Why Are So Many Conservatives, Preppers And Christians Moving To The Great Northwest?

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Why Are So Many Conservatives, Preppers And Christians Moving To The Great Northwest?

Thousands of Americans are flocking to “Big Sky” country, and this movement has become so prominent that it has even caught the attention of the mainstream media. Within the last several weeks, both The Chicago Tribune and The Economist have done major articles on this phenomenon. From all over the country, conservatives, preppers and Bible-believing Christians are moving to Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and the eastern portions of Oregon and Washington. As you will see below, this region has become known as the “American Redoubt”, and for a variety of reasons it is considered by many survivalists to be one of the top “safe zones” for when things really start falling apart in this nation.

Many of you that are reading this article may think that it is quite strange that families are quitting their jobs, packing up everything they own and moving to the middle of nowhere, but for those that are doing it this actually make perfect sense. A recent Chicago Tribune article on this phenomenon began by profiling an ex-California couple that decided to flee the state for the friendly confines of north Idaho…

Don and Jonna Bradway recently cashed out of the stock market and invested in gold and silver. They have stockpiled food and ammunition in the event of a total economic collapse or some other calamity commonly known around here as “The End of the World As We Know It” or “SHTF” – the day something hits the fan.

The Bradways fled California, a state they said is run by “leftists and non-Constitutionalists and anti-freedom people,” and settled on several wooded acres of north Idaho five years ago. They live among like-minded conservative neighbors, host Monday night Bible study around their fire pit, hike in the mountains and fish from their boat. They melt lead to make their own bullets for sport shooting and hunting – or to defend themselves against marauders in a world-ending cataclysm.

The original article that the Chicago Tribune picked up came from the Washington Post.  It was authored by Kevin Sullivan and photos were done by Matt McClain.  If you would like to read the entire article you can find it right here.

And of course the Bradways are far from alone. Over the past 10 years, approximately five million people have fled the state of California. If I was living there, I would want to move out too. Once upon a time, countless numbers of young people were “California Dreaming”, but those days are long gone. At this point, the California Dream has become a California Nightmare.

Only a very small percentage of those leaving California have come up to the Great Northwest, but it is a sizable enough number to make a huge impact. Unfortunately, many of those that have come from California want to turn their new areas into another version of what they just left, and that is often firmly resisted by the locals.

But it isn’t just California – there are people streaming into the “American Redoubt” from all over the nation, and many of them are some of the finest people that you could ever hope to meet.

An article in The Economist points to a 2011 manifesto posted by James Wesley Rawles as the beginning of the “American Redoubt” movement…

 

In a widely read manifesto posted in 2011 on his survivalblog.com, Mr Rawles, a former army intelligence officer, urged libertarian-leaning Christians and Jews to move to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and a strip of eastern Oregon and Washington states, a haven he called the “American Redoubt”.

Thousands of families have answered the call, moving to what Mr Rawles calls America’s last big frontier and most easily defendable terrain. Were hordes of thirsty, hungry, panicked Americans to stream out of cities after, say, the collapse of the national grid, few looters would reach the mostly mountainous, forested and, in winter, bitterly cold Redoubt. Big cities are too far away. But the movement is driven by more than doomsday “redoubters”, eager to homestead on land with lots of water, fish, and big game nearby. The idea is also to bring in enough strongly conservative voters to keep out the regulatory creep smothering liberty in places like California, a state many redoubters disdainfully refer to as “the C-word”.

Who wouldn’t want to live where the air is clear, the water is clean and the sky is actually brilliantly blue and not the washed out grayish blue that you get in most major cities?

And just having some breathing space is reason enough for some people to move to the Great Northwest. If you can get at least a few acres, you will quickly discover the joy of not having neighbors crammed in around you on every side.

Others wish to move to an area with a low population density for more practical reasons. As the New York Times recently reported, crime is rising in large cities all over America…

Murder rates rose significantly in 25 of the nation’s 100 largest cities last year, according to an analysis by The New York Times of new data compiled from individual police departments.

The findings confirm a trend that was tracked recently in a study published by the National Institute of Justice.The homicide increase in the nation’s large cities was real and nearly unprecedented,” wrote the study’s author, Richard Rosenfeld, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis who explored homicide data in 56 large American cities.

Sadly, this is just the beginning. The chaos that we have seen in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Milwaukee, Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago and elsewhere is going to get much worse. As the economy continues to unravel, we are going to see civil unrest on a scale that none of us have ever seen before. When that time comes, those that have moved to the middle of nowhere will be very thankful that they got out while the getting was good.

Over the last several years, my wife and I have met countless numbers of people that have moved up to the Great Northwest. All of their stories are different, but there is one common theme that we have noticed.

In the vast majority of cases, families tell us that they moved to the Great Northwest because they felt that God was calling them to do so. Individuals from many different churches and denominations have all felt the same call, and that creates a sort of kinship that is quite unusual these days.

Something big is happening in the Great Northwest. If you have never been up here, you might want to check it out some time.

And once you get here, you may never want to go home ever again.

 

Source : endoftheamericandream.com

 

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5 Winter Survival Items EVERYONE Should Store In Their Vehicle

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5 Winter Survival Items EVERYONE Should Store In Their Vehicle

Image source: Pixabay.com

In an earlier post this winter, I wrote about three survival gadgets that everyone should store in their vehicles during the coldest months of the year. Let’s now turn to the basics.

Here are five often-forgotten items that everyone should store in their car, truck or SUV during winter:

5. Light sources.

Basically, the nightmare scenario that we’re preparing for is the most commonly experienced during the winter.

The cold has a way of freezing the life out of our car batteries (jumper cables being a given addition to this list). The cold also tends to result in the loss of friction – that is, the force of physics that cars depend on to keep the wheels on the road. Hence is why I recommend adding a work lantern with an attached magnet. That way, you won’t be fumbling in the long winter’s night while trying to get your car back on the road again.

And in the event that there’s no possible way of driving out of that snow bank, I’d also recommend a tactical flashlight with SOS signaling capabilities.

4. First aid.

Simply put, one sheet of ice can put us in the ER on a normal day. Besides, in the event that you find yourself in a survival situation, the events leading up to such a scenario are often the same ones that make a first-aid kit necessary in the first place (such as a black-ice-caused car accident).

3. Emergency communication.

Let’s play out a particular scenario for a moment…

Goofy Tiny Gadget Can Jump-Start Your Car — And Charge Your Smartphone!

Pretend your vehicle has slid into a ditch, but you also happen to be on a road that tends not to see much traffic — especially in this weather. And so, you sit in your (now stationary) metal shelter with wheels, wondering what to do next. Of course, you’d phone for help, but you’ve got a grand total of zero bars to work with, so that’s out of the question. Should you walk for help? How low will temps reach tonight? Will this lull in snowfall hold until you make it to assistance?

These gaps in weather intelligence info can be alleviated with a simple pocket weather radio, since you’d be able to hear real-time weather broadcasts as the storm unfolds.

5 Winter Survival Items EVERYONE Should Store In Their Vehicle

Image source: Pixabay.com

I’d also recommend keeping at least a mini CB radio on hand, which can run on the adapter to a cigarette lighter power supply. Not only could you tune in to CH9 (emergency channel), but you’d even be able to communicate to nearby CB operators … who might just be kind enough to alert emergency personnel to your present predicament. At which point, set your flashlight to SOS-mode and await the cavalry.

2. Chains, n’ such.

Perhaps one of THE most obvious additions to your winter emergency vehicle stash would be the appropriately sized cables/chains for your tires. At least in my own experience, I’ve seen a Saturn SL2 rip through two feet of road powder with chains, while the 4×4 Jeep I was in remained stuck. A humbling experience, I do admit.

I’d also recommend adding other tire-traction items, such as traction mats. You also might want to purchase a traction “boot,” which are these ingenious tabs that clamp to the wheel and dig into the snow like a cleat.

1. Things that make you warm.

Last (and certainly not least), make sure you’ve got a change of the warmest possible clothing you own (that you don’t mind storing in your vehicle indefinitely and you use only for emergencies). In this instance, you might not necessarily have to concern yourself with moisture and water resistance, since you’ll be staying inside the vehicle. However, I would still NOT consider cotton materials an option. Cotton is just horrible for winter apparel, since even the slightest amount of sweating can result in chills … and chills are a precursor to hypothermia. I’d recommend wool materials. Quite frankly, I will always recommend wool (or smart fleece.)

And while we’re at it, you might as well do your due diligence and equip your ride with a polar fleece thermal blanket. If you’re going to be stuck inside a cold metal box, this will at least keep your body heat to yourself.

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

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

10 Must-Have Survival Items for Your RV or Camper

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Editor’s note: Please welcome Angelica Garcia to Planandprepared.com  I know it’s still winter and we have a good 4 to 6 weeks of cold left, but my two-year-old camper is sitting in the driveway, beckoning. I can’t wait to hit the road with my family, get away from it all, and still feel like I’m […]

The post 10 Must-Have Survival Items for Your RV or Camper appeared first on Plan and Prepared.

The Best Chicken Pot Pie Recipe – Freezable

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The Best Chicken Pot Pie Recipe – Freezable Chicken pot pie is a favorite of mine and has been forever! This is a cheap recipe to make and even cheaper if you make a big batch and freeze the leftovers!. I personally like it with some cubed potatoes added inside but it’s very good without them! I made them in batches of 8. They freeze so well, I have a stockpile in my freezer. They stack beautifully in the freezer and hardly take up any room. Once the pot pies have been filled and covered with the pastry dough, cover with foil

The post The Best Chicken Pot Pie Recipe – Freezable appeared first on Mental Scoop.

Anaphylaxis: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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dandelion allergy

Allergies

In a disaster or any other situation that takes us off the grid, we will expose ourselves to insect stings and poison ivy, as well as strange food items that we aren’t accustomed to. Allergic reactions may ensue in susceptible individuals. When we develop an allergic reaction, it might be mild or it might be severe. If severe enough, we refer to it as anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis is the word used for serious and rapid allergic reactions involving one or more parts of the body which can become life-threatening.

Anaphylactic reactions were first identified when researchers tried to protect dogs against a certain poison by desensitizing them with small doses. Instead of being protected, many of the dogs died suddenly the second time they got the poison. The word used for preventative protection is “PROphylaxis”. Think of a condom, also known as a prophylactic. A condom protects you from sexually transmitted diseases. The word “ANAphylaxis”, therefore, means the opposite of protection. The dog experiment allowed scientists to understand that the same can happen in humans, and had application to asthma and other immune responses.

Severe allergic reactions may cause body-wide reactions called anaphylaxis that can be life-threatening. Anaphylaxis has become a timely issue because of the increased numbers of cases being reported throughout the world. When drugs are the cause, the explanation is likely that we are simply using a lot of them these days. Why foods should be causing anaphylaxis more often, however, is more perplexing. Is genetic manipulation of food crops to blame? Could contaminants be an issue, or perhaps pollution in general? In any case, the cause of many anaphylactic events is never identified; most are lumped into the “idiopathic” category (another word for “unknown”).

The likely causes of anaphylaxis are:

• Drugs: dyes injected during x-rays, antibiotics like Penicillin, anesthetics, aspirin, ibuprofen, and even some heart and blood pressure medicines
• Foods: Nuts, fruit, seafood
• Insects stings: Bees and Yellow Jacket Wasps, especially
• Latex: rubber gloves mad of latex, especially in healthcare workers
• Exercise: often after eating
• Idiopathic: This word means “of unknown cause”; a substantial percentage of cases

Fumes from chemicals like Chlorine gas and other toxins can be dangerous in their own right without causing an immune or anaphylactic reaction.

anaphylaxis symptoms

signs and symptoms of anapylaxis (wiki commons)

Although few die from simple allergic reactions, anaphylaxis is much more severe and, without intervention, the victim can die from respiratory or cardiac arrest. Body-wide swelling and rashes far from the site of a bee sting, for example, would be an example of an anaphylactic reaction. Other symptoms are exaggerated versions of typical allergies symptoms, with perhaps the addition of lowered blood pressure and fainting. In some cases, abdominal tract symptoms like cramping or diarrhea could be seen.

anaphylaxis

signs/symptoms of anaphylaxis

 

Treating Anaphylaxis

The treatment for anaphylactic shock is straightforward: epinephrine via injection. Other methods of delivery, such as oral doses of antihistamines, are generally too slow in their effect to be of much use.

Known as adrenaline in Europe. Epinephrine is given via auto-injector, with the most popular being the Mylan Corporation’s “Epi-Pen”. The process is simple with a dose delivered to the upper outer thigh. Once given, epinephrine narrows blood vessels and opens airways in the lungs. These effects can reverse hives, swelling, severe wheezing, low blood pressure, severe skin itching, and hives.

epi-pen

The “Epi-Pen”

A recent 600% price hike from the company that makes the Epi-Pen may put the drug out of the financial reach of many. If the auto-injector isn’t an option, vials or ampules of epinephrine are available (by prescription).

1:1000 epinephrine solution contains 1mg of drug per milliliter or cc of solution. For a person weighing 30 kg, 66 pounds, or greater, give 0.3 to 0.5 mg (0.3 to 0.5 mL) into the anterolateral thigh about the level of the bottom of your Jeans pocket. Repeat the dose every 5 to 10 minutes, alternating left and right thighs until improvement is noted (one dose if often sufficient). Remember that epinephrine will cause a fast heartbeat, nervousness and, perhaps, a number of other side effects. Of course, get the victim to modern medical care as soon as possible.

THE HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS

dog-and-kid-pixabay

It’s okay to get a little dirty!

The increased number of allergies seen in the modern world may actually be the product of “good parenting”. Our efforts to keep our children with their noses wiped and their hands clean are helpful to stop colds and flus but may be a factor in making them more prone to allergies and infections later on.

In 1989, researcher Dr. David Strachan suggested the hypothesis that the failure of children to be exposed to infectious bugs and parasites may be responsible for the epidemic of allergic conditions like asthma. This was called the “Hygiene Hypothesis”. The lack of exposure to microbes have since been tied to other diseases ranging from hay fever to multiple sclerosis.

When most of us lived on farms or in less-than-pristine cities, we were exposed to plenty of germs from a young age due to time spent outside with animals or with lots of other people. Now the majority of kids aren’t motivated to go outside or, certainly, get dirty. In the final analysis, never getting dirty as a child may be hazardous to your future health.

Here are some things you might consider:

Avoid antibiotics: The medical profession may have been remiss in over-prescribing antibiotics, but there are antibiotics in food as well. Indeed, 70-80% of antibiotics are given to livestock, not to treat infection, but to make they grow faster and get them to market sooner. Stick with antibiotic-free eggs, milk, and meats.

Avoid anti-bacterial soaps: Triclosan, the active antibiotic ingredient in many brands, has recently been banned by the FDA due to the risk of antibiotic resistance and the lack of evidence of any medical benefit. Use regular soap and water for washing.

Tailor Handwashing Strategies to the Situation:  If you’re in a city where open sewers run through the streets and people are tossing buckets of excrement out the window, have your kids wash their hands conscientiously. In clean environments where there isn’t a raging epidemic, however, don’t freak out over dirty hands.

Don’t Bathe Every Day: Not only should your kids be exposed to dirt to develop their immune system, but bathing too often might do more harm than good. Daily showers removes protective skin oils and causes drying and irritation. You’re also washing away the good bacteria that lives on your skin.

Get Your Kid a Pet: Not every kid has the good fortune of living on a farm, but they’ll benefit from a furry pet. Dogs seem to give more resistance to colds and allergic skin conditions like eczema than cats, but early cat exposure might give more protection against asthma. Why not have both?

Get your kids outside when they’re young: In these days where we have legitimate concerns about children’s safety, you might be reluctant to let your kids go outside by themselves. Here’s an idea: Go out with them, to parks, wilderness areas, and other places where both adults and kids can reap real benefits. How about helping them plant and manage a garden?

The more you encourage outdoor activities early, the more they become part of the next generation’s culture; let the kids get a little dirty, and you might give them a healthier future.

 

Joe Alton MD

AuthorJoe

 

Learn more about your immune system, allergic reactions, and over 100 other topics in our Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way.

Prep Blog Review: Food Lessons For Survival

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It’s survival food time again! From how to grow your own vegetables, to how to stockpile correctly, this topic never gets old, and it’s one of my favorites, too.

Starting with a few food lessons from the Great Depressions, and continuing with some emergency food preparedness basic, for this week’s prep blog review I’ve gathered five useful articles on this topic.

  1. 10 Food Lessons From the Great Depression

“A time wracked with suicide and fear the great depression was a holly terror on the nation.

Many people exclaim that the crash of 2008 cost them everything. The truth is that the “everything” of 2008 was very different than the everything of 1930. Mothers left alone by their husbands to feed children while living in doorways. Losing children to disease or hunger and not having a dime to help them, nor a way to procure one.

All that terror aside the emulsification of cultures and despair in America during the depression created everlasting practices in the management and creation of food. The type of meals that remind you of your grandmother and her dinner table. Many of these meals are still popular today. Many of the methods are used widely as well.”

Read more on Ask A Prepper.

  1. Emergency Food Preparedness Basics Every Prepper Should Know

“Emergency Food Preparedness is essential for every prepper to have. In this video we will be talking about the 3 different types of emergency food preps that essential for survival.”

Video first seen on Smart Prepper Gear.

  1. 13 Direct Vegetables to Direct Sow

“To direct sow your seeds just means to plant your seed outdoors in the garden where it will grow instead of starting the seeds indoors in containers under lights.

If you live in a warm climate, you can direct sow almost any crop. Those of you who garden in colder areas either begin sowing seeds indoors under lights or purchase seedlings form a green house that can be transplanted into the garden after all danger of frost is past. If we don’t start some crops ahead og time, there isn’t enough time to produce a harvest before our first fall frost.”

Read more on Grow A Good Life.

  1. How to get Your Chicken to Lay More Eggs

“Does it seem that your egg collection is decreased or that your hens aren’t laying as they once did? Or the yolks are pale and lackluster, lacking the nutrients they should provide? When the chickens are part of a plan for independent living or as a structured food supply, this can put a damper on things and thwart being able to rely on them as a nutritional resource.

It can be a catastrophic event in a survival situation to have your chickens stop producing a crucial food source.”

Read more on Survival Sullivan.

  1. Perennial Plants that Produce Food Year After Year

“A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. Perennials, especially small flowering plants, grow and bloom over the spring and summer, then die back every autumn and winter, and then return in the spring from their rootstock, are known as herbaceous perennials”.

Below are a few of the more common food plants that are known to live and produce for over two years, and some like asparagus, for example, can produce for literally decades if the asparagus bed is well taken care of.”

Read more on Prep for SHTF.

 

This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia.

What Happens 72 Hours After Disasters

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Today I want you to think about what may happen the first 72 hours after disasters or unforeseen emergencies happen where you live. Here’s the deal, I want you to picture life in 24-hour increments. I have broken the three 24-hours in sections below so you can picture what will most likely happen within 72 hours after any disaster in any city, county, state or country. It’s plain and simple, let’s get started.

If possible get together with your neighbors to purchase walkie-talkies and set them on the same channel and test them monthly. The old kind we used at Disneyland years ago no longer cut it. They may not be useable because they will not go through blocks of houses. This is the brand an emergency search and rescue guy recommended to a class I taught a few years ago. Motorola MR350R 35-Mile Range 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair)

1. The first 24 hours we will check with neighbors to see who is okay or hurt. If the disaster is big enough we will have limited county or city officials to help the entire area in the short term. It’s not going to happen. Period. We need to be ready to take care of ourselves in many areas. I am talking about water, food, shelter, first aid supplies, tools, cooking devices, etc. We most likely situation is that we will lose electricity. If we use gas to heat our homes that will probably not be available. If you think you will be able to turn on the water faucet, think again, the water supply may have been cut off or contaminated.

The sewer lines most likely will not work either. If you don’t have a portable toilet you better get one this week. Not next week. I will not share my portable toilet with anyone. I know it sounds selfish, but I want my neighbors to know that right now. I hope they have a good shovel to dig a hole for their own toilet, just saying. Here is a post I wrote regarding this issue and how to deal with it: Emergency Toilet For After A Disaster by Food Storage Moms. These are cheap and everyone should have their own emergency toilet or some black garbage bags, kitty litter, and duct tape to use inside their home toilets.

2. The second 24 hours, some people have gone through their bottles of water, emptied their food pantry, or freezer to eat whatever they have available. Remember, every family member needs at least one gallon of water per person per day according to the American Red Cross. I disagree, but I’m sure you know by now that I recommend four gallons of water per person per day. One gallon will not be enough for cooking, washing clothes, or bathing. You will want some baby wipes for what I call spit baths. This is the day you hope you were caught up on the laundry. If not, you will at least want clean underwear. Here is my post about an emergency washing machine: Emergency Washing Machine by Food Storage Moms. Of course, you can use a sink or washtub as well. You shouldn’t just plan on using the bathtub because first of all the water lines might be cut. Second, the sewer lines might backup into your house if you try to drain the water.

3. The third 24 hours will not be fun. You know those BLACK FRIDAY sales that happen after Thanksgiving? Well, after a disaster if the roads are driveable the grocery stores will have lines out the door due to rationing of water and food. Trust me, I will NOT be in any grocery store after a disaster, I do not do Black Friday sales either. I don’t like the pushing and shoving at the stores. Man, just think how the crowds will be looking for water and food. YIKES! Utah, where I live, is ranked #4 for states with personal gun ownership. People get mean when they are really hungry or thirsty and they need to feed their families. Just something to think about. The grocery store shelves will be empty or a bottle of water could cost $20.00 and the store may not have change. Exact dollar amounts will be needed.

Before A Disaster Some People May Think:

1. Why do I keep hearing the phrases get prepared, be prepared and are you prepared?

2. Sometimes people may think nothing will happen to me.

3. The government will have to step in and help us.

4. God or whoever you pray to will take care of me.

5. I can’t afford to buy extra water or food.

6. I can’t afford preparedness items.

7. I don’t have time to learn skills.

8. My neighbor is prepared, I will just go over there.

9. My house is too small to store anything extra.

My Favorite Bartering Items For After Disasters:

1. Ammunition

2. Hard liquor

3. Cigars (do not store cigarettes-they go bad)

4. After a disaster coffee drinkers will barter for instant coffee (Starbuck’s might not be open)

5. Food you grow in your garden (get heirloom seeds you can keep planting year after year if you save the seeds)

6. Basic staples you have stored like flour, sugar, honey, oil, baking powder, baking soda, and spices

7. Skills like bread making, learn to make biscuits and crackers

8. Skills-handyman stuff

9. Skills-quilting and sewing will mend clothes or make clothes for us

10. First aid supplies

11. Chickens and eggs (as long as you have the food to feed them)

12. Meat (grass-fed animals will be a premium)

13. Skill of hunting for animals to eat (learn how to preserve them)

14. Trading your canned food items (you need to know how to can and preserve your garden)

15. Water and food (be sure and have a way to purify your water) Turn off the water to your water heater before the water becomes contaminated if you hear about a water problem.

16. Fuel for car and cooking

17. Learn to make soap and laundry detergent

18. Lemonade mix, hot chocolate mix or good old sugary Tang, if they still sell it (these will make water taste better)

19. Cooking oil, any kind will be sought after

20. Cooking devices for outside cooking with fuel

I am not saying run out and buy everything on this list. We will all need the skills to help each other. We must all be able to bring something to the table in order to help one another. We are responsible for ourselves, no one else is going to take care of us.

If and when our economy crashes you may not have that Social Security check, retirement check, paycheck or pension check in the mail or deposited, think again. People keep telling us to pay off our houses, pay cash for cars, stay out of debt and be prepared for the unexpected. Have cash, precious metals and things to barter. It’s human nature to think that disasters only happen to other people living elsewhere.  If that is the approach you’ve taken up to this point in your life, think again.  Disasters can come our way in many forms, like getting sick and unable to work, losing your job due to layoffs or company closures, accidents happen, whether in your car or at home doing projects.

You may have the best plans to make your home safe and secure, but your neighbor may have a fire disaster just waiting to happen by storing dangerous fuels in the garage or on the side of the house. If their home goes up in smoke yours may be next based on wind and ashes. I read an article this week about a drunk driver that drove through the front of a home, nearly killing the occupants. They were lucky the car didn’t burst into flame. You may think that disasters only come in the form of flood, tornado, hurricane, earthquake and other causes we call Mother Nature. Sure, we need to think of these and be prepared, but more often than not it’s the surprise events outlined above that bring the most heartache and challenges to families. Do your homework and be as prepared as your time and finances can allow.  You’ll be glad you did, and so will those living with and near you.

May God bless you and your family to have the means to be prepared for the unexpected one step at a time.

My favorite things:

My Book (available in every bookstore online or in the world): Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready for Any Emergency or Disaster Situation

Berkey GSPRT Generic 22-Ounce Water Filter Sports Bottle, 3-Pack

Big Berkey BK4X2 Countertop Water Filter System with 2 Black Berkey Elements and 2 Fluoride Filters

Camp Chef Butane 1 Burner Stove with Camping Case

12 Butane Fuel GasOne Canisters for Portable Camping Stoves

Lodge L12CO3 Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven, 6 quart

Kingsford Products 31212 Natural Organic King Charcoal (2 Pack), 16.7 lb

The post What Happens 72 Hours After Disasters appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

What did you do for your preparedness this week? (2017-2-25)

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I couldn’t resist taking this picture comparing 9mm ammo with 45-70 ammo for my ‘big bore’ Marlin 1895SBL Lever Action 😉   This weekly post is an open-forum (any topic) to voice your thoughts, opinions, or questions for others. Lets hear about what you’ve been doing this week for preparedness, or perhaps what you have […]

Survival Life Article – Berkey Water Filter

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My review of the (Travel) Berkey Water Filter is over at Survival Life now. Hop on over there to give it a look, hopefully it will help you make an informed decision on water filtering and purification methods. They have a lot of other good posts too so make it a regular stop and become […]

The post Survival Life Article – Berkey Water Filter appeared first on Smart Suburban Survival.

2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 08

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If last week was lucky number 7, this week was unlucky number 8!  We got a lot done around the Suburban Steader Homestead but there was also a lot of problems that needed to be overcome.  Come along and find out what happened! This Week’s Milestones Sickness Invades! I mentioned last week that sickness invaded

On Multi-Tasking

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[Nyerges is the author of “Extreme Simplicity,” “Self-Sufficient Home,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” and other books. He can be reached at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.comor Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041.
My friend and I were checking out at a small grocery store. The clerk was on her cell phone, an obviously personal call, and yet she managed to check each item with mechanical efficiency.  She smiled towards us, without actually looking at u s. She spoke the price, I handed her some bills, and she returned the correct change.  The groceries were bagged and we walked away.
I was a bit nonplussed, even though this scene has become way too normal.  To speak on a cell phone to someone else while handling a paying customer is the antithesis of service.  My friend told me I was making a big deal out of nothing.
“Besides, I do that all the time at my office and home,” she smiled.  “Multi-tasking.”
“Really?” I responded.  “So that’s your fancy word for doing two things at the same time and doing them both poorly?”
“But that clerk didn’t do her job poorly, “ my friend protested.  “You got the correct change, right?”
“Yes, I got the correct change but that’s not the point. Let’s just say that if she were my employee, she’d get one warning and then I’d fire her.”
“But that was a small store,” my friend said. “How do you know that she wasn’t  the boss?”
“I don’t know that,” I said, trying to explain why I felt that we’d just had less than an ideal interaction.  Perhaps it was because the clerk’s mind was elsewhere, and that I believe you really cannot do two things simultaneously, and do them each well, which is why it is illegal to talk on a cell phone and drive.  I asked my friend to explain what sort of “multi-tasking” she does at work.
“You know, the usual,” she responded.  She described a variety of tasks such as paperwork, letters, taking phone calls, reading e-mails.  “If you don’t give a task your full attention, do you think the task suffers?” I asked.
She thought about it.  “Not really,” she said.  “As long as I do an adequate job, there’s no problem.” 
“But what if you are talking face-to-face to someone and you’re still typing or shuffling papers.  Don’t you feel that the person will feel slighted?” I asked.
“Well, I suppose it depends on the person,” she responded.
I dropped the subject for fear that if I pushed my point further, a friend would soon be a former friend.
I’m not a big fan of so-called “multi-tasking.”  I think it’s a somewhat fraudulent, self-deceptive concept where you believe you’re doing more than you actually can do.  It’s a belief that by moving a lot of stuff around, that your quantity is more important than quality.  This is probably one of the reasons why the quality of goods and services has declined.
In a similar vein, today there are many multi-purpose tools now on the market, such as a tool which promises to be a hammer, a screwdriver, a saw, a shovel, a can opener and pliers. Such tools do about 40 tasks poorly and none well. 
I do believe that Swiss Army knives pack a lot of quality into a little package, though they cannot handle big jobs.  The Leatherman tool is also generally a good combination tool because it is well made. 
But as a rule of thumb, the more tasks a tool claims, the more poorly it performs.  And, generally, as the price lowers, so does the performance and longevity of the tool. 
In my world view, it is better to have just a few quality tools that a tool box full of cheap tools that mostly result in frustration. 
My friend reminded me that the benefit of her “multi-tasking” is that she gets more done at a lower cost, more quickly.  I had to think about what that means.
Yes, true quality – in a service or in a product – takes more time and costs more.  And because most of us want it now and want it cheap, we’ve created a frustrating world of low quality service and goods. Change will only come slowly, when enough of us realize that fast and cheap is just a quick thrill with no lasting satisfaction.

Best Guns for Preppers and Survivalist!

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Best Guns for Preppers and Survivalist… Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! Join Kyle and Forrest as they talk guns for defense. As American diplomacy, politics, and society falls apart anyone with a sane mind should be considering owning a gun and preparing for a WROL (with rule of law) America. … Continue reading Best Guns for Preppers and Survivalist!

The post Best Guns for Preppers and Survivalist! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Healing Herbs: What You Need to Know About Comfrey

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Healing Herbs Comfrey | Backdoor Survival

Late last year, I set up a poll asking about herbs. More specifically, I asked the question “Name herbs you would like to learn more about relative to wellness and healthcare”. There were close to one hundred responses with the clear leader being Comfrey.

What is Comfrey? How do you grow it? What is it used for? In this first of a series of articles on plants used for health and wellness, I share what I know along with what I have learned from Susan Perry, a practicing herbalist, educator, and master gardener who is also a Backdoor Survival reader. Learn about planting, growing, and harvesting comfrey, along with instructions for making a poultice, infusion and more.

The post Healing Herbs: What You Need to Know About Comfrey by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Magic Food: 7 Vegetables You Can Regrow From Kitchen Scraps

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Magic Food: 7 Vegetables You Can Regrow From Kitchen Scraps

Image source: Flickr / Creative Commons

There is a great form of recycling that is easy, fun and nutritious: re-growing vegetables from leftover scraps. You don’t need much to get started — just containers, soil, water and a sunny windowsill. Sometimes you don’t even need the soil.

Many vegetables have the ability to regenerate, and you can regrow quite a few common veggies with as little as a glass of water. It’s a great project for any time of the year, but especially during colder months when you likely don’t have access to your garden.

To help you begin, here is a list of vegetables that are easy to regrow.

1. Lettuce and cabbage — After you prepare a salad or a stew, do you toss the lettuce or cabbage heart in the trash or on the compost pile? Next time, place it in a shallow dish with about a half-inch of water and then put the dish on a sunny windowsill. The water will get cloudy and a bit smelly, so you will want to replace it every day or two.

After three days or so, you will notice new leaves sprouting. When they are large enough for eating, you can harvest them. Leave the head in some clean water, and you can repeat the process.

2. Scallions, green onions, leeks and fennel – Set the white root base in enough water to completely cover the bulb and then place the container on your windowsill.

The All-Natural Fertilizer That Doubles Your Garden Yield!

Replace the water every few days. After a week or so, you will notice new growth. You can keep regenerating these bulbs and even can transfer them outdoors in the spring.

3. Onions – Onions need a bit more room, but they are still easy to grow. Place the onion’s root section in a cup of water on a sunny windowsill and watch for sign of regrowth. When the bulb has grown back, transfer the plant to a large pot of soil. You can replant it in your outdoor garden during the warmer weather.

4. Garlic – Did you know that you could regenerate a garlic plant from just one clove? Here’s how: Plant the clove root-end down in a pot of soil and then place the pot where it can get direct sunlight.

5. Ginger – To regenerate the root of the ginger plant, which is the part you use in cooking, take a fresh piece and submerge it partially in soil with the nubbins pointing upward.

Place the pot in indirect sunlight and keep the soil moist, and the root will begin growing within about two weeks. To obtain fresh ginger, pull up the plant, harvest some of its root and then repeat the process.

6. Celery – Celery takes a while to regrow, but the results are worth it. Place the base (about an inch or two) in a jar of water on a sunny window ledge. As with some of the other veggies, you will need to replace the cloudy water regularly. Tiny sprouts begin to appear in about a week. After a few more weeks, you will see enough growth to harvest.

7. Bean Sprouts – Soak your leftover dry beans overnight before spreading them out evenly on towels to dry. Repeat this process three or more times until you begin to notice sprouts appearing. You may use the sprouts on sandwiches and in salads. Store any leftover sprouts in the refrigerator.

Like many gardening projects, regrowing vegetables takes some time and some patience. Usually, the fresher the scraps, the better the results will be.

Keep in mind that many plants are sensitive to chlorine or fluoride. If you are on a municipal water system, consider using distilled water for your kitchen scrap garden. Also, if your windowsills do not get much sunlight, grow lights will work well.

What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

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

President Trump’s Misplaced Faith in the Generals

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Approximately, one month ago, President Trump tasked the Pentagon with delivering him a plan to defeat the Islamic State or IS.  What Trump failed to understand was the same people

Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (2/19/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

I’ve also included one honorable mention that I think you should read.

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 2/13/17 – 2/19/17

Peace,
Todd

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How To Use Zip-Ties in An Emergency Situation

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How To Use Zip-Ties in An Emergency Situation Your imagination is the key to survive an emergency situation. It doesn’t matter if you’re stranded in the woods or in the concrete jungle. Putting your mind to good use and using the items you have can save the day. Having a few simple zip-ties in your …

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The post How To Use Zip-Ties in An Emergency Situation appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

20 Long Lasting Foods That Should Not Miss From Your SHTF Pantry

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20 Long Lasting Foods That Should Not Miss From Your SHTF Pantry I recently realized I never really thought about how to stay alive during a long term survival scenario such as an EMP that could wipe out the entire electric grid for many, many years or an economic collapse like in Venezuela. It’s only …

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The post 20 Long Lasting Foods That Should Not Miss From Your SHTF Pantry appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

No Profit From Rape & Violence. Please sign this petition.

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The move to make RDVSA tender for its work is ideological and it has the potential to allow an organisation to profit from rape. 

On 13 February 1800RESPECT, the national telephone and online counselling service for women, men and children experiencing domestic or sexual violence, was advertised for tender.

Since its inception, 1800RESPECT has been provided by specialist domestic violence and sexual assault trauma counsellors, employed by the Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia (RDVSA).

RDVSA has been told it must tender for this work and, despite the exceptional support it provides, is unlikely to be successful without widespread community support.

Why does RDVSA have to compete with ‘the market’ to provide life-saving support to victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence? 

RDVSA is a union workplace with almost all of its 100 specialist counsellors and support staff members of the Australian Services Union.

RDVSA is a feminist organisation which has been critical of this Federal Government’s approach to addressing domestic violence.

It’s not about money: in 2015 RDVSA sought an additional $2 million from the Federal Government to fund additional specialist counsellors and telephone hardware that would allow them to answer all calls- instead the Government gave $5 million to corporation Medibank Health Services (MHS) to provide a ‘triage service’ as part of 1800RESPECT.

RDVSA openly opposed this move by the Federal Government, that more specialist counsellors not a call centre was needed to support those experiencing domestic and sexual violence.

No one should be able to profit the trauma of those experiencing domestic and sexual violence.

The Silent-But-Deadly Weapon Missing From Most Survival Caches

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The Silent-But-Deadly Weapon Missing From Most Survival Caches

Image source: warrelics.eu

 

If there’s anything that will bring up controversy in the world of survival and prepping, it’s a discussion about weapons. Everyone has their own ideas about what’s the best, and most of those ideas are based upon some pretty sound reasoning.

The truth is there is no one perfect weapon or even set of weapons that is the perfect solution in all situations. What is ideal in one scenario might be the worst possible choice in another.

Then there are the individual factors that have to be considered. Not all survivalists are created equal. Each is an individual mix of skills, abilities, thoughts, needs and capabilities. Something that might be an excellent weapon for one person might be the worst possible choice for another, simply because he or she doesn’t have the strength to use it properly. What might be ideal at one point in our lives may turn out to be less than ideal as we improve our skills.

This probably has a lot to do with why many of us have an entire arsenal, rather than just the few guns we need. Granted, we like collecting guns, as well, but as our ideas about defense evolve over time, we decide that the tools we’ve selected to use aren’t the best for our needs and go in search of others. Of course, we keep the old ones, too, as there’s always the possibility that we can use them.

Even so, there are weapon options that we rarely consider, even though they are excellent choices. At times, our prejudices or our addiction to modern technology overwhelm what could be sound reasoning. Such is the case of the bow.

Be Prepared. Learn The Best Ways To Hide Your Guns.

The bow is one of the two oldest weapons in continuous use in the world today; the other being the knife. While there are examples of other weapons that have been around longer than the bow, they don’t fit the criteria of being still in use. Yes, you can find swords and spears, even real ones, available for sale, but they are considered novelty items more than actual weapons.

The Silent-But-Deadly Weapon Missing From Most Survival Caches

Image source: Pixabay.com

In my way of thinking, any survival arsenal is incomplete without a bow. While you can survive just fine without one, there are times when a bow would actually be a superior choice over any firearm you could pick.

The bow has two things going for it that firearms don’t have. The first is that it is a silent killer. Even a heavily suppressed pistol is going to be far louder than a bow will be; and adding silencers to pistols makes it hard to shoot them accurately, regardless of what the movies show us. Typically, you can’t use the pistol’s sights if there is a suppressor installed.

If you are trying to hide from marauders or other two-legged predators, the last thing you want to do is advertise your presence by firing a gun. While you may find that necessary, you have to realize that it will attract the attention of every bad guy within a couple of miles. At least some of them will hear the shot and begin looking for supplies that they can steal – your supplies.

The second advantage that bows have over firearms is that you can make your own ammunition. Many ancient people groups used the bow, and they all made their own arrows. In a long-term survival situation, ammunition for guns is probably going to become scarce.

Now, I know that many are stockpiling ammo. But no matter how big your stockpile is, it has limits. Personally, I’d rather save as much of that ammo as I can for times when I really need it, such as when I have to defend my homestead from a hungry gang.

Using a bow, whether to hunt or for self-defense, means that I save the ammo I have. Then, when the time comes, I’ll have that much more available to me. I may never use all the ammo I have, but I have no way of knowing that. During a societal collapse, where I have to depend on what I have to survive an unknown length of time, there is no way to guarantee that I have enough ammo.

With practice, a bow is a very effective weapon. That’s why it’s been in use all around the world, throughout human history. But I must say: Our modern compound bows may not be the ideal survival weapons — at least not if they have more than 60 pounds of draw weight. Past that point, they shatter wood arrows, making it impossible to use them. Last I checked, making carbon fiber arrow shafts in a disaster situation – with stores closed — won’t be easy. So, you’ll either want a compound bow with a lighter draw weight or a simpler recurve bow.  Either way, it will be an excellent addition to your survival arsenal.

Do you believe bows should be a part of survival and self-defense arsenals? Share your thoughts in the section below:  

If The Grid’s Down And You Don’t Have Ammo, What Would You Do? Read More Here.

GPS Waypoints

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Managing your waypoints isn’t hard to do.  But one simple step gets you on your way!

I really like to keep my navigation simple.

Simplicity now makes life a lot easier when a potentially bad situation occurs or when someone in your party is injured. 

Before leaving home I “dump the junk” or get rid of those old, meaningless waypoints.  At the trail head I’ll reset the “trip computer” and the track log (the bread crumb trail.)

On the trail I always verify that a waypoint has been saved.  Verification is a simple step that has saved my bacon more than once.

Waypoint List

When it’s time to return to camp or home, there is nothing more unnerving to find that the waypoint you need isn’t on your waypoint list.  In the illustration to the right, the waypoint to “home” isn’t there.

It is easy to make this mistake.  Perhaps after executing the waypoint function you hit the OK button or you selected another option without saving “home” to file/memory.


My recommendation is to verify by selecting/depressing the “find” button (Garmin) and then selecting “waypoints” to view the waypoint list (figure above.)  If home appears you are ready to go.
Map Page 
Another quick way to verify is to go to the “map page.”  First zoom in to about 800 feet or to a zoom setting where you can see waypoint names on the screen.
Verifying a waypoint will save you a lot of angst and worry later.

Delivering a Baby on Your Own During a Disaster!

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Delivering a Baby on Your Own During a Disaster! Giving birth to a human life form is the privilege that nature has granted women. It is a wonderful feeling to become a mother. You feel responsible for your child and are always protective towards it. You always strive for perfection when it comes to providing … Continue reading Delivering a Baby on Your Own During a Disaster!

The post Delivering a Baby on Your Own During a Disaster! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

From Storage to Stovetop: BLACK BEANS

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Today Jodi goes over a few different options you may have for black beans in your food storage. If you store canned beans you probably don’t have a hard time with rotating them or knowing how to use them in your everyday cooking. However, for long term storage canned beans are not an ideal solution. They have a short shelf life so are more appropriate for keeping in your 3 month supply as opposed to being your entire supply of beans for a year. Even though we are specifically covering black beans here most of this would apply to pinto beans and navy beans as well.

Bean Conversions

1 can of beans = 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans
1/2 cup of dried beans = 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans
1 cup of instant beans = 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans
1 can of beans = 1/2 cup of dried beans or 1 cup of instant beans

How to Cook Dried Beans

Method 1: Crockpot
Ingredients:
9 cups of water
3 cups of dry black beans (rinsed)
1 onion halved (can use freeze-dried onion equivalent)
6-8 cloves of garlic or minced garlic
2 Tablespoons of salt
Optional:
1 jalapeno pepper diced (I used freeze-dried green chilies)

Directions:
Put all the ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on high for 8 hours. Eat!

Method 2: Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker
Add 5 cups of water in pressure cooker
Add spices ( 1 T. of cumin, 2 tsp. of minced garlic, 2 T. of dehydrated onions, 2 T of dry cilantro)
Add 2 cups of dry black beans

Cook on high pressure. Set pressure cooker for 30 minutes. After the pressure cooker beeps, do quick pressure release… and ENJOY how EASY THAT WAS! Also check out Julie’s delicious Brazilian Black Bean Recipe that also uses a pressure cooker.

Favorite Bean Recipes

Vegetarian White Bean Soup
Hearty Chili Meal-in-a-Jar
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Salsa, Chicken, and Black Bean Soup
Texas Caviar … aka Black Bean Salsa
Chicken Chili Meal-in-a-Jar
Enchilada Pie
Chicken Barley Chili
16 Bean Soup
White Bean Chicken Chili
Brazilian Black Beans


The post From Storage to Stovetop: BLACK BEANS appeared first on Food Storage Made Easy.

How to Properly Clean a Cut, Scrape, or Wound to Prevent Infection

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How to Properly Clean a Cut, Scrape, or Wound to Prevent Infection

I have discussed how to seal a wound in the past, and whether to use stitches, bandages, or super glue. I’ve even done a comprehensive guide about sealing cuts with super glue, but as of yet, haven’t fully covered the process of preparing your wound prior to actually sealing it. This article may seem a bit… Read More

This is just the start of the post How to Properly Clean a Cut, Scrape, or Wound to Prevent Infection. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


How to Properly Clean a Cut, Scrape, or Wound to Prevent Infection, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

10 Most Resilient Ground Covers For Your Garden

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10 Most Resilient Ground Covers For Your Garden Ground covers are perfect if you want a cheap, colorful beautiful garden. Ground covers are actually overlooked by most people because they have a bad reputation for spreading like wildfire and taking over other parts of gardens! This just isn’t true. In fact, this is a good thing because once established you can propagate and remove sections of a particular ground cover plant and place it somewhere else in your garden. This eliminates the need to buy more flowers which would add more expense to your garden budget. Ground covers actually help

The post 10 Most Resilient Ground Covers For Your Garden appeared first on Mental Scoop.

5 Wise Ways To Use The Last Few Weeks Of Winter (No. 2 Is The One Everyone Forgets!)

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5 Wise Ways To Use The Last Few Weeks Of Winter (No. 2 Is The One Everyone Forgets!)

Image source: Pixabay.com

Transitioning from winter to spring is an exciting time around our homestead. We have used these last few months to research and plan new ideas to incorporate on our land throughout the coming growing season. Right now, we are seeing the last remnants of snow and ice melt away, creating a soggy mess of our land, but there are still plenty of things we can do inside to prepare our homestead for the busy spring season.

Using these last few weeks of winter to prepare for spring weather allows us to work efficiently during those first weeks of spring when life around the homestead becomes increasingly busy. As with any project, creating a plan, even if it is a simple list, enables us to establish what needs finishing before the weather breaks and it helps us take full advantage of the warm winter days that come our way. So, what will we be doing to ensure we are using these last few weeks of winter wisely?

1. Preparing for seeds.

This year we are going to use newspapers saved by neighbors, family and friends to create seedling pots. Cutting and folding enough pots for the seeds we are planning to start indoors this year will take some time, but the materials and labor are free. Additionally, using newspaper pots will allow us to place the whole thing into the ground. No chasing down plastic seedling trays blown about by the wind or finding a place to store them in the offseason. If you are using traditional plastic seedling trays, use this time to clean them, inspect them and replace them if necessary. Or consider newspaper pots!

2. Implement maintenance.

Now is the time to be sure your tools, mechanical and otherwise, are in sound, working condition. For hand tools, sharpen the edges, oil the blades and repair or replace splintered or broken handles. Sharpening the blades of mower decks, tillers, plows and other implements now will allow spring ground-breaking to get off to a smooth start.

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

5 Wise Ways To Use The Last Few Weeks Of Winter (No. 2 Is The One Everyone Forgets!)

Image source: Pixabay.com

In addition to the array of outdoor tools that need to be maintained, sharpen and oil your scissors and knives. Sharpening butchering tools in these last few weeks of winter will save you time during the busy harvest season.

3. Stocking up on the essentials.

If you produce your own soaps, detergents and other household products, stocking up now will ensure you make it through the busy spring and summer months without setting aside precious time to whip up more. Estimate the amount you will need to have on hand until after harvest, and set aside a day to complete multiple batches. This is also the perfect time to rotate food storage supplies while cleaning and reorganizing, if necessary.

4. Preparing soil amendments.

Not all of the prep work can be done indoors, so take advantage of those warmer days in the last weeks of winter to work outside. Enrich garden soils by adding a top layer of compost to the rows. This will allow the compost to begin breaking down before you till it under in a few weeks. If you are planning on adding new raised beds, begin marking off dimensions, or even start constructing them, weather permitting.

5. Building and fence maintenance.

Inspect your outbuildings and fencing for damage due to wind, ice buildup or other weather-related activity. Wet winters can cause wood rot, as well as mold and mildew issues if the temperature remains above freezing for long. Repairing buildings and fencing now will ensure there are no untimely accidents later due to escaped inhabitants or ruined food supplies.

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

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

Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena Marginata) Care Guide

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The post Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena Marginata) Care Guide is by
hp4u and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

There’s no better beginner houseplant than the Madagascar Dragon Tree, also known by its latin name as dracaena marginata. It’s super easy to care for, requiring little light or water, and is quite hardy in most temperatures. In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about dracaena marginata care, propagation, and troubleshooting. Let’s get started! […]

The post Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena Marginata) Care Guide is by
hp4u and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

On Chemical and Radiologic Weapons

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(Photo: PIR Center)

        When Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned in London at a tea house with polonium that could only have come from the Russian government or military, people were shocked and upset. When Litvinenko fell ill and was hospitalized, and polonium was eventually discovered as the cause, law enforcement and the medical establishment realized that not only was a man poisoned and murdered, but a swath of innocent people in a foreign land were exposed as well. Everyone from the people in the plane that transported the polonium from Russia, to those in the tea house, those in the tube train, those walking down to street, in addition to the physicians and nurses in the hospital, were all exposed. This is why such an action should not be forgotten. Litvinenko was actually a British subject at the time of his killing. Whomever killed Litvinenko didn’t care that citizens in another land might die as well.

                    Two weeks ago, Kim Jong Nam, the elder brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, was similarly murdered.  VX Nerve gas has been found on his face and on his eyes on autopsy. Four presumed North Korean agents are said to have placed the VX on his face as he walked through the airport in Kuala Lampur in Malaysia. Minutes later he died in an ambulance on the way to a hospital. One of the attackers began vomiting presumably due to exposure to the agent, despite the fact that she tried to wash it off her hands in a bathroom.

             Since Kim Jong Nam was actually the elder brother, and had wanted to ease toward democracy in North Korea, had he ever become it’s leader, his father, Kim Jong Il, decided to make Kim Jong Un his successor. The elder Kim Jong Nam was a close as North Korea would ever have had to a reformer. His father had wanted this beloved brother to be left alone. Kim Jong Nam therefore spent a lot of time in university in Switzerland, and learning about technology. Most recently he was living in China and took fairly frequent trips to Malaysia. He traveled often and was the father of a number of children.

             Once again, N. Korea, strongly felt to be the body who ordered this hit, thought nothing of exposing those in a foreign land to the most dangerous chemical weapon known to man. This should have implications for any nation that had even polite relations with N. Korea.

               A new dimension to terrorism has begun. The use of chemical and radiological weapons as a means to completing a hit have been acceptable now to two nations. Such actions, if continued, are likely to impact the innocent as well. VX can be delivered to thousands in a number of ways.  Neither of these killings should be forgotten. Such weapons exist and there are those on Earth who will not hesitate to use them.

VX Gas

Doris Day

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Not the TV star from yesteryear but the Day Of Storm Doris.

Went up to have a look and see the damage. Wasn’t as bad as expected with three big trees being blown over, funnily enough various size silver birches with not very solid roots. Must be a species thing. Two of them have blown […]

Bill Gates Warns Of Imminent Threat That Could Rapidly ‘Kill More Than 30 Million’

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Image source: Wikimedia

Image source: Wikimedia

MUNICH — Recent advances in technology make bioterrorism a greater threat than nuclear warfare – one that could rapidly wipe out 30 million of even hundreds of millions of people around the world, billionaire Bill Gates says.

And the U.S. and other countries, he says, are not prepared.

Speaking to The Telegraph newspaper prior to a conference in German, Gates said it would be possible for terrorists to create a bioweapon that can kill more people than would nuclear weapons.

“It doesn’t take much biology expertise nowadays to assemble a smallpox virus,” Gates said. “Biology is making it way easier to create these things.”

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

Developments in genetic engineering would make it possible for terrorists to engineer a virus capable of creating a pandemic, Gates said.

“With nuclear weapons, you’d think you would probably stop after killing 100 million. Smallpox won’t stop,” he said. “Because the population is naïve, and there are no real preparations. That, if it got out and spread, would be a larger number.”

Bioterrorism can kill far more people than natural epidemics, he said.

“Intentionally caused epidemics, bioterrorism, would be the largest of all,” he said.

It also is possible to reengineer the common flu virus to create a deadly influenza strain capable of causing a pandemic, Gates said. He believes that such a pandemic would spread like wildfire.

He told conference attendees, “Whether it occurs by a quirk of nature or at the hand of a terrorist, epidemiologists say a fast-moving airborne pathogen could kill more than 30 million people in less than a year. And they say there is a reasonable probability the world will experience such an outbreak in the next 10 to 15 years.”

Do you think the U.S. is prepared for a pandemic? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Be Prepared For A Downed Grid. Read More Here.

15 Survival Uses for Pipe Cleaners

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Besides the intended use, which is to clean your smoking pipes or other small bores there are other uses for pipe cleaners in a survival and in other situations. They are inexpensive, come in various colors and sizes and they take up little room and add no significant weight to your survival packs or pockets. You may want to consider carrying a dozen or so in your EDC pack, and keep some in the car and always have some around the home and shop.

Uses

1.) Use to secure tarps together by twisting together through the grommet on each tarp. Use to secure a tarp or other shelter material to small tree limbs. You can extend the length of the cleaners by twisting several together to make a longer cleaner for securing shelter material.

2.) Use as emergency shoelaces. You can use several pipe cleaners to close up the lace holes on your shoes or boots. The cleaners will not tighten as well as the traditional laces would, but if you needed to use your laces as emergency cordage, then a few pipe cleaners can fill in for the time being.

3.) Use a pipe cleaner as you would bag ties by twisting around the top of storage bags to seal the contents. Use as you would cable ties to secure and bundle small objects together.

4.) Use as candle wicks that will sit on top of the wax. This method allows you to add as many as you need. This works well if your candle wax is encased in a metal container that allows for a flat surface. Twist the bottom of the pipe cleaner so it makes a support base. Dip the entire cleaner in wax, let cool and dip again and repeat several more times to ensure it has a good coating of wax. Now all you have to do is set the wick on top of the wax and light. Use as many as you need, and when done snuff out the flame and let cool and use again. You can use the same wick a number of times.

5.) You can use the emergency wicks for oil lamps and lamps made from pine resin as well. We haven’t tried the ad hoc wicks with full tuna fish cans or sardine tins but it may a great experiment for some of you to try when you get the chance.

6.) Use to put your hair up in a ponytail to keep it away from the fire or moving objects.

7.) Twist several together (to make a thicker bore cleaner) and use as a bore cleaner for your pistols. You can wrap several around a bore rod if you don’t have a bore brush or swabs. Use to clean hard to reach areas on your firearm. Put some gun oil on the tip of a fresh pipe cleaner to lubricate hard to reach areas on firearms and other equipment.

8.) Broken knife handle, then wrap as many pipe cleaners as needed around the handle portion for gripping. Use the cleaners to enhance the grip on other tools and equipment as well.

9.) Dip a cleaner in melted wax to apply to tent seams, boot/shoe laces and along the seams of shoes and boots for water resistance.

10.) Use to secure blankets or tarps around your body. Simply wrap the material and then find the spot that you want to secure and punch a hole in the material on both sides and thread a cleaner through the holes to secure the material. You can make emergency body coverings, and head gear using blankets and other insulating materials.

11.) Use the cleaners to bore out the flame vents on propane and other fuel stoves to keep them operating efficiently.

12.) Thread a cleaner through a zipper so you can grab it easier.

13.) Use pipe cleaners to secure items to the outside of your pack or to repair your pack and other gear.

14.) Use the cleaners to clean your hydration packs, making sure you have an ample supply so any contaminated ones are not reused.

15.) Use as key rings, or to loop through rings and other jewelry to keep your valuables in one place in your packs.

You can purchase pipe cleaners that are designed for crafters, which can be up to 20 inches long, while the traditional pipe cleaner is usually 6 to 7 inches long. You can buy them in various colors as well to mark trails, or to identify bug-out- bags and other packs used by family or group members.

The post 15 Survival Uses for Pipe Cleaners appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

SHTF Healthcare: The Amazing Benefits of Photo Light Therapy

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SHTF Healthcare The Amazing Benefits of Photo Light Therapy via The Survival Mom

As a nurse, I am always looking for alternative methods of healing. Should we have a natural disaster, societal unrest, or pandemic, I want to find ways of taking care of my family’s medical needs. In those types of scenarios, a hospital itself could be lost or overwhelmed with patients during a crisis of some sort. I’m also not a fan of hospitals anyway, which are just large Petri dishes of highly resistant germs and microbes. It’s so ironic, that I am in this profession!

I have been trying a photo light therapy on myself, friends, and family to see if it really works. Although, its only been 3 weeks, the results have been so good that I want to share it with you. The benefits have really been amazing. Here’s how it all began.

Learning about photo light therapy

I have had a painful, inflamed, throbbing neck since 2010, as a result of a car accident. I’ve taken so much ibuprofen over the last several years, that I developed gastritis. I just couldn’t take the NSAIDS anymore, but I needed something for pain and didn’t want to start down the road of prescription pain meds. They can cause more problems than they help.

photo light therapy

I stopped by my local health food store, Baum’s, and picked up curcumin capsules for natural pain relief. They were effective, but I went through a bottle in a week, taking some every few hours. At least they didn’t cause stomach pain. I went back for a larger bottle and received a promotional flyer at the checkout counter, along with my receipt. I love reading all the information in the flyer about their products, but they also have interesting classes and speakers from time to time. This time, I noticed a seminar for “All Natural, Non-Narcotic Pain Relief With the Power of Light”. I reserved a seat for myself, and my friend Madelynn.

The class was all about the healing benefits of various wavelengths of light. It was presented by Nancy Hutsenpillar and PJ Cordona. They use the “InLight Wellness System” to help increase circulation, relieve inflammation, decrease/eliminate pain, help skin conditions, depression, and so much more.  The small machine has up to 6 different pads that are placed on the client. Each pad has rows of blue, red, and infrared lights.

Blue lights benefit skin conditions, such as acne, rosacea, and psoriasis. It is also the wavelength of light that is used to treat jaundice in babies in neo-natal units. According to PubMed, many bacteria are killed by blue light, among them are gram positive, bacteria, gram negative bacteria, Staphylococcus Aureus, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, H. Pylori, and many more.

Red lights penetrate deeper than the blue, and these wavelengths go all the way into the cells. The mitochondria absorb this light, and causes a tremendous increase of ATP (Adenosinetriphosphate). Cellular activity is greatly increased. Nitric oxide is released into the bloodsteam, blood vessels “relax”, and circulation improves. This also promotes better wound healing by allowing more oxygen to damaged sites. The lymphatic system seems to drain inflamed areas of excess fluid, resulting in less pain.

Red light is used to promote healing in non-healing wounds, post surgical sites, knee, neck, back, shoulders, ligaments, and tendons. Diabetics are getting relief from neuropathy and pain in their extremities. Spas and Dermatologists use it to reduce fine lines and wrinkles on skin. Here is a link to a video explaining WHY it works.

The near-infrared light and infrared light is in the invisible spectrum, and these penetrate most deeply, all the way to the bone. It is serious therapy. It is being used for traumatic brain injury, ischemic stroke, PTSD, non-healing ulcers, etc.

My personal experience with light therapy

After the presentation, we had a chance to try the lights. I explained to Nancy about my chronic neck pain. She placed several pads  on me, including one for my neck, and a facial mask. The session lasted about 20 minutes. It felt very relaxing, but my neck felt maybe 20% better. However, my mid-back felt great, my knees were fine, and I felt very alert and happy. I didn’t expect any of those things, and mentioned it to Nancy. She explained that the treatment helps the whole body, not just where the pads were placed. I decided to rent the machine for a week to see if repeated treatments would help my neck.

My friend, Madelynn, who came with me is a harpist. Her thumb has been very painful, and she has been unable to play for some time. After her treatment, she did notice a difference in her thumb right away. It was much less painful. She also ended up renting a machine. She used it on her family members with excellent results, too. After her weeks rental was up, her thumb was back to normal.

After daily placing of the pads for a week, my pain was 90%-95% gone. I continued to use it for another 2 weeks and tried it on as many people as possible. The testimonials were quite dramatic.  My sister had me wrap her ankle that was swollen. After 20 minutes, she said she didn’t feel different, just relaxed. But a few hours later, she went to go have a cigarette outside. She went to cram her foot into her shoe, and it slipped right in. She was amazed because it’s been months since she could slip her foot into her shoe that easily. The swelling was down markedly.

I’ve seen it help others, too

I also wrapped up a co-worker who had been bitten by dogs when she tried to break up a fight between them. She was very bruised and had puncture wounds. By the end of our shift, she had regained use of her bitten, swollen hand. By the third day the bruising was gone, and she only had a few superficial marks left.

My daughter has rosacea or cystic acne, we aren’t sure which. She has had the face mask on about 5 days per week, and by end of week 2, her skin was pink, not red and blotchy. The affected area is also much smaller. I’d say it’s about 50%-60% better. We have both noticed that we sleep better at night, too. I am not tossing and turning so much because my neck feels so much better.

I’d like to mention  a few previous experiences with light therapy. I used to work as an RN at a Dermatologist’s office. I was the “Blue Light Therapy” nurse. I used this wavelength of light on patients who had psoriasis, vitiligo, and other skin conditions. Insurance covered these treatments because they got results, but it does take time. I also brought my dog to our local vet’s office for hip pain. They offered Red Light Therapy for $35.00 for each 30 minute session, and recommended it be done 3 times per week. It is a therapy that is recognized by professionals because it has long term benefits.

I have now decided that I will purchase the system. It is expensive, but it has helped so many people in just the short time I rented the units. I also only have one stomach. If I ruin it with NSAIDS, I can’t buy another, and I won’t have to go the route of “pain meds” for my chronic neck pain. I’d also like to work less at my traditional job and be able to turn this into a holistic healing type of job. Believe it or not, the crows feet around my eyes have flattened out, and my eye area is looking “refreshed”. I can’t wait to see the results in another month or two!

So, I like the whole concept of this type of healing. It’s non-pharmaceutical, non-allergenic, can’t overdose, & no “down time”. Its FDA approved, and is used on babies in the hospitals. If anyone is having chronic pain, I suggest they look into this and do your own research. However, everything I’ve seen has been very positive. Just make sure whatever system or device you use has American made diodes and not cheap foreign made ones that won’t work. They may look the same, but aren’t. I hope this will help people who are suffering, & have been unable to successfully treat themselves with other methods. It would be a great prep to have for medical emergencies.

 

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments.  The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

SHTF Healthcare The Amazing Benefits of Photo Light Therapy via The Survival Mom

10 Medical Resources You Can Get from Nature

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Your list of home remedies is about to get even more interesting and spicier. Although these natural herbs are have been used hundreds of years, doctors and scientists are now recommending them to be used for healing purposes. These natural medical resources can be easily substituted as traditional methods of medication. The plants have capabilities to heal and reduce cholesterol, high blood pressure and arthritis pain to name a few. Some of the best healing herbs even have the ability to treat cancer cells and also help alcoholics to curb their drinking habit.

The natural medical resources or herbs and other natural remedies are as effective as traditional treatments. In some cases they are even more effective without any side effects. Here are some of the best medical resources that you can get from nature. These super-healers can be added into your natural medicine or herbal products cabinet along with your favorite recipes. Fitting a few of them in your daily routine can be beneficial for the body.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is native to southern Asia

Turmeric contains anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties. Who ever thought an ingredient used for taste in curry can help to relieve pain? This spice which is popular for its use in curry contains curcumin that helps to treat arthritis. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and an important element that works just like Cox-2 inhibitors drugs to reduce the Cox-2 enzyme which results in the swelling of arthritis.

The herb is known for doing wonders. Another reason why turmeric is popular because it reduces precancerous lesions when taken with quercetin which is found in apples, onions and cabbage. Turmeric also helps to clear plaques in the brain that are important characteristic of the disease.

Cinnamon

A recent study on type 2 diabetics showed that taking cinnamon extract everyday reduces the blood sugar level in the body by 10%. It reduces risks related to heart and slash cholesterol by about 13%.

1 g capsules of cinnamon extract everyday helps to tame blood sugar while 1 to 6 g capsules reduce cholesterol. However, a large amount of actual spice in not good for health. Thus, it’s better to stick to water-soluble extract.

Rosemary

Heterocyclic amines or HCAs are some vital carcinogens that are present in several types of cancers. These amines are created after grilling, frying and broiling meat at high temperatures. Rosemary extract which is a common powder mixed in beef after cooking reduces HCA levels in the body.

Rosemary extract also prevents carcinogens from binding with DNA and stops them from entering in the body. It is the first step of the formation of tumor and rosemary extracts helps to prevent cancer at an initial stage. Thus, taking rosemary extract will kill carcinogens before they turn into a tumor. This research has been only carried out on animals but the extract has a tendency to prevent cancer.

In order to reduce HCAs in the body, make sure that you add rosemary extract in any spice mix. It will also enhance the taste, making the dish stronger in flavors. You can mix the herb with oregano, parsley, thyme and onions for a perfect mix.

Ginger

Ginger can protect your stomach from various sources including motion sickness, pregnancy and chemotherapy. This is an old home remedy that we often hear from our mothers and grandmothers. They are right because it really works!

Ginger is a powerful anti-oxidant that blocks the effects of serotonin in the body. It is a chemical that the stomach and body produces when you feel nausea by stopping the production of free radicals which is also another cause of an upset stomach.

Garlic

High consumption of garlic have cured colorectal and ovarian cancers. People have also experienced reduction in the number and size of precancerous growths. The benefits of garlic are not only limited to lowering risks of cancer, but it also decreases high blood pressure. There are about 70 active phytochemicals in garlic including allicin that deceases blood pressure by 30 points.

Garlic in your diet slows down the arterial blockages and prevent strokes. Fresh and crushed garlic offers the best cancer-fighting and cardiovascular benefits. However, one should have at least five crushed garlic cloves to enjoy maximum benefits.

Holy Basil

Several animal studies back holy basil, a special variety of the plant you use in your pesto sauce, Holy basil is effective in reducing stress by increasing the noradrenaline and adrenaline along with decreasing serotonin in the body. The herb is also popular to relieve headaches and indigestion. Tea leaves of the holy basil is a great natural resource which is more effective than traditional methods of relieving pain.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera was used in traditional medicine for treating skin disease, constipation, infections, worm infestation and colic. In Chinese medicine, it is popular for treating various fungal diseases. In today’s modern times, the herb is used in various cosmetics to make skin softer.

Surprisingly, Aloe Vera consists of more than 78 active components. Studies have shown that the herb also contains antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. It builds up the immune system and does not cause any allergic reaction.

FeverFew

FeverFew is a natural herb that has been used over centuries to ease headaches, toothaches, stomach-ache, infertility, menstruation problems and labor during childbirth. The healing effect comes from a biochemical present in the herb known as parthenolides. It fights against the widening of blood vessels during migraines. The herb also prevents blood clots, dizziness, relieve allergies and reduces arthritis pain.

St. John’s Wort

St. Johns Wort herbs are not used to treat the physical symptoms but also used for relieving anxiety and mild to moderate depression. The best thing about it is it works effectively as any other drug without any side-effects.

Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is used as a supplement consumed by men to treat prostate cancer. It also contributes to several health issues related to men such as hair loss, libido and enlarged prostate. Other than that, it is said to promote relaxation, treat respiratory conditions and boost immune function.

Author Bio: Saqib Khan, is an inquisitive blogger and loves to spread his knowledge. With a penchant for medical innovations and developments, Saqib’s new field of interest is herbal medicines. He is currently associated with a top online medical pharmacy in Pakistan offering variety of Pathological & Herbal Medicines such as flu medicine, first aid kits, cough medicine, etc.

If you liked this article, please rate it.

The post 10 Medical Resources You Can Get from Nature appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Back to Basics: The KISS AR-15

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SHTFblog_survival_cache-best-ar-15-dissipator-windham-weaponry-magpul-blue-force-gear-vickers-2

KISS_SHTFblog-survival-cache-tactical-magpul-aimpoint-comp-ml3-fenix-pd35-troy-magpul-dissipator-stramlight-tlr-1I admit it – like most gun culture involved individuals in America, I also got way too caught up in building an “ultimate” AR-15.  While I didn’t go as wild as some, I definitely spent way more money buying and trying different setups until I settled on my current “Goldilocks”configuration. I use and shoot the hell out of that AR – it’s my SHTF “gotta go!” rifle – but I’ve figured out with actual use that the rifle just has a lot going on for occasional range use, training, and scouting/small game hunting.  It’s heavy for an AR, to boot.

By Drew, a contributing author of Survival Cache & SHTFBlog

The basic rifle uses a Windham Weaponry 16” heavy barrel SRC upper, modified with a Troy low-profile gas block, 13” Troy Alpha rail and aluminum Sig Sauer flip-up BUIS.  The lower has a Magpul MOE grip and a Magpul ACS stock, both stuffed to the gills with extra springs and pins, small sample tube of CLP, a spare firing pin, and a full complement of CR123 batteries for the 1000-lumen Fenix PD35 TAC light.  With the rubber-armored Aimpoint Comp ML3 red dot optic and steel LaRue M68 QD mount, the rifle weighs over nine pounds with a full 30 round magazine and BDS sling.  It’s set to go for a SHTF event and is a very capable, reliable, great-shooting rifle.  You could ask almost anyone and probably get the reply that it has everything one might need on an out-the-door grab-and-go SHTF AR platform.

But does this AR have things I don’t absolutely need (besides weight)?  Since building that SHTF rifle, my mind has been drifting occasionally to a “KISS” (Keep It Simple, Stupid!), rifle that is lighter, has no frills, and just works for a variety of uses and missions.  I recently assisted my father with assembling a rifle that he dubbed his “ULWC” (Ultra LightWeight Carbine) that utilized a lot of really high-end lightweight parts and a dash of simplicity to create a nice, functional AR that tips the scales at under 7 pounds with a micro red dot optic and 20-round P-Mag.  I wanted to straddle the line between the weight of my father’s ULWC, the utility and mission of Doc Montana’s “Katrina Rifle”, and what I had built already.  Nothing battery-powered, (though retaining the capability of mounting a light)  just tried and true simplicity.

Opportunity Provided By Colt

I’ve had a Colt Match Target Sporter HBAR for years, and I never really shoot the rifle anymore due to its competition-designed setup: it is a standard AR-15A2 configuration, with a 20” very heavy barrel, non-removable rear “carrying handle” adjustable sight, and fixed rear stock with added weights. The rifle shoots great, but its 1:7 rifling rate of twist means that it doesn’t group my preferred 55-grain bullet handloads very well – the 1:7 twist spins the fast-moving little pills too quickly, and the rifle grouped badly with 55-grainers as a consequence.  I didn’t want to stockpile another bullet in the 69-75 grain range and develop another handload for a rifle that didn’t have the capability to mount an optic optimally, so the rifle sat in the safe and gathered dust for a long time.

However, one day I was talking with my brother about possible upcoming AR builds, and he said, “why don’t you just throw a collapsible stock on your Colt?”  A light bulb went off.  I have built up a cadre of friends and local shops who were very capable of excellent AR builds and had all the tools I hadn’t accrued yet….so indeed, why not modify the Colt?  It possesses all the basic upper and lower receiver ingredients for a great KISS rifle – it just needed a different barrel and stock configuration.  I rooted through the couch cushions for extra change and set to work once I had the funds.

The configuration I knew I’d go to was one I’d had in mind for years: Dissipator, baby.

Dissa-whaaaaat?

KISS_SHTFblog-tactical-survival-cache-dissipator-colt-ar15-streamlight-TLR-1sI remember being quite young – probably before my teens – and perusing through the many stacks and stacks of gun magazines my father had accrued: my earliest firearms education.  I remember seeing an a picture of an AR-15 that still sticks with me – it looked like a mean-looking chopped-off standard AR-15A2; and really, that’s what it was.  Later in life, I found that the then-Maine-based company, Bushmaster Firearms, had put a name to the design that Colt had pioneered years ago: The “Dissipator.” A classic Dissipator is a standard AR-15A1/A2 with the barrel –  usually 20” on a standard A1/A2 – lopped off to a handier 16” length.  The flash suppressor sat just beyond the fixed tower front sight and full-length rifle handguards, giving a stubby, businesslike appearance.  But even in my now long-gone younger ages, I knew that the rifle had a longer sighting radius for better accuracy, while boasting the handier CAR-15 shorter overall length.

Original Dissipators had issues with reliability; they had a full-length rifle gas system on a carbine-length barrel.  Gas impulses and resulting short dwell time were funky and the guns had a habit of not cycling properly unless the gas ports were opened up significantly.  Modern Dissipators usually utilize M4-pattern barrels and carbine-length low-profile gas systems under full-length rifle handguards, with the fixed tower front sight not being utilized as a gas block, as per the usual.

Today, things have come full circle.  After the A3/M4 AR variant reared its head, sprouting its myriad spawn and video game experts, shooters started to realize that the extra handguard length meant more rail room for more goodies and sling mounts.  It also lead to a longer sight radius for any attached sights, and with the modern arm-extended “C” clamp method of holding the rifle, more space to muckle onto the forward end of the rifle and not get your phalanges cooked medium rare.  You’ll see many modern builds are actually de facto Dissipators – short barrels with full-length handguards/rails growing around them, and sights that are placed almost to the muzzle.  Hey, if it works, people will figure it out eventually, right?

But I’d figured out long ago that it looked purposeful and damned cool.  And I was gonna get one, dammit. Or, y’know, in this case I’d build one.

Putting the Puzzle Together

Okay, so I had a Colt rifle and the entire interwebs to help me figure the best way to modify it.  Really all I needed was a barrel, appropriately-lengthed gas tube, and a collapsible buttstock.  I’d had the receiver extension, end plate, buffer spring, and carbine buffer kicking around already, waiting for a build.  I sourced a black milspec Magpul CTR stock from the local Cabela’s, and converted the lower from a fixed A2 stock to a 6-position telescoping rear stock one evening after dinner.  Mission one complete.

Related: Theory and Practical Application of the Walking Around Rifle

KISS_SHTFblog-survival-cache-best-ar-15-colt-dissipator-streamlight-magpul-MOE-tlr-1SNow for the upper receiver modifications, which were going to require more digging to make sure I did things right.  I searched the catacombs of online sources for a couple days, looking for the proper barrel for my build.  I definitely did not desire another heavy barrel; nor did I want a flyweight barrel and its walking groups.  Finally, I found that my local boys at Windham Weaponry do indeed offer Dissipator setups – I could have bought an entire completed Dissipator upper receiver, but settled on just the barrel and gas tube to replace the 20” heavy barrel that was on the Colt.  In the Dissipator models, Windham Weaponry offers a heavy barrel setup, as well as a stepped, lighter M4-pattern barrel.  I opted for the latter, and was 100% confident I’d have a great barrel; I’ve personally toured the Windham Weaponry facility, and their quality control is second to none.  Every person who works there is fiercely proud of their product and what they represent.  As stated before, my other AR build has a W-W upper, and with a good field rest, that rifle will keep 4-5” groups at 200 yards with no issues if I do my part behind the Aimpoint.

Windham Weaponry offers the ability to purchase directly through their website and I could have installed all the hardware, but I wanted to support another local business.  I called on an old schoolmate, Jeff Furlong at Furlong Custom Creations in Raymond, Maine, to order the parts and assemble them to my upper.  I’d had a custom kydex holster made by Jeff years ago, but had never had any rifle work performed.  He has a stellar reputation for his builds here in the area, so I called on him to help with the build.  Jeff helped me sort out what I wanted and needed, and he got to ordering the barrel and necessary accoutrements from Windham Weaponry.  While he was at it, I asked him to source a set of black rifle-length MOE MLOK handguards from Magpul, and a new charging handle.  He had a BCM Mod 4 charging handle in stock, so we threw that on the pile of parts.

I dropped the upper off at Furlong Custom Creations, and less than a week later, I got the message that the parts had arrived and the new parts were assembled on the upper.

And the Survey Says….

Huzzah! I buzzed up to Furlong Custom Creations to collect my upper.  Jeff remarked that it looked “badass” with the Magpul handguards, and I was inclined to agree.  Though aesthetics aren’t exactly the only thing we aim for with our ARs, you know we all smirk inwardly with unabashed satisfaction when another gun guy tells us our rifle looks “badass”, or some variation thereof. I probably would have skipped back to my truck if it wasn’t for the icy driveway.

Once home, I reunited the old receiver mates and assembled the newly transformed upper onto the Match Sporter lower.  The end result was, in my eyes and hands, delightful.  The weight sits just a bit further forward than a standard M4, and the handling qualities are excellent.  The initial handling time I got with the rifle, comparing it to its fully decked-out brother, made me like the Dissipator more and more – maybe there really was something to this simple, lightweight thing.

The first range trip was short – I barely got it on paper at 50 yards before the Maine 4th Keyboard Commando Brigade showed up at the pit with their AKs and .45 Glocks and started performing breathtaking 7.62 drum dumps and even occasionally hitting their Bin Laden targets.  I packed up and headed home before the cops showed up.

I finally got a few minutes to do some accuracy work while on my lunch last week, and the results were very good.  With Federal 55-grain FMJBT ammunition, I was able to keep 5-shot groups to 1” or so at 50 yards offhand.  Benched groups at 100 yards with the same Federal load hovered in the 2”-3” range – adequate for the purposes I need. I’ll try a few different factory loads and also try a handload – but for all intents and purposes, I’m happy with groups this size from an open-sighted rifle.  My old Winchester Model 54 in .30-06 shoots 2-3” groups at 100 yards with open sights, but will cloverleaf three rounds at the same range when scoped – so I know that the larger groups at long range are due to my aging Mark 1 eyeball’s capability, and I’m fine with that.  I accept it, anyway.

Though I’ve only run about 300 rounds through the rifle thus far, I have been very happy with the package and the performance.  Reliability has been flawless – though one really can’t gauge long-term results from just a few rounds downrange.

A Couple Additions

I didn’t want – or really, need – to add a bunch of crap to this rifle; I wanted to maintain the KISS principle to the best of my abilities.  Light weight and no-frills are the core concepts in this build. In my mind’s eye, I only needed two accessories: a good sling, and the ability to mount (and dismount) a light.

For the sling, I ordered a Magpul MLOK-compatible QD sling mount, and attached the circular mount at the 10 o’clock position, as far forward as I could place it.  The Magpul CTR stock already had a quick-detach sling swivel mount built in, so I sourced a pair of Midwest Industries Heavy Duty QD sling swivels from Amazon.  The space in between the swivels was filled with an adjustable Wolf Grey Blue Force Gear Vickers Combat Application sling to keep the whole rig in place on my body.  For those of you who haven’t tried a Blue Force Gear Vickers sling, they are phenomenal and highly recommended.

For illumination, I obtained a 3-slot MLOK picatinny rail attachment point, which I mounted at the 2 o’clock position, also as far forward as was allowable.  The small, simple rail is just the right size to mount a Streamlight TLR-1, which can be activated by my support hand fingers without adjusting my grip.  Simple, easy, tough…and with enough illumination power for what I expect to use the rifle for.

Possible future upgrades that are not necessary for this rifle to complete is mission, but are desireable to help improve user-friendliness:

  • a three-dot tritium sight set to replace to stock A2 adjustable sights, as budget allows – but with the Streamlight mounted, the need for the illuminated sights is negated mostly.  If I don’t go with tritium sights, a finer post front sight will find its way on the rifle.
  • An Odin Works extended magazine release is definitely on the list; they are a vast improvement over the stock magazine release, and I install them on all of my AR platform rifles.
  • A Magpul MOE Enhanced Trigger Guard will also be installed in the future to allow for improved access to the trigger with gloved hands.  They are more smoothly contoured as well, and don’t have a tendency to shave skin on my fingers as badly as the stock sharp-edged metal one.  I saw a screaming deal for a BCM extended trigger guard, so that was ordered and installed on the rifle instead of the Magpul part.

Defining the Mission for my KISS Rifle

While some may say the need for this rifle may be vague or non-existent, it fills a very vacant hole in my lineup.  I’m very fond of running guns that are sans optics unless I need them; I like the lighter weight and better handling qualities…a good aperture sight setup is all I need for 90% of my rifle use.  I’m comfortable and pretty quick on target using the built-in, non-removable sights.  For a few bucks, I can always drop some cake on a new flat top upper and have the Dissipator parts swapped on, once my eyes finally give out (I’m fighting it as long as I can, dammit) and I require an optic to keep my rounds heading in the right direction with anything resembling a modicum of precision.

KISS_shtfblog-tactical-survival-cache-KISS-rifle-dissipator-blue-force-gear-vickers-snowBut, what will I do with this rifle?  I’m glad you asked.  Like the aforementioned Katrina Rifle engineered by Doc Montana (check out his article here for a similar rifle concept that is different in execution), I built a rifle around an idea that requires a simple, light, rugged, and above all, reliable rifle that is capable of security detail/protection, hunting, and scouting.  Light weight is essential so that the rifle can be on my person perpetually if the situation demands it.  In a true disaster or SHTF event, having a lightweight rifle as a force multiplier may be the difference between life and death – and if the rifle is so heavy or obtrusive that you leave it at home standing in the corner, it is of no benefit.  This KISS rifle is also a second primary rifle, so that I may outfit my teenaged-but-larger-than-me son with an effective rifle in case of severe emergency and extra security is required.

I also wanted a platform for my KISS rifle that was easily serviceable, with parts readily available, either aftermarket or from salvaging “found” guns if needed – the Colt fit the bill flawlessly in that department.  However, since the Colt is an older “pre-ban” (is that still a bragging point anymore?) rifle, it has larger .169” trigger/hammer pins, not the Milspec standard .154” pins.  This necessitates a couple spares taped to the inside of the Magpul MOE grip….just in case.  A complement of easily-lost detents, springs, and pins also reside in the grip cavity along with a shortened 1/16” hardened steel pin punch and a small sample tube of CLP.  I like being able to effect small repairs and lubrication in the field if necessary, but big parts replacement, if required, and deep cleaning can be carried out at the home/BOL armorer’s bench.

Read Also: The AR-15 Bolt Carrier Group

The rifle will likely stay at the homestead, but remain ready to fulfill its duties with a ready complement of four loaded (and regularly rotated) and ready-to-rumble Magpul P-mags for immediate danger work, or a couple five-round magazines with a small-game/varmint handload in case I don’t feel like taking my Walking Around Rifle for a jaunt in the woods.

This KISS Dissipator (KISSipator?) fulfills all the basic requirements I was looking for when I started building the gun in my head.  I got the Dissipator I’d been dreaming of for 20 years, and was able to tailor the long lusted-after rifle and its few accessories to fill a hole in the SHTF arsenal, all while not overloading the rifle with gadgets and battery-powered weights. Mission accomplished.

The Sum of its Parts

The Dissipator configuration is a great choice if you’d like the longer handguards for mounting and grasping real estate, but without the added cost and/or hassle of free-floating rails.  Really, if I didn’t want to retain the capability of mounting a light to the gun, I could have left the standard A2-style handguards on the rifle, mounted the sling to the standard swivels, and had a great rifle for even less money.  As it stands, the cost for the barrel and gas tube assembled to the Colt upper, BCM charging handle, Magpul MOE rifle-length handguards, Magpul CTR rear stock, Blue Force sling and mounts, and the MLOK attachments is $407.00 – much less than the cost of a new, high-quality rifle (with no accessories!), even in this heyday of the AR rifle and aftermarket parts glut.

Check Out: Windham Weaponry

And keeping it simple?  That’s a personal choice.  I like having a rifle that is 100% effective at its intended job without any additional tactical detritus that weighs the rifle down and requires a larger stockpile of batteries.  I was pleasantly surprised at the utility of this rifle, even without all the gadgetry installed.  The fixed rear sight A2 platform is the ultimate in platform simplicity and ruggedness, and may even be the direction you want to go in if you’re looking for these same qualities in a SHTF rifle.

What are your thoughts on this setup?  A waste of a good Colt, or the right direction to go in? Sound off in the comments with your thoughts if you have a minute to share.

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Take The Advantage Of Growing Hydroponic Plants!

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Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably heard of hydroponic planting. Even if you did live in a cave, you probably saw an example of it when you saw that little plant growing in a puddle of water in the rock. That’s what hydroponic growing is – it’s simply growing plants without soil.

But why should you try it? That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

When you think about hydroponically growing plants, you probably get this vision of complicated systems and expensive grow lights, but that’s not the case. Growing plants using a hydroponic system is actually easier that using a soil-based system, as you’ll see in a bit.

You can use water alone, gravel, sand, coconut husks, or even artificial materials to secure the roots of your plants, but the idea is to choose a medium that allows the water to flow freely around the roots of the plant.

Here are just a few advantages of growing hydroponic plants.

Plants Grow Faster and Yield More Fruit

Studies show that plants grown hydroponically grow 30-50 percent faster than soil-grown plants and also yield more fruit. This is probably because there is a constant supply of water and the nutrients are delivered straight to the roots throughout the day.

Since the plant doesn’t have to search through the soil and break the nutrients down in order to absorb them, it’s free to use that extra energy to grow and produce.

Also, there is generally more oxygen in water than there is in soil. This helps the plant absorb nutrients faster and it also promotes root growth.

No Weeding

Since you’re controlling the medium and you only plant what you want in it, you’re not going to be dealing with weeds, and if you do manage to get a couple weed seeds blown or carried in, they’re easy to pluck out, roots and all.

This saves you time, and prevents the plant from fighting with weeds for nutrients and water.

You Control the Nutrients and pH

One of the biggest problems that we face when we grow plants in dirt is that we’re often at the mercy of the quality of the soil. Without sending it off to be tested, it’s tough to tell what nutrients are in your soil and how acidic it is.

Since some plants prefer a more acidic soil and others prefer neutral or base soil, you’ll find that some plants grow better in your soil than others.

With a hydroponics system, you take all of the guesswork out of the growing process because you control the amount and type of nutrients as well as the pH. This is another reason that plants are healthier and more productive.

You Know What you’re Eating

You really don’t know what’s in your soil even if you’ve lived there for 20 years because pesticides, chemicals, and even acid rain can contaminate it with all sorts of harmful materials. When you grow your plants using the hydroponics method, you know exactly what’s in the food that you eat.

Year-Round Fruit

Because there’s no dirt to mess with, hydroponic systems are exceptionally easy to manage indoors or in a greenhouse, which means that you can have fresh produce year-round.

If you get sick of growing tomatoes, just switch them out and grow some basil to go with them. Since your plants will also yield more fruit, you’ll really ramp up your production.

Indoor/Outdoor Options

We just mentioned that hydroponic systems are easily adapted to indoor growth, and there is more than one reason why that’s a good thing. First, you don’t have to go out in the rain or heat to tend your plants, or look at a snow-covered, barren garden in the winter.

That’s great, but what about security? If you’re growing plants inside, nobody will know what you’re doing. In hard times, when you’re trying to survive, this can be a deal-changer. And you don’t necessarily need much room for an indoor hydroponics system, either.

As a matter of fact, we’ve tried on, the Plug & Farm Towers can be mounted against a wall and only extends about 6 inches from the wall. It’s only a few feet wide and tall, but is designed so that you maximize your growing space. You can use it in an apartment or even a slightly large closet as long as you have the necessary lighting.

Less Space

Unlike traditional soil growing techniques, hydroponic systems lend themselves nicely to growing in stacked trays. I’ve seen many setups that range in size from the Plug & Farm Towers to ones that consist of 5 or 6 layers of trays that are several feet wide with a couple of feet between each layer.

If you use a gravity system, you can get quite clever with your angles so that each layer trickles down to the next, then is fed back up to the top again. Even using a hydroponics system that large, you’ll still be using very little water in the scheme of things.

Vertical crops

Soil Quality Doesn’t Matter

This one sort of goes without saying since you’re not using soil. To drive home the point, though, I live in Florida and the soil is extremely sandy, with just a bit of loam on the top. Tomatoes grow OK here in that, but they’re merely compared to ones that I grew in the rich soil of West Virginia.

However, if I use a hydroponics system, I don’t have to worry about soil quality. If you pair this with an indoor growing system, you can grow pretty much anything.

Lower Water Requirements

Any plant needs water because that’s how it absorbs nutrients.

Now, of course we can’t give an exact number here because the US has such a wide variety of soils and rainfall amounts, but in soil that’s not too wet or too dry, and grown in conditions that aren’t miserably hot with low humidity, it will take about 20 gallons of water per week to water a 32 square foot garden. That’s a garden that’s roughly 5 feet x 6 feet.

Now, if you have to water an area that large using a hydroponics system, you’re going to use as little as 1/4 of that. Maybe less if you’re filtering and oxygenating the water, because it’s a re-usable source.

In other words, with a soil garden, you’re going to be using 80 gallons per week, but in a hydroponics garden, you’re going to be using that initial watering (5 – 7 gallons) over and over again.

When you’re in a survival situation, that’s a huge difference in the amount of something that you need to live! In essence, that saves you an extra 15 gallons just in the first week, and, even assuming you lose a couple of gallons to evaporation weekly, you’ve still saved at least 40 gallons. That’s enough water for almost two people over a month!

Diseases and Pests are Easier to Get Rid Of

The way that many diseases and pests attack your plants to begin with is via soil. So, since you’re eliminating soil, you’re also eliminating much of the risk of your plants becoming infected. And one of the main reasons that pests and diseases are so hard to get rid of if you DO get them in soil-grown plants is because they hide in the soil and keep reinfecting your plants.

With a hydroponics system, there is no dirt to hold the pest or disease, so they’re easier to get rid of if you are unfortunate enough to contract them in the first place.

Greater Variety

Since you’re no longer dependent on soil quality or large land areas, and you can easily use a hydroponics system to grow year-round in a greenhouse or indoors, you can grow basically whatever you want.

You can also experience three or even four growth cycles (depending on what you’re growing), so even if you have a smaller growing area, you can grow one plant this cycle, and another plant the next cycle.

Physically Easier to Grow and Harvest

You can grow your plants at whatever height is comfortable to you – just build your system accordingly. That means that you don’t have to bend over on your hands and knees like you do when growing a traditional garden.

You don’t have to weed the garden, either, at least not on any serious level. If you do need to pick out a few, they pull out easily because their roots aren’t buried in dirt.

Now that you have a few really good reasons to try a hydroponics system to grow your fruits and vegetables, get started! We’ve provided a link to one that we’ve personally tested. It’s efficient, easy to assemble, and simple to use.

It’s also big enough to make a nice wall garden outside, but small enough to use inside even a small apartment. And with only 10 minutes a day you’ll never have to worry about feeding your family again.

Click the banner below to grab your own survival farm!

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

Who Do You Say You Are?

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     I have been listening to a series of podcasts by Dr. Curry Blake, a leading authority on Divine Healing.  I have been greatly moved by his no-nonsense, down-to-earth preaching on the fundamental truths of the Bible. His teachings on both spiritual and physical healing, spiritual warfare, and our identity as children [sons and daughters] of God are quite thought-provoking.
     One of the statements he made really caught me off guard, and has taken me on a Scriptural hunt to discover just who I am if I say and believe that I have given my life to Christ.  Dr. Blake said that [after we come to faith in Christ], “We think we’re still only humans, and as humans we are still going to fail and have faults because we’re still sinners.”  He went on to say that most people continue to think of themselves as “just sinners saved by Grace”. He responds with an emphatic NO! And he says we need to change how we think of ourselves. After seeking my own understanding of his premise through Scriptural search and discovery, I have come to agree with him, and see myself in a new light. Let me show you what I have discerned…
     We can all agree that Scripture tells us that when we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are a new creation: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). So why do we keep identifying ourselves as sinners?  We were sinners, but we have been saved by God’s grace, and the Bible tells us that we are now the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ: I have been justified (completely forgiven and made righteous) and am at peace with God (Romans 5:1).  God no longer identifies me as a sinner.  I have been transformed — not just cleaned up on the outside, but completely transformed on the inside, too.  And what does that look like?  Romans 12:2 tells us: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. That means that this new creation I have become is a total and complete transformation from my former state; and I, in fact, have a new nature and now have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).
     So why do we continue to identify ourselves as sinners and expect to sin?  Is it because we have believed the lie from Satan that we are unable to NOT sin?  Because that’s not what the Bible says!  The Word clearly tells us that I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ [who] lives in me. The life I am now living is Christ’s life (Galatians 2:20). Since Christ was sinless — and the life I am now living is Christ’s life — shouldn’t I expect that I, too, could live a sinless life?  So why don’t I [we] believe that?
     It all comes back to renewing my mind to have the mind of Christ.  God has done His part.  Now I have to do mine.  God has promised three gifts to every true Christian: His spirit of power, His spirit of love, and His sound mind.  We can all understand what His power and love are, but what does He mean by a “sound mind”?  Strong’s Concordance says that “sound” infers discipline and self-control; which characterizes the mind of Christ.
     It can be a challenge to separate God’s truth [that the old has passed away; that we are a new creation; that we are transformed to live the life of Christ; that we are no longer identified as sinners] from the deceitful lies of Satan [that we are unable to stop sinning].  Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit, who would guide us into all truth. God and Jesus have done their part.  It takes discipline and self-control for us to do our part.  And it starts with taking responsibility for renewing our minds every time we are tempted by Satan to believe his lies. Believe me, I understand that no one said it would be easy!
     And I can hear some of you saying right now, “But what if I am unable to resist the lie I hear in my mind and I DO sin? Haven’t I then become a sinner?”  Perhaps we need to differentiate what the Bible tells us about sinners.  In the Old Testament, a sinner was identified as someone who missed the mark; a person who followed a path or lifestyle [or committed an act] deviating from God’s direction; forfeiting goodness in favor of moral failure.  In the New Testament, the definition of sinner is similar:  missing the mark so as not to share in the prize; but unlike the Old Testament, it is not simply the committal of the act, but a continuous practice of sin that would label us a “sinner”.
     Make no mistake, Sin has always been unacceptable to God, but if we know Jesus as our Savior, we now have an Advocate should we be unable to apply discipline and self-control to our minds when Satan tempts us.  We can go to Jesus, confess our lack of discipline, repent, and we are cleansed of all unrighteousness.  We may come boldly before the throne of God to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
     But here is the important thing to realize.  If we stumble, that does not mean we return to being a sinner, as before our transformation.  We have a new nature: I have been given God’s precious and magnificent promises by which I am a partaker of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). By nature, we are now children of God, not a child of the devil! Because of our new nature, it should be easier for us to be righteous than to sin. It is no longer in our [new] nature to desire to sin, so why are we still identifying ourselves as SINNERS?
     There are so many Scriptures that tell us who we are in Christ, and not one of them says we are still sinners!  1 Peter 2:9,10 tells us We are a part of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God’s own possession! 1 Thessalonians 5:5 proclaims that We are children of light and not darkness.  Colossians 1:14 declares, We have been redeemed and forgiven of all our sins. The debt against us has been canceled.  What part of any of these verses insinuates that we are still sinners?  So, the next time you hear the whisper of Satan’s lie that you are “[still] a sinner saved by Grace”, renew your mind and rebuke that lie.  Speak boldly and confidently:  I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20) and I am righteous and holy (Ephesians 4:24). And then believe it!

Romans 6:6   “We know that our old self [our human nature without the Holy Spirit] was nailed to the cross with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin”.

 
   
   

Top 5 Best .380 Pocket Pistols for Concealed Carry

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by Nicholas

More Americans are concealed carrying today for personal protection more than ever before. The result of this in recent years has been an explosion of sales for pistols designed specifically for concealed carry.

For this reason, in the past five or so years, the market for .380 pocket pistols (also known as pocket rockets) has skyrocketed. Now, there are more pocket pistols available than ever before.

But does this mean that every pocket pistol is worth your consideration to serve as your concealed carry piece? Not at all. Some pocket pistols have proven themselves to be of the utmost quality, while others have demonstrated repeatedly that they are unreliable or simply poorly made.

To help you along, we’ve compiled a list of five of the best .380 pocket pistols that are currently available for concealed carry. No pistol is 100% perfect by any means (what gun is?), but they have shown through their track records to be the most reliable and practical offerings for a pocket .380 today.

Presented in alphabetical order, here they are:

COLT MUSTANG XSP

If you ever wanted a 1911 small enough to fit in your pocket, the Colt Mustang is definitely the gun for you.  The Mustang was actually one of the most successful pocket rockets ever produced, and in the 1980s and 90s, it was especially popular as the Pocketlite model.

But the one big downside to the Pocketlite was its all-steel frame, which made it heavy (at least for a pocket pistol).  In 1987, Colt remedied this by re-crafting the Mustang Pocketlite into the Mustang XSP, which is a more modern and polymer framed version.

The Mustang XSP features a total weight of 11.8 ounces, with a length of 5.5 inches.  It holds 6 rounds in the magazine, though an extended 7 round magazine is also available.

Like the 1911, the Mustang XSP is a single action handgun, meaning the gun can only be fired with the hammer cocked back. This means that there are two different ways to carry the Mustang: either with the hammer cocked back and the safety on (cocked and locked), or with the hammer down. Although the latter method may feel safer, it will be significantly slower to draw and fire since you’ll need to manually pull back the hammer before firing.

Colt still produces the Pocketlite variant today, so you do have options.  But the XSP represents the lighter and more modern option.

GLOCK 42

While the G42 is easily the biggest pistol on this list, it’s still small and light enough to fit into a pocket.  As with the rest of the Glock line-up, the G42 is striker fired.  It has no manual safeties, other than the blade on the trigger that must be depressed to the trigger to be pulled back.  In other words, takes the reliability and the simplicity that Glock is known for and has condensed it into their smallest package yet.

The G42 weighs less than 14 ounces and is just under six inches in length. While that’s slightly larger than the other pocket .380s on this list, the trade off is that the G42 to be easier to fire (.380 pocket pistols tend to be snappy in general). The higher profile sights and longer sight radius are two more major advantages.

If there’s a downside to the G42, it’s the six round capacities. While that’s the standard capacity for a pocket .380 pistol, the slightly larger size on the G42 should make one expect a larger capacity of seven rounds at least. If you train yourself to be accurate with it, it shouldn’t be an issue.

RUGER LCP II

The Ruger LCP II is the second generation of the LCP pistol and makes several significant improvements over the first generation.  It’s safe to say the original LCP took the pocket pistol market by storm, and become enormously popular with civilians as a CCW and with law enforcement officers as a back-up weapon.

Nonetheless, the original LCP has many flaws. The trigger pull in particular is regularly condemned for being long and gritty. The slide won’t lock open on the last round signaling the gun is empty.

Ruger has completely redesigned the LCP with the LCP II, and while retaining the original size of the LCP, they have greatly improved the trigger and included a slide release that works on the pistol. For safety reasons, the Glock-style blade safety is now present on the front of the trigger and must be depressed for the gun to fire.

All in all, the LCP has proven itself to be a reliable and dependable .380 pocket rocket.  The sights are minimal, but a Crimson Trace laser sight can always be installed as well to help increase accuracy.  The original LCP is still available from Ruger for sale, but the LCP II makes many significant improvements and may be the more desirable option for you.

SMITH & WESSON M&P BODYGUARD .380

Smith & Wesson’s answer to the Ruger LCP, the Bodyguard .380 is the smallest gun in Smith & Wesson’s world famous M&P line-up. But unlike other M&P semi-automatic pistols, the Bodyguard is hammer fired. Other than that, it’s basically a full size M&P that’s been shrunk down and re-chambered for .380.

The M&P Bodyguard has a weight of 12.3 ounces and a length of 5.25 inches. The slide is constructed out of a rust resistant stainless steel and then coated in black so it’s less visible. It features a slide stop lever so unlike the original LCP, the gun will lock back after the last shot to tell you it’s empty.

Two variants are available, one with a manual safety on the frame and one without it.

TAURUS PT738 TCP

There are those who will be looking for a gun on a budget, and for those looking for a .380 pocket pistol on a budget, the Taurus PT738 TCP will be their answer. The TCP can easily be found new on the market for less than $200, which is far less than other pistols on the market.

You might think that this means the TCP is of lower quality than the other pistols on this list because of the price reduction, but the opposite is true. The TCP has been found to have equal reliability and quality as its predecessors.

Coming in at just over 10 ounces in weight and with a 6 shot magazine capacity, the TCP is optimal for deep concealment in the pocket. Thanks to its locked-breech design, recoil is manageable for a pocket .380.

As with all Taurus firearms that are produced today, the TCP comes with Taurus’s trademark security system. If a key that comes with the gun is inserted into a lock on the gun and twisted, the gun will be rendered useless and unable to fire.

This could either be a plus or a minus depending on how you look at it. A plus is that your gun will have virtually no chance of firing should a child find it while it’s being stored away, but a minus if you forget to switch the key off when you carry it, you won’t be able to defend yourself with it in a life-or-death situation.  For this reason, you have to make it a habit to make sure that the lock has been switched off before you carry.

CONCLUSION

Any one of these pocket .380s represents a solid option for deep cover pocket concealed carry.  None of them are perfect and none of them are going to be the most fun gun to shoot, but they are perfectly at home in your pocket and will be reliable in a self-defense situation.

Since your pocket .380 is a pistol that you will be likely be carrying with you every single day, it’s vitally important that you choose the one that is the most comfortable to you. This importance simply cannot be overstated.

Physically hold onto each of them at the sporting goods store and even consider shooting a few of them at a range that has them available for rent. This is the only way to truly determine which pistol will be the best choice for you and deserves to ride in your pocket on a daily basis.

How To Make Wild Game Jerky

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If you hunt to supplement your protein diet, you have a lot of options when it comes to wild game. Besides making burger and stakes, you should look into other options to diversify your diet. Making wild game jerky is an ideal option for the hunters out there. Wild game jerky is an ideal snack … Read more…

The post How To Make Wild Game Jerky was written by Dan Mowinski and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Keeping Pack Weight Down If You Need To Bug-Out

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wilderness_tent_bug_out

bug_out_open_roadYou’re at home one night and the power goes out.  Hackers have taken down the grid and you need to bug-out to your sister’s house a hundred and twenty miles away.  Traffic is gridlocked and no one is driving anywhere anytime soon.  You decide to bug-out on foot with your pack. Six miles down the road, you’re dying from the weight of the pack.  It feels like you’re carrying a Volkswagon on your back because you’ve got so much stuff in it. There’s a lot to be said for sticking to the basics when you build your bug-out bag.

By Jarhead Survivor, a Contributing Author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog

Back in the dark ages (early 1980’s) when I was in the Marine Corps, a full pack for a basic infantry man ran about sixty pounds.  That was the canvas shelter half, poles and stakes, sleeping bag, food, mess kit, clothes, etc.  Lord help you if you were the machine gunner or radio man because that added a lot more weight to what you had to carry.

Stick to Basics

bug_out_roman_legionaries_marchingI remember going on forced marches for ten or fifteen miles and suffering because of the weight.  You eventually get used to it, but I wouldn’t say I ever came to enjoy it.  I soon learned what was important and what wasn’t and ditched the excess stuff.  Apparently this has been a familiar theme through the ages because during the Civil War soldiers started out with haversacks weighing forty to fifty pounds, but soon learned to drop the excess weight and only get by with the essentials.  I’d be willing to bet the same has held true for soldiers going back to the Roman legions where they were sometimes estimated to carry up to eighty pounds – a ridiculous amount of weight.  But then again, they were professional warriors and when they signed up it was for a much longer tour than four years like the average tour today.  Roman soldiers underwent conditioning marches that were brutally hard.  Vegetius wrote in De Re Militari:

To accustom soldiers to carry burdens is also an essential part of
discipline. Recruits in particular should be obliged frequently to carry
a weight of not less than sixty pounds (exclusive of their arms), and
to march with it in the ranks. This is because on difficult expeditions
they often find themselves under the necessity of carrying their
provisions as well as their arms. Nor will they find this troublesome
when inured to it by custom, which makes everything easy.

Our troops in ancient times were a proof of this, and Virgil has remarked it in the following lines:

The Roman soldiers, bred in war’s alarms,
Bending with unjust loads and heavy arms,
Cheerful their toilsome marches undergo,
And pitch their sudden camp before the foe.

Lighten Your Pack

As you probably surmised from the title, this post isn’t about soldiers and their pack weight.  It’s about you carrying less weight so that you can bug-out effectively if it ever comes down to it.  Unless you spend every day hiking a sixty pound pack fifteen or twenty miles, the likelihood of being able to do so when the SHTF are slim to none.  From the section above I reiterate:

Nor will they find this troublesome when inured to it by custom, which makes everything easy.

Chances are good that you’d be stopping along the way and ditching gear, thus you really need to focus on packing just the essentials.  I’ve seen packs on Youtube and in blog posts that a Clydesdale couldn’t carry.  They’ve got everything in there from three changes of clothing to enough ammo to fight off the zombie apocalypse all by themselves.  And the kicker is that quite a few of those people are about fifty pounds overweight and the act of actually carrying it more than five miles would probably kill them.

The Essentials

So what exactly are the essentials?  This depends on you:  your skill level in the woods, your fitness level, your bug-out plans, your destination, and your mission plan.

hike_march_bug_outThe worst case scenario is a full scale bug-out, meaning that you’re taking off and you need to live out of your bag for a minimum of three days, but probably longer.  If you’re careful, you can probably get away with forty to forty-five pounds.   This includes a tent, sleeping bag, freeze dried food, a quart of water with water filter, spork, small cook pot and stove, fuel (unless you’re carrying a small woodstove like a Solo Stove), lightweight poncho, and other essential gear. If you buy the lightest gear (usually the most expensive too), you should be able to have a good kit that weighs in the forty pound area.  I hiked a piece of the 100 Mile Wilderness in Maine and my pack weighed forty-four pounds when I started.  I spent a lot of time getting that pack weight down, but it was worth it.  I also spent weeks leading up to that hike walking the road with the same boots I’d be wearing and carrying the pack to get used to the weight.

Read Also: Get Outdoors!

Rather than run through all the scenarios, I’ll list out some of the things I carry in my everyday woodsman kit and why I carry it.  I’ve managed to pare the weight down to about twenty to twenty-five pounds (depending on how much water I carry) and I’ve found this to be an acceptable weight as I’ve gotten older.

Then again, I also have a lot of experience in the woods and feel comfortable entering the forest with what some might consider minimal gear. I consider my kit to be a GHB or Get Home Bag, meaning I’ll only carry it about 30 miles in a worst case scenario, which for me is walking home from work.  I like to move fast and light and not be seen if at all possible.  So rather than carry weapons I choose to leave that weight behind and avoid confrontation.  I suppose the worst thing is someone steals my bag from me, which means I’ll be that much lighter on the way home.

Let me say up front that many of you won’t agree with my philosophy on firearms and that’s fine.  I live in Maine and in the area I’ll be walking through, people are unlikely to cause me problems.  If you live in the city and carrying a big pack loaded with shelter, water, and food makes you a fat target, then you’ll probably want to consider carrying a gun as protection.  Again, this all comes back to your situation and threat assessment.  But keep in mind that guns and ammo are heavy, so choose wisely.

To survive a night or two in the wild here’s what I carry for the basics:

  • Military Grade Poncho
  • Survival Knife
  • Firesteel and Lighter
  • Three Freeze Dried Meals (minimum)
  • Small Flashlight
  • 1 Quart Steel Water Bottle and Filter
  • Pot Set with Homemade Alcohol Stove and Four Oz of Fuel or Small Woodstove
  • Small Plastic Cup and Five Coffee Packets
  • Multitool
  • Map and Compass
  • Bandana
  • Titanium Spork
  • Gloves and Hat in Cold Weather
  • Sleeping bag/Wool Blanket
  • Notebook and Pen

This pack weighs between 20 and 23 pounds depending on the extras I put in.  If you’re going to rely on the above kit as your guide, other things you’ll  need to add to the list:

  • Experience in the wilderness/bushcraft skills
  • Much time spent evaluating and using each piece of equipment
  • Overall physically fit (weights and aerobics four to five times a week)
  • Skill with map and compass

Wilderness Survival Skills

packing_light_gear_minimumThe more you know about wilderness survival the less gear you have to carry; however, the longer it will take you when you have to set up camp.  It’s a trade off and you need to be able to judge yourself and the situation in order to make the best decisions.  A few days ago I took the following kit into the woods and made a shelter using no tools whatsoever.  I used two trees to break sticks to length and used fir boughs for insulation.  I used a lighter to get the fire going, but that was the only man made item I used.

Related: 15 Ways to Start a Fire

shelter_fire_camping_out-2It’s important that you tally up your knowledge, experience, and skills in addition to the gear you’ll carry. All of these things are important when trying to figure out the best way for you to bug-out. It’s also important to weigh your weaknesses.  For example:  if you’re overweight or otherwise not able to carry a pack for a long distance, you’ll need to make alternate plans.  Bugging in might be your best option, so instead of preparing to leave, you plan for an extended stay in your home or apartment.  But I digress.

Summary

In order to get your pack weight down you need to focus on the essentials.  My advice is to lay out everything you could want, put it in your pack (if it will fit) then take it for a walk.  If you can do three to five miles with that weight without much trouble, congratulations!  You’re probably going to be ok.

If you find yourself struggling after a mile or two, take your pack home and start going through your gear and eliminate stuff you don’t need.  Got a big flashlight that holds four D cell batteries?  Get rid of it and get a small halogen light that uses a couple of Triple A’s.  If you’re walking alone and have a three man tent, ditch it for an ultralight single man tent. That will save you five or ten pounds right there.  That’s the kind of mindset you need to bring to your gear.

Visualize what a camp out will look like and keep that thought in your head as you go through your stuff.  Always challenge a piece of gear.  Some of it will pass the test, but some of it won’t.  Don’t be afraid to cut back. I believe that speed in getting out of an area will be vital and it’s hard to do if you’re chained to a sixty pound pack.  After all, we’re not Roman soldiers!

Do you think a pack should have everything and the kitchen sink, or do you think a minimalist mindset is best? Let me know in the comments below. Questions?  Comments? Sound off below!

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Under The Bridge…

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under-the-bridge

 

After maybe 6 months of horrible violence in the city, and life without enough food, water, electricity… after months of shelling, shooting, screaming and crying and simply after months of collecting wood for fire, plugging holes in my (what’s left of) roof, I “stumbled” upon on piece of normal life.

Through some contacts of mine, I managed to meet some guys from some kind of international force.

I need to mention here, in the war time there were all kind of strangers in the city, going in and out, through smugglers routes or with rare international convoys.

Some of them were UN forces, other were mercenaries, spies, or simply folks who want to earn money in bad and weird times.

Anyway, one evening I met these guys from Spain. Three big guys with even bigger smiles on their faces. Actually they stated they are from Spain, we did not care even if they came from the moon as long as they were of some use to us…

I was with two relatives, Spanish guys knew some English language and we knew some, and we wave with our hands a lot as an addition in communication.

They wanted to know whey they can find drugs and women, just like most of the outsiders wanted, together with what they called “war souvenirs”, weapons of war and stuff, interesting to them, or I guess exotic to them, flags with blood, knives, personalized weapons etc.

They had small assault rifles that they carried under their jackets, pretty fancy for us in that time, but what caught my attention was a small portable walkman on one of the guys belt and headphones around his neck.

I asked him ‘can I take that for a second and check?’ and he said sure.

I put headphones on my ears, started the machine and when music started I just had to sit down.

It was so powerful to me in that moment that I kinda lost it, I was like drugged.

I was sitting down and listened to the whole song, while Spanish guys looked at me, I guess to them I looked like some savage who never saw a walkman before.

They could not get it…

There I was, dirty and smelly, I could feel my toes in boots are sticky because water get in, I had weird rash on my neck, hand made cigarette smell like hell… but I sat, smiling like an idiot…

Music brought me back all that I have lost in last 6 months, it brought me peace of mind for a moment, memories of normal life, cafes and girls, the beach and fun.

Somehow I forgot all that in only 6 months time, and turned myself to surviving mode only, which was not bad, but in the same time, I lost part of me.

Few days before I met Spanish guys, one of my friends gets killed, he find himself in the open during sudden shelling.

He panicked, and gets frozen behind some telegraph pole, instead of jumping behind wall of ruined house few meters from that spot.

Piece of shell gets half of his head almost with surgical precision, upper half. Scary sight.

And that morning before we met Spanish guys we were (already) making fun out of his death, I said something like “can you believe that idiot tried to take cover behind a pole, like this is a cartoon”? and we laughed like idiots and drink.

I had no emotions about his death.

After we end up with deal with Spanish guys we went home, and I felt like I am gonna cry. Because stupid death of my friend, because I want to listen music not to shoot, because I guess music reminds me on normal times and fact that I HAVE to be sorry because death of my friend, not to make fun of it.

And in the same time I was angry on myself how one song can turn me into sissy.

Later I had the same feeling when I found whole bunch of books and brought them home to burn on the fire, and took one and started to read.

Funny thing.

Point is that no matter how bad situation is, you just need to have some connection with “normal” otherwise you’ll simply turn yourself into animal.

It can be a book, it can be guitar and music, or simply chatting with friends – no matter how hard S. hit the fan.

Do not forget that you are human and you need to have and express emotions, or simply you may burn out.

Today I heard that song on the car radio, and it brings me back to those times and feelings, and I sat down and wrote this post without too much thinking.

It was the Red Hot Chilli Peppers “Under the bridge” song.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Preppers Should Focus on Diversifying Firearm Calibers

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Ready Nutrition Readers, as you may have deduced from the title, this piece is a recommendation to acquire firearms of diverse calibers.  Let us discuss some of the calibers and the reasons why it is prudent to prepare in such a manner.  I’m not recommending any particular firearm, per se, except in one instance here that I’ll cover later for a reason that will be self-explanatory.

Firstly, forget about what will happen in the SHTF event.  Whatever it is, the reason for preparing by obtaining diversities among firearms calibers is to ensure you can obtain ammo for it.  This is not detracting from reloading whatsoever.  I guarantee, however, that situations will arise in which you have to load a firearm and don’t have time to sit around with your RCBS “Rock Chucker” press or your Lee Handloader.  You have a need to employ a firearm at the moment, and time is of the essence.

Common calibers ensure that you will usually have ammo for the weapon no matter where you go.  This is one of the reasons it is advantageous to own an AR-15.  Personally, I hate ‘em, because after 200 rounds or so, you have to clean the carbon off of them.  The AR-15 is so finely-tuned with so little leeway between moving parts such as the bolt group and bolt carrier that any severe carbon buildup is almost intolerable to firing the weapon.  That being said, we have had more than 5 decades of dealing with .223/5.56 mm ammo.  The military, law enforcement (state and local) all rely on the AR-15 family; therefore, ammo is obtainable.

The phrase “What if?” however, is your watchword.  If you have either a .308, or a 7.62 x 39 mm (AK), then you’ll also be in pretty good shape.  Law enforcement is switching back to .45 ACP, but there are still plenty of 9mm rounds to go around.  The .45 ACP round is a great round that is widespread.  Your .357 magnum and .40 Smith and Wesson rounds are not as common but are commonplace.  In essence, yeah, you need each of these.

One piece that I’ll finally mention is really unique.  It’s the P-320 Compact by Sig Sauer.  They have a system called the Grip Shell system.  This Grip Shell is the basis for the weapon, that accepts full size magazines and full length slide assemblies.  What’s so big about this?  You can switch out 9 mm, .357 sig., .40 S&W, and .45 ACP on the same frame: the frame will hold all four of those calibers.  Nifty, huh?  Not only that, but it is a “redefinition” of BATFE rules.

The Grip Shell is a modular frame that is a trigger group and receiver with a serial number.  Guess what?  It is this frame that has the serial number, and not each of the individual barrels that you can change out on it.  Ahh, I feel the gleam of many eyes reading these words now.  Isn’t that neat?  You can buy four calibers, but only one receiver is your serialized piece.  You run with the ball from there: imagination is the only limitation.

If you want prices, you’ll have to check with a gun dealer.  The basic piece will run about $700 more or less, and additional barrels will be more.  It’s all up to what you want, but you can pretty much cover the bases with it, as you’ll be sure to find something to fire through it no matter how short ammo may be in supply.  To take that “kit” and pack it up with you…well, that would be prudence and providence prepared by your own hand.  Just make sure to pick up a box of ammo initially for each caliber you decide upon.

For anything you shoot, you should also be able to reload, and I recommend a good stationary press akin to the one I mentioned before, as well as a Lee handloading kit with dies and accessories.  The latter you can pack in your rucksack, as you never know when you might need it.  So hopefully you’ll take some advice to stock up and “plow the field” on different calibers.  If you run across a supply that won’t feed your main piece, it would be good to have a backup piece that can fire what you find until your “lead sled dog” is “fed” and up and running again.  Keep that powder dry, no matter what the caliber, and stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Cooking Alternatives Off Grid!

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Cooking Alternatives Off Grid! Host: Denob “The Prepared Canadian” Over the last couple of years, I have had the chance to try a lot of different off grid cooking options. From home made solar ovens to open fire methods and everything in between, I found out a lot about what works and what doesn’t. Actually, … Continue reading Cooking Alternatives Off Grid!

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The Livestock Feed That Grows Even During Droughts

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The Livestock Feed That Grows Even During Droughts

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When you think of natural livestock feeding, what do you picture? A smooth, green pasture with animals grazing on grass and clover? That provides a large part of what’s needed. But trees and brush also can be valuable livestock feed. They have several uses.

Woody plants provide extra fiber/roughage and can help to settle digestions upset by too much rich food. Their deep roots bring vitamins and minerals up from lower levels of the soil and make them accessible to livestock. In dry years, these deep roots are especially valuable. During the long rainless summer of 2016, when my family ran drip irrigation on the gardens 24/7 and watched the pastures turning brown, the deep-rooted trees and bushes remained green and growing, giving us something fresh to feed our livestock.

Who Wants Brush?

Goats are champion brush-eaters, and they naturally prefer browsing to grazing. Sometimes, ours get diarrhea when they’re turned out on lush spring pasture. Feeding lots of branches gets enough fiber into their systems to settle their digestions. Sheep also enjoy a certain amount of browse. Some farmers report that heritage breeds of sheep are much more willing to eat browse than recently developed breeds. Horses and cows are primarily adapted for grazing, but some browse can be a useful fiber/vitamin supplement for them, as well. Rabbits should have some woody plants to add fiber to their diets and to keep their teeth from overgrowing.

What Can You Feed?

Willow (Salix spp) and mulberry (Morus spp) are particularly nutritious high-protein feeds. They can grow very rapidly in favorable conditions, which makes them easy to coppice for continual growth (mulberry is even considered invasive in some areas). Willow is also pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory; salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin, was derived from willow bark. We feed plenty of this to our goats after kidding. Siberian peashrub (Caragana arborescens) is a hardy legume with protein-rich leaves and seedpods. It’s supposed to cope well with drought, poor sandy soil and other challenging conditions.

Diatomaceous Earth: The All-Natural Livestock De-Wormer

The Livestock Feed That Grows Even During Droughts

Image source: Pixabay.com

Other palatable trees and shrubs include apple, birch (Betula spp — which also has mild de-worming properties), staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina — do not ever feed your animals poison sumac, Toxicodendron vernix), rose (another mild de-wormer), blackberry (also has some disinfectant and digestion-settling properties) and raspberry (beneficial to animals during pregnancy and soon after birth, and will do no harm at other times). Do not feed branches from stone fruit trees (peach, plum, cherry, apricot nectarine), yew, poison sumac, mountain laurel, or any type of laurel or rhododendron.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. Check with your local Cooperative Extension and with your neighbors about what grows and what is palatable in your area. Be prepared for conflicting answers. There’s controversy over whether or not to feed some types of trees and brush. Some sources list maple as toxic; our goats sometimes eat dried sugar maple leaves as a treat alongside their hay and come to no harm. Some sources say to avoid feeding any kind of evergreens, but we give our goats small amounts of white pine branches when they suffer from worms, though we don’t feed pine regularly.

How Can You Offer Browse?

This depends very much on your animals and your land. Goats usually will eat any browse included in their pastures, so enthusiastically that they kill the plants — they’ll completely defoliate low shrubs, and girdle the bark of trees so they die. That can be useful if you have goats and you want a wooded/brushy area cleared; you can just remove toxic plants, fence the area and turn the goats loose in it. The other choice is to keep your goats on grass pasture, cut branches elsewhere and throw them in.

Browse, as well as grass, can be stored for winter. My family cuts willow early, when the leaves have just reached their full size and their nutritive peak. We then bundle the branches and hang them high in the barn rafters. After several months, they’re thoroughly dry and ready to go into a bin for winter feeding. We also bundle and dry raspberry plants.

For obvious reasons, browse for rabbits needs to be cut and put into their enclosures.

I haven’t raised cows or horses. Some sources say they won’t eat browse if they have access to plenty of graze. Others report that they will eat cut branches that are offered them and will nibble on trees or shrubs in their pasture without killing them. So far as I can tell from reading, sheep’s willingness to browse depends on the breed and the particular flock. In a dry year when fresh graze is less available, most natural grazers may show more enthusiasm for branches. I hope that some of you who raise horses, sheep and cattle will comment on this post and tell us about your herd’s eating habits.

Have you ever fed your livestock trees and bush? Share your tips for doing it in the section below:

If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.

Easy DIY Pallet Greenhouse Or Chicken Coop

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Easy DIY Pallet Greenhouse Or Chicken Coop This multi-purpose DIY project can serve as a great greenhouse or chicken coop. Easy to build for a very frugal price! There are loads of garden DIY projects on the web, the difference between this and others is that this is a multi-purpose garden addition, You can add …

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How To Make Whiskey Step by Step

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How To Make Whiskey Step by Step Who doesn’t like a shot of whiskey on a cold night? I love it. My granddad has been taking a shot of whiskey every night before bed for over 50 years and he swears it keep him healthy. I did a post on how to make watermelon moonshine …

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7 Steps for Growing Your Best Crop of Onions

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7 Steps for Growing Your Best Crop of Onions Onions are on of the crops every self sufficient Gardener should be growing each year.  Even if you only have a small garden it is possible to grow and store enough onions each year so that you never have to buy another onion again.  Onions are …

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Beyond Paracord: 8 Other Cordage Types You Need to Know

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Beyond Paracord: 8 Other Cordage Types You Need to Know It’s no secret that 550 paracord is the most versatile cord you can include in your bug out bag. It should not be the only type of cordage that you consider, though. Many types or rope, cord, and wire exist for many different uses and are …

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15 Survival Cooking Methods You Can Use In Any Disaster

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 15 Survival Cooking MethodsSurvival cooking is cooking food without modern conveniences such as electricity or natural gas. It’s primitive, it’s back to the basics, and it’s foolproof once mastered.

I love to cook.

Call me a freak, but preparing my own food, to my tastes, in my kitchen, with my ingredients is a favorite exercise of mine.

It’s good for the soul and it usually ends up tasting pretty freaking awesome.

My kitchen is a sacred space where I wield sharp blades, tend to hot surfaces, mix and match with my vast array of spices.

Sadly, my stocked pantry, spice rack, refrigerator, and freezer won’t always be at my disposal.

Likely a future event will shut down electricity, put my home in danger, and compromise my kitchen. Whether it’s a natural disaster, an extended emergency or the apocalypse, I won’t be able to cook like I normally do.

And while that’s tragic, we don’t have to call it an end to a good meal. Even without your fancy gas powered stove, electric oven, propane grill, food dehydrator, or microwave you can still cook up a damn tasty meal.

In fact, survival cooking is a skill that can turn a dire situation into an enjoyable mealtime. That’s why survival cooking is so important.

When everyone else is eating expired canned goods, your family will be enjoying fresh hot meals.

14 Survival Cooking Methods

One of the best parts of survival cooking is that it doesn’t require a high degree of accuracy. It’s a sloppy science, one you can afford to learn through trial and error.

In fact, in an emergency, you won’t even have the option of gourmet. Chances are you’ll be working with few ingredients and you’ll be hungry enough not to notice.

This is far from rocket science – more like basic chemistry – hunter-gatherers perfected these tricks long ago, and if they were capable of doing it, you should be too…

You’re smarter than a caveman, right?

So we’ll start off with the most primitive survival cooking options. Then we’ll focus on a few new survival cooking devices to help with your emergency food plans.

1 – Makeshift Grill

Let’s start with the easy and the obvious first. If you can start a fire, you’re already halfway there.

A glowing pile of coals is easier to control than open flames for cooking. So let your fire burn down to orange flameless coals before turning your fire into a grill pit.

Once you get your bed of coals glowing, find a grate you can use as a grill. A section of chicken wire or even chain-link fence will work in a pinch.

Place your grate over the coals and let it get hot (to disinfect it) before placing your food onto the grill. Now cook your meal to your satisfaction.

2 – Makeshift Griddle

The makeshift griddle is similar to the makeshift grill. However, instead of using a grate, you use a flat surface that conducts heat.

Thin, flat rocks work fairly well and are often easy to find. Sheets of metal, ceramic tile, and other similar surfaces will work too.

Place your flat heat conductive sheet into an open fire and let it warm up for a while. Then place your food on the griddle and start fryin’.

3 – On a Spik

This is an age-old method, popularly used for whole pigs. But the concept works for any animal you can kill, skin and clean.

Use a metal pole or sturdy wet branch to shank through the meat from end to end. Note: if you use a dry branch it will burn and your meal will drop directly into the fire.

Prop both ends of the skewer up on a forked support so that the food’s suspended over the flames. Now rotate the spit to evenly cook your feast.

4 – Earth Ovens

Believe it or not, you can bury your food in the dirt, and it cooks. It’s true.

Dig a pit and start an open fire in the bottom of it. Get it really going so you can cultivate a nice bed of coals. You’ll want to start the fire a good 2 hours before you start cooking and let it burn to a low smolder.

Depending on the size of your food, your fire pit may vary in width and depth. For example, if you’re planning on cooking a whole pig underground, you are going to need a 6 x 6 x 6-foot hole and a big fire.

Once you’re ready, cover the fire with large stones. Then throw a layer of grass or other vegetation down for moisture, and add your food. Finally, toss on an extra layer of vegetation on top and fill the hole up with dirt, burying your food.

Allow up to a half or full day for cooking (depending on size and heat).

Earth ovens are an ancient form of cooking. It’s been used for hundreds of thousands of years around the world by different cultures. Way before the advent of electricity or natural gas.

5 – Stone Oven

This is a quick and easy way to make an oven with heat control.

With stones, build a small chamber big enough to fit your meal. Give it three walls and a top, leaving one side open for easy load and unloading.

Next, stack wood around the stone box and start your fire. The fire’s heat will warm the stones and the inside of the chamber will get hot. Hot enough to cook whatever you stick in there.

Control the stone oven’s temperature by adding or removing logs to your fire.

6 – Dehydrating Food

Food drying can be accomplished in several different ways.

The easiest is sun-dehydration (or sun-drying). This is where you lay out your food and let the sun suck out the moisture. Low moisture helps preserve the food, helping it last much longer.

You can also dry food or dehydrate fruit by letting it slowly bake over a heat source (like a campfire) until crisp.

7 – Barrel Stove

If you can get your hands on a steel barrel and have the means to cut it up, make a barrel stove. They’re a fantastic way of controlling heat for cooking.

First, stand the barrel up on one end, and cut away a rectangular section at the bottom. This is where you’ll load your wood. Now, punch about a dozen nail-sized holes in a group about halfway up on the backside for an air vent to allow a draft.

Finally, cut a small section out of the top of the barrel where smoke and air can escape. You might even attach a chimney-like apparatus if you have the necessary materials.

You can also buy a barrel stove kit to make this process even easier.

8 – Coffee Can Stove

This is a trick I’m pulling straight out of the Cub Scout’s Handbook.

Get your hands on a tin coffee can. Remove the plastic top and wrap. With a knife, punch three or four evenly spaced holes along the base of the tin coffee can.

Flip it over so the opening is on the ground and the bottom is on top. With a gel candle or firewood, heat the can from the inside and use the flat top surface for cooking.

If you want to control the flame or feed the fire easier, cut a small square hole on the side of the can and add a second smaller can to feed sticks.

Types of Emergency Cooking Stoves

Emergency stoves come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges. So it’s a sure thing that you’ll be able to find one that is right for you.

Most of the following options can be added to your bug out bag, to your car’s survival kit, or put in your survival backpack. So if you ever have to get the hell out of Dodge, fast, you’ll always be prepared with a camp stove on hand.

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Here’s a list of emergency camp stoves to choose from.

biolite camping stove9 – Biolite Camping Stove

The Biolite Stove is SICK! Not only does it turn sticks into heat, but it harnesses energy to charge electronic devices.

You get three products in one with this nifty little future survival stove. A heater, a stove, and a charger.

10 – Emergency Pocket Stove

sf pocket stoveSimplicity. That’s what this emergency pocket stove is all about.

The small metal box opens up into a standing platform and holds the fuel cells. Pull one of the fuel cells out, light it, and place it underneath the platform. You now have a crude emergency camping stove.

And it’s highly portable. Seriously, this thing fits in your back pocket!

11 – Jet Boil Wilderness Stove

jet boilThe Jet Boil is the stove I use on all my backpacking trips because it’s so light, packs down well, and it boils water fast.

It only holds a single liter but is absolutely perfect for all my wilderness adventure needs.

This will work perfect for short term survival situations but you’ll have to stock up on the propane bottles for a long term one.

12 – Dutch Oven Stove

dutch ovenThe dutch oven stove has been around forever, but it works great. The only downside to using a cast iron dutch oven is the fact that they’re freaking heavy.

You won’t be adding this to your pack or bug out bag. However, they’re perfect for a bug out vehicle or survival trailer.

This one has a gallon capacity for meats, soups, or chili. It also has support legs and is extremely durable and reliable.

13 – Solo Stove Lite – Compact Wood Stove

solo wood burning stoveUnlike the high-tech Biolite wood stove, the Solo Stove Lite doesn’t come with extra bells and whistles. Which might actually be more attractive for some folks.

It’s simply a lightweight, packable, stainless steel stove. Perfect for those who like to venture out into the great wide open.

Just add wood, light it, and you’re good to go.

14 – Sun Oven Stove

all american sun ovenHave you ever heard of a Sun Oven? This is a prepared survivalists dream tool. The sun oven can cook any meal you’d cook in a kitchen oven using the power of the sun. No fuel, no electricity, no wood, just sunshine.

It’s a bit of an investment but you shouldn’t wait for a disaster to start using this survival tool. Start cooking homemade solar meals all year long and save on gas and electricity today.

15 – Traditional Wood Stove

wood stoveThis options is NOT portable and takes some serious time and money to install but they make excellent disaster scenario stoves. A good wood stove also serves double duty as an emergency indoor heat source.

In a prolonged power outage, nothing’s better than a wood stove to provide both heat and the ability to cook awesome survival meals. If you’re serious about getting prepared, find a way to install a wood stove in your home or bug out location.

A Note on Creative Survival Cooking

There is a bigger takeaway from all this. It’s more than just simple survival cooking techniques.

It’s the bigger idea of preparing, adapting, and overcoming.

  • Preparing by making investments in the right tools today.
  • Adapting to the situation you find yourself in.
  • Overcoming obstacles to survive.

Using any resource available to you to make the most of your situation and to best ensure your survival. Improvising is a survival skill for any situation, not only when you’re hungry.

It’s like the show Iron Chef – the chefs have no idea what main ingredients they will have to use until the game begins. Then they have to use whatever they can to create the best meal possible.

In most survival situations, you’ll not know what resources and ingredients you’ll have on hand. You’ll likely have to make due with whatever happens to be there.

Being able to do this successfully is vital, and it opens the door for infinite possibilities. You can make a kitchen out of an empty meadow with a little creative survival thinking. Learn to apply this to all situations and you will go far.

The Final Word

Preparation is the biggest key to maintaining one’s survival. Eating food is an essential part of staying alive. So make certain you’re prepared to handle your own sustenance in dire circumstances.

You can’t assume grocery stores and restaurants to remain open throughout a disaster. Instead, you better understand the basic concepts behind survival cooking and food stockpiling.

So remember what you learned here today by practicing.

Even if you invest in a camp stove, you should still practice all the survival cooking methods. Even the best camp stoves are not reliable 100% of the time.

Someday you may find yourself in need of a makeshift survival kitchen. And you’re skills and knowledge may be put to the ultimate test.

Which of these cooking methods are you planning to use when disaster strikes? We want to hear from you in the comments below.

Will Brendza

The post 15 Survival Cooking Methods You Can Use In Any Disaster appeared first on Skilled Survival.

5 Reality TV Shows That Can Help You Prep for a Disaster

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Written by Laura Johnson on The Prepper Journal.

Despite all of the unnatural intervention, there are some reality shows that preppers can get more from than strictly entertainment. These reality shows can help you prep for a disaster.

The post 5 Reality TV Shows That Can Help You Prep for a Disaster appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

“Micro-Homestead” This Modest Survival Shelter Could Save Your Life When It’s Time to Bug Out

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bug-out-woods

By Mac Slavo – SHTFplan.com

It certainly isn’t much, but when you have nothing else, it could be all you need.

In many emergencies, bugging out may not be the best option. Certainly it is not the best choice for every SHTF situation.

However, there may be situations where you need to leave your home or dwelling, get out of the city while you can, and lay low until/if sense ever returns to society.

You Tuber Kevin Coy shows you what may be the lowest cost, least effort way to build a viable survival shelter – which could also have uses for hunting, camping, play, etc.

He’s calling it a “micro-homestead.”

For the millions of Americans who can barely make it to the next paycheck, much less invest in high priced gear, supplies and stocks, it may be much better than nothing at all.

Here’s the set-up he came up with:

Of course, there are many other options, especially for those who have the means to purchase, build and develop more ideal structures and set-ups.

However, at 8×8, this building could likely be built without permit or on-grid approval in most areas, and could at least serve as a temporary structure until your dream getaway is ready to go!

Prepping requires time, energy, mental and physical effort and especially the mindset to plan ahead, make sacrifices in the “now” and put valuable resources towards insurance for the future. Many will contemplate taking action, but fewer still will actually be ready when the SHTF.

But the first step in this direction may prove to be the most important one you ever make…

This article first appeared at SHTFplan.com“Micro-Homestead” This Modest Survival Shelter Could Save Your Life When It’s Time to Bug Out

Filed under: Bug Out Bags, How To Prepare, Prepping, Shelter

6 Simple Ways To Save Money On Your Vegetable Garden This Year

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6 Simple Ways To Save Money On Your Vegetable Garden This Year

Image source: Pixabay.com

Growing your own vegetables is a great way to have fresh produce available at any time — and also to save money. Sometimes, though, even growing your own food can get too pricey.

Here are seven ways to make sure you’re getting the best value from your vegetable garden this year.

1. Save the seeds.

Initially when you were planning your garden for the first year, you might have had to purchase all of the seeds. But once you have a season or two under your belt, you should start saving the seeds for the next season.

2. Find a seed swap.

There likely are people in your community growing plants you aren’t currently growing – plants that you’d like to grow. And, of course, the vegetables you grow will have a ton of seeds in them — and you don’t need all of them. So share them around! If you can’t find a seed swap in your community, then put the word out there to start one; you might get more interest than you think.

3. Plan ahead/preserve.

If you know what you want to grow ahead of time, it will be easier to ensure there’s little to no waste.

The All-Natural Fertilizer That Doubles Your Garden Yield!

By planning what’s growing in your garden, you can prepare the space needed and know (approximately) how much will be growing. That way, you will be prepared to “put up” all of those vegetables without them going to waste.

4. Sell or trade extra produce.

You might have extra produce due to a great growing season, or maybe you planned it that way. But either way, you need to do something with that extra food. With the extra produce you have, you could team up and trade with others to gain fresh, local produce you didn’t grow in your garden. You even could look into selling the extra vegetables at a local farmer’s market.

5. Make your own compost.

Compost is an important part of successfully growing produce, but it can get expensive depending on the size of your garden and what you are growing. With this in mind, it makes sense to see if you can grow it yourself. All of the scraps and skins of other produce can go into a composting bin. Even if you don’t have a huge backyard or area to make compost, there are compost tumblers you can purchase.

6. Feed your plants scraps.

One of the greatest sources of nutrients for your plants comes from your very own kitchen. For example, the leftover water from cooking and boiling vegetables is rich in nutrients. Most people will dump this right down the drain, but using it to water your plants is a great way to help them grow. Just make sure the water is completely cool before pouring it on your plants.

What gardening advice would you add? Share it in the section below: 

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

Lock Picking For Preppers

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On TV you see Sherlock Holmes, private detectives, CIA agents, and criminals picking locks. They make it look easy, like it takes no effort at all. But lock picking is one of those skills that you have to practice by picking locks over and over again, repeatedly, until you become proficient.

Unfortunately this isn’t exactly a skill that is easy to practice in the open. You can’t go to your neighbors home and practice on their front door, and if you do, you are liable to get shot or the police may be called to stop you. It is not illegal to know the skill and have the tools to do it. It is just illegal to break into someones private property. So you need to practice privately and then be ready for a SHTF situation. Luckily there are some really good resources available to help you gain experience.

Please check your local laws before buying anything. Here is a good article about laws for the United States.

Lock Picks

First you will need to get a decent set of lock picks. You don’t need the most expensive pick set available, but a nice set from a good company is important.

Practice Locks

Next having a variety of different styles of locks will help you get the kind of experience you need. Several companies produce clear locks that help you see the internals of a lock as you try to pick it.

Lock Picking Books

All of the practice locks and lock pick sets come with a basic instruction book to get you started picking locks. But if you want additional information that will teach you in more detail, getting a book on the subject is a good idea.

Lock Picking Videos

Some people learn faster when they have someone show them how to learn a new skill. Here are a few lock picking YouTube videos.

Lock Picking Resources

Below are a few additional resources that you can use for more lock picking information.

If you found this article helpful/interesting, please Share it by clicking on the social media links. Thank you for helping us grow!

The post Lock Picking For Preppers appeared first on Surviving Prepper.

Preserve your chicken eggs safely (for over 9 months)

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Preserve your chicken eggs safely (for over 9 months)

Whether you buy your eggs from a grocery store, local farmers market or the hen house in your back yard, you can learn a lot about preserving eggs simply by observing nature. You see when chickens lay eggs they have a protective coating called the bloom. This protective layer does an amazing job of keeping out harmful bacteria, germs and oxygen.

By recreating this “bloom” process on our own we can safely preserve our eggs for 9 months (or more) with out the need of even a refrigerator. 9 months! As absurd as this notion sounds to many not only is this proven and possible but you can do so with no negative drawbacks to the eggs taste or even health.

Mineral oil

There are several methods to preserving eggs for the long haul but one method is hands down the easiest and that involves using mineral oil. To safely preserve your eggs simply warm up a quarter cup of mineral oil. 10 to 15 seconds in the microwave should do it. Before starting the process have all of the eggs you wish to preserve outside of the carton. They may be hard to retrieve while inside the carton with slick, mineral covered fingers.

The mineral oil goes quite the distance too.A quarter cup usually covers 6 dozen eggs. You can often find mineral oil in the pharmaceutical section near the laxatives as it is commonly used among those with bowel issues. Something else to keep in mind is that you can also use baby oil in the mineral oils stead if you can not locate any mineral oil. These two products are identical other than the added fragrance found in baby oil.

Now we scoop up a few drops of warm mineral oil while running our fingers and the oil over the eggs completely with out exception. With out worrying too much about consistently only coverage, place the eggs back in the carton with the narrow side facing down. That’s it. Optionally you can use a food handling glove (or medical latex glove) if you do not feel like getting your hands a little messy.

Finally we want to store our freshly preserved eggs in a cool and dry place. Storing them in a room at room temperature a few weeks is acceptable but ultimately 68 degrees the ideal temperature for long term storage.

The maintenance at this point is minimal. To keep the egg yolk intact and looking well flip the egg carton upside down. If you are gathering eggs from your backyard the process is not much different. Wash your eggs first if need be and then start the process.

Shelf Life

Next lets dispel the myth that eggs need to be refrigerated to remain healthy. This is simply not true. Eggs and the preservation of them has been around much longer than refrigeration its self. Also note worthy most nations do not put their eggs in a refrigerated area.

Author note: I personally keep the eggs gathered from my backyard on a counter or windowsill until I am ready to use them. I just wash them prior to use, stripping the bloom and any possible germ or bacteria. Any longer than a weeks time (or in hot weather) I personally move them to a carton and then refrigeration, but this is not needed. And to prove it just follow a few fail-safe methods to determine exactly when your eggs go bad and under what environment. After some trial and error you can create a system that works for you.

Determining when your eggs have spoiled.

You can always follow your sniffer as long as you can smell from it. Rotten eggs smell terrible. This tell take sign is because hydrogen sulfide is created while the protein is being broken down by bacteria. This putrid smell can not hide itself. One whiff and you know when your eggs have expired.

If you do not trust your nose you can always rely on your eyes. Stick an eggs in cold water. Make sure the container is at least 2x as wide and 2x as deep as the egg. As long as the egg does not float it is fresh and safe to consume. Floating eggs have not been compromised. As oxygen finds its wat into the egg, air bubbles start to form, eroding the health of the egg, while also causing it to float.

This strategy creates a 9 to 12 month window for keeping edible eggs. This simple method lost to time itself, is quite incredible once you realize the typical shelf life when buying eggs at the supermarket it so short.

An amazing discovery in an abandoned house in Austin, Texas: A lost book of amazing survival knowledge, believed to have been long vanished to history, has been found in a dusty drawer in the house which belonged to a guy named Claude Davis.

 

Remember… back in those days, there was no electricity… no refrigerators… no law enforcement… and certainly no grocery store or supermarkets… Some of these exceptional skills are hundreds of years of old and they were learned the hard way by the early pioneers.  WATCH VIDEO BELOW!

 

Source : surviveourcollapse.com

 

 

                 WHAT TO READ NEXT !

 

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Food Storage: How to Store Food With Dry Ice

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Knowing Store Food With Dry Ice is is an alternative to method to help preserve your food storage.  This method is slightly more complicated than using Oxygen absorbers, but it is cheaper. Additionally, depending on your location, this method is easier to do since most large grocery stores as well as welding supply companies have […]

The post Food Storage: How to Store Food With Dry Ice appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Completed Incremental Disaster Kit

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At Week 21 we are finally done with our incremental shopping list.  Now that you completed your  incremental disaster kit you will have completed many activities that help better prepare your family, as well as have a fully stocked 72 hour kit.  I urge you not to stop here, but to continue to plan and […]

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Outdoor Food Safety

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Summertime food may be dangerous!  Bacteria like picnics as much as we do, and summer heat will quickly raise the temperature of refrigerated food into the 40s and above – where bacteria grow like, well, bacteria. Outdoor food safety is a must if you don’t want to end your picnic with repeated trips to the […]

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Incremental Disaster Kit (Week 19)

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We are getting close to the end of the incremental disaster kit posts.*  By this point you should be amassing a goof bit of gear, have some new skills, and feeling much more prepared for disaster. Having worked in Emergency Management for more than a decade, I have been to disaster shelters.  While the government […]

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Book Review: Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill

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There is perhaps no bigger or more important issue in America at present than youth violence. Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora: We know them all too well, and for all the wrong reasons: kids, some as young as eleven years old, taking up arms and, with deadly, frightening accuracy, murdering anyone in their paths. What is […]

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Femme Fatale: How Your Wife and Daughters Can Keep Themselves Safe

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Recent surveys have shown that in developed countries, men feel significantly safer than women do in the same neighborhoods. In the United States, 45% of women have said that they do not feel safe walking down the street at night versus only 27% of men. While this is a sad statistic, it may not be based on subjective data alone. Although women feel that they are in more danger than men are, they also have fair reason to believe this because many women are targeted by predators on the streets, in their cars, in their homes and online. For men, it is important to take a stand for the females in their families and to find ways to protect wives and daughters from being another statistic of harassment or violence in the neighborhood.

Put House Lights on a Timer

Predators often stake out houses to learn where the bedrooms are. It can be easy for them to see this because the bedroom is typically the last room that is lit in the house. Women can fool possible predators by placing randomized timers on a variety of lamps in the house for a nightly switch-up.

Take Self-Defense Training

Women should learn how to defend themselves against attackers or rapists. Self-defense classes are usually preferable for this as compared to martial arts classes. Martial arts classes can be a huge commitment of time and typically do not teach women specifically how to get out of a variety of holds.

Carry Pepper Spray

Pepper spray can be a cheap, easily obtainable weapon. While it is not ideal for some situations where a quick response is necessary, it is a good choice for women who like to go jogging in the mornings or walking in a local park.

Carry a Concealed Weapon

An even better option is becoming licensed for a concealed carry weapon. Most states that allow this require individuals to take a class to learn how to use the weapon. Women who carry a concealed weapon should find a smart way to hide the weapon in everyday situations, such as by choosing a stylish concealed carry purse, which is nice to have and easy to make an unobtrusive statement with.

Practice Hotel Safety

Even the best hotels are excellent places for predators to lurk. Women staying in hotels should never open the door to the room to anyone unless they know exactly who the person is or have been given solid proof as to why the individual is there. Many predators pose as police officers or hotel staff to fool women. After entering their rooms, women should immediately lock and chain their doors and should check to ensure that the windows are locked.

Practice Safe Traveling at Night

Nighttime is prime time for harassment or assault of women because it is easy for predators to hide in the shadows. Women should always park close to stores and under parking lot lights. Before entering their cars in parking lots, they should check beneath the car for a predator. Women can also ask security guards to walk them to their cars at many businesses, such as malls and hospitals. Finally, women should never be talking on their phones in parking lots at night but should be highly vigilant of their surroundings.

Harassment of women can be anything from catcalls and leering to carjacking and kidnapping. Family men have been entrusted with the task of ensuring that their wives and daughters are fully protected whether they are at home or away from home. Men can use these tips to teach the women in their lives how to be safe and what items they can buy to help ensure their safety.

Written by Rachelle Wilber

AR-15s ‘Not Protected’ By 2nd Amendment & Can Be Banned, Court Rules

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AR-15s ‘Not Protected’ By 2nd Amendment & Can Be Banned, Court Rules

Image source: Wikimedia

RICHMOND, Va. — The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ignored precedent and the Constitution in ruling this week that semi-automatic weapons don’t have Second Amendment protections, critics say.

In a 10-4 decision upholding Maryland’s ban on certain semi-automatic firearms, the judges went further than previous courts have in ruling that “assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment.”

The Maryland law, passed after a mass shooting, was called the Firearms Safety Act (FSA) of 2013, and it banned AR-15s and most magazine-fed semi-automatic rifles.

Second Amendment advocates and firearms dealers challenged the law in a case called Kolbe vs. Maryland.

Judge William B. Traxler Jr. wrote in a dissent that the Fourth Circuit has “gone to greater lengths than any other court to eviscerate the constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms.”

Be Prepared. Learn The Best Ways To Hide Your Guns.

The majority ruled that the U.S. Supreme Court’s Heller decision, which dealt with handgun ownership and the right to self-defense, has no impact on semi-automatic rifles.

AR-15s ‘Not Protected’ By 2nd Amendment & Can Be Banned, Court Rules “We have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war that the Heller decision explicitly excluded from such coverage,” Judge Robert B. King wrote in the majority opinion.

King’s opinion mentioned the mass shootings in San Bernardino, Newtown and Orlando. Maryland state legislators, he wrote, were justified in banning weapons with magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

Such weapons “enable shooters to inflict mass casualties while depriving victims and law enforcement officers of opportunities to escape or overwhelm the shooters while they reload their weapons,” King wrote.

Traxler disagreed, noting that such weapons are not “dangerous or unusual” and are used by millions of law-abiding citizens.

“As long as the weapon chosen is one commonly possessed by the American people for lawful purposes — and the rifles at issue here most certainly are,” Traxler wrote, “the state has very little say about whether its citizens should keep it in their homes for protection.”

Both King and Traxler were nominated by President Bill Clinton.

Three other judges — Paul V. Niemeyer, Dennis W. Shedd and G. Steven Agee — joined Traxler in the dissent.

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) called it an “outrageous decision.”

“If, as the Fourth Circuit suggests, a firearm loses Second Amendment protection because it is specifically designed for ‘killing or disabling the enemy,’ then the whole idea of the Second Amendment protecting a defensive purpose (or applying to any well-designed firearm, for that matter) collapses. Handguns, rifles, and shotguns of any type can be equally ‘dangerous,’” the NRA-ILA wrote.

Maryland’s law is similar to bans in California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and other states, The Washington Post noted.

The decision could be appealed to the Supreme Court.

What is your reaction to the decision? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Learn How To Make Your Own Ammo! Read More Here.

Build a Hand Crank Generator Out of a Dish Washer Motor

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If the grid goes down, generating power is going to be a top priority. The question is, how can everyday joe living in an urban area generate power without drawing unwanted attention? Gas generators are too loud, and solar panels only work on sunny days. Well, electronicsNmore came up with another option. In this video, […]

The post Build a Hand Crank Generator Out of a Dish Washer Motor appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

How to Treat Plant Fungus with Baking Soda

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The post How to Treat Plant Fungus with Baking Soda is by
hp4u and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

As far as plant diseases go, there are none more annoying, frustrating, and hair-pulling than fungus issues. Whether you’re growing microgreens, houseplants, or veggies, plant fungus like powdery mildew can absolutely ruin your plants. Here’s an example of a classic type of plant fungus, powdery mildew: Here’s a simple rule to detect plant fungus: If your […]

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hp4u and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

New Hampshire Is Now A Constitutional Carry State

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As a New Hampshire resident I am pleased that the current state government saw fit to align with the U.S. Constitution and its 2nd Amendment. Governor Chris Sununu Signs Constitutional Carry Legislation Concord, NH – Governor Chris Sununu today signed Senate Bill 12, Constitutional Carry legislation, into law. Governor Sununu delivered the following statement: “SB […]

He Quit A High-Paying Fortune 500 Job To Homestead

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tim young pic for emailMany people in the U.S. are chasing the American dream, trying to make more money so they can – supposedly – be happier.

But a handful of Americans are going the opposite route, leaving the American dream because it didn’t fulfill their desires.

This week’s guest on Off The Grid Radio was president of a Fortune 500 division and ran one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. before he quit his corporate job and sold his house on a golf course … to homestead.

His name is Tim Young, and he tells us:

  • What caused him to leave his job and try something different.
  • Why the homesteading life is more enjoyable than a high-paying corporate job.
  • How he learned the skills needed to homestead, prior to YouTube.
  • Why the self-sufficient life fulfills a need that money does not.
  • How he makes extra cash living on the homestead – and how you can, too.

Young, who has written several books about self-sufficiency, also shares with us his thoughts on the American dream – and why so many people have it all wrong. If you’re looking for an inspirational story this week, then don’t miss this amazing show!

Off grid pot growers have problems stashing the cash

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What do we do with all the Green?

Legalization of marijuana in 28 states across the US has caused off-grid pot growers to jump for joy, but ongoing issues with depositing the large amounts of cash generated from the business, (and uncertainty on Trump’s stance) has put a damper on the industry.

Pot growing requires a lot of power and is therefore an expensive off-grid venture – cannabis is something that needs regularity, 12/12 light without interruption and regular temps – it is hard to create a stable indoor environment without large solar panels and batteries to guarantee access to power. While new technologies to assist in the process are being developed by NOW Corporation, these wind turbines, called exoPower, are still in the trial stages.

Although difficult, off-gridders like Hezekiah Allen, who grew up in rural Humboldt County and tended a small medical marijuana farm in Northern California, managed to run a profitable business for years, but was forced to bury his cash in the same way many cannabis corporations did in the past.

“I had three different safes buried on a 200-acre parcel,” Hezekiah said. “Fifteen steps from the oak tree, a lot like a pirate. I had a little map. Pretty inconvenient and not the best cash management system. Bankers on the north coast talk about mildewy money. They can tell it’s been buried.”

Times have changed. Hezekiah left his growing operation to serve full time as an advocate for marijuana farmers, and now works to get their profits out of the ground and into banks as the executive director of the California Growers Association.

“We don’t want to lie anymore, we don’t want to have to hide what we are doing,” Hezekiah said. “We want to be open and transparent about what we are and want to do. [Banking] is an area where there are some really bad behaviors being reinforced.”

Although California voters approved the legalization of recreational pot, these businesses are still faced with one major unresolved issue: banking. As marijuana is still illegal under federal law, it is also illegal for banks to work with any marijuana-related businesses. This is forcing the majority of the state’s legal cannabis community to continue to operate in the shadows, despite the state legalization.

While the Obama administration in 2014 issued stringent guidelines that allow banks to pot-related businesses if they are following state laws, most banks have not been willing to risk the lingering threat of criminal prosecution or spend the resources it takes to comply with the additional rules of business.

Rob Rowe, vice president and associate chief counsel of regulatory compliance for the American Bankers Association, said it all comes down to risk assessment – and with the added uncertainty around Trump’s stance on the matter, it doesn’t seem like the outlook will improve any time in the near future.

“Bankers have said that in the current environment, with the enforcement and examiners looking at everything bankers are doing, they aren’t really predisposed to take on anything risky,” Rob said. “And banking a marijuana business is risky.”

The medical marijuana industry has grappled with this for years in California and elsewhere. Now, entrepreneurs and conglomerates going after a slice of lucrative recreational pot sales will have to confront the banking challenge.

Costs of running business

No banking access means businesses must pay employees, bills and taxes in cash. Clients are unable to pay using credit or debit cards, and there is no way to process business loans or real estate mortgages. The company effectively has no paper trail – no official records to build credit or establish a financial identity. And these businesses – whether they be licensed recreational sellers, medical marijuana farms, or trade associations – are forced to stash a lot of cash, making them a target for violent crime.

Michael Julian, CEO and president of MPS Security, which caters to marijuana-related businesses, said business owners are forced to get creative with finding places to hide their money.

“They have tens of thousands, if not millions, of dollars,” Michael said. “And it’s not as secure in a vault in their establishment, in a closet at home, in their mattress, in the trunk of their car, whatever.”

A recent survey by the California Growers association found 75 percent of its members don’t have a bank account, and the ones who do have had three or more accounts closed in the course of doing business. A 2015 survey by Marijuana Business Daily of more than 400 cannabis professionals nationwide also found 70 percent of businesses that deal directly in marijuana operate without traditional banking services. As for firms that support the business but don’t handle the plant, 49 percent don’t have bank accounts.

The long-running conflict between the banks and the industry has been ongoing since 1996, when California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. The conflict ballooned when recreational pot sales started in Colorado and Washington in 2012, but with more and more states entering the recreational market, including California, Massachusetts, Nevada, Maine, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia, the problem will be compounded. Adding in the states that allow medical marijuana brings the total to 28 states, plus D.C., with cannabis laws on the books.

According to experts, the only real solution is for Congress to remove marijuana from the list of Schedule I narcotics, putting the drug on par with an FDA-regulated medicine rather than heroin or cocaine. Until that happens, state-legal marijuana-related businesses are treated under the letter of the law the same as cartels trafficking methamphetamine.

Banking on marijuana

In 2013, the Obama administration released a document called the ‘Cole Memo’, which stated it would generally not prosecute marijuana businesses that were following state law and didn’t engage in certain activities, such as selling to children, crossing state lines or funding criminal organizations. In a separate memo, months later, the administration modified the way banks conducted business with state-legal operations, making it easier under new guidelines from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the federal agency that monitors banks for fraudulent activity, such as money laundering. But banks were also reminded that marijuana remains illegal under federal law and is subject to prosecution.

Under the guidelines, banks serving marijuana-related businesses must file suspicious activity reports, or SARs, so the transactions are transparent and can be tracked by the government. Three kinds of reports dictate the level of suspicion against the businesses: ‘Marijuana limited’ SARs indicate the business is following state law and no red flags suggest it is breaking any other laws; ‘marijuana priority’ suggests the business may not be following other laws and may be involved in suspicious activity; and ‘marijuana termination’ alerts to a bank account that has been shut down for suspicious activity.

The SARs must be filed when an account is opened and then quarterly after that, listing every transaction that has been made. Banks are also told to investigate and track marijuana businesses they are serving, making sure they are not violating any guidelines.

The American Bankers Association stated on its website that the level of scrutiny was “far beyond” that expected of any normal banking relationship.

“Because of the standards in place, if we do this we have to have someone almost embedded in the customer 24/7, and we’re not 100 percent certain we saw everything we need to see,” Rob said. “We’ve got to have such close tabs and use so much resources to closely monitor everything with these businesses, it’s just not economical.”

However, according to data from FinCEN, some banks have taken on the risk of working with marijuana-related businesses; in the first six months that the new guidelines were in effect, banks across America filed 502 SARs marked as ‘marijuana limited,’ according to Dynamic Securities Analytics statistics. During the same period, FinCEN received 123 ‘marijuana priority’ SARs and 475 ‘marijuana termination’.

Rob said banks generally keep quiet about it due to the perceived consequences of doing business with the volatile industry.

“Bankers will say that we know someone who is (serving a marijuana business), but it is the exception to a general policy, a one-off thing,” Rob said. “I’ve heard from dispensaries that say we don’t want to call attention to it because we had trouble getting an account and don’t want to lose what we’ve got.”

Mike Cindrich, an attorney who represents marijuana-related businesses and is executive director of the local chapter of NORML, a marijuana advocacy group, said there are ways around the banking ban on marijuana-related businesses – but he wouldn’t recommend them. One such way would be to set up limited liability corporations that are management companies providing a list of services, from payroll to accounting to bookkeeping to property management. The money from the marijuana business flows to the company – usually with a nondescript name that doesn’t disclose its ties to marijuana – and is deposited in the company’s bank account. This is technically money laundering, and illegal, but some companies have found success with the tactics. Others have been busted by banks and their accounts closed.

“When you start doing something that looks like money laundering, funneling cash from a non-profit to something that looks like an LLC, now someone is looking at felony charges,” Mike said. While he “sternly advises against it,” Mike said he could see how marijuana operators feel like they are being backed into a corner by the government.

“They’re not leaving the cannabis community with many options here,” he said. “It’s a complete nightmare for these businesses. People who don’t want to be legitimate, it’s very easy for them to not report this cash. If we want legitimacy and for these businesses to come out into the light, then we should allow full banking because it allows this money to be accounted for, taxed, tracked, traced. If this is something the feds really want to keep an eye on they’d change the banking laws altogether and make this happen.”

Trump stance

The cannabis industry has been suspicious of President Trump’s election, waiting to see if the new administration will address the growing legal marijuana market and how it conflicts with banking laws.

Trump voiced support for legalization but brought up some concerns about the drug during his campaign. He did not make it a major issue, and the industry believes Trump will focus on his bigger priorities – terrorism, immigration, the border wall.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the former Republican senator from Alabama who once said “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” is a bigger worry. As head of the U.S. Department of Justice, Jeff has control over how the government enforces federal law and could reverse the Obama administration’s willingness to look the other way as long as dispensaries followed state law.

The Attorney General said he would review the Cole Memo and commit to “enforcing federal law with respect to marijuana, although the exact balance of enforcement priorities is an ever-changing determination based on the circumstances and the resources available at the time.”

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Off grid pot growers have problems stashing the cash

What do we do with all the Green?

Legalization of marijuana in 28 states across the US has caused off-grid pot growers to jump for joy, but ongoing issues with depositing the large amounts of cash generated from the business, (and uncertainty on Trump’s stance) has put a damper on the industry.

Pot growing requires a lot of power and is therefore an expensive off-grid venture – cannabis is something that needs regularity, 12/12 light without interruption and regular temps – it is hard to create a stable indoor environment without large solar panels and batteries to guarantee access to power. While new technologies to assist in the process are being developed by NOW Corporation, these wind turbines, called exoPower, are still in the trial stages.

Although difficult, off-gridders like Hezekiah Allen, who grew up in rural Humboldt County and tended a small medical marijuana farm in Northern California, managed to run a profitable business for years, but was forced to bury his cash in the same way many cannabis corporations did in the past.

“I had three different safes buried on a 200-acre parcel,” Hezekiah said. “Fifteen steps from the oak tree, a lot like a pirate. I had a little map. Pretty inconvenient and not the best cash management system. Bankers on the north coast talk about mildewy money. They can tell it’s been buried.”

Times have changed. Hezekiah left his growing operation to serve full time as an advocate for marijuana farmers, and now works to get their profits out of the ground and into banks as the executive director of the California Growers Association.

“We don’t want to lie anymore, we don’t want to have to hide what we are doing,” Hezekiah said. “We want to be open and transparent about what we are and want to do. [Banking] is an area where there are some really bad behaviors being reinforced.”

Although California voters approved the legalization of recreational pot, these businesses are still faced with one major unresolved issue: banking. As marijuana is still illegal under federal law, it is also illegal for banks to work with any marijuana-related businesses. This is forcing the majority of the state’s legal cannabis community to continue to operate in the shadows, despite the state legalization.

While the Obama administration in 2014 issued stringent guidelines that allow banks to pot-related businesses if they are following state laws, most banks have not been willing to risk the lingering threat of criminal prosecution or spend the resources it takes to comply with the additional rules of business.

Rob Rowe, vice president and associate chief counsel of regulatory compliance for the American Bankers Association, said it all comes down to risk assessment – and with the added uncertainty around Trump’s stance on the matter, it doesn’t seem like the outlook will improve any time in the near future.

“Bankers have said that in the current environment, with the enforcement and examiners looking at everything bankers are doing, they aren’t really predisposed to take on anything risky,” Rob said. “And banking a marijuana business is risky.”

The medical marijuana industry has grappled with this for years in California and elsewhere. Now, entrepreneurs and conglomerates going after a slice of lucrative recreational pot sales will have to confront the banking challenge.

Costs of running business

No banking access means businesses must pay employees, bills and taxes in cash. Clients are unable to pay using credit or debit cards, and there is no way to process business loans or real estate mortgages. The company effectively has no paper trail – no official records to build credit or establish a financial identity. And these businesses – whether they be licensed recreational sellers, medical marijuana farms, or trade associations – are forced to stash a lot of cash, making them a target for violent crime.

Michael Julian, CEO and president of MPS Security, which caters to marijuana-related businesses, said business owners are forced to get creative with finding places to hide their money.

“They have tens of thousands, if not millions, of dollars,” Michael said. “And it’s not as secure in a vault in their establishment, in a closet at home, in their mattress, in the trunk of their car, whatever.”

A recent survey by the California Growers association found 75 percent of its members don’t have a bank account, and the ones who do have had three or more accounts closed in the course of doing business. A 2015 survey by Marijuana Business Daily of more than 400 cannabis professionals nationwide also found 70 percent of businesses that deal directly in marijuana operate without traditional banking services. As for firms that support the business but don’t handle the plant, 49 percent don’t have bank accounts.

The long-running conflict between the banks and the industry has been ongoing since 1996, when California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. The conflict ballooned when recreational pot sales started in Colorado and Washington in 2012, but with more and more states entering the recreational market, including California, Massachusetts, Nevada, Maine, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia, the problem will be compounded. Adding in the states that allow medical marijuana brings the total to 28 states, plus D.C., with cannabis laws on the books.

According to experts, the only real solution is for Congress to remove marijuana from the list of Schedule I narcotics, putting the drug on par with an FDA-regulated medicine rather than heroin or cocaine. Until that happens, state-legal marijuana-related businesses are treated under the letter of the law the same as cartels trafficking methamphetamine.

Banking on marijuana

In 2013, the Obama administration released a document called the ‘Cole Memo’, which stated it would generally not prosecute marijuana businesses that were following state law and didn’t engage in certain activities, such as selling to children, crossing state lines or funding criminal organizations. In a separate memo, months later, the administration modified the way banks conducted business with state-legal operations, making it easier under new guidelines from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the federal agency that monitors banks for fraudulent activity, such as money laundering. But banks were also reminded that marijuana remains illegal under federal law and is subject to prosecution.

Under the guidelines, banks serving marijuana-related businesses must file suspicious activity reports, or SARs, so the transactions are transparent and can be tracked by the government. Three kinds of reports dictate the level of suspicion against the businesses: ‘Marijuana limited’ SARs indicate the business is following state law and no red flags suggest it is breaking any other laws; ‘marijuana priority’ suggests the business may not be following other laws and may be involved in suspicious activity; and ‘marijuana termination’ alerts to a bank account that has been shut down for suspicious activity.

The SARs must be filed when an account is opened and then quarterly after that, listing every transaction that has been made. Banks are also told to investigate and track marijuana businesses they are serving, making sure they are not violating any guidelines.

The American Bankers Association stated on its website that the level of scrutiny was “far beyond” that expected of any normal banking relationship.

“Because of the standards in place, if we do this we have to have someone almost embedded in the customer 24/7, and we’re not 100 percent certain we saw everything we need to see,” Rob said. “We’ve got to have such close tabs and use so much resources to closely monitor everything with these businesses, it’s just not economical.”

However, according to data from FinCEN, some banks have taken on the risk of working with marijuana-related businesses; in the first six months that the new guidelines were in effect, banks across America filed 502 SARs marked as ‘marijuana limited,’ according to Dynamic Securities Analytics statistics. During the same period, FinCEN received 123 ‘marijuana priority’ SARs and 475 ‘marijuana termination’.

Rob said banks generally keep quiet about it due to the perceived consequences of doing business with the volatile industry.

“Bankers will say that we know someone who is (serving a marijuana business), but it is the exception to a general policy, a one-off thing,” Rob said. “I’ve heard from dispensaries that say we don’t want to call attention to it because we had trouble getting an account and don’t want to lose what we’ve got.”

Mike Cindrich, an attorney who represents marijuana-related businesses and is executive director of the local chapter of NORML, a marijuana advocacy group, said there are ways around the banking ban on marijuana-related businesses – but he wouldn’t recommend them. One such way would be to set up limited liability corporations that are management companies providing a list of services, from payroll to accounting to bookkeeping to property management. The money from the marijuana business flows to the company – usually with a nondescript name that doesn’t disclose its ties to marijuana – and is deposited in the company’s bank account. This is technically money laundering, and illegal, but some companies have found success with the tactics. Others have been busted by banks and their accounts closed.

“When you start doing something that looks like money laundering, funneling cash from a non-profit to something that looks like an LLC, now someone is looking at felony charges,” Mike said. While he “sternly advises against it,” Mike said he could see how marijuana operators feel like they are being backed into a corner by the government.

“They’re not leaving the cannabis community with many options here,” he said. “It’s a complete nightmare for these businesses. People who don’t want to be legitimate, it’s very easy for them to not report this cash. If we want legitimacy and for these businesses to come out into the light, then we should allow full banking because it allows this money to be accounted for, taxed, tracked, traced. If this is something the feds really want to keep an eye on they’d change the banking laws altogether and make this happen.”

Trump stance

The cannabis industry has been suspicious of President Trump’s election, waiting to see if the new administration will address the growing legal marijuana market and how it conflicts with banking laws.

Trump voiced support for legalization but brought up some concerns about the drug during his campaign. He did not make it a major issue, and the industry believes Trump will focus on his bigger priorities – terrorism, immigration, the border wall.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the former Republican senator from Alabama who once said “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” is a bigger worry. As head of the U.S. Department of Justice, Jeff has control over how the government enforces federal law and could reverse the Obama administration’s willingness to look the other way as long as dispensaries followed state law.

The Attorney General said he would review the Cole Memo and commit to “enforcing federal law with respect to marijuana, although the exact balance of enforcement priorities is an ever-changing determination based on the circumstances and the resources available at the time.”

The post Off grid pot growers have problems stashing the cash appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Living in a tree stump – past and present

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I lived for a short period of time in Oregon, it was many MANY years ago, I still remember the first time I visited there, I would get behind these logging trucks hauling felled trees. I was amazed at the size (diameter) of these trees, each truck would be hauling one to three trees, they were huge. A few years later when I moved out there, I noticed the logging trucks were hauling many more but smaller trees, they might be hauling 5 or more trees per load. Based on the size of the trees I was seeing the first time I visited, I can’t even imagine how large the trees were 100 or more years ago.

In the early 19th century, there were many folk looking for a life in the pacific northwest, logging was the way most earned their living, the result of logging meant there were lots of very large tree stumps around, they weren’t useful for anything and were mostly ignored by the loggers. A few ingenious free thinkers saw a way to use these very large tree stumps, as their homes. They were doing the tiny home thing long before it would become a movement in modern times.

All they needed to do was hollow out the inside, leaving sufficiently thick walls on the outside and build a roof over the top, cut out doors and perhaps windows, and viola they had a nearly ready made home.
https://youtu.be/49xLYCcLeE0

Fast forward to today, and in Vancouver’s Stanley Park, British Columbia, a modern day “pioneer” is living inside his own version of a tree stump home, the difference is he is living minutes away from a major city center. Unfortunately Matthew is dealing with addiction and other problems, he does have a roof over his head, this video was uploaded in 2009, I sincerely hope his life has gotten on a better track since then.
https://youtu.be/o3Csn3EPveI

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5 Perfect Tomatoes To Grow That Will Feed Your Family & Stock Your Pantry!

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5 Perfect Tomatoes. Of all the plants we grow in our garden each year – there is simply not one more valuable than the amazing tomato. For us, it is so much more than just an incredible fresh vegetable. Beyond

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This Is The Smart Way To Invest In Food!

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The Smart Way To Invest In Food

Remember when Mom or Grandma would send you to the pantry or down to the basement to grab another jar of pickles or peanut butter? There were probably at least a couple of extra jars behind the one that you grabbed.

That’s because they lived through times when having backup food meant the difference between eating and going hungry. They had it “just in case.” Do you practice this? If not, you should.

We live in unsure times. The United States economy is by far the largest in the world; more than twice that of China, the world’s second largest economy. US money and goods support the global economy to the point that if we suffer an economic collapse, we take the rest of the world down with us.

But there’s one solid way to hedge your future – a basic commodity that everybody will always need: food.

Considering the state of the nation right now, an economic collapse is just as likely as not – maybe even more likely. The crazy explosion in the US monetary system and the instability of our government doesn’t just make it possible that we’ll face hyperinflation in the near future – it practically guarantees it.

Food costs are going to keep increasing and in the case of an economic collapse, will quickly increase to the point that foods that are barely affordable to many households now, such as meat, will be completely out of reach. The price of many “affordable” foods such as sauces, pasta, rice, sugar and flour will likely increase to the point that they’ll barely be affordable, assuming they’re available.

Until recently, the primary concern for most of us was economic collapse, with governmental collapse being a peripheral concern. Now, in these uncertain times, either – or both – is increasingly likely. Both would bring about life-altering circumstances that would dethrone the current money-based system in favor of a barter system.

Guess what that does to all those stocks, bonds, and savings accounts (and for that matter, cash) when that happens: they become worthless. But do you know what gains value exponentially? Food. And to a lesser extent, hygiene products. Investing in both will give you the tools you need to barter, survive, and even thrive.

No matter how poor somebody is, they’ll always need to eat. That doesn’t mean that you should gouge them. It just means that you’ll have a commodity that will be of value to everybody.

So, investing in food is the way to go. Even if you only invest in it passively, without ever selling a single noodle of it, you’ll still be saving much more by buying food for tomorrow at today’s prices than many investments that most of us can afford would yield. The longer you eat food bought at today’s prices, the more money you’ll save.

Food costs, with the exception of fresh fruit, decreased for the first time in years from December of 2015 – December of 2016, but that isn’t anticipated to continue. The USDA anticipated a hike in 2017 based on stable conditions – in other words, before the political climate changed so radically. Essentially, you have the chance right now to buy at bargain basement prices and put off buying when the prices go up.

So, how do you invest in food? Well, there are several different ways, and you can do it, at least to a certain degree, no matter where you live or how much money you have.

Considerations to the Return on Your Investment

Unless you have a huge farm with numerous gardens and storage spaces, and a lot of money to feed livestock and grow fresh produce, you have some challenges. That’s OK. You just need to work with what you have and find a proper way to secure your future.

Save Yourself $24,000 Instantly Using This One Easy Prepper Hack!

Space

This is probably the biggest limitation that you may face. If you live in a 1-bedroom apartment in an urban environment, the only space you may have is a closet and some cabinets. That’s fine. Make the most of what space you have by stockpiling a variety of staple foods and hygiene items.

Even the cabinet under your bathroom sink will hold more hygiene products than you might think. The more you can buy now at a lower price, the more you’ll save. Utilize your space well, buying products that you’ll use, and that will last.

Shelf Life

No matter how much space you have, shelf life is always a consideration. If you buy enough food to meet your needs for five years but it expires in two, you’ve wasted your resources.

Allocate your money responsibly and with forethought. Know how much you and your household eat monthly/annually. Use the FIFO (First In, First Out) method and store food in a way that will preserve it for as long as possible.

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What Types of Food You Can Store

While you can save a ton of money on buying extra boxes of cereal and jars of peanut butter, there are some types of foods that will save you more than others.

For instance, meat, eggs, and dairy prices are anticipated to increase significantly more than cabinet foods but they don’t have much of a shelf-life. Consider your resources and storage capabilities when you plan your shopping.

Methods to Help You Invest in Food

Now that you know what you need to consider when you’re investing in food, let’s talk about ways to help you invest better so that you get the most bang for your buck.

1. Buy a Freezer

Milk, meat, and eggs just aren’t shelf-stable as-is, but they’re the top foods that increase quickly in cost. You do have some options. All of these products have canned or powdered options that have excellent shelf lives.

You can also can your own meat and butter, and you can buy a freezer to store up to a year’s worth of food. Believe it or not, all dairy is freezable.

Many people are worried about lack of electricity in the event of a collapse and avoid freezers, but the odds of complete electric failure are pretty slim if you have an alternative power source. Most meats and dairy store frozen for up to six months, or even a year. Also the cost of a freezer, if you have a proper place where you can put one, will be covered by the savings in a short time.

2. Build a Food Storage Space

If you have the space, build or buy an extra food/supply shed. The money that you save in food and necessaries will pay for it in very little time.

3. Use Coupons and Sales

If you combine coupons and sales, you’ll be amazed how quickly you can build a stockpile for next to nothing. It’s a matter of paying attention to what’s on sale.

For instance, today I bought 6 bottles each of ketchup, shampoo, and laundry detergent for $13 total. My total savings was $24. And that doesn’t even count what I’ll save by not buying later when the price is higher.

All three are products that I use and that would be valuable if something happens and I need to barter, so there’s no way I can lose.

4. Buy Popular, Necessary Products

There are some foods and products that everybody just has to have. Examples: flour, green beans, tampons, deodorant, etc. Don’t buy a ton of lima beans if they’re on sale unless you really love them because they’re not a popular food. Sometimes there’s a reason things are on clearance – nobody else wanted to buy it!

Also, if you’re preparing for a bartering situation, alcohol and tobacco are going to be premium, in-demand products. Cigarettes are brutally expensive, but loose tobacco and rolling papers are fairly inexpensive and, as long as they’re sealed in air-tight containers, have a long shelf-life.

Regarding alcohol, remember that it’s not just for drinking – you can make tinctures and clean wounds and first-aid tools with it, too. Having extra vodka or bourbon is never a bad thing.

5. Buy Healthy Products

For some reason, people seem to want to pile in the boxes of cookies and cans of spaghetti-o’s because they’re cheap and delicious, but have no (or little) dried eggs, milk, canned meats, or meal stretchers such as flour and rice.

Think healthy. It’s important that you buy foods that you like – and cheap is good, too – but remember that you may be depending on your stockpile for survival. Stock up with healthy foods, too.

Also, canned milk, eggs, flour, rice, and other similar products are extremely versatile. You can eat or drink them as-is, or you can use them in recipes to make other products such as bread, cakes, side dishes, etc.

6. Buy in Bulk

This is our final point today, and it’s a big one because you may not need 20 pounds of flour or sugar now, but will you use it eventually? Of course you will, and it really doesn’t go bad as long as it’s stored properly.

A 20-pound bag of sugar often costs only a few bucks more than a 5-pound bag. Same with sugar. Compare cost per unit instead of just thinking of one being more expensive than the other. Dollars to donuts, bulk is almost guaranteed to be cheaper than smaller portions.

Now that you have some ideas about how to invest in food, start planning, then start buying. You can have a great stockpile built up in no time even if you just buy stuff that’s on sale buy-one-get-one-free and put back the extra. It adds up quickly, and you’ll have a nice nest egg sitting in your pantry or basement!

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

Maintaining A Steady Supply of Water

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There is no more fundamental need than a steady supply of water. Without it, our bodies cannot survive more than a few days. Yet when natural disasters or other emergencies take place, municipal water is often one of the first victims. And large-scale terrorism is likely to target water distribution as a key element of infrastructure to disrupt.

So it’s critically important that we take whatever steps we can to ensure that we can maintain a safe and adequate supply of water under whatever circumstances may occur.

The most important things are to educate yourself and then to prepare. Make sure you understand the implications of line breaks. Understand how to handle a boil-water advisory. And then get your home and your family ready for how to handle a disruption in water.

As you plan for the very real possibility of a water outage, there are some major areas of concern you should address.

Starting Off Right

Water failures are rarely caused by damage at the distribution points or purification sites. It’s generally a result of line breakage. Earthquakes are notorious for creating ground shifts that twist pipes and break their joints apart.

But other failures are less sudden. A period of unusually wet weather can leave heavy soils shifting and moving, causing rocks and other buried objects to rub against water lines and create leaks that can ultimately become large enough to disrupt service.

The ideal water pipe is reinforced with a chrome carbide overlay that will resist this type of damage. If you don’t know whether your utility has built lines with such materials, try to find out and then urge them to make the change if necessary.

Maintaining Your Own

Inside your house is the most complex part of the water delivery process. The many fixtures and appliances requiring water create a maze of pipes that must be carefully monitored and maintained.

It does you no good to have a great municipal water system if your own system will fail you! Slow leaks in crawlspaces may never impact you until the pressure from your supplier drops. And other malfunctions may be okay until the system shuts down, then reactivates with a surge of pressure that finally breaks a joint or connection that had barely been hanging on.

Keep your own equipment in top running order so that outside disruptions won’t be made worse.

Conserve & Plan

Although our home’s water supply is pressurized in most uses, it’s still functional when we operate with stored water. Toilet tanks can be easily refilled with jugs or bottles that you keep on hand. Water can be heated and dumped into the tub for easy bathing. You can even do laundry with a stockpile of water.

You’ll get creative if your system shuts down, but you have to make sure that you have first stored that water. Hang on to used milk jugs, juice containers, water bottles, and any other sanitary vessel you can get, then fill them with water and store them safely. Other containers can be used for non-potable water for toilets and laundry.

Even the best municipal water system will experience a failure here and there. You must be prepared to operate on your own when it happens. If you make the proper plans, you can get through until repairs are made.

The post Maintaining A Steady Supply of Water appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Does the Travel John Work?

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com My last post discussed possible alternatives for dealing with liquid waste while trying to bug out without having to stop.  We found the Travel John, a popular product among campers, online.  Before I recommend anything I always try out the item to make sure it works. What is the Travel John? It is a disposable urinal that is portable, is said to be leak proof, and odor free. The box came with 18 […]

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