The 5 Best Livestock For Beginning Homesteaders

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The 5 Best Livestock For Beginning Homesteaders

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

There’s nothing more exciting than purchasing your very first homestead. As you mend the fences and fix your new outbuildings, you realize it’s time to think about putting some animals on your property.

That, though, can be a scary thought, especially if you don’t know where to start. Educating yourself and creating a plan for exactly what you want out of your homestead will make things much more enjoyable.

Here’s the list of our five favorites for beginners:

1. Chickens

Chickens are super simple to take care of, and their return is well worth any time and effort you put in to making them happy. They need little space, and so if you are just starting out with a few chickens, you won’t need much room. A chicken coop and a small run is sufficient. Five hens will produce approximately four eggs per day. In no time at all, you’ll have an overflow of eggs and you’ll be in good shape. Chickens also provide great compost for your growing garden.

2. Ducks

Ducks are also great starter animals for your homestead. Like chickens, they don’t require a lot of space and are quite happy as long as they have water to bath in and food to eat. Plus, they are excellent foragers.

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Ducks are very good for your garden, as they are great at keeping pesky bugs off your plants. Their eggs are an excellent source of nutrition, and their meat is also quite nutritious.

3. Rabbits

The 5 Best Livestock For Beginning HomesteadersAdding rabbits to your homestead can be a lot of fun. They cost very little to feed, eating mostly hay and pellets, but they enjoy garden scraps as well. Rabbits also take up very little space; a 4×4 enclosure is perfect for one or two of them. They are an excellent meat source, and just like chickens they provide compost for your garden. Unlike cow or horse manure, you can use rabbit manure right away.

4. Goats

Goats are our fourth pick for beginner homesteaders, especially if you don’t own a lot of land. Goats can be a meat source, a dairy source and are excellent brush-clearers. Remember that goats are natural herd animals, and so owning more than one will be best. Goats are also climbers; having a high fence or even an electric fence will keep your goats safe. If you are raising goats for dairy, they will provide you with approximately one gallon of milk per day. But remember: They do produce less cream than do dairy cows.

5. Pigs

Our last pick for a beginner homesteader probably requires the most time and energy. Pigs only need a pen with strong fencing, but if you have the land, you may consider free-ranging your pigs. This can reduce the amount of food they eat and will also take care of the smell that can come from a stinky pen. Although pigs do require more of us as homesteaders, they obviously provide us with an excellent and very delicious meat source. Keep in mind that sows can have litters up to 10 piglets and can have as many as three litters per year. If you are raising the piglets for meat, it will take a full year before you will get a sufficient amount of meat from them.

Do you agree with our list? What would you change? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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What Natural Disasters Are Covered By Insurance 101

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What Natural Disasters Are Covered By Insurance 101 Insurance is a win /lose kinda situation, it costs a fortune and usually if you have it nothing is ever damaged, but if you don’t have it your house gets destroyed. I found a great article on what is covered if a natural disaster ever happens and …

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The post What Natural Disasters Are Covered By Insurance 101 appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

10 Ways To Prevent Frozen Pipes

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10 Ways To Prevent Frozen Pipes What’s worse than a major home maintenance disaster? How about several major home maintenance disasters at once? For the quarter-million families who have their homes ruined and their lives disrupted each winter because of frozen water pipes, frigid nights can very quickly turn to ongoing, inconvenient, extremely expensive ordeals. …

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How To Build And Why You Need A Ladybug Garden

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How To Build And Why You Need A Ladybug Garden I am glad I am sharing this with you today, I plan on starting my survival garden this spring and the one thing I have read about gardening is if you are not careful and do not use pesticides you can get a case of …

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The post How To Build And Why You Need A Ladybug Garden appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Five Native American Remedies We Can All Learn From

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Five Native American Remedies We Can All Learn From The native Americans have been around here a lot longer than we have and wouldn’t you think in all those years living by themselves they would have great natural remedies we could all learn from? I know for sure I would try them. I found a …

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State Governments Passing Laws to Abolish Private Property Rights

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The level of encroachment of government into our lives correlates very closely to the amount of freedom a person enjoys.  It should come as no surprise that the more the

Build Your Own DIY Fishing Kit

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Alright, if you’re checking out this site, chances are you are well aware that you can find guides on building many different handy survival kits and other survival items right here on Know Prepare Survive. Let’s take a moment to speak about a Do-It-Yourself minimalist fishing kit. You can stash this fishing kit in your …

The post Build Your Own DIY Fishing Kit appeared first on Know Prepare Survive.

Brass Shells for my Black Powder DB Shotgun.

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My youngest son bought me two boxes of brass shells for my black powder 12 gauge, so I have some hand loading to do.
Bring on the Zombies 😊 

No loader required, I can load these brass shells in just the same way as I load my muzzle-loading guns. The only difference is that I also need primers for the shells. More on this when I start reloading.
Keith.
 

Homeless and Roofless

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Jim Martin -good people

Jim Martin -good people

By Jim Martin – Homeless Shelter Director, Delaware

Every day in Southern Delaware, I work in the trenches and on the front lines of poverty, fear, homelessness, loneliness, isolation, addiction and mental illness.

People ask me about what I am seeing and experiencing out here on the front lines. In my opinion, there are the “roofless” and then there are the “homeless.” Being roofless means living rough. You are living outside with no cover. It also means most

times…..ROOT-less with little or no ties,

Being roofless mostly means living in active addiction and/or enduring an untreated mental illness. Living roofless is extremely exhausting, very fluid, dangerous, dark and unpredictable. It also costs about $10 a day to be roofless because of the needed supplies and provisions that you normally would NOT buy if you had a hard roof overhead. Many of the roofless are also smokers so you can add at least another six or more dollars to the $10 dollars a day cost of being roofless. Living roofless is also ruthless. It is brutal. If you are chronically roofless living outside, then you will die 25 years earlier than the average person who lives inside.

Now, what does homeless mean?

Homeless means you do have a hard roof overhead and there is much more accountability about your behaviors. You are living in an emergency shelter, an abandoned building or living on a couch… also known as “couch-surfing.” Being homeless could mean being doubled up or tripled up with family members.

Being homeless also could mean living in your vehicle. You can’t sign a lease or a deed in your own name.

Being homeless means you have an income of some sorts but it is not enough to pay rent or sign a deed/mortgage.

You purchase a car instead. You are a low wage earner and you are working on your recovery and your sobriety.

Being homeless also means living in transitional housing or group housing or shared living without a signed lease.

You are precariously housed living under the graces of another person or people. I estimate there are 100,000 Delawareans who are homeless and 30,000 Delawareans who are roofless.

There are 200,000 Delawareans with a mental illness. There are 100,000 Delawareans in active addiction. Of course, there are many Delawareans who struggle with both addiction and mental health conditions.

With the start of the New Year, we have many huge social problems in front of us to solve. Population health experts routinely state that 1 in 5 suffer with a mental illness. 1 in 10 with a severe addiction. There are a little less than 1 million Delawareans in total. Twenty percent have a mental illness and 10 percent have a severe addiction. As far as the roofless/homeless population, I am involved in a “point-in-time” study each year that helps to count the Delawareans who are unsheltered during one night in January.

But I believe this “point in time count” is much less than the actual number of roofless because the unsheltered are near invisible and difficult to engage or find late at night.

I also factor in the current housing wage of $21.70 an hour and the lack of affordable housing in the state. In other words, in order to afford a typical housing situation in Delaware, a person needs to earn at least $21.70 an hour. Many people are earning much less than $21.70 an hour.

Another fact is that there are 115,000 Delawareans on Medicaid, so this means that these folks are making under $12,000 a year. Monthly rentals are averaging $1,000 to $1,200 a month so there are thousands being priced out of the rental market.

There are thousands more who live in their vehicles and they don’t look “homeless.” They work very hard at blending into normal society. I also estimate that there are only 400,000 Delawareans who can actually afford to live in Delaware.

This leaves approximately 600,000 Delawareans struggling with their finances. As far as citizens who are involved with the criminal justice system: 7,000 Delawareans are incarcerated right now. Another 20,000 Delawareans are being supervised in the probation/parole system.

And of course, a large percentage of these folks coming from the DOC are in severe poverty when released and continue to be once they try and move forward in their difficult lives.

Jim Martin is the director of the A.C.E. Peer Resource Center in Seaford. He can be reached at Jimmymartin767@gmail.com.

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Your Fingerprints Now Can Be Stolen From Selfie Pictures?

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Your Fingerprints Now Can Be Stolen From Selfie Pictures?

Image source: PSU.edu

WASHINGTON — Your fingerprints might be a major threat to your privacy.

That’s because the images taken by smartphone cameras are so full of detail that it is now possible to copy fingerprints from them, Professor Isao Echizen of Japan’s National Institute of Informatics told The Sankei Shimbun newspaper.

“Just by casually making a peace sign in front of a camera, fingerprints can become widely available,” Echizen said.

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The problem: An increasing number of new technologies, including iPhones, use fingerprints to unlock phones. Echizen said fingerprints can be stolen from pictures taken from up to 10 feet away – in other words, ever selfie you’ve taken where your fingerprints could be seen. Many people post such pictures on social media.

“Fingerprint data can be recreated if fingerprints are in focus with strong lighting in a picture,” Echizen told Yomiuri TV.

Even worse, the professor said that advanced technology is not needed to steal fingerprints.

As Digital Trends reported, “The problem is compounded by photos being shared and stored online, creating a gallery of fingerprints for thieves to exploit. The professor points out that unlike a stolen password, which can be quickly changed, your fingerprints are with you forever.”

Echizen’s find has other privacy problems: Cops might be able to identify and locate protestors via a news photograph. All they would need to do is run the fingerprints from the picture through the database.

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

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

Is Trump Too Cozy With Russia?

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For weeks now, the mainstream media has been in an uproar over Russia’s role in the U.S. election, alleging that President-elect Trump is far too friendly with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

So, is Trump too cozy with Russia – to the danger of the United States?

That’s the subject of this week’s episode of Off The Grid Radio, as we talk to Peter Vincent Pry, who is chief of staff of the EMP Commission and formerly served in the House Armed Services Committee and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Pry, an expert on the power grid and threats to the U.S., tells us:

  • Why Russia is still a major threat to the United States
  • What he believes Trump is really doing in befriending Russia.
  • How the mainstream media has been ignoring the real threat that Russia poses.
  • Why he believes the Russians may have the power to take out the U.S. power grid.

No matter which political candidate you supported in November, this is one show you don’t want to miss!

6 Ways to Keep Composting in Winter

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The post 6 Ways to Keep Composting in Winter is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

For many people, winter is about cozy open fires, slippers and huddling inside. Few people give much thought to their garden during the winter, let alone the compost pile. But composting in the winter gives your garden and soil a great head-start when spring finally comes. Read on for tips and hints to help you […]

The post 6 Ways to Keep Composting in Winter is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Kitchen DIY: How to Nixtimalize Corn

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This project looks deceptively simple, but it is one that I had to try a couple times to get right. I only stuck with it because Nixtamalization is a vital process for people that use corn as a staple food. This is because the nutrient niacin is unavailable in unprocessed corn, and by cooking dried […]

The post Kitchen DIY: How to Nixtimalize Corn appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Book: How to Season and Dry Your Own Wood

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Wood may grow on trees, but it’s still expensive, especially for fine woodworkers in the market for high-quality lumber. Knowing how to season and dry your own wood is the answer.  This is an expert’s handbook on finding, processing, seasoning, and drying your own wood. Designed with the independent craftsperson in mind, it focuses on […]

The post Book: How to Season and Dry Your Own Wood appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

An Unsexy Survival Plan for California’s Epic Floods, Avalanches, and Mudslides

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How do you survive a flood, mudslides, avalanches, power outages, and gale force winds? What about sinkholes and buckling roads?

You’re going to be so disappointed when I tell you … Read the rest

The post An Unsexy Survival Plan for California’s Epic Floods, Avalanches, and Mudslides appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

4 Keys to Maintaining Communication in a Disaster Situation

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When faced with a disaster, either human-made or natural, it’s critical that you and your family are prepared. Have you thought out and gone over what everyone is supposed to do? Do you have an emergency supply kit that could save your lives? But perhaps the most important thing is planning to be able to communicate, with your family, loved ones, friends and relevant authorities, in a disaster situation. Here are the keys for how to do that.

  1. Have a Meeting Spot

  2. Technology can fail, so if communication is ever cut off or you can’t get a hold of anybody, have a previously-established meeting spot or place to go in case of an emergency. This should be near your home but not too close to it, as buildings can collapse due to earthquakes or fires could spread to nearby vegetation and structures. You could even have a reciprocal arrangement with a neighbor or neighboring family, making their home a designated meet-up and safe space for your children or vice versa.

  3. Have a Way to Charge Devices, or Batteries

  4. Batteries last a long time, and can easily be purchased and kept in an emergency kit for years and still be functional. Most devices come with rechargeable batteries now, so keeping a spare, fully-charged battery for important devices like your mobile phone is a very good idea. You can also charge cell phones and most other devices in your car if you have an adapter, so keeping those spare adapters and cords in your vehicle is a good idea as well.

  5. Prepaid SIM or Phone Cards

  6. You can purchase a SIM card to install in an old cell phone to be used only in case of an emergency. Old cell phones without service plans can be used to dial 911, but won’t be able to contact friends and family members, hence why a SIM (possibly a prepaid one) is a good alternative. Prepaid phone cards are also a good option that allow you to make calls only when the need arises, so you don’t have to pay monthly service fees on it like usual.

  7. Keep a Battery-Powered Radio and Two-Way Radios

  8. Keeping a battery-powered radio you can use to listen for updates on the situation, as well as battery-operated two-way radios to stay in contact with the other people with you, can help you maintain communication without having to worry about having to recharge cell phones. Also, make sure you are signed up for federal and local emergency alerts on your phone, so you can receive information and be better prepared in case of an emergency.

Being able to communicate with loved ones and authorities during an emergency situation can mean life or death, and it’s imperative that you think ahead and have some kind of preparedness and plan ahead of time. Do try and limit cell phone calls or data usage during an emergency to free up networks so emergency calls can get through for other people affected in your area. Establish the four things listed above and you and your family should be all set!

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Build a Stealth Fire Pit That Won’t Draw Unwanted Attention

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I’ve gotten several messages from people expressing concern that if they try to cook over an open fire during a widespread disaster, they’ll attract hungry and dangerous people. One thing you can do to keep down the smell is avoid cooking with spices (add them after you’re done cooking), but obviously people will still see […]

The post Build a Stealth Fire Pit That Won’t Draw Unwanted Attention appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

14 Fun ‘Old-Time’ Winter Activities To Keep You From Going Insane

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14 Fun 'Old-Time' Winter Activities To Keep You From Going Insane

Artist: Winslow Homer

From our 21st-century vantage point, it is hard for many of us even to envision a life without electronic entertainment, especially during winter. But there really was fun to be had before the advent of handheld devices and before state-of-the-art televisions.

There were plenty of ways for people to amuse themselves year-round in days gone by. Children and adults alike had fun both indoors and out—and the best part is, most of the things enjoyed by people in the past can still be done in modern times. Following are some examples of old-time winter fun that we can still do today.

Outdoor Sports and Recreation

1. Snowshoeing. The basics are easy. They amount to strapping snowshoes onto one’s winter boots and walking across the snow. Of course, it is advised to use the model that works best for your ability and conditions, and practice the technique of walking with an enormous footprint before venturing too far. Some people strike off across the lawn, and others use trails groomed specifically for snowshoeing. Many folks use poles for added balance, but they are not necessary. Snowshoes can be found for every terrain, skill level and body size.

2. Cross-country skiing. This is relatively simple, as well, and can be done in a wide variety of settings, from the backyard or neighborhood park to commercial trails. Skis, bindings, boots and poles can usually be purchased as a package, and while the up-front price can feel daunting, they last for years and will provide many hours of free or inexpensive entertainment for the whole family.

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3. Downhill skiing. This activity kicks it up a notch in terms of cost and skill required, but remains a beloved winter sport for many. This type of skiing takes place on a groomed ski hill or mountain, with a motorized lift to the top. It requires a different set of equipment than that of cross-country skiing and uses different skills to master.

4. Ice skating. Skating on farm ponds and city rinks is a quintessential classic winter activity. Gliding across the ice on simple skates can be fun, romantic, exhilarating, challenging or athletic—or a combination of any or all of those things.

14 Fun 'Old-Time' Winter Activities To Keep You From Going Insane

Image source: Wikimedia

5. Birdwatching. Many birds remain in northern habitats all year long—or migrate into the area specifically for colder seasons—and winter is a great time to seek out favorites and observe their behavior. With less birdsong and chatter to compete with them, it is easier to make out the calls of some species during winter. Sightings of snowy owls and bright-colored cardinals can thrill the hearts of even those with little enthusiasm for birds in general.

Inside the House

6. Games. Cards, board games, checkers, kids’ games, dice, pick-up sticks, party, trivia, role-playing or words—whatever kind of game is appealing, winter is the ideal time to strike up a game. From Scrabble to Hungry Hungry Hippo, games are great for families at home, inviting relatives and neighbors over for a friendly competition, or for a community social event.

7. Puzzles. Puzzles run the gamut, from jigsaw puzzles to word puzzles and searches, to Rubik’s cubes and everything in between, for all ages and interests and budgets and skill levels.

8. Reading. Winter is an excellent time for reading. Whether one prefers romance novels, non-fiction, memoirs, adventure, how-tos, classics or other genres—they are all attained by simply opening a book or magazine, downloading an e-book, or listening to an audiobook selection. And when a household’s reading capacity exceeds the budget, library services are available in person or by mail just about everywhere.

Artist: Frans Van Mieris the Elder

Artist: Frans Van Mieris the Elder

9. Corresponding. This one sounds a little like the texting and social media that consumes so many lives nowadays, but it can be more old-fashioned than that if one wants it to be. Letters or cards to loved ones, pen pals, and personal journals are all ways to correspond.

10. Crafting. The sky is the limit when it comes to modern-day crafts, with an amazing abundance of ideas, tutorials and materials available at the touch of a screen and at stores everywhere. Upcycling, painting, gluing, crocheting, needlework, sewing, wood-carving, knitting, wreath-making, weaving—the list of worthy craft projects is endless.

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11. Culinary arts. Winter is a wonderful time to bring out tried-and-true favorites, try one’s hand at Hollandaise sauce or crème brulee or homemade confections, or just make and enjoy simple fare like sandwiches and hot cinnamon cider with the kids.

Away From Home

12. Visiting. Winter is a slower season for many, particularly those who practice homesteading and living close to the land, and a great time to catch up on socializing.

13. Roller skating, bowling, lap swimming, dancing of all kinds … and whatever other indoor sporting activity is available in the area—all wonderful options.

14. Movies, plays, concerts and shows. These kinds of attractions were often more special events than run-of-the-mill entertainment in old times. Lives today can include so many of these that they’ve become ho-hum. If that is the case, it might be worth mixing in more of the other old-time activities and limiting commercial attractions, thereby making the ones remaining more distinctive.

It is not necessary to throw out 21st century technology in order to enjoy some of yesteryear’s recreational practices, but it can be a rewarding endeavor to set aside gadgets and devices long enough to try some old-fashioned ways to have fun.

What would you add to our list? What are your favorite winter activities? Share your tips in the section below:

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From a Caravan to a Community

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Moving into a caravan in the middle of Hill Holt Wood in 1995 gave Nigel Lowthrop his roots.
His purchase of the 22-acre woodlands in beautiful rural northern Britain near the evocative C16th village of Norton Disney led to the beginning of a sustainable social enterprise community which he and his wife Karen have been building for 20 years.

Gradually building and then moving into a kit house by the side of a lake, Nigel’s entirely self-sustainable area comprises 12 acres.
The house is fully equipped with wood and stove heating, purified rainwater tanks and solar panels.
The remaining Holt Hill area is now a successful social project, home to several protected specials and owned by the Hill Holt Wood Charity, which overs educational, social and health programs.

Nigel Lowthrop. Image: Jeremy Lovell.

Nigel Lowthrop. Image: Jeremy Lovell.

Nigel, a biologist who has worked in land management since 1970, said his desire to build a social enterprise community was born from a need to do better by the environment.
“I felt we as a country weren’t doing a very good job of managing the countryside,” Nigel told the Newark Advertiser.
“I believed you could manage it both sustainably and economically. The whole basis (of Hill Holt Wood) was to apply a [social, environmental and economic] legacy, to mutually benefit each other.” However, it wasn’t an easy road to success – Nigel fought a battle with government and planning representatives when building lakeside property. He recalls the first day the Forestry Commission’s regional director came; Nigel overhead him and his team wondering why they were there.
“I knew what they were picturing: this eco-warrior who was dirty and smelly and living in the woods.

They were getting ready to say ‘you’re a nice loony, but you are a loony nonetheless; this isn’t mainstream,’” he said. “But by the time they had walked around the land once, you could see them thinking ‘this isn’t what we expected’”.

Nigel, who recently put his property on the market for £650,000 due to health reasons, among others, believes more work needs to be done to educate the wider community, and government, on the benefits of sustainable living.
“I don’t think most planners understand sustainable,” he told the Newark Advertiser.
“One of the things that would take years to overcome after we first moved here was the planning. They seemed to be against things that were outside towns and villages.
“The government has changed the planning rules so that there should be a presumption of positive response to sustainable development — but there is no definition of sustainable.”

The post From a Caravan to a Community appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Vehicle Prepping: Displacing The Control Module Of Your Car

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Vehcile Prepping

Do you have enough money set aside to pay for hundreds to thousands of dollars in vehicle computer repair and diagnostics?

Have you been watching the news and feel that either a terrorist group or a foreign country is right on the brink of launching an EMP strike right here in the United States?

Even without the usual concerns you take into account as a prepper, just a few computer chips can make it impossible for you to use your survival vehicle, nor to get to work and meet other vital transportation needs.

Replacing the PCM or Powertrain Control Module in your vehicle brings you one step closer to having reliable transportation regardless of what is going on in the world around you.

What is the PCM?

In most vehicles, the Powertrain Control Module is the key computer that controls just about every aspect of your vehicle’s performance. Its presence is designed to improve gas mileage and also make it easier for mechanics to detect oncoming system or part failure as well as find problems faster when they occur.

As with any other computer, however, they can be a serious headache to consumers because:

  • When they break down or produce false readings that prevent an otherwise functional car from operating. Replacing the computer can be very expensive and is usually beyond the ability of the vehicle owner. It also often requires a manufacturer licensed repair shop to reset the new computer so that it works correctly.
  • The PCM and other computer systems in the car are all susceptible to EMP strikes.
  • In more modern vehicles, the computers may be hacked by outsiders that can literally cause your vehicle to stop cold in traffic or accelerate to a dangerous level in order to cause a crash.
  • RFID chips equipped with GPS locators or wireless internet access elsewhere in the vehicle can make it easy for hackers, stalkers, and others to locate your vehicle. In some modern vehicles, these chips which may not reside in the actual PCM can cause your vehicle to become inoperable.

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The Basic Parts of the PCM

The ECU or Engine Control Unit

It controls the air to fuel ratio, idle speed, and ignition timing. Together with these functions, the ECU or related computers may also control firing order and valve timing.

In some vehicles, the ECU may also control ABS braking, skid control, traction monitoring, and cruise control. The ECU may also have some control over steering in newer vehicles with automated crash avoidance technologies.

The TCU or Transmission Control Unit

It’s mainly used in vehicles with automatic transmissions. This part of the PCM receives information from sensors that reveal the vehicle’s speed, the throttle position, and traction control monitoring. From this data, it determines which gear is best to use.

It also controls how the transmission shifts from one gear to the next. The TCU is also heavily involved in improving mileage.

The BCM or Body Control Module

This module is usually dedicated to other accessories found in the vehicle. Automatic seat belts, electronic lock doors, sun roof, anti-theft systems, the radio, electronic windows, and internal lights will all be controlled by this module. Some vehicles may have this module integrated with the ECU, while it is a separate computer in others.

Video first seen on DanielJaegerFilms.

In order to function, the PCM must send and receive information about what is going on in other parts of the vehicle. Much like your brain, the PCM has “sensors” that detect certain conditions and then relay the information directly back to the PCM, or to another module that reports back to the PCM.

As an analogy, your eyes detect the presence of a very narrow band of frequencies within the light spectrum. That information is sent via the optic nerve to your brain where it is interpreted so that you can “see”.

Once the PCM receives information from the sensors, it compares it to information organized in a table or database. If the value is outside the range set in the database, then the PCM “interprets” that something is wrong. If the data is inside the range, then it determines there are no problems in that part of the engine. Depending on the findings, the PCM will send one set of directions or another to other computer modules, that, in turn, control how the actual working parts of your vehicle perform.

As an extremely simplified example, a sensor located inside the cylinder might report when the spark plug has fired, as well as the estimated power of that spark. The PCM or an associated module should have already initiated the process which takes fuel from the gas tank, turns it into a mist, combines it with air, and then injects it into the cylinder.

As the explosion occurs inside the cylinder, another sensor might keep track of the heat delivered by the explosion, if there are leaks in the piston rings, and when the piston reaches its lowest point in the cylinder.

While all this information is coming in and being compared, the PCM will be dedicating some of its resources to repeating the same process in the next cylinder set in the firing order. If a fault occurs, other resources within the PCM will be used to let the driver know there is a problem by activating one or more lights on the dashboard.

That’s a lot of work for one tiny computer, isn’t it? While you can expect the sensors attached to the PCM to fail more often than the computer itself, they can cause it to send out wrong instructions, or, worse yet, cause the PCM to shut your vehicle down entirely. In the scenario listed above, here are some problems that can occur.

These problems can occur regardless of whether an EMP strikes. In addition, if an EMP occurs, damage to the computer chips or those found in the sensors can also generate false readings or no readings at all. Either way, your vehicle may not run, or be ruined because the computer will give directions that can cause the engine to seize up and fail.

  • If the plug is fouled or does not fire, that will be transmitted to the PCM. An error code will be generated that will cause the check engine light on your dashboard to light up.
  • If the sensors itself is failing and transmits that the plug is misfiring, it will also cause the PCM to generate a system fault.
  • If an EMP strike affects this or some other sensor that, in turn, damages part of the PCM, it may cause the cylinders to fire out of order. It may also reduce coolant flow (modern automobile computers send less coolant through a newly started or cold engine so that it heats up faster), which can cause the engine to overheat and seize up. If you think about all the things that can cause an engine to seize up or fail, chances are you will find at least on sensor that leads back to the PCM. Each of these sensors can very easily cause the engine to seize up via the PCM or other computers attached to it.

Perhaps off topic, but I am inclined to disagree with the view that a motor vehicle that is not running during an EMP and has the battery out should survive the blast. Others claim it is impossible for the computer to cause the engine or transmission to seize up and fail completely.

Remember, an EMP pulse can propagate without the benefit of a physical medium such as a wire or other direct connection. If your vehicle is near a power line or anything else that can conduct electricity, the computer can be ruined by the EMP. The safe distance from the power line will depend on the magnitude of the EMP and the capacity of the conducting medium.

In essence, the stronger the EMP, the further away your vehicle will have to be from transmission sources to remain safe. Do some research on wireless power transmission, a technology envisioned by Tesla and on the verge of changing how we receive electricity from centralized sources.

Free Energy Device – Learn How to Generate Your Free Electricity! 

What Does the PCM Do in Your Specific Vehicle?

Depending on the age, make, and model of your vehicle, the PCM may do relatively little, or it may replace important parts that were once mainstays in motor vehicles. As a general rule of thumb, the newer your vehicle is, the more integrated the PCM will be.

For example, almost all vehicles on the market right now still have camshafts (these determine when valves open and close). It is entirely possible, however, to see camshaft free vehicles widely available to consumers in the next 5 – 10 years. Instead of a camshaft (which you can fix or replace as needed), these newer vehicles use hydraulic pumps that are, in turn, controlled by the engine control unit (aka ECU).

Before you decide to remove the PCM, look at the shop manual that should be available through the manufacturer. This book should tell you exactly what the PCM does in your vehicle, all the other computers it connects to, and the sensors involved in the chain of information.

If you are in the market for a new or used vehicle that you might want to retrofit to get rid of the computers, it will help to have a look at the manufacturer’s shop manual. As you read through the shop manual, flow charts including the following information:

  • The name of each sensor, the module it reports to, and what it reports.
  • Other information that is reported to the same module from other sensors.
  • Where the module reports next in the chain. Keep following this chain until it goes directly back to one of the major parts of the PCM. Also note any side chains that may report to another module elsewhere in the system.
  • Continue following each line of the flow chart until you reach an actual component that does tangible work in the vehicle. For example, you will know you have completed the trail when you hit something that instructs a motor to turn, a valve to open, or a hydraulic pump to work.
  • If there are RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips or other ties not entirely related directly to engine performance, this is how you will find them.

Once you have made a complete chart of the sensors and modules within the vehicle, it will be easier to see how they all connect to each other. Bypassing one sensors may, in fact, entail bypassing several others so that the vehicle runs properly. If the PCM is highly integrated into the transmission and braking systems, you may have to do the entire overhaul at one time.

Alternatively, you may want to consult some open source vehicle retrofitting sites to see if there are workaround micro controllers that transmit information to the PCM even though the sensors and other parts no longer exist.

Make sure that your vehicle is safe to operate during the time period when one part of the PCM is present, but another is not. Fortunately, if your main concern is getting rid of automated remote shutoff RFIDs or other devices that can be used to control your vehicle remotely, bypassing them may not impact the overall functionality and safety of the vehicle.

Common Systems and Replacement Options

The Air to Fuel Ratio

If your vehicle has fuel injectors, then the air to fuel mixture will be controlled by some kind of computer. The only thing you can do, based on older technology, is to replace the fuel injectors with a carburetor.

If there is not enough space between the top of the engine and the hood, you may need to cut a hole in the hood to accommodate the added height of the carburetor.

Idle Speed

If you replace the fuel injector system, the carburetor will also control the idle speed. Unlike fuel injector systems, you will have full, easy control of the idle speed when using a carburetor. If the idle is too fast or too slow, just turn the idle adjustment screw.

In modern vehicles with PCMs, you cannot adjust the idle speed at all, and will have to take the vehicle to a mechanic that has the kind of computers onhand that can communicate with the PCM and make the necessary adjustments.

Ignition Timing

At the simplest, modern electronic ignition systems use sensors to monitor a magnet spinning on the distributor shaft. Transistors and other solid state devices (which you will recall are highly sensitive to EMPs) initiate high current flow through a coil, which then causes the spark plug to emit a spark. This whole process is controlled by the PCM or a related module.

You would need to install a mechanical based distributor in place of the electronic ignition system and then adjust the timing manually as needed. A mechanical distributor basically has a “cap and rotor” assembly on top of the distributor. The rotor has a piece of metal in the middle that accepts current from the distributor, and a small metal bit of metal on the outer edge. The cap has one metal bit for each spark plug that will be activated by the distributor.

As the rotor spins, the two pieces of metal meet and electricity from the distributor passes through the rotor, into the cap, down the spark plug wire, and into the spark plug. Once the metal on the rotor passes the metal point on the cap, no power is available for that spark plug until the metal on the rotor spins back into position.

Along with the distributor, you would also need to add a vacuum advance to the ignition system.

Firing Order

On a mechanical distributor system, the firing order is determined by the position of a gear which drives the distributor. This gear, in turn, is driven by the camshaft.

In order to avoid backfires or other symptoms of misfiring, the cables that connect the distributor to the spark plugs must be in the right order. If you do not have a repair manual that indicates the cylinder designations for each point on the distributor cap, and the firing order, you will have to find them manually.

Video first seen on  HOWSTUFFINMYCARWORKS.

Valve Timing

Modern camshaft systems use the ECU to control how much the exhaust and intake valves open as well as when they do so in the timing sequence.

Changing this system to remove the computer control will depend largely on how the camshaft is constructed and how the camshaft lobe is designed. Since different manufacturers use different methods for arriving at variable valve timing systems, you will need to look at the system for your car and take it from there.

ABS Braking

Basically, anti-lock braking systems use a sensor that detects when the wheel stops spinning, yet the vehicle itself keeps moving forward. Because locked wheels prevent steering, the first priority is to get the wheels turning again so that traction can be restored. Since most people slam the brakes when they feel the vehicle skid, they make the situation worse.

ABS systems automatically release the brakes and then re-apply them so that there is a balance between braking and traction control. You should be able to remove the sensors, and also the control module that connects to the pump that provides power assist while braking.

Just remember that you may need to do some additional work to restore full control between the brake pedal and the master cylinder.

Automatic Transmission Gear Switching

Even though you may remove the ECU, some parts of the TCU may still be looking for input from the ECU. As a result, you may also need to make some changes to the transmission so that it can run without input from a computer module. First, you can completely change the automatic transmission out for a manual one. This can be a difficult task, especially if you cannot find a compatible transmission.

Building one from the ground up would take access to metal working equipment, plus the experience required to build a fairly complicated system. Since you may also want to eliminate as many motors as possible in the vehicle, switching to a manual transmission may prove to be the best option.

Your other option may be to install an older style cable  that controls the transmission directly based on the position of the gas pedal.

Essentially, the transmission has a throttle valve that connects to the gas paddle via a cable. When you press on the gas, more pressure is exerted on the throttle valve. This, in turn, initiates changes in the hydraulic system within the transmission to engage or disengage different gears.

Electronic Windows

Have you ever shut the engine of your vehicle, and then realized that you needed to open or close the window?

If so, then you can readily understand what the rest of your vehicle will feel like when some part of the PCM is damaged or destroyed by an EMP. Without question, electronic windows are as dangerous as they are problematic to preppers that want a safe, reliable vehicle.

In order to change electronic windows for manual ones, you will need to find and install a window crank system that will fit inside the door compartment of your vehicle.

If the window system is deeply integrated into an anti-theft device which integrates with the PCM, you may have to disabled any number of sensors and auxiliary control modules so that the vehicle will start up and run properly.

Electronic Doors

You will more than likely need to change the lock on the door as well as install a manual lock system. This includes an internal door latch that will allow you to open the door from the inside.

Considering how dangerous electronic doors are if you happen to get locked inside, making this change should be a top priority even if you aren’t concerned about EMP proofing at this time. As with electronic windows, you may have to disable parts of the PCM or the BCM in order to get the vehicle to operate.

Steering System

Since most modern vehicles don’t have crash avoidance systems, the computer integration may be at about the same level as in the braking system. You may need to do without power steering, mainly because this is yet another motor that can be damaged by an EMP.

Are you going to let another year go by without doing something to EMP proof your car? In all probability, this will be the year I begin the process of rebuilding and retrofitting a more modern vehicle to one that will be EMP proof.

Free Electricity? Find Out How! Click Here! 

Please comment in the section below on this topic so that we can all be encouraged to be better and more confident preppers in the arena of transportation!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

References:

http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/01/technology/security/car-hack/

http://www.techradar.com/news/a-tv-sized-panel-on-your-wall-could-wirelessly-charge-all-your-gadgets

https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/how-to-adjust-your-carburetor-by-ed-ruelas

http://www.carparts.com/classroom/ignition.htm

http://jalopnik.com/how-variable-valve-timing-works-500056093

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/automatic-transmission12.htm

http://mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/9957/in-an-automatic-transmission-what-decides-to-change-gears

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/automatic-transmission13.htm

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3 Great Ways To Stop Weeds This Year Without Using Harsh Chemicals

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“How can I stop weeds without spraying everywhere?!” It is probably one of the most popular questions to our blog every spring, summer and fall. Weeds can ruin more than the just the look of your property. By robbing the

The post 3 Great Ways To Stop Weeds This Year Without Using Harsh Chemicals appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

The sub $400 AR

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Part of me thought I’d never see it, and part of me thought that it would eventually happen: the sub-$400 AR. Let me put this i perspective..a new AR for the price of a used Glock.

AND76874-1-11-17I probably wouldn’t have it as my primary gun for the zombie apocalypse, but I’d have no problem sticking a couple in a closet and reselling them to people who were too shortsighted to think that the ‘assault weapons’ hooplah wasn’t gone for good.

From MGE Wholesale.

DIY Dry Banana Peels as Fertilizer

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How to dry banana peels and give a potassium boost to your garden | PreparednessMama

Did you know you can take dry banana peels and turn it into fertilizer for your garden? We eat a lot of bananas at our house so I like the idea that all the peels that we would normally compost can be used to benefit the garden. Homemade potassium fertilizer using banana peels is very […]

The post DIY Dry Banana Peels as Fertilizer appeared first on PreparednessMama.

Survival Hax Tactical Flashlight Review

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com I had an opportunity to try a review sample of the Survival Hax Tactical LED Flashlight. What’s included? Flashlight Rechargeable 3.7v 18650 battery with plastic sleeve Charger AAA adapter How does it work? Operating the flashlight is very simple.  To turn it on and off, you simply press the green button at the bottom of the flashlight .  Lightly pressing the green button also allows you to switch among the following lighting modes: High […]

The post Survival Hax Tactical Flashlight Review appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

When Seconds Count: 5 Items for Quick-Action Response

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1FIRST RESPONSE KITS

Picture This:

  1. You just hit a deer on the road about halfway between work and home on your 30-mile one-way commute. As you tried to avoid him, you swerved and hit a patch of ice and went off of an embankment.  Ramming a tree, you went unconscious.  You came to only to find a large laceration about 4” long running across your forehead
  1. You are just about to leave work when suddenly the entire building shakes. You’re up on the fifth floor, and a ceiling joist gives way, and half of the 6th floor of your workplace is now also on the fifth floor.  Even worse: you’re pinned under a beam and a big piece of jagged wood has gone right into your thigh.
  1. You’re in a very packed and congested shopping mall and suddenly, two guys with masks turn the corner with AK-47’s yelling in Arabic, firing their weapons in all directions. One of the bullets ricochets and hit you in the calf.

ReadyNutrition Readers, hopefully you are never in one of the examples…and really hopefully, not the same guy or gal in all three of them (that would really be bad luck, wouldn’t it?).  The point is that weird things, such as auto accidents, earthquakes, or terrorist Jihadists assaulting Chic-fil-A happen virtually all the time, now.  You may be just the innocent bystander or unwilling participant mentioned in one of these tragedies.  We hope that isn’t the case.

But if it is?  You had better be as ready as you can.  Let’s talk about some things that could give you a winning edge that you may be able to tote around on your person, either in your pockets or in a small bag.  We’re going to address some common problems that these unlucky individuals are facing in each of these scenarios.

Bad wounds – laceration, impaled wood, and a bullet.  All are serious, and each of them will require immediate medical attention.  The problem is you may not have the time to wait until trained personnel reach you, and (in the case of a SHTF event) they may never reach you.  But maybe you have these, for starters:

  1. Outdoor Wound Care Kit: with Celox, made by Total Resources, Int’l, accessible via totalresourcesintl.com.  The Celox clots the blood within 60 seconds.  The whole kit is about $8.00 at Wal-Mart.  Great for bullet wounds and lacerations…. think “Stop Gap,” and stop that bleeding, while you’re sealing up the gaps.
  2. The Army Field Dressing: Seriously, this one is a good one that you really need to pick up.  It’s listed as Dressing, First Aid, Field, Camouflaged, 4” x 6 ¼ to 7 ¼ inches NSN 6510-00-159-4883.  It has its own “tails” to tie it off and bind up that wound.
  3.  Fish Mox Forte: Fish Amoxicillin, comes in 500 mg capsules of 100 per bottle at about $40 per bottle. Good to throw a course of antibiotics on immediately when faced with a dirty wound.
  4. Electrolyte Stamina Power Pak: This electrolyte made by Trace Minerals Research is a type of ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) that you mix with about 6 ounces of water. Provides all of your electrolytes, such as Sodium, Potassium, and Magnesium.  If you’re conscious, you can drink fluids with any of the above examples, and if so, these packets will give you a super-helping of electrolytes, as well as other essential minerals you need.
  5. St. John’s Wort: available at Wal-Mart under Spring Valley Brand, 300 mg capsules with 150 capsules per bottle, at about $8.00 apiece. St. John’s Wort is great for dealing with depression and stress.  It is also a powerful antibiotic that is effective against bacteria and viruses.  Take some according to the directions on the package.

To summarize, these are a few things you can tote around with you in a jacket or cargo pocket that will give you an immediate edge when a situation arises that calls for you to work on it immediately.  Spread it out and make kits as such for your family.  Remember: when something happens to them and you’re working on the problem, use their stuff…your stuff is for you, and if you “go down,” they can go to it and treat your problem…with your supplies.  Stay ready and rock steady!

A little bit of that prep beforehand goes a long way.  Familiarize yourself with it and all of the capabilities at your disposal.  A pile of supplies that you don’t know how to use is just a pile of supplies.  Keep fighting that good fight, drink coffee, make pemmican with my recipe, and have a good one!  JJ out!

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

Bushcraft Basics for Preppers

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Bushcraft Basics for PreppersPrepping is made up of many different aspects of life, and Bushcraft is one of them. You don’t need to be a Navy Seal to understand tactics and defense. You don’t need to be the CEO of a fortune 500 company to invest in gold and silver, and you don’t need to 30 days in the wild to understand Bushcraft.

As preppers all we need to do is take the advice from people who have done these things, and incorporate them into our prepping plans as we see fit. Today in the show I talked to Shawn who does take Bushcraft seriously, and he talked about the aspects of wilderness survival that are important to preppers.

SPP184 Bushcraft Basics for Preppers

In this show we tried to cover as many topics as possible, and it’s pretty hard to do. This show is general information about Bushcraft for preppers. We plan on digging deeper into these topics and how Bushcraft applies to the 5 areas of preparedness in the future.

Here are some notes that Shawn put together for the show this week. If you do have any questions or comments, just leave them at the end of this article.

What is Bushcraft?

Definition of Bushcraft by Horace Kephart

– The Art of Getting along well in the wilderness by utilizing natures storehouse. –

“A good woodsman must be able to- enter the wilderness, with no outfit other than what’s carried by horse, canoe, or his back, and find his way without man made marks to guide him; they must know the habits and properties of trees and plants, the ways of catching and dressing fish and game, and cooking them over a fire. They must know how to build adequate shelter against wind and rain, and keep himself warm through the bitter nights of winter.”

Water Safety

  • Water borne bacteria in North America, Ghardia & Cryptosporidium.
  • CDC recommends filtering water first, then boiling for decontamination.
  • Iodine, & Chlorine dioxide tablets/drops: These are useful, but not for long term. The recommendation is no more than 3 weeks. May be resisted by Cryptosporidium and are unsafe for pregnant women.
  • Most chemical measurements are based on 32 oz., Mark a dimple large metal bottles.
  • UV steri-pens not worth using long term, batteries are not reliable.
  • Charcoal & Ceramic Filters by themselves are useful in time sensitive situations (bugging out), but no filter is 100%. Filters like the Sawyer and life straw are far better than a field expedient water filter.
  • Boiling should always be used as primary method when possible, kills 100% of pathogens.
  • Distilling water systems remove Lead, Arsenic, other metal substances, but are high energy, or slow/minimal effectiveness when using The Sun.
  • Contact Time: CDC recommends boiling water for 1 min. to kill pathogens. 3 min. Above 2000m (6,562ft)
  • Use metal containers, for water boiling and other uses (char material, medicine, cooking food). Plastic is not recommended.
  • When no metal is container available, water can be boiled using a wood container, and hot stones.

Medicine & Edibles (Pine)

  • North America holds 46 Species in 5 genera, very widespread and common throughout the States. Pine trees are one of most versatile and useful trees/plants.
  • Best Pine to use is soft pine or white pine.
  • An easy trick to identify White Pine is the needles. These pine trees have 4 or 5 needles together in one bundle, all others have 1, 2 or 3.
  • Ponderosa, Lodgepole and Monterey pine are known to be harmful to livestock. Yew tree can be deadly to humans.
  • Different parts of the pine can be used as an Antiseptic, Expectorant (Respiratory), Antifungal, Drawing properties (splinters), Vitamin C, Vitamin A.
  • Pine needles can be used for making Tea, weaving baskets and fire tinder.
  • Pine nuts edible on all pine species. Pine nuts are easier to find if the pine cone has not opened yet.
  • Inner bark of the pine can be used for baskets, band-aid and even  fried & eaten like pine potato chips.
  • The sap from the pine can be as a glue (sap+charcoal), directly on cuts/burns/blisters, as a salve (sap+beeswax+oils), Bug Repellent (sap+castor oil+tea tree oil), and even a temporary tooth filling.
  • The boughs can be used as roof shingles for shelter or bedding.
  • Fatwood is an outdoorsmans best friend. It can be used as tinder or kindling, and makes starting a fire much easier. Here is an article that explains fatwood and shows some examples.
  • The wood itself can be used for shelter, fire, tool handles, log splitting wedges.

5 Must Have Tools

In the show I asked Shawn what tools he considers a must have. He also mentioned how you should conserve your tools as much as possible. Try to use other resources whenever you can. You can also keep your tools oiled with cooking oil, and try to keep your tools sharp. A sharp knife is much safer than a dull knife.

Axe/ Hatchet: primary tool for Processing firewood, planks, shelter, wood carving, field dressing wild game and other common cutting tasks. You will want it to have an 18″-20 handle minimum, 26-28″ for large axe. Use Wedges whenever possible to extend the lifespan of your axe.

Belt Knife: primary use is skinning, cutting meat, prepping food. Secondary use is cutting sticks & Fine carving, processing smaller size wood. The blade should be about 5 or 6″ long, high carbon steel, full tang, no exaggerated point needed, sharp 90 angle usually on spine for fire and wood shavings, 1/8″ or 3/16 thick.

Jack Knife/ Carving Knife: This could be a Folding knife, or multitool with good blade that you always have in your pocket. Frontiersman used folding knife as primary whittling knife, but a separate knife specific to woodcarving is great to have. Mora makes excellent knives for carving. Can be stainless, but still prefer carbon because they hold their edge better.

Saw: These are safer and easier than axe and are an essential tool, especially in winter. I prefer metal bowsaw for camp with interchangeable blades. A wood bucksaw can be made. Some people also prefer the folding saws for on the trail like the silky or Bahco. Here is a comparison of 3 folding saw and how well they work.

Sewing Awl/ Scratch Awl/ Crooked Awl: High traded items in frontier times. Useful for drilling and poking holes in bark, canvas, leather, clothing. Needles and thread are hard to remake in the wild, so always have some with you. Speedy stitcher, extra needles and thread, sail needles, and a steel crooked awl.

The Basics of Shelter

  • Shelters should be set up in places with adequate drainage to avoid flooding, near water, have wind protection, have fire material nearby. Shelters can be made from dead branches and even entire trees around you.
  • A shelter is anything that keeps you warm and dry. A coat can be considered shelter because it protects you from the elements.
  • The materials available to you fro building a shelter depends on the season and where you live.
  • Shelter isn’t just the materials you find in the wild. You can use hammocks, tents, tarps and bivys along with wood shelters
  • Sleep and comfort is the most neglected aspect of shelter building.  Getting a good nights sleep is essential for endurance and energy. You could use your bug out bag as a pillow, and find some materials to make bedding.
  • There are many different types of shelters. A “lean to” shelter is good for warm nights, and an “A frame or debris hut” shelter is good for cold or stormy nights.
  • Tarp Shelters usually require hand made stakes, toggles, and rope to construct. If you carry a tarp with you, you need to know how to set up a tarp shelter. Also think about which water proofing methods are possible.
  • Just a side note, frontiersman would have frowned on modern tents. they liked the open air, and fire beside them.

The Basics of Fire

There are many ways to get a fire started including a sun glass, flint & steel, a ferro rod, a mag bar and even a Bic Lighter.

Try to use your most precious resource last. This meas that if you have a Bic lighter, try to get your fire started with a ferro rod, and save that fuel for later when it might be crucial.

Sun Glass: This can be eye glasses, compass, camera lens, frenzel lense or a magnifying glass. This can be a tough way to start a fire and requires direct sunlight.

Flint & Steel: This could be a specific kit you have, a knife or any high carbon steel used with Quartz or Flint. works well with dry birds nest & char cloth or fatwood shavings. (see below)

Ferro Rod: Using a ferro rod takes practice. It should take 2 or 3 strikes as a goal to get a spark to catch. use the ferro rod with a separate striker or sharp 90 degree edge on back (spine) of knife or other piece of carbon steel. use dry birds nest,  char cloth, fatwood or charcoal from punk wood to make this method easier.

Lighter: A full size Bic cant be beat, it’s easy to use, easy to store and when all else fails you’ll be glad you have it. You’ll want to know other methods of starting a fire, but always have a Bic (not a cheap lighter) with you just in case.

Materials for Easy(r) Fire Starting

Fatwood: This is from the resin collecting part of tree. It is a darker orange color, very flammable and smells like turpentine or pine sol. Collect whenever possible to use in the future. Use shavings as tinder, and sticks as kindling. Found in lower branch crooks, root balls, and dead stumps. watch for stumps as wasp nests.

Punk Wood: Dead & rotten part of tree. Works best when feels spongy and will compress between fingers, but it doesn’t crumble apart. Can be used just like char cloth to make char coal, even works well as is.

Char Cloth: To make char cloth you need some100% cotton material. The way it works is you put the char cloth in a tin and starve it of oxygen. Then you cook it until smoke stops coming from the tin. I did this video to explain more about how char cloth works.

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How to Slow Down and Learn to Enjoy Simplicity

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Entire books have been written on how to slow down, enjoy simple pleasures, and lead a simple lifestyle. These books exist because people often long for simplicity, but don’t know how to get out of the rat race long enough to learn it. The good news is, you can start small by implementing some simple tips and suggestions. Here are some ideas. Ten Minutes Ten minutes is a doable time increment for even the busiest person, so it’s a good place to start. Your ten minutes can be at any point during the day – before breakfast, partway through the

The 2017 Prepper Community

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The 2017 Prepper Community James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio in player below! As we head into another year it’s my duty to batter you with ideas about engaging your community. I truly believe that this is the way to liberation. I think if we can build sustainable and powerful communities across the nation we … Continue reading The 2017 Prepper Community

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3 ‘Survival Crops’ That Store (Naturally) More Than 1 Year

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3 ‘Survival Crops’ That Store (Naturally) More Than 1 Year

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If you’re growing or foraging your own food for winter storage, there are plenty of options for keeping your family fed in the early days of winter. Many root crops, fruits and greens can keep for a few months cool and out of direct sun, even without a proper root cellar.

As the winter presses on, though, options start to dwindle and there are fewer and fewer choices in dependable home-raised crops that will take you all the way through the hunger gap into the first productive days of late spring and early summer. Nonetheless, humans survived millennia without refrigeration and long-term food shipments, so there’s plenty to get your family by.

There are multiple reasons you should look into long-term storage crops. What if spring and early summer crops fail? What happens when a full summer’s worth of crops fail and you’re heading into winter again, with just what you still have on hand?

In 2013 the Northeast experienced record rainfall and cloud cover in June, meaning that the growing conditions were more like an average northeast November. Crops rotted in the ground, and normally dependable summer and long-season fall crops were delayed by months or could not be grown at all. Looking back further, the year 1816 was dubbed “the year without a summer” because a volcanic eruption caused widespread climate problems, and many areas experienced blizzards and hard frosts literally every single month of the year.

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

Of course, you also could pressure can, salt cure or dehydrate food to increase storage life, all of which require either special equipment or considerable time and effort to ensure that a food that would otherwise spoil stays palatable for longer than it would on its own.

There is a better way. By selecting foods that naturally store for extended periods of time without specialized effort or processing, you ensure survival and food security with minimal extra effort and in general minimize your consumption of processed foods of any sort. There’s something to be said for providing your own home grown, long-term food security, all without the need of special equipment or elaborate processing.

1. Nuts

3 ‘Survival Crops’ That Store (Naturally) More Than 1 Year

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While annual gardens and fruit orchards tend to get a lot of attention for providing food self-sufficiency, nut trees are a great investment to provide a stable fat and protein source to balance out your family’s diet. They have the added benefit of a long storage life, especially at cool temperatures.   All nuts keep best unroasted and left in the shell.

Hazelnuts, a high-yielding, easy-to-grow home crop, can keep up to two years held between 32 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit (in a cool unheated basement), or for just over a year at 50-60 (F) degrees in a back closet on the north side of your house in cooler regions. They have the added benefit of being one of the most versatile nuts, because they can be grown anywhere between zone 4 and 9 successfully. There are even some zone 3 cultivars.

Pecans come in second place in nut shelf life, and can keep just over a year at cool, unheated basement temperatures. Very high fat nuts such as walnuts don’t keep quite as well as the others, but remain good for 9-12 months at cool temperatures.

Be sure to check your nuts for rancidity by smell before eating them. Nevertheless, rancid or not, it won’t harm you to eat them during an emergency situation as long as they don’t have visible mold or pest infestation.

2. Dried corn and beans

3 ‘Survival Crops’ That Store (Naturally) More Than 1 Year

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While many forms of grain and staple legumes store for extended periods of time, dry corn and beans are the most practical for growing and processing at home without equipment. Beans and corn can be harvested, cleaned, dried and stored all by hand without specialized equipment, unlike other grains such as wheat. If dried thoroughly to a low moisture content and kept cool, home dried corn and beans can last 2-3 years, without the need to invest in long-term storage options like vacuum sealing and oxygen absorbers. With the additional investment to reduce or eliminate oxygen, corn and beans can hold successfully for up to 10 years.

3. Honey and maple

Natural sweeteners like honey and maple are full of beneficial enzymes and micro-nutrients, not to mention a ready source of calories, and they boast considerable shelf lives. Honey, if kept uncontaminated and well-sealed from moisture, can last at room temperature indefinitely. Maple syrup, packaged very hot into glass jars such Mason jars, has very long shelf life potential – upwards of 50 year or more. Maple manufacturers recommend a storage life in glass of no more than four years for optimum flavor, assuming the jar is unopened. Maple stored in plastic jugs should not be kept more than 1-2 years, and metal jugs are only rated for six months of storage life.

What would you add to our list? Are there other foods you grow and store for long-term survival? Share your tips in the section below:

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

Prepper Book Festival: Heal Local 20 Essential Herbs for DIY Home Healthcare + Giveaway

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Heal Local 20 Essential Herbs for Home Healthcare | Backdoor Survival

Over the past few years, I have acquired a sizeable library of books and eBooks on natural remedies. Some are good but somewhat dry, boring, and overly technical. Others are fluff or simply a glorified blog post article. A select few are outstanding and today’s book is one of them.

Heal Local: 20 Essential Herbs for Do-it-Yourself Home Healthcare is one of those rare books that takes an overwhelming subject and breaks it down into manageable bites. The book begins with an extensive discussion of developing a local medicine community and the value of using healing herbs and plants that grow in our backyards. It then moves on to the ways you can put these herbs to use, whether as a tincture, oil infusion, steam pot, salve, bone broth, vinegar or any of a number of other methods that can be used administer herbs in emergency and first aid situations. Read the author interview then enter to win a copy of “Heal Local” for free.. Three copies are up for grabs!

The post Prepper Book Festival: Heal Local 20 Essential Herbs for DIY Home Healthcare + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.