12 Aluminum Foil Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier

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12 Aluminum Foil Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier

Whether you call it tin foil or aluminium foil, this common household item can be used for much more than just wrapping and cooking food.

Here are 14 alternative uses that could make your life easier:

1. Get rid of static.

Want to replace your dryer sheets? Crumple up some clean foil into a ball about the size of a tennis ball and toss it into your dryer. It will help to keep your laundry static-free.

2. Remove rust from chrome.

Aluminium foil can be used as a rust-remover. Crumple it up into a ball and use it to rub off rust spots.

3. Clean your grill.

If you are already using foil for cooking on the grill, why not repurpose it and use it to clean the grates afterward?

4. Keep bananas fresh longer.

It’s natural for bananas to brown over time, but by wrapping the stem end of the fruit in aluminum foil, it will slow the browning process.

5. Clean tarnished silver.

If you’ve got silver pieces that aren’t looking as shiny as they once looked, simply line a container with aluminum foil and then add boiling water and about three tablespoons of baking soda.

“The Big Book Of Off The Grid Secrets” — Every Homesteader Needs A Copy!

Drop in the tarnished silverware to restore its shine.

6. Keep birds away from your garden and fruit trees.

In some cases, it can be beneficial to have birds in your garden, but if you are growing seeds that they want to eat, you might not want them around. Try hanging strips of aluminum foil around your garden or on your fruit trees. The foil will reflect the light from the sun and move around in the breeze, helping to scare off unwanted birds.

12 Aluminum Foil Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier

Image source: Pixabay.com

7. Get your ironing done quicker.

Not many people enjoy ironing. But you can get the job done quicker by putting a sheet of aluminium foil shiny side up on your ironing board underneath the cover. The foil will reflect heat back up and help you to essentially iron clothing from both sides at once.

8. Create a makeshift funnel.

In a pinch, aluminum foil can be shaped into a funnel for easy, mess-free pouring. Foil also can be used for other funnel-like purposes – such as putting icing on a cake.

9. Sharpen scissors.

If you notice your scissors are getting a little dull, aluminium foil can be used for fast and easy sharpening. Fold a sheet of foil a few times and then just cut through it several times to help sharpen the blades.

10. Save soap.

Keep bar soap from dissolving away quickly by wrapping it in aluminium foil when not in use. The foil will keep the soap from sitting in water.

11. Help seedlings to grow.

If you’ve ever tried growing seedlings in front of a window, you’ve probably noticed the young plants growing toward the source of light. To help them grow straighter, take a cardboard box and cut off the top and one side. Line the remaining box with foil and place the young plants inside with the open side of the box facing the window. The light will reflect off the foil to help seedlings get light from all sides.

12. Protect young trees from rodents.

Over the winter, saplings can fall victim to rodents that chew on them for a food source. Try protecting your young trees by wrapping their bases with aluminium foil. Be sure to re-do this on occasion as the tree grows.

Do you know of other uses for aluminum foil? Share your tips in the section below:

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

DIY Arrow Head From A Teaspoon

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DIY Arrow Head From A Teaspoon There will be time in a SHTF situation when you may need to shoot and kill an animal with a bow or crossbow. What happens if you lose or use all of your arrows or you run out… MAKE YOUR OWN. There will be millions of spoons around so …

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The Islamic State’s Barbarity Defies Our Understanding of Genocide

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islamic_state_terrorists_ideology

IS_beheading_execution_barbarityA new paper published through the University of St. Andrews, Dehumanisation in Religious and Sectarian Violence: the Case of Islamic State, explores the uniquely horrific practices of the Islamic State. The author, Dr. Gilbert Ramsay, explores how the Islamic State does not dehumanize their victims in traditional ways. In fact, the Islamic State will often attribute a great deal of humanity to those massacred. This can be seen most explicitly in the videos IS publishes. In one instance, Dr. Ramsay notes IS employs editing in their execution videos that offer: “a window into the thoughts of the penitent victim prior to death”. Through their publications, IS seeks to create an intimate bond between the viewer and the victim. The religious content of the Islamic State ideology is so potent, the dehumanization of massacred individuals is sometimes unnecessary.  According to IS, Infidels and Shiites must be killed or submit to their ideology. As evidenced by the callous nature of their videos, this is done unapologetically.

By D-Ray, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

To be sure, Ramsay also notes the Islamic State will, from time to time, use dehumanizing methods. However, compared to other genocidal organizations, IS does not employ dehumanization nearly as frequently. Notably, the Nazis found found ways to dehumanize and shield themselves from profoundly depraved actions. The implications of the Islamic State’s ideological nature presents a terrifying possibility: we are dealing with an entity that does not find genocidal activities to be morally unconscionable.

Related: Zero Footprint

The Islamic State represents a truly unique and horrible evil. Although they are materially weak, the ideological power of IS is potent. It has been often said that you can kill a man but you can not kill an idea. While I agree with the sentiment of this maxim, the West must begin to attack and kill the ideology upon which the Islamic State is premised. If this new study is any indication, combatting the Islamic State’s cancerous belief system will be incredibly difficult.

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Deadly Poisons, Wild Edibles, and Magic Medicinals of The Carrot Family

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carrots

carrots_foragingApiaceae, is known as the Carrot Family, the Hemlock Family, and the Umbel Family (after the old name “Umbelliferae”).  It is one of the most important botanical families for the survivalist to become familiar with.  Its diversity and importance are implied with common names for the family ranging from one of the world’s most important vegetables, the Carrot (Daucus carota), to one of the most famous and deadly poisons, Hemlock (Conium maculatum).  With medicinals like Angelica (Angelica spp.) and Osha (Bear Root, Ligusticum spp.), which have been revered around the world since the earliest records of herbal medicine, this plant family seems to have it all.  

By Nathaniel Whitmore, a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache

This article follows Wild Edibles & Poisonous Plants of the Poison Ivy Family in a blog series on poisonous plants that began with 5 Poisonous Plant Families the Survivalist Should Know.  The initial article outlined some basics of five major plant families with poisonous plants.  The article on Poison Ivy included some basics on botany and plant names, in addition to the discussion of the Poison Ivy family.  Here we will focus on Apiaceae.

Umbels & Aromatic Roots

umbel_flower_forageA characteristic of Apiaceae is the flowers being arranged in umbels, which is the source of an older name for the family- Umbelliferae.  The umbel flower is umbrella shaped, or bowl shaped, partially due to the divisions of the flower-top (the pedicels) arising from a single point.  The pedicels therefore, are like the ribs of an (upside-down) umbrella.  Many other flower-tops appear to be umbels, but are supported by a branching structure that does not stem from a single point (Yarrow of the Daisy Family, Elder and Viburnum of the Muskroot Family, and others).  Another distinct tendency in Apiaceae is aromatic roots.  Sometimes people will attempt to explain that Wild Carrot roots can be distinguished from Poison Hemlock and others because they smell like Carrots, but this is far too subjective.  Because it is standard that members of this family have aromatic roots, including poisonous species, many of them could be said to “smell like Carrots” in that they are similarly aromatic.

Read Also: Medicinal Uses of Pine Trees 

Apiaceae members also tend to have divided leaves.  There are many technical terms used to describe leaves and their arrangements on plants.  Plants in the Carrot Family tend to have leaves that are lacey or otherwise finely or not so finely divided.  The leaves of Carrots and Parsley (another genus that is used to name the family) are characteristic. Celery is also in Apiaceae.  It is a good example of another tendency in the family to have the visible vascular strands (“strings”) in the stem.

Categories of Plants in Apiaceae

As usual with nature, it is difficult organize Apiaceae by category since in reality there is much more of a spectrum (from delicious and nourishing to extremely toxic).  Our human minds, however, like categories,

The primary categories of plants in Apiaceae are:

Edibles

Medicinals

Toxic Medicinals

Fatally Poisonous

These oversimplified categories are complicated by plants like Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa), which is a well-known edible (at least used to be), but also known to cause rashes in sensitive people upon contacting the leaves of the wild plants.

Edible Members of the Carrot Family

One of the world’s best-known vegetables is the Carrot, Daucus carota, which is the domestic variety of the Wild Carrot, which is also known as Queen-Anne’s-Lace.  The root is usually much smaller than the domestic version, white in color, and quite fibrous, but it is indeed a Carrot.

Biscuit Roots (Lomatium spp.) were top foods of the northwest Natives.  I have never tried them, but apparently their starchy roots are good food.  The genus is certainly worth learning about for those living in the Northwest or travelling through (there are notable medicinal species as well), but there are concerns regarding population decline so learning about Biscuit Roots is more in preparation for emergency survival than for expanding your regular diet.

Bishop’s Weed (Aegopodium podagraria) is also known as Goutweed, for its medicinal effect.  It is a common groundcover that was introduced from Europe.  It often spreads “uncontrollably” in landscapes and can be found persisting on old home sites.  It is cooked as a spring green, or potherb, when it can help rid the body of the uric acid build-up after a heavy meat diet in winter.

Though so many edibles and many culinary herbs belong to the Carrot (or Parsley) Family, you should approach this group with caution.  As there are many poisonous species.  Culinary herbs in the group include Parsley (Petroselenium crispum), Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum – the seed is Coriander), and Dill (Anethum graveolens).  

Medicinal Members of the Carrot Family

carrots_stackedOf course, all members of the Carrot family are medicinal, just as it can be argued that every plant is medicinal.  There are many home-remedies that utilize Carrots.  Plus the greens and seeds have medicinal uses.  (While you could argue that it is not “medicinal” one of the best-known uses for Wild Carrot is as a morning after contraceptive).  There are also the toxic medicinals, which are described below, that are too poisonous for home-care use.  Here, we will look at the well-known remedies from the Carrot family.  It is an all-star line up.  

Osha and its relatives (Ligusticum spp.) are top medicinals.  A couple species are known to Chinese medicine and used extensively.  Garden Lovage is well-known to the western world, though somewhat forgotten.  And the Osha of the Rocky Mountains it one of our Nation’s most famous medicinals.  In fact, Osha is one of the few herbs that I have come to depend on that is not available in the wild or even in the garden of my area.  Osha grows in high elevations, usually over 9,000 feet.  It has many medicinal uses but is best known as an antimicrobial for lung and respiratory infections.  The Navajo call it Bear Root and consider it a cure-all for lung ailments.  It works remarkably fast, especially if used at the onset of a cold.  I like to chew the root or hold it in my cheek like chewing tobacco.  Once, when harvesting Osha with a friend in Colorado just after he had harvested his honey, we filled jars with roots and topped them with the fresh honey.  A very delicious way to take Osha indeed!  The roots softened in the honey and were then easy to chew.  Plus, the honey was infused with Osha.

dong_quiAngelica is a very important genus of medicinal herbs and worthy of its own article.  In fact, I have already written a paper on AngelicaBut that too only scratches the surface.  With a name like Angelica, its got to be good – or at least it was revered at some point.  Angelica archangelica is the main European species known to medicine.  It has been used for respiratory, digestive, and circulatory disorders, among others.  It is a common ingredient in “digestive bitters” as it is a quintessential aromatic bitter.  Bitter herbs are bitter (not just bad tasting, but bitter, like Dandelion).  Aromatic bitters are also pungent or are predominantly pungent but are similar medicinally to bitter herbs, particularly in that they benefit digestion.  The pungent aromatics are also generally good for moving mucus and blood, which is largely how Angelica species are employed in medicine.  The famous Dong Quai (A. sinensis) is a top herb in Chinese medicine for moving blood (treating blood stagnation) and nourishing blood (treating anemia and similar deficiencies).  It is especially used to treat menstrual disorders and injuries.   

Rattlesnake Masters (Eryngium spp.) have been used for snake bites and as an antidote to poisons.  

Toxic Medicinals in the Carrot Family

Angelica_venenosaMany Angelica species belong in this category, as they are far too toxic to use for the uninitiated.  In fact, even those species above can have properties that are too strong and inappropriate at times, such as because of blood-thinning properties.  Most, if not all, Angelica species are blood thinning, especially when fresh.  However, they are most commonly used dried and because they are so commonly known and used I included them above. (The point about plants being more toxic when fresh is important.  Especially since many herbs in common use are mostly or only available dried, but when you are lost in the bush or otherwise seeking out herbs in an outdoors or end-times emergency you might only have access to fresh plant material.)

Deadly Angelica (A. venenosa) has poisonous properties (as you might expect from the name), yet the Iroquois employed it in poultices in the treatment of injuries.  Another, Poison Angelica (A. lineariloba) was used by the Paiute for pneumonia and spitting up of blood.  

See Also: Tree Bark as an Emergency Food

Sanicle species (Sanicula spp.) have some toxic properties, or some toxic species belong to the genus.  On the other hand, they were also used as poison antidote and for snake bites.  They are also known as Snakeroots (like Echinacea and Black Cohosh, Cimicifuga or Actaea).  It is not uncommon that snake bite remedies have some toxic properties.

Fatally Poisonous Members of the Carrot Family

david_-_the_death_of_socratesOne of the most famous poisonous plants and perhaps the most famous of Apiaceae is Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum).  It is the plant that killed Socrates.  Water Hemlocks (Cicuta spp.) are also very poisonous.  Cicuta douglasii has been called the most deadly plant in North America. Though they too undoubtedly have medicinal uses, they should be considered far too toxic to mess with.  It is said that a single bite of Poison Hemlock is enough to kill an adult man.  It is these deadly poisonous species that make this family dangerous.  Study carefully.

The common name Hemlock is shared with the basically non-toxic member of the Pine Family.  Herein lies the importance of scientific names.  Mentioning Hemlock often causes eyes to open wide in surprise, so well known is Hemlock as a poison.  When scientific names are used alongside the common, we can easily avoid confusion.  Conium and Cicuta belong to Apiaceae, while Tsuga belongs to Pinaceae.

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VIDEO: Meteor Shakes Homes, Streaks Across U.S. Skies

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — A meteor shook homes and streaked across Midwest skies Sunday night — and thankfully, several people captured it on video. The American Meteor Society reported that the “fireball was seen primarily from Illinois and Wisconsin, but witnesses from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, New York, Kentucky, Minnesota and Ontario (Canada) ” also saw it. Watch the video, below:

 

 

 

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

Looking to start again

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Done with working 60 hours a week as a carpenter and general builder, I get no satisfaction because all cash payed jobs on this planet only benefit the 13 families that enslave us in this make belief world of excessive consumption. I spent 8 years in the British army and learned some useful skills until I realised that instead of protecting civilians, were protecting the economic interests of the very rich. I am looking to go off grid somewhere tropical preferably near the ocean so I can surf. Either in an existing community, or a fledgling … I have great skills to offer, I am inclined towards the Pacific coast of south America, but an open minded. I would be happy to hear from like-minded souls who have similar ideas. Feel free to contact me on 4ndy4wol@gmail.com

Best regards Andy.

The post Looking to start again appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Do You Know How to Clean Up a Biological Mess?

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biological messJust before Christmas, my family and I were shopping at a local big box store. Near the dressing rooms, my daughter spotted a young man totally passed out on the carpeted aisle, with a pile of vomit nearby. Since that’s not a normal thing, we immediately alerted a clerk. Being the Survival Mom, I was curious to see this store’s protocol when dealing with a biological mess like this, so I hovered in the distance to watch.

Once the young man was on his way to an emergency room, the clean up protocol consisted of paper towels, a plastic trash bag, and some sort of spray in a bottle. Thankfully, the 2 employees charged with the clean up used plastic gloves. I was surprised that the carpeted section was immediately open to customers, complete with a large wet spot, hopefully sanitized.

I don’t know exactly what type of liquid was in the spray bottle, but the CDC recommends a sanitizing agent specific to vomit and fecal accidents. Stronger than a typical sanitizer, it should be a combination of 1/2 cup bleach to a liter of water.

For businesses, the protocol used by this store’s employeees wasn’t too far off the mark. Official recommendations can vary from county to county and state to state, but most recommend segregating the area so customers don’t track through, possibly spreading germs. Some viruses can become airborne, so a disposable face mask is another recommendation, and some states recommend wearing some sort of cover.

Another common recommendation is to sanitize the area far beyond the original mess. Some germs, such as Norovirus, can spread by air and infect persons dozens of feet away, and, depending on the individual’s health condition, blood could be present as well. Ugh.

Keep in mind, businesses have no idea whatsoever what type of biological mess they’re dealing with, even if the sick person is known to them, so going above and beyond recommended protocol wouldn’t be out of line. After all, every epidemic has a “patient zero”.

Cleaning a biological mess around the house

I had a chance to read Noah’s article, “How to Prep For a Quarantine“, and was reminded of the importance of having the right supplies to deal with biological messes when they occur around the house. Years ago when my young daughter had the Norovirus, it was a horrible mess and I ended up throwing away her favorite pair of pajamas — the diarrhea mess was that bad. Looking back, we were very fortunate that the entire family wasn’t infected with this highly contagious virus.

Over the years, I’ve had to clean up after my own kids as well as their friends whenever unpleasant accidents happened in the house, the car, or anywhere else where I happened to be the responsible adult. Most of the time, these incidents happen, are cleaned up, and there are no further repercussions, but it’s still a good idea to err on the side of caution.

So what should you have on hand to deal when a diarrhea or vomiting episode looks to become something more than just a “one and done” event?

Clean up from beginning to end

First, if you spend a lot of time outside the house or often have a house full of people, you might want to buy a complete clean-up kit and have everything on hand and in one place. A kit like this one contains gloves, absorbent powder, a biohazard waste bag, and a few more items. I’d add a few extras of the consumable items, like the nitrile gloves.

As an extra precaution, I’d also add a simple face mask. A simple vomit or bleeding event isn’t Ebola, but you may remember that that particular virus could be transmitted through any body opening, including nostrils and eyes, which is why Ebola health care workers wore goggles along with their face masks. Face masks are inexpensive and multi-purpose, so adding one or two to your clean-up kit is a simple matter.

At home, these same items will come in handy and not just for biological messes, which is a plus. (If you’re going to buy supplies and gear for any emergency, it’s a very good thing when they can be used for all kinds of emergencies.)

It’s vital that you isolate any potentially contaminated material as quickly as possible. That could mean keeping everyone out of the sick room or barricading a room until you can clean and sanitize the area. Also, be sure to very gentle soak up the blood, vomit, or other mess. Scrubbing at this point will just push the material deeper into the carpet, if that’s where the incident happened.

One of the easiest strategies for the actual clean up is to absorb the mess with paper towels, even if you’ve sworn off paper towels forever. Keep a couple of rolls with your first aid supplies. It’s easy to grab handful after handful, if necessary, and if the particular biological mess contains a virus, easy to put everything in a trash bag, seal, and dispose. If you decide to burn the contaminated paper towels, it will be a quick and easy task.

I’ve been collecting old, white towels for things like this. I keep them in my laundry room and everyone in the family knows where they are. Whenever there’s some sort of emergency, like a flooded toilet or vomit, those are the towels we use. Since they’re already white, I can use bleach when I launder them in the hottest water possible without fear of them being ruined. It’s also no problem if I just trash or burn the contaminated towels.

Using some sort of absorbent material to clean up the mess is a vital first step. You don’t want a pool of blood or other liquid at the bottom of a plastic bag, so make sure everything is first absorbed by paper or cloth towels and then dispose of those in a heavy-duty trash bag. Personally, I like the idea of having trash bags that let everyone around me know that it contains something that could be a health hazard. A box of 50 bright red biohazard bags is less than $12, and I hope to never have to use them all!

Before you just toss that bag, spray down the outside with an antiseptic spray or water/bleach solution, just in case the bag itself was accidentally contaminated. At this point the question is, what to do with the bag now? In an ordinary case of kid vomit or cleaning up after a typical injury with a bit of blood, it’s safe to throw out anything you’ve used in the cleanup. However, in a public health emergency, it will be a different story.

Finish up with your clean up by wiping the area clean one last time with a disinfectant spray like this one. When this is nearly, or completely, dry, spritz it well with a good dose of Stain & Odor Remover. I’ve used this product for years and swear by it.

Most likely a government public health agency will advise you on the disposal of anything that might be contaminated and contagious. In a real emergency, it would be okay to just store the trash bags in an out-of-the-way location until they can be properly disposed of. Be sure to keep them away from the sun, but putting them in a trash can out in the garage or on the patio would be okay. Those plastic bags could rip or be punctured, so if you end up storing them in a safe place temporarily, they should be in either a heavy duty cardboard box, a plastic bin, or something similar.

If the scenario is one of those “end of the world” situations, then burning or burying the waste will be best. That burial pit should be at least 3 feet deep and several feet away from any source of ground water.

Tools of the trade

Here are a few other items to have on hand to clean up biological messes:

In the typical household, these items will probably be used on occasion and not returned to their proper place, leaving you to scramble when it’s time to clean up a big mess. I recommend putting these supplies in a small plastic bin with a lid and then labeling it, “Emergencies Only”. When there really is an emergency, running around and yelling at the kids is not the way to go!

biological mess

Dr. Mercola and Dr. Wunsch on the Dangers of LED Lights

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This is some amazing stuff, if true. Dr. Mercola does a good jobs of emphasizing the important stuff that might fly clear over your head. LED light is not so much evil, but just not what you need for efficient energy production. Only 30% of our ATP energy comes from food. I haven’t run this to ground, but wanted to place this information into the blog to avoid losing it. Having good immune systems and good energy are essential in order to thrive in the toxic environment that is likely to only get worse.

6 Best Survival Playing Cards That Are Worth The Weight

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6 best survival playing cardsHow much does your bug out bag weigh?

I’m an ultralight backpacker. Which means I make difficult choices about what to bring and what to leave behind. I take the same weight-conscious approach when constructing a bug out bag because (all things being equal) lighter is better.

However, I always have a bit of room for a deck of cards.

That might sound surprising. At first thought, games may not seem essential, but they play an important role in survival by keeping morale high. A group with no morale has no drive – no will to survive.

Games don’t have to weigh you down. A lot of camping games work well in a bug out bag because they require little or no equipment.

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A deck of playing cards is at the top of my list because it only weighs about 3 and a half ounces, yet you can do so much with it. The obvious ones are card games, like poker, solitaire, bulls, gin rummy, and a hundred others. But there is more you can do with a deck of cards outside of the typical card games:

  • Build a card house
  • Card throwing
  • Practice blackjack card counting
  • Card magic tricks

You get the idea.

But I don’t pack just any deck of cards. Like a good survivalist, I prefer each piece of gear to serve multiple purposes. Because of that, I’m a big fan of survival playing cards, which are both informational cards and playing cards.

Here are my 6 personal favorite survival playing cards.

Survival Playing Cards

I don’t have a single “favorite” deck. There are a number of survival decks I like, each for different reasons.

For Wilderness Survival

My go to deck for wilderness survival is Discover Wilderness Survival from SEA and SKY because the cards are so dense with wilderness information. It’s practically a book. I enjoy just sitting and reading the cards.

discover wilderness survival playing cards

  • Half the deck covers how to survive all kinds of natural disasters, climates, and attacking animals.
  • A quarter of the deck deals with survival skills like finding water, gathering food, and building a shelter.
  • A quarter of the deck is dedicated to first aid.

A few negative points are that the print is so small, some people will have trouble reading it. Only 3 cards in the deck have illustrations (useful knots, animal tracks, ground-to-air and Morse codes), the rest is all text. Also, the cards a little flimsy.

The deck more than makes up for it by the sheer volume of information you get.

For Mountaineering

The Freedom of the Hills Deck from The Mountaineers is focused on wilderness travel in the high mountains. It has a special place in my heart because its content comes from the excellent book that got me started in backpacking, Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills by Steven M. Cox.

discover-wilderness-survival-playing-cards

  • Half the deck covers mountain and climbing skills, like how to self-arrest with an ice ax, perform avalanche rescue, build an emergency snow shelter, and set up for belaying and rappeling.
  • A quarter of the deck covers wilderness skills in the mountains, like avoiding lighting, and dealing with bears. It contains almost nothing about shelters, water, or food.
  • A quarter of the deck is first-aid skills, again specific to the mountains. It covers things like hypothermia, frostbite, and altitude sickness.

The cards are especially thick. Because of that, this deck is a bit thicker and heavier than most playing cards. It weighs in at 115 grams and is 25 mm thick, compared to 98 grams and 19 mm for the Discover Wilderness Survival deck.

For Urban Survival

I spend a lot of time in the woods, so I practice wilderness survival in case I get stuck out there. For most of us, when the SHTF, we’re likely to be in an urban area. That’s why I like the Urban Survival Playing Cards from Tactical And Preparedness Solutions. They’re focused on urban survival.

urban survival playing cards

This deck has a lot of unique tips like using super glue as stitches, purifying water with bleach, getting emergency water from your water heater, and preserving refrigerated food after a power outage.

For Identifying Edible Plants

Wild Cards: Edible Wild Foods by Linda Runyon is a fun deck that a lot of survivalists would be interested in. Each card covers a common wild edible in North America. The back of the card has a full-color photograph of the plant. The front has its description, including which parts to eat and how to prepare them.

wild cards edible wild foods

This deck has a number of plants that I see on a daily basis around my home in San Francisco, like dock, thistle, mallow, stinging nettle, and chickweed.

There are two things that I don’t like about this deck. The back of each card is “marked” with a different photo, which makes them less playable once you remember, for example, that the sunflower is the 6 of diamonds. Also, I wish some of the photos were taken closer so that I could see more detail.

Still, these cards are great for learning about edible plants and are usable for casual card games.

A Conversation Game

Conflicted: The Survival Card Game is different than the rest of the cards I’ve mentioned. Instead of teaching survival skills, the purpose of these cards is to start a conversation.

conflicted the survival card game

Each card describes a debatable end of the world scenario and asks what you would do, for example:

You hear a noise in the back of your house, and you find 12 orphans scavenging for food from your garbage cans. They appear to be kids under 6 years of age. Taking them in would diminish your supply timeline by at least 50%, and you’re not certain you can replenish your supplies once they run out. Plus it would take extra manpower to watch over all of them, and you can spare little since everyone in your camp is constantly exhausted from hard work and rationed meals. Leaving these kids to their fates would mean their deaths, or worse. How would deal with this situation?

The official game is to read a card aloud, have everyone say what they would do, and then each person vote on the best answer. I use them as a conversation starter and I don’t bother with the voting.

This is a good way to learn about your friends, their morals, and how they match up with yours. I’m a big fan of conversation games because they help you connect with your friends on a deeper level than a typical card game does.

Would You Survive If…

The Survival Frog Survival Cards covers both unique SHTF situations, as well as valuable survival tips on how to make it out alive.

would you survive if survival cards

Survival examples include:

    • A Plane Crash
    • Quicksand
    • Dealing With A “Knockout” Punch
    • Shark Attack
    • Zombie Apocalypse
    • Your Parachute Not Opening
    • Plus, 46 Other Survival Scenarios

So this deck of cards is sort of a combination of the “conversation” based survival cards and the “info” ones. This set of survival cards is excellent to spark conversation and debate but alway gives you suggestions on how to survive.

What makes this set of survival cards even more appealing is the price. Right now you can get a set of these cards for FREE (just pay shipping and handling of $3.95).

This is a deal you should take today while it lasts.

Survival Card Weight and Sizes

If you’re a gram counter, I should tell you that some decks are beefier than others. Heavier cards are also bulkier but seem more durable.

Deck Weight Deck Thickness
Discover Wilderness Survival 98 grams 19 mm
Freedom of the Hills 116 grams 25 mm
Urban Survival 111 grams 20 mm
Wild  Edible Cards 91 grams 17 mm
Conflicted 92 grams 17 mm
Would You Survive If… 91 grams 20 mm

All cards were the size of typical poker cards, 2.5“ x 3.5” (6.35 cm x 8.89 cm).

Take Action

You need a little fun, even in a survival situation.

A deck of cards is cheap, small, lightweight, and versatile. It’s especially versatile when you have a multi-purpose survival deck. Not only can it bolster your morale and give you the will to survive, it can give you the knowledge to survive as well.

I challenge you to take action today: Add a deck of playing cards to your gear list. Get a few decks that you like. Put one in your go bag. Put one in your bug out bag. One in your camping pack, one in your glove box, etc…

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #104 Item Bug Out Bag Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

I guarantee they will get used one way or another – hopefully just for fun and games.

Did I leave out your favorite deck of survival playing cards? Tell me in the comment section below.

This post was written and submitted bMike Lin the co-owner of Rallt, maker of packable adventure and travel gear.

p.s. – get these brand new survival shoelaces and SAVE 73% off what you’d pay at Amazon!
fire-laces-deal Hurry this amazing deal might not last for long.

The post 6 Best Survival Playing Cards That Are Worth The Weight appeared first on Skilled Survival.

How To Freeze Dry Food, With And Without A Machine

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How To Freeze Dry Food, With And Without A Machine

Freeze drying food at home is simple and easy, with or without a machine. Learn how to freeze dry all kinds of foods with no special equipment.

Learning how to freeze dry food is something that’s gaining popularity.

It doesn’t come as a surprise to us, because many preppers are now simply discovering the “long forgotten” art of freeze drying their foods at home.

In truth, freeze drying has been in constant commercial use for generations. Applying it in your home is quit easy, with or without a special machine.

When you freeze dry food, the water content and moisture are eliminated. It’s a lot like drying food on drying racks, but you’re also adding the freezing process.

Freeze drying food is useful in situations like long camping trips, or long term food storage for an emergency or disaster.


RELATED : How To Can BUTTER For Food Storage


What You Should Know

First, you should know the difference between air drying and freeze drying. This video shows a good comparison between the two.

Freeze drying food is the process of sucking the moisture out of food while making it very cold, below the freezing point of water. Without doing BOTH of these processes, your efforts will be wasted and the food will spoil.

Freeze drying is essentially like using an air drying rack inside of a deep freezer, in fact that’s exactly what you can do if you want.

High water content foods are easier to work with. These include vegetables and fruits such as peppers, carrots, potatoes, apples, berries, pears, etc. The shape of the food remains the same; just its water content is discarded. Leafy greens are more finicky and prone to wilting and a lot of other problems.

People freeze dry meat, grains, and pasta as well. But it’s better to begin with simple and easy to freeze dry foods like vegetables and fruits. Once you learn how to do that comfortably, you can try more complicated or difficult to freeze dry foods.

Once most foods are freeze dried they can be kept at or below room temps, you don’t have to keep them frozen.

How To Freeze Dry Food Without A Machine – 2 Methods

Freeze drying food is not a complicated process, it’s quite simple actually. Some people choose to do this with the help of vacuum sealers, and if you can get one I highly recommend it. They draw out most of the moisture, which is very important.

But many people freeze dry food without a machine, and there are two ways to do that.

1. The simple freezer method

The easiest way to freeze dry food is the one that also takes the longest. All you need to do is place your food in small pieces on a tray such as a cookie sheet, or a cooling rack or air drying rack and simply put it in your freezer. A deep freezer works best.

The food starts to freeze in the first few hours itself, but the drying process takes weeks. This process is known as sublimation. This is what separates freeze drying from simply freezing food inside of sealed bags or containers like we’re all used to doing.

And it’s this procedure that takes several weeks to complete….


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


The best way to check when the food is done drying is to remove a frozen piece and let it come to room temp. If the food turns dark or black, it means the drying process is still not over. Frozen food that doesn’t change color has been freeze dried thoroughly. It’s more an art than a science.

Once that has been achieved, you can go ahead and store the freeze dried food in ziplock bags. Freeze-dried food should be kept in storage that stays under 75 degrees.

2. The dry ice method

You can also freeze dry food with dry ice. Dry ice lets all the moisture from your food evaporate quickly, so the whole process is much faster. Find a day when the humidity level is zero too, don’t try this method when it’s rainy out as the humidity will make it much harder.

You will need a pair of insulated gloves and a large container, about twice the size of the food that you want to freeze dry. Completely cover the food with dry ice and fill the container, use a 1:1 weight ratio (meaning 1lb of food should get at least 1lb of dry ice). DO NOT SEAL THE CONTAINER…it will explode.

Dry ice gives off a large volume of gas as it evaporates and it has to be able to escape. You can loosely put the lid on, or drill holes in the lid, but do not seal it. I just leave the lid up.


RELATED : Survival Food: 5 Hearty Soup In A Jar Recipes


Once you can see no more dry ice left in the container, you know that the process is finished. This usually takes about 24 hours, or less. Once the dry ice is gone the process is complete.

Your container is now full of carbon dioxide and free of humidity. Do not take the food out until it is ready to be bagged. Use ziplock plastic bags to store the now freeze dried food, but make sure suck the air out as best you can to prevent moisture formation. Many people opt for vacuum packing devices or machines for better results, and I highly recommend you use them.

The goal is to ensure that no moisture is left or enters inside the plastic bag after the process is finished. You should seal it properly if you don’t want your efforts and your food to go to waste.

How To Freeze Dry Food With A Machine

Your average home use freeze drying machine costs between $2,500 – $4,000, so it’s fair to assume most people will not have one simply lying around. However if you’re lucky enough to have one the whole process couldn’t be easier.

Read your instruction manual for the best results, obviously, but for most machines it works something like this:

1. Place the food that you want to freeze dry on trays.

2. Place the trays in your machine and turn it on. Yep, they literally make it that easy.

Here’s a video showing the process from start to finish.


RELATED : 16 Facts You Should Know Before Dehydrating Food


Final Thoughts

You should weight your options when it comes to freeze drying. If you’re serious about prepping, food will obviously be high on your list, but the time or costs involved in freeze drying at home may not be worth it for you.

Sometimes it’s easier to buy it by the bucket ready to go than to tie up a freezer for a month or spend $4,000 on a machine that can only do one thing.

If you’re prepping for a group or a large family I suggest considering a freeze dryer. If it’s just you or your significant other, try it at home without a machine and see what you think. in the end it may not be worth it.

What about you? Have you ever used any of the methods mentioned above to freeze dry food at home?

Please feel free to share your experiences with us here. We would like to know what works best and what doesn’t. You can drop in your comments in the section below.

Saving our forefathers ways starts with people like you and me actually relearning these skills and putting them to use to live better lives through good times and bad. Our answers on these lost skills comes straight from the source, from old forgotten classic books written by past generations, and from first hand witness accounts from the past few hundred years. The Lost Ways Book teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available, just like our forefathers did it for hundreds of years.

 

Source : https://besurvival.com

 

Make sure you like BackdoorPrepper on Facebook to be updated every time we find an article for innovative ways you can become a better prepper.

 

              WHAT TO READ NEXT !!!!!!

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How To Make Gunpowder The Old Fashioned Way

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In a long-term grid-down scenario, ammunition will be crucial for both hunting and self defense. The problem is, when you run out of ammo, you might not be able to run to the store for more. That’s why learning to reload your own ammo and make your own gunpowder are very valuable skills. Joshua Krause […]

The post How To Make Gunpowder The Old Fashioned Way appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Keep Your Belongings and Supplies Safe from Looters

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By The Survival Place Blog

If you’re a dedicated prepper, then you’ll understand the importance of keeping your belongings safe. When disaster strikes and everyone’s survival instincts kick in, you’d be lucky if you don’t run into looters and hooligans who resort to stealing from others. When we’re in a nasty situation, it really is survival of the fittest and if you can’t hide your belongings and most important pieces of gear safely, then you’re going to be vulnerable and it’ll only take a single night for your survival chances to turn from decent to grim.
To help you survive the threat of thieves and looters, here are a couple of handy tips that you can employ right now to keep you, your family and your friends safe.

Fencing

A sturdy fence around your home is the first line of defence from looters. Combined with CCTV and traps, a fence can not only protect an area, but it can also deter people from wanting to try and steal your belongings. The more fierce looking your surroundings, the more likely people will stay clear from your place to loot you. However, it’s good to keep in mind that a fence will be your first line of defence because it is the most easily penetrated. Dedicated looters will be able to cut through the fence with ease, and agile climbers will easily be able to vault over the fence or climb over it. This means you shouldn’t spend too much of your money on fencing, just enough so it surrounds your home and deters intruders.

Safe Boxes

Your most valuable possessions should be kept in a safe box or a disguised storage container. The Safe Depot has plenty of good examples of this. They’ve turned everyday essentials such as water bottles and cans into sneaky storage solutions for small belongings and bits of equipment, but you can also invest in a large safe to store things like weapons and money. A smaller safe box that you can carry around with you is a good place to store everyday essentials such as a flip knife, multi-tool and rations.

Shutters for Windows and Doors

Full lockdown of your home is ideal when it comes to avoiding looters and hooligans. Shutters can often buy you enough time to fend off thieves, and in some cases, if the shutters are strong enough it can make your home virtually impenetrable. This is an excellent long-term solution that will not only protect your home from looters, but also from natural disasters such as extreme gales. Shutters can be installed for relatively low prices, but you need to keep in mind the quality of the metal itself. The heavier it is, the sturdier it will be but it will also be hard to maintain.

Locks and Doors

In the event that your shutters have failed, you need to consider falling back to a defensive location that houses all of your supplies. In this case, a strong metal door is a great way to fend off attackers and also make your supplies almost impossible to steal unless the intruders have the key. Sturdy locks are also great for when your supplies are housed outside of your home so that you can keep all of your prepped supplies safe during the night.

This article published by The Survival Place Blog: Keep Your Belongings and Supplies Safe from Looters

Filed under: How To Prepare, Prepping

Easy DIY Forge Out Of An Old Sink

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Easy DIY Forge Out Of An Old Sink Easy DIY project we all could at least try and get some sort of blacksmithing skills before SHTF. I love the simplicity of this forge set up.I think having a little knowledge of this old skill could come in very handy if SHTF. Not only is this …

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The post Easy DIY Forge Out Of An Old Sink appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Who Still Buys Dumb Phones Anymore? Preppers Should & Here’s Why

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Who Still Buys Dumb Phones Anymore? Preppers Should & Here’s Why

If you haven’t thought about dumb phones in a long while, I can’t blame you, but chances are you’re missing out on a really great emergency tool that’s been right at the back of your memory this entire time. Smart phones are amazing. They’re an enhancement to everyday life. I can’t imagine no longer having… Read More

This is just the start of the post Who Still Buys Dumb Phones Anymore? Preppers Should & Here’s Why. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Who Still Buys Dumb Phones Anymore? Preppers Should & Here’s Why, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Read This Before Start Building An Utility Trailer

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Survivopedia Read This Before Start Building An Utility Trailer

Even though there are plenty of pre-built new and used utility trailers on the market, they may not meet your exact needs. If you are going to use the trailer for any kind of prepper application, it is best to make sure you have everything you want in the design.

As with so many other things, this means you will more than likely need to design and build the trailer yourself. While this may cost more in terms of time and labor, in the end it may save your life and make living in the post crisis world easier than expected.

If you are looking to expand or upgrade your DIY skills, building a utility trailer will give you plenty of practice.

Stages of Building Your Trailer

These brutal financial times make it difficult to justify building a utility trailer that may or may not be needed to address some kind of major future crisis. Surprisingly enough, you don’t need to build a utility trailer years, or even months in advance of a major social collapse.

By keeping the following points in mind, you can build a suitable trailer in just a few days, or even do so after a major crisis happens.

As you think about how long it will take to build a utility trailer, keep the following points in mind. You can divide the timeline into five main parts:

1. Planning and designing the trailer

You can plan and design a trailer at little or no cost. Make your basic plans on paper, and then do your research for free online. Look at other designs on the market, find out what materials are available, and get a good sense of how much all the parts will cost. Once you have the blueprint, parts list, and projected assembly plans, just about everything else can be done in a matter of days.

When of making up a parts list, include as many recycled or salvage parts as you can, and add at least 2 or 3 alternatives that suit your needs. This will make it easier to choose parts later. If you run out of time before acquiring all the building materials, you can use this list during and after a major crisis as a guide to viable materials.

2. Obtaining raw materials

Before you buy materials, purchase any tools that you might need. These tools can also be used for many other household and travel needs, so they won’t go to waste. The more time you spend using basic power and hand tools, the better off you will be in any situation.

The more time you have for obtaining building materials, the better. Aside from being able to budget more easily, you will see if there are reusable materials in flea markets, junk yards, or estate sales that might be of use.

Individuals that are building and maintaining comprehensive bug out plans should take the salvage and alternative material list along on test excursions. This is an excellent time to take note of what items may be available on the way to your bug out location.

3. Building the trailer

Preparing for an emergency is never easy, especially when you are concerned that all your hard work will be stolen by rioters or others. An utility trailer can be a bit hard to hide, and just about everyone that sees it will know what it is, or remember that you have one. Once a major crisis occurs,these people will be looking for you and ready to take anything of value that you might have.

This is the main reason why I don’t recommend building a utility trailer from the top down and having it all ready to go. Rather, it is better to build the trailer in units, test them out, and then be ready to assemble them at a moment’s notice. Many systems are small enough to be hidden in your home or garage, and then assembled later on when the need arises. If you make fast assembly and modular system designs part of your plans, this process may be easier than you would expect.

 4. Testing everything out

There is a definite trade off between testing out a completed trailer and keeping its existence as secret as possible. Doing your best to test specific modules may not be enough when you actually assemble the trailer.

Your best option will be to try and assemble the trailer in a quiet location where no one will know. Once you know everything works together as a unit, you can always take everything apart and then reassemble it in time of need.

5. Maintenance

As soon as you begin keeping supplies on hand, or materials to build the trailer itself, you will always need to be concerned about maintenance.

For example, if you purchased aluminum for the sides of the trailer or other parts, they may still need painting, lubrication, or other routine care to prevent them from being ruined.

Where to Get Materials From

Have you ever gone to a local hardware store, home improvement store, or automotive shop only to be disappointed by the inventory? You may find some items in these stores to get you started on a DIY product, while other items may not be available (thicker aluminum, for example).

Be careful how you shop online, and you should be able to keep your building plans secret.

Here are some other places where you might find building materials at a more reasonable price:

  • Local auctions and surplus events. Newspapers and websites dedicated to your town or city may list these venues as well as what kinds of materials are available.
  • Watch the classified ad listings in supermarkets, department stores, or other areas where estate sales, flea markets, or other private sales might be listed.
  • Military surplus outlets may also be of some use.

Check the end of the article for a list of websites that may help to salvage or find construction surplus materials.

Basic Parts

The absence of a means of propulsion doesn’t mean utility trailers are simple, or that you can build them with a lack of care and consideration. A poorly designed or constructed trailer can spell disaster. Do not cut corners or reduce quality if you want to build a reliable trailer!

Wheels, Axle, Suspension, and Braking Systems

The axle and suspension system must be able to support the entire weight of the trailer and everything in it. These parts must also have the flexibility to absorb shock as the trailer moves without bending excessively or breaking.

Many utility trailers have smaller wheels, but bear in mind that you might take the trailer off road or into areas with deep ruts, mud, or broken pavement. Spend a bit more on larger wheels with deeper and heavier treads so that the trailer passes more easily over these areas.

Basic Frame

The frame must work in conjunction with the suspension, axle, and braking system to provide a solid foundation for the rest of the trailer. No matter whether you choose an open design or a closed one, the suspension must be sturdy and durable. A frame that is built independent of the suspension will give you more options and also much better performance.

Coupler and Tongue Jack

If you do not have a good quality coupler and tongue jack on the trailer, it can lead to a number of problems including:

  • The trailer may break way from the vehicle pulling it along.
  • It may sway from side to side or be very hard to control when the pulling vehicle turns.
  • A poorly designed coupler may be difficult to connect and disconnect as needed.

Wall Frame

The wall frame must still be study enough to keep all of the items in the trailer secure no matter whether you design an open trailer or a closed one. Choose frame material that will not bend or buckle if objects inside the trailer hit it.

It is also best to choose a frame material that is sturdy enough to accommodate the weight of a roof and enclosure if you decide to make these changes later on. Even if you decide on low walls now, make sure that you can bolt on taller pieces later on without sacrificing on frame strength.

Roof Frame (optional)

Try to make the roof frame sturdy enough to accommodate the roof covering and storage for other items. It never hurts to create a roof top frame that can also be used to house solar panels, small wind turbines, or other devices used to generate electricity, gather water, or carry out other tasks.

Enclosure

If you are looking for a cheap easy way to enclose the trailer, start off with canvas, and then keep a vinyl covering for times when you need to keep the interior as dry as possible. As time and budget allow, enclose the trailer with aluminum or some other more permanent and durable material. As long as the roof is made from a solid material (polymer or resin might work), you could also generate power and still use canvas for the trailer sides.

Access Points

Most people that build low walled trailers do not worry about doors or windows. On the other hand, even if you plan to live in a canvas covered trailer, you’ll need to enter, exit, add to, and remove items from the trailer.

Ventilation and adequate air flow are also important so that you don’t wind up with moisture, mold, and mildew buildups inside the trailer. Doors and windows on solid side, enclosed trailers can also make it more comfortable to live in.

Security System

When all your worldly possessions are going to be packed in a trailer going a long distance, security systems are crucial.

You can use electronic surveillance systems as well as specialty locks and bolts. Just remember that these systems are only as good as the materials used to build the rest of the If the sides are made of canvas or vinyl, there will not be much sense in installing locks. Instead, think about what kind of weapons you can use to defend the trailer as well as any devices that can be used to deter people from approaching it.

Internal Features

Shelves, seats, tie down areas, and privacy enclosures are all important for a multi-purpose utility trailer. Keep weight down by using plastic furnishings or ones that can be packed away easily.

For example, beanbag chairs are lightweight and can be put together to make a bed. Alternatively, use plastic tubs to store your items and then put an air mattress on top of them. Just because internal features need to be light weight and simple, that does not mean you have to be uncomfortable or unable to enjoy whatever time you may need to spend in the trailer.

Electricity

Aside from running computers or other devices that store important data, electricity is important for power tools used to fix the trailer or build parts that were not complete before started using it. There are many devices that can be used to power a utility trailer, like different wind turbine designs that will lend themselves well to sitting on top of a trailer. As long as the trailer is in motion, the turbines will spin.

You can make a series of smaller turbines that are housed in other parts of the front of the trailer and then combine them into a single battery pack. This is especially important if you want your trailer to look as inconspicuous as possible. A few fans hidden behind grills will not be as noticeable as solar panels or a shell design turbine sitting on top of the trailer.

Make your home 100% immune from future power outages or blackouts with this DIY Home Energy System! 

Water and Sanitation

Many people that don’t plan on living in a utility trailer after a major crisis occurs think they can ignore water and sanitation issues.

On the other hand, you are always going to need clean water. As such, you should at least have some tools on hand so that you can purify water or pull it from other resources. Even if you store away plastic and a shovel so that you can retrieve water vapor as it evaporates from the ground, you will be ahead of the game.

Setting aside a small part of the trailer for sanitation and privacy needs is more important than you realize. At the very least, bring a few items along that you can use to meet these needs once they are assembled.

Tools and Skills You Need for the Project

You will need common tools such as screwdrivers, hammers, pliers, metal cutters, drills, and hand saws for building your trailer, but also other items. These tools require electricity to operate, but it’s not impossible to make a sturdy trailer without them.

  • Welder – you need a welder to join together steel rods used in the trailer frame. Even though welding is not especially difficult to learn, you need some practice before you weld the rods together. Remember to wear a welding hood, gloves, and an appropriate apron. No matter how fascinating welding and the sparks it makes may be, remember that you are working with very high temperatures and a light source that can blind you in a matter of seconds.
  • Circular saw, jig saw, and hand drill – these power tools make cutting boards and other materials much easier and faster. Perhaps I am a bit old fashioned in my preference for corded tools, however I have yet to find battery powered tools that lasted as long or provided as much power when I needed it most.
  • Hydraulic Jacks – you need at least 4 to support the frame while you are mounting the axles and wheels.
  • Hoists and Pulley Systems – if you start building in modules, hoists and pulleys make it possible to assemble completed parts in a matter of minutes.

Equipment and Furnishings: Buy or Make Your Own?

When you make your own racks, shelves, and other furnishings, it’s easy to create what you need and in the size that you need it. But if you don’t have the time or patience to make furniture, it can be a very tedious task. Unless you upcycle free wood palettes or other materials, you’ll find that the cost of making your own furnishings is about the same as buying pre-made models.

Research on camping and RV gear, and you’ll find all sorts of things that can be used to make the utility trailer more comfortable and convenient. In many cases, this equipment may not meet all of your needs. You may not be able to repair the items if they break down, or they may not be as durable as you would like.

If you want cutting edge designs or newer technologies, those devices may also be more expensive. For example, if you want to include a wind turbine, it may be impossible to find the best in a pre-fabricated form, so you’d better look at different bladeless turbine designs, and build something that meets your needs.

Newer polymers and other materials on the market can make this task as simple as working with a 3D printer and a few well designed templates. Aside from cost and innovative concerns, when you make your own equipment you can always add room for adaptability. If you need to scavenge parts or build systems that are easy to repair, there is nothing like developing your own designs.

DOs and DON’Ts When Building an Utility Trailer

Building an utility trailer is like many other things in life. There are some basic things you should always do, and others that you should avoid.

Here are some of the most common practices that lead to building a trailer that will be durable and useful or one that will not be worth the effort you put into it.

  • Do not cut costs on critical components such as the frame, suspension, axle, and coupler. Everything in the trailer depends on how sturdy and durable these items are. If you don’t know how to weld, or don’t have enough practice in metal working, make sure that you know what you are doing before you tackle building these parts.
  • Do seek training for everything you need to do. From wiring the trailer for electricity to installing windows and shelves, it never hurts to take a few courses on these and other building oriented topics.
  • Never work on the trailer when you are tired, angry, or sick. Most of the time, you will be working with power tools, chemicals, or something else that can cause injury or death. Exhaustion, excess emotions, and illness can make you careless and impatient. Even if you are not injured, the mistakes you may make can come back to haunt you when you put the trailer on the road and discover these “hidden features”.
  • Always observe safety precautions. Goggles, ear protection, gloves, aprons, steel toed boots, dust masks, and respirators are all necessary safety gear that should be used. While many people today recognize the need for goggles, far too many do not wear protective ear plugs and respirators. Never forget that everything you are working with will create some kind of dust, smoke, or gas. None of these fumes or dust are good for your lungs or your health.
  • Give yourself plenty of room to work. Over the years, I have seen many accidents caused by a simple lack of working space. Make sure that you have plenty of room to lay all the parts and tools out. Keep your work area neat and clean. No matter whether you are working indoors or outside, it is all to easy to take a step backwards and trip over something you forgot was back there.
  • Make sure that others working with you observe safety and good working habits. If you work with a team, it is all too easy for you, and others to put things where they can pose a risk to others. If everyone makes it a point to put things back where they belong, it will be much easier to avoid accidents.
  • Always keep detailed records of everything you did and how each system fits together. Later on, if you need to diagnose problems or make repairs, these notes will give you a valuable point of reference. Include photographs taken during the construction process, these will make it easier to orient and prepare for making any required changes. Do not forget to update your notes and photos once you are done.
  • Never use drugs or alcohol while working on the trailer. As soon as you lose any kind of control of yourself, both the tools you are using and the materials can also get out of control. This can lead to cuts, bruises, burns, and other serious injuries. If you must have a drink or take some kind of medication, stop for the day and then go back to it when your thinking and your reflexes are in better condition.

Take the time to design and build a custom utility trailer, and you’ll develop a perfect prepper solution!

While this task isn’t as difficult as it seems, you will need to put in a considerable amount of time, effort, and money. When a disaster strikes and you are able to move and live comfortably in the trailer, you will see that it is well worth the effort.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

References:

http://www.americanbuildersurplus.com/

http://www.salvex.com/

http://www.contractoryardsale.com/

http://www.bmomn.com/

http://www.govliquidation.com/Scrap-Metal.html

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13 Tips on Surviving a Protest

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closed fist protest

Anti-Free Speech?

As a Free Speech advocate, I support the people’s right to protest and make their opinions heard. Unfortunately, demonstrations in the U.S. these days are becoming more frequent and violent. From what I saw happen at UC-Berkeley, I expect them to become more extreme as times goes on.

 
I haven’t been at a protest since the Vietnam era, and that was just on the way to class. Back then, I was fit enough to hightail it out of there when the pepper gas flew. However, there is so much civil unrest in the news these days that it’s a good idea to have a riot survival strategy, whether you’re involved or just a bystander. It goes without saying that your objective should be to stay away from the where the violence is occurring.

 
Of course, if you walk smack dab into a demonstration, things can get dicey pretty fast. I’ve written a lot about situational awareness, and that mindset will serve you well. Here are some simple tips that will help you avoid injury at a protest:

 
1. Always be in a state of “Yellow Alert”. Yellow alert simply means being aware of your surroundings and the people around you. When people are behaving strangely, take note and avoid them.
2. Always mentally map out routes of escape as you walk along. Where’s the nearest side street? Is there a building or subway entrance that will get you off the street? If you don’t know the area, move away to where you know the lay of the land.

 
3. If you have to make your way through the crowd, stay on the fringes. Don’t get caught in the masses of people surging away (or towards) the violence. If you do, they are deciding your movements, not you.

 
4. Avoid confrontation with protesters. In other words, take off your “Make American Great Again” hat if it’s an anti-Trump demonstration. At Berkeley, things like this got women pepper-sprayed and men beaten.

 
5. Have a bandanna handy. This essential survival supply isn’t a gas mask, per se, but it works at riots when tear gas is sprayed. Some advocate the soaking of the cloth with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Avoid black bandannas, though; at Berkeley, organized masked “ninjas” in black caused most of the damage. You don’t want to be confused with one of these people.

 
6. Wear sneakers or other footwear that will allow you the most mobility. The only women wearing heals are reporters. Make sure you’re well-clothed so that your skin is protected. You’ll need to wash clothes thoroughly that have been exposed to tear gas, or throw them away.

 
7. Be aware of the movement of law enforcement officers, but don’t approach them. Their job is tough enough, and they won’t be able to hear you above the roar of the crowd.

 
8. Don’t run if you can help it. Unless everyone else is running, you will attract unwanted attention. Walk fast and purposefully around a corner, to higher ground, or other safe spot.

 
9. Be inconspicuous. This may be difficult if you’re 6 foot 7 inches tall, but otherwise, do you best to be “the gray man”.

 
10. If you’re with friends, stay together. If you can’t, agree on a meeting place beforehand in case you get separated moving through the crowd.

 
11. Avoid being caught against walls, fences, blockades, or other solid objects. People can get crushed by masses of protesters.

 
12. Carry some water, milk, or diluted liquid antacid (like Maalox) in a container if you know you’re heading into a protest area. If sprayed with tear gas, move quickly into an area of fresh air and pour the liquid on your face (especially your eyes). Drink it if sprayed in the mouth. Milk or liquid antacid are thought by some to work better than water, but there’s no hard data one way or another. The effects of the tear gas will resolve over a relatively short time in most cases.

 
13. If you’re involved in a protest, carry a basic medical kit that will help to treat injuries and stop bleeding.

 
It’s likely you’ll never get caught in civil unrest, but having a solid plan of action in these troubled times just makes common sense. We must be prepared for man-made disasters just as we should be prepared for hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes.

 

Joe Alton, MD

AuthorJoe

Joe Alton, MD aka Dr. Bones

Do We Even Know What It Means To Be “The Church”?

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     Yesterday, I expressed my concerns and frustrations regarding the institutionalized “Church”, and how my spirit senses that we are stifling the full image of Jesus and His ministry.  That got me to thinking … What did Jesus expect of the Church?  How did He envision it? And is it what He intended it to be?
     There have been 20 centuries since our Savior walked this earth and the Church came into existence. As we are well into the 21st, I think it’s time we take a good hard look at ourselves and determine if we even resemble what He began, and if we are serving His purpose for the Kingdom of God.
     First of all, you can scour the internet and find all kinds of commentaries and discussions on what the Church should be, and more often than not, it seems that it is from man’s perspective — it is what we have decided the Church should look like from hundreds of years of internal deliberation and analysis.  But is that what really matters — what we have determined? Because, I would venture to say that if you asked ten Christians what Jesus intended The Church to be, you would probably get ten different answers, depending on their denomination and generational biases.  If you had to find the common denominator among those varying opinions, you would probably come up with a checklist describing the Church as something close to the following:  1) a community of prayer based on the Word;  2) we are to worship God;  3) we are to make disciples;  4) we are to be in genuine fellowship with one another; encouraging each other in our walk with Christ; and finally, 5) we are to proclaim the Gospel to the rest of the world.
     All of those are good descriptions; no one could deny their importance.  But do they represent what Jesus conveyed as His charge to those who would follow Him? Consider this … Did you know that there are only two instances that Jesus even mentions the word church in the four Gospels?  The first is in Matthew 16:15-19, where it is my opinion that Jesus describes the spiritual aspect of what “Church” means to Him.  In this passage, Jesus acknowledges Peter’s confession of faith in Him as the Son of the Living God, and tells Peter that on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.  Peter is also told that he will be given the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
     I would like to encourage you to read my post on this passage, as it will clear up what I think is a mistaken image of establishing an “organized” church model, with Peter as the head.  Here is a quick synopsis of what I think Jesus meant (and I hope you will read the entire post to get the full context):  Where this talk took place, and what Jesus said, would have made Peter and his fellow disciples very uneasy.  They knew they were standing on the ground where the Fallen Angels landed on their descent to earth (in Genesis 6:1-4), and it is ground that the Nephilim had inhabited.  In Jewish theology, the spirits of these dead warrior-kings were demons.  Jews believed that this area, with its connection to Fallen Angels and temples dedicated to Zeus and Baal worship, was the entryway to the underworld — the gates of Sheol, which simply means “the place of the dead” or “the place of departed souls/spirits.”  (The New Testament Greek equivalent is Hades, or in English, Hell).  In this case, with its history involving Fallen Angels, this was a place of evil departed spirits, or demons.
     Therefore, Peter clearly understood what Jesus was saying — that when He referred to “the rock” on which He would build His Church, He did not mean either Peter or Himself.  Peter and the other Disciples knew Jesus was talking about the very rock on which they were standing — the foot of Mount Hermon, the demonic headquarters of the Old Testament and the Greek world. So when Jesus declared His plan to start His Church on that very spot — on the top of the gates of hell — He is saying that He would crush both Evil and Death, and bury them!  He is saying that He intends for the power of His Church to be like a huge rock that will smash the rocks upon which the gates of hell rested — and He intends His Church to take the fight to the Enemy!

     I believe that Jesus is expressing His plan that those who would follow Him in faith (that is the Church; and Peter being the first in time, not authority) would be given the “keys to the Kingdom” in other words, the power to help establish Heaven on Earth — which was God’s plan from the beginning in the Garden of Eden.  God wants His realm — His Kingdom — to be the same on Earth as it is in Heaven.  That means no pain, no illnesses, no demonic attacks, no poverty, no fear, etc.  And that is the primary message Jesus came to deliver!  By healing infirmities, casting out demons, and sharing the Gospel of the Kingdom, He is telling the world that He came to help institute Heaven on Earth — and to show us what God’s Kingdom looks like.
     I believe Jesus meant the Church to be those who would share these same goals.  He gathered around him a group of disciples who participated in His spiritual healing power and teaching.  And I believe He fully intended His disciples to carry on His work together, as the Church.  But He makes it clear that He desires that everyone who would follow Him be on the same page as to His goals for the Kingdom.  And that’s where He mentions for the second and last time, the word Church.  
     In Matthew 18:15-20, I believe we get a more accurate picture of how Jesus saw the physical image of what we have come to know as the Church.  He is addressing His disciples on how to handle a community member who has separated himself from the community and refuses to listen. Jesus said, If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church, and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector … Again I say to you, that if two believers on earth agree [that is, are of one mind, in harmony] about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in My name [meeting together as My followers], I am there among them.
     Now this is where I am probably going to lose those who are well entrenched in their mega-church buildings, and those who like their image as part of a particular Christian organization or established religion.  First, we need to acknowledge that the word “Church” is not the word Jesus would have used. Secondly, we have no actual way of knowing what word Jesus used, because He would have spoken in Aramaic, and we have no Aramaic translation of the New Testament.  However, when Matthew made his own personal translation of what Jesus said in Aramaic, he felt that the best translation of what Jesus said in Aramaic was the Greek word, ekklesia, which means “a gathering” or “assembly” in English.
     But note how Jesus describes what our English Bibles call “the church” in Matthew 18 — He clearly says that where two or three are gathered in His Name, they are meeting together as His followers, and constitute a gathering, an assembly, a congregation [a fellowship], a church of Believers.  So how did we get to this “written in stone” concept of Church as a hierarchy of institutionalized religion and symbolized by an image of a building full of people?
     Perhaps when His Second Coming didn’t happen as quickly as the disciples anticipated, they set about establishing some sort of an organization to carry on after their lifetimes.  I believe the early communities of disciples and Believers tried to carry on His physical/spiritual healing and His teachings that centered on establishing God’s Heavenly Kingdom here on earth; of binding evil on Earth as it is bound [restricted] in Heaven, and loosing God’s healing on Earth as it is loosed [unleashed] in Heaven. But as the apostles and First Century disciples passed from the scene, the message of establishing the heavenly Kingdom on earth began changing to a message of personal salvation, which was a product of faith in Jesus.  “The Church” made Salvation their primary message, and sadly, I cannot dismiss the selfish implications of this thought — not that Salvation through faith in Jesus isn’t important for our eternal destiny, but the message of Salvation is all about us. The Message of the Kingdom of God is all about Jesus and the Father! Jesus clearly told us that He was sent for the primary purpose of preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God (Luke 4:43).  Furthermore, He admonished us to Seek first, the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). 
     So have we done that?  Are we, as “The Church” an embodiment of His teachings and commandments? Have we gathered in small communities and assemblies and promoted the idea that we, as His followers, are to bring about the Kingdom of God on earth — as it is in Heaven — by healing the sick; ridding the earth of the influence of Satan and his demons; teaching others what it means to have faith in Jesus and receiving the gift of Salvation and eternal life in return?  Jesus told us, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?
     Again, I always feel as if I must tell you that I am not indicting the entire Body of Christ or those that choose to worship Him in fellowship in buildings.  I simply want all of us to look deeper at what Christ has chosen to reveal in His Word.  And I want all of us to consider this question, as posed by the website, The Real Truth:  If Jesus walked the earth today, and had to choose from the myriad of Churches in America, would He choose to attend your Church?  Remember, at the end of His earthly ministry, and just before His ascension into Heaven, He gave a command to the soon-to-be apostles: “Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy [Spirit]: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20). 

     So, do our churches observe ALL THINGS as commanded by Jesus?  If He walked into any church in America today, what would He hear, or what would He find?  Isn’t it acceptable to think that whatever Christ taught the original apostles, He would expect to find in His Church?  Would He find a Church that taught the foundational principles of His teachings, or one that extolled their own denominational doctrine?  Would He find your church celebrating the Holy Feast Days as commanded by God, or observing man-made holy days called Christmas and Easter, while rationalizing that they commemorate Him? (And then ask yourself this question:  Do you think Christmas and Easter are celebrated in Heaven — or Passover, Feast of Tabernacles, etc.? … On Earth as it is in Heaven, remember?).
     Again, if Jesus entered your church, would He find disciples healing the sick (as Peter did) and casting out demons (as the 70 evangelists did)?  Or would He hear condemnation of those acts as heresy?  Would He hear a message from the pulpit saying, “While we are to try to keep the Ten Commandments, it is not necessary [to keep them] to receive eternal life. Jesus did away with those ‘Old Testament Laws’ and nailed them to the Cross”.  Do you think He might want to stand up and shout, Remember what I told you in Matthew 19:17: If you would enter life, keep the commandments!
     These are just a few of my thoughts about how Jesus would look upon The Church today.  Are we hearing His voice?  And does He know us?  Are we truly following Him in ALL His ways?  Are we producing any fruit?  And if so, is it fruit that He recognizes — or is it the world that commends us?  My spirit just keeps bombarding me with all these thoughts because I sense that the Harvest is near. And as the Church, it is incumbent upon us that we ask ourselves if we have prepared the soil (the world) to receive the seed (His message of the Kingdom); if we have cultivated that soil (broken up the plans of the Enemy to deceive the world) so that our King might reap the harvest He left us in charge of.
     You see, I fear that we have concentrated on watering the plants in our own garden (our church buildings) instead of preparing and cultivating the fields in the outside world.  And while I see fruit being borne within the assembly, the world doesn’t seem to get to share in savoring the sweet taste of Jesus. With His return eminent, I suspect that Jesus is looking forward to a Great Harvest.  The Church was to play a part in bringing that about, both in the spiritual and physical realms.  How have we stood the test of time, and how will He judge us?

And He said to them,  The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest”.
   
   

How To Make Cheeseburger Beef Jerky

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How To Make Cheeseburger Beef Jerky You read the title right! How to make cheeseburger beef jerky. I thought I saw just about every jerky there was… that’s why I love doing this, I learn something new everyday. Jerky is tasty and comes in all variety of flavors from spicy to sweet. I was trying …

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Preserving fish for long-term survival

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Living in a world where supermarkets are out of business is certainly no easy task. In order to survive in such world, you will be forced to hunt or fish for your food. Fishing for long-term sustenance requires for you to know various methods of preserving fish. Of all flesh foods, fish is the most … Read more…

The post Preserving fish for long-term survival was written by David Andrew Brown and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

The Green Beret’s Winter Survival Training Guide

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winterprep2Have you ever considered what you will do if you have to bug out in winter? Being exposed to the elements puts you and your family at risk and it is paramount to be ready for that scenario.

It’s time to learn the basics of surviving in harsh environments. These basics will help you to inspire confidence in yourself and your skills.  Winter weather and a cold environment with snow and ice on the ground presents challenges, but they can be overcome and mastered with practice – all that is needed is equipping yourself with the knowledge to do so.

Jeremiah Johnson, our own personal Green Beret, is helping us train to be winter ready. One thing he emphasizes in a lot of his articles is that our preps aren’t the only aspect of prepping that we should focus on.


“None of us are going to be completely prepared when the bottom drops out.  Knowledge and skills should be desirous over materials, because with these you can either acquire what is needed or improvise out of what can be fabricated into something useful.”


He has been writing quite a bit about winter survival lately, and now is the time to put theory into practice. With the right gear, you can blend into your environment and survive in the harshest of environments. Here are some great articles to help you focus on winter survival!

 

Gear

What To Wear in the Harshest Conditions

Take Care of Your Feet and Your Odds of Survival Increase

How to Blend into a Winter Environment

12 Budget-Friendly Survival Essentials for the Cold Outdoors

Don’t Get Caught in the Cold Without this Essential Prep

 

Health and First-Aid

Why Drinking More Water During Winter Is Crucial to Your Survival

7 Fundamental Requirements for Cold Weather Injuries

Frostbite: How To Survive Winter’s Unrelenting Brutality

10 Must-Have First Aid Supplies for Preventing Hypothermia

 

Survival Theory

Procuring Protein Sources in Winter

Critical Training Techniques to Overcome the Elements

When You Lose Power this Winter, Here’s What You’ll Need

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

7 Emergency Water Sources for Apartment Dwellers

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  This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Water is such a crucial need – you can only go three days without water. A lot of people who prepare plan to fill the bathtub before a hurricane, ice storm or other predicted emergency. However, if a disaster were to happen suddenly, it would not be possible to fill the bathtub ahead of time. To be sure you are prepared for a sudden water emergency, store enough water for drinking as […]

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Try making hardtack: A great, cheap addition to your survival gear

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Looking for a way to use up surplus flour, or make a cheap trail food or durable survival ration? One answer may be hardtack, a baked, unleavened wheat cracker. As a survival food, hardtack has a proven track record.

by Leon Pantenburg

Vicksburg, MS: My gray-clad brothers-in-arms and I  hunkered down to eat. In the morning, we would do battle with those “heathen Yankee horde” Civil War re-enactors at Champions Hill, between Jackson and Vicksburg,  Mississippi.

I was “under cover” on assignment for the Vicksburg Post to photograph the battle, one of the biggest re-enactments of the year. Except for the Nikon safely hidden  in my haversack, my gear, weapons and accouterments were authentic in every way.

Hardtack can have different ingredients to make it more flavorable.

Hardtack can have different ingredients to make it more flavorable.

Since I was working for the Post, I had to represent the home team and be a Confederate. (This probably caused a minor earth tremor in Ruthven, Iowa, as my great-great-grandfather, James Hallowell,  92th Illinois Infantry, rolled in his grave!)

My only excuse was that like most Confederate soldiers, I had been drafted, thought “The Cause” was illogical, had no choice about being there, and wanted to go home!

I ‘d learned a lot about being a Civil War infantryman in one short, sweltering afternoon: the food was absolutely awful; our wool uniforms were too hot, and felt like you were wearing a sweatsuit: the Kepi-style caps provided no sun protection and the canteens were too small.

The Sargent, sensing my discontent (because of  my constant whining and complaining) picked on me.  He proclaimed to all within hearing distance that I was a “slacker,” and called me a “baboon” when I dropped my canteen during drill. As darkness fell, the re-enactors would sleep under wool blankets, not to stay warm, but to fight off mosquitoes.

But the food was the worst. Dinner was a piece of hardtack, a fatty piece of bacon toasted on a bayonet over a campfire;  horrible boiled coffee brewed in my tin cup and a wormy-looking apple. After eating my meager meal, I was ready to either desert or form a raiding party to attack  the Yankees and get some real food!

A hardtack biscuit

A modern hardtack biscuit

Hardtack is one of the original trail and emergency foods, and it is worth considering if you are a prepper or are interested in wilderness or urban survival.

The advantage is that hardtack is easy to make, transports easily and will last a reasonably long time if stored in appropriate containers. The disadvantage is the bland taste, and traditional toughness.

Even after yeast was discovered by the Egyptians, there was a purpose for unleavened breads. It was easy to carry and durable, so it was standard fare for hunters and warriors.  Centuries later, Christopher Columbus took unleavened bread on his journeys.

Hardtack remained a staple in the New World. During the early settlement of North America, the exploration of the continent, the American Revolution, and on through the American

Hardtack was a durable, if bland-tasting, field ration.

Civil War, armies were kept alive with hardtack.  A basic concept in war is that the side that keeps its soldiers from going hungry will probably win.

Hardtack is also reasonably nutritious. Wheat flour is more than 10% protein and includes Vitamin B. During emergencies, people can live for quite a while on just bread and water.  Although raw flour is hard to digest, in the form of hard bread, it is edible.

No one has determined just when, or how, during the American Civil War, hard bread began to be referred to as hardtack. Apparently,  it was first called hardtack by the Union Army of the Potomac; although the name spread to other units, it was generally referred to as hard bread by the armies of the West.

Regardless of the time frame, if you’re a history buff, prepper or hard-core survivalist, you should consider including hardtack in your emergency food supplies or survival kit. A guaranteed conversation starter at any campfire, campout or outdoor event, hardtack can have a useful place  in today’s survival kit.

(It only takes a few additional ingredients to turbocharge  the nutritional value of hardtack. To each cup of flour in the recipe, add one tablespoon of soy flour, one teaspoon of wheat germ and one teaspoon of powdered milk. There is no difference in the taste, and these ingredients combine to make the bread a complete protein.)

There are many versions and varieties of hardtack recipes: Try some of these to start out.

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 consistency of fired brick.

Swedish Hardtack

I cup water

3 tbsp. vegetable oil

3 tbsp. honey

3 cups rye flour (or 1 1/2 cups rye & 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour)

1  1/2 tbsp. brewer’s yeast (optional)

1/4 tsp. salt

Mix liquids together.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.  Combine the mixtures, stirring to moisten throughout.  Form a ball.  On a floured surface, flatten the dough, and roll out thinly. Cut into squares and prick each cracker with the tines of a fork a couple of times.  Transfer to lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 425° F for around 8 minutes, checking to be sure not to over-brown.  It is best served warm.

Mix: two cups of all-purpose flour and a half teaspoon of salt.  Use more salt for authenticity. Mix by hand. Add a teaspoon of shortening and a half cup of water, stirred in a little at a time to form a very stiff dough.  Beat the dough to a half inch thickness with a clean top mallet or rifle butt.  Fold the sheet of dough into six layers. Continue to beat and to fold the dough a half dozen times until it is elastic. Roll the dough out to a half-inch thickness before cutting it with a floured biscuit cutter or bayonet. Bake for about a half hour in a 325° F oven.

The basic ingredients are flour, salt and water. General directions are also similar: Dissolve the salt in water and work it into flour using your hands.  The dough should be firm and pliable but not sticky or dry. Flatten the dough onto a cookie sheet to about 1/4 inch thick, and cut into squares 3 inches by 3 inches.  Pierce each square with 16 holes about ½ inch apart.  Bake in oven until edges are brown or dough is hard.

Preheat the oven to 400° F For each cup of flour add 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix salt and flour with just enough water to bind. Bake 20-25 minutes.  The longer you bake the hardtack, the more authentic it will appear.

A Sailor’s Diet

In a separate container, mix:

  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk.
  • 3 tablespoons honey.
  • 1/2 cup melted bacon drippings or shortening.

Combine the two sets of ingredients. When the dough is thoroughly mixed, roll it out on a floured board to a thickness of about a quarter inch.  Cut out circles of dough with a large drinking glass dipped in flour and put them on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake for about 5 1/2 minutes at 450° F.

Let the hardtack cool on a wire rack before serving with jam or jelly.

 

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Ditch Medicine with The Herbal Prepper!

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Ditch Medicine Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio in player below! This episode is all about “ditch medicine”. Ditch medicine makes due with what you have on hand. The idea is to stay alive (or keep someone else alive) with whatever is available, until you reach help or help finds you. Sometimes this includes herbs, … Continue reading Ditch Medicine with The Herbal Prepper!

The post Ditch Medicine with The Herbal Prepper! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Be My Valentine: Win a Diffuser and Essential Oils from Spark Naturals

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Win a Diffuser and Essential Oils from Spark Naturals | Backdoor Survival

I feel that every household should include a diffuser. So does my favorite essential oil company, Spark Naturals. When they contacted me late last week and asked if I would like to give away a Sirq Diffuser and the Winter Blend collection of essential oils, I said: “of course”.

Be my valentine and enter to win a fantastic diffuser plus a collection of essential oil diffuser blends!

The post Be My Valentine: Win a Diffuser and Essential Oils from Spark Naturals by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Is Your Energy Bill Eating Too Much of Your Money

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Is your power bill out of control?

How do you get a lower energy bill when it is out of control?

It doesn’t matter where you live. I have a friend in South Africa who worries about her power bill, too. As we are moving from an off-grid cabin in the woods to an on-grid house that has never been renovated for energy efficiency, the thought of money trickling away through the power line is at the front of my mind! Where we live, there is no time-of-day billing, and we pay a base rate (somewhere around $10/month, I think) plus $0.148 per kilowatt hour, which gives us the second-highest electricity rates in Canada.

If you’re in Ontario, congratulations, you’re #1.

It’s no surprise that you’re trying to figure out ways to cut expenditures. The logical place to look is your living costs, and a major cost of living is your energy bill.

Most of us don’t receive our power bill and immediately think “Oh, well, that’s not too bad!” (Unless you’re totally on alternative energy like solar)  If you’re looking for some very actionable tips on a variety of utility bills, head over here. If your energy bill is much larger than it needs to be, you might be running it up in ways you don’t even notice.

Now who am I to tell you how to get your power bill down? Well, for three years we lived in an off-grid cabin in the woods and we learned how to make the most of our limited electricity. At the height of the summer, we had about 2kwh of electricity per day. Since moving our family of six to a 2800 square foot, 4 bedroom house on grid, we’ve gone to an extravagant 16 kwh daily. (We’re still getting used to living in this big house – that will go down!)

When you do things that waste energy, you’re also throwing away your money.

Decide you’re going to fervently find and address all the ways you’re leaking energy and money at home. The enjoyable result of your diligence will be some relief from those large electric bills!

Check out these hidden energy drains that eat up your funds (and I know you do at least one of them!)

Leaving your cell phone and electronic tablet chargers plugged in all the time

This might come as a shock but did you know that even if you don’t have your cell phone or tablet plugged in at the other end, these chargers are using energy?

Speaking of chargers, if you leave your cell phone charging after it reaches 100%, it continues to waste valuable energy. So, avoid plugging your cell phone in at night before you go to bed. If you do, it will be draining wasted electricity all night.

Not changing air filters often enough

Have you vowed to change your air conditioner/furnace filter monthly but then don’t do it? Your blower is trying to get precious warm or cool air to you through the vents. But the air can’t get through to be sent through your house if your filter is all clogged up with dust bunnies, pet hair, and dirt.

However you set reminders – your planner, your cell phone or Google emails – make sure that you’re reminded to change your filters on the first of every month.

If appliances don’t have to work hard to heat and cool, you’ll save dollars.

Using appliances that aren’t Energy Star

As you probably know, the Energy Star rating signifies reduced energy utilization to run the appliance, which is a good thing that saves you money.

Even though it probably isn’t economically feasible to run right out and replace all your major appliances with Energy Star appliances, it does make sense to replace old, worn-out appliances with Energy Star products. Insist on Energy Star products when you’re shopping for new appliances.

The seller of our new house included all of her appliances. They’re not old, but they’re not Energy Star. We’ll be keeping our eye out for sales!

Having standard incandescent light bulbs

Do you avoid compact fluorescent bulbs? If you were to replace the 3 most used lights in your home with LED or compact fluorescent bulbs, you would be pleasantly surprised with the results on your electric bill.

Here in Nova Scotia, if you qualify as low income (less than $30K annual income for a family of four, I believe), Efficiency Nova Scotia will replace all incandescent lights with LED without charge. Check to see if your local government has a similar program.

Appliances, gadgets, lamps, televisions, and more that stay plugged in all the time

Although it might be a hassle to unplug and plug in things frequently, the electric companies stress you can save some money if you only plug in items when you’re actually using them.

It might be a bit more exercise to plug and unplug things, like the coffeepot, toaster, lamps, televisions and the like. But you stand to save considerable energy and dollars if you do.

Water heaters set at too high a temperature

Sure, you like to take a hot shower, but does it have to be that hot? Think about the fact that if you set your water heater for 130 or 140F, then it is constantly trying to keep all of the water it holds at that temperature, not knowing when you’ll need the water. You can see how that would waste energy and cost you money.  And there is a increased chance of children or the elderly accidentally burning themselves.

Instead, reduce the temperature setting to 120 degrees. You’ll save quite a bit.

Of course, this only works if you have a gas or electric hot water heater. If you are heating your home with hot water (as is the case in my new house), the water is automatically heated by the furnace and arrives at your tap piping hot and anti-scald devices must be added to all taps and showerheads. In that case, lowering the temperature would reduce the effectiveness of your heat.

In fact, we will be looking into installing a small electric hot water tank to use during the summer – that way we can turn the furnace off entirely in the summer and keep the hot water tank at 120F instead of 160F+.

When it comes to saving costs to run your home, consider doing something about the above drains on your electricity and wallet. You’ll feel great when you do what you can to reduce your energy and budget expenditures every single day.

A lower energy bill makes everyone feel better.