Magic Food: 7 Vegetables You Can Regrow From Kitchen Scraps

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Magic Food: 7 Vegetables You Can Regrow From Kitchen Scraps

Image source: Flickr / Creative Commons

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

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

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

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

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

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

The All-Natural Fertilizer That Doubles Your Garden Yield!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 Disturbing SHTF Threats that most Preppers Haven’t Prepared For

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10 Disturbing SHTF Threats Most Preppers Haven’t Prepared For When SHTF it will be a scary and confusing time. Hundreds of thousands of people that are not prepping will be sitting ducks. Even preppers will be after reading the article in the link below. The article goes over 10 real threats that could affect us …

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How To Build A Drip Irrigation System For Under $100

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How To Build A Drip Irrigation System For Under $100 A drip irrigation system can save you time, money and conserve water. This drip irrigation system can be turned on and left to do its job without you having to stand over it to monitor its progress. Using water wisely with a drip irrigation system …

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Top 7 EDC Items You Should Carry Every Day

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Top 7 EDC Items You Should Carry Every Day Obviously, you can’t carry your bug out bag with you at all times. You might have it nearby, such as in your office, by your front door, or in your car – but you can’t have it physically on you at all times. You should still …

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President Trump’s Misplaced Faith in the Generals

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

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

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

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

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

Peace,
Todd

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How To Use Zip-Ties in An Emergency Situation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image source: warrelics.eu

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image source: Pixabay.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GPS Waypoints

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

I really like to keep my navigation simple.

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

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

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

Waypoint List

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

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


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

Delivering a Baby on Your Own During a Disaster!

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

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

From Storage to Stovetop: BLACK BEANS

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

Bean Conversions

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

How to Cook Dried Beans

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

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

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

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

Favorite Bean Recipes

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

10 Most Resilient Ground Covers For Your Garden

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

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

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

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

Image source: Pixabay.com

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

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

1. Preparing for seeds.

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

2. Implement maintenance.

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

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

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

Image source: Pixabay.com

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

3. Stocking up on the essentials.

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

4. Preparing soil amendments.

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

5. Building and fence maintenance.

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

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

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

Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena Marginata) Care Guide

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

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

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

On Chemical and Radiologic Weapons

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(Photo: PIR Center)

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

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

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

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

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

VX Gas

Doris Day

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

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

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

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Image source: Wikimedia

Image source: Wikimedia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be Prepared For A Downed Grid. Read More Here.

15 Survival Uses for Pipe Cleaners

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

Uses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHTF Healthcare: The Amazing Benefits of Photo Light Therapy

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

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

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

Learning about photo light therapy

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

photo light therapy

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

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

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

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

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

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

My personal experience with light therapy

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

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

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

I’ve seen it help others, too

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

10 Medical Resources You Can Get from Nature

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

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

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

Turmeric

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

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

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

Cinnamon

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

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

Rosemary

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

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

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

Ginger

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

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

Garlic

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

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

Holy Basil

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

Aloe Vera

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

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

FeverFew

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

St. John’s Wort

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

Saw Palmetto

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

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

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

Back to Basics: The KISS AR-15

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

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

By Drew, a contributing author of Survival Cache & SHTFBlog

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

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

Opportunity Provided By Colt

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

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

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

Dissa-whaaaaat?

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

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

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

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

Putting the Puzzle Together

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

Related: Theory and Practical Application of the Walking Around Rifle

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

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

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

And the Survey Says….

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

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

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

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

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

A Couple Additions

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

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

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

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

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

Defining the Mission for my KISS Rifle

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

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

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

Read Also: The AR-15 Bolt Carrier Group

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

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

The Sum of its Parts

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

Check Out: Windham Weaponry

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

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

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Take The Advantage Of Growing Hydroponic Plants!

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

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

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

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

Here are just a few advantages of growing hydroponic plants.

Plants Grow Faster and Yield More Fruit

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

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

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

No Weeding

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

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

You Control the Nutrients and pH

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

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

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

You Know What you’re Eating

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

Year-Round Fruit

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

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

Indoor/Outdoor Options

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

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

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

Less Space

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

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

Vertical crops

Soil Quality Doesn’t Matter

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

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

Lower Water Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

Diseases and Pests are Easier to Get Rid Of

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

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

Greater Variety

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

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

Physically Easier to Grow and Harvest

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

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

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

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

Click the banner below to grab your own survival farm!

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

Who Do You Say You Are?

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

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

 
   
   

Top 5 Best .380 Pocket Pistols for Concealed Carry

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by Nicholas

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

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

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

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

Presented in alphabetical order, here they are:

COLT MUSTANG XSP

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

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

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

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

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

GLOCK 42

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

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

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

RUGER LCP II

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

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

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

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

SMITH & WESSON M&P BODYGUARD .380

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

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

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

TAURUS PT738 TCP

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

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

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

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

How To Make Wild Game Jerky

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

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

Keeping Pack Weight Down If You Need To Bug-Out

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wilderness_tent_bug_out

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

By Jarhead Survivor, a Contributing Author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog

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

Stick to Basics

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

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

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

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

Lighten Your Pack

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

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

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

The Essentials

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

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

Read Also: Get Outdoors!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wilderness Survival Skills

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

Related: 15 Ways to Start a Fire

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

Summary

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

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

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

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

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Under The Bridge…

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under-the-bridge

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They could not get it…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I had no emotions about his death.

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

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

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

Funny thing.

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Preppers Should Focus on Diversifying Firearm Calibers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Cooking Alternatives Off Grid!

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

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