow that way. Most of my memories of World War II are of the pleasant things. I try to forget the bad things.”

But Shotwell does remember an attitude which helped him and his buddies get through the hell of Omaha Beach.

“We didn’t want to make a D Day type landing on some American beach, and we didn’t want to make a combat crossing of the Mississippi, and we didn’t want that kind of fighting going on in some small town in America,” Shotwell said. “We were thankful we could be the line of defense between our enemies and our homes.”

We can’t thank these WWII servicemembers enough, so let’s allow that respect to include  ALL veterans of ALL American wars: Thanks, and God bless you!

 

Amazon.com Widgets

Survivalist Prepper Exclusive: Huge Tac-Bar Giveaway From Expedition Research

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Like this article?

Survivalist Prepper Exclusive Huge Tac-Bar Giveaway From Expedition ResearchThe folks over at Expedition research are getting ready to start a huge giveaway, and in this week’s show Aaron came on to tell us exactly what is it, and how they are giving away $2500 in cash and prizes!

For those of you who have purchased the Tac-Bar package you know what a great product it is…and they just got better!

Because Aaron actually listens to his customer’s feedback, he decided to replace the belt that was included with a sweet survival tin which is much more useful.

In this special episode of the Survivalist Prepper Podcast Aaron and I talked about what the contest is, and what you need to do to win.

SP Exclusive Tac-Bar Giveaway

This contest is pretty simple, take the knowledge we have learned about survival and preparedness and actually apply them. Here is a little more about the contest, but to get the full description and to enter you need to go to the contest page here.

$2500 Prepper Contest

Open to all preppers, survivalists, bushcraft practitioners or tactical operators. The Tac-Bar Pro-challenge is simple, use the new Tac-Bar ammo can system to its fullest potential. Make a video or blog post and you could win big! $2500 in cash and prizes.

Be creative and utilize every component of the system for its intended or creative use in a survival or tactical situation.

ENTER BEFORE JULY 31 2016

Our Mission: To showcase and instruct the public how the Tac-Bar system can be used to survive in an SHTF situation either in the wilderness or urban environments. Not the ubiquitous prepper video filmed in the backyard or workbench, but a practical application of all components of the ammo can system.

Who can enter…Anyone.

You can buy Tac-Bar from Amazon Prime or if you’re a YouTuber with at least 5000 subscribers, contact me in the form below and I’ll send you a kit ASAP free of charge!

NOTE: The cool part of this contest is that Aaron will replace your Tac-Bar ammo can just for entering. That means even though you are using it for testing and practice purposes, you will still have a complete Tac-Bar package to add to your supplies.

Prizes

I will judge all entries based on the following:

  • Number and skill level of survival tasks demonstrated
  • Ration utilization and technical understanding
  • The authentic environment within which tasks are performed
  • Overall authenticity

1ST PRIZE

  • $500 USD
  • An Apollo Tactical Compound Bow Package
  • One Blaze Expedition Cooking System
  • A set of 6 ruggedized dry bags by Expedition Research
  • One Tac-Bar Ammo Can

2ND PRIZE

  • $250 USD in cash
  • A set of 6 ruggedized dry bags by Expedition Research
  • One Tac-Bar Ammo Can

3RD PRIZE

  • One Blaze Expedition Cooking System
  • A set of 6 ruggedized dry bags by Expedition Research
  • One Tac-Bar Ammo Can

ALL ENTRIES

  • All entries that make a good effort will receive:
  • One ruggedized dry bag by Expedition Research.
  • One Tac-Bar Ammo Can

NOTE: Because everyone who enters is getting a free (replacement) Tac-Bar ammo can it allows you to use, test and learn the contents, and still have a new one for an emergency situation.

Our Monthly Contest

Along with all of this Aaron is giving us 2 of these Tac-Bar Ammo Cans to giveaway to listeners of the podcast, and members of the Academy.

We have a couple other prizes we are going to add as well like a few PakLite Bug Out Bag Flashlights and an individual Trauma First Aid Kit. I’ll have more information about this in the near future.

The Survivalist Prepper Academy 2.0

Academy 2.0 Screen ShotComing up in this Thursday’s show (Episode 154) I will be letting everyone know about our plans for the redesign of the Survivalist Prepper Academy, and what it means for current and new members. It’s going to be some exciting news, so make sure and listen in.

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Video Monday: A wake up call to all Americans!

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Hello my friend and welcome back!  In today’s video, we are going to look at one from YouTube and posted by USA-UK News and Information.  If you get a chance please check them out because they do have some great videos.  This video should serve as a wake up call and feel free to share …

The post Video Monday: A wake up call to all Americans! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Encourage Children to Experience the Outdoors with an Amazing Camping Adventure

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by Melissa Lang Experiencing time getting to grips with nature has a unique experience on our wellbeing. Of course, this is due to the physical aspect of hiking, playing and general exercise that we enjoy when spending time outdoors, the flood of endorphins that are triggered by physical exertion can’t be matched, but something else […]

Prepping Like a Pirate Part 1: Survival Cache Basics

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muppet-treasure-island-01-g

Pirates are rarely used as role models, and for good reason. They’re known for theft, murder, and all-around bad behavior, so how exactly can they be used to help you prep for a disaster? It’s not their love of rum or treasure that matters to the modern-day prepper, but rather it’s what they did with their treasure that should interest you. Pirates buried their treasure in various locations to keep it safe and allow it to hide in plain sight. By burying their treasure, they could spread their wealth across multiple locations so it was available to them wherever they were should an emergency come up.

Today you probably don’t have a treasure chest to bury, but instead you can create a survival cache for yourself and bury it for a rainy day. Don’t let the name fool you; a cache is just a group of things hidden in a secret place, and it’s these hidden stores of weapons, supplies, and sure, even a little treasure, that can get you back on your feet in a hurry after a disaster strikes.

*Prepping Like a Pirate is a 3-part series on creating and hiding your own survival cache. Each part will cover a specific topic about survival caches to get you started with building your own.

stomp-supreme-trauma-kit-2

Items to Include in a Survival Cache

A survival cache is defined by what is included in it. There are different routes to take based on what you intend the cache to be used for. There are large caches that can include weeks of supplies, medium caches that include a few days of supplies, and there are small, directed caches that include a weapon, some ammo, and enough water and food to get you moving on quickly.

When talking about directed caches, these are focused on specific items, including mostly food, mostly weapons, or mostly general supplies. For example, if you have a cabin in the middle of nowhere you plan on using as a bug-out spot, you’d probably want food, water, and weapons there waiting for you. However, leaving them in the cabin is just asking for them to be stolen. Instead, you could build a few hidden caches around your property for these items to keep them safe and hidden.

General Cache – A good general cache should have everything you need to get up and moving. The only thing that will change is the amounts of the items you include to increase or decrease its size. Think of these as you would your bug-out bag. You want everything to keep you moving for at least the next 72 hours. This should include:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Change of clothes
  • Boots
  • Knife
  • Gun
  • Ammo
  • Cash or precious metals
  • First aid kit

The general cache is a mixed bag of everything you need to survive.

Directed Cache – These types of caches are far more difficult to describe, as they are built with your specifics in mind. Maybe you want a weapons cache in your backyard so they’re hidden from intruders and accessible even during a large-scale emergency or house fire. Maybe you want a cache with your precious metals in it to keep them safe from the prying eyes of your neighbors or even the government. Or, maybe you want a cache of fuel hidden for you to bug out with.

Whatever the case, these are built to fit your specific needs. Just remember that it’s probably smart to include a little food and water in most caches as well as a weapon in all non-weapon caches so you have that little bit of extra help, just in case.

How To Dry Can Food For Survival

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Survivopedia dry canning

Wouldn’t it be great to just reach for a jar and know that all you had to do was add water, juice or broth and everything would be ready to cook? Dry canning is also a good way to extend the life of some dehydrated foods and to keep your dried goods fresh and bug-free.

I have some great tips and instructions to help you get started with your own dry canning projects.

What is Dry Canning?

Dry canning, also referred to as dry packing, has essentially the same purpose as traditional water bath canning: you want to extend the life of the food by storing it in sealed jars so that bacteria that can cause illness or spoilage can’t get in. Dry-canned foods can be good for 30 years or more as long as the seal remains intact.

The difference, as the name suggests, is that you’re not going to be using any type moisture; not in the food or in the process. In fact, the idea of dry canning is to keep moisture OUT. There are a couple of different methods that you can use to dry can your dried goods.

Note to Keep You from Drying Painfully

Yeah, the heading got your attention, didn’t it? Because we’re dealing with canning dried goods, we have to talk about botulism. I’ve talked about it in other articles, including my one on canning meat, but it bears repeating. Botulism spores thrive in high-moisture, low-salt, low-acid environments.

Any food with a pH lower than 4.6 is considered low-acid. This includes most vegetables, some fruits such as pears and bananas, and all meats. Drastically reducing the risk of botulism is one of the main reasons that most water traditional canning recipes call for adding lemon juice, vinegar, or citric acid to the food when you can it.

Dehydrating is a good way to preserve low-acid foods too. The key to doing it safely is to dry it until it has less than 10 percent moisture; a good rule of thumb is that the food snaps in half when it’s done. Grains will be hard and unable to bite.

freezing vs drying

Dry Canning Using Oxygen Absorbers

This is the preferred method for a lot of preppers because it’s easy and it’s thorough. Basically, you have two options.

First, you can use standard mason jars. Sterilize your jars and seals, add the dried food, then toss in an oxygen absorber before you put the seals and lids on. Make sure that your jars and seals are dried well after you sterilize them. You don’t need the seal to be hot when you put it on the jar; the oxygen absorber will seal it cold.

You can also use Mylar bags and food-grade buckets. Put your food and oxygen absorbers into the bags, seal them, then store them in the bucket.

The oxygen absorber isn’t edible but it’s not toxic, either. The active ingredient is iron oxide, so it doesn’t release any type of harmful gas and doesn’t affect the taste or smell of the food. It’s a great way to preserve any type of dried food from flour to cold cereal. You can use these to preserve your dried meats, too.

Just remember that if you’re dry-canning dehydrated meat, your shelf life still isn’t going to be as long as other foods because usually meat still contains enough moisture or fat to spoil or go rancid eventually. Trimming as much fat and tendon off the meat and dehydrating it after soaking it for 24 hours in a high-salt, high-acidic marinade helps extend the shelf life of your meat, too.

Some sites will tell you that it’s OK to use hand warmers to dry-can your food, but it’s not. That’s fine to use with your guns, ammo, and other non-food items that need to stay dry, but it’s not food-safe.

You can also store foods in PETE plastic bottles using oxygen absorbers. They’re lighter and less bulky than mason jars. Make sure that the bottles have screw on lids with plastic or rubber seals in them. To test to see if your bottle will seal, screw the lid on and submerse it in water. Squeeze. If air rushes out of the bottle and you get bubbles, the bottle won’t work. Just make sure that the bottles and lids are sterile before you pack them.

Dry Canning Using Vacuum Sealers

Did you know that you can use your vacuum sealer to seal dried foods in mason jars? Well, now you do. You can get a jar sealer for your vacuum sealer and suck all of the air right out. The jar will seal and you’ll be good to go. This isn’t great for powdery substances but is OK for foods such as beans, pasta, etc. The powdery stuff gunks up your machine.

One word of warning here: this is a good method if you’re just shooting for storage of foods such as flour that you don’t really have to worry about spoiling, but it doesn’t necessarily get enough air out to prevent the growth of mold. You need less than .02% oxygen for that and there’s not really any way to know how much oxygen is left in the jar with vacuum sealers.

Many people assume that as long as the jar is sealed, the food is safe, and usually that’s correct but there’s always that one-in-a-thousand chance that it’s not. Oxygen absorbers, when used as directed, take oxygens levels down to about .01 percent.

Dry Canning in the Oven

This is one of those topics where people stand on either side of the creek and throw rocks at each other. There are those who swear that they’ve safely preserved their dried goods using this method for years without a problem. On the other side, there are those who say it’s dangerous and should never be done.

As with everything, both sides are right. You can dry can in the oven for years with no problems, but there’s always the chance that the jars are going to explode in the heat.

Now I will lean slightly in the direction of the naysayers in one area: foods that have more than 10% moisture or have any significant fat content (including nuts) shouldn’t be dry-canned because the chance of bacterial growth or rancidity. You also can’t dry-can brown sugar and you absolutely CAN NOT replace water bath or pressure canning wet foods with oven canning.

Personally, I’ve dry-canned flour and some blended recipes in the oven and haven’t had a problem. Of course, I’m super cautious and use common sense. Besides the whole fat and moisture thing, I also never let my jars heat or cool too quickly, but then again, I do the same thing when I’m canning wet foods.

The theory that the jars will explode because of the heat bemuses me a bit because I put them in a pressure canner and expose them to an environment that, to me, is much more severe than a 200-degree oven. However, you’re on your own here. Do it at your own risk, as you do everything.

If you decide to dry can using your oven, here’s how to do it:

  • I’m weird about bacteria and you should be, too. I always sterilize my jars before I do anything with them; even dry-can. Just let them dry for several hours because they need to be thoroughly dry.
  • One of the biggest issues that many naysayers have about dry canning is that oven temps vary so the food may not reach a temperature high enough to kill bacteria. I’m pretty sure this one’s covered by using my oven thermometer. You should probably do the same.
  • Place your clean jars on the counter with a cookie sheet at the ready. Using a funnel if you’d like, fill them with your dry food of choice (beans, flour, brownie mix, pasta, whatever), leaving about 1/2 inch of head space.
  • GENTLY tap the jar on the counter when you think that it’s full to help the product settle so that you can pack them as tightly as possible. This also helps remove air pockets.
  • Wipe the rim with a dry (or SLIGHTLY damp) cloth to get any crumbs or dust off of the rim and set the jar on the cookie sheet.
  • Repeat until all jars are full.
  • Place in the oven and set it at 200 degrees. Note that I didn’t say to preheat the oven – you want the jars to heat gradually, remember?
  • Watch your oven thermometer. When it reaches 200 degrees, set your timer for 1 hour.
  • At the end of the hour, remove the first jar. Don’t take them all out at once for 2 reasons. First, if you’re like me, you’ll drop the sheet and waste all of your work. Plus, you’ll likely end up with all of that broken glass that you’re trying to avoid. Second, you want each jar to remain hot until you’re ready to put the seal on it.
  • Lay a dish towel out where you’re going to be cooling the jars. Wipe the rim of the jar again, gently, and place the seal on it. Put the band on securely but not overly tight. Set it on the dish towel.
  • Repeat with each jar, then turn off the oven.
  • Cover the jars with a lightweight towel and let them cool for several hours or overnight. (I use the same method with my water-canned foods. It was just the way I was taught in order to prevent the glass from cooling too quickly. Again, this may be overkill on my part, but I do it anyway.)
  • If you made a mix, such as biscuit mix or soup mix, attach a recipe to the jar. Otherwise, just label and date it like you do your other canned goods.

Test your jars to make sure that they’ve sealed. Just as with water canning, you may hear the ping or you may not. Touch the top to see if the seal is pulled in and can’t be pushed in with your finger. Store jars that don’t seal in the pantry and use them first.

If you have a problem with the seal, you likely didn’t get the rims clean enough.

Storing our food long-term is critical to our survival if SHTF and we lose our modern sources of food. Dry canning food is also a good way to save money because food is almost always cheaper when you buy it in bulk. Oh, and don’t forget bugs. Maybe it’s just me, but weevil pancakes are gross even though they are a source of protein.

If you’ve dry canned using any of the methods above or have any other ideas or questions about dry canning, please share it in the comments section below! And click on the banner to get more about ancient ways to preserve food and water!

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

References:

http://www.extension.umn.edu/food/food-safety/sanitation/low-acid-vegetables-botulism/

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Tropical Storm COLIN

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If COLIN was already a hurricane it would be of real concern but it doesn’t appear it will turn into one. If nothing changes, COLIN will be directly on top of me at 1:00AM Tuesday as a ‘Tropical Storm’ with sustained winds less than 73mph.
Currently, the NOAAHurricaneCenter says, 50mph sustained winds with gusts to 70mph (at 70mph the house sometimes creaks and groans like a wooden boat). It’s not life or serious damage threatening except for the possibility of falling trees. Most of mine are old-growth 24-30 inches in diameter and not in prime shape. Should one fall on the house they’d do serious damage if not totaling the house.

I’m not worried too much about serious damage, just not looking forward to the yard and neighborhood clean-up afterwards.

They are also predicting 8 inches of rain, so for many home flooding will happen. As for me, flooding is not likely as all our rain run-off flows into the Intracoastal Waterway just a few feet away.

Storms are one of the biggest reasons I prepare and prepare for the worst. So now we just sit back and wait it out.

The Battle Is Right Before Our Eyes

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     For those who think spiritual warfare is simply a theological concept, with no real-world application, then I invite you to open your eyes and ears to what is going on around us; it’s in the headlines nearly every day.  Have we become so blinded that we merely blow off or ignore the implications of what is being reported?

     Take today for instance.  It is June 6th … or 6-6-16, if you will … and the day that Satanists have claimed as a day of celebration to their god.  Simply put, it is a sacred day to them for worshipping satan.  And it is a salvo in their spiritual battle plan; an aggressive act in satan’s campaign to win the spiritual war here on earth.
     But how many of our countrymen — or fellow Christians, for that matter — will even take notice?  Who will understand what this means and act appropriately to defend against this vigorous attempt to defame and defeat YHWH?  In case you don’t know the details, here they are:  The religious sect which calls itself The Satanic Temple plans on placing the five points of a Pentagram star around the city of Lancaster, California, located in northern Los Angeles County.  Spokesmen for the group claim that “drawing this symbol around the city represents a solemn promise from the Satanic Temple of Los Angeles to stand with the good people of the City of Lancaster and struggle for their constitutional right to individual liberty, freedom of expression and the separation of church and state in the community”.
     Here’s what we all need to understand … this display of rebellion against God is no different than the Enemy’s plans that have been revealed and recorded in the Bible.  I just finished reading the Book of Jeremiah, and I could not help but identify with the ancient prophet’s frustration over the blatant disobedience and defiance of God’s commandments to those who professed to follow Him.  Just like in the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the people of our nation have followed after, and are worshipping, false gods.  But do we understand that these gods are not just names of “things” we idolize like celebrities, houses, and cars, or carnal pursuits such as wealth, fame and power?  Do we realize that behind these idols are spiritual entities that are very real and their desire is to influence and control you to win the war?

Bel, aka Marduk

     In Jeremiah, the prophet records numerous warnings from YHWH about the destruction coming against nations and the gods they worship; the spiritual entities that satan has placed over them in governing positions.  Jeremiah 48:42 says, Moab will be destroyed as a people because he has exalted himself against the Lord.  Jeremiah 50:2 records these words from YHWH: Announce to the nations; proclaim and raise up a signal flag; proclaim and hide nothing.  Say: Babylon is captured; Bel is put to shame; Marduk is devastated; her idols are put to shame; her false gods, devastated.  Again, Jeremiah 51:44 says, I will punish Bel in Babylon.  I will make him vomit what he has swallowed.  The nations will no longer stream to him; even Babylon’s wail will fail. 
     It is important that we get this!  Bel and Marduk are not just some wooden statues that the nations bow down to.  And Babylon is more than a city and a nation. They are real spiritual entities — gods, although false — who involve themselves in the lives of real people and in the existence and actions of nations.   They were able to influence God’s chosen people and induce them to rebel against God and turn aside from their covenant with Him.  It is no different today.
     As noted prophecy expert Paul McGuire tells us, “Currently in America there is intense competition among various belief systems, religions, philosophies, and ideologies. This competition is expressed openly as different groups and faiths seek to promote their belief systems and win converts to their religion or cause.”  That is what happened as the Israelites entered the Land of Canaan and became exposed to the Moabites, the Ammonites, the Edomites; and later when they were taken into captivity in Assyria and Babylon.  They were introduced to the gods of these other nations, who are every bit as real as YHWH.  But they are not the One True God and they are under the guidance and supervision of Lucifer, the fallen angel who proclaimed himself the god called Satan.
     So, now in 21st Century America we find ourselves inundated with all kinds of false gods vying for our attention and our worship — Islam, Mormonism, Scientology, Hinduism, Buddhism, Satanism, Wicca, and Paganism to name just a few.   As Mr. McGuire points out, “Wicca, along with witchcraft and paganism, is currently the fastest growing religion in America. Islam is also a fast growing religion. Christianity, and specifically Evangelical Christianity, is declining faster than most people realize.”  Do you get that?  Can you see that the battle lines have been drawn and these other gods have their troops engaged in battle plans like encompassing entire cities within a Pentagram and dedicating the people and land to the devil?
     What are God’s people doing?  What is our battle plan?  Are we actively praying against the influence of these other gods?  Are we asking YHWH how He wants us to execute against His enemies?  Do we know how to defend against the enemy’s attacks?  This generation of Christ-followers have been lulled into “Christianity Light” for too long, and are woefully unprepared, as the Body of Christ, to take on the Enemy forces who have centuries of plans and victories under their belts.  Our world is going to be shaken like we’ve never seen, and the self-centered gospel that has been the center of the Modern Church will offer little defense.
     It is time we fight back, putting on the full armor of God, and seek the help of His heavenly host as we stand our ground against the onslaught of evil coming our way.  Take a moment to pray against the Satanists around this nation who will be performing their evil rituals today.  Ask God to send an army of angels to surround any areas claimed for this false god.  Picture the battle in the spiritual realm, and know that it is real!  We must start seeing with spiritual eyes and get in the fight!  We need to recognize when the Enemy is advancing, call on the Lord, and engage in the battle with Him!  Are you willing to join me in this mission?

Isaiah 54:17   “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from me,” says the Lord.” 

The Plunge: One Year Later

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The Plunge: One Year Later via The Survival Mom, no incomeRemember that one time my husband decided to quit his job and go back to school to finally get that Bachelor’s degree in engineering and we had to live off of savings? Well, guess what? That was a whole year ago! A lot of things can happen in a year. And for us, lots of things did happen.

My husband is still in school and is doing well in his classes, so not much has changed there, but we had another kid (yikes!) which means we had to upgrade to a larger vehicle that could fit everyone in our family. Despite the unexpected things that we didn’t include in our original budget, we’ve always been able to pay our bills and put food on the table. And we’re still going strong.

How are we still sustaining this? Lots of reasons. It would be arrogant and untrue to suggest that we are succeeding because we are doing things differently or better than other people. Our combined skill sets have been great assets, but we’ve had a lot of help, too.

Skill sets help when there’s no income

We’ve had ten years of married life to hone the skills requisite to living on nothing, which means we have something of an advantage over other married college students in the same situation.

My husband qualifies as a “non-traditional student” because of his non-linear career path. I worried a year ago that being ten years older than the average undergraduate would be a hindrance. Instead, it has proven one of his greatest assets. Being in the workforce for so long helped him develop skills that his fellow students don’t yet have. He has ten years of programming experience that his youthful peers do not have, as well as the intangibles like work ethic and problem solving. Having that kind of maturity has helped him earn better grades and gain respect from his professors.

As for me, I’ve got ten years of experience in the field of wise management of our resources. In her novel Cranford, Elizabeth Gaskell writes much about the virtues of “elegant economies,” which is a fancy term for making extreme thrift look cool. Like making meals from the cheapest ingredients around, canning, gardening, repurposing old clothing.

I don’t even bother to read those articles about “five ways to reduce your spending,” because I’ve already been doing all of them for years. I have become an expert in decorating my house in what Erma Bombeck calls, “Early Poverty.” If I were the kind of person who puts vinyl decals of pithy sayings on my walls, I most certainly would get one that says, “elegant economy.”

Multiple streams of income

Many people asked me, “why don’t you just get a job?” It’s a pretty fair question. The main answer is: child care. It’s the same story that I’m sure many women are experiencing. Degree in an obscure field that’s not hiring, plus, I’ve been out of the work force for ages. Babysitters are not cheap and all that together equals we actually save money by me not working. Much, much ink has been spilled on this issue. And it is our reality.

That said, it wouldn’t be quite true to say that we were living on “no income.” We have had some income; just not the kind that puts is in the same tax bracket as before. Instead of one full-time job, both my husband and I have taken multiple odd jobs here and there: a bit of chauffeuring here, a bit of freelance editing there. My husband is working as a research assistant this summer, and I got a (very!) part-time job teaching which will start in the fall. Multiple income streams is key.

Accepting help from others

About three weeks after my husband’s last day of work, we discovered that we’d be adding to our family. It was a little bit of a shock, but not as big of a shock as it was to discover that this little one would be born with a severe cleft palate and would require multiple surgical procedures over the course of her life.

We made arrangements to pay for the birth out-of-pocket, but given the scope our daughter’s birth defect, decided to bite the bullet and accept public health insurance. It was kind of a wrench to do it because of how we felt – and still feel – about relying on state programs. We wanted to be independent, and this felt a little like cheating. We didn’t want to drain an already overwhelmed system. But on the other hand, this is a very temporary measure. We paid into Medicaid the whole of our adult lives prior to this point, and fully intend to do so again in the future. And given the huge costs of healthcare, we might as well have forgotten about the whole thing if we had to pay for a string of palate repair surgeries with private insurance.

As of the time of writing, we have successfully been able to avoid accepting other state programs like WIC or SNAP. Neither has it been necessary to take out student loans. My husband qualified for some FAFSA grants, and that expanded our budget quite a bit.

We had support from family, as well. My parents moved from Texas to the Intermountain West so they could be closer to us. Along with some very caring aunts, my parents took care of the older kids when the baby was born, provided meals, and helped with childcare for the baby’s many appointments at the children’s hospital when my husband couldn’t miss class. When it came time to upgrade to a minivan so we could fit all members of our family in one vehicle, my father did most of the work to find something in good condition. My mother made it her mission in life to ensure that shoes in my kids’ sizes magically appeared on our doorstep.

How you, too, can live your dreams

Someone told me about six months ago, “I wish I could do what you are doing.” Guess what? You can! Lots of people do. My husband isn’t even the only one in his department completing his degree as a seasoned dad. One of his fellow-students is in his mid-thirties with five children. If you are considering a similar non-linear career path, here’s what I would advise based on our experiences this past year:

  1. First, consider your chosen field. Going back to school is not always the right decision. Going for a Ph.D. in Underwater Basketweaving with an emphasis in Skullduggery most likely won’t advance your prospects in life. However, something that will help you gain skills so you can be more competitive in the job market is a fair bet.
  2. Learn to distinguish between needs and wants, and prioritize accordingly. Do you really need a new mobile device, or ultra-fast high-speed internet, or would it just be nice to have? To be really candid, our family has adopted a fairly stringent view on what is considered a “need.” I haven’t purchased new shoes for myself since 2011. Our holiday and birthday celebrations are beyond spare, and yet still extremely enjoyable and fulfilling. We eat a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and almost never eat out. Since 2009, we’ve seen five movies in an actual movie theater. But like I said before, we’ve never had trouble paying bills or putting food on the table.
  3. Don’t feel bad about taking advantage of government programs. If anything, those programs were created for families with temporary needs: getting through law school, that time in-between jobs, etc. Even those who struggle to find work will not be out of a job forever.
  4. There is abundant scholarship money to be had. One professor at our local university remarked that everyone always worried how to pay for grad school. The big secret, he told us, was that nobody could afford grad school. When it comes to technical fields, however, there are all sorts of ways to secure funding. While the statement that staggering amounts of scholarship money go unawarded is actually a myth, there are many scholarships available.
  5. Don’t think that you’re not smart/ disciplined/ good enough/ worthy enough. Don’t pay any attention to those self-fulfilling prophesies. The world is full of people who will try to tear you down and tell you that you are stupid and that your dreams are trash. You will miss every opportunity that you don’t take. Yes, failure is within the realm of possibility. That’s always a risk. But if you succeed, the payoff is pretty amazing.

Read Beth’s “Taking the Plunge” full story

The Plunge: One Year Later via The Survival Mom, no income

 

How To Make The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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Would you like to know how to make the best grilled cheese sandwich in the world? I grew up with grilled cheese sandwiches made with cheddar cheese on white bread spread with butter on both sides and grilled on a cast iron pan or griddle. When I met my husband, Mark, he introduced me to Miracle Whip salad dressing. His family used to spread a thin layer of Miracle Whip on one slice of the bread before grilling them. I just barely tried this by mistake when my husband made the grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner the other night. I’m sold on it now. I grew up dipping my sandwich in tomato ketchup. Mark’s mother called it catsup. The bottle says ketchup so I’m not sure where that came from. We always have Campbell’s cream of tomato soup with ours, do you?

Well, grilled cheese sandwiches have come a long way, baby. I like to make them with different types of bread, various sauces, and different kinds of cheeses and other yummy add ons. My favorite today is Havarti cheese, but only when it’s on sale. You may know that I make homemade white bread and whole wheat bread, so obviously Mark and I will use my bread most of the time. Now we don’t eat these often, but I just had to share a few new ideas with you today. Please share yours and I will add them to the post.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Ideas

Let’s step outside the box today and share ideas with each other. I was raised to spread a little soft butter on the outside of the bread that will be grilled with the cheese in the middle. Sometimes we add more than just cheese in the sandwich. I will share those ideas with you as well down below. I preheat my griddle and place the sandwiches on medium heat and then turn it down to make sure the cheese in the middle melts. I flip the sandwich when one side is lightly browned. Keep watching them so they don’t overcook (burn), and turn the heat down again if you need to so the cheese will melt.

Breads:

White fluffy bread

Whole wheat bread

Rye bread (this makes me want to make a patty melt, what about you?)

French bread

Olive loaf bread

Panera bread

Pretzel rolls thinly sliced

Leftover waffles (yep these are yummy)

Sourdough bread

Cheese:

Cheddar cheese

Swiss cheese

Havarti cheese

Velveeta cheese (I almost forgot this one I grew up using this cheese)

Jack cheese

Colby cheese

Spicy Jack cheese

American cheese

Provolone cheese

Longhorn cheese

Mozzarella

Things I like to add to my grilled cheese sandwiches:

Place any of these on top of the cheese between the bread of choice so they heat through and the cheese melts around them.

Thinly sliced raw onion rings (not battered)

Ham or Salami slices

Pepperoni slices

Sweet jalapenos, sliced

Tomato slices

Basil on Mozarella is awesome

Sauces or Dips:

In Utah, we are known for our fry sauce, which is basically mayonnaise or Miracle whip mixed with ketchup or barbecue sauce and some pepper with Lawry’s salt. Here’s the deal, I always start with 1/2 cup of mayonnaise or Miracle Whip and add the following ingredients shown below. Mix the ingredients as listed together and use as a spread or to dip your grilled cheese sandwich.

Ketchup

Mayonnaise

Miracle Whip

Fry Sauce: 1/2 cup Miracle Whip or mayonnaise, 1/4 ketchup, pepper and a little sugar

Basil Mayonnaise: 1/2 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (it’s easy to grow and freeze), 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Pesto Mayonnaise: 1/2 heaping cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip and one teaspoon of your favorite pesto

Honey Mustard: 1/2 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, 1-1/2 tablespoons prepared mustard, 2 tablespoons of real honey. 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, 1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Cilantro Mayonnaise: 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 finely chopped green onions, one tablespoon finely chopped cilantro and 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of pure Asian sesame oil

Horseradish Mayonnaise: 1/2 cup mayonnaise. one tablespoon white horseradish (bottled) and one teaspoon lemon juice. If you don’t have fresh lemon juice this is the next best thing: Santa Cruz Juice, Lemon, 100% Organic, 16 oz You can get this cheaper at health food stores, but i want you to see what the jar looks like. I use this product on everything including in my homemade whole wheat bread.

Please tell me your favorite grilled cheese sandwich ideas and I will add them to my list. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless you for your efforts.

My favorite tools to make these sandwiches:

Now Designs Bread Bin, Turquoise Blue

Cheese Slicer by Bjorklund

Calphalon Nylon Pancake Turner

Lodge Cast-Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle, 20-Inch x 10.44-Inch,

BlackPresto 07046 Tilt ‘n Drain Big Griddle Cool-Touch Electric Griddle

Norpro Stainless Steel Onion Holder

I love this website: Cheese.com

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Money Mondays: Can a Crisis Like Venezuela’s Happen Here?

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  This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com You can’t help but feel bad about the citizens of Venezuela, as they suffer under miserable economic conditions:  People waiting in lines all night and day to buy basic necessities, formerly middle class people having to hunt dogs and cats in their neighborhood for their next meal, with widespread rioting and looting. But can it happen here?  This post certainly got my attention Coming Destruction? Alan Greenspan Warns “Venezuela Under Martial Law […]

The post Money Mondays: Can a Crisis Like Venezuela’s Happen Here? appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

Keeping Calm In the Crazy

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Your life gets cuh-razy, doesn’t it? I mean, it can’t just be me.
Married or single, paid work or stay at home, in town or in the country, and no matter how many children you have or the ages that they are, life can get nuts.
How do you keep calm when everything around you is going crazy?
This isn’t “Husband got fired the day wife broke her leg” nuts (for that, see Managing Survival Mode).
This is “Cooking three meals a day, homeschooling the children, why does the dog smell like putrid meat, the baby threw up where, and oh, no, please don’t tell me the chickens are in the garden again?”
Every day, normal, craziness.
In the interest of keeping it real, our free range chickens dug up – and ate – fifty pounds of planted potatoes, one of our dogs has started chasing chickens, a bear completely decimated our “fresh” compost pile, my brand new Android tablet was stolen, and the neighbour is mad because we’re doing yardwork on our own property.
The crazy happens.

Embrace Your Humanity

When I told my son I was writing this, that someone asked me how I stay calm in the midst of the craziness, he said, “You don’t. Tell them you don’t.”
Thanks for the vote of confidence, kid. Please remember that this is the same child who complains he hasn’t eaten for hours … while I’m washing up the dishes.
However, all jokes aside, you do need to cut yourself some slack every once in a while. Beating yourself up when everything is crazy around you? It’s not helping the situation and it sure isn’t helping you.
Of course that doesn’t mean giving up. It means recognizing that you’ll be overwhelmed sometimes and that’s okay. You’re not a bad person if you need to go whimper in the corner and play with your hair occasionally. God still loves you when you lose your temper.

Stay In The Moment

Today I spent some time with a sweet young lady and her toddler son. He is two years old, rambunctious as you would expect for his age, and an absolute little darling. His mother, though, worries because he plays rough, runs around and generally behaves … well, like a two year old.
It will seem like a blink of an eye when she’ll suddenly wonder how her little baby could possibly be packing for college.
One moment that I will never forget is when my father and I brought my first son to see my grandmother. At 88, she had had a full life – six children, eighteen grandchildren and quite a few great-grandchildren.
She held my six week old child, looked up at her 48 year old son, then looked at me and then down at the baby. With tears spilling out of her eyes, she whispered “Where did the years go?”
Treasure each moment, even the ones that feel crazy, because you cannot get them back.

Is This Helping?

There are times and places when freaking out might actually be a good and useful response. But one of the things I tell my children frequently is “Will this reaction of yours make the situation better?” Or, depending on the age, “Is this helping?”
Recently, our younger son had his first nosebleed. He tends to be a drama llama and the waterworks were on full force. Crying really doesn’t help a nosebleed at all, and I had to repeat that a lot – Crying is making this worse – before he calmed down.
Yes, I’ll ask myself the same question. Is this helping?
The bag of diatomaceous earth is spilled all over the kitchen table and on the floor, too. (Hey, this is a very real scenario.) A horrified child is also covered in the white powder. “But I knew you were going out to the barn and thought you needed it and I wanted to help.”
The immediate reaction is to yell. At the very least, throw up your hands and cry “What were you THINKING?” That stuff isn’t cheap and what a mess to clean up here on the homestead without a vacuum cleaner.
Will yelling make the situation better?
Honestly, it will just make a bad situation worse, and I know it. Bite my tongue, grab face masks from the med kit and we’ll get this cleaned up.

Pray

The more you keep your focus on Christ, the less it is all going to bother you. Often we feel like we need to be doing something – and our inability to do something, to change the situation, is what gets us frustrated. 
Pray for the situation, for the people involved and for your own peace and patience.

It Gets Easier

The people who look at me wide-eyed and comment on my patience with the children are usually young parents of one child. Parents of large families are more likely to share a knowing smile with me. They know.
I think there is probably nothing more difficult than making the adjustment from not-a-parent to parent. Certainly, I’ve never found any transition as difficult so far. Parenting your first child is very difficult since you’re learning along with them at every single step. By the time you have your fourth, fifth or sixth child, tantrums and diaper blowouts feel far less earth-shattering.
This isn’t just for parenting. The first six months of pressure canning – I never thought I’d master it. Now I can put up a batch of meat without much thought. Gardening – it seems that there is so much to learn and then eventually it all clicks. Remember when you learned to drive a stick shift? (Okay, if you never did, how about riding a bicycle, learning to crochet/knit or even learning how to write cursive?) At first it seems insane and you wonder if you will ever figure it out.
Last summer when our son got his first bicycle, we heard a lot of yelling and “I’ll NEVER learn this!” Now he’s slipping out the door before anyone is awake so that he can zoom around the property.
It really does get easier.

Keeping Calm In the Crazy

Your life gets cuh-razy, doesn’t it? I mean, it can’t just be me.
Married or single, paid work or stay at home, in town or in the country, and no matter how many children you have or the ages that they are, life can get nuts.
How do you keep calm when everything around you is going crazy?
This isn’t “Husband got fired the day wife broke her leg” nuts (for that, see Managing Survival Mode).
This is “Cooking three meals a day, homeschooling the children, why does the dog smell like putrid meat, the baby threw up where, and oh, no, please don’t tell me the chickens are in the garden again?”
Every day, normal, craziness.
In the interest of keeping it real, our free range chickens dug up – and ate – fifty pounds of planted potatoes, one of our dogs has started chasing chickens, a bear completely decimated our “fresh” compost pile, my brand new Android tablet was stolen, and the neighbour is mad because we’re doing yardwork on our own property.
The crazy happens.

Embrace Your Humanity

When I told my son I was writing this, that someone asked me how I stay calm in the midst of the craziness, he said, “You don’t. Tell them you don’t.”
Thanks for the vote of confidence, kid. Please remember that this is the same child who complains he hasn’t eaten for hours … while I’m washing up the dishes.
However, all jokes aside, you do need to cut yourself some slack every once in a while. Beating yourself up when everything is crazy around you? It’s not helping the situation and it sure isn’t helping you.
Of course that doesn’t mean giving up. It means recognizing that you’ll be overwhelmed sometimes and that’s okay. You’re not a bad person if you need to go whimper in the corner and play with your hair occasionally. God still loves you when you lose your temper.

Stay In The Moment

Today I spent some time with a sweet young lady and her toddler son. He is two years old, rambunctious as you would expect for his age, and an absolute little darling. His mother, though, worries because he plays rough, runs around and generally behaves … well, like a two year old.
It will seem like a blink of an eye when she’ll suddenly wonder how her little baby could possibly be packing for college.
One moment that I will never forget is when my father and I brought my first son to see my grandmother. At 88, she had had a full life – six children, eighteen grandchildren and quite a few great-grandchildren.
She held my six week old child, looked up at her 48 year old son, then looked at me and then down at the baby. With tears spilling out of her eyes, she whispered “Where did the years go?”
Treasure each moment, even the ones that feel crazy, because you cannot get them back.

Is This Helping?

There are times and places when freaking out might actually be a good and useful response. But one of the things I tell my children frequently is “Will this reaction of yours make the situation better?” Or, depending on the age, “Is this helping?”
Recently, our younger son had his first nosebleed. He tends to be a drama llama and the waterworks were on full force. Crying really doesn’t help a nosebleed at all, and I had to repeat that a lot – Crying is making this worse – before he calmed down.
Yes, I’ll ask myself the same question. Is this helping?
The bag of diatomaceous earth is spilled all over the kitchen table and on the floor, too. (Hey, this is a very real scenario.) A horrified child is also covered in the white powder. “But I knew you were going out to the barn and thought you needed it and I wanted to help.”
The immediate reaction is to yell. At the very least, throw up your hands and cry “What were you THINKING?” That stuff isn’t cheap and what a mess to clean up here on the homestead without a vacuum cleaner.
Will yelling make the situation better?
Honestly, it will just make a bad situation worse, and I know it. Bite my tongue, grab face masks from the med kit and we’ll get this cleaned up.

Pray

The more you keep your focus on Christ, the less it is all going to bother you. Often we feel like we need to be doing something – and our inability to do something, to change the situation, is what gets us frustrated. 
Pray for the situation, for the people involved and for your own peace and patience.

It Gets Easier

The people who look at me wide-eyed and comment on my patience with the children are usually young parents of one child. Parents of large families are more likely to share a knowing smile with me. They know.
I think there is probably nothing more difficult than making the adjustment from not-a-parent to parent. Certainly, I’ve never found any transition as difficult so far. Parenting your first child is very difficult since you’re learning along with them at every single step. By the time you have your fourth, fifth or sixth child, tantrums and diaper blowouts feel far less earth-shattering.
This isn’t just for parenting. The first six months of pressure canning – I never thought I’d master it. Now I can put up a batch of meat without much thought. Gardening – it seems that there is so much to learn and then eventually it all clicks. Remember when you learned to drive a stick shift? (Okay, if you never did, how about riding a bicycle, learning to crochet/knit or even learning how to write cursive?) At first it seems insane and you wonder if you will ever figure it out.
Last summer when our son got his first bicycle, we heard a lot of yelling and “I’ll NEVER learn this!” Now he’s slipping out the door before anyone is awake so that he can zoom around the property.
It really does get easier.

A Reprise of Thoughts on Financial Collapse

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I wrote and originally posted this post on 10/22/2013. Judging from the number of recent visits to it, it has found new relevance. I am reprising it here.

          

What is behind this door ?  Is it a basement, a coat closet, or a pantry ? We won’t know until we open it.



 My interest in general preparedness began in 1979 when I was a college student.  I thought it made sense to be reasonably prepared for short term weather situations which could be downright dangerous for those who hadn’t given thought to ice storms or snowdrifts.  I also commuted great distances to clinical affiliations all over the New York, Northern NJ area, and once, I had to stay in a hotel because I couldn’t get back home in Winter.   That year I also read a book called “Crisis Investing” by Douglas Casey and it broadened my horizons.  For the first time I read that many people thought that both the culture and the government of the United States spent money unwisely and that eventually a financial collapse which would likely be worse than The Great Depression.   My parents, like most parents of the day, believed in reasonable preparations.  My father kept extra oil filters, extra oil, and tools for emergency repairs.  My mother kept basement shelves with canned goods on them and a couple of times she met with women from the nearby church and they all learned to can whatever they had each year in abundance.   When I graduated from nursing school and moved into one of my first jobs, a patient who was being discharged from the hospital was required to have a disaster plan on their chart as part of discharge planning.  Most nurses hated doing this, but I didn’t.  The idea that we could do everything correctly, and then discharge the patient with specialized equipment, and then have all our work go down the drain when the power went out, bothered me. I took discharge planning and post discharge disaster planning very seriously for my patients. Sometimes this meant that they needed to stay ahead on medication. Other times it meant that a second device was kept in their home in the event that the first one malfunctioned or a power surge blew its logic board. Sometimes it meant that extra oxygen tanks were delivered to the home.  As time passed, the care many people receive in the hospital has deteriorated probably secondary to staffing far fewer numbers of licensed nurses, and the over-reliance on those in scrubs who aren’t really nurses, and weren’t really educated or trained as such. .  Many times patient and family teaching has suffered, and the preparedness plan for the medically fragile has become less common despite its continued great importance.

              When I married and had children part of being a good parent was to be prepared. I was prepared for high fevers following routine immunizations. I was prepared for vomiting and diarrheal illnesses.  Once again, I heard concerns about a financial collapse in the US.

               My kids are mostly grown now, and although it has taken all those years to get here, most Americans know about the very real possibility of an American financial collapse. They might not have believed in in early 2008, but by the end of that year a great recession began that either cost the family a retirement account, a job, a particular career, their homes, their pets, and sometimes their spouse and family. Very few families have been unscathed by this recession, and very few people believe the propaganda that it’s on its way out the door.

                I think I liked it much better when mentions of an American financial collapse were simply an intellectual exercise, and an economic what-if.  We have always had a back up plan as to what we would do or where we would go, and of course, we never expected to need to use it. In the past year we have seen the loss of funds people had on deposit with banks in Greece. We have seen their government take over pensions. We have seen Portugal, Italy, Spain,  and other nations struggle with austerity measures. We have seen riots in the United Kingdom and France as austerity measures began to be implemented.  We have seen the Middle East on fire and our ally, or perhaps more accurately our former ally, Egypt fall into a bitter civil war in which Christians and Muslims have been tortured and murdered for having been the wrong religion in the wrong place at the wrong time. We have watched as Al Qaeda has made great inroads in North Africa, and as China locks up the rare Earth metals and mining business around the world.  Russia has paid down it’s nations debts and enjoys a shining transformation from the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.  Capitalism, hard work, and the energy business has transformed Russia into a shining star of business and of culture. I do not begrudge them this success.  I do however sit in awe of my nation having elected an unqualified individual who has strong armed and implemented radical ideas, while Congress doesn’t seem to be able to put the breaks on the runaway train of fundamental transformation of this nation into a Third World country.

             Now, as I spend time out in the world I see people planning for “the great collapse” and for “hyperinflation”.  One woman told me today that she was stocking OTC medication for the day when the doctors quit and none of us could get one.  The Great Collapse was something I gave a little bit of thought to in my twenties. I believed that some of my assets should be spent in preparation for reasonable possibilities like floods, Winter storms, ice, earthquakes, and even domestic terrorism.  I honestly didn’t think there would be a genuine collapse in my lifetime.  However, now people in stores tell me that the US debt, which is only conservatively assessed at 17 trillion using federal imaginative mathematics, is too large for spent America to pay back. Ordinary people now believe that the World’s Reserve Currency will no longer be the US dollar, and that collapse, poverty, violence, attempted secession, and even civil war are coming.   I liked it much better when this was an intellectual exercise we all thought might never happen.

            I would love to have a “Pull-up-the-ladder-Jack, I’m-alright” attitude about a financial collapse, but I can’t.  Even if by some magical circumstance my preparations were enough to help carry my family through a short term interruption in supplies, what about our friends ?   What about the people who helped build this farm ?  What about the men and women where my husband works, and their families ?  What about all the people who have been so good to my daughter in her challenging new job ?  I am not okay with being alright while “Rome burns”.

Our Great-Grandparents Were Less Stressed. Here’s 10 Reasons Why.

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Our Great-Grandparents Were Less Stressed. Here’s 10 Reasons Why.

“Family Grace.” Norman Rockwell

Life in the 21st century can get pretty hectic. Most people fill their days to the overflowing with jobs, commuting, kids’ activities, fitness goals, food preparation, home and garden maintenance, house chores, and more. Sometimes it almost feels like there is barely any time left to enjoy our families, and that can feel like a real loss.

If you are like me, you might wish you could just take a deep breath and slow things down a little. I am often inspired by the kind of life depicted in books and movies set in days gone by, and by stories told aloud about generations past – our grandparents and great-grandparents.

It seems that family life simply was different in the days of our ancestors, and that they even were less stressed. There are plenty of things they did back then that we do not do anymore, but maybe we should.

Let’s take a look:

1. Families ate meals together. Today’s helter-skelter schedules often make family mealtimes difficult to achieve, but just imagine the benefits of doing so. Spending time together, practicing social and conversational skills, and learning about one another’s passions and challenges might strengthen family bonds and help members grow as individuals.

2. Reading was a common pastime. Consider the benefits of reading — literature, pulp fiction, how-tos, classics, non-fiction, newspapers, westerns, mysteries, romances, memoirs and biographies — as an alternative to other forms of entertainment. Reading almost anything is useful for developing and maintaining language and critical thinking skills.

Discover 1,147 Tips & Tricks Of Successful Off-Grid Living!

3. Neighbors got to know neighbors. The people next door, down the block, the next farm over, and around the corner all have distinct personalities, strengths and quirks. We might become lifelong friends or we might keep them at arm’s length. They could turn out to be courteous and neighborly, or thorns in our side. But whatever they are like, we will never know if we do not give them more consideration than a cursory nod while we’re setting trash out by the curb once a week.

4. Families and friends played games together. A game of Monopoly, chess or crazy eights is a rewarding way to spend time with a loved one. Children learn about strategy, good sportsmanship and decision-making. Adults of all ages keep their wits sharp and their focusing abilities strong. And games are just plain fun!

5. People spent time with extended family. Getting to know a great aunt or a second cousin once removed is a great way to learn about family history and feel a sense of belongingness. Connecting with family members old and young enhances connectedness, instills familial pride, and creates valuable memories. Families are more geographically scattered than they were in days gone by, but that challenge can be offset by the ready accessibility of modern transportation.

Artist: Gerrit ter Borch

Artist: Gerrit ter Borch

6. People wrote and received letters. Letter-writers of all ages could benefit from the practice of language arts, from spelling to composition to story-telling. How uplifting it would be to find something besides bills and junk mail in the mailbox, and what joyous anticipation in awaiting a reply from a cherished friend!

7. Families worked together. Group endeavors like raking leaves, tending a garden, washing dishes, cleaning the house, preparing meals, washing cars, caring for pets and livestock, and even doing errands all can turn into a win-win situation. Shared effort and goals can teach kids about the satisfaction of achievement and can give parents and older siblings the opportunity to serve as partners, leaders and mentors.

8. Active outdoor recreation took place in backyards and neighborhood parks. Long-distance destinations and cruise ships and theme parks are enjoyable. But in between those opportunities, it is an excellent idea to throw a ball or a Frisbee around on the lawn, play hopscotch on the sidewalk out front, ride bikes, play tag, fly kites and swing at badminton birdies.

9. Families were friends with whole families. When my mother and father went visiting, I went along. Sometimes the kids there were older or younger than me, but I made do. Looking back, I realize that the adults had to make do when their spouse’s best friend wasn’t married to their ideal friend, either. Of course, every family member should have the opportunity to spend time with their own choices of friends, but the social flexibility learned from spending time with a wide variety of people can be an enriching experience.

10. People talked face-to-face. In this day of social media and texting, imagine how refreshing a sit-down conversation now and then would be. Taking the time to focus on the person or people in the room, hearing their unique voices and accents and manners of speaking, seeing their body language, and sharing a physical presence, all adds up to a deeply personal method of communication with others.

We live in the modern age and cannot return to the days of old. Perhaps we would not even want to. But it might not be a bad idea to pull over into the slow lane every once in a while, try doing some of the things we do not do anymore, and enjoy life the way our ancestors once did.

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

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

How To Convince Non-Preppers

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You will undoubtedly come across people who find the very idea of prepping insane and absurd during your journey down the preparedness path. You may even have conversations where these non-preppers tell you how foolish you’re being and how you’re wasting your time. The idea of something disastrous happening is rather make-believe to these people – it’s just something that only happens in the movies.

Non-preppers can be, at best, annoying to talk to but you shouldn’t completely ignore them. Remember, they’ll be the ones asking for help should a disaster happen. It’s better if you can get them involved in a prepping mindset before that so they’re not trying to piggyback on your preparedness and supplies. So, here’s some tips on how to talk to non-preppers and help them understand why we do what we do.

Tip #1: Don’t Lose Your Cool

If you are reading this article, you are probably calmer than the average person. That is because, as a prepper, we work on keeping our cool in trying situations. When you’re talking to non-preppers, the first and foremost rule to keep them interested is to make them feel you understand and that it is perfectly fine to feel the way they feel. Keep your cool and maintain a pleasant demeanor.

That being said, don’t be afraid to point out facts. Give them real life examples of extreme natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes or floods that have recently occurred. These events have shocked people around the world and it’s easier to persuade people through examples of such catastrophic events. In a calm manner, ask them what they would do if something like that happened to them and help couldn’t get to them.

Take it a step further and give non-preppers examples of people who survived because they had stocked essential supplies. There are cases of people now alive and healthy because of their initial 100 hour survival supply. Ask them if they think having anything in that supply kit on hand makes sense.

It is natural that you’ll want to expand quickly on this information but restrain from overwhelming them with too much background information. Non-preppers, much like anyone who disagrees with you, need to be gently persuaded in the right direction and not “attacked” like at a used car lot.

You want the end result to be the non-preppers coming to their own conclusion and not be beaten over the head with your thoughts and ideas.

Tip #2: Ask Questions and Present Facts

The chances of winning an argument with someone increases if they are provided with facts rather than just words. With that thought in mind, try using some of these tactics in your next discussion with non-preppers:

  • What’s your plan if we have an extended power outage? Do you have extra batteries or a generator on hand to help get you through this downtime? Will you be able to get radio transmission during this time?
  • If some kind of natural disaster kept you from getting to the store, how long could you survive on the food in your house?
  • If the water became polluted, do you have a way of filtering it so your family can drink? Do you have any stored in reserve?
  • Do you have ways of communicating with people that aren’t cellphone or computer related? What would you do if the cell networks and/or internet were down?
  • If some kind of natural disaster occurs, people will flock to the stores and buy them out quickly. It might be some time before supplies can arrive. How long would you be able to feed your family?
  • Do you have a planned place to go if your home is inhabitable – maybe from a fire or some kind of localized disaster (gas main break, chemical spill, etc.)? Does everyone in your family know where to go?
  • If times get tough and supplies are limited, people will stop being friendly and start stealing (or worse). Are you capable of defending yourself and your family?

In The End, Non-Preppers Are Human

Despite giving them all the facts and figures, there still would be tough cookies who always look for chances to mock the very idea of survival. For such hardcore believers (or non-believers as it may be), there is not much you can do because the only thing that can convince them is the occurrence of such a devastating situation.

For people like these a good rule of thumb is to let them live as they want to live without any worries because they’ll dig in to their beliefs the more you try to change them. It’s best to let non-preppers learn the value of preparation on their own Rather than hitting your head against a wall.

How To Convince Non-Preppers


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3 Gun Parts You Better Stockpile Before November

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3 Gun Parts You Better Stockpile Before November

Image source: SurplusAmmo.com

 

We all remember the buying panic that left shelves empty after Sandy Hook and President Obama’s subsequent call for increased gun control. In fact, ever since Obama took office, we’ve seen so many of these panics that we’ve become somewhat resigned to scarcity every couple of years.

This experience has gun owners nervously looking at the 2016 presidential election and the possibility of what will happen if Hillary Clinton wins in November.

If you don’t have an AR-15, then now is the best time to buy or build one. And if you already have one or two, but like to keep spares — or want to be sure you can build in the future – then there are three key parts you should purchase now.

Lower receivers can literally be printed on 3-D printers, and trigger groups are cheap and easy to make. In fact, there are several parts that a smart shopper can be assured of supply. Yet there are three specific parts that are expensive, complex and difficult to make at home — and you need to get these now while you can.

Item No. 1: Bolt Carrier Groups

Arguably the most complex assembly in the entire gun, it is also the set of parts that sees the most stress and strain. You can print a lower out of plastic and have it work surprisingly well, but few people are equipped to machine a BCG, and then shot peen the surface to work harden it, perform a magnetic particle inspection for flaws, and then give it a final surface treatment.

Do You Know The Best Way To Hide Your Guns?
Right now, a basic mil spec BCG can be had for less than $100. (They were going for more than $250 after Sandy Hook.) Buy ‘em cheap and stack ‘em deep.

Item No. 2: Upper Receivers

A skilled home machinist could make these in a garage, but unlike lowers which can be made with jigs and kits, upper receivers are not so heavily supported in the home builder market. And for good reason; they are not a regulated part and require no paperwork to purchase, but they are also very hard to import. Shop around; deals can be had on uppers, especially if you aren’t picky about forward assists and dust covers. Two or three upper receivers put aside now is two or three ARs you can put together in the future.

Item No. 3: Barrels

Image source: WhiteOakArmament.com

Image source: WhiteOakArmament.com

Another item few can really make at home. These are labor- and time-intensive parts to build, and are often the most expensive single part of any AR build. Because of the time to make them, these are parts that dry up fast — with long waiting lists. Quality barrels can be had at reasonable prices. I’d grab a few M4 profile barrels in 1:7 or 1:9 twist, ideally with a 5.56 or .223 Wylde chamber while you still can. If you are feeling up to it, .300 Blackout, 7.62×39 and perhaps a long heavy barrel is in order. Either way, a few barrels on hand now is security against an increasingly dark future. This is one place where a bit of research and decision making comes in handy now; 5.56 barrels come in several twist rates, and just mentioning them sets off an incredible storm of debate. If you plan to shoot regular ball ammo, then 1:7 or 1:9 for general use is just fine. But if you plan for specialized ammo, or have strong and firm opinions on the matter, then buy the twist rate most suitable for your beliefs or ammo choice. That way you won’t spend the next panic — or even worse, an outright ban — hating yourself for having the “wrong” barrel.

Plan for the Worst

One can argue that there are plenty of AR parts worth stockpiling, or better still, the entire gun. Certainly a powerful argument could be made for adding complete or 80 percent lowers to this list, and I certainly would, but even during panics, 80 percent units can generally be had. Barrels, bolt carrier groups and upper receivers are three of the most expensive and complex parts of an AR, and manufacturers are unlikely to stock excessive inventory beyond projected needs.

America is facing dark and uncertain times, where our civil liberties and very way of life hangs in the balance. We still enjoy relative security and access to many items that gun grabbers want to take away from us. Smart purchases now could mean the difference between having a functional rifle and being at the mercy of an oppressive administration.

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

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

The Off-Grid, Native American Guide To Making Leather

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The Off-Grid, Native American Guide To Making Leather

Image source: Etsy

 

I have been obsessed with the indigenous people of America and pioneering skills since I was a little girl. I began wearing headbands with feathers in them at age three and making teepees at age four. And when it came time to play what was then called “cowboys and Indians,” I always played the latter.

As I grew up, I wanted to acquire all of the old-fashioned skills of making things by hand. I learned how to make fire without matches, how to build a shelter out of branches, and how to make soap out of animal fat. But more than anything, I wanted to make my own elk-hide dress, like the one worn by “Stands With a Fist” in the movie “Dances with Wolves.”

However, even back in 1992, an elk hide was a hefty $350. I knew I could easily ruin it, so I decided to practice first with roadkill. My first try, using a squirrel, was a complete disaster. I was so excited that I didn’t pay much attention to the directions. After a week of trying this and that, I ended up with what looked like an elongated rawhide dog chew with a few whiskers on one end!

I have learned a great deal since those days. While there are dozens of ways to tan an animal hide and a wide variety of materials to do it, we will talk about the most common methods that the native people used.

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We will focus mainly on deer and elk hides here. There are slightly different methods for different types of hides, but these are the two most commonly used hides among native people.

Wet Scrape and Dry Scrape

This is really a matter of preference, and both methods were used by different tribes. The most common method appears to be a dry scrape. Hides are either secured to a log or tree and then scraped with a bone or stick to remove all bits of flesh and skin membrane. Alternatively, hides were staked to the ground so that all the flesh could be removed. It is imperative that all flesh and membranes be removed from the inside of the skin. If this is not done, the hide will rot. But while you want to remove all the flesh, you don’t want to rub so hard that you make a hole in the hide. That was something I did repeatedly until I finally got the hang of it!

To remove the hair, the hide should be soaked for a few hours in water mixed with wood ashes. Then, using the same type of tool that was used to remove the flesh, the fur can be removed. At this point, the hide is now ready to be tanned.

Using the Animal’s Brain

The Off-Grid, Native American Guide To Making Leather

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While there are other materials that will work to tan a hide, the most commonly used method was to use the brains of the animal. Even if you don’t want to remove the fur, it’s a good idea to soak the hide for a few hours in water mixed with some wood ashes. This helps to break down the fibers in the skin and makes penetration of the brain mash easier. It also will result in a softer hide.

Many tribes also added items to the brains to help make the hides softer. Some used the spinal fluid from the animal, others used the liver, but most tribes used some of the fat from the animal. The brains were smashed into a thick pulp and liquefied fat, or softened fat was mixed in. This mixture was then spread over the inside of the hide and massaged in. The hide was then soaked in water for an hour or so. After that, the water was squeezed or pushed out of the hide (by using a flat rock or flat piece of wood). Some tribes would wrap the skin around a tree and twist it to get the water out. The hide was then stretched back into shape and allowed to dry.

Is There More to It?

While this sounds fairly easy, trust me: It is a very labor-intensive process.

Sometimes the brains do not penetrate on the first try and this method needs to be repeated. Other times — as I learned the hard way with my first squirrel – if you soak the hide too long the hair comes off even if you don’t want it to. Which means you now need to scrape that side as well and remove ALL the hair.

Why Are Some Hides Buttery Soft?

Sometimes you want hides that are tough and strong for shoe bottoms or totes, but is there anything nicer than a super soft piece of leather?

To get that buttery-soft feeling, the fibers of the hide need to be broken down. It’s similar to the way we break down the fibers of meat. Tough meat needs to be beaten and pierced to break up the fibers. Most tribes got those soft skins by working the hide over and over until it obtained the softness they were looking for. After tanning, the inside of the hide was again rubbed with fat, pulled taut using the preferred method, and then worked over again with a rounded stick or rock. Of course, many hands make light work and, in most tribes, women worked together. But when one considers that most teepees were made from the hides of a dozen animals (or more) sewn together, you get a real appreciation for the work that was involved.

Have you ever made leather and tanned hide? What advice would you add? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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4 Common Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Turn Into Flour

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4 Common Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Turn Into Flour

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We’re accustomed to wheat as the gold standard for making flour. And while we often think of whole wheat flour as different than white bleached flour, the source for both is still wheat.

The challenge with producing your own flour is the amount of acreage needed to plant sufficient wheat, which is also a high-maintenance crop. Growing wheat may distract from more important work, but that doesn’t mean flour has to be off the menu.

In this article, we’re going to cover some common plants and trees that produce various types of seeds and roots that can be crushed into flour. We’ll include information on harvesting, processing, and also some basics about baking. The primary sources we’ll explore include grasses like rye grass, weeds like amaranth, nuts like acorns, and roots or tubers like cattails.

One of the reasons wheat has emerged and evolved as our primary source of flour is the ease associated with its processing. Wild sources of flour can get a bit more complicated, and sometimes require crushing the source into a wet mash and dehydrating or straining it before pulverizing it into dusty flour.

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Regardless of the source, it takes a lot of raw material to make flour. It’s possible you may only find a small quantity of any one plant, nut or root. That’s why you should consider combining resources to make a blended flour. This could be the roots from cattails plus acorns and amaranth. It essentially creates a multi-grain bread with a nutrient profile that would put it in the category of a superfood.

A Few Words on Technique

The standard approach to making flour from wheat is to harvest the wheat when it has matured and is amber brown, and then cut the stalks and harvest the seeds. Most of us have heard the phrase “separate the wheat from the chaff.” This involves tossing the wheat kernels into a light breeze and allowing the outer coating surrounding the wheat kernels to blow from the heavier wheat seed, which is captured in a wide basket below.

We’ll follow the same technique for rye grass and amaranth, but the approach and technique for cattails and acorns is a bit different and a tad more complicated.

Processing Flour

4 Common Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Turn Into FlourIn order to make a flour, you have to pulverize something into what is essentially a dust. You can purchase a hand-cranked flour mill, which resembles a meat grinder. You also can crush the wheat in between a large river rock about 4 to 5 inches in diameter and a rock with a flat surface. Igneous rocks like granite are best, because sedimentary rocks like limestone and sandstone will eventually break down and become part of the flour. (Archaeologists have determined from Egyptian mummies that a common affliction affecting Egyptians was the erosion and loss of tooth enamel because the grains they ate were largely processed with sandstone and limestone mill wheels.)

Mortar and Pestle Techniques

A mortar and pestle involves a hollow, sloping bowl (the mortar) and a rounded, thinner and elongated pestle. These vary in size from a few inches to a few feet in length. The standard mortar and pestle concept used for flour making was often seen in primitive cultures, where a large log is hollowed out to create a deep, sloping bowl and a pestle is shaped from a log 3 to 6 inches in diameter. The log pestle is raised and dropped repeatedly into the grain, root or nut source until it’s pulverized into a powder.

The Food Processor

This is a cheat from an off-the-grid standpoint, but anything can be processed into a flour with a food processor. The key is that the source material must be as dry as possible. Any remaining moisture will result in a mash rather than a flour. If you end up with a mash, it can be dried, but it’s far more time consuming.

The Gluten Factor

If you’re looking for gluten-free alternatives, you’re in luck. These types of natural, wild flour sources are either gluten free or, in the case of rye grass, very low in gluten. On the downside, gluten is the ingredient that helps a bread or baked good rise, as well as have a soft and smooth texture. Yeast and sugar can help to compensate, as can honey and using a sourdough starter. The bottom line is that these types of flours will result in a very rustic style of bread or baked item that will be denser than a store-bought item or a homemade, wheat-based bread.

The Sources

1. Amaranth – Amaranth is a weed, but I prefer to think of it as an indigenous plant common across North and South America that produces a seed stalk. The seed stalks of the amaranth range in size from 4 to 8 inches in length and are packed with thousands of seeds. The plants grow prolifically and reseed easily as annuals.

An easy way to begin an amaranth planting is to simply buy the seeds in bulk at a grocery store that sells amaranth for cooking. Cast the seeds on the ground in spring, and some plants will grow. Just remember: They spread rapidly and widely over the years.

Harvest the seeds in the fall, and prepare a space where the seeds can dry out, such as in the rafters of an attic or sunny window. They can be processed with any of the techniques we’ve identified.

4 Common Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Turn Into Flour

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2. Acorns – Acorns are best harvested in the fall after they’ve fallen to the ground. They need to be dried, and the best way is to roast them. Take the cap off of the acorn and score them on one side with a knife. Place them on a baking sheet in an oven heated to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, or in a Dutch oven over hot coals. Toss them every 10 minutes up to an hour until you can cut one in half to reveal a dried, acorn nut.

Acorns are bitter due to the tannic acid or “tannins” that permeate them. To get rid of the tannins, you need to coarsely crush the acorns and soak them in water after a short roast. You then need to dry or dehydrate them again. This may take more than one soak, so taste as you go until the bitterness is gone.

3. Rye grass – Rye grass is a tall grass 3 to 4 feet in height. The seeds are long and narrow and distinct from some of the small seed heads on other grasses. Annual rye grass provides larger seed heads than perennial rye grasses, because annuals are so dependent on reseeding for proliferation.

Rye grass should be harvested in the fall when the grasses are browned and mature. The grass is shaken over a large basket and the seed heads are sometimes beaten with a stick to release the seeds. The seeds are then tossed and crushed by hand, and the wind is used to separate the rye seed from the chaff. The heavier rye seeds are captured in a fine mesh basket or container.

4. Cattails – Peel the wet roots and chop them into small pieces and then pound them with a little water to make a mash. There will be some fibers, so strain the mash through a screen. The resulting flour mash should then be left to dry and can be crushed into flour using any of the techniques we’ve identified.

Cattails are actually an excellent flour resource. In the early 1940s, cattails were essentially isolated to marshes on coastal areas of the east and west coast of North America. But during World War II, the government began a widespread program to distribute the seeds in order to jumpstart a new, alternative flour program. While the program was suspended after the war ended in 1945, the cattails you see across the country today are the results of the program.

Storage

I usually store any wild flour in a sealed container or plastic bag in a cool, dark place. I use it as a replacement in standard recipes calling for flour, with the understanding that it will result in a denser, coarser baked result. Ultimately, you’ll have to experiment with wild flour blends to see what works best for you.

Have you ever made flour? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

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Ask Cat the Herbal Prepper

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Ask Cat Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” It’s time for another “Ask Cat” episode on Herbal Prepper Live! Call in this Sunday evening with all of your natural health, herbal, and prepping questions. Originally, I was going to talk just about hypothyroidism. We’re going to save that topic for next Sunday (6/12/16). I have been … Continue reading Ask Cat the Herbal Prepper

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