How To Make a Stun Gun With a Disposable Camera

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How To Make a Stun Gun With a Disposable Camera This is the guide to make a device which runs on a battery and produces sparks at tens of thousands of volts very rapidly. DO NOT use this for any other reason then self defense. A stun gun is a very handy thing to have …

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The Cheap, Easy-To-Make Survival Lamp Your Great-Grandparents Used

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The Cheap, Easy-To-Make Survival Lamp Your Great-Grandparents Used

Imagine you are sitting in a log cabin, or perhaps hunkered down in a lean-to or some other makeshift shelter in the woods. It’s dark, and you’d like more light than your fire provides so you can do some chores.

Maybe you are mending your socks, or sewing a button back in place, enjoying a meal, or just trying to do a little reading before bed. Or maybe you are in a survival situation, and have lost modern means of lighting, or the grid has gone down, and your rural homestead still needs lighting. Or maybe you just like the tools and skills of the past. Either way, it’s dark and you want some light. There are a number of traditional means of lighting your home or shelter, ranging from kerosene lamps, to wax or tallow candles, to the often-forgotten tallow lamp.

Illumination through combustion was the first way our ancestors fought off the darkness, starting with fires and torches, and reaching a point of refinement with pressurized white gas and propane before the electric light won out in the end.

Until petroleum refining took off in the mid-19th century, natural fats and oils provided that illumination. In the Middle East, olive oil was a popular illuminating oil, and at one time, whale oil lit the homes of the well-to-do and wealthy in Europe and America. However, by and large for the common person, candles provided that light. But hunters, natives and the very poor knew of another light that could be as simple as placing melted tallow (a rendered form of fat) in a shallow dish and setting it alight, or using a bit of cloth or porous fiber, string, twine, etc., to serve as a wick. It is a traditional method of lighting that has existed for thousands of years.

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These very simple lights can be made from material readily found in the wilderness, and a tablespoon or so of tallow has been shown to provide useful light for about 45 minutes, making it perfect for working on evening tasks before bed, or even just a few minutes with your Bible or another book. Like all simple tools, the tallow lamp can seem more complex than it really is to our modern mind, so let’s take a look at a common way of making them.

Seashells were one way of holding the tallow, but you also could do it with a piece of bark, a stone with a hollow in it, a small dish, or really anything capable of holding the tallow. For a wick, an inch or two of simple string or twine will suffice, as will a strip of scrap cloth.

Melt the tallow and pour it around your wick (it can be laying sideways if needed), or even press unmelted tallow or fat around the wick. You also can run the wick through a button that will hold it upright in the pool of tallow (a so-called button lamp) and make it a bit more efficient.

What you get with just a minute or two of work is a crude, but effective, lamp. This would not be suitable as your primary lighting source unless you had no other choice, but it becomes invaluable for the stranded hunter or in a total societal collapse. (It’s a great way to use up rancid or heavily used cooking fats, though.)

One of the biggest drawbacks to the tallow lamp, aside from the low levels of light it produces and the fact that it is both smoky and can put out an odor, is that it demands the use of edible fats. You can make lamps along these lines with any kind of natural oil, and as we all know (or should know) fats are very important in a survival situation. Fat consumption provides valuable caloric energy, so this puts tallow lamps strictly in the realm of something to use when you have a sufficient fat supply.

Making tallow lamps isn’t hard. While they are not the greatest source of light, they are more than sufficient for personal use, and are a useful tool when you have no other source of light.

Have you ever made a tallow lamp? Share your tips in the section below:

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

How To Make Natural Tiger Balm

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How To Make Natural Tiger Balm The time-proven blend of herbal ingredients in Tiger Balm provides safe and effective topical pain relief for sore muscles, arthritis, neck and shoulder stiffness, and just about any other minor muscle or joint aches or pains that may come your way. Tiger Balm is a topical analgesic (pain reliever) …

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14 Prepper Items To Look For At Garage Sales

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14 Prepper Items To Look For At Garage Sales Garage sale season is here! This is the time of year when people do their spring cleaning, clear out their basements and attics, have garage sales, and sell valuable items for next to nothing. If you haven’t been to any garage sales yet this year, you …

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20 Amazing Uses For Soap You Never Thought Of

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20 Amazing Uses For Soap You Never Thought Of I haven’t used soap in years, it makes my skin dry and itchy BUT I read this fantastic article from modernsurvivalblog.com that goes over 20 amazing uses for soap. I never knew soap could be so useful. I will for sure buy some cheap soap now to …

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PRACTICAL TACTICAL NAMED ONE OF THE TOP 75 SURVIVAL SITES TO PREPARE YOU FOR THE END OF THE WORLD

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Lockpick World has named Practical Tactical one of their Top 75 Survival Sites and Blogs!

We are thrilled to announce that the good folks at Lockpick World have included us on their list of the top 75 survival sites and blogs alongside some of the heavyweights and best known haunts of those that run in preparedness circles.

Our goal has always been to help anyone interested in readiness and resilience get started on their journey to preparedness without feeling overwhelmed, while still offering something for the more advanced preppers among us. Joining the likes of JW Rawles’ Survival Blog, Tess Pennington’s Ready Nutrition, Lisa the Survival Mom, Survivor Jane, and Chris Martenson’s Peak Prosperity on this list must be proof that we’re doing something right and we are grateful to be mentioned with such a distinguished group.

We will continue to do our very best to help anyone interested in preparedness achieve their readiness goals. We strive only to be worthy of your time and we can’t wait to see you out there.

Keep up with everything Practical Tactical by subscribing to our mailing list and be sure to LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW us across all of our social media platforms as well.

Will the Islamic Invasion Destroy Europe?

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Nearly daily there are articles reporting new attacks in Europe perpetrated by immigrants.  These attacks range in severity from petty crime and assaults to mass sexual assaults, riots, and terrorism. 

February Seed Starting Schedule

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February Seed Starting Schedule February is the month when indoor seed starting begins for most gardeners.  Even those of you that live in some of the coldest parts of the country will be able to start a few seedlings in February.  A few basic supplies and a simple shop light are all you need to …

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San Antonio, TX Tornadoes

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The photos are from this weekends’ San Antonio, TX tornadoes. Who would think main transmission lines could be taken out by a tornado. I’m pretty sure this won’t be an overnight repair, hope all are prepared. I have yet to hear just how many communities are without power because of these lines being down, but it goes to show the disaster can be hundreds of miles away and still impact your life.

Here’s a case for simple prep like a small generator to run the refrigerator and freezer plus a spare 12v battery you can keep charged for nighttime lighting and TV.



Riots erupt in Sweden as Mainstream Media Attempts to Coverup Chaos

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As the mainstream media feverishly attempts to cover up the ongoing crisis in Sweden, the Associated Press is reporting that Riots have yet again broken out in Rinkeby, just north of Stockholm. […]

The post Riots erupt in Sweden as Mainstream Media Attempts to Coverup Chaos appeared first on Off Grid Survival – Wilderness & Urban Survival Skills.

‘God Bless You’ After Sneeze Is Harassment, Public School Teacher Argues

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‘God Bless You’ After Sneeze Is Harassment, Public School Teacher Argues

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Saying the words “God bless you” apparently now can be construed as harassment. Susan Creamer, a teacher at Merritt Brown Middle School in Panama City, Fla., complained on Facebook about her students saying the phrase.

Her comments were made on the Atheists of Bay County Facebook page.

“There is a bevy of boys in one of my classes (middle school) who are taking turns either inviting me to their church or leaving (anonymously) flyers inviting me to church events. Today, I found one on the A/V cart I use for a podium,” she wrote, according to the Northwest Florida Daily Times.

“Every time any child sneezes, they loudly say ‘God bless you!’ and look in my direction. I have complained twice to my principal – one last month and once today,” she wrote. “She has spoken privately to one or two of the little cretins, but it seems to do NO GOOD.

Awaken Your Child’s Love Of Learning And Put God Back Into History! Read More Here.

“I am feeling bullied and harassed. It has become intolerable,” Creamer concluded. “I don’t feel like talking with the parents will stop the inappropriate behaviors because, for all I know, the parents are encouraging them. Any suggestions?”

School authorities were concerned about Creamer’s description of students as “little cretins.” Dictionary.com describes a cretin as a “a stupid, obtuse, or mentally defective person.” School policy bars teachers from criticizing students, even if it is on a social media page.

At least one parent blamed Creamer herself for the situation.

“First and foremost she should not be discussing her religious preferences (or lack thereof) with any of these students,” Crystal Mosley wrote in a letter to the school superintendent. “Had she not been proudly boasting of her atheism these children would not know of her personal beliefs and I would not be addressing this situation.”

Jeromy Henderson, a member of the Atheists of Bay County Facebook page, defended Creamer.

“It was never meant for public consumption,” he told the newspaper. “She was just looking for advice from the group on how to deal with students she felt were harassing her. Yes, her terminology was off-putting, but she was just looking for advice about how to deal with them.”

Who do you think is right? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Entertain Your Kids Hours On The Road — Without A DVD Player! Read More Here.

Survival Lessons From The Man Who Didn’t Eat For An ENTIRE YEAR

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Survival Lessons From The Man Who Didn’t Eat For An ENTIRE YEAR

Angus Barbieri prior to his fast.

On July 12, 1966, the Chicago Tribune published an article about the unlikely story of Angus Barbieri, a man in Scotland who was eating a breakfast consisting of a boiled egg, some buttered bread and coffee. This was no ordinary breakfast, though. It was actually the breaking of a fast that had started more than a year earlier. Specifically, it was the first food Barbieri consumed in 392 days. During that time, he literally ate no food. No meat, no vegetables, no fruit, no smoothies, no light meals.

When he started his diet, Barbieri tipped the scales at a whopping 472 pounds at only 26 years of age. No sources divulge much information as to how the young man got so heavy, other than he worked in his parent’s fish and chips house. Being so heavy, Angus was looking for a way to get back down to a healthy weight. After consulting with doctors, they agreed he should try “total starvation” in an attempt to lose the weight. Angus agreed, and the fast was on.

For the next 392 days, Angus was completely devoted to the task at hand. He quit his job and worked closely with doctors, who monitored his condition. Although he didn’t eat any solid food, his body still needed some vitamins to endure the brutal starvation. The Chicago Tribune reported he consumed only water, soda water, tea, and coffee, along with prescribed vitamins during the fast. “I occasionally had a little milk or sugar in my tea,” he said. During the fast, he reportedly stayed in hospitals for two or three days at a time, and then returned home. After his grueling year was over, Barbieri weighed a trim 179 pounds — and was not planning on returning to work in the fish and chips house, which his family had sold. He even said he had forgotten what food tasted like.

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What a unique and interesting story. As a disclaimer, this is article is not intended to endorse starvation as a means to lose weight. In fact, the same doctor who supervised the fast reported he knew of “five fatalities coinciding with the treatment of obesity by total starvation.” In other words, five other people had died trying to do the same thing. Don’t try this at home.

This story, though, may teach us something about short-term survival situations and the tremendous adaptations the body makes.

Survival Lessons From The Man Who Didn’t Eat For An ENTIRE YEAR

Image source: Pixabay.com

The first lesson Mr. Barbieri can teach us is that food isn’t a top priority if we find ourselves in a bind. Simply put, our bodies can go for quite an extended period of time without eating. Yes, Angus was in a unique situation hundreds of pounds of fat stores clinging to his body, but the fact stands to reason. Even a relatively fit individual likely has enough fat reserves to last long enough to endure a short-term situation. Dangers like dehydration and hypothermia are much bigger concerns. There even have been reports of people dying from thirst in as little as two days. If you’re in a bad spot, finding water and shelter should be your first priority.

Second, this incredible story teaches us a bit about how the body is designed. Obesity is a growing problem in America, and we tend to view fat as a bad thing. The truth, though, is that throughout history, a limited amount of body fat was a good thing. Every pound of body fat contains roughly 3,500 calories – which can be useful during a survival situation. With the irregular diets of some of our ancestors, the ability to store fat was a survival must.

The Survival Water Filter That Fits In Your POCKET!

Of course, our diets and sedentary lifestyles have made packing on the pounds easy. On the upside, they also have given us a bit of insurance if we find ourselves in a bad spot. Even if you find yourself in the most remote location in the lower 48 states, you likely have enough calories on your body to make the trek out – provided the temperatures don’t kill you first. Again, finding water and shelter are much higher priorities than finding food. In fact, one survival expert, Dave Canterbury, told Off The Grid Radio that he encourages people who aren’t foragers not to eat anything in a short-term survival situation, out of fear they might eat something poisonous.

Keep in mind, though, that this view of survival applies only to short-term situations. Long-term situations would require a different approach in order to replenish your calories. Otherwise, you’ll simply become too weak to achieve any of your survival chores.

Although the unique story of Angus Barbieri is an interesting tale, it does offer up a few lessons for folks interested in survival and the human body. We can be comforted knowing that we all are likely carrying around at least a few days of calories in fat reserves on our body. Know the real dangers you face if you happen to be stranded, and plan accordingly.

How long do you think you could go without food and still survive? Share your survival tips in the section below:

Discover The Secret To Saving Thousands At The Grocery Store. Read More Here.

7 Tips For Surviving Radiation Exposure

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The world is making an increasing move towards sustainable energy sources like nuclear power, and while it’s reported a lot safer than in the years of the Chernobyl Disaster (1986), exposure to radiation is still a concern for many. Radiation leaks at Japan’s Fukushima plant – the country’s number one producer of nuclear energy – […]

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Rubber Plant (Ficus Elastica) Care And Growing Tips

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The post Rubber Plant (Ficus Elastica) Care And Growing Tips is by
hp4u and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

The mighty rubber tree has been a favorite houseplant since the Victorian era. It’s hardy, easy to care for, and actually removes toxins from the air in your home!In this guide, we’ll take a look at exactly how to care for your own rubber tree plant​rubber plant, rubber tree plant, rubber plant care, rubber tree […]

The post Rubber Plant (Ficus Elastica) Care And Growing Tips is by
hp4u and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

National Weather Service Warns Flooded Californians: Pack A Bug-Out Bag

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National Weather Service Warns Flooded Californians: Pack A Bug-Out BagSACRAMENTO, Calif. – The majority of Northern California remained under a flood warning Tuesday as record rains continued, and the National Weather Service even urged residents to gather essential items in the equivalent of a bug-out bag.

More than 14 million people are under a flood warning until Thursday, including the area around the Oroville Dam which experienced a mass evacuation just before Valentine’s Day.

Sacramento has received 26 inches of rain since Oct. 1, double what the city normally gets during the same time, The Sacramento Bee reported. San Francisco has seen 24.38 inches of rain.

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With mudslides and floods threatening the region and reservoirs at capacity, the National Weather Service in Sacramento issued a dire warning:  “Gather important items, documents and medications in a ‘go bag’ in case you need to evacuate quickly. Don’t forget to plan for your pets, too. Make sure your vehicles have a full tank of gas.”

Thousands of residents in the towns of Prunedale and Salinas have been without power since the storms started Friday, forcing schools in the area to close

“We’re on our 56th hour without power now and it’s getting a little brisk inside the house,” Prunedale’s Gary Bolden told KSBW.

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On Monday, the levee broke in San Joaquin County near Manteca, which is an hour south of Sacramento. More than 500 people were forced to evacuate. The situation was so severe that local farmers took their own excavators and tractors to the level to help fix it.

Elsewhere, another dam, the Anderson Dam just southeast of San Jose, attracted sightseers as its spillway began releasing water from the Anderson Reservoir for the first time in 11 years in a scene local media were comparing to Niagara Falls. Officials are concerned because the dam was not built to withstand an earthquake when the reservoir is at 68 percent capacity. As of now it is at 100 percent; a 7.25 magnitude earthquake could cause the dam to fail, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

What is your reaction? Do you think most Americans are prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Be Prepared For A Downed Grid. Read More Here.

Mountain Biking Getting A Kit Together

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Mountain biking, just the thought of it conjures up images of Rough Mountain trails, crisp pine scented air, and spectacular views. In many cases, the reality will match your imagination. However, there is another reality you may have to deal with along the trail and that is survival. What ifs have to be dealt with, and thus, how you prepare for your mountain biking adventure may determine whether you survive or not if you find yourself in a survival situation miles from civilization.

As a side note, mountain biking is an ideal way to stay in shape while enjoying nature, not to mention the planning and preparation aspect of the adventure  helps to build survival skills, which can be used in any situation.

You don’t ride your mountain bike on city sidewalks or generally along well-marked biking trails. No, you want the rough terrain, and you want to imagine you are the first one to see the spectacular views and to inhale the rarefied air. You want the challenge, but what happens when there is a mechanical failure, a flat tire, or a chain becomes loose or even if your bike cannot get you back home, what ifs and what if you are caught in a survival challenge.

Mechanical devices can and will fail, and according to Murphy’s Law, (if anything can go wrong it will) they will never fail while sitting in the garage. It’s always along the trail miles from anywhere. You have to assume you could end up on foot when out mountain biking. If the terrain is rough for your bike imagine how rough it will be if you have to hike out. Not only can you end up on foot, you could end up spending a night or two along the trail.

To Keep You Bike Rolling Along You Will Need Tools and Materials

  • Patch Kit And Make Sure It Is A Quality One, And  That You Have More Than Just One Patch, Fresh Glue, And Make Sure You Know Exactly How To Use The Patch Kit
  • Spare Tube (s)
  • Tire Pump And Make Sure You Know Your Valves (Presta valve/ Schrader valve) You Can Use CO² Canisters as Well
  • Tools To Remove Wheel If Needed

Many Bikes Will have Tension Levers, Which means You Do Not Need an Adjustable Wrench or Socket to Remove the Wheel

The above listed are the basics, but the basics are not enough if you become stranded, or lost or stranded because of an injury. Remember, you may have to spend the night in the wilds.

Survival Kit

Pack for overnight regardless of how long you expect to be gone. You always have to assume something could happen. Those that believe nothing will ever happen always curse the fact something did happen, and the fact they failed to prepare. The unexpected, no, you are packing for the expected crisis. If you expect it to happen, you will prepare accordingly.

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Started a Meal Plan to Eat Healthier; Ended Up Helping Us Prep Too

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Started a Meal Plan to Eat Healthier; Ended Up Helping Us Prep Too

Like pretty much everyone I know, I always figured I could loose a little bit of weight and be all the healthier and all the happier for it. Unlike pretty much everyone I know, I never bothered to convince myself that starting a new diet and half-assing it would be the way out. Last year,… Read More

This is just the start of the post Started a Meal Plan to Eat Healthier; Ended Up Helping Us Prep Too. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Started a Meal Plan to Eat Healthier; Ended Up Helping Us Prep Too, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Best Canned Meat For Your Deep Pantry Food Storage

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The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowances) for daily intake of protein is 56 grams for men and 46 grams for women. In other words that’s approximately several ounces per person per day. Note that these min. requirements do not factor laborious working conditions. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends that 10–35% of your daily calories […]

Survival Tips for Camping

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The great outdoors is in fact great. It provides food, fresh air and a chance to unplug from technology and reconnect with nature. Sometimes, though, the great outdoors isn’t so great, turning your fun overnight hiking trip or weekend camping trip into a rough, wet, tiring experience. Here are 8 camping survival tips and tricks to make your experience a little more manageable and enjoyable.

  1. Make fishhooks from a zipper or tab from an aluminum can.

Whether you’ve lost, broken, run out of or forgot to pack fishhooks, don’t fear. You can make one using a zipper or the tab off an aluminum can. Simply break off the loop on one side, pull it out to a 90-degree angle and then sharpen the exposed tip on a rock until it becomes a sharp point.

  1. Use an aluminum can as a stove.

You can use a soda pop or beer can when you need a portable camping stove. First, you need to use your knife to cut a capital shaped I into one side of the can, with a vertical cut and a horizontal cut at the bottom and top. Next, you peel open the “window” you just created, place your fire starters inside the can and then light it for your very own portable, windproof cooking stove.

  1. Use loose strands from your socks as fire starters.

If you or someone with you happens to be wearing cotton or wool socks, you can use any loose strands from said socks as fire starters if you can’t find any other fire-starting materials.

Just take your shoes off, pluck the strands from each sock and make a flammable tinder pile. Once you have your little pile, set it where you want your fire and throw a few sparks on it to start your needed fire.

  1. Dry your boots out faster with fire-heated rocks.

Wet feet are the worst. Whenever your boots get wet, don’t just sit them by the campfire. That method takes way too long to thoroughly dry them out. Instead, gather up two or four large and dry non-porous rocks and place them on the edge of your campfire. Once the rocks are really hot, carefully place them into your shoes. Don’t use your hands unless you have thick gloves on, and really it’s best to use sticks or some kind of kitchen utensil to remove the rocks from the fire and place them in your shoes. This method may seem wacky, but it works at a quicker pace to thoroughly dry wet shoes from the inside and outside.

  1. Use tarp to make an emergency rain shelter.

Never leave for an overnight camping trip without a tarp, even if the weather forecast says no rain. Storms can hit out of nowhere and ruin your night in the great outdoors. A tarp makes a great shelter against unexpected rain. Create your emergency rain shelter by staking one corner of the tarp facing the wind. Next, prop a pole up under the opposite corner, and then tie a strong line from the top of the pole to a ground stake. Next you want to tightly pull the remaining two corners and stake them into the ground. The end result is a half-pyramid shape rain shelter that provides good water drainage, can stand up against strong winds and keeps you dry.

  1. Utilize a shower curtain to keep the floor of your tent dry overnight.

If you don’t have enough tarps but have an old shower curtain at home, fold it up and bring it with you. Unfold it and place it underneath your tent to keep your tent’s floor dry (as well as you and your sleeping bag) during the night and early morning. In the morning, you can throw it out or lay it out in the sun to dry so you can reuse it later that night.

  1. Keep pesky bugs away by throwing a stick of sage into your campfire.

It doesn’t matter how much you love nature—no one loves being eaten by mosquitos or having bugs flying around them and their food. If you forgot bug spray or ever run out, you can still keep those pesky bugs away from your campsite. Just find a stick of sage and throw it into your campfire. Bugs don’t like the sage scent that emits from your fire, making it an effective and natural way to keep bugs away.

  1. Always pack the right camping supplies.

Last on our list, and arguably the most important, is to bring along essential camping supplies, including a knife, warm sleeping bag, energy-boosting snacks, extra water, extra clothes, first aid kit, a compass and an emergency shelter. These supplies can literally be a lifesaver. You may not end up using every item you pack, but it’s always better to be prepared for every worst-case camping scenario.

The post Survival Tips for Camping appeared first on American Preppers Network.

2 Ax Techniques for Fast Firewood Splitting

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by Todd Walker

2 Ax Techniques for Fast Firewood Splitting ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

The permanent scars on my parent’s car port floor are a reminder of that grand idea Craig and I came up with while splitting firewood in 1977. The winter wind felt like we were tied to a whipping post.

“Let’s get out of the wind.”

“How ’bout the car port? The wood’s gotta be stacked in there anyway.”

Not our best idea ever, but we set up shop on the two-year old concrete floor. Driving the metal wedge with 8-pound sledge hammers, a few, quite a few actually, shot like bullets through the wooden rounds followed by a distinctive twang of metal meeting concrete.

“Ya think he’ll notice?”

“Nah. It’s just a few dimples. And we’ll stack wood on top anyway.” Upon further inspection, they were chunks, not dimples.

Had we known of these two splitting techniques, we could have saved Daddy’s new floor… and a lot trouble when he got home from work.

The Twist Technique

The normal way to turn big rounds of wood into little stuff is to use a splitting maul or hammer and steel wedge. These tools are heavier than an ax and doesn’t mind eating grit, even an occasional rock under ground. But they’re heavy fellows and not convenient to tote to base camp. A proper ax is easier to carry and does a noble job of separating wood rounds.

There are many frustrating ways to split wood. Typically, one balances a round atop a chopping block, takes aim, swings, and one becomes two pieces. And neither piece stays on the platform for further splitting. The cycle of bending over, balancing a half-round atop the chopping block, and splitting again is about as fun as a pulling teeth. Even using an old tire to hold the stick together while splitting requires lifting and placing the wood inside the tire.

If you want to speed up the splitting process, put a twist on your swing.

Stance, Swing, and Safety

Trees, like people, are different yet have similarities. No matter the wood species, when possible to determine, split rounds from top to bottom. That is, position the wood vertically as it grew in the forest, top end up, bottom (butt) down.

Longer axes are safer than short-handled ones. When splitting, even on a chopping block (backed-up vertical stroke), with a boys ax (24 to 28 inch length), if you miss the target and chopping block all together, your follow through will likely turn your foot into a clove hoof. A 36 inch or longer handled ax extends the swing arc and would stop in the ground on miss hits.

With that in mind, and the fact that we’re not using a chopping block, we’re actually splitting what would traditionally be used as a chopping block – a big, round chunk resting on the ground. A slight twist or flick of the handle at the moment the ax meets the wood will prevent the ax from traveling through the length of wood.

To start, target the outside edge of the round. For my swing, I aim about 3 inches in on the outside edge of the chunk. My right hand grips the bottom of the handle and flicks or twists to the right on impact. You’ll be moving around the chuck steadily removing wood so make sure your area is clear of all tripping hazards and swing obstructions.

Clear, straight-grained wood like the Red Oak in the video makes for fine splitting… until you hit a knot. At that point, the twist technique is not effective. Other tree species can be difficult to split even with a splitting maul. Sweet Gum, for instance, reveals a mangled, interlocking grain which frustrates the most seasoned wood splitter. The best strategy to get through knots with an ax is to strike dead center on the knot. Or, just designate the piece a long-burner.

The Tiger Technique

Steven Edholm, who issued his crazy Axe Cordwood Challenge, along with my fellow participants have tried to come up with a name for this splitting method. Nothing official has stuck. What I’m calling this golf-like-swing is the Tiger. You may have figured out by now I’m referring to Tiger Woods, professional golfer.

Whatever you choose to call it, the Tiger is my favorite and fastest method for turning a pile of large rounds into small, burnable chunks. Before the Safety Sally brigade shuts me down for even suggesting you use what appears to be a dangerous ax swing, allow me to explain the method behind what seems to be pure madness.

Safety Concerns 

I covered the basics of swinging an ax inside and outside your frontal zone in a previous article. There are inherit dangers anytime you swing 3 and a half pounds of scary-sharp steel. I get it. No matter how many times I grip my ax, my mind pictures a few online ax injuries, which can’t be unseen, as I soberly begin swinging. Even then I must follow, without exception, the protocol of safe ax use.

A few concerns always pop up from Safety Sally folks who have never attempted the Tiger. It just looks awfully dangerous. Here’s the gist of their advice/concern…

  • A glancing blow and the ax hits your leg. Don’t split that way.
  • The log should be propped up against another back rest.
  • Looks like an accident waiting to happen – especially with a double bit ax.
  • That’s a hazardous way of splitting wood. I’ve chopped and split wood growing up. Never chopped that way.

What’s interesting is that other seasoned axmen comment on the effectiveness of this method. This is a lateral swing and is preformed outside the frontal zone. The important part is to keep your feet ahead of the point of ax impact. Clear-grained wood separates with alarming speed… and will fly many feet in the wood lot.

When clearing and area for ax work, I use this same swing to remove small saplings close to the ground. As the ax arc begins its upward motion, the bit separates the sapling cleanly. Again, follow the Frontal Zone rules for safe swinging.

Just like any other ax technique, Doing the Stuff is the key to improvement. You can’t watch the video or read about it to become proficient. Study proper technique and go split some wood.

Here’s a few photos of my firewood stack at base camp. The Axe Cordwood Challenge is coming along nicely and teaching me some valuable lessons on the journey.

2 Ax Techniques for Fast Firewood Splitting ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

The front stack is all ax cut: felling, bucking, splitting, and cutting to length. The Red Oak in the rear was sawn and doesn’t count in my Cordwood Challenge.

2 Ax Techniques for Fast Firewood Splitting ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Red Oak and Tulip Poplar stacked. You can see the difference between the sawn firewood and ax-cut wood.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at our Doing the Stuff Network.

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Copyright © by Survival Sherpa: In light of the recent theft of all my content by a pirate site, my sharing policy has changed. I do not permit the re-posting of entire articles from my site without express written consent by me. My content on this site may be shared in digital form (200 words or less) for non-commercial use with a link back (without no-follow attribute) to the original article crediting the author. All photos, drawings, and articles are copyrighted by and the property of Survival Sherpa. You are more than welcome to share our photos and articles on social media for educational purposes as long as you link back to the original article/photo with credit to the author.

DIY Mason Jar Bee Hive

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DIY Mason Jar Bee Hive Making a mason jar beehive is super easy and the benefits of having one will help you out beyond belief. These are so simple this hive thrives in urban areas too. If you know anything about bees you know that having your own hive can be as easy as a …

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How Resilient Baby Chicks Can Be

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I have seen a lot of postings on the 1000 chicks left in a field. It is not the first time it has happened and I am sure it won’t be the last. Someone on one of these postings said they were sure now that the chicks had gotten “chilled” that they would surely all die. I think that is very unlikely, though I am sure some of them will, but most of those chicks were still standing, moving and peeping and I am sure once they are warm again, they will be fine. A thousand chicks all together can make an awful lot of body heat as well.
Anyway, I wanted to tell you a story about a chick I had hatch yesterday (Yes, I know I said I wasn’t going to let the hens keep any more nests….and I meant that…and it didn’t happen….. . .).  I have three very young hens sitting on a huge combined nest in one of my pens. They are having a staggered hatch and because there are still roosters in the pen with them, I am having to get to the chicks before the roosters do because they kill the chicks. Yesterday I had to go shopping and I checked the nest first thing in the morning (before the roosters left their perches) and again before I left and got one chick to put in the brooder. Well, while I as gone apparently another chick was born and the roosters did get to it and pull it out the nest and peck at it. When I came home I found its little body on the ground, all cold and not breathing but because I can never accept things like that I held it and rubbed it and breathed warm air on it and even I was completely amazed when it gave a big gasping breath. So then there was a lot more rubbing and trying to get it warm. I sat on the back steps in the sun and worked on him until he got to breathing with fairly regular breaths. Then we moved into the house and I held him in my hand under the brooder light, after maybe 20 minutes, the chick actually moved around a little and peeped. I got it a clean paper towel and put it on the towel in the brooder but then because he had a wound on his wing, I had to sit there by the brooder and keep the other chicks from pecking at it because chicks tend to peck at anything red. As I sat there the chick steadily improved. It worked on getting its legs under it and peeped whenever the others got near but it took the chick nearly a half hour before it could hold its head up.

And at least another half hour before I felt I could leave the brooder for short periods of time (to try to make dinner. Yes, it was a very long day). Eventually he got so he could move around, not really standing yet but most chicks scuttle around some before they actually learn to stand so I felt he was doing well.  
Still,  this morning I was not sure I would find him alive. This was a chick that was totally cold and not breathing when I found him. He had definitely gotten “chilled”. 
And I barely could find him. All of the chicks were up on their feet and walking around this morning and I counted them and all fourteen were there. I really had to look to find the yellow chick with a now tiny spot on his wing to know it was him. 
And that is how resilient a baby chick can be. 

Surviving Off-grid: Hot Water From Your Wood Stove

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Survivopedia_Hot_Water_From_Your_Wood_Stove

Whether we’re talking about off-grid survival or just having the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of living in the 21st century in our cabin in the woods, having hot water for taking a shower, shaving, or taking a nice long bath is one of the yardsticks of well-being.

What can be nicer than enjoying a hot shower after working all day outside in the cold? And even better, if that hot water is completely free of charge? It doesn’t sound bad, does it?

Moreover, it would be pretty nice to have hot water at your disposal without being dependent upon a utilities company, whether we’re talking about electricity or gas.

We’re Reviving Ancient Techniques

What I am trying to tell you is that nowadays, heating water is one of the most overlooked functions when it comes to the archaic wood stove.

Just a few decades ago, many wood stoves were built with a water tank (it was called a range boiler) behind/beside the respective wood stove, for producing free and virtually limitless amounts of hot water. A two for the price of one kind of a deal.

Basically, whether you’re looking to save some dollars on your utility bills or get hot water in some place remote without breaking the piggy bank, the main idea is that you can use your wood stove for more than warming your homestead, cooking and whatever else wood stoves are usually good for.

Truth be told, domestic wood stove-based water heating systems are not new; they were invented centuries ago.

The Romans constructed incredibly clever central heating systems for public buildings (and the rich also had them, because they were too expensive for plebes) in an era sans electricity, and we’re talking 2000+ years ago. I know it sounds incredible, but yes, they actually had central heating through the floors 2 millennia ago; that’s how smart Romans were.

The Roman system was called Hypocaust and it worked by producing and circulating hot air below the floors (even walls in some cases) using a network of pipes. Hot air passed through those pipes and heated the floors/walls and obviously, the air was heated via furnaces burning wood and/or coal, because there was no electricity or piped gas back in the day.

In the event of a grid-down situation, how many of you are planning on heating their home with wood?

Learn from our forefathers how to install an emergency wood-burning stove!

How the Heater Works

Hence, getting hot water using a wood stove uses the same basic principle as a Hypocaust, but with a twist: water is used in our case instead of air, because it’s difficult to take a shower without water, right? I know – there’s an invention called dry cleaning, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Joking aside, to keep it simple: a regular water heater is nothing more than a tank of sorts, sitting on top or next to your wooden stove. As water rises when heated, hot water is drawn from the top and cold water is piped at the bottom via a piping system, obviously.

How does it work, you may ask? Well, it’s pretty straightforward: the stove water heater uses heat exchangers for transferring heat from the stove to the water. Depending on the design, the heat exchangers can be mounted inside of the stove, on the outside of the stove, or in the stovepipe.

Water is circulated through the heat exchanger when a fire is burning in two ways: naturally, via the thermosiphon principle which relies on water rising when heated or by using a pump.

The heat exchanger device is available in 3 main varieties:

  • a serpentine coil made of, in most cases, copper pipe
  • a small absorber, like a solar-collector
  • a box-like mini-tank. Most heat exchangers are mini-tanks or coils mounted inside the stove.

The heat exchanger can be built using copper, stainless steel, or galvanized iron, and they’re commercially available or they can be built in local shops or DIY-ed depending on your skills. For our intents and purposes, we’ll have to rely on the thermosiphon system, because this system works wonderfully off the grid and it doesn’t require fancy stuff like pumps and all that jazz.

The Tips that Lead to Success

“Keep it simple stupid” is the name of the game in a survival situation. As things get complicated, the probability of something failing rises exponentially.

Whenever the stove is used, water must circulate through the heat exchanger in order to prevent it from boiling. The storage tank must always be located higher than the heat exchanger and as close as possible to the stove.

Thermosiphoning-based systems are better than electrical-pumped ones not only because of their simplicity and availability, but also because in the eventuality of a power outage, the pump will stop working, leading to overheating the water in the heat exchanger.

This is a DIY project that can provide you with endless hot water without requiring electricity, as it’s based on the thermosiphoning process. This one uses a therma coil – a homemade unit – which consists of a serpentine made of copper, which is put inside the wood stove and connected via plumbing to a water tank.

This is a hot water-on-demand heater which can help you in a variety of situations. And best of all, everything is made using scrap materials, more or less (except for the copper piping, I guess).

Video first seen on engineer775 Practical Preppers

As a general rule of thumb, for best results, you should isolate all your hot water lines more than 3 feet away from the wood stove using slip-on foam insulation, which is designed for temperatures up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Don’t forget to spend 10 bucks on a thermometer; it’s well worth the investment and it will help you with eliminating all guesswork with regard to determining water temperature.

Copper is one of the best piping materials out there, as it’s very easy to work with when building coils (the heat exchanger gizmo), but remember that when used with iron, the latter will corrode.

The second DIY job is made by the same guy but this time, instead of a copper serpentine placed inside the wood stove, he uses a simpler water coil made of stainless steel. The rest is basically the same, check out the video.

Video first seen on engineer775 Practical Preppers

The third project also uses the thermosiphoning principle (hot water rises) and copper tubing for making the serpentines, but this is a “larger scale job” compared to the previous two, and more complex.

Video first seen on convectioncoil.com.

The fourth and last DIY project uses an interesting design, i.e. a double-walled water heater (a double-walled 6-inch pipe, basically) and between the walls there’s copper water pipe circling the inner wall, thus transferring the heat from the wood stove to the water circulating through the piping.

Video first seen on thenewsurvivalist.

That about sums it up for today folks. There are still many lessons to be learned.

Remember that knowledge is everything in a survival situation and take our ancestors’ example – they survived when there was no electricity.

Click the banner below to uncover their lost secrets!

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This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

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Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Recipe – A New Orleans Classic

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Although most popular on Fat Tuesday, chicken and sausage gumbo is a wonderful comfort meal any time of the year.  I fell in love with gumbo while visiting New Orleans a few years back and have tried to replicate that

The post Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Recipe – A New Orleans Classic appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Staying Safe from Terrorism

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This post contains some tips for staying safe from terrorism. But before you scroll down to see the tips, realize that the goal of terrorism is to use fear to enhance a political motive – if you allow your fear to change how you vote or what you allow your government to do the terrorists […]

The post Staying Safe from Terrorism appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Incremental Disaster Kit (Week 18)

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

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Incremental Disaster Kit (Week 17)

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

The post Incremental Disaster Kit (Week 17) appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

What Is a Crossbow And How Are Crossbows a Great Hunting Weapon

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Every hunter out there who hunts regularly must have heard of or is familiar with Crossbows.  Crossbows date back to medieval times, about two thousand years and still thrive well in today’s market, among hunters, artifact, relic and weapon collectors alike. A crossbow is a type of bow that consists of horizontal bow-like assembly mounted […]

The post What Is a Crossbow And How Are Crossbows a Great Hunting Weapon appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Off-Grid Refrigeration: Creating an Icehouse in Winter

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icehouseThose who plan to create ways for off-grid refrigeration usually plan to build when the snow thaws, but I’m doing something a little different – I’m planning on building one now.  The main problem for me right now is that I have four feet of snow on the ground, and it’s a little hard to do a layout or any kind of excavating for it.  But what of it?  That doesn’t mean I can’t plan now, nor undertake it before the winter months disappear.

Off-Grid Refrigeration

Icehouses were used extensively in the U.S., especially in “pioneer days,” where they would be the main way of keeping meats and vegetables cool and “refrigerated” in a manner to not require canning, smoking, or drying them.  These icehouses were combined with root cellars/canning cellars to be structures heavily-insulated with earth to keep everything cool and from spoiling in the spring and summer months.  I also mentioned an “icebox,” meaning a refrigerator that was not dependent upon electricity, but had a large block of ice inside of an insulated “box” that kept the food inside cool and from spoiling prematurely.

For those without enough property or in an urban/suburban area, an icebox might be a good thing to have, at least as a backup for the refrigerator.  If you have a little bit of ground, then you may be able to build an icehouse.  I plan on beginning mine about the end of March to the beginning of April.  See, living in Montana, where there are no building codes in rural areas, I’m not hindered by the need for permits or the usual parade of bloodsuckers from local or state governments or neighborhood (incarceration-hood, is more appropriate) associations.  Thus, the benefit of living in a remote state, I can build whatever I want and nobody can say anything to me.

Use This Easy Method to Make Large Blocks of Ice

If you don’t have this, then you’ll have to negotiate around whatever “primates” are blocking your path and secure whatever permits you believe necessary if you want it done.  I’m going to wait until the time I mentioned and then clear out the ground and the snow, use a “C” to dig (a miniature backhoe) the icehouse out, and then build it during the winter months.  The reason is that I will make about a dozen and a half “molds” to fill with water for my ice-blocks, using large bins.  When the water freezes and huge blocks of ice are made, I will then place them inside of my icehouse and cover them up with lots and lots of sawdust.  Each block will have about 20 gallons of water, and this will be (at 7.6 lbs. per gallon) about 150 lbs. apiece.  A lot easier to let the winter freeze up those blocks!

Building an Icehouse

I plan on placing in a drain into the floor (PVC drain tile) with a small slope, and then tamping the earth back into place.  Then I’ll separate the main chamber for the canned goodies from the ice chamber in the rear and slightly lower than the main room.  Stacking the blocks up and then covering them all with sawdust, it will adhere to the time-honored principle of the frontier days…it will keep all spring and summer, and have to be replaced in the fall (it’s below freezing here in September…we only have about 3 to 4 months without ice and snow).

I’m going to use the earth and rocks excavated and then mound it up, as most of the efficient designs I have seen are with rounded or semi-rounded forms/tops.  The only true modern “accoutrements” I plan on having are a good door and door-frame that is sturdy, and I’m considering some kind of interior flooring system.  Any suggestions or personal experiences?  We’d love to hear them, and perhaps you’ll be able to float me some information I can use.  I have a few not-so-near neighbors that are diabetics and use insulin…what could be better than being able to preserve their insulin for them in my icehouse if the SHTF and they lose electricity?

An icehouse or icebox for you and your family may be a good thing to do to enable that your refrigeration lasts…beyond the lifetime of the power plants and power stations…. if the SHTF.  Bottom line: do what you can with what you have.  Better to get into the batter’s box and take a swing then not to take a chance.  Keep fighting that good fight!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

A True Homesteader!

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A True Homesteader! Host: Bobby “MHP Gardner There is a lot of interest in being self-sufficient these days. People are looking for information on how to grow and store their own food, provide their own meats, go off-grid with solar setups… get out of the system so to speak. We see a lot of these … Continue reading A True Homesteader!

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Thoughts For The Week By Ron Owen.

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Thoughts For The Week.
2017. An election in Queensland which offers to change our nation and will vibrate and inspire the world. That is of course, “IF” the apathetic Firearm Owners of Queensland turn the telly off and aid the people who support them, to replace those corrupt puppets of the internationalist. A very big “IF” of course, but the key has turned.  The 2016 Federal election where 22 % of the voters excluded the major parties, Brexit, Trump, Le Pen, Geert Wilders are showing that the mainstream media is losing its grip on the minds of the people. They call it populist, but it’s the internet that exposes the fake news that has been rammed down our throats on the 6 o’clock news.

Do YOU Want A Free Country Again.
The 2 million licensed shooters in Australia can make this happen. At the last federal election there were 13 million voters and our shooting companions are nearly 18 % of them, that is enough for us to chose which government rules this country.
We are now the largest single interest group on the Australian political landscape, we just have to be the best organised lobby group.
Of course the main party hacks will bring out that old furphy, ‘if the aircraft is having a few problems would you ask farmer plod sitting in the back economy seats to come and fly the plane.’  Besides, it’s not being relative and just an rhetorical trick, if we made a simile between the plane and our country, our pilots – sold out to another country, baled out and left us in a screaming power dive towards the rocks, anyone who pulled up the joy stick and levelled up the plane would be appreciated and loved by all the passengers.