Does ‘Banking Snow’ Around A Home Really Make It Warmer?

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Does ‘Banking Snow’ Around A Home Really Make It Warmer?

If you live in an area that often sees standing snow for weeks or months at a time during the winter, you are surrounded by some of the best insulation you can use for your home.

“Banking” is the process of building snow around your home to help keep it insulated, and it’s a proven technique that can help cut your heating costs during the winter months. This technique is ideal for those who live in climates where there isn’t a real thaw until March, so that the snow stays in place all winter. It will still work in slightly warmer climates, but you need to be cognizant of any thawing cycles and add snow when necessary.

Although the concept may seem too simple to be true, banking your home with snow can add some serious insulation power. For every inch of snow, you gain an extra R-value of 1 or more for your walls. R-value indicates the capacity of a material to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value a material has, the greater the insulation power. Most older homes are built with R-11 insulation, while newer homes can have insulation with R-13 or higher. Regardless of the type of insulation you have in your walls, banking with snow can significantly increase your home’s ability to retain heat.

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When banking your home with snow, the goal is to build a wall of snow around the base of your home 2-4 feet high. You can do this by simply shoveling the snow up in drifts until they are at the desired height, but most people find it easier to use a piece of plywood roughly 4 feet by 8 feet with a bracing pole to keep it vertical. Starting at the corner of your structure, place the piece of plywood about two feet from the wall of your home, and then use the pole to brace it vertically. Make sure that you use a bracing pole strong enough to hold the weight of the plywood and the weight of the snow as you start to pack it in.

Shovel snow in between the piece of plywood and your structure until you reach the desired height. Be sure to pack the snow down as you go so it can resist any winds that may blow it away. As you finish one section of the wall, move the plywood one length down the structure and pack the next section. Continue this method until you’ve built a snow wall two feet thick and at least two feet tall around every part of your home. You may not be able to build a continuous wall around your entire home because of stairs or ground level doors, but any section you can bank with snow helps. It will make a significant difference.

Of course, while banking with snow, it is extremely important not to block any vents that may extrude from your home. Gas appliances, electric clothes dryers and other home appliances use these vents to get rid of gases that can prove toxic if built-up to certain levels.

It’s also important to keep a close eye out for warmer temperatures. As soon as it looks like a thaw is imminent, remove the snow around your home to prevent any moisture from seeping in. Modern-day homes typically have good moisture barriers to prevent this, but an older home may not have the proper prevention in place.

Aryn Young is a writer and farmer currently living in Homer, Alaska. 

www.arynyoung.com

Have you ever banked snow around your home? What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

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How to Remove Rusted Nuts and Bolts

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How to Remove Rusted Nuts and Bolts You may just thank us one day for sharing this little secret, If SHTF and you need to remove rusted nuts or bolts, remember this! This is an old secret that a lot of us don’t know or forget! There are hundreds and hundreds of lotions and potions …

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5 Prepping Mistakes to Avoid

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5 Prepping Mistakes to Avoid I found a great article over at prepforshtf.com that goes over 5 prepping mistakes to avoid. We all make mistakes and I will be the first one to admit I have made many in my prepping journey. By making mistakes you learn from them and become a better prepper! The article …

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How to Make a Healing Poultice

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How to Make a Healing Poultice Before you read this please not I am not a medical professional and I would always seek advice from one before trying anything medical on this site please read our disclaimer.   A poultice, also called cataplasm, is a soft moist mass, often heated and medicated, that is spread on cloth …

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12 Ways To Be More Self Sufficient Without Having a Homestead

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12 Ways To Be More Self-Sufficient Without Having a Homestead There are many things you can do even on a small piece of land. It doesn’t take 20 acres to be more self-sufficient. Most can be done with minimal effort and offer long term benefits. Start today.. I did it and now I am loving …

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How to Build a 50 Dollar Greenhouse

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How to Build a 50 Dollar Greenhouse See how to build this fantastic greenhouse for around 50 bucks or less if you can use your head! I live in Nebraska, so that means the last frost and cold evening may come well after may… That’s why I am going to build this myself this year. …

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Mary’s Heirloom Seeds Giveaway

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Mary’s Heirloom Seeds Giveaway

We LOVE Giveaways!!!! Mary’s Heirloom Seeds is sponsoring their first GIVEAWAY for 2017! PreparednessMama is pleased to take part in offering this great package. Are you ready??? This is a super simple giveaway with loads of seeds! This will run from Tuesday, January 31st thru Sunday, February 5th and is open to residents of the US […]

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Middle East on Brink of Major War after Saudi Warship Hit by Iranian Anti-Ship Missile

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Again, the news cycle is moving so quickly, no one is able to completely keep up.  However, with all of the focus on executive orders on immigration some major events

Survival Medicine Hour: Expiration Dates, Face Masks, More

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N95-Surgical-Mask

N95 mask

This episode of the Survival Medicine Hour, with your hosts, Joe Alton, MD aka Dr. Bones and Amy Alton, ARNP, aka Nurse Amy, discusses the significance, or sometimes, the lack of significance of expiration dates when it comes to medicines in pills and tablets. Also, face masks as a medical supply, all you need to know about this important piece of medical protection. Also, some tips on medical storage of drugs.

Antibiotics

expiration dates

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/01/27/survival-medicine-hour-expiration-dates-masks-and-med-storage

 

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

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joe and amy alton

73+ Heirloom Apples You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

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The post 73+ Heirloom Apples You’ve Probably Never Heard Of is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

When it comes to apples, most of us think of Granny Smith, Gala, or Red Delicious. What if I told you that there are dozens of apples that time has forgotten? Apples that we cultivated in the 1800’s and 1900’s that for some reason or another, disappeared from our diets?I wanted to figure out the history […]

The post 73+ Heirloom Apples You’ve Probably Never Heard Of is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Tree Bark as an Emergency Food

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cutting_bark_tree

bark_piecesAn almost forgotten food from the wild is that which comes from the bark of trees.  Once a staple, now it is barely known even as a coarse survival food.  I myself have been slow coming to it even with wild edible plants as a major preoccupation since my teens.  An obvious possibility for why tree bark has not been found much in modern cuisine is that it doesn’t taste good.  The modern imagination easily responds to the notion of tree bark as food with images of gnawing on trees – not exactly as exciting as fishing, hunting, picking mushrooms, or picking berries.  However, perhaps that assumption is wrong.  Maybe delicious foods can be prepared from tree bark.

By Nathaniel Whitmore, a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache

I have in front of me eleven books on wild edibles.  At first glance at the table of contents of each book, or the text or index if the plants weren’t listed there, I found nothing in ten of the books  related to tree barks as edibles.  Euell Gibbons (Stalking the Wild Asparagus) and others discuss Black Walnuts and Hickory for nuts.  Lee Allen Peterson (Edible Wild Plants) discusses the leaves of Basswood.  Bradford Angier (Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants) discusses the seeds of Maple and, of course, that the sap is boiled into Maple syrup.  …And the list goes on of other foods from the trees.  Only in one, A Naturalists Guide to Cooking with Wild Plants by Connie and Arnold Krochmal, did I find that the authors went on to discuss harvesting and preparing Maple bark.  They have a recipe for Maple bark bread that uses, along with other typical ingredients for bread, only ½ cup of all-purpose flour to 2 cups of ground Maple bark.  Another recipe for porridge is a typical porridge recipe with only Maple bark (cooked like farina, grits, or oats), along with a suggestion to spread it out to chill and thicken before browning in oil.

Cuisine and Nutrition

maple_treeI have not yet tried Maple (Acer spp.) porridge.  I have made porridge from Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) but only because I have acquired out-of-date stock from herbs stores here-and-there that I worked for.  The powdered bark is quite costly to eat like a breakfast cereal.  It is sold mostly for home-made lozenges and to add to smoothies.  Because the bark is quite mucilaginous, it is a great ingredient for do-it-yourself lozenges for sore or dry throat.  I like to always keep some in a convenient storage spot.  When I have plenty, I like to cook the powdered Elm bark with Maple syrup (and a little salt) for a real breakfast from the trees.  I have not yet attempted to powder the bark itself, though I do intend to.  Powdering bark is one of those things that is high up on my list of things to do that I never get around to doing.  Again, a survival situation might just re-prioritize that list.  The shredded bark is also readily available through commercial sources and is prepared as a cold infusion to produce a thick, moistening drink or ingredient.

Related: Food to Stock for Emergencies      

According to Daniel Moerman in Native American Food Plants, Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) was cooked by the Ojibwa.  Apparently they believe it tastes like eggs.  I have chewed it and infused it for “tea”, but will certainly have to try to prepare it like scrambled eggs!  I doubt it is all that similar, but I do not doubt that it can be prepared so that it tastes good.  Remember, much of foraging is about timing.  Not only is bark easier to peel off the tree in the spring (when the sap is flowing), but it also is thick, juicy, and milder tasting than other times of the year.  Certainly, timing is important for Ash bark and the others.  Though, if starving to death you might eat tree bark even if it wasn’t the ideal harvest season and even if it didn’t taste like eggs.

white_pine_barkWhite Pine (Pinus strobus) and other evergreens were vital survival foods for Native Americans in cold areas.  Although they often have too much astringency and pitchy consistency to be ideal foods, they also have vitamin C, bioflavonoids, and many important medicinal constituents.  It would be interesting, and potentially important in a survival scenario, to look into the nutritional constituents of various barks.  It shouldn’t be too difficult to understand that Pine bark has lots of vitamin C, but what about the macronutrients?  Are barks able to provide sufficient sugar, protein, or fat?  Sugar seems the most notable macronutrient from bark, but I still wonder how much is there.  Certainly, Maple bark can taste remarkably sweet, like Maple syrup.  Clearly it has sugar in it.  The benefits of bark as a survival food are at least partially illustrated by the Natives formerly feeding Cottonwood (Populus spp.) bark to horses.  Certainly, humans have different nutritional requirements than the four-legged grazers, though I still think it says something that the deer, other wild animals, and horses can glean nutrition from bark.

Basswood (American Linden, Tilia americana) is unique as a food tree in that it produces large broad leaves that are edible right off the tree.  Young twigs and buds were cooked by Chippewa.  By this I would assume that the bark is also mild and edible.  However, I turned to Moerman’s book Native American Medicinal Plants to learn that the Cherokee used the bark for diarrhea and the Iroquois used as a diuretic, which has me wondering if the bark is too astringent and drying to use as food.  Of course, many such remedies are mild enough to eat or can be prepared to be more food quality and less medicinal.  Generally though, diarrhea remedies are astringent and can cause constipation when not needed for runny stool.  Moerman did also report that the Cherokee used during pregnancy for heartburn and weak stomach and bowels.  If it was used during pregnancy, I imagine it is mild enough to eat.  Basswood bark is now bumped up to the top of the list of wild foods to try out this spring.

Medicinal Uses of Tree Bark

Medicines from tree barks are many.  Though this article focuses on edible barks, it would not be complete without mention of medicinal uses.  In addition to those already discussed above, the medicinal barks included many categories, such as astringents, cough remedies, blood-moving medicinals, and pain relievers.

aspirin_vintage_advertisement_willowWillow (Salix spp.) was an original source of a well-known medicine known as salicylic acid (named after Willow).  Like the drug Aspirin (which is named after Meadowsweet which is currently Filipendula, but formerly Spiraea), Willow is used for pain, to thin the blood, and for fevers.  Salicylic acid is commonly used for acne, dandruff, and warts.  Poplars (Populus spp.) are closely related to Willow both botanically (though many people confuse Poplars and Birch, or Betula spp.) and medicinally.  Poplars have largely fallen out of use in modern times, but formerly were commonly employed as medicinals – the bark used like Willow, and especially the resinous buds used for coughs.

Oaks (Quercus spp.) and many other trees have bitter-tasting astringency.  Astringents tone tissue, remove inflammation, and stop discharge.   They are important medicines that are indicated for damp, inflamed conditions like diarrhea, rashes, bleeding wounds, and sore throats.  Astringents are also used for daily maintenance like washing the face and brushing teeth.  In small quantities, they are used to maintain tissue integrity of the gums and digestive system.

Read Also: Bushcraft Mushrooms

Like Cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.), our Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) is used to stimulate circulation and clean the blood.  The bark is delicious as tea, and can be combined with other root beer ingredients like Black Birch (Betula lenta).  The leaves of Sassafras are mucilaginous as well as spicy and can be prepared as food.  They are used in gumbo.  As an aromatic, blood-cleansing medicinal, Sassafras is used to treat skin disorders, arthritis, and to warm up the body.  The FDA has a controversial ban on Sassafras and the oil derived from it, safrole.

cherries_cherry_treePerhaps one of best-known cough remedies, Cherry Bark (Prunus spp.) has been used for ages.  My guess is that Cherry became a standard flavor for cough syrups largely because the bark was a standard medicine for coughs, even though the bark does not exactly taste like the fruit.  It does have a distinct Cherry flavor, but even more distinct is the cyanide flavor, especially in the fresh bark.  Because of the toxic properties, the use of fresh Cherry bark has been discouraged in the literature.  Though, the fresh bark is used medicinally and is significantly stronger than the dried bark.  The dried bark is available through commercial distributions.  Especially the wilted leaves have been known to cause poisoning in farm animals, so it seems the toxic properties spike during drying.  There are also various ideas about the best time to harvest.  Since I am not a chemist, I cannot say much with authority about cyanide content.  Consider yourself warned, however.  I encourage you to do your own research (before you find yourself starving or coughing to death in a Cherry forest).  Since this is such a valuable medicine I do indeed recommend learning about Cherry bark.  In my experience it is a top remedy for coughs and I assume it has many other uses in line with how Peach (Prunus persica) is used in Chinese medicine, which is extensive.  If the medicinal barks were not strong-natured and somewhat toxic, they would have been discussed earlier as edible barks.  It is precisely because they are strong that they are medicinal.  

Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) bark is very medicinal.  It is one of the strongest antifungal herbs and is well-known as a remedy for intestinal parasites.  The inner bark stains yellow, as do the green hulls and leaves.  These parts also give off a distinct aroma that can help with identification and are doubtlessly related to the medicinal virtues.  Of course, Black Walnut is also known for its nuts, which are important survival food.     

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Epic Pure Filtered Water Pitcher vs. Brita Slim Water Filtration System

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epic_brita_side_by_sideI’ve been a long-time user of pitcher-type water filters; my old Brita filter has had probably hundreds of gallons put through it. The filtered water it produces tastes better, and I like the fact that it pulls a few nasty items out of the water my family and I drink every day.  Without a doubt, I am a big proponent of filtered water. After using my Brita, I feel uncomfortable drinking unfiltered water. Call me pretentious, but I would rather not consume strange heavy metals in my water. 

By Drew, a contributing author of Survival Cache & SHTFBlog

However, I recently received an EPIC Pure Water Filter pitcher-type filter in the mail for a review.  It was a great opportunity to do a little research, and see if the newer, more impressive-appearing EPIC offering was a better product than the tried-and-true Brita product that I’d been using for years.

Why use a water filter every day?

river_filtration_water_thinkIn a SHTF/survival-type situation, water filtration is a no-brainer.  Assuming the power grid is down, any water you can source that isn’t bottled can be assumed to be contaminated with some sort of offending nastiness, and absolutely should be filtered and purified.  However, in day-to-day life, it’s easy to become complacent about the water that flows from your faucets.  We take it for granted that the water has been made safe for us to drink by the unknown people at the water treatment plants.  We turn the tap on, and we blindly think that what comes out MUST be okay. But that “okay” water was processed with additives such as chlorine and aluminum sulfate, fluoride was probably added, and then it ran through miles and miles of metallic pipes underground, where it then makes the trip to your domicile, through the iron or copper plumbing that’s probably joined with lead solder, coursing out through the faucet that has bacteria living happily inside.  Most people don’t think about it, and I’ll admit I never did until I started doing research for this article.

Related: Trace Pharmaceuticals and Water

My house has city water supplied to it, and though the water company sends out yearly reports on water quality, the list of agents listed on the report definitely makes me take pause.  Yes, at the time of the report, the water quality is hunky dory – but how quickly can this balance be upset?  If something goes awry at the water treatment facility, how much water will run through my house and my family before the problem is caught and addressed?  Will the powers-that-be even let me know there is/was an issue with my water?

Environmental_Protection_Agency_logo.svgNow, I know that the people who are employed by the city to maintain the water supply used by thousands are highly qualified and trained to ensure that I have safe water that flows out of my faucets.  I also know that the Safe Water Drinking Act means that there are federal standards, regulated by the EPA, so that my water meets quality standards.  The EPA monitors the water for many organisms, bacteria, metals, chemicals, and other contaminants that can make you sick, give you cancer, or make life generally completely unpleasant in a multitude of ways.  However, the EPA doesn’t regulate many water-borne items, such as aluminum, chloride, and copper. In large enough quantities, these items and others that may still be in your water can do funky stuff to your systems.

Wells aren’t immune to contaminants either; pesticide runoff, petroleums, MTBE, metals that occur in the ground, bacteria, and other nasties can find your way into your dug or drilled well.  Again, most people don’t consider these issues once they have their well installed and tested – if everything is reported as fine, people run on automatic and think the water will always be fine.

All this being said, here in the USA and other developed countries, it’s safe to say that usually your water meets minimum standards for safe drinking water.  However, it’s also safe to say that you’re getting some additional unhealthy contaminant passengers along for the ride – no matter what the yearly water reports from the city water department say.

The Ins and Outs of Water Pitcher Filters

pitcher_inside_filterSo, me being the slight alarmist that I am (you have to be to run with this crowd, right?), I try to play it safe and drink filtered water, if it comes from my tap.  I don’t have the space or funding to really hook up a high-end in-line pre-faucet water filter, so I choose to run a pitcher-type filter for my drinking water needs.  It’s an easy, inexpensive way to keep clean water available.  Fill the pitcher, stick it in the fridge, and let it do its thing.  It’s easy for the whole family to do (provided the teenagers remember to fill the pitcher back up after they use the last of the water), so it’s a nice, simple, foolproof way to keep a half gallon or so of clear, clean-tasting water ready to go.

Basically, the way a pitcher-type filter works is simple: open the lid, located at the top of the pitcher.  Pour your to-be-filtered water in the top, straight from the faucet if you’d like. Put the lid back on, and let the pitcher work its magic.  Water is pulled from the reservoir at the top of the pitcher by gravity, coursing the H2O through the filter(s) located underneath the reservoir.  The inside of the filters contain any number of elements – almost always activated carbon is involved; Brita uses coconut shell-derived carbon.  Activated carbon, if viewed through a microscope, is porous and covered in lots of crevices that attract and hold impurities and contaminants through a process called adsorption.  

brita_and_boxActivated carbon works pretty well to eliminate a number of nasties in your water, such as chlorine, and some pesticides and some solvents – this is why activated carbon is commonly used in fish tank filters.  However, activated carbon eventually reaches its holding capacity and no longer can be used to reliably filter water eventually, so the filter must be replaced at periodic intervals. Other elements can be added to attract and reduce or eliminate other contaminants – but after quite some time searching the web for research on what these elements might be, it seems that most water filter manufacturers play their cards pretty close to the vest, leaving us to wonder at the magic of proprietary water filtration processes.

Since water pitchers function by pulling water through filters via gravity, there is generally not enough pressure to purify via reverse osmosis, and many bacteria can still get by – so it’s not recommended that you use pitcher-type home filters to cleanse water from streams, lakes, rivers, mud puddles, or the like.  Sediments and contaminants will be filtered for sure, but you can still get sick through bacteria infestation.  Dedicated outdoor-type water filters are recommended for naturally-sourced water filtration.

The EPIC Pure Water Pitcher Filter System

I, for a while, thought I just had a standard pitcher type filter.  However, upon digging about, I was excited to find that I had been sent the new EPIC Pure Pitcher  The Pure is like a Brita only for survivalists or preppers.

epic_filter_largeMy EPIC Pure pitcher filter features a large, replaceable filter and a pitcher that holds, by rough estimate, three quarters of a gallon or so of water.  The filter supports about 200 gallons of water filtration (my Brita does 40).  The filter elements and pitchers are 100% BPA free, and the filters themselves are 100% recyclable, which means that over the lifetime of the filter, you have potentially saved using 1,500 plastic water bottles – a definitive environmental impact.  EPIC boasts that their filters will remove up to 99.99% of contaminants that can be found in tap water.  I investigated their website to see what they actually remove, and the list is ridiculous: most are contaminants, and pesticides are things I’d never heard of but sound awful, and the metals removed list includes chromium 6, aluminum, mercury, lead, arsenic, TTHM, and Radon 222, among other things.  I won’t throw the full impressive list on this post, but definitely check out the list of what the EPIC Pure filter keep out of your body.

The Pure’s  Competition

I’ve used a Brita pitcher filter for years, as I stated at the beginning of this article.  Mine is a Brita Water Filtration System, the same model you can get online or at Target or Wal-Mart.  Brita has the market cornered on accessible, household name pitcher filters.  The Brita is an affordable pitcher filtration for the masses and 100% made in China.

brita_topThe Brita features replaceable filter cartridges, and they last approximately 40 gallons per filter, according to Brita’s website.  However, the Brita offering really concentrates on improving the taste of the water, instead of actually doing a really thorough job purifying.  According to Brita, the pitcher filters they offer just remove or reduce chlorine, copper, cadmium, and mercury.  There is no mention of filtering out pesticides like DDT, or other common contaminants and metals such as lead.  Brita does offer products that remove more contaminants, but not in the pitcher format we are analyzing here.

Battle Royale: EPIC Pure VS. Brita Water Filtration

brita_epic_head_to_headSo in the interests of doing a straight apples-to-apples test, I bought a brand new Brita filter cartridge from Amazon, and performed the standard pre-soak that Brita requires.  I loaded up the new filter in the Brita, and filled both up with straight tap water.  The larger EPIC reservoir took almost 15 minutes to filter. The Brita was much faster to process, probably just five or six minutes.  But in both cases, the water that was produced was crystal clear, and devoid of any of the slight chlorine smell that my city water usually has.

I went all Mythbusters on my taste test, and filled three glasses with water: one glass with tap water, one with water from the Brita pitcher, and one with water from the EPIC pitcher. I had my wife and son each try out the water, and report which glass they thought was from each aquatic offering. I then asked them to do the same for me. The results? The tap water was a gimme; its taste and smell was very distinct, with the rather not-great metallic chlorine taste. All three of us nailed which glass held the city-fed tap water.

As for the filtered water, my wife and I both were able to distinguish the EPIC filtered water, but I can personally tell you that the taste from both the EPIC and Brita products were quite close: clear, with no metallic or chlorine tastes – and very, very good. There was no smell from either glass.

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Where the EPIC filter really made a marked difference in taste was in coffee, believe it or not. The EPIC filtered water definitively produced much smoother, rich-tasting coffee from my home coffee maker. I have no science to back me up, but I am theorizing that the pH-modified alkaline EPIC water knocked back on the acid produced from the coffee, and the resulting beloved caffeinated product was far superior as a result.

Read Also: Epic Travel Bottle Review

So, Brita or EPIC? The Brita absolutely produces excellent-tasting water, and filters out a few undesirables in the water stream. But, if you can afford it, the EPIC offering is certainly a better product for the environment – its filters last 2 ½ times longer than the Brita offerings and are recyclable. The EPIC filter is certainly better for you and your family. If you buy bottled water to drink around the house because your well or tap water is unpalatable or unsafe, the EPIC will pay for itself in very little time. The EPIC pitcher is more expensive, and the replacement filter cartridges are also pricier (Made in the USA – yes, they will be more expensive). Yes, it’s pretty expensive – but the EPIC has something else going for it that makes it worth every penny, in my humble opinion.

Health Benefits

I mentioned earlier that I had perceived health benefits from my switch to drinking water from the EPIC Pure pitcher, and it’s true. I have a condition known as GERD (Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease) where the muscle at the junction of the esophagus and stomach relaxes, allowing built-up acid to splash up into my windpipe and lungs, causing severe heartburn and general chest discomfort, along with irritated lungs. GERD’s onset for me is usually stress-related and is exactly as much fun as it sounds.

coffee_waterOnce I received the EPIC Pure water pitcher, I immediately started using it for all the water I drink. Within a couple days, I noticed a huge difference in the amount of heartburn and windpipe discomfort I was experiencing. At first I attributed it to a switch in coffee brands I made at the same time I received the EPIC filter; I did not know that the EPIC was a Pure pitcher with pH benefits because they use activated coconut carbon filters which are alkaline.  When I brought some of the new coffee (from Main Gun Coffee Company – DEFINITELY check them out if you’re a coffee aficionado) to work for use at my coffeemaker there, I had acid issues kick in again. There went the coffee theory. 

However, when I started doing research for this review, I realized what which product had been sent to me, and the gears turned. The GERD symptoms definitely lessened right when I started using the filter, and when I drink water from other sources, sometimes I’ll have issues. So, it is my personal postulation (that is purely my own conjecture and could be completely wrong) that the alkaline pH levels that the EPIC Pure water pitcher introduces reduces acids that the body produces, driving down my heartburn symptoms. Take it for what it’s worth to you, but I believe the EPIC Pure product to really work, and has positive health benefits that go beyond eliminating contaminants and nastiness from the tap water I drink. It tastes great, makes bitchin’ coffee, and I feel better. Winning.

Wrapping It Up

epic_water_pitcher_pourThe EPIC Pure water pitcher is great, whether you just want clear safe water, or you’re looking to try health solutions that go beyond pumping pills in your face. The initial sticker shock is a definite turn-off,and I’ll admit to you that when I got the filter and I looked into what using it would cost me, I rolled my eyes and uttered a “yeah right.” But I’ve used the pitcher extensively, comparing it to a very common competitive filter, and I’m now a true believer in this filter.

For those of you who don’t want to take the hit on the Pure system, EPIC also offers a full line of other outdoors-rated filters, including the Stainless Steel Travel Bottle that allows you to drink from almost any water source you can find. If you’re looking to try the next level of personal home water filtration, and don’t want to invest in under-sink in-line plumbing filters or clunky faucet add-on filters, be sure to look at the EPIC Pure pitcher filter system. It’s head and shoulders above the competition, and you’ll feel better for it as a result.

What are your thoughts? Is the 70 dollars for a home tap water filter too much, even if there are health benefits besides hydration? Do you use something different? Sound off in the comments below!

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Humpback Whales In Hawaii — Missing In Action — Second Year in a Row

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Hey y’all.   I am heading off to Hawaii next week and stay through March.    If anyone is in Hawaii or will be in Hawaii, and wants to do a Whale Count, contact me, I will be “applying” to be a volunteer for the Feb 25, Oahu Count.  

Nukepro did a ton of stories on the whales last year.   They were suspiciously absent and we called it out.

We watched whale cam after whale cam, and didn’t see a single whale on those cams.   

Mainstream “Everyone” started making up excuses for the whales.   Of course the whales are a huge part of the tourist industry, but even the researchers started lying, I called it Whale Gate and it did play out like that.

We also watched as many Youtube videos as we could find.   We noted that the whale song was different, more lugumbrious, less of a song than a screach. 

And the movements and surface activity, we pointed out that it was far less active, far less breeches.   Just search for “whale” in the search box, and you can see how I was pounding on these topics.  

Then I went to Hawaii and found the same thing, hardly a whale sighting at the beach, when in past years, it was very common.  
————————————————————————

Now the conspiracies come home to roost.    Whale Trust Maui verifies that all my conspiracy theories, were in fact, Conspiracy Fact.

https://whaletrust.org/2017-a-critical-year-for-humpbacks-in-hawaii/

The winter of 2016, in terms of the sheer number of whales and the behavior of whales on breeding grounds across the North Pacific, was undeniably one of the strangest on record. There were noticeably fewer whales, changes in migration patterns (the breeding season started later and ended earlier), dramatic changes in behavior (less surface activity associated with mating strategies, longer downtimes), and fewer mothers and calves observed. In Hawaii, we speculated that far fewer females had shown up than usual. If indeed this is true, where were they? Did they not migrate as far south as usual? Did they stay on or around the feeding grounds? If so, how has will this affect reproduction going forward?

 We have no idea what happened in 2016 or why. One aberrant season does not warrant a crisis. However, what it did emphasize was an almost shocking lack of knowledge about these animals, and the stark recognition of a large gap in current research efforts. Systematic monitoring on the abundance of whales on breeding grounds has become nearly obsolete over the past ten years. Without collecting this kind of consistent baseline data it is impossible to determine just how different from “normal” 2016 really was.

 ————————————————————————-
http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/involved/ocwelcome.html

2016 showed less than half of the whales of 2015

Over 100 citizen scientists worked with Pacific Whale Foundation researchers on Saturday, February 27, 2016 during the Great Whale Count. They recorded a total of 732 humpback whale sightings off the coast of Maui, including 83 calves. This year’s count had significantly fewer sightings than the 2015 count, which recorded 1,488 whales (99 of which were calves).

—————————————————————————-
Whale Cams

http://jupiterfoundation.org/live-whales-web-cam.shtml
 Puako

 http://www.mauisands.com/mauisands/maui_webcam/

http://livesurfcamhawaii.com/maui/maui.html

Get Medieval With Chainmail Barefoot Shoes

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Get Medieval With Chainmail Barefoot Shoes Unless your feet are covered by thick slabs of callus, you won’t be running around barefoot anytime soon. If you want your feet to interact with the environment as nature intended, but don’t want to risk pain an injury to your sensitive feet, these chainmail barefoot sleeves may help. Although …

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Stocks During the Economic Collapse of Argentina?

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Dear Ferfal,

I think I’ve read every blog post you’ve ever written. Long time fan. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and wisdom with everyone.

The Dow Jones just hit 20,000! I have a question about what the stock market is like when TSHTF. Like most Americans, I “own” stocks through my retirement plan. If inflation goes really high, is a stock like a gold ring that doesn’t have value until you sell it (and therefore increases with inflation), or will stocks kind of stay the same price, and therefore lose tremendous value? What happened in Argentina?

And I want to say that you have actually changed my life. I live in a very safe place, the kind of place where people still can leave their front door unlocked. Which I sometimes do when I go next door (on the other side of the porch), but I’ve made it a habit to always lock the door behind me when I come inside. If I come home and someone is inside, I can run away. But nobody’s coming in when I’m home unless I let them in (not too many ways out except the front door). Anyway, I think it’s a good habit, and I think I’m better prepared for what’s coming thanks to you.

Best Wishes,

-Adam

Hello Adam,

Thanks for being a long time reader. I’m glad to know I helped make your life a bit safer! These are all little things we do, habits and strategies that start building up as our mindset changes.

I see survivalism, at least the practical version of it that I call modern survivalism, as a lifestyle in which practical decisions are made keeping in mind the best possible outcome in a worst case scenario. Sounds paranoid but it’s not. If doing one thing instead of another improves my odds and quality of life (better, safer, more peace of mind) then it is the one that provides the most strategic advantages from a tactical point of view. From the items in your EDC, the clothes you wear, the car you drive and the place where you live.

Regarding the stock market in Argentina during the crisis, here yet again we see that common assumptions and what actually ends up happening during an economic collapse have little in common.

Of course, the stock market has collapsed in the past and such a possibility is something to keep in mind, but we must remember than these situations are pretty complex, both in causes and effect. It is crucial to fully understand the former to correctly predict the latter.

Here is where we must ask ourselves, what caused the collapse in the first place? In the case of Argentina it was a bank run followed by a devaluation. The knowledge of an impending devaluation and rumours of accounts being frozen obviously triggered such bank run. If the same had happened for example with stocks, rumours of a bubble, followed by sharp sales and loss of value the story would have been different. The chart below reflects the Merval, the most important index of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange.

We clearly see a big drop as expected at the time of the economic collapse in December 2001, but then as time goes by it starts going up, even as the Peso goes down, why? Well, the price is now in Pesos no longer pegged to the dollar, but even more important is that stocks represented something physical to own, a part of a company (even a struggling one!). Even if people suffered it often occurred that companies did well eventually. The common saying in Argentina years after the crisis about “its great that the economy is doing much better. Too bad we don’t get to see any of it” reflects just that. With a 25% inflation per year anything that held its value was better than the Peso. Real estate, US Dollars and yes also stocks.

I would say that looking at it from a historical perspective, good time-proven stocks tend to do well on the long run. High risk ones are more of a question mark. It sure isn’t a chunk of gold or silver in your hand, but the chances of it being worth only the paper they are printed on and the company going belly up isnt as high if you invest wisely. As always, don’t keep all your eggs in one basket and so on.

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”.

Horehound

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Horehound (Marrubium vulgare L. ),
commonly known as white horehound, is a European native of the Lamiaceae or mint family. Other names for this ancient remedy include hounds bane, marrubium, eye of the star, a seed of Horus, marvel, bulls’ blood, and hounds bane.

Horehound is a garden mint with green and white leaves and a distinctively bitter taste. It is native to Asia and Europe. Horehound is a hardy perennial that has naturalized in North America. Although the herb grows in a wide range of climates, the best quality is grown in desert heat, but it may be found in sunny, wayside places, thriving even in poor, dry soil.

The common name horehound comes from the Old English words har and hune, meaning downy plant. This descriptive name refers to the white hairs that give this herb its distinctive hoary appearance.

Another suggested derivation is the name of the Egyptian god of sky and light, Horus. Horehound is one of the oldest known cough remedies. It was one of the herbs in the medicine chests of the Egyptian pharaohs. In Roman times, Caesar’s antidote for poison included horehound. The generic name is believed to be derived from the Hebrew word marrob, meaning bitter juice. Horehound is one of the bitter herbs used in the Jewish Passover rites. Throughout its long history, white horehound has been valued not only as a folk remedy for coughs and congested lungs.

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Recorded mention of horehound began in the first century in ancient Rome. In his manual of medicine, Roman medical writer A. Cornelius Celsus, described antiseptic uses as well as treatments for respiratory ailments using horehound juice. In his book, “On Agriculture,” first-century agriculturist Lucius Columella detailed how to use of horehound for various farm animal ailments such as ulcers, worms, and scabs. In the second century, the noted physician Galen also recommended using horehound to relieve coughing and to support respiratory health.

In his 1597 book on the history of plants and their uses, the respected British herbalist John Gerard recommended horehound as an antidote to poison and a syrup of horehound for those with respiratory problems. English physician Nicholas Culpeper echoed Gerard’s promotion of horehound in his 1652 book for physicians, stating, “There is a syrup made of this plant which I would recommend as an excellent help to evacuate tough phlegm and cold rheum from the lungs of aged persons, especially those who are asthmatic and short-winded.”

USES:

White horehound is used for digestion problems including loss of appetite, indigestion, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and liver and gallbladder complaints. It is also used for lung and breathing problems including a cough, whooping cough, asthma, tuberculosis, bronchitis, and swollen breathing passages.

Women use white horehound for painful menstrual periods.
People also use it for yellowed skin (jaundice), to kill parasitic worms, to cause sweating, and to increase urine production.
White horehound is sometimes applied to the skin for skin damage, ulcers, and wounds.

In manufacturing, the extracts of white horehound are used as a flavoring in foods and beverages, and as expectorant in cough syrups and lozenges. Expectorants are ingredients that make it easier to cough up phlegm.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s LIKELY UNSAFE to take white horehound by mouth during pregnancy. It might start menstruation and could cause a miscarriage.

If you are breastfeeding stick to food amounts of white horehound. There isn’t enough information about the safety of medicinal amounts.

Don’t use white horehound on the skin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Not enough is known about the safety of topical use.

Diabetes: White horehound might lower blood sugar. Taking white horehound along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

Heart conditions: There is some concern that white horehound might cause irregular heartbeat in people with heart problems. It’s best not to use it.

Low blood pressure: White horehound might lower blood pressure. This could cause blood pressure to go to low. White horehound should be used cautiously in people with low blood pressure or those taking medications that lower blood pressure.

Surgery: White horehound might lower blood sugar. This might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking white horehound at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

130505hi

Preparations:

Preparations of Horehound are still largely used as expectorant and tonics. It may, indeed, be considered one of the most popular pectoral remedies, being given with benefit for a chronic cough, asthma, and some cases of consumption.

Horehound is sometimes combined with Hyssop, Rue, Liquorice root and Marshmallow root, 1/2 oz. of each boiled in 2 pints of water, to 1 1/2 pint, strained and given in 1/2 teacupful doses, every two to three hours.

For children’s coughs and croup, it is given to advantage in the form of syrup and is a most useful medicine for children, not only for the complaints mentioned but as a tonic and a corrective of the stomach. It has quite a pleasant taste.

Taken in large doses, it acts as a gentle purgative.

The powdered leaves have also been employed as a vermifuge and the green leaves, bruised and boiled in lard, are made into an ointment which is good for wounds.

For ordinary cold, a simple infusion of Horehound (Horehound Tea) is generally sufficient in itself. The tea may be made by pouring boiling water on the fresh or dried leaves, 1 OZ. of the herb to the pint. A wineglassful may be taken three or four times a day.

Candied Horehound is best made from the fresh plant by boiling it down until the juice is extracted, then adding sugar before boiling this again, until it has become thick enough in consistency to pour into a paper case and be cut into squares when cool.
Two or three teaspoonful of the expressed juice of the herb may also be given as a dose in severe colds.

—Preparations and Dosages–fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Syrup, 2 to 4 drachms. Solid extract, 5 to 15 grains.

Written by Rich, for AroundTheCabin.com
1/30/2017

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Benchmarks On a Map

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When looking at a US Geologic Survey (USGS) map the hiker will find benchmark symbols sprinkled across the topo.  Benchmark and the many other symbols provide the details of a map.  Symbols represent features such as mines, bridges, dams and many more items.  To see a complete look at symbols visit the USGS site for more information.



Figure <!–[if supportFields]> SEQ Figure * ARABIC <![endif]–>1<!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–> Symbol examples from the USGS Topo Map Symbols web page.
Figure <!–[if supportFields]> SEQ Figure * ARABIC <![endif]–>2<!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–>  Benchmarks on a topographic map.
A benchmark is control point on the map.  Control points are positions of accurate measurement in terms of elevation and position (latitude and longitude.)  Benchmarks are also known informally as “survey markers.”  Originally, these markers were used in land surveying and by civil engineers for construction purposes.  Benchmarks help to accurately determine location.

From www.mytopo.com’sfrequently asked questions: 


“A benchmark, abbreviated “BM,” is a location whose elevation and horizontal position has been surveyed as accurately as possible. Benchmarks are designed for use as reference points, and are usually marked by small brass plates.”

Occasionally the hiker will find a benchmark plate in the backcountry.  The image below is an example of the brass plate.  These plates should not be tampered with and are not souvenirs to be taken home.


Figure <!–[if supportFields]> SEQ Figure * ARABIC <![endif]–>3<!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–>  Brass benchmark found in the backcountry.

Note the elevation data found in the center of the plate.  Importantly, the elevation information is measured in feet above sea level and not in relation to the adjacent topography.  Wikipedia.com reports that over 740,000 benchmarks are dispersed around the United States.

Though elevation data is provided on the map, coordinate information (e.g., latitude and longitude, UTM) is not.  It’s is up to the hiker to interpolate and determine the information through the use of a map tool.

Remember that the coordinate data provided on a topographic map is in degrees, minutes and seconds (GPS menu settings format: dd mm ss.s) while a new GPS is set at the factory to degrees minutes.minutes (GPS menu settings format: dd mm.m.)


Finding a benchmark can confirm your position on the map. 


To improve you GPS skill level try “Benchmarking,” an activity similar to geocaching.  The objective is to find the brass plates in the field.  For more information visit Geocach.

Media Cover Up: Violent Leftists & Terror Groups Behind Airport Protests, Radicals Attack Innocent Trump Supporters

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As the media goes into overdrive attempting to divide the country, radical leftists, in league with Islamic terror groups, have begun organizing against the working class citizens of this country. […]

The post Media Cover Up: Violent Leftists & Terror Groups Behind Airport Protests, Radicals Attack Innocent Trump Supporters appeared first on Off Grid Survival – Wilderness & Urban Survival Skills.

Counter Tactics How to Avoid Trouble Once the SHTF

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People tend to want to go on the offensive when they are scared or are convinced someone or some group is out to get them. If you are in a military unit then offensive and defensive strategies are a part of life. Orders come down to defend your position or to take a position currently occupied by the enemy.

In the civilian world, you are mainly in a defensive position. Your home has alarm systems, fences, walls or other barriers designed to keep people out or to let you know someone is snooping about. You are not roaming the countryside attacking others in their home. No, you are home waiting to defend your family and possessions, essentially waiting for someone to start something so you can counter their attack.

Once the SHTF, until you know otherwise, everyone or every group you encounter is a potential enemy out to invade your territory, which could be your home, compound, or section of land you have staked after evacuating an urban area.

You will normally be in a defensive posture until attacked and then you can counter attack if you have the means, and thus, put the opponent on the defensive. To avoid casualties and to mount a proper counter attack, you need information, and a force big enough to be successful.

Obviously, the best way to stay alive and to avoid firefights is to not offer up a reason for anyone to attack. You have to set the groundwork early, long before something happens. Keep your business between you and family only. Do not advertise you are prepared by bragging in the coffee shops and at gun ranges. If everyone in the county knows you have a stockpile of food, water, and Ammo and are ready for anything, of course, you will be a target.

When the SHTF the things you do can make or break you, so first assume an attack is possible, and assume people are watching and waiting for an opening.

Know the area you are defending first and foremost. Know the hiding places. You need to know where someone attacking the home can seek cover, and where you can seek cover if you launch a counter attack.

Know distances, for example, how far from your front door to the end of the driveway, to the mailbox, and to that large oak tree in the middle of the field. Know your firearm’s capabilities at the marked ranges, and know your own capabilities and of those helping you.

Do not gather in a group anywhere outside of adequate cover and/or concealment.

Never open any doors to the outside when there is a light on behind you. Always turn the light off before opening any doors to the outside. Cover windows so silhouettes cannot be seen if there is a light on in the room. The best method is to leave lights off or turn the lights off when entering a room and then look out windows to scan the ground.

Do not establish any patterns by going to the barns, or walking the grounds at the same time each day. Stay in the shadows at night, and never walk under or near any outdoor lighting. You need an escape route, one that allows you to get clear of the structure into the woods, under cover or to seek concealment outside the home.

You may have to come out a basement window, drop out of a back window or even crawl under the home to a covered corner of the house.

Simply put, if you cannot be seen, you probably cannot be shot unless someone wants to waste ammunition like in the movies and just sends hundreds or thousands of rounds into the home without having acquired a target. This is not likely to happen, however.

If fired upon your immediate reaction should be to move to cover as you deploy your firearm. Standing in the same spot to return fire will get you killed. Moving targets are harder to hit, as are smaller targets. Crouch, kneel or lay on the ground if cover is not available.

To move to cover you need to know where the cover is relative to your position. As we stated earlier, you need to know the area you are protecting. You need to know is so well that you can move about in the dark without creating noise or injuring yourself.

If you suspect snipers may be used, then you need to identify possible positions, however, there are many variables to consider. Would a likely sniper be military trained, and if so, then they are trained in bushcraft, camouflage, and they are likely positioned at a greater distance, and of course, they have patience.

Snipers will look for positions that maximize their cover but are within the effective range of their weapon. They will take the weather, terrain and the target into consideration when looking for a position. They could be 300 meters out or only 50 meters out.

A civilian shooter with just a basic understanding of their firearm may move constantly looking for an ideal shot or position. This will give them away, and they may not spend much time on concealing their position by using natural camouflage because of the fact they will move around.

Law enforcement snipers do not camouflage their positions well either, because they may know that the target cannot return effective fire at the range they set out at, or they have ample backup to protect their shooting position. A lone sniper, however, needs to be hidden and stay hidden until the target has been acquired and taken down.

A trained sniper always gets into position undetected and they have a plan to get out undetected regardless of the successfulness of the mission. Snipers generally do not shoot into the sun but you cannot count on this.

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How To Make A Longbow: Tricks Of The Trade

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If you like making your own weapons, or just enjoy woodworking in general, you should check out this guide to making your own longbow. This detailed guide is about 2000 words long and explains longbow making terms, lists all the tools and supplies you’ll need, and even includes several videos to show you how it’s […]

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Liberals Prep for Trump Presidency – even have own Gun Club

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Prepping, Survival, Trump, Prepared, Off-grid, Self-sustaining

Could a “Trumpocalypse” on the horizon? Preppers are taking no chances!

Time was, Preppers tended to be right-wingers concerned about the coming social collapse, but since President Trump was elected, it’s left wing liberals who have begun hoarding food and seeking out futureproof shelters.

Prepping or survivalism already has tens of thousands of individual followers or groups actively preparing for emergencies. This movement even warranted a reality series titled “Doomsday Preppers” which aired on National Geographic Channel in 2012.

With a Trump administration now on the horizon, previous non-preppers have begun looking at their earthquake and backpacking gear in a new way – the beginnings of a survival kit. This was the case for San Francisco based Liberal Jim Ray. He told Buzzfeed, “The world in general feels more tumultuous than it did, in a lot of ways. For liberally minded people, the election made that a reality in a way that it wasn’t before.”

Other Liberals are moving beyond simply stocking up their backpacking kit, adding foreign visas and unregistered vehicles to their prepping checklist, according to the Buzzfeed article.

Although left wingers are generally against stocking up on ammunition and guns, The Liberal Gun Club has seen an increase in paying members over the past few months. This group provides a voice for gun-owning liberals, breaking the stereotype of only right wing enthusiasts owning guns and ammunition. Not only this, but gun transactions reached a record high on November 25th shortly after the election result, according to The Trace. Although this could be due to stockists lowering prices to increase their sales.

Liberal Prepper Facebook groups have also begun growing in popularity and number. One group has nearly 1,000 members on the social media site.

On the other hand, some Conservative preppers have relaxed their prepping since the election. But other right wingers are cautioning against this, regardless of political opinion or viewpoint, a new president isn’t going to prevent a natural disaster or grid power outage. Therefore, prepping is still an important and vital part of many peoples’ lives. Only now, preppers can no longer be described as predominantly right wing, President Trump has seen to that.

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Solar TV: Entertainment Everywhere

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Solar Power, TV, Off-grid, Africa

Even in a remote location, the Solar TV can connect to satellite channels.

Living off-grid but want to keep dumbing down?

Cello Electronics have introduced what they claim is the first LED solar powered TV. With a screen size of 22 inches, the TV is still reasonably compact and so would fit well in an RV, hut or tiny home.

A built-in rechargeable battery and patented “Smart Energy Management System” ensures up to 10 hours of running time from a single charge! A smart antenna receives signals through a DVBT2 tuner giving the viewer HD quality. But if you’re located somewhere really remote where there is little or no TV signal, the built-in satellite tuner can still pick up satellite channels. This allows for TV entertainment, wherever you may be.

This unit can also play a more central role in powering an off-grid home. A 2.0 USB port can not only charge phones, but can also act as a connection or power source for other compatible devices. Not only this by connecting a flash disk to act as storage, the personal video recorder feature can be used. That’s right; this set offers the ability to record a show or series to watch when it’s more convenient for you.

A complete out-of-the-box solution:

The Solar TV package costs $300 and includes the TV, solar panel and antenna. All that needs to be done is to set up the TV with the solar panel (in a suitable location of course) and you’re good to go. A review of an “out of the box” opening can be found here.

UK based Cello Electronics launched the Solar TV at the third Solar Africa Expo in Kenya, last year. A large proportion of the African population do not have access to reliable electricity from the grid. Therefore, a TV that works completely off-grid offers a solution. Knowing that the $300 price tag could be a big barrier for poorer regions in Africa, the company set up a pay-as-you-go scheme. PAYGOTV allows the consumer to pay only for the TV they are watching by purchasing a code entered via the remote control. This also opens up a new market for customers that don’t have their own TV but have access to one in the local community.

Brian Palmer, CEO of Cello, recalled how it all started, saying in a press release, “Could we make a TV that was capable of working off-grid?” Seems the answer is, yes they could!

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Working Couple Seeks Same for help with off grid farm

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We would like to find some people with skills in baking and carpentry. A couple would be great.  we already have much in place 30 acres with 100 ft of commercial frontage. Endless Enigma farm is off the grid and on the  adjoining property we have an inspected commercial kitchen that we sell our products that we make. Our small town really need a baker. A great opportunity for someone that want to work.

My wife and I both work full time jobs and Im striving to build a BIG greenhouse to do aquaponics in and sell veggies and fish from the stand. the wife is in her late 40s and I in my late 50s. We both have a lot to teach, the wife is into wild herbs and gardening and Im into everything from brewing & blacksmithing and bushcrafting to the latest, winter camping. Currently building a bandsaw mill to saw lumber for the greenhouse and plan to start in spring 2017.

Please reply to post. Thanks

 

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How To Get Water, Filter and Purify 101

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 How To Get Water, Filter and Purify 101 Water is essential for surviving more than a few days and will be your #1 priority in a survival situation. On average we can survive around 3 days without water. If SHTF and you don’t have a source for water or the means to purify it, you …

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How To Make Your Own Aspirin For Survival

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How To Make Aspirin

Knowing how to make a natural pain reliever if you’re stuck in the wild can be a life-saver. Because aspirin is a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, blood thinner, and fever reducer, it has many uses. Fortunately, most of the United States hosts a tree or three that has salicylic acid – the active ingredient in aspirin. We’re going to tell you how to make your own, sort of!

First, remember the rule – “natural” doesn’t equal “safe.” Arsenic is natural but you wouldn’t eat it. Well, you might, but the results would be less than desirable! Anyway, now that you’ve been warned, apply the rule to aspirin.

Some people are allergic, so it’s important, especially in a survival situation, to know whether or not you can safely take it.

Side Effects of Aspirin

Aside from the results of being allergic, there are some common side effects that you may experience even if you can take it. These include:

  • nausea
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • drop in blood pressure
  • excess bleeding from wounds
  • kidney irritation
  • respiratory depression.

Consuming too much can be fatal, so take only what you need to do the trick.

Plants that Contain Salicylic Acid

Willow barkThough willow tree bark is by far the most common source of salicylic acid because it’s so rich in it, there are several other plants that contain the acid, or its base, salicin.

For instance, birch trees and poplar trees contain salicylic acid in their barks, and berries are a decent source of it, too.

Medicinal use of willow bark dates back to the days of Hippocrates, when it was used to reduce fever and treat inflammation.

It’s been used throughout the centuries across the world, and is still used today, to treat pain (particularly back pain and arthritis pain), menstrual cramps, headaches, stroke prevention, high blood pressure, and inflammatory conditions such as tendonitis and bursitis.

Topically, white willow bark tincture or birch bark tincture is good for treating skin conditions such as acne, warts, psoriasis, or eczema. Though all willow trees contain salicin, the bark of the white willow has the most.

Other good sources are the purple willow, black or pussy willow, and the crack willow. You should research your area so that you know which, of any, of these trees are local to you.

If you don’t live in an area that has willow trees, birch trees, particularly white and yellow birch trees, contain methyl salicylate, the forerunner to synthetic aspirin. The white birch is also called canoe birch, sweet birch, silver birch, or lady of the woods.

Cottonwoods, poplars, meadowsweet, and black haw also contain salicosides. In all of these trees, the inner bark is the medicinal part. That’s the papery part of the bark that you find when you peel the bark away from the tree.

If you don’t have any of those trees around (which would be rare in the US), many fruits and vegetables, including blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapes, dates, kiwis, guavas, apricots, olives, green peppers, radishes, tomatoes, chicory and mushrooms, also contain significant amounts of salicin.

For today, we’re going to focus on how to make aspirin from willow bark and birch bark. Both white birch and willow trees grow in zones 2-9, which includes almost the entire US except for the southernmost part of Florida, and maybe a few southern parts of California, Texas, and Arizona.

Get this lifesaving information about surviving when doctors, pharmacies and hospitals are shut down!

Both trees like moisture and are typically found growing wild in forests and around a water source. Look up your area, determine which types of trees you have around you, then scout them out. For that matter, it won’t hurt to have some willow or birch bark on hand at all times if you prefer natural treatments.

How to Make Aspirin from Willow Bark or Birch Bark

Remember that dosage is important because willow bark, in too high a dose, can make you really sick. Same thing with birch or any other source. If you’re new to the game, it’s probably best to start with a smaller dose and take a bit more if you don’t see results in 45 minutes or so.

A white willow has a rough, furrowed, grayish bark, smaller branches that are golden brown, slender, and flexible, and long, slender, finely serrated leaves. The tops of the leaves are shiny and green, and the undersides are silky and white. They alternate instead of being opposite each other on the branch.

To find physical descriptions of other willows, check your local guides. A good test, though, is to look at the leaves. Willow tree leaves share the same characteristics regardless of species.

After you’ve found the tree, it’s time to harvest the bark. This is easy – just peel away a piece of the bark, making sure to get the papery part between the hard bark and the meat of the tree. It’s much easier to peel the bark from smaller branches than from the trunk of the tree.

At this point, the bark can actually be chewed to achieve local anesthetic benefits as well as systemic ones, especially if you have a toothache. You can also make a tea, tincture, or powder from it.

Video first seen on Howcast.

Willow Bark or Birch Bark Tea

To make the tea, let the bark dry for a few hours if you can. You don’t have to, but it’s recommended for best results.

Bring about 3 cups of water to a boil, if you have that much to spare. If not, use what you have. Put the bark in and continue to simmer. This serves two purposes – you’re making the tea and purifying the water at the same time.

If you’re using heat to purify the water, make sure to boil it for at least 10 minutes, with or without the bark. Use about 1 tablespoon of bark for each cup of water. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes and remove from the fire.

After removing your tea from the fire, let it steep for 10-20 minutes. By that time, it will have cooled enough to drink. Drink a cup of the tea every few hours. Watch out for side effects and adjust the dose accordingly.

You can also make a decoction by boiling for a bit longer – 15-20 min – and letting it steep as directed for the tea.

Making Willow Bark or Birch Bark Powder

Without a doubt, the powder form of willow bark is the easiest to carry with you. If you have it on hand, you can quickly make a tea. To dry the willow or birch bark, simply separate out the paper parts and allow them to dry completely. Grind. Add a teaspoon to a cup of boiling water and make your tea as described above. Store excess in a dry, airtight container.

Make Willow Bark or Birch Bark Tincture

As we’ve described in another article, tinctures are great for long-term storage, or for use with plants that don’t have a high degree of solubility. It’s easy to make a tincture from willow bark or birch bark as long as you have some alcohol. Vodka will do nicely as long as it’s at least 80 proof. Simply add 1 tablespoon of bark per cup of vodka, cover, shake, and let it steep for at least 2-4 days. Take 1 tsp of tincture 2-3 times daily.

Now you know how to make aspirin tea from a willow tree or a birch tree. The upside to these treatments is that you know exactly what’s in it, but make sure that you know what you’re doing and remember that it’s better to start with too little that too much.

The dosage amounts that I’ve listed here are for adults. You can also use aspirin for kids and pets, but the dosage needs to be adjusted accordingly. Just as with all natural remedies, don’t use them if you don’t know what you’re doing.

If you’ve ever made your own aspirin or used willow bark or birch bark for natural pain relief or to reduce a fever, please tell us about your experience in the comments section below. And remember that knowledge is the only doctor that can save you when there is no medical help around you.

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

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The Women’s March: The Jezebel Spirit In Action

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     The contrast couldn’t have been more stark — the Pro-Life March in Washington D.C. last week was respectful, loving, and celebrated the life of an unborn child.  On the other hand, the (Million) Women March, just days before, was hostile, hate-filled, and had a decidedly anti-God spirit about it.  And it is that spirit that I wish to examine today.
     First of all, as a woman, I must say that I found very little in common with the vitriolic speeches I saw being performed by “celebrities” at the Women’s March.  And honestly, if this was supposed to be about solidarity among all women, it was a dismal failure from my perspective.  Although founders of the march stated its purpose was not to be an anti-Trump rally, it very clearly became one.  And when pro-life women were not allowed to join the march, then it was quite obvious what this was… an Activist rally of a particular stripe.  If you called yourself an activist for abortion, or an activist for the LGBT community, or an activist for the Black community, or an activist for any cause that was anti-Christian … then you were welcomed with open arms.
     It was obvious to me that aggressive feminism was on parade, with racism and political bias marching in step.  And it was blatantly obvious to me that the Jezebel spirit was all over this confluence of angry women.  And frankly, it is time we have a discussion about the influence of this most powerful combatant in our spiritual war with the dark side.

Jezebel and Ahab worship
at the altar of Baal

     Yes, there is a demonic spirit that bears the name of an actual woman who existed in the Bible. This woman is considered one of the most wicked in Scripture and here are the simple facts of her life:  Jezebel was the daughter of Phoenician king Ethbaal, who also served as a priestess to Baal worshippers. King Ahab, most likely for political reasons, took Jezebel as his wife during either the tenth or ninth century B.C. Phoenicia was a much more worldly and cosmopolitan civilization than Israel, which might explain Jezebel’s rebellion against the conservative lifestyle of her new home.
     Ahab began worshipping Baal upon his marriage with Jezebel, and even built a church to Baal (1 Kings 16:32). In fact, the Bible tells us that Ahab  “sold himself to do evil” (1 Kings 21:25), and he “did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him” (1 Kings 16:30). For her part, Jezebel brought hundreds of Baal prophets to the country. Her defense of her native religion was so fervent that she ordered the extermination of the prophets of Jehovah, the Israelite God. Even the famous prophet Elijah fled once he discovered that Jezebel had a personal vendetta against him.
     Jezebel is also famous for her involvement in the death of Naboth, a righteous man who refused to give up the inheritance of his family land to the King. Ahab was unsuccessful in negotiations for Naboth’s field, so Jezebel stepped in and found conspirators who accused Naboth falsely of a crime that resulted in Naboth being stoned to death. Ahab accepted the wicked acts of Jezebel, and because of Ahab and Jezebel’s shocking murder of Naboth, God condemned them both.
     Ahab would die in battle, while Jezebel continued to hold some influence over the land. When she got word that Jehu was coming to kill her, she applied makeup and dressed herself in fine clothing. (Jehu was the King of Israel, noted for exterminating the house of Ahab at the instruction of Jehovah). Some believe that Jezebel’s adornment was an attempt to seduce Jehu or to die in a dignified manner. In any respect, she was pushed out of the window and her body was eaten by dogs (2 Kings 9:30–37).
     But the world had not seen the end of Jezebel. Because the real life Jezebel was such a willing student of the false and evil god, Baal, her spirit became a very powerful tool for Satan to use throughout the centuries, and we saw her on full display during the Women’s March in Washington D.C.  Let me explain further… As I have written in the past, a careful study of the Bible reveals different kinds of spirits; some of which I would call “purpose spirits” — the purpose of a spirit of anger is to provoke a person to act out in rage; a spirit of murder’s purpose is to get someone to commit murder; and a spirit of lust, a spirit of rejection, or a spirit of pride all have purposes with which they are charged to perform for Satan.  But there are overlords in the demonic kingdom; ranks and hierarchies of demons that we encounter in spiritual warfare: rulers, authorities, principalities, powers, forces, dominions, princes, etc.  They are the smartest and most cunning of Satan’s evil spirits, and Jezebel is one of the highest-ranking in his evil kingdom.
     She is able to attack and influence people in more than one way.  In other words, she has many strategies to gain the power that she craves, and her sphere of influence knows no bounds — marriages, churches, and yes, even whole societies can be transformed by her evil designs.  And I want to show you how the traits of this Jezebel spirit were evident among the hundreds of thousands of women who participated in the Women’s March…
     The Jezebel spirit will try to infect and contaminate a person in the same way that the real-life Jezebel infected King Ahab with her evil intentions.  People will say and do some of the most horrible things, but yet find some way to rationalize it and think they are perfectly justified in doing what they are doing. This spirit will play some of these people like fiddles, like a puppet on a string, with the puppet master being the Jezebel spirit itself.  The personality traits of someone exhibiting the Jezebel spirit are the following:  vileness in speech; lustful and seductive; prideful and narcissistic; judgmental, critical, condescending, and demeaning; combative and confrontational; cannot tolerate constructive criticism; hates anything associated with Christianity or Biblical values of a woman.

Actress Ashley Judd

     I believe the following remarks by those who played prominent roles in the March will demonstrate the personality traits of the Jezebel spirit:  “I am a NASTY woman”; “We are here to be NASTY”; “Our p—–s aren’t for grabbing”.  These are all remarks made by actress Ashley Judd as she cunningly professes to be protesting the mistreatment of women by sexual predators.  But, sadly, I believe that her molestation as a child opened a portal for the Jezebel spirit to come in; the spirit that ultimately convinces that child fragment of Ms. Judd that it’s okay to be angry and strike out in retaliation for the injustice done to her.  But the Jezebel spirit operates with maximum pride. As a result, it will try to infect the host with that same kind of pride.
      And I’m sure you’ve seen Madonna’s rant during at least one news cycle.  Her profanity-laced speech is pure Jezebel.  And Scarlett Johannsen’s speech displayed the narcissistic attitude of the Jezebel spirit:  “Before I can support you, Mr. President, you must support me!”  Each speaker was infused with self-righteous anger and professed to speak for all women.  The Jezebel spirit worked perfectly in that environment… all the speakers knew how to talk the talk, and draw impressionable people into a web of distorted and hate-filled tirades.  They all had charismatic energy that had a powerful effect upon the crowd, whipping them into a frenzy.  And the leaders were all sharp, intelligent, attractive people.  And those are the kinds of people that the Jezebel spirit targets; people who like to be out front; controlling and dominating people — just like Queen Jezebel, herself.
     But here is what we need to see; here is the devastating effect that the Jezebel spirit has had on our country and society … When you combine the power that this spirit has to emit a seductive, charismatic type energy off a person, and then it attaches to a person who is naturally attractive, sharp and intelligent, you have a very deadly combination that this spirit can work with to achieve its ultimate goal. And that goal is to get total control so it can then work to take down and completely destroy either a person, marriage, church, ministry, friendship, company, a government, or a country.
     Just like the Phoenician princess Jezebel, who was a high priestess of Baal, this spirit seeks to infiltrate (like Queen Zezebel did Israel), and once in, it seeks to attack, undermine, and destroy everything in its path, taking absolutely no prisoners. It’s goal is total death and destruction. Plain and simple. Its purpose to to cause major dissension, strife, and chaos.  The Jezebel spirit will go after anyone in a leader position (that’s why there was so much hate displayed against President Trump at the March).  It will have a mocking attitude about the spirit (hence the jokes about Trump’s appearance).
     But the bottom line is this … we have given far too much ground in our society to this evil and hateful spirit.  We see her influence in the worship of abortion, worship of unnatural relations between the sexes, worship of radical feminism, and the ensuing confusion in gender identity.  We have allowed this seductive spirit to lure us into a false sense of pride about women’s issues, and Jezebel has established a stronghold in this toxic environment; a stronghold from which she launches major attacks on the family unit, upon unborn children, and upon the sanctity of marriage.

Jezebel and her prophetesses

     I know that defenders of the Women’s March will declare that is was all about respect and equality; an opportunity to present hope and optimism for women of all ages and ethnicities.  And, in no way am I insinuating that women deserve less.  But to this woman, it felt rife with evil and hate. The women I saw (who say they represent me) appeared demanding and manipulating. And when I see signs that read,  “If Mary (Magdalene) had had an abortion, we wouldn’t be in this mess!”, then I know in my spirit that I am seeing the blasphemous spirit of the priestess of Baal.  She is alive and well in the 21st Century.  And we seeing her in women who reject holiness, and who indulge in self-worship.  And as alarming as this may sound, the goal of the ancient Jezebel is being broadcast by the Jezebel spirit in this Age: that the false god of Baal be worshipped at the same altar as the True God… and the sacred rite of abortion is the sacrifice he desires.
      I want to leave you with a quote by Landon Shott, who ministers with his wife, Heather:  Jesus’s words in the New Testament (Revelation 2:20) were, “Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess.” In the New Testament, Jesus noted the spirit behind the woman Jezebel. Theirs was toleration of the spirit by the ignorance of it. I believe that the spirit behind the woman, Jezebel, is the very same spirit at work in our nation today. This spirit is bringing the same destruction to the political sphere and God’s house, the church, through compromise, self-worship, immorality and a removal of the prophetic voice (prophets). We must be spiritually discerning at what is going on in our nation. We can’t link good causes with evil spirits. We cannot compromise with a Jezebel spirit. We can’t align with it; as Jesus said, “We can’t tolerate it!” We need to expose this spirit, confront it and defeat it through prayer and humility. 

1 Kings 21:25    “But there was none like unto Ahab, who sold himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.”

   

     

The 10 principles of effective family survival

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They say that every survival scenario defines a case of survival of the fittest. You might think you can make it, regardless of what the world throws at you, but what if you’re not alone? If you have loved ones depending on you, family survival becomes your main priority. That being said, sometimes a group … Read more…

The post The 10 principles of effective family survival was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Wire Fence Salvage Tip

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I used this Wire Fence Salvage Tip as I removed 5 line goat fencing from a 30 acre farm.  It was cross fenced extensively, and had posts with 5 lines of electric fence up both sides of a very long driveway. The electric extension cord holders I used look just like the one shown, but […]

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10 Emergency Uses for Your Smart Phone

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com A couple of nights ago, my beeping phone alarm woke me up at 2:30 a.m.  At first I was annoyed about getting woken up, but when I checked what was going on, I found out there was a good reason.   The Weather Service issued a tornado warning in our immediate area.  Sure enough, the winds had picked up considerably.  When I turned on the TV news, the pictured showed the path of the […]

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Homesteading Basics: How To Dehydrate Herbs for Long-Term Storage

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dehydrating herbs for storageHerbs are one of the first plants we put in our garden. There is nothing like fresh culinary herbs to intensify the flavors of food. As well, herbs are hardy garden plants that don’t have to be watered as much as vegetables and can serve more than one purpose by being used as natural medicine. For instance, did you know that a sage leaf can be used instead of a band-aid because it has natural healing qualities? Some of these popular culinary herbs are oregano, thymne and sage and can grow year-round in many parts of the country.

To enjoy these herbs year round, many choose to dehydrate them when they are at the peak in freshness and combine them to make their own spices and even homemade tea blends. Can you imagine how much money you could save at the grocery store by implementing this into your pantry?

How To Dehydrate Herbs for Long-Term Storage

Dehydrating herbs and other leafy greens is one of the easiest items to dry for long-term use. All you really need is a constant stream of air. You don’t necessary have to own a dehydrator because herbs can dry naturally from the air, but it does help with even drying.

Here are some steps to get started:

  1.  Prep herbs for drying. Wash and place herbs evenly on a drying rack and ensure that enough space is make for proper air flow.
  2. Set temperature and time according to the directions on your dehydrator.
  3. Ensure that herbs are 95% dehydrated for long-term storage.

Here are some great spice mixes to start adding to your pantry!

Cajun Seasoning

  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Chili Powder

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

French Herb Mix

  • 3 tablespoons marjoram
  • 3 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons savory
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed

Chili Powder

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Storing Dehydrated Herbs

Herbs can be dehydrated to store for longer periods, but storage is important for any preserved food, and dehydrated foods are no exception. Store either in heavy duty zippered bags in a metal container, or store in dry, sterile, glass jars. For long term storage, I recommend using Mylar bags.

As I stated previously, before storing, you want to ensure that your food is 95% or more dehydrated because the more moisture your food has the more likely molds and microorganisms can grow. Like all emergency food sources, ensure that you keep your dehydrated food away from natural elements.

“Best Used By” Guidelines for Dehydrated Food 

  • Spices – 1-2 years
  • Vegetables/Fruits – Up to 12 months
  • Meats – Best at 1-2 months, but can be stored for 6 months.

We are all looking for frugal ways to bulk up our preparedness pantries. Using herbs is a great way to do that. Some of our favorite herbs we love to grow in our garden can be utilized to make long-term herbal seasonings to use year round. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start dehydrating!

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

Be Your Best During the Worst Helping Others!

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Be Your Best During the Worst  Helping Others Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio in player below! Will you be a “helper” when the worst happens? In response to a question about how to handle troubling images in the news, children’s television icon, Fred Rogers said, “When I was a boy and I would see … Continue reading Be Your Best During the Worst Helping Others!

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