Diseases to Fear in the Aftermath of SHTF

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Diseases to Fear in the Aftermath of SHTF This topic is very important and mostly gets overlooked. Prepare now because there will be no hospitals if SHTF. Sorry if that sounded to harsh, but it’s true! If SHTF today, in a week or so people will be going crazy, they will be trying to get …

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Forgotten Skills That Helped The Native Americans Survive Winter

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Forgotten Skills That Helped The Native Americans Survive Winter

Artist: Robert Duncan

Most of us head indoors and turn up the furnace when frigid weather hits, stacking in a good supply of wood for the stove or plugging in the old electric throw blanket — and praying that the power doesn’t go out!

For the native people of this land, however, they had none of those luxuries. Have you ever wondered just how the heck they stayed warm when it was dangerously cold? During blizzards and ice storms? Were teepees and other shelters really that warm?

Of course, there could be causalities during severe weather. You can’t help but picture the people who went outside to attend to nature’s call, only to find themselves half frozen within minutes, or lost in a driving snow.

Let’s take a look at how the indigenous people of this land not only survived during the harshest winter weather, but actually looked forward to it as a time to stay indoors, sleep, rest, spend time with family, and get caught up on chores.

An Ounce of Prevention

One way that native people prepared for harsh storms was forecasting them. Generally speaking, there were always one or two elders who seemed to have a knack of understanding that, for example, if the wind was bringing clouds from the north, it meant a blizzard, if from the east, it would bring snow, but nothing too harsh. Thin clouds meant cold weather. No snow and a ring circling the moon meant it would rain within 24 hours.

Get The Essential Secrets Of The Most Savvy Survivalists In The World!

It also helped to observe animal behavior. For example, woodpeckers sharing one tree or one nest meant a harsh winter was coming. It is also said that when muskrats made their holes high up on the banks of rivers, lots of snow was on the way.

In the far north, the elders looked for bright spots that appear on either side of that cold winter sun. An old saying was that those spots were fire, which the sun had made to warm its ears. This was a sign which meant a severe cold snap was coming quickly.

Forgotten Skills That Helped The Native Americans Survive Winter Native people were well aware that being caught without proper provisions during the winter would almost certainly mean death — so they prepared themselves accordingly.

When Caught Unaware

Literature has painted Native Americans as some sort of “magic” people who knew everything about nature, but the truth is that they were humans who made mistakes. This is especially true of young couples sneaking away for a little tryst, or young men trying to prove their bravery.

Sometimes, indigenous people were away from camp when a snowstorm or blizzard struck.  In these cases, stories of survival are almost all the same: People sought shelter quickly, made a small fire, tried to stay warm and wait it out. Shelter was the foremost concern, and it would take the shape of hollowed-out tree trunks, caves, rock outcroppings, even a quick lean-to made from branches, a tree and some snow.

Anything that would burn would be collected as quickly as possible, including horse or cow dung, pine cones, old pine needles, small branches – basically, whatever was dry. By surrounding the fire with rocks, they could radiate heat into the shelter.

If you were with someone else, you could share body heat. Natives would wait out the storm by sleeping as much as possible near the fire. It’s an old wives’ tale that people who fall asleep in the cold will never wake up. When you are cold enough, your body will wake you up to let you know!

Protect the Body

Next to the fire, your most precious asset is your own body heat. Native people considered their body as a natural fire that they never wanted to squander or allow to go out.

For the indigenous people, this meant never sitting directly on the ground, but instead perching themselves on furs or rocks near the fire that were covered with hides and fur. The Eskimo people were known to tie dried loon skins, including the feathers, to a rope, which they wore around their waist, similar to an apron. This was not only an extra layer of warmth, but if they were out and about, they would turn it around so the skins were lying on their buttocks, giving them a natural buffer between their fanny and a cold rock!

Native people kept their body fire protected by layering clothing. Better to remove clothing if you became too warm than to be caught in a snow storm wearing just a breechcloth!

Making the Cold an Ally

Of course, native people had many ways of dealing with the cold over the years that are no longer useful to us in modern times. Many tribes were nomadic and simply moved south along with the migrating birds. Other tribes used longhouses, where almost everyone in the tribe would spend the winters together in close quarters, their combined body heat making the interiors warmer.

Native people were known to cut wood when it was well below freezing. Why? Not only were they kept warm through the effort, but wood at 30 below (Fahrenheit) splits very easily!

Perhaps one of the best secrets of the indigenous people was that they saw the cold as a living thing that deserved respect. They did not try to prove how long they could stay outside in an ice storm. Native people believed that cold was a spirit that had great power worth of respect and attention.

Do you think you could have survived as a Native American in frigid weather? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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

A $250 Reliable Pistol? Yep, And It’s Perfect For Home Defense

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A $250 Reliable Pistol? Yep, And It’s Perfect For Home Defense

Image source: Smith & Wesson Forum

One of the most important firearms to have in your home defense arsenal is a reliable handgun. I would even go as far as to say that owning a handgun is more important than a shotgun, simply because you can conceal it on your person and travel with it.

That said, you’re going to be very limited in choices if you’re on a tight budget. Fortunately, you have a few solid options. In fact, if you have only $250 or so to spend right now, there is a specific pistol that could be just what you’re looking for (and no, it’s not a Hi-Point).

It’s the Taurus Millennium PT111 G2 in 9mm (or the PT140 in .40 S&W). Yes, Taurus has had a blotchy reputation in the past, but their Generation 2 line of guns released in 2013 is widely regarded as having massive improvements over previous models in nearly everything: ergonomics, build quality, reliability and accuracy.

The PT111 G2, in particular, is a versatile little handgun that could be used for a variety of purposes, including concealed carry, home defense or as a disaster scenario sidearm. The primary reason for this is its size. The PT111 G2 is a compact gun, which means it can be concealed on your person very easily; the total length of the gun is just under six and a half inches, and weight clocks in at a light 22 ounces.

Despite its small size, the PT111 G2 still packs enough firepower to defend your home and family against multiple attackers. It holds 12+1 rounds of 9mm Luger, while the PT140 holds 10+1 rounds of .40 S&W.

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

Moving on to the features of the gun, the PT111 G2 has a nice ergonomic grip with aggressive stippling on the sides, allowing you to get a secure grip on the weapon even if your hands are wet or slippery.

Not only does the PT111 G2 feature a Glock-style blade safety on the front of the trigger, but it also features a manual thumb safety mounted in the right side of the frame. While there’s nothing wrong with having a safety on a firearm you use for home defense or concealed carry, it’s important that you always remember to flick that safety off when presenting the weapon to shoot. It would be wise to train by conducting multiple, repetitive drills of drawing the PT111 G2 and flicking the safety off when you do so in order for this to become muscle memory.

One thing that makes the PT111 G2 unique compared to other striker-fired pistols in its class is the fact it is technically a double-action, single action pistol. This means that the first shot is long while all subsequent shots will be shorter. This long initial trigger pull essentially acts as a safety in and of itself, since the pistol has a lesser chance of going off with a long trigger pull than a short one.

The PT111 G2 comes installed with three dot sights, with the rear sight being adjustable. It also features a loaded chamber indicator blade behind the ejection port that flips up when the gun is chambered. Not only does this give you a visual representation that the pistol is ready to fire, but you also can physically feel the indicator in the dark should you not be able to see it.

As with all Taurus handguns, the PT111 G2 comes installed with Taurus’ trademark security system. A pair of keys ship with the gun and when you use it to turn a lock on the right side of the slide, the entire pistol will lock up and be rendered useless until you turn it back. You can store the gun knowing that a child or a burglar won’t be able to fire the weapon.

You’re getting a lot of gun for the money with the Taurus Millennium PT111 G2. If you want a dependable pistol for home defense, concealed carry or personal protection in general but are on a budget, the PT111 G2 is a superb option and excellent value.

Have you ever shot the Taurus Millennium PT111 G2? Share your thoughts about it in the section below:

Make Your Own Ammo! Read More Here.

15 Incredible Things You Can Do With Tea Tree Oil

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15 Incredible Things You Can Do With Tea Tree Oil

Image source: Wikipedia

 

The tea tree, or Melaleuca alternifolia, is native to Australia and produces one of the most popular essential oils, tea tree essential oil.

Captain James Cook and his sailors stumbled upon the tree in the 18th century, and discovered that the leaves of the tree — when brewed as a tea — could combat scurvy. The tree soon after became known as the “tea tree.”

Of course, the indigenous people of Australia, the Aborigines, were already aware of the tree’s healing powers and used the leaves of the tree to battle respiratory problems and to relieve headaches.

Tea tree essential oil has antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. The aroma of the essential oil is fresh, pungent and medicinal, with sweeter, woody notes as it evaporates.

Let’s take a look at 15 uses for this incredible essential oil.

1. Fight viral infections and airborne germs

Since tea tree essential oil is antiviral and antibacterial, it is good for fighting germs that cause the flu and other sicknesses. There are several ways you can use the oil, including as a massage blend and in an air diffuser to purify the air.

Recipe for an antiviral massage blend:

  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 2 drops black pepper essential oil
  • 4 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 4 tsp of a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil

To boost your immune system and fight off illnesses, massage the blend onto your skin at least once per day.

2. Heal wounds

Tea tree essential oil is ideal for treating wounds and preventing an infection from setting in.

To treat wounds and insect bites:

  • Place 2 drops of tea tree essential oil on a cotton ball and swipe over the wound or insect bite.

It is OK to use tea tree essential oil, without a carrier oil, for treating wounds. But if you have sensitive skin, add a drop of a carrier oil to the tea tree oil before wiping the wound.

3. Disinfect surfaces in your home and car

Tea tree essential oil is a potent surface cleaner and germ killer. Simply spray and wipe a solution with tea tree essential oil over all surfaces of your home and car. Don’t forget about door knobs, cabinet knobs, light switches, remotes, computer keyboards, mouses, and kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Furthermore, using a cleaning solution with tea tree essential oil for wiping down the interior of your car can prevent the spread of illness-causing germs.

Germ-killing cleaning solution:

  • 15 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 15 drops lemon essential oil
  • 4 oz. white vinegar
  • 8 oz. distilled water
  • Mix in a spray bottle

4. Treat acne

Tea tree essential oil is considered one of the most effective, natural, acne treatments available. In fact, it can be as effective as peroxide for acne-prone skin, and does not have the harsh side-effects such as drying and peeling.

Homemade face blend for acne-prone skin:

  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 4 drops lemon essential oil
  • 4 drops geranium essential oil
  • 4 tsp jojoba carrier oil

Place several drops of the blend onto a cotton swab and wipe over your face with it in an upward motion. Allow the oils to absorb into your skin.

5. Remedy a dry scalp

Tea tree is beneficial for the health of your skin, and this includes the scalp. It can prevent dry, flaking skin, dandruff, and even can be used to treat lice.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

Add tea tree directly to your shampoo and conditioner, or try this homemade remedy:

 Tea tree scalp treatment:

  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 4 tsp coconut oil

Massage the blend into your hair and scalp and leave it in for about 30 minutes, and then shampoo it out.

6. Fight toenail fungus, ringworm and athlete’s foot

15 Incredible Things You Can Do With Tea Tree Oil

Image source: Pixabay.com

Tea tree essential oil has the ability to kill parasites and fungus. Use it neat, or undiluted, right on the infected areas. If you have sensitive skin, add a carrier oil.

Fungus-killing solution:

  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops oil of oregano
  • 4 tsp of a carrier oil

7. Remove warts

Tea tree essential oil can naturally remove unwanted warts. Just apply several drops of tea tree essential oil several times a day to the wart. Be patient, as it can take up to 30 days to completely remove the wart.

8. Kill mold

Mold grows in damp places and can quickly become an infestation. To kill mold, place a diffuser in the area, such as your bathroom or garage, and diffuse tea tree oil into the air. Or, you can use a spray bottle with tea tree essential oil and water. Spray the solution on shower curtains, window sills, dishwashers, laundry machines, and anywhere else you might notice mold growing.

9. Prevent body odor (deodorant)

Because of its antimicrobial properties, tea tree essential oil can naturally control body odor.

Natural deodorant recipe:

  • 15 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 5 tbsp coconut oil
  • Add lavender essential oil for scent if you

Mix together the baking soda and cornstarch in a bowl, and then add liquefied coconut oil, your essential oils and blend. Store the blend in an airtight container and use it daily.

10. Make homemade toothpaste and mouthwash

Because tea tree essential oil is antibacterial, it will kill germs in the mouth. It can prevent tooth decay, bleeding gums and bad breath.

Toothpaste and mouthwash recipe:

  • 15 drops tea tree essential oil
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 5 tbsp liquified coconut oil
  • Mix together and keep in an airtight container.

You can use the blend as toothpaste or allow it to melt in your mouth as a mouthwash. Be sure to spit it out. Never swallow tea tree essential oil.

11. Treat eczema and psoriasis

Tea tree can treat any kind of skin inflammation and is a natural healing agent, so it’s ideal for relieving the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis.

Eczema and psoriasis remedy:

  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • Rub into the affected area as needed.

12. Relieve a sore throat

15 Incredible Things You Can Do With Tea Tree Oil

Image source: Pixabay.com

Because tea tree essential oil can help with the inflammation of the mucous membranes, it can effectively be used to help relieve a sore throat. Add one drop of tea tree essential oil to enough warm water with which to gargle. Make sure to spit out the mixture and not to swallow it.

13. Fight colds (expectorant)

Tea tree essential oil can help clear airways and a stuffed-up nose. It can also help to ease a headache.

Head cold remedy massage rub:

  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 4 tsp sweet almond oil
  • Rub into the chest area and on the temples.

14. Repell insects

Pests hate the smell of tea tree essential oil, and it is useful for repelling most of them.

Natural bug and pest spray:

  • 20 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops citronella essential oil
  • 16 oz distilled water

Using a spray bottle, spray the blend around doorways, windows and cracks to keep pests out of your home. You also can spray the combination on your clothes to ward off insects when you go outdoors. To use on your skin, add several drops of a carrier oil to help with the absorption.

15. Sanitize hands

Try this blend to make an all-natural hand sanitizer that is not rough on your hands:

Natural hand sanitizer recipe:

  • 30 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops clove essential oil
  • 1 tbsp witch hazel
  • 8 oz. aloe vera gel

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and then store it in an airtight container. Carry a small amount around with you in a travel-sized squeeze bottle.

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

Cold-Hardy Chicken Breeds That Can Thrive Anywhere

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Cold-Hardy Chicken Breeds That Can Thrive Anywhere

Image source: GreenwoodOrganics.ca

Anyone who lives north of a certain latitude or above a particular elevation knows that winter can be hard on homestead chickens. Keeping a flock warm and comfortable can be a challenging endeavor when the temperature plummets. Although there are a variety of methods available, ranging from infrastructure modification to feeding habits to artificial heat, one of the most important things to ensure chickens thrive in winter is to choose the right breeds for the climate

First, bigger is better. Larger animals are often able to store more fat, which acts as insulation. Although the general rule of larger animals being more adaptable to cold than small ones is more often true among mammals than in other animal families, it does seem to bear out with domestic fowl. Full-sized chicken breeds tend to do better in severely cold areas than do the smaller-sized bantams. While smaller poultry can and are raised successfully in northern climates, it works well to choose heavy breeds.

Another thing to look for when choosing a cold-hardy chicken breed are their physical features. Larger combs and wattles—the fleshy protuberances on the tops of their heads and hanging from below their beaks, typically red in color—are more prone to freezing. The reason for this tendency may be that combs and wattles have a lower blood flow than the rest of their bodies, particularly during cold weather. As with other organisms, including humans, physiology focuses on survival, which in cold weather causes blood flow to be reserved for the most important areas of the body.

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

Roosters typically have larger combs and wattles than do hens. But both sexes of some breeds have smaller ones, and those are the breeds that do better in frigid weather. They have less area of this sensitive skin exposed to the cold, which results in them being less apt to suffer from painful and debilitating frostbite.

Another feature to consider is fur versus feathers. The answer feels almost counterintuitive, but chickens with feathered or furry legs are not recommended for colder regions. The reason is this:  snow and ice can stick to the fluffy legs and feet of silkie types and cause them to freeze more quickly than legs and feet with only skin. The same holds true for chickens with fur or fluffy feathers on their bodies and heads—traditional feathers keep them drier and more protected from cold. This is not to say that chickens with furry legs or bodies cannot be raised in the north, but it may be wise to keep an extra close eye on them during deep cold, particularly if they go outside at all.

Chickens have been bred over generations to adapt to specific conditions, and being cold-hardy is one of those sought-after traits. So what breeds of chicken are generally considered to be the best choices for regions of extremely cold winters?

My personal favorite is the Ameraucana. This is an American breed that is derived from the South American “Araucana,” a bird known for laying blue eggs. Like its parent bird, the Ameraucana—also known as an “Easter-egger”—typically has distinctive tufted ears and a short tail, and lays eggs that range from olive green to baby blue in color. Ameraucana roosters have brilliant plumage in iridescent greens and sometimes other colors which some people favor for fly-tying, and hens range from multicolored golds and oranges to all white. The two distinguishing characteristics which all of my Ameraucana birds have are tufted ears and greenish legs.

The traits that make me like Ameraucanas include their all-weather hardiness—heavy bodies and extremely low-profile combs and barely existent wattles—as well as their extra-rich eggs and general toughness.

Another breed I have had success with is the Golden Comet. One of my hens is a seven-year-old Golden Comet, and she is still laying eggs regularly even at her advanced age. She is robust, smart, and adaptable to new conditions—and like her roost-mates, has the cold-weather traits she needs to survive winters in my region.

Other breeds that are generally thought to be cold-weather chickens include Reds—both Rhode Island and New Hampshire—as well as all colors of Wyandottes, Orpingtons and Rocks. I have had a few of all four of these types over the years, and they have proven to be excellent cold-weather choices, but have replaced them with other breeds as time went by due to reasons other than winter hardiness.

It is likely possible to change housing conditions so that any chicken can be kept safe and thriving during frigid weather. But choosing breeds that naturally tolerate cold better can result in less effort and less worry on the owner, and create a more pleasant environment for everyone involved.

What are your favorite cold-weather chicken breeds? Which traits are most important to you for winter hardiness? Share your tips in the section below:

hydrogen peroxide report

Radiation’s Effects And Materials To Mitigate Them

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Re-Post from MDSA While in conversation with a friend the other night, he mentioned the two previous posts that were published on this blog, and asked if more topics could be discussed. I advised him that there were more in the works, and it was just time constraints that limited their release. Today we will talk […]

Cooking from scratch

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cooking from scratch

Cooking and eating are two (of many) pleasures in life for me, I learned how to cook from watching my mother who was a fantastic cook. She could take just a few basic ingredients and make a meal fit for a king. I remember pushing a kitchen chair up to the counter and standing on it so I could see and help my mother cook. My first dish that I made all by myself was scrambled eggs, standing on a kitchen chair to reach the stove top, of course my mom was right there, but she let me do everything myself, I was so proud of that plate scrambled eggs.

My mother cooked everything from scratch, we never had boxed or pre-prepared anything, I will admit that I was a bit jealous of my friends who ate TV dinners from foil trays, they ate macaroni and cheese from the blue box, and white bread from plastic bags, I thought we were just too poor for such luxuries. Little did I know how lucky we were to have a mom who was talented in the kitchen. Once I was older I discovered just how tasteless that institutional food really was and appreciated my mother’s skills all the more.

One thing I learned from my mom was how to cook without having a recipe to follow, I call it “cooking by the seat of my pants”, I know how to follow a recipe, but I also know how to tweak a recipe, how to make it even better, how to substitute ingredients and best of all, how to make up my own recipe for the things I want. A few benefits of cooking for yourself is it’s usually more frugal, another reason is you know what is going into your food, no mystery ingredients (or ones you can’t pronounce) and best of all, it’s often tastier.

The other day at the grocery store, I purchased a package of English muffins, there were only 6 in the package, they were tasty but rather expensive. We quickly ate them over a matter of 2 mornings. I decided I wanted to make some, I had made them before, I know there are 2 different methods, one is to make a dough, roll it out, cut out the rounds, allow them to rise and grill until cooked on both sides. The other is the batter method, where you make a thick but pourable dough, I already knew I preferred the batter method as that results in English muffins with the nooks and crannies.

I searched through many recipes online but couldn’t find one that I wanted to use, so I just made one up. It’s not difficult, I poured some milk into a pan, added some butter, sugar and salt, I warmed it up until the butter melted (but not too hot), removed from heat, added a packet of yeast, stirred, then began to add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well until it became a thick batter. I covered it and kept warm until it bubbled up nicely, then I cooked them on a griddle top using silicon egg rings to contain the batter as it cooked. Sorry, I don’t measure anything, I just add ingredients until it looks right 🙂

egg-a-muffins

Once cooked on each side, remove from the griddle, cool a bit (that’s hard when fingers keep reaching for the hot muffins), slice each one in half and toast on the grill top. Eat as you wish, you can eat them with butter and jam, or you can put whatever filling you want, my favorite right now is a fried egg, sausage, bacon and cheese, we call them egg-a-muffins (can’t call them anything with a Mc in the name, but you know what I’m talking about). I’ll try to work out a recipe with measurements below.

The egg rings made it easy to do, both for the muffins and for the eggs, I received them to review and they work just fine, you can find them here: Silicone Egg Rings by Ozetti.

Here is a rough estimate for the ingredients, I think it should be easy enough to follow

2 cups milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 packet rapid rise yeast (regular yeast will also work)
approx 2 cups flour

Add milk, sugar, salt and butter to a pan and warm until the butter melts, remove from heat, do not allow it to get too hot, add yeast, mix well, then start adding all purpose flour in half cup increments, stirring well (I use a whisk) after each addition, you want it to be a thick but pourable batter, it may take more flour. Cover and allow the yeast to work, the warmer your kitchen, the quicker it will happen, it should bubble up and nearly double in size in about a half hour. Heat a flat grill, griddle or frying pan, use the silicon rings or you can use canning lid rings (be sure to oil them), I touched the butter to the pan inside each ring, then scoop the batter into each ring, don’t fill too full. Allow to cook on a low flame for about 5-8 minutes on each side. Once cooked, allow to cool a bit, then slice in half and toast before eating.

You can use water instead of milk, if you do that you can add powdered milk or even a bit of non dairy creamer, or just go with plain water.

This batter reminds me of the no knead artisanal breads that are all the rage, the dough is wet and when you mix it, it becomes “shaggy” looking as the yeast does its thing and the gluten is developed. Let me know if you try this and how it works out for you 🙂

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Farmhouse Cheddar

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Today’s blog is about making cheese, and while it is not an “emergency skill” it does help feed a self sufficient lifestyle.  Cheese making came into being as a way to preserve milk without refrigeration, and was a valuable part of historical life. Making cheese in the modern age is more about enjoyment than survival, […]

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Gear Review: prO-Bub Kid Ear Muffs

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#probubearmuffs As a father and a firearm instructor, I have been on the lookout for good quality hearing protection for my son. Kid Ear Muffs are not something I am willing to compromise with. My bot is 4 and while I don’t think he is ready to shoot a “real gun”, I have more than […]

The post Gear Review: prO-Bub Kid Ear Muffs appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

How To Make Soap With Fat and Ashes

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How To Make Soap With Fat and Ashes Sanitation is one of the most overlooked aspects of survival and people are more concerned about stockpiling large quantities of food and water. While gathering the essentials to survive an emergency situation is highly recommended we shouldn’t ignore the other necessary items that make survival tolerable. Maintaining …

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Winter…after a fashion

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Two weeks ago, -10 degrees ( -23C for those of you in countries that never landed a man on the moon) and snow. Today? Sunny and 47 degrees (8c for those of you….)

It’s gonna be wet out there today. Last night it was four wheel drive and icy roads, today it’s short sleeves and sunglasses. If this stuff freezes tonight it’s going to be tricky.

Clearly, Putin’s been dinkin’ with the weather control machine again.

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Eight bundles left. People who have gotten theirs seem rather pleased.

24 Piece Premium Titanium Lock Tool Set with Transparent Pad Lock

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This is a fun product designed to help you better understand the inner workings of locks. It makes a great gift for all ages. – SUPERIOR DESIGN – Our specially designed handles have been crafted to prevent slippage and discomfort, so you can focus on your work – EXTRA DUTY STRENGTH – These tools are made of Titanium Plated Metal, not aluminum. This reduces bending and allows for a smoother, faster work – EASY TO LEARN SET UP – EASY TO LEARN SET UP – We include a free high quality transparent lock that makes it easy to learn the foundational learning stages and have you opening and understanding locks in no time. Don’t buy a product that will leave you frustrated and discouraged. – GREAT VALUE – This set includes 24 total pieces so you will have everything you need as you advance to new methods and new locking mechanisms. You will not need to pay more money in the long run for additional pieces to complete your set – 100% MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE – Our sets are backed by 100% guarantee that you are fully satisfied with your product or receive your money back.

The post 24 Piece Premium Titanium Lock Tool Set with Transparent Pad Lock appeared first on Surviving Prepper.

Kwok 2017 Transparent Lock Unlocking Tools 12pcs/Set

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Feature:

100% brand new and high quality.

Quantity: 1

Color: as shown in the display

Overall Size: 78mm x 50mm

This is the improved new design pick set,more springy,durable and easy to use

It will come out in perfect smooth working condition with no loose parts or pins

It features a transparent cutaway you can see all the movements the pins make and what exactly triggered this movement

Perfect for the locksmith in the making, Locksport enthusiasts or just mechanically curious people

Package Content : Transparent lock Practical Unlocking Tools for Locks 12pcs Pick Set

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Locksmithing, Lock Picking & Lock Opening: Professional Training Manual

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For the beginning and intermediate locksmith, this detailed manual explains how locks work, how to open them when the keys have gone missing, and how to mount locks, make master keys and much more. There are many different lock types, and many different tools used to open and service them. The book covers all of the major locks, showing with lots of illustrations how to carry out servicing, lock- out procedures, upgrades and replacements.

The post Locksmithing, Lock Picking & Lock Opening: Professional Training Manual appeared first on Surviving Prepper.

Locks and Lockpicking for Beginners: First Edition

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Beginners guide to Locks and Lockpicking this edition describes types of locks, tools an techniques to bypass locks in use today. This introductory book will prove to be the start of a fascinating journey into the world of the lock. Written by a qualified locksmith you can be sure the guidance contained within this first edition will afford you the skills to bypass modern door locks.

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Lock Picking Basics: Mastering The Essentials of Lock Picking

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Just like any other piece of hardware, locks break. If you don’t understand how a lock works then you cannot fix it. If the lock to your front door breaks and a locksmith isn’t available for several hours then most people have no choice but to leave the door unlocked. They lack the basic knowledge that is necessary to understand how basic items in their home works.

Why Learn Lock Picking?
• Learn How Things Work
• Improve Security of You and Your Family
• Increase Your Mechanical Ability

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CIA Lock Picking: Field Operative Training Manual

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Did you ever lose your keys? Lock picking is the skill of unlocking a lock by analyzing and manipulating the components of the lock device, without the original key. Although lock picking can be associated with criminal intent, it is an essential skill for a locksmith. Lock picking is the ideal way of opening a lock without the correct key, while not damaging the lock, allowing it to be rekeyed for later use, which is especially important with antique locks that would be impossible to replace if destructive entry methods were used.

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Solavore Solar Oven – Pic Review

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One of the big topics that has been consistent in preparedness over the years that I have run Prepper Website, is food.  People know how important it is to eat!  A few days of going hungry and you start to really lose energy and even the ability to focus and think straight.  Couple that with stress and expended energy to deal with your situation, eating isn’t a want, it is a need!

When it comes to preparedness cooking, you need options!  There might be times when you don’t have time to build and maintain a fire.  There might be time when you need to conserve your fuel.  There might be time when an open flame gives away your activities and your position.

One option for preppers is a solar oven. Until recently, I had only read about them and seen videos.  However, I now have some experience using the Solavore Sport Solar Oven.

The Solavore Sport Oven was shipped neatly packaged with clear instructions for setup.  Make sure you do read the instructions carefully and just don’t go to town removing the film on the lid that kind of looks like an anti-scratch plastic for shipping! It’s there for a reason. I almost made the mistake of ripping it off!  The solar oven comes with the solar box, clear lid, reflectors, two black pots, a temperature gauge and a WAPI.

My main concern and real trial was if the solar oven would cook the “usual” stockpile of food that preppers would store.  For me, that would include rice and beans.

My first attempt failed!  I waited for a sunny day, according to weather.com.  I started early in the morning and set everything up.  However, I lost the sun halfway through the day.  So, this is something that needs to be kept in mind if you’re cooking during an emergency situation.  You will need a backup plan to possibly finish cooking your food if you lose the sun behind clouds.

My second attempt worked!  Again, I waited for a sunny day. I set the Solavore Sport out before I left for work.  The cool thing is that I didn’t get back home till after 7 p.m.  The sun was already setting and the box was cool (January in Houston, TX).  The temperature gauge didn’t even register!  I thought I had another fail on my hands.  When I lifted the lid, I could smell the rice and beans.  I brought the pots inside and took a bite!  Everything was done to my satisfaction.  I made a bowl of rice and beans, added a little  Tony’s to it and popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm it up.

Solar ovens don’t burn food.  So, you can leave your food in your solar oven all day and not worry about it burning.  There are so many things that you can cook with a solar oven. Solavore has recipes you can try – savory and sweet.

My advice is that you experiment and try cooking with your solar oven when you don’t need it, so you will know how it works when you do need it!  The beauty of the Solavore is that it is so lightweight and sturdy.  You can use this all year long, just as long as you have sun.  And, you don’t have to wait for an emergency!

You can purchase the Solavore Sports Solar Oven on the Solavore site.

Check out my pics below as well as videos that I have linked to by my blogging friend, Anegela @ Food Storage and Survival.  Especially pay attention to her video on the WAPI.  I think this is a BIG selling point for solar ovens.

This is a pic from my first attempt. You can see I had a ton of sun, but I lost it 1/2 way through the day. I also think I put in a little too much water. You’re supposed to put in 25% less water than you normally use in a recipe.  I didn’t read that part during my first attempt!

Second attempt. Setting up the rice and beans.  A lot less water!

Pic of the Solavore Sport Solar Oven. This pic was taken early in the morning before I left for work.

Already cool because the sun was setting when I took the pots out of the oven, however, the rice and beans were fully cooked!

A little Tony’s! I was just missing some cornbread!

The Solavore Sports Oven comes with the oven and lid, reflectors, two pots, a temperature gauge and a WAPI.

WAPI = Water Pasteurization Indicator. If you haven’t seen one of these in action, check out the video below.

 

 

Do you have any experience with a solar oven?  What is it?  Would you consider purchasing one for your preps?

 

Peace,
Todd

DIY Bottom Heat for Seed Starting (or pet bed)

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DIY Bottom Heat for Seed Starting Retail bottom heat is expensive – I saw one “kit” at a local garden center that was big enough for 2 flats and was $79 – wow!  You can buy a lot of tomato plants for eighty bucks!  A low cost alternative had to be possible for a dedicated …

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Threat of 2nd US Civil War-James W Rawles

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James Wesley Rawles of SurvivalBlog.com joins me for the second half of our interview. He warns that the US is barreling toward a second civil war and explains the deep chasm between left and right.

Watch through the eyes of Noah Parker as the world descends into chaos, a global empire takes shape, ancient writings are fulfilled and the last days fall upon the once great United States of America. The Days of Noah is now available as a complete box set for Kindle.

Ready Made Resources is a trusted name in the prepper community because they’ve been around for 18 years. They offer great prices on Night Vision, water filtration, long term storage food, solar energy components and provide free technical service. Get ready for an uncertain future at ReadyMadeResources.com!

CATI_BANNER_MAY2016

Cati Armor offers affordable body armor including level III trauma plates made of AR-500 steel which can endure multiple rounds from pistols and rifles up to 7.62 NATO. Their plates are available with Rhino Linings coating to reduce spall.

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I use JM Bullion because they have the lowest over-spot price of any dealer I have found for silver and gold bullion. JM Bullion now offers free shipping on every order!

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Money Tree Plant (Pachira Aquatica) Care and Growing Tips

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The post Money Tree Plant (Pachira Aquatica) Care and Growing Tips is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Do the names “Saba Nut” or “Malabar Chestnut” bring visions of dollars, coins, and other forms of monetary wealth to mind?No?What if I were to mention the Pachira plant?​Still no mental pictures of riches?​That might be because you haven’t heard these other names for the Pachira Money Tree plant.​Ah, perhaps now you see the greenbacks […]

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

Bow and Arrow vs. Guns: What is the Best Weapon when SHTF?

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Bow and Arrow vs. Guns: What is the Best Weapon when SHTF? For thousands of years, humans relied heavily on archery as their means of survival for both hunting and combat. After civilization kicked in and we no longer had to rely on game for our survival, archery fell terribly. Well, it was the introduction …

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Next Level Prepping: A Life Changing Event

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I sit and type this with a cool mountain breeze coming through the open door.  Only the sound of the keys clicking and birds chirping, along with the wind pushing the trees around ever so gently.  If I take a moment to glance up from the keyboard, as far as the eye can see and from left to right is National Forest.  No other houses in view, only God’s creation and the sun beaming down rather intensely.  I’m not sure if this is the perfect prepper paradise but for my wife and I it’s very close.

Let’s recap shall we.

I’ve always been one of those self reliant types but could never break the mold society had for the family.  Our last home was great but it was the typical suburban, strip mall a few miles away, totally reliant on the grid and surrounded by neighbors establishment.  I’ve always said that our (then) circumstances reflected the majority of preppers out there, you play the hand you were dealt and do the best with what you had. I believe that’s why this blog continued to be so popular, even when my own posts started to get few and far between.

The Present

If you’ve been reading along over the last year or so you’ll know that my wife and I made a cross country move.  It was a big leap of faith as we had been at our previous location over 12 years and had established roots.  Yet the desire to do something more and to finally do what we’d always discussed, to take the risk and let come what may.  Now we are here and it’s a very different life, one filled with challenges which we continue to learn from (and which I want to share with you all).  With respect to prepping in general I feel that this new life sets us up for success in ways we could not have imagined before, yet it’s also about a desire to generally break the mold which modern society has set for people.  Since moving here we’ve given away one TV and rarely turn on the other, my cell phone doesn’t ring because there is no signal.  The nearest store is a gas station and that’s 5 miles away, most of it being dirt roads winding down the side of a mountain.  We can’t order food, we can’t grab an Uber ride to go out, we can’t order PPV movies or stream Netflix because the Sat Internet is too slow, we can’t do many of the things that were available to us before but it’s been amazing stepping away from all that.

There are benefits that we are quickly discovering with this new life as well.  Our home is position in such a way that it is very secluded.  We do have a couple neighbors on our “street” (more like a trail with drop offs and various wildlife within view) but they are spread out and all very self sufficient.  Anyone that comes down toward the house either lives here or they had better be delivering a package.  My wife once said as we were looking at the place, “well if T-SHTF not too many folks will be coming up here.”  Absolutely.

There have been some lesson’s learned thus far and I’d like to share them with everyone, some might be able to relate or even provide tips as well.

Help is a long way away

  • Where we used to live there was State Patrol, Township Police, Sheriff, City Cops.  Now there is the local Sheriff and Deputies and a few remote fire stations, the nearest level 1 trauma center is over an hour away.  What does that mean:  be extra careful when doing things like splitting wood, cutting with miter or table saw, handling firearms, et al.  A call to 911 means someone could be here in…20-30 minutes?

You have what you have

  • This is a common phrase with respect to prepping in general, if the balloon goes up you’ll have what you have and make due with it.  Living out here in a relatively remote situation it has become evident in everyday life.  There is no running to the store to pick up that thing which was forgotten, a stockpile of most used items (toilet paper to coffee creamer and everything in between) is a reality now more than ever.

Community is key

  • I have met my two neighbors, which I’ll refer to them as even though they aren’t exactly close.  They are very handy and used to this life which is a great thing.  I was briefed on the importance of being ready to bugout in case of fires, it’s for real up here.  I should point out that I have always advocated that localized natural disasters are a more relevant reason to prep than wondering if an EMP strike will take out the grid (although that is still a possibility).

Wildlife is a very real consideration

  • I carry a gun every time I’m outside the home and it isn’t for people.  Maybe I’m a little paranoid but I have been warned that mountain lions have been spotted in the area, by that I mean next to my home.  I think awareness is key obviously but running around with the dog(s) you can never be too careful.  I’ve also been told that if the garage is left open, bears will be inside poking around.  Fantastic.

Communication plans are very important

  • This one is huge with respect to my wife and I and how we travel.  We have layers of communication which I’ll probably write about later, whether around the home (2 way radios) or going to and from (sat commo).  Cell phones just aren’t reliable and if one of us gets in a pinch we need to be able to reach out.

Nice to have is now essential to have

  • Backup generators come to mind immediately.  Getting snowed in with no power for a week or so is a very real possibility.  A winch on the truck is another item, I’ve already used it twice to recover stuck vehicles.  A third item would be a deep freezer full of various meat (in addition to all the other supplies) and the list goes on and on (trauma kits, air compressor, a cord of wood outside for the wood burning stove…)

New ways of doing things

  • Getting used to the wood burning stove has been a fun experience.  It will heat most of the house if done correctly using a fan.  Before anyone mentions it we have had it inspected and cleaned out, safety first!

Fitness

  • We live at almost 9000 ft elevation.  Simple things like splitting wood can become a challenge up here, even walking the dog over uneven terrain takes much more effort than it did at sea level.  While there is a “get used to it” component fitness is huge.

I’ll wrap it up and change gears for a bit.  Across our country for many life seems to be good right now.  People have become complacent once again and long forgotten the very real economic issues we faced less than 10 years ago.  Threats to our society are greater than ever and I would be lying if that did not factor into the decision to make the move we did.  If nothing happens and we simply enjoy the mountain life and learn to be more self reliant that’s fine with me.  Yet if any number of the threats that exist do materialize I’d like to believe we are better positioned to face them than where we were before.  It’s always about improving your “fighting position” and we continue to do so, I hope you will too.  More to follow as we continue on this journey.

 

25 Uses for Tarps in an Emergency

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Preppers are excellent at finding creative ways to use ordinary items. Emergency supplies are expensive, and they can’t afford to have a bunch of one-hit-wonder items filling their shelves. The key to affordable emergency preparedness is to stock up on items that can be used in many different ways. Things like duct tape, trash bags, […]

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Money Well Spent: Shoes, Socks and an Umbrella

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If you cannot walk or are in pain when walking due to blisters or emersion foot also known as trench foot, or from a twisted ankle, or bruised foot because your boots or shoes offered no support or shock absorption, your survival may hang in the balance.

Boots and Shoes

While you may want your hiking boots to make a fashion statement, they also need to be practical and actually provide comfort and support. Are they waterproof or water resistant, do the soles offer a good gripping surface and do they provide the proper shock resistance, and most importantly, do they fit well?

Cheap boots will have cheap soles that can become dangerous when traversing wet surfaces and can cause stone bruises because they offer no protection against debris on the ground. Quality shoes or boots cost money, but it is money well spent when it’s below freezing and the ground is wet, cold and the terrain is rough. Twenty-five-dollar shoes or hiking boots from your local big box store will not hold up and they can immobilize you out on the trail.

There are hiking shoes, hiking boots and backpacking boots. The backpacking boots are for those of you that plan an extended hiking adventure with a backpack that would be heavier than a daypack, for example. Backpacking boots would offer more protection because they are sturdier, but are also heavier as well, so there are choices to be made when it comes to shoes, and much depends on your lifestyle, terrain, probable weather conditions, and fitness level in some cases.

Hiking shoes are ideal for short walks or hikes close to home where the weight you are carrying is minimal. Hiking boots are essentially hiking shoes that rise above the ankle to provide more support. They offer much needed support when on rough terrain, and anyone that has not been out hiking in a while or may have ankle or knee problems should start out with hiking boots to help prevent twisted ankles.

You can, of course, choose the type of shoe you want based on personal preferences, terrain, and length of hike, but remember things can change quickly out on the trail. Backpacking boots can be used on any trail, sidewalk, or roadway, while hiking shoes, for example, can also traverse all terrain, but the rougher it gets the less protection you would have with shoes.

Plan for emergencies, wet and cold weather, and plan to stay overnight in the woods. If you plan for the worst-case scenario, then you are also prepared for the worst, better to be ready and not need your survival gear than to need it and not have it.

Break your shoes in before setting out on any hike. Make sure they fit well, and some shoes/boots with insulated lining inside require you to size up by half or even one shoe size in some instances. Remember your socks combined with the insulation inside the boot could cause the boot to not fit properly.

Socks

Wool or wool blends are ideal if they are not too thick. Fabric technology has allowed manufacturers to produce wool blend socks that are thin yet offer the ever so important wicking, and insulation even when wet feature that we expect from wool, and then there is Polypropylene.

Let’s get the technical stuff out of the way first. Polypropylene is an incredibly versatile, bendable, thermoplastic polymer. Get all that?

Okay, what does this mean for you and your feet? Well, the material does not absorb water or break down when wet. The material holds more heat than wool, and will retain it for much longer, and of course, the material will wick any moisture away from your skin.

We don’t need to tell you that cotton is not what you want to be wearing in cold weather.

If your feet get wet, dry them, and every chance you get dry your socks. Hang them close to a fire and allow the smoke from hardwoods to penetrate the material. The smoke helps control bacteria, which causes odor.

Have more than one pair of socks so you can change them often. Wet, cold feet can cause blisters and of course, emersion foot, (trench foot), which can lead to amputation of toes or even the entire foot and eventually death from gangrene if left untreated.

Umbrella

Umbrellas simply put protect you from rain, snow, and sun. If it starts raining while you are hiking, you would typically put on your poncho or rain suit. Both offer protection, but they also cause you to sweat more, and in warmer weather, this can bring on dehydration faster and sweat soaks your clothing and this is not a good scenario if the nights cool off rapidly or if it is cold out, to begin with. People can get hypothermia at 50° F.

Have to stop hiking because the sun is beating down, well an umbrella can help keep the sun off you, thus keeping you cooler, and this allows you to continue hiking.

An umbrella is a mini shelter, which keeps snow and sleet off you as well as rain and the sun. Turn it upside down, if you have a shelter from the rain other than the umbrella so you can collect rainwater for drinking and bathing.

An umbrella can be an emergency walking stick/cane or weapon in some cases. They are light and can be strapped to any pack, and more than one umbrella would be ideal and they would not add any significant weight to your pack.

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DIY Mini Bio-Gas Plant Using Decomposable Organic Material

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DIY Mini Bio-Gas Plant Using Decomposable Organic Material Did you know you can produce your own gas to cook with from decomposable organic material and kitchen waste? Well, you can 🙂 The bio-gas produced from food waste, decomposable organic material, and kitchen waste consists of methane and a little amount of carbon dioxide. It is a …

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Winter Navigation Hazards

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Sectionhiker.com has a great post about 9 important winter navigation hazards.

“Winter hiking navigation is different than three season navigation because easy trails can become unsafe from avalanche danger, deep snow, or dangerous weather conditions. When planning winter hiking routes, it’s important to factor these hazards into your route plans and preparation, even if it means taking a longer and safer route.”

Sectionhiker

6 Different Online Resources to Buy Bulk Survival Gear

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If you really want to stock up on survival gear, then sometimes you want to buy in bulk. Buying in bulk not only allows you to purchase the right amount of equipment and supplies, but will let you do so at a discount. Rather than purchasing a large quantity of items from a typical store, you can purchase from wholesale companies that provide a discount since you are buying in bulk. Below are some great places that you can purchase plenty of survival gear online, and make sure you are ready for any disasters.

DollarDays DollarDays is one of the largest wholesalers in the country, offering a wide range of products. While not focusing solely on survival gear, they nonetheless have plenty to offer when it comes to this department. On their website you’ll find essential gear such as waterproof matches, Mylar blankets, and medical supplies. While the options available are not as great as some other locations, if you need the basics, this is a great place to start.

Overstock – Another large company that offers more than just survival gear, Overstock is one of the most popular places to buy wholesale products. Overstock offers everything from medical supplies to camping gear to sanitation equipment to emergency power and more. All of this comes at the low prices you’d expect to get from any wholesaler. Overstock even offers free shipping to the Continental U.S for any orders over $45.00, allowing you to save a little bit more money.

Best Glide Aviation Survival Equipment – Sometimes you need more specific survival gear. If you need supplies for when you are out in the wilderness, or for anything to do with aviation, then you’ll want a wholesaler that can meet those needs. Best Glide ASE offers a wide range of products tailored to fit this exact group of people. On their website you will find supplies such as parachute cords, tracker buttons, and pre-made survival kits designed for the wilderness. If some of the larger wholesale chains do not have what you’re looking for, check out this one.

Bite The Bullet – For those of you who want a very specific product – namely, ammo – then you’ll want to buy right from the manufacturer. With companies like Bite The Bullet you can buy bulk ammo online, and have it delivered directly to your door. Ammo is typically used when loading up your survival gear, and if you think you’ll need a lot of it, you’re better off buying in bulk to save yourself some money. This website makes that easy, all without having to leave your home.

DHgate – Now, when purchasing survival gear, you’re probably not looking to sacrifice quality over cost. However, for those of you that want to spend the least amount of money, you can look to a site called DHgate. DHgate sells products directly from Chinese manufacturers and a very low cost. We can’t speak to the quality of every product on this website, but if you really want to save money, then it is worth taking a look at. Just be sure you do some research into what you are buying, and don’t purchase anything questionable if your life may depend on it some day.

Living Rational – Lastly, we have a wholesaler for those of you that are representing companies, schools or other organizations. If, as a part of your emergency preparedness, you need to order survival gear in bulk, this is the site for you. Living Rational offers survival kits for people of all ages and sizes, along with equipment for disasters such as floods or earthquakes. You’ll need to contact the company in order to get a quote on purchasing wholesale, but all the information you need is right on their website. Plenty Of Options To Buy In Bulk

When it comes to purchasing survival gear in bulk, you have a lot of options. No matter what kind of equipment you are looking to buy in bulk, there is a good chance that one of the above websites will have it for you. If not, there are plenty of other companies and websites out there, with the above list only being a small sample.

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Backyard Chicken Eggonomics: How Much Does it Really Cost to Raise Chickens?

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Backyard Chicken Eggonomics: How Much Does it Really Cost to Raise Chickens? I think generally we all would like to raise chickens, either for the eggs or just as pets. Lets be honest tho, do you really know what keeping chickens costs to raise? I know I didn’t until I read the amazing article from …

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10 Reasons To Have A Sewing Machine

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Survivopedia Resons to have a sewing machine

If you visit any department store or second hand store, you are bound to find more clothes than you know what to do with. No matter where you look, it seems like there is no end to cheap clothes that can be used for every occasion.

As a result, most people see sewing as a “hobby” or a skill that they don’t really need to learn. But many clothes will vanish very quickly after a disaster, so you might have a reason to buy a sewing machine and learn how to use it.

Here are ten things that may just change your mind on this matter.

What Kind of Sewing Machine is Best?

If you sew on a regular basis, choose a good quality, heavy duty sewing machine. Personally, I have always preferred Singer over any other brand. Modern sewing machines can be programmed for embroidery as well as many other complicated tasks. Do your research to make sure that the internal parts are sturdy enough to meet the challenges of stiff, bulky, or very thick material.

There are also many vintage models that still have metal gears and motors powerful enough to last for decades more. Just make sure that you have a finger guard installed if the machine doesn’t already have one.

It can be very dangerous if you don’t pay attention to where your fingers are in relation to the needle. As dainty as the sewing machine and needle may look, the motor is strong enough to push the needle right through your finger.

In addition, sewing by machine can also be a very hypnotic task. It seems simple enough to keep your fingers away from the needle, but it is all too easy to loose track and wind up with a serious, and very painful injury.

As a prepper, think about what you will do with devices that require electricity. It does not matter whether this loss comes from an EMP or a hurricane. The fact remains that modern sewing machines require electricity in order to run. If you are not confident in generators or DIY power generation methods, then look for foot or treadle powered sewing machines.

Today, you can choose from antique machines as well as newer ones. For example, the Janome 712T does not have a motor and runs without electricity. It is more expensive than motor powered machines, however the expense may be worth it if you want to be sure you can sew regardless of the electricity situation.

Janome-712T-Sewing-Machine-Table-3-sm

As Clothes Wear Out You can Remake Them

Not so long ago, you could buy a sweater or pair of jeans and expect them to last for several years. Today, even more “rugged” garments wear out in just a year or two.

Since you will not find new garments in the post collapse world, you will have to find some way to make your clothes last a bit longer. In this case, you can take apart old clothes and use a sewing machine to piece together parts that are in better condition.

Here are some things you can do with a sewing machine that are difficult, if not impossible to do by hand:

  • Many fabrics today have a good bit of stretch to them. When these fabrics are sewn by machine, it is much easier to create sturdy overcast stitches (a stitch commonly used to prevent fabric from raveling) that will not come apart. Even though it is possible to make overcast stitches by hand, it is hard to control the spacing and tightness of each stitch when dealing with stretchy fabric. No matter whether you are trying to sew together pieces of jersey knit, spandex, or some other stretchy material, a sewing machine makes the job much easier.
  • When people make garments with elastic in them, they usually fold the fabric over and then sew the seam so that a column is left to draw the elastic through. If you look carefully at commercial garments, you will often see the elastic is sewn directly onto the fabric. Since there is no margin or extra material to work, it will be impossible make a column for the elastic to go through. This, in turn, means that you would have to try and resew the elastic onto the garment by hand if you did not have a sewing machine. I can tell you from personal experience that there is no pin in the world and no elastic stretching device that makes this a comfortable, let alone feasible task. On the other hand, when you have a sewing machine, the weight of the foot and the tractors beneath the fabric easily keep the fabric in position while you manually pull the elastic so that it fits properly on the material.

Easier to Darn Socks and Other Items That Develop Holes

Have you ever just tossed a sock in the trash because it developed a hole? If so, then you may also be very unhappy with the fact that modern socks really do seem to wear out a lot faster than ones made just a few years ago. While it is not especially difficult to darn sock holes by hand, this task is also much easier to accomplish with a sewing machine.

You will also find that it is much easier to use a sewing machine to patch small holes in other kinds of garments without using additional material to make a patch.

When you use a sewing machine to stitch across a flat piece of fabric, you don’t worry about the fabric bunching up or becoming uneven. If you have never done embroidery on thinner fabrics by hand, you won’t realize just how hard it can be to repair holes on garments without a sewing machine.

Even if you try to put the fabric in an embroidery hoop to keep it from bunching, you will have a hard time getting good quality stitches that don’t rub at your skin when wearing the garment.

Sew Heavier and Coarser Fabrics

Before sewing machines were invented, our ancestors routinely sewed together furs and other thick, heavy materials. If you have denim garments, or clothes made from other heavy, coarse materials, you will find it very hard to make, let alone repair them without a sewing machine.

You will face problems associated with manufacturers that compensate for using less fabric by using stronger stitches or patterns of stitches to make a durable garment.

During crisis, you’ll face constraints on the nature and amount of fabric that you have on hand to work with. If you’ll be using old garments as a pattern for new ones, then you can also use smaller margins and come out with a functional garment.

If you try to duplicate these stitches by hand, you will find that it takes more fabric. Since sewing machines also use two threads (one under the fabric from the bobbin, and one from above on thread spool), the stitches will always be stronger and tighter than ones done by people who have limited experience with sewing.

Many people feel they can sew heavy fabrics by hand as long as they take their time and focus on making even stitches. In most cases, it will take 2 – 3 times longer by hand, and leave you with both eye and hand strain.

You won’t have time to spare in a survival situation. If you don’t have time to mend clothes or make them by hand now, don’t expect to do it then. A sewing machine would solve this issue and leave time for other tasks.

Make Money as a Seamstress or Tailor

There is no question that people are becoming more frustrated with commercial garments that do not fit right (since when does a petite woman of 5’3” have an inseam of 32 – 36”?!), look hideous, cost a lot, and do not last for very long.

The cost of fabric, patterns, and notions aren’t as cheap as they used to be, but many people are taking up sewing in order to have nicer clothes. If you become proficient as a seamstress, you can make money now as well as after a social collapse.

Custom Design Clothes that Meet Your Needs

When you go on a shopping expedition for prepper clothes, you are bound to be overwhelmed by all the coveralls, heavy jackets, Thinsulate gear, and camouflage prints. What happens when you are in an actual disaster and find out that you need to move to a warmer climate, or that most of the clothes in your stockpile won’t meet your needs?

A sewing machine can be used to make any kind of garment, including camouflage. Store away patterns in different sizes as well as a range of fabrics to meet all your needs, rather than completed clothes. From waterproof fabrics to denim and fleece, it is easy enough to add these items to your stockpile and then use them as needed.

Being able to design clothes is also very important if you have children or expect to have a baby after a major crisis. Given how many growth spurts children go through, you’ll need clothes that can be let out at the seams, or adjusted as needed.

When you buy modern clothes, there is no extra fabric let alone a way to modify larger garments for smaller sizes. And if you look at modern patterns, you will find many places where you can cut the pieces a bit larger, and then simply leave more fabric at the seams.

As a prepper, you know that your body is going to change a lot after a major crisis occurs. If food is scare, or you get very sick and lose a lot of weight; or you may wind up putting on a lot of water or edema.

Either way, all those clothes you stocked away may not fit properly, and worse yet, may restrict your movement. It is very important to have a sewing machine and fabric on hand so that you can make new clothes that fit properly.

Make Blankets and Quilts for Many Purposes

Do you have blankets and quilts hanging around that have been part of your life for decades? If so, then you may not give much thought to the availability of these items during crisis. Both novice and advanced preppers have been known to only keep a foil emergency blanket in their bug out bag.

But what happens when disaster strikes, you are on the road, and need something a bit warmer and sturdier? Even if you can find fabric and some kind of filler to make the blanket warmer, it can take days or even weeks to sew a quilt or blanket by hand.

In most cases, however, you can sew the exact same blanket or quilt using a sewing machine in just a few hours. You can use anything from worn clothes to fabric set aside in your stockpile to make blankets and quilts with ease using a sewing machine.

Here are just a few situations where you might wind up needing more blankets than you have on hand:

  • If you are trying to shelter animals that no longer have a building to live in. Blanket can offer warmth and comfort to stressed animal. They can also be used to temporarily restrain the movement of animals that need medical care, or for other reasons.
  • As a temporary shelter when there are no materials available for a tent.
  • To cover supplies or anything else that needs to be protected from dirt and dust.
  • All the blankets in your stockpile were stolen, burned in a fire, or ruined in a flood involving municipal sewage or other contaminants. At the very least, if you had a few clothes or some fabric that escaped the destruction, you can still sew them into blankets or quilts with a sewing machine.

Get More Out of any Fabric You Come Across

Surviving a social collapse is going to involve a lot of innovative thinking and action. Regardless of how much you have in your stockpile, or how well run your homestead is, just about anything can come out of the blue and send you into a tailspin.

Once you are in the situation, the things you underestimated are apt to stick out like sore thumbs and hurt just as badly. In this case, not having a sewing machine can make it difficult or impossible to make use of any fabric that may be available.

Consider a situation where you are moving through an area with very little vegetation. You have a sewing machine with you and a portable power system that can be used to run the motor. As you pass through an abandoned junk pile, you find a stack of clothes that cannot be worn; but not the rope that you so desperately need.

To resolve this situation, all you have to do is cut the garments up into strips and sew them together into longer pieces to make a rope. When you have a sewing machine, you can make use of pieces that are only a few inches long and about 2 inches wide.

If you tried this same task with hand sewing, you would not be able to consistently make strong enough seams in a reasonable period of time.

Make Or Repair Furniture Covers

Do you have an old couch or recliner that either needs to be thrown out or reupholstered? As trivial as this problem may seem when compared to others, it will only get worse after society collapses.

In particular, if you are bugging in, there is a chance that floods or other disasters may ruin your furniture to the point where you can no longer use it. For example, if you have a couch, the cushions and any other soft parts will have to be discarded.

Rather than throw the entire piece of furniture out, you can at least try to salvage the wood or metal frame that supported all the soft parts. Once the frame is repaired and safe to use, just about any fabric and soft stuffing can be used to “reupholster” the furniture. If you have a sewing machine, you can also sew much heavier fabrics or layers of fabric in order to make something more durable.

Similar to many other things, there will be a time in the post crisis world when people will do as much as they can to make pre-existing items last for as long as possible.

This, in turn, means that you can barter or trade your furniture repair skills for other things that you might need. As time goes on, you can also shift your furniture repair trade to actively making furniture from raw materials that others begin putting together in larger quantities.

This is the only ultra-precise machine that can spit-out personalized pieces of woodwork!

Build Shelter Covers and Carrying Aides

One of the worst things you can do as a prepper is think that bugging in means you will have shelter and that you won’t need to bug out for some reason or other. It is very important to understand that a crisis can come from where you least expect in.

For example, while the vast majority of preppers focus on problems that will affect the entire society, something may come along that affects only you or your family. This may include job loss, illness, or the sudden passing of a family member that enabled you to have shelter and security.

Even if you do a minimal amount of research on homeless people, you will find that it became impossible for them to afford shelter and the basics of life. No matter whether these people suffer from illness, addiction, or just plain bad luck, the fact remains they were not prepared for personal financial collapse.

Given the angst in our society these days against our incoming president, sabotage by those who dissent is entirely possible. Under these circumstances, you may find that one disaster after another will arise that leaves you without shelter.

Let me be clear in saying that a sewing machine won’t solve all your problems. However, you can use it to your advantage while you still have some assets to work with.

You can take old garments and sew them into blankets, carrying aides, and anything else that will make it easier for you to travel. If you can find a safe place to store the machine, then you may also be able to make some money with it and get back on your feet.

There is also no question that many homeless people today live in cars and trucks. While this may not seem like a good place to have a sewing machine, you can still use it to make shelters outside of the vehicle. If society does collapse further because of internal or external pressures, you will still have a viable trade and an important tool to work with.

Make Toys and Other Items for Children

When I was a little girl, the battery powered toy craze was just getting started. I remember my parents being unhappy about all the “plastic battery powered junk” that cost a lot and didn’t seem to last.

lot-of-8-original-vintage-cabbage-patch-kTo this day, some of my fondest memories are of my mother sewing little stuffed toys for me.

From iron on appliques to furry teddy bears, I spent hours watching these creations unfold on my mother’s sewing machine.

Later on, we did these projects together and had far more quality time than we would have had if she just bought me a bunch of plastic toys.

During illness or great distress, it is normal to look back on safer and more peaceful times. These days, it often seems like our children will have no such peaceful times to look back on. Even if they do remember their childhood, it is likely to be filled with violent video games, nonstop social pressure, and all sorts of other worries.

Sewing toys with your children is a simple, inexpensive way to give them, and you, peaceful times to look back on. While that may not seem important right now, just think back to the times when you were in crisis and what memories like this meant to in terms of helping you get through the situation.

Making toys for children isn’t just something that works well in a time of social collapse. It is something you can start doing now that will build bonds and give you and your children a chance to enjoy time together. Building custom toys can also give you a chance to innovate and perhaps come up with something marketable that other children might like to have.
Perhaps off topic, but never doubt the possibility that you can make a fortune with a sewing machine and a good idea for a toy. Anyone that remembers the Cabbage Patch Doll craze can certainly relate to the fact that sewn toys can easily become very popular in a short period of time.

As you will recall, the Cabbage Patch Kids were invented by Martha Nelson Thomas, a woman who learned quilting from her mother. Just remember, if you do come up with something that becomes popular, you will need to copyright patent, and trademark the design so that no one else can steal it and profit from theft of the design.

In the arena of prepping, there is always a sense that time is limited. When you don’t know what will happen, or what challenges must be overcome, it is very tempting to cut corners. For example, when it comes to clothes and other fabric based items, you will more than likely buy what you need or hope that you can make do with what you have.

Even though sewing by machine is often relegated to a “craft” or a “hobby” it is a vital survival skill that you may wind up needing. Today, you can increase the chances of surviving long after a major catastrophe by learning how to use a sewing machine and having one in your stockpile.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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John 21:25

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And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were recorded one by one [in detail], I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

     I am writing this post today from a place of thoughtful frustration.  I am not writing out of anger or indignation, but rather from disappointment and exasperation.  Let me tell you what I am seeing that has me in such a state … As you know, the Lord has opened the spiritual eyes, minds, and hearts of my husband, myself, and a small [but growing] number of our fellow Christians.  We are receiving new revelations as we read His Word about just how Big He is; how He wants to work with us [through spiritual dimensions] to accomplish His will on earth; and just exactly what that partnership looks like, in terms of His power and authority which He has entrusted to us.
     We are understanding that we truly are made in His image, which means that Jesus [as God Incarnate] came to model what that looks like for us, who are spirits housed in these temporary shells called bodies.  But my frustration comes from the evidence I have seen by which the established Church wants to limit our picture of what Jesus modeled and how it pertains to us.  In other words, when a devoted Christian studies the Word as a Berean would, and tries to bring a new concept to the Fellowship of the Church, they are often ridiculed or silenced because this knowledge is not recognizable to this century’s version of Christianity.
     And for those of you who do not know what a Berean is, they were the inhabitants of a small town called Berea (in what was northern Macedonia, or Greece) where Paul and Silas preached, and the Bereans were known for “having received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things [Paul preached about God] were so” (Acts 17:11).
     It is apparent from the context of this verse that Paul was bringing new meanings or significance to their ideas about God.  And what was their reaction?  I will tell you what it wasn’t: “Wait a minute, we can’t accept this because it’s not what we’ve been taught”.  And it wasn’t, “That doesn’t fit with my theology, so you are wrong”.  And it most certainly was not, “We are just going to discount what you say because it’s beyond my ability to comprehend such a supernatural God”.  No! In essence, what the Bereans had were open hearts to receive a greater image of not only Who their God was, but who they were as people made in His image!
     They took the time to carefully study the Scriptures [that were available to them] to see if Paul and Silas were preaching accurately.  And they spent time in the Word every day, carefully examining Paul’s claims about God to see if they were true.  They didn’t automatically dismiss them out of an arrogance that their knowledge of God was complete and absolute.
     And that is where my frustration lies with the majority of “Church people”.  I am not doubting their love for God or their faith in Him.  But I am disappointed when a faithful Believer is discouraged from sharing a view of God (and/or their relationship with Him) in terms that might be unfamiliar to the Church’s experience.  And I am disappointed that instead of searching Scripture themselves to see if what is being presented expands their image and understanding of God, they are all too willing to stay in their “comfort zone” of 21st Century Christian traditions; keep God limited to their image of Him; and deny that there can be any new revelation of His Power and Glory.
     Take for instance, the verifiable acts of Jesus in the New Testament: His physical healings; His spiritual healings by casting out demons; His ability to see into the spiritual realm, and even travel in the spirit from one place to another.  If you doubt any of what I just said, let me show you where in your Bible we are given these Truths.
     In Luke 8:1-3, we see both physical and spiritual healing:  Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them[a] out of their means.
     In Matthew 16:21-23, Jesus sees in the spirit:  From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.  And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”  Now, I’m pretty sure the Modern Church reads these verses and says Jesus was just upset with Peter for not believing what He prophesied.  And, sadly, they will discount all the times that He tells us that He only does what He sees the Father doing; showing us that He has the ability to see into the spiritual dimensions, and there’s a pretty good possibility that He actually saw Satan whispering his lies into Peter’s mind in an attempt to corrupt his thinking.  
     As far as Jesus traveling in the spirit, have you ever noticed how many times Jesus was slipping away and reappearing mysteriously?  After praying all night on the mountain, Jesus appeared to the Disciples a distance away on the Sea, walking on water (Matt. 14:25).  He also vanished from the sight of the men He met on the road to Emmaus, only to miraculously reappear to a different group a short time later (Luke 24:31-36).  
     These are just a few of the miracles and signs Jesus performed and about which the Bible records specifics.  If you would like to see the complete list and their Scriptural addresses, click here.  But I want to make my point very clear … here we have irrefutable examples of Jesus’s power and authority over the Enemy and His ability to work with the Father through spiritual dimensions.  AND, as I have pointed out ad nauseum, He told us that those who believed in Him would do the same things, only greater (John 14:12).  
     Yet, how many of our fellow Christians have read their Bible and connected those dots?  I mean, really read their Bible?  I’m not talking about sitting in the Church building and listening to a Pastor (no matter how learned or scholarly) tell them what their Bible says — but read the Word for themselves “whether those things [preached] were so?  
     Think about it!  We can’t even get Western Christians to think about what it means that He healed sicknesses, healed people oppressed by demons, could see into the spiritual realms, and could interact with Heaven [while still on earth]… and that we, like Him, are made in God’s image to do the same things!!! The Bible tells us He did those things, and He tells us we can do them, too!  But the Western Church is so constrained by their closed hearts and minds that they can’t even see it!
      So, that brings me to the verse that I have selected for today.  Can you see how the Modern Church and modern Christians have limited their perception of Jesus, God, and themselves?!? If they can’t [or won’t] even acknowledge the things clearly written about and proclaimed, then what about all the things Jesus did [and we are capable of doing] that all the books in the world cannot contain?
     Can you see how indifferent, ineffective, and incapable we have become in provoking the world to Godliness?  Jesus came with miracles and signs to shake up the world to listen to His message! But what are we Christians doing?  We are busy within the four walls we call “Church”, reassuring ourselves [and each other] that by coloring inside the lines, we are ensuring safe passage to Heaven.  But that looks nothing like what Jesus called the Apostles (or me!) to do.  
     His message was radical for His day, and it is still radical for the world today! Yet we have become too comfortable in our own image as Western Christians; and sadly, we seem not to recognize the true image of Christ; the image we are to aspire to.  
     I know I can’t expect the Church to just wake up tomorrow and the scales be removed from their eyes; or that their hearts and minds will be opened to the vastness of God and our potential to serve His Kingdom … but for goodness sake, let’s quit silencing those among us who are diligently searching the Word because they want their fellow Christian to see Jesus for ALL He is, and to see ourselves for ALL we can become! 
     As the website BibleHub comments, “Jesus Christ, Himself, is the one perfect manifestation in history of the complete work of the Holy Spirit in man”.  He wants that work to continue in us!  Why are we stifling it? God wants to do the same work in us as He did in Jesus, and it can be accomplished … if we just obey Jesus’ command to Follow Me.  Notice, He doesn’t say, “Follow man’s traditions in the Church”.  He doesn’t say, “Keep to a rigid theology that excludes what I can do in you”.  And He doesn’t say, “There are no new revelations of Me”.  He sent the Holy Spirit to us as our Helper; to reveal what Churches, Sunday Schools, Pastors; and yes, all the books in the world, cannot do … show us Christ in His fullness, and us in His image.  
     So let me finish by saying this … I am not making a blanket indictment of the entire Church.  I am simply pleading to my fellow Believers, who like the Pharisees, show skepticism, contempt, and disdain for anyone who threatens to upset their long-held belief system.  Let’s shake off our normalcy bias, and let us encourage each other and celebrate the hunger [that] those among us have to know Our Savior.  After all, God can still send forth men and women [who like Jesus, the man] can be His messengers to share a divine or supernatural disclosure of Himself.  Let us not limit God or His ability to use us!
     
     
     

The Baby Chicks Are Coming! The Joy and Ease of Raising Backyard Chickens

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In just a few weeks, the farm will have a few new residents! 18 of them in fact. Cute, fuzzy, little balls of fur that will grow to be our latest flock of chickens at the farm. More and more

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15 Survival Medical Supplies You May Have Missed

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15 Survival Medical Supplies You May Have Missed We’re all well aware that medical supplies, equipment, and specially qualified assistance will be tough to get hold of after most any disaster, especially longer term situations. With that in mind, I thought I would be a good idea to list several items that would prove useful to …

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11 Things Every Pantry Needs To Cook From Scratch

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Here is my list of 11 things every pantry needs to cook from scratch. If you start with this list, the sky is the limit to help us make just about every baked item we would like to bake. Now we can add more foods to our pantry to make even more meals. But today I am going to just talk about what you can make anytime with these baking items shown above. Yep, you can do it! You do not even need an electric mixer. If you have a large bowl that would really help, depending on what you decide to make.

These items are in the pantry, not the freezer. I want everyone to know what they can make in any emergency when the power is out. Okay, let’s get started.

What Every Pantry Needs:

1. Honey

The great thing about honey is that it lasts forever. It might crystallize but it is still great. You might need a chisel, but it tastes great soft or hard. One thing about honey, you can drizzle it on homemade biscuits, bread or pancakes. Yummy! My baking items have to include honey! Cox’s Honey: Cox’s Honey Website. Be careful with honey and babies. Please do your research. I cringe when I have people tell me they just bought several 5-gallon buckets of honey to store. Please put the honey in quart jars or you may be sorry, just so you know. It will last forever but you will need a way to get it to soften in order to use it. I know because I have had to put my half-gallons of honey outside in the heat of the summer and keep my fingers crossed it would go back to its original consistency.

2. Real Salt

Everyone usually has some salt in the cupboard. Here’s the deal with salt, our bodies need salt to survive. I am not talking excessive, but salt makes some foods taste better as well. Plus I need to bake certain items as listed below. This is my favorite: Redmond Real Salt, Fine Ground, 26 Ounce Pouch

3. Olive Oil

We can use olive oil for so many baking items, which I will list below. Remember olive oil does not have a long shelf life. I never store mine for more than 1 year. Six months is even better. But I have eaten at homes and the olive oil on side dishes or salads tastes rancid. Some people have it for years. Oh, man is it bad, in my opinion. When in doubt…throw it out.

4. SAF Yeast

I realize you can make a lot of things without this commercial yeast. My very good friend, Melissa Richardson who wrote the book “The Art Of Baking With Natural Yeast” never uses commercial yeast. I am like an old dog and still love my no fail freshly ground whole wheat bread. Saf Instant Yeast, 1-Pound Pouches (Pack of 4)

5. Baking Soda

This is a “must have” for some homemade food items. This is a very important baking item for the pantry.

6. Baking Powder

This is also a “must have” for some homemade items.

7.  Coconut Oil

Let me count the ways we can use coconut oil! Not just for the pantry…..plus this has a longer shelf life than most oils. The temperature where it is stored is critical. Not in a hot garage.

8. Powdered Butter

Well, we do need some powdered butter in the pantry. Do you remember me telling you I opened a can of powdered butter and I mixed the portions on the can and started stirring? I start gagging just thinking of the smell. The website said it tasted just like “Land O’Lakes” butter. NO WAY! I still laugh about that. Powdered butter for baking is a great emergency food storage item. Red Feather Butter is yummy that you san store for emergencies. It’s a little pricey but it tastes good. Please do not “can” butter it is not safe to eat, trust me on this one.

9. Instant or Powdered Milk

This one is a “must have” baking item, but is also perfect for those days when you are out of milk and the roads are iced over. You can make milk to drink, cook with, on cereal, etc.! Love it!

10. Powdered Eggs (OvaEasy are my favorite)

These are my favorite #10 can eggs (they have packages inside the can). They are 100% eggs. Of course, if you have chickens or quail you are set for any meal.

11. Wheat (I prefer Hard White), White Bread Flour or Your Choice of Gluten-Free Flour

If you have wheat you will need a wheat grinder. You can sprout wheat as well. Be sure and check the shelf life for white flour (6-12 months at the most). Please do not go out and store large bags of flour that will go rancid in a year or two. When in doubt throw it out. I believe in waste not want not too…but I do not want to get the “flu” as in food poisoning.

Meals You Can Make With 11 Basic Baking Items:

Bread, pancakes, muffins, pasta, cracked wheat, sprouted wheat, tortillas. You can also make crackers, mayonnaise, English muffins, Swedish Hotcakes, Popeye Pancakes, cookies, and crepes. You can also make custards, puddings, cakes, waffles and biscuits. Is your mouth watering now? I want to make some crepes right now! Here’s the deal, look at all these items you can make in a disaster if you have just these 11 items. Now if you have some fruit, vegetables, and cheese……you will rock with meals!

Let’s be ready for those winter storms. Please fill your pantry with these basic baking items. Remember if you can afford to get that $20.00-30.00 butane stove you can cook inside (just crack a window)! Stock up on a few cans of butane…be ready when the power goes out. Camp Chef Butane 1 Burner Stove with Camping Case and the fuel: 12 Butane Fuel GasOne Canisters for Portable Camping Stoves

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Pilot Bread: Try Alaska’s modern day version of hardtack

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 Hardtack has been an emergency ration since time immemorial. Here’s a look at pilot bread, a modern day version of hardtack that is widely used in rural Alaska. And here’s why it should be considered for your survival gear.

by Leon Pantenburg

I’ve carried and eaten hardtack since my time in the Confederate infantry, and baking it is another history-related activity I enjoy. When I’m really going primitive, hunting with my flintlock rifle, I might pack hardtack, jerky and dehydrated corn for lunch.

Pilot bread is a form of modern hardtack. Consider it as an addition to your storage foods.

Pilot bread is a form of modern hardtack. Consider it as an addition to your storage foods.

But if you’d rather buy a similar hard cracker product for long term storage, take a look at pilot bread. It’s widely available and a good staple to have on hand.  It’s sorta tasty, durable, and has a long shelf life.

If I had to describe pilot bread, I’d call it a salt-less saltine, but with a tougher texture. While the bread is hard, it is easily bitten off, and the texture is much softer than the traditional recipe hardtack I make. Pilot bread also has fewer crumbs than a standard saltine. A nice feature is the durability – pilot bread with peanutbutter and/or fruit jam stands up well to travel in a daypack.

Pilot bread is a common storage food item in Hawaii, and Alaska and The Diamond Bakery “Saloon Pilot” cracker is available in many stores.  Sailor Boy brand Pilot Bread is well-known in the Northwest United States and Alaska, and I got mine at the local Food 4 Less.

It is “a very inspirational food” in Alaska, according to the Sailor Boy Facebook page. Alaskans are among the last to eat hardtack as a significant part of their normal diet. Interbake Foods of Richmond, Virginia, produces much of the commercially available hardtack under the “Sailor Boy” label—98 percent of its production goes to Alaskans.

Originally imported as a food product that could handle rigorous transportation throughout Alaska, pilot bread has become a favored food even as other, less robust foods have become available. Alaskan law requires all light aircraft to carry “survival gear,” including food.

The blue-and-white Sailor Boy Pilot Bread boxes are common at Alaskan airstrips, in cabins, and virtually every village. Whether it’s topped with salmon spread, seal oil or old-school Crisco and sugar, chances are if you’ve ever lived in rural Alaska you’re familiar with that long, rectangular, navy blue box. The Alaska Dispatch claims pilot bread is soul food for rural Alaskans -mothers give it to their babies to teeth on, village grocery stores, no matter how sparse, carry it on their shelves, and seldom does a hunting party venture out in the country, or a family head to fish camp, without a supply stowed away in someone’s bag.

Lots of people have their favorite ways to enjoy them: topped with cheese or Spam or  spread with peanut butter and jam or honey. You can also spread them with ground meat, cheese and tomato sauce and make pizzas.  some people even know how to make “pizzas” with them.

For more info from the Alaska Dispatch click on pilot bread

While I use pilot bread frequently, I also bake hardtack for backcountry trips and the bread’s conversational value around the campfire. Here is a very traditional hardtack recipe from the Civil War. When done, this hardtack has the consistency of a fired brick, and lives up to the nickname of “teeth dullers.”

Hardtack was a staple of military rations during the Civil War.

Hardtack was a staple of military rations during the Civil War.

Army Hardtack Recipe
  • 4 cups flour (preferably whole wheat)
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • Water (about 2 cups)
  • Pre-heat oven to 375° F
  • Makes about 10 pieces

After cutting the squares, press a pattern of four rows of four holes into each square, using a nail or other such object. Do not punch through the dough.  The appearance you want is similar to that of a modern saltine cracker.  Turn each square over and do the same thing to the other side.

Place the squares on an ungreased cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Turn each piece over and bake for another 30 minutes. The crackers should be slightly brown on both sides.

The fresh crackers are easily broken, but as they dry, they harden and assume the traditional texture.

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