The American Food Ignorance Epidemic

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The American Food Ignorance Epidemic Humans living in “developed” countries have a disconnect with their food. It comes in tidy packages with labels and expiration dates. No where on the planet is this “Food Ignorance Epidemic” more pronounced than in America. Without pointing fingers at any one thing, if you sit back and look at …

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Different Types of Ropes and Their Survival Uses

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Different Types of Ropes and Their Survival Uses Rope is your best friend when it comes to surviving in the wild. Why? Because it can be used for practically anything. Unfortunately, not everyone is familiar with the different types of ropes that exist, as well as their benefits and what they can be used for. …

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Preparing for Less: 10 Ways to Prepare for Next to Nothing

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Preparing for Less: 10 Ways to Prepare for Next to Nothing I won’t beat about the bush, prepping is expensive and can consume pretty much all of your money if you’re not careful. I personally went a little gung ho a few years ago on preps and left my self with no money for my …

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Fenix PD35 Flashlight Review 2016

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PD35: The Best Fenix Flashlight? A tactical flashlight makes the perfect present for a birthday or maybe even father’s day. Once you start to carry a little flashlight with you everywhere you go, you will be surprised just how much use it gets. I have been testing the Fenix PD35 tactical flashlight, and below you …

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Frugal Eating – Over 100 Crock Pot Recipes & Ideas

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Frugal Eating – Over 100 Crock Pot Recipes & Ideas If you want to eat more real foods, I mean NON processed meats. This is for you. You will save a ton of money eating this way and its really easy to make each and every one of the dishes provided in the link below. …

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The App That Identifies Plants From A Picture

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The App That Identifies Plants From A Picture How many times have you seen a plant or a flower and are unsure of what it is? I know I have. In fact I normally get really mad at my self because by my age I thought I would know quite a lot of them. I found …

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The Problem with Expat Living in Latin America

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Message:

I read your book. Great stuff, thanks for writing it! My wife and I currently live in the San Diego, CA area. We’d like to move away from here. I know that you moved from South America to Spain. With your knowledge of S. A. can you recommend any countries in either S. A. or C.A. that would be a good place for an American to be an expat? We’re looking for a place to retire with a lower cost of living but don’t want somewhere that hates “gringos”.

Regards

Tim

..

Hello Tim,

Since you liked my first book, I suggest you get my second one which is specifically about this topic called “Bugging Out and Relocating”. In it I go further into detail and explain why in most cases Latin America simply isn’t a good idea.

I have met all kinds of people. Very rarely did I find an American or European that was truly happy living permanently in 3rd world conditions. The smells, the poverty, the crime it all gets old very fast. Very few Americans enjoy living that way. Even for the more adventurous they get fed up after a year or two once the “Honeymoon” period is over.

The novel expat may love the foreign and colourful places and situations. You may even know expats that live in much nicer homes than the ones they would have been able to afford stateside. Trust me, its all makeup. I’ve lived my entire life in south America and I know you can’t escape a country’s poverty by living in a nice gated community or country club. Eventually it gets to you. As soon as you leave those gates the true reality of the place surrounds you. Eventually you realize that it’s you the one that is living behind golden bars but bars none the less, while the true nature of the place isn’t the one that was sold to you but the one that is out there.

Panama and Costa Rica are two of the most popular expat destination and you will find a community of Americans there. Some may actually be happy about living there and not regret their decision years later. Still, what I explained above still stands: A third world country, with crime like you wouldn’t believe, with corruption and bureaucracy that will drive you nuts and you’ll simply never get used to.

My advice for those that want to move to Latin America for the great climate, cost of living and easy going lifestyle is to move to Spain instead, specifically the south of Spain in Costa del Sol. Fantastic weather and beaches? Check. 1st world quality of life (sure, with a Spanyard twist, but still)? Check. Safe? Check!

You mention lower cost of living. The cost of living in one place compared to another is a topic of some heated debate. Some will argue that cost of living in Central America is very low. I’d say that so as to live safe and within American middleclass standards of living the difference of cost between Spain and central America is negligible. Sure, here in Costa del Sol property is far more expensive, and eating out or grocery trips may cost more, but then again you cant put a price on the peace of mind you enjoy here. Murder rates in Spain are almost a third of what they are in USA. Central America on the other hand has three to four times more murders than USA. I just don’t see the point in moving to a country that is several times more dangerous than the one you already live in right now. Medical care, infrastructure, its all much better in Spain. The expat community is also huge. Its mostly British, Germans and people from Nordic countries but you have lots of Americans too.

Think about it. You move to this tropical paradise, but you cant go for  a walk on the beach at night because of the crime problem? Here you can go for a walk at 3am if you wish. Walk for miles in any direction without coming across any ghettos or shanty town like you do in Latin America.

You also mention not being hated. Latin Americans in general resent “gringos”. That’s why they call them “gringos”, which isn’t much of a friendly way to call someone. Costa del Sol in the other hand has to be one of the friendliest places in the world for foreigners. Everything is written in English, and English is required for any kind of job involving customers. Radio stations, the train station even announcements in the supermarket its all both in English and Spanish. You even have bilingual public schools, where most subjects are in English.

I know its not what magazines and blogs recommend, but for anyone wanting to retire to Latin America, hands down my recommendation is Spain. For even cheaper cost of living (although you give up a few things) Portugal would also be a better option than a 3rd world country.

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”.

The Chicken Alternative That Is More Profitable, Smaller, And Tastes Great, Too

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The Homestead Chicken Alternative That Is Smaller, More Profitable, and Tastes Great, Too

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

Small birds are usually bypassed as a food source, but those looking to supplement their food supply or establish additional food security can benefit from small birds. There are two main small birds I would recommend: quails and pigeons.

Here are the advantages to owning quail:

  • They are small, so they need no more than one-square foot for each bird.
  • They don’t roost, so a pen about 18-inches tall is sufficient. Pigeons, though, are roosters, so you will want a taller pen with a place to roost and nest.
  • They are efficient egg layers in terms of converting feed into eggs.

The Homestead Chicken Alternative That Is Smaller, More Profitable, and Tastes Great, TooThe main quail for meat and eggs is the bobwhite quail, which is delicious and mature in 16 weeks. You can eat the bird, which dresses out at about 7-9 ounces, or it will start laying eggs.

It takes four quail eggs to equal one average chicken egg. Quail eggs bring much more money than standard chicken eggs, so you even can sell them.

Quail are quiet except for a sing-song coo; not even the males crow. This bird will not bother your neighbors! In fact, if you live in an apartment, no one will know you have them. Cleaning them is easy because the cage should have a screen floor with no need for nest boxes. Quail are not picky; they lay eggs wherever they stand.

Other great, yet smaller, quails are the gambel’s quail, Tennessee, California Valley, Texas and button quail.

Discover 1,147 Secrets Of Successful Off-Grid Living!

Quail meat is high in protein and minerals and it’s lean, so it can dry out while cooking. It’s best braised, but can be fried or used in other ways. The eggs are amazing and full of HDL cholesterol (the healthy cholesterol). They are also hypoallergenic, so people with chicken egg allergies likely can eat them.

Pigeons: not Just an Annoying Bird

Image source: Pixabay.com

Image source: Pixabay.com

Pigeons (squab) may be a nuisance in the city, but they are valuable as a food supply. Pigeons are really easy to care for, and they grow quickly. If you look online for a meat-quality pigeon pair, you may be shocked; you would be fortunate to get a pair under $100 online. I suggest visiting a farm that has a silo; Amish farms would probably be the best choice. You may be able to purchase pigeons from Amish for less than $5 each. You will not find the fancy pigeons there, but they are very edible. Ask them to catch several, for mating. Once pigeons pair up, they stay together for life.

Before bringing them home, make a pigeon coup. It doesn’t have to be fancy and it will not have to be all wire. You’ll need:

  • A closet or shed.
  • A screen box to mount on the side so that they may peek out.
  • A nest box so they can lay eggs.

“Squab” is a fancy name for the pigeons, and usually means young birds. A healthy pair will raise 12-14 squab during the year. It only takes about 26 days from hatching until eating. The parents will usually lay a second set of eggs before the first pair of chicks leaves the nest.

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Pigeon feed can be found at many feed stores, or it can be pre-ordered. They will need minerals and clean water, daily.

Once established, you will have a constant food supply and new hobby!

Squab is a healthy and delicious meat. All the meat is dark and, believe it or not, tastes like the dark chicken meat. It is a tender meat, juicy and flavorful with fatty skin. There are many ways to cook this bird—all taste great!

Regardless of the way you choose to go, these birds offer multiple benefits. The cost of feeding chicken alternatives is inexpensive. All you need is a handful of feed a day, minerals and clean water. Anyone who has the room to keep either bird will find all sorts of cage plans online. The only thing left to do is go out and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Have you ever raised quail or pigeons? Share your advice in the section below:

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

hydrogen peroxide report

Another Great Depression: How Devastating Would It Be?

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The Fifteenth United States Census was conducted in May of 1930, and it was determined that the resident population was 122,775,046, in the United States, which was up 13 percent from the 1920 census. Today there are over 322 million people in the United States. Another great depression would have a profound effect on the country, much more so than in the 1920’s and 30’s.

During the first great depression, the government was much smaller, much less intrusive. There was no question as to whether you could raise chickens in your front yard, side yard, or backyard, you simply did it without anyone demanding a permit or threatening to sue over the noise and smell.

Back then not having a garden was considered an oddity if you lived in a rural area. Today, in some municipalities you can’t even raise vegetables in your front yard. Government dependency is at an all-time high, so what happens when the government cannot provide any more. We are almost to that point now are we not?

Dependency

We are dependent on electricity and technology today. Dependent to the point that some, if not many of us would not survive without either. Technology keeps the pacemakers operational, the dialysis machines running and the tools for complicated surgeries rely on advanced technology as well.

In 1920, there wasn’t much of a dependency. Cities and towns had access to electricity, but few rural homes enjoyed the luxury. If you never had it, you wouldn’t miss it, nor need it. Today, however, it’s a different matter.

It is not the loss of billions, it will not be the shortage of food, and it will not be violent riots and civil unrest, which kills the most people. No, it will be the lack of electricity and lack of access to technology that will be the most devastating in the short-term, because people will not be able to get their government check, their medical care, and their food stamps, cell phones, free heating oil, and food from food banks, which they so rely on today.

People today don’t really know their neighbors in suburbia. It is best not to get involved, not hear the goings on next door, unlike in years past where neighbors were like family. You needed a barn raised 30 people showed up with hammers and saws without being asked and went to work and the only pay was a good meal at the end of the day that the ladies of the home so happily prepared for the hard working crew.

If there was a death in some family down the road people showed up with covered dishes to pass, men helped dig the grave in the family plot and every man removed their hats and bowed their heads in respect, even if the person that passed was a stranger. That is what people did, they cared, and they helped knowing that they too may be in the same position one day, and they knew they could count on their neighbors or even complete strangers in some cases to rally around and help get the job done.

Morality or lack of it will kill people today. When groups of people on a sidewalk can step over injured people, victims of a crime or someone with a medical emergency without even seeing them, let alone offering help, then people will die by the thousands during a crisis like the great depression because no will notice nor care to stop and help anyone.

There is more to prepping today than gathering food, equipment, and materials. Most Preppers by nature are generous and willing to share their knowledge and skills, and even their supplies in some instances. However, Preppers make up just a small fraction of the population today, so to be the only person in the room willing to help means you have a huge task ahead of you. A task you must prepare for along with gathering supplies and learning to live without electricity, natural gas, propane, and technology.

You have to prepare to deal with those that do not care. Some people will change once the SHTF, if for nothing more than for self-preservation but the vast majority of people will continue as they did before the crisis, and so, they will be your worst nightmare.

The post Another Great Depression: How Devastating Would It Be? appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

About those New Releases…

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I’ve been so busy writing books that I’ve gotten behind on updating all my various sites, especially this one. If you’ve been a long-time reader here at Bug Out Survival, you know that most of the articles posted here are from the recent years past when I was writing my non-fiction books on the topic, beginning with Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before it’s too Late.

While I enjoyed writing those books and sharing the information I’ve posted here over the years, my long-term goal as a writer was to write fiction, and now with seven novels published and more coming this year, I have become a full-time novelist.

As many of you know, my main two fiction series: The Pulse Series and The Darkness After Series both deal with the topic of survival in the aftermath of a catastrophic solar flare, so my current work is not really so far removed from the topics covered here at Bug Out Survival. I have left this site intact for those who might refer back to it or find it in the future, and I may get back to posting here after completing more of my novels.

Someone commented just this morning on my last post here that they were not even aware that The Forge of Darkness (Book III of The Darkness After Series) was released, and I apologize for not posting about it here sooner. The forth book in The Pulse Series is also on preorder at Amazon and will be coming in August.

The best way to stay up to date regarding my upcoming books, if you’re interested, is to join my mailing list. You’ll get advance notice when a new book is on preorder so you can grab it at the reduced preorder price before release, and I’ll let you know about other discounts and deals from time to time. I’ve also got a completely new series in the works that I think readers of this site will really like, and I’ll be sending my subscribers the details soon. Right now you can even get a free book just for signing up. 

And for those of you interested in The Forge of Darkness and Landfall: Islands in the Aftermath, clicking on the covers below will take you to the Amazon pages where you can read the descriptions and either Look Inside or download a free sample.

Age of the Super Bug has dawned: Are you ready for a bio-catastrophe?

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Why should you care about what I am writing about today?  “Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to

Half Yearly Sale – Up To 70% Off Everything!

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The Ready Store Half Year Sale

Ready Store’s huge sitewide sale that only happens twice a year is starting today! For a limited time you can take advantage of savings up to 70% on top selling food, emergency gear, water supplies, MREs etc. The whole site is on sale now!

Each day during this sale you’ll be able to save even more on eight products with additional savings! These eight products will change daily so be sure to act quick when you see something that interests you because the following day it will no longer have the hot summer savings!


Shop All Half Yearly Savings Now!

Emergency Homeless Shelters and Other Hacks built by Paul Elkin

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emergency homeless shelters

He used recycled fluted plastic signs, old plywood and a bicycle to build this shelter.

About 5 years ago, I wrote an article on homeless shelters developed by an inventor named Paul Elkins.  His emergency homeless shelters can be built for about $100.00 and will keep you warm and dry.  Now I had rather forgotten about him until I ran across information on a small camper he has built to tow behind his bike.  He has been traveling all over the country in it.

He spends his time building all kinds of inventions many of which could be useful to preppers.  His inventions are inexpensive to make and he is more than willing to share plans and ideas.  He does charge a small price for plans, $20 or less.

His website is quite interesting, he has sections on both stationary and mobile shelters, survival, boat, bikes and trikes.  Now admittedly he is probably not designing these for preppers, but for the homeless.  However, I think many of the ideas are useful, we could very well end up being the homeless.  The downside to many of his ideas is that they are small; storage room is at a premium.  But I can see where a couple of these emergency homeless shelters painted camo could hide quite well in the woods.  Use one for sleeping and one for storage.

emergency homeless shelters

Another mobile shelter

emergency homeless shelters

A stationary shelter

As you can see, he has many inventive ideas that could help keep us warm and sheltered after TEOTWAWKI if we are forced to bug out.  Many of the building materials that he uses are products that would still be available in many areas for salvage.  I notice that some of his projects are built from materials used in plastic signs.  Hopefully some people who own property for a bug out location, but are short of funds can adapt some of his ideas for their use.

emergency homeless shelters

This kayak weighs 7 lbs and folds to 4 feet by 2 ft by 4 inches and will hold 180 pounds and is made from one sheet of Coroplast

Let me know if you try any of these ideas and if you send pictures we would love to share them with others.

Howard

emergency homeless shelters

A mail box stove

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Overcome Your Coffee Addiction With This Healthy Alternative

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  Yerba Mate (yer-bah mah-tay) is my new saving grace. I love coffee as much as the next person, but recently I noticed I was having trouble sleeping at night on the days I drank it. I was also getting the jitters after my second or third cup, even though I wasn’t feeling fully awake. I have small children, so the idea of giving up caffeine entirely is unfathomable, but tea never really gets me going and energy drinks (especially those with mythical creatures in their titles) make my heart race and my palms sweat.

What is Yerba Mate?

I first heard of Yerba Mate from a friend of mine who visited Paraguay, where everyone from university students to the elderly to children have been known to sip it (this is the brand she saw people drink the most often and is consequently what I now drink). Yerba Mate is made from the leaves of a South American holly tree that grows in the rainforest. It has approximately the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee (around 75 mg) but the way the body processes it is very different. While it has energizing properties, Yerba Mate doesn’t result in the same jittery quality caffeine sometimes does. People tend to drink it all day long, not only in the morning, and it’s been said to actually aid in sleep. In Central and South American cultures people often drink from traditional gourds, but I found a travel gourd that is super cute and works just as well (and you won’t get strange looks from your coworkers when you show up to work with a hollowed-out coconut). You suck Yerba Mate through a metal straw with a filter (called a bombilla) but you can also run it through a coffee machine or use a tea ball or French press and get basically the same effects.

Energy without the Jitters

As soon as I switched from coffee to Yerba Mate I noticed an immediate difference in my ability to concentrate. Besides that, I didn’t have the anxiety I sometimes get from coffee. I’m not going to lie, the taste is very different—closer to a very strong, almost oaky, black tea—but I drink coffee for the pick-me-up, not the flavor. On the first day that I switched, I opened a very long, tedious document I was to copyedit. It usually takes me well into my second cup of coffee to get into the flow with this type of work, but before I had finished one gourd of Mate, I was in the zone. I drank two gourds full over 4 hours and easily completed my assignment. I didn’t drink any more Mate that day because I didn’t need it.

Sweet Dreams

I’ve never been the type to drink coffee after noon, but even still, I was finding it difficult to turn off my brain at night to sleep. Once I switched to Yerba Mate I had no problems sleeping—in fact, these days I’m often able to sleep when my baby takes his nap—something I always try to do but find difficult. In addition, I’ve begun having vivid, cinematic dreams, both during naps and at night. I’m also able to remember these dreams after I wake up, which is unusual for me.

Other Benefits

Besides simply being a great, energizing drink, Yerba Mate contains several antioxidants, 24 vitamins and minerals, and 15 amino acids. Because it is lower in tannins, it is not as acidic as coffee, so people with stomach issues might find it easier to tolerate.

It’s been about 6 weeks and I’m still extremely happy with my switch to Yerba Mate. I still drink the occasional cup of coffee just for the ritual of it—plus I like to work in coffee shops and I have to buy something to “rent” my table—but these days I choose decaf instead of regular.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Winners Announced in the Fiberfix Giveaway

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           It was maddening to have the internet down here when I was itching to announce the winners of the Fiberfix giveaway.     The internet came back online just after lunch.

            Two winners were picked from folded papers I placed in a small fishbowl.


One winner is Matt   who lives in Virginia

the other is


Karen      whom I hope will be sending me her address shortly.

(I am keeping their last names private due to potential identity theft.)


Congratulations winners !    Thank you to everyone who participated.


   This was a lot of fun for me and I had a chance to talk to a lot of our readers from the beginning and also some people who are new to reading Rational Preparedness.   I plan to do other giveaways !



Progress on the Chickens

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Made some progress on the chickens this week and went to have a look at some of the options available at a few farms. The Rhode Island Reds were pretty much a given as they seem to come recommended by everyone and crossed with Marans give the famous Warrens. Not that I have any Marans […]

What Microsoft Does NOT Want You To Know About Windows 10

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What Microsoft Does NOT Want You To Know About Windows 10

Windows 10 could be a major threat to your privacy, and Microsoft is trying to force you to use it whether you want it or not.

In fact, if you use Windows 7 or 8, Microsoft could automatically update you to Windows 10 and begin tracking your every move.

“Microsoft openly stated that pervasive data collection will be present in any Windows version starting from Windows 10, and as a host of research on the Internet shows, this data collection cannot be disabled using official means,” tech expert Artem S. Tashkinov wrote at itvision.altervista.org.

The default settings for Windows 10 allow Microsoft to track every website you visit, every purchase you make, and every word you type into the search engine. It even allows Microsoft to track your physical location. Microsoft makes upgrading to the operating system tempting by making it free – at least until July 29.

Discover How To Become Invisible In Today’s Surveillance State!

Microsoft uses all of this data and interaction in several ways:

  • Offering users targeted ads.
  • Guiding users to its Windows Store.
  • Funneling users to the search page Bing, which it owns.

None of this is done with the current versions of Windows. (Windows 10 also can drain your battery if you own an older laptop.)

Fortunately, there are some ways to block Windows 10’s data collection and even to go back to Windows 7 or Windows 8 if you want.

Don’t Use Express Settings

Many users may not realize that the version of Windows 10 that automatically installs employs the so-called Express Settings. These automatically share a wide variety of information with Microsoft, including location and browser data, TechRadar reported. You can avoid these by picking “Custom Settings” for the install.

Story continues below video

If you’ve already installed Windows 10 using the Express Settings, then you can reverse Microsoft actions under the Privacy Settings in the control panel. For example, one setting asks if you want to “let apps use my advertising ID, send Microsoft Info about how I write, and let websites provide locally relevant content.” If this is on, both Microsoft and advertisers can collect data from your computer.

Other Problems With Windows 10

IT Pro reported that some of the Window 10 apps can take control of your camera and microphone and collect account information unless you turn them off.

You should also make sure that Wi-Fi Sense is off. If this feature is turned on, it could share your Wi-Fi passwords with routers, PC World reported. To turn Wi-Fi Sense off, go to Settings in the start menu, click on Network & Internet, then Manage Wi-Fi Settings, and chose what Wi-Fi you want to use. Turning off the hotspot keeps the computer from broadcasting your information.

Uninstalling Windows 10

Uninstalling Windows 10 and going back to Windows 8.1 or 7 is actually fairly easy – if you do it within 30 days. Visit Settings, find the Update & Security icon and click Recovery. You should see an option to “Go to Back to Windows 7” or “go back to Windows 8.1.” Click the right icon.

If it has been over a month since you added Windows 10, you will have to do a “clean install.” That will eliminate everything on your hard drive. Make sure you have all of your files on cloud storage or an external drive first.

What advice would you add on Windows 10? Share it in the section below:

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

How to Get Health Insurance on the Road: Obamacare.

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Here’s a link explaining very clearly how to get Obamacare health insurance for yourself. The author is Bob Wells, the owner of a very informative YouTube video channel, http://www.cheaprvliving.com/ [also listed in my Van Dwelling Bug Out Blogs I follow] about how to become a happy and successful full-time VanDweller or RV Living person. Bob is a 12 year, full-time Vandweller and pays only $50 a month for his healthcare insurance. Great site, hundreds of quality How To’s and interviews with people actually living that lifestyle.

Link to Bob’s Obamacare article:

The Devil’s Game Plan: Conflicting and Contradictory Messages

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     No wonder the Church is so ineffective today, and Christians cannot seem to “unite with one mind”.  We no longer seem to be “of one heart and soul”.  Those terms are how the Early Church was described in Acts, Chapter Four.  And when I say “early” Church, that’s exactly what I mean.  These terms were used to describe the body of believers shortly after the Day of Pentecost when the Church was born.  In the midst of their tumultuous beginning, the new believers were unified in their faith and commitment to the teachings and deity of Christ.
     The Sanhedrin were agitated and frustrated at the preaching of Peter and John about this man Jesus, whom they had recently crucified.  They thought they had quelled His grassroots movement and silenced His influence, and here were these men continuing to spread His seditious message.  So the Book of Acts tells us that the ruling class delivers their own message to the followers of Christ:  “We have the power. If you are allowed to preach, as you have been preaching, it is because we have permitted you to do it.  Anytime we want, we can arrest you and carry you off to jail.  We demand that you be silent about your disruptive faith”!

      Kind of feels like we’re headed towards that same scenario ourselves, doesn’t it?  When we cast a discerning eye upon our culture it is easy to see the discrimination and growing persecution of our faith.  And it is not always blatant. The Enemy is very crafty and subtle … it begins with the suggestion that we should become more tolerant towards the sins that the Bible renounces and condemns, while slowly and gradually, we end up with the month of June being declared as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month — by Presidential proclamation, no less.
     But that doesn’t sow near enough confusion among the faithful.  We also have an Episcopal priest writing articles for a liberal-leaning website in which she argues for the power of “queer virtue” to combat “heteronormativity” and revitalize a Christianity that is too wedded to traditional ideas of human sexuality and marriage.  In her article, the Reverend Elizabeth M. Edman asserts that “Pride” is central to the LGBT movement and integral to an authentically Christian life. 
     Excuse me, I’m no theologian and have never been trained by a certified School of Divinity.  In fact, my only instruction has come strictly from the Bible and the Holy Spirit, but if I recall correctly, Pride in the Bible always seems to be about self-worship.  God abhors pride because it hinders an individual from seeking Him.  In fact, it seems to be that those who hang their hat on Pride are so consumed with themselves that their thoughts are far from God and they think they have no need of Him or, worse, that God should accept them as they are because they deserve His acceptance. After all, it was pride that captivated Lucifer, who is the picture of self-worship, seeking to become like God.  And can you see the confusion and contradictory message he is spreading in this denomination of the Church?
     Edman goes on to extol Pride as a virtue, claiming that it should be redeemed and embraced (regardless of what the Bible says) and that “Christians must become aware of and resist the impulse, conscious or subconscious, to deny the existence of LGBTQ people”.  I don’t believe that there is anyone I know in the Christian Church who wishes to deny the existence of LGBTQ people.  We just wish to stand by the commandments of God on how a Christian is to live their life.  Everyone must make their own life choices, and certainly has the free will to do so.  But, as a Christian, I cannot abandon the dictates of my Savior.  Edman makes it clear that her objective is “to proclaim a more authentic gospel” and to dismantle (within Church doctrine) what she calls “heteronormative impulses”, and what I call disobedience and rebellion against God.  She wants to “strip the Bible of its “heteronormativity” and remake Christianity in the image of a society that glorifies gender fluidity and pansexualism.”  With that philosophical doctrine, I would say she has successfully embraced Pride.  And I’m going to be bold enough to declare it a lie from the devil.  Pride is not a Biblical virtue, nor will God exalt it.
     But that is not the only misguided notion and deception being perpetrated by the Enemy upon the Church.  The leading mega-Pastor in the country, Joel Osteen, is also spreading a misleading message.  In one of his latest sermons, he is quoted as saying, “God will fight your battles if you’ll stay at rest. If you’ll quit worrying about the medical report, if you’ll quit being upset over the contract you didn’t get, if you’ll quit being stressed by those people who are talking about you. If you’ll remain at rest, God will fight your battles.”  This is akin to what Osteen and fellow evangelist Joyce Meyers say is the key to peace in our lives … keeping a positive attitude.  But I do not believe that is enough to ward off the attacks of our Adversary.
     And that philosophy goes against the Bible telling us to put on the full armor of God.  If He is going to fight all our battles for us, why do we need any armor?  We must get in the fight and we can do that in a number of ways: by sending our prayers directly to the throne room of God; and declaring our testimonies to the spiritual realm; by binding and rebuking, in the Holy Name of Jesus, those demons and spirits that come against us; and participating in the healing powers of the Holy Spirit to set people free — that is the way you defeat the spirits of worry, anger, stress and depression.  Because that is what Pastor Osteen fails to tell you; those are very real spirits that are attacking you and causing all those emotional reactions.  Your real rest comes when you stand steadfast, confident in your authority and the power of Christ to work with you in victory.  That’s when you find real rest and peace in your spirit.
     But the devil is doing a darn good job of tossing grenades behind our lines…. deceiving us with messages [from within the Church] that Pride is a virtue; and that we just have to stay positive and wait for God to deliver us from our troubles.  And there is a false message that is becoming increasingly louder, in both the Church and our culture:  we must reduce or diminish the Gospel of Jesus Christ because it might offend others.  The whisper has grown into a shout: that we must become more inclusive and less intolerant; that there is more than one way to Heaven and we can get there through faith in more than one god.
     I say that it is imperative that we recognize this message as heresy and unacceptable.  We have already allowed God’s enemy to infiltrate His Church and gain too much ground.  Just reading back over these various viewpoints produces so many emotions:  sadness, anger, exasperation, and a heavy spirit.  How have we fallen so far, so fast?  Where are the warriors for the faith; those who are willing to stand and declare God’s Truth against this apostasy?  Where will the Church be in another decade?  And will those of us who declare the truth of God’s Word even be allowed to speak in defense of our faith?  Yes, the devil has done a good job; Christianity is under clear and organized assault.  It’s time to fight back for ourselves and the generations to come.  It’s time to glorify God, His Word, His Character, and His Church.

2 Corinthians 10:5    “We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ,”    

Creating An Inexpensive Outdoor Kitchen With Concrete Countertops

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If there are two things that we both enjoy more than any other – it’s spending time outdoors and cooking. For us, the opportunity to combine the two together with an inexpensive outdoor kitchen area at the farm is a dream come

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Hardtack: A Simple DIY Survival Food From History

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Survivopedia homemade hardtack

With only two ingredients and a little time you can stockpile a survival food that’s been used for centuries. Let’s take a lesson out of the history books and learn from various soldiers, sailors, and explorers throughout time.

It’s time to look at hardtack.

Hardtack is a simple survival food. It’s really inexpensive to create, and lasts for years. In fact, there’s still some on display from the Civil War that’s still good.

The most basic of recipes call for only two ingredients: all-purpose flour and water.  Other recipes call for additional ingredients, but the basic recipe has stood the test of time. We’ll start with that one.

Hardtack provided nutrition for hard times throughout history. It’s a good source of carbohydrates. If you keep it and protein-rich pemmican in your bug out bag, you’ll have sustenance to keep you alive for a while.

It’s also a good addition to your supply of emergency food. You just have to ensure you keep it away from pests and moisture. If the bugs get it, you’ll find weevils living in your stored food. If the hardtack gets wet, it’s prone to mold.

Making Hardtack

corbis imagesHardtack is simple to prepare. Before you begin, turn your oven on to 350 degrees.

It won’t take long to mix your hardtack up and you want your oven ready when you are.

Now, get yourself a big bowl. Measure out two cups of all-purpose flour and dump in.

Next, slowly add a half-cup of water and stir.

Keep adding water, a tablespoon or two at a time.

Your goal is to achieve a thick dough that’s just slightly sticky. A thick playdough type consistency.

While many recipes tell you exactly how much water to add, it really varies quite a bit. Your humidity, the dryness of your flour, and the type of flour you’re using all play an important role.

A rough estimate is ½ the amount of flour. So for two cups of flour, you’d need about one cup of water.

If you accidentally add too much water and your dough is pasty, just add some more flour. Once it’s the right consistency, mix it for a couple of minutes. This will ensure your moisture is evenly distributed throughout the whole batch.

Now it’s time to roll out your dough. A rolling pin works best, but in a pinch you can just pat it out with your hands. You’ll want to roll the dough until it’s somewhere between ½ an inch and a ¼ of an inch thick. Any thicker, and it’ll be even harder to eat when it’s dried.

Once it’s thin enough, you can cut the dough. A pizza cutter works really well, but so does a sharp knife. If you want your hardtack to look uniform, you can pull out a ruler and cut it into 3X3 pieces. Or use a biscuit cutter and have round pieces. Otherwise, just cut it into rectangles that are roughly the same size.

Grab a chopstick or a clean nail, and dock each piece. Docking means you poke holes in it, but don’t go all the way through. You’ll want to poke about sixteen holes in each piece, with four rows of four. It’ll resemble a modern day saltine cracker.

Then flip over each piece and dock the other side. Docking your hardtack will keep it from puffing up in the oven. It’ll also help ensure the moisture gets out by allowing the steam to escape.

Place your docked hardtack pieces on a cookie sheet. You’ll want to bake them for 30 minutes. When the time is up, remove and flip over each piece.

Bake them for another 30 minutes before removing them from the oven. They should be fairly hard at this point.

You’ll want to set your hardtack pieces on a rack to continue drying. Let them sit out at room temperature for a couple of days. They’ll be hard as bricks when they’re fully dry.

Storing Hardtack

Proper storage is essential for optimal shelf-life. You can pack the hard tack into glass Mason jars, or metal tins. These will keep the moisture out better than regular Ziploc style bags.

You can also store them in vacuum-sealed bags. No matter how you keep them, you want to prevent moisture and bugs from getting in.

Video first seen on SNO Multimedia.

Eating Hardtack

Now that you know how to make and store hardtack, let’s talk about storage. While hardtack will help your belly feel full in an emergency situation, it can be difficult to eat. That’s because it’s so hard.

Back in the day, this survival food was commonly called “tooth-breakers.” Make sure you don’t bite into it directly with your front teeth. They can break.

Of course if you’re a parent to a baby, you’ll find a benefit from the hardness. A chunk of hardtack makes a good teething biscuit. Just be sure to provide supervision with it to ensure a small chunk doesn’t break off and become a choking hazard.

If you don’t desire to simply gnaw on a chunk of hardtack all day, there are other ways to eat it. Here are a few common methods:

Soaking

As hardtack sits in moisture, it absorbs it and becomes softer. You can soak your piece in just about anything. Coffee, soup, and water have all been used historically.

Another benefit of soaking the hardtack is bug removal. During early wars, proper storage wasn’t always possible. Weevils became prevalent in this grain-based ration.

Once placed in liquid, the bugs began to float to the top. Diners could easily scoop them off the top and discard them before eating.

Frying

After cooking up salt pork, soaked hardtack can be fried in the grease. This adds flavor and fat, helping to make it more palatable.

As a Thickener

You can crumble your hardtack with a pestle and mortar. If you don’t have one accessible, you can take a lesson from soldiers and hit it with the barrel of your rifle until it breaks. Once it’s powdery, you can stir it into a stew. It’ll act as a thickener and add some caloric bulk to your recipe.

As a Holder for Spreads

Many people have used hardtack as a bread of sorts. When you add a moisture-rich spread like soft cheese, honey, or peanut butter and jelly, the moisture will slowly soften your hardtack.

Using Hardtack Creatively

You don’t have to be limited to the above recipes when eating hardtack. With a little creativity, you can turn these hard squares of dried flour into many dishes. Here are two more ideas for you to try.

Slather it with pizza sauce and toppings and make yourself a mini-pizza. Just be sure to cut it before consuming so you don’t break a tooth.

Soak your hardtack overnight in buttermilk. In the morning, fry it up in butter or bacon grease. Serve with maple syrup and call it a pancake.

Recipe Variations

Since basic hardtack tastes a lot like flour, many variations of the original recipe have crept up. While the addition of salt, seasoning, oil, or protein powder may improve the taste, they do have an impact on long-term storage ability.

If you decide to make a batch of one of these recipes, inspect your hardtack closely before consuming. Make sure it’s still hard and hasn’t started to go soft. Be on the lookout for any mold growth. You might even decide to make a new batch every year or so, just to ensure your supply is good when you need it.

Adding Salt

To your original recipe, just add 2 teaspoons of salt. Then, continue as directed above. It’ll help improve the flavor.

Adding Seasoning

Hardtack is pretty bland. You can add some other seasonings like garlic or onion powder to the original recipe to enhance the flavor. Feel free to add your favorite seasoning blends as well.

You can even experiment a bit within a single batch. Before you roll it out, break your dough into smaller chunks. Add different seasonings to each, and then continue with the recipe. This will allow you to take notes on what you like or don’t like before committing to making an entire batch.

Adding Fats

Several recipes online call for the addition of about a tablespoon of shortening, butter, or oil. While the added fat would help improve the texture, it is prone to becoming rancid. This addition is better served for short-term storage.

Substituting the Flour

All-purpose flour is not the most nutritious flour out there. But, it stores well since most of the oil from the bran has been removed. By simply experimenting with the flour you use, you can change up your hardtack.

Give whole-wheat flour a try to increase the nutrients. Try substituting a cup of flour for a cup of cornmeal. Or a cup of protein powder to add protein to your emergency ration.

Hardtack is an excellent DIY addition to your survival food stores. When properly stored, it can be added to this list of foods that’ll last longer than you do!

Have you made hardtack? With the endless variations, I know I didn’t cover them all. What are your favorite additions or ways to use your hardtack?

Leave a comment below and share your tips with all the readers. And click on the banner below to get more tips on how our ancestors survived!

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This article has been written by Lisa Tanner for Survivopedia.

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Why You Should Keep Tarp in Your Survival Kit

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A few weeks ago, we took a day trip to a wilderness area for a picnic. There was no rain in the forecast that day, and there were no clouds in the sky when we set out. After an hour’s drive, we arrived and scoped out a spot by some trees. A couple of hours later, the clouds started coming in. Pretty soon the sky was dark and you could just feel a slight cool down in the temperature, which signifies rain. The wind came in and we knew we were about to have a downpour. […]

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Chickweed: The Edible, Tasty ‘Superfood’ You Mow Over Every Week

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Image source: Pixabay.com

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

What the heck is chickweed and why would I want it in my salad? If you’re like many gardeners, you yank this common weed out of your carefully tended vegetable garden and toss it into your compost bin. Using chickweed as compost isn’t a terrible idea, but you’re missing out on a versatile, flavorful plant. Better yet, you don’t have to plant it, and it’s completely free.

Chickweed is truly worthy of superfood status, rich in vitamins B, C and D, and minerals such as calcium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus and iron. The plant provides anti-inflammatory properties and is believed to be a blood purifier. It has been used through the ages for its many medicinal qualities.

Chances are good that you have easy access to this tasty weed; it grows in nearly every climate across North America.

Dangerous Lookalikes

Before you decide to harvest chickweed for edible purposes, be sure you know exactly what you’re harvesting, because spurge and scarlet pimpernel are chickweed lookalikes. Both are poison and the latter can be deadly, so do your homework. (Although the Internet has a lot of very good information, it’s a good idea to confirm identification in person with two or three experts before eating any wild plant.)

Identifying Chickweed

Chickweed (Stellaria media) tends to grow in thick, intertwined mats, usually no more than four inches in height. Its most important distinguishing characteristic is a single, thin line of white hair that runs up the stems.

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Chickweed produces tiny, tear-shaped leaves and dainty, white, star-shaped flowers. The flowers look like they have 10 petals, but if you look closer you can see they actually consist of five, deeply indented petals. This is an important identifying feature.

The Harvest

Image source: Pixabay.com

Image source: Pixabay.com

Look for chickweed in spring and cool weather, as this isn’t a heat- or sun-loving plant. You’ll find it growing in woods, meadows, roadsides, lawns or shady garden spots – usually places that have been disturbed. Chickweed may grow in full sunlight, but it flowers and goes to seed quickly. When conditions are just right and temperatures aren’t too warm, you can harvest the plant for up to six weeks.

To harvest chickweed, grab a handful and pull the bunch straight up. Locate the tips of the plants and cut the upper six inches or so with scissors or clippers. Leave the base and lower stems, which tend to be a little on the tough, stringy side. Pick out grass and other less palatable plant matter, and you’re good to go.

Using Chickweed

Have fun and use your imagination, because the sky is the limit when it comes to using chickweed in the kitchen.

The plant is tastiest when used fresh. You may be tempted to dry it like an herb, but it doesn’t last long and loses its nutritional qualities quickly. Instead, store chickweed in the refrigerator as you would spinach or lettuce. If you harvested more than you can possibly use, freeze it and add it to soup stock or other hot dishes.

Salad is the obvious choice for using any type of green, and it’s a good way for beginners to experiment with this tasty wild plant. Snip chickweed into small pieces and add it to a green salad along with grated carrots or beets. Other tasty and nutritious additives include sunflower seeds, nuts, parsley, chives or other wild greens like watercress.

Stir chopped chickweed into omelets or scrambled eggs. Chickweed pairs just fine with mushrooms, onions or other veggies.

Steam chickweed much like spinach or other greens. Make it quick, as overcooking causes loss of valuable nutrients. You can also add chickweed to your favorite stir fry.

Create a chickweed sandwich. For example, pile a handful of chopped chickweed on a slice of tasty bread and sprinkle it with a little sea salt or drizzle lightly with olive oil, balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice. You can always add chickweed to a tuna sandwich, or pile on bacon, tomato or avocado.

Blend chickweed into a smoothie. If you want a super-nutritional treat, combine chickweed with other wild plants like nettles, watercress, lamb’s quarters or dandelion leaves. If you aren’t wild about the slightly earthy flavor, try adding fruit. Any type is great, but citrus fruits like pineapple and orange are especially delicious.

Have you eaten chickweed? What advice would you add on picking and eating it? Share your tips in the section below:

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Dealing with Pests in an Organic Garden

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The biggest problem organic gardeners face is dealing with pests. An infestation of aphids or cutworms can absolutely devastate a garden! You can have an entire row of plants wiped out in days, or even hours.
Organic gardeners are not at the mercy of insect pests. The methods are not quite as easy as grabbing a chemical pesticide, but the benefits are much higher!

It’s important to try to prevent infestations, rather than just treating them once they occur. You can do this by spraying your plants with solutions that deter many of the most common garden pests.
There are many organic solutions available, but you can make your own by using recipes that can be found in most organic gardening books. Most of them will be sort of like a tea, made with things like hot pepper sauce and garlic.
When you can, you should try to plant species that are native to the area in which you live. This is why we planted Jerusalem artichokes this year and maintain a rhubarb patch. These plants have natural immunity to many common diseases in the area. There are also plants that are pest-resistant, and won’t have as many problems with pests as other varieties.
If you plant early enough, you may be able to avoid the worst part of the bug season. Insects have just a short period of each year in which they will be active and eating your plants. If you plant early, you may be able to harvest before those insects terrorize your plants. Alternately, if you have the growing season in which to do it, plant later than usual.
While you cannot simply grab a spray and kill them instantly, there are ways to deal with pest insects in your organic garden

You should do everything you can to encourage natural insect predators like ladybugs, praying mantis, ground beetles, and birds. Some types of plants like mint and rosemary can attract many beneficial bugs that can help you keep other insects under control. When I grow potatoes, I pile on lots and lots of hay, which provides a safe environment for the insects that prey on potato bugs.
You should keep a close eye on your plants to spot potential problems before they get out of control. If you see a hornworm on your tomato plants, pluck it off quickly and drown it in soapy water. By watching your plants daily, you have a chance to stop these problems before they become too difficult to handle. Being in your garden daily is good for the plants, but it’s good for you, too.
If you’re having trouble with a particular pest, you can take pictures and then try to identify the pest. Go online and try to search for it. If you can’t identify it, you can take your pictures to your local county extension office or library and ask for help identifying it. There are also sure to be gardening clubs in your area. In our community, the gardening club is filled with people of all ages, including seniors in their 80s and 90s who have many decades of experience growing with our climate, pests and weeds.
Once you’ve identified the pest, you can ask for advice with regards to controlling it. Just be sure to tell them you’re an organic gardener, and ask them if they have any ideas for you.

Don’t forget old-fashioned methods like beer traps for slugs and toad houses to encourage those pest-eating

You may be able to prevent some pests by installing netting over your plants. Although this is probably a last resort, you may be able to save your plants from utter devastation if you have a particularly bad season of beetles or other such bugs.
Just remember, netting will also prevent beneficial insects from reaching your plants, so if some pests make it through, it may be harder to detect them and for predator insects to control them.
If you lose a crop to insects, you may be tempted to abandon organic gardening and rush out to buy a chemical spray. A lot of organic gardeners experience this! Don’t feel bad. It can certainly be very frustrating to deal with pests, especially when you’ve worked very hard to take care of your plants all season. Here is one bit of advice that I found invaluable, though. Beneficial insects (and birds, toads and more) will show up only when there is food for them to eat. Let nature correct the balance, without introducing poisonous chemicals, Ladybugs and lacewings will show up to deal with those aphids. Actually, most of the beneficial insects eat aphids. Ground beetles will definitely appear to eat delicious slugs, caterpillars and cutworms.
Only a tiny percentage – 1% – of insects are detrimental to your garden. The other 99% are your friends and, if allowed, will happily eat the pests!
But just remember, organic gardening has so many benefits that it’s really worth it to go through all of the extra work. Your family will be rewarded with healthy food that is safe to eat!

James Wallace Author of the Zombie Theorem!

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James Wallace: Author of the Zombie Theorem series Bobby Akart “Prepping For Tomorrow” On this week’s episode of the Prepping for Tomorrow program with Author Bobby Akart, Author James Wallace, creator of the hit post-apocalyptic Zombie Theorem series, will join us. James Wallace is a new author, having published his first novel, ZOMBIE THEOREM, in … Continue reading James Wallace Author of the Zombie Theorem!

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