Two Questions That Will Put Everything In Perspective

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It’s easy to get bogged down with all the information telling you to do this or that or something else entirely. You want a better life for your family – a sustainable, self-reliant life – but there is so much information out there telling you how to get there. How do you cut through the …. well, let’s say the baloney … and figure out what really matters?

When the Grid Goes Down, You Better Be Ready!

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When the Grid Goes Down, You Better Be Ready! We all rely so much on the grid, from things as simple as charging our cell phones, to running our water heaters and cooking our food! Let’s think for a second, what have you got in place right this minute if the power went out you …

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How to Butcher a Cow

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How to Butcher a Cow Before I start, please remember this is not for fun, this is information you may have to know one day. If SHTF Walmart will not be here to process your meat for you! Welcome to reality. The cow in this article was sick and couldn’t walk. Please do not hate …

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How To Make My Grandma’s Laundry Detergent

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How To Make Grandma’s Laundry Detergent Who could argue with Grandma? They have such great knowledge and this article is great! It shows you how to make an age old recipe that is great for your clothes and great for your wallet! It is important to remember that buying laundry soap from the store can …

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Amazing Tips for Winter Composting

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Amazing Tips for Winter Composting Composting anytime of the can be challenging. With winter being here are you still composting? I found a great article from our friends over at eartheasy.com where they have an in depth article on tips for winter composting. Tips like this one are just amazing knowledge to know… First to …

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12 Fastest Growing Vegetables

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12 Fastest Growing Vegetables I found a great website that shows us 12 vegetables that are fast growing and in a survival situation these vegetables might be a handy source of nutrients if SHTF. As a side note, remember if you can’t keep up with the fast growing vegetables you can always can them as …

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How To Double Your Gas Mileage 2X

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How To Double Your Gas Mileage 2X Well I had always heard the rumors about doing this but never really seen any proof! After watching this video I really think this would work. For me, I would use this when bugging out. I have to go just a shade under 400 miles and I can …

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DIY Night Vision Powered By A 9v Battery

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DIY Night Vision Powered By A 9v Battery This blew me away and After seeing what it took to make this I may just have to rummage around my moms old stuff and get the old video camera. This is made very easily, just light soldering and gluing. I decided to post this because I …

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14 Winter Survival Items Everyone Should Store In Their Vehicle

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14 Winter Survival Items Everyone Should Store In Their Vehicle

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I live in a warm part of the country now, so winter isn’t a big deal. Actually, it’s my favorite time of year, because it’s not hot. But it wasn’t always that way. I grew up and learned to drive in Colorado, where the mountains make it so that a winter blizzard can sneak up on you and leave you stranded before you know it. I can’t remember how many people I rescued; they simply were good drivers who were trapped by winter weather.

I don’t care how good of a driver you are — there are situations where you can’t keep on trucking. I remember an icy parking lot that put me in a snow bank, simply because I couldn’t get enough traction to overcome gravity (the parking lot was sloped, and the exit was uphill). I’ve seen the same happen to truckers, who literally had to bail out of their rigs when gravity overcame friction and their trucks started sliding backwards, down the mountain. Then there were the times when blizzards cut visibility to the point where I or someone else drove off the road, thinking we were driving on it.

That’s why I always kept my car prepared to deal with emergencies, especially the emergency of being stuck in the snow. I never could afford a fancy four-wheel drive, so I was stuck trying to make do with a sedan — and that was in the day when sedans were rear-wheel drive, not front-wheel drive. So they were even worse in the snow.

Preparing my car for winter weather consisted of two basic areas: preparing the car to survive and preparing so that I could survive. Both were necessary, because in the wintertime, that care was an important piece of survival gear.

Preparing The Car To Survive

I’m not a big fan of playing mechanic, although I’ve done more than my fair share through the years. Even worse is having to play mechanic in the cold and snow. I replaced more than one frozen thermostat in below-freezing temperatures before I learned that lesson. After that, I always made sure my car was mechanically ready for the winter.

Wintertime is hard on cars, so they need to be in good shape. The old cars I was driving didn’t automatically have that going for them. So I had to make up for what they lacked. That meant going through the car from end to end, before the first real freeze hit. I checked all the fluids, the rubber on my tires, the battery, and the condition of all of the “regular maintenance” items, like hoses and belts. Better to spend a few bucks replacing one when it’s convenient, than getting stuck because you didn’t (which will cost more).

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The next important thing was the gas tank. In the wintertime, I’d always keep a minimum of half a tank of gas. That way, if I did get stuck somewhere, I could use the engine for heat. Used cautiously, running the engine only in short bursts, that half a tank will last the night.

In addition to those two items, I’d put some things in the trunk, to help my car or the car of someone else who was stranded:

1. Sand – The extra weight of two bags of sand made a huge difference in traction. Of course, that was rear-wheel drive, so it’s not so important today. But if you drive a pickup truck, you’ll need to add some weight over the back wheels, where they are notoriously light.

2. Chains – If your state allows chains, get some. Just be sure to take them off, if you get to dry pavement or even spotty drive pavement. Otherwise, they’ll break.

3. Shovel – You never know when you might have to dig your own car out.

4. Tow strap – I prefer the nylon straps to a chain, but to each his own.

5. Basic tools – For emergency repairs.

6. Spare battery – Batteries are one of the things that go out easily in the cold. I’d carry a spare, as crazy as that might sound. Today, I’d use a lithium ion backup battery pack, such as a Pocket Power X.

I also carried the following:

7. Plastic bags – To use as a makeshift toilet. You don’t want to have to go outside for that. Just do it in the bag and set it outside.

14 Winter Survival Items Everyone Should Store In Their Vehicle

Image source: Pixabay.com

8. High energy food – High calorie food bars will help your body produce heat.

9. Water – The trick here is keeping it from freezing. I kept mine in the passenger compartment.

10. Flashlight — With extra batteries.

11. Rope – Avoid getting out of the car. But if you have to go outside for some reason, tie one end of the rope to the steering wheel and the other to your wrist. That way, you can always find your way back, even in whiteout conditions.

12. Blankets – A couple of wool blankets makes a world of difference. I carried a couple of old Army blankets. Wool is the only material that maintains some of its insulating value even when wet.

13. Gloves, hats and scarves – An extra set you won’t wear anywhere else.

14. Space blankets, duct tape, candles and matches – More on that in a moment.

Additionally, I carried a full survival kit. Since I didn’t have to carry it on my body, I carried a rather robust one, more along the lines of a bug-out bag. That way, I had enough with me to use, in case I was actually caught in a situation where I would have to walk out. That never happened, but there were places in the mountains where my car might not have been seen if I went off the road.

As part of that kit, I had a portable stove and fuel. That allowed me to prepare warm drinks. You don’t want to eat snow for water, as your body has to warm it. Better to melt that snow and drink hot water, which will add heat to your body, rather than take it away.

Preparing For My Survival

Even with the best driving practices and a properly equipped vehicle, you still might end up off the road in a ditch somewhere. I remember once when the snow had drifted up over the road and I couldn’t get through. So I turned around. But by then the snow had drifted up a couple hundred yards behind me, as well. I was trapped on the road until the next day, even though I had done everything right.

Whether you’re off the road in a snow bank or sitting on the road as I was, you want to stay with your car. While a car isn’t the best shelter there is, it will protect you from the snow, wind and to some extent from the cold. When you’re trapped, you can help it to keep you warm by improving its ability to hold in heat. You’ll need:

  • At least three space blankets.
  • Something to cut them.
  • A roll of duct tape or other strong tape that will stick in cold weather.
  • Some large candles.

Line the inside of the passenger compartment with the space blankets. If you’re alone or just a couple, you can line just the front seat, allowing one of the space blankets to form a curtain behind the seat. So, you’d use one for the dash, down to your feet; one for the roof and curtain behind you; and cut one in half to cover the doors. If you have a family, just extend to include the back seat, as well; but you’ll need a couple more blankets to do that. Fortunately, they’re cheap.

What else do you carry in your car during winter? Share your tips in the section below:

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The Smartest (And Easiest) Ways To Keep Chickens Warm During Winter

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The Smartest (And Easiest) Ways To Keep Chickens Warm During Winter

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When the temperatures dip below a certain level, staying warm is more than just an issue of comfort. It becomes a matter of survival. If you keep chickens year-round, keeping them safe during cold snaps is a real concern.

Some breeds of chickens are more naturally hardy in extreme temperatures, but there are still steps that can be taken to enhance your flock’s winter survival. Assuming you have the best breeds for your area, consider some of the following practices to help them stay warm in the coldest weather.

1. The right-sized home. During winter, too much space can be a detriment. The larger the area, the more difficult it will be for the birds to keep it warm with their own body heat. My local organic farmers’ organization recommends between four and eight square feet per bird. Some experts allow for more or less than that, and a good bit of the decision depends upon the size of your flock and how much access they have to the outdoors.

If your chicken coop is cavernous, consider creating a coop within a coop. Building a small structure—even a temporary one using pallets or scrap materials—around their roosting area can provide them with a cozier space.

2. The right shape and orientation coop. A steep shed roof provides a low ceiling on one side, which helps the birds stay warm, and a higher ceiling on the other to allow human access for tending the birds. If your roof is high throughout, consider a makeshift dropped ceiling for the winter months.

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Facing doors southward and away from winds and inclement weather helps when the chicken access door is open. If the orientation of your doors is not quite optimum, you always can add on an extra roof or vestibule.

3. Natural lighting. A skylight or south-facing window, or even some strategically placed sheet plastic near a door or window, can create a greenhouse effect. This can help keep your chickens warm in the same manner that plants are kept warm in a hothouse.

4. Insulation. Adding commercial insulation to a newly constructed chicken coop is a great choice. Just as with human homes, the more heat that can be retained inside during winter, the better.

The Smartest (And Easiest) Ways To Keep Chickens Warm During Winter

Image source: Pixabay.com

The insulating value of your coop can be increased with whatever you have on hand. It may be possible to stuff wood chips or other fibrous materials between walls—or between an outer wall and an inner layer of recycled materials—to help keep your birds warm.

Snow is an excellent insulating material, too, but if you have more cold weather than snowfall, try using hay, straw or even bags of leaves for banking around the outside of the chicken coop.

5. Ventilation. It may be tempting to shut them up tight, but remember that respiration can cause condensation and dampness. Allowing the inside of the coop to become excessively damp can be dangerous during cold weather. Additionally, birds have a more delicate respiratory system than do other animal families.

6. High fat foods. Eating fatty foods helps keep chickens warm. Suet, fatback and kitchen scraps are ideal.

7. Warm foods and liquids for consumption. A friend of mine prepares fresh hot oatmeal for her hens on cold winter mornings. Perhaps that’s not your style, but you may want to allow kitchen scraps to come to room temperature—or even set them near a heat source to warm them—before delivering them to the chickens. I replace my chickens’ waterer with hot tap water at least twice a day during the coldest winter days, because warming from the inside out is a great way to create and maintain body heat.

8. Portable hot water heaters. I keep water in a kettle on top of my wood stove during winter, which helps me humidify my house and heat the chickens. I pour hot water into some heavy-duty five-gallon plastic jugs I salvaged from a bulk foods store and haul them out to the chicken coop on a sled and place them inside. Water retains its temperature far better than does air, which means it will help keep the coop warmer, longer. You can use any heat-resistant container, such as plastic or metal buckets, as long as it has a secure lid to prevent spills and keep the chickens safe.

You can use heated bricks in lieu of warm water if you prefer.

9. Entertainment. Chickens that have something to do while cooped up inside during cold weather will not only be less likely to become aggressive toward one another, but they can generate heat by moving around. Provide a fruit or vegetable such as an apple or cabbage, or a hunk of fatback or suet, hanging from a string at beak height so that the birds can peck at it.

10. Heat lamps. I use heat lamps as a last resort, but many people rely on them as a go-to. Whichever your viewpoint, it is essential to make safety your first priority. Make sure both the bulbs and the fixtures are of the highest possible quality you can afford, are hung on heavy-duty suspension material, and are not too close to anything combustible. It is always best to follow manufacturer’s instructions regarding usage.

Deep cold temperatures can be a real challenge for humans and animals who live in a northern climate. But by getting creative with ways to heat their coops, we can keep chickens safe and comfortable through even the coldest of winters.

How do you keep you chickens warm during cold months? Share your tips in the section below:

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Stockpiling The Medicine Cabinet For Winter: 17 Things You Better Be Storing

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Stockpiling The Medicine Cabinet For Winter: 17 Things You Better Have

Image source: Pinterest (Justa Girl)

Wintertime is a wonderful season — full of holidays, resolutions and relaxation. However, it is also the time of the year when our immune systems are the most vulnerable.

Of course, it is best to prevent illnesses, but it’s just as important to be ready if an illness does strike. That means you need a well-stocked medicine cabinet. Here are 17 natural treatments you should stockpile:

Vitamins and Supplements

1. Vitamin C. This should be taken daily, as vitamin C is critical for boosting the immune systems, for preventing illnesses, and for fighting infections.

2. Vitamin B. It serves as a pick-me-up and helps the body generate energy. It is good to have on hand to combat fatigue.

3. Calcium and magnesium. Many of us suffer from a lack of essential nutrients, and calcium and magnesium are two important ones the body needs. Take a daily supplement if you do not get enough in your diet. Both of these are good for relieving cramps and for relaxing.

4. Cod liver oil. Cod liver oil is considered a superfood, a crucial omega 3 fatty acid, and is extremely high in vitamins A and D. Take it daily, but especially when you feel a cold or the flu coming on. It is also a healthy fat to help lower bad cholesterol levels.

Herbs and Tea

5. Mullein. This is an herb that is useful for treating a sore or scratchy throat. It can help to ease coughs, too. One good way to use mullein is to boil it and then inhale the steam. It can contribute to clearing congestion and blocked airways.

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6. Chamomile. Chamomile tea is great for soothing an upset stomach, easing anxiety and tension, and for treating insomnia.

7. Peppermint. Peppermint tea can fight fatigue, ease nausea, battle congestion, open airways, and promote overall well-being.

8.  Ginger. Ginger is a natural antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory qualities. Furthermore, it is good for heart health. It can boost your immune system, aid in indigestion, fight bacterial and fungal infections, and even help with the symptoms of diabetes. Ginger root is excellent as a tea, or it can be added to your food.

9. Turmeric root. Most people use fresh turmeric root to treat aches and pains, as it is a natural pain reliever and aids in blood circulation. You can add it to your food recipes, or drink it as a tea. Be aware that turmeric can be hard to absorb, so add black pepper or coconut oil to your recipes to aid in absorption. Here is a fresh, turmeric root tea recipe.

Essential Oils

10. Tea tree essential oil. Tea tree essential oil is a natural antiseptic and is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. Use it in a vaporizer to purify the air in your home and to kill germs. Furthermore, you can add it to a spray bottle with water and spray all the surfaces in your home to disinfect them.

As a first-aid treatment, swipe cuts to prevent an infection. Tea tree oil is also a good treatment for acne and fungal conditions such as athlete’s foot.

11. Lavender essential oil. Lavender essential oil is an all-around healing agent. It treats cuts and wounds, rashes, insect bites and acne.

Stockpiling The Medicine Cabinet For Winter: 17 Things You Better Store

Image source: Pixabay.com

Since lavender is anti-inflammatory and analgesic, it is perfect for treating aches and pains and even headaches. Mix it with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil and massage it into the affected areas.

Lavender is a calming oil and can help with deep relaxation. It’s a natural anxiety and depression remedy. It can treat insomnia, too. To use lavender essential oil, vaporize it in a diffuser, add several drops to a hot bath, or use it as a massage oil to receive all of its incredible benefits.

12. Rosemary essential oil. Rosemary is a natural warming oil and is anti-inflammatory. It is great for relieving fatigued, overworked, aching muscles. Use it in a carrier oil to create a soothing massage oil.

Rosemary essential oil also has stimulant properties which, when inhaled, can help to wake up the senses and help with concentration. Furthermore, it’s a natural stress-reliever. To use rosemary essential oil, vaporize it in a diffuser, use it in a hot bath, or create a massage blend.

13. Eucalyptus essential oil. Eucalyptus essential oil is a natural decongestant, so it’s perfect for treating colds and the flu. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, so it can ease aches and pains. Use it in a diffuser or steam inhalation to help clear the senses. Alternatively, use eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil as a chest or muscle rub.

14. Peppermint essential oil. Peppermint essential oil is good for treating nausea, for fighting fatigue, for relieving congestion, and as a warming oil. To acquire the benefits of peppermint oil directly, drop several drops on a tissue and deeply inhale. This oil is also good when used in steam inhalation, a bath, as a warming, massage rub, and in a room diffuser.

First-Aid Natural Treatments

15. Honey. It is a natural healer and an antioxidant. In first-aid, honey can act as a band-aid. It will protect the wound, prevent infection and begin the healing process.

Honey is also good for preventing and treating colds, relieving coughs and sore throats, and for easing nausea. You can add honey to your tea to help lower your cholesterol.

16. Activated charcoal. This is a good remedy for treating gas and upset stomachs. It is also great for fighting food poisoning.

17. Epsom salts. Epsom salts are good in baths when you are sick. They can help to lower a fever and reduce bodily aches and pains. They also can help to reduce tension and anxiety. If you have a headache, try to lightly inhale Epsom salts to help relieve it.

What would you add to our list? Share your stockpiling tips in the section below:

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4 Shotgun Accessories For A Better Home Defense

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4 Shotgun Accessories For A More Effective Home Defense

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A shotgun is the ideal choice for a home defense firearm for many gun owners. There are great reasons for this: avoidance of over-penetration, slightly less demanding accuracy standards in less-than-perfect shooting conditions, and mighty stopping power. Practically every conversation about home defense shotguns also includes mention of that ominous racking sound—but I hope no one is depending on sound effects to scare off intruders, when real force may be necessary.

Like anything else associated with the word “tactical” these days, a plethora of add-ons are available for defense shotguns, not all of which are really useful. Here, I’ll point out a few that are worth the investment for mounting an effective—and ethical—counterattack with a shotgun.

1. A sling

The larger your property, the more complicated your responsibilities at home, the more a sling makes sense. Being able to navigate space hands-free is a major asset; however, it’s also a good idea to keep your gun with you. A sling lets you do both.

Options for slings and sling mounts are many. From a simple latigo strap threaded through the swivel loops on a hunting rifle (making a two-point configuration that’s easy to shoulder), to a one- or three-point tactical setup that allows more options for the method of carry, this is a highly customizable choice.

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Expect to spend $20 to $35 for an entry-level tactical sling. Mounts are generally higher in price, starting at $25 and priced up to $75. Before purchasing a sling/mount set, make sure your shotgun has studs, rails or whatever is needed to attach the mounts. It would seem to go without saying, but make sure the sling’s hardware is a match for what’s on the gun. Paracord is a frequently used accessory for making stiff connections easier to work with, and for making a too-wide sling work with narrow loops or rings.

2. On-board ammunition

Let’s assume your gun’s capacity is more typical, between two and six rounds. Even six rounds may not be enough in dire situations where multiple attackers or poor marksmanship have created the need for more ammo.

Where will more ammo go? As with slings, there are choices. I’ll eliminate things like belt-mounted ammo storage for this discussion, since this is about ammo that’s needed in fast order—so it needs to be in or on the gun.

Extended magazine tubes are one choice, and the shortest distance between need and a hot chamber. Alternative mag tube choices exist for common platforms like the Remington 870, Mossberg 500, and their variants. A couple brands also have manufactured their parts to be compatible with Remington or Mossberg mag tubes, but be sure to check the specs before purchase. Expect to spend $50 to $80 on an extension for a magazine tube.

Not crazy about the idea of modifying your scattergun? One alternative is a cloth cartridge holder, which can stretch over or Velcro onto the buttstock, keeping ammo at the ready. I did find it necessary to secure this sock-like accessory with tape when I used one to prevent it from sliding around. That might be undesirable if you aim to preserve a finished wood stock.

Similar to a cloth cartridge holder, but possibly requiring some modification, is a sidesaddle-type shell carrier. These can be mounted anywhere from the buttstock to the receiver, depending on design, and price can vary from $25 to more than $100, depending on material and capacity.

Left-handed shooters should note that many cartridge storage products are made with a right-hand bias, and may not be usable without modifications.

One advantage of an external ammo storage system is being able to organize, and see, ammunition types in relation to their position on the gun. Methods vary, but some defenders like to have one type of ammo, like buckshot, in the magazine, and birdshot ready in the most available loading position. Perhaps slugs will be in the rearmost position. Storing the shells with primer up or down, or a combination thereof, also can help indicate ammo type in a high-pressure situation.

3. Auxiliary light

4 Shotgun Accessories For A More Effective Home Defense

Image source: LA Police Gear

It’s your legal and ethical obligation to correctly identify a threat before firing. The handful of tragedies and more near-tragedies that happen annually due to failure to identify the target are inexcusable.

We’re talking about a gun that you’re likely to use in the dark hours. Light is a must for identifying your target. It also might serve as a navigational or signaling aid, but this kind of use should be minimized since, with a weapon-mounted light, the muzzle will cover everything you light up—a shaky proposition from both safety and legal viewpoints; the latter especially applies when outside of your residence.

Wouldn’t a nice flashlight do just as well? Perhaps, but most people aren’t prepared to wield both a flashlight and a long gun while making accurate shots. So a gun-mounted light makes sense, though it cannot avoid the muzzling issue, so that safety rule about keeping your finger off the trigger until the sights are on target and you’ve decided to shoot applies — in spades.

Entry level long gun-mounted lights begin at around $65. Prices climb rather dramatically after that, with some excellent choices available for less than $200. You’ll want to select a light with a pressure switch — that is, one that you can operate with the hand that’s on the forend, and one that turns off as soon as you release pressure. When someone’s trying to kill you, it’s a good idea not to reveal your position with light more than necessary.

4. Tritium front sight

Least beneficial but still useful of the four items here is a front sight with a tritium insert, which glows in the dark and is visible only behind the gun. Without it, only a silhouette of the front sight will be visible with a weapon-mounted light. This accessory will cost $60-$100, but consider hardware and gunsmith costs. as well. Be sure to practice with any sight system so you know where your shots will impact at typical close-range distances, and adjust your sights accordingly, or adjust your hold if the sights are non-adjustable.

Hopefully. this has given you some ideas of choices to accessorize your home shotgun to make it safer and more effective for defensive use. While these gadgets are useful, having them is only half the equation. Practice, and with that, knowing how to use them in dim light, is equally valuable.

If readers have experience with other shotgun accessories they’re fond of, I’m interested in hearing about them.

Do you have other favorite shotgun accessories? Share your tips in the section below:

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Complete Self Reliance eLibrary for Just $29.97

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Over the last 8 years of running this blog we have learned that there is so much more to the world of being prepared than just having a food storage. That is a GREAT place to start but it feels even better to develop skills and acquire tools to become more self-reliant and less dependent on outside sources to meet your family’s needs. We have taken really gone “back to the basics” to learn things that used to be common knowledge but are completely lost skills these days. It’s been a grand adventure but one thing is for certain, there is always more to learn!

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It’s official…SurvivalRing Radio is on the air.

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SurvivalRing Radio -Survival, Preparedness, & Self Reliance News and Talk This is my homepage on the FreedomizerRadio.com network, where I’ve been broadcasting with James “Doctor Prepper” Stevens for several years now on the Critical Preparedness Resources radio show. James retired from weekly radio as of New Years Eve, and I’ve taken over the show as […]

Survival knives

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Survival knives have received great coverage, probably more than any other survival tool.  I’ll be reviewing all of the below soon and creating an in depth page like I have for Survival Axe’s and Survival Machetes.  For the time being I thought I’d just show you some of my favorite survival knives that I either own or have used.

Morakniv knives

There are so many different brands out there for knives it’s amazing.  You can spend hundreds of dollars and get an incredible knife but many of us have a tight budget and want a great knife at a great price.  If you want THE BEST VALUE KNIVES ON THE PLANET, you can’t go past Morakniv (Mora) knives.  They are made in Sweden, have a Scandi grind making it easy to resharpen them, comes razor sharp, retains an edge exceptionally well, comfortable handle and has a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.  You just can’t go past these knives.

Morakniv Companion

mora-companion

  • Blade length: 4.1 inches (104 mm);
  • Blade thickness: 0.08 inch (2.0 mm); Overall length: 8.6 inch (218 mm); Weight w/ sheath: 3.9 oz. (110 g)

Check price and further details of the Mora Companion.

 

Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife

mora-companion-heavy-duty

Pretty much exactly the same as the knife above BUT there is one major difference and that’s that it is 3.2mm thick compared to 2.0mm thick.  I prefer a thicker knife as I feel more confident that it won’t break on me and I can do more heavy duty tasks so I prefer the Mora Companion Heavy Duty Knife.

  • Blade Thickness: 0.125 inches (3.2 mm), Blade Length: 4.1 inches (104 mm), Total Length: 8.8 inches (224 mm), Net Weight: 4.8 oz. (135 g)

Check price and further details of the Mora Companion – Heavy Duty.

 

Morakniv Allround Multi-Purpose Fixed Blade Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade

For those that want a big More knife, this is the knife for you as it has an 8.1 inch blade.

mora-8-inch

  • Fixed blade knife with stainless steel blade
  • Blade Thickness: 0.10″ (0.25cm), Blade Length: 8.1″ (20.5cm), Total Length: 12.5″ (31.7cm), Net Weight: 6.5 oz. (185g)

Check price and further details of the Mora Allround Multipurpose 8.1 inch blade knife.

 

This page structure

This page will be split into two main sections – Multi-functional Survival knives and Not Multi-functional Survival knives.  Different people want different things from their survival knives, some want an all in one type knife and others just prefer a good quality knife like a bowie knife.  We all have different budgets so within the two main sections I’ll split it up into inexpensive, mid-range and Highest price.  Keep in mind, you get what you pay for.

High price means $70 plus.

Mid priced means between $15 and $70.

Inexpensive means less that $15.

The best Survival Knives for 2017

The best Multi-Functional Survival Knives for 2017

Knife Extra functions Rating Price
CDS-Survival MOVA-58 Stainless Steel Survival knife
CDS Survival 2Check Today’s Price
Sharpening Stone & Firesteel 4.8 $$$
BlizeTec Survival Knife: Best 5-in-1 Tactical Pocket Folding Knife
BlizeTec 5 in 1Check Today’s Price
LED Light, Seatbelt Cutter, Glass Breaker & Magnesium Fire Starter 4.6 $$
BlizeTec Survival Fixed Blade Knife: 3-in-1 Full Tang Hunting Knife
Blizetec Fixed knifeCheck Today’s Price
Magnesium Fire Starter, LED Flashlight & Belt Pouch 4.5 $$
BlizeTec Pocket Folding Knife: 5-in-1 Survival knife
BlizeTec Pocket Folding KnifeCheck Today’s Price
Liner Lock, Thumb Stud, Clip, Seatbelt Cutter & Glass Breaker 4.5 $$
OutNowTech VANTAGE Multi-Purpose Folding Pocket Knife
OutNowTech Vantage Multi-Purpose knifeCheck Today’s Price
Magnesium Fire Starter, Belt Cutter & LED Light 4.2 $$
SE KHK6320 Outdoor Tanto Knife with Fire Starter
Outdoor Tanto knife 2Check Today’s Price
Magnesium-alloy fire starter (with lanyard), 4.1 $
Survivor HK-106280 Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife, Tanto Blade
Survivor HK-106280 Fixed Blade Outdoor KnifeCheck Today’s Price
Magnesium alloy fire starter, nylon cord (it’s not paracord) 4.1 $
OUTXPRO 6 in 1 Multi Rescue Survival Knife
OUTXPRO 6 in 1 Multi toolCheck Today’s Price
LED Light, Seat Belt Cutter, Glass Breaker, Magnesium Fire Starter, Bottle Opener, Saw Blade 4.0 $$
Rogue River Tactical 6-in-1 Multitool Knife
Rogue River Tactical 6-in1 Multi toolCheck Today’s Price
Flint Fire Starter, LED FlashLight, Bottle Opener, Belt Cutter and Windows Breaker Black 4.0 $

Multi Functional Survival knives

 

Multi-Functional – Best quality

 

CDS-Survival MOVA-58 Stainless Steel Survival knife

Features a sheath, Sharpening Stone & Firesteel.  Check price.

 

CDS Survival 2 CDS Survival in action CDS Survival

 

 

Mid-priced, multi-functional

 

BlizeTec Survival Knife: Best 5-in-1 Tactical Pocket Folding Knife

Features LED Light, Seatbelt Cutter, Glass Breaker & Magnesium Fire Starter.  Really great value.

 

BlizeTec 5 in 1 show what knife does BlizeTec 5 in 1 Blizetec fires starter BlizeTec in Box

BlizeTec Survival Fixed Blade Knife: 3-in-1 Full Tang Hunting Knife

Features Magnesium Fire Starter, LED Flashlight & Belt Pouch

The BIG advantage this has is that it’s a fixed blade, full tang knife.  It doesn’t have as many features of the others but is around the same price.

 

Blizetec Fixed knife

OUTXPRO 6 in 1 Multi Rescue Survival Knife

Features LED Light, Seat Belt Cutter, Glass Breaker, Magnesium Fire Starter, Bottle Opener, Saw Blade all at a great price.

OUTXPRO 6 in 1 Multi tool

BlizeTec Pocket Folding Knife: 5-in-1 Survival knife

Features Liner Lock, Thumb Stud, Clip, Seatbelt Cutter & Glass Breaker.  Very good value multi tool knife

 

 

BlizeTec Pocket Folding Knife all features BlizeTec Pocket Folding Knife

 

 

 OutNowTech VANTAGE Multi-Purpose Folding Pocket Knife

Features Magnesium Fire Starter, Belt Cutter & LED Light.  I don’t rate this as highly as the knives above but it is a bit cheaper.

OutNowTech Vantage Multi-Purpose knife

 

 

Multi-functional – inexpensive

Rogue River Tactical 6-in-1 Multitool Knife

Features Flint Fire Starter, LED FlashLight, Bottle Opener, Belt Cutter and Windows Breaker Black.  It’s really cheap but you get what you pay for.

 

Rogue River Tactical 6-in1 Multi tool

SE KHK6320 Outdoor Tanto Knife with Fire Starter

If you’re looking for a full tang super cheap knife, this is a great option.  Under $10, doesn’t come sharp but for what you pay it is good value.

Outdoor Tanto knife 2 Outdoor Tanto knife sheath Outdoor Tanto knife

 

 

 

Non multi-functional Survival knives

 

Best quality

 

Cold Steel Natchez Bowie 01 Steel Knife

This knife is pretty much indestructible and is my favorite fixed blade knife.  It is high priced though.

Natchez Bowie

Ontario 8628 RTAK II Knife (Green)

You can trust your life to this knife.  Check price.

Ontario 8628 RTAK

 

Non multi-functional, Mid Priced Survival knives

 

Timber Rattler Western Outlaw Bowie Knife

11 3/8″ razor sharp stainless steel blade for under $30. This is the best value bowie knife on the market.  Absolutely sensational value.

Timber Rattler

Gerber Winchester Large Bowie Knife

I think my bias for bowie knives is coming through…  This model is a classic, old fassion version.  Under $30.

Winchester

 

Ontario Spec Plus Marine Raider Bowie

This knife is designed to exceed military standards.  Full tang, quarter-inch thick 1095 high carbon steel blade that has a coated with anti-corrosion powder.  It is a bit more expensive though.

 

Ontario Spec Plus Marine Raider Bowie

 

 

Inexpensive

 

Jungle Master JM-001L Fixed Blade Hunting Knife

Features – Straight Edge Blade, Rubberized Handle,12-Inch Overall.  For under $15 you can’t exactly expect great quality, but for the price you pay it’s good.

 

Jungle Master

 

Ace Martial Arts Fixed Blade Tactical Combat Knife 13-Inch Overall

It looks great, is razor sharp and very cheap.

Ace Martial Arts HK-1036

 

 

Dang, It’s Cold! Treating and Preventing Hypothermia

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shutterstock_90110446

hypothermia (and bad judgment)

This winter has already seen deadly cold snaps where people have found themselves at the mercy of the elements. Whether it’s on a wilderness hike or stranded in a car on a snow-covered highway, the physical effects of exposure to cold (also called “hypothermia”) can be life-threatening.

 

Hypothermia is a condition in which body core temperature drops below the temperature necessary for normal body function and metabolism. Normally, the body core is between 97.5-99.5 degrees Fahrenheit (36.0-37.5 degrees Celsius). Cold-related illness occurs once the core temperature dips below 95 degrees (35 degrees Celsius).

 

When it is exposed to cold, the body kicks into action to produce heat. Muscles shiver to produce heat, and this will be the first symptom you’re likely to see. As hypothermia worsens, more symptoms will become apparent if the patient is not warmed.

 

Aside from shivering, the most noticeable symptoms of hypothermia will be related to mental status. The person may appear confused, uncoordinated, and lethargic. As the condition worsens, speech may become slurred; the patient will appear apathetic, uninterested in helping themselves, and may lose consciousness. These effects occur due to the effect of cooling temperatures on the brain: The colder the body core gets, the slower the brain works. Brain function is supposed to cease at about 68 degrees Fahrenheit, although there have been exceptional cases where people (usually children) survived even lower temperatures.

 

Prevention of Hypothermia

 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To prevent hypothermia, you must anticipate the climate that you will be traveling through; include windy and wet weather into your calculations. Condition yourself physically to be fit for the challenge. Travel with a partner if at all possible, and have more than enough food and water available for the entire trip.

 

It may be useful to remember the simple acronym C.O.L.D.  This stands for:  Cover, Overexertion, Layering, and Dry.

 

Cover. Your head has a significant surface area, so prevent heat loss by wearing a hat. Instead of using gloves to cover your hands, use mittens. Mittens are more helpful than gloves because they keep your fingers in contact with one another, conserving heat.

 

Overexertion. Avoid activities that cause you to sweat a lot. Cold weather causes you to lose body heat quickly; wet, sweaty clothing accelerates the process. Rest when necessary; use those rest periods to self-assess for cold-related changes. Pay careful attention to the status of the elderly and the very young. Diabetics are also at high risk.

 

Layering. Loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in layers trap pockets of warm air and do the best job of insulating you against the cold. Use tightly woven, water-repellent material for wind protection. Wool or silk inner layers hold body heat better than cotton does. Some synthetic materials, like Gore-Tex, work well also. Especially cover the head, neck, hands and feet.

 

Dry. Keep as dry as you can. Get out of wet clothing as soon as possible. It’s very easy for snow to get into gloves and boots, so pay particular attention to your hands and feet.

st. bernard

Pet the Dog, Skip the Booze

One cold-weather issue that most people don’t take into account is the use of alcohol. Alcohol may give you a “warm” feeling, but it actually causes your blood vessels to expand; this results in more rapid heat loss from the surface of your body.

 

Alcohol and recreational drugs also cause impaired judgment. Those under the influence might choose clothing that might not protect them in cold weather.

 

Treating  Hypothermia

 

If you encounter a person who is unconscious, confused, or lethargic in cold weather, assume they are hypothermic until proven otherwise. Immediate action must be taken to reverse the ill effects of hypothermia. Important measures to take are:

 

Get the person out of the cold. Move them into a warm, dry area as soon as possible. If you’re unable to move the person out of the cold, be sure to place a barrier between them, the wind, and the cold ground.

 

Monitor breathing. A person with severe hypothermia may be unconscious. Verify that they are breathing and check for a pulse. Begin CPR if necessary.

 

Take off wet clothing. If the person is wearing wet clothing, remove gently. Cover the victim with layers of dry blankets, including the head, but leave the face clear.

 

Share body heat. To warm the person’s body, remove your clothing and lie next to the person, making skin-to-skin contact. Then cover both of your bodies with blankets. Some people may cringe at this controversial notion, but it’s important to remember that you are trying to save a life. Gentle massage or rubbing may be helpful. Avoid being too vigorous.

 

Give warm oral fluids if awake and alert. If, and only if, the affected person is alert and able to swallow, provide a warm, nonalcoholic, non-caffeinated beverage to help warm the body. Coffee’s out, but how about some warm apple cider?

 

Use warm, dry compresses. Use a first-aid warm compress (a fluid-filled bag that warms up when squeezed), or a makeshift compress of warm, not hot, water in a plastic bottle. Apply to the neck, armpit, and groin. Due to major blood vessels that run close to the skin in these areas, heat will more efficiently travel to the body core.

 

Avoid applying direct heat. Don’t use hot water, a heating pad or a heating lamp directly on the victim. The extreme heat can damage the skin, cause strain on the heart, or even lead to cardiac arrest.

 

Joe Alton, MDAuthorJoe

Find out more about cold-related injuries in our Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook, now at 700 pages! Also, fill those holes in your medical supplies at Nurse Amy’s store at store.doomandbloom.net. You’ll be glad you did.

Australian army set to seize farming family’s land.

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What happened to this?

And this?

How long before we become totally dependent on overseas supplies of food?!!! What are we going to do if there is another war?!!!

Fake News and Propaganda Laws Threaten Free Speech

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This is the second half of my guest appearance on the  Hagmann Report with Doug Hagmann. We talked about the push to enact laws which will regulate free speech, ensuring only the mainstream approved message is allowed to be disseminated.

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.

silver-195x195

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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The Skills That Will Really Matter After SHTF

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The Skills That Will Really Matter After SHTF No one can tell how different life would be after a serious disaster or a collapse, but humans have the remarkable ability to recover after every major SHTF event so life would certainly go on. One thing is certain though: in the aftermath of a widespread disaster …

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How to Build a Pallet Fence for Almost Nothing (and 6 Pallet Fence Ideas!)

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How to Build a Pallet Fence for Almost Nothing (and 6 Pallet Fence Ideas!) When you’re homesteading and starting from scratch, there sure are a lot of expenses! You might have a home to build, a garden to establish, and livestock to buy in order to get the operation going. If you have livestock to …

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Teaching Children Knife Safety

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Being comfortable using a knife will increase your chances of survival. Whether you are camping, building fires, or hunting and preparing game, knowing how to use a knife is essential. By teaching your kids about knife safety early on in their lives, they will become seasoned veterans by the time they reach adulthood.

Remedies For A Dry Cough

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A dry cough may continue after other symptoms of a cold disappear and clear out. If this is you, remedies are likely on your ‘to-do’ list since the irritation of any dry cough is something that you’re hoping will go away soon. It can even keep you up at night (as many of you likely […]

Useful Skills And Items For Bartering After SHTF

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Useful Skills And Items For Bartering After SHTF

There’s no way of telling quite how different life after a major disaster or serious collapse of society could be, but humans are remarkably resilient, so life would certainly go on. One thing is certain, though: in the aftermath of a widespread disaster or the collapse of civil society as we know it, you’ll want to have useful skills and items that you can barter or trade with. In this article, I’d like to discuss some of the most useful items you can stockpile now, as well as skills you can develop that will serve you well should you ever need them.

First, let’s start with 5 indispensable skills that you could develop, any one of which will guarantee that your skills will be in high demand in a post-SHTF scenario of just about any scale.

  1. First aid and basic emergency medical care; think knowing how to stabilize a broken limb pending proper care, how to reduce or stop traumatic bleeding, how and when to apply sutures to a wound, etc. If you’re really inclined, you could go all the way and become a medic, a practicing nurse, or a doctor or surgeon. In general, medical training and knowhow are always in demand after a disaster or major catastrophe. There are never enough doctors or medics when you need them, so by developing some of those skills now, you can ensure that you’ll have skills that are in high-demand if you ever have need of them.
  2. Mechanical knowledge; knowing how things work, how they are taken apart, and how to put them back together or repair them with whatever you have on hand, is never more useful than after TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It). Study up on how to repair generators, farm equipment, even cars (they’ll be around for a while, even in the case of most super horrid events). Even being able to fix and repair clocks could serve to be a useful skill, get creative.
  3. Gunsmithing, repair and ammunition loading; take a moment to think about how many gunsmiths you know. Did you come back with a long list of names?Now think about the number of people you know who own guns and various other firearms, and think about how many firearms are going to be in use in a post-SHTF situation. While you don’t necessarily need to turn full arms-dealer, being able to repair various guns and maybe reload some ammunition would be useful skills to have indeed.
  4. Weaving, tailoring, sewing and mending; while these skills are on the more homely side of things, don’t let that fool you. Clothing wears out over time, especially when worn for hard labor, and everyone appreciates a good pair of socks. Holes will need patched, socks will need darned, and eventually new clothing will need to be made.
  5. Butchering animals; this might take a little while to show its merit, but if you’ve got the guts and knowhow to slaughter and butcher a variety of animals for consumption, demand for your skills will gradually return and rise as society starts to regulate again. Even during the hardest of times, if you can find work as a butcher it is usually sufficient to allow you to keep food on the table, as you can at least trade your skills as a butcher for a suitable share of the meat, if nothing else.

RELATED : 15 SKILLS THAT WILL MAKE YOU PRICELESS IN A POST SHTF BARTER WORLD

In addition to those 5 suggestions of useful skills you might choose to acquire, there are also many items that can be stockpiled with relative ease for use in trade and barter.

  1. Cigarettes, cigars, loose tobacco; supplies may be limited or altogether unavailable after whatever catastrophe has occurred, so tobacco products would become even morevaluable than they already are. Tobacco doesn’t keep forever, but properly stored loose tobacco, cigarettes or cigars can last several years.
  2. Lighters, matches, and/or butane fuel; if electricity grids are down for an extended period of time, or permanently, fire will become integral to daily life. A stockpile of lighters, matches and particularly fuel for refilling lighters, can provide you with a good barter item should you need it.
  3. Alcohol; in the form of beer, wine, champagne, and various hard liquors, alcohol ranks alongside tobacco for long-term popularity and usefulness as a trade and barter item. If you’re so inclined, you could also learn to produce alcoholic beverages, but that requires both the knowhow and the supplies, and may make you the target of potentially violent criminals who compete as producers / suppliers. By contrast, a case or two of fine wine or aged whiskey can just be nice to have on hand in case you need to trade for something or wish to celebrate a very special occasion.
  4. Older (pre-1964) US silver coins; from dimes and quarters to half-dollars and silver dollars, pre-1964 US coins are comprised of 90% silver content.Because of their various sizes and weights, old US coins are perfect for barter and trade in a post-SHTF scenario or after a major, debilitating disaster.
  5. Non-GMO, organic or heirloom vegetable seeds;after things settle down following a disaster or serious collapse of civilization, farming will be a top priority for anyone who wants to survive. Having heirloom variety, non-GMO seeds is another way to ensure that you have something valuable to trade and barter with if you ever need it.
  6. Sugar, salt, pepper, and other spices; many spices are quite affordable these days, but spices, sugar, even salt were much scarcer commodities traditionally.Stocking up on these kitchen staples now can provide you with desirable commodities for trade or barter, as well as for use in your own cooking and meals.
  7. Spare tools and basic hardware; think along the lines of hammers, saws, wrenches, nails, screws and other basic odds and ends. Even a few pairs of decent work gloves could prove to be a useful barter item, but nails, hammers and other basic tools will definitely be in high demand post-SHTF.

Saving our forefathers ways starts with people like you and me actually relearning these skills and putting them to use to live better lives through good times and bad. Our answers on these lost skills comes straight from the source, from old forgotten classic books written by past generations, and from first hand witness accounts from the past few hundred years. Aside from a precious few who have gone out of their way to learn basic survival skills, most of us today would be utterly hopeless if we were plopped in the middle of a forest or jungle and suddenly forced to fend for ourselves using only the resources around us. To our ancient ancestors, we’d appear as helpless as babies.

In short, our ancestors lived more simply than most people today are willing to live and that is why they survived with no grocery store, no cheap oil, no cars, no electricity, and no running water. Just like our forefathers used to do, The Lost Ways teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available. It comes as a step-by-step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you how to use basic ingredients to make super-food for your loved ones. Watch the video below : 

Source : www.survivopedia.com

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Food Storage Recipe ~ Taco Burgers

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Great sandwich to make! Kids love this.

NEED:

1 , 12 ounce, package of corn chips

1 1/2 pound of ground beef

1 package of taco seasoning

1 package of cream cheese , cut into 12 strips about 1/4 inch thick

Crush enough of the corn chips to measure 1/2 cup.

Mix the crushed chips, ground beef, and the seasoning mix.

Make 6 patties.

Put under the broiler in the oven and broil the patties about 5 minutes on each side.

Criss cross the chees strips onto each patty and broil until the cheese is slightly golden.

Serve with the remaining chips.

13 Reasons People Refuse to Prepare for a Disaster

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People who are actually prepared for a disaster are few and far in between. Most people aren’t even ready for a minor disruption, let alone a major disaster, and they tend to look down their noses at preppers like a New York stockbroker judging the cast of Swamp People. However, history has shown that luck […]

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Could the Survival Bike be Your Bug Out Vehicle of Choice?

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Could the Survival Bike be Your Bug Out Vehicle of Choice? One important part of prepping is making sure you have an economical mode of transportation in the event that we don’t have access to gas. There are always biofuels, but large, heavy vehicles will guzzle these just like they do fossil fuels. A practical …

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What do you do when a compass breaks or the GPS just doesn’t seem to be working right?  Here are a few suggestions that will help the navigator.


The theme of this post is to discuss what options the backcountry navigator has with equipment that might not be working correctly. 


When equipment does not appear to provide the correct indication (such as the GPS bearing to the trail head) it’s time to stop.  Never rush navigation.  Stop and take the time to really look over the information provided.  Consult with the rest of the group.


Being able to recognize the proper operation of the hiker’s equipment is important.  This is obtained through field checks well before any trip.  The gas stove can be tested at home before the journey.  The navigation kit can be evaluated throughout the year at the local park or forest. I recommend to the elk and deer hunters in my GPS classes to take their receiver everywhere they go for two weeks prior to leaving for camp.  Push buttons, change displays, mark a waypoint and finally, return to a destination.  Like a pilot of a plane, a map, compass and GPS are the instruments in the backcountry cockpit.


Normally a magnetic compass’ needle rotates freely.  The needle rotates on a jeweled pivot point.  The magnetic compass should be kept level while in use allowing the magnetic needle to move about in the compasses housing.  My Suunto recently just stopped rotating.  I would change direction about 30 degrees and the magnetic needle would move about 15 degrees and then just hang up.


Sadly, there is no simple in the field fix for this.  I gently tapped the compass body and checked the movement of the housing but nothing seemed to work.  Never let broken gear clutter your pack or be used mistakenly.


A back up compass is very helpful in such a situation.  It doesn’t have to be expensive, just reliable.  No matter what you use for a back up, it has to work well and requires testing.  I take all my new compasses to a location in town where the streets run north and south (degrees true.)  I will hike the streets insuring that the compass is on the mark.  This only takes a few minutes.  Recently I noticed that one of my small ball compasses seemed to be at least 20 degrees off; it’s a goner.  Note, that a small back up compass may not be as precise as your primary model.  Also recognize that some compass will only provide a trend of direction such as moving in a northerly direction as opposed to tracking on a direction of 025°.


Before throwing a quality compass out, contact the manufacturer to see what the warrantee offers.


So what does the hiker do if the GPS receiver appears to be broken?   .

The following are steps that I’ll perform:


1.    If I have a GPS with an electronic compass I’ll ensure the compass is activated.  For example on the Garmin 60 series, pressing and holding the “page” button will turn the compass on or off.

2.    I’ll ensure the electronic compass is calibrated.  The compass must be calibrated after each battery change.

3.    Check the charge on the batteries.  If in doubt replace them.

4.    When the “Go To, Find or Where Is” option has been selected, older models will require motion to cause the compass arrow and displays to adjust.  Take five or more steps and see if there are any changes with the display.

5.    Turn the GPS receiver off, open the battery case and remove one battery for about twenty seconds, return the battery and power up the receiver again. 

6.    Once powered up, I want to be certain that the receiver has captured the signals from at least four satellites.

7.    Worse case – call the manufacturer.  Call early in the morning.


In the field, I leave my receiver powered on, collecting data the entire trip.  I keep my receiver in a holster that attaches to one of my shoulder straps.  Before leaving the trail head I “dump the junk” and get rid of old waypoints (e.g., last year’s fishing trip hot spots), I reset data fields on the odometer page and I will clear out my track log.  As I hike, my receiver is collecting all my trail data.  Should my receiver’s compass display fail I can follow my track (the “bread crumb trail” on the map page) back to the trail head.


Lastly, I will consult my map. Using the major land features (e.g., ridge lines, peaks, etc.) I will orient the map, determine my location (using terrain association) and direction of travel.

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In late November 2013 my local newspaper, the Bend Bulletin (Bend, Oregon) published a supplementary insert called the High Desert Pulse.  On page 28 there was a superb article by Elise Gross titled “Cover Your Bases.”

A base layer is the garment worn closest to the skin.  In the past, most outdoorsmen thought of a base layer as a simple set of “long johns.”  The days of cotton long johns are fading.  Cotton clothing retains moisture and in winter provides no insulation when wet. 

 Ms. Gross provided a fine discussion of the options of the various base layer choices available to the hiker.

She states:

“.. Your activity level and the temperature should be taken into account when choosing a base layer.”

“Fabric type should also be considered.  Base layers are made of a variety of fabrics with unique properties.”

The following is a brief synopsis of what is available.

·         Wool – Merino wool is at the top of my list.  Merino is soft and doesn’t irritate the skin.  Smart Wool is my favorite.  Wool works well in mild to cold temps.  Wool wicks sweat away from the skin.  It dries relatively quickly.  Wool is antibacterial so it doesn’t start to smell over time as silk and poly does.  It’s expensive.

·         Silk – Silk that has been modified to improve wicking is a fine choice (untreated silk absorbs and retains moisture).  Silk works well during periods of heavy physical exertion.  Though it can get too warm, silk works well in cold climates.  Silk takes longer to dry than wool or polyester.  Silk can get stinky so launder after use.

·         Synthetics – These are popular big sellers and big advertisers in outdoor magazines (e.g., Under Amour).  Synthetics are fine in moderate temperatures.  Wet material close to the skin may be chilly until dry.  Moisture wicking is excellent; that’s the big plus.  Synthetics dry faster than any other base layer material.  Synthetics can get stinky so launder after each use.  

All products mentioned are light and take up little space.
Consider carrying an extra top to keep the hiker dry and warm. 


Everyday Carry Kids for Kids

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Have you ever thought about what your kid carries with him every day? While you can expect him or her to be able to survive any disaster, making sure he has these survival items with him in his backpack could make a huge difference.

This article written on Everyday Carry Experts shows exactly which edc items to get for your kids depending on their age. Read more

(Just keep in mind part of the reason why you’re doing this is to plant the seed in your child’s mind, so that, when he grows up, he’ll become a real prepper and protector of his family.)

7 Things To Do Right Now To Get Ready For a Fabulous Summer Garden

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summer gardenHold on to your hat! Spring and it’s warmer cousin, summer, are just around the corner. Yes, even if you’re looking out the window at piles of crystalline, white snow — believe! One day soon, the days will lengthen and your summer garden will become just as real as those freezing temperatures!

Seed companies from companies like Seed Savers, Territorial Seed Company, and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds have their catalogs at the ready. Be sure to request them now before supplies run low. Here’s a comprehensive list of seed companies to peruse.

Even before the catalogs arrive, though, there are a number of actions you can take right now to get that summer garden ready before the spring thaw.

1.  Improve your soil, if it needs it.

Marjory Wildcraft of The Grow Network, says that conditioning your soil is one of the first thing any gardener should do. Keep in mind that soil composition can change over time and should be re-evaluated every so often.

Our garden was growing tomatoes non-stop, even throughout the winter, when suddenly everything pretty much died. We learned, later, that our soil had accumulated too much nitrogen and had to back up several steps to make some adjustments. You might need to:

  • Have your soil tested by your local extension office.
  • Mix compost in with the soil you now have.
  • Add amendments, per instructions from extension office or local growers.

This article outlines even more mistakes a backyard gardener can make on her way to developing a healthy, productive garden.

2.  Push your composting into high gear!

Make sure everyone in the family knows what can and cannot be added to compost and place “compost catchers” near the kitchen sink and anywhere else food is prepared. As explained in this article, you really can compost through the winter.

Get the kids busy shredding newspaper and old mail (remove plastic windows in envelopes before shredding). Visit a nearby coffee house and ask for their old coffee grinds. Ask neighbors for grass clippings, piles of old leaves, and vegetable peelings. If it’s too cold outside to venture out to a compost pile, keep a rolling compost bin like this one on the patio, just outside the back door, or in an outbuilding. You can always move it when warmer temperatures arrive.

3.  Research what grows best in your area and microclimate.

If you’re not sure what to plant and when, visit a farmer’s market and talk to the pros or search on the internet for local gardening blogs.

Out of curiosity, I did a search for “Phoenix garden blog” and came up with 28,900,000 results. OK, most of those didn’t have the information I was looking for, but the way I figure it, is that if someone cares enough to write about their gardening efforts, they probably have some pretty good information and tips to share!

Local nurseries (probably not the big box store nurseries) will likely have good advice about what grows best in your climate. Remember that many of us live in micro-climates, and our backyards may have more than one microclimate, which affects what we can grow and when it should be planted and  harvested.

4.  Check your watering system.

Replace any missing or damaged valves or hoses. There’s nothing quite like spending some money on seeds and/or seedlings, amassing a good amount of quality compost, and then coming out one day to discover that your plants are nearly dead from an unexpected heat wave.

This happened to us last June, and it was so disappointing. If your garden depends on a watering system, this is an area that can’t be neglected.

5.  Think about what you like to eat a lot of.

There’s no point whatsoever in planting lima beans if no one, and I mean no one, in the family will eat them! Once you have a list of what you and your family enjoy eating, check with gardening blogs, farmers, local nurseries, and planting calendars and schedule planting dates.

Take time to do your research. You’ll find that some carrots, for example, grow poorly in your soil and climate but there are other varieties that will thrive. I learned that in the Phoenix desert, I needed to grow a variety of carrot that produced short, stubby carrots that loved hot weather and the type of soil in our raised beds.

By the way of a bonus tip, winter is a great time for building and preparing your raised beds. Here are reasons why these are a great way to garden.

6.  If your planting season is still a month or more away, solarize your garden area.

This is a very easy thing to do, and I wish I had done this last month. It’s a simple way to rid your garden area of weeds.

Water your garden area very, very well and cover it with a huge sheet of clear plastic. I’ve seen some gardeners use black plastic, but this site recommends otherwise.

Weight the plastic down around the edges to make sure that it doesn’t fly away, even in a good sized gust. Wait for 4-6 weeks. This allows the weeds to sprout, thinking, “Yaaay! We can begin adding hours of backbreaking work to this poor gardener’s week!” However, the joke is on them because once the seeds have sprouted, they will quickly die, either from the heat beneath the plastic or from being smothered with no air or sunlight.

Some seeds won’t sprout at all but will still die from being overheated.

How lovely to enjoy a gardening season with very few weeds to spoil the fun!

7.  While you’re messing around with your soil and garden area, check for earthworms.

I was pleasantly surprised this week to discover a nice, healthy assortment of worms in our herb garden that I didn’t realize were there.

If your garden area doesn’t seem to have worms, they can be purchased and added to both your garden and your compost pile. As long as your compost bin is in a sheltered area and safe from freezing, those earthworms will do their part in getting the compost ready, and if you live in an area that doesn’t freeze, the worms will be safe in the ground.

summer garden

Updated January 14, 2017.

Mid January 2017 Update

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Been a busy time since Christmas. Mainly sorting inside and moving things around as my dad is really ill. NHS screwed up again and he is much worse than he was before. They really need to be held accountable for their actions but not in this mickey mouse country.

The land is pretty static. I’ve […]

How To Use Quick And Easy Pressure Cookers

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I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking about how to use quick and easy pressure cookers. I hope my pressure cooker pictures help you today. I am a visual person so pictures help me grasp things a little easier. I have canned green beans, tomatoes, salsa, spaghetti sauce, etc. in a Pressure Canner. Today I want to give you instructions on how to use an everyday cooking Pressure Cooker. We have all heard the horror stories that our Grandma, Aunt, Mom or Cousin had an explosion with food everywhere in the kitchen using a pressure cooker. Okay, here’s the deal. Pressure cookers need not be feared. Of course, we need to be cautious and make sure we secure the lid with a good gasket. I wouldn’t leave it and go run errands but it is quite simple to use.


Every pressure cooker has a rubber gasket inside the lid. The gasket creates an airtight seal necessary for pressure cooking. This is one of the parts we need to make sure is still pliable or replace if it is damaged in any way. You can see where I labeled the Regulator Knob. This gem we turn on the top of the lid to seal (for pressurized cooking)  or vent (to release the pressure or cooking without pressure) the food we are cooking. This means you can use this “pressure cooker” for cooking foods different ways. You don’t have to only pressure cook with this cooker. The filter protects the pressure regulator and is removable for cleaning.

easy pressure cookers

Here is a pressure cooker reminder to us that we must use a minimum of 1 cup of liquid when we pressure cook any food. This pressure cooker has a removable pot that is really easy to wash (it has a non-stick finish). I also purchased the optional stainless steel pot. Fagor 6Qt. Stainless Steel Removable Cooking Pot You can actually do the following with this pressure cooker:

1. Warm: reheats the food or keeps it warm until serving time

2. Brown: You can brown your meat before you pressure cook it

3. Steam: quickly boils water to steam veggies or rice

4. Slow Cook: cooks recipes slowly (9-1/2 hour timer)-this means it can be a slow cooker

5. Delay Time: allows you to delay the cooking up to 8 hours-I wouldn’t want to leave it more than maybe an hour just to be safe (perishable).

I picked up some stew meat that’s typically pretty tough meat but it was on clearance and I knew I could tenderize it in my pressure cooker. If you want you can add some barbecue sauce you but will still need one cup of water. But before I show you how to lock the lid, I want to show you how to “brown” any meat, chunks, or roasts, etc. If you brown your meat in a little oil, it seals in some really awesome flavor. Plus, you can make gravy with the liquid after you cook the meat.

easy pressure cookers

Can you see the “BROWN” button below? All you do is push that button and then the “START” button. You will soon hear the oil spattering a little, continue searing the meat to brown it to your liking.

easy pressure cooker

I added some chopped onions, I love onions in everything. This is where you will add the one cup of water, broth or liquid before putting the lid on to pressure cook it.

easy pressure cookers

Next, you put on the lid and turn it counter-clockwise until it locks into position. Turn the regulator knob to “SEAL” or “PRESSURE” depending on your pressure cooker regulator as shown at the top of this post.

easy pressure cookers

Next, choose either the HIGH or LOW-pressure button on the control panel. Check your pressure cooker for suggested settings. I set my beef chunks at 50 minutes on HIGH. Next, you push the indicator light to set the required minutes, in my case 50 times for 50 minutes. Next, press the START/STOP button to begin cooking. The indicator light will stop flashing. The cooker will count down after the pressure is reached. The floating valve will rise once the appropriate pressure has been reached, safely making it so the lid cannot be removed. The pressure cooker has two different ways to release pressure once the cooking is done. TIP: please be patient, because at first you may think is this darn thing even working? If the lid is locked it will work and you will soon see the numbers start going down, 50, 49, 48, etc. It takes a little time for the pressure to build up.

easy pressure cookers

Here are two ways to release the pressure, be sure and use a hot pad or washcloth or you will get burned from the steam:

easy pressure cookers

1. Natural Method-after cooking you will press the START/STOP button. Unplug the unit and wait for the pressure to naturally release….approximately 20-30 minutes. After this time move the pressure regulator to vent to make sure all the pressure has been released.

2. Quick Release Method: after cooking press the START/STOP button to make sure the unit is completely turned off. Turn the pressure regulator to vent and allow the pressure to release. Caution! Keep hands and face away from escaping steam as it is extremely hot and can cause injury. I use a washcloth to cover the release vent when turning it to help from getting burned by the very hot steam.

I highly recommend one of these or another similar brand because of the time issue in preparing meals and saving money on utility bills.

Here is the finished product, so tender and moist it’s unbelievable:

easy pressure cookers

Printables for Easy Pressure Cookers:

You will need to adjust the times as needed to go with YOUR pressure cooker.

Pressure Cooker Temperatures-Meat

Pressure Cooker Temperatures-Vegetables

Pressure Cooker Temperatures-Rice, grains, beans

My step by step instructions for you:

Be sure and check your manual but these are some pretty basic instructions for most pressure cookers:

Step #1 In this pressure cooker whatever you make MUST have a minimum of one cup of liquid to build up the steam every time you use it. My Fagor requires one cup of liquid. I never could find the requirement for liquids in the Instant Pot manual. Be sure and check your pressure cooker manual for the minimum liquid required.

Step #2 Place the lid on after you have placed the food you want to cook (with one cup of water minimum) and turn it until it clicks into place. It will lock when you turn the pressure regulator button to “pressure” on the top.

Step #3 Touch the HIGH or LOW button, I typically always use the HIGH button. Check out my printable charts above to help you choose the time required to pressure cook the food item you are cooking. If your food is frozen it will take longer, (about twice as long).The cooking times in my charts are for unfrozen food. It’s so easy you will cook every meal in one of these babies! You just keep clicking the high button until it shows 6 minutes for rice. Make sure the button on top is set on pressure or seal depending on what kind of pressure cooker you are using. Then you push the start button. Then you let it do its thing. Dinner is ready in no time.

My favorite things:

Fagor 670040230 Stainless-Steel 3-in-1 6-Quart Multi-Cooker

Fagor 6Qt. Stainless Steel Removable Cooking Pot

Instant Pot IP-LUX60 V3 Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker, 6Qt, 1000W (updated model)

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Our 2017 Garden Plan – Growing Incredible Flavor In The Garden

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It’s time for our 2017 garden plan! To an avid gardener, creating a garden plan is like trying to paint a masterpiece. Or perhaps, attempting to write a prize-winning novel. For us, it has always been a great way to look

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Nuclear Survival: Bugging Out Safely After An Atomic Blast

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Nuclear Survival

With the North Koreans gathering plutonium for nuclear warheads, and their Supreme Leader unhappy with Trump’s ascension to the office of President, nuclear preparedness should be everyone’s concern. How to stay safe while bugging out makes part of this plan, for sure.

Even someone that can navigate by looking at the sun or using other “low tech” means can easily fall prey to radiation poisoning after a nuclear incident. In fact, people interested in bugging out or moving from one area to another might be at higher risk than those who are staying in one area.

So if  you are in an area where more nuclear incidents are likely to occur or you need to travel for some other reason, safe navigation is extremely important.

While the basics of using maps, compasses, and other tools will not change, your path from one point to another may be far more different than expected. In particular, you will need to know more than how to skirt around  areas where radiation intensities are highest.

You will need to know how to predict where radioactive materials are most likely to disburse as well as how shifting weather and tide patterns will affect where additional materials will build up.  This is even more important if you intend to gather water and food along the way and happen across what appear to be low or non-contaminated areas.

Calculating Rate of Radioactive Travel By Land

Calculating how fast nuclear radiation will spread over land is no more difficult than knowing how fast breezes and the wind will move from ground zero to your location.

First, you must know the source of the radiation. You can use the links we posted at the end of the article to test out different areas and nuclear yield in order to get some idea about how large an initial area will be affected. Next, study the predicted wind currents for the area surrounding the contaminated site. Use the national climate archives to figure out the general wind direction for each state during specific months, as well as for major cities within each state.

For example, if you want to know how a nuclear blast in Alameda, California will affect Los Angeles CA, you might start off by visiting the Western Regional Climate Center, and then click on Average Wind Direction by State. You’ll see that the winds in Alameda usually go to the West, and in January they tend to go towards the NNW. Since Los Angeles is roughly Southeast of Alameda, you could go from Alameda towards Los Angeles for most of the year and more than likely escape fallout from the nuclear zone.

Unfortunately, since the wind from Alameda moves to the SE in December, you would not want to try and escape to Los Angeles as the nuclear radiation would follow you or precede you out of Alameda.

If you have a bug out plan that lists this information, you can also use real time estimators of wind current to project how fast the radiation is moving. Use the Beaufort Wind Scale to help you figure out how local winds are moving. If you get contradictory information between the historical tables and your observations, it may be best to get underground as quickly as possible and wait a few days to see what the air currents are doing.

Take the time now to observe wind directions and durations in your local area. If you have projected bug out paths, make sure that you have year round information on wind currents in those areas as well as studies on how wind from other areas moves into the ones you plan to travel through.

Calculating Rate of Radioactive Travel by Water

When it comes to calculating the spread of nuclear contamination over land, it can be said that air and its associated wind currents determine both the speed and distance. In a similar way, water acts as the medium of transport when attempting to calculate the rate of radioactive travel by water. If a detonation spreads water and debris into the air, you would need to calculate both the air mass and the water currents.

To calculate the rate of radioactive travel by water, start off once again by visiting Nuclear Secrecy so that you can get some ideas about how large the initial impact area will be. Then you will need to look at charts of the tides, water currents, and wind directions in the area.

There are two free resources that may be of some help to you. First, Open Nautical Chart offers global charts that also provide information about global wind and precipitation patterns. You can try using this chart for predicting how nuclear contamination will spread over areas of both land and water just by looking at the general trends. For more specific information about the currents and tides around the United States, visit Office Coast Survey.

Once you have the maps, all you need to do is compare the information between where the nuclear fallout is, and the maps will show you where it is most likely to go. For water calculations near the coast, you may also want to take the daily tides into account. For this, visit Salt Water Tides, and then select the region and date of interest to you. You can also use this site to project future tide timings.

Set up your own system that will generate you an endless supply of fresh, pure, clean water right in your home!

Mountains and Other Geographic Mitigating Factors

Even though you may be aware of seasonal changes in precipitation types or storm intensities, you may not realize that wind patterns also have seasonal and predictable fluctuations. Aside from that, mountains, hills, valleys, and other geological features can alter the way both wind and rain will affect any given area.

When it comes to getting away from nuclear fallout, you can think of mountains and hills in two ways. First, you can think of them as shields that you will want to put between you and the source of the radiation.

Typically, both wind and precipitation contaminated by nuclear materials will fall on the side of the mountain closest to the blast. As with everything from hurricanes to snowstorms and other weather systems, the precipitation-bearing clouds will drop in temperature as they try to move over the mountains.

This, in turn, will cause them to a good bit of water before they reach the other side. In some areas where this effect is especially pronounced, you may notice that rainfall data is less than it is on the other side of the mountain.  The “drier” side of the mountain will be safer in a nuclear crisis because prevailing rain patterns will not carry fallout over to the other side.

Second, you can think of mountains and hills as places where prevailing weather patterns may offer clues about lower fallout risk regions.  Excessive dryness on one side of the mountain may indicate that prevailing winds shift in the opposite direction. In this situation, even if the source of radiation is closer to the drier side of the mountain, it may still be safe because the debris will be carried in the opposite direction.

That being said, an area in this situation is also apt to be desert, or at best, scrub  lands.  If you are considering using an area like this as a nuclear bug out location,visit the area first and make sure that you know how to live in a desert region and be sure that you can secure water on a regular basis.

Locality Based Mitigating Factors

While you are moving from one place to another, it is important to realize that just about anything can act as a shield to nuclear radiation. If you are always aware of wind direction in relation to your location and ground zero, you will have a better chance of knowing when to take cover. While underground locations will always be best, buildings and even a tree can mitigate the amount of radiation that reaches your body.

Just remember to stand or sit in a place where the object is between you and the direction the contaminated air is coming from.

As you move through different areas, you are also bound to need water. If you cannot locate underground sources, some terrains may offer safer water than others. For example, if you are near a pond with bushes or shrubs growing nearby, take note of where the shrubs are in relation to the prevailing wind. If the shrubs stand between the wind (and the nuclear debris it carries), then the water may have less radiation.

The taller the shrubs or trees, and the denser they are, the more protection they will afford. As long as it hasn’t rained since the nuclear blast occurred, the water may be a bit safer than what you would find in other locations. At the very least, if you have no water purification options available you can try using this:

  • Start off by taking water only from the uppermost part of the pond. Dust and heavier contaminants will settle to the bottom.
  • Let the water settle for at least 24 hours so that any additional radioactive material will settled towards the bottom of the pitcher.
  • To get rid of any bacteria or pathogens, it is best to let UV light from the sun kill them off. It is best not to boil the water in this situation because it will only concentrate any dust particles that remain in the water while the lighter water molecules escape.

If you come across a moving stream or river, be very careful about the direction of the water flow in relation to the fallout zone. Even though moving water will dilute the nuclear material, it is best to seek a water source that is upstream of the blast. As with ponds, the more shields and distance that exist between the water and the nuclear site, the better.

Areas to Stay Away From at All Cost

Did you know that there are unsafe areas right here in the United States because the levels of nuclear radiation are too high?

What you may not realize is that the surrounding areas may also be contaminated to a point where they can endanger your health. To make matters even worse, Fukushima and other nuclear accidents may make an area you thought was safe far too dangers for a bug out location. When it comes to navigating after a nuclear disaster, you will need to factor in these locations plus the locations of any nuclear facilities that may pose a risk to your well being.

radioactive

Source: climateviewer.com

Remember, if our nation is under some kind of nuclear attack, it is also entirely possible non-nuclear attacks may happen at the same time. Large hospitals with nuclear diagnostic equipment, medical waste transports, nuclear power plants, and other sites that have nuclear materials will be a target.

As such, personnel that are best trained to control the situation may also be unavailable. If you try to pass through these areas, the chances of you coming into contact with high levels of nuclear radiation is very high even if the direction of contamination from a nuclear ground zero indicate otherwise. Always remember that nuclear radiation exposure is cumulative. It does not matter where the radiation comes from; only that you were exposed to it.

What About Edibles Along the Way?

No discussion on navigating during a nuclear disaster would be complete without a discussion on how to recognize which foods are safe to eat in an area that might have been impacted by nuclear fallout. While it is risky to eat anything in these areas, you can reduce the risk to some extent by taking the following advice:

  • Choose foods that were stored underground first.
  • If you must consume plants, use the deepest roots you can find first. It would also be best to choose plants that have not been exposed to rain since the nuclear blast occurred. For example plants in the middle of a patch, or covered by other plants may be safer.
  • If fruits and vegetables are available, try to use ones that have skins that can be removed. Smooth skinned fruits and vegetables will be safer to wash off and eat than rougher skinned items.
  • Canned foods should be ok; but choose ones in an area that is best protected from the blast direction. Consider a situation where the nuclear blast occurred to your west. If you are in a pantry, you would select foods from the east shelves because the radiation would have to pass through all the cans on the western side before reaching the others.  As with transportation, always look for foods where the largest and heaviest shields stand between the radiation and the food resource.
  • Avoid dried foods such as beans and fruit. You will find it very hard to wash nuclear debris off them or remove skins that might have captured the radiation. Also avoid leafy vegetables or anything else that you cannot peel or wash vigorously.

How do You Know You are Close to Ground Zero

Let’s consider a situation where a nuclear blast occurs and you must evacuate immediately. As you run to get your bug out bag, something distracts you, and somehow all your maps and important information about wind directions and navigation get left behind.

But thing can go worse than that. You have your cell phone, but you never uploaded these important files (so you wouldn’t have to go online or to the cloud to get them) because you were afraid an EMP would knock the phone out and make it useless. Upon turning on the phone, you realize it works perfectly, but you cannot get online. You have a compass, but never took the time to learn how to use it. Tucked deep in the bottom of the bag, you find a pair of binoculars that can be used to reveal wind direction and cloud formations. Since you don’t remember how to assess wind direction, you conclude the binoculars won’t be much good.

Realistically speaking, if you are in this condition after a nuclear blast and somehow managed to find safe shelter for a few days, you are going to have a fairly hard time finding a viable path to safety.

If you remember nothing else about how to navigate during a nuclear crisis, at least remember the signs and signals that you are at or near ground zero. At the very least you can try to skirt through these areas, avoid eating in them, and try to get out of them as quickly as possible.

Animals and Plants in Distress

Animals may have mouth sores.They may also bleed more from the nose and eyes, and may also show signs of fur loss. Large numbers of animals and insects may be dead and just laying around. Large numbers of fish may also be dead and have open sores on them.

Baby animals may have unusual numbers of digits on their paws. They may also be completely misshapen or have organs growing outside the body.

Animal or human feces may be in the form of diarrhea or have blood in it.

Plants will have tumorous knots on the stems, or unusual leaf patterns. For example, a three leaf clover plant may have five, six, or even seven leaves on a single stem.

The Black Rain

You may find signs of black rain: a combination of nuclear debris and soot from all the fires that happen after a nuclear blast. You may see streaks of thick, sticky  black liquid on walls, dripping from trees, or anything else that it lands on. If you look carefully at the ground, you may also see signs of this “rain” laying along the ground. Animals and plants may also be covered with it.

If you encounter black rain, it is extremely toxic, and will most often be found in the debris field surrounding ground zero.  Once you encounter this kind of debris, your best bet is to go back the way you came, an then try to choose another direction.

f you are closer to ground zero, permanent shadows may exist to reveal where objects once stood. For example, if you see a tree shadow on a sidewalk, but no tree, that means the tree was vaporized by the blast. The angle of this shadow will reveal the direction of the blast in relation to where the object was. To get away from ground zero, just go in the direction where the tree or object “points”.  In this case, just walk in the same direction as where you see the “top” of the tree’s shadow pointing.

You can also get some rough ideas about how far away the object was from the blast. The shorter and more perfectly proportioned the shadow is, the closer it was to ground zero. A longer shadow means you are a bit further away.

Signs of Disaster

Any area that was hit by the heat wave will show signs of having fires.  You can expect to see buildings, cars, and many other objects that may be charred beyond recognition.

The closer you get to ground zero, the signs of disaster you will see: walls, buildings, and even motor vehicles knocked over.  This damage occurs as a result of the air blast created by the explosion. Since the shock wave bands usually extend beyond other types of damage, finding them is a good indicator that you are either heading into ground zero or away from it.

For example, if you passed through areas that showed signs of being on fire, going through a blast zone might be an improvement.  If the radiation shadows are getting longer as you go along, this might also be considered a sign that you are heading away from ground zero.

Tools That Can Help You Avoid Contaminated Areas

Here are a few tools you might find useful:

  • Maps listing known nuclear material zones
  • Maps of historical wind current
  • Maps of water tides and currents
  • Long range binoculars
  • Small drones or robots that can be used to deliver testing equipment into a suspected area of contamination.

It is often said that if you have a map and compass, or know how to navigate by the sun and stars, you will never get lost. That being said, navigating during and after a nuclear crisis requires far more than simply figuring out how to get from Point A to Point B. Your plans can easily be disrupted by other situations involving nuclear hazards as well as radiation sickness.

Learn how to navigate when you aren’t feeling well along with how to recognize the signs that increased radiation may exist in an area that you plan to travel through. No matter how you look at it, radiation is a hazard no matter where you find it, and avoiding it will still be a primary concern while you are traveling.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

References:

http://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/customer-support/partnerships/regional-climate-centers

http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/CLIMATEDATA.html

http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/htmlfiles/westwinddir.html

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/beaufort.html

http://atomicbombmuseum.org/3_radioactivity.shtml

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Food Storage: It’s the Little Things!!!

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I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “the little things make a big difference.” That’s true in preparedness and really true when we consider food storage! Let me walk you through a scenario.

The “hammer” has finally “dropped” and America is in the middle of TEOTWAKI. Chaos ensues and it is not pretty! After a while, depending on where you are located in the country (some places might take longer than others), things finally die down (maybe literally) and eventually a “new normal” emerges in American’s everyday life!

Maybe it looks agricultural. Maybe it looks industrial. Who knows? But one thing that everyone will have to do is eat!

Now, imagine putting in a long day of…working in the field, patrolling, working in a factory or whatever. Imagine working a long day and then coming home to sit down to eat…the same old, bland food.

Many people say that if someone is hungry, they will eat whatever is in front of them. I actually believe that. But, remember, we are now in a “new normal.” People aren’t necessarily hungry. It’s just that the food sucks! Can you imagine what that would do to morale eventually?

Now, what if the person responsible for making the food knew tricks and tips and knew how to make things that tasted good? What would that do for morale? Just imagine, dinner time would once again be the centerpoint of the day. Families would come together to eat a good meal and enjoy each other.

Now, many of us have food storage. Some of your food storage might include MRE’s and dehydrated Mountain House meals. But the bulk of most preppers food storage would include basic staples like rice and beans. After your MRE’s and Mountain House is gone, how will you cook your rice and beans and other long term food storage in a way that won’t eventually get boring?

The truth here is that cooking, knowing how flavors come together, knowing what to use and when, is an important skill, not only when the poop hits the fan, but it can also be very useful now!

I would like to announce that I’m partnering, as an affiliate, with Chef Keith Snow and his new cooking program that has been designed for preppers!

Many of you know Chef Keith Snow from his own cooking podcast and his appearances on The Survival Podcast with Jack Spirko. He sits on Jack’s Expert Council when the topic is food.

In realizing the frailty of our system, he got serious about prepping and food storage. He also realizes the challenges that many preppers have when it comes to making their food storage taste good over a long time. He has developed a course to help his fellow preppers!
Keith has put together a course with 17 modules that covers everything from “What Food to Store” to the equipment you need to the specifics on food storage staples. He is just now launching it and adding to it weekly.

But, this isn’t just a course. When you learn how to really cook well, you are learning a valuable skill. You will use all your preparedness skills at some point. But you will eat everyday!

And, this course will help you save money because many of the main ingredients in the recipes are from food storage staples, which means they will be very affordable!

Good food at a great price…and learn a valuable skill?????? It’s a win-win-win!!!!

The cost of the course covers a lifetime membership and includes access to all of Chef Keith’s written materials as well as videos. The written material includes recipes and even items that you will want to purchase to add to your food storage.

Since the course has just launched, but isn’t completed yet, Chef Keith is offering an introductory offer to join his new program – $169. Again, this includes a lifetime membership and unlimited access to all of his materials, including a forum.

To sign-up for his course, CLICK HERE!

If you’re not convinced yet, and would like to get a little more information, subscribe to his mini-course which will get you access to a 45 page ebook in PDF , two written recipe with everything you need to know how to make these recipes and information from Keith’s perspective and rationale of the course.

To sign-up for the mini-course – CLICK HERE!

To put my money where my mouth is – I signed up for the course myself! I am excited to improve my cooking skills. I plan on putting out some of the recipes I try on my social media channels. Be on the lookout for them!

Peace,
Todd

Plant These Edible Flowers in Your Garden Now

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Plant These Edible Flowers in Your Garden Now via Preparedness Advice

The first edible flower I ever ate was a nasturtium. We had giant nasturtium plants growing in our herb garden, nearly taking over, in fact, and decided we would start consuming the orange and yellow blossoms and leaves. They have a peppery flavor with a little bit of a kick. It’s always fun to discover plants in your own backyard you can eat.

Nasturtiums aren’t the only edible flower that is commonly found in backyards and growing wild. Here is a list of some of the most common. This list is by no means complete, but is meant to be a starting point for further study of the flowers you have in your yard. Just because you see the name of a flower on this list, do not assume you can run right out and start eating them.

First, do a bit of research on the flower, make sure you have it correctly identified. This foraging book is one of my favorites and the author is a well-known foraging expert. Second, make sure you know which parts can be eaten. If you are interested in learning to identify edible plants like the ones on this list or growing a garden with all the herbs, vegetables, and edible flowers you could possibly want, check out this book and this book.

Interestingly, as you learn more about foraging in your backyard and elsewhere, you’ll find that not every part of a plant is edible. It’s important to have some fundamental foraging knowledge before you start picking random plants and eating them!

Angelica Anise Hyssop
Apple blossom Artichoke
Arugula Bachelor Buttons/Cornflower
Banana Basil
Borage Calendula
Carnation Chamomile
Chicory Chives
Chrysanthemum Cilantro/Coriander
Citrus Clover
Dandelion Daylily
Dianthus Dill
Elderberry English daisy
Fennel Freesia
Fuschia Geraniums
Gladiolas Hibiscus
Honeysuckle Hollyhock
Hyssop Jasmine
Johnny Jump Up Lavender
Lemon verbena Lilac
Linden Mallow
Marigold Marjoram
Mint Mustard
Nasturtium Oregano
Okra Onion
Orange blossom Pansy
Passionflower Pineapple sage
Primrose Radish
Red clover Redbud
Rose Rosemary
Rose of Sharon Runner bean
Safflower Sage
Savory Scented Geranium
Snapdragon Society garlic
Squash blossom Sunflower
Sweet Marigold Sweet William
Thyme Tuberous Begonia
Tulip Viola
Violet Winter Savory
Yucca

It’s good to know that the flowers of these plants are edible because they’re a source of nutrition and flavor that would otherwise go to waste. Sample a single petal, or small piece of a petal, before assuming you’re going to like the flavor. Get a good foraging book or two, preferably one with a few recipes to get you started. Try drying the petals and seeping them in hot water to make teas or chopping up the edible blossoms, leaves, too, if edible, and adding them to biscuit batter or on sandwiches and in salads.

The beauty of this very long list is that there is something to be found in every growing region, from deserts to the coldest climate areas. Many of these flowers will be found in the wild, such as wild violets. I’ve made a printable checklist of these flowers so you can have a copy on hand to keep with you as you forage.

In the future, I plan to write posts on some of the flowers on this list along with pictures and identifying information, as well as a few edible weeds. However if you have these in your yard you don’t need to wait for me.  Learn about the plants in your yard or area today.

Updated by Noah, January 14, 2017.

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