The Fast-Growing Meat Goat You Won’t Ever Have To Feed

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The Fast-Growing Meat Goat You Won’t Ever Have To Feed

Image source: Turkey Nob Goat Farm

We homesteaders usually go for the Boers, Nubians and Spanish breeds when choosing the type of meat goats to raise. These varieties deliver the bulk and poundage we want when it’s time to sell them or use for our own consumption.

But we also know the challenges of keeping them healthy. Rising feed prices and veterinary costs, the need for green pastures, plus the special care required during kidding season – these all add up to the daily demands of keeping our herds happy.

The past decade in America, though, saw the increasing popularity of a lesser-known breed: the Kikos.

Kiko goats are originally from New Zealand, bred in the late 1970s by Garrick and Anne Batten. The Battens cross-bred feral does with domesticated dairy bucks of Anglo-Nubian, Saanen and Toggenburg varieties. They wanted to develop indigenous goats that were more muscular and productive, for purposes of commercial meat production. They aimed for four key qualities:   hardiness, survivability, rapid growth rate and minimum input from growers. After four generations of controlled breeding and rigorous culling, they established the Kiko breed in the late 80s. The breed came to be known as the “go anywhere, eat anything” goat because of its exceptional ability to thrive in less-than-ideal environments. In 1995, Kikos were brought to the United States and have since elicited a growing interest among goat enthusiasts and meat producers.

Diatomaceous Earth: The All-Natural Livestock De-Wormer!

Kikos are large-framed goats, lean but athletic in appearance. They’re usually all white or cream in color, but also can come in darker colors of camel, brown and black. They have short, slick hair in warm, sunny climate, but can grow thick flowing hair when ranged at high altitudes in the winter. They have erect ears and the bucks grow long, narrow horns if not disbudded.

If you’re looking to expand your livestock with little or no additional expense, Kikos would be your best choice. They can grow alongside cows and sheep without competing for pasture. That’s because Kikos are foragers — they will go for weeds on brush and ignore your cattle’s preferred grass. That’s what makes them excellent brush cleaners. With plenty of acreage, they will thrive and basically take care of themselves if there’s a good variety of plants. The American Kiko Goat Association (AKGA) says many ranchers note an increase in available grasses for their cattle after two to three years of running Kikos on their operations, because most of the undesirable and invasive plant species have been mowed. [1]

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While I totally adore the sweet, docile temperament of my Boers, I’m wary of and constantly having to address their susceptibility to disease. In our warm, humid climate, I have to annually battle the threat of parasitic infestation, respiratory problems and hoof rot, particularly during the rainy season. (Had I learned about Kikos earlier, and if they were easily available in our area, I would’ve chosen them first.)

Terry Hankins, who raises Kikos at Egypt Creek Ranch in Mississippi, says the breed thrives best in the Southeast, Midwest and the Deep South where there’s up to 50-60 inches of rain annually. Not surprising, since Kikos were developed in New Zealand, where annual rainfall can run up to 100 inches. [2] Whereas Boers were developed in South Africa, where no more than 20 inches of rain is experienced.

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

Richard Johnson and Mia Nelson of Lookout Point Ranch in Lowell, Ore., give their Kikos only minimal supervision beyond the basic record-keeping. They provide no barns, no supplemental feed, no hoof trimming, no worming, not even any vaccinations. They supply only mineral supplements and protection from predators.

But the defining characteristic of Kikos, say enthusiasts, is their impressive growth rate. Although the breed doesn’t grow as large as other meat goats, they are known to grow and reach market weight faster than their counterparts.

Another outstanding quality is their kids’ survivability. Dams are not only prolific – able to produce at least twins each year – but they also have excellent maternal instincts. They deliver without assistance and quickly clean their newborns, staying by their side for the first 24 to 48 hours. Kids are known to be active and vigorous at birth. They’re normally up and suckling within 10 minutes of birth.

In 2004, a study conducted at Tennessee State University showed that Kikos weaned more pounds of kid per doe as compared with Boers. [3] Nevertheless, Boers are still preferred by buyers at many barn sales. Size, looks and gentleness still seem to matter most to them, I guess.  For this purpose, many breeders opt to cross a Boer buck with Kiko does. The resulting hybrids are vigorous and show the best characteristics of both breeds.

[1] http://www.kikogoats.com/index.php/why-kikos/
[2]  egyptcreekranch.com/pdf/articles/Kikos%20vs%20Boers.pdf
[3]  https://articles.extension.org/pages/19288/goat-breeds-kiko

hydrogen peroxide report

Six Planning Tips for Starting a Garden from Scratch

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Six Planning Tips for Starting a Garden from Scratch Spring will be here in a couple of months and if you are new to gardening this article may give you the upper hand, you may have tried before and had failed crops or the veggies didn’t grow well enough. I scoured the internet for hours looking …

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How To Make a Barbecue Planter

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How To Make a Barbecue Planter If you have an older BBQ trolley laying around why not transform it into a mobile greenery machine… If you do not have one laying around look on craigslist or your local paper. These look amazing and you can have all your herbs and small vegetables in one place. …

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How To Make A Water Vessel Out Of A Log With Fire

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How To Make A Water Vessel Out Of A Log With Fire Did you know that you could use a log to store water in if SHTF? It’s a real easy project to do, it just takes time, that’s why I am calling it a weekend project. Whoever wrote the original article first language probably …

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10 Canning Tips for the Newbie Canner

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10 Canning Tips for the Newbie Canner My wife and I can all the time and love it. It gets us together as a family unit and after a good batch of canning you can sit back and look at them and say, “well dear, that’s us good for a week or so if SHTF” …

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Top 10 Stress Relieving Teas

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Top 10 Stress Relieving Teas Stress can be a killer. It’s been proven over and over again. Imagine if SHTF, stress will be a big factor in our lives whether we like it or not. Even if you had all the food and ammo to protect you stockpile, you WILL be stressed about when the …

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Late Winter and Early Spring Checklist For Prepping The Gardens

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Late Winter and Early Spring Checklist For Prepping The Gardens Gardening is a great hobby to have and I would recommend it to anyone. Gardening is good for the body and keeps the mind busy…  If you are preparing a survival garden or you want to have the prettiest garden in the neighborhood, you still …

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DIY Large Mobile Solar Power System

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DIY Large Mobile Solar Power System I have covered a simple portable solar generator many times over the years.. They work great but what if you needed a bigger solar generator and still wanted it mobile enough to take it with you where ever you go, either camping or bugging out? I found a great …

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10 Useful Tools You Can Make From Recycled Parts

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10 Useful Tools You Can Make From Recycled Parts I thought this would be a great article to share with you because I am sure many of us have a lot of broken tools laying around the garage or basement. This is great to know if SHTF as you can have a 2 use item. …

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17 Great Ways to Utilize 2-Liter Soda Bottles for Survival

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17 Great Ways to Utilize 2-Liter Soda Bottles for Survival See how using old 2-liter bottles for survival could change your way of thinking about preparedness. Save you money and make you more self-reliant than ever before! I am sure many of you know that millions on millions of these little plastic gold mines gets …

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2017 Edition: FREE Resources for Preppers, Survivalists & Homesteaders

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Welcome to the 3rd annual edition of FREE Resources for Preppers, Survivalists & Homesteaders. The 3rd edition updates the listings for the prior two years, and adds a number of new FREE resources fpr 2017.

1) Nuclear War Survival Skills by Cresson H. Kearny – The 1987 edition of this classic nuclear survival guide is available for free download as a .pdf file or .html documents. 

2) Green-Trust FreeBook Download Page has lots of books available for free download on a variety of topics including energy-efficiency, solar & renewable energy, rainwater harvesting, and medical info. 

3) Selecting a Survival Battery of Firearms is an excellent article found on the Alpha Disaster Contingencies website. Check their website for many other articles.

4) Backwoods Home Magazine – Many  articles from back issues of this self-reliant living magazine are available online for free in their archive. 

5) Learn How to Save Seeds and Grow Food – Seed Savers Exchange has a section on their website devoted to teaching folks how to save seeds and grow food. 

6) A Plan for Food Self-Sufficiency – This article is available for free on the Mother Earth News website. You can find other free articles on self-reliance, organic gardening, renewable energy and other topics by browsing the website.

7) LDS Preparedness Manual (you’ll have to give them an email address to download) – The Mormons have taught/required preparedness and self-reliance of their members for generations, and have accumulated much practical knowledge on the subject, much of which is presented here.The link is to the current edition, but if you don’t want to give them your email address, you can get the  2011 edition at this link (link opens a .pdf).

 

8) The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency (link opens a .pdf) by John Seymour. I found the link to the 1976 book edition of the book on the City Farmer News website, so check them out.
 

9) The Complete Outdoorsman’s Handbook (link opens a .pdf)  A guide to outdoor living and wilderness survival by Jerome J. Knap.
 

10) Back To Eden Organic Gardening Film (link to the full documentary on You Tube): “Back to Eden Film shares the story of one man’s lifelong journey, walking with God and learning how to get back to the simple, productive organic gardening methods of sustainable provision that were given to man in the garden of Eden. The food growing system that has resulted from Paul Gautschi’s incredible experiences has garnered the interest of visitors from around the world. Never, until now, have Paul’s organic gardening methods been documented and shared like this!” 

11) Bee Basics: An Introduction to Our Native Bees (link opens a .pdf) – a publication of the US Forest Service. Bees are, of course, very important to the pollination process, and our gardens depend on them. Its important to understand their role, and how to protect them.

12) Plans For a Complete Beekeeping System (several downloading options available) – Again, bees are important for your garden and fruit trees. Besides, I love honey. 

13) Basic Physical Health with Limited Resources (.pdf automatically downloads) – an LDS publication. Maintaining good health before, during, and after a SHTF event is extremely important.  

14) Surviving The New World Order (several downloading options available) by B.A. Brooks. I’m typically not one to buy into grand conspiracies, but this 20-page booklet has a lot of really usefully prepper and survivalist information.

15) LDS Nutritution and Diet Manual (link opens a .pdf) – another LDS publication dealing with health and nutrition.

16) The Alpha Strategy: The Ultimate Plan for Financial Self-Defense for the Small Investor (link opens a .pdf) – a famous, but now out-of-print, book from 1980. The Alpha Strategy presents a plan to protect your assets from both high inflation and depression, as well as high taxation and political manipulation. 

17) Surviving The New World Order (several downloading options available) by B.A. Brooks. I’m typically not one to buy into grand conspiracies, but this 20-page booklet has a lot of really usefully prepper and survivalist information. 

18) The Xerces Society is a insect conservation group which provides a variety of fact sheets and plant lists for promoting native bee and butterfly populations, which are VITAL to gardening and agriculture.

19) Permaculture – Sustainable Farming, Ranching, Living – by Designing Ecosystems that Imitate Nature (link opens as a .pdf) is a excellent six-page introduction to the concept of permaculture.

20) Popular Mechanics has both DIY Projects and Home How To sections on their website, with lots of greats ideas, projects, and information.

21)  Countryside and Small Stock Journal has a free online library of articles (over 200) relating to gardening, homesteading, livestock, poultry, and self-reliance. The also have a series of free guides to topics including beekeeping, dairy goats, raising ducks, and so forth. To get to the free articles, click on the “Daily Stories” tab on their website’s menu. To get the free guides, click on the “Free Guides’$ tab on their menu. You may have to register (for free) with them to get access to the free guides. 

22) Article Archive of The Backwoods Home Magazine –  100s of free articles on homesteading, gardening, raising food, self-reliance, and other topics of interest to preppers and survivalists.

23) Local Parks and Greenways offer lots of opportunities for free exercise, recreation, and family time. My local parks have walking/jogging trails, tennis courts, basketball courts, softball fields, and even a lake for fishing at one one of the parks. Some offer free programs on weekends or during the summer. Hiking greenways is great exercise. Bring along some nature identification guides and turn it into a learning experience.

24) The Public Library – Use your library card. Libraries are a great source of free entertainment and free information. You can check out a wide range of books on gardening, country skills, food preservation & canning, sewing, health & first aid, home improvement, auto repair, small engine repair, fishing, hunting, nature field guides, edible wild plants, wilderness survival, personal finance, and so forth. Entertainment, too, can be had for free at your local library, and not just books to read. Many libraries today have movie DVDs, music CDs, board games, puzzles, and other types of entertainment that you can check out for free, as well as story times for kids and lectures for adults.

25) Cooperative Extension Offices are an agency of the US Agriculture Department, with local offices in every county in the United States. They are a great resource of free information, and free or low-cost services. Local offices can provide garden planting times specific to your area, soil testing, canning classes, and other information and services. Visit https://extension.org/ to find your local office and contact them to learn of the specific services offered in your county. They can also help you get into touch with 4-H clubs, gardening clubs, bee keeper associations, and other related organizations in your area.

26) USGS Disease Maps tracks disease outbreaks and epidemics in the US on a county-by-county basis. 

27) ProMED-mail – the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases – is an Internet-based reporting system dedicated to rapid global dissemination of information on outbreaks of infectious diseases and acute exposures to toxins that affect human health, including those in animals and in plants grown for food or animal feed. Electronic communications enable ProMED-mail to provide up-to-date and reliable news about threats to human, animal, and food plant health around the world, seven days a week.

28) RSOE EDIS – Emergency and Disaster Information Service – provides maps and information on man-made and natural disasters worldwide. It tracks almost everything – droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, chemical spills, biological hazards, nuclear events, and more. 

29) Exploit FREE information from the web. If you are reading this, you’re on the Internet anyway. There are a lot of great websites and YouTube channels full of useful information for you to read or watch. This website is full of prepping & survival information. Other websites and You Tube channels I like include:

There are, of course, lots of other great websites and You Tube channels. The above list is just a few of my favorites.

30) The Drudge Report is a constantly updated collection of links to news stories in the mainstream and alternative news media. I include it here because an important part of self-reliance and being prepared is being aware of what is going on in the world around you.

31) The Liberty Mill is a great source of alternative news headlines aggregated from over 35 alternative news outlets. 

32) Finally, I humbly suggest this website (www.TimGamble.com) as a source of free information, ideas, and tips on self-reliance and preparedness. Please take the time to explore the variety of articles and information found here. 

32A) #HistoryHub – a part of my website, #HistoryHub has the text of over 40 primary historical documents, and over a dozen secondary sources. Whether you are a home schooler or just wanting to understand real history (not the ideological propaganda taught in schools), you should check it out. And keep checking back, because I frequently update #HistoryHub.

32B) My Foresting Gardening articlesSeveral years ago I wrote a series of articles on forest gardening (aka woodland gardening, food forests, or edible landscaping). I have since posted them on this website.

Prep Your Body – Be Ready For a SHTF Situation

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You could have a perfect bugout plan, a well-prepped homestead, and a library of survivalist knowledge in your brain but none of that will do you much good if you aren’t physically fit when the SHTF. If you want to survive a cataclysmic disaster, you can’t be “caught with your pants down” when it comes to your health. Physical health and fitness is are vitally important when it comes to survival. Don’t forget to prep your body. Healthy sleep habits and daily training pay off. So does keeping up with all aspects of your health including dental, vision, strength, and cardio.

Dental

My wife truly dreads going to the dentist. She can’t stand all the poking and prodding with metal tools, and any dental work that she has done takes forever to heal. For her, the dentist is a special level of Hell. And she isn’t alone. I don’t know anyone who enjoys going to the dentist. If you truly hate going to get your teeth worked on, the answer may be as simple as finding a dentist that you feel more comfortable with. Shop around. Do a Google search for “dentist near me” and look at dentist reviews to find an office that people recommend. Make an appointment to interview potential dentists before they even try to put their hands in your mouth. Find a dental office that fits you. My wife and I finally found one that works for us. They are great at dealing with reluctant patients (like my wife) and they’re happy to offer medications that help relieve the anxiety that afflicts so many people when reclined in a dentist’s chair. And I like that they are pretty high tech. They have dental cameras that they use to show me exactly what’s going on with my teeth. And a machine in the office that actually mills a crown in an hour, so there’s no need for getting a temporary crown and having to come back for a second visit.

Even after you find a dentist that you can tolerate, it’s still in your best interest to do everything you can in your daily life to minimize the amount of time you’ll spend in their chair. Make sure your teeth are as healthy as they can be. Bite the bullet and go in for a checkup. If they find problems with your teeth, go ahead and get all of the work you need to get you to the point where the only thing that the dentist needs to do from now on is clean your teeth every six months. Minimize your dental appointment needs by brushing and flossing often, and thoroughly. Think of it as part of your prepping routine. Get caught up now, because there’s no doubt that any dental work done after a SHTF situation will be much more medieval.

Vision

I was in my early teens when I realized that my vision could be improved with glasses. It started as a joke. I tried on my father’s glasses at the dinner table, pretending to be my father in an adolescent attempt to make my siblings laugh. But I stopped laughing when I noticed that the details of the objects across the room were clearer. I got my first pair of glasses soon after and I’ve hated them ever since. During college, when I thought that looks were important, I wore contact lenses. But I still made sure I always had backup glasses to fall back on because I really couldn’t see much without corrective lenses of some sort. Fast forward twenty years. After many years of thinking and wishing I recently decided to get lasik surgery. It was so much easier than I thought it would be, and not nearly as scary. I walked out of the surgery with BETTER than perfect vision. They managed to correct my vision to 20/15. I’ve never been able to see so perfectly in my whole life.

The surgery was expensive, and of course my insurance didn’t help with the cost. But I am convinced that it was a good investment, especially if TEOTWAWKI happens. No worries about damaged or lost glasses and near blindness as a result. If you’re one of the many who don’t have perfect vision, invest in your eyes. Go for regular exams, and keep multiple pairs of backup glasses. Consider lasik as an option. Be prepared for a SHTF situation by prepping your eyes. Because there won’t be any no new glasses after that.

Strength

Lifting weights is hard work. But having a little extra muscle will help everything in your life. Your body operates more efficiently when you have a higher muscle mass. You’re able to lift more, and strong looks better. Start slow and small. Work up to heavier weights as you get stronger. And take your workouts outside the gym. Climb ropes and walls. Scale fences. Think of obstacles you might encounter while bugging out, and practice climbing over them.

Prep your body

Climbing is a lot more difficult if you’re overweight. Strength training can help with that. No matter how much cardio exercise you do, adding weight lifting to you routine will help you lose weight faster. In fact, if you are overweight cardio is much more difficult. Take a few months off from cardio and concentrate on lifting weights instead. You burn just as many calories with less joint stress. Getting a little gym time is a good way to prep your body, and your mind.

Cardio

If your attitude is that the only time you run is when a big dog is chasing you, you’re probably not doing enough cardio exercise. Cardio is my Achilles heel. I hate running or doing time on an elliptical. But a prepper needs to be in decent shape. If you have to throw on your bug out bag and get out of dodge but are only able to make it to the end of the block, you’re not prepped. Do something about it.

Climbing fences

Only you can know what you are physically able to handle. Test yourself. In Army boot camp, one of the first activities that they make you do is called a “confidence course” where you are exposed to progressively harder obstacles to demonstrate that your body can do more than you think it can. It builds your confidence, so later when you see an obstacle in front of you, you know you can handle it. Start with something easy. Get on a bike and ride around the block. Increase your range until you don’t feel winded anymore, then switch to walking the same routes. See how far and how fast you can hike with a pack. Push yourself. Train. Once you’re happy with your performance, start running. Add more weight to your pack. Learn that you’re more capable than you think you are. Chip away at all aspects of your health until you are happy with your fitness level.

Sleep

Your body needs sleep to heal and rejuvenate. People tend to sleep well in cooler and darker rooms. Turn off extra lights. Crack the window a little during winter and pile the blankets on top of you. Eight hours is what we have been told from childhood is required. But other than weekends, I don’t think I have had eight hours a night since I was a teenager. Listen to your body. Pay attention to when you get sleepy, and take advantage of that “sleep window” by finding a way to go to bed around that time each night. Play with your total sleep time. Some people benefit from seven hours a night, waking refreshed and alert. Others need more sleep. Figure out what your optimum sleep time is, and do everything you can to get those hours. Protect your sleep. Make sleep a priority.

Prep Your Body Daily

Invest a little money in a Fitbit or Jawbone fitness tracker. These little devices are worn on your wrist all the time. They track your steps, your sleep, and give you a clearer picture of your daily habits and your progression toward your fitness goals.

Make body prep a part of your regular prepping routine. Put the same amount of thought into it as you do your other preps. Prepare your body daily and you will handle anything physical challenge that is thrown at you.

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Measuring GDP Minus Health Care and Military Expenditures

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Kelly Ann Thomas

The problem with the health industry is that it is a negative indicator if a country were to measure true growth. Healthcare is considered an industry, but its growth depends on an a steady increase in sickness. An unhealthy population is an economically unproductive population. Every penny spent is to bring the population to normal functioning human wellness, which would make it a negative mark in the determination of economic performance and potential.

The military operates the same way, too. It is about destruction. Every penny spent is negative because war does not produce anything of economic value and results in severe economic losses from the wars in the form of reconstruction, demolition, infrastructure repairs, dead and wounded, orphans, veterans, social costs… So technically every penny spent on the defense department is a negative mark. Healthcare and Defense make up two of the largest “industries” in the US.

If we examined these as negative indicators to measure a country’s true value and growth, while adding a domestic satisfaction number that would include basic literacy, critical thinking skills and each antidepressant sold per capita as a negative indicator in the formula, it would show an un-viable, unsustainable system, just like the nuclear industry. There is no growth, just smoke and mirrors.
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Kelly Ann Thomas

My sister was diagnosed with advanced endocrine cancer last fall, the same kind that killed my mom a year before. Well, the two rounds of chemo were probably what killed her. My sister started taking CBD oil last month and 22 days later (this past Tuesday) the cancer is gone. She went to Moffat (supposedly the best cancer treatment center in Florida) and had it checked on Day 22. They originally wanted to do chemo and radiation and she said no. The lymph nodes are still enlarged, but down 4mm from the time she started the oil. The lymph nodes are still enlarged, but that is because she is detoxing the cancer and other things for her body.
I have met several people who work with CBD oil to cure everything form Stage 4 cancer, Alzheimer’s, kidney failure, Parkinson’s and even simple aging.
Please seek out a naturopath who understands CBD oil.

SURRENDER THE SUN

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SURRENDER THE SUN

I have a vast array of interests that add flavor and color to this wonderful life of mine. A few of those happen to be the idea of apocalypse and what impact it may have on the baseline human condition, our sometimes crazy weather and it’s impacts on this incredible world, and a deep rooted love of history, especially when either of my previous two mentions are somehow involved. In her recent work Surrender The Sun, author AR Shaw has offered up a shiny bobble that I simply could not ignore. So, the real question is would it live up to my wild imaginings of where it may take me?

Annette-Shaw-1_Fotor-300x298

Full disclosure, AR Shaw is a friend, a very nice lady and I have read her work before. That is precisely the reason I want to be careful in this review to only speak to the work and my impressions of it.

Given the interests I listed above that originally secured my interests in the book, in Surrender The Sun, Shaw did not disappoint.

Want to end life as we know it?
Let’s do it.
How about a naturally occurring catastrophe?
Yes, please.
What if I told you it’s all happened before and it will happen again?
Awesome. Bring it on.

In this cataclysmic, blizzard driven romp of a story, Shaw does a wonderful job of world building. I could feel my lungs ache and burn in the frigid temperatures as I stood on the lake shore staring out as wisps of blowing snow spun out and across the body of water’s frozen surface. To further my immersion in this white-bleached, wintry wasteland, Shaw effectively weaves a sense of intimate foreboding throughout the tale as I witnessed Bishop standing like a granite mountain as he shepherds flame-haired, Maeve and her party through the seemingly never-ending storm. Both natural and man made.

In short, if you share any or all of the interests I mentioned earlier, take a chance on Surrender The Sun. The story and the world are engulfing and satisfying. The author also does a good job of touching on some of my other interests too like preparedness and just what it would feel like to realize that you cannot prepare your way out of a situation. After all, it seems that is where things would get really interesting anyway, right? There will come a point when reading this book where you will find yourself standing alongside Bishop and Maeve, each of you asking yourselves the same question. Now what?

Jump into the deep freeze and grab your copy of Surrender The Sun today. To keep up with everything going on with AR Shaw, be sure to check out her blog. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Survival Gear Review: The Timahawk Part 2

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Timahawk_tomahawk_axe_pry_bar_axe_chopping-2

Timahawk_tomahawk_axe_pry_bar_pry_bar_on_log-3A handful of edge is a beautiful thing. The convergence of steel is one of the most useful things in a survivalist’s kit. It is the tool that builds all other tools. It is the tool that makes shelter, prepares food, and provides defense. So it’s no surprise that a variety of steel edges are in the bug out loadout. But within that variety are found the problems of weight, of cost, of space, and of necessary performance. With smaller tools the problems are minor, but with bigger heavier tools, carrying more than one is usually out of the question.

By Doc Montana, a Contributing Author of Survival Cache and SHTFBlog

Enter the Timahawk. By combining several tools into one heavily evolved design, Tim Ralston has made a bit of survival history with his pair of self-named Timahawks. The shorter version called the Tactical Timahawk has made an appearance here, but the longer handled full-size Timahawk still needs an introduction.

Ralston’s Masterpiece

Timahawk_tomahawk_axe_pry_bar_pry_bar_hanging_on_tree-2At 64 ounces, the Timahawk is a formidable piece of hardware on its own. Four pounds of striking steel with every end a business end makes for a highly adaptable tool. But let’s take a closer look at the edges of the Timahawk. The most obvious feature is the broadhead axe face with full beard. A bearded axe was a popular design back in the medieval era when an axe was the Colt Peacemaker of the time.

Related: The Tactical Timahawk

Having a beard on an axe pushes the tool more more towards being a weapon. The beard provided a protected handgrip as well as a hook that was used to strip away a foe’s shield or weapon. I find the beard works as advertised as well as making for a strong hook for various camp duties like holding up a lantern and remaining accessible but out of reach of the little ones. The beard also generates a much larger cutting surface without the extra weight of a fully cheeked axe head.

Face Plant

Timahawk_tomahawk_axe_pry_bar_pry_wood_chopping_closeup-2The overall cutting surface of the axe is about six inches in a straight line. Three and a half of those inches are the beard leaving plenty of strength onboard for serious chopping. Bending or breaking quarter-inch thick 4130 steel not only exceeds normal use of the Timahawk, but also exceeds normal human strength.  Opposite the sharp crescent and beard is an adz which is nothing more than a stone-age carving tool that is simply a short blade turned sideways. It works great for digging, scraping, and a lever for breaching. The two-inch wide adz is not much of a weapon compared an axe proper, but it will certainly do damage. The adz can also be somewhat sacrificial surface when you need to strike steel-dulling materials like rocks, brick and metal.

Read Also: Fail to Prepare Fail to Live

Two well-defined hand placement points with finger grooves are forged into the design. A vertical grip is found behind the axe-face beard, and another similar handhold is on the top of the axe head halfway between the bit and the adz. Basically the two grips are 90 degrees rotated from each other, while the traditional main handle grip of the Timahawk is just downstream from the beard grip.

The main gripping surface on the Timahawk is actually two scales of 18-inch long recycled hard black plastic held in place by four evenly spaced stainless steel screws. The scales ovalize the flat metal backbone of the Timahawk making the handle about 1.25 inches wide, by about one inch thick.

Pry Baby

Timahawk_tomahawk_axe_pry_bar_pry_bar_delimbing-2Rounding out the southern end of the Timahawk is a two-and-a-quarter inch wide combination prybar face/nail puller. The tailend of the Timahawk flairs out an additional half-inch on each side looking similar to a chisel or moulding pry bar. As a weapon, this far end has some advantages over the adz even though they are of similar size. Remember those gripping handles? Well with one fist wrapped around the top handle and the other on the plastic scales, you can operate the sharpened nail puller with precision and the full force of your body. Like a pry bar from hell.  I actually have a prybar I carry on some wheeled adventures. It is a 24 inch Snap On pry bar. It works for for opening and moving stuck or heavy things, and some rough engine mechanicing. Having a serious pry bar along for ride is always a good thing, but a single dedicated pry bar is a another heavy piece of gear. So combining tools, while a violation of “two is one and one is none,” you can also look at it as “one is two and two is good.”

Here To Help

Luckily the bright orange powder coat gives the impression that the Timahawk is here to do good. No skulls, or barbed wire, or lightening bolts. Just good old American made EMS camouflage. Nothing to see here so move along.

With three sharp ends, the Timahawk ships in a completely encasing padded nylon case. A full-length zipper opens and closes the works, while three different sized pockets cover one entire face of the case. The opposite side contains an 11-inch MOLLE ladder with four included snap attachment strips of webbing. Two carry-strap attachment D-loops are sewn in at the top and bottom of the case separated by about 22 inches. Of course, a 1.5 inch shoulder strap is included.

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Conduct a Prep SWOT Analysis

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strategy_image-2

pen_paper_SWOT-2American management practices use a lot of techniques to examine planning, program development, future goals, and modes of execution to achieve those goals.  One of the business school tactics used by many groups is called the SWOT.  This stands for (1) Strengths, (2) Weaknesses, (3) Opportunities, and (4) Threats.  Walking through this process applied to your prepping plan can assure confidence of achievements, point out items for improvement, expose future opportunities and recognize potential threats.  It is an assessment strategy to reveal all the functional aspects of your prepping plan and processing.  

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Remember that your SWOT is not my SWOT or Reuben’s down the street.  There can be no two plans or executions just alike.  Therefore, there really is no textbook SWOT to copy or plagiarize.  It is a process that only you or your prep team can solely experience, define, construct, refine, and deploy.  It has to be customized to your situations, conditions, and circumstances.

Strengths

strengths_SWOT-2What have you done right and what are you doing right?  Do you have a basic plan advancing to a more thorough plan laid out, via paper, or PC or both?  Is all this development work documented in a file, notebook, or folder for constant referral and reference?  If not, this is the place to start. Your personal prep manual needs to be easy to reach and within reach at all times.  Then when an idea or lightbulb thought pops up, you can jot it down.  Keep plenty of plain paper in the side pocket for such notes, then refine them to move to the main manual pages if appropriate.  Prepping is a constant moving target, but the ideas need to be collected.  

Review all your prepping components.  You may have a “Bug In” section as well as a “Bug Out” section just in case options are a viability.  Then break it down into all the categories of stuff that have been discussed here at Survival Cache and our Blog pages over time.

Related: 10 Bug Out Bag Essentials

Confirm what items you have completed and what items need work.  Review your supply lists, weapons cache, and every item in your prep plan so far.  This is an emphasis on your plan’s strengths, but does not imply completion.  

Weaknesses

prepare_SWOT-2This is not the time for dogging yourself or your plans.  It is a time to constructively peel back the layers to see what is not working, at least not yet.  On this examine it is time to reveal things you are not doing or have failed at completing.  A good practical example is training achieved to date.  Can you put that tent up in the dark, even in the backyard?  Do you know how to disassemble that AR you bought for Christmas?  Have you finished calculating how much food and calories your family will need for an extended SHTF?   Is your bug out camp ready to go? Do you need a course in auto or engine mechanics, welding, carpentry, or camp cooking?  

Also examine what factors or elements are preventing you from moving weaknesses to strengths.  Is a limited, tight, or reprioritized budget part of the issue?  Are you setting any funding aside for prepping causes regardless of how little it is?  Have you considered weekend employment or selling off some unnecessary items to raise funds for prepping?  This is not easy.  

Again, weaknesses are things that are probably on your prepping plan list but you simply have not followed through.  If it is a critical element like securing proper quantities of food, water, ammo, medical supplies or whatever, then just dedicate yourself to chipping away at these issues.  

Opportunities

ATVs_at_camp_SWOTThese can be difficult to recognize.  The possibilities are everywhere, it is just a matter of nailing them down or acting to take advantage of them.  Perhaps a neighbor offered you an old boat if you would come get it, patch it up, repaint and repurpose it.  It could be other stuff too, like an old ATV, chainsaw, or other useful tools, equipment, and hard goods.  

Maybe next month the local community college is having a free series of classes on various skills issues.  You need to block out the time to pursue these free chances to learn new stuff when they become available.  Likewise a big box outdoor store might offer seminars on camping, fishing, trapping, canning, knife sharpening, reloading ammo, or whatever.  Sometimes lumber and hardware supply outlets have building classes and tool demonstrations on a Saturday.  Don’t miss these opportunities.  

Opportunities can come in all sizes, unexpected, and at any time.  Sometimes you have to act fast to cash in on them.  Maybe on trash day your neighbor has piled up some 2x4s on the curb.  Could be good supplies for bug out camp building projects.  

Perhaps a neighbor, work colleague, or other friend invites you to go fishing one day, or hunting, or yard sale perusing.  One never knows what such an invitation could turn into.  Fish or meat in the freezer would be nice.  A set of wrenches for $5 would be sweet, too.  

Threats

doctor_medical_SWOT-2Threats are the things that hinder you from completing plan goals or objectives.  Whatever they are, they need to be recognized and addressed.  Do you have medical issues that restrict your progress?  Perhaps you have a bum shoulder that needs surgery, knee or whatever.  Maybe you are long overdue for dental work.  Take care of these things, now, while you can.  In the midst of a SHTF is no time to expect dedicated medical care to be available.  

Read Also: Survival Books for Your Bunker

What if you live in a declining neighborhood and you don’t like what is happening around you.  Is it time to move?  It is time to bolster your home security in terms of technology and or defensive measures such as adding another gun or two or training family members to use them?  

Perhaps there are threats that are completely out of your control.  You at least need to identify them, recognize such threats, and understand its impact on your planning.  It could be such things can be bypassed, kept at a distance or minimized in the short term.  Keep them on the radar screen though.  

A SWOT analysis can help you achieve many things, but awareness is the main benefit.  These are elements of prepping that you simply cannot afford to ignore.  So don’t.  

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Grid Down Weekend: How To Find The Holes In Your Off Grid Preps

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off grid, grid down weekend

Preparation for disaster can be a difficult exercise. Frequently, we think we have it all worked out if we are going to be off grid. The right food stored, plenty of water and water treatment supplies, light, heat, and so on. But how many of us have really put it to the test? How many of us have actually relied on that little gadget to do what we think it will? Eaten our storage food? Used our communication setup?

A great bunch of off grid preparedness folks I know have started a yearly tradition known as the Grid Down Weekend.

At an appointed time (usually 5:00pm on a Friday night), we all go to the breaker panel in our homes and shut off the main circuit breaker. It will stay off for 48 hours, and we live on and test out our disaster preparations for life off grid.  We have held the Grid Down Weekend in the winter, and here in Wisconsin, cold weather both solves and causes problems.

We usually integrate our Emergency Contact Protocol during this off grid drill, as well. Most families and individuals have amateur radio setups. At pre-arranged times or pre-arranged frequencies we attempt to make contact with one another. Diverse occupations are represented in the families, from a physician to a sheet metal worker, an auto mechanic to a soldier and couple Marines. Being able to communicate to help solve problems is a valuable survival skill.

The experience of going off grid for 48 hours is very revealing. As an outdoorsman, and backpacker, I have lived outdoors for weeks at a time. Trying to maintain your family in a home without power -even for just 48 hours- presents a different sort of challenge. In this article, I’ll examine some of the challenges encountered and the lessons learned by our family during these drills.

First Problem: Retooling Heat Sources To Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

Heating your home and ensuring your pipes do not freeze and burst is one of the obvious problems when the temperatures dip below freezing. Three families that participate in the Grid Down Weekend have wood burning stoves installed in their homes, so maintaining a comfortable temperature was fairly simple, provided you had wood put up for the winter.

off grid, grid down weekend

Accessing stored fuel for generator use.

Our family also has an indoor-rated blue flame heater that we connected to the gas line inside our home. We had multiple CO and smoke detectors to make sure the “Indoor rated” heater did not misbehave. As an experiment, we ran the blue flame heater instead of the woodstove for half a day.

We quickly discovered that one brand of smoke detector started going off. No, not a CO detector. The CO detectors remained silent, but a smoke detector. I can only surmise that it was the water vapor produced by the blue flame heater that triggered the smoke detector.  That was something that could only have been discovered by actually doing it.

Second Problem: Water Conservation

Our rural home relies on a well for its water. Our well relies on electricity. Thus, no power equals no water. As part of our preparedness plan, we store 110 gallons of water in two barrels. I devised a means to backfeed the water from the barrels into the house water system using an 12 volt RV water pump. It really worked very well, but because the system worked so well it did not really encourage water conservation.

off grid, grid down weekend

Connecting the battery to the RV water pump which moved stored water through existing house plumbing.

Third Problem: Food Storage

The old maxim of “eat what you store, and store what you eat” comes in to play here. Although we had leftovers and such in the refrigerator, we elected to eat some of the storage food. We had bean soup with freeze-dried ham simmered all day on the woodstove, with cornbread made in a camping oven, and other storage food standby meals.

Our kitchen stove burns LP gas. Unfortunately, it uses electricity to run the temperature sensors for the oven, and to light the burners. When the knobs are turned, gas still comes to the burners. It was a simple task to light them using a flame.

off grid, grid down weekend

Although the propane kitchen stove still worked, the electric igniters did not. An “aim-n-flame” did the trick.

Fourth Problem: Lighting

We chose to light the living room with lanterns, and a small LED array. I had an “Aladdin” kerosene mantle lamp. I tried to use it, but I had left it with fuel in it (you know, just in case) and when I tried to raise the wick, it wouldn’t budge. Apparently the kerosene had somehow gummed up the mechanism. I could not get it operational for anything. My propane lanterns worked well, were relatively quiet, and produced a lot of light.

The heat they produced was a bonus on a winter’s night. I have since looked into the small adapters to refill the small one-pound cylinders from a 20 pound tank. Outside of the lighted areas, headlamps were the undisputed kings of light. To have both hands free and light wherever you were looking was a blessing.

off grid, grid down weekend

These two lanterns provided plenty of light and not a little heat

Fifth Problem: Refrigeration

Remember my comment that winter weather was a blessing and a curse? In the case of refrigeration, the cold weather is a blessing. The food from the freezer was OK for the 48 hours, but we were careful to keep the door closed, unless it was to check to make sure it was all still frozen. I had purchased several small “aquarium thermometers” for <$5/piece at Deal Extreme, which let me monitor the refrigerator and freezer temps without opening the door.

In the chest freezer, I normally keep the unused space occupied with water-filled 2 liter bottles . This provides thermal mass in the case of a power outage. I swiped three of the bottles from the freezer and put them in the refrigerator to act like ice in an cooler. When they were close to melted, I swapped in frozen ones, and put the thawed ones outside to re-freeze.

off grid, grid down weekend

A $4 aquarium thermometer helped to monitor refrigerator and freezer temperatures.

Sixth Problem: Having A Generator To Power Your Home

I have an interlock on my circuit breaker box. It allows me to safely feed power from my generator into my breaker box. I shut off all breakers, power up the generator, then turned on the loads I wanted to power one at a time, pausing after each one to allow the generator to address any start-up surge. I ran the generator for an hour in the morning and an hour at night, running the refrigerator and freezer, and some overhead lights.

I also ran the well pump, so we could take showers, do dishes and refill the water storage barrels. Thankfully, our water heater didn’t use any electricity, just LP. We also had the opportunity to rotate some fuel from our fuel storage.

off grid, grid down weekend

Connecting the generator to our home.

 

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Seventh Problem: Defense

Among our group, we traded unopened envelopes with “complications” in them that we had thought up for one another. These complications would be opened at prearranged times .  One complication was a broken finger (I actually went through the first Grid Down Weekend with a splint on my finger. Everything was more difficult to do!), one was a fire in the kitchen, etc. One complication was a broken window and subsequent concern that there was an intruder in my house.

What do we do first? How do I “clear” my house? Is the battery in my weapon-mounted light still good? Even though I knew this was a make-believe scenario and there was no one in my house, it was an adrenaline and thought provoking exercise.

Eighth Problem: Communication

All of our ham radio setups use a deep-cycle battery to power them. We were able to communicate initially with our standard, 100 watt radios. But after a few minutes, a couple of hams with 1500 watt amplifiers got on our frequency, and the Grid Down Weekend participants weren’t able to find each other again. I take solace in the fact that there will probably be a lot fewer 1500 watt stations on the air after a SHTF event.

We did break out an AM/FM radio, and I thumb tacked up a 20 foot length of wire for an antenna. To our delight a local radio station ran “Old Time Radio Shows” on weekend evenings. It was pretty cool to have the kids entertained by a 1930’s “Lone Ranger” radio serial rather than a video game.

off grid, grid down weekend

Using ham radio and an Emergency Contact Protocol to connect to other families also participating in the Grid Down Weekend.

 

Summation:

The Grid Down Weekend is a great way to test your preparedness level for life off grid. In fact, it is my conjecture that you are missing out on a great opportunity to actually see what really works and what you THINK works if you do not run a similar off grid drill yourself. I am not sure you can consider yourself prepared unless you have put your plan to the test. So grab your calendar, find a weekend, and shut your breaker off and live off grid for 48 hours. See where the holes in your plan are. I guarantee you’ll find at least one.

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The Hunger Games. Could it happen?

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Maintain that lifestyle, don’t rock the boat. Things are not perfect, but hey, they could be worse.


The Hunger Games. Could It Happen?!

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but in Australia right now we are seeing a lot of stuff going down that does not look good. In the cities people seem to be isolated from what is going down in the country areas; the banks taking farm land, mining companies taking farm land, now the government its self is seizing farm land because of a deal it has made with a foreign country to train its military troops. There are millions of dollars involved in this deal, but I doubt that the average Australian citizen will gain any benefit from this & over 70 farming families are about to lose their homes & livelyhood.

We have lost so much freedom & so many of our rights in the name of terrorism. The government uses the perceived threat of terrorism to pass more & more legislation that controls our lives. Rates rises on land means that some people can no longer afford to pay rates, so they are evicted & their land & house is sold. These people are now forced to live in the towns or cities & once again are now dependent on the government & the services they supply. People are being taxed for using their own water supplies & there has been talk of taxing people who live off grid & supply their own electricity!

Country people receive no backing from people living in the cities, this I realise is a broad statement, & I have no doubt that there are some city dwellers that do care, but on the whole the city is not where you will find rebels, it is a place where you will find people that do not want to rock the boat; they like conformity, they like order. They are content to bury their heads in the sand in order to maintain their present lifestyle. They are insulated from the troubles of the world & are content so long as they are making money & live a comfortable lifestyle.

Can you see where I am going here? Have you seen the Hunger Games? Think about the number of times country people have gone to the city to protest at the treatment they are receiving from the government, do you ever recall seeing city people coming out to back these protests? I don’t. Right now the Australian government is giving money to the Indonesian government; the Indonesian government are committing genocide in West Papua. Women are raped & murdered, children are murdered & of course the men are also being killed. These West Papuans were Australia’s allies in WW2, helping our diggers survive, carrying our wounded to safety. Now our government is sanctioning their genocide! Does this sound like a caring & benevolent government? They are doing this for greed, money & power. They do not care who has to suffer for them to get what they want. What makes you think that they care any more for you? My Father was a great believer in keeping your head down & looking after number one. Don’t draw attention to yourself; don’t get involved in other people’s problems. There is a great deal in favour of this attitude when it comes to survival, but what happens when you are those other people? What happens when after keeping your head down you suddenly realise that you have been manipulated. Whilst you were keeping your head down & thinking this will keep me safe, the government has usurped your freedoms & your rights as a citizen.

We in the country, & those like us in the cities, do not have the backing of the majority. We alone can’t stop this corrupt government machine from rolling right over us. Our farms are disappearing, & with them our home grown food supplies! Our countryside is being polluted by mining & big corrupt corporations are polluting our environment. Recently a Japanese fishing vessel was caught poaching in one of our reserves, will they go to prison? Unlikely, will their ship be confiscated? Unlikely. Yet our government is continuing to make more & more restrictive legislation on our freedoms & these laws if we rebel against them will make us criminals. The city people will not help us; the government are right now our biggest enemy. Whilst our politicians grow wealthy we find that we can no longer retire at age 60, we are slaves to the system & alone there is nothing we can do about it. We are expected to work in the future until we are 70, that is if we live that long. They don’t have to pay a pension to dead people. Now I hear that even our pensions are under threat, I thought that money was being extracted from our earnings all these years to pay for our pension entitlements, now I hear that the government has decided to keep some of that money for themselves!

I wish I had answers for you, but I don’t. My greatest fear is that this government & this whole corrupt system will eventually take more from us than we can bear. I guess that is exactly what has already happened with the farmers that have committed suicide. Will the police & military continue to do the government’s bidding even when they know it is wrong? Yes I think they will. That is what they are trained to do. All this has happened over time with such stealth that no one seems to have realised what was happening, & I don’t think it will stop there. I don’t like the way things are going in this country & none of it bodes well for our future. I think we will lose more of our rights, our freedom has already gone. We will be forced to pay more & earn less, our government is NOT leading, it is RULING, we have a dictator government. Gone are the referendums in the main, gone are our rights to protest. Gone are our rights to protect ourselves & our families by any means we think necessary. Gone are our rights to privacy as the police are now legally allowed to invade our homes at any time without a warrant & arrest the occupants. We are all seen as being guilty until proven innocent.

My hope is that one day the majority will wake up & sack our government & institute a new fairer government system where the people have a voice. Right now we are between a rock & a hard place, no matter who we vote for, we can’t win. Be very aware of further firearms legislation that will further control the ownership of firearms. Confiscation of all firearms from law abiding citizens will be a sign that the end is near. Already present gun control measures have made it difficult if not impossible to own certain firearms, that has made us vulnerable against criminals & government forces!

Take care everyone.

Are you truly living or are you merely surviving?

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This is a question I used to ask myself a lot when living (or should I say surviving) in Argentina.

I knew the answer well enough. I was surviving in Argentina and I did not like it. That’s why we left after all. Since then I can say we’ve been living life. It’s been a great life with my fantastic wife and kids. We live every day to the fullest and look forward to the next one. In many ways we’ve been making up for lost time. Every day I try to do right, do what I like and live it as the precious moment that it is. For all the talk about the snowflake generation, I do treat each day, each moment as one. As something that is unique, special, will last just a moment and I’ll never get back. Let me tell you, it’s a great way to live your life. If you do it you’ll look back and regret nothing.

What does it mean to “merely survive”? It means to just be alive but not do much living other than that. In our case the clear limiting factor was crime. Every time you left your home you felt exposed and you did because you actually were. You would walk around always looking around, you looking for threats. Even in crowded places you needed to be careful with pick pockets or snatchers grabbing your backpack, briefcase or in the case of women their purses. I’ve seen men get mugged, at gun point, at the train station in the middle of rush hour. The platform packed full of people and the robber sticking a gun to the guy’s face. It could truly happen anywhere at any time and it happened a lot, all around you. After we left Argentina, the thing that amazed us the most was that, security. The ability to go out for a long walk, pretty much anywhere we want and not fear getting attacked. Sleeping at night knowing that even is some noise wakes you up, chances are its not four or five guys trying to break in. Crime limited you in other ways too. It dictates where you can live. Gated communities and apartments in safe buildings are fine, a more isolated house in the outskirts of town is not. When buying a new car, try not buying one that is too expensive or looks too good or you’ll get carjacked over it. A guy that I knew bought himself a fancy car and had it armoured so as to be able to enjoy it. A week later he was carjacked when getting in, robbed at gunpoint.

What can you do about this? The choice is either do something about it (try to avoid being a victim) or go into denial. I’d say 90% of people chose denial.

The other factor was of course economic. No matter how much money you made 25% inflation meant you couldn’t save up money at all. You had to spend it right away. With that kind of economic instability you can’t plan for anything beyond a couple weeks, let alone a few years.

Here is where I suppose a lot of people may feel represented. Not because of inflation but because of money being tight and living month to month with nothing left in between. That isn’t much of an enjoyable life either. Worrying about an unexpected expense, an accident or illness ruining you financially. Never taking vacations, always living on a strict budget.  In my case I felt as if my life was on hold, as if someone had pressed the “pause” button in my life. What kept us going was the hope that soon enough we’d get to live for real. Be free to go out for a walk without worrying about getting mugged. Get to travel without the fear of our home getting picked clean while we were away. Get to dress anyway we wanted without worrying about having something on us that was of certain brands or worth a bit too much and it being too much of a temptation for a would-be robber. I mean, my wife and I, we ended up replacing our gold wedding bands for silver ones. It was common practice to avoid getting mugged. I still remember the day after we left that we got to wear them again.

When certain “preppers” talk about looking forward to SHTF, because they’ll do great while all the liberals die off, they have no idea what they’re talking about. Surviving sucks folks. It’s the living part that’s fun. Merely surviving sucks but it’s much better than being dead, most of all because it means there’s still chance you may end up living again one day.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Evacuation Plans And Getting Home

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Re-Post from Mason Dixon Survivalist Association Evacuation Plans And Getting Home So here’s the question. Have you planned for what might happen before, during, and after the inauguration? You might say “Well JC, there’s a lot of talk from the communists/socialists/leftists/anarchists/islamicists (you get the point, there’s a lot of “ists” that want to cause problems)…..but it’s […]

Food Storage Recipe ~ Cheese & Bean Quesadillas

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Ever since my oldest son has moved out , it has just been my Little man and me. Been having to just cook for us 2 is easy and we love the same foods. This is one that we have had 2 times in the last week.

NEED:

1 can of pinto beans, rinse and drain them

1/2 cup of salsa

1 teaspoon of chili powder

4 , 10 inch, flour tortillas

Shredded monterey – jack cheese

Sour cream

Put the beans into a bowl and mash them up with a potato masher if you have one.  You can also use a fork.

Stir in the salsa and the chili powder.

Cook over medium heat until hot.

Spray some oil onto a pan and heat a tortilla on it until it is lightly browned. Trun it over and spread some of the bean mixture onto the tortilla and some of the cheese.

Top with another one of the tortillas and carefully turn over , brown that tortilla a bit.

Put on your plate and cut into 4ths.

Serve with sour cream.

YUMMY!

Terrorist Wife Arrested By FBI

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  • A much more comprehensive report here: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/no…. She is being charged with “aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice.” FBI believes she “had knowledge of the attack but never reached out to law enforcement in an attempt to prevent it.” Also, the story confirms that the “FBI is characterizing the shooting at Pulse nightclub as . . . a terrorist attack,” which you hardly ever hear in the MSM because it cuts against Obama’s legacy.

    • Liberals at the Hill also left out this little tidbit.
      “Gunman Omar Mateen’s wife, Noor Salman, faces two federal charges: obstruction of justice and aiding and abetting the attempted provision of material support to a foreign terrorist organization.”
      http://abcnews.go.com/US/wife-…
      Obama was recently claiming there hasn’t been a planned and executed terror attack by a foreign terror organization on U.S. soil on his watch.
      Only liberals and Gruberites believed him of course.

She Corrected A Student’s Spelling. Then The School Fired Her

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She Corrected A Student’s Spelling. Then The School Fired Her

Image source: Pixabay

FREDERICK, Md. — A school employee in Maryland apparently was fired after correcting a student’s spelling on Twitter.

Katie Nash lost her job as “web experience coordinator” at the Frederick County Public Schools after telling a student how to spell “tomorrow,” The Frederick Post-News reported.

On Jan. 5 and with bad weather threatening, a student directed a Tweet at the school system that read, “close school tamarrow PLEASE.”

Nash, who ran the school Twitter account, responded, “But then how would you learn how to spell ‘tomorrow?’ :)”

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Her response was certainly popular on Twitter, generating 1,000 likes and leading to the hashtag #KatiefromFCPS going viral.

Viral Tweet Gets Mom Fired

Even though the unidentified student did not mind the response, Nash’s superiors told her not to send out more Tweets. But she kept Tweeting calendar updates.

Then on Jan. 13, Nash was told she was being terminated from her $44,066-a-year job. Michael Doerrer, a spokesman for the Frederick Public Schools, would not say why she was terminated.

Nash is now tweeting from her personal account, @KatieNash. The mother of two is not ashamed of what she did.

“It was really positive and great to see so many students engaged with their school system,” Nash said. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

She’s received lots of support on social media, with people inundating the @FCPSMaryland feed with words of criticism for the school. One wrote, “Rehire this lady if you want to save your reputation.” Another wrote, “No wonder kids today have so much trouble with grammar and spelling.” Still another wrote, “Will you explain why u fired someone for a spellcheck tweet? Story not going away. National laughingstock.”

Which side do you take – the school’s side or Katie’s side? Share your opinion in the section below:

Bust Inflation With A Low-Cost, High-Production Garden. Find Out How!

Pro-Biotics — A Key to Fighting Radiation Damage to The Body and Immune System

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This is a broad subject, so I am just going to throw a bunch of ideas “on paper” for further development.

Just today, and article of how being overweight increases the chances of some cancers up to 500% higher chance. 

So here is stocks Hypothesis: Poor gut flora leads to poor digestion, and thus being overweight.   Poor gut flora also leads to poor immune system function.   The combination leads to Diseases and Cancer, especially when there is radiation and heavy metals in our environment.

Some sources say that your intestines are home to 500 million bacteria.   

Taking anti-biotics is very likely to trash your gut flora also.    So you need to focus on Pro-biotics during and after a round of anti-biotics.

Yogurt — Very simple to make at home, just using Milk or Goats Milk and a $40 Yogurt maker.    You do need a “starter mix” of some store bought pro-biotic yogurt.   They say only use it twice.   I never got to the bottom of that theory, but speculate its for safety since bad bacteria may have a chance to multiply.    [Acidophilus, Bifidus, Thermophiles, and Bulgaricus]

Apple Cider Vinegar — 2 Tablespoons, with a quick chaser of lemon water.

Pickles without Vinegar — Lacto-Fermented —

Natto — Fermented Soy Bean [Bacillus Subtilis] — The Japanese simply call it Natto Bacteria

Miso — Fermented Soy Beans, again, but can also be from rye, rice, or barley, but this time fermented with a fungus called Kojikan.

Kefir — Created by adding Kefir grains to Milk which then ferment

Kimchi — Garlic, Onions, Hot Peppers all in one pro-biotic goodness.   It’s Korean Sauerkraut, and yes Korean Air travel company does in fact smell like Kimchi

Sauerkraut — lol American Kinchi–  Make your own, jarred Sauerkraut sold in stores is probably “pasteurized” meaning they killed all the bacteria.   [lactobacillus, pediococcus, and leuconostoc]

Kombucha — fermented sweetened black tea

Sourdough Bread — [lactobacilli]

Ginger Beer

Also, Ginger and Garlic and Onion are all super healthy.

I grew 60 Hard Neck garlic and 300 Onions this year, Organic, of course.    Pretty much no bugs or fungus will attack Garlic or Onion, so they are “low maintenance”.     And Garlic is cool, because you plant it in September

http://www.lifescript.com/food/articles/h/health_benefits_of_garlic.aspx?utm_source=zergnet&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=food&utm_source=zergnet&utm_medium=referral

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/07/26/ginger-helpful-or-harmful-for-stomach.html?utm_source=zergnet.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=zergnet_1124417

Onions — great in all kinds of foods and soups.    But can they be eaten as a snack by themselves?

Indeed, the 300 organic onions (red yellow white) that I grew where all sweeter than Maui Onions.    I marinated some in equal amounts of Olive Oil, Shoyu, and Vinegar, and instead of grabbing some chips for a snack….pounded onions right out of the jar.     I used the smaller (planted deep and close to each other) so called “table onions”

Onions are extremely rich in fructo-oligosaccharides compounds that feed friendly microorganisms in your body. Think bifidobacteria, a microorganism that may relieve inflammatory bowel conditions and boost immune function

http://www.lifescript.com/food/articles/h/health_benefits_of_onions.aspx

Gobo, aka Edible Burdock—-read it, then grow it
http://www.lifescript.com/health/centers/cold_flu/alternative_treatments/burdock.aspx

Peppers and Hot Peppers

Knife review: The L.T. Wright Genesis is a Kephart-style workhorse

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The biggest endorsement for a knife is to use it constantly. So this one comes highly recommended.

by Leon Pantenburg

Kniveshipfree.com is a Survivalcommonsense.com sponsor. I did not get a free knife for this review, and neither KSF or L.T. Wright Custom Knives had any input in this review.

For nearly 20 years, my Cold Steel SRK did most of my hunting/bushcrafting work. An inexpensive fixed blade, it fit my budget and knife needs for backcountry big game hunting.

Horace Kephart

But knife people never cease looking for that perfect, do-it-all blade. Along the way, I read books by Horace Kephart, and liked his go-to knife. And that is what first attracted me to the L.T. Wright Genesis. The Genesis is a Kephart-design workhorse.

Kephart was a prolific writer and one of the pioneers of camping/outdoor skills. His outdoor writings were published regularly in national publications such as Field and Stream. Kephart’s first edition of Camping and Woodcraft was published in 1906. In it, Kephart described his EDC knife:

“Its blade and handle are each 4-1/4 inches long, the blade being 1 inch wide, 1/8 inch thick on the back, broad pointed, and continued through the handle as a hasp and riveted to it. It is tempered hard enough to cut green hardwood sticks, but soft enough so that when it strikes a knot or bone it will, if anything, turn rather than nick; then a whetstone soon puts it in order.”

Horace Kephart's original knife.

Horace Kephart’s original knife.

“The handle of this knife is of oval cross-section, long enough to give a good grip for the whole hand, and with no sharp edges to blister one’s hand. The handle is of light but hard wood, 3/4 inch thick at the butt and tapering to 1/2 inch forward, so as to enter the sheath easily and grip it tightly.”

Here are the Genesis specs:

  • Overall Length: 9″
  • Sharpened Edge: 4.25″
  • Steel: 1/8″ A2
  • Grind: Flat Ground
  • Other Features: Thumb scallops, 90° Spine

 I got a Genesis about two years ago and put it to work. It has received constant use, doing everything from wood carving to cleaning fish, to cutting sod and sprinkler irrigation PVC pipe to slicing up an apple pie and shredding tinder.

Here’s my thoughts.

The handle is designed for a working tool.

The handle is designed for a working tool.

Handle: The Genesis has a generous, oval cross section handle, that a working tool should have.

My 22-ounce framing hammer, hatchet, shovel, machete and axe all have similar handle designs, and that is proven to be the best for hard work. Slim, ergonomically-designed handles are all well and good on some blades. And they look nice.

But a handle that fills your hand won’t give you blisters. It’s also easier to grip, meaning it takes less effort. This reduces fatigue while using.

Handle length is 4.75 inches. This is big enough for those of us with working man hands to use comfortably and safely. If you have to wear gloves while using the knife, you’ll appreciate the length.

The handle features thumb scallops on each side, providing more more comfortable control during close up work. I got my Genesis handle in green, blasted micarta, because the material resembles the weathered wooden pilings on the Mississippi River. The handle is also available in ironwood.

The epoxy isn’t just on the scales, but around every bit of the hardware, according to the KSF catalogue, including the threads of the brass nut, to ensure a completely sealed scale set.

The Spear point is a good choice for a working knife.

The Spear point is a good choice for a working knife.

Point: My favorite point depends on the job the knife will be used for. On an all-around knife, a spear point may be the best choice. (Here’s how to choose a knife point.)

The spear point works well for drilling in wood, and the belly makes it useful for gutting big game or cleaning fish.

In fact, the first job I used my Genesis for was gutting a bass that had swallowed a hook and couldn’t be released. The Genesis would not be my first choice for a specialty fishing or  hunting knife, but it can certainly do the job.

The Genesis, top and GNS are both top choices for a workkhorse knife.

The Genesis, top and GNS are both top choices for a workhorse knife.

Grind: The Genesis comes with a scandi or flat grind. I opted for the flat grind, because I like the increased slicing ability. This becomes important if you’re looking for a blade that might end up doing big game processing.

My GNS is in scandi grind, because I anticipated using it mainly for bushcrafting.  As a bushcraft knife, it would be hard to improve on the GNS.

Spine: A bushcraft knife, or one that may end up being used for one should have a 90-degree spine. This becomes very useful for shredding tinder and scraping a ferro rod, and saves the sharp edge. I’ve done extensive wood carving, using my thumb on the spine, and didn’t find the edge to be uncomfortable.

This Bark River leather sheat was wet formed to make a more authentic-looking sheath.

This Bark River leather sheath was wet formed to make a more authentic-looking sheath.

Sheath: The Genesis comes with an excellent leather dangler sheath. I have several, use them frequently and really like them. But I decided to convert one of my Bark River sheaths into a dangler, so one-handed use would be easier. I wet-formed the sheath and added a D ring, and now I have a dangler that more closely resembles the original Kephart sheath.

Lanyard hole: Use a lanyard to attach your knife to your belt, button hole or pack.

Drop a knife in deep snow or water, and chances are it’s gone. The Genesis has a lanyard hole, and mine has a piece of fluorescent orange paracord in it.

Steel: My Genesis is in A2. This tool steel is easy to sharpen and maintain the edge of. It is also reasonably priced. Recent additions to the L.T. Wright line include a Genesis in CPM 3V.

A2 will develop a patina after extended use, and that’s fine with me. I like seeing a knife that shows some honest wear and use. After noticing some uneven staining on my Genesis and GNS, I used a vinegar and lemon mixture to force a patina. It worked just fine.

The most recent patina on my Genesis came from when I was moving a few weeks back. The blade was being used for everything from breaking down boxes to cutting rope to whatever else was needed. My wife borrowed it to cut an apple pie for lunch, and the knife was left in the sink while we hauled another load. Several hours later, it had a new pattern.

Blade length: A four-to-five-inch blade is perfect for a working knife. Given my druthers, I’ll take a five-inch blade for just about everything. At 4.25-inches, the blade length is just about right for this design.

Made in the USA: All L.T. Wright knives are made in Ohio. Call the factory, and you can talk to a Midwesterner. The craftspeople make a living wage, pay local, state and federal taxes, and contribute to the local economy. Buy local, buy American!

Do you need a Genesis?

I have a lot of knives, and several in my collection could do the same jobs that a Genesis does. But if you’re starting out and want a user, the Genesis would be a solid choice.

A couple years ago, I was teaching firemaking to a group of ladies participating the “Women in the Outdoors” project in Redmond, Oregon. Several of my knives were available to use for processing tinder, whittling etc. (Part of the seminar was to help ladies choose their hunting/survival knife.) The Genesis proved to be one of the most popular tools, even for women with small hands.

So far, there have been three Genesis’s on Alone. Carleigh Fairchild’s Genesis looks like it is a flat ground A2 blade. One was carried by a Chris Weatherman in Season 1, as well as by last season’s runner-up, Larry Roberts.

And my Genesis gets regular use, despite the plethora and variety of knives I own, test and review.

So do you need a Genesis? Well, I think so.

Check out the rest of our L.T. Wright knife reviews.

Please click here to check out and subscribe to the SurvivalCommonSense.com YouTube channel, and here to subscribe to our weekly email update – thanks!

Amazon.com Widgets

 

 

Betrayal: Society Lost, Volume Two (Volume 2)

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Betrayal: Society Lost, Volume Two, is the second installment of the post-apocalyptic thrill ride of the Society Lost Series! If you like SHTF, TEOTWAWKI, vigilante justice, dystopian, post-apocalyptic tales filled with action, adventure, tragedy, and triumph, join Jessie Townsend as the struggles in his collapsing world continues. After leaving Spence and the rescued girls with Jorgen and the remainder of his group, former Sheriff Jessie Townsend traveled the new and unforgiving world alone and on foot, continuing his quest to find his sister. Still suffering tremendously from his tragic loss, Jessie walked the Earth a prisoner of his own thoughts. Although each of his days had a purpose, continuing on his quest that may or may not end before his death, Jessie felt a certain level of emotional numbness that only being alone could provide him. Although Jessie found solitude in his empty heart—solitude that he felt he desperately needed—not a day went by when he didn’t think back to those who he had encountered along the way. In this mad and twisted world, devoid of law, order, and the civility that people around the world had come to expect as the norm prior to the great collapse, Jessie knew that there were still good people out there. Good people who would have to face the evil that this lawless and dangerous new world had spawned once the walls of society came crumbling down around them. As he encountered the scene of a recent ambush, where children may have been involved, Jessie could not simply pass on by without investigating further. He soon became both the hunter and the hunted as he resolved to impose justice on those who would betray others in their own quest for power in a society lost.

The post Betrayal: Society Lost, Volume Two (Volume 2) appeared first on Surviving Prepper.

The Shepherd: Society Lost: Volume One (A Post-Apocalyptic Dystopian Thriller)

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From the author of The New Homefront Series, comes The Shepherd: Society Lost, Volume One.

The Shepherd is the first installment of the post-apocalyptic and dystopian thrill ride of the Society Lost Series! If you like SHTF, TEOTWAWKI, vigilante justice, prepper, dystopian, post-apocalyptic tales filled with action, adventure, tragedy, and triumph, join Jessie Townsend as he and his family struggle in a collapsing and uncertain world.

The Shepherd: A Society Lost, is an action-packed post-apocalyptic thrill ride detailing the struggles of former Sheriff Jessie Townsend as he and his family seek shelter from a crumbling world with a self-sufficient life on a homestead deep in the Rocky Mountains.

Sanctuary soon becomes what he meant to escape, peaceful bliss slipping into desperation and despair in the aftermath of events that shook the foundations that shaped our world to the core.

An unholy alliance of conspirators had sought the collapse of our civilization in order to rebuild and reclaim it as their own. Never truly intending to coexist, the unlikely allies found their courses diverging, leading to a struggle that dealt the final death blows to our society. In the absence of the order and structure of our modern civilization, evil, suffering, and chaos were unleashed throughout the world.

As the post-collapse struggles of the outside world begin to threaten Jessie’s mountain hideaway, a return to the world he left behind becomes a chance for redemption and survival in—a society lost.

For book two in the series, see Betrayal: Society Lost, Volume Two. Other works from this author include:

The Last Layover: The New Homefront, Volume One
The Guardians: The New Homefront, Volume Two
The Blue Ridge Resistance: The New Homefront, Volume Three
The Resolution: The New Homefront, Volume Four
Betrayal: Society Lost, Volume Two
JET: Dangerous Prey
The Edge of Civility: A Perseid Collapse Kindle World Novella

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Pushing An “Envelope” That Is Ready To Bust

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There are 2.4 million Iraq and Afghanistan Vets in this country (all trained personnel of which a percentage are the true “Combat Arms” fighters), and this figure doesn’t include the VN Vets still physically able. There are 2.5 million service members in this country (all trained personnel of which a percentage are the true “Combat […]

Will Planned Chaos At Inauguration & US Streets Spiral Out Of Control?

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image: OathKeepers There is a highly organized plan that has been set in motion – a last ditch effort to disrupt and even stop the public inauguration of the next president of the United States. There is a clear and stated intention to trigger massive chaos and disruption in Washington DC and all around the […]

Top Reasons for Bugging Out from Economic Collapse or Catastrophic Disaster

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Top  Reasons for Bugging Out from Economic Collapse or Catastrophic Disaster

 

If you haven’t considered the horrendous consequences of a major catastrophe, you could be one of the first casualties in just the first few weeks or even days that follow.

A look at disasters that have struck third world countries shows how fast and how easily large numbers of people can die when not prepared and when criminals descend on the vulnerable.

Here are 7 reasons why you need a Bug Out Bag

Reason # 1 for Bugging Out

Supplies of food and water — GONE

Food Shortages – All supplies of food and water that come in to a metropolitan area have been destroyed. Within hours there are no stores or gas stations open and selling anything. Panicked and desperate crowds of people gather in both the streets and now looted and ransacked shopping districts. Roads and bridges may be out. Buildings and several homes and apartment buildings may be on fire. Around the area cries of sadness can be heard as people mourn lost or dead loved ones. If there are collapsed buildings other cries can be heard, those of people pinned and or partially crushed beneath buildings and other debris.

From street to street, chaos, rubble, fires

I can describe the possible carnage in multiple ways, as the carnage and destruction can be different from street to street and neighborhood to neighborhood. Gas pipes may have ruptured and exploded on one street. Broken water mains or sewer pipes may be flooding the ground up above on another.

Gunshots

Gunfire and even gunfire from automatic weapons may be unfolding elsewhere nearby. But who’s gunning it out with who?

Are Army troops setting up martial law and encountering resistance from local citizens? Are the police or national guard at war with local gangs? Is there an ISIS supporter seeing this disaster as his personal opportunity for Jihad on his neighbors who won’t convert or whom he knows are openly Christian or Jewish?

The police … or a pissed off psychopath in a clown suit

Or is it just a pissed off psychopath with his arsenal of weapons and ammo going berserk because, as far as he can tell, the world is coming to an end. With no belief in God, or belief in Hell, he can do whatever the hell he wants to whomever gets in his way. … The sound of automatic gunfire followed by screams of pain and terror. This shooter is gunning down anyone he can, finally letting out all that anger and disdain for human life he’s been holding in all these years. If he has any disdain for a person of another skin color, well whatever that disdain is they may be his first targets …

Race vs race.

Psychopath on a rampage.

Overzealous government troops in a desperate bid to enforce martial law.

Reason # 2 for Bugging Out

Escape the SHTF Circus of Terror that is Coming to Town

Riots – Every where you look, SHTF. In some cities, literally it’s a circus of terror. But haven’t we seen the signs that this day is coming? Didn’t Jesus warn us in different gospels about a terrible day coming to our planet for unbelievers and those not right with God? He said there would be signs in the heavens and signs in the earth. Maybe, just maybe, one of those signs that is taking place as I write these words has to do with clowns; you know those same clowns headlining the news and social media currently… I’ve studied the Bible’s Revelation many times over the years and my conclusion about Revelation is still the same. Revelation is a circus and it’s God unleashing one judgment after another, including the supernatural and a flood of demons, and a flood of evil and violence and disasters, and anything can happen, and it does.

A serious question we all need to ask ourselves is this: Is Revelation finally at our doorstep?

Panicked and Desperate Mobs with No Food or Water

Where ever you are in the region, one thing is for certain you decide — it’s time to Bug Out before those panicked mobs of people down in the city or just across the railroad tracks on the wrong side of town descend on your safe community or neighborhood just a short distance away.

Waiting for FEMA — But FEMA Never Comes

Most of the mobs may be likely to stay near their homes and apartments the first few days, hoping for relief agencies like FEMA or the Red Cross to fly in supplies from helicopter and air drops from overhead planes. But if those supplies never come, for the first time in life these panicked mobs are going to experience true hunger.

When that happens, things are going to get desperate for a lot of them. And desperate people are known to do desperate things. Expect several suicides. Expect several to turn to violent crime, and that includes street gangs and those who already employed as career criminals.

With the police spread thin and short handed, street gangs and career criminals are about to have a hay-day taking whatever they want from whomever they can.

Street gangs are survival predators

Today, street gangs are filled with survivalists, just not the kind you’re thinking of. A lot of these gang members have a predatory survival instinct. In some neighborhoods every day can be a fight for survival as they compete with other gangs in the area and against other dangerous elements. A lot of these gang members have an eye for spotting opportunity and preying on any weaknesses they see in another gang or possible drug dealer working that area. They are constantly looking over shoulders for police while at the same time robberies and murder are common place in the worst neighborhoods of the biggest cities.

Black Gangs, Mexican Gangs, White Gangs, Asian Gangs

Gang leaders and safe houses can have stocks of weapons and ammunition, purchased with drug and blood money both, and stored away for those times that gangs perceive possible turf wars with other gangs, or simply as a second income stream, as they supply people with guns and ammo both and at a price.

Asian gangs? If a major city near you has a China Town, guess what they also have well armed Asian gangs. Mexican gangs? You don’t have to live near Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, or Denver to have a threat from Mexican gangs. If you live in any kind of region near the Mexican border there’s a good chance that Mexican gangs may cross what will now be an unprotected border and head up into U.S. towns looking for loot or anything else they can get there hands on.

White gangs include one percenter bikers, neo-nazis, Russians who are American citizens (we have Russian gangs in several cities or just low level Russian mafia) and general white street criminals from major cities and towns across America. They run drug houses, car theft rings, robbery and extortion activities, the list goes on.

Reason # 3 for Bugging Out

Street gangs and mobs descend on outlying communities

Street Gangs – Some gangs may claim areas as their own, and then deplete all supplies within those areas (often taken by force) before moving on to another area to look for more supplies.

Statistically, around the U.S. and other nations, large cities will have countless numbers of gang members and a number of violent criminals as well as those desperate mobs who seek out the “prosperous” and “peaceful” communities just a few miles out. Scattered in that number fleeing major cities will be high level sex predators … Can anyone guess how a number of these sex predators are going to react to a situation where lawlessness has come to the region; families are separated, parents are missing or may be dead; children wander the streets lost, confused, looking for help. Police are spread thin or nowhere to be found. God help us …

Should you bug out with your family?

That depends on several things. You may be far enough from population centers where you live currently in an outlying community or distant town and bugging out won’t be as important in the first few weeks or months as it is for someone who lives a lot closer to those desperate mobs of people.

Though even if you are in a relatively safe area, any number of events can take place that may make bugging out essential from day one.


RELATED : 10 BUG OUT BAG MISTAKES THAT CAN GET YOU KILLED


Reason # 5 for Bugging Out

Nukes and or Dirty Bombs

Radioactive Fallout from Dirty Bombs or Nuclear Weapons – For a lot of people, that may be to escape radioactive fallout from a nuclear weapon that has just decimated a major city within 50-100 miles and now a radioactive cloud is being carried in your direction by the prevailing winds. Not a lot of people can claim they have a radioactive chemical mask for just such an occasion, yet it is a critical piece of survival gear for residents who live within 100 miles or so of a major city that one day may get nuked. At one time, there weren’t many places in the U.S. to purchase from. But with the growing concern of a nuclear conflict, a lot more are being sold in the U.S. and at reasonable or even low prices. Finally, a Civilian gas mask rated for a nuclear or chemical emergency is available at a lower price. Israel has long lived under a constant threat; a protective mask along these lines is standard fair for citizens (as well as knowing what to do in a nuclear or chemical emergency and access to bomb shelters throughout Israel.

It’s worth mentioning here: We need a lot more bomb shelters in the U.S., though several do exist across the United States often near state or city government buildings; check with your local municipality whether or not your area has a bomb shelter and who has access to it in a nuclear emergency; it might be for local officials only).

Putin has told Russians to leave America and get ready for nuclear war

Right now in world news Vladmir Putin has ordered Russian citizens to be ready for a nuclear conflict with the United States, to know where bomb shelters are, and to have the supplies and know-how for surviving nuclear attack. One of those supplies is a chemical mask rated for nuclear radiation.

If you’re a Russian living in the U.S. he’s advised that you get out. Some say this is just talk meant to scare the West into believing that Russia means business and is not to be messed with. Whatever the reasons for these words, we should see it as a clue that future months ahead could lead into an actual war with Russia.

Should you get a chemical mask rated for nuclear protection?

Chemical masks are already well known in Israel as they live under a constant threat of chemical attack.

But even if years go without any attacks the threat will continue to remain. One day it might happen; it might happen to us as well. Better to have a protective gas mask close by and even in the trunk of your vehicle ‘just in case.’

Terrorist bombs major university; chemical weapons

This goes for students and teachers also. A small chemical bomb is an easy way for a homegrown terrorist to attack a local university. Police stations, government buildings, nightclubs, business districts, sporting events, and shopping malls are also at high risk for chemical bombs — or any kind of bombs for that matter.

I’m not talking about military scale bombs. The small scale bombs I’m referring to are much easier to build and scatter around a local region. (I may have received good information that this is going to be a commmon danger in the months ahead; people are going to die; in other words, it’s going to start happening, and then continue to happen.)


RELATED : How to Bug-In: What You Need to Know to Survive a Grid-Down Disaster


Reason # 6 for Bugging Out

What if a nearby dam is destroyed?

Attack on Dams and Water Supplies – For others forced to bug out, it could be a dam that is destroyed a few miles away that is now flooding the entire valley where you live, sending hundreds of thousands of people on a sudden evacuation into the countryside and toward higher ground. Your city, shopping malls, and schools are suddenly gone — buried under flood waters.

Could a dam really be destroyed? That just depends on the size of the bomb and the desire of a terrorist or attacking government to inflict terror and mass casualties. Several dams could already be pinpointed on an attacker’s maps of cites to destroy in the first wave of an attack; several water reservoirs may have been poisoned by any number of highly toxic chemicals (though risk of this is said to be minimal — nothing is for sure though; what if the water is poisoned at a local treatment plant where a homegrown terrorist works full time?).

Some nukes can be delivered by truck or van

While some nukes could be small enough to fit in a vehicle (after being smuggled into the U.S.) and then driven to a major city and detonated (one of the Pentagon’s current fears), others may have been fired from a small boat or cargo ship off shore (one of New York City’s current fears and something that the Coast Guard is constantly monitoring for).

Nuclear danger from international flights

An even easier way to get a nuke into the U.S.? How about arming “China Air” with a nuclear bomb before it ever leaves China on a routine international flight and then finally detonating that bomb just as the airline is on its final approach and descending toward Los Angeles International Airport. In just a few seconds and a blinding flash of light:

Los Angeles … gone forever.

More nukes are streaking across the sky fired from missiles just off U.S. shores

Several nuclear tipped missiles may shortly after streak across the sky toward several destinations across the U.S., those near the coast would be the first destroyed.

Major dams … power plants … military bases … government buildings … business districts… possibly even toward the head offices for FEMA and Homeland Security. (If you want to make sure the U.S. doesn’t recover from a nuclear attack, don’t just bomb major cities — bomb our critical infrastructure and emergency responders.)

The more thorough an attacking enemy is with their plans, the more they can ensure that the United States of America never recovers.

That realization makes it that much more likely that the first wave of an attack will be more than just a first wave — it’s likely to seem like a flood. It will be catastrophic.

Expect disasters on a Biblical scale

Jesus said in Matthew 24: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man…” But then in the Book of Peter, further in the Bible, we’re told “the end will come like a flood” and also told that the end judgments are reserved for “fire.” So it won’t be another flood of water that God uses to judge the world; we can expect something different. It’s going to be big. It’s going to be bad. It’s going to be ugly . Important questions are answered along the way: For example: Why is God going to judge the world for it’s evils? And … is there any way to escape it? (Yes, there is. Click on the link to learn how to get your life right with God today — before all Hell breaks loose. Because it’s coming. The time is short.)


RELATED : Using A Slingshot As A Survivalist Hunting Weapon


Reason # 7 for Bugging Out

Bugging out may not be a choice — if you stay, you die

Get Out of Dodge – When it comes to bugging out (or bugging in, which basically means to “shelter in place”), the fact of the matter is this: Even if you could win a reward for “prepper” of the year, anything could happen that forces you to flee your home and preps and escape on a bug out into the hills or nearby wilderness. A sudden evacuation may be a matter of life or death — or imprisonment in a concentration camp of some sort ran by some new governing power in the area.

In this case it’s just you, your bug out bag, a good pair of boots, for a lot of people that includes firearms, along with everything you managed to pack into your backpack. If you have a family, they better have their bug out bags packed as well.

Source : secretsofsurvival.com

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Surviving Iceland: My #1 Survival Concern

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surviving iceland

When my family spent 2 weeks in Iceland this past fall, surviving cold weather was my top concern. Coming from Arizona and now Texas, I tend to go overboard when it comes to preparing for cold weather and packing for this trip was no exception. I knew that our first and most important prep was our bodies — packing the right type of shoes and clothing to keep us warm from the skin out.

Start with your skin

No matter what the temperature and weather conditions are, get ready at the skin, or base, layer. My favorite base layer is made of silk — my ancient “silkies” from REI. They’ve been in my dresser drawer for about 30 years and still get the job done. Silk is an excellent fabric for a base layer and when used as long underwear, they’re comfy. I like the fact that the next layer of clothing glides over the silk fabric. The one downside to silk is that it’s best for moderately cold temperatures, as I learned in Iceland. There, I layered my silkies with fleece lined tights and kept pretty warm.

If you opt for a different fabric, consider synthetic fibers or Merino wool. Of the 2, I greatly prefer wool. As I learned with my wool socks, you can wear them again and again and again without much worry about body odor, a feature you won’t find with synthetic fibers or silk. However, Merino wool can be very expensive. I bought my Merino base layer top on clearance at REI, and even then, it was about $50. If you tend to get and stay cold or spend a lot of time in cold weather, it would be a worthy purchase.

Caps, scarves, jackets, and longjohns!

One final consideration with this base layer, or layers, depending on the weather, is your own tendency to be cold or on the hot side. My poor daughter had a tougher time in the chilly Iceland outdoors than I did because she is pretty much permanently cold! In her case, a heavyweight base layer would be best. Just read the labels and look for the words “heavyweight” or a “midweight”, if you’d like something slightly lighter.

I mentioned fleece lined tights and these are a wonder! From the moment I put them on, I knew my world was permanently rocked. Not only did they feel great, but I could wear them under jeans, my silkies, ski pants, or anything else. They even look good worn with a skirt, and, if worn as leggings, they’re suitable for cool weather just about anywhere. No need to hoard them for Arctic blasts!

Not all brands are the same, so try one brand first before buying additional pairs. We started with an and actually prefer those to the Muk-luk brand we purchased later.

Your feet are next

If your base layers are keeping your body warm, socks and shoes are the next most important consideration. If you were to splurge on any one thing for cold weather survival, it would be socks and shoes. You can trudge an awful long way if your feet are warm and comfortable, and you can pick up good quality coats and jackets at second hand stores, but that isn’t nearly so easy when it comes to shoes.

surviving icelandI highly recommend getting waterproof boots, even if you aren’t anticipating being in wet weather. If you buy a great pair of boots or heavy walking shoes, they’ll last for years, if not decades. You never know what weather conditions you’ll encounter in that time, so you might as well plan for protection from wet weather.

When I bought my most recent pair of boots, I knew I was making an investment. I went to 2 different stores, tried on maybe half a dozen different pairs and settled on a pair of KEENs. I love them. Now that I’m back in civilization and far from fjords and glaciers, I still wear them every chance I get. I paid right around $165 for them and expect them to last until I die. Seriously. My daughter’s Vasque boots are as beloved to her.

Shopping for these boots, I asked the salesperson to point out which boots were waterproof and we based our decisions on those. You’ll also need to decide if you want low or high tops. I wanted a little more ankle support, so I went with high tops.

If you already have boots but they aren’t waterproof, pack a tube of multi-purpose Shoe Goo, or spray them with a waterproofing spray. I recommend keeping these in your emergency kit or glove box, since you’ll most likely encounter wet conditions away from home.

Add 2 or 3 pairs of wool blend socks, and you’re set. Personally, that’s my first and only choice. They are soft and cushy, incredibly comfortable, and I can wear them for days without them stinking. That’s pretty remarkable. Smartwool is an excellent brand, but on the expensive side, and as you’re shopping for them, you’ll find some pretty cute vintage designs. Wool blends usually include some spandex, a little nylon, but steer away from blends that include cotton.

Now for the rest of you

If your feed are solidly shod in wool socks and comfortable, waterproof boots, you are well on your way to comfortably endurng chilly, winter weather. Now it’s time for layers of clothing.

Around my house, jeans are #1 for every single season. Right now as I type this, I’m wearing jeans and without looking, I’ll be at least one other family member is, too. For cold weather, though, we had to change our tune. My husband and daughter packed one pair of jeans and wore them with base layers, Propper longjohns for him, but most of the time was spent wearing lighter, quick-dry pants.

surviving icelandThose lightweight pants over our base layers did very well for this particular autumn trip, and on the coldest days and nights, we wore 2 base layers each! The lighter weight pants allowed for freer movement. Since we weren’t in full winter weather yet, we didn’t need anything heavier, but if we did, I’d opt for wool pants and a pair of waterproof pants. Iceland has thousands of waterfalls around the entire island and hiking to them can be a wet adventure. Another popular activity is glacier hiking which, again, brings the opportunity to be cold and wet!

Those wool pants should be maybe one size bigger to allow for some shrinkage as well as the layers you may wear underneath. Here’s some more excellent advice for choosing cold-weather pants.

Surviving Iceland from the waist up!

Looking back, it’s funny that I never tired of gearing up every morning for cold weather. I naturally like chilly days, but growing up in the Southwest and most days wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and flip-flops, you might think all the layering would grow tiresome, but it didn’t. It was just a part of our day, getting ready to enjoy something new in the gorgeous Iceland countryside.

surviving icelandPrior to our trip, my final investment piece was a water-resistant softshell jacket lined with a very thin fleece. Made by Marmot, it has numerous features that helped me adapt to wet weather and super chilly nights. It even has an inner band that snaps around my hips to prevent cold air from traveling up through the bottom of the jacket. Bright raspberry red insured that I couldn’t get lost from my family, at least not easily!

A softshell jacket is breathable, wick sweat away from your skin, and are comfortable in all kinds of temperatures. My son’s Marmot jacket was pricey but it built to last, even with growth spurts. The fact that it was a bright tomato red helped identify his location on so many occasions. He was entranced with being outside in a gorgeous environment and tended to wander away, down the sides of cliffs, up mountainsides, enjoying some solitude.

surviving iceland

As far as other layers went, we wore combinations of t-shirts (both long sleeve and short sleeve), wool tops, and anything else we happened to have. I knew that our base layers, socks, boots, and jackets would do most of the work in keeping us warm, so we were more casual with our shirts.

Finishing off our daily ensembles were warm gloves, knitted caps and scarves. As a souvenir, I purchased an Icelandic wool scarf and wore it constantly. I was amazed by how warm it kept my neck. This is that exact scarf! Caps kept our heads warm — a necessity, and was the final piece of clothing I put on every day. Since we were sleeping in a camper van, I often went to sleep at night with it on my head! Here’s a pick of the inside of that van. GoCampers was the company we selected, and they were terrific to work with.

surviving iceland

If you can stay warm in Iceland…

…you can stay warm anywhere! If we ever really want a cold weather challenge, we’ll head over there during the winter where icy winds are powerful enough to knock cars off the roads! In fact, on our first night in our camper van, the winds howled so loudly that I was convinced we were in the middle of a hurricane.

surviving icelandThe payoff for all this cold weather preparation? Incomparable beauty. Again and again and again we commented to each other how no photograph could ever capture the beauty that we discovered every mile along the way. On 3 special occasions, we were treated to the indescribable experience of the Northern Lights, once from our airplane flying in to Keflavik. Yes, we got to see endless miles of the lights. What a great memory.

surviving iceland

Life is about making memories with the people you love, and what made this trip so special was not only the beauty and being with family, but the fact that we were equipped and prepared to fully ENJOY the experience and not huddled in front of a tiny space heater!

On to the next adventure…

5 Ways To Make Prepping Easier

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Although I believe almost anyone can be a successful prepper, I’m in no way suggesting that prepping is easy. It’s not. There’s so much to learn, so much to get, so much to do… However, there are several things you can do to make it easier. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed as a prepper, you […]

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My Spouse Doesn’t Like Me Prepping: What Can I Do?

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My Spouse Doesn’t Like Me Prepping: What Can I Do?

I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from new subscribers to the Survival Pulse email newsletter (our prepper & survivalist news mail out; you can subscribe here if you’re interested) letting me know that they’re having difficulty at home with spouses who don’t approve of prepping in general, and spending money on preparedness in particular.… Read More

This is just the start of the post My Spouse Doesn’t Like Me Prepping: What Can I Do?. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


My Spouse Doesn’t Like Me Prepping: What Can I Do?, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

H1R Nova Unboxing. The Best Headlamp Made Better!

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H1R Nova Unboxing. The Best Headlamp Made Better!

Previously I have reviewed a few Olight lights and loved them all. Recently I got my hands on the Olight H1R the rechargeable version of the H1 Nova Headlamp

You can pick up one at the Oficial Olight Store, Ebay, Or Amazon.

All of the things that made me love the H1 Nova have been improved upon in the H1R. Notably the ability to recharge it. 

My only issue with the H1 Nova is that on the bright mode, of 500 lumens, it will use up batteries quickly. And CR123 batteries are not cheap easy to find. 

I have looked in my local big box stores several times over the past few months looking for CR123 batteries. They have been sold out every single time. 

I know I can order them from amazon. But In an emergency, I would like to be able to pick up some. 

With the H1R Nova, the battery issue has been alleviated. You can use a rechargeable CR123 and the built in charger to recharge. 

I really like that the charger is a USB cable with a magnetic cap that snaps onto the tail cap of the H1R. The cord can fit into any cell phone charger or car charger. 

And you could use an USB battery pack to charge it. 

I plan on buying spare rechargeable CR123 batteries and a backup charger. That way I can standardize to all rechargeable CR123s. 

The H1R Nova also features 100 more lumens over the H1 Nova. You get a blinding 600 lumens at the brightest output. 

You only get 3 minutes of the 600 lumens. After that, it tapers down to 180 for 80 minutes. 

On the lowest setting, you can run it for 6 days. 

And then you can just recharge it and go. No worrying about finding batteries. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Maximizing Your Immune System

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Maximizing Your Immune System Flu season is upon us.  For centuries people did not have antibiotics or hospitals to count on when they became ill. How do you keep your immune system healthy and functioning to minimize illness? Here are a few basic ideas of remaining healthy now and when SHTF. This is great info …

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How to make antibiotic garlic tincture

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In the old days, the home medicine chest of the pioneers was comprised of locally grown herbs and plants. Garlic has been proven to be a powerful natural remedy for many generations and antibiotic garlic tincture is highly appreciated even today. The pioneers knew how important self-healing is when you live miles away from civilization … Read more…

The post How to make antibiotic garlic tincture was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

When The Presence Of God Seems Hidden

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     Yesterday I addressed how it feels when you think God doesn’t see you or hear you.  Today I want to focus on how we think and feel when it seems as if we can’t see or hear God.  I’m talking about the “hiddenness” of God; but not from the aspect of nonbelievers, who will say, if God existed, then God would make His existence more obvious. God is not obvious. Therefore, God does not exist.
     This is not about God deliberately hiding His presence.  It’s about those times in our lives when we, who have been in real relationship with Him, can’t find Him or hear His voice.  It’s about those crises of faith that have us asking why He has seemingly abandoned us, or is at least choosing to not communicate with us.

     If you have been one who has enjoyed an easy and intimate relationship with God — received answers to your prayers, and seen evidence of His presence during times of trouble — then the notable lack of His appearance becomes cause for concern.  And if you have advanced to a level of relationship where your spirit can approach His throne room and ask for heavenly power and a call to action — and then He seems to be absent or silent, it can begin to raise doubts in our spirit. And  if the problem persists, then it can lead to a crisis of faith; or worse, sometimes a collapse of trust in God.
      But if you have experienced an intimate relationship with God in the past, and are now facing a “dry spell” in that partnership, you must not forget that He is the Unchangeable and Ever-Present God. Perhaps He is preparing to do a work in your life and is waiting to see the level of commitment you have to Him.  Maybe He is waiting to see if you are willing to press into Him when the going gets rough and His presence isn’t easily discerned.  And just maybe there are places He wants to take you, but you have to be willing to walk by faith, not by sight.
     That is a time-worn motto of the Church … we walk by faith, not by sight.  But if you are a Christian who has developed a spiritual relationship with God (communing with Him in the spirit and being accustomed to His presence), then the absence of that intimacy might really challenge your faith walk.  But that is the time to “press into God”.
     What do I mean by that?  It means to seek God and to keep on seeking Him, even when you have no clear evidence that He is there.  It means to seek to know Him and His righteousness when your world is falling down around you.  It means surrendering yourself and your life to Him because you have nowhere else (and no one) to turn to. And it means trusting that He is there, waiting on you to take a step towards Him, instead of sitting back and expecting Him to come to you.
     I have a very dear friend who is pressing into new depths in her relationship with God. She has met Jesus in her spirit and He has shown her how much He values her and what is possible when she decides to move towards Him.  She has been through some devastating trials in her life, and has just recently learned to seek Jesus in the spirit and press into Him. While He has healed her emotional and spiritual wounds, and is helping her to deal with changes in her life, He is also showing her that her future depends on her making the next move.  He is not there to orchestrate her every step, but is waiting for her to put her faith into action to receive the future He has planned for her.  She doesn’t know what that might be, but because she has pressed into Him, even when He doesn’t seem to be present, she is excited about stepping out in faith.  The unknown future no longer scares her because she knows He has something spectacular to give her; something He has been preparing for her since He knit her in the womb.  And because she has walked by faith, and not by sight — and because she has pushed through her trials to be in the very presence of God — she is excited to receive her inheritance as the daughter of the King!

     Unfortunately, an experience she had with trying to go through the Church to help her deal with her personal trauma and ordeals was met with a legalistic attitude.  She tried to share what God was showing her and the new depths she was reaching with Him, but they wanted to shove her, and God, into a traditional and Pharisaical box. They wanted her to observe the strict external form of religion without regard to the spirit.  As she sat in dismay, her dejected spirit saw angelic soldiers in full spiritual armor shaking their heads in consternation, and she left the Church in tears.  I can only imagine how that grieved God’s Holy Spirit.
     But she is determined to seek God on her own and press into Him, despite the Church.  And she is enthusiastic about what God has in store for her. Her greatest joy is found in spending time in God’s presence and contending with God’s Spirit for more of Him. She is learning to love the time she spends with Him, and it is preparing her for any future “dry spells” that are sure to come her way. She has stepped outside the comfort zone of conventional religion and has turned a life that looks destroyed [from the outside] into a spiritual relationship worth celebrating!  Jesus was her last resort, and she didn’t let the fact that she couldn’t see Him or hear Him [in the wreckage of her life] stop her from reaching out for Him. She accepted His invitation for healing, let Him validate and strengthen her, and is now ready to trust in the authority and power He has given her to walk out her faith.
     Don’t get caught up in the Enemy’s lie that you need Jesus to hold your hand every minute of every day.  Don’t buy into the deception that you’re incapable of defeating the devil on your own.  You have been given the very power that God gave Jesus.  His presence is in you and you can have the confidence that you will be a Victor, just as He was. So, if you happen to be in a spiritual desert at the moment, and you can’t hear or see God, then wait for Him; pressing into Him and pushing through to a relationship that I promise you will be supernatural and rewarding!

Psalm 2:1-5    “My son, if you will receive My words
and treasure My commandments within you, so that your ear is attentive to [skillful and Godly] wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding [seeking it conscientiously and striving for it eagerly]; yes, if you cry out for insight, and lift up your voice for understanding; if you seek skillful and Godly wisdom as you would silver and search for her as you would hidden treasures; then you will understand the [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] and discover the knowledge of God.”
   

23 Ways To Compromise A Backpacking Trip

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Backpacking Trip

Backpacking can be great fun or a death march. It is up to you to control the ratio of fun to suffering.

I have crisscrossed the globe since I was a child and have been in plenty of situations I would rather others learned about through observation rather than experience, patching bullet wounds in people and vehicles, exploring ice caves in the Eiger in the Swiss Alps without any socks (don’t ask), being robbed by a gang of Gypsies in Portugal and battling prehistoric mosquitoes in Brazil, to name a few.

If you are new to backpacking, please take a moment to review a few too common mistakes in order to maximize the recreational aspects of backpacking and dial down the Suck-O-Meter.

We started with only seven mistakes, that you might know already if you read our previous article on backpacking. But there’s more to it, so here is what you need to know!

1. Thinking you can put everything you need in your backpack.

  1. First off, the most important things one can bring into the outdoors are outdoor survival skills, judgment, vision and adaptability. If an individual is gravely deficient in one or more of these areas, there is nothing they can put in a pack that will save their lives. If this is you or someone you know, be sure you or they are accompanied by someone you trust who can teach and guide.
  2. Second, core survival/self-recovery equipment should be carried in your pockets, not your pack. That way, when any of untold numbers of unpredictable scenarios where you can be separated from your pack occur, (you are ejected from a vehicle, pinned in wreckage, set your pack down to rest, lose your pack in an avalanche, you are compelled to ditch your pack in order to swim, etc.) you will not lose your core survival equipment along with your pack.
  3. Third, don’t be too much of a gear critic. The other day, I heard someone trashing a great pack because a strap broke on theirs. By definition, survival is the most DIY (Do It Yourself) of disciplines. All equipment is a compromise between light weight and durability. If you use your gear, you will break it and must be able to repair it in the field. You should be able and equipped to repair gear or to improvise.

Repair Kit 4. Fourth, strive to become less gear-dependent. There is a balance to strike between gear and knowledge. The more you know, the less you need. I’m not saying not to bring any gear and backpack barefoot and naked, but that there is a balance between gear and knowledge, and most folks tend toward the equipment-dependent side of that balance. If you strike a balance, your back will thank you as knowledge is lighter by far than gear.

This versatile bag can be your next best backpack!

2. Trying to fill your backpack.

There is a tendency to see a backpack as a container to be filled. “You have space, so you can fit one more piece of gear in there.” Make a list of everything you need and nothing you don’t. Pack that.

If you don’t fill your pack, tighten down the compression straps or move your gear to a smaller pack, but it’s better to have a little extra room in case someone gets injured and you need to pack out some of their equipment on top of your own.

3. Lack of research.

You need information to plan effectively.

Some examples would be: distance you will hike, change in elevation, terrain, climate, possible extreme weather events, altitude, creepy crawlies and other environmental dangers, which water sources are year-round or seasonal and their condition, road condition, distance from services, permits or licenses needed, cell coverage area, local radio frequencies and repeaters.

You should also check if there is a waiting list or mandatory check-in with a ranger station, local laws, local customs, if you will be hiking in hunting season or other events that mean more pressure on the area, ecological concerns specific to the area and endangered species, presence of historical or archaeological sites and so on.

4. Don’t use a checklist.

This is a great way to forget important equipment and the tendency is exacerbated by stress so be sure to include checklists, contents lists and instructions with all layers and modules of survival and emergency gear. Someone else may be using it to save you and they won’t know what you packed.

5. Don’t empty your pack before you pack it.

Having a pack ready to grab on your way out the door is a great thing … for emergencies. If you have the time, use it by emptying out your pack, doing a gear inventory and repacking it. It is decidedly less effective to haul some heavy piece of gear you don’t need along on a punishing trip because you forgot it was hiding in your pack.

6. Don’t pack the items you will need first where you can easily access them.

If you are going to stop along your trek to filter water, you don’t want to have dig the gear you need to do it out of the bottom of your pack. Thinking modular terms will save you time and money and help you to not forget important gear.

7. Don’t bring a notebook and pen.

Keep an adventure journal or pertinent information such as position, date, time, temperature, humidity, weather, altitude, injuries, incidents and so forth on your trips. Note what works and what doesn’t and what you wished you had brought with you. Eliminate non-emergency-related gear that you don’t use regularly.

Notebook

8. Packing heavy items low in your pack.

Pack heavy items like water high in your pack and close to your back.

9. Adjust your pack so that weight rests on the shoulders.

This will tire you out and make you sore. A backpack should have a well-padded waist belt and a sternum strap. If yours doesn’t, add them or get a new pack. Adjust your pack so most of the weight rests on your hips.

This perfect waterproofed bag is light, tough and durable!

10. Forget to trim your toenails.

Foot Care Or round them off instead of cutting them straight across before your trip. This causes your toenails to be driven back into your toes on long downhill stretches causing pain and discomfort.

11. Don’t layer

Or don’t use layering properly. Pack and wear clothing so you can add and remove loose-fitting layers of clean, dry clothing as needed to control your temperature and provide ventilation.

It is better to be a little bit colder than is comfortable as you backpack than to let sweat and moisture accumulate inside your clothing. Your clothing is your first line of protection against exposure.

12. Dress for daytime temperature.

Instead of nighttime temperatures on day hikes. Any time you head out, you may end up spending the night due to unforeseen circumstances.

13. Don’t know how to use a map and compass or don’t bother to bring them.

Even if you know every inch of the terrain your are in, you may still end up needing a map to convince a lost group of their true position or to call in coordinates for a rescue.

Map and Compass

14. Pack a filter that uses micro-tubule tech on a trip where it may freeze during the night.

I have seen rashes of five star reviews extolling the virtues of new water filters using hollow fiber technology claiming to filter 100,000 gallons of water. They must not camp in cold weather. If you allow even a single microscopic ice crystal forms in this type of filter, the only way you will know is when you double over vomiting with a terrible case of diarrhea.

“No problem, just keep it in your jacket and your sleeping bag.” says the guy who can’t manage to wash his hands before meals on the trail. But he will remember to move his wet water filter inside his jacket, not gripe when it dribbles and gets his base layer wet and then transfer it to his sleeping bag after he forecasts that the temperature will dip below freezing … sure he will.

15. Eliminate essential safety gear because you haven’t used it on the last 10 trips.

The thing about emergency gear like trauma kits and signal gear is that unless you are incompetent, you won’t need it often, but when you do, you will REALLY need it. While you are at it, don’t be the ultralight guy who brags about how little weight he carried and then turns around and borrows half a dozen pieces of gear from his buddies and eats their food either.

16. Wear brand new boots.

Break in new boots before you take them on the trail to avoid blisters.

17. Fail to plan as a group.

Boy could a lot of survivalists stand to learn from this.  A well-run scout troop is organized into patrols. Each scout carries his personal gear and then his share of the patrol gear. They understand that if each guy brings every conceivable piece of gear that he could possibly need, you end up carrying a lot of unnecessary weight.

A group of 6 people doesn’t need 6 axes, 6 files, six sharpening pucks, 6 rain flies, 6 frying pans and so on. If you are traveling as a family, plan as a family. It is also nice to have access to a variety of tools instead of everyone carrying exactly the same equipment.

18. Poor planning exacerbates poor hygiene.

Maintaining proper hygiene takes planning and extra effort in a survival setting or while backpacking. Folks who have lived their whole lives with hot running water tend to back-burner hygiene if it means a cold bath in the creek, but you will be more comfortable and suffer less if leave your comfort zone and

  • Don’t pack gear to wash your hands before eating. Much is made of treating water to kill parasites like giardia and cryptosporidium, but water is only one way to become infected. You are just as likely to be infected with giardia by failing to wash your hands before eating as not treating water, yet even graduates of some of the best survival schools on the planet either don’t understand this or regularly fail to put it into practice.
  • Plan to eat meals inside your tents and cook near where you bed down instead of in a separate spot. For every person dragged out of a tent by a bear, there are 100’s who have had holes chewed in packs and tents by rodents, raccoons or skunks looking for a meal. With a more sensitive sniffer than a bloodhound, if you eat inside your tent even once, you should not use that tent in bear country ever again. You don’t want to become a soft taco for a bear, but you don’t have to be camping in bear country for eating inside your tent to be a bad idea, and it does not take a bear to chew holes in your gear in search of food.
  • Don’t bring gear to wash up properly after meals. I once left a camp full of scouts on the beach of lake in the Sonoran Desert to help drain a boat and change its plug in the middle of the night since the boat was taking on water. Upon our return to camp, I swept the shore with the spotlight to find a troop of skunks in the camp with one standing atop a sleeping scout lapping the remnants of the young man’s supper right off his face.

19. Make your pack weight conform to some arbitrary number that likely has nothing to do with you and your abilities.

Despite what “professional” backpackers (I never imagined I’d see the day where backpacking would be a profession) may write, there is no magic number for how much weight to carry.

Learn your limitations, know them and abide by them. You may be able to safely carry 2-4x recommended weights based on your bodyweight, sex and physical condition or you might need to carry a fraction of it.

20. Don’t bring a hiking stick or trekking poles.

They can prevent ankle sprains, dunks in cold rivers and disastrous spills in addition to acting as shelter poles, fending off snakes, preventing you from needing knee surgery one day, reaching someone who has fallen through ice and saving you pain two dozen other ways.

21. Don’t stop when you start to feel a hot spot.

Giant blisters start out as hot spots. If you feel a hot spot, don’t be shy about it. Stop and take care of it before it turns into something worse.

22. Head out on an expedition with untested companions.

If your friends are going to give you grief over stopping to take care of your feet, educate them or get some new friends before you need to count on them in a real emergency. You shouldn’t head out on the trail or a hunt with people you can’t count on. Try some afternoon outings with them until you feel you could count on them on a serious expedition.

23. Bet your life on battery powered equipment.

There is a false perception that the moment you press the SOS button on your PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) you are saved, a Blackhawk will immediately swoop down and pluck you from the jaws of death in the middle of a blizzard. In reality, electronics break, batteries die, everything that uses radio waves to communicate is capable of experiencing interference and human error can cause Murphy to rear his head at any of a number of points between you pressing that button and when you are safely home.

Do bring a PLB, cell phone, radio or other communications equipment, but don’t bet your life on it. You may be out longer than planned, so be sure to bring extra batteries.

Consider the following:

  • Who would respond to your call for rescue? Know who would get the call and what their capabilities are. This will help you to plan realistically.
  • How will they get there and when? Not all SAR teams have access to air assets and even if they are available, the weather has to be good enough for them to be able to fly, and they have to have the visibility to search for you. Many SAR teams are county volunteers. It may take 8-12 hours for them to muster and they will probably need daylight. Bad weather may delay a search so be prepared to survive another day or two and signal once they are in the general area
  • Who will foot the bill for the rescue?

This bag has the very best closure seal on the market which allows for heavy duty use.

This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.

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Vacuum packaging clothes

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A few posts back, I mentioned that I carry some spare clothes in the vehicle winter gear box. I vacuum pack them for two reasons – first, it keeps them clean and dry; second, it helps to compact items to conserve space. But, a picture is worth a thousand words.

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For this example, we’ll use this Carrhart Face Mask..a bulky, thick, warm head/face covering that is well suited for spending the night in a cold vehicle. For the purpose of size comparison, note the beer-can sized object next to it.

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We fold it into thirds so it’ll fit in the bag, slide it in and set it down for comparison. Note the amount of loft/bulk…it’s about half as tall as the Coke can. The coke can is about 4.75″. The folded face mask is about 3″ thick. Let’s draw the air out of it and see what it compresses down to.

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Finished product. Not only is it now going to stay dry and clean, two very important features for a piece of gear that might be called upon in an emergency, but the thickness is a fraction of what it was before. When space is at a premium, this is an exceptionally good way of making the most of what you have.

Sure, buying yourself a vacuum sealer is a very(!) good way to maximize your savings on bulk purchases of meats and whatnot, but it also comes in very handy for protecting and storing items that absolutely must be stay in good condition. A buddy of mine just bought one the other day and when I talked to him a few days later he’d already had a good time experimenting with it and sealing up all sortsa stuff.

By the by, I actually do use the stupid thing for kitchen purposes. The absolute most useful thing I’ve done with it, in regards to food, is using it to store extra spaghetti sauce. See, I’ll make a huge batch of meat sauce with beef and sausage. Then I’ll put a couple ladles of sauce into a bag, let it freeze solid in the freezer, and once it’s solid I’ll vacuum seal the bag. (Because vacuum sealing a bag of liquids is messy. So..freeze solid.) Then, months (or years) down the road when I want a quick and easy meal, I’ll throw on a big pot of water for pasta. As the water comes to a boil I drop the bag of frozen spaghetti sauce in there. It thaws as the water comes to a boil. Remove bag, add pasta to water and cook. Put the thawed bag in the microwave for a couple minutes and when the pasta is done I just cut the edge of the bag and add sauce to the pasta. One pot cooking. I’m tellin’ ya, if you’re an imaginative dude you can come up with a lot of great ideas on how to exploit a vacuum sealer.

How to Make a Camera Mount Hat

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I have been having trouble with my videos.  Because I normally shoot the videos my self as I am in the videos sometimes what I think I am showing is not what gets captured. This causes all manner of problems. I recently bought a new tripod and it came with a cell phone mount and […]

The post How to Make a Camera Mount Hat appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Food Storage Just Got Easier with My Patriot Supply

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I am excited to welcome our latest sponsor, My Patriot Supply. Who is My Patriot Supply? My Patriot Supply is a store specializing in self-sufficiency and emergency preparedness.  It was established in 2008.  The store’s founders live the preparedness lifestyle and understand the needs of this community.  They believe that true freedom comes from attaining a certain level of self-reliance and their survival store was created with this truth in mind. Products My Patriot Supply features only the finest quality […]

The post Food Storage Just Got Easier with My Patriot Supply appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

Top 5 Brands of 1911 to Own

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by Nicholas

Easily one of the most iconic and beloved semi-automatic pistols of all time, the 1911 is a timeless design that has been around for over a hundred years and will likely be around for a hundred more.

But what makes the 1911 so adored by shooters? Just as importantly, what specific brands of 1911 stand out above the rest and should be the top ones for you to consider should you decide to buy a 1911?  We’ll answer these questions in this article.

WHAT MAKES THE 1911 SO GREAT?

The reality is that there is a great multitude of things that make the 1911 a great pistol. The 1911 is not for everyone. There are pistols out there that are lighter, simpler, and carry more bullets, but no one can deny that there are specific attributes about the 1911 that have made it such an enduring pistol.

These attributes include:

  • Accuracy. The 1911 is a highly accurate pistol thanks to its fixed barrel design, light trigger, soft recoil, and longer sight radius. Is it the most accurate production pistol made? That’s debatable, but its accuracy is a major plus.
  • Light Trigger. The trigger of the 1911 alone makes it a dream to shoot. It’s very light and crisp, with a relatively short reset. The light trigger pull makes it unsafe to carry the 1911 chambered and cocked without the safety on, so you must train yourself to manually switch off the safety when drawing the weapon to fire. Nonetheless, the trigger on the 1911 is one of the biggest appeals. It makes it an excellent handgun to shoot for target practice, competition, or for tactical training.
  • Slim Design. The 1911 is a naturally slim possible, which means shooters with smaller hands can comfortably grip the weapon and it’s easy to conceal carry. The obvious trade-off is fewer bullets in the magazine (the standard 1911 magazine holds either 7 or 8 rounds).
  • Customization. The 1911 is one of the most customizable firearms on the planet. The AR-15, Glock, and Ruger 10/22 are the only other guns that can match it for the number of spare accessories and add-ons that you can buy. This means you can customize your 1911 to be exactly the way you want it to be. For SHTF purposes, this means that spare magazines and parts will be relatively easy to find in comparison to other pistols.
  • Power. Most 1911s are chambered for the .45 ACP caliber, which is a very powerful bullet that will put a big hole in its target. While 1911s are also available in other calibers such as .22 LR or 9mm, if you’re going to buy a 1911, most would agree that it should be in .45.

None of this is to say that the 1911 is not without faults. It has a more complicated takedown procedure than more modern pistols. It is heavy, only holds 7-8 rounds in the magazine. And most 1911 guns require a break-in period of around 200-300 rounds before they can become reliable.

Still, the 1911 reigns supreme as one of the most popular pistol designs of all time. It’s a perfectly valid option as a range gun, for professional competition shooting, as a home defense gun, or for an SHTF sidearm.

Since the 1911 is so popular, there are naturally many different brands and models available. Narrowing down our selection to just five brand recommendations above the others is difficult, but here are five of the best 1911 brands available:

Colt 1911 Series 70 photo 1

COLT

Colt was the original manufacturer of the 1911 (using John Browning’s design), and the phrases “Colt 1911” and “Colt 45” have now become iconic. Colt 1911s today are known for their reliability right out of the box.

Go to Colt’s website, and you will find a wide variety of different models available. Colt produces classic models such as the Mark IV Series 70 based on the original M1911A1. It was issued to troops in World War II, but they also make modern options such as the Rail Gun that are made for duty use, the Gold Cup built for competition shooting, the Commander model with a shorter barrel, and the Defender with an even shorter barrel and grip.

Colt 1911s are not cheap by any means, but you will get what you pay for due to their exceptional quality. Besides, there’s something cool about saying that you own a true ‘Colt 1911.’

KIMBER

Another high-quality option for a 1911 is Kimber, with their custom model available in a wide variety of calibers and configurations. Not only can you buy the Kimber Custom in .45 ACP, but it’s also available in .38 Super, 9mm Luger, 10mm AUTO, and even .40 S&W.

The Custom model uses a full-length guide rod (in contrast to most 1911s that use a shorter length guide rod), and modern upgrades such as forward serrations, a beavertail grip safety, extended thumb safety, and a beveled magazine well for faster and smoother reloading.

The Custom TLE II and Warrior models are also available, which are designed for military and law enforcement use. These are an excellent choice for a duty weapon or as a durable SHTF sidearm. As with Colt, Kimber 1911s are highly expensive, but as the old saying goes, you have to pay for quality.

RUGER

Ruger began producing 1911s only a few years ago, but they have quickly proven themselves to be one of the best 1911 manufacturers on the market. The Ruger SR1911 is their standard line, which is available in both the full 5-inch and the shorter 4.25-inch Commander sized barrel versions.

Whereas most 1911s use a Series 80-style firing system, the SR1911 uses the more traditional Series 70-style firing system just like the Colt Mark IV Series 70. Many 1911 aficionados prefer a Series 70-type model. It’s regarded as being the original firing system of the 1911, and 70 models also tend to have a lighter trigger system than 80 models.

‘Series 70’ and ‘Series 80’ are currently trademarks owned by Colt, but the terms are still used to denote the specific firing systems. The Series 80 simply has an internal safety system that prevents the possibility of discharge should the gun be dropped and the hammer falls on its own.

The Ruger SR1911 also comes equipped with modern parts such as an extended thumb safety and beavertail grip safety, and forward cocking serrations. In essence, it represents the traditional 1911 firing system integrated with modern upgrades. The SR1911 is also very reasonably priced in the $700 to $800 range and sometimes can be found for even less than that.

SPRINGFIELD

Many consider Springfield to offer the best quality for the money. Their 1911s are routinely priced less than $1,000 (other than the premium models), and they make an extremely wide variety of model options.

Springfield makes practically any kind of 1911 you can think of, from the standard G.I models, like what the troops carried in World War II, to competition ready guns or duty 1911s with modern upgrades and concealed carry variations with shorter grips and barrels. They are also available in different calibers as well.

The neat thing about Springfield is how they will ship many of their 1911s with three magazines (instead of the standard two), with a holster and double mag holder. This essentially gives you a complete kit right out of the box and can save you on money for accessories that you would have to buy anyway.

WILSON COMBAT

If you want the best 1911 possible and are willing to pay for it, many would say that you should go with Wilson Combat. Not only does Wilson manufacture high-quality parts and accessories for 1911s that can be added to other brands, but they also manufacture actual 1911’s themselves.

Wilson originally got started manufacturing spare parts and customization options for the 1911, Smith & Wesson Model 10, and Remington 870. Since then, however, they have become the most well-known for the aftermarket parts they produce for the 1911. Some other 1911 manufacturers will even install Wilson Combat parts on their production guns, and many people also will customize their 1911s with Wilson Combat parts to enhance performance.

Wilson Combat 1911s are not only popular with civilians. They also have been utilized extensively by military and police forces. They have seen action all around the world, and are guaranteed to deliver one-inch groups at twenty-five yards.

For a premium 1911, Wilson Combat should be a top option. Even if you can’t afford a Wilson Combat 1911, you can always buy from another manufacturer and then customize it with Wilson parts.

CONCLUSION

If the 1911 is your dream gun, these five manufacturers should be your top choices. Even though the 1911 has become a little outdated in some ways when compared to the more modern, polymer framed guns, it’s not a gun that’s going to be going away anytime soon either. They truly are a joy to shoot, and if you spend the time learning how to use one, the 1911 can save your life in a life-or-death situation as well.

 

The Ultimate Chicken Crap Composting Guide

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chicken crapThere are no two ways about it – your soil needs nutrition regularly. This isn’t just dirt that we’re talking about. We’re talking about soil and soil is alive. In order for plants to grow to their optimum capacity, they need bio-intensive nutrients present in the soil to assist with growth, root development and disease prevention. While there are other nutrients needed for perfect soil, there are three responsible for the overall health of the plant.

1. Nitrogen: Encourages green foliage by producing chlorophyll and improves leaf development.

2. Phosphorus: Phosphorus promotes good root production and helps plants withstand environmental stress and harsh winters.

3. Potassium: Potassium strengthens plants, contributes to early growth and helps retain water. It also affects the plant’s disease and insect suppression.

This Bi-Product is One of the Leading Soil Amendments and Preferred by Most Organic Farmers

While most of these elements and nutrients are naturally found in soil, sometimes they can become depleted and need to be added to help the soil get healthy again. Those of you who are working towards sustainability are well versed in the importance of composting and may even be making the most of your property by caring for backyard livestock.  If you do have livestock, you probably have a plethora of the bi-product they produce – manure. Once composted, aged manure is a great addition to create rich soil. In particular, chicken manure can be one of the best types of manure to add.


“Chicken manure has higher levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium compared to cattle, sheep or horse manure.”


Safe Handling

While chicken manure is a desirable compost to add to the garden, there are some things you need to know before you apply this soil amendment. First of all, gloves should be used when handling manure. Salmonella spp., E. coli and other human pathogens are present in chicken manure, so handle carefully. As well, because chicken manure is packed full of powerful nutrients, it is considered a “hot manure” and requires proper composting. Make no mistake, raw chicken manure applied to plants can burn, and even kill them. Moreover, since vegetables are growing in compost manured, take extra care when harvesting. Thoroughly wash any harvested vegetable or fruits that touched with compost with soapy water. As well, peel root vegetables and wash leafy greens with soap, or thoroughly cook garden vegetables before eating to kill any pathogens that may remain in the soil.

How To Compost Chicken Manure

Did you know that one hen produces 45 pounds of manure every year. This livestock is a pooping machine! Taking that 45 pounds of chicken manure and chicken litter and applying it each year to 100 square feet of soil will work wonders in your vegetable garden and increase the fertility of your soil.

There are two ways to compost chicken manure. Cold composting is a slow aged process that requires weeks for the manure and chicken bedding to age and mellow. Hot composting creates an interior heat in the center of the compost mound and the high-heat cooks the manure and considerably shortens the composting process.

Cleaning out the chicken coop is the best time to start a composting pile for your manure. When we prepare our chicken coops, we use a layer of cedar chips and them apply straw every month or so until it’s time to clean the coop again. This process naturally gives the future compost a 2:1 ratio of brown material to green material.

Cold Composting Method:

This composting process allows nature to do its business. Manure is added to a compost heap and allowed to sit and slowly decompose.

  1. Add a shovelful of already finished compost or native soil, which will be full of microorganisms to jump-start the process.
  2. Using gloves, rake, shovel and deposit the bedding and chicken droppings directly into the compost pile.
  3. Water it thoroughly and then turn the pile every few weeks to get air into the pile. Allow six to nine months for the manure to naturally age.
  4. Once compost has aged properly, it is done when originally bedding and manure is no longer recognizable and has turned into rich, dark soil.
  5. Once you have finished chicken manure composting, it is ready to use. Simply spread the chicken manure compost evenly over the garden. Work the compost into the soil with either a shovel or a tiller.
  6. Thoroughly wash any raw vegetables before eating.

*If you are uncertain how well your chicken manure has been composted, you can wait up to 12 months to use your chicken manure compost.

Hot Composting Method

This is a faster composting method that heats the composting manure up to high temperatures that will kill off weed seeds and pathogens (diseases), and break down the material into very fine compost considerably faster than the cold composting method.

  1. Add a shovelful of already finished compost or native soil, which will be full of microorganisms to jump-start the process.
  2. Using gloves, rake, shovel and deposit the bedding and chicken droppings directly into the compost pile that is 3 cubic feet (1 cubic meter) in size and no more than 5 cubic feet (1.5 cubic meters). *This size creates the best heat and moisture to speed the decomposition process.
  3. Water compost pile thoroughly (It should be as wet as a wrung sponge).
  4. Cover compost pile with a large burlap or other breathable tarp to maintain moisture.
  5. With a garden thermometer, take pile’s temperature daily to ensure the temperatures rise to 120 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. This usually takes one to five days. *Temperature trends are approximate and vary depending on the type of materials you’re composting, the size of the pieces, the level of moisture, and so on.
  6. Every four to seven days, when the temperature of the pile begin to drop below 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius), turn all of the organic matter to introduce more oxygen and heat it back up.Thoroughly mix materials from the pile’s exterior to the interior. If needed, water as you turn to maintain the “wrung-out-sponge” moisture level. *Be careful not to get material too wet, because doing so cools off the pile.
  7. After about 14 days, the ingredients of the organic matter will no longer be recognizable. Continue monitoring and recording daily temperatures and repeating the turning process.Turn every four to five days, when the temperature drops below 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius). Add moisture, if needed. Turn a total of four times throughout one month.
  8. After 1 month, the pile no longer heats up after turning, and the bulk of it is dark, crumbly compost.The temperature drops to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) or lower.
  9. Monitor the pile and once you are satisfied that the entire contents of your bin has been heated, loosely cover and allow the compost to cure for 45-60 days before using.

More information on this process here

When your chicken manure has sufficiently turned into fertilizer, simply spread evenly over the garden. Work the compost into the soil with either a shovel or a tiller and watch how fast your plants will grow.

The use of manure is an integral part of sustainable gardening and adds necessary organic matter in soil to improve water and nutrient retention. In turn, this creates a prolific ecosystem in the soil to give your plants what they need to produce. Adding chicken manure is an excellent soil amendment and if composted properly, you will find that your vegetables will grow bigger and healthier as a result.

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Seven Essential Herbal Skills

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Seven Essential Herbal Skills Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio in player below! It’s back to basics, Herbal Prepper style! This week and next week, I’m covering essential herbal skills. These skills will help you build a natural, affordable, sustainable source of remedies. They are simple, effective, and you can learn them quickly. If I … Continue reading Seven Essential Herbal Skills

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