The Realities of Bugging Out

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The Realities of Bugging Out The age old question of ” do we stay or do we go” has been asked millions if not billions of times over the ages. There are pros and cons to both. This article talks about the realities of bugging out and is very though invoking. Give it a read …

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How to Make a ‘Poor Man’s Hot Tub

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How to Make a ‘Poor Man’s Hot Tub Ok, this is just cool. This project “How to Make a ‘Poor Man’s Hot Tub” is just right up my street. If you have the back yard to do this why not put it on your bucket list. The one item you’ll need is an old cast-iron …

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How To Build A Gypsy Wagon Trailer

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How To Build A Gypsy Wagon Trailer If you are looking to build a nice camper or off the grid tiny house, I think this how to build a gypsy wagon trailer is for you. It combines the old-school look of a gypsy trailer with the modern amenities of a new camper. Best of all, you …

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5 Ways To Keep People Off Your Doorstep When SHTF

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5 Ways To Keep People Off Your Doorstep When SHTF If you are bugging in, or for some reason couldn’t bug out, these tips may save you and your family’s lives and your stockpile. It’s no secret that when SHTF, there will be people that want to take advantage of the situation, either by looting, …

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Survival Gear: How To Make A Compass

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Survival Gear: How To Make A Compass Being able to improvise a compass can make a huge difference in navigating your way out of an outdoor emergency if you have lost your normal navigation equipment. This is especially important if you are dealing with overcast weather, thick forests, or any other conditions that would eliminate …

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How To Make Vodka

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How To Make Vodka Vodka, one of my all time favorite alcoholic beverages. I like vodka because of its ability to be mixed with pretty much any other drink to create a wonderful adult beverage. I must have had my head in the sand all my life because I never knew you could make your own …

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Oregon Community Cut off by Snow

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Snow crushing the roofs

Weight of Snow crushing the roofs

An off-grid village of 150 souls in Oregon is running out of food due to the severe snowstorms in the area.  And there is a severe threat of the weight of snow collapsing roofs.

County commissioners declared a local state of emergency around Prineville near Bend,OR yesterday after being pummeled with feet of snow for weeks. But now, county resources are drained and they need state help, said county emergency preparedness coordinator Vicky Ryan.

Ryan said Juniper Acres, an isolated, off-the-grid community south of Prineville, is county officials’ main concern. The community of about 150 has been cut off from emergency resources due to snow-blocked roads, which the county does not maintain, she said.

Crook County officials have asked the state for money, equipment and manpower to help plow rural roads that the Central Oregon county does not maintain in the area 30 miles north-east of Bend.

Some roads have reportedly been covered in snow drifts up to 8 feet deep. Crook County Judge Seth Crawford tells The Bulletin newspaper they’re impassible and people who live in neighborhoods including Juniper Acres and Prineville Lake Acres can’t leave to get supplies. Some may be running low on food and heat.

Maya Bamer lives in Juniper Acres subdivision, southwest of Prineville. She says snowmobiles are being used to deliver donated goods to snowed-in families.

a large portion of the shut Woodgrain Millwork plant in Prineville collapsed last Sunday morning, four days after another part of the roof collapsed under the weight of heavy snow. And a Tumalo youth ranch’s arena also collapsed from wet, heavy snow — but fortunately, no injuries occurred in either case.

“My husband and I were just outside playing in the snow with our kids and heard what sounded like an earthquake,” Jennie Quinn of Prineville told NewsChannel 21. “The rest of the Woodgrain Mill collapsed!”

This time, photos showed the walls also had fallen, not just the roof, leaving large holes exposed to the elemets.

Another area resident said Sunday’s collapse on the northeast corner of the complex of connected buildings blew sawdust and small debris across Peters Road, prompting a closure in case more of the structure fell at the 83-acre site, which the Idaho firm has up for sale.

The heavy snow also caused a collapse of the indoor arena at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch on Innes Market Road in Tumalo.

“It’s a total loss,” CEO/Founder Troy Meeder said of the 9:30 a.m. collapse. “We have close to $500,000 of equipment now buried under snow, wood and twisted metal.”

But it could have been worse: Just “a few minutes before,” Meeder said, as one of her team was parking a tractor inside after use. Another team member and his 2-year-old son “were just gearing up to get out one of the tractors to move snow.”

“The building collapsed while neither was inside — thank you, Jesus!” she wrote.

Early last Wednesday, another portion of the Woodgrain Millwork roof collapsed under the weight of heavy snow, causing no injuries but triggering a natural gas leak, officials said.

A passer-by called dispatchers around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday to report a smell of natural gas on Peters Road, said Crook County Fire and Rescue Chief Matt Smith.

Responding fire crews found a portion of the roof had collapsed at the facility, where another section of roof collapsed in November 2014. That collapse was a major factor in the Idaho company’s decision to lay off remaining workers and close the facility about a year ago. The property is now up for sale.

House Republican Leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, says he’s been assured by the governor’s office and state agencies that residents who may be in danger will get assistance.

 If an emergency is declared, it’s likely that Oregon Department of Transportation personnel and equipment would be sent to Crook County, not the National Guard, said Office of Emergency Management spokesman Cory Grogan.

The Central Oregon area has been impacted by significant snowfall since the beginning of December. Records from the National Weather Service show Central Oregon received its first snow December 6. Substantial amounts of snow have fallen throughout the region. The National Weather Service has provided accumulations for Bend (approximately 50”) and Sunriver (approximately 52”). Normally we see periods of warmer weather to melt the snow between storms. The cold weather has prevented snow melt, which has caused the snow to accumulate.

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Ask Tess: I’m Vacuum Sealing Food For the First Time

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Hi Tess,

I am a first timer and I am wondering if I need to freeze my peas, beans and lentils before I vacuum pack them in the jars and vacuum bags? Also do I need to put oxygen absorbers in the bags and jars? Thanks.

A Reader

Answer:

Hello,
Vacuum sealing is a great way to get your long-term food stores stocked up. Congrats on taking those first crucial steps!

Many people freeze there long-term food items to kill off any insects or eggs that may be inside the packaging. If you are worried about insects getting on the long-term food items, then you can freeze them for 24-48 hours and then vacuum seal them. When I vacuum seal my dried goods, I always add an oxygen absorber in with the food. This helps the food stay fresh for the long-term. Also, if you live in an area that has high humidity, you might want to consider adding a desiccant packet as well. This helps absorb any moisture that is present inside the food sealed bag.

Since you’re a first timer, here are some articles that you may find helpful:

I hope this gets you on the right path. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me.

Good Luck!
Tess

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

What happened to PB?

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There are some things that can be (or look) fun about living off grid, but there are many things that are less attractive, but still have to be done. One of those for us is truck maintenance. I rely on my truck for work and getting to town and back. We live some 20+ miles from the nearest town, what I tend to go through the most is tires and oil. Driving on the rough, unpaved, rocky, mountainous roads is very hard on tires as well as suspension. I drive slow to keep the damage at a minimum, but it still wears my tires out, I have to be prepared at any time to change a flat tire, and on occasion I have had to buy tires earlier than I wanted to because of having my spare on (in use) and getting another flat. I will need to look at buying tires once work starts building up again. Being in merchandising, our work slows down during the holidays, it’s about to pick up again and I can’t wait.

The other part of maintenance is oil changes, I have 2 choices, I can go in and pay to have it done in a garage, around here that is expensive, we’re talking about $60 or more, that’s just for a standard oil change and new filter, regular grade oil, nothing special. Or we can do it ourselves, like how I snuck in the “we”? Actually PB did it.

I ordered the oil and filter from Amazon, and I purchase an extra 2 quarts at a local store because my truck takes 7 quarts. It’s handy to be able to order most of what I need from Amazon, with the Prime service I have, I can get most things (including the oil and filter) here in 2 business days.

Yesterday, PB crawled under my truck and proceeded to change the oil, being able to do that ourselves saved us at least half what it would have cost to do it in town. I put a lot of miles on my truck so I need to get more regular oil changes, that will help keep my truck going for many years. One thing PB wants to do is incorporate a remote oil filter, that would allow me to use a larger filter, which would ultimately be safer for my truck, it’s something we will be looking into soon.

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The other thing I did while the hood was up, I anointed the engine compartment with peppermint oil, it’s for the mice, out here in the country there is a terrible problem with rodents, they have a tendency to chew on things, and those things become expensive to repair, not to mention potentially being stranded somewhere because of an electrical problem. The mint is a rodent repellent, they don’t like it. Now my truck smells minty fresh!

What have you done to your vehicles lately to improve or maintain them?

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Choosing Sutures

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Sutureneedleholder1

As we go around the country teaching the art of suturing pig’s feet to aspiring porcine podiatrists, we are often asked about how to choose the appropriate suture needles and material for different types of injuries.  There are a wide variety of choices and, today, we’ll discuss what is available and what is most effective for different types of wounds.

 

First, let’s identify some of the qualities of the optimal suture.  The suture should:

 

·        Be sterile

·        Be easily worked with

·        Be strong enough to hold wound edges together while they heal

·        Be unlikely to cause infection, tissue reaction or significant scar formation

·        Be reliable in its everyday use with every type of wound

 

It is rare, if not impossible, to find a single suture type that meets all of the above criteria, but there are many that will serve if chosen properly.

 

In the United States and many other countries, a standard classification of suture has been in place since the 1930s.  This classification identified stitches by type of material and the size of the “thread”.  Suture diameters most commonly used in humans (and pigs, I would think) is measured in zeroes, much like buckshot.  2-0 (00) suture, for example, is thicker than 5-0 (00000) suture. The more zeroes, the finer the “thread”. Finer sutures have less tissue reaction and heal faster, but are more difficult to handle for those without experience.

 

In addition to size, sutures are classified as absorbable and non-absorbable.  An absorbable suture is one that will break down spontaneously over time but not before the tissue has had sufficient time to heal.  Absorbable sutures have the advantage of not requiring removal after healing has taken place. This type of suture is commonly used in deep layers, such as muscle, fat, organs, etc.  A classic example of this is “catgut”, actually made from the intestines of sheep or cows.

 

(Aside: Catgut was once also used in the manufacture of stringed musical instruments and tennis racquets.)

 

Catgut is usually found in “plain” and “chromic” varieties. When dipped in a chromic acid salt solution, catgut lasts longer in the body while remaining absorbable.

 

Although still popular, catgut has been replaced by synthetic absorbables for many applications. examples of synthetic absorbable suture include “Vicryl” (polyglycolic acid), “PDS” (polydiaxanone), and others. These tend to last longer than catgut sutures, but will eventually be absorbed by the body.

suturenylon

Nylon suture package depicting size, needle shape, and length of “thread”

Nonabsorbable sutures are those that retain their character for a very long time, and will stay in the body until removed.  As such, normal immune response will cause the development of scar tissue, sometimes called “encapsulation”, around these sutures if used in internal body structures. 

 

Nonabsorbable sutures are best used in skin closures and situations that require prolonged tensile strength. They include monofilaments (such as “Nylon” and “Prolene”) and braided multifilaments (such as ”Surgical Silk”). Monofilaments like Nylon are useful because of less likelihood of harboring bacteria, whereas braided multifilaments have nooks and crannies for these organisms to hide. Monofilament also glide more easily through tissue. In trade, braided Silk is somewhat easier to handle than Nylon for many and often used for teaching purposes.

 

I recommend Nylon in most survival situations, with 2-0 or 3-0 Nylon ideal for those new to the suturing skill.  This size “thread” is easy to handle and useful for aspiring medics to learn surgical knot-tying.

 

The size of the “thread” you’ll use depends on the area of the body being repaired. Slowly healing tissues such as skin and tendons require nonabsorbable sutures; wounds in rapidly healing areas such as the inside of the cheek and vagina (childbirth) are best repaired with absorbables. 

 

In survival settings, cosmetic results are less important, but surgeons generally use smaller sutures in delicate areas such as areas on the head and face.  5-0 or 6-0 Nylon would normally be the choice here, but require more skill in handling.  Skin sutures should be placed, in my opinion, about 1/2 inch or so apart in most instances. This will allow drainage while keeping the wound together.  Areas over joints or other moving parts should be closer together. In wounds not near joints, say, the forearm, the sutures may be further apart and could be interspersed with Steri-Strips or butterfly closures.

suture needles

typical suture needles (chromic catgut)

 

The type of needle is also an important factor in choosing suture material. Needle that are less traumatic to sensitive tissues, like the lining of the bowel and other deep structures, are round on cross-section. These are known as “atraumatic” or “tapered”. Needles that are best on tough areas like skin are triangular in shape on cross-section and are referred to as “cutting” needles. Most suture needles that are useful for skin form a 3/8 circle; needles for deep work are often ½ circle in shape.

 

Having said all of the above, the choice of suture needles and material will vary depending on the user. Each surgeon will have his or her preferences based on their experience.

 

How long skin sutures remain in place before removal is dependent on the body part repaired.  Face wound sutures are usually removed relatively soon (5 days) compared to, say, a forearm wound (7-10 days).  Thicker skins, such as the sole of the foot should stay in somewhat longer.   Sutures placed over the knee or other joints should remain in place longer, 2-3 weeks, in my opinion.

 

Remember that the act of suturing is more traumatic than using butterfly closures, Steri-Strips, surgical glue, and others due to the fact that you are making more punctures in an area of skin already injured.  Each extra “hole” you create could allow the entry of bacteria into the wound. 

 

One last relevant point:  When you practice suturing on your pig’s foot, you are learning a skill, not a trade.  The practice of medicine without a license is illegal and punishable by law; as long as modern medical care exists, seek it out.

 

We’ll talk about staples, medical glues, and Steri-Strips/butterfly closures in future articles.

 

To see me suture in real time, here’s my YouTube video:

Joe Alton, MD

joealtonlibrary4Find out more about wound closure and 150 other topics in our 700 page Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for when Medical Help is Not on the Way“. Find suture kits and individual sutures at Nurse Amy’s store.

What If You Are On Vacation When the SHTF

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Yes, people do still take vacations, and any “daycation” away from work and the resulting stress is a way to recharge and unwind, it’s a good thing. In today’s economy, however, not many Preppers can afford to fly to Europe or visit some exotic island hideaway.

Vacations for many are day trips to national parks, theme parks, or a few hours hiking along an established trail. What happens, though, if something happens and you are away from home, away from your supplies, away from friends and family, can you survive?

First, assume something could happen while on vacation. Being aware of certain possibilities likely means, you are preparing if only in your mind for something to happen. This is the beginnings of an action plan.

Carry emergency rations and be prepared to spend time in your vehicle. MRE’s and freeze-dried or dehydrated foods are ideal because of the weight factor. Canned goods can be carried but consider the weight when having to carry your food supply in a pack. Water is, of course, one of the most important essentials you can carry. Carry at a minimum a gallon per person per day. Carry enough food and water for the time you have planned to be gone and then add 72 hours to the itinerary.

If you are at a national park, for example, and the grid goes down you can survive there at the park. Many people will, of course, panic and jump in their vehicles, which will create gridlocked highways. It may take days for the confusion to subside enough for you to make your way back home by vehicle, so you may have to sit tight where you are for 24 to 48 hours. If there is an EMP attack then it is not likely anyone will be going anywhere by vehicle, so you will be forced to shelter in place.

Parks will have water sources, and with the food supply you have packed, you can survive for several days without having to forage for food, and if you do run low on water, you can collect and boil water for drinking. Your shelter can be your vehicle, cabins that may be abandoned at the park, or tents that you carry for such an event.

Get your vehicle out of sight and avoid cutting any vegetation to camouflage it. Just get it out of sight of trails, roadways, and access/fire roads.

The biggest problem you will have is fuel for your vehicle. During any type of crisis, gas stations get overrun and soon run out of fuel and if the grid goes down, they cannot pump fuel anyway.

Fuel is a big concern, so at every opportunity top off your tank and make sure it is full when arriving at your destination. Carrying fuel on vacation is not practical unless you have an open or well-ventilated trailer or an open bed pickup truck. You, obviously want enough in your tank to get back home.

You have your vehicle for shelter even if this means sleeping sitting up in a seat. You also need the means to create a fire and utensils for cooking food and which to boil water.

Carry cash because ATM machines may not work. Carrying cash brings its own set of problems, but then again nothing is perfect. You have to go with a plan and you can divide the cash up among family members or hide it in the vehicle somewhere to lessen the impact of a robbery. No plan is perfect so do not drive yourself crazy imagining all manner of scenarios. Go with likely, and use your instincts and common sense to guide you.

If you already have lodging and the SHTF, you need to assess your location immediately for safety issues. You may be asked to check out by the proprietors or they may be too busy to care, much depends on the crisis. You do not want to be on upper floors during a power outage, or during any kind of attack (s) in the area. A ground floor unit gives you escape options not available on the upper floors.

Motels, hotels, and other lodging options often times have swimming pools that can be used as a drinking water source after filtering and purifying. You cannot assume they had treated the pool water properly against bacteria and viruses.

If the crisis forces most people to flee, then the kitchen may provide you with some emergency rations. This is a judgment call. Technically taking food from the kitchen would be considered criminal, but if the country’s grid systems fail or the country is being attacked and certain cities have come under nuclear, chemical, or biological attacks then survival is your objective at virtually any cost. It is a judgment call that only you can make.

Do not use underground parking garages, and if your vehicle is in one get it out as soon as possible. The building could be damaged, or the area could become an ambush zone and if the lights go out the darkness would be a hindrance as well.

Military personnel are trained never to stop their vehicles when confronted by unknowns. Keep moving is the general rule. Stopping your vehicle means, you are literally a sitting duck. Static targets are much easier to strike and easier to take over by any group.

If you have to escape by vehicle keep moving, and do not stop for anyone. If you stop for someone in the middle of the road thinking that you may be able to help, you may find your vehicle surrounded by those wishing you harm. Looters and other criminals will be out in force during a crisis and they will use this pretext to get you to stop.

Being prepared will keep you alive. You need shelter, food, water, and medical supplies, all of which can be easily carried in your vehicle.

Your vehicle will be your lifeline, so do not abandon it unless staying with it endangers your life. Do not drive aimlessly, this waste gas. Stay put until you are ready to drive directly home, and be prepared to take alternate routes, which you should have mapped out before setting out on your trip.

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Last Minute Prepper: How to Survive a Disaster when you Failed to Prepare

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Waiting until the last minute, or waiting until a disaster strikes is probably the stupidest thing you can do. Depending on the severity of the disaster it could get you and the ones you love killed… […]

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Leftist Threatening to Flip the Board Over Via Nuclear War

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I had the honor of appearing on the Hagmann Report with Doug Hagmann recently. We talked about the extreme risk facing the US as Obama and the globalists pledge to undermine Trump’s administration.

Watch through the eyes of Noah Parker as the world descends into chaos, a global empire takes shape, ancient writings are fulfilled and the last days fall upon the once great United States of America. The Days of Noah is now available as a complete box set for Kindle.

 

tpitw

Trading Post in the Woods is ran by veteran crisis responders who know how important it is to be prepared. They specialize in comprehensive natural survival remedy kits, preparedness and homesteading supplies as well as skills training. Visit them online today at TradingPostInTheWoods.com.

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CampingSurvival.com has all of your preparedness needs including; bug out bags, long term food storage, water filters, gas masks, and first aid kits. Use coupon code PREPPERRECON to get 5% off your entire order at Camping Survival.

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The dollar has lost over 90% of its purchasing power since 1971. Silver, on the other hand, has proved to be a very stable form of wealth preservation over the years. Silver.com offers fantastic prices on silver and gold. Check out Silver.com today.

Ready Made Resources is a trusted name in the prepper community, because they’ve been around for 18 years. They offer great prices on Night Vision, water filtration, long term storage food, solar energy components and provide free technical service. Get ready for an uncertain future at ReadyMadeResources.com!

Happy Prepping!

Mark

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15 Documents You’ll Need To Rebuild Your Life (Post-Disaster)

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15 Documents You'll Need To Rebuild Your Life (Post-Disaster)

Image source: Pixabay.com

A big part of survival and preparedness is focused on the big event – like a supervolcano erupting or an EMP attack taking down the grid. But the reality is, we’re much more likely to face those smaller, regional disasters than we are something that takes down the country.

If that’s the case, then one thing that we have to think of is what’s going to happen after the event. Much of our focus is on surviving the disaster itself and its aftermath, when the power is out and supplies are hard to come by. But there will be a time when we recover from that disaster and either return to normal or some new definition of normal.

When that time comes, we need to be ready to rebuild our lives. Not rebuild it as Grizzly Adams — living in a log cabin in the woods — but as normal people, living relatively normal lives: going to work, evenings in front of the TV, and taking the kids to their activities.

Should that happen, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to be able to prove who you are and what property is yours, in order to claim it after the fact.

Documents You Need

So the question is: What documentation do you really need? That’s a tricky one, as none of us know exactly what we’re going to face.

Learn The Secrets and Tricks Of The Word’s Top Survivalists!

15 Documents You'll Need To Rebuild Your Life (Post-Disaster)

Image source: Pixabay.com

We also have to consider the necessity of rebuilding our lives in another location. So, we won’t only need ownership documents for our home and cars, but records of every facet of our lives.

  1. Personal identification — Driver’s licenses, school IDs, passports and anything else that defines you and the various members of your family.
  2. Current ID photos of all family members – Both headshots and full length.
  3. Home title – The ultimate proof of home ownership.
  4. Car titles and registration – For each car, truck, camper, boat, motorcycle or trailer that you own.
  5. Marriage license – Make sure it is a real copy and not just the decorative one that some weddings use.
  6. Birth certificates – For every member of the family.
  7. Licenses – If there is anything you’re licensed or certified to do, then you want to be able to prove it. This includes driver’s license, concealed carry permit, trade licenses, computer certifications, and anything else that you might have to prove to someone.
  8. School records – If you have children in school, make copies of all their records and include them. Make sure you add records of your own education, especially higher education, whether in a university or trade school.
  9. Health records – This one will be a bit difficult, but your doctor’s office should be able to supply you with them. Some medical records can help in identifying people. If you are taking any medications, be sure to have records of what they are and why you are taking them.
  10. Investment records — Copies of stocks, bonds and other negotiable securities.
  11. Bank records — Information on all bank accounts and online financial accounts. You might want to put that in some sort of code, so that others can’t read it easily.
  12. Passwords – Once again, possibly in some simple code.
  13. Tax records – You can be sure that the IRS, like a vampire, will survive.
  14. Work history – If you have to rebuild your life, that might include finding a new job.
  15. Contact information – We no longer learn people’s phone numbers and addresses, counting on our smart phones to remember them for us. Create a list of everyone who is important to you. You may need to find them or call them for help.

Make It Safe And Secure

Obviously, you can make paper copies of some of that, but carrying copies of all of it would require a pretty good size notebook. Fortunately, technology has come to the rescue, providing us with the compact means of carrying all of it.

Be Prepared! Store An ‘Emergency Seed Bank’ For A Crisis Garden

15 Documents You'll Need To Rebuild Your Life (Post-Disaster)

Image source: Pixabay.com

I refer to the flash drive. You can put all that, and more, on a flash drive that weighs less than an ounce and easily slips into your pocket. They now have flash drives that will connect to tablets as well, with a micro USB connector on them, in addition to the regular USB connector. Those are better, especially if you are taking a tablet or smartphone along with you.

Scan everything onto your computer and make copies. It would be best to put them into a .PDF format, rather than a .JPG or other image format. Be sure to label them accordingly and create a file system on your flash drive that makes sense. If you ever need those documents, you’ll probably need to be able to find them quickly.

I’d also recommend making a second copy, either on another flash drive or on a CD. This copy should be carried by another family member, so that if one backpack is lost, you don’t lose both copies. Like everything else in survival, redundancy is important.

What would you add to our list? Do you disagree with anything? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Are You Prepared For Extended Blackouts? Read More Here.

Wild Edibles & Poisonous Plants of the Poison Ivy Family

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poison_ivy_featured

poison_ivy_treesThe Poison Ivy plant family, Anacardiaceae, is well known to those who spend time outdoors. Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is one of the most notorious weeds of the wild, feared by campers and other outdoorsy folk because of the nasty rash it can produce with contact. While poison ivy is largely reviled, Anacardiaceae yields enormous benefits for humanity. The family, often known as the Cashew Family, also produces several well-known edibles like Cashews, Mangos, and Pistachios. Moreover, poison ivy itself has a number of medicinal uses.

By Nathaniel Whitmore a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache

Anacardiaceae (Ending with -eae indicates a family name. The Cashew genus is Anacardium.) is more a tropical family and in the north we only really have the Sumacs (Rhus spp.) as edibles. Since the family produces potentially irritating oils, even in species producing edible portions, it is good to learn to recognize the various species in the Poison Ivy Family. In “5 Poisonous Plant Families the Survivalist Should Know” I discussed some details regarding identification of plant families and general information regarding toxicity. Here, we will explore species of Anacardiaceae, starting with the two genera of my area – that of Poison Ivy, Toxicodendron, and that of the Sumacs, Rhus. (1)

On Botany & Plant Names

journal_binomial_nomenclatureSince this is the first article to expand on the above-mentioned blog regarding major families of poisonous plants, we should review basic taxonomy for field identification and discussion of plants. Species are named through binomial nomenclature, which consists of the genus name and the species name. Together, these two give each plant its formal name. Since species names, like names of people, are often used for different plants and the genus name represents a collective of species, only the two together identify a certain individual species. (Similar to the first and last name for people, except human names are often repeated while each species, in theory, has its own unique name formed by combining genus and species names.)

Related: 5 Poisonous Plant Families the Survivalist Should Know

For instance, there is a Blue Sumac called Rhus glauca. “Rhus” refers to the genus for Sumac and “glauca” means blue. (“Glaucous” plants are those with a powdery or waxy bloom, often bluish in color.) The species name is applied to other genera. Festuca glauca is Blue Fescue and Echeveria glauca is Blue Hen-and-Chicks, for example. Picea glauca is White Spruce, but it is not uncommon to have scientific and common names include names of different colors, which can be confusing. To add to the confusion, Blue Spruce is Picea pungens. This is the case too with Birches. Black Birch is Betula lenta while River Birch is Betula nigra (since “nigra” means “black” you might assume the scientific name for River Birch would be applied to Black Birch). (To further the confusion even more, many colors in names don’t correspond to popular perspective, like in the case of Red Clover and Purple Loosestrife, which might both be considered pink.)

kiowaSmooth Sumac is Rhus glabra. The genus name is Rhus, which is capitalized. The species name is glabra, which means smooth. This is an example of the scientific name and a common name having the same meaning. Of course, common names are highly variable. Rhus glabra, for instance, which was known as an edible to many Native tribes, has many names in various languages. The Kiowa name refers to “smoking mixture” (similar, I assume, to the well-known name “Kinnickinnick” that is used for both a mixture of herbs for smoking and to name specific ingredients.), “Maw-kho-la”. “Chan-zi” (“Yellow Wood”) is used by Dakota, Omaha, and Ponca, while the Pawnee say “Nuppikt”, meaning “Sour Top”. (2) Because common names are so variable their use in literature is often followed by the scientific name, which is italicised.

A genus is a group of species. Rhus is a collective of species mostly known as Sumacs. Toxicodendron includes Poison Ivy and related species.   There has been significant discussion of Toxicodendron related to the differentiation of Poison Ivy species, including that Poison Oaks (usually Toxicodendron pubescens in the east and Toxicodendron diversilobum in the west) are variations rather than a distinct species. Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix (notice not Rhus)) is quite distinct.

Usually when species of a common genus are listed or written about the genus is abbreviated with an initial after the first mention. So, if we were to list the species of Toxicodendron in North America, rather than write out the genus name each time as in the previous paragraph we would list them as: Toxicodendron diversilobum, T. pubescens, T. radicans, T. rydbergii, T. succedaneum, T. vernicifluum, and T. vernix.

If several species of a genus are lumped together for discussion, “spp.” might be used for plural tense, as in Toxicodendron spp. If the species name is unknown in reference to one plant (singular tense), “sp.” is used.

Poison Ivy

poison_ivyAlthough Poison Ivy and its relatives have distinct medicinal uses, the genus should be regarded as poisonous and not consumed nor even contacted. Most people will react to Poison Ivy if they come in contact with the plant’s oils (which often is not the case by merely brushing up against the leaf). Some people lose sensitivity to the plant through desensitising protocols that use gradual contact. Some methods include eating the plant, though this is often strongly encouraged as a dangerous practice. Usually to desensitise the young buds and leaves are consumed. One man who attended a plant walk I was leading insisted that the trick was “white bread and mayonnaise sandwiches” per the Appalachia tradition he knew of through his uncle and others. It is also important to keep in mind that people who have never reacted to Poison Ivy can suddenly react with the typical red, itchy, and blistering rash. Such a change is often the result of a potent exposure.

Be careful cutting firewood that has Poison Ivy growing on it. Or even that had, as the toxic properties are quite persistent in dried plant material. It is also important to know that one can be poisoned through the smoke of burning Poison Ivy. Also take care when digging near Poison Ivy to avoid getting juice from the roots on your skin.

Treating Poison Ivy Rash

jewelweedBy far the most impressive Poison Ivy rash remedy in my experience is Jewelweed (Impatiens spp.), or Touch-me-not. It is best when fresh. The plant can be crushed and rubbed onto the affected parts. If timely, such use of the plant’s juice can stop a Poison Ivy reaction with one application. The Iroquois (who believed the rash was sure to occur if one jumped when they touched Poison Ivy) used Jewelweed. I have met countless people who depend on Jewelweed. As a child I got a pretty bad Poison Ivy rash pretty regularly. Fortunately, I learned to recognize the plant in order to avoid it and learned to apply Jewelweed if I did contact it or begin to experience the itching, redness, or blistering of the rash. Although I occasionally get a small skin reaction, it has been many years since I have experienced a severe Poison Ivy reaction.

There are many other remedies, though often not as seemingly miraculous as Jewelweed. Herbs like Plantain (Plantago spp.) and Yellow Dock (Rumex spp.) are used to sooth irritated Poison Ivy rashes. Astringents, which are indicated for redness and inflammation as well as watery discharges, are used for the rash. Such herbs include Oak (Quercus spp.), Pine (Pinus spp.), Raspberry and Blackberry leaves (Rubus spp.), and many others.

The Iroquois used White Pine (Pinus strobus), particularly the boiled knots, for Poison Ivy. They also used Black Locust leaves (Robinia pseudoacacia) and a formula with Cleavers (Galium aparine). The powerfully medicinal (and potentially toxic) Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) was also applied by the Iroquois to Poison Ivy rash. (3)

Medicinal Uses of Poison Ivy

Although mostly regarded as a toxic plant, Poison Ivy does have medicinal uses. It is especially used to “ripen” skin disorders, such as for sores and rashes. Iroquois, Delaware, Meskwaki, Potawatomi, Kiowa, and Cherokee used Poison Ivy in this way. Interestingly, the Cherokee also used Poison Ivy internally used as an emetic (induces vomiting); and they used Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix) to treat fevers, asthma, and other diseases.

Pacific Poison Oak (T. diversilobum) was used for eye problems by the Diegueno. Mendocino Natives used it for warts and ringworm, and the Yuki applied it to rattlesnake bites. (4)

Sumac-Ade

sumac_poison_ivy_usesIt seems that the best-known use of Sumac (Rhus) as a wild edible is to make Sumac-ade, which is so-called because its sour taste allows it to be used to make a beverage like lemonade. The berries of various species can be soaked in water and then squeezed and strained. A sweetener is then added to the liquid. I prefer maple syrup. People often worry about Poison Sumac, but it has white berries instead of the red berries of Rhus species. Poison Sumac was once classified in the genus, but is now in Toxicodendron. Plus, Poison Sumac typically grows in bogs not near species of “true” Sumacs.

Technically, the fruits of Sumacs are not berries, but drupes. Drupes are fruits with a hard inner seed surrounded by the fleshy fruit. In common language, such as in the previous paragraph, Sumacs fruits and others that are not technically berries are still referred to as berries. In many cases the flesh of drupes, or stone fruits, are quite edible, like Peaches and Plums. With Sumac, however, the flesh is rather insignificant compared to the seed and we generally squeeze the juice from them rather than eating the fruits. With Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) the hairs on the fruit are also quite flavorful. So, by soaking the fruit clusters in water (cold infusion) you can extract the flavor from the hairs and then crush for full flavor from the juice.

The hairs should be carefully removed from the beverage because they can be quite irritating to the back of the throat. This can be accomplished by straining well or by letting the hairs settle to the bottom of the vessel before carefully pouring the clarified liquid off. It can then be heated in order to mix in the sweetener. However, if it is heated with the plant material still in the liquid you will extract more of the astringent properties. Much of the medicinal use of Sumac is from these astringents, but it will be particularly drying because of the astringents and the sour flavor of the fruits will be tainted with the bitterness of the astringents.

If the fruit clusters are picked before they are ripe (although they may be quite red and appear ripe), they will be too astringent to make Sumac-ade. The taste is so water soluble that you can collect drops of red rain water with your finger from drupe clusters that is pleasantly sour. If collected too late the sourness will be faded and washed from the fruits. With a little practice, you will learn just when to harvest for Sumac-ade. And you will become familiar with the medicinally important astringency of Sumac. Astringents are used for rashes, diarrhea, and other damp, inflamed conditions requiring a cooling, drying remedy that restores tissue tone.

Additional Foods from Sumac and Bushcraft Uses

euell_gibbonsYoung shoots of Sumac species can be peeled to reveal a tender core that serves as a delicious raw or cooked vegetable. Though seasonal, this is an important vegetable. It can be eaten raw, which is not true of many wild edibles. Plus, it might be found in abundant populations in the wild. Like the fruits, the “shoots” can be astringent if not harvested at the right time. Learn to recognize the more tender edible portions. Euell Gibbons, in his classic book Stalking the Wild Asparagus discussed using Sumac-ade to make Elderberry (Sambucus) jelly. (5) The fruits are a well-known culinary spice in the Middle East. “Wildman” Steve Brill gives a recipe for a Sumac Hollandaise sauce (7).

Also Read: Survival Books for Your Bunker

Another important trait of Sumac is that the wood is relatively soft and has a low moisture content, which enables it to be burned green. Because of its size, it is often easy to cut firewood size pieces. Sumac also has a central pith, which allows branches to be hollowed out easily. The bark and wood can be used to make baskets.

A beekeeper friend of mine uses the hairy Staghorn Sumac fruits to smoke her bees to sedate them while working in the hives. In this way, like punk, the smoke can be used as an insect repellant. Stinkbush Sumac (Rhus trilobata) leaves can rubbed on the skin as an insect repellant, as done by the Hualapai.

A Range of Benefits from Anacardiaceae

It is clear that the survivalist has much to learn about Anacardiaceae, the Poison Ivy family. From knowing how to avoid Poison Ivy and its relatives that can cause a terribly itchy, blistering rash… to knowing that even with these poisons are obscure medicinal benefits. Maybe forgotten by the modern man, but there is a reason Native people knew the plants so well and how to use them.

The survivalist can enjoy many benefits by becoming familiar with Sumac species, from vegetables and beverages, many craft applications, fire-starting potential, to medicinal uses. These plants are within reach for the prepper, because of their size and their common occurrence.

Sources

Photos Courtesy of:

Normanack
Suzanne Schroeter
Vlad Podvorny

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Onion Soup

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For a long time, I didn’t like onions at all. As a kid we hated them but as I have grown older my tastes buds apparently have died off some and I like onions just fine now. I saw a recipe on facebook for onion soup that was very simple and had few ingredients so I thought I would try it. You took 6 large chopped onions (I had some small ones but only did seven because it seemed like an awful lot of onions to begin with), cooked them in butter for a few minutes until they softened, put them in the crock pot and added a teaspoon and a half of Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. I added two 32-oz containers of beef broth. You then just let it cook.
Now, all day this was cooking and I could only think of how disgusting I thought it smelled. It also tasted very bland.

 I read the comments on the facebook video and decided to add salt and pepper as one person on the comments mentioned…it was a bit better…still not good. I really felt that if we were going to have it for a meal….it needed meat. I scrambled up about a pound and a half of hamburger. Then shortly before Phil got home I put a few spoonfuls of hamburger in an oven safe bowl, ladled the soup on it, then put three pieces of sliced French bread on top with a shredded Italian cheese mix on top of the bread. I put it under the broiler until the cheese browned.

I just can’t tell you how incredibly wonderful this was. So GOOD! Definitely going to have to make this again.

Converting a .223 to a .300 Blackout in 2 Easy Steps: Part 2

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300_blackout_blk_rifle_build_in_tree

300_blackout_blk_subsonic_rifle_aimpoint_silencerco_supressorContinuing the brief saga of changing over an ordinary gas impingement .223 AR15 into a .300 Blackout, we will complete the barrel change, add a free floating handguard, screw on a can, add the necessary accessories to bring the gun up to our survivalist standard, and head outdoors.  Look, I get it. There is no shortage of irony about a rifle that rivals a compound bow in hunting prowess. I hunt with a bow, and while a 50 yard shot is still something on the edge of my comfort zone, a 50-yard subsonic .300 Blackout shot is acceptable. But the more I thought about it, the more I considered blending grizzly bear shotgun wisdom with 300 BLK hunting. There is no rule that says you cannot run both subsonic and supersonic ammo in the same mag. So imagine whitetail deer hunting in thick brush with the first round or two being subsonic and the rest being supersonic. Being a semi-auto AR-platform rifle, I imagine that the second shot could happen almost instantly, but if the target is on the move, all subsonic bets are off and sending any necessary rounds further downrange should be expected. Noise is not the problem now. Range and accuracy is.

By Doc Montana, a contributing author of Survival Cache and SHTFBlog

Since my testbed AR had an A2 front sight post pinned to the .223 barrel, I took the opportunity to upgrade from the no-frills Magpul MOE handguard to a Midwest Industries free floating M-Lock aluminium handguard about nine inches long. The Midwest Industries handguards come in various lengths and attachment platforms. A detail I really appreciated was the five quick-detach ports; three up front, and two back by the receiver.

Related: Magpul Armorer’s Wrench

As the .223 barrel had an A2 front sight, I chose to abandon it and install a Yankee Hill mini gas block inside the free floating handguard. Since I’ll be running an optic on the top rail, I opted for some Magpul MBUS Pro Offset sights for backup and for longer distance shots. By the way, if you are wondering the difference between a handguard and a forend, the particular part name has to do with whether or not the specific piece of furniture is just for support or to protect your hand from burns. In the case of the AR platform, it is a handguard.

Wide Receivers

Instead of swapping barrels, many of the Blackout-curious type will just buy or build an entire upper dedicated to the 300 BLK and switch out the whole upstairs, sights and all. In my case, I was not excited about the DPMS AR 15 as a .223 in the first place, and don’t mind making a dedicated Blackout gun. Plus, if your luck holds, you will have nothing more the cost of a barrel which is considerably less than an entire upper. And there is that in-between option where bolt and charging handle jump back and forth between calibers.

Magazine Subscriptions

As I noted in Part 1, there can be no mistakes with ammo. There is a chance that a .300 Blackout round can cycle into a .223 barrel to the point where it will fire upon a trigger pull. The results of such a mistake can be devastating to both shooter and gun.

300_blackout_blk_rifle_with_supressor_silencer_outdoors_huntingBut there is another factor that needs to be kept in mind and that is that 300 BLK ammo is widely available over the gun counter in both supersonic and subsonic varieties. And in some cases such as hunting, the shooter may want to switch between supersonic and subsonic on the fly. In my case, I will run two 10 round oranged-colored Magpul Pmag magazines while hunting. One is filled with my subsonic loads and the other with supersonic ones. That way I can carry subsonic for close range brush situations, but if something farther away presents itself, I can eject the subsonic mag, cycle out the chambered round if there is one, and then reload with a mag full of supersonic cartridges.

To keep my two Magpul 10-round orange hunting magazines separated I changed one key feature. I run a black baseplate on the supersonic package and keep the matching orange-colored one on the subsonic. Why that combo? I decided that if I’m needing subsonic in a darkness situation (not necessarily hunting) I need to know with certainty that I have the subsonic mag. If I have a black base plate, it will appear a black or not there under minor light.

On a lighter note, for more fun I use Magpul’s sand colored 30 round Pmags. But as mentioned before, the cost of ammo being what it is makes blasting 300 BLK round after .300 Blackout round downrange is questionably cost prohibitive. But in a nutshell, all my Magpul sand colored mags are .300 Blackout only. And I never run a orange-colored mag for .223/5/56. Never.

No Mr. Bond, I expect you to “dye.”

300_blackout_blk_rifle_with_supressor_silencer_outdoors_orange_dye_mapgul_sandThe Magpul’s sand colored mags were never expected to remain sand colored, but dyed into another color the user prefers. With that in mind, I decided to drop some sand-colored magazines into RIT dye and see what happens. Since the dye color is totally up to the dyer, anything on the rainbow is fair game with camo and combinations also a possibility. Due to the mess of dying something, I picked up a pot at the Goodwill and laid out tinfoil around the stove and counter. With about two quarts of boiling water in my pot, I dropped in the gutted mags (springs and followers removed) into the pot and stirred them around for 10 minutes. The dye set rapidly, but then slowly got darker. I ended up using about a third of the bottle of RIT dye. After another 10 minutes in a warm freshwater rinse and thorough drying, the mags were reassembled and good-to-go.

Switch Hitter

300_blackout_blk_subsonic_aimpoint_rail_barrel_swapThe ability to interchangeably run both supersonic and subsonic round through the same gun with the same bolt is truly revolutionary. But the ballistics don’t follow the same rules. So to be able to run either/or subsonic/supersonic rounds at whim means that you need keep your .300 ducks in a row, as well as your sights. There is little similarity between the subsonic and supersonic trajectories so you will either need to memorize ballistics tables as well as know which round your sights are zeroed for. Or you can run dual sights. Luckily the limited range of the 300 BLK is something that iron sights can handle no matter the bullet weight. Sure, a 6x optic will give you an accuracy advantage, but any good shooter can squeeze off plenty of precision whether iron or glass.

Considering that I am using “hunting” as a euphemism for…whatever, I am interested in two no-brainer sighting solutions; one for supersonic and one for subsonic. Since I have many other longer range battle-ready options so maximizing the .300 Blackout’s long distance capabilities is not really all that practical when taking the long view. To justify the 300 BLK in a survivalist arsenal, one must maximize its strengths and minimize its weaknesses.

Read Also: Survival Debate: Aimpoint vs. EOTech?

On this particular build, I zeroed the Aimpoint H1 for the subsonic bullets at 50 yards, and zeroed the Magpul MBUS Pro Offset sights with the point of impact for supersonic bullets at 150 yards. Of note is that the stock front post has been replaced with Magpul’s MBUS Pro Enhanced Front Sight Post, a tiny screw-in after-market post that improves accuracy by reducing post thickness. There is a stark contrast between sub and supersonic bullet drops. Flying below the speed of sound, a zeroed-at-50 220 grain bullet will drop almost 15 inches at 150 yards, and about 70 inches at 250 yards. Yes, the bullet drops almost six feet! While a supersonic round zeroed at 150 yards will be an inch high at 50 yards, and less than a foot low at 250 yards. So you can see that the use of two independent sighting platforms is worth the effort.

Related: Trick Out A Cheap AR15

Taking that sighting duality a step further, the option of running both subsonic and supersonic ammo in the same magazine. I can imagine where the first or top round or two are subsonic followed by the supersonic ones. This concept is not new. A popular 12-gauge shotgun option here in bear country is to load the tube rotating between double-ought buckshot followed by slugs. And fans of the Taurus Judge handgun have been known to run alternating .45 Long Colts and .410 shotgun shells in their five-round cylinder.

Quiet down there!

300_blackout_blk_111_decibel_sound_meterRunning a suppressor on a subsonic .300 Blackout makes for an interesting option in survival/prepper guns. Although the 300 BLK has distance limits, the radius of effectiveness is up to you. And that is exactly why I turned one of my AR15s into a .300 Blackout and so should you. In my testing, the 300 BLK running subsonic was not all that quiet. Certainly hearing safe, but much like a tiny firecracker going off. Anyone 50 yards away would probably ignore the sound if they even heard it, but closer up, there is definitely something going on. Of course I was in a very quiet area with little more than a slight breeze and a few birds disturbing the peace. Supersonic loads were a different story. Even through the silencer, they were still a pretty good crack.

My audio testing equipment produced numbers in the 120 dB range for supersonic bullets exiting through the Omega suppressor, and 111 dB for subsonic rounds. A 95 dB sound is like a New York Subway, or public bathroom hand dryer, so 111 is not excessive, but certainly not silent. Popping off a couple subsonic rounds in a confined space will still make your ears ring for a moment or two.

300_blackout_blk_subsonic_supressor_scilencer_omega_scilencercoI replaced the classic “bird cage” flash hider with a SilencerCo ASR Muzzle Brake. Not to tame any massive recoil, but that it works as a fast attachment mount to the Omega silencer. The ASR does add a bit more weight at the far end of the barrel, and healthy bite into the deep end of your wallet, but it works great. Just don’t forget, as I did, that it also requires the ASR mount on the silencer which will not screw directly onto a barrel. You need to swap out supressor end caps to make the silencer compatible with your mounting system. I grabbed my Omega and bolt gun for a quick hunt only to discover I still had my ASR mount on the suppressor, but I actually count myself lucky to be able to have a problem like that.

Blackout Reloaded

The AK 47 round of 7.62 by 39 is actually a little larger than 30 caliber, about .311 compared to .308 to be more exact) meaning the bullet choices for reloading a 300 BLK are as varied as any other popular 30 cal including the .308 and 30-06. Further, a .223 case can be converted into a .300 Blackout case with a little retooling. Enough so that many 300 BLK aficionados are hitting up their .223/5.56 friends for their brass.

Of course there is also the SHTF component to having any particular gun. Bugging in is an obvious use for a quiet rifle. But bugging out is a total no-brainer. Survival of the Fittest is a popular saying that, unfortunately, is backwards. In order to know fitness, you need to know who survived. So really it is that those who survive have the right fitness. But no matter how you slice this cake, doing anything with less noise is fitness. Lobbing 30-cal lead without blowing out your eardrums is more practical than you can imagine.

Brass Tacks

300_blackout_blk_headstampsThe first outing with the 300 BLK took place out in the sticks of Montana. I found a place up in the mountains where I could set up my gear in the trees providing a safe shooting area. After a couple hours, I spent some time picking up my brass. I noticed how far and what direction the brass flew. Back home, I was inspecting the brass under a magnifying glass to look for any features or scarring that might indicate problems with the gun. Imagine my surprise when I realized I was holding .300 Blackout brass that was not from my gun. The first indication was a different brand headstamped on the case. Further, some of the same-branded shells were too weathered to have been shot that day, as well there a few with bent throats and dinged case mouths. So there are like minds out there.

The Sound of Silence

I used the first hunting trip with this gun to test its practicality and shake out any concerns. When fixated on quiet, every little click or squeak is loud. The clicks came from my Magpul stock. It is the base model with no way to lock down the extension setting. And the squeak came from both the Magpul MS-3 sling and the  Blackhawk Quick Detach clip I used up front on the Midwest Industries free-float handguard.

In the end, this exploration of the 300 BLK has shown promise, but also a full plate of limitations that will keep it off my shortlist of bug out gear. When facing a significant unknown, my first gun to grab would be my Katrina Rifle, and a close second would be my Katrina Pistol. Third would be my Bug Out Long Term (B.O.L.T.) .22 pistol. A Bug Out BUG (back up gun) might be fourth, and then probably a long range rifle like a 30-06 would round out the first five. So a .300 Blackout would be somewhere between six and 10 along with a Project Squirrel gun.

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Check, Call, Care The 3 Steps of Survival

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Anyone who’s ever taken a Red Cross CPR course has undoubtedly heard of Check, Call, Care. It is the foundation for dealing with a true survival situation.

Though many people dislike him, Bear Grylls has a similar survival philosophy, granted it is not exactly the same. Regardless, his emphasis is the same. Grylls approach is Protection, Rescue, Water, and Food. Protect yourself from immediate danger—exposure, animals, injuries, etc. Signal for rescue and finally keep hydrated and fed until rescue arrives.

So, how can Check, Call, Care be expanded into our wilderness adventure plans? It’s actually very easy.

The post Check, Call, Care The 3 Steps of Survival appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Stop Taxpayer’s Money Funding Adani !!!

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Adani could get be about to get their its hands on $1 billion dollars of Australian taxpayer money.

Right now the Turnbull Government is preparing to subsidise the destruction of our Reef and climate with a public handout for Adani’s rail line to its monstrous Carmichael coal mine.

The government body that could provide Adani with this outrageous taxpayer handout is the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).

The board of NAIF are considering Adani’s application right now and most of the board have extremely close ties to the coal industry. You can bet they’ll be under immense pressure from their mates in the coal lobby to make sure Adani get their handout.

Can you contact the board of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility and tell them why you oppose a handout for Adani?

Gov’t Report Warns: Power Grid In ‘Imminent Danger’ Of Cyberattack Impacting ‘Millions’

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Gov’t Report Warns: Power Grid In ‘Imminent Danger’ Of Cyberattack Impacting ‘Millions’

Jan. 11, 2017

The U.S. power grid is in constant danger of a cyberattack that could cause widespread blackouts and impact millions of citizens, according to a new 492-page report from the Department of Energy that warns if nothing is done to protect the system, the nation likely will suffer.

“The U.S. grid faces imminent danger from cyberattacks,” the report, released Jan. 6, states. “Widespread disruption of electric service because of a transmission failure initiated by a cyberattack at various points of entry could undermine U.S. lifeline networks, critical defense infrastructure, and much of the economy; it could also endanger the health and safety of millions of citizens.”

The report, titled “Transforming the Nation’s Energy System,” notes that the electric grid in the 48 contiguous states is comprised of 21,500 substations and about 700,000 miles of power lines.

It points to the 2015 cyberattack on the Ukrainian electric grid as an example of what is possible in the U.S. That attack — the “most sophisticated cyber incident on a power system to date” – took out electricity for 225,000 customers “after malicious actors remotely manipulated circuit breakers across multiple facilities.”

Are You Prepared For A Long-Term Blackout? Get Backup Electricity Today!

One problem America faces, the report says, is that while cyberattacks are rapidly evolving, power grid officials are slow to deploy defensive measures.

“This gap is exacerbated by difficulties in addressing vulnerabilities in operational technologies that cannot easily be taken offline for upgrades, and the presence of significant legacy systems, as well as components that lack computing resources to incorporate new security fixes,” the report says.

For a fix to be successful, the report notes, it “must be implemented by the thousands of private companies that own and operate electricity infrastructure.”

“While cyberattacks on the U.S. grid and affiliated systems have had limited consequences to date, attacks elsewhere in the world on energy systems should be seen as an indicator of what is possible,” the report says. “Threats can emerge from a range of highly capable actors with sufficient resources, including individuals, groups, or nation-states under the cloak of anonymity.”

“There’s the weak-link issue for the whole system,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in an interview, according to The Washington Post. “The reality is, for a lot of rural, smaller utilities, it’s a very difficult job to have the kind of expertise that will be needed in terms of cyber, so we suggest for example, grant programs to help with training, to help with analytical capacity in these situations.”

The economy would “just take an enormous hit” from a successful cyberattack, Moniz added.

Do you believe the power grid is vulnerable to a cyberattack? Do you think President Trump can or will fix it? Share your thoughts in the section below:  

Sailboats: A Great Way To Practice Survival Skills & Bug Out After SHTF

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There are a lot of articles about bug out vehicles, but as far as I know none of them suggest sailboats as a way to bug out. It might sound like a crazy idea at first, but when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. While everyone else is scrambling to get […]

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Best Winter Bug Out Bags Guide | episode 132

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Best Winter Bug Out Bags Guide | episode 132

 

Best Winter Bug Out Bags Guide | episode 132
Best Winter Bug Out Bags Guide | episode 132

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The show notes will be a bit messy for right now but the show needed to get up. Today I am talking all things winter bug out bag related. 

 

 

 

 

Topics

Bobs need to be two seasons in most locations
 
The more extreme climates can skip this
 
Winter bags
 
Might need a bigger bag in winter
 
Strap things to the outside/ molle / alice/ expansion pouches
 
You might be able to use a pulk
 
Shelter
 
Shelter needs to be made for your worst weather
Hammock or winter tent. 
4 season tent, stronger, heavier, closeable windows/vent, 
 
Hammocks can be used in extremely cold weather
Link to shug on youtube
underquilt and over quilt
closed cell foam for butt and toes
the sleeping bag cacoon trick
Bigger tarp and maybe one with doors
 
 
Tepee 4 wall canvas tents
 
the packable wood stove can be used in some
 
Closed cell foam works better to stop heat loss than inflatable sleeping mats
 
 
Fire And Heat
 
Heat is more important
 
Wood processing system
 
big survival knife and big saw. swap out the folding ones for a sawvivor, buck saw
 
In colder climates go for a camping ax
 
Tent stoves
 
bics might not work in colder climates
alcohol stoves should be swapped out.
 
hobo stoves, 
 
gas stoves might work depending on temp
 
 
Standing dead trees and branches are better than ground found 
 
the center of wood is dry
 
 
hot hands are cheap grab a few. 
 
 
space blanket, not the cheap flimsy one the tarp one
 
 
 
 
 
 
Clothing
 
Cotton should be removed except for your bandana
 
Wool and synthetics are the way to go. 
 
Wool can be gotten cheap some synthetic as well
 
Get cold weather gloves. Maybe even the cold waterproof ones
 
Wool socks 
 
Cold weather boots. Waterproof ones. 
desert boots suck. they get wet and cold. 
still looking for a better option. 
closed cell foam bootie/ moccasin for inside a shoe. 
cayenne pepper in a shoe/ sock works
sock liners, glove liners
plastic bags can be used over socks in boots. 
 
Sunglasses
 
 
Food And Water
 
Plastic Nalgene and nesting cup instead of metal Nalgene. 
You will want more calories in the winter
hot foods are best
bullion cubes
 
 
Medical
 
Blistex!!!
medicated skin lotion. 
make sure things that can freeze are bagged individually.
A space blanket is good
 
 
 
use more rust proof knives in winter
 
 

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The post Best Winter Bug Out Bags Guide | episode 132 appeared first on Survival Punk.

The More Complex Our Society The More Vulnerable For Catastrophe

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At a bare minimum we have become more vulnerable for ‘disruption’ as our society has become more complex. But it doesn’t stop there. Perhaps more accurately we might say that ‘catastrophe’ or ‘meltdown’ are better words to describe our vulnerability from the systemic risks that are built-in to our modern way of life. Things, life, […]

Yes, You Can Butcher Homegrown Chickens

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Have you ever considering butchering homegrown chickens? Chickens are a very convenient source of meat.  Whether you’re living on a large property in the country or a small suburban block, you can usually find room for a few chickens, they are cheap to feed and they are relatively small and easy to butcher.  However, I have talked to (and read blog about) many people who find the idea of killing a chicken very difficult.   Hi, I’m Liz, and I’m joining Marie here today to share with you about getting ready to butcher homegrown chickens. I live on eight acres in south

Winter Vehicle Stuff – Pt V – Clothes

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I know, you’re thinking “Dude, unless you’re driving naked why would you need to pack clothes. You’re already wearing clothes!” True, but think of the circumstances…maybe youre on your way to/from the office Christmas party..you’re in your nice slacks, dorky sweater, loafers, and a too-light coat…after all, you only were going to be outside for the time it took to go from the parking lot to the restaurant. Annnnnnd..Murphy happens: you get stuck and you’re out there trying to shovel your stuck vehicle out while youre wearing loafers, thin socks, slacks, a light jacket, and probably no hat and gloves. Owie. Or you tried to shovel your way out of your situation..now your shoes and socks are soaked, pants are wet, and youre missing a glove. Wouldn’t dry clean clothes feel good right about now?

So: pack extra clothes. You’re smart, you know what you need. But, if not, imagine this: you’re dropped naked into an abandoned car in the middle of winter. What do you need? Footwear, warm socks, long underwear, winter undershirt, long pants, heavyweight shirt, coat, gloves, scarf, hat..at least. You might add extra socks and extra mitts to swap out as they get wet.

20161227_120212I pack a complete change of clothes, plus winter coat, plus ‘accoutrements’ (scarf, hat, mitts). Everything that can, gets vacuum sealed. This serves two purposes: it keeps everything dry and clean, and it helps to keep things compact to fit in the Box O’ Gear. If you have them, and I highly recommend these, pack a set of insulated Carhart bibs. Wear these under your heavy coat you will not know cold. Theyre bulky, so they don’t fit in my Box O’ Gear, but I just roll ’em up and throw ’em in the back. I have worn them while working in -15 weather and they kept my legs, thighs, and abdomen just toasty as can be.

Don’t just go to your closet and pull out some old clothes and throw them in your vehicle. Use some common sense and think about the circumstances you’ll be using those clothes under. Don’t pull out those old hunting boots with the torn eyelets, the wool pants that ‘shrank’ in the waistline, and the mittens grandma knitted for you. You’re in a car trying not to freeze to death…wear clothes that fit, are well made, and made for cold weather. Good boots, wool socks, polypro undergarments, heavy shirt, heavy coat, thick hat, several pairs of warm liners for your mitts, etc.  Vacuum seal as much of it as you can to save space.

Wool, polypro, whatever…just make sure you’ve got a couple layers. And while I always recommend staying with the vehicle, it’s a good idea to pack clothing as if you weren’t going to stay with the vehicle.

I’ve no desire to freeze to death or lose some fingers/toes to frostbite. I pack the warmest clothes I can find and then I add one or two extra pieces ‘just in case’. It’s a bit of work fitting all that in the Box O’ Gear but on some late night on the side of the road when it’s blowing -10 (much like it is outside right now) that little bit of extra might mean the difference between an uncomfortable nights sleep and physical therapy for the nubs where my fingers used to be.

Do You Think God Is In Control of Everything?

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    The answer is either “yes” or “no”.  And depending on your answer, it will likely determine whether you believe you have Power and Authority in the Name of Jesus. And it will definitely shape how you respond to life’s adversities and spiritual attacks.
     Those who respond “yes” will point to the characteristic of His Sovereignty, saying it means God has supreme power, authority, and control over His creation.  They will cite Scripture they believe points to God’s sovereignty over nature and nations. They will quote Bible verses they say validate God’s sovereignty over history and the affairs of men.  And, ultimately, they will say that even if something bad happens… It was God’s WILL!  God can use everything and everyone for His purpose, and therefore that means that He controls things by His will.  So, I knew I had to determine what the concept of God’s sovereignty had to say about whether or not He controls everything.
     But here is an astounding thing that I discovered … I looked up “Sovereignty” in the Dictionary and got this definition:  jurisdiction, rule, supremacy, dominion, power, ascendancy, domination, authority, control, influence.  I thought, “Okay, that is how the secular world defines sovereignty.  How is it defined in Strong’s Concordance?”, which is an index to the Bible that lists words, and allows one to compare how that word is used in different passages, and to see different meanings, depending on the context.  Well, guess what?  I went to my well-worn Concordance… and the word sovereign wasn’t listed! You know how you try to justify something that doesn’t seem possible?
     When the Concordance went from the word, southward to sow, I found myself repeating the alphabet to make sure I wasn’t looking in the wrong place.  Surely this couldn’t be!  But there it was … Neither sovereign nor sovereignty were listed in Strong’s Concordance.  So, what does that say when a well-trusted reference book doesn’t even acknowledge the concept of sovereignty?  This well-respected book provides an independent check against translations, and offers readers of the Bible an opportunity for greater, and more technically accurate understanding of the Scriptural text (from both the Hebrew and Greek perspective) — yet how could I understand text that didn’t exist?
     Now, I’m faced with an even bigger dilemma! One of the primary arguments that God is in control of everything has been the characteristic of His Sovereignty… yet, that word doesn’t seem to be used in the Bible?!?!  How can that be?  This quandary demanded more research, and I was actually amazed to find the following information….  The words sovereign and sovereignty do not appear in the 1611 King James Bible at all!  (MY CAVEAT: I am not advocating a “King James only” interpretation. I merely reference it because it is the oldest among the Bible versions in use today).
      I discovered that sovereign and sovereignty appear sporadically in the ESV and Amplified versions (written in 1971 and 1965, respectively).  Sovereignty appears eight times in the New American Standard version (published in 1971), although it refers to the LORD God, only twice. But the word sovereign appears 297 times (I looked it up on biblegateway.com) in the NIV translation, written in 1973, and nearly all usages refer to the title, “Sovereign LORD”.
      Now I’m curious as to what appears in the King James instead of this word sovereign.  And what I found was that “Sovereign Lord” in the NIV replaced the use of “LORD God” in the King James.  Apparently, the translators of the 20th Century NIV decided to translate the word LORD as Sovereign.  This word, LORD, was translated in the King James Bible from the Hebrew Adonai (meaning Lord, Master) and Jehovah (meaning Lord).  When I compared the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible (and written and completed before Christ was born!), with every occurrence of the NIV’s Sovereign LORD, I found the various terms “Master and Lord”, “the Lord thy God”, “O Lord, King of gods”, or simply “Lord”.
     So, let me make my position clear … Every time you read “Sovereign God” in the NIV Bible, it actually should read “Lord God”. The original Hebrew did not mean “sovereign” and that was a translator’s decision.  And while I cannot explain the reasoning behind this recent mis-translation, I can definitely see how assigning the word “Sovereign” has resulted in a faulty doctrine. Let me elaborate…
     Once God was actually called sovereign, then His sovereignty became an established theological characteristic, and is actually listed in Theopedia (a conservative, evangelical, Christian encyclopedia) as an official characteristic of God.  So, man’s ignorance of the Hebrew language, along with religious tradition have actually created a false doctrine of God’s “Sovereignty”, which now translates into His control of everything because of our 21st Century dictionary definition of what “sovereign” means.
     But regardless of whether you are willing to follow the argument I’ve presented on the historical mis-translation or not, I still want you to understand why I feel it is important you recognize that God is NOT in control of everything. Let me start by asking you a simple question … If you think God IS in control of everything… how has the world come to be in such bad shape?  And if you truly believe He is All-Powerful, and has the power to prevent the evil, why do we continue to see such evil being perpetrated by humans? Take, for instance, the recent viral video of that 18-year-old mentally handicapped man who was bound and gagged while four young people tortured him for hours.  They have now been charged with a hate crime, and their racial slurs and physical sadism show their evil hearts.  Do you think it was God’s will that the young man suffered such torment and agony?  If He is in control of everything, then why didn’t He stop that from happening?  And if there is a purpose for His good in that horrible situation, does that fit your impression of God — that He would let such pain and humiliation be inflicted upon one of His creation to serve His own purpose?
     Now, let me present my thoughts … Yes, God has infinite Power and can control anything He wants to.  But He used His free will to create us in His image.  Put in very simple terms, if God has free will, then so do we, because we are made in His image.  But it is quite evident that it is our free will that has caused the world to be in such bad shape.  It is the decisions we make to follow either our flesh or the temptations of the Enemy — instead of following Him — that result in the pain and misery on this earth.  Could He have made us to be creatures that automatically follow Him in every circumstance?  Absolutely!  But how would that have glorified Him? Ultimately, our free will results in a decision either to be loyal to Him, or to follow a path to rebellion. (And there’s another facet to this question of free will — Satan was created by God as Lucifer, and he used his free will to make a decision to rebel.  And he is trying to convince us to the same).
     What we see on earth is man using his free will to disobey God to serve his own selfish desires. So, think about this — If everything was “sovereignly” controlled by God, then there would be no need to pray, no need to give financial offerings, no need to even live right — because whatever happened would be what God wanted regardless of our efforts.  In effect, if God controls everything, why even bother to pray?
     Now, you could say, “But God is all-powerful. He is able to intervene in human affairs, and my prayers can help convince Him”. Yes, our prayers rising to Heaven can, and do, result in God intervening in our lives.  But God has given us His power, too, through the Holy Spirit, and the authority to use it!  Jesus makes that very clear in Luke 10:19 … Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 

     Yet we doubting and faithless Christians do not believe this word from our Savior!  Oh, we have no problem believing that God exists — but all this other stuff about demons, and spiritual attacks, and supernatural forces of evil; well, that’s outside the box that we’ve put God and ourselves in.  But the ancient Jews, to whom Jesus was talking to in Luke 10:19 knew exactly what He was referencing. “Serpent” referred to a deadly, subtle, malicious enemy; and “Scorpion” symbolized torment and wrath.  Yet, we choose to ignore Jesus’s gift of authority over both, and over ALL the power of the enemy!  These terms and symbols are all dealing with the supernatural, spiritual realm.  Jesus has given us authority and power to resist them, and yet we limit ourselves to praying and asking God to handle it for us.
     Can you consider the possibility that He doesn’t want to be the “medicine cabinet God” that handles everything for us?  Can you see that the next time we encounter an attack by the enemy, we have the choice to continue to just sit back and ask God to take care of it for us — OR we can choose to use the power and authority Jesus has given us over ALL the power of the enemy, and handle it ourselves?  Which glorifies Him the most? — evil forces on the earth continue to torment and attack us over and over because we never stop them; we just wait for God to answer our prayers … OR, we declare to the spiritual realm that we are using our free will and our authority to call upon the mighty Name of Jesus [and are using His power that abides within us] to wage war as part of His Kingdom servants on this earth.
     My spirit gets a very clear picture — God doesn’t want to be in control of everything!  He wants a partner, not a puppet!  He made us in His image and He wants us to act like it!  He sent His Son into this evil world , and transferred His power to Jesus to establish God’s Kingdom on earth.  Then Jesus transferred His power to us, and here we are 2,000 years later, with scarcely an idea that we possess that power, let alone know how to use it.  It is not God’s will that the world be in the shape it is in, nor that we suffer in our lives from all the slings and arrows of the enemy.
     Will there be things outside our control, even if we use the power assigned to us?  The answer is yes. The Prince of this world still has his power, too.  But I don’t think Jesus wanted us to believe that God would control everything.  Jesus, Himself, was God … and He could have called down a legion of angels to stop his crucifixion and controlled the whole outcome.  But He came to our realm to show us the way to fight in the spiritual war that started in Heaven and continues to this day on earth.  He used the Power and Authority given to Him by God to heal the sick, bind and cast out demons, and spread the word that the Kingdom of God (God’s heavenly government) was here to take back territory.  It’s time we use our free will to work with God and take control of our lives!

Romans 14:12   “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

   

A New Era In Foreign Relations

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USA Foreign Relations

The ending of Obama’s presidency and the beginning of Trump’s will be a dividing line for many things in our country and her politics.

For the last eight years, Obama has been pushing the country more and more liberal, more and more socialist, and more and more into supporting minorities and even terrorists. In many ways, he has pushed the country away from its roots.

With Trump at the helm, we can expect to see many changes, some of which will steer our country back towards its foundation as a Constitutional Republic, I hope.

As per usual, the Democrats have been attacking that, based upon their belief that the Constitution is a living document that should be rewritten to satisfy the whims of every generation, more specifically, the whims of whichever special interest groups the liberals are supporting in that generation.

Another area where we can expect to see massive changes is in foreign relations. Everyone knows that Obama’s foreign policy was disastrous, causing the rise of ISIS as well as Russia’s current preeminence on the world stage.

The World Needs a Strong America

The world needs a strong America as the guardian of freedom and self-determination, and we haven’t had that for the last eight years.

Not only has Obama’s administration failed to provide strong leadership on the world’s stage, they have weakened our military, as most Democrat administrations do. Without the deterrent of American military power, we end up with adventurers who want to reshape the world to their own likeness.

Obama’s parting shot at Israel is perhaps the most telling of all. Ever since the recreation of the nation of Israel, in 1948, the United States of America has supported and defended the small nation. While we have not actually done so militarily, we have defended them in the United Nations, where they have come under constant attack.

Yet now, rather than block a UN Security Council Resolution against Israel, as we’ve done many times in the past, the United States abstained, allowing the resolution to go through. Not only did we abstain, but there are reports that the Obama administration actually helped create the resolution in the first place.

In other words, as a nation we have turned out back on Israel, a long-time ally, as well as the only democracy and the only non-Muslim country in the Middle East.

It’s necessary to note here that this was a unilateral move by Obama’s administration, without the backing of Congress. In fact, Congress has already drafted a bill to condemn the resolution and to cut funding from the United Nations if it is not withdrawn, an action which I’d say is long overdue.

Trump is already showing something that the world expects to see from an American president. He is making no bones about who the big kid on the block is and flexing some diplomatic muscle in reminding the world of that. Don’t misunderstand me here, he’s not war mongering, but making the U.S. position clear, reminding the world that we’re still the big kid on the block.

This goes for both enemies and friends. During the campaign, Trump reminded the European Union of their responsibility in NATO, stating unequivocally that the U.S. government expects them to hold up their part of the bargain. This is probably a first, as Europe has depended heavily on U.S. protection, ever since World War II.

Some world leaders have already reached out to Trump, indicating a willingness to work with him. Most notably, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin have extended the hand of friendship. However, not all of the world’s leaders are happy with his ascension to the office of President, as North Korea’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un has made clear.

Democrats have complained extensively about Trump’s lack of foreign policy experience, especially during the campaign, when they were trying to use that as a talking point in favor of Hillary.

But the truth of the matter is that nobody has experience in diplomacy at that level, until they are thrust into it. Barack Obama surely didn’t, nor did his predecessor. Foreign policy at the presidential level is something that has to be learned on the job.

I think Trump has a slight advantage there over most politicians, simply because he has had business dealings all around the world. So, while he may not be used to negotiating a peace treaty with a foreign power or in using the military to support America’s stand on a particular issue, he is used to international business negotiations. That plays in his favor, I’d say.

So Putin has extended a hand of friendship towards America and Trump has responded in kind. That seems to be quite different than Putin’s attitude towards Hillary Clinton, who he said would cause a nuclear war. Better peace than that, I am sure.

Yet for some reason, liberals, who are supposed to be the ones who avoid war and want peace, are upset that Trump is willing to talk to Russia and even work together with them towards solving the world’s problems. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? Aren’t we, as the free world’s leaders, supposed to foster relationships with other countries and work together for the betterment of all mankind?

How is it that people who applauded Obama’s initiative to reach out to Cuba are demonizing Trump for his initiative to reach out to Russia? Cuba is still a communist country, while Russia seem to embrace democracy. Doesn’t that alone mean that we should form an alliance with them? No, we don’t have to agree with everything they do; nor do we have to trust them fully; but we should be willing to work with them towards making the world a better place.

Trump has made it clear that he’s willing to do that; and I, for one, applaud him for that.

I firmly believe that, as a country, we should be willing to befriend any other country who is willing to befriend us. But at the same time, I believe that we should keep one hand on our wallet and the other on our holster, because we don’t know the motives of those other countries.

One way that a new relationship with Russia could be proven is in the case of Syria. Russia has backed President Assad, even though there have been reports of them pressuring him to resign and turn the county over to others. But Assad and the U.S. haven’t seen eye to eye. How Russia handles that, especially as part of the larger job of dealing with ISIS, could be a very good indication of how our two countries can work together.

And ISIS is truly the big issue. Just as NAZI Germany was the big threat to the world, almost a century ago, extremist Muslim aggression is today. While ISIS isn’t the only group of Muslim extremists out there, they have grown to be the biggest. As such, they are the number one threat that the United States and Russia need to deal with. How we deal with them is something that has yet to be determined.

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While I am not looking forward to the idea of sending Americans to fight another war in the Middle East, I think it might be necessary.

Unless the world is willing to accept the killing of large numbers of Muslim non-combatants as a cost of doing war, someone is going to have to send in troops to defeat ISIS. It can’t be done from the air. While there are various groups in the Middle East who are fighting against them, they aren’t enough. A larger military presence is needed.

The real question is, what part will the U.S. play in that? Will we be forced to put boots on the ground once again, or can we win this war without taking that step? Regardless of what anyone says, wars are not won by navies and air forces, they are won by the infantry. Everyone else just supports the soldier on the ground, with a rifle in his hand.

Trump supports our military, so I hope he’ll be working to strengthen it and quit using it as a sociological experiment. Even so, it will take years to fix the damage that has been done to it. Sending out troops off to war right now, in the condition that they are in, would mean a higher casualty rate than we’ve seen for quite some time.

While I expect that Mr. Trump would send them off if necessary, I also believe that he won’t send them unless he has to. I want to believe that he respects them too much to throw away their lives for nothing.

All in all, I think we can expect America to regain our place in world leadership. I think we can also expect some people to resent that, complain about that, and even fight against it.

But when push comes to shove, the U.S. economy is the strongest in the world and the U.S. military is as well. That’s a pair that’s hard to beat.

This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

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How to Build a Warm Shelter Out of Everyday Materials From Any House

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How to Build a Warm Shelter Out of Everyday Materials From Any House If SHTF and you have no where to go, or you are bugging out and you lose your shelter, this article is a good read and tells you how to build shelter with common house hold materials, I’m even betting that you …

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One Plan Is Not Enough: 7 Tips to Create a Successful Food Plan

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

What are the most important things to consider? In this article I cover some of the requirements of creating your master food plan.

The post One Plan Is Not Enough: 7 Tips to Create a Successful Food Plan appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Quick Tips to Prep for Burglaries and Home Invasions

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Prepping your house or apartment for unwanted guests is something you should worry about right now. You don’t have to wait any sign of the Apocalypse to know that a bad guy can break in your home unannounced, take your valuables and even kill you if you stand in his way. In fact, I could … Read more…

The post Quick Tips to Prep for Burglaries and Home Invasions was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

How To Cook After Disasters Hit

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Today it’s all about how to cook after disasters hit. And disasters will hit our neighborhood or community at least once in our lifetime. Sometimes they will hit more than once. If we are prepared we will not fear, I promise. Here’s the deal, you do not have to spend a lot of money on emergency cooking devices. I’m going to talk about all the ones I have used and recommend. Keep in mind some of my sponsors have given them to me to do a review. Let’s be real here, I will only write about the ones I love. The others I have refused to try because I saw how flimsy they were at the store. Some I have shipped back to the company and could not do a review for them. I’m here to teach the world what does work. Period. I’m always on the look out for new products, but the old standbys still work the best.

I have tried almost every emergency stove that’s available on the market. I use them often so my skills are current and I’m prepared right now to cook outside. I used to camp, but now that my girls have grown up and started their own families I have given up camping. I used to love to go camping with a trailer, and who doesn’t love the smell of bacon and eggs cooking outside in the fresh crisp air in the morning? I know I love it! So, now I cook outside in my yard and try to share the fruits of my labors, so to speak, with my neighbors. So, let’s get started with the items I use and highly recommend.

Cooking After Disasters:

Butane stoves:

I have used these to teach classes at stores, and I have one in my home that I have used many times. This is also the stove I gave all four of my daughters for Christmas one year. If you have some pans, you can boil water, cook some soup, fry eggs, and many more foods. You can’t do any canning like water bath canning or pressure canning on one of these. It would not be safe. Yes, I have my Master Preserver Canning Certificate from the state of Utah.

They use butane fuel like Camp Chef Butane 1 Burner Stove with Camping Case and: 12 Butane Fuel GasOne Canisters for Portable Camping Stoves

Pros: very inexpensive

Cons: Once you run out of fuel you can no longer cook with it.

Lodge Dutch Oven:

If you have a 6-quart Dutch oven (the larger ones are too heavy for me to carry), you can boil water and cook just about every food you can fit in those babies with the lid on the top. You will need firewood, charcoal, or lump charcoal to cook with one of these. I am going to build a small fire-pit which I hope to show you next week. Please buy the non-starter fluid charcoal product to use because if you store those briquettes in an airtight container they will last indefinitely. Please make sure you buy this style Dutch Oven because you can stack cook with these lids. Plus, the charcoal doesn’t slide off the lid. Lodge L12CO3 Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven, 6- quart and don’t forget to buy charcoal… I cook with my Dutch ovens on rocks in the front yard. I’m sure my HOA hates it. I’ll probably get a letter.

Pros: inexpensive if you get them on sale, well actually they are a bargain since they last a lifetime if you keep them seasoned and dry.

Cons: You must maintain them by seasoning them, which to me isn’t that big a deal. You need to store enough charcoal to use one of these. Once the charcoal or wood, lump charcoal is gone, you may have to look for alternative wood sources and hope you have enough to keep the temperature where you need them to properly cook the food. Here’s my PRINTABLE Dutch oven chart: Dutch Oven Chart I got permission from Lodge to incorporate a printable for you.

Volcano Stove:

Pros: What I like about the Volcano stove is the fact that you can use three fuels to start with: wood, charcoal, and propane. Just make sure before an unforeseen emergency you have the correct adaptors for the propane. Some Volcano stoves come with small adaptors for the tiny propane tanks and sometimes you have to purchase the large tank adaptors. Be sure and check the Volcano stove you purchased to see what kind of adaptor it has. I gave three of my daughters one of these. They are awesome. Watch for a sale at Costco. When they have them they are sold at a very good price. Volcano Grills 3-Fuel Portable Camping Stove and a griddle (Volcano sent me one of these): Volcano Grills Reversible Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Griddle/Skillet The griddle works great for pancakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc. You can flip it over and cook meats. It’s awesome! Thanks Volcano for letting me try one! I love it.

Cons: The baking tent makes my bread smell like smoke. That’s the only con I have.

Camp Chef Stove/Oven Combo:

Pros: I like this one because I can make pancakes on the griddle (purchased separately) and bake casserole and bread on the racks inside the oven. I do have to remove one rack. That’s easy to do. I can bake two loaves that use one-pound pans for each one. Please make sure you have two adaptors, one for the small propane tanks and one for the larger propane tanks. Here’s the one I purchased and I love it: Volcano Grills Reversible Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Griddle/Skillet

Cons: They only use propane

Barbeques:

Pros: Most everyone has one. Just keep lots of propane stored. Lots, yes lots.

Cons: They waste fuel, in other words, you will go through too much fuel just to boil water, or to cook a heavy duty pan with a casserole inside. I wouldn’t take my nice pans I use inside and use outside on the barbecue. They may never look the same. Picture BLACK pans, sometimes. Cast iron pans work well outside.

Kelly Kettle:

This is the one I was given by Kelly Kettle: Kelly Kettle Ultimate Stainless Steel Large Base Camp Kit

Here’s the deal on the Kelly Stove, I had been wanting one for about two years. I was so excited when the company contacted me to do a review on one. It was truly a cartwheel moment. I love, love, love it! You can see the post on how to use it here: Kelly Kettle Demonstration by Food Storage Moms

Pros: you can boil water, cook soup and make hot chocolate using only twigs, leaves, or pinecones. AWESOME!

Cons: I have no cons for it as long as you have pinecones stored in airtight containers or leaves and twigs in abundance around your home.

Camp Chef Two-Burner Stove:

Camp Chef was gracious enough to send me this beautiful stove to teach classes for emergency preparedness. It is awesome, and I thank them for it. Explorer 2-Burner Stove

Pros: It has two burners, you can cook two different pans of food and use a griddle on it as well. It requires propane (which lasts indefinitely-my favorite fuel), and you can cook for your entire street if you had to make some meals to sustain life.

Cons: It’s a little more expensive, but not enough to keep me from purchasing another one.

Sun Oven:

I am grateful that Paul Munsen sent me a Sun Oven 5 years ago so I could do a review. I thank him from the bottom of my heart. I promote these like crazy because IF you have sunshine, you will love one. Plus, save on utility bills! All American Sun Oven- The Ultimate Solar Appliance

Pros: Uses zero fuel, only the sun. For the price, it’s a bargain. You never need fuel to use it. If your food can fit inside the Sun Oven you can bake it.

Cons: If you have limited sunshine I would not recommend one of these. Here’s the deal, people use these all over the world. They are a blessing to everyone everywhere if they have sunshine.

Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. You can sleep at night knowing your family will be safe, well fed and more comfortable.

The post How To Cook After Disasters Hit appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Reality Check – What You Maybe Doing Wrong and How It Will Get You Killed

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suicide

 

Over the years being in the Prepper and Survival community,  I realize that my favorite topics for writing are about survival myths.

There are two reasons for that. First I have been through SHTF, so it is obviously clear to me what are the myths about survival and what are the truths, in other words it is kinda easy for me to write about it.

Second reason is because at the same time it’s hard. It is not hard to write about it, but it is hard to explain to people what it’s all about.

Reason for that, is not because I consider most of the Prepper’s idiots, it is about the preconceptions inexperienced people have about survival, or being ready for SHTF.

That preconception is so huge, and so deep, it has been plugged or conditioned into a lot of Preppers so hard, over so many years of bombarding from youtube, blogs, forums, movies and similar that sometimes it look simply hopeless too fight.

 

Where to Look?

 

I remember for the first time seeing and teaching a group of students who considered themselves survivalists and Preppers. After few hours of talking with them my first impression was to tell them, or to yell at them „ you are so fucking dead when SHTF, on second day you are dead!!!“

Of course I did not tell them that, but the point is that their survival mentality and mine were like two completely different worlds.

No they were not idiots, just regular folks who look and checked for the most common information about survival out there available, or most commercialized, or coolest.

And no, I do not think that everyone needs to go through years of war in order to become survivalist, just some common sense and some effort.

It is like they learned everything they knew about survival from the guy on youtube channel, who read it from the book, which was written by a guy who heard something from a friend some time ago. So many of the sources they ‘relied’ on or trusted were dangerously worthless…

Folks, there is much more to learn from let’s say a diary of holocaust survivor, than from youtube guy who is testing his new BOB in his backyard!

Actually I would rather have memorized the diary book, instead of owning the BOBs that most of the youtube guys are testing and recommending!

This whole topic is huge, but let’s address the more common mistakes I see all the time. Each of them is not a mistake by itself, but if you put these as a ‘priority’ it is something that definitely will get you killed when SHTF:

 

The ‘Cool’ Factor

 

Here is a scenario that happened. A student on my survival course has been offered to choose some equipment to complete a survival training task, the amount of equipment to choose from was limited.

He is trying to ensure he has covered all of the ‘seven priorities’ of Urban Survival. When he gets to the water „section“ there were two items, a camping stove set (The Trangia model), and an old dirty plastic bottle, he could choose one.

He choose the plastic bottle for the section „water“.

I asked him ‘can you tell me why did you choose plastic bottle instead of the camping stove set?’, his answer was: “I saw on youtube that plastic bottle can be use for boiling water and making it sterile“.

I asked him:“ why did you not choose the camping stove set, it can do same thing, much easier, can do even more things, and last much longer etc etc“?

He did not have an answer for that, other than his previous one.

Folks, watching something on youtube (believe it or not) that looks cool, does not necessary mean it is right, or right for every situation.

I believe that youtube video was about using plastic bottle in survival when you do not have anything else, but taking it instead of something really useful just because looks cool or it’s a ‘good trick’???

This Plastic bottle story is just one example, many other times on various courses I see very similar things.

Internet is full of good advice about tactics, techniques, and equipment for SHTF, problem is, that in the same time internet is full of s..t, so choose carefully where you look to learn something, Check for guys who CREDIBLY tested something or experienced it, or you test it yourself before real SHTF.

I know, it is big industry and big money out there about let’s say „ how to survive end of the world with cool equipment and looking cool“, but from my experience I did not see cool equipment in my time, and the ‘cool’ people died very early on…

Folks who survived had stuff that worked and mentality that worked. ‘Coolness’ was not important in that time, even if someone had some ideas about looking and being cool, those ideas gone with first bullets hissing around their heads.

If you’re preparing to have cool equipment (only) and look cool when SHTF you are doing something wrong. Seriously.

 

Commodities, Peace of Mind, and Degrees of Knowledge

 

Again, having a commodity by itself when SHTF, on it’s own is not a problem. There is nothing wrong in preparing to be in as much comfort as possible when SHTF.

But huge number of Preppers are preparing only for that! And that is wrong.

Simplest example here, is man who is preparing for SHTF by buying good generator, in order to have as much comfort possible when SHTF, but at the same time he does not know ways to start a simple fire.

Generator here is something like an upgrade, fire (knowledge) is essential.

Nothing wrong with owning a generator, if you also know and have supplies up to the level where a generator ‘fits in’.

Or you have man who has 5 assault rifles, and a lot of ‘knowledge’ (youtube again) about tactical movement – but he has NO clue how hard (noisy) it is to move through partially destroyed buildings, or he never fired the rifle inside an enclosed space (room, empty corridor) and did not experience the impact of that event on his ears.

Nothing wrong with owning 5 rifles, if you know everything up to that level.

Five rifles alone does not mean s..t.

Internet is full of advertising that if you do (or buy) whatever they offer you, you’re going to have something like ‘best time of your life when SHTF.’

Of course it is a lie, even if you are fully prepared it is not going to be a joyride, it is going to be hard and life changing.

And by ‘buying solutions’ then you are just buying peace of mind, nothing more. Worse still, you are seriously underestimating SHTF.

PLEASE make some common sense decisions in your preparing. Do not find yourself in situation where you have 30 spices in your pantry but you do not have duct tape or an axe.

Start from the basic in every „pillar“ of survival, evenly, then build on that base with logic and sense. Build all pillars up at the same time, don’t take ‘defense’ for example and focus and build that to the highest level while ignoring the six others…

I’ve written about these before, but just as a brief re-cap, the seven ‘pillars’ of Urban Preparedness are:

1) Fire

2) Water

3) Shelter

4) Food

5) Signalling/Communication

6) Medical/Hygiene

7) Defense

Use the internet to help your preps, but confidence check your sources, and do not believe everything you read/see!!!

I see and read to many people treating Prepping like some ‘fun game’ as opposed to the serious matter it is. Please choose your approach wisely folks…

 

 

How To Make A Horno Oven

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How To Make A Horno Oven This is a great multi purpose oven, if you are camping, hiking or just surviving this Horno oven or in simple terms, a brick or stone and mud oven could cook your food, boil water so you can drink it and keep your shelter warm long after the flames go …

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Popular Hollywood Hallucinogenic Plant Could Have Dangerous Side Effects

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hollywood-drugReadyNutrition Readers, this article holds some important information and advice for anyone considering using naturopathic or holistic supplements in their diet.  As a certified Master Herbalist, in no way, shape, or form do I wish my words to be construed as “knocking” herbs and herbal supplements.  There is an article that recently surfaced, however, that bears mentioning, as it presents a substance in a light that is not objective.  The article is entitled Hallucinogenic Plant Ayahuasca Gains Foothold in the U.S.,” by Veronique Dupont of AFP, released on 12/25/16.

Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a constituent of the plant, and it is illegal in the U.S., which makes study of it very difficult.  It is said to produce euphoric and hallucinogenic effects, and is claimed to have therapeutic use in helping addiction, trauma, and depression.  Scientists have looked upon it with wariness, as the South American herb has negative effects when mixed with other medications or when used by people with preexisting medical conditions.  The herb is, however, gaining popularity, and people are trying to use it under the protective blanket of its use in “religious rituals and ceremony.”  Here is an excerpt from the article; please take note of the “distinguished” individuals who (according to the article) recommend using Ayahuasca:

“Thousands are flocking to sample the elixir and swear by its therapeutic properties, despite warnings from scientists and users that ayahuasca can be dangerous and even prove fatal, especially when mixed with other drugs.  Ayahuasca’s proponents, who include celebrities such as Sting, Paul Simon, Tori Amos and Lindsey Lohan, say the plant offers a spiritual experience like no other. Many also say it has allowed them to overcome traumas that no other conventional therapy can tackle.”

Really, guys and gals, Lindsey Lohan?  Sting?  The point that I am making (and I am a trained Master Herbalist) is that scientific research and good laboratory work provide true and useful information that should not be ignored just for the sake of bucking the “Big Pharma” train.  Seriously, if you want good information, weigh any herbal supplement against lab data and scientific research provided for you.  In the past, I have mentioned such reference materials as Medical Herbalism” by David Hoffman (a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine), as well as the PDR for Herbal Medicine,” a compendium gathered by hundreds of Medical Doctors and Herbalists.  I have also mentioned traditional medical references, such as Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary.

These reference materials in no way detract from the principles of herbalism and naturopathic aids: rather, they reinforce them with research, study, and in-depth chemical analyses that are possible only in a laboratory setting.  They give dosages, contraindications, and specifics about the herbs that enable a person to arm themselves with knowledge that could prevent an illness or injury.  Part of your survival supplies is the knowledge to employ them.  Nothing could hold more true than with herbs and herbal supplements.

Most laypersons aren’t particularly fond of scientists and chemists; however, these people studied hard to win approval in their profession…with real and valuable information in their curriculums.  It is my firm belief that traditional medicine and herbalism need to support and complement one another, as they are interrelated, with the latter discipline being the older of the two.  Although there are plenty of laws that are not good, they are not the majority: there is common sense in stopping at a red light, common sense in being required to put a tarp over a dump truck loaded with gravel, and common sense with keeping a snarling dog on a leash and maybe muzzled.  Common sense and the observance of it help keep people safe.  If they “forget,” then the law is their guideline.  Without laws people really would eat one another.

In this light, many times some of these exotic herbs have been used for innocuous or innocent purposes with well-meaning, and through no fault of their own, people have gotten hurt or worse.  The reason for this is they didn’t really know the herb or know what they were doing in the first place.  The scientific research on lesser-known substances should be trusted and further researched before attempting to utilize these herbs, as well as consent and approval of a physician…an individual trained in chemistry and biology with years of practical experience in medicine and (we hope) a professional who places patient care first and foremost.

So, to summarize, learn about herbs and herbalism as much as you can when an obscure or “new” thing comes to light.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and your prevention lies within your references and the professionals you have at your disposal to question regarding your supplements.  There is no shame in asking questions, and it is just as important to know about your supplements and how to use them as it is to have a full supply.  Be safe, and have a Happy New Year!

 

JJ

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepping 101 In the beginning… or

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Prepping 101 In the beginning… or… How I scared the crap out of myself. Richard McGrath ” Finding Freedom” Audio in player below! Where to start and what to do when you come to realize that we really are not as secure and comfortable as we like to think we are.Once the shade is lifted … Continue reading Prepping 101 In the beginning… or

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