RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Officials in Riverside County, Calif., have agreed to pay a family $700,000 as part of a federal civil rights lawsuit that was filed after Child Protective Services (CPS) seized a seven-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl.
“CPS just took my children,” Vanessa Wilson told Home School Legal Defense Association (HSDLA) attorneys back in April 2013 after CPS investigator Francisca Russo alleged that the mom was not properly tending to the diabetes needs of her four-year-old daughter.
CPS, with the backing of police, seized both kids.
The son was in state custody for 29 days, the daughter for 50 days.
The controversy began after Wilson took her daughter to the hospital when she experienced flu-like symptoms and lethargy. It was at the hospital that doctors told her that her daughter was diabetic. The daughter was discharged five days later in the care of the mom.
Wilson followed the treatment plan for her daughter, but three months later a case worker showed up at her door, accompanied by other CPS workers and a police officer. The case worker asked Wilson to administer a blood glucose meter test to the daughter, which the mom did. The reading of 261 was “within the acceptable blood glucose range” that the doctor had given Wilson, according to the lawsuit. And it was “significantly less” than the reading of 435 when the daughter was first administered to the hospital. But that didn’t matter to Russo.
“On her own authority, without asking a doctor about the readings and without seeking a court order, [Russo] took the girl into custody,” HSLDA said in a news release. “After learning that Vanessa homeschooled her seven-year-old son, Ms. Russo asked him a few math questions, asked him to recite the ABC’s, and to read from a book—all while the deputy would not let his visibly distraught mom come to him.
Other doctors, including the girl’s own physician, said her condition was fine.
“Russo made these determinations without any appropriate medical training, degree, or license,” the complaint stated. “… Russo made these determinations without consulting Daughter’s pediatrician, Dr. Swanston, or any other medical professional who possessed appropriate medical training, degree, or license to opine as to the normal blood sugar range of a four-year-old child with new-onset type 1 juvenile diabetes.”
The kids were returned after HSLDA uncovered evidence that CPS had hidden evidence from the courts and them. That evidence convinced a prosecutor to drop the legal case against Wilson.
HSLDA then filed a lawsuit, which included a video deposition of Russo.
“There was simply no better way to reproduce or accurately represent the investigator’s facial expressions, body language, or pregnant pauses,” HSLDA reported in a news release. “Watching her squirm while she tried to explain that a pediatric endocrinologist with 30 years’ experience was wrong—and that she was right—was considerably more effective than reading a transcript.”
Riverside County initially offered only $10,000, but during mediation – and after the video deposition was seen by everyone – agreed to a $700,000 settlement.
“Each of the children have an investment of $100,000 that they can start drawing on when they turn 18,” according to HSLDA. “Vanessa invested part of her money in a new traveling home so that she and the kids can cross the country visiting friends and family; learning while on an unforgettable adventure. Money can’t bring back the lost 50 days, or cure the trauma that all three are still dealing with from the unjustified seizure and separation. But Vanessa is doing her best.”
HSLDA said it acknowledges that CPS investigators “have an important and difficult job” – but asserts they must be held accountable.
“There are rules they have to follow for the safety and protection of those they investigate,” HSLDA said in its release. “And sadly, the CPS system is so wrapped in confidentiality that abuses by officials rarely come to light—except in civil-rights lawsuits like this one.”
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Emergency Communications for Your Survival Kit Many of us can’t imagine a natural disaster striking and leaving us without the normal everyday necessities we’re used to. Things as simple as beds, washing and drying units, blenders, and even refrigerators suddenly aren’t available and you’re left to figure out how to do things in different ways …
5 Tips For Preparing A Defense Against Home Invasion A man’s home is his castle and man has to make it secure from any external threats. The home invasions by robbers are not that rare anymore these days. You should prepare against these threats in advance. Don’t wait till some criminal comes barging in your …
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Quick dish to make.
1/2 pound of ground beef
1 small chopped onion
Minced garlic clove
2 (16 oz) cans of pork n beans
1 cup picante sauce
In a skillet cook the ground beef, onion, and garlic until done and drain.
Stir in the remaining ingredients.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and then simmer for about 10 minutes.
Eating habits, sedentary lifestyles, genetics and yes, cold weather can increase your risk of a heart attack.
Heart attacks do not just afflict the older generation however. Younger generations because of their lifestyle and increased stress, some of which is linked to social media, yes social media is linked to depression in younger people, surprising right. There is more anxiety because of all this, and, of course, poor eating habits and a lack of exercise contribute to a greater risk of heart attacks at a younger age as well (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2016).
Cold weather can and will increase your blood pressure and will raise cholesterol levels, both of which raise your risk for a heart attack. The cold can also make blood more likely to form heart-threatening clots.
One study concluded every 1.8° F (1° C) temperature drop was linked with a 2 percent increase in the risk of having a heart attack. According to another study published in 2015, there is up to a 31 percent increase in heart attacks in the coldest months of the year as compared to the warmest.
As your body gets colder your blood vessels tighten, and thus blood flow speeds up. This helps to increase your core body temperature by pumping blood to vital organs, in particular, the brain. This raises your blood pressure, however, and if you already have a problem with high blood pressure, you may find yourself in trouble.
With the winter months comes the holidays, where food and alcohol consumption may rise as well, which does not help those that do not exercise on a regular basis and already have underlying medical conditions, which some may not even be aware of.
It is important that you know your risks. Do you even know what your blood pressure is, do you know your cholesterol levels, and is there a history of heart problems in your family? You need a checkup, so you know the risks, and thus, can avoid increasing your risk by shoveling snow or pushing cars that may be stuck in a snowdrift or through an icy intersection. You cannot go from zero or very little exercise to shoveling snow and pushing cars.
If you do not get much exercise, start slow and work your way up, but only after seeing a medical professional who can assess your risk and advise you on an exercise routine.
Remember, if the power goes out your physical activity may very well rise. Snow covered roads may mean that you have to walk, and if the outage is for an extended period, you will have to perform your normal daily tasks without the aid of power tools, equipment, and appliances.
In extreme cases, you may have to evacuate, and possibly on foot, and if you are not physically capable of doing this and do it anyway, you may be setting yourself up for a heart attack, which is the last thing you need during a crisis or at any time for that matter.
Take the stairs, watch what you eat and have your vital signs checked regularly and if you need medications take it. Blood pressure and cholesterol levels can be managed by diet and exercise in many cases, but it takes a commitment.
There is no better time than now to start, by first having a checkup so you know and then find out what your options are and start by living better to live longer and to decrease your chances of a heart attack.
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2016). Retrieved 2016, from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/127/4/800.short
Roberts, S. H. (2016). Retrieved 2016, from http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/index.htm
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Some Preppers can be hoarders, but by no means are all hoarders Preppers. We tend to gather too much stuff, however. Some Preppers subscribe to the “Two is one and one is none” notion, in other words, you cannot have too much of a good thing, but oh you can in some cases.
If you were to weigh your field survival kit or bug-out-bag right now, you may be surprised that it weighs as much as it does. You started out great, 25 to 30 pounds, which is just right for most people that have not trained daily with a pack shouldered. However, you spotted a great deal on a tactical flashlight, so in the bag it goes, another block of emergency rations just in case, another survival knife, a pair of well deserved cold weather woolen pants, well there is plenty of room still, so in the bag, they all go. Another poncho, one is good, two is better right, so what’re another 10 pounds added to the bag.
There are the basics, which everyone needs to survive, and there are the wants, the comfort items, the “what if this happens” item. One of those what if items might be a suture kit, not heavy really, but unless you know how to use one, do you really need one. Things add up quickly.
Well, you might be thinking that even though you don’t know how to use a suture kit, you might run into someone that does. The possibility of someone stumbling upon you as you struggle to sew up a gash on your leg that knows how to stitch you up seems remote, but thinking ahead is important, but there is “probably” and then there are “unlikely” scenarios. However, if you are traveling with a group and have divided the supplies and someone in said group is experienced, well that is a different matter altogether.
If you look in your pack, there is probably something or even a number of items that you put in there for “just in case”.
We can sit around all day and dream up possible survival scenarios and then come up with a piece of gear or some material thing that could help but is that practical. You know what the basics you need in any situation, so go with shelter, water, fire, food, and first aid, and then the gear and materials needed to help you maintain and add to your packed items.
This is where knowledge comes in handy. You need items to help you collect and purify a water source, and the means replenish your food supply and to help maintain and add to your shelter needs.
Add a quality fixed blade knife, multi-tool, some 24-gauge wire, water purification tablets, quality cordage, emergency fishing kit, machete, and a pot in which to boil water, and with the right skill sets and knowledge, this is all you would need in your pack to survive.
Food stockpiles can get out of hand. It is great that you have year’s supply of food put away but when did you put it away. Have you been keeping track of the expiration date, have you looked for infestations from insects, rodents, and what about spoilage.
You do not want your food supply to be just days from expiration when disaster strikes. It is a balancing act because no one knows when disaster may strike. To make sure your food is always fresh you have to rotate it. Eat the oldest and replace, and of course keep a close eye on the dates, which requires some organization and effort on your part. You have to assume a disaster could strike today so if it did, how fresh is your food supply.
What happens to your food supply if you have to evacuate, how much can you carry, can you leave by vehicle or do you have to bug-out on foot. You do have to think long and hard about how much to have on hand. A year’s supply may end up being wasted, or in some cases, it may not be enough.
If you live in an urban area, less is probably better because the prospect of having to bug-out is greater than if you lived in a rural area.
Preparing for a crisis is not simply stockpiling food, water, and medical supplies in a spare bedroom or closet. You may need a plan for transporting a good deal of your supplies to another location possibly and what about when disaster strikes and you cannot get back home and family members are forced to assemble at another location, for example. What happens to your supplies?
Your supplies do you no good unless you have access to them, so part of your planning may have to include alternative storage places that you have access to at all times. You may need a way to transport your supplies and this could include backpacks for all family members and/or a bug-out-vehicle, but consider the possibility that you may not be able to drive due to road or highway conditions or because of an EMP.
As with any plans, you have to accept the fact you may have to change the original plan based on real-time intelligence. When planning you make certain assumptions based on prior experiences or based on the experience of others, but you may encounter situations for which you did not plan. Flexibility is important and be prepared to leave behind some of your supplies, or cache them until you can get back.
You can see where having too much on hand may become a problem, so it is important that you have enough, but in reality, you can have too much as well.
Fine-tune your supplies, gear, and materials and remove those items not crucial to your immediate survival, because survival is, after all, living long enough to be rescued or until help can arrive.
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It’s January, and a cold blast from the North is hitting parts of the Deep South. Hypothermia is a big issue for those not prepared for cold weather, and a number of people die every year from being unready to deal with Nature’s challenges. Find out about hypothermia, how the body loses heat, and some strategies for prevention this winter.
Also, the Turkish nightclub shooting almost exactly duplicates the blueprint established by last year’s Orlando Nightclub shootings. Along with vehicular terror, Dr. Bones makes the argument that this strategy is going to be repeated again and again, and tells you what you have to do to survive such events.
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All the best for a happy and healthy 2017!
Joe and Amy Alton
Believe it or not we spend more time in our vehicles than we do outside. I have friends who live in or around the city and their idea of getting some nature is to go down to the park and have their kids play on the swings for a half hour while the parents play on their phones. A friend came up to our house to visit from the city a year ago and I took her young son and my five year old daughter to the woods. This boy walked about twenty feet and tripped over a log because he didn’t know to look at the ground for obstacles. He was so used to walking on manicured lawns and paths it never occurred to him that there might be something in the way!
By Jarhead Survivor, a Contributing Author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog
Kids between the ages of five and sixteen spend an average of six and a half hours per day in front of a screen, which is terrible; however, I do believe the kind of screen time spent is important. I assume that most kids spend their time watching videos, playing games, and engaging on social media. This kind of screen time is passive and they are just sitting there slowly turning into a vegetable. If they are producing something on the other hand, like writing a blog post, then I think the screen time isn’t as bad. Yes, they’re not physically active; however, if they are producing some kind of content then they are stretching their minds and growing in that regard.
Physically, on the other hand, this can’t be good for them. I have a seven year old boy who would gladly veg in front of his Kindle playing games all day if we let him. I also have a five year old girl who would sit in front of the TV watching Netflix and eating chips if we gave her the thumbs up, but we don’t. My wife regularly throws the kids outside and makes them play out there. The funny thing about kids though is that once they’re outside playing they don’t want to come in.
There’s nothing wrong with technology per se, it’s only when we allow it to consume our lives that it becomes an issue. From the first moment we get up to the time we go to bed, we are stuck to some kind of screen. I’m not saying I don’t, but we do try to have a little balance in our lives. My wife hates the amount of time the kids spend in front of their devices. As such, we will force them to play outside.
Read Also: 10 Ways to Improve Your Survival Fitness
We live on a nice piece of land in Maine where there’s plenty of forest and open space. My son learned to ride a bike when he was three, got his first motorcycle when he turned five, a 125 cc four-wheeler when he turned seven and drives them like pro. My daughter loves to create crafts and I set aside time for her and I sit down where she will create things while I draw. I have a tipi and wilderness camp where we spend a lot of time and the wifi doesn’t reach. My boy can start a fire with a firesteel and can recite the Survival Rule of Threes.
I like to think my family has a good balance with learning the old ways, being outside, and today’s invasive technology. I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, so I remember what it was like without a smart phone, computers, and when the only TV had antennas. Cartoons only played on Saturday and after a few hours of watching them my mom would boot us outside until lunch. We hung out with our friends in person and built dangerous bicycle jumps, climbed trees, and did other things that, by today’s standards, would certainly have got our parents in trouble for neglect.
But let’s face it, barring some kind of major SHTF Carrington event, our smart devices are here to stay and I don’t think that’s a bad thing; however, we do need to balance screen time with outdoor time. Kids need to get outside and play.
Location! Location! Location!
We used to live on a busy main road, which I absolutely hated, but when it was just Mrs. Jarhead and myself, we were willing to tolerate it because it was easy for us to jump in my truck and drive ten miles to the local hiking trails. As soon as we found out she was going to have a baby, we put that house on the market and moved as fast as we could. We did not want our kids being brought up near a dangerous, noisy road.
It was the best decision we ever made. We now live on a back road in Midcoast Maine with tons of woods surrounding us. It’s not like we lived in downtown Manhattan before the move – we actually moved less than ten miles, but the location we chose was much better suited to our lifestyle. People might say, “But Jarhead! You’ve never lived in the city! How can you make a comparison?”
Good question. Actually I used to be a consultant for a big company based out of St. Paul, Minnesota and for two and a half years I lived on airplanes, stayed in hotels, and drove rental cars all over the country five days a week. As a matter of fact, I spent the last two months traveling in NYC: Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. I’ve been to just about every major city this side of the Mississippi and a few in Canada. (I actually liked Toronto.)
So yes, I can make a strong comparison between the slow country life and fast paced, high stressed, city living. Listen City Dweller – I’m not telling you to move to the country, although I’ll bet you’d be a lot happier if you did. People in the cities are stuck in their high-rise caves, living on top of each other, stressed out of their minds at the high cost of living and lack of paycheck. They stay in these dark caverns venturing out only to work or to do other things inside. Few people actually have a chance to get back to nature and I find that very sad because they don’t realize the health benefits they are missing.
Ironically, it’s these same city people who say, “If TSHTF I’m going to bug-out to the wilderness and live there until it blows over.” Hmmm, not so much. Folks, if you’ve never spent any time in the wilderness and that’s your plan, I beg you to reconsider. If I had a choice to choose between a city dweller with a full pack and my son with a firesteel, I’d take my boy ever time. At least he knows how to start a fire using natural materials and to look for shelter! Surviving in the wilderness is extremely difficult even for people who’ve been trained.
Take your family camping. Take them on a long hike in the woods, wherever that might be. Let your kids know what it’s like to carry a backpack and walk for awhile. It’s ok for them to be a little uncomfortable. Give them responsibility to do things like gather kindling or firewood. Show them how to set up their tent. Allow them to help in the decision making for certain things.
My five year old loves coming out to the tipi with me because I’ll make her noodle soup. Not the most nutritious meal, but being outside climbing trees and running around is great for my kids and we do it several times a week. My son is old enough now to use a hatchet and loves the opportunity to swing it at dead trees to help with firewood.
Granted it’s a little more difficult in the winter, but we still do it. I’ll go out on a Saturday or Sunday and stay four or five hours and sometimes will even spend the night out there (yes – even in the winter). My kids come out to visit and when they’re tired from cutting and carrying wood, climbing trees and wrestling in the snow, they walk back to the house. It’s awesome!
If there aren’t any kids in your family take yourself outside. You’ll be happier and healthier for it. Being in nature has shown to bring positive health benefits, so if you’re feeling depressed, you might want to spend a few days in nature without electronics and see if that helps before running to the doctor for a prescription. But that’s another article! Questions? Comments? Sound off below!
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[Nyerges has led wilderness and wild food field trips for over 40 years. He is the author of numerous books, including “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Extreme Simplicity,” “Guide to Wild Foods,” and others. Questions about his classes and books can be directed to www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041.]
A plane crashes on some remote island, and only the British school children survive. A classic story of survival begins. The boys –after having attended not a single “survival school” — learn to hunt, make shelters, make fire (using Piggy’s spectacles, or eye glasses), and to enjoy themselves. After all, with all the adults gone, there’s no one to enforce rules, so we do what we want, right? Then the battle for power begins. One side is for some sort of orderly life, and the other side wants to live by rule of might.
“Lord of the Flies” has been widely viewed and widely discussed. What does it mean? What does it tell us about our basic human nature? Is our desire to do good and cooperate with others a skill that must be learned and maintained? Are we essentially animals who need to learn to control our animal natures?
The movie (and book) begins with the boys experiencing a sort of innocent paradise, as they swim and cavort and learn about foods in their adult-free world. The obvious need for leadership results in a vote between Ralph, who represents order and the rule of law, and Jack, who represents immediate fulfillment of desires, power, and even savagery. Ralph wins the election.
In the beginning, Ralph and Jack are not depicted as being all that different. Indeed, they are friends. Ralph is set on doing the best for all, helping the weak, making sure that everyone is fed. Jack seems more intent on his own power ambitions.
A conch shell is chosen as a sign of leadership, and an indication of who has the “floor” during meetings. But Jack forms his own band and moves away from Ralph. Jack chooses to disregard the blowing of the conch. That choice leads to further division and animosity. Eventually, the conch is destroyed when a boulder rolls onto it, symbolizing the loss of one of the symbols of their chosen civility, somewhat akin to someone in a board meeting tossing the gavel out the window.
Jack’s group steals Piggy’s specs to make fire, another strike at cooperation and civility. Jack’s group also lets the signal fire go out, showing that Jack has lost his focus of trying to get off the island.
In analyzing The Lord of the Flies, countless analogies have been used to describe the social dichotomy that it depicts, such as users vs. takers, or producers vs. consumers, or urban vs. rural, or primitive vs. civilized, etc. Perhaps it is the same old story of Cain vs. Abel, or the farmers vs. the ranchers. The story has even been used to illustrate political parties in various countries. But is it that simplistic?
Jack and his group finally devolved to the point where murder was justified. Jack and his group started to hunt Ralph. Jack’s desire for total power would be solidified with the elimination of Ralph (the last opposing force). As Jack’s group chases Ralph along the beach, they all confront a force they all have to reckon with – the rescuing sailors. The sailors are tall, dressed in white, somber. It’s as if the children butted up against the gods of the universe, and now the day of reckoning comes.
A group of men landed on the island and watch in amazement at the behavior of the “children”. The look on the children’s faces express their thoughts. Jack realizes his reign as a petty tyrant in his island empire is over; Ralph is relieved his life is saved, and now he’ll be going back to his real home.
We see something in the childrens’ faces: now they have to account for their actions to a higher power. The choices that each of us make in life have ramification that ripple through our lives. “Ralph” and “Jack” represent the choices we make. What legacy will we leave? What actions will we ultimately be accountable for when the sailors get to shore?
The amateur film-makers who created the original “Lord of the Flies” did so during the boys’ summer vacation. They tracked the lives of the boys who acted in this movie, and the boy-actors were all high achievers in their personal lives. The boys later related that making the movie deeply affected them. Even though it was described as “just a movie,” many of the boys realized in their personal adult lives that it was far better to work hard to choose the upward, inclusive way of Ralph, rather than to ever find oneself descending into Jack-ness.
A few years back, Springfield Armory came out with a single stack 9mm to much fanfare and then as quickly as the pistol launched, they promptly recalled the pistol due to a possible unsafe condition. The recall read as follows (from manufacturer): “Springfield Armory is initiating this voluntary safety recall to upgrade 3.3 XD-S 9mm and 3.3 XD-S .45ACP pistols with new components, which eliminate the possibility of a potentially dangerous condition. We want to emphasize that no injuries have been reported to date. Springfield has determined that under exceptionally rare circumstances, some 3.3 XD-S™ 9mm and .45ACP caliber pistols could experience an unintended discharge during the loading process when the slide is released, or could experience a double-fire when the trigger is pulled once. The chance of these conditions existing is exceptionally rare, but if they happen, serious injury or death could occur.”
Springfield Armory apparently learned the lessons of Remington and as soon as this unsafe condition was brought to their attention, they leaned into getting back every XD-S 3.3″ barrel pistol that they sold. They then repaired the pistols and returned them to the customers. They also changed the manufacturing process on all future pistols from the factory. Now every XD-S 3.3″ off the line has the new improvements.
Related: The Katrina Pistol
If you are looking to buy a used XD-S 9mm 3.3″ pistol, you can tell very quickly if the pistol has been upgraded by looking at the outside grip safety without disassembling the pistol. XD-S 9mm 3.3″ that have been upgraded have a visible roll pin on the left and right side of the grip safety. See below.
With the new upgrades and the bugs worked out, we loved the XD-S 9mm. As promised, it shot great. The stock fiber optic sights were better than average and the slim profile of the pistol is very appealing to concealed carry customers and under cover police. The downside of the single stack is a magazine that carries 7 rounds in the flush fitting mag and 8 rounds in the extended magazine. Like I always say, I have never heard someone say “I wish I had less rounds in a gun fight.”
Recoil System: Dual Spring w/ Full Length Guide Rod
Sights: Fiber Optic Front & Dovetail Rear (Steel)
Weight: (with Empty Magazine) 23 ozs. Height: 4.4″ w/ Compact Mag, 5″ w/ Mid-Mag X-Tension™
Slide: Forged Steel, Melonite Finish
Barrel: 3.3″ Hammer Forged, Steel, Melonite® / 1:10 Twist
Grip Width: .9″
Frame: Black Polymer
Magazines: 1 – 7 Round Flush Fitting, 1 – 8 Round With Mid-Mag X-Tension™, Stainless Steel
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If you’re one of those folks without power, heat, or warmth because of the recent snow storms, you probably know that you need a cooking tool that can bake, boil, fry and saute. It should also be able to function with a variety of heat sources, since you don’t know when the electricity might come back on.
My nomination for this wonder implement has been around for hundreds of years. It’s easy to find, cheap and effective. Go get a cast iron Dutch oven. This cooking tool has a proven track record, and it can use virtually any heat source.
Survival with the Dutch oven
Hurricane Katrina was due to hit land in a few hours, and my relatives in Mississippi, about 150 miles north of New Orleans, weren’t sure what was going to happen. I overheard my wife talking on the phone to her sister, Patti, of Clinton, Mississippi. In the middle of the hurricane preparation discussion, they started talking about recipes and what to cook, using a cast iron Dutch oven!
Everyone near Katrina faced a potential power outage that could last indefinitely. There was a discussion of evacuating, versus staying put. Among the urban survival necessities in any natural disaster is a way to cook and purify water by boiling, and a Dutch oven serves this purpose beautifully.
We had given Patti a hand-me-down cast iron camp oven with the lipped lid and three legs. Designed to be heated on top and bottom with campfire coals or charcoal, the camp oven was considered a necessity on the American frontier for at least two centuries. That type oven was taken on the Lewis and Clark expedition, was used by travelers on the Oregon trail, who surely used it to cook foods on this list. The oven was indispensable in countless cabins, lean-tos and soddies.
Technically, a “Dutch” oven has a rounded top and no legs and can be used in a conventional oven on top of a stove, or on an outdoor propane fish cooker of grill. Here is an example of this style of oven.
Today, a camp oven is on my short list of tools for my disaster survival kit. And if you’re one of the people stranded at home because of the record snows, or are anticipating some sort of disaster, you need a Dutch oven, too.
A Dutch oven can be used to boil water, make a stew, bake bread, and cook virtually anything that can be fitted inside. And if you were forced to evacuate an area, a camp and/or Dutch oven is compact and light enough to be easily transported. My wife’s advice to her sister was to go to Walmart and get:
- At least 50 pounds of charcoal
- 3 of the round, 14-inch diameter metal pet food dishes
Put the oven, these items, and some basic cooking utensils in a square milk crate for storage, and you’re ready to bug out. If you have more than one Dutch oven (one to use for everyday cooking and another for camping/emergencies), this milk crate system is excellent. Just store it with your other camping/hunting/emergency supplies.
Must-haves for your Dutch oven survival kit
I’ve been cooking with Dutch ovens at hunting and fishing camps for decades, and on many camping trips and Boy Scout and Girl Scout outings. Beginners frequently ask for a list of tools to get started in Dutch oven cooking. So, here’s the basic, bare-bones list of Dutch oven survival kit necessities, proven over the years.
1 12-inch Lodge brand shallow cast iron oven
I like Lodge cast iron best because it is made in America and has a proven quality record, but that’s just personal preference. Other experienced Dutch oven cooks may use different brands, such as Camp Chef, so chose whatever you like. You’ll get what you pay for. A cheap, poorly-made oven won’t work particularly well, and you’ll probably end up replacing it with a quality piece. Sometimes, I take an aluminum oven on outdoor excursions instead of cast iron to save weight.
3 shallow metal pans with lipped rims
These are critical, and common dog food pans work very well. Put one pan underneath the oven to protect the coals from dampness and help regulate heat; and another pan is used to store coals. The third is a spare that is used to cover the oven and protect it from rain or snow while cooking. Here is an example of this type of bowl. See the video below to see how these pans are utilized.
1 Lid lifter
In a pinch, a pair of channel lock pliers will work. Don’t underestimate the weight of the Dutch oven filled with food or how hot it gets! A lid lifter gives you plenty of distance from the heat source when you want to check on your food or stir it.
1 Trivet or tripod
This is a wire or metal rack that holds the lid while you stir the contents of the oven or adjust seasonings. It keeps the lid out of the dirt and clean, and if you’re cooking outdoors, you may not have a nearby, heat-proof surface.
You probably don’t need a tactical or survival knife, (even though, in an emergency, any knife you have is a “survival knife”), but you will need something that will work for food preparation.
1 Nylon spatula and nylon spoon
This is used for cooking, serving, and cleaning the oven.
Sources of heat and organizing your gear
Charcoal is easy to use, and generally, in good supply. But when the charcoal runs out, you can use firewood, driftwood, coal, wood scraps from a dumpster, etc. Shipping pallets, generally found about anywhere, burn quite well. If the pallets are made of hardwood, which many are, then you’ll get great coals! You can also prepare for disaster by integrating an outside heat source into your normal cooking routine. My propane fish cooker stays operational year-round on my patio because it is used constantly. Even when there is snow on the ground, we still go outside to fry bacon or cook fish.
If your plan is to use mostly charcoal briquettes with your outdoor cooking, a Chimney Starter will make life much, much easier for you. It heats up the briquettes super quickly so you have coals for cooking in no time.
The lid lifter, trivet, “survival knife,” spatula and spoon all fit inside the oven. All these items fit into a nylon commercial Dutch oven holder. Another great way to carry everything is in a square milk crate. Put the metal pans on the bottom, and the oven won’t tip over. The loaded crate stacks nicely.
Cleaning a Dutch oven is easy. Take the spatula, scrape out any food residue, and fill it with water. (Never put cold water into a hot oven. It might cause it to crack.) Put the oven back on the coals, and boil the water. Usually this will be enough to clean the oven, and all that remains is to scrape out the softened food debris and wipe it dry. Rub the cast iron with a light film of oil to protect against rust.
Obviously, there are other “nice-to-have” cooking items that could be included, but this basic Dutch oven survival kit will get you by. Check out these Dutch oven no-fail recipes for getting started or even if you’re an experienced outdoor cooke!
For more information about Dutch ovens and cooking outdoors, contact:
The post Why a Dutch Oven Should Be Part of Your Survival Kit appeared first on Preparedness Advice.
Another great guest post from Tina Mancini from Delivering Customers. This time about Hiking Boots. Footwear, Are Hiking Boots The Best Choice Of A Survivalist? One of the main things you need to be able Read More …
I was reading this article on Cognitive Bias, and the author’s assertions that “thinking was hard” even almost impossible to make good decisions. I disagree. It is hard to figure out the truth when 90% of what is presented in the MSM is false or at least heavily slanted.
Then I came across an article how describing Hillary as “flawed” was itself flawed. Hmmmm…..kind of reminds me of the “fake news” meme.
I had this to say in their comments (I haven’t been banned yet, took just 2 comments at ABC to be instantly banned, LOL):
Per the emails, Hillary hates “ordinary Americans”, she also has some serious nuerological problem, had a stroke, had to be dragged into a van losing her shoe, would ‘short circuit’, and she was/is a tool of the Globalists such as Kissinger and Soros. She was willing to kill poison innocent Americans and after Fukushima, got strategy from Kissinger and made a deal in person in Japan that if Japan would not fight back against Globalism that USA would buy all their radioactive food without testing. Another evil woman, Gina McCarty was awarded the top spot at EPA after coming up with the brainstorm to just shut off the radiation detectors to avoid creating “alarm”.Proof is here. Open your mind, the truth is not too hard to see.
here is the Snowflake article
And here is the cognitive bias article.
Ever since the election of Donald Trump, many preppers have lost their sense of urgency. This is evident in the declining number of visitors to most survival blogs. Many people feel that Trump will do a better job protecting the United States and its economy than Barack Obama did or than Hillary Clinton would have. […]
Staying Outside Longer During The Winter Months Few people find the courage to adventure into the wilderness during the winter months and they prefer to enjoy the warmth of their beds. Many lack proper planning and resources to explore the white scenery and even worse, they lack the knowledge to prepare for the environment they …
The other day I was reminded of how important it is to wear insulated gloves during the winter, and how Thinsulate™ insulation is something to look for when choosing winter gloves. Not only from a comfort standpoint, but from a preparedness point of view, insulated winter gloves (e.g. with Thinsulate™) of varying purposes and degrees […]
Not too long ago, we received a question from @RayBurton on Twitter about whether or not we’d done an article on emergency home heating in cold climates. Well, we haven’t, even though I’m from Canada and Thomas & I lived there together for 5 years – so the fact that we haven’t is a bit… Read More
This is just the start of the post How to Stay Warm Indoors When the Power’s Out (& It’s Freezing Outside). Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
How to Stay Warm Indoors When the Power’s Out (& It’s Freezing Outside), written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
Not too long ago, we received a question from @RayBurton on Twitter about whether or not we’d done an article on emergency home heating in cold climates. Well, we haven’t, even though I’m from Canada and Thomas & I lived there together for 5 years – so the fact that we haven’t is a bit… Read More
This is just the start of the post How to Stay Warm Indoors When the Power’s Out (& It’s Freezing Outside). Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
How to Stay Warm Indoors When the Power’s Out (& It’s Freezing Outside), written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
Hello my friend and welcome back! In today’s video by benfroggg on YouTube, were going to show how to make a woodstove which can be used to both cook and heat with. Now this…
The post Video Monday: $20 Woodstove made from a propane tank appeared first on American Preppers Online.
Nature provides us with everything we need in order to survive and there are a few wild plants that are commonly used as first aid. These wild healing plants are well-known for their healing properties and those living off the grid have been using them for years. If you get stranded in the wild or … Read more…
From self-defense to fighting terrorists, the question of how to build newer and better weapons will always be a challenge. Where to start from? What weapon is the most effective one? What features to have in mind? A lot of questions are to be asked, and finding the answers isn’t the easiest task.
The basics are always where you will return to solve problems as well as where you will go to explore new innovations and ideas.
So let’s start with the basics!
When it comes to the arena of personal defense, a good quality weapon must have at least six basic features. We’ll take them one by one in the following article.
Be Effective Within the Limited Scope of Self-defense
Consider a situation where you believe that a nuclear bomb is the most powerful weapon on the planet, and a ballpoint pen the weakest. Do you really need a nuclear bomb (as they exist in known modern technology) to take out a thug trying to get into your home?
While you may be enraged enough to lob a nuke, that doesn’t mean it is an effective weapon for your situation. Oddly enough, the ballpoint pen will actually make a better weapon against a single attacker. A modified ballpoint pen that can deliver poison or a dart will work even better.
Video first seen on ValvexFTW – ” How-to’s Weapons Inventions “
Put the Element of Surprise Back on Your Side
There is no question that an AK-47 or an AR-15 can be used to deter one person or several from harming you and your loved ones, but the size of these weapons makes them a bit hard to hide.
If you are out in public, carrying these weapons can alert more determined attackers to the fact that you are ready and able to defend yourself. This, in turn, takes away any element of surprise that might have bought you both leverage and a second or two of time.
Because there are limits to legal weapon ownership, but no limit to what criminals can obtain, this can put you at a serious disadvantage.
Perhaps we can even say never bring an “assault rifle” to a machine gun fight. In this situation, you might be better off carrying a concealed handgun because it won’t be noticed unless there is a need to use it. At that point, your attacker will have already underestimated you and followed through with an opening action that you have a better chance of defeating.
Even if you have a .45 caliber handgun, you may be overpowered after taking out just one adversary. This is just one area where being able to innovate and design better weapons will serve you well as a prepper. Being able to pack the power of a machine gun with the selectivity of a conventional rifle into something the size of a handgun would put you well ahead of any attacker.
Be Focused in Target Acquisition
As far as small, effective weapons go, grenades are certainly easy to conceal and add plenty of surprise to a situation. Now let us look at a situation where someone pulls a gun on you, either in your own home or while you are in public. Let us also say that a family member, or even other innocent people are in the area.
No matter how carefully you aim the grenade, there is a chance that innocent bystanders will be hurt by the shrapnel. Unless you have a well-staged fire zone to throw the grenade into, and an ability to limit damage to bystanders, it won’t make for a good personal defense weapon.
In a world where terrorists are running rampant, it can be said that a weapon with too limited an impact has just as harmful an impact on bystanders as one that is too far reaching. For this scenario, let’s say you are out in public and a terrorist wearing a suicide bomb vest pulls a gun on you.
Even though a grenade won’t work in this scenario, a knife or a ballpoint pen won’t do much good either.
A rifle, on the other hand might be more suited to stopping this tragedy because it will be possible to shoot the terrorists while he/she is still further away from large numbers of people. This is yet another area where innovation in consumer level self-defense weapons might do far more good than you realize.
Be Free of Interference by Others
This includes free of the cost of ammunition, repair, and legal oversight.
Many people look to guns as classic self-defense weapons because they are effective, reliable, and efficient.
As effective as guns, tasers, and other projectile based systems may be, they also come with a number of prohibitive costs that include:
- The actual cost of the weapon. A good quality handgun from a reputable manufacturer can cost several hundred dollars even before you add on better sights and suitable hand grips.
- The cost of basic training and practice. If you weren’t raised in a community where gun ownership is part of the society, then it can be quite expensive to learn how to shoot, store, and manage a gun. In a similar way, if you live in a city or other restrictive area, honing and keeping your skills up can be quite expensive. Aside from paying for time at an indoor range, you may also have to pay for ammunition provided by the facility.
- The cost of advanced courses and situation awareness training. The legal definition of a crime includes having making a specific, knowing decision to commit that act. As such, it should come as no surprise that someone intent on committing a crime will also be as well prepared as possible to carry it out.
If you are interested in self-defense, then you must also be prepared with as many skills and strategies as possible. Unless you are in law enforcement or in the military, the cost of that kind of training is very expensive.
No matter whether you choose knives, bows and arrows, guns, tasers, or swords, the cost associated with advanced training and practice may well be beyond your budget.
- Weapons, like any other machine, require maintenance and repairs. Contrary to popular belief, guns aren’t the only weapons on the market that come with a high repair and maintenance costs. Bows, knives, and swords can also cost several hundred dollars to repair or maintain over time.
- The cost and availability of ammunition. If you remember the scandal surrounding the cost and lack of availability of .22LR ammo? No matter how you look at it, the cost of weapons that launch projectiles can be very expensive. To add insult to injury, ammo scarcity can act as a control point that may make it difficult, if not impossible to use the weapon you bought for self-defense.
- The cost of permits and licenses. While terrorists and criminals who get away with murder and mayhem on a routine basis never worry about these costs, the average prepper has to deal with them along with every other expense on this list.
In these times, you might not always feel comfortable with learning how to make your own weapons and ammunition. At the very least, the basics may come in handy if a social collapse occurs and you wind up having to develop designs that go beyond a crudely fashioned spear made from a sapling and knapped stones.
Even something as simple as understanding what kind of blade shape will be most effective can make the difference between life and death.
Expand Your Strategy Options, Not Limit Them
In the arena of self-defense, it is very easy to have too many weapons that don’t work well at close range, or ones that don’t do enough damage to the target regardless of the distance. Avoiding both traps will require a good bit of trial and error. Before you even begin designing a new weapon, take time to study existing weapons and try them out.
While you are studying different weapons, pay careful attention to the basic parts and how they work. Think about how the weapon would work in a building, in a crowded area, or in very close quarters.
By the time you complete your study, you should have a list of weapons that will work well within arm’s length, some that will work several feet away, and others that will work up to or beyond 100 yards away.
No matter which one you plan to build, think about how existing devices limited defensive and offensive strategies, and think about how you can change the fundamental parts of the weapon to better suit your needs.
The Best Weapon is One You Have
Over the years, considerable controversy has emerged over the “Top 5” guns, knives, tasers, crossbows, swords, and other weapons. People in the military, law enforcement, or other walks of life are always more than happy to share their experiences with any given weapon.
For every testimonial shared, you are sure to find dozens that had a similar experience, and just as many others that had differing outcomes.
If you actually go out and try these different weapons, you will more than likely find yourself agreeing with some people, but not all of them. From that perspective, the best self-defense weapon isn’t one that you heard about, and should aim to acquire. Rather, it will have the following features:
- It should be a weapon that you are comfortable using. Just because a .45 caliber semi-automatic has plenty of stopping power, that doesn’t mean you should give up a lower caliber revolver that you feel comfortable with. In a similar fashion, if you feel more comfortable wielding a knife at close ranges, it doesn’t make much sense to draw a gun just because you have it on hand.
- Your personal defense weapons should fit your needs, budget, and comfort levels. In a stressful, life threatening encounter with a criminal or terrorist, a weapon that you are uncomfortable with can cause you to freeze up, miss the target, or lose complete control of the weapon and the situation.
A personal defense weapon should be something you feel comfortable carrying at all times. Remember, even a ballpoint pen can kill at close range in numerous ways. Never underestimate the simplicity of a device just because it looks harmless, or others don’t see it for what it is.
Within some limits, a weapon that you design yourself can truly be more effective and more efficient than anything you might buy based on the beliefs of others.
This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.
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How To Crochet Warm And Cozy Slipper Boots | Free Pattern We are in the middle of winter, but I guess you already knew that by the amount of snow and the extreme cold weather you have had recently. One of the best things to do in winter is crochet and drink hot chocolate. In that exact order. If you are anything like me you need to have warm, cosy slippers to stay somewhat warm, even when the heating is cranked up high. Why spend your hard earned cash buying slippers that only end up getting ruined after a few
The post How To Crochet Warm And Cozy Slipper Boots | Free Pattern appeared first on Mental Scoop.
Using only what is available to from the natural surroundings and what small amount of belongings you have, it’s time to construct one of the oldest tools used by hunters, the bow and arrow.
The post Field Weapon: Constructing a Bow & Arrows Using a Knife appeared first on The Prepper Journal.
How many of you have given any thought to the difference between the “Gospel of Jesus” and the “Gospel of the Kingdom”? I would surmise that many of you are like me; I never gave it much thought, or at the very least, I combined them into one concept, under the heading of “The Good News”.
I would submit to you that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a message of eternal life in the Kingdom of God through His work on the cross, while the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is a call to interface with God in His Kingdom … the earthly realm and the Heavenly realm. In more precise terms, the Kingdom of God is the realm in which God is King (with the understanding that He resides in all realms and all dimensions). We also know that a kingdom is a government. Every kingdom needs a founding document, and God’s Kingdom is founded on the Bible.
Here’s another concept to consider: Every kingdom has an expansion agenda for its growth. The agenda is to expand and take territory for the King so that He might gain more influence in the world.
So, from this perspective, God owns Heaven, so to speak, and His goal is to expand His Kingdom in the earth and take territory from Satan. Now, let’s take it a step further … God’s Spiritual Kingdom seeks to invade and expand into our physical realm (“On earth as it is in Heaven”). In this battle to gain new territory for our King, we aren’t trying to hold or maintain ground. We need to war in the Spirit to capture and control new ground. In this way, God’s Kingdom government works by executing His authority over a territory in the same way a 13th Century English King executed his authority over the captured land of other nations.
God’s Kingdom is made to occupy the territory of your heart, which allows God’s influence to be released from Believers into the world. But there is a Cosmic Chess Match going on between God and Satan, and it is being fought on the battlefield of men’s hearts. If God isn’t allowed to occupy the territory of your heart to establish His Kingdom there, Satan will seek to fill this spiritual void, and he can do it through his low level demons of unforgiveness, anger, hate, fear, shame, porn, pharmakeia, occultism (like Freemasonry), and any means necessary.
As a counter move to Satan, God seeks to program your heart with His belief system. At this point, it is important to understand the ways in which our hearts can be programmed:
1) REVELATION (Ephesians 1:17): I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.
2) REPETITION OF POSITIVE CONFESSIONS: The repeated positive confessions break down the barrier between the conscious and the unconscious. (“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”). That’s why we encourage people after our deliverance sessions to learn affirmative and positive Scriptures to speak out loud when you start hearing Satan whisper his lies in your mind.
3) TRAUMA (Fear/Lies/Repeated Bullying/Torture by demons): They all create false belief systems that are contrary to God. (This is called mind control). It shatters the heart’s belief system into fragments.
So, you can see that the heart is the battleground where we either let God’s Kingdom be established, or we give Satan permission to occupy us as his territory. And it is absolutely essential that we understand our heart connects directly to our Spirit! 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 says, And it is God who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. In essence our heart is a portal (a doorway, an opening, a gateway, an entry way) to our Spirit.
So because there is a direct link from our heart to our spirit (which is the essence of our eternal being; the physical body being temporary), it is important that we guard our heart. When you understand this concept, then Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me takes on great significance. And it becomes necessary that we close any portals that might offer an opening to our heart which gives the Enemy the opportunity to take more ground from God’s Kingdom.
How do we close those portals to our hearts? First, we need to understand that God, the Father, has cosmic laws that required His Son’s blood in exchange for our eternal life. Jesus’s blood has real power in spiritual warfare, and is capable of defeating demonic beings. In fact, the blood of Jesus smashes demons, defeats any of Satan’s hierarchy, and seals portals that aren’t from God.
On the other hand, Satan wants to guard and protect any heart he has been allowed access to; and will assign a controlling demon to this portal entry point. Satan will assign a strongman or gatekeepers, who will monitor and try to control our hearts. And they will fight back with extreme motivation to maintain the portal in the person.
Sometimes the authority for the demon’s residence in our hearts has been personally granted via sin(s) committed through our own free will. But in many cases the strongman’s legal authority is veiled or deliberately hidden. Furthermore, legal authority may extend all the way back to different centuries. Generational curses, Freemasonry, dedications, rituals, or any satanic legal issue that gives Satan authority will yield territory from God’s Kingdom. Through spiritual warfare, the legal authority can be cancelled and the strongman removed. And once we win that battle, we can seal the portal inside the person with the blood of Jesus. And that’s a way territory can be reclaimed for God’s Kingdom.
And if you are willing, we can go a little further into the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. We need to consider that Spirits are both persons and realms. We are spirits; Satan’s emissaries are spirits; and the Holy Spirit resides in us when we accept Jesus as our Savior. But also consider that we, as Believers, are called to live out of the realm called Jesus and we are to submit our realm to Him, so that He might live IN us. This is to say that our bodies and our hearts are the realms in which Jesus and the Holy Spirit reside. But as Revelation 6:8 shows us, Death and Hell are both physical realms and beings. The beings of Death and Hades are actual spiritual beings, bodies, or entities AS WELL AS a realm that exists. And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth. Can you see both the [spiritual] person and the [spiritual] realm in this verse?
I believe it is important for us to understand, at this critical time in history, that as spirit beings, we can engage in battle in the spiritual realm. Through the power and authority that Jesus has given us, we can protect God’s Kingdom and take back territory. We need to understand that we are operating in two realms — both heaven and earth! Finding that hard to believe? Just consider these verses … Ephesians 2:6: And He raised us up together with Him [when we believed], and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, [because we are] in Christ Jesus. When we first believed, our spirit is seated with Jesus in Heaven, while our physical body remains here on earth. Our spirit is able to operate in both realms. Colossians 1:13: He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son. Again, this is telling us our spirits are no longer prisoners here on earth, but have access to the Son of God in His Kingdom, which is in the realm of Heaven. Philippians 3:20: But [we are different, because] our citizenship is in heaven. And from there we eagerly await [the coming of] the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Makes it clear that earth is our temporary home. As Believers, our spirits are residing in our eternal home, the realm of Heaven.
So Scripture shows us that we occupy two realms right now (Earth & the Third Heaven) – and with Jesus’s Power and Authority, we can engage in the Second Heaven also, where the demons and spiritual forces that oppress us reside. But here’s the thing I want you to comprehend: We shouldn’t be afraid of these supernatural aspects God has given to us. To adopt this mindset, requires spiritual maturity in the Church. Sadly, we haven’t grasped these levels of understanding, and the Church is in danger of being locked into rote rituals and doctrine.
It is imperative we recognize that we were created and designed and empowered to rule with Him right now … not when we die, not when we become glorified, and not having to wait to be called up as a co-ruler or co-reigner in the Millennial Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is on earth right now, in our hearts, and we are commissioned to take territory for Him this very day! And I believe that if we desire to seek a position of authority in the Kingdom, we must come of age spiritually, and begin discipling Believers for the work to be done.
We are heirs with Christ of the Kingdom of God. And heirs to the King are royalty to God. Everyone believing in Christ and reading this blog is an heir and considered royalty in the Kingdom. That is why we are often referred to as “ambassadors for Christ”. We can even consider ourselves “viceroy kings” in His kingdom, which means we are rulers exercising Authority in a colony (the realm of earth) on behalf of a sovereign.
We have been given appointed spheres of Authority to mete out justice to the dark side under Jesus’s Power and Authority. It is important that we understand that He directs and grants heavenly resources including messengers, ministering and warring angels, and a full set of spiritual armor. God has armed us with the Sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God, which is Jesus) and He wants us to be a point of agreement in the earth so He can act. By doing so, we tear down Satan’s plans and deliver people from his clutches.
I want to finish by saying that perhaps this sounds like more than you can take into consideration for now. But I want to give you a word of encouragement. I believe God is rejoicing to see the work beginning among a remnant of His Body. It’s a small beginning, but we are maturing and embracing our positions in the Kingdom of God. May we continue to grow and expand and take territory for the King!
Matthew 6:10 “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
100% Natural Flea Killer For The Home And Garden I have 3 dogs and I have been really lucky not one of my dogs has had fleas! My wife and I discuss fleas every spring and I did some research and found a great natural way to kill the fleas in the home or the …
DIY Portable Solar Power Unit For Camping Or Emergencies Having electricity is a huge convenience, even if you’re camping. Not only can it charge electronics you can use for critical equipment, it can make things more comfortable. Having a small power unit can help you run an emergency radio, run the lights around your camp, …
The post DIY Portable Solar Power Unit For Camping Or Emergencies appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.
by Todd Walker
Every craft has pinnacle performers. What separates people who master a skill from the rest of us?
They appear to have innate self-reliance super-powers. But here’s the thing…
It’s not that they were born with copious amounts of talent. Their skill wasn’t genetically transmitted. The truth is that there is not a friction fire gene, or an ax-manship gene, or a gardening gene… no matter how effortless they make it look. Talent, in and of itself, is overrated!
Whatever skill you practice, these two traits will determine your level of mastery…
Grit and Deliberate Practice.
Besides being abrasive particles in your swim trunks, as a personality trait, grit is a “positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective.” ~ source.
Angela Duckworth condensed the meaning of grit as perseverance and passion for long-term goals. ~ source.
As an educator, I see all manner intellectual measures. I.Q. has little to do with overall success. Perseverance and passion trumps smarts and talent. Over the years I’ve seen students with lower I.Q. scores outperform students with higher intelligence levels. That’s not suppose to happen.
Grittier people’s secret to lasting success is lasting. In real-world performance, with talent and skill being equal, my money is on the person with the most grit. But there’s a catch to the personality trait of grit. Simply showing up for a long time is not enough to master a skill, as we shall discover later in this article – if you have the grit to read it through.
Duckworth developed a scale aimed at measuring levels of grit. Find out how gritty you are by answering the 10 questions here. How gritty are you?
Grit fuels the second trait needed for mastery…
The secret of all top performers is not a result of, as we are lead to believe, innate talent. The little known secret is the result of intense, not particularly enjoyable, practice for a minimum of 10 years. Actually, it’s no secret at all. We all know what it takes but few are willing, or in most cases, unable to pay the price.
Your goal, like mine, may not be to reach exceptional performance levels. Let’s face it, skills are perishable and there are so many self-reliant skills that no one person could ever hope to master them all. Our community is the land of “jack of all trades, master of none.” And this is not a slam. Any progress towards breaking dependence on others and our fragile system is the step by step action needed.
Becoming proficient in the skills which captivate your interest, which is the key to getting started, is very doable by working in the “purposeful practice” stage mentioned below.
Anders Ericsson, a Swedish psychologist, has spent his entire career studying how people learn. He studied world-class performers in several fields and found these stages common in all…
- Naive practice
- Purposeful practice
- Deliberate practice – the Gold Standard of all three
Every new skill that sparks our interest begins at this stage. We decide to trade theory for action. We practice until we’ve mastered the easy stuff. Once we reach our acceptable level of proficiency, the easy stuff becomes automatic. It’s totally okay to be fair to middling or average. However, Ericsson’s research shows that we stop improving once we reach the stage of acceptable performance – even if we continue “practicing” the skill. In fact, more years of practice on easy stuff can actually cause a decline in the skill level you’re practicing.
To improve performance, you must practice at the next level.
We’ve already learned that years of repeatedly practicing the easy stuff causes our skill to deteriorate. Nothing you probably didn’t already know, right? In purposeful practice, specific, measurable goals take you step-by-step toward achieving longer-term goals. This takes focus.
Let’s take the bow and drill friction fire method as an example. You may have watched a video, read a blog post, or seen someone demonstrate this method which sparked an interest in learning. After several attempts, you find success. You make a few more hit-and-miss fires to amaze your friends. You’re still the FNG (effing new guy) but want to improve your newfound skill.
At this point of skill progression, you break down your desired outcome into baby steps to help you get there. You spend hours of spinning sticks together hoping to improve performance. But something is missing… feedback from someone with more experience than you in the art of fire by friction.
Direct feedback is critically important in this stage – and especially so in deliberate practice. Self-correction only happens when previous outputs are fed-back to adjust our future practice. Simply practicing for years won’t improve skills. Some educators work for 20 plus years and only have one year of teaching experience. They choose to stay in their first year comfort zone for twenty plus years – never attempting to engage students in new ways.
Moving past our comfort zone involves failing. But that’s how you got to this stage of practice… failing forward. You could spend 10 years of silently practicing the same easy steps and still be fair to middling (or worse) at primitive fire, blacksmithing, or any other self-reliance skill.
Try something you’ve never worked on before… like twirling up an ember in the rain. You’ll fail. But learn from the experience and keep Doing the Stuff until you get it right.
The journey from Naive to Purposeful practice will greatly increase your skill level. But even purposeful practice is not enough to master a skill.
My research attributes the following quote to George W. Loomis as recorded in the “Michigan School Moderator” (1902) discussing the best way to teach students to spell properly…
Much of the time spent in hearing children recite—guess till they get it right—should be spent in a definite teaching process, until they can not get it wrong.
How long will it take until you can’t get a skill wrong? Studies suggest 10,000 hours or 10 years of intense, deliberate practice at a craft. It took 10 years of deliberate practice before Mozart produced a memorable work. This should be instructive for all the insta-experts popping up lately. I call it the “Shroomery Effect.” They pop up like mushrooms but don’t last long.
This stage is very similar to purposeful practice except it involves direct instruction, teaching, and/or coaching to offer feedback and focused techniques to improve performance. Think of elite athletes. They all put in a crazy amount of hours training. But it’s not just the hours they put in but how they spend those hours. Instead of chasing the latest novelty, top performers focus on subtle nuances of their craft. Bottom line… they spend years re-working their work.
Here are a few constraints to consider about deliberate practice:
- Resources – Time and energy, access to training material, professional instruction, and money to pay for transportation to training facilities.
- Motivation – Having the grit to pursue long-term improvement for years of intense, boring practice without immediate reward. This stage is not inherently fun.
- Effort – Deliberate practice can be sustained for limited amounts of time daily. Recovery time from each session is necessary to avoid exhaustion and/or injury. This why it takes a minimum of 10 years/10,000 hours to develop expertise in a skill.
Do your due diligence when choosing instructors. Seek out those who have a minimum of ten years of deliberate practice and field experience in the skill you wish to learn.
Re-Doing the Stuff
Pressing the publish button always scares me. Will people find value in my articles? Could I have improved the piece? Did I re-write enough? I don’t pump out blog posts like I did five years ago. I write almost daily but only publish about once a week. A few years ago I realized that to become a better writer, I needed to spend more time re-writing. I’m only halfway into my “10 years of writing” but I hit publish anyway. Some crash. Some fly. Some end up in the draft graveyard.
Revision is needed on my earlier line, “the key to lasting success is lasting.” Lasting is the gritty part. It’s learning to love the boring times of re-doing the fundamentals. Progressing through the stages of practice takes years of grit and intense, deliberate practice. There’s not enough time for us to master all the skills of self-reliance. But I’m committed to die trying to master a few.
Feedback time. What skill are you deliberately practicing to master? If mastery is not your goal, in which skills are you becoming proficient?
Keep Re-Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,
P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there…
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Copyright © by Survival Sherpa: In light of the recent theft of all my content by a pirate site, my sharing policy has changed. I do not permit the re-posting of entire articles from my site without express written consent by me. My content on this site may be shared in digital form (200 words or less) for non-commercial use with a link back (without no-follow attribute) to the original article crediting the author. All photos, drawings, and articles are copyrighted by and the property of Survival Sherpa. You are more than welcome to share our photos and articles on social media for educational purposes as long as you link back to the original article/photo with credit to the author.
Do you heat your house with wood? What to do with the ashes is a question for most. Obviously, you want to take great care to dispose of them in … Read the rest
The post 18 Practical Ways to Use the Ashes from Your Fireplace appeared first on The Organic Prepper.
Written by Dan Stevens, Modern Survival Online Spoiler alert: keeping a low profile in urban settings is a lot harder than if you lived in a small town. The bigger the head count, the more likely it is to be spotted, attacked and so on. Nevertheless, there are ways to become a gray, as us preppers like to say. There are a number of things you can do and they aren’t hard but need to be practiced. Keep in mind […]
He made use of the plethora of meat he would get from hunting or deals he found at the grocery store. Once he was loaded up on meat, he would get his meat grinder out and carefully cut his meat for grinding and make some of the best sausage you could ever have. I grew up on his homemade sausage and could never get enough. I am a big believer in sharing family recipes and did so in my book, The Prepper’s Cookbook, so I had to share some of my favorite sausage recipes too.
Sausage making is a great way to use up an abundance of meats in the home freezer. I use an assortment of cheap meats. My grandfather’s secret was using equal amounts of brisket and pork butt.
Here’s what you need to get started:
- large mixing bowl
- sharp knife
- meat grinder (look for one that has multiple speeds and has a reverse capability. It helps with unclogging the grinder)
- sausage casings (natural or non-edible casings is a personal choice)
- assorted spices or buy a prepared spice pack
- cure salt (I like this one) – Use 1 teaspoon of curing salt per 5 lbs. of meat.
- meat: stew meat, roasts, briskets, pork butts, pork shoulder, etc.
- baker’s twine
Prepping the Meat
Any meat can be used in sausage making, but typically, pork and beef are used. Pork shoulder is a great meat to use as it has 20% fat and creates a nice balance to the sausage. As well, it is sold at a low-cost. Place it on a plate or pan in the freezer, along with the grinder parts that will contact the meat. Leave it there for about 20 minutes until it is firm but do not let it freeze. This makes grinding easier.
Here’s a great video on getting the meat prepped for grinding and stuffing.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes:
- 2 pounds ground pork
- 2 teaspoons dried sage
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
- Form mixture into patties and place on a large dish.
- Over medium heat, saute the patties in a large skillet for 5 minutes per side, or until internal pork temperature reaches 160 degrees F (73 degrees C).
- Or, add sausage patties to a freezer bag and freeze for later. Tip: We like to freeze them on a large cookie sheet with wax paper. Once frozen, we add them to a freezer bag.
- 5 pounds ground beef
- 1 teaspoon Morton Tender Quick curing salt
- 2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1-2 tablespoons mustard seed
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, for spicy (optional)
- summer sausage casings (if you plan on smoking your summer sausage)
- In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef and spices until well blended.
- Cover mixture with foil and allow to cure in refrigerator for 48 hours. Season with garlic powder, curing mixture, liquid smoke and mustard seed, and mix thoroughly. It is best to use your hands for this – like meatloaf. Form the mixture into two rolls, and wrap with aluminum foil. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
- If you are smoking your meat: Add meat to casing either by stuffing by hand, using a sausage stuffer or sausage stuffing attachment for an electric meat-grinder.
- If you plan on baking your summer sausage: Shape the mixture into five logs and wrap in foil. Set on a wire rack over a large drip pan.
- See cooking directions below.
- To smoke summer sausage, smoke at 140 degrees F for 1 hour, then at 180 degrees F until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the sausage). Tip: Soak your wood chips in beer to give your sausage an authentic flavor. I used Sierra Nevada IPA and it turned out delicious.
- Remove from smokehouse and place in ice water to cool down rapidly.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove foil from the beef, and poke holes in the bottom of the rolls. Place them on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan to catch the drippings.
- Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven.
- Cool, then wrap in plastic or foil, and refrigerate until cold before slicing.
- 3 pounds pork shoulder or butt
- 1 pound beef or pork fat or a blend
- 4 teaspoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon sage
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 5 teaspoons salt
- Grind the meat using a fine grinding plate.
- After grinding, add the sausage seasonings to the meat and blend by hand or use a meat mixer. Be sure to mix thoroughly to ensure the ingredients are spread evenly throughout the meat.
- Pinch off a small piece of the sausage and cook it in a frying pan let it cool and taste to see if the seasoning is to your taste.
- Stuff by hand or by using a sausage stuffer or sausage stuffing attachment for an electric meat-grinder. (Note: do NOT use the blade in meat-grinder when stuffing and it is best to use a stuffing (bean) plate). If you wish, You can also form patties without casings.
- See cooking instructions below.
Baking or Grilling Instructions:
- Prick bratwurst with fork to prevent them from exploding as they cook. Place in a large stock pot with the onions, butter, and beer. Place pot over medium heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
- Lightly oil grate. Cook bratwurst on preheated grill for 10 to 14 minutes, turning occasionally to brown evenly.
- Preheat your smoker or grill to about 225 degrees F.
- Place the sausages on an indirect side away from the heat. Add wood to the heat right after the meat goes on, and smoke for only 30 to 60 minutes at the start while the meat is cold. There should be no need to turn the meat.
- Heat for at least 1 hour, but check the internal temp with a digital meat thermometer and make sure the internal meat temperature is at least 160°F.
It’s nice to be able to carry on a family tradition that I loved as a child. I can honestly say that my kids are big fans of homemade sausage and it is my hope these recipes will live on.
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
Prepping in 2017, Why? Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio in player below! This week’s show is a look into what will prepping look like in 2017 and specifically areas of herbal medicine will be critical. I get it. It’s a new year. A new president will take office in a few weeks. Many people … Continue reading Prepping in 2017, Why?