FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN: EAST TENNESSEE WILDFIRES AND HOW YOU CAN HELP!

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I have no doubt that most of you are aware that wildfires raged across eastern Tennessee earlier this week decimating Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas along the way. These fires are not the only ones that have been burning across the southeast in recent weeks, but the they are the first to directly impact large and heavily populated cities. This was the scene earlier this week in Gatlinburg and throughout Sevier County…

Apocalypse: Gatlinburg

Fire on the mountain (language warning):

The mountains of eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina and northern Georgia are an outdoor lover’s playground throughout the year. If you live in the region, you have probably visited Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, enjoyed the natural beauty of the area and the warm hospitality of their people. We grew up just a few hours away and visited often, never minding the ride to get there, but rather enjoying the magnificence of the view throughout the trip and we always felt right at home once we arrived. It is for this reason and many others that this disaster is personal for us and we wanted to do whatever we can to help. Watch this space for possible updates and any future wildfire relief efforts.

To this end, I spent most of today (Wednesday 11/30) on the phone with several national and local agencies trying to get the first hand scoop from the experts on the ground on the best way to have offer the most benefit to the most people possible. What follows is what I learned.

As of my writing this article, the local chapter of the American Red Cross reports that in terms of their ability to meet the immediate needs of the community in terms of basic supplies (food, water, shelter, clothes, toiletries, etc.), they and all of the local agencies they are talking with are “at capacity” after having seen a tremendous outpouring of support from the state and region. That’s GREAT news! However, the reality is this will not be a 72 hour, five day or one week disaster and that is where we can step up and really make a difference. From every person I spoke with today, the main way we can help is by donating money to support the ongoing efforts that will be required to help Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the good people of eastern Tennessee going forward. With that in mind, my work today led me to three agencies where you can donate funds and be certain that your money will go directly to help the people of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the good people of eastern Tennessee. If you would like to make a donation to help with the wildfire relief efforts that are ongoing in these devastated areas, based on my personal conversations I can suggest the following agencies with full confidence and without hesitation:

AMERICAN RED CROSS – EAST TENNESSEE LOCAL CHAPTER

The East Tennessee chapter of the American Red Cross is currently housing 1,400 people nightly in shelters that have been displaced by the wildfires, additionally providing food, transport and pet care to everyone. For reference, keep in mind that it takes $1000 to provide this assistance to 100 people daily, so know that every dollar you donate will be making a real difference in the lives of every day people just like yourself.

If you would like to donate to the East Tennessee Chapter of the American Red Cross, please send your check to:

ATTENTION LORI MARSH
American Red Cross East Tennessee
6921 Middlebrook Pike
Knoxville, Tennessee 37909

You can follow the East Tennessee Chapter on Facebook too.

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GATLINBURG RELIEF FUND (SMARTBANK)

This fund has been established by the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce and will disperse all raised funds directly to local impacted citizens to be used at their discretion. This will put funds directly in the hands of those that need it most.

If you would like to donate to the Gatlinburg Relief Fund (SMARTBANK), here is the link to donate with a debit/credit card:
https://app.mobilecause.com/form/j-ECXA

If you would like to send a check/money order please make it payable to: Gatlinburg Wildfire Relief Fund

Please mail the check to:

SmartBank
P.O. BOX 1910
Pigeon Forge, TN 37868

Check out the donation link on the Smartbank Facebook page:

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TENNESSEE VALLEY COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS

If you would like to take a longer term approach to this disaster and offer help to those that may have lost everything and do not have adequate insurance to help them get back on their feet, the TVCH is a good option. For more information, visit tvchomeless.org and to donate money, call 865-859-0749. If you know of anyone that has lost their home, the Homeless Assistance Hot Line is 888-556-0791.

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If you are interested in doing what you can to help our nearby neighbors get through these very trying times, I hope this information helps you make that happen. Remember friends, disaster doesn’t care about our schedules and does not play favorites. There, but for the grace of God, go I. Disaster can strike anyone, anywhere, at any time. I hope you will do what you can to help.

To keep up with the most up to date information regarding the ongoing disaster unfolding in eastern Tennessee and how you can help further, check out the great coverage from WBIR , WATE and the KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL. Please be aware that unlike the three mentioned above, I have not spoken to all of these organizations and agencies listed on those pages personally.

Andrew Duncan captured drone video of the damage done by the fires in Gatlinburg and Sevier County.

Please help us maximize the impacts of this post! If you have a presence on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.), SHARE this post with your friends and family and let’s see how much good we can do together.

How To Make Almond Milk Powder

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How To Make Almond Milk Powder I learn something new everyday. I never in a million years even thought that you could make almond milk powder. This is fabulous news because you do not have to rely on cows milk if it hits the fan. Almond milk is one of the most nutritious drinks for …

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Vital Emergency Kit Information & Family Preparedness

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By Denis Korn                                                                                                    Franklin quote

This post – Vital Emergency Kit Information & Family Preparedness – is one of the most important posts I have presented.  Current events and the uncertainty of the times requires appropriate preparation and answering the questions contained in this article.  It is a valuable companion to another important post Essential Checklist for Emergency Preparedness & Outdoor Adventure Planning – Including Vehicle Preparedness – Latest Update

I feel it is very important to also include one of my Foundational Articles titled Is your entire family prepared for emergencies at all times?  It appears at the end of this post. 

You are highly encouraged to share this post and its vital information with family, friends, business associates, church and temple congregations and other members of any organizations to which you belong.  May this post help you in your serious preparedness planning.  Celebrate Peace of Mind!

Here are the crucial questions to answer when assembling your emergency kit/grab-and-go/bug-out bag – which is essential if you must leave your home or business quickly.

  • If an evacuation has been declared, a severe weather event is imminent or a significant disaster has occurred, how will I know?
  • If I have to evacuate, will I be in a cozy government evacuation center with food, water, blankets and a bed, or will I be on my own in the elements, a crude shelter or a friend’s/relatives house?
  • Am I clear on the circumstances and scenarios that may arise that will require me to evacuate versus the circumstances that would compel me to stay put and hunker down?
  • If specific government, church, community and friend’s sheltering options are not available, where do I go? How far? How do I get there?
  • What conditions can I expect to encounter – best scenario – worst scenario?
  • What are the weather conditions I am likely to encounter? What is the season?
  • Will I be alone, or are others depending on me? Family – children – elderly – pets?
  • Am I dependent on others? Who? Why? Do I expect the government to take care of me?
  • What kind of support is likely to be available?
  • How long should I prepare for?
  • What if there is nothing left when I return?
  • Are my essentials, heirlooms, personal treasures, irreplaceable photographs, documents and financial assets secure if I leave with only my grab-and-go bag?
  • Do I have a reliable communication plan to contact family, friends and business associates at a moment’s notice?
  • What is the potential severity of the emergency I might experience?
  • Will I have transportation, or will I be on foot?
  • Do I have enough money on hand to pay for possible shelter, food or supplies if I am suddenly evacuated and away from home or business?
  • Am I truly prepared for the unexpected, a procrastinator or am I in denial?

To have a truly adequate emergency kit/grab-and-go/bug-out bag the above questions must be answered. Your personal preparedness bag contents will vary depending on numerous factors such as time, number of persons, locations involved, mobility, support available, season, comfort level desired and the degree of peace of mind you want.

Here is a list of the basic essentials for every kit. Each category will have multiple options depending on how you answer the above crucial questions. Cheap, inadequate and poorly made provisions don’t belong in a quality kit. Prepare your kit as if you and your family’s life and comfort depended on it – because it does!

  1. Water – bottled/filters/purifiers/tablets/containers
  2. Food – ready-to-eat/bars/trail mix/freeze dried/shelf stable/food preparation equipment
  3. Medical – quality medical kit with instructions/prescriptions/glasses/essential medications/sunscreen/dental medic/foot care/safety pins/dust mask/gas mask
  4. Special Needs – food/medical/children/elderly/disabled/pets
  5. Tools – multi-tool/knife/wire/cable ties/duct tape/rope/paracord/gloves/small axe/repair tools/super glue/aluminum foil/ /manual can opener (often on multi-tool)/bungee cords/foldable or wire saw
  6. Communication – radio/hand crank – solar – battery/two-way radios/cell phone
  7. Fire – fire starter/lighter/matches/tinder/flint starter/magnifying glass
  8. Signaling & Orienting – whistle/signal mirror/compass/maps/GPS device
  9. Lighting – Hand crank – solar – battery/headlamp/flashlight/lantern/candles/lightsticks
  10. Power & Energy – batteries – regular and rechargeable/power-pack for batteries & cell phone recharged by solar and/or hand crank/solar and/or hand crank that charges devices directly
  11. Shelter – tarp/tent – tube or larger/plastic sheeting/insect protection
  12. Emergency Blankets/sleeping bags – emergency or larger or bivy sack
  13. Personal Hygiene/sanitary supplies/disinfectant
  14. Plastic Bags/ties
  15. Personal Security – weapon & ammo if appropriate/pepper spray/bear repellant/mace or other options
  16. Appropriate Clothing and Footwear – protection from the elements/apparel for warmth/heat packs – hand and body warmers
  17. Identification and Essential Documents – Bible/compact survival handbook/personal ID/insurance and other key documents/entertainment
  18. Spare Keys
  19. Phone Numbers and Addresses – friends, relatives, and emergency organizations/agencies
  20. Instructions on meeting and/or communicating with family and/or friends during or after an emergency
  21. Cash/credit cards
  22. Pen/markers/paper
  23. Configured Compact Emergency Kit with Essential Items
  24. Carrying Device – carry bag/backpack/suitcase/sturdy container/Food & Supply Brick™/duffel Bag (very durable and if you anticipate carrying your bag any distance shoulder straps should be available with your carry bag or duffel)

If time permits, take irreplaceable items such as heirlooms, heirloom jewelry, photographs, military/marriage/birth/deed records, computers, tablets, and personal contact information and documents not included in your grab-and-go device.

Water
An obvious necessity for everyone. Know what water sources are available to you during an emergency, or in the outdoors. Plan accordingly and don’t hold back preparing for this essential category.

Determine whether or not you want to purify water for viruses.  Not all water filters are designed for this purpose – look for water purifiers that specifically state that they will kill viruses.

Food
Numerous options are available. This category must be accessed carefully and the quality and quantity of foods chosen should be appropriate to the anticipated length of time of the emergency or outing, and severity of circumstances you anticipate might occur.  For shorter term scenarios foods in most situations should be nutritious and ready-to-eat; however you might want to consider some foods requiring only the addition of cold or hot water.  If you do need hot water you must plan for the appropriate means and equipment to heat your water.  Options listed have a longer shelf life and are suitably packaged for kits or backpacks.

Medical
When your health and survival during a medical emergency is at stake, you don’t want to rely on cheap or inadequate medical supplies. This is an important category to thoughtfully evaluate. Don’t forget medications or products needed for those with special medical conditions.  If your pre-assembled kit doesn’t include one, make sure you get a good book on medical emergencies.

Shelter/warmth
Protection from the elements and insects is essential, especially in a harsh climate.

Tools
Numerous unforeseen situations or just routine conditions occur during an emergency or during an outdoor adventure. Be prepared and secure with the proper quality tool.

Communication/Signaling
It is important to keep informed during an emergency with friends, family, and appropriate governmental agencies and emergency organizations. When in an outdoor environment, unsettled weather considerations necessitate weather alert radios. Avoid a sense of isolation during serious emergencies.  If you get lost or are separated from your group signaling can be crucial.  Since electronic items are included in this category, you may want to consider a small solar power device.

Lighting
This is an essential category to address when anticipating any situation where you may be in darkness. Not only for a sense of security and comfort, but to be able to see clearly and act accordingly if emergencies occur in the dark.

Personal protection
For some this may not be an essential basic category.  Each individual must decide the extent to which they will or will not provide protection for themselves and their families from physical harm by others or wild animals.

This article provides a very basic list of suggested items we believe are essential for emergency preparedness and outdoor recreation; especially if space, weight, and mobility are important.  For an expanded list of suggestions read our article: Essential Checklist for Emergency Preparedness & Outdoor Adventure Planning Including Vehicle Preparedness

Is your entire family prepared for emergencies at all times?

Recent events have brought us catastrophic circumstances that have had devastating and lasting effects on thousands of people around the world.  I pray that you take this advice seriously.   Recent conversations have also motivated me to consider this important article as a Foundational Article.

I am reminded of a presentation I made some years back to a large gathering of preparedness professionals.  This convention consisted of folks who came from all over the country and of course this meant that they would be gone from their families for a few days.  Bear in mind that at my presentation there were a couple hundred people whose responsibilities included preparedness planning and education for very large companies, organizations, and governmental agencies.

At the beginning of my talk I asked the group how many felt completely confident that in their absence their families were prepared to deal with unforeseen emergencies or disasters – especially significant ones.  Only a few raised their hands!  Since most of these participants were the head of their households, what does it tell you about fulfilling one’s responsibility to protect and keep the family secure in difficult times?

Fortunately over the years the professional emergency management community has become more dedicated to personally embodying what they are responsible for in government and business.  What about the average household?

It appears that most head of households have some notion that their presence is security enough for the family during an emergency.  This is a dangerous assumption.  The sensible attitude is to ensure that all family members – adults – the elderly – teenagers – and young children, know:

  • What to do
  • How to respond
  • Where to go – or not go
  • Who to contact
  • Where the information and supplies are located
  • How to use and operated essential equipment
  • How to access drinking water
  • How to prepare any food reserves
  • How to communicate with family and emergency personnel
  • How to keep warm in freezing conditions
  • How to have the proper attitude
  • How to pray

Instructions should be in writing and the entire family should participate in drills and practices.  Family members – immediate and extended – should know their part during an emergency under all scenarios and given any combination of family members physically present – or absent.

  • Do your children, spouse and other family members know what to do and how to act if a serious emergency occurs and they are not at home?
  • How will your communicate with them or those in their keeping?
  • What if they are at school – what plans does the school have to communicate with parents or guardians?
  • What will the school provide for students?
  • What if they are at work – what plans does the business or organization have to communicate with other family members?
  • What will the business provide for their employees?
  • Does the business or organization have their own contingency plans?
  • Do you have contingency plans for communication and provisioning for your spouse – adult children – younger children when they are away from home at camp, business trip, etc.?
  • What if an emergency occurs while a family member is in their vehicle and in transit?
  • Is your family secure, knowledgeable and responsible?

Between Learn To Prepare and numerous internet websites, there is an abundance of valuable information for the whole family.  Study this information as if your life and your families’ life depended on it – in a significant emergency it does!

 So I ask all of you reading this post:  In your absence is you family adequately educated and prepared to properly respond and survive during a serious emergency situation?  I encourage you to have all family members read the Foundational Articles on the right column of this blog.

dilbertDisasterPlan

 

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Realities of Defensive Conflicts

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I have seen a couple good things recently and addressing them both at once seemed to make the most sense. The first is a post by Larry Correia “The Legalities of Shooting People”

The second is security camera footage of a real life defensive shooting in Brazil a few days ago. I will talk about them in order. This is intentional because legal realities affect our tactical options.
Larry Correia is not a lawyer. You should not consider his excellent post to be legal advice. I am definitely not a lawyer or in any way qualified to give legal advice. If you are making life and death decisions based on random crap you read on the internet from a guy who admits he is not a specialist in the area you are an idiot. 


That disclaimer aside Larry Correia’s post is excellent. Other people such as Massad Ayoob are probably more knowledgeable but the way this post explains the issue is clear and simple. If a normal person without a legal background were to read one document to understand the criteria for use of lethal force this may not be the absolute best document but they could certainly do a lot worse.
The Reasonable Man point is key. In the event of a shooting you will need to convince somewhere between a couple and a dozen plus people that your actions were in fact those of a reasonable man in order to not go to adult time out. 


The discussion of the breakdown on Ability, Opportunity and Jeopardy needs little addition. The only real point I would make is that if you are a healthy normal sized adult man (being loose with all those terms) convincing people you were in legitimate fear of your life from another normal sized man; who does not show a weapon and isn’t stomping you while your on the ground or slamming your head into something is not a situation I would want to be in. 


Hell George Zimmerman was getting the shit beat out of him and he, though ultimately (legally at least) was vindicated had a heck of a time. 


The point there is unless you are elderly (I mean real old like 70+), a woman or an actual midget there are violent situations that can occur where you will not be able to justify going to guns.
The article then starts talking about police use of force and to be honest shifted out of my area of interest. The first half or so is gold though.

In closing a point that a girl I used to date brought up after her CCW course came to mind. Taking a handgun out in a dangerous situation is a bit complicated because as we have learned from South Narc stuff and Street Robberies and You it is a lot better to get your gun out earlier instead of later. At the same time you can’t just be whippping out guns or  pointing guns at people all the time. There is some ambiguity in situations where you might draw a handgun. When it comes to situations where you would shoot someone it is a lot simpler. The situations where you should shoot another human being in self defense are usually pretty clear cut. If you are in doubt that you should be shooting another person the answer is no you should not.

Next we have a video of an off duty Brazilian cop who was the victim of an attempted robbery. I find stuff coming out of South America particularly interesting as the level of crime in some areas is high, verging on completely ridiculous. Where it is now is also where we are generally headed as our country slips down to whatever state of collapse it will end up at.


The breakdown on The Firearms Blog is very good. My thoughts.
Mindset
The scenario of 2 or 3 goblins with guns is becoming fairly common. The old (3 shots, 3 yards, 3 seconds) conventional thoughts about self-defense are becoming less and less accurate. Since we want to prepare for violent conflicts today and TOMORROW, not a decade ago we need to consider this.


Also notice the bad guy’s waited until they were right on the cop to draw their guns. This is realistic. Bad guys aren’t going to take out weapons 50 yards away, or probably 10 yards away. They are going to get right on you. Like John Mosby said they will get close to you with some pretext like “Hey can I get a dollar” or “Can I borrow your phone?” to get close then the weapons will come out.


Coming back to the first point about legality. The time you are probably going to be justified in taking out your gun is probably (lots of scenarios and different thing can apply) when the bad guy takes theirs out so that means they will have the jump on you. Also they will probably be relatively close. 


Training:
This particular fight was close to but just outside contact range. Remember within a few feet the odds of a fight having a hand to hand component are high. As Tam says ‘You don’t have a gun, y’all have a gun.’


While partly a awareness/ mindset issue the time of getting your gun into action from the training side is based on your draw stroke to first shot. Faster is better. This is why you train for a reasonably fast draw.


The TFB post mentions the drill of 6 rounds at 6 feet in 6 seconds from the holster. Solid idea. It does not mention target size in the standard. My gut says that is a bit slow, especially for that distance.


Depending how far down this particular rabbit hole you want to go the case that a little .380 pocket pistol or ambiguous .38 snubby is not sufficient for this task can be made. This is certainly a complicated thing and I would prefer you carry a small gun to no gun but at least consider for some situations a small gun may not be enough. Filling one of the 2-3 armed men with bullets then running dry could leave them quite mad and you with an empty gun.


Certainly in a realistic violent encounter such as the one shown (as well as most potential scenarios) you need to be carrying a handgun where you can get it in a hurry. Basically this means on your waist or, while few if any serious instructors recommend them unless you are spending hours in the car, a readily accessible shoulder holster. This means that carry on ankles, in backpacks/ purses, fanny packs, in those under shirt holster things, etc are all no go’s. You aren’t going to be able to get to the damn gun in time. 


Reload, carry one. This is by far most important for lower capacity guns but depending on the level of risk a good idea in general. As my buddy Commander Zero put it a G19 is a snubby with 3 reloads. There is some truth to that statement. Still putting a reload in your pocket won’t kill you. 


Anyway I think these are a couple things you should think about.

A Guide to Smokeless Powder

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This is a guest post sponsored by our friends at Widener’s Reloading and Shooting Supplies.

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Smokeless powder is basically the fuel for your ammo. Without it, you have nothing but a short spark of a primer and a self-defense tool that offers minimal range that really wouldn’t be practical. But despite its importance, most shooters know very little about how smokeless powder works, the different types of gunpowder available to shooters today and how you can maximize your ammunition’s performance with the right powder.

Characteristics of Gunpowder

Powder Shapes and Metering

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Gunpowder comes in four primary shapes: ball, flattened ball, flake and stick. They all offer different benefits that you’ll want to consider based on the type of shooting you plan to do.

If you get into reloading, you’re bound to hear the term “powder metering” a lot. Metering is how consistently a powder measures; If a powder is said to “meter well”, it can be measured very precisely. If it meters poorly, that means you can’t measure powder consistently.

Ball powder

Ball powder is just like you’d probably imagine – it’s tiny spheres that look like little balls, or spheres. Ball shaped smokeless powder is pretty cheap for the big manufacturers to produce quickly so it’s generally the most cost-effective for reloaders.

Ball shaped smokeless powder generally meters better than other powder shapes. That can sometimes mean you get more accurate loads that have a longer shelf-life. Ball powders burn at lower temperatures, about 100 degrees cooler than other shapes, which means you don’t put as much stress on the barrel of your firearm. That can lead to a cheaper shooting experience as you’re not wearing barrels out as frequently.

Flattened Ball Powder

Flattened ball smokeless powder is very similar to the traditional ball powder. The primary advantage to the flattened ball shape is one that benefits shotgun shooters.

Powder can sometimes get pushed into a highly compressed area like the back of the wad with traditional ball powder. As you’d guess, that compaction can impact the rate at which the powder burns. Flattened powder modules mean there is less of a tendency to move and compress so you’ll get a consistent burn rate.

Flake Powder

Flake powder looks like a bunch of tiny discs. When manufactured, this powder is formed into tubes and then cut into small sections. A good analogy for this might be if you consider a bunch of sausages being made and then sliced.

Flake shaped gunpowder does have a tendency to stack up when you’re measuring, which can lead to trouble to meter with precision. As you’d expect, that can lead to inconsistent loads and performance.

Stick Powder

This smokeless powder is shaped like a bunch of small cylinders and is the most popular shape for rifle cartridges. Stick powder is generally considered the most difficult to meter because of its shape and the good possibility that some of the ‘sticks’ may break. Stick power burns very hot relative to the other shapes.

Powder Density

When considering a powder to use, one of the first things you should account for is load density. Simply stated, powder density relates to how much room is left between the flakes or kernels when the powder is poured into a casing. Ideally, you’ll have a density between 80-90% so your powder has plenty of room for the explosion to take place.

More powder is great right? Not so fast. While you might be tempted to load with great density, it’s important not to go too dense. If you load your cartridges at 95% or potentially even higher, you could pack the powder to the point that your primer doesn’t have sufficient room to burn through the powder.

But, as you’d probably guessed, going too low isn’t any good either. Low density can push the point of peak pressure toward the muzzle, which will force your velocity to drop. Low powder density can also cause powder shifting, resulting in inconsistent pressure and performance for your loads.

Burn Rate

It’s tough to tell with the naked eye, but powders burn at different rates and that burn rate can have a massive impact on the performance of the cartridge as a whole.

There’s no standardized unit of measurement for burn rate. So, as shooters, we’re required to simply compare powders to one-another to get a sense of how quickly or slowly various powders burn. This leads to a ton of conversation, debate and sometimes even controversy among shooters.

Typically, magnum loads will use powders that use slower burning powders because they need to generate greater power. By burning slower, the powder will create peak pressure for a longer timeframe, which allows sustained power to push the heavier magnum bullet.

For a good idea of just how different burn rates can be, take a look at the Vihtavuori N310 powder when compared directly with the much slower burning Hodgdon US869 powder in the video below:

Most manufacturers include a burn rate chart on their websites, like this one from Hodgdon that will give you a good idea of the relative burn rate of one powder to another.

Pistol vs. Rifle vs. Shotgun Powder

Handgun Powder

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Handgun powder is generally the fastest burning of the three major firearm powder types. You get the most amount of energy in the shortest amount of time and distance with these powders. It makes sense when you consider the relatively short length of pistols barrels and if you were to use a slow burning powder, you’d see a bright flash at the end of the barrel. While a pretty sight to a lot of shooters – that flash is actually wasted energy that could be propelling the bullet toward your target.

Rifle Powder

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Almost the exact opposite of handgun powders, rifle powder tends to burn slower. This allows them to complete the explosion through the entire barrel and deliver a consistent pressure from start to finish. Slow powder pushes the bullet down the barrel at an even pace while keeping pressure down and utilizing the most energy. If you were to accidentally load a rifle cartridge with pistol powder, there is a chance the quick burst of high energy could cause damage to your rifle’s barrel so that’s definitely a combination to avoid!

 Shotgun Powder

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Shotgun powder is a bit of an anomaly because there’s a huge variety of powders that can be successfully used to load shotgun shells. The biggest rule of thumb is that heavier shotgun loads require a slower burning powder. If you were to use a fast burning powder with a heavy load, you run into the same trouble as if you load pistol powder in a rifle cartridge: too much pressure can build up and damage your firearm’s barrel or cause injury.

Three Major Gunpowder Brands

There are three major players selling smokeless gunpowder in the United States: Hodgdon Powder,  Alliant Powder and Western Powders. As with most components, different shooters have different preferences but all three of these producers have good reputations for reliability and performance.

The Wrap-Up

Loading your cartridges doesn’t have to be an overly complex endeavor. While the marketing buzz behind some of today’s factory loaded ammunition can lead you to believe the whole process is complex and technical (and it can be), with a basic understanding of the chemistry and physics involved, you can load your own ammo safely. Any shooter – whether he or she relies on factory loaded ammo – can become better at their craft by fully understanding the components that go into their loads and how they interact for the product they fire down range. Remember, if you’re unsure of something there are plenty of resources to help out. The firearms community collectively has a wealth of experience and knowledge that most of us are willing to share. So, don’t be afraid to ask or check out Widener’s even more details about smokeless powder.

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The Left Has Discovered A ‘Surprisingly Easy Way’ To ‘Dump Trump’ — And They Claim It Would Work

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The Left Discovered A 'Surprisingly Easy Way' To 'Dump Trump' -- And They Claim It Would Work

Photo by Gage Skidmore. License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

 

WASHINGTON — It would be far easier to remove a President Trump from office than most Americans think – at least, that’s what his critics say.

All it would take is for the vice president and a majority of the members of the cabinet to declare the president mentally or physically unfit, according to liberal commentator Keith Olbermann, who made the case in a new video as part of his GQ “The Resistance” series.

“Section four of the 25th Amendment to our Constitution provides the means to vice president-elect Pence and Trump’s cabinet office to remove him from office as soon as the inauguration is over,” Olbermann said.

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

“No hearings, no doctors, no conferences, no impeachment. The vice president and merely most of the cabinet write to the Speaker Paul Ryan and the Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch and they say the president’s unable to do the job and the vice president becomes president,” Olbermann said.

Technically, Olbermann is right, although Republicans so far are extremely loyal to Trump. Olbermann’s theory also shows how desperate the Left is to deny Trump the presidency. First, a group of Democrat electors launched an effort to persuade Republican electors to abandon Trump in the electoral college. Then, Jill Stein of the Green Party sought a series of recounts.

The relevant portion of the 25th Amendment states:

“Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”

The amendment does not require a medical or psychological examination of the president. The amendment allows the president to resume office by sending his or her own letter to the speaker and the president pro tempore. If the cabinet and vice president refused to go along, then a vote by a two-thirds majority of both houses of Congress would be required to remove Trump.

The 25th Amendment was ratified in 1967.

What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:

Awaken Your Child’s Love Of History And Put God Back Into History! Read More Here.

Introducing the Prepared Kids eBook!

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I’m so excited to introduce to you my latest project, the Prepared Kids eBook!  Do you have children in your life?  This book is for you!  Packed full of practical information for helping raise your children to be prepared now and as adults!  Going past just lists of supplies or skills, this book focuses on […]

Flash Flood: What happens if you get caught

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floodcar

I found this car just a couple streets from mine, right after the storm and flood I talked about in the previous post.

The difference between making it home all right or drawning is in these details, in having the right vehicle for what you are dealing with, in that extra inch of water that causes your vehicle to float, lose contact with the pavement and turns your car in the worst boat in the world. Ultimately, its about knowing when to turn around and not risk your life.

And again, the best 4×4 in the planet wont do you any good in the garage if you drive a Prius to save gas as your daily driver. Chances are your daily driver is what you’ll have to face these situations when SHTF.

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”.

7 Reasons to Keep Prepping Because Donald Trump is President

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prepping-trump-presidentI well remember the election of 2008. It came at the beginning of the crash of the housing bubble, which affected my family business in a big way. With a President Obama on the horizon and the economy going down the tubes, I felt very uncertain about the future. So, my wife and I became preppers, and it was a smart move.

Now I’m hearing of prepper-minded folks who think they can relax their prepping because Donald Trump has been elected President.

Like Obama when he was elected, Trump doesn’t have much of a record when it comes to actual governing but he speaks with confidence about making America great again. I guess that’s enough to convince a lot of people that the “good old days” are here again and they can put away their bug out bags and freeze dried food.

Me? I’m not so sure, and I’ll keep prepping, thank you very much. I’ve given this some thought and here are the reasons my family and I will continue on as preppers.

  1. S finds a way of hitting the fan in our personal lives, no matter who the President is. Whether it’s a job loss, devastating family illness or injury, or a house fire, it pays to plan ahead and prep for those kinds of events. Not ready for these types of events, this is the best overall family prepping book I’ve read.
  2. Natural disasters and extreme weather events will continue to happen. Right now, the story in the news is wildfires, something this blog has covered in dept in articles like this one.
  3. There are world events that no President can prevent. This what concerns me the most. There are too many wild cards out there. Belligerent countries, such as Iran, have become stronger and more confident in their boldness toward the U.S., and I’m not so sure they’ll back down easily just because another man sits in the Oval Office. I can’t remember a time when the Middle East was so unstable. Right now, it’s a powder keg that, I believe, has been lit. It’s a matter of time, maybe just months, before we see the explosion.
  4. A massive financial crisis looms and Trump has inherited it, and there’s no way of knowing how he will manage the coming crash. Mind-boggling debt cannot continue piling up forever. I worry for the future of my kids and the huge tax burden they’ll assume when they become adults. There’s no way to avoid it.
  5. The world balance of power has changed since 2008. China and Russia have been flexing their muscles, looking to expand their influence and borders. China has actually built artificial islands in order to establish military buildings and airstrips. Sounds like they may have long-term, aggressive plans for the region. The balance of power that existed for so many decades has changed and the world stage is very unstable.
  6. America has radically changed since 2008. The country is more divided than I have ever seen in my 4 decades here on earth. Black Lives Matter isn’t going away any time soon but will continue to cherry pick events they can exploit for the purpose of stirring up rage. The country is racially divided, perhaps beyond reconciliation. Hordes of immigrants have overcome our education system and stretched the limits of our country’s social services. Nothing good can come of a nation that is so fractured within.
  7. It seems that Trump’s political foes aren’t going to accept and move on. I fully expected the riots that followed the election and there’s more to come. At some point, growing civil unrest will affect many of us in ways we can’t yet imagine. Also, it seems there is a movement to upend our political process with pressure to remove the electoral college system and change long-standing process and rules. Wherever there is instability, chaos is the result.

I’m very interested to watch the Trump Presidency unfold. In a way, it’s exciting to see someone in office who has never been a politician, a group of people I hold in complete contempt, as they do me, coincidentally.

There you have it. My 7 reasons for prepping in spite of Trump being elected. I’m not going to sit back and assume that with this new President all my worries for the future were for naught. If anything, the future is more precarious and dangerous than ever.

Your thoughts?

pc-iceberg

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Using a Bicycle for a Bug Out Vehicle: Some Pros and Cons

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Police use them and the military has used bicycles, (bikes) for decades, as well, so why not you. As the saying goes, you are not someone on wheels, but someone with wheels and wheels may be just what you need when you cannot drive a motor vehicle and also need the stealth that can only come from a bike that doesn’t make noise.

There are updated civilian versions of a “Paratrooper Bike” that was used by the U.S. military.

Consider a mountain bike before you would a bike designed for speed, such as a racing bike. A mountain bike, of course, is designed for rough terrain and would get along nicely on city streets as well, unlike a racing bike that simply could not stand up to the rigors of a rough trail.

You can buy folding bikes that can be transported by car so if the SHTF fan while at the office and you cannot use your vehicle you do have wheels.

paratrooper bike

Pros: Using a Bike for Bugging Out

1.) Quiet, so you can move around at night or during the day without leaving a noise signature.

2.) No fumes, from an exhaust system, so it again can be used when stealth is important. People sometimes forget that your nose is important in a survival situation and gas fumes can linger for hours indicating someone is or has been in the area.

3.) Portable and even more so if you have a folding bike, which would make it ideal as a get home bike if at work or even to escape work for parts unknown?

4.) Help keep you in shape, as well.

5.) Can weave in and out of stalled vehicles, go off road and use hiking trails to get around, get around literally the entire country if need be using well-marked trails. A mountain bike can be used on city streets as well. You can go where cars simply cannot, so you can escape the urban sprawl if you need to.

Cons

1.) You have to be in relatively good shape because remember you will be carrying supplies in most cases.

2.) Cannot carry a lot of gear, but more than you can on your back if you load it right.

3.) You are exposed. You have no protection from the weather or gunfire and you cannot use a bike for a shelter unless you use it to drape or attach a tarp.

4.) You need to carry spare parts, in particular tubes, tools, and a patch kit.

We mentioned before that you need to be in decent shape. You cannot just start out on a mountain trek without working up to it. When the SHTF, however, it is too late to work up to anything, you have to be ready, so start now getting in shape for bike riding.

You can modify your bike by adding brackets to attach a shotgun or rifle, for example, but make sure you do it right. You do not want to lose a weapon because of faulty brackets. You may not be able to stop and retrieve it, in some cases.

Experiment with packs, baskets, and maybe even small carts that can be pulled behind, to better carry your gear.

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Survival Packing List: Planning Your Ultimate Escape

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survival packing listIn today’s modern world, it pays dividends to be prepared for all possible emergencies.

From natural disasters to civil riots. From winter power outages to end of the world scenarios.

We can all agree that emergencies have occurred in the past, they happen in the present, and will happen in the future. So it’s irresponsible to stick your head in the sand and pretend that “it won’t happen to me“.

If an unforeseen emergency was to force you from your home, would you be prepared to leave on a few minutes’ notice?

If you can’t honestly answer that question with a “hell yes”, then you’ve some work to do. You need to get your “stuff” together and start planning your survival packing list.

What Is A Survival Packing List and Why You Need One

Are you ready for an immediate evacuation? One where the sooner you leave; the safer? How long would it take your family to go from – lounging on your couch to out the door – with all your essential gear and supplies?

Could you do it in under 5 minutes? Is that enough time? And if you did it in less than 5, would you forget something important?

When an unprepared family is forced from their home they’re left scrambling from room to room. Randomly cramming survival essentials into pillowcases and suitcases. This leads to crucial items like prescription medications, survival food, extra clothing, and survival gear being left behind.

However, those with a survival packing list and their survival pack ready, can leave in mere seconds. Knowing with confidence they have absolutely everything they need.

Shouldering their emergency pack, tossing it into their bug out vehicle and getting the hell out of dodge fast.

When time is of the essence, a survival packing list is your answer.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #104 Item Bug Out Bag Survival Packing List. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Different Types Of Emergency Bags

Before you start building a personalized survival packing list, you need to understand the difference between short term and long term emergency needs.

For a short term emergency, you need a small bag that includes enough supplies to last you and your family a day or two at most. Enough supplies and gear to go it alone until relief services arrive.

A long-term survival packing list includes items that would make it possible (with the proper education) to live independently for weeks or months without assistance. That requires more gear, more supplies, and more planning.

And for most people, the long-term survival bag is a supplement to the short-term bag. Meaning, you should prepare both and then pare down or discard the long term supplies if you happen to not need them. For more information on the best survival packs click here.

Where to Start On Your Survival Packing List

If you, like most people, do not have access to an unlimited budget, you will need to amass your bug out supplies over time and look for good deals on gear and supplies.

Start by putting together your short-term bag, which is better than nothing if you are forced from your home. Many of the items you’ll add to your short-term bag may be things that you already own. Then once your short-term bag is ready it’s time to start building your long term emergency bag.

Then once your short-term bag is ready it’s time to start building your long term emergency bag.

Your Short-Term Survival Packing List

In a short term evacuation scenario, you should only need to focus on your basic survival needs. Those are the items that will keep your body alive; that’s it. Sorry, luxuries are not essential.

Essentials to staying alive include the air to breathe, water to drink, warmth to avoid hypothermia, and medical supplies.

To be brutally honest, food is not essential in a short term evacuation scenario. And food is extra weight so it will slow you down. So I don’t recommend worrying too much about food for your short-term packing list. Just toss in a few high calories bars and call it good.

While every family is unique, here are the items most people need or desperately want, broken down by category.

What To Have In Your Short Term Bug Out Bag?

1 – Gas Mask

Single Filter Full Faced Gas MaskThis one is controversial. Not everyone agrees that a gas mask is an essential item on a survival packing list. However, if the air is dangerous to breathe, you won’t last long.

Of course, it’s better to stay put and hunker down in the event of a nuclear attack, if possible. The last thing you want to do is run around outside breathing fallout. Your safest best is to remain indoors with as much concrete and building materials between you and the fallout.

Plus, there are other chemical attacks that can turn the air we breathe unhabitable for unfiltered consumption.

So, if you’re forced to evacuate (because staying is more dangerous leaving) then you’re going to be glad you invested in a gas mask and some mask filters.

Personally, I’d rather have one and not need it, than not have one and need it. Choking on dangerous air is not something I’m fond of experiencing.

2 – Clean Drinking Water

lifestrawIf you are weathering an emergency inside your home, a few cases of bottled water will suffice for several days. However, bottled water is surprisingly heavy and not a suitable option for situations where you leave your home.

Instead, each member of your family (including pets) should have their own stainless steel water bottle, their own water portable filter, and some water purification tablets. This will allow you to safely drink water you find when you’re away from home.

Many people think they can skip this step because they live in a rural environment and believe that they will have access to water taps or water fountains locally. This is a short-sighted mistake. You have no idea which water sources you can trust or not. Just because it comes out of a tap, the emergency that forced you to evacuate may have contaminated all sources of public water.

I recommend you get a portable LifeStraw water filter. Get one for each family member. You can also get good deals on water purification tablets online.

Water is both one of the easiest survival packing list items to prepare for but also the most essential. People tend to take water for granted but you don’t you be one of them. Without copious amounts of clean water, your body will quickly start reminding you how silly it was to take it for granted.

3 – Clothing Gear

In areas where heat is the enemy, desert survival skills come into play. Dehydration and sunstroke are the real dangers. Pack light clothing and plenty of ways to purify water.

If you live where winters are brutal, you’ll need wool socks, heavy boots, gloves, plenty of calorie-dense food, several methods of starting and maintaining a fire and a warm sleeping bag, at a minimum. You should also take the time to learn more about cold weather survival so you can prepare to avoid deadly hypothermia.

4 – Shelter Tools

While a skilled woodsman can create a sizable cabin from only natural resources, items that you pack should make the task of creating a survival shelter easier. Depending on your skill level and expectations, you may want to include a survival hatchet and some 550 paracord.

If you live in an urban area, you may be able to employ some urban survival skills to successfully squat in an abandoned warehouse with no interference.

Others may have to plan to escape into nearby forests and create shelters from nature.

Still, others may be able to rely on breaking into vacation homes or cabins that already exist. Or even better yet, you have a bug out location.

Think carefully about what is available in your area and what you would do if you needed shelter during a terrible emergency.

Everyone’s answer to this question will be different, and preparing yourself with several options ahead of time can save you a lot of useless floundering and needless wasting of energy.

5 – Medical Supplies

medical-kitYou can build your own medical supply kit or purchase a commercially available first aid kit. But either way, you’ll want to add personal supplies of any prescription medication used by your family members.

You may also find it helpful to include the following over-the-counter medicines:

  • anti-diarrhea medication
  • pain relievers that double as anti-inflammatories, such as Aleve or Ecotrin
  • antihistamines such as Benadryl to combat allergic reactions
  • a coagulating agent, such as a styptic pencil, to control minor bleeding
  • triple antibiotic ointment to seal small wounds and avoid infection

Hopefully, you will never need these items. However, being caught without them will be uncomfortable at best and downright dangerous at worst.

In a widespread emergency professional medical care may be hard to come by. Your serious injury may be a low priority when compared to others. Or maybe there’s no professional medical help at all. Maybe all the medical professionals are getting the hell out of dodge too.

So make sure you know how to use the medical supplies you include on your survival packing list.

6 – Food Supplies

high-calorie-food-barsIn an emergency, people forced from their homes are sometimes left for days before emergency services can get food into the area. For a short-term bug out bag packing list, you want to concentrate on light, nutrient-rich foods.

While military rations and freeze-dried meals can be good options, they can also be expensive.

Here are some good ideas for foods you can find at your local grocery store at reasonable prices.

  • meal replacement bars designed for athletes and bodybuilders
  • protein powder
  • packets of crackers and cookies for quick carbohydrates
  • trail mixes
  • dehydrated fruits
  • chocolate

While these items are not recommended as a long-term diet, they do provide plenty of sugar, protein, and carbohydrates to give you much-needed energy.

If you need to walk out of a disaster area, you will need all the energy you can get.

7 – Comfort Items

While this category may seem silly when thinking of life-or-death emergencies, many of the items that will keep you comfortable also have multiple uses.

Here are some ideas for keeping everyone in your family comfortable.

  • Feminine supplies such as pads, tampons, and panty liners. Any females in your family who experiences a menstrual cycle may need these items.  If they are not needed for their original use, they can also act as bandages for wounds. Tampons can also be used to stop nosebleeds or you can shred them and use them as kindling to start a fire.
  • A jar of petroleum jelly can be used to combat everything from chapped lips to blistered heels. It can also be used as a lubricant or to keep bandages from sticking to wounds.
  • Several survival bandanas can be used to fashion a sling, protect your face and hair from the sun or dust or can even be torn into strips to use as rope or bandages. Bandanas have a ton of uses and are light, so pack several.
  • A small notepad and a few pencils can be used to jot down directions, leave notes for others or you can use the paper to start a fire.
  • Spare socks and underwear can do wonders to make an emergency more bearable and hygienic. You can use a few drops of bleach to wash the ones you are wearing and change into your fresh supplies.
  • A small grooming kit that includes toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, disposable razors, nail clippers and a package of baby wipes can help you to feel fresh and comfortable until your next chance to shower. You may be able to use extras of these items to barter with others for needed supplies, as well.

There are plenty of comfort items you may want to include in your bug out bag checklist, but you also need to keep an eye on how heavy your supplies are becoming.

Your bag will do you no good if it is too heavy to carry long distances.

waterproof-matches8 – Miscellaneous Tools

For a short-term bag, your will only need a few tools. Depending on your geographic location, you may need to be able to start a fire or break into abandoned housing for shelter.

Some items you may want to consider are:

Large tools like survival shovels and lanterns are likely more suited for a long-term bug out bag packing list.

For your short-term supplies, keeping weight and bulk to a minimum should be your focus.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #104 Item Bug Out Bag Survival Packing List. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Personalize Your Survival Gear List

All of the above-mentioned items are those that the average person would find useful. However, your living situation and life experiences will make your needs unique.

Consider any ‘unusual’ habits you may have and how not having the necessary items could make your life more difficult.

  • Do you need a toothpick to clean your teeth after each and every meal? Include some in your supplies.
  • Do you wear a mouthguard or ear plugs to fall asleep? Tuck some extras away into your bug out bag.
  • If you have long hair, do you want to include a few hair ties to keep it out of your way in an emergency?

Think carefully about your everyday habits and quirks and if it’s something that takes up very little space and is lightweight, go head and add it to the list.

5.11 Tactical Bug Out BagAmassing Your Long-Term Bug Out Bag List

After you are satisfied with your smaller, short-term bug out bag, you are ready to begin planning for a second bag designed for long term use. Some people decide to carry two bags, while others may decide to purchase a design where the smaller bag fits into or clips on to the larger bag.

Whatever you decide, make sure the system works for you and that you can easily separate the two kits.

You also want to make sure you are able to carry all of your supplies for long distances. I highly recommend you test it out on a hiking trail to be sure.

Your long term bug out bag packing list will give you the tools necessary to survive without the aid of other humans or society for an extended period of time.

It should give you the ability to gain food, create temporary survival shelter and survive the elements.

foragingForaging and Hunting Supplies

Depending on your survival skill level, you may be able to successfully fish using only a hook, some fishing line, and some rudimentary bait. Other who don’t live near water may decide to learn about foraging opportunities in the local area, such as edible roots, berries, and plants.

Take your geographical location into account and pack a field guide or survival playing cards that will help you find available food.

If you’re not a hunter, include instructions on how to build traps and use snares. Of course, you will also want information on how to safely gut and prepare your kill.

If the books are too bulky, scan and print these life-saving instructions and keep them in your bag, protected by a plastic baggie.

I recommend you carry a gun and some ammo. Obviously, guns and ammo are not light weight items so you’ll want to be strategic. Maybe you want to include a take down 22 survival rifle. Or maybe you want to keep things small and light with a Kel-Tec P3AT.

Whichever survival gun option you choice, just be mindful of your overall pack weight

Caching Some of Your Long-Term Bug Out Gear

Another option to reduce pack weight is to bury a survival cache (or two) somewhere on your mostly evacuation path. This will allow you stock a few extras without having to carry them. You can then dig up your cache supplies for replenishment as necessary.

If you are seriously concerned about a long-term disaster situation and want to be as prepared as possible, you can always cache your gear. For example, you can carry your short-term bag into a local park and then unearth your long-term gear while no one is watching.

If you own rural land, you can cache with more confidence than you can in public areas.

If you do decide to cache in public, make sure you do not include any personal information in your gear. You may be charged with littering if your cache is discovered, no matter how well you hide it.

Action PlanSurvival Packing List Action Plan

Planning a survival packing list is a deeply personal activity. Having both short- and long-term bags in place can help you feel secure if the unthinkable ever happens.

The ideas presented above will give you a starting point for basic survival. As you improve your survival skills and supplies, you should add or delete items from your own survival packing list to suit your personal survival preferences.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #104 Item Bug Out Bag Survival Packing List. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.
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Home Invasion And What To Do…

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Home invasion happens. While there are geographical areas more prone to home invasion than others due to socioeconomic and other circumstances, no household is immune. Home invasion could indeed happen anywhere. And you can be guaranteed that as we descend down further into the depths of economic turmoil, home invasion will become more wide spread […]

The Silent .22 Round That’s Quieter Than A BB Gun

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The Silent .22 Round That’s Quieter Than A BB Gun

Image source: Cody Assmann

One of the most popular topics within the survival and prepping community is firearms, and it seems there are as many opinions as there are people.

Although there is a great deal of disagreement on which guns and what type of ammo you should stockpile, there are a few calibers that frequently enter most conversations. Two that come to mind are the .22 rifle and the 12-gauge shotgun.

Both guns have proven their usefulness in a variety of situations and can be effective hunting and defense tools. Survival aside, these guns consistently rank on lists of the most popular guns in America, year in and year out. If you happen to own either a .22 or a 12 gauge, one company, Aguila, is producing some ammunition you might want to explore.

Aguila Ammunition has been churning out ammunition to suit the needs of hunters, law enforcement, sport shooters, and the military since 1961. Recently I was able to get my hands on a few of the specialty cartridges they produce. Those rounds were the .22 Colibri and the 12-gauge Minishell slug.

Be Prepared. Learn The Best Ways To Hide Your Guns.

What caught my eye with the .22 Colibri was the advertised silence of the cartridge. The folks at Aguila promote the Colibri as a round that eliminates the need of a suppressor. As a guy who operates a trap line, many times near cattle feedlots, an ultra-quiet .22 round was definitely something I wanted to check out. Cattle in feedlots can be spooked, and the sharp report of a .22 in the grey light of morning has always been something I’m concerned with. I’d hate to have a rancher’s expensive heifer get torn up when I’m dispatching a cheap raccoon. Needless to say, the Colibri seemed like an ideal fit for my needs. After testing the round I found out how truly quiet it is.

The Silent .22 Round That’s Quieter Than A BB Gun

.22 Colibri shot damage. Two separate shots through one-fourth inch of shoulder bone. Image source: Cody Assmann

Incredibly, the .22 Colibri is about as loud as a BB gun. Check that, about as loud as a firing pin. When I touched off my first Colibri round I was actually a bit startled by how quiet it was. It is an absolutely perfect cartridge for someone looking to quietly dispatch certain animals at extremely close ranges. On my trapline I plan to use it to dispatch small animals I catch in my footholds. As I mentioned, this will allow me to trap in closer proximity to feedlots and other similar situations. The Colibri is also perfect for introducing kids to shooting sports. Although a standard .22 has no recoil, if you happen to have a little one who is a bit spooked by the report of a gun, the Colibri may be a good round to use.

Another Aguila cartridge I was able to procure was the Aguila 12-gauge Minishell slug. Minishells are unique in that they offer the ability to load up a standard 12-gauge shotgun with more shells at one time while not totally sacrificing on power. In my backyard test I was able to punch through three 1×6 pine lumber scraps screwed together before blowing off the back of my target. Although you will obviously lose a certain amount of power in a smaller shell like the Minishell, the loss doesn’t appear too substantial in my book. At distances of 30 yards and less I could definitely see the Minishell being an effective hunting and defense round. It would be especially useful in situations where you have to carry your ammunition for long periods of time or distance.

The main advantage of the Minishell lies in the undersized shell dimensions. In my Remington 870 Express Supermag 12-gauge shotgun, I was able to load my tube with six shots in addition to one in the chamber. In contrast, when I am using standard 2 ¾-inch shells I can only load four in the tube at a time, plus one in the chamber. Even though the difference may seem minimal, two extra shots may make all the difference. The small nature of the shell also allows you to carry more ammunition in a given space. That benefit really increases the shot you can carry in a bag or store in an ammo can or safe.

The Silent .22 Round That’s Quieter Than A BB Gun

12-gauge Minishell slug damage. Image source: Cody Assmann

This space-for-power trade-off gave rise to the popular .308 cartridge after World War II. In a situation where space is one of your biggest concerns, the 12-gauge Minishell may be worth a look.

Neither of these two cartridges comes without their own set of drawbacks, though. With the .22 Colibri, you are definitely not going to be doing any big-game hunting. It is best suited for small-game animals at short ranges. With a paltry 20 grains of bullet weight leaving the barrel at only 420 feet per second, it doesn’t take a degree in physics to realize the limitations of this shot. I did test the Colibri on a few materials, including wood and bone. It proved capable of penetrating wood and around one-fourth of an inch of shoulder bone. The shoulder bone appeared to be near its limitations of penetrating power.

Also, after shooting a half box of 12-gauge Minishell, the biggest drawback I could detect was the ability to cycle the shot cleanly. With some practice I was able to compensate my draw cycle to accommodate the shorter shell, but early on I was jamming shells fairly frequently. It seems to be a challenge you can overcome if you appreciate the compact size of the shell enough.

Both the .22 Colibri and the 12-gauge Minishell are cartridges you may want to explore, as both offer unique benefits. They certainly are capable of doing the jobs they were designed to do.

Have you shot either the 22 Colibri or the 12-gauge Minishell? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

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

Radiological Medical Response Kit: Ideas to Manage Injuries in a Radioactive Environment

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Written by Huples on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Huples. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


Seems everyone online is focused on prepping for a nuclear war these days. Shows the stupidity of humanity that this is even a thing but it is, so I thought I’d share the contents of my radiological medical response kit. There are plenty of excellent sources out there covering the other issues around this topic but get a hard copy of Nuclear War Survival Skills. There is a free download is the 1987 version. There is a 2012 updated version for purchase but I do feel some books require owning as hard copies and this is one of them.

My kit started in 2008 before I became a prepper after attending a compulsory Canadian Government conference for a few days on the Medical Emergency Treatment for Exposures to Radiation (METER) . I am sure some of you have had more recent training and I’d love to read about USA and UK equivalent training. The course enrolment in 2008 was managers of trauma hospitals and emergency services and included a dirty bomb table top exercise. It was fascinating stuff and great speakers. I am including some more recent information from the Ontario Government Radiation Response Plan.

I did not use FEMA for this article but this slide show is interesting if you want more background of a general nature on Medical Management of Radiologic Casualties

I am including some directions to take materials and over the counter medications to limit radiation dosing but you should only take these on medical advice and under medical supervision. No self-treatment even in the apocalypse!

Treating a Casualty

Read More: Generic Procedures for Medical Response During a Nuclear or Radioactive Emergency.

I am not going through the types and methods of exposure, or the protective materials/clothing/masks. Look that information up but there are a few things the average person might overlook. I am giving the general ideas here and some will not work in a nuclear war but work great if it was a dirty bomb or power plant incident so adapt as required.

Exposure to Radiation

Exposure to Radiation

If treating an exposed casualty keep them outside an established Cold Zone (an area where outside material, clothing, foot wear never enters. The area of treatment is a Hot Zone so protect yourself as best you can while there. Try to avoid treating for prolonged periods near the casualty as they might be radioactive enough to give you a lethal dose. Have your Cold Zone at least 5 metres (About 20 feet) away from any casualties and preferably with a concrete wall in between. Alter this if contamination is everywhere but even if they have driven to you still remember they might be a radioactive source internally or externally.

Decontamination is supposed to occur after treatment of any regular injuries but honestly I would decontaminate first to avoid exposing yourself while treating. Minimum here is double gloves and plastic suit with duct tape sealing the arms and legs. An NBC mask would be great but goggles and a N95 mask might be all you have. None of these supplies should be reused if possible or left anywhere near the Cold Zone after use. Be checked or check yourself every 5-10 minutes to make sure your gear is intact. Approach the casualty with the wind to your back if possible. Remove all their clothes by cutting gently to avoid making anything airborne and dispose away from the casualty and the Cold Zone.

Use potassium iodide to block your thyroid's absorption of radiation.

Use potassium iodide to block your thyroid’s absorption of radiation.

Water is not recommended for decontamination but likely it will be all you can find to achieve removal of visible and invisible external contamination. Pour clean water over them and hose them down if you can. Try to make sure this water runs away from the Cold Zone and think about any drains it might enter. If you have enough consider using wet wipes rather than water and will you have enough clean water anyway for this sort of thing in a nuclear war? The goal is to remove anything visible and then hopefully wash off any invisible sources of radiation. This will not make them safe to enter the Cold Zone as they might have absorbed, ingested, and/or inhaled radioactive material and remain deadly to you. A few hours to a day will tell as they will show obvious signs they are going to die. If you can keep them outside the Cold Zone for at least 24 hours and a week would be good but again depends on who it is and circumstances locally.

Treat injuries but place Cold Zone equipment in minimal amounts on doubled clean tarps not the ground. Remember not to kneel down or rest against walls or the casualty. Ideally the casualty should be doing all of these interventions themselves with you shouting encouragement and throw gear to them. If you have to move them then place them on a thick clean tarp and a sheet and literally wrap them up entirely to avoid contact for the transport.

They are contaminated until a Geiger counter says they are not or several days have gone by and they are showing no major progressive radiation illness. Until then treat them as if they are radiative to you. Do not forget this ever. As the hours and days go by the threat of this lessens but it does not take much source material to kill.

Radiation Sickness

Occurs a few hours to several weeks after exposure and are mainly the signs and symptoms from dead stem cells that you will see. Of interest if you have seen Threads or any film it takes 2-4 days before you see gastric signs. Diarrhea and abdominal pain take about 48 hours for most lethal doses to appear so being fine a day afterwards means nothing for survival. Gastric symptoms lead to a horrible death in about ten days so if they get to two weeks it looks good but… it takes 30 to 60 days before you know they will not die from blood failure. The earlier lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting (persistent), and lack of energy occur the more likely it is the casualty will die.

See graph page 21

The most useful sign is their consciousness as it gets hit hard early by lethal and high radiation. It can kill in 24-48 hours but expect drowsiness and feeling very ill even in none lethal exposures. Diarrhoea is always a bad sign for survival and remember that poop might well be radioactive so keep away from it and keep it away from your Cold Zone.

Bleeding and vomiting and diarrhea can all occur within minutes of high level exposure. Interestingly a type of pneumonia can occur after about 50 days and pulmonary fibrosis can occur about a year afterwards. Carry a few N95 or similar masks with you everywhere you go as inhaling is the easiest way to become contaminated in a nuclear incident.

Radiation Symptoms and Management.

Radiation Symptoms and Management.

Treatment

This gets complex but basics are needed such as an antiemetic (Gravol). Antipyretic such as Tylenol but do not use Aspirin as they are likely to bleed and this really won’t help that. Keep hydrated and warm. Treat other injuries as best you can. Use ciprofloxacin and/or cephalosporin antibiotics and consider also using Vancomycin (Gram Positive antibiotic) and Amphotericin B (anti-fungal). You will need a Doctor to prescribe these but Vets have these and there are sources available to treat your tropical fish that might help in a pinch. Antivirals (acyclovir) are good but there is no information on using HIV treatments for Acute Radiation Sickness but if available I would consider it. The casualty is going to feel really ill from this therapy but worth a try if available and if not obviously dying.

Cutaneous Syndrome

Typically a hand or foot might develop this even if there are no signs of systemic Acute Radiation Sickness. Of note the First Aider is at high risk from this if the casualty has high doses. This is basically a really bad burn that swells and then develops tissue death. Treat with removal of dead tissue, ingesting steroids, eating lots of protein, and avoiding nicotine (vasoconstrictor). Pain killers will be nice here as it is agony so consider early amputation if loss of the area is clear.

My Radioactive Medical Response Kit

Most radioactive elements are not easily absorbed by the bowels but Iodine, Tritium, and Cesium are 100% absorbed. Strontium is about 30% absorbed while most other elements about 10%. This is an ongoing issue in a radioactive environment so consider using double bag clean soil and secure water barrels to construct your Fall Out shelter with and using these for food production later on after clear vegetation and soil from your garden (this is arguable as might put you at risk of inhaling)

Metamucil. High fiber intake promotes bowel clearance to flush out any ingested radioactive materials. Start as soon as you think there is a radiation issue. Vegans clear the bowel in less than 24 hours and meat eaters about five days.radiationsickness

Use Potassium Iodide tablets to block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland in the neck. Ontario Government gave me free ones but I’d go for 14 days supply for all members of the group and a 28 day supply for all people under the age of 25. Make sure they are not allergic to iodine (shell fish) and it only works if taken before exposure and only helps the thyroid not the entire body. A 130mg tablet provides protection after six hours and last about 36 hours. One tablet for adults a day and half a tablet ages 3-18. Under 3 years give a quarter of a tablet. Under one month an eight of a tablet. Only used if intake of radioactive Iodine is likely. 130mg of Potassium Iodide is equivalent to 170mg of Potassium Iodate.

Drink fresh water in large quantities (3-4 litres a day) as it helps flush some elements out and you need to be hydrated if you get sick. Urinate outside the Shelter and think about drainage away from the Shelter. Not likely to be radioactive but no point doing all this and overlooking the portable toilet in the shelter that is emptied every week. The goal is to reduce all radioactive exposure as far as possible and for as long as possible.

Barium Sulphate (not commonly available but see if you can get a friendly ICU nurse to get you a supply). Not an enema but the oral version as it is really good at binding to Strontium and excreting it via the bowels. Your poop will by clay like and you should consider it to be radioactive. Use one oral dose of 300mg but repeat is ingestion reoccurs. I’d basic this on where the food is from and if your poop is normal again but honestly do not eat or drink anything that is not from your stores to avoid this fate. It causes constipation so a mild laxative added to the Metamucil is a good move.

Use Prussian Blue by mouth as it is absorbed in the bowel instead of Cesium, Thallium, and Thorium which is then pooped out. Your poop is highly radioactive in this case. Use about 3gm per day for a minimum of 30 days. It is not absorbed by the body and is relatively harmless. It will cause constipation and your poop will turn blue. If used, maintain a high potassium diet as it rips this out of you as well and that can easily kill you.

Maalox or similar. You want colloidal Aluminum Phosphate or Aluminum Hydroxide (antacids). Hard to find these days as the anti-aluminum movement due to Alzheimer’s risks means many brands no longer contain Aluminum. Read the label. Use about a 2.5 gm dose once a day for five days. It binds to the radioactive elements in the bowel allowing you to excrete them in your poop .

Sodium Bicarbonate. This helps depleted or enriched uranium leave the body by the kidney. I can only find intravenous doses but it seems a spoonful a day for a week might help if you can stomach it. The dose is two tablets every four hours until three days after there are no symptoms but tablets might be hard to find. Use pure sodium bicarbonate powder and check the label for additives.

You might consider charcoal ingestion but this is not recommended for radioactive contamination as it does not do much to block absorption and can lead to vomiting and then aspiration of radioactive material into your lungs which is a far worse issue than in the bowels.

I also have the ability to stop all treatment humanely. Well that is my kit and the background to it. Enjoy!

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Fake News Is The Only News There Is

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Media

One of the things which was extremely clear in this election cycle, was the mainstream news media’s efforts to anoint and elect Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States of America.

They did everything within their power to make that happen, including things that would have been considered unethical by the news reporters of a generation ago.

Specifically, the mainstream media worked overtime to portray Hillary in a positive light, mostly by hiding her many scandals from the public eye.

Elections and the Mass Media

The mainstream media did not make any accusations against her, such as saying that she wasn’t being transparent when she didn’t have a press conference for over 250 days, yet made the same accusation of Donald Trump, when he didn’t invite them to go out to eat a family-only dinner with him.

But then, that follows the rest of the way that they’ve treated both candidates. Throughout the campaign, they “worked overtime” to dig up dirt on Trump.

The surprising thing isn’t that they tried, because that’s their job, or even that they didn’t bother to dig up dirt on Hillary, after all, they were sold out to her from the beginning. No, the surprising thing was how little dirt they were able to dig up.

Anyone who is as wealthy and as public figure as Donald Trump has been, should have plenty of dirt to dig up. But they didn’t find much. Oh, there was the locker room tape and the false accusations of sexual harassment, which all went away. But other than that, there wasn’t much.

So being the liberals that they are, the media turned to name calling, as usual, applying labels to Trump. Of course, other liberals picked those names up and repeated them.

Many voted against Trump, just because of that name calling. I personally know people who did just that; not because they’re Democrats, or because they particularly believe in Hillary Clinton, just because they bought into the media’s lies about Donald Trump.

After Elections: Mass media and the Game of “Fake News Sites” List

Now that the election is over, at least some of the mainstream media wants us to think they’re “coming clean.”

They’ve even gone so far as to create a list of “fake news sites” which has been making its way around the internet. Of course, none of them are on it, and from taking a glance at it, I can just about guarantee you that their biggest conservative rivals are.

The thing is that in the liberal lexicon, if you don’t see things their way, you’re lying. It doesn’t matter that their way isn’t true; all that matters is that they agree that it’s right.

Just look at the whole global warming hoax. Anyone who doesn’t agree with it is now a “global warming denier,” to be ridiculed, maligned and even prosecuted for their disagreement.

That’s the way they handle everything. You either toe the line, telling the party’s story, or you’re an outsider to be destroyed by every verbal weapon they can come up with. But that’s it; they wouldn’t think of sullying their lily-white hands by daring to touch a real weapon.

But the fact of the matter is, there is a lot of fake news out there; and the main culprit in making it appear, is the same mainstream media outlets who are bemoaning and decrying its existence.

I say it’s their fault, because the lack of real news coming out of the big three and other ancillary news outlets is what has led to so many alternate news sites popping up all over the internet. Maybe if they had done their jobs right and reported the news, instead of being co-opted as liberal propaganda outlets, there wouldn’t have been such a market for alternate news sights.

There’s s second part of how the mainstream media is at fault in the fake news game, that is that they invented it. They’re the ones who have been pushing fake news at us, all throughout Obama’s presidency.

It is rare that any real news comes out of the big three anymore, as all they’re doing is passing out liberal editorials, disguised as news, hiding real news, especially if it makes Obama or Hillary look bad, and working overtime to distract the public with fluff stories about the Kardashians and other worthless “celebrities.”

This last one has become so common, that those of us who actually think about the news, and don’t just consume the false news that they give us have learned to look for the story they’re hiding under a rock, every time the news media blows up over some insignificant fluff story.

Tell me, can you remember even one news story during Obama’s reign, which was an actual investigative piece against the government? I can’t. That’s a truly amazing record, especially when you compare it to the vast number of such stories that came out during Bush’s presidency.

It has become manifestly clear that the mainstream media has been compromised, and as such, they are no longer fulfilling the job mandated to them by the founding fathers to protect our freedom.

So people like Andrew Breitbart (Breirbart Report), Matt Drudge (Drudge Report), and even Alex Jones (Infowars) decided that they had to do something about it.

While not every alternative news sight has been totally above board, many have. Even then, the needs of the public and of financing their operations may have had some negative effect on their objectivity.

The internet works by advertising; more specifically, by what are known as “click throughs.” This means that the various websites you and I might look to for news, get paid by the advertisers who take space on their pages. But they don’t get paid just for the space, they get paid when people reading those pages click on the advertising, taking them to the websites of the companies who own the advertisements.

Of course, the websites don’t get any money if nobody is on their website. So they took a page from the print media’s playbook and started coming up with headlines that would gather attention.

These headlines, called “click bait” may not tell you anything useful about the content of the article or video on that page; they’re not intended to, they’re intended to arouse your curiosity and get you to click on the link. Nothing more. Of course, the more scandalous sounding the headline, the more clicks on the article. Hence, marketing people work hard to come up with attractive sounding headlines.

Real news isn’t always all that exciting. Sometimes, they feel they have to spice it up a bit. Even to the end, the media was touting Hillary Clinton as the winner, to the point where Newsweek had already printed the covers for the next issue of their magazine, showing her having won the race to the White House.

EMPCover1

But the plot thickens even more. An enterprising internet geek in California realized there was money to be made by creating false news and sending it out over the internet.

At the same time, being a liberal, he decided that he could provide a real public service, by discrediting conservative news sites. All he had to do was to create stores that were plausible enough and juicy enough to get conservative news sites to use them, creating links to his stories, which would give him the click-throughs to the advertising.

Needless to say, these juicy stories were passed around the internet. The target news sites didn’t do their due diligence, verifying that the stories were true, before publishing the links.

So, what was created as a phony story got sent out under the names of various conservative news sites, as being real. Then, because they were such juicy stories, they got shared on social media, by individual readers, who also forgot to do their due diligence and check the stories out.

I won’t excuse the people who didn’t check those stories. I always try to check things out, before passing it on. But I will say this, it has become harder and harder to check to see if something is true. The mass repetition of some of these stories gives them the appearance of being true, but that’s not the same.

Even the “fact checkers” have been proven to be false. They have no more authority than anyone else to say something is true; but have built themselves a reputation as such an authority. Perhaps if they had remained non-partisan they could have been. But they sold out to the liberals, siding with them, over telling the truth.

So now that the granddaddy of fake news has made his bundle, he’s begun to reproduce; whether he wanted to or not. There are now others, mostly overseas, who have picked up on how profitable the fake news business is. They, like their example, are busy writing all sorts of juicy sounding stories, with inflammatory headlines to send out over the internet.

If this surprises you, it shouldn’t. Some of these people are making $10,000 per month, just off of advertising, by creating these juicy stories for public consumption.

What does this mean for you and I? Basically, it means that we need to be even more careful about the news we accept and especially that which we pass on, then we ever were before. There are few outlets which we can truly trust, and even those which are still trustworthy may end up picking up one of these stories and passing it on, because it looks so good.

Take everything with a grain of salt… about a ten pound gain. If it’s real, it will have legs and keep going. If it’s not, then it will go away. While that may not give us the instant news through the internet that we’ve become accustomed to, it will at least keep us from being taken in by the lies.

Even more importantly, it will keep us from becoming part of the problem, by passing on the fake news as it is was real.

This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia. 

References: 

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-25/washington-post-names-drudge-zero-hedge-anti-clinton-sophisticated-russian-propagand

www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/russian-propaganda-effort-helped-spread-fake-news-during-election-experts-say/2016/11/24/793903b6-8a40-4ca9-b712-716af66098fe_story.html?utm_term=.ccdf421b2bdf

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A Few Items for Your Dog’s Bug-Out Bag

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California Mountain Dog If you haven’t considered your pet for bug in and bug out situations, it’s about time you should. We’ve all seen videos of people caught in disasters who’re more concerned about finding their cat than they are about where they’re going to sleep at night. Besides, pets will be of immense value post-collapse when it comes to moral support. To them, all it matters is that you’re still together…

In today’s article I want to focus on dogs and their needs in bug out scenarios. Depending on its size and strength, a dog may or may not carry his own stuff. The rest will either go in your bug out vehicle’s trunk or inside your own BOB.

So let’s see some of these items that you should make part of your survival plan.

An Emergency Leash

If your dog is anything like mine, he’s going to be really, really scared if and when general panic sets in. You’re going to want to keep him on a leash at all times, particularly if you’re bugging out with your car. If you’re the one driving, you can’t afford Lucky to distract you, so have someone sit with him on the back seat.

Food and Water

Don’t pack too much, because they’re heavy. It all depends on the size of your dog. Store extra food and water in your car’s trunk and beware of high temperatures. Anything inside your car’s trunk that’s perishable should be rotated more often than what’s in your pantry or basement.

A Collapsible Dish

You can use it for other things, such as collecting rainwater or foraging. The more containers you have with you, the better. You never know what you’ll end up putting in them.

A Dog Crate… Also Collapsible

This is something you could add to your car bug out bag and even use it to store other supplies. Particularly useful if you’re going to camp in the woods, if you don’t want your dog to run away while you’re sleeping.

A First Aid Kit

You can opt for those pre-packed ones on the market or you can assemble one yourself. Just keep in mind that there’s a difference between a FAKs for people and those for dogs. If you do decide to assemble them yourself, I suggest you keep them separated.

Body Armor

Come again? Why would your dog need it? Because you’ll never know when a wild animal might attack him… or get hit by a bullet You don’t want him unprotected when he’s trying to protect you. Soft armor vests are lightweight and have lots of pockets where you can fit many of the items given in this article.

Two Inflatable Mini-Beach Balls

This may sound weird but consider the scenario where you all need to cross a large body of water. Even if your dog can swim, can he do it with weight on his back? If you add something inflatable on both sides of the backpack, it’ll be much easier. A couple of small inflatable 5” beach balls will do.

Glow Sticks

Glow sticks make great emergency lighting because they have a 5-year shelf life (so long as you don’t crack them open), they pose no fire risk and are powerful enough to light your way. Tie one to your dog’s collar to be able to see him in the dark.

A Few Ziploc Bags

They have numerous alternative uses so it’s always good to have a few. These should be in every survival bag (GHB, BOB, car BOB) and even as part of your edc – they are crucial for survival because they have so many uses.

Vaccination Records

If you can laminate them, even better. If your dog gets lost and someone finds him or if he bites someone, they might help.

Dog Nail Clippers…

…because SHTF hygiene is crucial.

Dog Boots

During a bug out, it’ll be easier for your pup to run and walk on uneven terrain. Boots don’t add too much extra weight on its back. The only thing to do beforehand is getting it used to wearing them.

A Small Toy

A toy might keep a scared dog busy. If you put it in your own bag, you can use it to make him come to you if he strays away.

A Muzzle

A scared dog is an aggressive dog, and you don’t want him biting someone to hinder your bug-out. A muzzle will also tell other people that your dog bites (even if he doesn’t), and some of them will be discouraged to attack you.

A Respirator Mask

…in case Yellowstone decides to erupt, but also useful in case of a nuclear meltdown to keep radiation particles out of his respiratory system, though these respirators aren’t bulletproof; they’re just better than nothing, for larger particles such as dust.

A Few Items for Your Own Use

If you have enough room, you might as well put things that are really for the benefit of everyone. For example, you can put some dryer lint, because it’s a great fire-starter as well as lightweight…

Now What?

One you start getting some of these things, you’ll need to get your dog accustomed to wearing boots and having a backpack on his back. Heck, you can even go as far as simulating a bug out situation just to see how much Lucky will slow you down and see how easy it’ll be to keep him near you when you’re in a hurry.

The writer of this article would like to follow his own advice and remain anonymous.

What Makes The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie? Here’s Our Recipe

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What makes the perfect chocolate chip cookie? Ask anyone and no answer will be the same.   Some people like their cookies to be crisp and crunchy, while others like them to be soft and gooey. Growing up I would

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Conflicted The Card Game Finacial Collapse | episode 127

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Conflicted The Card Game Finacial Collapse
Conflicted The Card Game Finacial Collapse

 

Conflicted The Card Game Finacial Collapse | episode 127

http://www.survivalpunk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/conflictedEpisode127.mp3

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This episode is a fun one. And one that you can participate in. Serenity and Mikes Wife join us this week to play a game of Conflicted The Card Game Finacial Collapse. 

Unlike some of the previous versions of conflicted the card game this deck ask some knowledge based questions. So some cards have actual answers. Whereas my favorite ones are What would you do type answers. 

 

Topics

  • What Items Could you Buy Cheaply Now That Could Be Used In Cashless Society
  • You were wise and saved gold and silver before the collapse. Do you keep the coin or invest? 
  • Governments Usually print more money to get out of a crisis. How should they react to an economic crisis?
  • In a collapse where local areas were creating their own currencies would you trust it?
  • If your country collapsed what are the chances of geographic areas breaking up and how would it affect you?
  • Someone’s crisis is someone else’s opportunity. During a collapse could you get by with what you have?
  • What’s the difference between Inflation and Deflation and what causes them?
  • After the latest economic collapse You became an entrepreneur. Your government has new taxes that make it impossible to stay open. Do you shut down or sell on the black market. 

 

Links

Conflicted Website

Conflicted Amazon

Barter Episode

 

I have an Ebook on  Paleo Pumpkin  Recipes I worked really hard on for you. I would love for you to make some recipes from it and enjoy them. 

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Thoughts on Heroism, Discipleship, and Loyalty To God

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Desmond Doss

     My last post focused on Desmond Doss, an Army Medic and real-life hero of WWII, who vowed to serve both his country and his God, no matter the cost.  As he told a military tribunal who tried to court martial him for his refusal to carry a weapon, “With the world so set on tearing itself apart, it don’t [sic] seem like such a bad thing to me to put a little bit of it back together.”
     As I stated in the prior post, Doss single-handedly saved at least 75 men during one of the most horrific battles of the War, on the island of Okinawa.  At times, it may seem as if those kinds of heroes are vanishing, as we lose the last of the Greatest Generation.  But what Desmond Doss stood for will never be lost as long as there is one man or one woman willing to take a stand for their freedom of conscience… the right to follow our own beliefs in matters of religion and morality.
     As Stephen Greydanus, a writer at the National Catholic Register, expressed, “Desmond Doss is a hero for our own troubled times”.  And as fellow writer Eric Metaxes expounds, it isn’t only in the arena of war where freedom of conscience needs to play a part … “Times in which florists and bakers are being hauled before civil rights commissions, being fined, losing their businesses; times in which pharmacists in Washington State can lose their licenses for refusing to dispense abortion pills; times in which churches in Massachusetts can run afoul of “public accommodation” laws requiring gender neutral bathrooms — we do indeed have a model in Desmond Doss”.
     And Metaxes, as a writer, is very familiar with another hero of that time, Lutheran Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  In his masterful book, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, Metaxas tells us of the challenges Bonhoeffer faced in reconciling his faith, his moral ethics, and the politics of the day, which were quite diabolical in Nazi Germany. How does a committed Christian deal with the prospect of conflict with the Enemy on the battlefield?  While Doss and Bonhoeffer ultimately made different decisions on how they would be obedient to God, they both followed their consciences according to what they discerned was their instruction in the Bible.
     Doss determined that he would serve his fellow man by putting him first; willing to endanger, and even sacrifice, his own life in order to save another’s.  He would save lives, rather than take them, choosing to live out, Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.  Bonhoeffer, however, was faced with how to stop the demonic actions of Adolph Hitler, the anti-Christ of his times. Like Doss, Dietrich knew the 6th Commandment, Thou shalt not kill.  But he faced the moral dilemma of doing nothing to stop the murder of 6,000,000 Jews.  He finally came to the conclusion that he trusted God to understand his motives in becoming involved in an assassination attempt on Hitler.  To Bonhoeffer, it had come down to God’s admonition to Hate evil, love good, And establish justice in the gate! Both men exercised their freedom of conscience, and they took their accountability to God not only seriously, but solemnly.
     So, are we all capable of being as heroic as Doss or Bonhoeffer?  We may not find ourselves in the midst of a gruesome battlefield, or at the immediate center of a moral and ethical dilemma, but, as Christians, we are all in a battle with our culture, and the increasingly compromising positions of our Churches and governmental officials.  And like Doss and Bonhoeffer, we must decide how we are to act, as we find ourselves inside the collective drama.  We cannot, and must not, separate ourselves from the world.  But it is going to take courage to be and maintain the image of Christ, while all around us, the darkest impulses of the human will try to overwhelm and defeat us.
     If we are true to our faith, we know where our citizenship lies.  In fact, we are already there with Jesus, in spirit.  We just have to conform our mind, emotions, will, and these temporary bodies to the heavenly conviction of our spirit, and then let our actions show who we are.  It is not enough to pray… although we should not abandon sending our petitions heavenward.  We must be totally committed to our Biblical morals and completely loyal to God; acting on our faith, not just believing.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

     And it will cost us.  Discipleship in the Name of Jesus will not be a road easily traveled.  We can look at the lives of all the Apostles and see what it cost them. And in the cases of Doss and Bonhoeffer, we can see how loyalty to their God resulted in very different outcomes — one’s actions led to a hero’s medal; the other to execution by hanging. I know that there will be those who say that Bonhoeffer’s path was wrong and can never be accepted nor forgiven by God.  But my thoughts turn to King David, and his actions in having Uriah killed so that he could lie with Bathsheba.
     As theologian and Hebrew scholar, Michael Heiser, so eloquently writes in his fantastic book, The Unseen Realm, “King David was guilty of the worst of crimes against humanity in the incident with Bathsheba and Uriah the Hittite.  He was clearly in violation of the law and deserving of death.  Neverthless, his belief in who Yahweh was among all the gods never wavered.  God was merciful to him, sparing him from death, this his sin had consequences the rest of his life.”  The lesson here, is that personal failure, even the worst kind, as exhibited by Bonhoeffer, will not separate you from God’s mercy. Although Bonhoeffer was not spared from death [as King David was], he never disavowed his loyalty to God, nor doubted YHWH’s loyalty to him.
     In the final minutes of his life, before being led to the gallows, he led a short service for fellow prisoners, praying, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Then he asked that a message be delivered to Bishop Bell in London; the message reading that “this was the end, but for him also the beginning of life, and that the ultimate victory of their cause – a universal Christian brotherhood rising above all national interest – was certain”.
     The prison doctor, who witnessed the execution recorded this impression: “Through the half-open door in one room of the huts I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer, before taking off his prison garb, kneeling on the floor praying fervently to his God. I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer. At the place of execution, he again said a short prayer and then climbed the steps to the gallows, brave and composed. His death ensued after a few seconds. In almost fifty years that I worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God”.
     So, how will we, as modern day Christians, exhibit our loyalty and discipleship to our Lord?  We have seen in the examples of Desmond Doss and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the very picture of heroism — two entirely different men, but both committed to acting out their faith. Neither set out to become a hero, and I wage that neither welcomed the mantle. Each man simply followed his heart; a heart set on being obedient to the will of God. Not a simple thing to do in this world.  But ultimately, I believe that we can all be heroes to someone in need of the image of Christ in their life… a bright light in the midst of the darkest time in their life. And I know in my spirit that God will honor our actions on His behalf. He’s just looking for willing participants.

Isaiah 50:7-8:  “But the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near…”
   

7 Essential Items in your Emergency Survival Kit

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Emergency sounds like a scary word and it actually is. Then wonder what would happen if you get stuck in any kind of an emergency situation, where there is no rescue and no one to help? It could be an adventurous road trip which you thought would be a thrilling one, or it could be … Read more…

The post 7 Essential Items in your Emergency Survival Kit was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Grow Food in One Container All Year

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Growing your own fruit and veg is a pursuit that is packed with advantages. Before you even eat the things, the action of nurturing these plants can be calming for the heart and soul, and offer a healthy sense of pride. Then there’s the nutritional benefits: knowing precisely what (if any) fertilizers and pesticides are on your veg, picking and eating them when they are perfectly ripe, and — if you have the room to grow them — you’ll probably end up eating more greens than usual. Even if you don’t have the room to grow food, it’s still possible to acknowledge your inner agriculturalist by maintaining a limited amount of seasonally appropriate produce in just one rotated pot.

With a good-sized pot (at least 45cm deep and wide), good compost and some trusty bamboo, you can soon master the hobby. The right watering patterns, fertilizer treatment and placement will vary from crop to crop. As the seasons turn and you switch one vegetable for the next, you will find that the transition process is also nuanced but achievable — great if you want to challenge yourself, or get the kids’ green fingers working.

To get started, try referring to this new info graphic which makes clear how simple this most natural of hobbies can be, and it won’t be long before you’re enjoying a rich and varied vegetable diet from just that one unassuming container. Bon appétit!

Info Graphic provided by Pound Place for your educational purposes.

Courtesy of: Pounds to Pocket

The post Grow Food in One Container All Year appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Quick And Easy Way To Make Ebelskivers

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This is my quick and easy way to make Ebelskivers for the family. When I was a little girl, my grandmother and mother would make these Whole Wheat Ebelskivers for special occasions like Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I carried on the tradition with my own daughters. My mother used a cast iron Ebelskivers (pronounced: able-skeevers) Pan. I used a cast iron one for years, in fact, I think one of my daughters has the original one. I purchased one that is made by Nordic-Ware. I have a glass top (which I do not like) stove. LOL! The Nordic-Ware works better on my stove than the cast iron style pan. The bottom is a little flatter with a ring that generates the heat evenly on a glass stove top.

I love making memories with my kids and grandkids, and this one is truly a hit for everyone involved! Just picture a heaping platter with these Ebelskivers, freshly whipped cream, butter, powdered sugar, several syrup flavors and bring on the jam and jellies! Life is good when you surprise your family with these, I promise. UPDATED: I now have a gas stove so I can use any Ebelskiver pan!! I use several at a time when I make these, so check out these pans: Nordic Ware Danish Ebleskiver Pan or Norpro Nonstick Cast Aluminum Danish Aebleskiver Filled Pancake Pastry Pan New or Norpro 3114 6.5-Inch Cast Iron Danish Aebleskiver Pan Makes

Linda’s Whole Wheat Ebelskivers

Mix the following ingredients and set them aside:

  • 1-1/2 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour (white bread flour works too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon dough enhancer (optional)
  • Scant or dash of salt
  • Freshly ground nutmeg using a Microplane or out of a jar to taste

Ebelskivers With Nutmeg

Whisk the following:

  • 1 cup Buttermilk (I used the dry food storage type and reconstituted it with water as directed)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Sour Cream

Ebelskiver Ingredients

After whisking, add the dry ingredients. Heat the Ebleskiver Pan.  I use Vegetable Spray instead of putting 1 teaspoon of oil in each Ebelskiver hole. Heat the pan until very hot. I use a toothpick to flip mine. I will cook both sides and then cook them on their sides as shown in the picture.

Ebelskiver Pan

You fill the holes almost completely full and they puff up! So fun!

Ebelskiver Pancakes

They look really fancy, but they are so easy to make. My grandkids love these! Although Mickey Mouse Pancakes/Waffles are still their favorite!

Whole Wheat Ebelskivers (this is the printable recipe below)

Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour (white bread flour works well too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon dough enhancer (optional)
  • Scant of salt
  • Freshly ground nutmeg using a Microplane or out of a jar to taste
  • Whisk the following:
  • 1 cup Buttermilk (I used the dry food storage type and reconstituted with water as directed)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Sour Cream

Instructions:

After whisking, add the dry ingredients. Heat the Ebelskiver Pan. I use Vegetable Spray instead of putting 1 teaspoon of oil in each Ebelskiver hole. Heat the pan until very hot. I use a toothpick to flip mine. I will cook both sides and then cook them on their sides as shown in the picture.
Please share with me some of your family traditions you enjoy making together, thank you from the bottom of my heart. May God bless you and yours!

My favorite things:

Saf Instant Yeast, 1 Pound Pouch

Norpro 335 Nutmeg Grater

OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Mixing Bowl Set, Blue/Green/Yellow

Measuring Cups 7 Piece with New 1/8 cup (Coffee Scoop) by KitchenMade-Stainless Steel-Nesting set.

Microplane 40020 Classic Zester/Grater

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Why Whole Foods are Always Better Than Nutritional Supplements

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Have you taken your multivitamin today? Well, you might want to reconsider that decision.

A number of studies have shown that not only is synthetic vitamin supplementation unnecessary but it may also be a potentially harmful habit altogether. Synthetic supplements do not lower rates of cancer, diabetes or cardiovascular disease, and often many of the ingredients are not even sourced from plants but from rocks. As T. Colin Campbell, PhD explains, nutrition is generally investigated, and findings interpreted in reference to the activities of individual nutrients. This reductionist approach to nutrition has been shown not to yield the same benefits that one would derive from all of the phytochemicals and stabilizing properties present in plants. The evidence is mounting in favor of the use of whole plant foods for full-spectrum nutrition over and above any form of synthetic vitamin supplementation.

Synergistic Effects

There are thousands of phytochemicals present in whole plant foods that play a role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Whole foods have been consistently found to be protective because of the bioactive compounds contained therein, which are linked to a reduction in the risk of major killers, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. The antioxidant and anticancer activity of plant foods is derived from the additive or synergistic effects of each of these compounds in combination. Synthetic supplementation simply cannot mimic this balanced natural combination of phytochemicals present in fruits and vegetables. Now, this information has been known for more than a decade, but the marketing campaigns for these worthless, and likely harmful, synthetic supplements are still running strong and sales continue to soar.

In his paper, Untold Nutrition, Dr. Campbell elaborates on why you should consider replacing your consumption of supplements with whole foods:

Summaries, which mostly represent meta-analyses of more than 100 trials and hundreds of thousands of experimental subjects, overwhelmingly show no long-term benefit for vitamin supplements, along with worrisome findings that certain vitamins may even increase disease occurrence for diabetes (5, 9), heart disease (6, 7), and cancer (7). Supplementation with omega-3 fats also was said to have no long-term benefits, even posing increased risk for diabetes (8, 9). More worrisome is the fact that these findings, first appearing more than 10 years ago, have had no discernible effect on their market. The public desire for quick fixes through pills (i.e., reductionism) is overwhelming, especially when money can be made. The activities of individual nutrients observed in carefully controlled research conditions will not necessarily be the same, at least quantitatively, when these nutrients are consumed in the form of whole food.

Bioactivity of Phytonutrients

A 2003 study suggests that in order to improve nutrition and health, it would be in the consumer’s best interest to retrieve antioxidants from fruits, vegetables and other whole food sources instead of nutritional supplements, which do not contain the balanced combination of phytochemicals found in whole plant foods. Researchers explained, “The isolated pure compound either loses its bioactivity or may not behave the same way as the compound in whole foods.” The study further differentiates between the synergistic effects of whole foods and supplementation of individual nutrients:

We also studied the total antioxidant activity and synergy relationships between different fruit combinations, with results showing that plums had the highest antioxidant activity and that combinations of fruit resulted in greater antioxidant activity that was additive and synergistic. We proposed that the additive and synergistic effects of phytochemicals in fruit and vegetables are responsible for their potent antioxidant and anticancer activities and that the benefit of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is attributed to the complex mixture of phytochemicals present in whole foods (31–33). This partially explains why no single antioxidant can replace the combination of natural phytochemicals in fruit and vegetables in achieving the health benefits. There are ≈8000 phytochemicals present in whole foods. These compounds differ in molecular size, polarity, and solubility, and these differences may affect the bioavailability and distribution of each phytochemical in different macromolecules, subcellular organelles, cells, organs, and tissues. Pills or tablets simply cannot mimic this balanced natural combination of phytochemicals present in fruit and vegetables.

Increased Protection by Combining Foods

In a 2013 study, we see that certain whole foods can increase the protective properties of others. Researchers found that the introduction of grapes to breast cancer cells growing in a Petri dish caused a 30% reduction in cell growth, and by adding onions separately, there was nearly a 60% suppression of cell growth. By adding half of each, cancer cell growth was reduced by 70%, showing that the combination of whole plant foods magnifies the effect greater than either food on its own. In The China Study, which is based upon data collected from Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventative Medicine over a span of 20 years, Dr. Campbell, and his son, Thomas M. Campbell II, MD observed notable reduced risks in cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and autoimmune diseases as well bone, kidney, eye and brain diseases in response to a whole food, plant-based diet.

The evidence is mounting that whole plant foods can be more powerful than any pharmaceutical or synthetic vitamin supplement in protecting against chronic disease. If you like the idea of living free of cancer, heart disease and a myriad of other diseases, you should consider adding as many whole plant foods to your diet as humanly possible.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

10 URGENT Preps You Need to Do ASAP

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by Karen

We should always be prepared for what might happen, but where do you begin? As I write this, the 2016 US election is a week away and tensions with Russia are greater than they have been since the Cold War and growing. Where does this leave you? Are you prepared?

What if you are just starting out with prepping? What if you have been prepping for a while, but don’t know whether you have the most important preps? What if you were handed $200 or $300 to go out and get what you need now? Here are 15 urgent preps you need to do now to be ready for what comes.

  1. Water

Do you have enough water? For how long? Weeks? Months? You need to determine how much water you need for each person for an absolute minimum of two weeks. Fortunately, water is fairly cheap. In fact, you can even go to Walmart and buy four or five 5-gallon water jugs and fill them with tap water to increase your supply.

  1. Rice

Food is the first thing anyone thinks about when they think of prepping, but what food? You need foods that are inexpensive, that you can buy in bulk, and that is nutritious and will store for the long-term. Rice is perfect. You can grab a 20-pound bag for a decent price and store it away. Most people get white rice, which has a longer shelf-life, but brown rice is more nutritious, so you need to decide what works best for you.

  1. Beans

Just like rice, dried beans are an ideal food to store away for hard times. They have an incredibly long shelf-life and provide you with protein and other important nutrients. You can get 5-pound bags of various types of beans, whatever you fancy. There are pinto beans, navy beans, kidney beans, chick peas, and so many other types. Other types of dried foods are good, too, such as oats and wheat and corn flour.

  1. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is such a great prepper food. There are 6,000 calories in a large jar of peanut butter and it has a shelf-life of two years. But since it’s a staple in many households, it is easy to rotate your stock of peanut butter and always have it on hand for emergencies. Get at least two 40-ounce jars.

  1. Honey

Honey is another must. In fact, it is the perfect prepper food because it has an indefinite shelf-life. Honey will not go bad—ever! Plus, it has so many benefits, including:

  • Antibacterial and antifungal properties
  • Nutrition
  • Sweetener
  • Aids the healing of burns and wounds
  • Acts as a probiotic
  • Improves the immune system
  • Decreases inflammation in the throat

Honey is a miracle substance that will be welcome when the world goes sideways.

  1. Salt

Who can live without salt, especially if you are eating a lot of rice and beans? But salt is so much more than just a seasoning; it also preserves food, replaces sodium the body loses through sweating, helps heal wounds, and can repel pests such as ants. It also acts as a great barter item if you get the opportunity to trade with others. Pick up one or two 5-pound bags and maybe some smaller amounts for trading.

  1. Vitamins

After the SHTF, you need to stay as strong and healthy as you can and your diet is not always going to be ideal (heck, it probably isn’t now for many of us). Having a good quality multivitamin is critical to help you get the level of nutrients your body needs. Plus, a couple of bottles of vitamins are easy to carry around, even if you have to stuff them in your BOB, which you should.

  1. Seeds

Sure, you have your preps that you are tucking away for the first weeks and months of a SHTF event, but what about when all your food runs out? What about when you survive past a year and need to start looking at other ways to feed yourself? Seeds are small, light, inexpensive, and can keep you alive in the long-term. They are invaluable and you should stock up on a few different types.

  1. Fire Starter

You need at least one method of starting a fire. Getting yourself a good fire starter kit is critical for your survival. With fire you can stay warm, cook your food, and boil water to purify it, all of which will literally keep you alive. This might be a magnesium fire starter or a ferro rod, so choose what works best for you.

  1. Radio

Information is your new best friend once the SHTF. If you know what is going on in the world, in your city, and in your neighborhood, you will be far better able to deal with it and survive. A radio that will work without electricity, either a hand-crank radio or a solar power radio, is critical.

  1. Walkie-Talkies

Let’s face it, when the SHTF, there is a good chance cell phones won’t work. Do you have a backup? Communication is critical during any disaster, whether it is short- or long-term, and you need to be prepared with a method of communicating with the other members of your group.

Ham radios are pricey, but it is easy and inexpensive to pick up a high-quality set of walkie talkies. Add some Sharpies and a system of symbols and pre-planned message locations and you have a backup form of communication that works when you are on the move.

  1. LED Flashlight

You absolutely need at least one flashlight for each member of your group. It helps you see in the dark and can be used to deter animals and attackers and signal for help. You can also set up a system of signals to use in your group, providing you with a backup communication system. Plus, having a source of light just makes us feel better when we are scared.

  1. Weapon & Ammo

You need some sort of defensive weapon. You have your loved ones to protect, which means also protecting the food, water, and supplies you have gathered. A gun is the best thing to have on hand. You should purchase a gun and the ammo to go with it, although if you don’t have your firearms license, no one will sell you one. You can also purchase a crossbow or another form of projectile weapon. They aren’t as practical as a gun, but they don’t require a license, either. Ideally, you should get your firearms license as soon as you are able to do so.

  1. Physical Preparedness

Get yourself in good physical shape! Like I said above, people think so much about the things they need to prep, the items they need to stock away so they have enough, but often little thought is given to your own physical ability to deal with the shock of what comes after the SHTF.

When an event happens, you will be under a lot of emotional, mental, and physical stress. You will get less sleep and will have a lot more physical exertion. You will possibly have less food to eat and what you eat won’t be what you have been used to. Even if you have a full stock of familiar foods for a few weeks or months, it will run out and you may need to ration at some point.

Get plenty of exercise—now! Build your endurance and muscle mass—now! If you aren’t currently in good physical shape, then start slowly, perhaps by walking every day, but start a regimen of exercise that will ensure you have the physical strength and endurance to handle what will come.

When it comes to eating, you are literally what you eat, so be sure to eat well. You should also simplify your meals. Once things go sideways in the world, you will be eating more simple foods and meals. Foraged greens, some meat or fish you have caught, perhaps with rice you have tucked away. Do you have to give up all your favorite foods? No, but adjusting your diet now to get used to eating these types of simpler meals will make the transition easier later on.

  1. Mental Preparedness

Your survival in any SHTF situation is going to be largely a mental game. The stress of the situation, of always having to think five steps ahead and how you are going to take care of everyone, will take its toll. It’s that simple.

The people who will survive will be the people who have the mental capacity to not only refrain from panicking, but to stay positive. You will need to keep your emotions under control, think clearly, and do what needs to be done.

You can train your mind through meditation, relaxation techniques, mental exercises, and even a rigorous physical training program that will push your mental limits, as well as your physical limits. Plus, just being as prepared as possible in all of the ways listed above will help alleviate fear and stress when disaster strikes.

Wilderness Survival Skills: When You’re Lost in the Woods

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lostinwoods

Wilderness Survival Skills: When You’re Lost in the Woods

It’s easy to be thrust into a survival situation; go fishing, take a walk in the woods, a Sunday afternoon drive and all of the sudden, you find yourself stranded. What started out as a time for relaxation and enjoyment suddenly turns into a wilderness survival situation.

The question is; are you ready?

Do you have the knowledge you need for a wilderness survival situation and have you brought the equipment along to help you survive? This isn’t the time to look up that information; it’s time to take action. You have to be ready or you just might not make it.

Before You Go

Before you leave for that walk in the woods, it’s always a good idea to let someone know where you are going, the route you are planning on taking and when you expect to be back. That way, if you don’t return or contact them when you are expected to, they can raise the alarm about you being overdo. Knowing where you are gives officials and rescuers a much better chance of finding you.

51fjz7tryzlAlso, make sure you take at least a basic survival kit along. There are lots of different ideas about what that survival kit should include, but at a minimum, it needs to have some means of providing you with the basic necessities of wilderness survival; shelter, water, food and fire. In a pinch, you can do without the food for a couple of weeks.

There’s one other thing you need; that’s a means of calling out for help. Your cell phone might be able to help you with this, but only if it is charged and you are in an area where you have a signal. A spare battery pack might be worthwhile to carry around too.

But don’t just count on your cell phone. A whistle is a great means of calling for help. The other old standby is a signal mirror. Airplanes ten miles up in the air can catch the glint off of your mirror, allowing the pilots to pinpoint your location and pass it on to searchers.

RELATED : HOW TO USE A COMPASS: A LIFESAVING SKILL IN THE WILDERNESS

When You Realize You’re Lost

Once you realize you are lost, stop. Before running off and making the situation worse, you need to take stock of your situation. What do you have with you that you can use for wilderness survival? How much daylight is left? What’s the weather like? Are there any landmarks you recognize? Do you have any cell phone signal?

If you have cell phone signal, you should contact someone as quickly as you can and tell them you are lost, as well as whatever other information you can, which will help rescuers find you. Make your report clear, quick and organized, as you may not be able to contact them again. If your phone has GPS and you can get coordinates off of it, then tell them the coordinates you are at as well.

In most cases, you’re better off allowing rescuers to find you, rather than trying to find your way back out of the woods. So, unless you have a pretty good idea of where you are (which would mean that you’re not lost) or it has been several days and they haven’t found you, don’t try walking out.

Establish Camp

emergency-shelter-campWhen the sun goes down, it’s going to get colder. Even in the summertime, the temperature can drop enough to cause you to have hypothermia, especially if you are wearing wet clothes. So, if it is less than two hours to sunset, basic wisdom of wilderness survival states that it’s time to establish camp, right there where you are.

You can easily estimate the time till sunset by measuring the height of the sun above the horizon. Extend your hand and place the edge of your pinky on the horizon. Each finger’s width that the sun is above the horizon is approximately 15 minutes.

 

If you have more than two hours of time, you can try to locate some water. Setting up camp near water will save you from having to move camp the next day to find it. But don’t set your camp up right at the water, as that will deny it to the animals living in the woods. Instead, set up camp about 100 feet uphill of it. That’s close enough to give you access, but far enough to keep you from scaring the animals off.

Setting up camp basically means two things, building a shelter and building a fire. There are many ways of building shelters in the woods, but the easiest is to take shelter under a pine tree, if there are large pines you can use. There will be space under the lower branches, enough to sit up in, even though the tips of the branches might be brushing the ground. Clean out branches and debris, pile leaves around the base and you have a shelter.

Fire is necessary for several wilderness survival purposes. It will provide you with warmth, light, and protection. Most animals won’t go near a fire, so as long as you have a fire burning, you don’t have to worry about wild animals bothering you. But be careful that your fire can’t get out of control and turn into a forest fire.

RELATED : 18 Urban and Wilderness Survival Hacks That Would Make MacGyver Proud

Signaling for Help

Besides keeping yourself warm and drinking plenty of water, your biggest responsibility while waiting for rescue is to signal the rescuers. That means using your whistle and signaling mirror. Blow the whistle all day long, with pauses to listen for anyone crying out. Typically, the whistle can be heard much farther than the sound of a human voice, no matter how loud.

If you still have power and signal for your cell phone, use it occasionally to give update reports on your condition. Don’t leave it on all day though, as the battery will go dead. Then it won’t help you at all. Remember, text messages can get through at times when voice calls can’t.

If You Have to Walk Outimages1

If you haven’t been rescued in three days, chances are that you will need to walk out. The easiest way to find your way out of any woods is to go downhill. Wherever you are, there will be roads downhill, if you go down far enough. Just keep going until you find a road or community and then ask for help.

 

 

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Source : www.expertprepper.com

About the author : Skip Tanner is more than a writer, avid outdoorsman, hiker and international survival expert. He is also the creator of The Ultimate Survival Guide Books, The Family Survival Garden Guide, Becoming a King in the New World Guide and ExpertPrepper.com. Skip’s been studying, sharpening, and expanding his skills every day since he was 15 years old. At expertprepper.com, he brings you the news you need to know as well as breakthrough information from some of the best authors and experts in their field. Together, they share their deepest secrets of survival with you.

The post Wilderness Survival Skills: When You’re Lost in the Woods appeared first on .

The Space-Saving, ‘Upside-Down Way’ To Grow Indoor Tomatoes This Winter

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The Space-Saving, ‘Upside-Down Way’ To Grow Indoor Tomatoes This Winter

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

Indoor gardening can be a great way to have fresh vegetables year-round and satisfy your green thumb during the winter, but if you live in a small home or apartment, it can be challenging to find enough room for your plants. One solution is to turn your indoor garden on its head – literally.

Many vegetable plants that do well indoors – including cherry tomatoes — can be grown upside down. This not only saves you space, but it can give you a visually appealing container garden, too.

Hanging gardens have been around for centuries and are ideal for those without a lot of space. While we typically think of them as being outdoors – on an apartment balcony, for example – the method works just as well indoors.

Starting Your Indoor Hanging Garden

Since you won’t want to move your plants around too much once you get them started, your first step is to find the location in your home where you’d like to grow your vegetables. Ideally, it should be an area that gets plenty of sun, such as a south-facing window. Natural lighting is best for this type of growing, as setting up grow lights can get rather awkward for a hanging garden. (Although, with the right arrangement, grow lights can work.) Also, for an upside-down hanging garden, you must use a plant that has been started; planting from seed in an upside-down pot is extremely difficult.

Looking For Non-GMO Vegetable Seeds? Get Them From A Family-Owned Company You Can Trust!

You will need a place where you can hang your containers, so you’ll either want to install sturdy hooks into the ceiling or have some kind of rack system. Whatever you choose, you will want to make sure that it can support the weight of the containers and potting soil, along with mature plants. Since some soil and water will come through the bottom of the container via watering, it is also a good idea to prepare a tray or mat underneath your hanging garden to prevent making a mess.

The next step is choosing containers suitable for the types of plants that you will be growing. Drill holes in the bottom of the containers (about 2 inches in diameter for larger containers and slightly less for smaller ones). To make the work a little easier, find a place to hang the containers while you are planting so you won’t have to flip containers around.

Choose a good potting soil that has been amended with compost. You also will need something to anchor the plant in place in the bottom of the container, such as fabric, cardboard or foam. Add a slit to this material and work the plant’s roots through the material into the container and then fill in soil around it. If you wish to optimize your space even more, you can use the top of the container to grow things such as salad greens, herbs or even radishes. Just be sure that whatever you plant in the same container has similar growing requirements (sunlight and watering needs etc.). While the initial planting tends to be a bit more labor intensive than it would be with an upright garden, many indoor gardeners find the space-saving benefits to be well worth the extra effort at the beginning.

The video below shows how to accomplish this with a kit, although most homesteaders already have the supplies they need.

Story continues below video

Now that you have your indoor hanging garden, simply care for it the same way that you would for any of your upright plants. Enjoy the unique appearance and tasty, fresh vegetables all year round!

What Can You Grow?

There are many vegetables that may be grown upside down, but here are some of the most common:

  • Tomatoes – you can grow any size tomato upside down; however, cherry tomatoes are the easiest to manage since they won’t get as heavy.
  • Peppers – whether you like them hot or sweet, you can grow just about any type of pepper in an upside-down garden.
  • Cucumbers – again, by choosing a smaller variety such as pickling cucumbers, it will be much easier. Bush cucumbers should be avoided when using an upside-down growing method.
  • Eggplants – eggplants have similar needs as tomatoes, and you can have success growing them in a hanging garden. Choose a slender Asian variety or miniatures.
  • Beans – both pole and bush beans can do well in a hanging garden.
  • Strawberries – want to add something a little sweeter to your inverted garden? Strawberries can be easily grown upside down.

If you have ever decided that indoor gardening wasn’t for your because you didn’t have enough space, then perhaps the idea of having a hanging garden might be enough to make you reconsider. You can grow a variety of produce or just start with something simple like some cherry tomatoes!

Have you ever grown an indoor hanging garden? What advice would you add?

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

How To Be Grateful in Times of Need

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Gratitude is easy when life is going well. We are so quick to say thank you for good things and to praise God for our blessings.  Social media is full of people joyfully giving thanks for how blessed they are because of the good and wonderful things happening in their lives. Life, though, is not always good. This post contains affiliate links. Your support of my sponsors is greatly appreciated and helps keep this blog running. How do we find the goodness and express gratitude when money is tight, our teenagers are being … well, teenagers, the company announced a

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Larry Roberts: After Alone on History Channel

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Larry Roberts: After Alone on History Channel Karen “Lil’ Suburban Homestead” This show in player below! Lil’ Suburban Homestead interviews Larry Roberts Primitive Skills expert and Outdoorsmen, Contestant on History’s Alone, and an Instructor at the Pathfinder School. Karen previously interviewed Larry for her Primitive Skills show on the Prepper Broadcasting Network. To take a listen … Continue reading Larry Roberts: After Alone on History Channel

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How To Build a Solar-Powered Water Heater

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How To Build a Solar-Powered Water Heater That Works All Year Round If the power goes out there is very little chance that you can produce enough hot water to fill your needs through wood fire alone. There are many methods of warming water with no power. The easiest and most simple is to just …

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Backyard Bushcraft Skills: No Wilderness Required

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Backyard Bushcraft Skills: No Wilderness Required Although this article was written for the summer months, the skills in it are still very useful for the winter months to get the extra practice, skills and knowledge you will need for next spring and summer, or heaven forbid, a real survival situation. When considering how to become …

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Safe, Effective Concealed Carry Policies in the Workplace

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post was contributed by Steve P. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


The right to bear arms in America remains strong. But it behooves individual gun owners and employers to keep up with the ongoing legal and political caveats in their respective areas. Company policies and state and federal laws are all bound to clash when enacting concealed carry rules for employees. There is also the matter of providing peace of mind to workers who do not carry firearms. The following guidelines will help shape concealed carry rules for your individual company.

Law vs. Policy

Maria Ivette Ros was fired from her job as a Wells Fargo branch manager in Oldster, Florida, in 2014 for carrying a concealed weapon into the bank. The company has a strict policy against employees carrying firearms onto the premises, with the exception of security personnel. Ros filed a lawsuit in state court claiming her Constitutional rights were violated. Wells Fargo argued it is not a government entity, but a private company that can make its own rules pertaining to firearms. It’s unclear how the case was adjudicated, as court records indicate it was dismissed with prejudice in August of 2014.

The Ros case would have provided a blueprint for employers in right-to-work states like Florida that also strongly adhere to Second Amendment precedent. Know the laws of your state before writing concealed carry policies. Several states have adopted “parking lot laws” that allow employees to carry concealed weapons in their vehicles while parked on company property. States like Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Texas either have no laws addressing the issue or specifically prohibit employers from enforcing anti-concealed carry policies.

Most state laws pertaining to workplace concealed carry are fairly straightforward. But in states like Kansas, Kentucky, and Wisconsin where the laws aren’t as clear, it’s best to consult a Constitutional attorney before writing your policies.

ConcealedCarry

Safety First

The General Duty Clause contained in Sec. 5 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires all employers to provide “a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.” Education and accountability are key for compliance to OSHA’s broad safety rules.

Inform all employees of your intent to enact concealed carry policies. Clearly, state in a memo why you’re enacting the policy and how concerned employees can address said issues. One oft-repeated concern among pro-gun control advocates is the “assault rifle” fallacy. A great way to educate and bridge those gaps is showing them how false that label is.

Visit an online gun library and point out, for example, a Ruger Mini 14 versus an AR-15. Emphasize that both are semi-automatic, use .223 ammo and have 30-round magazines. The only difference between the two is that the previous looks like a BB gun, while the latter looks much more menacing. Conveying this type of knowledge about firearms will also put skeptical minds more at ease.

ConcealedCarry

Follow Examples

An aviation insurance firm in Georgia enacted a company policy earlier this year that requires all employees to obtain a concealed carry permit. Once they obtain the permit, the company owners give them Smith and Wesson handguns just as other employers provide computers, office supplies, and coffee in the break room, local news station WSB-TV reported. The company owner said the policy was enacted as a result of a crime surge in the metro Atlanta area. Georgia law grants civil and criminal immunity to employers who comply with guns-at-work laws, which of course is more reason to consult an attorney beforehand.

Belly bands make a good concealed holster for some people.

Belly bands make a good concealed holster for some people.

Speak with those who already have policies in place. There’s no substitute for real-life experience when it comes to drafting and enforcing workplace gun policies. No database or easily accessible list of employers with current concealed carry policies exists, but rifle clubs and shooting ranges are the best places to get word-of-mouth information like this.

More General Guidelines

Laws and safety supersede everything else. When drafting your policies, there are some basic elements that should be included:

  • Proper channels for employees to report threats, intimidation or harassment should be clear, confidential and easily accessible.
  • Potential disciplinary action for employees who violate any part of the policy should also be included.
  • Security personnel or other measures that limit access to your parking lot should be considered for companies that allow concealed carry in cars only.
  • Human resources personnel are encouraged to involve law enforcement when terminating employees with known tendencies of violence.

An armed workforce deters criminals from interfering with your day-to-day business, but doing it the right way ensures you stay out of the courtroom and keep your employees happy at the same time.

If you liked this article, please rate it.

The post Safe, Effective Concealed Carry Policies in the Workplace appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Castro

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Fidel Castro died the other day and I didn’t really have anything to say about it.

What’s to say? The guy played the US wonderfully when he overthrew Batista and got to die somewhat peacefully despite giving the Soviets the opportunity to put nuclear missles closer to the US than some people drive to CostCo. I suspect that Cuban relations will be very different in a year or so.

I should be getting my invite to the Alpha 66 celebratory barbecue any day now…….

How To Live Without Electricity

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How To Live Without Electricity Electricity is the blood of our modern world and without it we cannot function. We believe that, no matter how many times the power goes off, it will come back on, sooner or later. We take electricity for granted and we are unaware how fragile our power grid is. Anything …

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Survival Hax Survival Shovel

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survival_shovel_1_1024x1024One of the fun things about doing a survival blog is that manufacturers and dealers will often send you one of their items to test. I have some definite policies on this. I do not accept money for the review. I get to keep the item. And I will only write an honest evaluation. When Sara of SurvivalHax offered to send me one of their survival shovels I was glad to test it.

Before I discuss the shovel, let’s define what a survival shovel is. For my purposes, it should be lightweight and small enough to fit in a bug out bag. It should be sturdy enough to perform some basic functions. These would include digging a cat hole, digging a fire pit, digging a water run off trench around your shelter, driving tent stakes, and shoveling snow or sand from around a stuck vehicle tires. If you are planning on doing more heavy-duty digging, then you will need a larger tool. The SurvivalHax survival shovel will perform it’s intended functions very well.

This little shovel is basic military style with a folding spade and pick. This design was initiated by the Germans in WW2 and quickly copied by the United States and many other countries. The shovel has a two piece hollow handle which screws together and the end survival_shovel_6_1024x1024cap unscrews and has a ferro rod fire starter. Both handles are hollow. It also comes with a carrying case, as well as a lifetime warranty. When the shovel is unfolded it is 24 inches (2 feet) long. Its collapsible size is 8.6 x 8.2 inches. The head of the shovel is made out of manganese steel with a rigidity rating of 42-46. The handle is made out of steel as well, while the orange adjustment nut is aluminum alloy. It weighs in at about 2 pounds.

The blade is serrated on one side like many other shovels of this size. And like most of it’s counterparts, the serrated edges as well as the blade edge need to be sharpened with a file. This is not a criticism.   A few minutes with a file and the serrations and flat edge are nice and sharp. Again, most shovels of this type need to be sharpened. The three rivets that hold the blade to the mount seem solid. At 2 lbs. weight, it is solid enough to pound tent stakes in soft to moderately hard soil. I took the shovel out back and used both the pick and the blade to dig  around a bit. The soil here is gravely on top, sandy under. Both the pick and blade worked well and the locking nut stayed tight. There were no dings or bends to the blade.

survival-hax-shovel-dissassembledThe handle is a two piece hollow affair that screws together. The threads for both the handle and the end cap are cut clean and screw together with no problems. I recommend lubricating the threads lightly.   The black finish is smooth, actually slick. I solved this problem by wrapping the handle in paracord.

This not only adds no real weight, but gives a more solid grip on the handle as well as providing additional paracord for my kit. As the end cap is a ferro rod fire starter, I decided to use the hollow space to enhance  fire making capability. I took 5 Vaseline impregnated cotton balls and wrapped them in a plastic bag. I attached a piece of paracord to one end and a military p-38 can opener to the other. It works like a pull through with the p-38 being the weight that allows the sack to be pulled into or out of the tube. In addition, I have found a p-38 to be an excellent striker to use on a rod. I tested it on the rod that came with the shovel and got good sparks. I haven’t decided what to use the space in the upper handle for yet. Perhaps kindling.

The carrying case is adequate to store the two pieces nicely in a rucksack, but only has one belt loop and would probably not be too durable for long-term wear on a belt. If you wish to carry it that way, a very inexpensive military surplus e-tool holder can easily be found.survival_shovel_7_1024x1024

Summary

The SurvivalHax Survival Shovel is a well made, lightweight shovel of a proven design that is small enough to fit in a bug out bag, or under a vehicle seat and comes with a lifetime warranty. The hollow handles give you the option of storing additional items of your choice, which most other shovels of this type do not have. Mine is now in my get home bag in my jeep. Available on Amazon or SurvivalHax

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Equipment Reviews, Survival and Camping, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Bug Out Bag, Survival and Prepping, survival shovel

Holiday Gift Guide

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I was asked to put together some of my favorite product recommendations for my first ever Holiday Gift Guide. Please enjoy and have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. In no particular order   Griffin Read More …

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Light The World!

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We hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving and got to enjoy some time with family and friends. We spent the day together and enjoyed great food and felt grateful for so many things. With Thanksgiving over we’re in full swing of the Christmas spirit over here. We usually don’t blog a lot in December because we spend extra time with our family at this time of year but we do have a few things we will be sharing this month.

We’re participating with the #LIGHTtheWORLD Christmas challenge on Mormon.org. Whether you share our faith or are of another faith we invite you to join in the Christmas spirit and spread love this season.

Think about these two scriptures as you watch this video:
“I am the light of the world” John 8:12
“Ye are the light of the world” Matthew 5:14

Video from: https://www.mormon.org/christmas/light-the-world?play=hero

To kickoff this Christmas message, there will be a worldwide day of service on Dec 1st. What can you and your family do on that day to “Light the World”? …. THEN following the worldwide day of service…. You’ve heard of advent calendars right? Well how about a service advent calendar where you #LIGHTtheWORLD

25 DAYS, 25 WAYS:
From Mormon.org: During Christmas, we are reminded that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. This year, we have an amazing opportunity to share that light by resolving to do the things Jesus Christ did. Every day leading up to Christmas, we will focus on a different Christ-like behavior and provide suggestions for ways we can emulate His example. The website with the daily ideas and videos you can share with your family is here:
https://www.mormon.org/christmas/in-25-ways-over-25-days

25way25two

WHAT ARE WE DOING?

Along with the daily calendar activities with our families Food Storage Made Easy is participating in 2 of the days that are super relevant to stuff we already do here. The days will be December 12 and 19:

DECMEBER 12: JESUS TAUGHT OTHERS AND SO CAN YOU

day12
Bread is a basic food that can be made from the most common food storage ingredient, wheat. It also has a lot of symbolism in the bible. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6:35 For this day: “Watch an online tutorial to learn a new skill that can benefit others”. We are here to help with that! This post has a full tutorial on how to make bread complete with a recipe card and a free downloadable Bread FAQ.

DECMEBER 19: JESUS CALMED THE STORM AND SO CAN YOU

day19
Jesus understood that life’s storms can take many shapes. Some storms rain down from the sky; other tempests come from within. The Master can calm all storms. When we follow His example, we can be a light in the lives of those going through turbulent times. Share peace of mind with our free complete emergency prep plan found here.

We hope you have a very Merry Christmas! We recognize you may not celebrate the same holidays that we do but we find that most our readers everywhere celebrate LOVE and SERVICE and we invite you to join in and #LIGHTtheWORLD!


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The 4-Ingredient Elderberry Syrup That Destroys The Cold & Flu

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The 4-Ingredient Elderberry Syrup That Destroys The Cold & Flu

Image source: TheDabblist / Creative Commons license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

There are several varieties of elderberry grown throughout the world, but the medicinal herb we want for its powerful cold- and flu-fighting powers is European black elderberry, or Sambucus nigra L.

Elder is a shrub that originates in Europe, Asia and Africa, and it has dark black berries and small white flowers. Medicinal uses of the elder plant go back centuries. Remnants of the plant have been found in stone age sites, and the plant was referenced in writings by Pliny the Elder and Hippocrates.

Almost all parts of the elder plant were used in ancient times. The wood was used for making instruments. The flowers and berries were used for medicine.

Of course, elderberry can be grown and harvested in your own yard. If you choose to do this, make sure the elderberry plant you grow is the correct type. The varieties native to the United States are not the same as black elderberries that are used in herbal remedies. If you do not have your own elderberry plant, you can buy the dried elderberries and use them to make your own herbal medicines.

Beet Powder: The Ancient Secret To Renewed Energy And Stamina

Elderberries are high in vitamins A, B and C and have antioxidant, antiviral and other healthy properties.

A Word of Caution

Elderberries contain seeds that contain a toxic chemical, but cooking the berries removes the toxicity. Elderberries can be prepared in many ways, including in teas, syrups and tinctures. One of the great benefits of most elderberry preparations is that they are safe for children as well as for adults.

Medicinal Recipes

This winter, why not make your own elderberry medicine? Following are two recipes that can help keep your family healthy.

Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Elderberry is easily made into a syrup that can be used not only as a medicine but also on pancakes and ice cream. This syrup can last several months when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. In addition to water, it contains only four ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cold water
  • 2 cups dried elderberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger root or dried ginger root
  • Raw local honey

Directions

  1. Put the berries, herbs and cold water in a pot and boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer the mixture for about 45 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and mash the berries.
  4. Allow mixture to cool and strain the liquid with cheesecloth, making sure to squeeze out all of the juice.
  5. Measure the liquid and add an equal amount of honey.
  6. Gently heat the mixture until the honey and juice are combined. Do not let it boil.

Dosage

The 4-Ingredient Elderberry Syrup That Destroys The Cold & Flu

Image source: Pixabay.com

For children, take ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon per day. For adults, take ½ tablespoon to 1 tablespoon per day. If you have a cold or the flu, take the normal dosage every three hours for the duration of your illness.

Elderberry Gummies

These gummies are fantastic and are great for children who don’t want to take medicine when they are sick. The little gummies are sweet and tart and are like eating a fruit snack or fun candy. They also can be taken daily to boost your immune system.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup elderberry syrup
  • ½ cup hot water
  • ¼ cup gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil for greasing your pan
  • Glass pan or silicone molds

Directions

  1. Grease molds or pan with coconut oil.
  2. Put ¼ cup elderberry syrup and gelatin in a 2 cup measuring cup and whisk together.
  3. Add ½ cup hot, but not boiling, water, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the remaining elderberry syrup and stir until completely smooth.
  5. Pour gelatin mixture into your molds.
  6. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until they are completely set.
  7. Remove them from the molds and store in an airtight container.

Dosage

Eat one gummy daily to boost your immune system. If you have a cold or the flu, eat one every 4-5 hours throughout the day.

If you have chronic health problems or are taking any medications, please consult with your doctor before using herbal medicines.

Have you ever used elderberry? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below: 

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first about this method.

References:

Bond, Carol. History of Elder. Retrieved from http://www.herballegacy.com/Bond_History.html. Retrieved on Nov. 21, 2016.

De la Forêt, Rosalee. “Elderberry Gummy Bear Recipe.” Retrieved from http://learningherbs.com/remedies-recipes/gummy-bear-recipe/. Retrieved on Nov. 21, 2016.

“Does Black Elderberry Syrup Really Fight Cold and Flu Viruses?” Retrieved from http://www.homemadehints.com/black-elderberry-syrup-extract-benefits/. Retrieved on Nov. 21, 2016.

“Flu-Busting Gummy Bears.” Retrieved from http://wellnessmama.com/4599/flu-busting-gummy-bears/. Retrieved on Nov. 21, 2016.

“How to Make Elderberry Syrup.” Retrieved from http://mountainroseblog.com/elderberry-syrup-recipe/. Retrieved on Nov. 21, 2016.

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

Biased Assimilation and Your Survival

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Ah, yes, Biased Assimilation. That polarization which occurs when your beliefs become your religion and any new contradicting evidence is ignored, or twisted in a way which supports your beliefs.

This election cycle, actually all election cycles, proved biased assimilation is alive and well. Biased assimilation is that cerebral disorder which prevents us from being objective. If we have a firm belief in one party over the other, because of biased assimilation, we tend to follow news and events which favor that party, and dismiss news and organizations which may contradict our views, regardless if they are correct. Of course, this biased assimilation is not only reserved for politics. Every segment of society, including bushcraft and survival, suffers from it. Biased Assimilation, is that fault which makes people look like idiots. It is that fault which prevents people from being objective and take in new information

As an example, It is a well known fact people in the survival community hold in high reverence the ferrocerium rod (ferro rod). So convinced are they the ferro rod is the epitome emergency fire starting tool, they are quick to dismiss or make excuses for its shortcomings. Often times, they will attack and dismiss the more common and easier to use every day items in defense of their precious ferro rod.

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11 Survival Lessons We Can Learn From Old-Timers

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survival lessons old timers

For the last 20 years I have been working on my genealogy. The research is fascinating to me. Old certificates and wills captivate me and the search for my ancestors is like a treasure hunt. One part of genealogy that I have found most valuable are their personal journals. Their stories of survival and endurance have always left me in awe and reminded me that I have life pretty easy. I have done my best to apply their wisdom to my family and learn from their life experiences. I want to share some of the lessons we can all learn from the branches, twigs and occasional nuts in our family tree.

1. Eat real food.
Whole grains, milk, eggs, cream, butter, seasonal fruits and vegetables, along with fresh eggs, seafood and other meat. My ancestors, and yours, ate them usually in the form closest to how God made them. They used herbal remedies as medicine. Nowadays, we have to seek out information in books like this one (something for beginners!), because we probably won’t learn it from our own parents and other family members. They also grew and preserved herbs to season food. Many of these 51esuyjkd9lfoods were home grown or found out in the wild and were full of vitamins and minerals. Could you forage for food? Most people nowadays cannot and would walk right by edible foods and herbs. This foraging for beginners book has been helpful to me in learning the potentially life-saving skill of foraging.

Real food is better for you and tastes so much better than the processed food at the grocery store. There are not words that describe the difference between a store bought tomato and one that is picked right from the vine in a garden.

2. Grow a garden and raise animals.

There is something to be said for planting, caring for, harvesting, and eating your own food. It helps you appreciate the food on your table each day. Not only is the food you eat full of more nutrients, but you are healthier for working in the garden. It counts as exercise and gives you your needed sunshine. Being outdoors and listening to nature is good for the mind. Spending time away from any screen and being with yourself can be therapeutic. Having your hands in the dirt and caring for your plants helps connect you to Earth. A reverence and feeling of gratitude for nature and animals can be felt.

An old farmer once told me, “It takes 10 years to really get to know your land.” Even if your land is just a backyard, this is still true. Think about it. You plant a few things one spring…and nothing grows, or only the mint grows and ends up taking over your entire garden plot. Well, that’s Year #1. Next year, you know you need to better amend the soil, move some of your plants elsewhere in the yard, keep your mint in a pot!, b   or maybe even move the entire garden to a sunnier/shadier spot. This time around, your garden still experiences successes and failures. That’s Year #2!! (I know experienced gardeners out there are nodding their heads!)

This is why you need to start growing something right now, even if it’s just a windowsill herb garden. The learning curve for growing anything successfully is surprisingly steep.

3. Notice your surroundings.

Our ancestors went outside and paid attention to nature. The migration of animals and the life cycles of certain vegetation let our forefathers know of the changes in seasons. Specific species of animals are sensitive to changes in the atmosphere. Farmers were able to pick up on the behavioral changes in these animals and know what weather may be coming their way. Understanding how to read the sky above and the ground below was once a skill passed down throughout the generations. They knew their environment and were sensitive to its fluctuations. Observation skills are something we can learn and teach our children. This article gives a few tips about what to look for when you’re observing nature.

4. Use it up, do not waste anything —  Another survival lesson from old-timers.

Old-timers didn’t spend money freely and, often, there was nowhere to shop! Clothes were worn, handed down to the next child, and then the next. When it was not able to be worn, the article of clothing was then taken apart and reused, often for quilt squares, patches for other clothes or a dust or dish cloth. There was so much wisdom our ancestors had, and this list is just a partial collection of what we can learn from them.

61asijhthl-_sl1200_Last year’s new shoes became “new” shoes for the younger sibling or old work shoes for this year. In fact, back in the 1930’s a product that used beeswax to seal shoes was invented! Sno-Seal is still a popular product today and something that can extend the use of our own, modern-day shoes!

Scraps of leftover food went into a soup later or they were used to feed the animals. My grandfather could extend the life of ordinary items with odd stuff he had in the garage. Any lumber or hardware was stored away for future needs. An old paper bag could be found filled with bolts, nuts, washers and nails. Over the years he learned to fix and maintain cars, appliances, and homes. It kept him out of my grandmother’s hair, saved money but also kept his mind and body active.

5. Be dependable and helpful.

Many of my ancestors were farmers. When harvest time came, everyone chipped in. It required many people with a variety of skills to get the job done. Harvesting from the fields, cleaning the produce, getting it ready to sell or for preservation was a big job that needed everyone to help. My great grandmother Nelson lived on the same block as her 2 daughters, 2 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. This arrangement allowed her to stay in her home. There was always someone around to drive her where ever she needed to go, to help with the avocado tree or move something heavy.

Now that she has passed, those simple tasks are beautiful memories for our family. It has also served as an example to the future generations about caring for your elders. There were other times when someone was sick or had a baby, the neighborhood women would get together and help. Between caring for the sick, cooking, cleaning or tending children, the job got done. Friendships and a sense of community grew from service towards another. Pitching in and assisting those around you benefits everyone.

6. Plan ahead and prepare for the unknown.

Our ancestors’ lives depended on being prepared. Food needed to be preserved in the fall so they had something to eat in the winter and spring. Wood needed to be cut and stacked during the summer months, and food for livestock and the family needed to constantly be stored up.

Life was more unpredictable for them. Disease could come and take out their livestock or family in a matter of hours. Injury required more time to heal, death was more of a possibility. My third great aunt buried more babies than anyone should ever have to. With every pregnancy, she knew there was a chance that her baby may not survive. So in her mind, she mentally prepared for a possible burial.

For some ancestors, one snow storm could keep them homebound for weeks. We may not need a winter’s supply of hay for livestock, but being prepared and having a backup is wise. Having additional light sources, additional food, water and medical supplies, fuel and money set aside is a good idea. Check your life, health and other insurance plans. Maintain your physical, mental and emotional health. Set money aside for a rainy day, because it rains in all of our lives at one time or another. Do not assume the worst will happen, prepare for it in case it does. Survival Mom’s family preparedness manual is the best one around for getting started on all this, which can be overwhelming!

7. Have hope, maybe rebel a little.

America would not be the great country that it is if it were not for those who were willing to rebel against the King of England all those years ago. Others left behind their homeland and risked their lives to come to America. Many of my ancestors came over on the Mayflower in search of religious freedom. My Irish family traveled to America because of the potato famine. Others came with the simple hope that things will be better, if not for them, then for their descendants. They had a hope and perseverance that carried them through obstacles in life.

Most of us have not had to leave behind family, learn a new language and culture and try to assimilate to a new life. Our ancestors did it for us. What we can do is follow their example of hard work, hope and maybe rebel a little. Stand up in our communities when an injustice is done. Or get involved in our local government. Be the kind of citizen that stands up for their rights, and give a hand up to someone in need.

8. Be a thankful and happy person.

Our society bombards us with advertisements for all of the things we do not have. Some have the pressure of keeping up with the Joneses. Most of my ancestors were not rich. They had what they needed and were content with that. There was not the desire to have excess that is in today’s culture. Everything they worked hard for, they appreciated and took care of. They blessed the food before they ate, just content to have a good meal. The Bible was read after dinner and children were taught to acknowledging their blessings. We forget to look at what we have and be thankful for the blessings in our life.

This is all part of being a survival, both mentally and emotionally. It’s surprising how often people who have everything, both for everyday life and survival, often do not thrive and may even perish. This article explains why that sometimes happens.

9. Have a hobby and laugh.

In my home I have a christening dresses made by a talented great grandmother. Every tiny pleat and gather is pure perfection. On a shelf I have wood animals, hand carved without a detail left out. These items were not necessary to my ancestors or my survival, but it is a reminder for me. To slow down, to take the time to develop a talent, do something new. It is a reminder that life is not all about a “to do” list, it is also about doing things you enjoy. Nowadays, we have to really seek out time for hobbies and then, once we have a bit of time on our hands, it’s not easy to decide what to do with it! Check out the Survival Mom Skill of the Month for a ton of ideas to keep your hands busy and productive.

10. Develop a sense of humor.

Tough times come to all of us at one time or another. It is better to laugh during some of these times. My great grandparents had their car break down on them 3 times during a road trip in the 1930’s. Money was tight and they were hoping to drive from California to Colorado to buy a chicken farm, to provide income for the family. When the car broke down 2 hours from home, they just laughed about it. The family camped on the side of the road until they could get the part they needed to repair the car. Even now, my older relatives get together and laugh about all of the things that happened in their younger years. They learned to have a logical perspective during those difficult moments.

11. Learn more than one skill.

My husband’s 2nd great grandfather, old-timer Noah, was a great example of this. He farmed and raised pigs to sell. He learned how to become a blacksmith, which came in handy when the water and grain mill burnt down. When family needed a place to live, he was able to clear trees and build a home on his land. If something broke, he fixed it himself. If he wanted to learn something, he worked for someone who would teach him. He was never a rich man, but had learned a variety of skills that he was able to take care of his family.

His wife, Leona, was able to use their resources wisely. She knew how to prepare healthy meals with whatever they harvested. She made and mended clothes for the family, made sure the kids went to school and she helped with the crops and animals. They were able to give their newly married children a better start in life by helping them build a home, giving them land and learning a trade. Between Noah and Leona, they were able to do just about anything. Being educated in one thing is good. Knowing you have other skills to fall back on is better. Think about learning about home/car maintenance and repair or other employment skills.

We begin each day with the opportunity to learn from the lessons of those that have gone before us. Their sense of family, traditions and faith is something that can be shared with future generations. In us we can carry their bravery, dreams, beliefs and the lessons learned from their life.

survival lessons old timers

Prepper’s Christmas Gift Guide

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Want to help out an American-owned small business that promotes self-reliance, traditional values, and Constitutional freedoms? If so, please do your Christmas shopping through my Amazon affiliate link, http://amzn.to/2gCIYIt, or through any other link on this website, including the Gift Guide below:

Stocking Stuffers (Small gifts under ~$10)


Knives and Multitools

Gun Books and Supplies


Additional items to the Christmas shopping Guide will be added over the coming days…  

Despite Trump’s Win, Gun Control Quietly Expanded This Month

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Yes, Trump Won, But Gun Control Still Quietly Expanded This Month

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WASHINGTON — Gun control expanded dramatically in three states this month while the nation’s attention was diverted by the presidential election.

California now requires background checks for ammunition purchases and bans magazines larger than 10 rounds. In Washington state, judges can now strip citizens of their Second Amendment rights with a court order. And Nevada now requires background checks on all gun sales, including those made by private citizens, though online transactions, and at gun shows.

“It was a repudiation of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the gun lobby,” Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, the sponsor of California’s Proposition 63, told The Los Angeles Times.

Proposition 63 also requires ammunition sales be made through licensed vendors and makes it a crime if a lost or stolen gun is not reported to police. The California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA) opposed Prop 63, partially because of the reporting requirement.

Be Prepared. Learn The Best Ways To Hide Your Guns.

“Penalizing the failure to report lost and stolen firearms actually can deter individuals to report for fear of penalty, which has already been proven to be the case in many areas where local governments have enacted similar ordinances,” Ken Corney, the president of CPCA, wrote in a letter to the citizens of California.

Said Craig DeLuz of the Stop Prop 63 Committee, “Prop. 63 is another attempt by Newsom and his one percent, elitist friends to attack law-abiding Californians. They want to replace the ‘War on Drugs’ with ‘The War on law-abiding gun owners’ so they can continue locking up young black and Latino men.”

Newsom and his allies raised more than $4.5 million to support Proposition 63, while opponents only collected $868,000.

Around 71 percent of Washington state’s population voted for Initiative 1591, The Seattle Times reported.

The measure allows law enforcement officers, family members and others to ask a judge to issue an “extreme risk protection order” if they believe someone is a danger to themselves or others. The gun/guns would be confiscated without warning and without the person having a chance to make his or her case.

Around 50.45 percent of Nevada voters supported Question 1, which expands background checks to gun shows, online purchases and private sales.

There was one major defeat for gun controllers: 52 percent of Maine’s residents voted no on an expansion of background checks.

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

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

The Declination Diagram

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Topographic map users are familiar with the small diagram at the bottom of the map. 

The diagram is located at the bottom center of the map.
Let’s zoom in to the diagram itself.

The graphic and information presented relates directly to the declination of the map area, orientation of magnetic north, orientation of grid north and true north. 

Let’s discuss what that all means.
The line on the left with the star on top is the reference to true north.  True north is the principle geographic reference on all maps.  True north is oriented to the North Pole, the top of the earth.  The left and right borders of a topographic map are aligned to true north too.  True north is the principle compass orientation that the backcountry traveler will use with compass navigation.
Care should be taken when looking at the other grid lines on a map.  For example, not all township and range lines are oriented to true north.  The red lines on the map below

represent township and range.  The red numbers refer to each of the 36 sections found in a township. (A section is a square that is one mile by one mile on each side.)  Determine if these red line are oriented to true north in advance of your trip.

The next line over is “grid.”  Grid in this case refers to Universal Transverse Mercator Grid (UTM).  UTM is a derivative of the military’s grid reference system and came about after World War Two.
Some maps come with UTM grid lines laid out in a shade of light blue.  Many topographic maps only have UTM tick marks (color blue) along the four sides of the map.  The map above has those tick marks.  Small they can be seen as numbers 6 21 and 22 at the bottom.  If one was to use a straight edge to connect the 6 21 at top and bottom the line drawn would be in relation to grid on the declination diagram.  (For more information on UTM Grid check out Lawrence Letham’s book GPS Made Easy from library.)
The last line refers to magnetic north.  This data is circled in red (below.)

The line with the partial arrow head points to magnetic north (MN.)   Without getting bogged down in the pole’s location, the key thing is to understand is that magnetic north is what a compass’ red magnetic needle point to. The numerical value of 19° refers to the declination; the angular measurement between true and magnetic north.  In this case, the declination is 19° East.  It is this value that the hiker will compensate for in navigation. 

To keep things simple, I use a declination adjusted compass so that I do not have to calculate compass values.  For example, if the hiker is using a standard compass, 19° East declination (from the West Coast) would be subtracted from a bearing/azimuth of 100° True to get the correct magnetic heading.  This gets a bit sticky and that is why an adjustable compass is so valuable.  With an adjustable compass, you adjust the compass housing once for the local declination.  Once adjusted you are set and won’t need to worry about adding or subtracting the declination value.
The declination value on older maps has probably changed from what is printed.  Declination changes over time.  As a matter of routine I visit www.magnetic-declination.com to get the correct value before leaving home.


The north star

A List Of Electronic Devices For Your Emergency Preparedness

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Which specific types of electronic devices may be useful for emergency preparedness? We sometimes talk about the preparedness basics such as water, water filters, food, food storage, etc.., but this time lets consider the electronic ‘gadgets’ or electronic systems that may be beneficial towards preparedness in one way or another…   First, before someone beats […]

Testing Faraday Bags

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Do Faraday bags work?  I purchased some Faraday bags to protect a batch of handheld electronics.  Faraday bags are designed to block radio wave transmissions and act as an insulator to protect against electronic currents.  Federal agencies and local law enforcement officers use them to protect information and […]

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9 Ways To Harness Solar Energy

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What would happen to you if the power grid went down? Would you be in a panic as the batteries in your flashlight and radio slowly die, or would you have all the electricity you need to run your devices until power is restored? For a very long time, solar panels and solar-powered devices were […]

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The Ability to Adapt Is What Survival Is All About

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It is widely believed that extinction (for the sake of this article let’s call it the inability to survive) is often caused by a change in environmental conditions.

When conditions change, often times quickly and dramatically some species, like humans, possess adaptations that allow them to survive and reproduce. Others do not, however, have the ability to adapt or the ability to adapt quickly enough to survive.

Humans evolved and the dinosaurs, for example, failed to millions of years before we even existed, and thus, no longer roam the earth as they did over 65 million years ago. Dinosaurs could not control their environment. They could not build shelters or fashions tools or weapons to meet the new challenges of the day. Humans could and can, and if we, as a species had failed to adapt tens of thousands of years ago you would not be reading this article. 

The ice age came and humans donned furs of animals, and built fires and huddled in caves or other shelters for protection from the cold. Imagine if we could not figure out how to make clothes or shelters or knew about fire, or even realized the need for clothes to cover our bodies, which lacked fur and fat layers necessarily to protect blood and organs from the cold. Our bodies cannot adapt nearly fast enough to environmental changes, but as humans with bigger brains than other mammals, we adapt using our thinking process, and then we make change to our environment to so some extent so we can survive.

Failure to use your brain or failure to recognize you need to change may lead to the inability to survive, extinction of you and yours, in other words.

If you cannot adapt to the changes in your environment then you may not survive or will find it much harder to survive. A change in your environment can be as simple as a road closure, which forces you to adapt. You have to find an acceptable alternative for getting to work or to get to wherever you are going. You do not sit in your vehicle staring at the road you cannot use, no, you immediately process the problem and come up with solutions to counter the problem, and in other words, you solve the dilemma.

You have to be able to look hours, days, weeks, months, and in some cases, years ahead so you can plan and adapt quickly or at a slower pace, as the case may be, as things change.

We have talked about the new administration in previous articles and what it may mean for Preppers and others. Will there be new laws that impact your life or will executive orders be rescinded that have affected you up to this point? You have to pay attention, so you can plan, so you can make changes.

Get your news from reliable sources, which can be taxing because of social media. If you are getting your news and information from  posts from friends and strangers alike on Facebook, for example, or other social media websites then you may not be getting the full picture or in some cases outright false information. Learn how to research and verify information, because it could save your life one day. If you are convinced that Elvis Presley’s and his alien lovers’ love child is living on a remote island writing songs then you may want to change your source of news.

The Internet connects us to people around the globe, while at the same time, it exposes us to people’s opinions from around the world, and opinions are just that, opinions and not facts.

The presidential election has proven that you cannot always believe what you see and hear online, or on TV for that matter, and if you take everything, you hear from friends and others online at face value, you may be putting your survival in jeopardy.

Once the Internet goes dark, you will have to rely on word of mouth for your information. Take the time to evaluate any source, evaluate what is being said, and use your mind. If it seems outlandish, then do not act upon it until you can validate the information from another source. Acting out of haste can be dangerous.

Adapt your preps to the seasons and to the current threat environment. If you have never thought about evacuating from your community, you may have to plan for it, for example, if the threat of a nuclear, biology or chemical attack becomes more of a realist threat. You cannot survive regardless of your preparations if one of these types of attacks were to happen in your community. You would have to evacuate, or bug-out if you want to use that term.

If a terrorist organization gets their hands on a tactical nuclear device, or has stolen containers of a nerve agent or vials of a biological agent then the threat has increased, and so then, you have to adapt to the possible change in your environment.

We have the ability to look ahead, so we do not have to adapt on the fly as it were. Use your reasoning skills to predict possibilities, they may not come to fruition, but it is better to be prepared than to be caught unawares and then have to adapt in the midst of a crisis.

The post The Ability to Adapt Is What Survival Is All About appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

How to Quiet a Noisy Generator

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How to Quiet a Noisy Generator Having access to electricity has become a basic need for the modern man, regardless if he lives in the city or in the mountains. Without power, everything will stop working and the discomfort people will experience would be difficult to ignore. Having a generator becomes crucial for every household, …

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Trump Elector Receiving Death Threats — ‘You’re A Hateful Bigot, I Hope You Die’

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Trump Elector Receiving Death Threats; Here’s How He Responds To Them

Image source: Screen capture

WASHINGTON — The presidential transition is getting uglier – and dangerous.

A Republican member of the electoral college from Michigan says he is receiving death threats from Clinton supporters for his pledged support to President-elect Donald Trump.

“You have people saying ‘You’re a hateful bigot, I hope you die,’” the elector, Michael Banerian, told The Detroit News. “I’ve had people talk about shoving a gun in my mouth and blowing my brains out. And I’ve received dozens and dozens of those emails. Even the non-threatening-my-life emails are very aggressive.”

The Detroit News has confirmed one of the death threats against Banerian, who is 22 and is the youth vice chair of the Michigan Republican Party. He will vote in the electoral college Dec. 19.

Lightweight Solar Survival Lantern Never Needs Batteries!

“They disturb me,” Banerian said of the threats. “But I wouldn’t say I’m afraid.”

The threats won’t change how he votes, he told the newspaper.

“Even if I could, I wouldn’t be remotely interested in changing my vote,” he told the newspaper. “The people of Michigan spoke, and it’s our job to deliver that message.”

Michigan electors are not allowed to change their votes; if they do vote for a different candidate, a different elector will step in and cast a vote for the pledged candidate.

Banerian even penned a column under the headline, “In face of death threats, I’m still voting for Trump.”

“There seems to be some confusion among many as to how our election system actually works,” he wrote. “Let’s start here: there is no such thing as a national popular vote. Elections are held at the state level, not the federal level, with each state choosing a statewide popular vote to determine the winner of its electoral votes. To say that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote is a null argument; taking the results of each individual state (which all have different election laws) and combining them into a singular ‘national popular vote’ means nothing.”

Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein has raised $4 million to fund a recount in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Additionally, around 4.3 million people have signed a Change.org petition urging Trump electors to vote for Clinton.

What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:

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

15 Over the Counter Medications Preppers Need to Stock

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15 Over the Counter Medications Preppers Need to Stock via Preparedness Advice

Over the counter medications are well worth stocking. Many of them were originally prescription medications and some still are but in larger strengths. Most preppers are on a budget, so take advantage of coupons and store sales to stock up. Keep in mind that all medications should be stored in cool, dark, and dry locations to maximize their effectiveness.

These over the counter medications can be used to treat many conditions including:  headache, fever, sore throats, dehydration, ear ache, menstrual cramps, heartburn, arthritis, ulcers, diarrhea, allergies, hives, congestion, dizziness, mild anxiety, nausea, vomiting, poison ivy, athlete’s foot, ringworm, eczema, insomnia, backache, gout, diaper rash, yeast infections, and many more common illnesses.

I recommend that you keep an eye on the OTC meds most commonly used in your household and stock up on those first. If you come across a bargain on one OTC or another but your family would rarely use it, buy it anyway. Family health conditions change and it might come in handy for barter. Also, go ahead and buy disolving tablets and liquid forms of the medications you use most often, if you have kids or grandkids.

Also highly recommended is a dependable medical reference book to guide you with medicine choices, side effects, and dosage amounts. The last thing you will need in a crisis is for a loved one, or yourself, to have a severe reaction due to a OTC medicine. The Pill Book is a reliable reference book, and I favor this book for information about medical care when there is no doctor available and you have to be your family’s medic.

15 Over the counter medications

1. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)

Ibuprofen can be used to treat pain and inflammation, including headaches, earaches, sore throats, sinus pain, stiff neck, muscle strains, menstrual cramps, arthritis and back pain. It is useful for reducing fevers, but is not good for most stomach pains.

2. Acetaminophen (Tylenol)  

Acetaminophen is used for many of the same conditions as Ibuprofen, however it will not reduce inflammation. It can be rotated on a 3-hour basis with Ibuprofen when pain is severe. Combined with ibuprofen it will work similar to codeine to reduce more severe pain. This should only be done on the advice of a Doctor.

3. Aspirin, 325mg  

In addition to Ibuprofen and acetaminophen you should stock Aspirin.  Aspirin has been used since the late 19th century as a pain-reliever, fever reducer, and anti-inflammatory.  However it also has the ability to thin blood.  So it can be used to treat people who need  anti-coagulants or have heart problems. Read this article, How Aspirin and Willow Bark are Similar, for more information.

4. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)

An inexpensive antihistamine, diphenhydramine is primarily used for drainage due to respiratory infections and nasal allergies, in both adults and children. It is also indicated for allergies, hives and itching, including itchy rashes such as poison ivy. This will make some people sleepy.

5. Loratadine (Claritin, Alavert)

This is an antihistamine that is useful for treating allergies. It does not make people sleepy. Stock dissolving tablets for children and the elderly.

6. Loperamide (Imodium)

A very effective over the counter medication for diarrhea. It has been said that a single Imodium, throw into a swimming pool, could turn the water to cement, but this is not true! Stock it in both adult and children’s strengths.

7. Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)

Pseudoephedrine is effective at relieving congestion in both the upper and lower respiratory tract due to infections, allergies, chemical irritations, and mild asthma or bronchitis. Not recommended for children under 6.

8. Meclizine (Bonine, Dramamine)

This antiemetic drug is available in both over the counter medications and by prescription.  It relieves nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, and vertigo-like dizziness.  I use the over the counter form for vertigo and it helps.

9. Ranitidine (Zantac) Omeprazole 20-40mg (Prilosec) Cimetidine 200-800mg (Tagamet)

All of these over the counter medications are available for the treatment of heartburn, ulcers, and other acid-reducing conditions. Ranitidine is inexpensive and well tolerated. If you find yourself experiencing stomach pains from prolonged use of a pain reliever, these medicines can help protect your stomach.

10.  Hydrocortisone cream

The 1% version of hydrocortisone is the strongest over the counter steroid cream available.  It is safe for use in both adults and children in treating inflamed and/or itchy rashes such as eczema, poison ivy, diaper rash, and other minor genital irritations.

11. Triple Antibiotic Ointment (Neosporin, Bacitracin, Bactroban)

Triple antibiotic ointment is normally applied at the site of injuries to prevent infections.  It should be noted that triple antibiotic ointment won’t cure a deep infections.

12.  Clotrimazole (Lotrimin), Miconazole (Monistat)

These antifungal medications can  be used to treat Athlete’s feet (tinea pedis), vaginal infections (monilia), ringworm , and jock itch (tinea cruris).

13.  Mucinex (Also known as Glyceryl Guaiacolate or formerly Guaifenesin) 

This is a drug, which reduces the thickness of mucus secretions. In respiratory infections it helps your body to expel phlegm. It is available in liquid or tablet form.

14. Calamine lotion

This is useful for the treatment of poison ivy or oak. These conditions may become much more common after a disaster, due to spending more time outdoors.

15. Gatorade powder

While this would not normally be listed with over the counter medications, it can be effective for rehydration.

The above over the counter medications will let you treat many different conditions and not cost you an arm and a leg. Watch the sales and buy generics whenever you can. Remember I am not a doctor and am not giving you medical advice, use these medications as directed on the packaging or as advised by your doctor.

Howard

This article updated by Noah, 11/27/16.

pc-iceberg

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14 Common Chicken Predators and How to Protect Chickens

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14 Common Chicken Predators and How to Protect Your Chickens Other than diseases, predators are the biggest problem of every chicken owner. Being able to protect chickens from these predators can be tricky though. If you’re a new chicken owner, you might not notice it yet but there are many animals out there interested in having …

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Survival Hax Self Inflating Sleeping Pad Review

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Survival Hax Self Inflating Sleeping Pad Review
Survival Hax Self Inflating Sleeping Pad Review

Survival Hax Self Inflating Sleeping Pad Review

The fine folks at Survival Hax sent me this self-inflating sleeping pad for review. Although sleeping pads are not as cool as some other BOB items they are one of the most important. 

When I began building my first Bug Out Bag many years ago a sleeping mat was one of the first things I ever bought. For a very important reason. That reason is maintaining core body temperature and staying alive. 

If you sleep on the ground or in a hammock without insulation beneath you will rapidly lose heat. Conduction is the method you loose heat on the ground. 

When you come into contact with another surface heat transfer will occur. Transfer to a solid object will occur much more effectively than in air. 

So to achieve the first rule of survival we have to prevent this heat loss. Sleeping pads are an effective way to accomplish this. 

The Stats

Let’s break down the stats on the Survival Hax sleeping mat. 

  • Weight: 1.7 Pounds
  • Width: 19.6”
  • Length: 70.8”
  • Thickness: 1.6”
  • Material:  Exterior 75D polyester pongee coated PVC Interior Polyurethane (PU Foam)
  • Packed Size: 10.6 x 5.9”

 

 

Survival Hax Self Inflating Sleeping Pad Review
Survival Hax Self Inflating Sleeping Pad Review

The Good

The Survival Hax sleeping pad has several good things going for it. 

It packs up smaller than any other sleeping mat I have owned. It is small enough to actually fit inside a pack. All of my other sleeping pads have to be strapped to the outside of my pack. 

The Survival Hax self inflating sleeping pad is the firmest pad I have tested. Most of the self-inflating ones tend to be pretty soft. With this one, you can manually blow in it before closing the valve to get a bit firmer. Just be careful not to overinflate. 

It inflates and deflates quick and easy. No messing around with a pump. 

 

The Bad

The Survival Hax sleeping pad has some room for improvement. It is small. Like really small. To translate the inches to feet 70.8 inches is 5.9 feet. To quote a comedian I heard once Manhood starts at 6 foot. 

Being 6’1 myself this comes up a little short. Meaning either my head or feet will have to hang off. With a pillow or wearing boots, you could solve this. 

Also at 19 inches wide it is pretty narrow. Big and tall guys will not have a good night. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Survival Hax self-inflating sleeping pad is not for everyone. And that’s Ok. For most men, this pad is simply way too small. 

If you are a tiny man, a child or a woman then this just might be what you are looking for. If so I do envy you being able to carry such a small packable sleeping mat. 

 

What do you use for a sleeping pad? Closed Cell or self-inflating pad? Let me know in the comments. 

 

Want to hear yourself on the podcast? Call in with your questions at (615) 657-9104 and leave us a voice mail. 

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How To Keep Your Winter Stockpile Safe

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Winter Stockpile

Building your stockpiles is only part of the equation for survival. Once you have items stored up, you also must protect them all year long.

This winter, your reserves can be threatened in numerous ways. Are yours going to make it through until spring comes?

Here are five common threats that winter can bring. So you can adequately prepare, you’ll also find tips on how to avoid these threats. That way you can make it through the cold season with your supply stores intact.

1.      Threats from Extreme Cold

Have you ever put a can of pop in the freeze to cool off and forgotten about it? I did once in high-school, and it’s not a fun mess to clean up!

When liquids freeze, they expand. This can lead to containers breaking, loss of supplies, and a mess.

Similarly, canned goods can bulge when frozen, breaking the seal. Water stored improperly can freeze and burst.

Additionally, any items you’ve stockpiled with a high liquid content can suffer changes in texture and may separate into different layers. This includes things like:

  • Toothpaste
  • Hand soap
  • Shampoo
  • Shaving cream
  • Paint
  • Chemicals
  • Foods with a lot of liquid like: condiments, evaporated milk, canned soup

To prevent damage and loss from extremely cold weather, make sure your supplies aren’t in an unheated area. If you must keep them where it’s cold, like in a garage or other outbuilding, take precautionary steps.

Run a small heater to keep the temperature above the freezing point. Or, add an extra layer of insulation to the area. You can even use straw bales to create a barrier around your stockpiles.

Here you can read more about protecting your water stores this winter. Do what you need to do to keep any items that could be damaged from freezing temperatures.

2.      Threats from Flooding

Are your stockpiles in a room with water pipes running through? If your pipes freeze, they’re going to get soaked. Water can ruin many supplies quickly.

Mold is also a concern where there’s water damage. You definitely don’t want mold to get into your stockpiles.

To avoid any damage, ensure your pipes are ready for freezing weather. Insulate them. Run heat in the room. Keep some water flowing at night.

Video first seen on This Old House.

Patch any leaks before the dripping water freezes and causes problems. If you need a short-term solution, use plastic bottles to help.

You can also move your stores into containers that are more waterproof. For instance, large plastic totes can hold a lot, and will keep most of the moisture out if a pipe bursts.

Water pipes bursting aren’t the only threat water threat to your supplies. Check your storage areas. Be aware of other sources of water such as leaky cement walls, condensation and runoff from the thaw.

3.      Threats from Pests

Do you know what the insects, mice, and other pests do when it gets cold outside? They typically try to find someplace warm to stay before winter sets in. That could be inside your home, outbuildings, or garage.

Stinkbugs and mice are more common to see indoors in the winter where I live. They start trying to get indoors in late fall, typically before the first snow. You might have different critters in your region.

No matter what pests are trying to get inside, you need to make sure your stockpiles are protected. Because it’s not fun to find a mouse nest inside your emergency go bag. Or mouse droppings on top of your food stores.

Those rodents can gnaw through so many things! You must store your stockpile properly to avoid spoilage.

Your stockpile should be pest proof year-round, but now is the perfect time to double check. Make sure the lids are tight on your containers. Ensure they are rodent and insect proof.

You might consider setting out traps for mice or other rodents as a prevention measure. Here is how to make a simple mouse trap.

Video first seen on Chris Notap

If flying insects are a problem, hang up some fly strips to help eliminate them. That way you can stop the problem before it escalates.

After all, these emergency stores are for you and your family. Not to keep pests alive all winter long.

4.      Threats from Loss of Service

Blackouts happen no matter where you live, especially in the winter. Entire cities have been left in the dark after damage to the grid caused by high winds. Damage from an EMP would be even more severe.

You must be prepared for loss of service. It’s a definite threat to your reserves.

Freezers Going Out

Are you relying on freezers to store most of your long-term food stores that you’ve prepared? In a power outage, your freezer won’t maintain the right temperature for more than a few days.

A generator can help. So can the great outdoors if your temperatures are below freezing. But you must have a plan in place to know where to move everything when the time comes.

A longer-term solution would be to move your stores to the pantry through canning or dehydration. Canned goods are shelf-stable and aren’t threatened by loss of power, if they don’t freeze.

Water Freezing

When there’s no power, there’s no way to pump water. If you live in the city, you might not always lose your water for a short power outage, but those out in the country will. Regardless, you need water on hand.

Water freezes when it the temperature drops. But, you’ll still need liquid drinking water each day, along with enough water to take care of hygiene and everything else.

If you have a woodstove with a cooktop, you can melt your stored ice until it turns back into a liquid. But, that adds time and energy exertion to your day.

Keep at least a few days’ worth of water stored in your house where it won’t freeze. That’ll give you a few days to figure out your long-term plan. If you have animals, remember you’ll also need a way to keep them hydrated for the duration of the outage.

Heat Source

What’s your backup plan for heat? When services go out, you’ll need to make sure you and your stockpiles don’t freeze.

Ice buildup can cause problems even with your backup energy, so be sure to think through a winter plan.

Light

Will you be able to find what you need in your stores if you’re working in the dark? You don’t want to knock over and break something while you’re pawing around.

To prepare, make sure you have a couple of flashlights or oil lanterns easily accessible. Along with those should be batteries or the fuel you need. Check on these a few times throughout winter and ensure everything is in good working order.

Then when the power goes out, you’ll know exactly where to go for light. You’ll be able to see your reserves clearly and avoid damaging anything.

5.      Threats from Thieves

Not everyone believes in the necessity of building a stockpile. When times get tough, like they can over a long, hard winter, those unprepared people can quickly run out of needed items. If they know that you have plenty, or can see your supplies while driving by, you’re at bigger risk for thievery.

Thievery isn’t only limited to harsh weather, so take time now to secure your stores and make them harder to access. Here are some tips for keeping possession of your goods:

  • Build your woodpile out of sight of the main road, along with any other items stored outdoors.
  • Learn how to make your stores blend in naturally to their surroundings, hiding them in plain sight.
  • Hide your valuables in unusual locations instead of places thieves commonly look
  • Don’t tell your neighbors or anyone details about your stockpile. Stay silent.
  • Stay under the radar when the power goes out. Don’t flash your powerful generator, your ability to prepare food, or anything else.

You don’t want everything you worked hard to prepare to be snatched. It can happen when you least expect it.

Also, make sure you check on your stores frequently. My family once had several cords of wood stolen out of our barn during the daytime, while we were out. We noticed it right away because we accessed the wood daily, and the thieves knocked over a good chunk of our woodpile.

It looked different, and we went over to investigate. A lot of wood was missing, and there were tire tracks all over the fresh snow.

Instead of just lamenting over the loss, we acted. We realized that our woodpile was visible to anyone who drove up the driveway. So we jumped in and moved it right away.

Learn from my mistake, and do your analyzing before a thief does. Keep your goods out of sight and safe, and check on them throughout the winter.

Click the banner below for a great offer for completing your stockpile!

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This article has been written by Lisa Tanner for Survivopedia. 

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The Best Fresh Broccoli Salad You Will Ever Make

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This is truly the best fresh broccoli salad you will ever make, I really do mean this. You can make a big bowl and take it to a family reunion or neighborhood party, or cut the recipe in half and enjoy it as a family. I LOVE every fresh broccoli salad recipe I can find. This salad has bacon, mozzarella or Swiss cheese and a few other ingredients. You can add different things to it and change it to fit your taste, or just to use other ingredients you have in your pantry that it’s time to put to use. I must tell you a secret about this salad recipe, I paid about $30.00 from a popular store in California once and the salad was 1/3 of the size of this recipe. Live, learn and move on, right? This is a great salad for summer and a bonus to take to a holiday party. People love this salad, if they like broccoli, that is!

If you grow broccoli in your garden this recipe would be great to have for any meal. Of course, any salad that has bacon (or most any other meat) I will for sure love it! Yes, I have a few cans of Yoders bacon in my emergency food stash for a special meal. It is way too expensive to buy for everyday use, but then in an emergency, I will break out one of those cans. For this recipe, I just used precooked bacon from Costco I had stashed in the freezer. I think with the price of bacon these days I might not be buying bacon for a very long time. We had our daughter and family in town from Flagstaff for nearly a week. What a great time! I opened a can of this bacon and laid it side by side to the precooked bacon from Costco and it looked identical in size and tasted the same. Interesting test for me. Yoders Canned Fully Cooked Bacon, 9 Ounce or a 1/2 case: 1/2 Case (6 Cans) Yoder’s Premium Canned Bacon

One of the challenges with teenage girls is trying to plan meals they’d all like, besides pizza, bagels, etc. We decided to try this broccoli salad and it was a hit! Keep in mind that this is one of those salads that seems to get better with age.The kids liked it better the second day, and we’d made a large enough salad that there was plenty available the second time around. I particularly like this salad because it’s a good way to get the younger ones to eat vegetables. I know, it does have dressing and sugar and other ingredients, but since the broccoli is the main food item I feel better about it. Don’t be afraid to be creative and add different kinds of nuts, cheese, more onions. I know other cooks who add fruits like grapes to add a totally different look and taste. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

Fresh Broccoli Salad Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 3-4 whole heads of fresh broccoli (break into small flowerets)
  • 1 cup chopped purple onion
  • 2 cups grated Swiss cheese or mozzarella cheese
  • 1-2 cups chopped cooked and crumbled bacon

Dressing:

  • 2 cups mayonnaise or Miracle Whip salad dressing
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Instructions:
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl (not the dressing ingredients). Mix all the dressing ingredients in a smaller bowl and pour over the salad ingredients. Serve cold. Optional add-ons: craisins, chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, grated carrots, sliced radishes, grapes, or raisins. It’s even better the next day, I promise.

PRINTABLE recipe: Fresh Broccoli Salad Recipe by Food Storage Moms

My favorite things:

PriorityChef Colander, Stainless Steel 3 Qrt Kitchen Strainer With Large Stable Base

Wusthof Classic 8-Inch Cook’s Knife

Red Feather PURE CANNED BUTTER – 2 cans of 12oz each – great for survival earthquake kit

The post The Best Fresh Broccoli Salad You Will Ever Make appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

How to Make a Realistic Urban Bug in Plan

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Written by Dan Stevens, Modern Survival Online It is said urbanites cannot bug in. Bugging out seems to be the first choice for people who are trapped in cities that will become death traps. Bugging in seems to be a luxury if you either live in the burbs, a small town or the wilderness or… if you’re willing to move there. Allow me to prove those people wrong. Well, in part, because there are limits to what you can do […]

The post How to Make a Realistic Urban Bug in Plan appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

Thriving When It Counts: How To Use Bug Infested Food

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It is a fact that bugs in all of their life cycles can be harmful to your stored food sources. They are one of the true enemies of your food supply and can usually be avoided by properly storing food for long-term use. But there are times when they find a way to get into your food supply. While these infestations may prevent humans from consuming it, take comfort in knowing that all is not lost! But first, the facts!

Pantry pests damage food by contaminating it with their bodies and their by-products. According to an integrated pest management system, nearly all dried food products are susceptible to insect infestation, including cereal products (grains, oats, cornmeal, rice, spaghetti, crackers, and cookies); seeds such as dried beans and popcorn; nuts; chocolate; raisins and other dried fruits; spices; powdered milk; tea; and cured meats.

The Usual Suspects

  • The larval stage of the Indianmeal moth produces frass (excrement) and webbing, and some beetle larvae produce secretions that give food a disagreeable odor and taste.
  • Setae (hairs) from the warehouse beetle can irritate the mouth, throat, and stomach of people who eat infested products.
  • In addition, pantry pests might introduce microbes into the food that could produce mycotoxins (highly carcinogenic compounds), especially if the food is stored in warm, humid conditions.

In The Prepper’s Cookbook, it was emphasized that insects are most likely to infest food products that have been opened but are also capable of penetrating unopened paper, thin cardboard, and plastic, foil, or cellophane-wrapped packages. They may chew their way into packages or crawl in through folds and seams. Insects within an infested package begin multiplying and can spread to other stored foods not only in the same area but in other rooms in a home. All stages (egg, larva, pupa, and adult) may be present simultaneously in infested products. Source

That said, there are times that even though all precautions are taken at preserving your food supply, sometimes bug infestations happen. Here are some ways to reuse food that has been infested.

A Bold New Approach to Feeding Livestock

While infested food may be less palatable in certain circumstances, some dry goods can be fed to livestock. Dry grains and cereals are already given to chickens, goats, pigs and cattle as a nutritional supplement. As well, many animals naturally gravitate to ingesting bugs. Goats, chickens, pigs and even cows.

Infested dry beans can also be incorporated into livestock’s diet. Edible beans (e.g. navy, pinto, kidney) that are shrunken, broken and/or discolored will not make the grade for human consumption and may make their way into cattle rations for added protein. In an article on the subject, researchers believe that certain bug infested grains and foods can be fed to livestock for added nutrition.

A new article in the journal Animal Feed Science and Technology notes that insects literally breed like flies and are highly efficient (because they are cold-blooded) at converting their feed into body mass. Though it may need to be supplemented with calcium and other nutrients, that body mass is rich in the proteins and fats animals need. But the best part—questions of squeamishness aside—is that insects can thrive on manure and other waste.

The article reviews the state of research on livestock use of locusts, grasshoppers, crickets, black soldier fly larvae, housefly maggots, mealworms, and silkworms. Each has advantages and disadvantages in different habitats and for different species, but together they offer a battery of alternatives to conventional soybean and fishmeal feed.

Black soldier fly larvae are already commonly sold as pet food and fish bait. Studies suggest that pigs and poultry could do as well or better on a larvae-based feed as on soybean and fishmeal feeds. The larvae could also be a practical alternative on fish farms, particularly where customers object to feeding fish other fish. For some fish and for poultry, eating insects may also be a lot closer to their natural diet than are conventional livestock feeds.

Source

Note: this is not to be confused with feeding livestock moldy food. Doing so can introduce toxins to the livestock that can make them ill and possibly die. Moreover, molded feed contains fungal spores that, if inhaled, can cause a myriad of health issues such as respiratory allergies, or a type of pneumonia that prevents oxygen from getting into the bloodstream.

Why This Approach is Brilliant!

Farmers raising livestock for meat have been on the look out for ways to introduce for nturiets to the animals diets and cut down on feed costs. This sustainable approach could be the answer they have been looking for. A meal ground from infested grains and cereals can be fed to livestock and will drastically cut down on feed costs. As well, one can consider growing fodder to further supplement the livestock diet.

Using this “insect meal” is also beneficial in an organic garden and add needed nutrients to the soil. This promotes a more sustainable gardening method.

To ensure a healthy transition into this alternative food source, research what types of food pests could be added to your livestock’s diet beforehand. This could be a great way to add additional nutrition to the livestock’s diet and make better use of the food you would otherwise throw away.

According to Science Magazine, “regulatory agencies are beginning to weigh the benefits against potential safety risks, including the possibility that insects might accumulate environmental toxins or even transmit diseases to the farm animals that eat them. On 8 October, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in Parma, Italy, released its first report on the risks of using insects as food and animal feed. It concluded that the risks depend on the insect species used—and that more studies like PROteINSECT are needed before livestock or fish are switched to this new diet. But in other countries, the brave new world of industrial-scale insect farming is already on view.”

 

Recommended Reading:

http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/insect-pests-of-stored-food/

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7452.html

http://www.chowhound.com/post/bugs-rice-edible-301992

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Trump, Obama and Martial Law

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by Isabella

Throughout Obama’s presidency, and particularly since 2012, there have been rumors that he would declare Martial Law in the United States, for one reason or another.

The most commonly considered possible motivation in doing so is to remain in office, and thus further his assault on the American Constitution and rule of law.  Now that the 2016 presidential election results have shown the clear winner to be Donald Trump, who Obama campaigned against as he promoted the ailing (figuratively and literally) Clinton, talks of his possible declaration of martial law in America are on the rise again.

But what most people who ask whether or not an American president can declare martial law, or confidently assert that he will, don’t realize is that there is a hidden and crucial presumption to asking the question “will Obama declare martial law?”  We’ll expose this hidden presumption in time, but let’s first take a look at what martial law is.

According to Wikipedia.org (not that I steadfastly trust Wikipedia, but to show that I did not create my definition of martial law to suit my thesis in this article), martial law can be describe in such ways as “the imposition of the highest-ranking military officer as the military governor or as the head of the government, thus removing all power from the previous executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.”.

It goes on to state that martial law typical accompanies “the suspension of civil law, civil rights, and habeas corpus; and the application or extension of military law or military justice to civilians. Civilians defying martial law may be subjected to military tribunal…”

What you don’t see in the definition are any dramatic, Hollywood-like specifics such as tanks on the streets, sporting stadiums being converted to detention centers, or public executions of descendants.  Many people have a thoroughly dramatized view of what martial law is.  This artificial perception will have them looking for, and possibly preparing for something that in all likelihood would never occur if the president did in fact declare martial law.

You might have a hard time convincing someone of this if they’re already fully convinced that Obama is on the brink of turning our country into a military police state at the drop of the hat.  Instead of listening to what martial law is, they will likely start telling you all of the ways that Obama could “pull it off”.  While we still haven’t gotten to the heart of the matter, these potential strategies as to how an American president could “pull off” instating martial law are worth taking a look.

All theoretical martial law strategies involve some sort of conflict or emergency.  They can be broken down into two main categories, legitimate, and artificial.  Legitimate threats that could be considered possible justifications for a declaration of martial law include such events as terrorist attacks, economic collapse, or some sort of apocalyptic natural disaster (this could be anything from disease pandemic to a meteor strike).

Given the overwhelming odds that a terrorist attacking America would have a religious affiliation that would be inconvenient to the left’s narrative (Obama did, after all, call the San Bernardino shooting “work place violence” and not Islamic terrorism), I assert that it would be unlikely that Obama would want to take advantage of a legitimate terrorist attack to justify martial law.  That would only draw attention to the burka-clad elephant in the room that the left would prefer not to talk about.

With markets on the rise after the “Trump rally”, it’s also unlikely that there will be any legitimate economic crisis that he could conceivably use to justify martial law between now and inauguration day.  It seems he missed his chance with Ebola, though his administration seemed to do as little as possible to stop it from spreading on American soil, so a legitimate threat is unlikely to be the cause of an Obama order for martial law.

That leaves only artificial causes, and this is where most theorists look.  Obama has already proposed controversial legislation that would limit the rights of Americans after dubious incidents.  After the Sandy Hook shooting, while wiping away tears that HD cameras couldn’t detect, he proposed restricting gun rights for law-abiding Americans.  Members of his administration have spoken recklessly of war with Russia over vote tampering, which they would love to have evidence of right about now.  And there is always the unknown false-flag terrorist attack that could be launched between now and inauguration that could be used as justification for a declaration of martial law.

But is any of this necessary?  Does Obama need to hope for a mega-tsunami to strike, or pay Kraft International operatives to pose as white supremacist Trump supporters shooting up the streets of America?  To think that he needs any of these incidents is to presume a lot.  Let’s look at what I called the hidden presumption in the original question, “will Obama declare martial law?”.

To ask IF Obama WILL declare martial law requires that one presume he hasn’t already done so.  When asked the question “has Obama declared martial law?” most people would say no.  This is because they haven’t been told by CNN or by Fox News that he made any such declaration, and because they haven’t seen any tanks in the streets or public executions that they associate with martial law in their minds.

That’s why I started with a description of martial law, so that we would have a some-what accurate idea of what to look for when determining whether or not Obama already has declared martial law, which I will say that he has, and I think you will too when you see my evidence for this.

Let’s look at the first part of the above description of martial law.  It begins describing martial law by saying it is “the imposition of the highest-ranking military officer as the military governor or as the head of the government, thus removing all power from the previous executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.”.

The president is the highest-ranking military officer, so we do not need a military coup d’état for this to take place in America (that would require the military service men actually backing the president), all we need is for the president to “impose” his rule in a way that nullifies or usurps that other branches of government.

Has Obama done this?  I would certainly argue that he has at the very least attempted to do this with his excessive and restrictive executive orders.  It’s not that he has issued more orders, it’s that, as John Hudak of the Brookings Institute said, “not all executive orders are created equal, some are quite forceful, making dramatic changes to policy. Others are more routine, housekeeping issues.”

What sort of executive orders was Obama making?  According to the Mercatus Institute, a study that looked specifically for legally-binding and restrictive words or phrases found that Obama issued more such orders than any of the last six administrations except the first Clinton administration. Obama has attempted, but mostly failed, to use his “pen and phone” to push his leftist agendas into American law on gun control and illegal immigration.  But this alone isn’t enough to convince anyone, including myself, that Obama has declared martial law.  Let’s look at more of the above description of martial law.

the suspension of civil law, civil rights, and habeas corpus; and the application or extension of military law or military justice to civilians. Civilians defying martial law may be subjected to military tribunal…”.  On Dec, 31 2011 Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.

The controversy over this began almost immediately and understandably centered around, but was not limited to, section 1021.  This section included “authorizing the indefinite military detention of persons the government suspects of involvement in terrorism”, this includes American citizens, but conveniently leaves open the possibility of foreigners anywhere on the planet.  This isn’t only the view of Alex Jones’ Info Wars, but organizations such as the ACLU which nearly always aligns itself with the democrats.

This is on a completely different, and horrifying level than using legally restrictive words in executive orders that will be ruled illegal by the Supreme Court or easily undone by the next president, as Trump has repeatedly said he will, “on day one”.  Obama made the right to trial by a jury of your peers a privilege, and not a right, if you are accused of the serious, yet vague crime of being suspected of “involvement in terrorism”.

Think on that for a minute: if you are an American, or even if you aren’t, the US military can forcibly detain you in military custody for the rest of your life without so much as charging you with a crime and without allowing you any legal representation or recourse.

Every president issues executive orders that his critics say are illegal, and imprisonment in military custody without trial for the rest of one’s life sounds a lot like martial law, but surely he isn’t publicly executing people…right?

Well, that depends on how you define “public” and “execute”.  But I don’t think it’s being too loose with those words to apply them to the admitted extrajudicial murder of Americans abroad via drone strike.  Obama did just that on Sept 30, 2011 when he ordered a drone strike in Yemen which killed American citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan.

Let me be clear and say that both of these men were more than likely terrorists, but that’s of course what you would do to soften the appearance of making yourself judge, jury, and executioner.  If he had chosen a victim that was less clearly a terrorist it would have been all too obvious that we were no longer living in a civilized society of law and order.

So when you pose the question of whether or not Obama or any other Commander-in-Chief will declare martial law is, he already has, and most people didn’t even notice it.

I would argue that for Americans, and for the world, the more important question now (despite Jill Stein’s recount) is whether or not Trump will do anything to reverse the effects of what Obama has done to destroy the rule of law.  To many Trump supporters, this question borders on blasphemy.  But as a Trump voter myself, I’m not feeling as reassured as I’d like to be.

President-elect Donald Trump has not yet named his nominee for secretary of Department of Homeland Security, but Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s name is being floated around for the position.  With the rise of race-based, unsubstantiated accusations against police officers, anti-police rhetoric, and violent crime targeting law enforcement, I have found Sheriff Clarke’s commentary refreshing.  He puts race-baiters on CNN in their place and silences (as much as it is possible) BLM representatives at a time when dissenting voices are dismissively labeled as racist.

However, I was more than a little disappointed when I read online that in an upcoming memoir Clarke stated that he believes American authorities should treat American citizens suspected of being terrorists as “enemy combatants” who can be questioned without an attorney, arrested by authorities and held indefinitely.  That sort of thing coming from someone who has sworn to uphold the United States constitution is more than disconcerting.  In fact, it’s terrifying.  If the “law-and-order candidate” and elected law enforcement officers, have so little respect for the rule of law, then what do we have to look forward to?

I can’t help but to feel that we have dodged a bullet by preventing Clinton from entering the White House.  But my relief is starting to wane.  Having a president who feels entitled to treat me like a criminal is, unfortunately, not something that is new to me, having just lived through the Obama years.

What really concerns me that so few of the people who would eagerly listen to me rant about the evils of the Obama administration care to listen me when I am trying to point out the similarities that can already be found in president-elect Donald Trump, and those he keeps close to him.

Only time will tell.

5 Things I Really Wish I Had Known Before Homesteading

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5 Things I Really Wish I Had Known Before Homesteading

Image source: Pixabay.com

I have not always been a homesteader. Most of my adulthood has been spent living a lifestyle far closer to what is generally considered mainstream — suburban home, food from the supermarket and central heat.

Nine years ago, my husband and I embarked upon the steepest learning curves in our lives. Even though our previous lives had involved a great deal of outdoor activities and total immersion in the natural world, our new roles as homesteaders taught us so many new things so intensely that we often felt as if we were on a curve so steep we might fall over backwards.

If I could roll back the calendar and give myself a few pieces of advice, I would be sure to include the following five major tips.

1. Infrastructure is everything.

Fencing, gates, bridges, corrals, barns, woodsheds, run-ins, calf pens, kidding stalls, hay feeders, chicken coops, raised bed gardens, cold frames, high tunnels, arbors, traditional garden beds, greenhouses — the list of structures that need to be in place for purposes specific to homesteading are mind-bogglingly endless. The property we purchased had very little infrastructure in place and needed a lot of building, repairing and retrofitting in order to suit our needs. But we didn’t let that stop us — we forged ahead, sending for garden seeds without having enough garden space ready and acquiring animals before having adequate year-round housing in place.

We were far more optimistic and energetic than we had any business being, which ended up being both a blessing and a curse. On the downside, viewing situations through rose-colored glasses in those early homesteading days caused us to cast aside far too many real concerns with casual nonchalance. We were sure “we could always build that permanent fence later” and “there was plenty of time to repair the woodshed roof before winter.” We ended up backing ourselves up against the wall in many cases when “later” steamrolled right over us and winter didn’t wait for the completion of roof repair.

Get Free Electricity — And Never Be Without Power!

It is far too easy to underestimate the time, energy, cost and potential roadblocks that often accompany infrastructure development. And when construction or repair takes place during the 11th hour — or even later — it can cause a lot of tension, and can even allow the roots of long-term discontent to take hold on the homestead.

On the other hand, optimism and energy are like superpowers. They carried us over rough patches, provided extra strength and courage when we needed it most, and helped us accomplish far more than we ever could have without them.

My advice to myself regarding infrastructure would be this: Stay ahead of it. If you get behind your infrastructure needs, you might never catch up.

2. Homesteading is so much work!

It won’t matter, we thought. The volume of work will be eclipsed by the fact that it is so rewarding and so personal and meaningful, we thought. The truth is, doing work you love and truly believe in really does make all the difference. And in our case, it made us able to do it. But at the end of the day, work is still work. If a homesteader works an off-farm job and then comes home to another 40 hours of work, it takes its toll on even the strongest and most resilient people.

Holidays, vacations or even sick days are hard to come by. Dairy cows have to be milked on Christmas morning, and tobacco hornworms will not take a break from destroying your tomatoes while you recover from knee surgery.

Here is my note to self: Do not underestimate the work required for homesteading. It will require very long hours of grueling, back-breaking, tedious, unrelenting hard labor. It will be worth it, but make no mistake. It will be tough.

3. Community is crucial.

I read a lot of books about homesteading before I started, from memoirs to manuals. One concept I ran across more than once in my reading was the impact of isolation upon homesteaders. I believed it, but I did not really get it. Not until I lived it myself. Spending long hours with nobody to talk to except cows and tomato seedlings sounds idyllic, and sometimes it is. But being completely on one’s own when a porcupine is entangled in the electric mesh fence or standing alone in a sweltering kitchen watching milk pasteurize for what feels like hours on end can make even the stoutest of homesteaders want to throw in the towel — and the canners and dung forks and milk buckets — and head back to the city.

5 Things I Really Wish I Had Known Before Homesteading

Image source: Pixabay.com

It is loneliness, but it is more than just loneliness. It is the fact that there might not be many visitors — anyone who is willing to touch a homestead with a 10-foot pitchfork probably stays busy with a place of their own. It is the fact that while the rest of the world is weighing the merits of the latest hand-held device, you will be busy weighing the tiny newborn goat kid every day in hopes it will thrive. It is knowing that you are on your own, engaged in a lifestyle that most people cannot understand, with what sometimes feels like very little support from the outside world.

Age, accidents, sickness and disabilities are not friends of the homesteader. Neither is bad weather, predators and equipment breakdowns. My advice to my novice self is this: You will need real friends as a homesteader more than you ever needed them before. Relatives, neighbors, people from church, folks in the goat club — wherever they come from, make sure you and they are ready for the long haul.

4. Homesteading is not cheap.

Raising one’s own food rarely saves money. Sure, there are instances here and there where homesteaders save big. For example, I have paid a grand total of maybe $20 for garlic over a period of three or four years. I plant it every fall, purchase a few new varieties every once in a while, and use last year’s bulbs for seeds. And the eggs from my free-range chickens cost me almost nothing in summer.

But goat milk? Oh boy. When the occasional veterinarian visit and medications are factored in, and even a rare-but-crucial farm-sitting expense that allows us to show up at family weddings and funerals — and not to mention the time spent milking and sanitizing and feeding and shoveling if I paid myself even minimum wage! — that feta and chevre is worth its weight in gold.

Make Sure Your Electronics ALWAYS Have Power … With The New Pocket Power X!

Meat is expensive, too. Feed and upkeep cost a lot, especially in a northern climate where an animal’s grazing and foraging opportunities are limited for much of the year. And then there is the cost of processing, which can more than double the actual cost of raising the animal.

Even vegetables can be costly. By the time one buys seedlings or heats a greenhouse to start their own, builds raised beds, buys ground cover, invests in tools, and amends the soil, they might have done better to just go buy sweet peppers at the market.

If I could offer myself advice, I would say to go ahead and endeavor to raise as much of my own food as I could. Knowing it is organic, locally sourced, and humanely raised is everything. Just know this: It will probably cost almost as much to raise your own as it would to buy it at a big box store.

5. There’s no room for softies!

Keeping livestock is not for the faint of heart. Eating meat is harder when that steak or pork chop once had a face — a face you petted and fed every day for months. Even if you do not raise meat animals, there are still difficult decisions. Disbudding. Castrating. Medical intervention. Lying awake at night worrying about whether the animals will be safe in the hurricane or adequately protected from predators. And even selling is hard — waving goodbye to a beautiful goat kid and covering your ears while his mother and twin wail in anguish is rough on those of us with marshmallow hearts.

My advice to myself nine years ago would be this: Know that along with the love and tenderness that comes with sharing your life with farm animals, there will be bits of agony.

Nothing about homesteading is easy, but for many of us, it is worth it. My advice to myself or anyone is simply this: Know that you are doing the right thing, but go in with your eyes wide open, both feet on the ground, and bracing yourself for the ride of your life.

If you homestead, what advice would you have given yourself?

Are You Truly Prepared For A Downed Grid? Read More Here.

What You Need to Know About Colds, Flu and Respiratory Infections

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What You Need to Know About Colds, Flu and Respiratory Infections | Backdoor Survival

How much do you really know about the treatment of colds and flu? Even in normal times, it is easy to be confused by viral versus bacterial infections, and sorting out which is which when we get sick. This gets further compounded following a disruptive event when physicians and pharmacies are not available to assist with our healthcare needs.

In this exclusive new article by contributing author, Joe Alton, colds, flu, and respiratory infections are addressed along with tips for ensuring good respiratory hygiene during good times and bad.

The post What You Need to Know About Colds, Flu and Respiratory Infections by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Boiling Water With Stones 101

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Boiling Water With Stones 101 When I mention to someone that you can boil water with hot stones, they always ask me two questions… Why would you do that? How do you do it? Why would you ever boil water using stones?  Why don’t you use the fire to heat it.  Well, in a perfect …

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Easy DIY Solar Charger and PSU [updated]

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Easy DIY Solar Charger and PSU Now this is a little more advanced than taking an old garden solar light and quickly turning it into a phone charger. This is the king of solar garden hacks! Solar power is not as expensive as you may think. Small scale anyway. With other solar projects I have …

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Possibly The Best NON-GMO Heirloom Seed Package Available

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Possibly The Best NON-GMO Heirloom Seed Package Available The seeds guy’s 60 Variety Heirloom Seed package has 26,000 Seeds, Non GMO, and has varieties included that will grow well for you in your Spring and Fall Garden. This would make a great Christmas Present for that someone special that Loves to Garden. Price is just …

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28 Outdoor Lighting DIYs

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28 Outdoor Lighting DIYs Are you looking to brighten up your garden this summer with light? Check out these great DIY projects and have the best garden on your block! It’s no secret that I love finding DIY projects and sharing them with you on shtfpreparedness.com. I love it that much, I try and make/do …

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Consider Adding a Pellet Rifle to Your Arsenal

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When I was a child, my uncle bought me a Crossman 760 BB and pellet rifle. After my father and I added a little 3x scope to it, there wasn’t an aluminum can (or sparrow) anywhere near me that was safe. I spent as much time as possible hunting in the woods close to my home. Honestly, I wasn’t any good at it. I made way too much noise and had too little patience. But I did have a lot of fun.

Then, when I was a teenager, my father bought me a Ruger 10/22 and my pellet rifle was quickly forgotten. I saw real bullets as superior to pellets and equated my Crossman 760 to a toy for younger kids. But I couldn’t shoot real bullets in the woods near my house in the Dallas suburbs, so I ended up shooting a lot less frequently. My father sometimes took me to the range, or further out into the country to shoot my .22, but that didn’t happen as often as I wished. So, instead of shooting three to four times a week like I’d done before my pellet gun was demoted to toy status, I ended up shooting only once or twice a month.

I really didn’t think about pellet rifles again until I had kids. A few years ago we bought all three of our kids new Gamo pellet rifles (Whisper Silent Cat). They are considerably different than the one I had as a kid. I remember having to pump the old Crossman pellet rifle a dozen times, with each pump getting a little harder, until there was enough air pressure to fire. I didn’t know at the time but now I know this is known as a pump pellet rifle (or a variable pump). These new Gamo rifles are what they call a break barrel pellet rifle. Where you fold the barrel down which cocks a spring piston, then load the pellet and then bring the barrel back up to a shooting position. Pump it once and it’s ready to go.

Why should you buy a high powered pellet rifle?

Now that I am older and much wiser (that should get a few laughs), I can think of several reasons that a pellet rifle would be useful tool instead of a simple toy.

  1. First they are incredibly quiet. Which means if you live in a big city like me, you can shoot in your back yard.
  2. Second is accuracy. Understandably a .22 can shoot further, but pellet rifles are just as accurate for slightly shorter ranges.
  3. Third is Affordability. A nice pellet rifle with scope is about the same price as a .22 rifle. But the ammo is so much cheaper. You can buy a 1000 pellets for the same price you pay for 100 .22 bullets. That is a lot of small game that can be shot very cheaply.

What is the Best Pellet Rifle for Preppers?

Before we can answer that question, it is a good idea to know the different types of rifles available. Here is a chart to help explain your options.

Variable Pump CO2 Break Barrel Pre-charged Pneumatic (PCP)
POWER SOURCE 3-10 strokes of an on-board lever to compress air 12-gram cartridge Spring or piston cocked by a lever (barrel) On-board high pressure reservoir
FILLING METHOD None, self-contained Insertion of CO2 cartridge None, self-contained Use of high pressure tank or pump to fill on-board reservoir
VELOCITY Up to 700 fps Up to 780 fps Up to 1400 fps Up to 1100 fps
NUMBER OF SHOTS Unlimited (must be pumped for each shot) 40-60, varies on rapidity of trigger pull Unlimited (must be cocked for each shot) 15-35 (varies with caliber)
USES Target Shooting, Plinking, Pest Control Target Shooting, Plinking Target Shooting, Plinking, Pest Control, Small Game Hunting Target Shooting, Plinking, Pest Control, Small Game Hunting, Large Game Hunting
EFFECTIVE RANGE 15 yards 20 yards 35 yards 60 yards
COST $40 – $200 $80 – $130 $100 – $300 $250 – $600
ADVANTAGES Velocity is variable based on number of strokes Convenient, accurate Self-contained, accurate Powerful, consistent, superbly accurate
DISADVANTAGES Must be pumped up for every shot Performance can vary with temperature (70 degrees is optimum) Requires practice to shoot at highest accuracy External fill source required

Once you have seen this chart I think that, for the purposes of prepping, we should eliminate a few of the rifle types that aren’t well suited to prepper needs before continuing.

I think the CO2 pellet rifle is mostly useless (for preppers) because it depends on a cartridge that is temperature sensitive and will eventually become depleted and require replacement.

The variable pump rifle is capable of taking out birds and squirrels, but the velocity and range really aren’t that great.

The pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) is the most powerful pellet rifle type, has a high velocity, the longest range, and several are semi-automatics. But a really nice PCP easily costs between $450-$600, and you can buy a Ruger 10/22 with several thousand rounds of .22 ammo for that price.

I think the best prepping pellet rifle type (for the money) is the break barrel pellet rifle. It has the highest velocity, a very good range, and can be operated for as long as your pellet stash holds out without depending on additional sources of propulsion like CO2 tanks or pumps.

There is also the decision of what pellet caliber to get, .177 or .22? There really isn’t a wrong answer to this question, in my opinion. Both have advantages. It really is more about what you plan to shoot with it. If you only plan to shoot birds, squirrels and rabbits than the .177 is perfect. But if you want a little larger prey like raccoons, small wild pigs, coyote and such, than the .22 is the way to go. Both calibers have many different pellet designs and options. But in general the .177 will always be faster and the .22 will always hit a little harder.

Pellet Rifle Options

I really don’t want to push a specific rifle, so I’ve linked to eight different brands and models in alphabetical order. Click on the link or image for more information.

Beeman Silver Kodiak X2 Dc Air Rifle W/3-9X32
Beeman Silver Kodiak X2 Dc Air Rifle W/3-9X32
This Beeman pellet rifle is unique because it is the only one (that I list) that allows you to switch barrels so that you can shoot both .177 and .22 caliber. It also has a nice scope, and a 2-stage trigger for higher precision.


Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2 Air Rifle with Scope .177
Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2 Air Rifle with Scope
This Benjamin pellet rifle in .177 caliber shoots at 1400 fps. It has a rifled barrel for added precision, a 2-stage trigger, and integrated noise suppression.

There is also a .22 caliber version that shoots at a slightly slower 1200 fps.


Black Ops Break Barrel Spring Powered Sniper Rifle B1008
Black Ops Break Barrel Spring Powered Pellet Rifle B1008
This Black Ops pellet rifle is designed to look and feel like a real sniper rifle. It is a .177 caliber rifle shooting at 1250 fps. It comes with a nice scope and a bipod.


Diana RWS 34 Breakbarrel Rifle, T06 Trigger air rifle
Diana RWS 34 Breakbarrel Rifle T06 Trigger
This Diana RWS pellet rifle is a German made rifle. With a hardwood stock, two-stage adjustable trigger, fiber optic sights, and a rifled barrel. It is a very high-end constructed rifle.


Gamo Silent Stalker Whisper ND52
Gamo Silent Stalker Whisper ND52 Pellet Rifle
This Gamo pellet rifle shoots a .177 caliber pellet at 1300 fps. It comes with a composite stock, sound suppressor, scope, and a 2-stage trigger.


Ruger Blackhawk Elite Air Rifle
Ruger Blackhawk Elite Air Rifle
This Ruger pellet rifle shoots a .177 caliber pellet at 1200 fps. It has a 2-stage trigger, and a ambidextrous synthetic skeleton stock.


Swiss Arms TG-1, black
Swiss Arms TG-1
This Swiss Arms pellet rifle shoots a .177 caliber pellet at 1200 fps. It has an adjustable stock, and a nice scope.


Winchester Model 1400CS .177 Caliber Break-Barrel Air Rifle, Mossy Oak
Winchester Model 1400CS
This Winchester pellet rifle shoots a .177 caliber pellet at 1400 fps. It has a camouflaged composite stock, sound suppressor, scope, bipod, and a sling.

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Story Time: BOV/Daily Driver saves the Day

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crv1

After over a week of continuous heavy pouring rain today it finally stopped. I’ve seen tropical climate rain before but nothing like this, non-stop pouring followed by “what the hell the sky is falling”, followed by more pouring rain.

In spite of this, this past Saturday morning I still had to drive to town to pick up a delivery. After checking the news and making sure there was no flood alert I thought “hey, the worst that can happen is getting wet a bit”.

Not so much. The slope on the side of the road had collapsed, dirt and rock had been washed over the road, and by the time I made it back I was dealing with more flooding, a fallen tree and the road going home up hill was turning into a downfall river.

The humble Honda CR-V saved the day though. AWD, snow+mud tires and the extra torque of the diesel engine meant I could climb up the road that was now becoming a river slowing down in the opposite direction. As it turned left, it was surreal to see the well-known road home now flooded, with a fallen tree across the street, the trunk almost fully under water. It seemed like a completely different place.

I don’t know how close I got to getting washed downhill. The current was pretty strong. A bigger truck would have done even better no doubt, but then again a bigger truck would have probably been left in the garage because I wasn’t expecting any of this.

The lesson is pretty clear: SHTF happens without notice and more likely than not your daily driver is what you’ll have to work with. Its better to drive around the small or mid size SUV all day than to have a Humvee in the garage while driving a Prius all day because its good on gas.

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”.

Your GPS Is Awesome – Until It Gets You Lost

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featured_appalachia_navigation

china_maine_gpsThe other day my wife sent me on a mission to China to recover an important tactical item.  That would be China, Maine and the item was a coffee table she found on Craigslist.  Anyway, I jumped in my trusty pickup truck, fired up the GPS, and headed inland from the coast to grab the package.  The GPS, a literal device, took me on the shortest route. Which, as you’ve probably discovered, doesn’t always necessarily mean the fastest.  I was going up over mountains, down back roads, and twisting back and forth on an old dirt road that made me happy I have survival gear in the back of my truck.

By Jarhead Survivor, a Contributing Author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog

Now, the coffee table was in South China, and when I got to an intersection where I could go left to South China or right to China it took me right.  Confused, I stopped and checked it out a little closer.  It took me north over China lake and down the other side.  Ok, I thought, maybe they consider “south” to be on the west side of the lake.  People and directions are funky and I was willing to give my GPS the benefit of the doubt.  With a few misgivings, I followed the GPS.

Related: Why I Prefer a Map and Compass Over GPS 

I should have listened to my instincts.  I got to the other side of the lake and all my warning bells were now going off like a  five-alarm fire.  I pulled over, looked, and sure enough the GPS was taking me to the wrong address.  I put in the address I wanted and it pointed to another area.  I won’t use the real address, but here’s an example of how it appeared. Address I typed into the GPS:  83 Fire Road #45, China Me.  It decided I really wanted to go to: Fire road 45, no number address.  Ok, they give addresses very oddly in China, so I tried this instead:  Fire Road 83, #45. It then decided I really wanted to go to Fire Road 11. WTF?

I poked at it for a few minutes with rising frustration then did something I haven’t had to do for awhile.  I asked for directions. There was a guy across the street playing with his dog and I pulled in and asked if he knew where Fire Road 83 was.  He rubbed his chin for a minute while his friendly black lab sniffed my leg.  I patted the dog (best part of the whole trip) while he thought about it.  He then pointed me to the other side of the lake with some head scratching, giving me low confidence in his directions.

At a store on the top of China lake, I stopped and asked directions.  Nope.  They had no idea.  I called the woman I was getting the item from and she asked where I was.  When I told her I was at the top of China Lake, she said, “What are you doing there?”  She then gave me some confusing directions on how to get to her house.  I finally asked her what she was near and she gave me the address of a bank.  When I put that in to the GPS, it worked and I followed it there. Of course, when I got there, the GPS told me I was at Fire Road 83, #45, just where I wanted to be.  Really? Thanks a lot!

Not Just Road Directions Either

gps_compass_lostA few years ago I was hiking behind my house following my GPS.  As you know, driving and hiking are two very different forms of navigation, so being the paranoid survivalist that I am I was keeping track of my location with a map and compass too.  At one point I looked down and it showed my location in a town about fifteen or twenty miles away in a completely different county!  There was a moment of “congnitive dissonance” as I looked at both map and GPS.  Finally I put the GPS away and followed the map and compass.  I knew exactly where I was even if the GPS didn’t.  I told a friend about this and he said, “Yeah, sometimes that happens.”

So, I did what any self-respecting human being would do and turned to Google.  Turns out this is a pretty common issue. Wow.  I’m no Luddite.  I love my phone and my laptop.  I use Linux.  I understand computer networks.  I get it.  But after a little study, I’ve determined that if you’re going to trust yourself to a technology that works “most of the time,” you might find your ass lost in the woods crying about your GPS.

Carry a Compass

appalachian_gps_trailI’ve written about this before and I’ll write about it again.  If you’re going to go out in the wilderness, carry a map and compass.  Carry it, know how to use it, and at the very least be able to follow a cardinal direction. A few years ago Geraldine Largay went off the Appalachian Trail and got lost.  Her body was found a couple of years later.  She had a compass but didn’t know how to use it. A compass is not an ornament.  If you put it in your pack, at least know the basics of how to use it.

In my opinion, the best way to operate in the wild is to use your GPS as primary navigator with a map and compass as backup.  This accomplishes two things.

  1.  You’ll learn map and compass reading almost as well as how to use a GPS.
  2.  If your GPS fails for whatever reason, you’ll know where you are and how to get out safely.

Use a Bailout Azimuth

I coined the term Bailout Azimuth. If you’re lost and can’t go point to point, you can at least follow your compass until you hit a road, stream, river, or landmark.  Refer to the map on Geraldine Largay. Look carefully at where her remains were found and then look where the Appalachian Trail is.  A little common sense and some very basic map reading skills could have saved this woman’s life, but she chose to walk north looking for a cell phone signal instead of following her compass south back to the trail.  I’ve been in this part of the Maine woods before and it would be quite easy to walk off the trail and get lost.  That’s why a compass is a critical piece of equipment.

Related: GizzMoVest GPS Cases 

In this case, she moved north of the trail.  The moment she discovered she was lost, she should have pulled out her map and compass.  She would have seen that she was hiking east on that particular piece of trail. With a little study, she would have found that moving south or east would bring her back to the trail.  Instead she made a fatal error and moved north.  This really breaks my heart because a small amount of time spent at a compass class could have saved her life.

There are many stories where a GPS led people off road in their vehicles and they wound up stranded in the wilderness.  Sometimes they get rescued, sometimes they don’t.  Don’t be a statistic, folks.  Learn how to read a map and compass and be a survivor.  That’s why you’re here isn’t it?  To learn how to survive?  Trust me, if there’s one skill you can learn that trumps everything else, it’s how to navigate in the wilderness with a map and compass.

Summary

Use your GPS!  Like I said, I love mine; however, I try to be critical of it when traveling because it’s not always 100% accurate.

Here’s a little challenge for you.  The next time you decide to go on a trip take out a map and plot it by hand to see if you remember how.  I’ll bet when you look at the route you selected and where your GPS wants to take you, you’ll be thinking, “Why the hell is it taking me that way?” Questions?  Comments?  Sound off below!

Photos Courtesy of:

Jarhead Survivor
Filkferengi

Interested in writing for us? Send a sample of your work and an introductory statement to joel@survivalcache.com. Please use subject line: ‘Write for SurvivalCache/SHTFBlog’. If you’re a good fit, we’ll publish your work and compensate you accordingly.

The Crumpet Controversy

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Published on Nov 28, 2016

Sometimes while doing research for 18th Century Cooking we run into a recipe that is a little confusing and sometimes controversial. Kevin joins Jon in the kitchen today to make a Crumpet recipe from 1769. This recipe could easily be mistaken for other “biscuit” dishes, but we assure you, this is a Crumpet. A very delicious Crumpet!

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This video channel is made possible by the patronage of our customers. Be sure to visit our website: http://www.jas-townsend.com

If you’re interested in learning more about reenacting, including the different kinds of historical interpretation you can do, be sure to sign up of our FREE “Getting Started in Living History” video course! Simply click on this link – http://bit.ly/2gzhl3i

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Why Survival Requires Community

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Many preppers, survivalists, and even religious folks are looking to form communities to foster their prospects for long-term survival. This may mean building an intentional community from scratch, or simply creating a community of like-minded friends and neighbors for mutual assistance. This is a great idea. However, I still find some resistance to the idea of community by those folks who seem to favor the lone-wolf or small, isolated family retreat modes of survival. In this article, I want to explain why I think forming or creating a larger community is the better path to survival.

The first reason is that humans are social creatures. We are designed (by God or evolution, depending on your worldview) to need interaction with other people. This is why solitary confinement is considered such a severe form or punishment. We suffer mentally and emotionally when we are cut off from other people. Loneliness, depression, and mental illness will result from long periods of isolation, whether as individuals or even in very small groups.

The second reason is the fact of physical limitations. We get tired. We get sleepy. We can typically only do one task at a time. Some tasks require more than one person. And there are time factors to consider. Security, for instance, will require full attention. You are not going to be able to pull security duty AND work in the garden or do other chores at the same time. You are not going to be able to pull 12-hour security shifts for any length of time. Try to do so, and you will become tired, distracted and ineffective. (I’ll do a future article in which I’ll posit that an absolute minimum requirement for a survival community is at least six healthy adults, probably more.)

The third reason is limited skill sets. A truly self-reliant survival group will need a large variety of skills sets. Yet, we all have a limited number of skills as individuals. Remember, there will be no outside help of any kind – no fire departments, EMTs, police departments, hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies, tailors, electricians, plumbers, mechanics, or repairmen of any kind, except for that which we have within our community. We will have to provide for all our needs ourselves. Of course, we should all work towards becoming as self-reliant as possible, but no one person, no one family, will ever be able to truly do it all.

The fourth reason is safety in numbers.  The idea many have is that a family in an isolated rural area will survive by hiding. But reality tells us something different. Fernando Aguirre in his book,  The Modern Survival Manual, writes about the experience during the economic collapse in Argentina during the early 2000s. Far from being safe, small isolated farms were actually hunted down and targeted by well-armed gangs. This experience has been mirrored in other historical, real world examples, such as during the Bosnia War in the 1990s.  A small retreat with only two or three adults to provide security will be an extremely tempting and easy target for large, well armed groups during a collapse in the USA. No, I wouldn’t want to live in a large urban center, but small retreats aren’t safe either.

This is the second in a series of articles on Community. The first article in the series is Building Community – Evaluating Potential Members. Additional articles will be posted in coming weeks.

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Looking for Christmas gift ideas for the Outdoorsmen on your list? May I suggest two books by Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty: The American Fisherman: How Our Nation’s Anglers Founded, Fed, Financed, and Forever Shaped the U.S.A. and his earlier book American Hunter: How Legendary Hunters Shaped America. Purchases made through these links help finance this website. Thank You.

Nuclear Power Deeply Embedded in Governmental Corruption

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stock here, Hattip HillBillyHoundDog
Do you know any other politician of late who make really ugly faces, ya you Hillary, well Cuomo joins the club of and evil heart generating really ugly faces too. 

Cuomo caught by the Right and Left in failed crony magic trick …
… …
The pushback has only just begun. As it turns out, Cuomo’s new tax on New Yorkers isn’t even going to go into the pockets of the cronies. That’s because the company, Exelon, that owns two (and soon to be all three) of New York’s nuclear power plants was just ordered to pay the Internal Revenue Service $1.45 billion in back taxes (Yes, that’s billion with a B). Their tax bill comes from an issue regarding leases on power plants they own in their home state of Illinois.

To recap, Cuomo’s magic trick was supposed to be the unveiling of a shiny new carbon-neutral energy plan to save the world. However, to perform that trick, his commission decided it was necessary to tax New Yorkers to give money to the owners of a non-carbon-neutral energy company that already owes taxes to the federal government. The people of New York are going to pay the tax bill for an Illinois company because a commission they didn’t elect decided they should.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2013/06/20/gov-cuomo-appoints-clean-energy-ally-to-ny-utility-commission/#6d6df9723a66

Cuomo appointed the board of the PSC that allowed the nuclear subsidies to pay Exelon’s taxes in Illinois, FYI. This article is just three year old pay for play BS to highlight the agenda.

and then the PSC approved the sale of a NY Nuke facility to Exelon.
Billions of birds- one stone.
—————————————————-
This is one deep rabbit hole. Just keep dumping your hard earned tax dollars into it, mmmmk?
http://www.ibtimes.com/

Andrew Cuomo’s Top Aide Lobbied For Firms With State Business

By Matthew Cunningham-Cook @mattcunninghamc On 01/16/15 AT 6:30 AM

…A steady stream of prosecutions of state officials led by President Barack Obama’s Attorney General-designate, Loretta Lynch, prompted Cuomo to convene the Moreland Commission, tasked with investigating public corruption.

The commission was supposed to evaluate allegations of corruption in Albany, but when investigators began to look at deals involving associates of the governor, Cuomo shut the panel down….

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/30/nyregion/cuomos-role-in-hurricane-sandy-inquiry-foretold-fate-of-his-ethics-panel.html?_r=0

…Shortly after Mr. Cuomo, who is seeking re-election next week, took office in 2011, the Long Island Power Authority stumbled into the latest in a long line of public embarrassments dating to its predecessor, the Long Island Lighting Company, or Lilco, which built a $6 billion nuclear reactor that never opened. The authority announced that its customers had been overbilled by $231 million. Mr. Cuomo put his inspector general on the case….

http://www.nytimes.com/1998/05/28/nyregion/the-end-of-lilco-as-long-island-has-come-to-know-it.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias:r,{“1″:”RI:9”} ( http://nyti.ms/1tDLyxu )
**1998

…Several suits are still pending seeking to undo or amend the takeover plan and the bonds, which extend 33 years. Gordian Raacke, director of a court-appointed watchdog group called the Citizens Advisory Panel, said, ”Tomorrow is the day we will all remember as getting a 33-year sentence for a crime we didn’t commit, namely building a nuclear power plant.”..