Before you waste money on kits and fermented foods you have never tried, and definitely before you leap with both feet into fermentation of your own foods, take a few moments and consider these fermented foods instead.
6 Trees Every Survivalist Should Know & Why Being a prepper/survivalist is a great lifestyle. I am loving it and haven’t looked back. There is always new information to be learned and this article is proof of that for me. Trees give us wood for our campfires. They provide structure to our shelters, materials from …
How To Build A Herb Spiral Spring is just around the corner and winter is starting to wind down, for some of us anyway. Build one of these beauties and have plenty herbs for the rest of the year. I found an article that shows you how to construct these simple herb gardens in a …
If you are like me, you probably had mom or grandma say to you, “Oh, honey, you don’t need a doctor or drugs. You just need a little old-fashioned medicine!” She then would promptly give me something that sounded a bit strange, but she often was right. It would fix the problem.
If this was your experience, then you were taking what is often called folk remedies, home remedies, or as my grandmother called it, old-fashioned medicine.
Prior to doctors and before most people could afford to go to one, people had no choice but to rely on these types of “cures.” The truth is that most people never expected an outright “cure” — they were hoping for relief of symptoms while they waited for their body to heal.
Unfortunately, with no knowledge of medicine, people had no way to know exactly what they were consuming, how they would react to it, or worse, whether the “cure” might kill them! This lack of knowledge allowed many a shyster to sell the infamous “Snake Oil” to a great many people.
Today, we have the knowledge of the world at our fingertips. This doesn’t mean that old-fashioned medicine is outdated, however. For many of us, we prefer to keep things simple and if we ever should find ourselves back in a situation where there are no doctors, then this kind of information is good to have.
Let’s take a look at some of the best folk remedies that really do work!
1. For bee stings …
This is another painful encounter that almost everyone will experience. Yes, the pain will subside on its own, but you can remove the stinger, the swelling and itching with tobacco. Plain tobacco (unroll a cigarette) mixed with a bit of water, then placed on the sting, will draw out most of the poison, as well as the stinger, in about 20 minutes. I actually had my father use this method on me when I was about 10 years old, and I have to say that it sounded strange, but it really did work!
2. For nausea and upset stomachs …
Who the heck hasn’t had a bout of either one of these? Or both?! Stomach problems are super-common, and everyone wants relief ASAP! You can do that by keeping either dried or fresh peppermint on hand. My grandmother always had some in her backyard, or she used dried leaves from the pantry. She placed a half-dozen leaves in a cup filled with boiling water, added a teaspoon of honey for sweetness, and drank a cup or two every time she had a tummy ache or indigestion. She also gave it to me as a child, and I still remember how soothing it was.
3. For the common cold …
How can a simple little virus make us feel so terrible? I don’t know, but I know how you can clear up those stuffed-up sinuses and feel better – good-old chicken and onion soup! Or you could use garlic in place of onion. You also can drink garlic tea (if you’re brave) to open up your sinuses and get you on your feet! Yes, you will have to repeat this several times a day for several days, but I will take feeling better even for a short period of time over and over, compared to just being sick as a dog for days.
4. Urinary tract infections …
What would you do if there were no doctors or antibiotics? Let me tell you how they did it in the olden days: They used baking soda and water! At the very first sign, mix one-fourth teaspoon or so of plain baking soda in 1 cup (8 ounces) of water. Drink this every morning until the symptoms subside.
5. For sore throats, sore gums, mouth ulcers …
These are all common-yet-painful problems almost everyone in life will face. The good news is that they are all aided by something everyone in the world has right in their kitchen: salt. A simple mouthwash of warm water with a pinch of salt works wonders.
Let’s also talk about some of the home remedies people have used over time that absolutely DO NOT work:
- Cold baths and/or drinking cold water will not fix “most diseases,” as a 1740 doctor used to say.
- Eating boiled carrots for two weeks does not cure asthma.
- Holding a live puppy on the belly will not stop vomiting (but it might make you feel better emotionally).
- Eating a pinch of castile soap each morning will not cure jaundice.
Some of these ideas seem funny to us in our modern age of medicine, but who knows? Perhaps 300 years from now, people will be snickering at our era, saying “How could they have thought that?”
Do you know of other folk remedies that still work? Share your memories and tips in the section below:
It’s hard to quantify, but the modern prepping movement has at least, in part, been caused by the government. I am not referencing fear in the government doing something stupid that would force us into survival mode (although that is possible), but instead in promoting the idea of disaster preparedness.
FEMA’s Ready.gov website contains a host of information on how to prepare for a pending disaster, and radio commercials promote the idea, too. While not the best information in the world, it’s a good starting point for the novice prepper.
Of course, many if not most preppers don’t pay much attention to the FEMA website. Part of that could be because few of us trust the government all that much. But a much bigger part is that the government’s idea of prepping really doesn’t go far enough.
Let’s take a look at the list of Suggested Emergency Food Supplies that FEMA has on their website:
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
- Protein or fruit bars
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruit
- Canned juices
- Non-perishable pasteurized milk
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods
That’s it — a dozen things. While all of those are good choices, there’s no way that I would consider them enough. But then, I take a much different view of survival than what FEMA is promoting.
FEMA takes the stance that you only need to be ready to take care of yourself for three days. That’s their target reaction time. At the end of the three days, FEMA supposedly will have assistance in place. There’s only one thing … FEMA has a very poor track record of meeting that goal.
So when FEMA talks about stockpiling food, they only talk about stockpiling three days of it. That’s probably where the idea of a bug-out bag only having three days of food originates. Personally, I don’t feel that three days is anywhere near enough, especially since I have no intention of ending up in a FEMA camp, waiting for the government to decide to let me go.
There were people digging in dumpsters, looking for food, six weeks after both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy (which occurred in Republican and Democratic administrations). That doesn’t give me a whole lot of faith in FEMA’s abilities. But I’m also concerned that whatever FEMA gives out, comes with a price. The price of government meddling in our lives. That’s a much higher price than paying for my own food, to build a descent stockpile.
Let’s go back to that list for a minute. While the foods contained in it are all good choices for a survival situation, there really isn’t enough there to create actual meals, unless you stockpile canned goods that can be put together to make a meal. While that is possible, it’s not anyone’s first choice. Canned foods do provide nutrition, but they are severely lacking in flavor.
If all you’re talking about is surviving three days, that’s not really an issue. You can live on peanut butter crackers and dried fruit for three days. For that matter, you can live without it for three days, just about as well. But you can’t simply buy more of the foods mentioned on this list and expect to have a three- or six-month stockpile. You’ll have to add other foods to it. I’m not going to talk about what other foods you should stockpile, as I’ve written other articles about it. Try this article or this one for more information.
Another problem with the list is that not all of these foods will store for a prolonged period of time, without rotating your stock. While some, like canned goods will last a long time, there are other things, like breakfast cereal and crackers, which will quickly become stale and unpalatable.
FEMA also suggests that you “choose foods your family will eat.” While that may seem to make sense, most of our families aren’t going to go for a healthy diet of survival food; they’re going to want something tasty. In other words, they’re going to want the same sorts of junk food that they’re used to eating. That doesn’t work, and it’s actually totally contradictory to the list of foods they’ve put together.
I prefer to say, “Figure out how to make the foods you are going to have to stockpile for survival palatable for your family.” This requires figuring out how to take the foods that you stockpile and adapting their flavor to meet your family’s tastes. While not easy, this is actually possible. All you need is a stock of the right spices, plenty of salt and maybe a few sauces, like spaghetti sauce.
You’ll have to do some experimenting to find ways of preparing the survival foods you’re going to stockpile in ways that will be palatable to your family. Take the time to make up some recipes, and make a small batch and test it on your family. If it doesn’t work, try modifying. That usually means adding more spices to give it more flavor.
I stockpile plenty of spaghetti sauce and cream of mushroom soup, as well as the spices used in making my own spaghetti sauce, so that I can restock from tomatoes I grow in my garden.
So, yes, the FEMA list contains a few items that should be in any stockpile. Just don’t stop there.
What do you think of FEMA’s tips and list? Share your thoughts in the section below:
An almost two-year quest led me to the goal of finding the most versatile 22 long-rifle ammunition on the market. After trying rounds from CCI, Remington, Federal, Winchester, Norma and a host of others, I settled on one brand: Gemtech subsonic to meet just about all of my rim-fire needs.
If you learned anything about ammunition over the course of the past several years, it should be that the availability of 22 long-rifle ammo is very volatile. It can be in abundance one day and gone within an hour, not to be seen at normal prices for as long as a year.
I am fortunate to live in a part of the country where even 22 LR ammunition shortages are fleeting, but it got me thinking:
As a hand-loader, I can make any type of ammunition I need, from 22 Hornet to 50 BMG. I can size for peculiar chambers, download for revolvers and produce hot loads for machineguns or subsonic loads for silencers.
Unfortunately, there is not much I can do about most rim-fire loads, beyond using whatever I have available.
This can be problematic, as hyper-velocity loads will not be effective through my suppressors and subsonic or match loads will not always cycle my semi-autos, let alone subguns.
I set out to find the one 22 load that would fit most, if not all of my purposes, and the result was surprising, to say the least.
During the shortages and the hoarding, the word “subsonic” threw off many shooters who were lead to believe that it was little more than a CB Cap-type round or CCI “Quiet” load. Most people did not think it would cycle the bolt on their Ruger 10/22s, or feed in their pistols. I found that it would, with a suppressor or without.
The velocity is 1,020 fps, which is subsonic and only 50 to 100 fps below standard velocity 22 LR. The engineers at Gemtech wisely determined that this would cycle the majority of semi-autos out there without the supersonic crack.
These rounds are loaded with 42-grain lead bullets, with no jacket or plating, just a moly-type coating that acts as a lubricant to aid in feeding. Gemtech worked with CCI on a clean-burning powder to use in the subsonic load to eliminate unburnt powder and fouling problems associated with rim-fire ammunition. It is probably the cleanest 22 ammo I have ever fired, period.
I tried it in a variety of pistols, including a Beretta Model 71, Smith & Wesson Model 41, SIG Mosquito, Benelli MP95E and a Walther PPK. Moving on to rifles, it functioned flawlessly in a pair of Ruger 10/22s, a Smith & Wesson M&P 15/22, and best of all it was consistently accurate. In some cases, I was shooting sub 1-inch groups at 50 yards.
Moving over to bolt-action 22s and 22 revolvers, I had zero complaints. The round remained consistent, accurate and reliable. Most importantly, it lived up to its name and kept the sound levels low.
My shooting experiment was not completely trouble-free, however. I had a few problems getting it to run consistently in a full-auto Uzi with a 22 LR conversion kit and using it in an Armalite AR-7 gave me a few failures to extract/eject.
Aside from the Armalite notoriously being a finicky beast, the cycling through the Uzi also was less of a concern. In a real preparedness situation, I am probably not going to be shooting up 22s at the rate of 1,450 rounds per minute. We just want something accurate, reliable and quiet going through our suppressed Savage M93 or Beretta M71.
So should another panic start up and you are looking for something to hold onto in order to keep your 22s running, check out Gemtech Subsonic in 22 LR. Don’t blow it off as a pipsqueak JV type of rim-fire round.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Maple trees or shrubs can be found on several continents around the world, but these useful plants have a special place in the hearts and lives of those of us in the United States and Canada. We love them for many purposes: shade, ornamentals, lumber, firewood and syrup.
Homesteaders use maples and other hardwood trees for most of the above purposes as well as for projects more specific to farming and independent living — saplings for bean poles and poultry perches and other craftwork, leaves for banking buildings, and more. Sometimes it is important to differentiate between species. But even when the particular species does not matter, it is always nice to have some knowledge about any maple trees surrounding the homestead.
Of the many types of maple tree in North America, one of the best known and most loved is the sugar maple. Known as a rock maple, hard maple, or its Latin nomenclature Acer saccharum, this tree can be found growing naturally in most of the northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada.
The sugar maple is prized for its sap, which is harvested in early spring and boiled down into maple syrup or further processed into maple cream or candy. This tree is most people’s first choice for maple syrup, even though other varieties of maples—as well as other genera of hardwood trees—can be and often are tapped for syrup and confections. The sap of the sugar maple generally takes the least time and energy to boil down, requiring 40 quarts of sap to render one quart of finished syrup. The sap-to-syrup ratio for other trees can be as high as 80:1, making the sugar maple a more economical and practical choice. The taste of sugar maple sap is often considered superior, as well, and it is the most plentiful maple species in some areas.
In addition to syrup production, the sugar maple is often harvested for its wood value. It is prized for flooring and furniture stock, particularly “bird’s eye” or curly-patterned varieties, and is commonly used for firewood and occasionally for pulp.
Sugar maples also make lovely landscaping trees. These medium-sized trees with widespread roots make excellent shade trees, provide wildlife habitat, and display stunning multicolored fall foliage.
Another common maple species is the red maple, or Acer rubrum. Known also as the swamp, water or soft maple, this tree can be found across most of eastern North America. It is frequently tapped for syrup, sometimes intentionally and sometimes by accident. Some red maples offer a sap ratio that is similar to sugar maples and just as tasty, and it can be challenging to tell the trees apart without leaves or buds present for clues. The subtle differences in the bark are challenging for most people to discern.
As the nicknames suggest, red maples do not mind wet feet and are often found in swampy areas. They display brilliant foliage twice a season — once in the spring with stunning red flowers, some of the earliest in my region of New England — and again in fall with gorgeous scarlet and orange leaves.
Their fiber is softer than that of sugar maples, making them less prized for their wood overall but still often used for firewood and pulp. A good all-around homestead tree, red maples also make wonderful ornamentals and animal habitat.
Silver maple, or Acer saccharinum, is known by many other names, including creek, soft, water, white and silverleaf maple. This large tree is native to most of the central and eastern United States, and often cultivated far beyond that, making it an extremely common maple species. The silver maple can be easily identified by its distinctive leaves, which look more like a five-toed chicken foot than the classic maple leaf of the Canadian flag. This tree is often found along riverbanks and at the edges of wetlands.
The silver maple’s fiber is relatively soft and less durable than harder species, making it less sought-after for wood, but is a mainstay for landscaping in public parks and private yards. As with most maple species, it can be tapped for syrup as availability requires. It sports soft yellow foliage in fall and delicate clusters of spring flowers in shades of yellow or pink.
Acer pensylvanicum, commonly known as the striped maple or moosewood, can be found from the eastern provinces of Canada to the upper elevations of northern Georgia. This is a smaller variety of maple, sometimes no larger than a shrub, which thrives in the understory. It prefers hillsides and rocky slopes and is usually found in forests of predominantly hardwood but does sometimes mix with conifers.
The white and green stripes of the striped maple bark distinguish it from other maple species. Its goose-foot-shaped leaves turn pale yellow in autumn, and its spring flowers are bright yellow.
The striped maple’s primary value is aesthetic, but it adds broad dimension and wildlife support to natural forests and managed areas. It grows quickly and can be considered a nuisance tree when allowed to grow out of control.
The mountain maple, or Acer spicatum, is also a small bushy species found in northern regions of the eastern United States and Canada. Like the striped maple, this type of maple grows in dense thickets on wet slopes. It is of little value to humans, but provides superb cover and forage for a wide variety of forest wildlife.
The Acer negundo, also known as ashleaf maple or boxelder, is another smaller species of maple. It can be found across much of the eastern two-thirds of the continent and in pockets everywhere in North America. Fast-growing and short-lived, the boxelder can thrive in a variety of conditions and takes hold so quickly that it is considered invasive in some areas. Boxelder leaves look more like that of an ash tree than a maple — obovate and small-toothed — hence the name.
Boxelders can be tapped for syrup and are often planted as ornamentals, but are of marginal value for other uses. The wood is light and soft, and can be harvested for pulp.
Acer macrophyllum is aptly described by its common names, bigleaf maple and Oregon maple. This large tree with leaves that can span nearly a foot across is found along the Pacific northwest coast, from Alaska to California and as far inland as Idaho.
The bigleaf maple has many uses. Its dense wood is prized for furniture stock as well as for smaller fine-woodworking products such as guitar bodies, piano frames, gun stocks and veneer. It provides great browse for animals, particularly in the sapling stage, and grows into a beautiful shade tree. Its sap-to-syrup ratio is similar to that of the sugar maple, making it feasible for syruping, but does taste somewhat different from its east coast counterpart.
Bigleaf maple foliage turns to brilliant golds and yellows in fall, and boasts showy yellow flowers in spring.
The Norway maple, or Acer platanoides, is not native to North America, and is generally considered to be invasive. Often planted in yards, parks and along sidewalks for its aesthetic and shade qualities, it has escaped into the forest across much of the United States.
Once in the wild, the Norway maple crowds out native plants. It is fast-growing in a wide variety of conditions, has shallow roots that suck moisture away from other plants, and its dense canopy prevents understory vegetation from thriving.
Probably the most distinctive and attractive feature of the Norway maple is its purple leaves. However, the leaf color does not carry over to offspring, resulting in an overabundance of aggressive plain green maple trees with which native flora cannot compete.
Norway maples have very little practical value beyond ornamentation, but can be used for firewood in lieu of better quality choices.
Whether you value trees for syrup, beauty, firewood, lumber, shade or animal habitat, there is sure to be a maple species that is just right for your needs. The maple tree has served homesteaders, suburban residents, forest workers, and nature enthusiasts for generations, and will continue for years to come.
Which is your favorite type of maple tree? Share your thoughts on maples in the section below:
This is Marjory Wildcraft, and in today’s Homesteading Basics, I want to show you a unique container planting system that I use to grow turmeric — one of my favorite home medicines.
This container gardening system is called the Urbin Grower, and it’s a small bed that has a trough bottom for water, creating its own self-watering system.
The thing that I really look for in all my planting systems is that it doesn’t involve electricity, or pumps, or things, ’cause, believe me, that’s just beyond my technical capability.
I’ve been working with this Urbin Grower for several months now, to grow turmeric in it. Turmeric is an amazing medicinal plant. I’m sure you know all about it. Here’s the photo of when I planted this where I just got some turmeric root that I picked up from the grocery store and planted it in here. This is how it’s growing.
I have to say that I love this container. I just checked to make sure that the water is always in the bottom here. That water is a natural moat that keeps ants and other insects out, and it’s also a buffer, so if I’m gone for a week, this planter is going to be fine.
So far, I have to say, if you’re growing in small spaces, on patios, or for those precious plants that you want to have by your house, the Urbin Grower is really working out well for me.
I do want to let you know, I’m going to be doing a whole series on other container gardening systems, so stay tuned for more reviews.
This is Marjory Wildcraft with The Grow Network.
Want to read another article about how to grow turmeric? Check out Learning to Grow Ginger and Turmeric in the Midwest.
Today’s show is the second half of the recording of my recent appearance on the God and Guns Podcast with Troy and Doug. We talked about common sense preparedness.
Watch through the eyes of Noah Parker as the world descends into chaos, a global empire takes shape, ancient writings are fulfilled and the last days fall upon the once great United States of America. The Days of Noah is now available as a complete box set for Kindle.
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I think just about everyone has a little orange or yellow box of baking soda in their kitchen cabinet, it’s inexpensive, especially if you are willing to forgo the name brand, though I have found the large, super sized box of the name brand stuff in my local stores really cheaply priced, either way you go, it’s worth stocking up, you can even find it in by the bag.
I think everyone knows the main use, putting it in baked goodies to give them some lift, and the other tried and true method of putting an open box in the fridge and freezer to keep down odors, there are many MANY other handy uses for baking soda.
You can drink a very dilute mixture in water if you have an upset tummy, it is essentially going to neutralize the acid in your stomach, giving you relief.
If you have a buildup of hair product on your hair, you can add a small amount of baking soda to your shampoo in your hand, shampoo your hair as normal, rinse and be sure you condition your hair well afterward, it will strip out anything that isn’t your hair, don’t do it very often as it can be harsh. As a former hairdresser, I can attest for this working, I learned this in beauty school and continued using it to this day.
You can do a baking soda scrub on your skin, it will gently exfoliate your skin leaving it squeaky clean.
You can use baking soda as a tooth paste, you can use it straight, but most can’t deal with the salty taste, you can add mint essential oil, xylitol will add a sweetness that is actually good for your dental health. You can also mix in some coconut oil which is also good for your teeth.
One use I have re-discovered recently, it’s great for stinky shoes, and yes, this off grid gal sometimes has stinky shoes 🙂 I tried it before and found the straight baking soda was a little uncomfortable on my feet inside my shoes, it felt a tiny bit gritty, I wanted to try it again and added corn starch, making a 50-50 mixture, I out it in a fine shaker bottle. I shake a very small amount in each shoe and shook each shoe to equally distribute the powder. It felt quite normal, not gritty, the addition of the corn starch made the difference. It works every time, no more stinky shoes.
There are many other uses for baking soda, I have only touched on a few personal uses, there are many other uses from personal, health, cleaning, deodorizing and the such… what do you use it for?
This incident reportedly happened six months ago, and unfortunately there was no available sample to test.
In late March I received this email from a contact who has a Geiger counter.
I have removed some information from the correspondence to protect the contacts anonymity.
“You have to watch your food like a hawk. My daughter had some tuna in oil….very small tin. I had been warning her. But dad is crazy. I found the tin going into the recycle, it still had a bit of oil in it. So, me being me, I got out my geiger counter and took a reading………it went ballistic.
It just keep climbing and climbing. I didn’t think it was going to stop……It stopped climbing when it hit 38K counts per minute….I didn’t know my bGeigie Nano meter went that high. The oil seemed OK, the tin seemed OK, but a tiny flake of leftover tuna the size of a match head was on the lip of the tin, that is what set it off. Don’t eat ANYTHING from the sea….anymore. That tuna was toxic radioactive nuclear waste, and not food.”
38K counts per minute would be around 1000 times background, using this model Geiger counter!
I sent this email to get more information on this very high detection.
Do you still have the sample?
If you are located in Australia, and still have the sample, I could test it, if you posted to me.
If you don’t have it, if you provide the information below, I may be able to source some here, and test it.
In what country was the tuna tinned?
In what country was it purchased?
Here is the reply to my email query.
This happened over 6 months ago.
I can only assume it was canned in the USA. tuna in oil. At that time I thought the reading was coming from the oil in the tin….I didn’t notice the flake that was on the outside top edge of the can. I got it stuck on my finger and washed it off. After this, is when I couldn’t get a reading from the tin or the oil again. I realized that the flake which was gone down the drain by then was the cause.
I thought my Geiger counter was malfunctioning at the time, which it never has before or since. The count was going up and it freaked out my son as we watched it climb. The highest reading I have ever gotten until then was 164 CPM off of a milled piece of pine, but at that time I was (and still am) learning how to use the geiger counter.
A small number of tests on different brands of tinned tuna have been conducted here recently, and over the last couple years. There was nothing to report from these tests. This is only one community testing lab, and each test takes 24 hours, or more. A large variety of mainly Australian food products have been tested, so statistically the number of tinned tuna tests conducted here at this stage is very small.
It obvious more widespread community and government food testing needs to be conducted.
08.03.2014 – Proven: Pilliga groundwater contaminated by Santos CSG
Documents obtained by The Wilderness Society show that groundwater in the Pilliga has been contaminated by Santos CSG operations.
Uranium levels recorded in the groundwater as a result of CSG activities are at 20 times the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
The NSW EPA have confirmed the contamination event, but failed to act with any proper legal force, choosing to fine Santos only $1,500 dollars.
On Friday, EPA chief environmental regulator Mark Gifford confirmed the contamination was caused by water leaking from the pond and that lead, aluminium, arsenic, barium, boron, nickel and uranium had been detected in an aquifer at levels ”elevated when compared to livestock, irrigation and health guidelines’
Comment By Lock the Gate:
Uranium levels recorded in the groundwater as a result of CSG activities are at 20 times the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. It is the nightmare that the communities of the north west dreaded, and we hope that the contamination is contained and does no harm. Groundwater is the lifeblood of towns and rural businesses and the worst fears of local farmers are being realised.
26.09.2013 – Detection of Radon-220 in the rain
20.09.2013 – “Contaminated seawater reaches the east coast of Australia and Indonesia,” Japan Meteorological Research Institute.
It is important to read the PDF presentation to fully understand the dynamics of this. (Link provided below)
09.09.2013 – Detection of radioactive Iodine I-129 in roof gutter moss Australia.
October 2012, Impact on Australia from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident
1. Food imported from Japan, page 22.
2. Family living in Fukushima for 150 days, page 32.
3. Vehicles and Military aircraft, including American helicopters, page 28. (They appear to be using measurements of square centimeters cm2 instead of per square meter m2, so multiply by 10,000 to get the Bequerel per square meter amount.)
4. Mutton Birds Tasmania, page 36.
11.09.2011 – Silent Storm atomic testing in Australia
Australia’s milk supply? From 1957 to 1978, scientists secretly removed bone samples from over 21,000 dead Australians as they searched for evidence of the deadly poison, Strontium 90 – a by-product of nuclear testing.
Official claims that British atomic tests posed no threat to the Australian people.
Looking for men and women in Alberta or BC who are seeking for off gridders to join them in starting a colony.
The post Seeking others who have or want to start an off grid colony appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.
HELEN CALDICOTT: The Fukushima nuclear meltdown continues unabated: Dr Helen Caldicott explains the Fukushima photos — the radiation has always been too high, we’ve just never seen it.
After Alarmingly High Radiation Levels Detected, What Are the Facts in Fukushima?: Six years after three nuclear reactors were crippled in Fukushima, Japan, when a tsunami knocked out power to their cooling units, there is still conflicting information, real and fake, about the l…
The 10 Principles of Effective Family Survival There’s nothing more important than family in this world. No matter the differences and the hard times you faced, the survival of your family remains your main priority. If your loved ones depend on you to make it during a crisis scenario, you must bring them together. They …
So I stopped in at the Mormon cannery the other day. Actually, if you want to be technical, its the Bishop’s Storehouse or Missoula Home Storage Center. What it actually is is a solid example of a group of Like Minded Individuals working together for a common benefit. Say what you will about the Mormons, they take care of their own and are not screwing around about it. Their logistics are amazing.
I hadn’t been up there in several years since they stopped the DIY dry-canning opportunities. Nowadays you can go up there, but instead of canning the stuff on your own you buy it already canned. It’s certainly more convenient, but I really liked the hanging out and interacting with other (somewhat) like-minded folks.
Anyway, I went up there not because I needed anything but because a friend of mine wanted to go and he’d never been there before. He wound up with a few hundred dollars of assorted goodies and all parties concerned were glad to help. The official line, as I understand it, is that the church offers the services and products of their food storage facility because they want to help their fellow man. Good on them. I’ve been told by people with a more pragmatic bent that the more accurate reason is because if they make the food storage available to their neighbors it lowers the odds of the neighbors forming an angry mob and coming to take their food storage.. I suspect there is an equal element of truth to both statements.
If you’ve never been to one of these places, it is an outstanding source to get some staple goods at unbeatable prices to round out your home storage. The place is almost exactly like Costco but smaller and with about 200% more Jesus. In all my trips there I never once had anyone put a religious spin into things except for starting the visit off with a quick prayer. No one tries to convert you, engage you in religious conversation, or anything like that. We all know why we’re there and we get it done.
What they offer are very basic foodstuffs. Wheat, onions, carrots, sugar, pasta, dried apples, oats, etc. These are things that you could survive on by themselves if you absolutely had no choice, but they’re much better used in conjunction with other storage foodstuffs.
Anyway, it was a nice visit. I always feel a sense of belonging around the poeple there when I go…not because of some religious compatriotism but rather because I’m around other people who don’t think stuffing your basement full of food, ammo, and toiilet paper is a weird idea.
Survival Saturday (or in this case, Survival Sunday) is a round-up of the week’s news and resources for folks who are interested in being prepared.
This Week in the News
The post Radiation, Racism, and the Return of Hillary Clinton appeared first on The Organic Prepper.
Things that never leave my purse (though some probably should – never use that lip gloss anymore!). Everyday Carry Item Breakdown CRKT James Williams Tactical Pen Check out our review of the James Williams Tactical Pen. Opinel No. 5 Non-Locking U.K. Legal Folding Knife Clinell Antibacterial Hand Wipes Thomas just wrote up an article about properly… Read More
This is just the start of the post February 2017 EDC Purse Dump. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
February 2017 EDC Purse Dump, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
If you’ve ever seen a list of emergency supplies on the Internet, odds are that one of the list items was Mylar blankets. These blankets can be found in almost any survival kit or bug out bag, and for good reason. They are small, weigh only a few ounces, retain 90% of your body heat, […]
10 Vital Home Maintenance Tasks You’ll Regret If You Forget This Spring You’ve hunkered down in your closed up house all winter, and now it’s time to get out and tackle a few much-needed home maintenance projects. Whether your idea of DIY is watching HGTV, or you’re on a first-name basis with all guys at the big box home improvement stores in town, keeping up with these projects is vital. Just like ignoring the oil light on your dashboard or pretending that a suspicious health issue will just go away on its own, neglecting some home maintenance projects can end
The post 10 Vital Home Maintenance Tasks You’ll Regret If You Forget This Spring appeared first on Mental Scoop.
What are you preparing for and how do you prioritize accordingly? There are some very real threats out but all of us are limited on time and resources. Even the independently wealthy prepper with all the time and money in the world could not prepare for and mitigate risk for every potential disaster which exists in the world today. With that in mind there must be a calculated balance, prepping for threats in a common sense way which does not over extend our resources or take up too much time (read: getting bogged down).
I see this two ways: High Probability / Low Impact vs Low Probability / High Impact. Where you are in the world and you current state of readiness determines how you break the threats out and prepare for them. A few examples follow.
High Probability / Low Impact
- Bugout necessary because: forest fire, flooding, train wrecks and spills chemicals etc.
- Storm causes power outage for a few days or even a couple weeks
- Job loss
- Stuck on the side of the highway broken down in winter storm
- Droughts cause water shortages
Low Probability / High Impact
- Supervolcano in Yellowstone erupts
- Total financial collapse globally
- Asteroid strike on earth
- WW3 with nukes
- EMP Strike destroys the grid
From the list above (and there are many more) you can see that “impact” to us is relative, you might think a job loss is tough but indeed it is relatively low impact compared to the Supervolcano erupting (especially if you are in the fallout zone).
I’m sure at some point most of us used to watch the OPSEC fail show Doomsday Preppers, where people would state which disaster they were preparing for. Countless time and efforts were being poured into prepping for that one thing but what if that one thing never came to fruition? What if all that time and money toward an underground bunker could have been redirected toward something(s) which would have a better impact to mitigate more plausible scenarios? Granted there is some definite crossover with respect to preps but all of those hand crafted Faraday cages probably won’t come in handy as supplemental income if a job loss happens.
There are no guarantees with respect to preparedness. You could be that guy with seemingly everything going right: community, preps, land, crops, animals, et al and that flood / fire comes through and wipes it all out. With that in mind I think it is important to strive for excellence but also have the mental agility to be flexible, to adjust and prioritize as necessary in order to remain effective. All of the items I listed above could happen so I’m not discounting any of them, yet as stated time and resources are limited so use them wisely. Make your own high prob / low impact vs low prob / high impact list and plan accordingly.
All I could hear was my heart pounding in my ears and feel the burn in my aching legs as the lactic acid crept in. We sprinted a mile or more straight up and over a tree-covered hill after nearly being ambushed at a potential recovery site. My teammate and I split from the other two in our squad in hopes of improving our odds and confusing our pursuers. We were now laying in an initial hide site listening to our back trail for any bad news, praying that we had a decent lead and hoping that we could buy enough time until the rescue team formed a plan and picked us up. Our new objective was to make it to the alternate rally point (still miles away through hostile terrain) without being captured. I wish that I could tell you that we made it without being caught, but the odds were heavily stacked against us. Helicopters with Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), tracker teams with dogs and heavy enemy presence using night vision resulted in our eventual capture and torture after 6 days on the run in temperatures that dipped below freezing every night.
Thankfully, it was all part of an elaborate evasion training exercise conducted by the US Air Force for training new Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) Specialists. That was almost 12 years ago and since then, I’ve had the opportunity to act as both evader and aggressor in numerous evasion training exercises. There are some key takeaways that I’d like to share as well as give you the blueprint for what the Air Force Survival School teaches all students who are considered “High Risk of Capture”.
There’s a multitude of reasons one might have to evade a pursuer, but we’ll keep it generalized and talk about some adaptations required for different environments as we go. Evasion is divided into 5 separate phases: Immediate Action, Initial Movement, Hole-Up, Evasion Movement and Recovery.
Your first reaction may be to get moving, but you need to take a few seconds to sort out any major injuries you may have sustained and decide what equipment needs to go with you. This phase is extremely time sensitive and you’ll likely be task saturated on top of dealing with the shock of the event that led you to the decision to evade. Life threats such as arterial bleeding should be dealt with using expedient methods (i.e. tourniquet) until you have time to reassess and provide long-term care. Now is the time to recall your evasion plan of action and begin to enact it. You do have a plan, don’t you?
Grab any equipment you’re taking with you (go-bag, weapon, etc.) and if the situation dictates, hide any equipment that’ll be staying behind. Consider sanitizing yourself and equipment if you’re evading in a populated area where you’ll need to blend in. Regardless of what you see or hear in your immediate vicinity, always assume there is an enemy presence, keep a low profile and begin moving away from the threat and towards your initial hide site.
Your primary concern in this phase is to “get off the X”. Your physical condition, the environment, and any direct threats will dictate your speed of travel. The natural reaction would be to take off running and that may be indicated if you’re in a wilderness setting, but consider an urban evader bolting through a crowd that’s moving at a walking pace. He’s going to draw a lot of unwanted attention. To help you blend, you’ll also need to initiate some expedient camouflage. In the backwoods, rubbing some dirt on any exposed flesh and clothing will help break up your outline and reduce shine, but don’t stop moving! In a populated area, throwing on a hood, hat or acquiring some additional clothing can help provide some mobile concealment.
The main objective is to put three things between you and the enemy: time, distance and terrain. These barriers are the keys to effectively removing yourself from the danger. How far should you go? Just like your speed of travel, it’s going to depend on your condition/environment/threat. Keep in mind, moving in a straight line directly from A to B makes your direction of travel very predictable and easily ambushed by trackers that may be in radio contact with an assault team. A zigzag pattern will prevent aggressors from anticipating your route and it’s preferable to use the military crest if available. A military crest is a location two-thirds up a slope (one-third from the top). This allows you to use the terrain to your advantage and prevents you from silhouetting yourself on the top of the ridge. It also offers you a superior vantage point and affords you the opportunity to disappear over the ridge should the enemy start to close on your location.
In an urban setting, you’re less likely to find a military crest option, but you can certainly use physical barriers and terrain masking for mobile concealment (buildings, parking garages, houses, alleyways, etc.). Generally speaking, your route of travel should take you away from any lines of communication (LOC). In a rural environment, these are categorized as areas like roads, railways or bodies of water where there are locals and higher population densities. In an urban location, your best course of action will probably be to move towards a more rural location. Steer clear of LOCs like arterial roads, highways and major waterways during urban travel. Once you’re satisfied that you have sufficient time, distance and terrain on the enemy, it’s time to start looking for a suitable hole-up site.
Your hole-up site needs to provide protection from the environment since you’ll likely be in this spot for quite a while. It also needs to be well concealed, so a delicate balance is required between a shelter that is awesome, but stands out like a sore thumb versus a shelter that is super obscure, but doesn’t protect you from the elements. The military developed an acronym to help evaders choose a hole-up site: (BLISS)
Blend– Looks like everything else around it (maybe add some camo to the shelter, but don’t overdo it)
Low-Profile doesn’t stand out and is near ground level (Swiss Family Robinson shelters = bad)
Irregular– Shape shouldn’t draw the eye so avoid straight lines (i.e. no poncho tied off with good pitch and tightness)
Small– Should be just big enough for you and your equipment
Secluded– The point is to stay hidden, so avoid setting up shop in high-traffic areas, but also don’t be the guy hiding in the only bush in the middle of a meadow!
The hole-up site should afford you multiple escape options; crawling into some hollow log or culvert is a bad idea. When approaching a potential hole-up site or even re-entering, use a wide sweeping J-hook approach to allow you early warning of trackers following your trail. This gives you the opportunity to escape before the bad guys roll up on your hidey-hole. Playing the “bad guy” during many evasion exercises, I’ve walked up on so many students in horrible hole-up sites that could see me coming and chose to stay put. This technique is only possible if you have an incredible hide site. If you’re fairly certain the enemy sees you, it’s time to get moving!
Your hole-up site will be a place that requires a lot of listening for and observation of the enemy; utilizing the military crest will be a huge benefit to the evader. If a radio is available, the military crest will provide a better location for line of sight communications, signaling potential rescue teams, determining location and planning possible travel routes.
This phase also allows you to further treat injuries, improve personal camouflage, inventory equipment, drink water and rest. Maintaining security will be a challenge for a lone evader as will overcoming the shock of the situation. Focusing on short-term goals like collecting water and food sources will keep the mind active and also prevent you from letting your guard down or becoming complacent.
Lots of people think that this is a great time to get a fire going, warm up and maybe cook some food, but they’d be dead wrong! A fire is a concession to comfort that puts you at extreme risk for capture. In addition to the smoke of a fire, the visual signal and smell can be detected from a great distance. A life-threating emergency is the only instance when a fire is acceptable. Not just, “I’m really cold and need to warm up for a little bit”. More like, “If I don’t get a fire going right now, I’m probably going to wake up dead”! It’s not within the scope of this article to cover the methods used for an evasion fire, but it needs to be very small, preferably below ground, using very dry hardwoods under a dense tree to disperse smoke.
So how am I going to cook food or purify water you ask? First off, you can go a long time without food and your primary concern is to avoid capture. The evader should rely on known edible plants and insects (six legs and three distinct body segments) for nutrition. This is no time to experiment with plants that you haven’t previously identified as safe. What’s worse than having to evade hungry? Evading with food poisoning while vomiting and diarrhea wreak havoc with your noise discipline (not to mention the accompanying dehydration). Water should be collected early and often; ideally from precipitation and obscure water sources (isolated puddles) and purified using chemical means if available (precipitation does not need to be purified).
If you can meet your needs in the hole-up site and wait out the enemy or wait for rescue, there’s no need for further travel which will only expose you to further danger and increase your odds of being captured. On the other hand, you may be forced to move to meet your needs, link up with rescue assets, or relocate without assistance to a safe location.
Slow, deliberate effort is the name of the game in this phase. Travel during periods of low light (dusk/dawn) and/or during inclement weather when tracks, noise, and visual observation are more concealed. Stop, look, listen and smell frequently to detect enemy or indigenous personnel prior to them seeing you. Fade away very slowly to the nearest point of concealment if you see someone, as quick movements will catch the eye. When acting as an aggressor during evasion exercises, my best tactics for catching students was to anticipate their direction of travel, then get out in front of them. I’d wait until I hear them approaching and close on them quickly. An effective way for an evader to counter this is by taking a “dog leg” (or indirect) approach to their intended destination.
Leave no evidence of travel as you continue to avoid LOCs while maintaining your noise and light discipline. Each “leg” of your movement will necessitate that you move from one point of concealment to the next. Stopping out in the open with your head down to check your compass is a sure ticket to failure!
We won’t go into detail on group evasion movement techniques, but each member should have a designated sector for security and know the rally point if the group is separated. All communication during group movement should use hand signals. Group communication is critical during travel since all members need the ability to silently alert the rest of the group to fade away if a threat is detected. Hand signals should be minimal and clearly understood by all evaders prior to leaving the hole-up site. You don’t want to signal your buddy that a bad guy is inbound and he thinks you’re telling him to steal second base! Once you get to where you’re going, find a new hole-up site, verify your location and determine what your recovery options are.
The final phase of evasion is varied according to the circumstances triggering your event and what recovery mechanisms are available to you. Communication with the rescue asset and signaling them without alerting the enemy are the primary concerns in the recovery phase. Your job may be to observe and report enemy activity or other hazards to the rescue team. Secure your equipment and stay concealed until recovery is imminent. Keep in mind that this is likely a very intense event for the recovery asset so always assume a non-threatening posture, secure any weapons you have, make sure your hands are visible and follow their instructions to the letter. It’d be kind of ironic to get shot by the rescue team after a successful evasion.
Call to Action
Evasion is not one of those things we think much about until the chips are down. How many of you have spent a day or two on the run in the woods practicing it? It’s not too late! This is a skillset that you can become proficient in with some practice. I’ll be honest with you…it’s hard and depending on the weather it can be miserable!
The SERE proverb says, “Your worst day evading is better than your best day in captivity”. Keep up your physical fitness, know how your gear works, get to the woods and practice finding some hole-up sites. Maybe even practice some evasion movement using hand signals with a buddy. It can be fun if you scale it down and practice before putting the whole thing together. Albert Einstein said, “Adversity introduces a man to himself”. Probably better to learn who you are now before the SHTF!
**Editor-in-Chief’s Note: JD is the founder of iwillmakeyouhardtokill.com. His site is dedicated to a wide variety of skills that improve survivability in emergency situations as well as everyday life. He is a SERE Specialist with over 18 years of active duty service teaching aircrew and special operations personnel how to survive, evade, resist and escape at the U.S. Air Force Survival School located at Fairchild AFB, Washington.
Your best prepper resource may be hanging in the sky every night – the moon. If you’re a gardener, getting to know the moon and all its phases might give your garden a boost every season.
The worst case scenario that I try to prepare for is a long-term power grid failure. To help me prepare, I’ve learned to garden, cook over a fire and how to tell basic weather signs. However, when it comes to gardening, I’ve been planting using the first and last frost dates on the calendar. But in a long-term power outage, we might just lose track of time, days, and seasons. How will I decide when to plant if I’m not sure what day it is? Simple. I’ll look to the moon.
Learn the moon’s cycle
I am fairly sure that starting a journal to note events, weather, stars, and the moon cycle will be something I start on Day 1 of a power outage. At some point, if the power outage lasts a long time, I will probably lose track of what day it is exactly if I don’t keep a journal. Noting the moon phases will help me know a lot about when to garden in case I don’t know the exact last frost date.
The moon is constantly changing, but still has a very predictable cycle. There are 12-13 full moons per year occurring every 28-30 days. In the days before electricity, many cultures would give each moon a different name based on the season and nature cycles happening at that time of the year. Old-timers have long known the importance of observing nature for help with predicting weather.
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Native Americans in North America named the moons as part of their calendar. Different tribes had different methods for keeping track of the moon cycles and seasons but still used these observations to track growing seasons, animal behavior, and more. Many years later, several names of the moon were incorporated into the colonial settlers’ calendar when they settled on the continent.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac Web site says:
“The Full Moon Names we use in the Almanac come from the Algonquin tribes who lived in regions from New England to Lake Superior. They are the names the Colonial Americans adapted most. Note that each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred.”
Here are the commonly accepted names of those full moons:
Wolf Moon (January) — Wolves would typically howl at the moon most this time of year.
Snow/Hunger Moon (February) — Most snow fell at this time, which made hunting and gathering food difficult.
Worm/Sap Moon (March) — Worms and sap start appearing at this time as spring starts arriving.
Pink/Sprouting Grass/Egg/Fish Moon (April) — The first pink spring flowers and grasses appear, chickens start laying eggs, and fish can be found at this time.
Flower/Corn Planting/Milk Moon (May) — Spring flowers are in bloom, and it’s time to start milking animals and planting corn.
Strawberry/Rose/Hot Moon (June) — This is the time of year to pick strawberries and roses, but it starts getting hot.
Buck/Thunder Moon (July) — Bucks are growing antlers at this time, and there are often frequent thunderstorms.
Sturgeon/Green Corn Moon (August) — The Native Americans would find lots of sturgeon at this time in Lake Superior, and the corn is green at this point in time.
Corn/Barley/Harvest Moon (September) — This is the harvest time of year.
(Note – the harvest moon can be in September or October, depending on which month puts the full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox.)
Hunter’s/Travel/Dying Moon (October) — The leaves are falling off the trees (dying) and game is fattened and ready to be hunted, which can require travel.
Beaver/Frost Moon (November) — Frost usually occurs at this time, and the Native Americans would set beaver traps at this time to be able to catch them during winter.
Cold/Long Nights Moon (December) — It goes without saying that this time of year is cold and full of long, dark nights.
Two special moons of note:
Blue Moon – A blue moon is the second full moon that occurs in a calendar month.
Black Moon – A black moon is the second new moon occurring in a calendar month.
By keeping track of the full moons and knowing their names, you can have a good guess as to what is going on during that time of the year where you live.
For example, if I start noting that the worms are becoming active again, the full moon around that time is probably the March moon. In my area, that is the time to start seeds indoors for pepper and tomato plants. Two to three full moons after that (May/June) would be time to plant. It might be a good idea to find out what Native Americans in your area called the various full moons, as nature cycles are much different in Arizona than Minnesota.
Plan your garden with help from the moon
During the gardening season, the moon can also be used to help with knowing when to plant. The first two quarters of the moon’s phases after a full moon are the waning phase where light decreases. The other phases are the waxing phase where the moon’s light increases. The moon also affects the gravitational pull and tides, so the argument is that the full moon also affects the water in the soil by drawing it up, helping with germination. The moon does affect groundwater tables, so the best time to turn over the dirt in your garden would be at the new moon when the water table is at its lowest.
“Dr. Frank Brown of Northwestern University performed research over a ten year period. His findings were plants absorbed more water at the time of the Full Moon,” according to the Ohio State University Extension Web site. “He conducted his experiments in a laboratory without direct contact with the moon, yet he still found that the plants were influenced by the phase.”
The Old Farmer’s Almanac suggests that root vegetables and bulb flowers be planted during the waning phase, as this time period has decreasing light from the moon. Above-ground crops and other flowers be planted during the waxing phase, as this time period has an increasing light from the moon.
Here is the easiest way to plant by the moon:
- Find your zone and your last frost date for the spring.
I’m in Zone 6 and our last frost date is around May 15. For the Farmer’s Almanac, I’m between areas 2 and 3.
- Find the moon cycles for that time of the year.
There is a full moon on May 10 and June 9 this year. The new moon is May 25 and June 23.
- Make a gardening plan.
From the new moon to full moon (May 25 to June 9) is the time to plant seeds for plants that produce crops above ground, such as peas, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and asparagus. These plants are helped by the pull of water up in the soil for germination and more light from the moon during this period.
From the new moon to the full moon (June 9 to 23) is the best time to plant root vegetables like carrots, onions and potatoes, along with bulb flowers. These plants do better with a lower water level in the soil and less light from the moon.
A shortcut way is to consult the Farmer’s Almanac, which has a list that breaks down each plant individually and when it is best to plant it according to the moon’s phases by area. I recommend the purchase of this book, since it has detailed charts that will help you make specific gardening plans.
Use this chart to help plan your garden. Click to download and print:
I have not used this method yet, but I plan to this year. I plan to take copious notes this year with my gardening journal. I want to note the phases of the moon as I plant and harvest to see how well it works. I’ve made my fair share of gardening mistakes, which I detailed in this humbling article.
There are many websites out there that can tell you how different people use the moon as their guide to planting. If you find one for your area, make sure to print it out and put it in your gardening journal or reference information. It would be good to teach the information to your children as well. We’ve lost many tips and tricks for surviving hard times because they haven’t been passed down through the generations. The moon will always be there, though.
Have you ever planted by the moon? Is it something you would want to try this year?
Your front door, or any entry into your home, needs to be secured as best as possible. You have valuables inside. No, I am not talking your computer or TVs. I’m talking about your loved ones, your husband, wife, daughter, son, grand kids, even your pets. They are all the most valuable things in your […]
Creating A Simple, Inexpensive Way To Collect Rainwater When we first started our little “farm” back in 2010, we had little to work with. No house, no electricity, and no on-site well for water. So when it came to planting our
The post How To Easily Collect Rainwater To Water Your Garden, Flowers and Landscape! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.
This isn’t really new, nor is it my idea, but its something I learned from instructables.com. This is called an “Alvin” vacuum sealer, and what it does is allow you to use you vacuum food saver attachments to seal mason jars and without needing electric power. I like this alot, and I use it pretty regularly, as I hate getting out the food-saver, but I seal dried food in mason jars all the time.
If you are going on vacation, you need to be aware that burglars love homes that are vacant. This article will show you some tips to prevent burglaries while on vacation. An empty house is a tempting target for a burglar. Use this checklist of tips to help safeguard your home while you’re away: Have […]
If you are robbed, do your best to remain calm. If you can’t remain calm, at least ACT like it.You must decide in advance your belief in resistance. Personally I believe in the morality of self-defense but everyone must decide for themselves. I will say that if you are robbed and do not know what […]
You can’t ever be 100% sure you are doing the right thing for holdup prevention, criminals are individuals and individuals can’t be lumped into an all or nothing formula. However, in my experience as a prison guard that liked to talk, I learned a lot about the mindset of those criminals that got caught. If […]
One of the things that we as preppers and homesteaders are most proud of is using what we have on hand. If everybody operated like we did, there would be a lot less waste on the planet, and a lot more creativity. We re-use and repurpose so many items that we’ve taken it to an art form, so why not do the same with our water storage containers?
Sure, you can buy the fancy water containers at your local Walmart or Target, but they’re expensive and you’re not much bang for your buck. Why not reuse something that you’ve already paid for and are just going to throw away anyway?
What NOT to reuse as water storage containers
There are some things that you just shouldn’t use as water containers either because they’re not suited for it, or they can kill you. Neither situation is ideal, and we’re talking about storing something that is non-negotiable in terms of survival. You absolutely cannot live without a ready supply of clean water regardless of the season.
Food Grade Only
So, first on the list are porous containers that held toxic materials such as oil bottles, antifreeze jugs, and kerosene oil bottles. This may seem obvious to you, but believe it or not, there are cases of people who have reused these types of containers, much to their detriment. Use only food-grade plastic that has only stored food. So, enough said. Use your common sense.
Next on the list are milk jugs. I know – many people use milk jugs to store water, and they’re great for short-term storage in the fridge or freezer, but not for long-term storage. They’re relatively flimsy and easy to puncture or damage, especially if they’re warm or frozen, and the lids aren’t particularly tight on many of them.
You may use them for a couple of years, then come to check your stockpile and notice that one was punctured by a nail head or something when you scooted it across the shelf the last time you moved something, or the lid popped loose. Now you have water on the floor or shelf and it may have ruined some of your stuff. At the very least, it made a mess.
Plastic with BPA
Don’t use plastics that have BPA in them. BPA, or bisphenol A, is an industrial chemical that has been used for decades to add strength and resilience to plastic and to line cans and packaged food containers to prevent leakage and rust.
Unfortunately, it leeches out into the food or drink and binds to estrogen receptors and interacts with other hormones. This can disrupt body functions such as cell repair, growth, energy levels, metabolism, fetal development, and body temperature regulation among many others. In other words, you may not want to drink it.
Because of the controversy, many companies, especially ones that produce bottles and jugs meant to hold liquid, are shying away from BPA. Just check to make sure that your container is BPA free. It will either say it, or the little recycle triangle will have a 1,2, 4, or 5 in it. These are free of BPA and other harmful chemicals, but avoid containers marked with a 1. We’ll discuss that in a minute.
Now that we have our list of containers NOT to use, let’s talk about ones that are good to use to store water for long-term water storage.
Our forefathers used different methods to store their water when they settled with their entire family in new areas.
Good containers to reuse for water storage
Thankfully, this list is long and most of them are already in your refrigerator or cabinets.
How to distinguish food-grade plastics
As long as the little recycling number has a 2 (HDPE – high-density polyethylene), a 4 (LDPE – low-density polyethylene) or a 5 (PP – polypropylene), you’re good. It’s not a good idea to reuse containers marked with 1 (PETE – polyethylene terephthalate) because detergents and heat will break it down and can cause antimony, a toxic chemical, to leech into your water. So, use only plastic containers that have a 2, 4, or 5 in the triangle.
A tip about reusing plastic for water storage: wash it in the dishwasher or in warm, soapy water, rinsing well, and allow to air-dry.
These are great containers to reuse to store water because the plastic is usually thick and juice is pretty easy to wash out of the jug. The lids are usually secure, too. Since the plastic is usually sturdy, you don’t run the risk of tearing it by snagging it on a nail head or breaking it if you bump a corner when you’re moving it.
Some people will tell you that you can’t get all of the sugars out of the bottle and that can lead to a breeding ground of bacteria, but if you use chlorinated water or add a few drops (2 drops per quart) of bleach, you should be fine.
Juice jugs come in many different sizes, from small, single-serving bottles to gallon (or bigger) jugs. All of them are good for storing water, and it’s a good idea to have water stored in smaller containers so that you can take it with you if you have to flee. Also, if you have all of your water stored outside in drums, people will see them. You want to keep your water supply hidden.
Ahhh… yet another use for 5-gallon buckets. Personally, I like the idea of storing water in these because they’re stackable, they’re typically made to contain liquids (think pickle juice), and they’re opaque. They meet all of my needs except portability, but won’t it be nice to have a few gallons of water if you need to make a huge pot of soup to feed everybody?
As with all plastics, make sure that they’re food-grade because not all of them are. Though you can buy these, there’s really no need to because you can go to restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, and just about anywhere else that sells food and get them for free.
If they happen to smell like pickle juice, wash them well and fill them with water, then add half a cup of bleach to it and let it sit overnight. Charcoal and vinegar work too, but I don’t like to add vinegar on these because then it smells like vinegar, which is suspiciously similar to pickles. You can always just take off the lid and let it air out for a few days, too. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t.
Soda Bottles and water bottles
Soda (aka pop) bottles are great for water storage. Since they come in many different sizes from 8 ounces on up to 2-liters, you have a lot of versatility. Many water bottles are reusable, too. As with all other plastics, clean well with warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
If you want to store large quantities at a time, then these are a great option. Again, just make sure they’re food-grade and haven’t had any non-food products stored in them.
If you want to buy them new, just search the net for them. You may even be able to get them for free if you live near a soda distribution plant because that’s what they buy their syrups in. If they have a policy against giving them away, ask who picks them up, then contact that company. Chances are good you’ll get them for just a few bucks a piece.
Oh, and these come in both plastic and stainless steel, so you have options. I’ve never used the stainless steel ones so I’m not sure how heavy or unwieldy they are compared to their plastic counterparts. On a similar note, you can make a collection, storage, and filtration system using 55-gallon drums.
Now that you have some ideas for reusing containers for water storage, what are you waiting for? Start storing.
Remember the Law of Three: you can survive without water only three days. Click the banner below to discover our ancestor’s methods of water storage!
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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|“Christ and the Pharisees” by Ernst Zimmerman (1870-1944)
The context of this passage is that we see Jesus addressing the Pharisees after they have confronted Him about the actions of His disciples. They asked the Lord why His followers did not live their lives according to the traditions of the elders — specifically, that they ate without cleansing themselves completely (according to the ancient rituals).
Jesus then adds His own evaluation of their words and actions: The religious leaders were clinging faithfully to their man-made traditions, while disregarding and neglecting the commandments of God. External appearances and man-made rituals and doctrines were replacing the Divine rule of God. And then came the final pronouncement: They have made the Word of God of “none effect”. Various translations use the word “disannul” or “nullify” [as here in the Amplified Bible]. The significance of this word is the effect it has to “deprive of authority”.
By choosing to follow their own rules and rituals, which were adaptations of the Scripture, these men were robbing the Word of God of any authority it might have had. They were acting as if the traditions and rituals handed down to them by religious leaders and elders of the Faith took supremacy over what God had commanded them to do. In essence, they were acting as if God’s Word did not apply to them and they had chosen to follow men instead. In this case, it was only about cleansing before eating, but Jesus accuses them of doing many more things that followed man’s guidelines rather than God’s.
Are we any different today? I would venture to say that we all have our “doctrines” that we swear are supported by the Bible. Two thousand years of Church creeds, tenets, dogma, canons, and reformations have made it near impossible to be completely free of some man-made doctrine. When you just consider the basic doctrines of the Christian faith, you can see where man’s influence has resulted in the confusion over God’s Word, and the lack of the absolute authority of YHWH alone.
How many different opinions do modern Christians have about The Trinity, the Deity of Christ, Jesus’s Second Coming, Salvation, Baptism, The Lord’s Supper? And what about The Tribulation? There are Christians who can’t agree whether Christ’s return is Pre-, Mid-, or Post-. Then there is the Millennial Kingdom. We have believers calling themselves pre-millennialists, post-millenialists, and amillenialists. We have Calvinists and Arminians. We have Dispensationalists, Evangelicals, and Zionists. Not to mention all the “movements” within Christianity: the Emergent movement, the Charismatic movement, the Prosperity Movement, the Free Grace movement [which somehow differentiates itself from the Grace movement], the Hebrew Roots movement, the Lesbian and Gay Christian movement, the Restoration movement… and the list keeps growing. And how many people have searched the Word to see if what they believe actually adheres to God’s commandments? Have we made Him our authority, or are we following the traditions of men in the Church?
But what do they all have in common? They all look to some man’s interpretation of Scripture to define their faith! Can you see that all these names are just modern renditions of “Pharisee” and “Sadducee”? We have all been guilty, at one time or another, of applying some man-made tradition to our worship of YHWH. And like Jesus said, we disregard and neglect the commandment of God, and cling [faithfully] to the tradition of men. We have followed the tenets and teachings of our particular denominations, often not even bothering to see if they are confirmed by Scripture. By doing that, who are we giving authority to? If we aren’t searching the Word of God to see what He commands of us in any particular tradition or ritual of our church, then we are certainly not making Him the principal authority. And if we don’t care enough to even “check and verify”, what does that tell Him about how we regard His Word? Aren’t we just as guilty of “disregarding and neglecting” God’s commandments as these religious leaders in Mark, Chapter 7?
Throughout the centuries, men have left their mark on God’s Word. Whether it has been John Calvin, Martin Luther, William Tynedale, John Wesley, or Billy Graham, men have long attempted to interpret God for God. I am not disparaging the faith of these men, nor necessarily negating their impact on millions of people who might not have known God otherwise. But just like the traditions of the Jewish elders prior to Christ, they have often added new layers of interpretation to God’s Word. When in reality, He doesn’t need any other interpreter than the Holy Spirit, about whom Jesus told us, when He, the [Holy] Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth [full and complete truth]. For He will not speak on His own initiative, but He will speak whatever He hears [from the Father—the message regarding the Son], and He will disclose to you what is to come [in the future].
How much of what we hear and believe and practice in the Church today comes from the initiatives of men? I clearly remember a time when the Holy Spirit whispered to my spirit, and I began to feel empty and unfed. It was difficult to accept, but I had to admit that as I sat in Church each Sunday I wasn’t hearing or tuning into the Holy Spirit. Then it was as if He said, Why are you sitting there listening and not seeking for yourself? I have so much more to share with you; truths and commands from the Father that you have never heard. Seek Him and His Son [in His Word] and I will show you new things you are to do for the Kingdom of God, for it is time for you to live out your faith, and you don’t even know what that looks like. Stop giving men your devotion and look to the Lord for His full revelation.
I know there are more Christians like me; faithful Believers who are waking up to the fact that we have been blindly following the traditions that have been handed down from the elders of our denominations. We want the direct revelation from the authoritative voice of God, and we are throwing off labels and religious titles for the one designation that counts … Child of God and Follower of Jesus. By doing that, we are seeing the Word through fresh and uncompromised eyes and hearts. We are now seeing, for the first time, the commandments to heal, and to cast out demons, and the part we are to play in advancing the Kingdom of God on earth. We no longer shy away from the “difficult” Scriptures because no one in our Church can explain them. We recognize that God and Jesus are the authorities to which we answer, and I am so blessed to be among a growing number of Christians who are listening to the Holy Spirit, and seeking God’s authority in revealing His Truth.
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