I‘m sure everyone who loves being outdoors has experienced them – itchy mosquito bites. Flying critters harass you when you want to relax in your garden or during a vacation in exotic countries. I had my fair share of insect bites and was fed up. I needed a method to prevent them. Some years ago […]
The heat wave broke today and 85 degrees feels like heaven. The house has been cool and I think the new roof and added vents were a big part contributor to keeping the house cool. The new kitchen ceiling fan has also made a huge difference moving the cool air though the house.
We were a bit late getting the garden started again this year what with all the home improvements and getting stuff painted. Of course just for fun, I had to change the garden layout and try some new ways of planting stuff since life can be too simple for me. /sarcasm
We did buy plants and then had to spread out tarps to protect the plants when it got hot in the afternoon. Over all I think we may only lose two squash and one cucumber to the heat wave and I had to replace a watermelon plant but I think it was me that screwed up planting it and not the heat wave burning the plant. The squash plant was a bit wimpy to begin with and the heat wave finished it off.
This year I have invested in heavy duty Tomato cages and so far the cages will hold a tarp with a couple of clothes pin to protect the plant from the sun. I know it costs more money up front but I think investing in a higher quality tomato cage is worthwhile in the long run. Plus the new cages have a protective coat and in different colors so you can use the cages for different types tomato plants that you will recognize at a glance.
While I am searching for excuses on why I am late for planting a garden. I am looking at how hard last year’s harvest was on myself and Mom as everything had to be processed at the same time. Now I have planted a sweet corn that seems to be doing well and should be ready to harvest about the middle of August. I have a pop corn and dent/flour corn that should be harvested around September and the corn can be left to dry on the stalk. My pole beans can be left to dry on the vine and winter squash can be harvested, stored in a cool dry area and then you can take a bit of time to process them. I did not start my garden with harvest times in mind but I think that timing and different plants will work better for me in the long run.
I’m excusing myself on my garden but it may just work out when august and September rolls around and I have limited physical energy to work processing the harvest.
More good news My golden raspberry is producing fruit this year. The Quinalt strawberries are growing great but they put out one of the smallest berries I have ever seen, though it it is a nice sort of nice tart tasting strawberry. My Black berry is growing great in its new spot. I have blossoms but I doubt I’ll get fruit this year.
I know this may sound like I’m getting excited about plants. That is because I am excited. I spent several years trying to grow strawberries, raspberries and blackberry plants and I watched them all die. I doubt, I will get a more hand-full of berries this year but it is a success in my books.
One thing that annoys me is people who claim to prep, have a few packets of seeds and think they will start a garden after the SHTF by just throwing a few seed in or on the ground and it will provide food for them. Gardening, maintenance and harvesting a garden takes a lot of effort. Please start a small garden of a few herbs, tomatoes and some peppers, those are simple to grow for a new gardener. Now my sweet corn is looking good so far in spite of the heat. This is my first year growing corn so I expect I won’t have a great harvest. The garden only augments my food supply it does not replace my stored food. Yet…..
It doesn’t matter if you start with an acreage or a small herb garden in a container, you must start growing some of the food you eat if you want to be prepared and some what self-sufficient.
10 Survival Essentials That You Absolutely Can’t Go Without There are thousands of survival items out there. From knives to magnesium sticks and more, it can make a beginner feel completely overwhelmed. For example, should you invest in matches or lighters for building a fire? Or both? Should you forget both of those and simply …
The post 10 Survival Essentials That You Absolutely Can’t Go Without appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.
Continuing in Romans 8, Pastor Cooley draws our attention to the the constant assault on our Christian values and reiterates the importance of the lesson in verse 33 which says, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.”
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
After many years of praying and searching for a pastor that understands America’s social, economic, and political problems and how evicting God from our country has brought those problems about, my wife and I finally found Pastor Cooley, a true man of God and a dedicated patriot.
While attending Pastor Cooley’s church for several weeks, the thought struck me; how many other faithful patriot preppers out there are having trouble finding a good church and are enduring feel-good, cotton-candy sermons just so they can be in fellowship with other believers?
In an effort to help redeem the time in these evil days, Faith and Freedom Fridays, is available as a podcast to stream or download featuring recent messages from Pastor Clifton Cooley of Calvary Baptist Church, Sebastian, FL.
If you happen to be in the Sebastian, FL area, please come worship with us every Sunday at 11:00 AM and Wednesday nights at 7:00 PM 123 Thunderbird Drive, Sebastian, Florida 32958
Do you have a good picture of your gun, Bible and American flag? Send it to email@example.com and we’ll feature it on Faith and Freedom Friday!
The post Faith and Freedom Friday- No One can Condemn God’s Saint appeared first on Prepper Recon.
Why Preppers Need a Well Stocked Survival Medical Kit Today we pretty much take for granted that we have access to medical supplies. Everything from aspirin to bandaging is only as far away as the grocery store. In the case of a more serious problem we can go in to see a doctor or even …
The post Why Preppers Need a Well Stocked Survival Medical Kit appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.
This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com On our last road trip, we used tarp to protect camping gear on top of the truck. The tarp held up very well and the contents stayed dry in spite of heavy rain. Use tarp closest to the color of your vehicle to make it look as unobtrusive as possible. It also came in handy when we went on a picnic by the river and got caught in a sudden rain storm. I […]
Hidden Passageway Bookcase Doors Most secret rooms need to be designed into your house way before it’s built, but these Woodfold Bookcase Doors change all that. Ready to install on either 54 or 66-inch wide openings, the bookcases offer two fixed shelves at the middle and bottom, with four more adjustable shelves for personalization. In addition, the …
DIY Organic Vertical Planter Clever gardeners know the classic gardening tip: when working with a small space, look up! Using empty wall space in creative ways can make all the difference in your garden, and it can work in a small house or apartment too! If your outdoor space is lacking, this vertical gardening idea can take your garden to the …
Plants and Their Uses as Natural Remedies There are many different plants that can be used as natural remedies. Before there was modern-day medicine there were plants, and ancient civilizations knew how to use them strategically to treat common ailments and even life-threatening diseases. These are a few of the more potent medical plants you’re likely to find …
Over 70 DIY Pallet Projects To Try Pallets that are heat treated (HT) can be worth their weight in gold to a DIY’er. Crafty collection of over 70 Fun DIY Crafty Pallet projects. Most of the links have instructions for the projects. If you plan on using them in the house, just be sure they …
The Second Amendment does not give Americans the right to carry concealed weapons, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday in a decision that could dramatically impact the nation’s gun laws.
“We hold that the Second Amendment does not protect, in any degree, the carrying of concealed firearms by members of the general public,” the opinion by the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals read. It was written by Judge Susan P. Graber, a Clinton nominee. “We therefore conclude that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms does not include, in any degree, the right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public.”
The case, Peruta v. San Diego County, originated out of California, although its effect was felt across the country. The vote was 7-4.
“The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held today that residents have no Second Amendment right to carry a firearm outside their home for self-defense,” Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said. “In effect, the appeals court ruled that San Diego County can outlaw guns outside the home by declining to issue anyone a permit. This court’s decision is a direct challenge to the Second Amendment and is unconstitutional.”
In a dissent, Judge Consuelo Callahan, a nominee of President George W. Bush, wrote, “A prohibition on carrying concealed handguns in conjunction with a prohibition of open carry of handguns would destroy the right to bear and carry arms.”
The sheriff’s departments in two California counties, Yolo and San Diego, only issue concealed carry permits to people who can prove they are in danger from violent attack – such as by showing a restraining order. In 2009 two men, Edward Peruta of San Diego and Adam Richards of Yolo County, applied for concealed carry permits and were turned down.
That prompted the California Rifle and Pistol Association to sue the counties in federal court on behalf of Peruta, Richards and three others. Last year, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled that the policy violated the Second Amendment. The entire Ninth Circuit overturned that ruling on Thursday.
The immediate impact of the ruling is that it affects only the states in the Ninth Circuit: Alaska, Washington state, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Nevada, California and Hawaii. But if it is appealed to the US Supreme Court and upheld, then concealed carry could be banned nationwide.
The case attracted national attention, with briefs filed by states outside the district, including Alabama. All total, 20 other states signed the brief: Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The defendants in the case, San Diego County Sheriff William D. Gore and the state of California, were represented by California Solicitor General Edward C. DuMont. DuMont appealed the loss from last year, after Gore declined to do so, the Associated Press reported. The plaintiffs were represented by Paul D. Clement, who served as US solicitor general during the George W. Bush administration.
Interestingly, the court refused to touch on the issue of open carry of firearms in public.
“We do not reach the question whether the Second Amendment protects some ability to carry firearms in public, such as open carry,” the opinion read. “The Second Amendment may or may not protect, to some degree, a right of a member of the general public to carry firearms in public. We hold only that there is no Second Amendment right for members of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public.”
The court also ruled that the US Supreme Court’s Heller decision, which upheld the right of private gun ownership, does not affect concealed carry.
Most observers expect Peruta will be appealed to the US Supreme Court – the only court of appeal from the Ninth Circuit.
The case will presumably arrive at the Supreme Court sometime after Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement is on the court. Scalia, whose opinions supported gun rights, died in February.
What is your reaction to the ruling? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Each week during throughout the year, you can turn on the television and watch reporters interview families who were unprepared for a natural disaster – and who lost everything.
Summer, in fact, is prime season for a host of natural disasters, whether it’s hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or simply major storms. And then there’s earthquakes … and the threat of terrorism.
Would you and your family be able to leave the house, on a moment’s notice, and survive? That’s the topic of this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio as we talk to Lisa Bedford, a survival expert who is the author of two books on the subject: Emergency Evacuations and Survival Mom.
Getting your family ready for a potential natural or man-made disaster isn’t complicated, although plenty of mistakes can be made along the way, Bedford says.
She also tells us:
- Which survival supplies are the most important — and where families should store them.
- Why it might be wrong, during a disaster, to first grab “what matters most.”
- How long families should be prepared to survive following a crisis.
- What survivalists often get wrong about “bug-out locations.”
- Where you can live, for free or at least cheap, after a disaster.
If you want to be better prepared for a disaster, or you simply want to make sure you haven’t made any big mistakes, then this week’s show is for you!
Venezuela is currently in the throes of a devastating economic collapse that was spawned by the ignorant socialist policies of the Chavez/Maduro government. Everything is falling apart there. The water system, the roads, the electrical grid, the hospital, and especially the food distribution system. Venezuelans are so desperate that they are forced to scrounge for food in dumpsters and hunt down cats and dogs. Crime is rampant as well, and the capital city of Caracas now has the highest murder rate in the world. Mobs of vigilantes are frequently seen picking up the slack of the corrupt police; that is, when they’re not busy looting grocery stores. Venezuela is practically a war zone now.
However, the worst part of this economic collapse is the rapid inflation of Venezuela’s currency. That may sound minor when compared to soaring crime rates and dumpster diving, but the diminishing status of Venezuela’s currency (the bolívar) is what enables so many of the moral and financial tragedies in that country. To one degree or another, inflation is related to every facet of Venezuela’s collapse.
In 2003 the situation was quite different. A dollar could be exchanged for 1.6 bolívars. Now the exchange rate is 172 bolívars per dollar, but that’s just the official exchange rate. That’s what you would get if you walked into a Venezuelan bank. On the black market, it would take 996 bolívars to buy a single dollar. With an inflation rate of 180% (and those are just the official numbers) Venezuela’s currency fits the definition of hyperinflation.
Considering how much damage this hyperinflation has done to the economy and the very fabric of society, it has to make you wonder. What would you do if this happened in your country? What steps could you take to survive when your money becomes worthless?
Much has already been written on the subject, and most preppers are already familiar with this sound advice: take your rapidly diminishing currency, and buy something that will at least hold its value no matter how many zeros show up on your money. The most common assets that are recommended for preserving your wealth include:
- Precious metals
- Cash held in other currencies
- Non-perishable food
- Drugs and other medical supplies
- Weapons and ammunition
However, I would say that what you need to survive hyperinflation is the same thing that is crucial to your survival in any disaster. You need to have the right skills, which for this scenario, would fall under two categories. First, you need to know how to do things that will help you get by when society at large is falling apart. The kind of skills that aren’t as essential when you live in a prosperous nation, such as:
- Growing food
- Hunting and gathering
- First Aid
- Car Repair
- Self Defense
And second, you need the kind of skills that will make you money no matter how bad things get. Just because hyperinflation tends to screw up society, doesn’t mean everything is going to completely grind to halt. People will still need basic goods and services, and they will still desperately want to live in a functional society, even if it’s just the shadow of a functional society. You’ll still be able to find a job.
However, just as hyperinflation diminishes the value of a currency, so to will many jobs pay less during and after a collapse. That’s not just because the money isn’t worth the same. With so much widespread poverty, everyone will be desperate to enter the job market, including the very young and the very old. In other words, the labor pool will have lots of supply and very little demand, so employers will have the economic leverage to pay their workers a pittance. However, some jobs will be able to retain some of their value, such as:
- Just about anything to do with the medical field
- Private security
- Mechanics, plumbers, electricians, or repairmen of any kind
- Teachers and tutors, especially if they can impart money-making skills
At the end of the day however, your skills will only get you so far depending on how long the crisis lasts. In the case of Venezuela, the situation is about as dire as it can get. Sometimes an economic collapse merely destroys any chance of prosperity for the average citizen. But in Venezuela, the economic climate hasn’t just killed prosperity. It has made it damn near impossible for anyone to survive.
So at the end of the day, the best way to survive an economic collapse is to flee the country. Everyone in your family should have their passports, and enough money to leave the country before the SHTF. In Venezuela, everyone who could leave did so a few years ago. Now most people can’t even afford to leave their city, much less the country.
Be prepared to lose most of the money you’ve spent your whole life saving, because even before the collapse occurs, the government will likely have laws in place that will prevent you from taking money out of the country. However, that may be a small price to pay in exchange for not living in hell hole where you have to eat trash to survive. Cut your losses and start a new life in a new country if you can. You’ll pat yourself on the back when your homeland collapses, because it is always better to be a poor man in a rich country, than a dead man in a poor country.
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
You might not even recognize that it has a negative impact on your overall health!
Have you read my recent post about staying calm in the middle of the cuh-razy of daily life? Yes, Marie is on a bit of a “deep breath … calm down” kick lately. My friends can tell you that I’ve been saying it a lot!
During my early twenties, I worked in the kitchen of a small theological school. Each year, the fourth-year students, buried under a heavy load of pastoral work and intense studies, were immediately recognizable. Other than the bags under their eyes and the zombie-like shuffle in their walk, that is.
In one hand they had their coffee cups and in the other – a tissue. They were always ill! Graduates told me more than once that the constant stress of that final year took a toll on their health that required years of recovery. Do not underestimate the physical impact of stress.
Sexuality and Reproductive System
Wait – what does this have to do with homesteading and simple living? Everything!
If you are not calm and centered, if you can’t accept your imperfections and your inability to do everything, you are not going to make it through the tough times. And don’t fool yourself into thinking you won’t get hit by them. Today I found out that a friend of mine, a person I thought was wholly committed to a self-sufficient, off-grid lifestyle, is leaving his homestead and moving to town. What I want for you is that you have the calm serenity to handle the problems, the firm assurance that you are prepared for all events, and the loving acceptance of the failings of you and those around you.
Relaxation Techniques to Calm Your Mind
For some, exercise is an excellent outlet to give their mind time to recharge. Meditation is a well-known method for clearing your mind. Meditation is not something for Christians to avoid – consider meditative prayer to keep yourself spiritually healthy and watch the effects spill over to the rest of your life. Do not overlook the benefits of getting out of the city and into green spaces. Being around nature is calming.
It’s how you manage the stresses of your everyday life that’s important.
It’s also the key to overcoming them.
This morning the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a huge blow to gun owners when they ruled Americans have no constitutional right to carry concealed firearms outside the home. […]
See larger image The Mask of Command John Keegan’s brilliant look at the meaning of leadership In The Mask of Command, John Keegan asks us to consider questions that are seldom asked: What is the definition of leadership? What makes a great military leader? Why is it that men, indeed sometimes entire nations, follow a single leader, often to victory, but with equal dedication also to defeat? Dozens of names come to mind…Napoleon, Lee, Charlemagne, Hannibal, Castro, Hussein. From a wide array, Keegan chooses four commanders who profoundly influenced the course of history: Alexander the Great, the Duke of Wellington,
This is a simple can cutting tip that allows a budding metalworker, artist, or upcycler to quickly, easily, and safely remove the tops and bottoms of soda cans so that they can make sheets of thin aluminum for projects. To cut the tops off of soda cans all you need to do is to use a can opener to bite around the edges of the tops and bottoms of the cans. A safety opener works best so that you don’t have sharp edges, but I use a normal one. I know that is pretty simplistic, but I cannot tell you
The older I get the more I see problems that older preppers face. I know you all plan to be that rare exception that is still walking long distances in your 90’s and not taking any medication. Unfortunately, that does not happen to most of us. Most of us end up facing some type of serious limiting medical problems. Many of us are dependent on medications, have mobility problems or cognitive problems. Even if you are that rare exception, you don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
I recently wrote an article about Some Helpful Tips for Older Preppers. Now today’s list is a bit different it provides information about preppers who are having problems that are more serious and are more limited physically.
So what are the problems that older preppers face?
- Medications, this is a big one. Extra prescription medications are hard to get. I know people who are o medication that keep them alive. Without them they would be dead within a few days. Here are some ideas that may help you stock up on important medications. 15 Over the Counter Medications Preppers need to Stock , So You Need Prescription Medications, More on, So You Need Prescription Medications
- Mobility – While I have not had any mobility problems yet, it seems like many of the people around me are. My wife for instance has arthritis in her feet. She can still walk and accomplish her normal activities, but would have real problems walking for a prolonged distance. Get walkers, crutches, canes, and wheelchairs, now. They are often in garage sales and very cheap.
- Cognitive Challenges – Aging results in normal changes in cognition. Three specific changes occur: reduced processing speed, greater tendency to be distracted and reduced capacity to process and remember new information (working memory). I am seeing this in my father who is in his nineties. You may have to write notes to remind them of things and just in general be more patient.
- Visual Challenges – Many older adults have problems with vision. About 2/3 of adults with vision problems are older than 65. Make sure you keep your eyeglasses up to date and have extra pairs. You have cataracts get them fixed at your first opportunity.
- Hearing Challenges – Hearing loss is common in older adults, affecting 1 in 3 people older than 60 and half of those older than 85. This is a hard one; hearing aids will be useless without batteries. Communicate with hard of hearing people by facing them directly when talking to them. Speak loudly and clearly. I have hearing problems and if someone is not facing me, it is much harder to understand them.
- Bedroom supplies – you may need oversize diapers, rubber sheets and porta potties.
- Over the counter medications – here is a list of 15 Over the Counter Medications Preppers need to Stock. This is a list that everyone should have regardless of your age.
The problems that older preppers face can be quite serious. For instance, what do you do with your parents who are in a nursing home and require 24-hour care? These are decisions that are best made ahead of time. You may even consider asking them what they would want you to do. Remember you can’t stock everything for every contingency, just do the best you can But plan ahead.
The post A list of Seven Problems that Older Preppers Face. appeared first on Preparedness Advice Blog.
If you’re at least 30, you probably remember a time when phones didn’t need to be plugged into electrical outlets. You just plugged them into the phone line and they worked–even when the power was out. That’s because phone companies send a little bit of power through the landlines, and they have backup generators that […]
The post How to Get Power From a Phone Line During a Blackout appeared first on Urban Survival Site.
While we all know just how important it is to be active and actually get around to doing all the physically laborious preps we have in our head to do, not every moment of the time you spend in front of the computer or sitting on a couch has to be time wasted. If you’re… Read More
This is just the start of the post Couch Potato Prepping: Prep Without Leaving Your Sofa. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
Couch Potato Prepping: Prep Without Leaving Your Sofa, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
Security systems are getting more sophisticated. The downside to this is when it comes to knowing whether or not they are working perfectly. If you install a new set of motion sensors tied to the internet, you will instantly know when someone is inside your house. But if the sensors are not working well, they may not actually inform you that you are getting incomplete data. Here are 4 signs that your security system is failing you:
Trouble finding events
If you have cameras in your security system, they should faithfully record every disturbance or problem in their field of view. Yet in some cases, an event will occur that will not be saved to the system that is storing the recorded video. So if you have trouble finding video of a security problem that happened, it can either be a computer problem or you may have had a camera go bad or lose power at a certain point at night.
Most security equipment is built to handle the indoor or outdoor conditions that it is designed for. When there are fluctuations in temperature, humidity, or when the electric power source is unstable, it can degrade their performance and cause malfunctions over time. Having a strong partner that can regularly validate your key security electronics provides you with the ability to have complete confidence that your system will operate as flawlessly as you intend it to.
When there is a problem, you want your alarm system to tell you about it. When you don’t have a problem and your alarm system goes off, then it is likely the case that you have an incorrectly configured system or the electronics require repair.
One of the most popular types of security door upgrades uses biometrics or fingerprinting to allow access for employees. The software is not always perfect and sometimes people registered for access are denied. If it isn’t possible to return your faulty equipment for a refund or exchange, experienced technicians at Contec Direct and other electronic support services specialize in home security repair.
Security systems protect the valuables you have in your home and business. Knowing the sign of a faulty operating system can mean the difference between security and taking a loss. Ease your mind by routinely checking on your security system and catch any faulty bugs before misfortune comes knocking on your door.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise as well as researching new topics to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure
Have you ever opened your refrigerator and been assaulted by an item that has spoiled?
The smell is so strong, it makes you step back.
Now imagine how much worse this smell would be if you lost power for a few days during a storm… or worse, when you were on a vacation and didn’t […]
The post How To Remove Odors From Your Refrigerator After A Power Outage appeared first on The Weekend Prepper.
Radiation kills Krill, it destroys Chitin, an important biological structure which is present in all the species hardest hit with mass die-offs, or species that feed on Chitin users.
Scientific Proof is here. Chitin is a magnet, a sponge for radiation.
(image: Dave Canterbury) Some knives are better than others for batoning wood. Batoning wood is to split or cut small diameter wood while using a baton and a knife. A baton is a makeshift heavy ‘stick’ (se below). There’s a technique to batoning wood, but it essentially is the process of holding the knife […]
We hear about how shotguns are the do-all when it comes to hunting and self-defense. What we don’t always hear is how to best choose one or that to make them a do-all, we need to know what to feed them.
It happens in households across the United States every day. A trip to the grocery store is unpacked at home with the goal of simply getting things put away and the chore completed.
Fresh, shiny new cans of fruits and vegetables are placed in the front of the pantry shelves, pushing to the rear their more senior shelf mates. Perishables like pickles, butter and produce likely get the same treatment, smothering into obscurity the current “close to expiration” refrigerator residents.
The result? A lot of nutritious and nourishing food ending up spoiled and relegated to the wastebasket or compost bin.
And although this example of poor inventory control and rotation is unfortunate, when this same scenario plays out in your rather expansive stockpile, the results can be devastating to your preparedness and your wallet.
A scattered approach to your inventory organization can also lead to missing essentials or considerable overstocks of certain items.
To help you avoid such an avoidable catastrophe, we have compiled a list of mistakes often made — mistakes that could lead to disaster when you most need your stockpile.
1. Not keeping inventory.
This does not have to be an elaborate system which consumes a considerable amount of your time and effort. A simple legal pad strategically hung from the door of your storage area or pantry will suffice.
The end-game here is to simply be able to tell, at a glance, what exactly you have and what you are missing.
Divide the sheet into columns which represent major categories of food. Then simply list what you have, the quantity that was stocked and the date. If you are feeling particularly ambitious and want to refine your document, a straightforward spreadsheet or graph paper document could include details like expiration date and shelving location.
The keys here are to keep the process simple and be diligent in using it. All the planning and design effort in the world will be useless if it simply hangs there unused.
2. Not making it visible.
Out of sight, out of mind, right? There is a tendency for people to forget that which they cannot see. This means that if you have a case of canned green beans stuffed in a plastic tote and shoved back to the rear of your bottom pantry shelf, more likely than not you will forget it is there.
Whenever possible, keep your stocked inventory items visible. There are a ton of ready-to-install options available in the marketplace, but a touch of ingenuity and some handiwork can produce some great solutions for things like vertical can storage and the like.
Keeping things visible makes future stock checks prior to the grocery run much easier.
3. Not using it.
It often surprises me when I learn of stockpilers who do not regularly use their own inventory. In these cases, the stockpile inventory is seen as an “emergency only” resource and hence, is locked up and off-limits.
While we are not saying to eat up your stock to the point that your inventory dwindles, we are recommending that the food you put away into stockpiles be used and replenished on a regular basis.
No matter how well canned or preserved, food in any of its forms has a viable shelf life. Before going to the grocery store, draw from your stockpile inventory and replace it with a fresh purchase that has a more advanced expiration date.
Don’t forget to put that new stock in the back of the rotation and note the addition to your inventory sheet.
4. Not protecting it.
The locations and conditions of your stockpile are every bit as important as the inventory levels or organization. Food that has been damaged by a leaking ceiling or wall or chewed on by a winter-hungry rodent is of little use to the human inhabitants of the home.
Cool, dry and dark are the three precepts to follow when at all possible. Certain produce such as potatoes and onions do well in root cellars but, depending on humidity levels, can root prematurely.
Lastly, if your pantry or stockpile area is vulnerable to rodent visitors, consider using quality, tight-sealing plastic totes to protect your bags of grains, pasta and the like from visiting diners.
What stockpiling advice would you add? Share it in the section below:
You might not realize it, but your home is actually loaded with hiding places! If wanting to hide various items around the house as part of your bug-out plan, review the following super -cool and innovative spots for keeping stuff hidden.:
Maintain one or a few fake plants around the house and bury money or other essential items at the bottom of the “soil.”
Top Of Doors
Drill holes in the top of interior doors and use them to hide cash, jewelry, or anything else that’s small and valuable. Simply make the hole and insert a metal tube to keep the stuff in place.
Hide important documents between the picture and the cardboard backing in a picture frame. Secret storage areas behind pictures on the wall is a classic trick; however, few think to look in the frame itself.
Glue a rock to the top of an aspirin bottle to make your own Hide-A-Key. Bury the bottle, but (obviously) keep the rock exposed. Use it for keys or other small items you’d rather keep outside of the house.
Disguise important items as food by wrapping them in aluminum foil and placing them in your freezer.
Purchase one or more wall clocks that feature hidden storage components. They’re great for cash, jewelry, and other small but very valuable items.
Buy faux paint cans (find them on the internet — it’s not hard) and use them to store all kinds of things. Situate them among real paint cans to throw burglars off the scent. Flowerpot safes are another option.
What are your tips for hiding stuff in your home? Any creative ideas not on this list? Share them in the comments section!
Here’s a great story from Kirsten Dirksen about Paul Chambers, who had began building a home out of two shipping containers as a project, “but when his wife got tired of suburbia and put their four-bedroom home on the market, his project became the couple’s full-time home”.
He’s been transforming two shipping containers into a kitchen/bathroom + bedroom/living room. As Kirsten notes, @they found someone willing to let them park their new home on their rural property in exchange for making improvements to the land@, which goes to show you don’t have to buy land to build your own home.
Get the full story here.
The post Couple Builds Off-Grid Mobile Home with 2 Shipping Containers appeared first on Walden Labs.
When left to its own devices everything in nature happens automatically, no external input needed. Without man, nature not only carries on, but thrives. Why can’t we do the same?
I think that by mimicking nature, which is one of the main principles of Permaculture design, mankind can automate the production of the necessities of life; food, water, and shelter.
Automation has been all the rage in business and manufacturing for the past couple of decades, but we’ve barely started looking at how individuals, families and local communities can automate the production of the essentials of life.
You and I and everyone else alive today have been born and raised into a system of “making a living” where the work never ends.
Just to get the necessities of life; to put food on the table and a roof over our heads, most of us will have to work every day for the rest of our lives. At least those of us who are not already retired today.
You can work the same job 9-5 for 20 years and if you stop working you’ll soon find you can’t put food on the table and you’ll get kicked out of your home next month when you can’t pay rent.
Most people don’t think about it because this is the way things are and we’re all so preoccupied with making ends meet that we can’t think of another way of living.
But what if mankind one day could stop spending all their lives working meaningless jobs that they don’t like and we’d still have food on the table, a roof over our heads, as well as plenty of safe drinking water.
This is a future that is possible when you use intelligent design and mimic nature in food production.
Of course, there’s a big “if” to all of this. This future is possible, but only if we find a way out of our debt slavery where we can’t secure land and shelter without indebting ourselves for life.
In “primitive” cultures there was no such thing as rent or mortgages. The reason we can’t stop working today is because we don’t own anything anymore. We don’t own our homes. The banks do. We don’t own the means of production. The banks do. We don’t even own our time. The banks do, through the indebted companies that employs us. This is a topic for another article, but it’s a critical one if humanity is to take the next big step in our evolution as a civilization.
An essential component of the intelligent design that can set us free is trees – “the engines of nature” as Jay Russell Smith wrote in Tree Crops – A Permanent Agriculture(free download).
Take a nut tree for example, you can plant a tree and it might take 5, 15 or even 25 years to start producing food but when it does it will continue to produce food not only for the rest of your life but also for the next couple of generations.
What continues to amaze me is that after you’ve planted your tree, if you do it right and choose a variety adapted to your climate, then you won’t have to spend any time taking care of it aside from some light maintenance such as pruning the tree.
A tree is automated food production, and planting one enables anyone with a piece of land to take ownership of the means of production.
A tree creates passive income, and it’s a kind of passive income that anyone can create without needing a million dollars in the bank (which at present interest rates wouldn’t create much passive income anyway).
A tree increases in value every year and builds a resilient asset that can be passed down to your children and grandchildren.
Best of all? All the “income” your tree produces is 100% tax-free, as long as you eat it all and don’t sell it.
What are we waiting for? Let’s plant some trees!
Hello my friend and welcome back! In today’s post, I want to offer a few words of advice before you head out to practice your survival skills this summer. Practicing your survival skills is important, but doing it the smart way is even more important. With that said, grab yourself a cup of coffee and …
The post 5 Rules Before You Practice Survival Skills This Summer. appeared first on American Preppers Online.
Each year, too many people drown in the United States just because they don’t understand the dangers of water. People have drowned in as little as 1 inch of water when they were knocked unconscious and landed face down in a mud puddle.
Drowning chokes and kills over 372,000 people each year, being the world’s 3rd biggest cause of unintended death. That’s 7% of all injury-related deaths due to something most take for granted, even if they don’t live near water. It takes 3,536 innocent US lives each year, with one in 5 being children.
Even if you’re lucky enough to survive, brain damage could leave you in a vegetative state.
However, most drownings occur in freshwater lakes, rivers, streams, backyard swimming pools, or at the beach. Learning all you can about how to recognize and avoid drowning is a first step to building a water survival plan that should include all of the elements that you will find below.
How Do you Know He / She is Drowning?
When a person begins to drown, a very small amount of water enters the lungs. This tiny amount triggers a spasm in the trachea muscles, which then causes the throat to close. Once the airway seals up, there is no way for air or water to get through. This is why people who are drowning usually are unable to scream for help.
Here are the signs and symptoms of drowning and near drowning:
- Head low in the water with mouth at water level.
- Head tilted back with mouth open.
- Eyes glassy, empty, and unfocused.
- Eyes open with fear evident on the face.
- Hyperventilating or gasping for air.
- Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway.
- Trying to roll over on their back to float.
- No motion – the victim may be unable to move their arms or legs.
If you are going to rescue somebody in a body of water, you must be sure that you do not become a victim yourself by being dragged under by a panicking individual in the water. If the person in distress is relatively close to you, your first option is to try to reach for him with your arm, a pole, or a long stick.
If this individual is farther out than you can reach, try throwing a rope with a safety ring attached to it. If this does not work, then you may want to go out to them with a row boat or other watercraft. As a last resort you will have to go into the water after them.
If you must swim after the individual, use a lifeline that is tied in a loop around your chest. In the event that the individual starts to panic and tries to use you as a flotation device, the rope-handling crew on the edge of the water can pull you both back to safety.
If you are swimming to the rescue and you are not using a lifeline or rescue buoy, approach the victim so that he cannot reach out and grab you. If he tries it in his panicked mental state, you will have to push away from him, block him, or go under water fast. These actions will cause the victim to let go so that you can try to come in for your rescue a second time.
How to Survive Drowning
Using the Clothes to Avoid Drowning
If you fall into the water and your shirt is tucked into your pants, you can use your shirt to make an air bubble to float on.
It is also possible to make an air floating device by using your jeans or other long-legged pants. This air float will last longer and can be used to keep up to four people floating for a good length of time.
Using the Drown-Proofing Method to Stay Alive
Drown-proofing is a water survival technique that was invented by Fred Lanoue, a swimming coach at Georgia Institute of Technology from 1936 to 1964. It was his belief that everyone should be able to survive in the water, and he developed a simple technique that was easy to learn and did not depend on physical strength.
According to Lenone, everyone has a small amount of buoyancy, but it is not enough to keep all of the head above water. An individual can float in an upright position, with their face submerged and only lifting the mouth and nose above the water when it is necessary to breathe. Using this method, it is possible to float indefinitely while only using a small amount of energy.
The first thing you’ll likely wonder is how effective drown-proofing is. Anyone can learn to survive indefinitely in the water as soon as this technique is mastered. The average person can only swim a few laps of the pool, but with drown-proofing, the swimmer can take a break and rest until they are ready to continue swimming. Drown-proofing techniques are also useful to handicapped swimmers that might not be able to swim for a long period of time.
The following are the basic steps that you need to follow for drown-proofing. If you take a class on this skill, you can learn in just a few days.
Using Only Your Arms
- Fill your lungs with a good breath of fresh air and float vertically with the back of your head just breaking the surface of the water. The water will support your body.
- Let your arms float slowly toward the surface with your elbows bent until your hands are in front of your shoulders.
- With a steady movement, push downwards and back with your hands until your mouth clears the water.
- Repeat this every 10 to 15 seconds.
Using Your Arms and Legs
- When using the arms and leg method, use a scissors kick with your legs and press downward with your hands at the same time. The object of this motion is to use as little energy as possible to keep a balanced position.
- The trick is to get your head just far enough out of the water to get a breath. If you use too much energy to get your head above water, you will come too far out of the water. As you go back down you will sink too deep into the water.
- The goal is to achieve a gentle, easy action that uses very little energy. The less effort you expend, the better.
Get the Breathing Right: It’s Very Important
- When your head first emerges from the water, it should be tilted slightly forward so that the water falls away from your face.
- Open your mouth wide when you inhale so you get as much air as possible.
- In drown-proofing it is very important to consciously change the way you breathe. Keep your lungs full of air as much of the time as possible.
- When you take a breath exhale and inhale as quickly as possible through your mouth.
Knowing what to do around water is the key to your survival. Always be attentive and don’t panic in dangerous situations.
Planning is the key to your survival. Without a water survival plan and regular practice, the end result could be the death of you or your friends or family.
This article has been written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia.
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If faced with a disaster, people will wait until the last minute to get a generator for their home and most of them think that anything will do. Last year’s blizzard showed us how quickly people will change their mind and how choosing a generator for your home becomes an important survival task. The market … Read more…
If you want to know how to use a Volcano Stove for survival I am going to show you how to use it today. It’s great for camping as well. Of course, if there are fire restrictions where you live we must all adhere to those rules. The thing I like about the Volcano II Stove is that you can take it camping, use it for emergency cooking and baking. The deal that nails this product for me is that you can use propane, wood or charcoal in this awesome cooking stove. This is an updated post because I was shopping at Costco and there was a roadshow with a great young man telling people how to use a Volcano Stove. I mentioned that I love their product and I would love to try the new grill they have designed. I told the fellow doing the demonstration that I published a book and recommended their stove. Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready for Any Emergency or Disaster Situation I sent the owners of the company a book and they sent me the griddle outlined below.
This stove even has a tent to bake bread, muffins, cornbread, etc. I invited a few neighbors over to roast hot dogs tonight so you can see this Volcano Stove II in action. This stove is safe enough to use on top of your picnic table and folds down to about 5 inches tall when completely closed after using it. The included bag is perfect to store its propane hoses, connections, and its grills inside. I call it the Volcano II Stove bag. The stove is easy to open and close after it cools down, then store it on a shelf in the garage.
Here’s the new Volcano griddle and grill pan. You will love this new accessory because both sides of the unit come pre-seasoned with a groved griddle on one side and grill pan with a pour spout on the other. It has two handles and a detachable grip. What I love about it is the fact that’s it ROUND and fits perfectly on the stove. Volcano Outdoors 40-013 Reversible Griddle
Here is what the inside of the Volcano II Stove looks like before we start to assemble it right out of the bag. There is very little assembly if you want to even call it that. Volcano Grills 3-Fuel Portable Camping Stove
Here is the Volcano II Stove sitting flat on the concrete and ready to open by pulling straight up using the handle. The legs drop down and it is ready to start putting the grills in it.
The picture below shows the unit ready to take fuel. Here is grill #1 you put inside the stove if you are using wood or charcoal to cook your meal. You crumple newspaper and put a few small pieces of dry wood and then throw a few more pieces of scrap wood or charcoal on the newspaper. I lit the fire, and luckily my husband Mark came home and really got the fire going! I used a butane fire starter tool to light the fire. Once the fire is going, you place the grill # 2 on the ridge inside the stove. This grill # 2 is where you would cook with a pan, dutch oven or a wok that would fit inside this area. If you are going to barbecue you put the grill # 3 on the top (it doesn’t show up very well among the rocks in the bottom left of the picture). This top grill #3 is approximately 13 inches in diameter. The lever shown above on the left side is the vent to adjust the air flow.
I was cooking hot dogs. I don’t usually buy hot dogs because I do not want to think about what is is them. I must say, I do eat an occasional kosher hot dog with mustard and relish at Costco’s. Yep, $1.50 with a drink, and people here line up to get that bargain.
Here are the hot dogs cooked and ready to serve. Yep, hot dog, mustard and relish with a bun!
Here are the items needed for the stove if you are using propane. It has the center piece that the flame comes through with the connection on the lower left. The hose completes the connection for you to use your propane tank. When I bought my stove I had to purchase the larger hose connection for the large 20-pound propane tanks like you use with your barbecue. Be sure and check to see what you are buying because some of the stoves do not come with any propane accessories. Some come with a small attachment to go with the one pound propane containers. The companies sell different accessories like an extra handle, tent and propane attachments. This is the burner/cradle, 4″ nipple, hose, valve, and regulator.
Here is a Tent you can buy as an accessory to bake bread, muffins, casseroles, etc. It makes the stove like an oven. Volcano Outdoors 30-700 Lid for Grilling
Here is the awesome bag that the Volcano Stove II is stored in horizontally. You basically let the stove cool down and shake out the little residue that is left. Wipe it out and store everything back in the storage bag shown below.
Here’s the deal with the Volcano Stove, it’s awesome to use after a disaster, an unforeseen emergency and you can take it camping to cook your meals! Like I said before, it uses several fuel choices, wood, charcoal, lump charcoal, and propane. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected.
7 Must Read for the Beginning Prepper
This list of 7 Must Reads for the Beginning Prepper is short and sweet. A great start to the Post Apocalyptic genre. These are in no way to scare you, but they will make you think. Don’t go crazy prepping after reading them. Pace yourself. Whatever you do, don’t forget to continue living. Don’t ask my how I know this.
Let me know what you think after you have read a few.
After America was the first or second book I read when I started prepping 4 years ago. It is of the Post Apocalyptic genre. The Amazon reviews suck, which is probably why I liked it. It is the 2nd in a series, but I didn’t read the first and I was fine. Why is it on the list at all. It was eye opening for me and helped push me to start prepping. Not that the scenario in the book is likely, but it made me think.
One Second After is also post apocalyptic in nature. I took notes while reading this one. I learn more from books that aren’t text-booky in nature, and for me this was a great book for that. It’s about an EMP (Electro Magentic Pulse) hitting America. This scenario isn’t as far fetched as one would hope or think, whether from the sun or one of our enemies. An EMP has the potential to destroy our technology advancements. This story is about a man who struggles to keep his family safe and alive.
Patriots written by John Wesley Rawles who coined the term American Redoubt, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Alson Eastern parts of Washington and Oregon. Now this book is about economic collapse…..So, pretty eye opening for the beginning prepper and I believe, pretty realistic. Of all of Rawles’ books this is the best one. They can be read as stand alones or as a series.
How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It. Also by Rawles. I picked this one up at Costco actually. This book is more of a how to in nature. As with most educational books, you want a hard copy, not a digital. You want to be able to access them at all times.
Survival Mom…This was the first book I bought myself. Mother’s Day 2012 at a bookstore in Portland. If you know me you know as much as I LOVE books, I rarely purchase them new. This one wasn’t even on sale, that is how much I wanted it. It is a great how to and practical for the ‘average mom’ meaning not a survivalist oo rah type of book.
Preppers Blueprint (review coming soon) I started reading this for a review and it is fabulous! 56 chapters PACKED full of information. I have the digital (for the review) I will be buying a hard copy.
Prepper’s Long-term Survival Guide. You can read my review to see why I recommend this one. “Food, Shelter, Security, Off-the-Grid Power and More Life-Saving Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living” It is another how to book, but while they might overlap in a few topics, they are from different authors, therefore different perspectives and a-ha moments.
Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival. I also have a review for you to read. This is nothing but food storage. How to, best ways, etc. Again, you’ll want a hard copy as a reference for your home library.
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I remember the night so clearly. It was the end of an emotionally exhausting day. My husband and I were lying in bed, holding hands, feeling like it was the only thing we had to hold on to. He sighed and said, “The life that I am living doesn’t seem like mine. Everything we are going through seems like something that happens to someone else, not us.” I could not argue with him, he was right. We were watching much of our life around us crumble and there was not much we could do to prevent it. We had to wait until the crumbling stopped and we could re-build.
Our family was experiencing hardships of almost every kind. We had to move from our home, close a business, and we had nowhere to live. The foster child we were in the process of adopting mentally went off the deep end. For the physical safety of our family, we immediately moved him out, and this caused more legal and emotional trauma than we could have imagined.
One of our cars died; it was not worth fixing. A friend loaned us an extra vehicle he had. We stayed at my sister’s home until we could find a place to rent. Moving to a new area where we didn’t know anyone was just another stress. Our other car was beginning to have problems. Our savings were low. We were living paycheck to paycheck and our food storage was almost depleted.
Some of the chaos was our fault. We did not prepare as much as we thought we had or think some decisions through completely. The other chaos was called life. We had no control over the economy, other people and their actions, nature, or health issues. Even thinking about that time brings back some of the overwhelming feelings we had. Our family was working on getting our footing first, then rebuilding our emergency supplies. We learned many difficult and painful lessons along the way, and we came out of it much smarter and stronger than we could have imagined. Life will always throw us curve balls, but we are more prepared to handle them now. As a family we have become the “better prepper”.
How to start prepping from scratch
1) You can never have too much money saved.
There will always be something unexpected come up, and it will come up at the worst time, always. We kept a mason jar around for loose change. I remember using it to buy $85 of groceries. As things got better, we worked our way up to a dollar jar. We were surprised to see how fast the jars filled up. Those jars were what helped us build up our emergency money. They are still in use and are a reminder to keep change and cash on hand. Not only in our home, but also in our bug out bags and cars.
To raise additional funds, we sold items we did not need. We started cleaning out what we had and decided what we could live without. At the time, it was difficult to see some things go. Knowing that we were doing everything we could eased some of the pain. It was a few years later that I heard Dave Ramsey on the radio. Being prepared means having a healthy savings account and we decided to try his baby steps plan. That was the beginning of the way we now handle our finances. Go over your finances and make certain you have enough to get you through an emergency.
Here are a few Survival Mom resources for you:
- Check out my monthly series of past articles, “52 Weeks Savings”, with discounts, bargains, and deals for each month of the year. Here’s a sample month for June’s best bargains.
- Learn more about the 52 Weeks Savings Challenge here and customize it to your own income and circumstances with these tips.
- Print out my collection of tracking charts at this link.
- Join Survival Mom’s 52 Weeks Savings Club on Facebook. We’re over 3600 members and going strong!
- Dave Ramsey has solid advice for taking control of your finances. I recommend his basic book, The Total Money Makeover for an easy-to-follow plan and a quick, motivational read.
2) Have 3 months of food stored.
Money was tight and we ate our food storage. Our meals were inexpensive and home-cooked. Everything was used, nothing was thrown out. Soups were made with left over vegetables, meat was stretched by putting it in casseroles and salads. Knowing how to prepare nutritious meals from scratch was a skill I possessed, but had taken for granted.
To supplement our food storage, I took advantage of additional opportunities. Many communities have some type of food co-op program where food is exchanged for volunteering hours or food is deeply discounted. The local university offered in-season produce grown by the students at $90 a year. My husband put in a small garden of tomatoes, lettuce, squash and bell peppers. Our neighbor was more than happy to give us oranges and lemons from her trees. Lemons were prepped and kept in the freezer for future meals.
DON’T MISS THIS: Survival Mom’s guide, “Simple Food Storage Meals“.
As things improved and finances allowed, we purchased meat and canned goods that were on sale. Our 3 month food supply of food, water, and everyday living supplies was built up a few items at a time. Nothing causes you to evaluate your food storage than having to use it. Store food you are going to eat and enjoy. This includes cake mix!
3) Education: I attended the local adult education school.
After only a few months I was employed as a certified nursing assistant. A few months later I was a certified EKG technician. This experience slowly morphed into a small business. Being self-employed allowed me to make good money and go back to school for my BA. I knew I did not want to do this type of work as a career, but I do not regret the certifications.
Being a prepper, I understood that it was an education that could someday benefit my family and others. Always look for ways to increase your education and preparation. It could be an Amateur Radio license class, CERT classes, and local adult education or community classes. Adding other streams of income is the key.
4) If full time employment is not possible, look for a short term solution.
Something as simple as a dog-walking, house-sitting, substitute teaching, or other temporary jobs can get you through a rough patch. If you already have a full time job, look for other part time income streams. Is there a skill or hobby that you teach to others? What knowledge or experiences do you possess that can be turned into a small business?
5) Physical and Mental Health
Even though we did not go through a natural disaster or suffer extreme trauma, we still experienced a large amount of stress. Stress takes a great toll on your body. Glucose levels and blood pressure can increase. Our immune systems can take a hit, making you at risk for auto-immune and cardiac disorders. To off-set the negative impact of the stress, our family focused on cutting out processed foods and switched to a whole food diet. We spent time walking, swimming and hiking outdoors.
Mental health is sometimes overlooked in the prepper world. The pressure of trying to put life back together can be overwhelming. The effort used to get through or get by can push aside feelings of anxiety or depression. Sundays have always been used as a day to decompress for our family. When there were times of difficulty, we focused even more on keeping Sunday low-key. We attended church and did not obligate ourselves to anything else. We read books, watched uplifting movies, played games together and rested. This down time allowed us to face the next week with a renewed attitude.
Along with family time, my husband and I continued to have our weekly date night. Since there was not much money, we could often be found having a picnic at a park or attending free activities in town. Maintaining strong and healthy relationships is part of being prepared. Two people, or a family of more, can work together and get through trying times if their family has trust and communication between each other.
We are a religious family, it is part of who we are and it is our family culture’s main ingredient. During the good and bad times, we pray. This simple act has sustained us, and has given us the strength to get through difficult times. It has also given us hope that things will get better and that we are not alone in this journey. Prayer holds us accountable. When I pray for guidance, I am reminded that I need to be doing my part. Am I a wise steward with my money, time and resources? Prayer helps put things in their proper prospective and reminds us of the blessings we have been given.
For those who are not religious, it is important to take time meditate or connect with one’s self. There is much to be thankful for, even in trying times. Center yourself and be open to opportunities and possibilities. Great ideas and solutions can come when the world is quiet and we are alone. Write down any ideas, even if they sound a bit crazy. They can transform into brilliant ideas.
Life Always Happens
Through all of this, we were able rebuild our food storage, savings and emergency supplies. Our financial situation was good, and education and jobs were going well. Life was to be going great! And then another curve ball was thrown. My husband’s employer was replacing all management employees. We had a little bit of notice, but not as much as one would hope. After a brief moment of panic, we realized that we were going to be okay. Together we had been through such challenging times, this did not seem as difficult. Because of the experiences we had many years earlier, we were better prepared. During those four months of unemployment, we adopted a daughter, celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas, witnessed our son’s wedding, had a beautiful reception on a shoestring budget, and prepped two kids leaving for college. We were able to enjoy all of the happy family events because we were prepared.
Larry and David Vocatura could go to federal prison for depositing cash the wrong way – even though the IRS seized the money and already gave it back.
The owners of a Connecticut bakery/sandwich shop won a major victory on May 24, when the IRS returned all of the $68,382.22 it seized from their bank account in 2013, but shortly after getting their money, the brothers learned that Peter S. Jongbloed, an assistant US attorney, was continuing with a criminal probe of their sandwich shop.
The Institute for Justice had filed a federal civil right lawsuit on the brothers’ behalf.
The IRS alleges the Vocaturas were involved in drugs or prostitution, although it never found any evidence.
Jongbloed already offered the brothers a “plea deal” with a three- to four-year prison sentence if they turned over the $68,382.22 and an additional $160,000.
The business, Vocatura’s Bakery, has been in their family since 1919 when their grandfather started it.
“This is yet another example of prosecutors using strong-arm tactics to threaten forfeiture victims with prosecution and jail time in order to pressure them to surrender their property in a plea deal,” Institute attorney Dan Alban said. “The government threatened the Vocaturas with an investigation if they refused to give up their money. The Vocaturas refused anyway, and now the government is carrying through with that threat.”
They Didn’t Know What Structuring Was
The Vocaturas’ problems began in May 2013, when a squad of armed IRS agents came into his bakery and asked if David Vocatura and his brother were dealing drugs or running prostitutes. The two said they were innocent and simply were running a commercial bakery and a restaurant that serves pizza and Italian sandwiches.
Story continues below video
No criminal charges were filed, but the $68,382.22 was seized from their bank account. The IRS took the action because the Vocaturas had made multiple cash deposits at their bank in amounts of less than $10,000. They are accused of structuring.
“In the three years since the seizure, federal prosecutors never once brought their case before a judge, and instead sought to pressure the bakery’s owners to agree to a ‘voluntary’ forfeiture,” an Institute for Justice press release noted.
The Vocaturas made the small deposits after a bank employee told them they would have to fill out paperwork if they deposited amounts of $10,000 or more. Not wanting to trouble the bank employees with paperwork, they began making smaller deposits.
“I didn’t know what structuring was that day, until the agent explained to me what it was,” David Vocatura told The Huffington Post. “We’re good, hardworking people and we run a clean, legitimate business.”
Vocatura said his business gave the IRS “all kinds of records.”
“We’ve cooperated with them since day one, personal and business information, anything they’ve wanted,” he said. “They checked us out.”
The Institute believes the IRS and Jongbloed’s pursuit violates an October 2014 change in IRS policy that barred the use of forfeiture in such cases.
A proposed law, the Due Process Act of 2016 (HR 5283), would make it harder for the federal government to seize property and easier for citizens to fight forfeiture.
What is your reaction to this story? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Mulching your gardens during the warmest summer months will do wonders for growing plants and will encourage a healthier soil environment for your plants to grow. Over time, this creates a biodiverse growing platform that will be the envy of the neighbors. In fact, this is one of the 7 laws of gardening. By doing this crucial step, it reduces evaporation from the soil surface by 25%-50%. This will drastically reduce how often you water and save you money in the process. As well, mulching controls the temperature of soil, shades the roots so they can branch out and grow, controls weeds and prevents soil compaction.
There are two types of mulches: organic and inorganic. In this article I will concentrate on the most popular types of organic mulches and ones that are easily found around the yard. I prefer organic mulches because they improve the soil quality as they decompose; which, in turn, encourages more microscopic activity in the soil. This makes it a more inviting environment for beneficial insects.
Here are some things to keep in mind when using organic mulches:
- Weed first. By doing all the dirty work ahead of time, you will be less likely to do this during the hottest parts of the summer.
- Add your soil amendments and fertilizers before you mulch. When you add your soil amendments like powdered oyster shell, compost, manure or green sand to the soil before mulching, you allow it to really penetrate into the soil and give the roots exactly what they need.
- Don’t by stingy with the mulch. The more mulch you put down, the less likely weeds will grow. Most organic gardeners will put down 4-6 inches of mulch.
You don’t have to run to your garden center and spend a small fortune on these organic mulches, many of these you may have around your yard. Here are seven excellent mulches that will keep your garden thriving!
- Grass clippings – Rather than throwing away your grass clippings after you have mowed this lawn, use them to your advantage. This natural mulch will also return nitrogen back to the soil, thus feeding your soil an essential nutrient to keep plants growing. This is also a great addition for lasagna gardens.
- Pine needles – Many of us having a plethora of pine needles and may not realize these make a great mulch. Despite what you may have heard, pine needles will not change the acidity of the soil. They are an ideal mulch because they provide uniformity to the beds, easily allows water to pass through and create air pockets which is beneficial for the soil.
- Straw – Straw is an ideal mulch that really does everything an organic mulch should do: retains moisture, reduces weeds and adds organic matter to the soil when it breaks down. Make sure you purchase straw that is weed free.
- Shredded leaves – Leaf mulch is a great way to utilize fallen leaves. Read more about which leaves are best for mulch. These make wonderful mulches and have a slow decomposition process. An electric leaf mulcher will chop leaves to a suitable length and cut down on time. Note: Leaves of the black walnut tree (Juglans nigra) are an exception due to the presence of juglone, a chemical that inhibits growth of many plants. While walnut roots and hulls cause most of the problems, the leaves also contain smaller quantities.
- Wood chips – By far, wood chips are one of the most popular types of natural mulches. These are readily available at your local garden center, but if you happen to have a downed tree from a storm, make the most of it and retain some of the bark for wood chips. Also, contact local tree-care companies to see if they would be willing to sell you a trunkload of chips at a nominal price.
- Newspaper – This is a frugal mulch choice for your garden and a great way to reduce weeds. Using 2 to 4 layers of newspaper strips is great for use in pathways and around newly set strawberry plants. It’s best to use another organic mulch in addition to newspapers, such as sawdust or hay, to hold paper in place.
- Living mulches – A living mulch a low-growing plant used in the vegetable garden as a mulch. It is often a companion plant. Some of the most favorite types of living mulches are clovers, hairy vetch, alfalfa and rye grass. Once the garden is put to rest, the living mulch can either be tilled into the soil or harvest and fed to livestock like rabbits or chickens as a treat.
Mulched gardens are healthier, contain fewer weeds, and are more drought-resistant compared to gardens that are not mulched. Done properly, this will make for a more efficient gardening experience and keep you from fighting weeds and pests. Make the most use of the items you have around you and utilize them in garden beds and landscaping rather than throwing them away.
Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.
Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.
Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.
This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition
How many times have you had a medical or first aid issue occur during the middle of the night or on a weekend when getting help would be difficult? Or, equally bad, help is available but only at a hospital emergency room an hour a way? What if the power was out, roads were blocked, or there was something going on that precluded EMTs coming to the rescue?
What I describe are typical survival scenarios and those that we, as Preppers, plan for. I don’t know about you, but for medical and first aid emergencies, I don’t rely on free information on the internet or free eBooks on Amazon. I want real information, written by real doctors who have practiced medicine on real people.
With that introduction, I want to introduce you to Dr. James Hubbard’s newest book, The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook. Many of you might recall two of James previous books from earlier book festivals: First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival and Duct Tape 911. His latest book takes things a step further and is an all-around handbook for dealing with a much broader variety of medical related things that can and do happen when professional help is not available.
Let me share an example.
In The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook there is a section describing how to close a scalp wound. James starts by saying that unless you are bald, tape is not going to stick. True enough and funny how I never considered that. Whereas you can use superglue to close things up, he suggest using the hair on either side of the wound to cinch things up nice and tight until it is closed. This advice is coupled with easy to follow illustrations that even I can follow.
Below you will find an all-new Backdoor Survival interview with James, plus I have two copies of his book up for grabs in a giveaway. Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.
An Interview with James Hubbard, Author of The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook
One question on everyone’s mind is what they would do if a disaster or even a collapse occurred in their own back yard. If that happened to you, would you bug-in or bug-out and why.
I would bug-in. I live in a rural area, and I think I would be able to handle the problems that would arise, including food and water scarcity, better where I live than fighting for it in a place that I’m unfamiliar with. The traffic would probably also be a major barrier for bugging out, if cars were working.
If you did decide to hunker down and bug-in, what items would you include for comfort? Or would you?
The basics of food, blankets, drinkable water, and a store of essential medicines are givens.
For comfort I would include over-the-counter medicines, such as something for pain, rashes and bowel/stomach problems; candles for light at night; a few good books to read; maybe a board game; and at least a small variety of favorite food treats. I’d have plenty of bug spray, breathable clothes for the heat, along with a good coat and raincoat.
If feasible, I’d have a good mattress and pillow or at least a good foam pad.
Home defense and protection from the bad guys is a big deal. That said, not everyone is prepared or even qualified to use firearms. What do you recommend in that case?
Learn how to use a gun and have one you’re comfortable shooting. Have a Taser or two, or something similar, and know how to use them. Keep a low profile. Don’t wander out unless you have to. Have a dog or two.
These days, it seems as though a new book about survival or preparedness is released daily. How is your book different from the others and why should we read it?
The information in The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook is based largely on my experience as a doctor—over 30 years of it. I share what I believe to be the most common medical problems one might encounter, how to recognize them and what to do. The book has close to 100 illustrations so you can learn visually while you read. I include makeshift options for times when you don’t have the medical tool typically used for a problem.
Since sometimes expert medical help is available, just far away, dangerous to get to, or both, I provide information to help you decide if the problem is so dire that it’s get-help-or-die.
What is your favorite survival, disaster, or post-apocalyptic film or TV show?
It is said that everyone has a book inside them. What advice do you have for the budding author?
Know the basics of writing, such as grammar, flow, organization, and how to make a good outline. Or hire an editor. Make the book easily readable. Don’t use never-ending sentences or lots of big words. Know, or learn, your topic well. Join a critique group, or have someone who will read your material and is willing to give constructive criticism.
James has reserved two copies of his book in this newest Book Festival Giveaway.
The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article. Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.
Note: This giveaway is only open individuals with a mailing address in the United States.
The Final Word
I do want to mention one other thing about The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook. Each chapter begins with a pop quiz. The quiz begins with a few descriptive paragraphs describing something that occurred during James career as a medical doctor. There are four potential answers in a multiple choice format.
On the next page are the answers along with a thorough description of why each choice is correct or incorrect. Some of the answers may surprise you and would make excellent discussion points when talking about medical first aid among family members or friends.
For more information about the books in this latest book festival, visit Prepper Book Festival #12: The Best Books to Help You Prepare, Stay Healthy and Be Happy.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!
Spotlight: The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook
It’s the worst snowstorm you can remember. The ice-covered streets are abandoned. You hear a boom in the distance, and your computer screen goes blank. Darkness. A crash and another bang from inside the house. In the hallway, your husband sits on the floor, soaked in blood. You dial 911, and all you get is a busy signal. Would you know what to do next?
The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook will teach you just what you need to know to take care of yourself and your loved ones in the event you aren’t able to get professional medical help right away. Encompassing but going well beyond immediate first aid, the book covers:
- How to put a dislocated joint back into place
- How to prevent hypothermia when your heat has gone out
- What to do for asthma when you don’t have your inhaler
- Whether you can really drink your own urine if you run out of water
- What to feed your toddler if he has a fever and you have no medicine
- And much more
Featuring more than 100 illustrations, along with quick quizzes and real-life examples, The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook will take you step by step through the essentials of medical care during a crisis. Whatever your situation and your health needs, this handbook is your must-have medical resource.
Bargain Bin: For your convenience, here is a complete list of all of the books in BDS Prepper Book Festival 12.
5 Gallon Bucket Book: DIY Projects, Hacks, and Upcycles
Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, and Cooking
DIY Solar Projects: How to Put the Sun to Work in Your Home
Mason Jar Nation: The Jars that Changed America and 50 Clever Ways to Use Them Today
Mother Earth News Almanac: A Guide Through the Seasons
A Prepper’s Cookbook: Twenty Years of Cooking in the Woods
The Complete Guide to US Junk Silver Coins (2nd edition)
When There Is No FEMA: Survival for Normal People in Very Abnormal Times
Coloring Flower Mandala Postcards: 20 Hand-Drawn Designs for Mindful Relaxation
The Zika Virus Handbook
The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook
Book 8: Alcohol Mantle Lamps (The Non-Electric Lighting Series)
Preppers Armed Defense
Plus: The Preppers Guide to Food Storage
No list of books would be complete without my own book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage. The eBook is only 99 cent plus the print version is available for less than $6.00.
Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)?
I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.
Amazon has a feature called Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are “wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are. All you need to do is select the category from the left hand side of the screen.
Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!
The post Prepper Book Festival 12: The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.
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We hear all the time about what we absolutely need in our bug out bag, and for the most part it’s true. Is putting together a bug out bag for a beginning prepper without a mag bar or a water filter a waste of time? I believe the answer is twofold. Yes, these supplies are critical to putting together a good bug out bag, but are not going to do us any good if we have no idea how to use them.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who is a beginning prepper, and he asked me what should go in a bug out bag? Before I go into detail about what I told him to put in his bug out bag, I want to give a you little backstory. It is becoming a success story about how to get someone interested in preparedness, and it applies to all areas of preparedness…not just bug out bags.
SPP154 Bug Out Bag Ideas for Beginning Preppers
We have been friends for a very long time (even before I became interested in preparedness) so when he asked me about my website, and why I was prepping, I was a little surprised. What surprised me even more was his willingness to learn about it and set aside his preconceived notions. It’s also because of the way I approach our conversations and not go overboard talking about doomsday scenarios.
Addition & Subtraction
To me it’s something like learning math in school, you can’t expect someone to excel in calculus if they don’t even know their times tables. When he asked me what should go in his bug out bag I approached it from the same angel. If someone has never built a fire in their life without lighter fluid, they really have no need for a ferro rod, although learning that skill should be top priority.
The same applies to prepping in general. if you don’t have at least a few gallons of water stored, you shouldn’t be thinking about how to build a water catchment system. If you don’t know how to build a fire and then start it with a ferro rod, you better stock up on Brownie Juice (lighter fluid) and Bic lighters while you learn those skills.
Before I get into the list I gave him for his bug out bag, here are a couple of questions I asked him to get a better idea about not only what supplies he would need, but what supplies that would be useful.
These questions were purposefully general, and I made sure he knew that this was not a judgement, and these were not pass/fail questions. This is just to get an idea about what tools would be useful right now, and what he needed to work on.
- What is your main concern?
- If you had to leave your home, who would be going with you? (wife and dog)
- If you had to leave right now, where would you go?
- You need to travel 20 miles. If there was a 50% chance the roads were passable, and a near 100% chance of success by traveling on foot, what would you do?
- Have you ever built a fire?
- Have you ever built a fire without lighter fluid or newspaper?
- If you found yourself stranded what would you do for shelter?
- What resources are available around you? (food, water, shelter) and how could you utilize those resources.
- If you were dying of thirst would you drink the water from a nearby river?
- What is the minimum amount of calories per day the body needs per day to function properly?
After thinking about his answers for a little bit, I came up with the following list of supplies for his bug out bag. Keep in mind, this is not a complete all scenario bug out bag, this is more of a “starter kit” for him until he learns more about preparedness and survival.
Suggested Bug Out Bag Items…
- Sawyer Mini Water Filter
- Aquamira Tablets
- Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- A Total of 100ft of Paracord (550)
- Fixed Blade Knife
- Folding Knife
- Multi Tool
- Hatchet Or Folding Saw
- Tarp (Shelter)
- LED Flashlight(s)
- Head Lamp
- Baseplate Compass
- Map of Area
- Survival Blanket
- Solar Charger (Charged)
- Old Cell Phone or Tablet With Survival Information pdf’s
- Small First Aid Kit
- Trauma First Aid Kit
- Low Weight Food (Survival Ration Bars)
- Bandanna (Face Mask)
- Spare Socks (Wool)
- Work Gloves
- Waterproof Paper
- Tactical Pen
- Industrial Sized Trash Bag (Rain Poncho)
- Duct Tape
- Toilet Paper Tabs
- Hand Sanitizer
Fire Starting Kit…
- Bic Lighter(s)
- OSB Matches
- Vaseline Soaked Cotton Balls (In Kit)
- Mag Bar
Suggested PDF’s & Learning
I also gave him a list of items he should think about adding to his old cell phone, and skills he should learn. Once he learns these skills, he can add other (better) items to his bug out bag.
- Learn about building a fire
- Learn about water filtration
- Knot tying (important knots)
- SAS survival guide
- Using a compass
- Building shelter
Also From The Show
The guys at Tac-Bar are doing a huge contest where they are giving away over $2500 in cash and prizes. Click here to read more about that.
Our Monthly Contest
Along with the Tac-Bar contest above Aaron is also giving us 2 Tac-Bar ammo cans to give away in this month’s contest
- The guys over at PakLite are giving us 3 of their flashlights to give away.
- I am making a trauma kit which I am going to do a video for, and then give it away.
- I will have more information about how to enter, and how to win in next week’s show, so stay tuned for that.
I also mentioned in the show about how we are launching the brand new Survivalist Prepper Academy 2.0, and some of the great stuff we will be doing there.
The Survivalist Prepper Academy 2.0
For a limited time, I will be giving everyone a 50% discount to the current Academy (1.0) and when the new Academy goes live, all current members will have access to both Academy’s. You can click here to become a member, and you can also click here to take a peek at the new Academy.
Living out of a van, for some that would sound like a nightmare, for others, a dream come true. To happily live in a van, you would have to be a minimalist, you could not have loads of stuff, unless you hauled a trailer behind you. Part of me says I could do it, then I look around and realize I’m a major packrat, so I am probably not a good candidate.
This guy seems to have his situation all worked out, I must admit that I absolutely LOVE his “closet”, it’s the best setup to store clothes I’ve seen to date, especially being in a regular full size van.
Watch and enjoy
Groups: Seeing the big picture! DJ Cooper “Surviving Dystopia” In the first three parts on survival groups we talked about why join a survival group, the ABC’s of the survival group and knowing your role. What does all this mean to you? There was a lot of information given and some of these things warrant … Continue reading Groups: Seeing the big picture!