14 Best Vegetables To Grow In A Bucket

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There’s nothing better for you than fresh, homegrown fruits, herbs, and vegetables, but not all of us have the luxury of being able to plant a traditional garden. But did you know that you can get great yields on many types of produce?

Today we’re going to take a look at the best vegetables to grow in buckets, so that no matter where you live, you can eat well.

Growing in buckets enables people with limited space to grow their own food. Even if you have the land, buckets still make growing easier if you have a hard time getting up and down to weed the garden, take care of the plants, and pick the veggies. Or, if you’re simply too busy to dedicate the time it takes to care for a traditional garden.

If you’re using buckets, don’t forget to poke a few drainage holes in the bottom. After you’ve poked the holes, use some natural filters so you won’t lose the dirt. Put a layer of rocks, then a layer of sand if you want, then your soil. Don’t use regular dirt because it will likely compact and impair growth. Instead, use an equal mix of ripe compost, potting soil, and peat moss.

Do a little research on what your plants need so that you know to make the soil more or less acidic.

If you live in a cold climate, it’s a good idea to plant seedlings for plants that require extra time. This includes just about every plant except for green onions, shallots, carrots, potatoes, and radishes, and plants that are grown from bulbs. Of course, you always have the option of moving the buckets inside if it gets too cold too early.

Finally, you may look at the yield you’re getting per bucket and think, “Wow. That doesn’t sound like much for the amount of space I’m using. There’s a lot of soil left underneath that plant that isn’t being used.” You’re absolutely right. If you want to maximize that space instead of wasting it, consider growing plants out the bottom, too. Many plants grow well upside down.

These lessons of yesterday will teach you the basic skills you need for survival cooking! 

Potatoes

Whether you like plain old spuds or prefer sweet potatoes or yams (yes, there is a huge nutritional difference), potatoes are a great bucket crop. Potatoes are hardy, grow in virtually any soil, and are grown underground, so they’re tolerant to weather changes. They’re also simple to prepare.

The key to getting a good potato yield is to grow them in a nitrogen-rich environment. Potatoes also self-perpetuate, so you’ll never run out.

Hint – grow clover on top of your potato bucket, or on the topsoil of any plant that needs lots of nitrogen, because clover pulls nitrogen out of the air and distributes it through its root system and down into the soil.

All you have to do to plant regular potatoes in a bucket is let the “eyes” or little roots grow from it, cut the potato into sections so that each section has an eye, and plant it. Plant the equivalent of one whole, large potato per 3-gallon of bucket, and 2 potatoes to a 5-gallon bucket.

You don’t even really HAVE to cut it into pieces. I just do because it’s how I was raised with a traditional garden. Old habits.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes grow fabulously in buckets; just remember that you’ll still have to stake them to something. This can be as easy as sticking a stake right in the bucket with it. No problem.

Cherry or bush tomatoes work the best and you shouldn’t plant more than one per bucket. You can pull tomatoes off in a 3-gallon bucket as long as you’ve got something besides just a stake in the bucket to stake them to, so that the weight will be supported.

Video first seen on ROCKNTV1

Cucumbers/Squash

Any type of cucumbers or squash grow well in buckets. As a matter of fact, I have a little better luck with the buckets because it’s easier for me to find the vegetable. Often when I planted them in a regular garden, I’d lose a few in the foliage.

Plant one plant per bucket.

Peppers

These are nice to grow right on the porch as ornamentals. For that matter, so are cucumbers and squash because of the nice flowers. If you’re growing colorful peppers such as banana peppers or chilies, they brighten up the porch, too.

Interesting pepper fact that many people don’t know:

The only difference between green, red, orange, and yellow sweet peppers is the time they spend on the vine. Green ones are picked first, then if they’re left alone, they turn yellow, orange, then red. Nutritional values vary widely among the colors, though.

Plant two peppers per 5-gallon bucket.

Video first seen on Gary Pilarchik

Beans

Bush beans grow best. Plant 1 bush per bucket.

Carrots/Radishes

Plant 10 per bucket. You can get away with using a smaller bucket or planter for these. Just make sure that the soil is at least a foot deep.

Onions/Garlic

Green onions, shallots, and any type of larger onion all grow wonderfully in buckets. For green onions and shallots, you can use a shallow bucket or window box as long as the soil is at least 6 inches deep. Just sprinkle a tablespoon or so of seeds evenly across the top of the bucket and cover with 1/4-1/2 inch of soil. For large onions and garlic, plant 4-5 per 5-gallon bucket.

Beets

Plant 4-5 per bucket.

Eggplant

Plant 2 plants per bucket because each plant requires 12-14 inches of growing space. You may be able to get away with 3. They’re good as ornamentals, too. Eggplants can be a bit finicky to grow because they require adequate water, good drainage, and pollination. Nothing is more frustrating than growing a plant then watching the flowers fall off without bearing fruit.

For your soil, use half sand and half soil/compost. Make sure they get at least two inches of water per week – more if you live in a hot climate. It’s a good idea to give them all of this water at once so that the water reaches the roots. Test your soil between waterings to make sure that it doesn’t dry out. You don’t want it too wet, but it should be moist.

Since they’re wind-pollinated, you may have a problem with adequate pollination. If you’re worried about this, it’s easy to pollinate them yourself. Just take a little paintbrush and run it around the inside of each flower.

They’ll also need a support system just like tomatoes do.

Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage

These are great vegetables to plant in a bucket and you can grow 2-3 plants per bucket. Broccoli and red cabbage in particular are packed with nutrients.

Herbs

All herbs grow well in buckets, and you don’t need to use a full five-gallon bucket, either – they only need about 6 inches of soil to grow well. How many you can plant per container depends upon the herb, so pay attention to planting directions. You can even easily and successfully grow herbs inside.

Growing plants in buckets is a great method for several different reasons. From a prepper’s perspective, perhaps one of the biggest advantages is portability. If you have to bug out, you can take your food with you.

Since nearly all plants have seeds, you’re basically leaving with a food supply that will self-perpetuate, so it’s best to use heirloom seeds to ensure consistent growth and quality. I can’t overstate how important it is to choose the correct seeds for your needs.

Do you wonder what are the secrets that helped our grandparent survive during harsh times?

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

A Small Bullet Space Pen For Everyday Carry

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I just wanted to fill you in on something that I carry in my pocket as part of my everyday carry items. It is something that you might consider to be “old school” and something that might not be recognized by many people today, especially those of the smart phone or tablet generation… 😉 It’s […]

Prepper Hack: How Harvesting Snow Creates a Long-Term Water Supply

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ReadyNutrition Readers, I have written a few articles about water catchment systems for your home (via rainfall), and also how to purify water/set up a disinfecting station.  One of the problems faced by many over the last several years is that a number of states have put into place laws that forbid you to take the very rainwater from off of your roof.  So how to put into place a water catchment system with that kind of nonsense in place?  Well, that’s a tough call.

They didn’t say anything about the water that has already fallen, now, have they?

Run for the nearest feed store and/or hardware store to secure a few of those 45-55-gallon plastic drums that can be closed off at the top.  The kind that I have found that are really good are a brown barrel with a gasketed lid and an “O” ring that screws the lid in place, almost akin to a gigantic mason jar.  They’re brown, a dark color that will absorb the sun’s light.  You load these guys up with snow and let the warm weather do the rest.  As the snow melts, you periodically add more snow to the barrels.

Here, this is the age of techno-wizardry.  Most of the readers have cell-phones with cameras and other do-dads to record virtually everything that happens in life, no matter how truly insignificant.  Well, here’s a function that actually bears significance.  Take pictures of yourself loading up the barrels with snow.  They don’t have any laws in place that say anything about harvesting snow off of the ground: after all, look how much they spend of your money every winter for snow removal.

How to Assist the Snow to Melt

You can also help the melting process out by positioning these barrels in an area optimal to catching the sun.  You can use ice as well…gathering ice is actually even more productive than the snow in terms of yield.  It will be “shaky” for a little while, as the nighttime temperatures have not come up above freezing in much of the country; however, you’ll be able to get a jumpstart on things and have full containers long before that precious government-controlled rain starts to fall regularly in the spring.

Camouflage Your Water Supply

It is an “outside of the box” idea.  Sure, if you have a well, there is no problem with your water supply…as of yet.  It couldn’t hurt, though, to prep by storing about 150 to 200 gallons, courtesy of Frosty the Snowman if you’re able.  The big thing you want to do with a water point is to camouflage it.  This will protect you from incredible, snooping, malicious neighbors who may want to turn you in.  Remember: the same neighbor that would blow the whistle on you for having a water point against “neighborhood regulations” is the same one who would beg and cry at your door for water when the EMP strikes and takes out those electric water pumps.

Best thing to do is hide or shield them behind something, while yet figuring out how to do it without blocking the sun that enables them to melt.  You may not be able to fill up a whole barrel, but if you even get 4 barrels half full, then you can consolidate them into 2, and keep the remaining 2 in reserve for tough times to come.  You have to think outside of the box, and you have to protect your water supply from the snoopy Scooby’s in the ‘hood.  It’s part of your preps: you need to have a water supply that is not threatened with inability to use it because of loss of power.  You keep that powder dry, melt that snow for a water supply, and let G-men and neighbors just walk on by!  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

How To Prepare For An Earthquake

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How to Prepare for an Earthquake | Backdoor Survival

People who live in an earthquake zone know that an earthquake will happen eventually. For them, it is just a question of how bad, and how much it will affect them personally. For that reason, if you live near a fault line, you better be prepared for the inevitable shaker because it is going to happen. But it does not stop there, In this article learn that earthquakes can happen anywhere.

Learn the strategies and skills you need to survive an earthquake!

The post How To Prepare For An Earthquake by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Preppers and the food that can kill you!

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Preppers and the food that can kill you! Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps “ Audio in player below! As for the title this is not misleading! Prepping without thought will get you seriously hurt or killed. So many of us have the illusion that we will be a Rambo type that can go around shooting … Continue reading Preppers and the food that can kill you!

The post Preppers and the food that can kill you! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Starting The Process Of Forgiveness

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Let’s recap! And then, once we’ve gone over what we’ve done so far, we’re going to get really serious about starting this process of forgiveness. Welcome to Day Sixteen of 30 Days to Forgiveness!

We’ve talked about making the decision to forgive, and you know that it’s a process that can take some time.

Now that you understand the basics, it's time to start the process of forgiveness

You know how important it is, and hopefully you understand that you need some help to get through this. It’s going to be difficult and painful, and you will need prayer as well as the support of loved ones or a trained counselor.

You have accepted that you need to feel the pain and acknowledge the anger, and this is the moment when the forgives process starts. No more stewing and vague mutterings that reflect a hidden core of hurt that is affecting your life.

You are worth more than that and, while maybe you don’t really know it deeply, you’re starting to accept it.

You, my friend, are a child of God, and Christ died for you.

You are worth too much to let your life be consumed by these unhealthy grudges.

You have decided that you don’t have room in your life for that pain and anger. They are holding you back from experiencing the fullness of your life – as a parent, friend, spouse and yes, as a Christian! The negative, nasty feelings have to go so that you have room for more joy and happiness.

What an amazing place you’re at right now.

Just stop for a moment and realize how far you’ve come and how wonderful this is. Angels are dancing in Heaven at the spiritual growth that you’re showing, rejoicing that you are letting go of the things that block you from joy.

Don’t scoff – I am positive that there is a party in heavenly places when we grow like this.

What’s next?

Well, as I said before, even when we decide to lay our burdens at the Cross, we have a really bad habit of sneaking back and picking them up. We are certainly creatures of habit, but the good news is that we can craft new habits. (Hey, I wrote a post on creating new habits)

Of course crafting new habits, building new thought patterns, takes time, and that’s why I’m taking such a very long time to focus on forgiveness.

Your job going forward is to focus on leaving that burden of shame and guilt, pain and anger, right where it belongs. You haven’t done a very good job of dealing with up to this point, have you?

So it’s time to leave it at the Cross and move on. I am giving you a plan, a blueprint if you will, for changing your old thoughts and behaviors, and there are plenty of action tips along the way, but you and you alone are responsible for putting them into action.

Sit for a moment and think about what it takes to keep you going, to help you remember to stick it out and forgive every day?

Some options I like are:

Daily affirmations and Bible verses (my readers know I love affirmations!)

Prayer (which includes meditative prayer)

Journaling

Speaking to a priest or pastor

Sessions with a trained therapist

Reading books about forgiveness and love

While this is a journey you need to make on your own, you aren’t really alone. Your loved ones want you to feel peaceful and happy, so be sure to talk with them and ask them to become part of your support system.

It’s important to realize that you’re not alone on this journey.

Your loved ones want you to feel better and increase your happiness. Talk to them about this challenge and what you’re doing. I’m sure they will gladly become an integral part of your support system.

If you want some extra support, leave a comment down below – be sure to tag me @justplainmarie and select the ‘Also post to Facebook’ option.

Check in daily to remind yourself to continue to work on forgiveness. Share your struggles and your successes. We are a friendly bunch and always happy to cheer you on and help you along in any way we can.

Now that you understand the basics, it's time to start the process of forgiveness

Masked Vigilantes Are Repairing A City’s Potholes – And Officials Are Upset

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Masked Vigilantes Are Repairing A City’s Potholes – And Officials Are Upset

Residents of one American city can thank an unlikely group of “masked superheroes” for road repairs.

The masked, self-described anarchists in Portland, Ore., are dressed as ninjas and filling potholes while winning popular gratitude, KGW-TV reported. Their efforts have earned the praise of residents and opposition from the Oregon city’s government.

“Successful preliminary action today. We patched five potholes on SE Salmon, between 37th and 39th,” the group, known as Portland Anarchist Road Care, posted on its Facebook page recently.

Goofy Gadget Can Jump-Start Your Car — And Charge Your Smartphone!

Masked Vigilantes Are Repairing A City’s Potholes – And Officials Are Upset But city officials want the group to stop.

“It’s not safe for them because there is traffic on the streets and they can potentially put themselves at risk and the public at risk if the repair isn’t done properly,” Dylan Rivera of the Portland Bureau of Transportation said of the anarchists.

Some citizens, though, love what the vigilantes are doing. The anarchists post pictures of themselves, masked, repairing potholes.

“They don’t need to be masked,” resident Tom Satchell said of the anarchists. “They’re doing a great job.”

Rivera said the city has fixed more than 900 potholes so far this year and has crews out working on the problem on every sunny day. It is not clear how many potholes the anarchists have repaired.

Looking For A Safer Country? Read More Here.

What is your reaction? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Masked Vigilantes Are Repairing A City’s Potholes – And Officials Are Upset

Masked Vigilantes Are Repairing A City’s Potholes – And Officials Are Upset

Residents of one American city can thank an unlikely group of “masked superheroes” for road repairs.

The masked, self-described anarchists in Portland, Ore., are dressed as ninjas and filling potholes while winning popular gratitude, KGW-TV reported. Their efforts have earned the praise of residents and opposition from the Oregon city’s government.

“Successful preliminary action today. We patched five potholes on SE Salmon, between 37th and 39th,” the group, known as Portland Anarchist Road Care, posted on its Facebook page recently.

Goofy Gadget Can Jump-Start Your Car — And Charge Your Smartphone!

Masked Vigilantes Are Repairing A City’s Potholes – And Officials Are Upset But city officials want the group to stop.

“It’s not safe for them because there is traffic on the streets and they can potentially put themselves at risk and the public at risk if the repair isn’t done properly,” Dylan Rivera of the Portland Bureau of Transportation said of the anarchists.

Some citizens, though, love what the vigilantes are doing. The anarchists post pictures of themselves, masked, repairing potholes.

“They don’t need to be masked,” resident Tom Satchell said of the anarchists. “They’re doing a great job.”

Rivera said the city has fixed more than 900 potholes so far this year and has crews out working on the problem on every sunny day. It is not clear how many potholes the anarchists have repaired.

Looking For A Safer Country? Read More Here.

What is your reaction? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Secure This House

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1_secure_this_house_featured

2_secure_this_houseConsider any house, any house at random, or own your house.  You’ve decided, for a whole host of practical and realistic reasons, that if and when a significant SHTF occurs, a Bug In is your best option.  After all, this is your home.  You’ve lived there for years in relative comfort.  You know every inch of it.  You know your neighbors, well, at least by sight anyway, or you should.  

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

For years you have worked on a prepping plan that hopefully would allow you and your family to survive at a fairly decent level of comfort during any SHTF or disaster aside from one that completely destroys your residence.  This plan did not come easy or without some discomfort or sacrifice especially financially.  You are convinced though, you made the right choices so far and for the most part your family is on board, though their doubts may linger.

Related: Fortifying Your Home

Your survival stocks of essential goods include food, water, medical, sanitary, and the basic gear to get by.   All the same stuff that would be in a Bug Out Bag is at the house in storage containers and safe boxes.  Oh, you did a BOB just in case, too.  You think you have all your bases covered.  

Still you fine tune and home, but feel pretty confident you can withstand a SHTF, at least for a good while.  But, what else?  Maybe other fears continue to haunt you?

A Man’s Home is his Castle

3_secure_this_houseHow secure is your house after all?  Could it be breached, easily or with considerable effort?  How much detailing have you put into making your physical residence as break in proof as possible once a SHTF siren goes off?  Eventually, count on people milling around investigating who is home, what is easy to take, or how to get inside your house. Recall the movie Purge?  Yeah, I know, its Hollywood, but the scenario portrayed is none the less pretty scary.  That house was secure, or so they thought.  They had steel shutters that closed and locked electronically over every window and door entry.  Their “lock down” for the Purge was over the top.  Well, I know the system was unlocked from the inside for the movie plot to play out, but the purge pranksters (neighbors by the way) were able to attach chains to the front door and jerk off all the security armament they had in place.  Just saying.  

So, let’s play a game, one that could save your life.  It’s actually fun.  You can do it yourself, with family, or perhaps a prepper teammate or somebody else you know that is prepping like you are.  Exchange the favor to help each other out.  

Being the devil’s advocate is always fun.  Take a legal pad and a red pen.  Walk around your house from the outside noting every weakness you can find that could be exploited by somebody wanting to break into your house during dire circumstances like a SHTF.  

Now, this analysis helps, too, in cases of pure crime like breaking and entering, or robbery, but now we’re talking a full bore SHTF where people are thirsty, hungry, in need of help, or just want to take what you have and kill you in the process.  This could and does happen during real survival disaster situations.  

Repel from the Outside

4_secure_this_houseThe more hardened you can make your house during a SHTF, the more likely you are to repel unwanted advances or threats to your security.  During your walk around take note of these usual weaknesses.  All entry points, doors, windows, garage, patio, fireplace chimney, roof, attic vent outside access points, any place or weak spot that could be opened, pried open, cut into, hacked into, or where an otherwise forced upon entry could be made.  

How protected or locked down, sealed from outside tampering are your utility connections including electricity, natural gas, and water?  This might also include sewer and certainly an external power generator.  These could be cut off in order to force you out of the house.  During a SHTF, devise some way to add extra security to these key resources.  

It is common during hurricanes for residents and business people to cover their doors and windows with heavy duty plywood for protection.  Perhaps such “shutters” could be custom made for your house and stored in the garage.  Special break proof glass could be installed in windows, but the cost factors may well be out of reason.  Seek other options.  

All normal entry points should be double secured with multiple locking systems particularly hardened physical dead bolts and slide locks, not just electronic locks.  Replace exterior wooden doors with steel doors with minimal windows.  A viewing port though would be valuable.  Garage doors should be hardened too, with inside slide locks or lock jams.  

As you do the security analysis of your home from the outside, just ask yourself, “If I could get into this door or that window, or drop a fire cocktail down an open chimney top, then so could anybody else intent on breaking in as well or indeed forcing an evacuation.”

Defend from the Inside

6_The_outlaw_josey_walesIn the movie The Outlaw Josey WalesI always liked those window shutters the old adobe house had so that gun barrels could be moved in a “T” fashion or like a cross port, both up and down, and right or left.  Any defender inside the house could see out of those slits, but also see well enough to shoot out of them.  Outsiders found it hard to target these shutter openings.  I wonder if SHTF shutters could be fashioned like those designed to secure a door or window but still allow them to be shot out of.  Something to ponder I guess.  The point being, if you Bug In and your house is more or less on a security lock down, you may still have to defend your positions from inside the house, aka The Alamo.  Sounds easy, but much more difficult to deploy with doors and windows shut.  Even shooting out an open door or cracked open window can be problematic if not practiced.   This is a training drill you will need to practice.  Do not fail to consider defense of all sides of your house.  

If you live in a two-story house, then the second floor could offer a defensive advantage being able to oversee advancement threats below.  There may also be ways to deploy roofline defenses from the rear of the house.  If your house has dormers with windows, these may be defensive positions as well.  All the possibilities need to be explored.  

Check Out: Handling an Active Shooter Situation

Regardless, you will need plans for defending multiple points of potential attack on your residence.  Hopefully you have other adults or responsible youth that can help out, too.  They will need training, weapons, ammo, and gear of their own or a shared arsenal with ample back up supplies.  

Securing your Bug In residence takes on considerable complications.  Defending it requires even more planning, preparation, practice and execution.  Of course your intent is to survive a SHTF, whatever it is, so step up your prepping plan a few more notches beyond sustenance basics.  There will likely be the opportunity to test it out eventually.  

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Fire and Ice: How To Prepare for Climbing Mount Rainier

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Lee Flynn has a new post for us:
Fire and Ice: How To Prepare for Climbing Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier is one of the most iconic peaks in the United States. Rising 14,410 feet above sea level, this active volcano combines breathtaking beauty with unpredictable and occasionally life-threatening hazards. Summiting this unique mountain is an exhilarating and unforgettable experience, but it does take some special preparation.

Focus on Fitness  

To reach Mount Rainier’s summit, expect to climb a minimum of 9,000 feet in elevation while carrying at least 35 pounds of gear. The extensive glaciation means that it’s not a simple hike, either. You may have to use your hands to hoist yourself up or rely on crampons and other tools that may change the way you move. Start training early and focus on a general fitness plan that works all your major muscle groups. Include both short-term, intense cardiovascular exercises and endurance training.

Learn the Skills

Mount Rainier’s extensive glaciation means that snow and ice stick around all year, as do the hazards that accompany them. Make sure to practice climbing in those conditions. Avalanches are less common during the climbing season, which lasts from April to September, but they remain a risk all year. Learn to recognize and avoid avalanche-prone areas. Make sure you know ice climbing skills, such as how to self-arrest with an ice ax. Get basic training in first aid and rescue techniques so you can handle any problems that may arise and choose a route appropriate to your skill level.

Pick Your Partners

No solo climbers are allowed on Mount Rainier, and the National Parks Service recommends at least three to four people per party. First-time or less experienced climbers typically have the best chance of summiting when they hire a professional guide. If you create your own expedition, try to choose teammates whose skills balance each other out. The most experienced mountaineer should generally be the team leader.

Know the Risks

Volcanic activity and glaciation create unusual risks that aren’t found on many fourteeners in the United States. In addition to avalanche risk areas, learn to recognize unstable seracs, or ice cliffs, which can collapse and fall on climbers. Lower on the mountain, volcanic activity sometimes causes lahars, or debris flows, which can clog rivers and cause sudden and unexpected flooding. Mount Rainier also has notoriously unpredictable weather compared to many other mountains. Make sure to check weather reports and carry the right equipment to handle any likely weather conditions.

Test Your Gear

Never take unfamiliar gear on a major climb. Giving everything a trial run or two not only lets you identify any defective or ill-fitting equipment, but it also ensures that you know how to operate or assemble things. This can come in handy if you have to set up in the dark or in inclement weather. Make sure to try out any new technological equipment, too, such as testing solar chargers or familiarizing yourself with a vape box mod if you plan to use one on your climb.

Planning Is Everything

A detailed plan is the key to a successful summit. Make sure to create a realistic timeline for your climb. Tailor it to the slowest member of your team so no one feels rushed or exhausted. Plan around typical weather conditions as well. Climbing on glaciers during the afternoon can be grueling and unpleasant due to the warmth and the sun reflecting off of the snow. Most experienced climbers leave extremely early in the morning to maximize travel time while minimizing sun exposure. Stick to your plan no matter what to avoid getting stuck on the mountain in dangerous conditions. Remember that reaching the summit is only half of the journey, so don’t spend too much time relaxing or celebrating before turning around to hike back down.

Mount Rainier’s unique geology and environment combine to create an exceptional climbing experience, but reaching the summit can be dangerous. Planning, training and preparation are the keys to a fun and successful climb.

The New Remington 1911R1 10MM Hunter

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1_1911R1_10mm_hunter_featured

2_remington_10mmThe Remington Arms Company began making firearms in 1816.  Specifically, the founder Eliphalet Remington made his first handgun in that year.  Later, in 1830, the original factory armory building was constructed in Ilion, New York.  Other buildings were added in 1854 and again in 1875. As you can well imagine with an arms company that grew to be such a comprehensive manufacturer of firearms, the total history is complex and multi-faceted.  It would take a book to outline it all, and in fact there are many books on the Remington Arms Company for those interested in such things as firearms history.  The study of Remington is a good one.  

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Remington Arms just celebrated their 200th Anniversary last year.  The company remains in a strong market position, though arms making these days is in a constant mode of flux as the markets and politics constantly changes.  And Remington has changed with the times, too.

Perhaps Remington is best known for their long guns including their benchmark bolt action rifle, the Model 700, as well as the 1100 Shotgun which became the 11-87 with enhancements, and their quintessential pump action shotgun, the 870.  But since 1816, Remington has manufactured countless models of handguns, rifles, and shotguns, not to mention ammunition, their famous Bullet knives, and other trademarked accessories.  

Remington was also a huge manufacturer of military arms from the Civil War’s 1861 revolver, various Derringers, pocket pistols, Calvary 1875 Army Revolvers, Rolling Block pistols and rifles, numerous percussion rifles, the US 1911 Remington UMC pistol, and rifles for World Wars I and II.  Their production of sporting arms is likewise legendary.  Their imagination and engineering creativity continues today.  

Recent Remington Renditions

3_remington_10mmRemington Arms Company has never been an industrial firearms manufacturing company to be satisfied with sitting on their laurels.  In just the past few years, Remington has gotten back into the pocket pistol, self-defense, personal protection and concealed handgun weapons business despite how crowded that marketplace is these days.  

First, Remington brought out their new .380 ACP semi-auto pocket pistol dubbed the RM380.  Next, they produced a pocket sized 9mm labeled the R51.  Finally, is their newest rendition, the RP9, a full sized personal protection 9mm that holds a fully stocked 18-round magazine.  

Check Out: Hiding Home Guns in Plain Sight

But along the way and besides these pistol introductions, Remington has stormed the classic 1911 pistol market with numerous variations on the 1911 frame theme including government models, commander models, enhanced versions, threaded barrel models, and more.  The 1911s come in blued steel and stainless versions in .45 ACP with limited models offered in 9mm and 40 S&W.

One of Remington’s latest 1911 renditions is the 1911R1 10mm Hunter Long Slide.  It is their first entry with a fully dedicated hunting 1911 version as well as a first semi-auto pistol chambered for the awesome 10mm round.  It’s not only handsome, it is totally purposeful for hunting, prepping, survival, and protection.

The Remington 1911R1 Long Slide

4_remington_10mmLong slide?  Yep.  Out of the box, the very first thing you notice if you are a true 1911 aficionado is that the muzzle tips over a little quicker than usual in the grip of your hand.  Why, you may ask?  Well, because this slide is six inches long, one inch more than a standard 1911 slide.  This extra inch of barrel and slide contributes to a number of enhancement performance features for the 1911R1.  Catalog specifications for this new 1911 besides the obvious six inch tube and slide includes the chambering of the 10mm Auto round.  The pistol’s magazine capacity is 8+1 rounds.  The barrel itself is stainless steel, six grooves with a 1:16 inch left hand twist.  Trigger weight pull is set at around 4.75 pounds.  Some say too heavy but it is completely manageable.

The trigger is a 3-hole design.  There is a beavertail grip and ambidextrous thumb safeties, a very nice feature.  The extractor is of the HD heavy duty type.  The pistol’s grips are the VZ Operator II type for durability, long lasting wear with aggressive checkering for firm gripping.  

The overall length of the pistol is 9.5 inches.  The gun’s carry weight is 41 ounces.  That is slightly over 2.5 pounds, so it is no lightweight.  The sights are fully adjustable, a match type with a serrated rear sight panel to reduce glare.  The front sight is a post type with an orange-red fiber optic insert.  They are highly visible and easy to line up.  The accessory rail under the frame can handle mounting a light or laser.

The gun itself is stainless steel, but it is factory finished in a black matte PVD-DLC coating.  PVD is a “physical vapor deposition” coating and the DLC is a “diamond like carbon” coating that provides a low friction factor plus a high micro-hardness feature.  So what does all that mean?  It means the metal or pistol itself is virtually impervious to moisture sink impact.  The DLC coating makes the moving parts of the pistol slick running.  

Though the factory guns are black matte as mentioned, there is a special version available now through Davidson’s Gallery of Guns.  This 1911R1 model comes with a special PVD oil rubbed bronze finish.  The VZ Operator II grips on this special pistol are a bronze reddish brown color.  It is not only unique but particularly beautiful.  These pistols should become collector’s models, but still with every bit of utility as the black versions.  Davidson’s also offers a full lifetime replacement warranty on guns bought from them.  Good deal, Lucille, as BB used to say.  

Factory delivery accessories includes a cool collectable Remington green box.  In the box is a fitted foam insert for the pistol, two silver chrome magazines, a cable gun lock with two keys, a hard plastic barrel bushing wrench, a 200th year Remington sticker, and a factory owner’s manual.  

The 10mm Auto Story

5_remington_10mmIn 1983 the earth shook.  The 10mm Auto and its first pistol, Crockett’s Miami Vice Bren Ten was introduced.  The initial load used a 200 grain fully jacketed truncated cone bullet with a muzzle velocity of 1200 fps.  The energy rating was set at 635 foot-pounds.  This meant it was more powerful than the .357 Magnum and the rather lackluster .41 Magnum police load.  

Related: How Much Ammo is Enough for SHTF? 

The Bren pistol and the 10mm came from development work by Jeff Cooper and his buddies trying to produce a new cartridge being touted as the ideal combat weapon’s load.  Some federal agencies adapted the 10mm, but in rather short order, users began to complain of recoil and training issues.  Ironically, the 10mm case was later shortened to create the .40 S&W, which is now nearly defunct in its own right.

The 10mm remains a good choice for defensive work and small game hunting up to deer sized game at reasonable ranges.  Colt, Glock, and Kimber still offer pistols chambered for the 10mm in addition to Remington’s new 1911R1 Hunter Long Slide.  

Factory ammunition is available from Hornady, Remington, Sig-Sauer, American Eagle, Armscor, Buffalo Bore, Cor-Bon, Double Tap, PMC, Prvi Partizan and Sellier & Bellot.  Bullet weights vary from 135 to 220 grains.  The standard is a 180 grain jacketed hollow point bullet.  Plenty of reloading supplies are also offered for home brewed 10mm loads.  

The Remington 1911R1 Hunter’s Purpose

6_remington_10mmSo, what is this new Remington pistol and the powerful 10mm Auto round to be used for?  There is no denying that the 10mm is a hummer, but having worked with a 10mm pistol for a couple years, I find it no more difficult to control than a full powered load in a .45 ACP.  If the .45 Auto is not for you, then the 10mm may not be either.  But try it before you dismiss it wholesale.  

In this Remington 1911R1 long slide delivery platform package, the 10mm is even more tamed with the extra inch of slide and barrel.  The increased sighting radius of this handgun also makes getting on and staying on target much easier.  The weight of this pistol dissipates both excessive recoil and muzzle blast.  

I look forward to further testing.  The bronze model came too late for my fall hunting seasons to get the new pistol into the white-tailed deer hunting stands.  Next year will not come soon enough for me.  

I have experience with the 10mm and feel confident it is suitable for hunting and gathering at stalking ranges under 100 yards.  I am not a proponent of long range shooting with a handgun or a rifle.  In a hidden ground blind, or up in a tree stand over a woods lane or food plot, I fully expect the 10mm to perform well, and the new Remington 1911R1 Long Slide even better.  

Personal defense?  Once the shooter-gun handler gets accustomed to firing the 10mm and targeting with a 10mm handgun of any brand, then for sure this combination will deter threats with authority.  So far, the edge in this regard fully goes to this new Remington.  

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Don’t Overlook These 6 Preps

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Don’t Overlook These 6 Preps It can be overwhelming when you’re trying to get your preps in order. It seems there is so much to consider and plan for! There is the food, water, and first aid to consider. Every prepper worth their salt takes care of the most basic needs first before they tackle …

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The post Don’t Overlook These 6 Preps appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Link – Glock Pistols- What Breaks and How to Fix It

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Worth reading. Note that the parts that break most are parts that are only a few dollars to replace and they do not render the gun inoperable. I’ve seen the issue with the trigger springs firsthand. I don’t shoot as much ammo through my guns as a competitive shooter (or gunwriter) but for $20 I can have a lifetime of spare parts. Good read.

OK…let me get this out of the way right off the bat.  I carry a Glock pistol during about 95% of my waking hours.  My police duty gun is a Glock 21 in .45acp.  A  Glock 26 or a Glock 19 in 9mm are constant companions in my off-duty hours.  I like Glock pistols.  But are they perfect?  Not a chance.

 

I’ve broken almost every Glock I’ve ever owned.  No manufacturer is immune from this reality: If you shoot the gun enough, it will break.  A gun is a mechanical device and it can fail at any time.  I liken it to a car.  Even if you buy the best car in the world, eventually it will break down.

Early Morning Hike Checking Out Useful Plants

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By 3:30 a.m. I was already tossing and turning. After laying in bed for a while, I finally decided to get up. It was 4:00 a.m. by now and I was getting in the shower, ready to start my day. Funny thing is I really had no where to be, or anything really to do. I just wanted to get up and get ready. I guess It’s not entirely abnormal. I’m usually up between 4:30 and 5:30 every morning.

After checking some emails, I headed out the door and on my way to the convenient store for my usual morning stop. By now it was 5:oo a.m.

“Hmmm! Guess I’ll head over to the local hiking trail and get an early morning hike in,” I thought… Off I went.

The post Early Morning Hike Checking Out Useful Plants appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Is Carbon Monoxide In Your Home Killing You?

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Is Carbon Monoxide In Your Home Killing You?One of the wonders of modern construction techniques is the energy efficient house. In times past, houses used to be poorly insulated and quite drafty.

In fact, people used to say that their house “breathed”.

Nowadays, many houses are built with super insulated walls and ceilings. And energy audits are performed to seal up any remaining cracks.

All these improvements mean smaller heating and cooling bills. They also mean that the air in the house is not […]

The post Is Carbon Monoxide In Your Home Killing You? appeared first on The Weekend Prepper.

Movie Monday – Happy People Part 4

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“Happy People” is a documentary series about people from faraway corners of Russia, who live in harmony with their beautiful but harsh natural surroundings.
It is about strong, free-spirited people. Maybe the lives of these people will serve as an example for some one, or will help some one look at himself through other eyes and re-examine his own life.

 These films are presented as an exception to the copyright act as fair dealing for the purpose of research, private study, education, parody or satire. See bill c-42 article 29.

New Law Means You Could be the Subject of a Vaccine or Medication Experiment Without Your Informed Consent

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A new law passed last December contains a waiver of informed consent that eliminates the requirement of pharmaceutical companies to let you know if a medication or vaccine given to … Read the rest

The post New Law Means You Could be the Subject of a Vaccine or Medication Experiment Without Your Informed Consent appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

80 Clever Uses for Paracord

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Paracord is one of the most versatile survival tools. Originally it was used for parachutes, but people quickly found many other uses for it. Paracord was even used by astronauts on a mission to repair the Hubble telescope! Standard strength paracord can hold up to 550 pounds. The reason it’s so strong is because the […]

The post 80 Clever Uses for Paracord appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Dwarf Umbrella Tree Care – Growing Schefflera Arboricola

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The post Dwarf Umbrella Tree Care – Growing Schefflera Arboricola is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

The umbrella plant is a fantastic houseplant for beginner and experienced gardeners alike. It has beautiful foliage, making it perfect to use inside the home. It’s popular because it’s not an picky plant and tolerates some neglect and a variety of growing conditions. Quick Navigation [Plant] OverviewToxicity[Plant] CareLightWaterSoilFertilizerRepottingPruning​PropagationProblemsGrowing ProblemsPestsDiseasesFAQs​ Umbrella Tree Overview Common Name(s)Dwarf umbrella tree, umbrella […]

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

Hiking Essentials for Your Dog’s Backpack

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In a previous article, I talked about the Approach Pack by Ruffwear, which by the way is an excellent pack. Well, okay you have the pack or may have ordered one, so what goes in the pack. 1.) The obvious, of course, is food, water and collapsible bowls for the food and water. These will […]

The post Hiking Essentials for Your Dog’s Backpack appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

6 Hot Springs you must visit

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Hot Springs, off-grid, water, solar, geothermal, retreat, off the beaten track

Fancy a dip?

Hot springs offer much-needed peace, quiet and relaxation. The naturally occurring, geothermally heated bliss provided in beautiful surroundings is second to none. Plus, if you don’t want to be in a more developed hot spring spa, there are plenty of options to exploreoff-the-beaten-track . Here are 6 off-grid hot springs you definitely need to visit!

If you want off the beaten track then try:

Ringbolt Hot Springs – Arizona

Located in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, this set of pools is visited by thousands of people per year. A 6 mile round trail takes you up through a dramatic volcanic canyon, south of the Hoover Dam. Volcanic rock and granite boulders litter the landscape and lead you to a spot just downstream of the Ringbolt Rapids. After climbing a 20 foot ladder to access the best springs you can bathe to your heart’s content. Directly at the source of the springs the water is the warmest, reaching up to 110°F. The highly mineralized water spews out of the source at approximately 30 gallons per minute! The strenuous hike takes approximately 5 hours to complete (excluding time spent bathing in those beautiful springs) and is closed during the summer months due to it being hazardous because of high temperatures.

Read this couple’s experience of trekking and camping in the area. Alternatively, watch this father and son duo take the trail up through the canyon and reach their destination:

 

Steep Ravine Hot Springs – California

These hot springs are rather unique, trading mountainous vistas for a beach front! The warm water seeps up through the sand at the Steep Ravine Beach in Marin County. These springs are quite a phenomenon, only being exposed for a couple of hours a day. Therefore, it is important to consult a Californian Tide Chart and opt for a minus tide, to avoid disappointment. However, due to the very slight window in the day in which the springs can be accessed it can get rather busy! It’s worth it though, even just to paddle in these warm waters.

 

Goldbug Hot Springs – Idaho

Between the small towns of Salmon and Challis, high up in the desert, lies a chain of six waterfall fed pools. These small but perfectly formed features are accessed by a very up-hill 2 mile hike. The trail offers little shade for respite and the majority of the climb is done in the last quarter of the trek. The pools are a definite reward after that steep incline! Water temperature varies depending on the time of year, so don’t dive in (literally) until you’ve judged the temperature with a hand or foot first! Be warned clothing is optional at the pools, so don’t be surprised if you see some not entirely clothed hikers in the area.

For other hot springs in Idaho, check this out.

 

If you want a bit of luxury, then visit:

Wilbur Hot Springs – California

This is an off-grid sanctuary, providing a natural digital detox from the very on-grid, tech-loving world. The solar-powered resort is set in the heart of a 1,800 acre nature preserve, and it has its own hot mineral springs. The geothermal water contains 3 ounces of dissolved minerals per gallon and is undiluted, untreated and unheated. This is a true relaxation haven with massage treatments and yoga sessions also available. You can take a day trip, or camping grounds, cabins and a solar lodge are all available, giving the option to extend your stay.

Watch this video to get your first impressions of Wilbur Hot Springs:

 

Strawberry Park Hot Springs – Colorado

Up a winding track a few miles out of Steamboat springs, lies this beautiful off-grid retreat. No big signs point to its location and during the winter only big 4x4s are allowed up dirt road. Alternatively, the springs can be reached via a 3 mile trail through the surrounding national forest. This has a real off-the-beaten-track feel. Several large soaking pools with warm to rather hot waters are available next to a cold creek for some cooling off. During the day the springs are family friendly, however during the evening an optional clothes policy means adults only! The resort is currently working on replacing their solar panels, batteries and controllers to keep their off-grid status.

Watch the video below to get a feel of Strawberry Park Hot Springs:

 

Breitenbush Hot Springs – Oregon

Last but not least, is the remote forest sanctuary named Breitenbush. In 154 acres of beautiful landscape including a glacier fed river, an ancient forest and mountains on the horizon, sanctuary really is the right word. Three natural pools with smooth river rocks allow you to sit back and take in the beautiful landscape. Temperatures range from warm to very hot, with a cool plunge pool available to cool off. Powered by hydroelectric from the nearby Breitenbush River and heated by the geothermal water, this sanctuary is entirely off-grid. Hiking throughout the surrounding landscape, massage treatments and several “Well-Being” programs are also available.

 

Have you visited any of these places or been to other hot springs not mentioned? Let us know in the comments below!

The post 6 Hot Springs you must visit appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

March 2017 EDC Purse Dump

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March 2017 EDC Purse Dump

Moved everything I don’t use regularly into the Maxpedition pouch in my purse. Only things I carry outside the pouch now are a coin purse, folding shopping bags, chap stick, and odd receipts and shopping lists. Also yes, in case you were looking closely and noticed, I have essentially tied my firestarter into my pouch. Been… Read More

This is just the start of the post March 2017 EDC Purse Dump. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


March 2017 EDC Purse Dump, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Organic Farm help in Lou of rent

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We are a middle aged couple who have a farm in Northwest Alabama, and are looking for a young couple to help out on our 60 acres   We grow organic produce for ourselves and to sell, and have many more plans of  expansion.  Eg..mushroom farm, aquaponics, petting zoo, pumpkin farm, nature trails, farm to table events, ect… If you are like minded , and are willing to invest some time and energy, in Lou of rent we can help you get settled  and have your own piece of the sky.

The post Organic Farm help in Lou of rent appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Small Plot Gardening Tips

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Note: Tips quoted from other sources are marked with a link to the original source. Unmarked tips are from me.

The point of this article is that you can grow at least some of your own food, even if you only ave a very small yard. Even if you have no yard at all, you can grow some veggies and herbs in containers on a patio or balcony, or in windows.

1- With any type of gardening, it is important to plant crops that you and your family actually like and will eat. Planting foods that you dislike, no matter how productive, will simply be wasted space (unless you plan on selling or trading them, an unlikely goal for those with very limited space).

2- Tomatoes are probably the most productive crop you can grow. Since they are tall, however, you should take care not to plant them where they will shade the shorter plants in your garden. Tomatoes are a good choice because they are packed with useful nutrients, store well (canned, frozen, or dried) and are a basic ingredient used in many dishes.

3- Green leafy vegetables, such as loose-leaf lettuce, turnip greens, spinach, mustard and kale all make excellent choices for small plot gardening. You can grow a lot in a small space. And they are all highly nutritious.

4- “There are all sorts of herbs that can be planted in containers and moved around as you please. And a lack of space doesn’t mean that you can’t grow some fruit or berries. Try raising strawberries in a strawberry jar, plant a fig tree in a container, or grow a compact blueberry bush in place of ornamental shrubs.” — veggiegardeningtips.com

5- “Many vegetables, including peas, pole beans, cucumbers, squash, melons, and tomatoes, will naturally climb a support or can be trained to grow upwards, leaving more ground space for other crops. Support structures include cages, stakes, trellises, strings, teepees, chicken wire, or existing fences let your imagination take over!” — Small Plot and Intensive Gardening

6- “Vegetable breeders have been emphasizing smaller plants for container and small plot gardening. Although some of the dwarf or mini plants produce smaller fruits, often a greater number of fruits are produced, yielding a good total harvest. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and peas are just a few examples from the mini ranks. Some new cultivars of vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers have compact, trailing growth habits ideal for growing in hanging baskets.” — Small Plot and Intensive Gardening

7- Water less often but more deeply. Frequent light watering will result in shallow root development. When needed, water only once or twice a week but thoroughly enough to soak the soil down to at least six inches. This will encourage deep root growth.

8- Most small plot and intensive gardening techniques naturally discourage weed growth, but weeds are still likely to appear in your garden. Pull weeds as soon as you notice them. Weeds are easier to pull when young and pulling them earlier will help prevent them from spreading.

9- “For minimum maintenance and weed control, apply an organic mulch around the plants after the soil has warmed. A mulch also helps retain moisture in the soil. Grass clippings (3 to 4 inches), straw (4 to 6 inches), and sawdust (1 to 2 inches) are excellent mulches.” — Small Plot Vegetable Gardening

10- “Do not sow seeds too deeply or they may not germinate. Place carrots, radishes, and lettuce no deeper than 1/4 inch. Large seeds such as peas, beans, and cucumbers can be sown 1 to1-1/2 inches deep. Vine crops can be planted six seeds in a cluster or hill and then later thinned to four plants per hill.” — Small Plot and Intensive Gardening

11- “Thin seed rows to their proper spacing after the plants are 1-2 inches tall. Thin the plants with scissors rather than pulling them so you won’t disturb the other plants. Use the thinnings for salads.” — Small Plot and Intensive Gardening

12- Grow only a few varieties. Trying to grow a little bit of everything creates more work and yields less food. Since your space if relatively limited, try growing only a few favorites, or look to grow whatever costs the most at the market in your area.

13- Most herbs do really well in small pots. The pots can be moved around to take full advantage of sunlight, and even taken indoors in the fall to extend their productivity. Some herbs to consider: parsley, chives, mints, basil, dill, oregano and thyme.

14- “To select your vegetable garden plot, consider what vegetables need to thrive. Vegetables and fruits need 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. The vegetable garden plot should be well-drained and convenient to water (vegetables require 1 inch of water weekly or 75 gallons per 100 square feet).” — Preparing a Garden Plot (no longer available online)

15- “Soil that is loamy, well drained, and high in organic matter is ideal for your vegetable garden. Visit your local cooperative extension or health department and pick up a free soil-test kit. The ideal pH for vegetables is 6.0 to 6.5. The test tells you if your soil needs lime added (available at your local gardening center).” — Preparing a Garden Plot (no longer available online)

How to Hunt Squirrel with a Slingshot for Survival!

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Who really wants to waste ammo killing a squirrel when you can use a slingshot? Whatever your age, you’ve probably had the urge to kill a squirrel using a slingshot. However, in a real survival situation, you will need to be at your best to kill small game like a squirrel. Carrying a slingshot will give you a reliable hunting weapon that you can use to hunt food provided you’re able to use it.

To most people, a slingshot is nothing more than a kid’s toy. Only real survivalist can recognize and understand a slingshot as a formidable hunting tool. However, when in a survival situation, a slingshot will always come in handy. It is a much easier and convenient option in your pocket rather than a firearm that is heavier.

Slingshots are light and can be hung on your neck or placed in your pocket without weighing you down. They are an ideal weapon when hiking or doing something rigorous that does not require some extra weight on you.

Hunting a squirrel with a slingshot for survival

Slingshots are the best weapons when hunting squirrels that tend to get scared by the slightest of noises. They are stealthier and quiet than guns allowing you to shoot games nearby without scaring them. Squirrels are easy to spot as they raise their heads to scout the area. Here are simple steps on how to hunt squirrels with a slingshot.

Practice

While practicing with a primitive weapon might sound weird to some people, most preppers will tell you it is always important to practice with any weapon. Squirrels are wary, small and fast, something that makes hunting them quite challenging. Choose the best hunting slingshot and practice with cans in your backyard. Practicing to hit a squirrel with the first shot is always important as they will always run away if they think they are in danger. This leads to our next step of where to hit a squirrel and kill it instantly.

Shooting with your slingshot might look easy when practicing, but remember you will be shooting very small game in a stealth condition. The slingshot pouch should always be held lightly in the lower grip. However, most beginners tend to hold the pouch too tightly and too high ending up shooting the ammo everywhere.

For best results, the slingshot should be held horizontally with the pouch of the slingshot being pulled all the way back to the cheek. Release it at the same time you breathe out. The shape of slingshots never changes, and you should always aim at the center of the slingshot. This means the squirrel head must be in between the center of the slingshot.

Always aim for the head

Squirrels despite their small size have some of the toughest skins. You need to know where to hit them to kill them instantly. A nice shot to the body can cause potential damage, but most squirrels will run away. The experience is not a good one as you will leave the squirrel in pain and also miss out on a chance for delicious meat. Aiming the slingshot at the squirrel is not that simple as you would have imagined. You have still need to aim at the head if the squirrel is to die instantly.

You don’t want to be stranded in the wilderness tracking an injured squirrel when you had the chance to kill it instantly. The opportunity to hunt down a squirrel can disappear as fast as it presents itself.

Choose a big producing tree and be patient

There are high chances of squirrels coming to a big producing trees like oak and conifers in the wild than any other place. Your instinct should tell you to hunt for squirrels in certain places, but most expert hunters recommended a big producing oak tree. It is important to know where you can find squirrels. Tree squirrels love trees and hunt during the day unlike other rodents making them the perfect small game to kill with a slingshot.

Squirrels like the Gray Squirrel love acorns found on oak trees. Choose a spot that gives you a good view of the oak tree but also keeps you hidden. You will need to be patient and wait for your hunt. As long as it is not hot, squirrels will always look for food in oak trees. Most squirrels are active at dawn. If you get a good spot some minutes before dawn, then you stand a better chance of getting a kill. You will need to be still and quiet. Squirrels are not the smartest rodents and will always pass by even if they see you.

Best time to hunt squirrels

You have to know the best time to get the squirrels searching for food. Early morning and late evening are best times when you’re most likely to find the squirrels. Squirrels are mammals and enjoy nice temperatures just like humans. You can easily find them when the temperature is cool.

Try and bait your squirrel

Baiting might not be allowed in some states, so make sure to check before going ahead and setting bait. By setting bait, it doesn’t mean getting the squirrel caught up in some bait but being attracted to a position of which you can have a precise kill. Do you have some peanut butter with you? Squirrels love this and will always want to have a lick. This will attract them to a good shooting position from which you can have a precise shot on the head.

Final Verdict

There you go with your squirrel hunting skills. Squirrels do look simple but are quite difficult to hunt with a slingshot. However, you can’t be wasting precious ammo on squirrels when a precise shot on the head by a slingshot can kill it instantly. Slingshot hunting is quite fun, interesting and challenging. However, with a good understanding of how to use a slingshot, you can always be assured of a meal when stuck in the wilderness.

Editor’s NoteI love to watch Lonnie from Far North Bushcraft & Survival.  I chose to share his video here because he mentioned that he had only been at “it” (slingshot) for a few weeks.

 

About Author:
Brandon Cox is the founder of StayHunting, who is passionate about all things of hunting and fitness. Through his hunting website, he would like to share tips & tricks, finest tech that will excite all of the intricacies of hunting whether you be an amateur or a professional.

 

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Video: All About Dysentery

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Shigella boydii

Shigella bacteria

In this video, Joe Alton, MD, aka Dr. Bones of DoomandBloom.net, discusses the issue of infectious diseases as the main causes of avoidable deaths in survival scenarios. In particular, he talks about dysentery, a disease that is transmitted by bacteria in contaminated food and water. Here’s all you need to know about this killer in past and future times of trouble. Companion video to a previous article on the same topic.

To watch, just click below:

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

 

Joe Alton, MD

JoeAltonLibrary3

Joe Alton, MD

Find out more about dysentery and 150 more medical issues in the latest 700 page edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: THE Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, available at store.doomandbloom.net or Amazon.com!

 

Video Monday: How to use a Compass – easy compass navigation with the Silva 1-2-3 system .

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Hello, my friend and welcome back!  I recently received an email from a reader asking for information on how to use a compass when reading a map.  In today’s post, I have a short…

The post Video Monday: How to use a Compass – easy compass navigation with the Silva 1-2-3 system . appeared first on American Preppers Online.

38 Over The Counter Medications & Supplements You Should Have On Hand

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Do you have these essential over the counter medications and supplements on hand at all times? If not, you should.

The post 38 Over The Counter Medications & Supplements You Should Have On Hand appeared first on Vigil Prudence.

When Are We Going To Stop Blaming God?

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     How can we, as the supposedly most “informed” generation of mankind, be so far off-base when it comes to God’s will in our lives?  Granted, it would be difficult to come to a consensus of what is  even meant by the term “God’s will”.  Between our doctrinal differences and theological disagreements, I’m not sure we can identify even a foundational aspect of God’s will.
     On a very simple level, His will is what He desires; and we can go from that thought to knowing that He desires a relationship with us. He desires that we seek Him, and that we know Him. And as we walk with the Lord, obeying His Word and relying on His Holy Spirit, we find that we are given the mind of Christ. And if you want a real clear picture of Christ’s mind when it comes to the will of God, it is perfectly stated in John 6:38-40 … ” For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but to do the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but that I [give new life and] raise it up at the last day.  For this is My Father’s will and purpose, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him [as Savior] will have eternal life, and I will raise him up [from the dead] on the last day.”
     The Apostles had no problem understanding the will of God. Paul was able to state God’s will in a very concise and brief statement: [God] wishes all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge and recognition of the [divine] truth (I Timothy 2:4). As you have heard me say several times before, that word SAVED in verse 4 comes from the Greek word sozo. It means “healed; delivered; protected; made whole; kept safe and sound; do well; and to be kept safe from harm.” THAT IS WHAT GOD’S WILL IS; WHAT HE DESIRES FOR EVERYONE!
     So why are we blaming Him when our lives go wrong? Think you don’t?  What is your first thought when confronted with sickness or disease; financial difficulties; natural disasters; an accident; crime or violence; harm or death to a child; when your prayers aren’t answered? If you are like some Christians, you probably think, “Why did God allow this to happen to me?” And that question can only be asked if you believe that God is in control of everything. But I challenge you to find that in Scripture!
     There are verses that say all things are possible with Him; that He directs our path; that He does whatsoever He pleases; and that He works everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His will. But I do not believe that there is any verse that says He is in control of everything. If you take that thought to its logical conclusion, then you must say that if God is in control, then everything bad that happens comes from Him. That is simply contrary to His nature!

     And yes, I know that people will counter this argument by saying, “Well, God allowed it.” And they always cite the Book of Job as underlying this premise. But nowhere in the Book of Job does it say that. In the first chapter of Job, Satan appears before the throne of God with other angels, and God asks him where he’s come from.  Satan responds, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it”.  And if you know your Scripture, then you know what he was doing … prowling like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8-9).
     Have you ever stopped to think how arrogant it was of Satan to come before God and announce what he was doing?  It was as if he was taunting God that he could do whatever he liked, and no man could resist him.  After all, Jesus declared that He [and the Father] know the intentions of the devil: to steal, kill and destroy.  So when God confronts Satan in the Book of Job, He knows what the devil is capable of.  But He accepts the arrogant challenge, and says, “Have you considered my servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” And what’s the devil’s response?  I’m paraphrasing here, but basically the devil says,  “The only reason Job loves You is because of what You give him and because of how You’ve blessed him.” (See Job 1:9–11).
     You see, the devil counts on people loving their things [and their power and knowledge and status] more than they love God. It worked in the Garden of Eden!  In fact, Satan is sure that Christians will seek God more for things that benefit themselves than they will seek an intimate relationship with Him. So he goes about touching their “stuff” to get them to blame God for the bad things that happen to them.
     So, those who think that God controls everything, or at least allows things to happen, will point to Job 1:12 as proof of their argument: Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord.  But here’s what we need to consider …  If Satan became god of this world when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, why did he need permission from God to attack Job? The answer is, he didn’t. It was already in his power to do so.  The Bible very clearly states in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that Satan is the god of this world.  Adam and Eve had been given dominion (authority, control, and power) over the earth (Genesis 1:26-28), and they transferred it to Satan when they rebelled against God’s commands.
     Satan doesn’t need God’s permission to kill this one. or cause that one to be in an accident. He doesn’t have to ask God if he can take the life of a little child. He just does it. Could God stop it? Absolutely. But He will not violate His Cosmic Rule of Free Will. After all, God created mankind in His own image, and that included the ability to choose.  He says in Malachi 3:6, I, the Lord, do not change. Why do we not believe Him? God does not choose one day to allow free will, and then to prohibit it the next. So, because of Adam and Eve’s rebellion, Satan received dominionship of this world and we must choose whether to follow him or God.
     Of course, there follows the difficult question of whether we have some sin in our lives that has given Satan cause or authority to bring hardship or tragedy to our doorstep.  That is a possibility, and we must all search our souls and spirits for our own accountability. But we must also realize that Sin exists in this world, and we must all pay with a death — and Satan is glad to oblige with the death of our hopes and dreams; a death of a loved one; or the death of our trust and confidence in God.
     And we need to recognize that Death comes from the devil. We know that Satan introduced Death to man, which separated us from an eternity with God.  Before the Garden incident, man did not experience death. And we know that Jesus came and conquered Death, so that we could once again have a way to experience eternity with God. And Jesus will return soon to conquer all evil and wickedness from the earth, establishing a 1,000-year reign for God to fulfill promises (covenants) He made specifically to Israel, to Jesus, to the nations of the world, and to creation. All of these will be fulfilled during Jesus’ 1,000-year reign. (My next post will outline these specific promises and their fulfillment).

     But for now, we somehow rationalize that Satan no longer has dominionship of this earth, or that he has somehow been removed from his position of Prince of this world.  And it just astonishes me that we can so easily let ourselves be convinced that God “allowed” the bad things in our lives to happen instead of giving credit where credit is due… at the feet of Satan!
     And I’m going to say something that is difficult for me to even write, but I think we must consider it … When people blame God for all of the bad things that have happened to them, there’s no way they can truly love Him as He deserves. Oh sure, they say they love Him. But how can you trust God if you think He will put cancer on you?  Or allow a loved one to be tragically taken from you? It’s impossible to truly love God if you don’t trust Him, because you never know when He might “allow” the devil to have his way with you!  And that is just how cunning the devil can be in presenting an argument that can threaten our relationship with our Father.
     Earlier, I quoted John 10:10: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. But that was only half of the verse. Jesus went on to say, ” I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].”  This is very clear that it is the devil who kills, and Jesus [and God] who offer Life.  God never gives permission to the devil to attack anyone. The devil does it because, for now, he can, as god of this world.
     And for those who argue, “God wants to build character in our lives through trials”, I would argue this … While Romans 5 encourages us that trials bring perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope, how can that happen if we think God allows bad things to happen to us?  We certainly can’t build character if we’ve lost hope that we can always trust God. Proverbs 13:12 tells us, “Hope deferred [postponed, suspended] makes the heart sick”.  And a sick heart cannot love or honor God.
     Trials and tribulations are situations in which the devil tries to get us to blame God for whatever isn’t going right in our lives. When they come our way, we need to declare the authority Jesus has given us and bring the Power of Heaven into Satan’s hellish circumstances. We need to make the devil wish that he never touched or tempted us! And instead of attributing anything bad to God, our trials should purify our hearts, strengthen our faith, and draw us closer to Him. We should never attribute the deeds of the devil to “God’s will”.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say it is His desire to harm us in anyway. It is simply not in His character!
     But remember… it IS in Satan’s character to steal, kill and destroy. And the devil thought he could get Job to blame God when he began afflicting him with hardships and loss. See, here’s the thing — Satan cannot kick God off His throne in Heaven. BUT, he can try to get us to kick Him off the throne of our hearts. Anytime that we ascribe the devil’s actions to God, we are denying His Goodness and attacking His Divine Character.  Stop blaming God, and give the devil his due!  Let him know that we’re not buying what he’s selling, and we know Who our God is! Don’t let our Enemy rob you of the complete joy that is our God.

Jeremiah 29:11    For I know what I have planned for you, says the Lord. I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.
     

Grand Canyon Survival Story: Student Stayed Alive. Could You?

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On March 12, 2017, Amber Van Hecke ran out of gas in the Havasupai Reservation while leaving the southern rim of the Grand Canyon. The twenty-four year old college student was there hiking for spring break when her vacation turned deadly. Thanks to her own resourcefulness and preparedness, she lived to tell the tale.

So, what can we learn from Amber’s experience? We found 8 survival lessons to learn from her adventure, and we’ll take them one by one in the following article.

When Hiking Goes Bad

First, I’ll bring you up to speed on what happened, then we’ll get to that part.

Video first seen on ABC News.

Amber’s problem started when she plugged Havasu Falls Trail Head into Google Maps and followed the directions, just like the rest of us probably would. She only had 70 miles of fuel left until empty, not counting the reserves (so she thought) in her tank and decided to roll the dice because, according to Maps, it was only a 40-mile drive to the next main road.

She took a right turn when it told her to, even though her gut told her that it was too early. She found herself on what she calls a “ratchet dirt road” and followed it for 35 miles before her GPS told her to take a right onto a road that didn’t exist. Being a person fairly experienced with backroads, and considering the horrible road she was already on, she thought that maybe part of the road had eroded, so she took the turn, hoping to run into the remaining section of the road shortly.

Instead of finding a road, she ran straight into a fence. Amber admits she panicked a bit and drove around trying to find the road when she should have just stayed put. By then it was getting dark and she was down to zero miles to empty, and her reserves were empty, too. She found the nearest man-made structure and decided to wait til morning to decide what to do.

She certainly didn’t lack creativity or motivation, and she had food and water because she was planning a hike. She actually had extra, as any good prepper or trail-savvy person does.

This is when her 5-day period of waiting began. She had no cell signal, so she made an SOS sign from rocks that were about 4’x10’. That didn’t work, so she spelled out “HELP,” again using rocks, but this time she went big – her letters were 20-30 feet tall. She tried getting help using a signal fire, but because she was stuck in an extremely dry area, the wood burned too clean to create smoke.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

After a truck drove right by her before she could flag him down, she barricaded the road (which was brilliant, actually, just in case). She had a flashing headlamp in her truck that she turned on at night, to no avail. Finally, after 5 days, she decided to take matters into her own hands and took off walking in an attempt to find a cell signal. Fortunately, she didn’t kill the battery in her car, so she was able to charge her phone.

She was smart about it, though. She left a detailed note with her vehicle, and she marked her trail. It said: “I started following the road EAST to see if I can get a cellphone signal. I am marking my way with white sports tape. If you read this, please come help me!”

After she’d walked 11 miles east of her vehicle and tried a whopping 76 times to get a call out she did manage to find a weak signal and contacted the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. Her call dropped 49 seconds into the call and she couldn’t get another call out, so she just had to hope that they’d managed to locate her before the call dropped.

She walked almost all the way back to her car, but the helicopter did find her after searching with the limited information that they had. They spotted the glint off of her car and the help sign that she’d made. They also found her note and followed the direction that she said she’d gone in order to find her, and they succeeded.

Because she’d had a stockpile of water and food, she was in good shape when they found her. She rationed it because she didn’t know how long it would take, and she made ramen noodles on her dashboard.

8 Survival Lessons to Learn from Amber’s Story

With little to no injury, Amber survived because she was prepared and knew what to do in an emergency. Did she make mistakes? Yes, but don’t we all?

Just for those of you who need to know it:

Stranded with no way out =/= camping regardless of how well I prepared with my supplies.
I had a compass and I am fantastic at reading maps but I made the mistake of not bringing one this time.
Almost everyone has run out of gas at some point, mine just happened to be supremely inconvenient.
It was not a matter of simply turning around since I wasn’t aware how to get out and I was legitimately lost.

So, yes, I made silly mistakes. However, I also maintained composure when I found myself in an unfortunate situation…

Amber Van Hecke Facebook Page

Let’s look at what we can learn from her experience.

Don’t Depend Solely on Technology

Her gut told her she was turning too soon, and had she heeded that instead of doing what many of us are trained to do – trust that technology knows more than we do – she may have found her way and her story wouldn’t have been more than another leg of her travel plans.

Don’t Cut it Close on Fuel

Only having 70 miles left in your tank is just fine if you’re tooling around town or heading between one major town and another, where there are many opportunities to refuel. However, the US – especially the US West – still has many roads where there are at least 70 miles between gas stations.

As a woman who rides a bike, I have a standing rule – never turn down the opportunity to pee or get gas. It’s a good policy to follow, especially when you’re in a remote area.

Stock That Vehicle Bag

Let’s see … what did she use that many people wouldn’t have necessarily had in their vehicles? A flashing headlamp. The materials to make a fire. White sports tape. Oh yeah, she had books that kept her occupied. Pen and paper. Food and water. A mobile cellphone charger.

Did they all work? No, but she had options and tools, and some of them – the charger, the food and water, and the pen and paper saved her life. Any one of them could have worked had the right person flown over or driven by at the right time.

Don’t Risk Getting Lost

She makes a comment at one point in an interview that she got bored and tooted her horn to make the coyotes leave the prairie dogs alone. What if she’d panicked and taken off walking in the dark? What if she’d made a wrong turn on her way back to her vehicle after she made the call because she didn’t mark her trail?

She did everything right when it came to this part of her experience. She stayed where she had shelter – there wasn’t anybody there to honk the horn to keep the coyotes off HER – and she marked her trail when she did leave so that she could find her way back.

Pack Energy Dense Food

She purportedly had sunflower seeds and an apple left when they found her. Those are foods that are high in sustained energy – the apple because it has fiber that slows down the digestion process, and the seeds because they have both fiber to slow down the processing of the sugar, and fat that your body will use after it uses the sugar.

Packing food isn’t enough – pack the RIGHT foods.

Be Proactive

Nobody wants you to get saved more than you do. She communicated: she made signs, she built a signal fire, and, when none of that worked, she got tired of waiting and took her fate into her own hands and decided to walk til she was able to help people help her. Don’t just sit around waiting for the cavalry when they may not even know you’re missing.

However, don’t screw up your chances by not communicating – in this case, had she not left the note, the rescuers may have missed her.

Keep Your Vehicle in Good Repair

Yes, she ran out of gas, but the rest of her car was in good repair and ready for a trip. Had her battery failed, she may still be sitting there, out of water and out of hope.

Don’t Panic

Yes, I realize that it’s easier said than done, but she admitted that she ran the last of her gas out because she panicked. Would it have made much difference in her case? Probably not. But what if it was the middle of winter, when temperatures can drop to the single digits in the desert? What if she’d been in Maine or North Dakota instead of in Arizona?

By panicking, she didn’t just run out her source of transportation, she exhausted a major heat source, too. True, she could have started a campfire, but that would have left her to the animals, that likely didn’t have granola bars, seeds, and apples stocked back. Keep your head and think before you act.

Amber survived this situation because she was prepared. Of course, she also got herself into it because, when it came to fuel, she made a mistake and went in unprepared. Her story offers dual lessons of what to do and what not to do. Thankfully, she did way more right than she did wrong, and that – along with a bit of luck – ensured that she lived to tell the tale!

Could you survive?

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

References:

University Of North Texas Student Survives For Five Days Stranded In Grand Canyon

Off-Grid Firewood: Lessons from Staying Warm with an Ax

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by Todd Walker

Off-Grid Firewood- Lessons from Staying Warm with an Ax - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Imagine having only one off-grid tool to heat your home, would your family stay warm or freeze to death? Silly question, right? Only a lunatic would rely on one tool for firewood getting… especially with the antiquated ax. Call me crazy, but I chopped a full cord (128 cubic feet – 4’x4’x8′) of firewood with an ax.

Here’s why and a few things I learned in the process…

Off-Grid Firewood ~ Stay Warm with an Ax

I began Steven Edholm’s Axe Cordwood Challenge on February 7th and finished a cord of ax-cut firewood the last day of winter, March 19, 2017. I took the challenge to hone practical ax skills which were commonly known and practiced by our woodsmen, homesteader, and pioneer ancestors.

This was one of my most rewarding and satisfying journeys of self-reliance I’ve undertaken. Stacking that last stick of firewood made me pause to appreciate the journey more so than the finish line. In fact, finishing one cord actually whetted my appetite for another.

In the process of this challenge, I’ve compiled a fair amount of video footage documenting some ax skills and techniques. For those interested in video format, you can find these on our Axe Cordwood Challenge Playlist. Another resource you may find a bit of value in is our Ax-Manship Playlist.

Risk Management

The only way to improve ax-manship is to swing axes. Even with good technique and accuracy, your body is at risk from not only sharp steel, but falling timber and dead limbs being dislodged high overhead. There’s no way to insure safety 100%. You can, however, mitigate a large portion of the risk by using common sense.

Off-Grid Firewood- Lessons from Staying Warm with an Ax - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Chopper Beware: This dead pine broke midway up during the fall. Give a wide berth when felling trees.

Even so, you have to accept the potential for injury. One tree I felled got hung up. To free it, I had to fell a smaller tree (5 inches in diameter) under great tension. Misreading the direction in which the tree would release its tension, my last chop sent the tree into my thigh. Fortunately another tree stopped the full impact. It could have much worse than a bruised muscle.

Off-Grid Firewood- Lessons from Staying Warm with an Ax - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Not a part of the Cordwood Challenge, this dead pine hung up at the top and stump. This set up helped free the base by leveraging with a rope and 10 foot pole.

Even bent saplings as small as your wrist pose a huge danger to the wood chopper if cut without a strategy. Here’s a video link demonstrating a safe method to release stored energy.

Off-Grid Strategy

I chose to cut a cord of wood at base camp. Not because I’m more pioneering than other’s who have undertaken this challenge, it’s just that base camp is where the trees live. And firewood hides in trees.

In my off-grid setting, the greatest challenge, in my mind, was transporting large diameter logs on my shoulder over uneven terrain, vines, and ravines without a modern means of conveyance. My strategy was to fell, buck and split logs too heavy to lift for transport.

Off-Grid Firewood- Lessons from Staying Warm with an Ax - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Red Oak logs hauled back to camp

Splitting Strategy: Wedges and Maul

To accomplish the plan with an ax only, I carved two sets of wedges (or gluts as Kephart called them in Camping and Woodcraft) from a dogwood tree to be used at each felling site. Each set contained 4 wedges – Fat Set: a steep incline plane; Skinny Set: a gradual taper with less slope. Both were useful for different tasks. I found that the fat gluts inserted into smaller splits would bounce out after a couple of blows from my wooden maul or ax poll. The fat set could be driven deep to separate stubborn logs after the skinny set opened the split wide enough to accept the fat wedges.

Off-Grid Firewood- Lessons from Staying Warm with an Ax - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Pine halved for hauling

The skinny wedges, inserted in the initial ax split at the butt of logs, performed beautifully to further the split down the logs – even on seasoned red oak.  I found the one pine tree I cut to be the most cantankerous to halve. You’d think a soft wood would split more easily than hard. However, once halved, the pine split into rails more easily with my ax without the aid of wedges. That is, if the log was knot-free.

The dogwood wedges held up to a great amount of pounding even though they were green (non-seasoned). I had the idea to make a maul from the base of the dogwood tree which gave me the wedges. I discovered that dogwoods have a hollow space in the root ball which travels a foot or more up the trunk depending on the tree’s size. This fact makes this species unsuitable as a maul unless you cut the hollow part off. Hickory, oak, or other hardwoods have a solid root base and makes a fine maul for driving wedges.

Other DiY Tools: Chopping Platform

As my strategy dictated, after hauling logs and rails back to base camp, further splitting and cutting to length was necessary. I made a chopping platform based on the one described in Dudley Cook’s authoritative work, The Ax Book. Without a doubt, the chopping platform was the most used and multifunctional DiY tool throughout the challenge.

Initially I had planned on using it for chopping smaller rails to firewood length. It also served as a splitting and bucking platform. I experimented with bucking smaller logs (5-6 inch diameter) on the platform instead of separating them into rails first. The platform offered a solid back up for vertical ax strokes (swinging towards your feet) when bucking.

80% of the wood was split into long rails and cut to length on the chopping platform. In case you’re not aware, ax-cut wood will not stand on end for splitting. The remaining 20% was bucked to length on the platform, tossed on the ground, and split using the Tiger technique (video link).  This method worked well on all clear grained wood. When knots were present, I learned quickly to lay the round on the chopping platform to split.

Make Every Stroke Count

The first human I witnessed felling a tree with an ax was Mama. With that moment etched in my five-year-old mind, I was hooked on axes.

Technique

The ax swing is a basic physical movement. However, proper technique employed efficiently saves energy and time. A tinderfoot, unfamiliar with technique, gnaws into a tree with a flurry of misdirected chops and slashes until the tree submits or he gives up. The wood chips produced are as fine as flower bed mulch.

The super computer in our skull coordinates with our muscles to strike where our eyes look. I’m not saying that you don’t need repetition to develop muscle memory. You certainly do. Practice makes permanent… not perfect.

Every stroke is made under control. Muscle up on swings and accuracy suffers. Use your natural swing and let the tool do its share of the work. When felling, the least practiced skill due to the low number of trees needed to produce a cord of wood, a pattern of overlapping strikes is followed for both the face and back notch. A small notch is created as the base for larger notches. With the small notch complete, large wood chips are freed more easily as you progress. A slight twist of the ax after each stroke helps to loosen and remove chips on the top and bottom cuts of the notch. Repeat this blueprint until you near the center of the tree. Do the same 45 degree notching technique on the back cut.

Aim and Accuracy

My ax placement dramatically improved over the course of this challenge. Cleaner notches in felling and bucking were evident with more purposeful practice. One tip I’d offer in bucking is to swing the ax through a line vertical with your nose as your eyes focus on the target.

As my accuracy grew, I concentrated on cocking the ax handle back with my wrist at the peak of my backswing before the downward stroke. This seemed to increase velocity of the ax head. Accuracy and velocity equates to more work done with less effort.

Trading Theory for Action

Early in my teaching career, I was the sage on the stage dishing out book information and theory. As I grow gray, I’ve come to realize that lessons last when students are given the opportunity to learn by doing the stuff. Building knowledge through experience makes math relevant in the real-world. This is even more true with ax-manship and self-reliance skills.

Remove electricity and the combustion engine from the firewood equation and suddenly the ax becomes relevant. Modern tools, which I own, can get the job done more quickly. But I needed to experience, in context, what it takes to cut a cord with an ax only.

By Doing the Stuff, opportunities and learning took place…

  • Emergent skills were honed
  • Unpredictable situations improved learning
  • Reflected on consequences, mistakes, and successes
  • Improved woodland management
  • I could indeed keep my family warm with an ax

In full disclosure, a bucksaw was used for one back cut on the last tree felled. My buddy, Kevin, came out for about an hour and cut the face notch. A large wild azalea, which I refuse to cut, prevented safe ax work on the back cut. This was the only time a tool other than an ax was used.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance

Todd

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Tornado Survival Tips To Help You Prepare, Survive And Rebuild

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Seeing a violent rotating vortex reaching down from the clouds to the ground is a life changing experience. The sound a tornado makes is known by everyone living in the Midwest and this deadly weather event can change lives in minutes. The following tornado survival tips are a common law in the Midwestern states, but … Read more…

The post Tornado Survival Tips To Help You Prepare, Survive And Rebuild was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Post-Disaster Wellness: Why Drinking Alcohol in High Stress Environments Should Be Avoided

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Hey there, ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals!  We are going to discuss how alcohol affects your physical training, and what physiological effects you must take into consideration.  Please understand: I am not “demonizing” alcohol or alcoholic beverages, and am not scoffing or scorning anyone who partakes in them in a normal, healthy manner.  Indeed, the scope of this article is not “moralistic,” nor am I a spokesperson for abstinence.  The intent is to explain how alcohol diminishes your recovery time and performance regarding your physical training.

You, the readers are a very demographically-diverse group from all walks of life and all ages, some with special health care needs.  I implore all of you to analyze your status and with your doctor come up with an exercise program for yourself.


Physical training and exercise are your best tools for preparation, along with proper study, diet, and rest.


Why You Should Avoid Drinking Alcohol in High Stress Environments

That being said, why am I writing about alcohol affecting training?  I do so because the proverbial “two drinks,” as well as the “after dinner drink,” and the “after work drink” are pervasive in our society and culture.  The Super Bowl just finished up, with hardly anything in the ads for your physical training, but a barrage from Budweiser to drink beer.  Consider me a quiet voice on the sideline, little more than a whisper in your ear recommending the physical training.

Alcohol deposits fat in your midsection, and also has a wasting effect on the thigh and gluteal muscles.  There was a study in 2000 done published in the Journal of Applied Physiology that found cortisol (a hormone we discussed in previous articles) rose 61% when alcohol was consumed after strenuous physical activity.  The reason for this significance: many people have physically-demanding jobs and wish to “wind down” with a beer or two, or a shot after work.

The cortisol (usually produced with stress) has an adverse effect on muscle maintenance and muscle growth.  See, alcohol has an effect that has gravitated man toward it throughout history: it holds similar effects to the drug Valium (or Diazepam, if you prefer) with calming, anxiety-relieving effects.  It also releases dopamine and endorphins within the first 20 minutes of consumption, substances that enhance pleasure when released by the brain…and in this effect, alcohol is almost akin to opium.

With low doses, alcohol increases stimulation in certain brain areas and the central nervous system, leading to feelings of euphoria.  So, with all of this, you may be thinking…shouldn’t I be taking an occasional drink of alcohol in conjunction with training?  The answer is an unequivocal “No!” on all counts.

Alcohol has the ability to severely depress brain function by interfering with the ion channels needed to fire neurons…that is, allow your brain to communicate to and with other important parts of your body…such as respiration, heart, motor control, and so forth.  Far from being a “sleep aid,” it can rob you of REM.  No, not the band from the late 80’s to early 90’s…but Rapid-Eye Movement sleep.  Alcohol can hurt your sleeping habits.  To say nothing of your love life.

Chronic consumption of alcohol is a libido-killer in both men and women.  It seriously lowers testosterone levels in men, and causes the testicles to shrink, as well as promoting impotence.  If you read the article I recently wrote for men on the importance of maintaining healthy levels of testosterone with weight and physical training, you’ll understand just how negative these alcohol-induced reductions are.

Alcohol increases the amount of recovery time that you need to heal and restore your muscles after hard physical labor or exercise.  Your liver works hard to excrete the alcohol and the toxins associated with it.  A substantial amount of energy is also needed to break down the molecules and process them.  If you work out for an hour in the gym and then go and have a beer or a glass of wine, you have just ruined or severely cramped the gains you may have experienced.

Tissue repair and the uptake of amino acids are also severely hampered by alcohol consumption.  Studies in the past have shown that a glass of wine will lower the triglycerides in the bloodstream and help prevent blood clotting.  This is true, but guess what?  So will a regular exercise program!  You can lower those triglycerides and build yourself up!  Alcohol also tends to reduce the uptake of essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin C and calcium with long-term consumption.

Will it kill you or cripple you to have a drink every now and then, such as once a month?  Consult with your doctor first, but it probably will not harm you.  I still stand by the fact that you don’t really need it, and it can cause your training and physical fitness regimen to suffer.  I haven’t even mentioned the other negative effects that heavy drinking can cause, but you can figure them out if you haven’t experienced them yourself.

To summarize, alcohol has its uses and is not a “villain,” and neither are people who consume it responsibly villains.  Just keep in mind that this piece is not designed to “excoriate” alcohol, but to keep you informed of the negative effects it can have on your physical fitness training when it is consumed.  Feel stressed?  Put on the bag gloves and beat up the heavy bag for ten or fifteen minutes.  If you still feel that you need a drink, well, then down a big shake full of amino acids…that’ll serve you better!  Stay healthy, make gains, and keep 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

Post-Disaster Wellness: Why Drinking Alcohol in High Stress Environments Should Be Avoided

Hey there, ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals!  We are going to discuss how alcohol affects your physical training, and what physiological effects you must take into consideration.  Please understand: I am not “demonizing” alcohol or alcoholic beverages, and am not scoffing or scorning anyone who partakes in them in a normal, healthy manner.  Indeed, the scope of this article is not “moralistic,” nor am I a spokesperson for abstinence.  The intent is to explain how alcohol diminishes your recovery time and performance regarding your physical training.

You, the readers are a very demographically-diverse group from all walks of life and all ages, some with special health care needs.  I implore all of you to analyze your status and with your doctor come up with an exercise program for yourself.


Physical training and exercise are your best tools for preparation, along with proper study, diet, and rest.


Why You Should Avoid Drinking Alcohol in High Stress Environments

That being said, why am I writing about alcohol affecting training?  I do so because the proverbial “two drinks,” as well as the “after dinner drink,” and the “after work drink” are pervasive in our society and culture.  The Super Bowl just finished up, with hardly anything in the ads for your physical training, but a barrage from Budweiser to drink beer.  Consider me a quiet voice on the sideline, little more than a whisper in your ear recommending the physical training.

Alcohol deposits fat in your midsection, and also has a wasting effect on the thigh and gluteal muscles.  There was a study in 2000 done published in the Journal of Applied Physiology that found cortisol (a hormone we discussed in previous articles) rose 61% when alcohol was consumed after strenuous physical activity.  The reason for this significance: many people have physically-demanding jobs and wish to “wind down” with a beer or two, or a shot after work.

The cortisol (usually produced with stress) has an adverse effect on muscle maintenance and muscle growth.  See, alcohol has an effect that has gravitated man toward it throughout history: it holds similar effects to the drug Valium (or Diazepam, if you prefer) with calming, anxiety-relieving effects.  It also releases dopamine and endorphins within the first 20 minutes of consumption, substances that enhance pleasure when released by the brain…and in this effect, alcohol is almost akin to opium.

With low doses, alcohol increases stimulation in certain brain areas and the central nervous system, leading to feelings of euphoria.  So, with all of this, you may be thinking…shouldn’t I be taking an occasional drink of alcohol in conjunction with training?  The answer is an unequivocal “No!” on all counts.

Alcohol has the ability to severely depress brain function by interfering with the ion channels needed to fire neurons…that is, allow your brain to communicate to and with other important parts of your body…such as respiration, heart, motor control, and so forth.  Far from being a “sleep aid,” it can rob you of REM.  No, not the band from the late 80’s to early 90’s…but Rapid-Eye Movement sleep.  Alcohol can hurt your sleeping habits.  To say nothing of your love life.

Chronic consumption of alcohol is a libido-killer in both men and women.  It seriously lowers testosterone levels in men, and causes the testicles to shrink, as well as promoting impotence.  If you read the article I recently wrote for men on the importance of maintaining healthy levels of testosterone with weight and physical training, you’ll understand just how negative these alcohol-induced reductions are.

Alcohol increases the amount of recovery time that you need to heal and restore your muscles after hard physical labor or exercise.  Your liver works hard to excrete the alcohol and the toxins associated with it.  A substantial amount of energy is also needed to break down the molecules and process them.  If you work out for an hour in the gym and then go and have a beer or a glass of wine, you have just ruined or severely cramped the gains you may have experienced.

Tissue repair and the uptake of amino acids are also severely hampered by alcohol consumption.  Studies in the past have shown that a glass of wine will lower the triglycerides in the bloodstream and help prevent blood clotting.  This is true, but guess what?  So will a regular exercise program!  You can lower those triglycerides and build yourself up!  Alcohol also tends to reduce the uptake of essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin C and calcium with long-term consumption.

Will it kill you or cripple you to have a drink every now and then, such as once a month?  Consult with your doctor first, but it probably will not harm you.  I still stand by the fact that you don’t really need it, and it can cause your training and physical fitness regimen to suffer.  I haven’t even mentioned the other negative effects that heavy drinking can cause, but you can figure them out if you haven’t experienced them yourself.

To summarize, alcohol has its uses and is not a “villain,” and neither are people who consume it responsibly villains.  Just keep in mind that this piece is not designed to “excoriate” alcohol, but to keep you informed of the negative effects it can have on your physical fitness training when it is consumed.  Feel stressed?  Put on the bag gloves and beat up the heavy bag for ten or fifteen minutes.  If you still feel that you need a drink, well, then down a big shake full of amino acids…that’ll serve you better!  Stay healthy, make gains, and keep 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

How to Make Easy Herbal Oils, Salves, and Syrups

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This article was originally published by Richo Cech on motherearthnews.com

Soothe injuries and boost your immune system with these simple, plant-based recipes for trauma oil, Saint John’s wort oil, black elderberry syrup, herbal lip balm, and more.

Not long ago, I got a gash in my foot, but it felt relatively comfortable propped up and encased in a gooey poultice made of crushed comfrey roots. Soon enough, my foot quit throbbing, and I marveled at how minimally processed roots had effectively eased my pain. Then again, processing has its advantages — drying the herbs, grinding them, and extracting their properties with water, oil, or alcohol can make herbal therapy more convenient, and, I thought (while flexing my mucilage-laden toes, which, thankfully, still worked), a lot less messy!

How to Make Infused Herbal Oils

Herbal oils are convenient and easy to use. These are made by extracting ground-up herbs with organic olive oil. You can apply this herb-laden oil directly to your skin, where it will exert its healing influence through absorption, or you can use the oil as a base for making a salve or lip balm. Infused oils aren’t the same as essential oils, which are composed of concentrated, steam-distilled volatile oils of a plant. Infused herbal oils may be made from dried arnica flowers, bergamot leaves and flowers, calendula flowers, cayenne peppers, cannabis leaves and flowers, chickweed leaves and flowers, comfrey leaves, ginger roots, helichrysum flowers, mullein leaves, turmeric roots, and virtually any herb containing essential oils (such as rosemary, thyme, and lavender). All will extract well in warm oil.

Fresh garlic cloves, cottonwood buds, elderberry leaves, horse chestnut buds, mullein flowers, and especially flowering Saint John’s wort also extract very nicely in warm olive oil.

To make Saint John’s wort oil, grind fresh Saint John’s wort flowers and leaves into a mash and add 1 part of this fresh herb mash to 3 parts olive oil. Stir thoroughly, and then pour the mass into a gallon jar, capped with cheesecloth held in place with a rubber band. (The cheesecloth will allow excess moisture to escape.) Set the jar in the sun for 2 weeks, stirring daily. The oil will eventually take on the ruby-red color of its active constituent, hypericin. After 2 weeks, squeeze the contents through 4 layers of cheesecloth into a clean bowl, pour the oil into a clean gallon jar, and allow it to settle overnight. Then, excluding the watery sludge, pour the bright-red oil into clean containers for storage, and use as needed.

To make an infused oil of dried herbs, first grind the herbs to a medium-fine consistency. In a crockpot, stainless steel pan, or gallon jar, combine 1 part herbs with 5 parts organic olive oil (for 1 ounce of herb, use 5 ounces of oil). Or, simply put the dried herbs into the vessel and add sufficient olive oil to make a thick mash that you can just stir with a spoon. Stir daily to encourage extraction, and keep the oil very warm (110 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit). Some folks set the macerating oil close to a woodstove or in the sun to stay warm. In any case, never heat the oil directly on a stovetop — temperatures in excess of 150 degrees will denature the oil. After 1 week, pour the warm mass through 4 layers of cheesecloth draped over a bowl. Lift the corners, gather them together, and squeeze and squeeze, allowing the clear oil to flow into the bowl. Alternatively, you can use a tincture press, which is certainly more efficient. Collect the infused oil in a jar and allow it to settle overnight. Then, being careful to exclude the sludge that will have formed on the bottom of the jar, pour off the clear oil into amber glass jars for storage. Store in a cool, dark place. The shelf life of infused herbal oils is 1 year.

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How to Make Herbal Salves and Balms

Homemade salves and lip balms call for beeswax and oil, which mix only if heated to 150 degrees. You won’t need to use a thermometer; simply pour an infused oil into a heat-resistant glass beaker, set it into a saucepan half-filled with water, and bring the water bath to a gentle simmer on the stovetop.

To make a soft salve, use 0.6 ounces of wax for every cup of oil. Grate the beeswax with a cheese grater, mix the grated wax into the oil, and gently heat the mixture until the beeswax melts, stirring constantly with a chopstick or wooden spoon. After the wax incorporates perfectly into the oil, immediately remove it from the heat and pour the liquid salve into suitable containers. It will harden as it cools.

Lip balm is made in the same way, except you’ll need to increase the concentration of beeswax to 2 ounces of wax for every 1 cup of oil. This will make a harder product that won’t melt in your pocket or purse, but will still protect and heal chapped lips. You can use the infused oil of calendula flowers or chickweed to make a very pleasant lip balm. For additional flavor, per 1 cup of lip balm, stir in 1 drop of mint essential oil, 3 drops of vanilla extract, or both.

To make lip balm, first make herbal oil by combining equal parts dried chickweed leaves or flowers and dried calendula flowers (follow my earlier instructions for making infused herbal oils). Combine 1 cup of this oil with 2 ounces of beeswax. Stirring constantly, gently heat the oil/beeswax mixture in a hot water bath until the beeswax melts. Pour the liquid lip balm into small, flat salve containers or empty lip-balm dispensers — this recipe will yield eleven 1-ounce tins. As it cools, it will harden.

While some balms are suited to everyday use, occasionally you’ll need a stronger salve for soothing specific ailments. Trauma oil is traditionally made by combining the infused oils of 3 powerful herbs: calendula, arnica, and Saint John’s wort. You can make the oils separately and then combine them in equal parts to make the trauma oil. Heat the oil and mix with beeswax to make trauma salve, and then store the mixture in a flat tin. To use, rub the salve as needed into an afflicted area. I’ve seen this remedy used as-is to reduce inflammation and pain in a swollen finger, a twisted ankle, and an inflamed tendon.

Healing Herbal Syrups and Teas

Herbal syrups are among the most universally accepted ways to ingest herbs. I find them to be particularly well-suited for children, who may disagree with the strange and bitter tastes of many herbs but actually look forward to their daily spoonful of syrup. Syrups may be administered by the loving hand of a parent who has the foresight to fortify their child against common colds and flu.

Black elderberry syrup packs a powerful immune-enhancing punch. To reconstitute dried berries, simply cover them with boiling water in a jar overnight and allow them to plump up. To make syrup from reconstituted dried berries or from fresh berries, place the berries in a saucepan with a little water and set on low heat. Stirring frequently, cook until the berries are thoroughly softened, and then remove from the heat and allow them to cool enough to be handled. Press out the juice in a tincture press or through a large sieve, thereby excluding the skins and seeds. Return the clear purple juice to the saucepan and set on low heat, stirring frequently. Reduce to 1⁄4 the original volume, producing a very thick product. This will take about 1 hour. Measure the liquid, and then add an equal volume of vegetable glycerin or honey. Pour into 4-ounce amber dropper bottles or small jars. A child’s dose is 1 teaspoon up to 3 times per day. An adult dose is 1 tablespoon up to 3 times per day.

A decoction is a concentrated herbal tea, often used to extract the essence of roots, barks, and seeds that don’t readily relinquish their properties in a simple tea. Strong decoctions are double-strength and may easily be made into herbal syrup. Combine 1 part strong decoction with 2 parts vegetable glycerin or honey. Stir until thoroughly incorporated, and then store in 4-ounce amber dropper bottles or small jars. The shelf life of syrups made in this manner is about 6 months, and may be extended by refrigerating the syrup. If mold appears on the surface, discard.

To make, use 2 handfuls (about 2 ounces) of sliced or coarsely ground herbs in 4 cups of water. Combine in a stainless steel saucepan, cover, and leave overnight to soak. In the morning, stir the contents with a wooden spoon and heat on a low burner, simmering for 15 minutes. Then, strain out the root pieces and return the liquid to the stovetop. Stirring frequently, reduce the volume by half.

Many kinds of roots, barks, and seeds can be made into strong decoctions and then combined with honey or glycerin to produce herbal syrups or cough syrup. Astragalus roots, cascara sagrada bark, elecampane roots, hawthorn berries, motherwort herb, turkey rhubarb roots, self heal flowers, spikenard roots, yellow dock roots, violet flowers, licorice roots, and fennel seeds all make good herbal syrups.

Source : www.motherearthnews.com

About the author : Richo Cech is the founder of Strictly Medicinal Seeds, an all-medicinal seed and plant company based in Williams, Oregon. He’s the author of the respected herbal reference Making Plant Medicine.

 

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Fevers Post-SHTF

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Fevers Post-SHTF Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio in player below! What is your plan for fevers post-disaster? The scenario: no doctors and no pharmacies are available. You have no ibuprofen and no acetaminophen. Your child is sick, and the thermometer is reading 103°F. What do you do? The standard of care in the United … Continue reading Fevers Post-SHTF

The post Fevers Post-SHTF appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Face the Pain to Let Go

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Did I tell you that forgiving yourself was the hardest part? Perhaps I wasn’t completely truthful. But if I had told you that the hard work was just starting, you would have been scared off too early in the process.

Today we’re going to tackle one of the hardest parts. Gird your loins and get ready. Welcome to Day Fifteen of 30 Days to Forgiveness!

It is important to face our pain and hurts and fully understand what we must forgive before we can continue on the journey.

Forgiveness is about letting go of the anger and pain associated with a wrong so that you can move on with your life.

Right?

Hopefully you’re nodding right now and saying that we’ve already established that multiple times. I only repeat these things because I really want you to understand them.

So we have to let go of the anger and pain associate with the wrong.

That means facing the hurt, facing the pain and anger, and really accepting it. Are you ready?

No?

It’s okay. This is going to be hard, but it’s absolutely necessary. If you don’t know exactly what you’re facing and have just a vague idea that you’re kind of sort of mad at someone but you don’t really remember why … well, you’re not going to get very far, are you?

If you just have a vague feeling about what you’re upset about, your attempt at forgiveness is going to be vague, too, and you’ll just be wasting your time.

Your challenge today is to sit down in a quiet place, think about what happened and let it all in.

Easy?

No, not easy.

Let me strongly recommend that you spend some serious time in prayer before doing this, because it’s not going to be easy at all. Our default reaction is to push it to the back of our minds, to avoid really thinking about what happened and not really deal with it. We let it simmer and stew, affecting every aspect of our lives, but we never pull it out into the light, look at it honestly and objectively and deal with it.

How’s that been working for you?

If writing helps, do that, either on paper or on the computer, but get it out there. Be honest with yourself. Be detailed. Pay attention to how you feel as you get it all out. Feel all the feels.

And now realize something. What you’re feeling now is the worst of it.

This is as bad as it’s going to get.

From here on, the healing begins and you will come out of this experience stronger and happier than before.

You are in charge here, and that’s what makes this such a powerful experience. That’s why I spent so much time making it clear that you have choices and that you are in control.

Confront the pain and then choose the path of forgiveness. You are choosing to NOT let the anger and pain control you anymore. The choices you are now making will mean that your choices, your actions, your feelings and everything else that makes up your life is no longer shaded by that pain you’ve been nursing.

You are facing the pain and actively working your way through it. That’s powerful.

But, hey, even though YOU are in charge, please don’t try to do this on your own. From personal experience, I can tell you that this takes a great deal of private prayer time as well as long discussions with trusted loved ones. Talk to a friend, a close family member or a professional counselor. You want someone who will be honest and kind, someone who knows what you are working through and won’t let you get away with lying to yourself.

If you need to, confront the person who has done you wrong, but please do so cautiously and with the understanding that it might not work out the way you expect. In fact, it’s more likely to backfire than lead to the results you want.

Writing it all down is useful, especially if you imagine yourself writing to the person that hurt you. Scream, yell and let it all out – in a safe place, of course. It feels a lot better to release the pain than to hang on to it.

It is important to face our pain and hurts and fully understand what we must forgive before we can continue on the journey.

Explorers Ate It. It Stored For 50 Years. Here’s Their Recipe.

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Explorers Ate It. It Stored For 50 Years. Here’s The Recipe.

It was a food invented by the Native Americans, who depended on it when traveling on long and adventurous journeys when food was scarce, or when there simply wasn’t time to hunt and gather enough to eat. That was a lesson well-learned by many early European settlers, explorers and fur traders in North America.

It was pemmican, which was the ultimate survival food for centuries and quickly became a staple food for fur traders, voyageurs and Arctic and Antarctic explorers. The reason was simple. It was high in protein and calories, and high in fat. Fat offers the best calories for cold weather and the most calories for people who were subject to brutally physical work, temperatures and conditions.

The word “pemmican” is a derivative of a Cree Indian word “pimihkan.” Curiously, the word “pimi” is the Cree word for “greasy fat.” On a fundamental level, pemmican is a mixture of dried and powdered meat, animal fat, wild berries and salt. The fat to meat ratio was typically 1:1, or 50 percent powdered meat and 50 percent fat. Some recipes vary that ratio, and typically less fat was used in warmer climates.

Prepared properly, pemmican can last for years and years, although adding anything to it besides meat and fat will reduce the shelf life. There are reports of some pemmican lasting 50 or more years. According to a popular social studies book used in Canadian schools, “Pemmican was high in calories and protein, and could be stored in leather bags for years at a time. It was also portable, much like protein bars available today.”

A curious side note on animal fat is that it has food preservative properties. Pioneer women would pack a crock with cooked meats and pour a layer of fat over the top, allowing it to cool and congeal to preserve the meat.

The recipe by the old Hudson Bay Company – which was founded in 1670 and was key to the fur trade — used buffalo meat and buffalo fat in addition to the marrow from the buffalo bones. We’ll get into the specifics of that type of recipe in a bit. I’ve experimented with various pemmican recipes and ways to prepare and enjoy this very rustic and primitive food.

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At the outset, the recipe used game animals from moose to elk and venison as the primary ingredients. Eventually, beef emerged as the primary meat ingredient and it was most commonly used by Arctic and Antarctic explorers including Admiral Peary, Roald Amundsen, Robert Falcon Scott, Fridtjof Nansen, and Sir Ernest Shackleton. In many cases both the men and their sled dogs subsisted on pemmican.

An important consideration for any recipe in the last century up to today is the type of fat used in pemmican recipes. Beef tallow and beef marrow are the fats of choice, in addition to suet. Suet is the hard, beef fat found around the kidneys and loins of cattle. Avoid lard in your pemmican recipes. Lard is pork fat and I have found few recipes that recommend it going back 200 years.

The meat is just as important and should be trimmed of all fat and sliced into thin strips. Reserve the fat for rendering, but you don’t want any fat on the meat because of a critical step in the recipe process. That step involves drying the meat.

There are varying drying approaches that we’ll cover, but the critical success factor is that the strips of meat are hard and brittle. The goal is to dry the strips of meat to a hardness that will allow you to break it and crush it into something approaching a dust.

As time went on, varying dried fruits were added to the recipe. Native Americans used dried choke cherries and cranberries. Later recipes used by adventurers and explorers added dried cherries, blueberries and currants, all of which were also pounded into bits.

The dried berries add a vitamin component, including vitamin C. The amounts vary by recipe, but you always can adjust to your taste.

Classic Pemmican Recipe

The following recipe was used during the 1700s.

Hudson Bay pemmican was made from buffalo meat. The lean meat was cut into strips and dried in the sun for two to three days or over a fire until it was hard and brittle. The strips of hardened meat were then pounded into a powder, either with a wooden mallet on a stump or between two stones.

The fat and marrow of the buffalo was then melted and mixed into the powdered meat to make a paste (using a 50/50 mixture). This was then allowed to harden and was wrapped and rolled into a rectangular piece of buffalo hide. The cold temperatures of the Arctic and far north kept it from spoiling, although pemmican stores very well.

Admiral Peary’s expedition to the North Pole subsisted on a pemmican made from dried beef ground into a powder, beef tallow or beef fat and dried fruit.

Meat-Pulverizing Tips

You don’t have to crush the meat between two stones; you can use more contemporary approaches. These include:

  • A hand-turned meat grinder. This gets the dried meat into small bits and you can continue to run it through in a series of batches to get it as fine as you want.
  • A blender. Just make sure to do it in batches until you get the consistency you want.
  • A food processor. But if there is any moisture at all, the speed of the processor will turn the meat into a paste, so grind the dried meat in bursts.

The size and consistency of your pulverized, dried beef can range from small bits to the dusty powder used by pioneers. That’s up to you. I prefer the small bits, but make sure they’re very small or you’ll spend the rest of the day trying to get bits of dried beef out of your teeth.

Beef-Trying Tips

Explorers Ate It. It Stored For 50 Years. Here’s Their Recipe. I use a food dehydrator. It’s the same one I use to make jerky; I just extend the drying time. To test a piece, take it out of the dehydrator and tape it on the counter. It should make a hard sound rather than the dull thud you’d get from a piece of jerky. Next, snap a piece. If it breaks like peanut brittle, you’re done. If it bends, it needs more time.

You also could hang the strips over a fire for two or three days. I tend to prefer the dehydrator but in the field, I’d use the fire method in a heartbeat.

Fat-Rendering Tips

This is a slow process. You should start by cutting the tallow and/or suet into chunks. If you’re also adding marrow, slice that up into one-inch pieces. Add all to a cast-iron frying pan over low to medium heat and toss often. Eventually, the fat will pool into the bottom of the pan, leaving some brown chunks behind. Filter the fat to remove the chunks. If there are smaller bits and pieces of brown bits left in the pan, I’ll even run it through some cheese cloth to clarify the fat. Don’t let it smoke or burn. That will give the fat and the resulting pemmican an off taste.

Dried Fruit Tips

Whether I’m using fresh fruit or dried fruit bought at the store, I’ll put the fruits into a dehydrator. Even dried, packaged fruit has some residual moisture. Once the fruit is dried, I’ll pulverize it in the food processor or the blender to break it into bits.

Putting it All Together

I like a 1:1 mix of beef and fat. It’s easier to measure that way. For every cup of dried, pulverized beef, add a cup of fat. The fat should be warm, not hot and not congealed. Mix the fat and meat together with your hands or two spoons. I put it into a tabletop mix-master and use the dough hook to blend everything. If you’re off the grid you may have to use your hands.

Add the dried berries to your taste. I usually add a half-cup and mix it all together again. If you want, you can add some salt to suit your taste. For a cup of meat and a cup of fat plus a half-cup of fruit, I’ll add a half teaspoon of salt when I add the fruit so the salt gets blended into the mixture, as well.

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If you want to make more, just double or triple the amounts. That’s the other thing I like about a 50/50 ratio of meat to fat. It makes the multiplication easier.

When done, I’ll spoon the pemmican into a cupcake pan and flatten the tops with the back of a knife. I then refrigerate it for about three hours and turn the tray over onto the counter. Each pemmican cake will be greasy to the touch, so place each one in a plastic sandwich bag unless you want to wrap it in a piece of rawhide. I tend to favor the plastic bags. You can store them in a cool, dark place, but mine usually ends up in the fridge.

Tips on Eating Pemmican

Three recipes for eating pemmican have emerged over the years. The first is my favorite.

  1. Fried pemmican rechaud. This recipe involves frying the pemmican in its own fat. Wild onions like ramps and potatoes were often added until browned, followed by two or three tablespoons of flour and salt to taste. This can be spread on bread or crackers and eaten like a sandwich. I offered some to my wife at the counter once and she walked away shaking her head with disgust. I guess pemmican is kind of a guy thing.
  2. Rubaboo. This recipe was a favorite of fur traders. A chunk of pemmican about the size of your fist was dropped into a quart of boiling water. Flour is supposed to be added next, and I usually mix the flour with a little pemmican first so I don’t get lumps. Onions, potatoes and carrots can be added and some salt for seasoning. Fur traders also would add a little sugar and chopped salt pork. It will have a soup-like consistency and was eaten that way. I like it with sourdough bread.
  3. Raw. This was the eating method of choice for Arctic and Antarctic explorers and Canadian voyageurs. A chunk of pemmican was held in one hand and sliced with a knife and chewed. I’ve tried it and it’s not bad. In France, there is a delicacy known as “lardo.” It’s sliced lard and is eaten like a slice of cheese. Suffice it to say, I tried it once and that was enough. Maybe I’ll appreciate it more if I ever go to the Arctic.

Give it a Try

This is a good survival food as a last resort and it has been shown to have a good shelf-life if prepared properly. You can use any game animal, but I would start with beef and make a small batch to start. Five pounds of raw beef will give you one pound of dried beef, and that should be enough for a trial run. Grab some suet while you’re at it so you have enough fat for a 50/50 mix. Enjoy!

How do you make pemmican? Share your tips in the section below:

 

Should You Clip Your Chickens’ Wings? (The Answer May Surprise You)

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Should You Clip Your Chickens’ Wings? (The Answer May Surprise You)

Image source: Pixabay.com

There are a lot of decisions to be made when keeping poultry, and whether or not to clip chickens’ wings to prevent the birds from flying is one of the choices that must be made.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Although clipping chicken wings does not cause harm or pain to the bird, it is always my last resort. I believe in allowing animals to retain as much of their natural state as practicable, but chicken wings do sometimes need to be clipped. Whatever your philosophy, here are some points to be considered as you make the decision that works best for you and your flock.

The reason this is a consideration at all is because chickens, of course, fly. They don’t fly very high or well or for more than short bursts at a time, but they do fly. They can clear fences, and that is where they can get into trouble. For many homesteaders, the reason for fencing is as much to keep predators and other dangers out as it is to keep chickens and livestock in. And if the chickens fly over the fence and out of their safe enclosure, the fence cannot do its job to protect them.

There are certain chicken housing methods that make it unnecessary to clip wings.

For example, some enclosures are covered. This not only prevents avian predation and discourages nimble ground predators from climbing up and over the fence but also keeps domestic birds from escaping. If your chickens live in a covered pen, there is no need to consider clipping their wings.

Another reason chickens would not need to have their wings clipped is if they do not have an enclosure at all. If they are truly free-range — let out of the chicken coop at dawn and allowed to spend their days roaming wherever strikes them — there is no practical reason to restrict them from flying. In fact, free-range homestead chickens are better off with both wings completely intact, allowing them to fly up out of danger to tree branches and other high places when threatened.

And, of course, chickens that are kept indoors except for when under direct supervision by humans or trained guard animals do not need to have their wings clipped.

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

It is significant to note that all chickens do not fly over fences. It is more difficult for some breeds and individuals than it is for others, and some chickens simply choose not to fly.  Therefore, if your chickens have not flown out already and are making no attempts to do so, it may not be essential to clip their wings.

Should You Clip Your Chickens’ Wings? (The Answer May Surprise You)

Image source: Pixabay.com

In many instances, chickens can be trained not to fly over the fence by simply putting them back in when they get out. Chickens tend to follow the leader, so if one bird flies out, the rest are likely to try it. The earlier you can catch the first few fence-flyers and retrain them, the better.

If your chickens do not fall into any of the above categories — completely enclosed including a roof, not enclosed at all, unable to or uninterested in flying, or trained to stay in the pen — then you may need to consider clipping their wings. If it is critical that your birds do not get out of their pen, because of possible predation, proximity to vehicle traffic, or other potential issues. In those scenarios, clipping is probably the best choice for your flock.

When wings must be clipped, it is crucial to do it correctly. Similar to trimming human fingernails, cutting the outer edges is harmless but cutting into the part where blood is flowing causes pain.

Most sources say to clip only one wing, causing an uneven dynamic which prevents the bird from achieving liftoff. This works well on my homestead.

The key components to clipping chicken wings are to stay calm, be sure to clip only the flight feathers, and don’t remove any more than necessary.

The flight feathers are the ones at the ends of the wings, visible when the wing is spread open.  The quills (the rigid tubes down the center) of wing feathers are white or clear. This is an important distinction from other feathers which have dark-colored quills and can bleed heavily if you cut them. It is a good idea to have blood-stop powder on hand in case you accidentally cut a blood feather, but it is a better idea to take great care and be deliberate in cutting one feather at a time to avoid mistakes. Some chicken literature includes instructions to have pliers on hand and pull a feather that starts bleeding, but I have never had that experience with my chickens.

It is important to use sharp scissors, and helpful to have an assistant on hand to assist with handling the chicken is a real bonus. Make minimal conservative cuts when clipping feathers. You always can cut more off more if needed.

I have read that wing-clipping needs to be done every year as they molt and grow in new feathers. That makes sense, but I have not found it to be true with my flock. The habit of staying in the pen having been developed, it tends to stick with them. I toss the occasional outliers back over the fence in the spring when they first consider straying, and they seem to get over the idea.

By carefully evaluating the needs and habits of your poultry when making the choice about clipping their wings, the birds can stay on the right side of the fence and live long healthy lives.

What is your opinion about clipping wings? What do you do? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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

How To Build A Survival Gun Cache On A $500 Budget

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How To Build A Survival Gun Cache On A $500 Budget

Image source: MossbergOwners.com

 

Survivalists who find themselves on serious budgets always will be faced with the problem of accumulating the gear they want within a price point that they can afford. Putting together a survival armory of guns is no exception.

Let’s say that you only have $500 to spend on guns. Many would say that with this budget, it’s A) impossible to build a complete armory that covers your bases, and, B) the guns that you do buy for your armory will be cheaply made or of low quality.

Both of these are absolute nonsense. While $500 is certainly not going to buy you as many guns as a $2,000 or $3,000 budget will, it’s still not impossible to gather the guns you need for this amount.

In fact, you will be able to acquire the three most important guns that you need for just $500.  The specific models that you can buy may not be the fanciest examples on the market, but they are still reliable and will work well enough.

Let’s outline what the three most important categories of guns to have are, and then list an example of a make and model of gun that you can have in that category.

12 GA SHOTGUN – MAVERICK 88 ($180)

It’s hard to say no to a 12-gauge shotgun being the first gun that you own. The 12-gauge round is highly versatile. You can use buckshot for home defense, birdshot for target shooting and bird/small game hunting, and slugs for hunting bigger game such as deer or wild boar.

You also should ideally make your shotgun be a pump-action model over a single shot or semi-automatic, the reason being that you have more capacity than a single and greater reliability with feeding different types of rounds over the semi.

We’re going to cap off the price of a budget shotgun at $180, and the best model that you can buy for this price is going to be the Maverick 88 shotgun, which is the budget model of the world-renowned and highly popular Mossberg 500. While the Maverick doesn’t come with a lot of the same features as the 500, it is still highly reliable and more than adequate for defensive or hunting use.

The Self-Defense And Hunting Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

Although the Maverick 88 usually costs around $200 for a new model, you can very easily find used ones for $180 or even a little less on online auction sites such as Gunbroker.com.

.22 RIFLE – MOSSBERG 702 PLINKSTER ($100)

No gun collection of personal battery of arms is complete without a .22 rifle, even if you only have $500 in total to spend. .22 ammunition is very small, meaning you can store and carry lots of it on you. It’s also a perfect round for small game hunting, plinking, general homestead use, and for introducing new people to the sport of shooting. If necessary, it could be used for self-defense, as well.

Normally, the three .22 rifles that I would recommend first would be the Ruger 10/22, Marlin Model 60, or Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22. Unfortunately, none of these options is going to work, since I’m capping off the price for a .22 rifle at $100.

At this price point, your best option will be the Mossberg 702 Plinkster, which can be found used for even $80 or $90 if you look hard enough online. The Mossberg 702 is available in a wide variety of configurations and comes standard with a 10-round magazine, although higher capacity 25-round magazines also are available.

9MM PISTOL – TAURUS PT111 G2 ($220)

We’re now left with $220 to spend on our final firearm, which absolutely must be a pistol. The pistol is the gun you will have strapped to your side at all times during a disaster scenario. You want it to be easily concealed. I also recommend in this case that your pistol be a 9mm, simply because it’s the cheapest and most plentiful pistol caliber there is.

The specific pistol that I am going to recommend at this price point is going to be a pistol I wrote about recently, the Taurus PT111 G2. While it normally sells for around $250 new at most sporting goods stores, a quick perusal on Gunbroker shows that it can be purchased new or used in good condition for the $200-$220 range.

The PT111 G2 is a compact firearm, which makes concealment easy, but is also large enough so that you can get a full grip on the weapon. It holds 12 rounds in the magazine plus an additional round in the chamber, which is plenty of firepower for defending yourself against multiple attackers. Reviews of the PT111 G2 have been mostly very positive, and owners applaud its reliability, ergonomics and overall value. And besides, it looks much better than a Hi-Point.

Conclusion

So, there you have it. For $500, give or take a few dollars, you should easily be able to acquire a solid survival armory. And they cover your bases: target shooting, home defense/personal protection, and small-game or big-game hunting.

What do you think? What would be in your $500 survival gun armory? Share your thoughts in the section below:

If You Run Out Of Ammo, What Would You Do? Learn How To Make Your Own! Read More Here.

The Peruvian ‘Miracle’ Vegetable You Can Grow In Your Own Backyard

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The Peruvian ‘Miracle’ Vegetable You Can Grow In Your Own Backyard

If you’ve never heard of the magical Peruvian plant called maca, you’re not alone. A little-known plant from the Brassicacea family, maca is primarily known for increasing libido and fertility, but offers so much more.

Sometimes called the “Peruvian ginseng,” maca’s root is a superfood offering a myriad of health benefits beyond the known aphrodisiac effects.

Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a staple in diets of people in the mountains of Peru. A root vegetable similar to turnips, this bulb vegetable is ground into a powder. There are yellow, red and black varieties of maca. Most maca is sold as a combination of the red, black and yellow type, but single-color varieties are also available.

Maca grows best in a very high altitude that’s unfriendly to other types of agriculture. This plant also can be grown in a home garden with plenty of water and enough space to grow on its own. After drying the roots, you can harvest the seeds and plant it yourself, ensuring your own supply. Maca can survive dry conditions, flooding, bad soil and very cold temperatures.

Why should you grow maca? Some of maca’s documented benefits include:

  1. Improved menstrual issues, including pain, cycle regulation and flow.
  2. Decreased hot flashes and other symptoms in menopausal women.
  3. A boost in iodine for proper thyroid function.
  4. Corrected hormone balance for both men and women.
  5. Reduced depression and anxiety.
  6. Controlling stress.
  7. Improved immunity.
  8. Improved sleep.
  9. Better skin health.
  10. Helping hair grow.
  11. A boost in iron for red blood cells.
  12. Increased energy, stamina, focus and mental clarity without caffeine.
  13. More lean muscle.
  14. Antioxidants, including glutathione and superoxide dismutase (SOD).

Maca has been cultivated for more than 3,000 years in the Andes. It’s rich in most of the amino acids, free fatty acids, carbohydrates, plant protein, fiber, sugars, minerals and other important nutrients that improve health and well-being beyond the standard multivitamin.

Beet Powder: The Ancient Secret To Renewed Energy And Stamina

It’s important to note that maca is a food, not a supplement. Maca is available in bulk as a powder, or in capsules. Taste can vary by brand and variety; some will have a mild taste, but others may have a “dirt” taste. Maca is best taken in capsules, although some fans like the taste. Devotees of this root plant don’t care what it tastes like once they’ve experienced the incredible benefits. Mixing maca into smoothies, coffee, tea, chai or other drinks makes it easier to take and kills the “dirt” taste, if there is one.

Gelatinized maca is available for those with sensitive stomachs or digestive issues. The harvested maca root is heated above 160 degrees Fahrenheit, dissolving the starch molecules and making digestion easier. The downside is that maca’s enzymes and glucosinolates are dissolved, but its remaining nutrients become concentrated. The result is called a “4:1 product,” meaning that it takes 4 kilograms of raw maca to create 1 kilogram of powdered gelatinized maca. While raw maca is considered best, gelatinized maca is a better choice for some who may experience side effects from the raw form.

Start with a low dose to find out how your body reacts to maca, and increase slowly to get your body used to taking it.

Maca just may be the health boost you’ve been wanting.

Have you ever tried maca or grown it? Share your tips in the section below:

Sources:

What is Maca? TheMacaTeam.com

Maca Nutrition Facts, TheMacaTeam.com

http://www.offthegridnews.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=75198&action=edit#

Maca Is Good for More Than Your Mojo, Mercola.com, 03/13/2017

Maca May Help Improve Your Reproductive Health, Mercola.com

Top 5 Maca Root Benefits & Nutrition, DrAxe.com

Maca Root Buttocks, TheMacaTeam.com

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

The Best Survival Towel: Staying Dry and Getting By

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The Best Survival Towel: Staying Dry and Getting By A towel may seem like a useless luxury item at first glance. The bulk and limited functionality make them not worth their weight and size to include in a bug out bag or get home bag. That very well may be the case for your conventional …

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5 Homemade Rat Traps to Keep Your Food Storage Rodent-Free

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5 Homemade Rat Traps to Keep Your Food Storage Rodent-Free A rat in the pantry is a quick way to ruin your day. They can gnaw through containers like they arent even there and make short work of all your hard work. Luckily for us, the same drive that pushes them to infiltrate our homes makes …

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Training for Real World Scenarios with Airsoft

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Troy and Chele Pfost of Stampede Airsoft are back on the show today. We talk about their experience on CBS’ new reality show Hunted and how Airsoft can be a valuable training tool to develop combat skills.

Everett and Courtney Carroll have survived the Seven Seal Judgments which devastated the planet. But have their efforts to stay alive been in vain? The next series of judgments to fall upon the earth are known as the Seven Trumpets.With each subsequent Trumpet Judgement their odds of living grow slimmer. If Everett and Courtney are to survive, they’ll need perseverance, faith, and a great outpouring of providence from The Almighty. Buy your copy of Wormwood in audio, paperback or Kindle edition today!

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Trading Post in the Woods is ran by veteran crisis responders who know how important it is to be prepared. They specialize in comprehensive natural survival remedy kits, preparedness and homesteading supplies as well as skills training. Visit them online today at TradingPostInTheWoods.com.

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CampingSurvival.com has all of your preparedness needs including; bug out bags, long term food storage, water filters, gas masks, and first aid kits. Use coupon code PREPPERRECON to get 5% off your entire order at Camping Survival.

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The dollar has lost over 90% of its purchasing power since 1971. Silver, on the other hand, has proved to be a very stable form of wealth preservation over the years. Silver.com offers fantastic prices on silver and gold. Check out Silver.com today.

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

Happy Prepping!

Mark

The post Training for Real World Scenarios with Airsoft appeared first on Prepper Recon.

7 Things You Need To Survive An EMP

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Though stories have been pouring out for at least 5 years about the weakness of our power grid, we are still woefully unprepared. And one of the most effective ways our enemies could cripple our power grid is with an EMP (electromagnetic pulse). It would require a tremendous amount of energy, usually from a high-altitude […]

The post 7 Things You Need To Survive An EMP appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Chicken Fried Steak Throwdown

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I loves me some chicken fried steak. And I try to make it a point to have some in my travels across the states. I’ve not yet found what I would call the Cadillac of chicken fried steaks, but I’ve sure had some tasty meals in my search.

Now there’s one cowboy’s chicken fried I’m eager to try, cuz if you can beat Bobby Flay in a head to head throw down, I’m bet’n it’s gonna be the best I’ve ever had.

Sum y’all may’ve never hear of him, but he sure seems to be a household name round the cowboy culture.

Okay hoe’d up. Let me reboot. Trying to write in a cowboyish tone is giv’n me a headache.

Kent Rollins, rather cowboy Kent Rollins, is a bonafide chuckwagon cook, and if watching his videos don’t put you in a bushcrafting mood, I’m not quite sure what else will.

Born and raised near Hollis Oklahoma, Kent has been a cowboy all his life. He’s…. Ah hell let me just provide the blurb from his website, kentrollins.com

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Ham-O-Can Redux: The Operator G1 from Hardened Power Systems

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Call it a radio go box or Ham-O-Can, the Operator G1 by Hardened Power Systems IS the Ham-O-Can…only better.  The original Ham-O-Can video is here.  This comms box is one awesome piece of kit.  Check it out: Products in the video: HPS Operator G1 Midland MXT 105 Operator Magnetic Kickstands New 15 Watt Midland MXT …

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Rifle/Carbine Scope Mounting

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Rifle/Carbine Scope Mounting and Sighting, the

Proper Way

I know many range shooters and hunters who simply do not know the proper way to set-up a new rifle scope. They think they know how base on bad advice or poor YouTube information. With a poorly mounted scope you will never get the best and consistent accuracy from your rifle, especially at long ranges like 300 yards.

Setting up a new scope is a simple process when using inexpensive bubble levels made for the job.

The video’s below are very informative, simple and easily understood. They will assure your scope is properly installed.

The #3 video also includes how to set-up your stock cheek weld for eye/head line of sight to the scope centerline. These three short video’s are the best I’ve found so far. They are produced by, Vortex Scope Manufacturer (#1 & #2) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (#3).

#1  How To MountA Precision Riflescope

#2  How To Zero A Rifle Scope at 100 Yards

#3  Set up Your Scope for Success – Long-Range Rifle Shooting Technique

Tools Needed:

Gunsmith Scope Leveling-Mounting Bubble Levels. The links below is where you can buy the levels needed. The cost for both comes to $35 with free shipping.

The levels below are the same ones I use and they work great, totally universal and they’ll last a lifetime.


How to Pack a Hiking Bag

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How to Pack a Hiking Bag Like anything else there are ways to do something and then there are the best ways to do something. I would never claim that any article best described the way you personally should pack your hiking bag. I understand this is as personal an endeavor to some as how …

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2 Simple Ways To Eliminate Garden Weeds This Year – By Working LESS!

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Believe it or not, if you really want to eliminate garden weeds, you need to stop working so hard! It may sound a bit odd, but many of the weeding problems faced by gardeners are a result of working the soil

The post 2 Simple Ways To Eliminate Garden Weeds This Year – By Working LESS! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Here Are The Survival Maps You Should Be Using

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Mankind is at greater risk from both natural hazards and many manmade hazards than at any other time in history. Think about that statement for a moment. I know I do. This is why I try to write about what I am working on in my personal emergency preparedness and survival efforts, or to work on my preparedness related to topics, to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

One of my long-term projects is my own personal Modular Survival Kit which is one of the primary frameworks for my personal emergency preparedness efforts. From that framework hangs a smaller project which is called the Digital Survival Library and my personal digital map collection is part of that project.

I have been working on it and thought I’d document some bits and pieces to share with my friends who read Surviopedia. Make a list and check them one by one as you get them, you will later make good use of these survival resources!

12 Strategic Planning Maps Sources for Location Selection

I have listed some resources for the USA and a few for maps abroad, but if you live or own property outside the US, you may need to look up the equivalent entity in that country. I wouldn’t buy paper copies of the maps here unless they are in books since you only need them to plan.

1. USGS Natural Hazards Maps

This is probably most all-encompassing natural hazards map site I know of and includes tsunami, earthquake, geomagnetism, landslide, volcano, astrogeology, flood, drought and wildfire hazards. It even includes quite a bit of information for foreign nations.

2. FEMA Earthquake Hazard Maps 

This one will show you  how earthquake hazards vary across the United States.

3. FEMA Flood Map Service Centergov

They can help you understand flood insurance rate maps.

4. National Geospatial Intelligence Maps

They are good for studying all kinds of things from nuclear power plants to polar ice and climate change.

5. US Nuclear Reactors, Nuclear Power Plants & Seismic Hazard

It wouldn’t take a tsunami to cause a severe nuclear accident in the US. Note where the nation’s 104 nuclear reactors are and note 10 & 50 mile zones around plant and take prevailing winds into consideration.

6. Nuclear Target Maps

You won’t find any current nuclear target maps on-line, as any current information is going to be secret compartmented. That said, there is plenty of outdated, declassified material available in on-line archives.

One of the greatest nuclear risks today is that a single nuclear weapon or small number of them will be detonated in major cities. New York and Washington DC are major targets as are many significant and/or populous cities, but it’s largely speculation so I won’t include nuclear target maps on this topic for planning purposes, but do observe likely fallout patterns from major cities.

7. Nukemap

In case you want to simulate weapons effects in nearby cities. Helpful for creating realistic training scenarios and choosing locations of fixed sites.

8. EarthExplorer

Think of it as the USGS version of Google Earth … only you can go back in time. Some of the first generation of US satellite imagery taken between 1960 & 1972 has been declassified, so it you want imagery of areas unlikely to change since then you have a free resource now.

9. Google Earth

As every criminal casing your home and retreat knows, Google has invested crazy resources to make Google Earth a fairly-up-to-date tool for ever-increasing swaths of the planet … especially most places most folks reading this live, own property or plan to hole up. If that’s not OK with you, get your place blacked out by telling them you run a child day care, but save some images before you do for your own use.

For survival use, I recommend the Offline Installer for Google Earth. Zoom in areas of interest and snap and print what you need, mark them with the scale, indicate magnetic declination, label and print them and you have useful maps.

10. Books

There are many fine books on the subject containing a number of maps and guidelines – Rawles on Retreats by JW Rawles and Strategic Relocation by Joel Skousen are a couple of good ones.

11. Threat-specific Online Searches

Search for hazard maps for threats you are concerned about, they will help you a lot.

12. Digital Survival Library

Use technology, but don’t become dependent on it. To this end, I curate a very useful collection of data that is my personal Digital Survival Library and as you probably guessed, it contains a ton of maps. I store it on pairs of volumes on ruggedized media.

 

The first volume is not encrypted and contains information necessary to treat me in an emergency and some selections from my library that I would like anyone who happens up on to have access to.

The other volume is encrypted and contains a vast library of books, maps, emergency communications plan, emergency plans, insurance information, medical records, photos, genealogy, music, scans of documents, software, driver and a backup of all my important data that I never want to be without. I scan and shred anything that can be, so it’s a lot of data.

It also includes all the software necessary to make any phone of computer I come across read every file type of maps and other files in the library, drivers to print, program amateur radios and everything else I could anticipate that a survivalist would need.

It is comforting to know that if my plane drops out of the sky and I find myself on some island in the Caribbean or in South America I have a map and access to my library … maybe I won’t have a map in the level of detail I would like, but chances are good that it would be useful.

13 Essential survival items are included inside this kit. Grab this offer now!

How to Make Your Own Digital Survival Library

If you make one for yourself, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Stash portions of your DSL on an encrypted server outside the US to make sure you can hop on line an access it from anywhere … as long as the internet is still up.

Cache copies in separate sites. Info caches can be very small so it’s no big deal to stash encrypted copies in places you could find yourself stranded.

It you have need, you can stash a copy on a rugged MicroSD card concealed in a hollowed-out coin, under a band-aid or any imaginable object of sufficient dimensions.

Carry a copy on your keychain in a flash drive or adapter that can connect to both cell phones and computers.

Be careful about using cellphones. Most people carry a powerful computer in their pocket, but haven’t configured it for use as a standalone computer, they are very portable and common. Sufficiently small cell phones are likely to survive EMP as a standalone tool even though they contain a lot of vulnerable circuitry because they lack the conductor length to pick up sufficient charge from an incident of typical (50kVA/m) field strength at a distance.

Their small size and low cost make it a simple matter to shield them against more intense super-EMP field strengths and to cache backup phones in Faraday cages. Make sure your phones have the all the software and drivers to get the most of out of your phone in an emergency. If you root a phone and remove all the balloon-ware and tracking software cell providers pre-load phones with, even old phones are plenty powerful to be very useful.

As with all digital maps, GPS’s make it possible to carry more maps, greater detail and more current information as long as you are willing to shell out the dough. They are great tools. Use them, but don’t become dependent on GPS’s, cellphones, PLB’s or anything else that runs on batteries.

Get proficient in orienteering with map and compass first and then add GPS’s and a DSL on top of a strong foundation of map and compass land navigation. Every year, I read about hikers dying from injuries and/or exposure when gizmo’s fail, leaving them stranded.

SERE Maps

Keep copies of a couple small maps in your PSSRK (Pocket Survival and Self-recovery Kit) so you will always have a map on your person. Update them as you move around. Even if you know the area like the back of your hand, not everyone will and maps have a number of other uses besides finding your way.

Phone Book Maps

If you find yourself without a map in a populated area, a decent map for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (aka SERE) purpose can be had for free from any phonebook. You can often find old phonebooks in or near dumpsters or at recycling centers.

Make sure you have the social engineering skills to get your hands on one from any business or residence without putting yourself at risk stealing. Hotels and churches often print small maps on fliers and the latter have aided in prison escapes.

Tyvek

Tyvek is a waterproof, tear-resistant ultralight material that can aid in the construction of a shelter in a pinch … great for SERE maps. The Federal Publications Inc website in Canada prints maps of Canada on Tyvek as do US companies that change so frequently I won’t waste your time with a link … or you can DIY.

Fabric

There is a storied history of blood chits and E&E maps silkscreened or traced onto fabric and sewn into the lining of jackets.

Silk is durable and fire resistant. Polyester taffeta burns thoroughly and quickly without producing hardly any smoke upon exposure to a lighter or other flame. Choose material based on need. Both fabrics pack great in pocket kits.

Light Source

Make sure you can read your maps in the dark. Less-overt colors of low brightness are more covert and preserve night vision, also tend to make ink of the same wavelength disappear, making them less-effective for use with maps that use those colors.

Because of this, I use the Petzl STRIX IR a lot which is a headlamp that can produce red, green, blue white or IR light of low intensity or more intense white light depending on the situation.

UV Light & Marker

A small UV LED can be used to read notes written with UV ink that are normally invisible to the naked eye. UV LEDs and pens can also useful for marking and signaling dead drops, for visual communications and the LEDs for finding biomatter, and scorpions.

General Direction SERE Compass

If you do manage to survive with only the contents of your pockets in unfamiliar terrain, your map won’t be effective unless you orient it.

Maps for Travel, Recreation and Emergency Preparedness

You will want paper copies of these where possible. Digital copies can often be had for free, so get those either way. Store digital copies of your paper maps for use on your cell phones and computers. Scan maps that you only have on paper.

Neighborhood Maps for Emergency Response

I keep these in an emergency-response binder.

By collecting and updating maps, I have accurate maps showing every home and who lives in it, not only my neighborhood but also in surrounding neighborhoods. This information greatly simplifies the process of Block Captains and Co-Captains should keep maps of the neighborhood to mark off which homes need assistance in the event of a disaster incident.

Each neighborhood gets checked off house by house in each block with blocks reporting to neighborhood EOC’s (Emergency Operations Centers) and Neighborhood EOC’s reporting to Area or Municipality EOC’s. You can find out more about how the program works from your local CERT Program. Find a CERT Program Near You

US Geological Survey

You can download all the maps you want for free or order printed maps at reasonable cost.

Another option with the USGS is that you can send them media and they will send you the maps you request or even a copy of the entire inventory, but you had better send a big drive since that would be several TB of data at this writing. That would take quite a while to download over most connections, so perhaps that’s why they provide the service.

  • 1:24K Topo Maps – High level of detail when on foot.
  • 1:100K Topo Maps – A little larger scale for traveling by vehicle.

USDA Forest Service Maps

They typically cost $12-$14 for printed copies.

US National Park Maps

Download for free or buy paper copies for typically $9-$12ea. Set the page to the maximum number of products per page so you don’t have to scroll through as many pages.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Map

Similar to EarthExplorer. Save digital copies and print paper ones.

Maps for Your Vehicle

City Maps

City maps are a must. I make it a point to pick them up wherever I travel, in advance when possible.

Topo Maps of the Entire State

These atlases and gazetteers by DeLorme and possibly competitive products are useful for traveling back roads and forest service roads by vehicle. This is important because you never know when an unforeseen emergency may force you to flee in an unplanned direction over back roads.

The scale isn’t large enough to be of much use on foot unless you have a lot of ground to cover, but pages or parts of pages could serve as E&E maps while traveling and is great for long drives. Invest in plastic covers and cases for these if you want them to last banging around in a vehicle.

Cost is about $15-$20 for most states and a little more for larger states or states with a lot of detail. I make sure I carry atlases for all of the states I am traveling and the adjacent states out West. Back in the Northeast where sizes of states are smaller I would make sure I had atlases for 2-4 states away from planned routes.

US Road Atlas

They are long distance backup to the above atlases.

Compact Phone Book

Maps and direction finding are more effective with a destination in mind. As soon as your cell tower, the grid or the internet go down, google and online maps will no longer work and you will find yourself reaching for something your probably don’t use much any more … a phone book … provided you are old enough to know what they are and how to use one, that is.

Custom Maps

Custom Maps Printed by University Libraries

Cheapest source of custom maps I have found. I had a university library print some color topographical maps on water-resistant paper in the same detail a the USGS topo maps. They are very large, about the size of 2 USGS topo maps high x 3 wide centered on areas of my choice.

They cost about $6 each which is an outstanding value! USGS topos would have cost me 6x as much, not come on water-resistant paper and aren’t centered where you like so you always seem to end up hiking through 2-4 maps per day, which means you have to line up the edges multiple maps.

DIY

Print maps at home. Depending on how many maps you print, what software you use and what you print them on, this can range from very inexpensive to expensive.

In addition to the USGS, there are several private websites which also offer free, printable maps online. I have printed some useful ones using Google Earth.

Custom Maps

mytopo and a few other companies have websites with easy to use interfaces that enable you to order custom maps of every sort imaginable. They have useful hunting products as they can display public vs private land, land owners and hunting areas. They are more expensive, but not ridiculously, so. Price varies by size and type.

Also check out their Backpacker Magazine Pro Maps if you are a backpacker.

This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.

Matthew 16:19

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 I will give you the keys (authority) of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth will have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth will have [already] been loosed in heaven.

     This is part of the passage that includes Peter’s confession of Christ as the Messiah and the Son of the Living God. Think how happy Jesus must have been, knowing that His crucifixion was coming near, but that He had successfully set His Disciples on a firm path to carry on His work. They recognize Him for who He truthfully is, and He can now begin to prepare them for when He must leave them. He can begin to reveal the Father’s plan and the part they will play in it.
     He praises Peter for his steadfastness and his faith, and then announces that He, Himself, will be the bedrock or cornerstone of His Church.  This is what I picture happening … Jesus with His hand on Peter’s shoulder, saying “Yes, you are a rock”.  Then, pointing to Himself, saying, “And it is on this rock that I will build My church”.  Perhaps he laid his hand on his breast, as he did in John 2:19: Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” 
     Then He announces today’s passage and their purpose in “the plan”… they will receive the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven! What must they have thought?!? The concept of someone having the keys to anything meant they had the power to open and shut the door to it. But Jesus is telling them they have that power and authority when it comes to the Kingdom of Heaven!
    I believe Jesus is telling Peter that he, himself, will open the door to faith, just as he would do to the Jews at Pentecost (Acts 2) and to the Gentiles in the person of Cornelius and his household (Acts 10). Those keys would unlock the blessings and the power of Heaven itself for all those who come to faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God of Heaven! That faith is a key that unlocks a Divine relationship between Heaven and Earth — one that cannot be hindered.
     But those keys were not reserved for Peter alone!  Just two chapters later, in Matthew 18, Jesus repeats the same benefits of binding and loosing, once one unlocks the key to the Kingdom. This time it is directed to the other disciples.  But it also pertains to us!  When we are obedient to the commands of our Lord, Jesus (in heaven) looses the authority of His Word as it goes forth on earth for the fulfillment of its purpose. 
     It is important to understand that the expressions “bind” and “loose” were common to Jewish legal phraseology.  Whenever a Jew came up against the Law of Moses, that Jewish person was either “bound” or “loosed” in regard to that law. To loose was to permit; to bind was to prohibit. To loose was to free from the law, to bind was to put under the law. Their regular sense, which any Jew would recognize was to allow and to forbid. To bind something was to declare it forbidden; to loose was to declare it allowed. These were the regular phrases for making decisions in regard to the law.
     But Jesus has come to fulfill the Law, so Heaven is now the authority to which we appeal — not the Rabbinic Law.  Therefore, whatever we bind (because it goes against the commands of Jesus) has already been declared forbidden; and whatever we loose (that aligns with Jesus and benefits the Kingdom) has already been declared allowable — and the authority of Heaven stands behind us! It goes without saying that this refers to Kingdom work done in Jesus’s Name and in obedience to His Word on earth.
     The authority that comes with the keys is still promised to the Body of Christ today. In the powerful words of theologian Charles Spurgeon, “The Lord continues to back up the teaching and acts of His servants, and as long as we abide rightly in Him, we have His sanction to make them valid. The words of His servants, spoken in His Name, shall be confirmed by the Lord, and shall not be, either as to promise or threatening, a mere piece of rhetoric.” Hallelujah, that we possess the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven!

     

     

Turn Your Stairs Into A Secret Room / Storage

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How To Turn Your Stairs Into A Secret Room / Storage I absolutely LOVE this. I have a small house but I have a great stairway that is just a waste of space. With this idea, I could turn that into a little hidden room either to hide or stash preps. Maybe even let the …

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Have You Read The New National Firearms Agreement For Australia?!

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I don’t think many people have noticed the changes to protection rights in the new 2017 NFA. It clearly states that using a gun for the defence of your family, friends or yourself is no longer considered a legal right! Bad enough that we have lost certain guns, bad enough that it is not legal to purchase a gun for self defence, but it was until now understood that if we had no other choice, we could under certain circumstances use a gun for defence of ourselves & our family.
What can it mean when a government wants to disarm citizens? What can it mean if it denies citizens the right to self protection against armed criminals? Practically every day in Australia people are being attacked, raped & murdered, & yet the government has now done all it can to stop us from protecting ourselves. Something is very wrong here!

National Firearms Agreement Australia 2017. Personal protection is not a genuine reason for using a firearm!!!

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Personal protection is not a genuine reason for using a firearm. 
NATIONAL FIREARMS AGREEMENT Council of Australian Governments An agreement between n the Commonwealth of Australia and n the States and Territories, being: t The State of New South Wales t The State of Victoria t The State of Queensland t The State of Western Australia t The State of South Australia t The State of Tasmania t The Australian Capital Territory t The Northern Territory of Australia February 2017 2 of 14 NATIONAL FIREARMS AGREEMENT OPENING STATEMENT 1. The National Firearms Agreement constitutes a national approach to the regulation of firearms. The Agreement affirms that firearms possession and use is a privilege that is conditional on the overriding need to ensure public safety, and that public safety is improved by the safe and responsible possession, carriage, use, registration, storage and transfer of firearms. 2. This Agreement sets out minimum requirements in relation to the regulation of firearms. Nothing in this Agreement prevents jurisdictions from adopting additionalincluding more restrictiveregulations. 3. Having regard to the National Firearms Trafficking Policy Agreement, first agreed in 2002, jurisdictions agree to establish or maintain substantial penalties for the illegal possession of a firearm. PROVISION TO MAINTAIN FUNDAMENTAL ASPECTS OF THE NATIONAL FIREARMS AGREEMENT 4. The Council of Australian Governments and its subordinate bodies will periodically consider emerging issues relating to this Agreement, including, for example, improvements and advancements in firearm technologies. Issues for consideration will be those which will ensure that the Agreement remains true to its fundamental aspects, being: the requirement for a genuine reason for possessing or using a firearm, the appropriate categorisation of firearms, the registration of firearms, firearms licensing (including fit and proper person requirements), the requirement for a permit to acquire each firearm, the safe and secure storage of firearms, the recording of firearms sales, and suitable firearms transaction practices. RESTRICTIONS ON CERTAIN FIREARMS 5. The Commonwealth will restrict the importation of: (a) all semi-automatic long arms and pump action shotguns, and all partsincluding magazinesfor such firearms, included in Licence Categories C and D (b) magazines with a capacity greater than thirty for long arms and magazines with a capacity greater than twenty for handguns (c) all handguns for sporting shooting purposes other than those which meet the prescribed characteristicsincluding barrel length, magazine capacity and calibrein paragraph 14(b)(i) (d) handgun parts for sport shooting purposes (for example slides, barrels, receivers and frames) which could be used to assemble a prohibited handgun or convert a permitted handgun into a prohibited handgun. NATIONAL FIREARMS AGREEMENT 3 of 14 6. Jurisdictions will ban the sale, resale, transfer, possession, manufacture and use of those semi-automatic long arms and pump action shotguns included in Licence Category C and D other than in the following exceptional circumstances: (a) military use (b) police or other government purposes (c) occupational categories of licence holders who have been licensed for a specified purpose, including i. the extermination of animals ii. film and theatrical armourers iii. firearm dealers iv. firearm manufacturers v. additional occupational needs and other limited purposes as authorised by legislation or Ministerial discretion (d) collectors (e) in the case of Category C shotguns i. members of the Australian Clay Target Association or clubs affiliated with the Australian Clay Target Association with a medical need to use a Category C shotgun due to a lack of strength or dexterity, or ii. individuals who were on 15 November 1996 registered shooters with the Australian Clay Target Association and who, at that time, possessed a semi-automatic shotgun or pump action repeating shotgun for use in clay target events. 7. Jurisdictions will restrict the importation, possession and use of handguns for sporting purposes to individuals meeting recognised sporting shooter classifications in the Olympic and Commonwealth Games and for other accredited events that meet the conditions in paragraph 14(b)(i). 8. Jurisdictions will ban competitive shooting involving those long arms which are restricted from import, except for those individuals who meet the conditions in paragraph 13(b)(iii). GENUINE REASONS AND NEED FOR ACQUIRING, POSSESSING OR USING A FIREARM 9. Individuals must demonstrate a genuine reason for acquiring, possessing or using a firearm. The genuine reasons and relevant qualifying statements are listed in paragraphs 13-23. 10. Personal protection is not a genuine reason for acquiring, possessing or using a firearm. 11. Over and above satisfaction of the “genuine reason” test, an applicant for a licence must demonstrate a genuine need for the particular type of firearm (excluding Category A firearms). 12. Only certain categories of firearms can be acquired, possessed or used under each genuine reason. Categories of firearms are listed in paragraphs 25-29. NATIONAL FIREARMS AGREEMENT 4 of 14 GENUINE REASONS 13. Sports shooters – long arms (a) Sports shooters must have a valid membership with an approved club (defined as clubs participating in shooting sports recognised in the charters of such major sporting events as the Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games or World Championships). (b) Firearms permitted for acquisition, possession or use under this genuine reason are: i. Category A ii. Category B iii. Category C shotguns, limited to 1 members of the Australian Clay Target Association or clubs affiliated with the Australian Clay Target Association with a medical need to use a Category C shotgun due to a lack of strength or dexterity, or 2 individuals who were on 15 November 1996 registered shooters with the Australian Clay Target Association and who, at that time, possessed a semi-automatic shotgun or pump action repeating shotgun for use in clay target events. 14. Sports shooters – handguns (a) Sports shooters must have a valid membership with an approved club. (b) Firearms permitted for acquisition, possession or use under this genuine reason are: i. Category H – the firearm must be designed or adapted for competition target shooting, or must have a barrel length of at least 120mm for a semi-automatic handgun or 100mm for a revolver or a single shot handgun. If the firearm is fitted with a firearm magazine or cylinder, it must have a capacity of not more than 10 rounds. The calibre of the firearm must not exceed .38” (with the exception of cases listed under paragraph 14(c)). (c) Handguns with a calibre greater than .38” but no greater than .45” are permitted only where shooters are competing in the two accredited events known as Metallic Silhouette and Single (Western) Action. 15. Recreational shooters/hunters (a) Recreational shooters/hunters must produce proof of permission from a landowner. (b) Firearms permitted for acquisition, possession or use under this genuine reason are: i. Category A ii. Category B 16. Primary producers (a) Primary producers must satisfy the licensing authority that there is a genuine need for the use of the firearm which pertains to the applicant’s occupation and which cannot be achieved by some other means. The application is to be approved by the Commissioner of the Police who may impose conditions as to the use of the firearms, including as to the geographical location of its use. NATIONAL FIREARMS AGREEMENT 5 of 14 (b) Firearms permitted for acquisition, possession or use under this genuine reason are: i. Category A ii. Category B iii. Category C – where the licensing authority is satisfied that there is a genuine need for the use of the firearm which cannot be achieved by some other means (including the use of Category A or B firearms). Primary producers are limited to one Category C shotgun and one Category C rifle iv. Category D – where the licensing authority is satisfied that there is a genuine need for the use of a Category D firearm for the purposes of controlling vertebrate pest animals in the course of primary production activities. Jurisdictions may require individuals to meet additional requirements (for example, safety training and marksmanship) to qualify for Category D acquisition, possession or use, or to establish certain facts (for example, lack of other pest control options) in order to demonstrate need. 17. Occupational requirement (other rural purposes and professional shooters for nominated purposes) (a) Persons with an occupational interest must satisfy the licensing authority that there is a genuine need for the use of the firearm which pertains to the applicant’s occupation and which cannot be achieved by some other means. The application is to be approved by the Commissioner of the Police who may impose conditions as to the use of the firearms, including as to the geographical location of its use. (b) Firearms permitted for acquisition, possession or use under this genuine reason are: i. Category A ii. Category B 18. Security employees (a) Firearms permitted for acquisition, possession or use under this genuine reason are: i. Category A ii. Category H 19. Collectors (a) Collectors will be regulated by means of a licence and permit system which tests their bona fides. (b) Firearms permitted for acquisition and possession under this genuine reason are: i. Category A – must be rendered temporarily inoperable ii. Category B – must be rendered temporarily inoperable iii. Category C – must be rendered temporarily inoperable iv. Category D – must be rendered permanently inoperable v. Category H – must be rendered temporarily inoperable (c) For the purposes of handguns, jurisdictions agree that they will accredit historical societies. Historical societies are required to notify police of a member’s expulsion as well as the reasons for expulsion. Accredited historical societies will be indemnified from civil or legal liability where they notify police in good faith of their belief that a person is unfit to hold a collector’s licence. NATIONAL FIREARMS AGREEMENT 6 of 14 20. Heirlooms (a) Jurisdictions agree that where the owner of an heirloom firearm is unable to establish a genuine reason for possession of that firearm and/or does not qualify for a collector’s licence, jurisdictions may issue the heirloom owner with a special category of licence. The requirements of that heirloom licence must be that: i. before the licence is issued, the owner provides sufficient proof of inheritance of the heirloom ii. the licence apply only to a single gun, or a matched pair or set iii. all heirloom firearms be rendered permanently inoperable iv. the licence not authorise the discharge of the heirloom firearm or firearms in any circumstance. 21. Firearm dealers (a) Jurisdictions must have regulations addressing firearm dealers. 22. Firearm manufacturers (a) Jurisdictions must have regulations addressing firearm manufacturers. 23. Film and/or theatrical armourers (a) Jurisdictions must have regulations addressing film and theatrical armourers. CATEGORIES OF FIREARMS 24. The following categories are to be used in the licensing of firearms. 25. Licence Category A (a) Air rifles (b) Rimfire rifles (excluding semi-automatic) (c) Shotguns (other than semi-automatic, pump action or lever action) (d) Rimfire rifle/shotgun combinations 26. Licence Category B (a) Muzzle-loading firearms (b) Single shot, double barrel and repeating centrefire rifles (c) Centrefire rifle/shotgun combinations (d) Lever action shotguns with a magazine capacity no greater than five rounds 27. Licence Category C (a) Semi-automatic rimfire rifles with a magazine capacity no greater than 10 rounds (b) Semi-automatic and pump action shotguns with a magazine capacity no greater than five rounds 28. Licence Category D (a) Semi-automatic centrefire rifles designed or adapted for military purposes or a firearm which substantially duplicates those rifles in design, function or appearance (b) Non-military style self-loading centrefire rifles NATIONAL FIREARMS AGREEMENT 7 of 14 (c) Semi-automatic, pump action and lever action shotguns with a magazine capacity greater than five rounds (d) Semi-automatic rimfire rifles with a magazine capacity greater than 10 rounds 29. Licence Category H (a) All handguns, including air pistols NATIONWIDE REGISTRATION 30. Jurisdictions agree to the nationwide registration of all firearms. Jurisdictions will record sufficient information to be able to uniquely identify each firearm, including details prescribed by the national information-sharing hub. 31. Jurisdictions agree to store registrations on a system which is able to share information with the national information-sharing hub. LICENSING 32. Jurisdictions agree to maintain a uniform system of testing applicants for firearms licences. 33. In addition to the demonstration of genuine reason, a licence applicant must be required to: (a) be aged 18 or over (b) be a fit and proper person (c) be able to prove identity through a 100 point system requiring a passport or multiple types of identification (d) undertake adequate safety training (see paragraph 35). 34. A licence must: (a) bear a photograph of the licensee (b) be endorsed with the category of the firearm (c) be issued after a waiting period of not less than 28 days (d) be issued for a period of no more than five years (e) contain a reminder of safe storage responsibilities (f) be issued subject to undertakings to comply with storage requirements, to provide details of proposed storage provisions at the time of licensing, and to submit to a mutually arranged (with due recognition of privacy) inspection by licensing authorities of storage facilities. 35. Requisite training (a) Jurisdictions agree that first time licence applicants must complete an accredited course in safety training for firearms. The course must be: i. comprehensive and standardised across Australia for all licence categories ii. subject to accreditation of the course syllabus, by an appropriate authority, and a system of accredited instructors to bring prospective licensees to the required standard with a focus on firearms law, firearms safety and firearms competency NATIONAL FIREARMS AGREEMENT 8 of 14 iii. monitored as to content of courses and the skills of instructors by firearms regulatory authorities. (b) Jurisdictions agree to have a separate specialised training course for individuals employed by the security industry. 36. Sports shooters – handguns (a) Sports shooters must have a valid membership with an approved club. i. Clubs will have the power to request a police check on a person prior to accepting them as a member of a club. ii. A person applying to join a club must provide that club with two character references from people they have known for at least two years. iii. Clubs must endorse a member’s application to acquire a handgun. In endorsing the application, clubs should: 1 confirm that the licensee has adequate storage arrangements in place 2 specify for which competition shooting discipline the handgun is required. iv. To prevent ‘club shopping’, a person wishing to join a club must provide to that club details of any other shooting clubs to which they belong and details of the firearms they possess. In addition, clubs are empowered to request information from licensing authorities on a member’s or applicant’s possession of handguns and their membership of other clubs. v. Shooting clubs are required to provide licensing authorities with an audited annual report providing member details, firearms possessed, and participation rates. (b) Jurisdictions agree to a system for graduated access to handguns for legitimate sporting shooters based on training, experience and event participation. The system will be based on graduated access to handguns over a period of 12 months and will incorporate the following principles: i. a person is required to obtain a police check and submit this with their application to join a shooting club ii. during the first six months a person will not be permitted to own a handgun, must satisfactorily complete a firearm safety training course and meet minimum participation rates iii. if a club certifies that a person has satisfactorily complied with the conditions attached to the first six months’ probation, then during the second six months a person will only be permitted to own one .22” calibre rimfire pistol and one .177” air pistol, or one centrefire pistol and one .177” calibre air pistol. (c) After the initial period of 12 months, acquisition of additional handguns is subject to demonstration of genuine need, confirmation that the licensee has adequate storage arrangements in place, and specification of the competition shooting discipline for which the handgun is required. 37. Collectors (a) The licensing process must include a provision for an initial inspection of storage facilities and for subsequent mutually arranged inspections. All such inspections will be subject to the recognition of the individual’s right to privacy. The onus of defining NATIONAL FIREARMS AGREEMENT 9 of 14 ‘bona fide firearms collector’ rests with each State and Territory. However, the following principles must underpin the regulation of bona fide firearms collectors: i. the firearms which are the subject of the collection should be of or above a defined age ii. firearms in a collection which have been manufactured after 1 January 1946 must be rendered inoperable (whether or not they are otherwise only required to be rendered temporarily inoperable according to paragraph 19(b)) iii. collectors may not possess ammunition for a collection firearm iv. any attempt to restore firearms in the collection to usable condition should be regarded as a serious offence and subject to severe penalties v. all operating firearms which are owned by the collector under separate licensing arrangements should be subject to the same level of regulation as any other operating firearm vi. for the purposes of the collection of Category H firearms, genuine historical collectors must 1 be a member of a state or territory accredited historical firearm collectors society 2 have their licence application endorsed by an accredited historical firearms collectors society 3 comply with strict storage requirements 4 display a commitment as a student of arms in order to collect or retain post-1946 handguns. 38. Grounds for licence refusal or cancellation and seizure of firearms (a) Jurisdictions agree to set out in legislation the circumstances in which licence applications (including renewals) are to be refused, licences are to be cancelled, or firearms are to be seized. The following minimum standards must apply: i. general reasons – not of good character, conviction for an offence involving violence within the past five years, unsafe storage, contravention of firearms law, where it can be shown that the loss or theft of a firearm was due to negligence or fraud on the part of the licensee, no longer has a genuine reason, not in public interest due to (defined) circumstances, not notifying of change of address, or licence obtained by deception ii. specific reasons – where applicant/licence holder has been the subject of an Apprehended Violence Order, Domestic Violence Order, restraining order or conviction for assault with a weapon/aggravated assault within the past five years iii. mental or physical fitness – reliable evidence of a mental or physical condition which would render the applicant unsuitable for acquiring, possessing or using a firearm. (b) In regard to 38(a)(iii), a balance is to be struck between the rights of the individual to privacy and fair treatment, and the responsibility of authoritieson behalf of the communityto prevent danger to the individual and the wider community. (c) Jurisdictions may impose appropriate penalties, in addition to licence cancellation or seizure of firearms, for failure to comply with security and storage conditions. NATIONAL FIREARMS AGREEMENT 10 of 14 (d) Jurisdictions will establish an appeal process for refusal of a licence application or cancellation of a licence. (e) Specifically in relation to the cancellation of Category H licences, jurisdictions agree: i. to introduce or maintain laws allowing the Commissioner of Police to refuse and revoke handgun licences and applications on the basis of criminal intelligence or any other relevant information with consideration to appropriate safeguards including expert advice ii. that members of approved shooting clubs be required to attend a minimum number of shooting events offered by the club, and that failure to meet the minimum participation level will make a person liable to have their licence revoked iii. that sporting shooters meet minimum participation rates annually, specifically that a sports shooter must participate in a minimum number of six club organised competitive shooting matches, and for each different type of handgun owned for different events the sporting shooter must undertake at least four club organised shoots iv. that clubs must notify licensing authorities of concerns about club members’ suitability to hold a licence, and indemnify clubs for providing such information to licensing authorities about the suitability of club members to hold a licence. In particular, jurisdictions will 1 require sporting shooting clubs to report to police their concerns that a person may pose a danger if in possession of a handgun 2 require sporting shooting clubs to notify police of a member’s expulsion and the reasons for expulsion 3 indemnify sporting shooting clubs from civil or legal liability if they notify police in good faith of matters identified in paragraphs 38(e)(iv)(1) and 38(e)(iv)(2) 4 require sporting shooting clubs to ensure that a person whose licence has been revoked or suspended does not use a handgun at the sporting club v. to support the operation of the fit and proper person test throughout the life of the licence allowing for the licensing authorities’ revocation of a person’s licence and seizure of handguns on grounds of not being a fit and proper person at any time vi. to require suspension/cancellation of licences and seizure of firearms immediately upon the issue of an Apprehended Violence Order or Domestic Violence Order to a firearm licence holder. 39. Medical authorities reporting model (a) Jurisdictions agree that reporting provisions for medical authorities be improved or maintained by indemnifying medical authorities from civil or criminal liability for reporting in good faith to police their concerns that a person may pose a danger if in possession of a firearm or applying for a firearm licence. This is providing that ‘medical authorities’ include medical practitioners, nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists and professional counsellors. NATIONAL FIREARMS AGREEMENT 11 of 14 40. Mutual recognition (a) Jurisdictions will recognise visiting licensees for the following firearms and purposes: i. Category A and B – sporting, recreational hunting and any other lawful purpose ii. Category C – sporting and any other lawful purpose iii. Category H – sporting and any other lawful purpose (b) Category D and other categories of firearms not listed in this Agreement are not subject to mutual recognition provisions. (c) Where an individual is moving permanently to a new jurisdiction, that jurisdiction will recognise: i. for a period no more than three months, a Category A or B licence issued in another jurisdiction ii. for a period no more than seven days, a Category C, D or H licence issued in another jurisdiction. PERMIT TO ACQUIRE 41. Jurisdictions agree that a separate permit is required for the acquisition of every firearm. 42. Jurisdictions agree that each applicant must establish, to the satisfaction of the licensing authority, that they have a genuine need for acquiring, possessing or using the firearm of the nominated type (excluding Category A firearms). 43. Jurisdictions agree that the issuing of a permit must be subject to a waiting period of at least 28 days to enable appropriate checks to be made on licensees in order to ascertain whether circumstances have occurred since the issuing of the original licence which would render the licensee unsuitable to possess the firearm or which would render the licensee ineligible for that type of firearm. STORAGE 44. Jurisdictions agree that firearms and ammunition must be stored in secure conditions as follows: (a) it must be a precondition to the issuing of a new firearms licence (and on each renewal of licence in respect of existing licence holders) that the licensing authority be satisfied as to the proposed storage and security arrangements (b) legislation must have the effect of making failure to store firearms in the manner required an offence as well as a matter that will lead to the cancellation of the licence and the confiscation of all firearms (c) clear and specific measures must be indicated in legislation for the storage of firearms so that those who possess firearms know their obligations. The following minimum basic standards must apply: i. Licence Category A and B – storage in a locked receptacle constructed of either hard wood or steel with a thickness to ensure it is not easily penetrable. If the weight is less than 150 kilograms, the receptacle shall be fixed to the frame of the floor or wall so as to prevent easy removal. The locks fitted to these receptacles must be of sturdy construction NATIONAL FIREARMS AGREEMENT 12 of 14 ii. Licence Category C, D and H – storage in a locked, steel safe with a thickness to ensure it is not easily penetrable, bolted to the structure of a building iii. all ammunition must be stored in locked containers separate from any firearms (d) should individuals possessing a firearm wish to store firearms through measures other than those indicated in legislation, they must have the burden of persuading the firearms regulatory authority that they can provide the level of security not less than that required by the relevant approved practices (e) in order to provide for the safekeeping of firearms when they are temporarily away from their usual place of storage, legislation must include a statement that the holder of the licence “must take reasonable care to ensure that the firearm is not lost or stolen and must take reasonable care to ensure that the firearm does not fall into the hands of an unauthorised person” (f) the firearms safety bookletwhich is to be distributed to all new licence applicants prior to attending a course of instructionmust also feature clear and precise information on the obligations of firearms storage (g) security at gun dealer premises must require the dealer meeting such additional requirements as the firearms regulatory authority deems appropriate having regard to the type of activity of the dealer (h) where approval has been given for the possession or use of a firearm for a limited purpose, such as film production, the person authorised must meet such requirements as the firearms regulatory authority deems appropriate having regard to the type of activity for which possession has been authorised. 45. Jurisdictions should consider imposing greater storage requirements where multiple firearms are kept on the same property. 46. Jurisdictions agree to periodically consider the adequacy of their educational literature on storage to ensure that it emphasises the risk of firearms theft and the legislated requirements for safe storage, and that it highlights compliance monitoring activities and the jurisdiction’s rigorous prosecution policy for non-compliance. 47. Jurisdictions must include a declaration in all licence/permit/renewal application forms which requires the applicant to state that they understand the firearm storage and security requirements as required by legislation. 48. Jurisdictions must have a strategic inspection and audit program for storage requirements. 49. Security industry storage (a) Jurisdictions agree that the following minimum storage requirements represent an appropriate standard for storage of firearms used in the security industry: i. up to five handguns 1 metal safe to be securely fastened to solid floor or wall by internal/hidden bolts and hidden within premises 2 individual disabling locks such as barrel or trigger locks to be fitted to the firearm when stored ii. six to fifteen handguns 1 safes to be a minimum weight of 150kg 2 safes to be secured to or within brick or concrete walls and floors NATIONAL FIREARMS AGREEMENT 13 of 14 3 premises to be fully intruder alarmed, monitored by a graded control room with back-to-base polling via a secure line (or, if unavailable due to remoteness, with radio or GSM backup) 4 panic switches/duress facility to be installed in the premises iii. over fifteen handguns 1 safes to be a minimum weight of 500kg, with dual key locks 2 safes to be secured to or within brick or concrete walls and floors 3 premises to be fully intruder alarmed, monitored by a graded control room with back-to-base polling via a secure line (or, if unavailable due to remoteness, with radio or GSM backup) 4 panic switches/duress facility to be installed in the premises 5 vaults, control rooms, safes, perimeter and internal premises to maintain 24-hour monitoring and recording by CCTV, which is secured and inaccessible. 50. Jurisdictions may adopt the above standards either by way of legislative requirement or by introducing the standards as guidelines which provide Police Commissioners with limited flexibility for special or unique circumstances. 51. There should be at least one annual inspection of firearms and firearms storage facilities used in the security industry. RECORDING OF SALES 52. All firearms sales are to be conducted only by or through a licenced firearms dealer. 53. Jurisdictions agree to the following principles to underpin firearms dealer recording of firearms transactions: (a) firearms dealers are obliged under penalty to ensure that purchasers are appropriately licenced for the firearm being purchased (b) firearms dealers are required to record and maintain details (type, make, calibre and serial number) of each weapon purchased or sold against the identity (name, address and licence number) of the seller or the purchaser (c) firearms dealers are required to provide records to the national register of firearms through the State or Territory licensing authority (d) police personnel investigating a crime or checking the compliance of licenced gun dealers with recording responsibilities should have the right to inspect the records of licenced gun dealers without the need to give notice to the licensee (e) jurisdictions may put in place alternate options for individuals living in remote locations where firearms dealers are not readily available (it may be possible, for instance, to authorise local police officers to certify sales/purchases in such circumstances). 54. Jurisdictions will legislate to allow the sale of ammunition only for those firearms for which the purchaser is licenced, and impose limits on the quantity of ammunition that may be purchased in a given period. 55. On the purchase of ammunition, the relevant licence must be produced. NATIONAL FIREARMS AGREEMENT 14 of 14 56. Jurisdictions should consider requiring dealers to provide their register of transactions to a relevant authority once that dealer’s licence is no longer valid. This should occur within an appropriate timeframe after the licence has become invalid. SALE AND TRANSPORT OF FIREARMS 57. Jurisdictions will introduce or maintain legislation to ensure that, within their own borders: (a) mail order arrangements (irrespective of how those orders were placed, for example via the telephone or internet) will apply strictly on a licenced firearm dealer to licenced firearm dealer basis (b) advertisement of firearms for sale i. be prohibited unless the sale is conducted by or through a licenced firearms dealer ii. list the licence number of the licensed firearms dealer and the owner selling the firearms, and include the serial number by which the firearms are registered (c) the movement of firearms covered by Licence Categories C, D and H must be in accordance with prescribed safety requirements (d) the commercial transport of ammunition with firearms is prohibited (e) packages containing firearms are able to be tracked (f) packages containing firearms must not be packaged or labelled in such a way as to expressly or otherwise indicate their contents. 58. Jurisdictions may put in place alternative options for individuals living in remote locations where firearms dealers are not readily available.

The Kingdom Of Heaven

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The Kingdom Of Heaven

Truly answer me… In judgment and in dream.

Nebuchadnezzar, “Ancient Babylonian inscription” (6th century BC)

 

Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princess shall rule in judgment.

Isaiah the prophet (8th century BC)

 

The Terror of Dreams

An image, great and terrible, bright in glistening metals.  A head of gold, breast of silver, belly of brass, and legs of iron.  Stuff worthy of a nightmare, and that’s exactly where the king of Babylon met it.  But there was more.  As the king watched, a stone, untouched by human hands, was cut from a mountain and hurled at the image’s feet.  The image shattered and became as “the chaff of the summer threshing floors,” and the winds carried the residue away.  Then the stone grew and grew until it became a great mountain that filled the whole earth.  Quite a big dream, even for a king.

King Nebuchadnezzar knew that what he had seen in his nightmare was a revelation, a divine message, of immense importance.  He had to know what it all meant.  So he called the wise men of Babylon … the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers … and demanded of them the meaning of the dream (Dan. 2:2).  They gladly agreed to supply answers. They just needed to hear the details of the dream first.  And there Nebuchadnezzar balked.  “The thing is gone from me,” he said.  As wise men and “diviners,” surely they could supply the details.  And if they could, the king could trust their interpretation.

The wise men were horrified.  It wasn’t possible.  Only the gods could do such a thing.  If only the king would. . . .  But the king wouldn’t budge.  Instead, he ordered all the wise men of Babylon destroyed.  Ouch!  If they couldn’t help at such a cosmically critical moment, what good were they?

The king’s soldiers began to collect all of Babylon’s diviners and astrologers for execution.  And then they came to Daniel (v. 13).

The Interpreter of Dreams

Daniel was a young man, barely 20.  He was a Jewish captive, ripped away from his home and family by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar.  Here, in Babylon, he had undergone a thorough program of indoctrination in the magic, idolatry, Statism, and the ethnocentrism that was the Babylonian world and life view.  But from the beginning of his training, Daniel had purposed that his loyalty to and fellowship with the God of Israel would take absolute precedence over every advantage, program, or lure that the golden city might offer (Dan. 1).

Heirloom Audio: Christian Heroes For Christian Kids!

And so, Daniel had listened to the lectures, memorized the information, and passed all the tests.  But he abhorred the magic of Babylon and despised her idols of silver and gold.  His wisdom came from faithful obedience to the word of God.  He knew Scripture thoroughly, and when soldiers came with news of the king’s dream, the whole thing started to sound very familiar (Gen. 41).  So, Daniel went before the king and asked for time.  The king, desperate for answers, was willing to grant it.

That night God showed Daniel the dream and revealed its meaning.  Daniel gave thanks.

The Kingdom Of HeavenThe next day, Daniel went before the most powerful man on the planet and told him God’s plan for the history of the world.  The four metals that made up the image were four kingdoms.  Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar in particular, was the head of gold.  But an inferior, silver kingdom would succeed Babylon.  There would follow a still “baser” brass kingdom.  And, finally, a fourth kingdom, strong and brutal like iron.

“In the days of these kings,” Daniel said, “shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed . . . it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms and it shall stand forever” (v. 44).

The Kingdom of Heaven Is at Hand!

“The kingdom of the God of heaven” or for short, the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven.  This is the kingdom that John the Baptist proclaimed in the wilderness.  It is the same kingdom that Jesus spoke of in sermon and parable throughout the whole of His ministry.  Both John and Jesus said the kingdom was at hand, and that proclamation, to many, stirred excitement and speculation.  Anyone who really knew Israel’s history could see in it the unfolding of the Babylonian dream.  Golden Babylon, argent Persia, brazen Greece, and finally iron Rome.  The fourth kingdom now held center stage in God’s drama of history.  The final kingdom, God’s kingdom, couldn’t be far off.

What did surprise many was the “sudden” nature of this coming kingdom.  Probably because both John and Jesus were warning men to repent … here and now.  The King was coming with fire and judgment.  Those who would not repent of their sins would face His wrath.  The curse of fire or the blessing of God’s Spirit were Israel’s only choices.

A King Shall Reign in Righteousness

The laws of every kingdom are an expression of that kingdom’s religious priorities and practices.  And, of course, they’re based in its ultimate concerns.  All cultures walk in the name of some god, something they consider “ultimate.” (Mic. 4:5).  The effective reach of a culture’s laws then defines that culture’s laws and boundaries.  A king reigns only as far as he can enforce his laws.  Enemies and rebels have always rejected these various jurisdictions.  “We will not have this man to reign over us!” they cry (Luke 19:14).  Rebellion and civil wars always follow.  Human kingdoms rise and fall in terms of the king’s ability to enforce his laws effectively.  But since human kingdoms have no way to reach men’s hearts, no way to re-write the nature of hearts and no way to compel their inward loyalty … human kingdoms regularly fail.

The kingdom that John and Jesus announced is the righteous rule of God over earth and within history through His Messiah.  It differs markedly from the kingdoms of this world.  The kingdom of heaven has its origin in divine grace, working in and through the hearts of men.  It is characterized by true righteousness.  Its power is that of God’s own Spirit and it’s destined to overthrow and supplant all its rivals.

Put God Back Into History With These Groundbreaking CDs For Kids!

First, God’s kingdom comes from outside man’s history.  It originates in divine grace.  God has come to us in the Person of the King, Jesus Christ.  Jesus established the kingdom in and through His atoning blood.  The glory of God is the kingdom’s chief end, but its historical goal is the salvation of the world (John 3:16-17).

Second, the kingdom is very clearly an earthly affair.  It operates in the hearts and lives of men and women on earth and within history.  The grace that God works in the hearts of His people they in turn work out in their commitments and choices every day (Phil. 2:12).  This reign of God in Christ is centralized in its heavenly King but decentralized in its earthly administration.  This kingdom has no room for tyrants and no room for anarchy.  Every citizen of the kingdom is both a king and priest in Christ.  Individual freedom, responsibility, and self-government are hallmarks of the kingdom.

Third, God’s kingdom is characterized by righteousness, judgment, and justice.  Unlike the politicians of our world, the heavenly King is just and righteous.  He loves righteousness and hates iniquity.  His integrity is beyond question.  He executes “judgment and righteousness in the earth” (Ps. 45:7; Zech. 9:9; Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Isa. 9:7).  He will not ignore rebellion, but because of His own sacrifice, He can forgive it.  But He demands unconditional surrender from His enemies (Matt. 3:7-12).  Those who fear Him, those who trust Him, lay down their rebellion and embrace His mercy and salvation.  They receive pardon and forgiveness.

Fourth, the kingdom of heaven comes in the power of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11; Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2).  By virtue of His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ has poured out the Holy Spirit into our world and history.  The Spirit transforms hearts and lives through the preaching of the Gospel.  He brings men to faith and repentance.  He grants the King’s people power for faithful obedience, and joy and peace within that obedience (Ezek. 36:25-27).

Fifth, God’s kingdom will destroy and supplant all its rivals.  The psalms promise that Messiah will reign from God’s right hand until all His enemies are His footstool and that He “shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath” (Ps. 110:1, 5; I Cor 15:25; Heb. 10:12-13).  He will dash His enemies in pieces (Ps. 2; Rev. 2:26-27).  Isaiah says that “of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end” (Isa. 9:7; cf. Matt. 28:18-20).  As Nebuchadnezzar saw, the kingdom of heaven is destined to grow until it fills the whole earth.  The New Testament says nothing less of Christ’s redemptive kingdom.

Pagan Righteousness and Royalty

An ancient inscription shows us how Nebuchadnezzar understood the relationship between righteousness and royal authority. He wrote:

Adorn my kingdom

Forever

With a righteous sceptre,

With goodly rule, and

With a staff of justice,

For the welfare of my people!

Nebuchadnezzar wanted to rule righteously for the sake of his people.  He addressed this prayer to Shamash, the Babylonian sun god.

Even the pagans, at times, desired the State to be a tool to establish justice and even “righteousness.”  The problem lies in the definition of these ethically oriented nouns.  For Nebuchadnezzar, righteousness meant the establishment of a pluralistic world order mediated through his own person and office and powered by ritual magic and military power.  Today, righteousness often means legalized plunder in the name of social justice accompanied by a happy acceptance of degeneracy and pre-natal murder.  Politicians who best market this agenda dominate and win many elections.  Asking what moral standards are used to justify their agenda, is of course, off limits.

The kingdom of God, however, calls for a righteousness defined by God’s holy character and described in His holy law.  Because all of us, in our natural, unbelieving state, hate God and His law, God in Christ calls all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30).  And He works through His Spirit to grant that repentance and with it … forgiveness through the blood of Christ.  We – through God’s grace — are given both justification and sanctification.  This is the good news of the kingdom of God and our present hope.

Coffee: Reason Why You Should Be Stockpiling

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Coffee: Reason Why You Should Be Stockpiling After those late nights there really is nothing like a stiff coffee to get you back into working order. Still, it is rare that this makes it into the stockpile or even into the bug out bag. I don’t know if anything would be better than a cup …

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How to Make a Survival Bow

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How to Make a Survival Bow Survival bows can be made from various materials. I have not personally shot the PVC creations by many YouTubers but I have to imagine they would be capable of taking small game and perhaps some bow fishing as well. Still, there is something incredible about a hand crafted bow …

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High Water: Gear & Skills for Hazardous Creek Fords

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High Water: Gear & Skills for Hazardous Creek Fords It is always surprising to me just how sparsely we prepare for floods. It could be because you don’t need machines guns and body armor to survive a flood. Maybe its just not as fun. The fact is our nation is racked by floods every year. …

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Patriots’ Prayers for 3-26-2017

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I’m trying something a bit different this week – an audio version of this week’s Prayer for America. Let me know what you think. — Tim

Daily Bible Reading

Sunday: Exodus 12:1-28 (The Passover Instituted)
Monday: Exodus 12:29-50
Tuesday: Exodus 13
Wednesday: Exodus 14 (Crossing the Red Sea)
Thursday: Exodus 15 
Friday: Exodus 16 (Bread from Heaven)
Saturday: Exodus 17 (Water from the Rock)

 

Herbal Cold and Congestion Remedies

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Herbal Cold and Congestion Remedies The time to prepare your herbal remedies is not in the depths of the winter. Depending on what remedies you are looking to use in the fall and winter season. Spring is really the best time to consider your remedies preparations. If you are truly looking for a sustainable process …

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Sunday Prepper Bible Study-Fear of the Lord

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A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name.

Malachi 1:6

Here’s yet another verse where God is talking about his disappointment with the spiritual leadership. When you purpose to study the Word of God on your own, you’d be surprised at how many times the subject comes up. If you’re relying on having the Bible spoon fed to you at church, you probably won’t hear to much about it. The reason should be obvious.

But this week, rather than bashing pastors of apostate churches, lets see what else we can learn from this lesson. The major take away here is that you cannot rely on another human being to teach you the Word of God. When we read God’s complaints against priests in the Old Testament and see Jesus’ contempt for the scribes and pharisees in the New Testament, the message seems to be that we need to read the Word for ourselves and ask the Holy Spirit to expound upon the verses to give us deeper understanding.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t listen to godly teachers preach the Bible. There are still a few left and some are exceedingly dedicated teaching the Gospel. But, if you’re not reading the Bible for yourself, you’ll never be able to tell the difference between the faithful and the apostate.

If you’re led astray by apostate teaching and you’ve not been diligent in studying God’s word, you have no one to blame but yourself. You must be steeped truth and able to hold the plumb line of the Bible up to the teaching of your pastor to see if he is true to God’s Word.

Jesus said, “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his own soul?” Prepper translation: “What good will it do you to survive the coming economic collapse, nuclear war, or even a zombie apocalypse if you don’t know you will go to heaven when you die.” A recent study found that 10 out of 10 people die! On that day we will meet our Maker. It only makes sense to be prepared for that day. Click here to learn more about knowing GOD.

Have a blessed day and happy prepping!

Mark

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Sunday Prepper Bible Study-Fear of the Lord

A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name.

Malachi 1:6

Here’s yet another verse where God is talking about his disappointment with the spiritual leadership. When you purpose to study the Word of God on your own, you’d be surprised at how many times the subject comes up. If you’re relying on having the Bible spoon fed to you at church, you probably won’t hear to much about it. The reason should be obvious.

But this week, rather than bashing pastors of apostate churches, lets see what else we can learn from this lesson. The major take away here is that you cannot rely on another human being to teach you the Word of God. When we read God’s complaints against priests in the Old Testament and see Jesus’ contempt for the scribes and pharisees in the New Testament, the message seems to be that we need to read the Word for ourselves and ask the Holy Spirit to expound upon the verses to give us deeper understanding.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t listen to godly teachers preach the Bible. There are still a few left and some are exceedingly dedicated teaching the Gospel. But, if you’re not reading the Bible for yourself, you’ll never be able to tell the difference between the faithful and the apostate.

If you’re led astray by apostate teaching and you’ve not been diligent in studying God’s word, you have no one to blame but yourself. You must be steeped truth and able to hold the plumb line of the Bible up to the teaching of your pastor to see if he is true to God’s Word.

Jesus said, “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his own soul?” Prepper translation: “What good will it do you to survive the coming economic collapse, nuclear war, or even a zombie apocalypse if you don’t know you will go to heaven when you die.” A recent study found that 10 out of 10 people die! On that day we will meet our Maker. It only makes sense to be prepared for that day. Click here to learn more about knowing GOD.

Have a blessed day and happy prepping!

Mark

The post Sunday Prepper Bible Study-Fear of the Lord appeared first on Prepper Recon.

Mistakes To Avoid When Bugging Out

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Mistakes To Avoid When Bugging Out Bugging out successfully is a matter of careful planning, preparation and a bit of luck. In the event of a natural or manmade disaster, your only hope to survive would be to bug out.  Whether you chose to do so on your own terms or you are ordered by …

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Hiding Your Bugout Location

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Hiding Your Bugout Location Securing a bugout bag and location is a struggle in and of itself. Once you find that perfect place or that perfect property people have a tendency to make it look like home. When you think about what you are trying to achieve with a bugout location you may not want …

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Life musings

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Dropped off the docs to the tax preparer today. I make very little money and even *I* hate the way the tax system screws me over. I’d hate it even more if I actually made big bucks. i really do think we need a simple flat tax. 15% oughtta do it. It wouldn’t be so bad except that the tax codes aren’t even about rasing money to run .gov…it’s gotten into social engineering. They want people to own houses, since that presumably makes for a more stable and docile population, so they jigger the tax code to encourage you to own a house. Or to give money to approved charities. Or whatever other thing .gov wants to ‘encourage’.

Some Treasury secretary once opined, “What this nation needs is a tax system that looks like it was designed on purpose”. And it’s true. The tax code is the Winchester Mystery House of regulations. They never take anything out, they just add and modify whatever is already there.

I’ve been studying accounting and taxes for a few months now and let me tell you what I’ve learned: cash businesses rule. Seriously. Go open a car wash, pizzeria, adult bookstore, video game arcade, laundromat, or newsstand.

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Springlike weather has been going on here and i suspect that we *might* be done with the snow. This winter was a spectacularly annoying one. Not because it was harsh or anything, but rather because it kept doing a snow-thaw-refreeze cycle over and over. It got old real fast. Time to put air in the bike tires and get back to rising my bike around town.

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Saw Leupold’s new thermal imager today. It’s interesting but I wasnt terribly impressed. I was inside one of those big box stores and was playing with it. You could read residual heat signatures on objects, which was neat, but the effective range at which people registered as bright blips was a little short. I suspect it’s because the temperature in the building was a bit warm. Outside, at night, when it’s cooler the temperature contrast would be more pronounced. However, I could see this being a handy device for tracking wounded game or scanning your immediate area to make sure no one was laying in wait for you. It would probably also do a bang up job of seeing if a vehicle had been recently driven.

Interesting and would definitely be fun to explore, but not for the price. Resolution of the digital image was horrible, but I suppose that’s to be expected at this price.

=====================

Also got to handle some newer guns….the CZ Bren rifle looked real nice, and I got to handle an MP5 clone from Zenith firearms. At $2k MSRP for either one, I’d probably stick with the AR15 for my .223 needs. The MP5 copy was cute, but for that price I could get three CZ Evo’s that would fill basically the same role. But…there’s just something so ’80s about the MP5….

How to Survive When the Cities Burn

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How to Survive When the Cities Burn I think the most important thing to study right now is urban survival and civil unrest. We are seeing unprecedented violence in our nation. Violence in locations that we have never seen it before. There are legitimate movements to hurt people for political beliefs right now. This article …

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Dutch oven Tri-Tip

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New video from Gary!

Published on Mar 24, 2017

Here is my version of Dutch oven Tri-Tip! You will appreciate this version with its overnight seasoning, seared crust and onion base. No soggy Tri-Tip here.

Rub: Oakridge BBQ “Santa Maria Grill Seasoning”

Find more from Gary House at:

Cooking Outdoors • Learn Grilling, BBQ, and Dutch Oven Cooking

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More great recipes, tips and techniques available on the Cooking-Outdoors.com website or the Cooking Everything Outdoors app!

The how-to show of backyard Grilling, Dutch oven and Camp cooking. If it can be cooked indoors, I can show you how to cook it outdoors!

If you want to learn how to use Grills, Dutch ovens, Fire Pits, Foil cooking and Camp cooking, then this is the show for you! Great product reviews and new ideas. Grill it, bake it, smoke it, fry it, we can do it.

Questions? Comments? Email Gary: info@cooking-outdoors.com

Please leave a comment and a rating, thank you!

Visit http://www.Cooking-Outdoors.com for even more recipes, tips, tricks and really good times!

“Get Out of the Kitchen, Light the Fire and Start Cooking Outdoors!”

“Cooking Everything Outdoors” ® 2017

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Why is Nuclear and Radiation Always Covered Up When Accidents Happen?

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stock here: Indeed, they always try to cover up accidents, it is usually 3 or 4 days before they “fess up” and that is usually only after other radiation monitoring sites have busted them dead to right.

Here is an example from old Russia, they successfully covered up a disaster they say is 4 times bigger than Chernobyl.     You will never get truth from the nukists.   They will knowingly poison you while trying to protect their precious technology.

———————————————————————————————

  • Between 1949 and 1989 some 456 nuclear tests were carried out at the site
  • In August 1956 the fallout engulfed the industrial city of Ust-Kamenogorsk 
  • A newly discovered secret report shows 638 people were hospitalised
  • Over 100,000 people were exposed and birth defects are still common today

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/599862/russia-nuclear-explosion-weapons-chernobyl-disaster-cold-war-cover-up-revealed

Many Preppers Fail to Do this One Thing

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com A lot of people are paying attention to prepping.  We’re even seeing articles in the mainstream media that more and more “regular” people are getting involved.  I’m glad about that. But after a recent visit forums and review boards, I know there is one step that’s not being done.  People get all excited about getting gear for emergencies, maybe even do a ton of research before purchasing.  Then they stash it away.  They […]

The post Many Preppers Fail to Do this One Thing appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

How Valuable Would A “TRUE” Solar Charger Be In An Emergency? The Kogalla Solar Storage Bank Review!

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Prepping just makes life easier!  We don’t only prep for the major SHTF situations.  Being prepared ALL events, no matter how big or small is a major advantage for us.  We prep and it is a way of life.

I recently wrote an article about why using cellphones are one of the most important EDC items you can carry with you daily.  The only problem with cellphones or smartphones is that they run on batteries.  And depending on how heavily you use your phone, it can run down rather quickly.

But, preppers are prepared and this is usually not a problem.  This is not a problem because we have backup battery charges to charge our phones.  I have several and I have given them to my family as well, so they will always have a usable cell phone in an emergency.

Smartphones for the Apocalypse?

Now, let me walk down the road of no return for a minute.  Let’s say we eventually go through a collapse scenario where everything grinds to a halt and everything we have ever known changes.  Let’s say that eventually the grid fails and we don’t have a way to charge our smartphones and electronic devices.  Barring an EMP, everyone will agree that smartphones have apps, can carry ebooks, music and other things that are pretty valuable.  If you had a charger that could charge your smartphone if the grid went down, wouldn’t you want one?

Yes, eventually electronic devices would fail.  But I’ve had a smartphone, that is 10 years old now, that up until recently, I used frequently to listen to podcasts.  It still works, connects to my wireless network and holds ebooks, pictures and even PDF’s that would be valuable to me if I didn’t have my laptop available.  With a backup battery and a solar battery charger to charge it, I would have this powerful tool until it eventually died!

This is why I believe in having external, mobile battery chargers, but more importantly, solar battery chargers as a redundancy in case…well you know!

But be careful which solar charge you depend on!  Some battery chargers that pass themselves off as solar chargers are not really efficient.  For example, I have purchased and recommend the GRDE 15000mAh Solar Panel External Battery.  It is a good external battery for the price, but it is not really meant to be charged with solar power.  It is “possible” to charge it using the sun “in case of an emergency,” but it will take too long of a time to get a good charge.  I still recommend it as an external battery charger, and I like to have the ability to charge the external battery with the sun “in case of an emergency” but I won’t depend on it.  I would rather depend on something specifically built to charge with solar.

The Kogalla Solar Storage Bank

This is why I’m glad I was sent the Kogalla Solar Storage Bank for review.  This battery bank is a beast.  It is the size of a 7″ tablet, but packs a powerful punch.  The Kogalla SSB is all integrated.  It was built so that the 22w solar panel array works together with the 10,000 mAh storage bank. Because the panels and battery bank are matched, the charging cycle won’t shut down if there isn’t enough sun.  It will charge even in low sun!  It rapidly tops-off the battery bank in 3-4 hours of full sun.

If you are using this in a home/business setting, the Kogalla SSB can be charged via a USB connection from your laptop or computer.

The Kogalla SSB comes with two USB cords.  One fits an Android device and one fits an Iphone.  It also comes with a USB light.

The Kogalla SSB runs $199.95.  It is not cheap.  But you get what you pay for!  Check out the specifications below the pics.  To visit the Kogalla website – CLICK HERE.

Kogalla – In the box!

Close up of controls and information.

Close up of USB and light indicators.  Blue light indicators tell how much charge the bank is holding.

Close up of USB and light indicators.  The red light indicator tells you that it is charging using the sun.

USB and indicator info.

And it’s weather resistant!

Fully extended on the ground.

Fully extended on the hood of my truck.

Solar charging on a tree!

Fast Facts

  • Integrated storage with 10,000 mAh battery.
  • 22 W solar panel provides fast charging in full sunlight.
  • Matching panels to storage bank provides optimal energy harvesting even in low light.
  • Storage bank can also be charged through micro-USB.
  • Dual USB-A power ports (12 W) powers lights and charges any USB device.
  • Whenever the red Solar LED is on you know the unit is charging from the solar panels.
  • The four blue Charge Status LEDs indicate storage bank charge status like a fuel gauge.
  • Accessory pouch includes USB light, micro-USB cable and lightening cable.
  • The plastic case and waterproof material protect device from minor water exposure.

Specifications

  • Solar Panel Output: 5.5V / 4A / 22W
  • Battery Type: 2 x 5,000mAh Li-Polymer
  • Battery Capacity: 3.7V / 10,000mAh / 37Wh
  • Input Power: 5V / up to 2.1A / 10.5W
  • Charging Time (Solar): 3-4 hours in direct sunlight
  • Charging Time (USB): 4 hours with 2A charger
  • Output 1 Power: 5V / 2.4A / 12W
  • Output 2 Power: 5V / 2.4A / 12W
  • Operating Temperature: Charge: 0°C to 45°C
  • Discharge: -20°C to 60°C
  • Battery Protection: Over-charge, over-discharge, short circuit, over-current
  • Case Material: Waterproof fabric, ABS
  • Dimensions (folded): 1.1” x 9.6” x 6.3”
  • Dimensions (unfolded): 0.4” x 9.6” x 33.9”
  • Net Weight: 1 lb 12 oz

Peace,
Todd

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The Simple, 7-Ingredient Compost Tea That Will Revolutionize Your Garden

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The Simple, 7-Ingredient Compost Tea That Will Revolutionize Your Garden

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

Earth, by its very nature, is in a partnership with microbes of all kinds. From the deepest seas, to the highest mountains, microbes such as bacteria, yeast and fungi are a key part of our planet’s ecosystems, performing vital functions like making nutrients bio-available to plants and animals, and helping our soils maintain structure and moisture.

It turns out that we can take advantage of these symbiotic soil allies to great effect, and one of the easiest ways we can do this is by creating our own aerated compost tea. We’ll get into the how of compost tea, along with a recipe, in a moment, but first, let’s look at the why.

The main purpose of compost tea, besides adding a nice dose of pre-digested fertilizer to your garden, is to increase the number and diversity of beneficial microbes in the soil. How are they beneficial? Fungi, for example, help plants take up phosphorus, manganese, zinc, iron and copper, secreting digestive enzymes that dissolve and break down compounds so that plants can absorb them. They also dramatically increase the amount of water plants can take up, and act like a huge extension of their root systems. Other microbes predigest different compounds and help plants take up different nutrients.

In addition to the aid they give us below-ground, microbes on the leaves of plants also may be important allies, helping in the fight against disease by both filling an ecosystem niche that would otherwise be open to pathogens, and creating conditions that make it difficult for existing pathogens to live or reproduce.

Seamazing: The Low-Cost Way To Re-mineralize Your Soil

Many beneficial bacteria, for example, produce acids that make it difficult for pathogenic yeasts and fungus to thrive. Although there is less scientific study in this area, the theory that aerated compost teas help with above-ground diseases is borne out by my own experience. Last year, some haskap bushes on my farm had a nasty fungus infection on their leaves, so I mixed up an aerated compost tea and sprayed it on them. Within days the fungus had completely disappeared.

So, now that you know why it’s good to use compost teas, let’s get into how you can make your own. I’m going to go over making aerated and aerobic (oxygenated) compost tea specifically, but you can also make anaerobic (lacking oxygen) compost tea by simply putting a bunch of (ideally, deep-rooted) plants like comfrey into a bucket or barrel with non-chlorinated water, letting it sit for about a week until it gets really nasty smelling, and then putting it on your soil. (I would avoid plant leaves with this stuff). Another anaerobic mixture known as effective microorganisms is also incredibly useful and can be purchased online and then mixed up at home.

Aerated Compost Tea

The Simple, 7-Ingredient Compost Tea That Will Revolutionize Your Garden

Image source: Pixabay.com

Materials Needed

  1. Bucket or barrel. At least 25 gallons is ideal for anything but the smallest garden.
  2. Air pump sufficient for the amount of water. You can get good ones at hydroponic shops. Tiny fish tank aerators are not the best ones, although they may be sufficient for a 5-gallon bucket.

Recipe: Ingredients 

  1. Non-chlorinated water. Chlorine in the water will kill microorganisms.
  2. Vermacompost and well-aerated compost are best. The more diversity of compost, the better. It should smell good, like forest soil, and not stinky. 5 pounds per 25 gallons.
  3. Unsulphured molasses. Food for bacteria, etc. 1 ¼ cup per 25 gallons.
  4. Liquid kelp. Fertilizer and microbe food. ½ cup mixed into 5 cups of water before adding to the mixture.
  5. Humic acid. Microbe food and soil conditioner: 1-2 tablespoons per 25 gallons, mixed into 2 cups of water before adding to the mixture.
  6. Rotten wood chips, straw or hay (optional). Decomposing high carbon materials encourage fungal inoculation. 1-2 cups per 25 gallons will do.
  7. Steel cut oats. Food for fungus. 1 cup per 25 gallons.

Directions

First, put the water in, then the molasses, and then add everything else. Some people like to put all of the solid materials into a pillowcase or similar (like a tea bag), but I prefer to mix them directly into the water. If you’re a little off in the amounts, it doesn’t matter, as long as you have enough molasses to sustain the microbe populations for the amount of time you will be bubbling your brew. I should also note here that a compost tea recipe can be as simple as compost and molasses. The other things will take it to the next level.

The All-Natural Fertilizer That Can Double Your Garden Yield!

Next, stir the container well, and put in your air pump bubbler. It’s good to stir the mixture from time to time. Let it sit for 24 to 48 hours (the full 48 is better).

Once you’re done bubbling, remove the air pump and give it another good stir. Now it’s time to apply it to your plants. If you’re going to create a foliar spray for leaves (definitely recommended), let it settle and skim the liquid off the top so that it contains fewer solids and won’t clog your sprayer. To spray it, simply evenly cover the leaves on the top and bottom. For soil application, use buckets or other manageable vessels and dunk them into the stirred up mixture in order to get the solids as well as the liquid. Then, apply to the soil around the plants, ideally covering up to or beyond the drip line.

That’s all there is to it. You should notice a significant kick to your plant growth, especially if you do this every couple of weeks during the growing season. Just make sure not to fertilize beyond the first two weeks of summer in temperate climates, as this could prevent new growth from hardening off in time and you may lose it to frost.

Have you made compost tea? What recipe did you use? Share your compost tea tips in the section below:

What knife do you carry every day?

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Question from Reader: “You’ve written abut the best survival knife, the best EDC knife, the best hunting knife, fillet, pocket knife, etc., etc. Skip the options, the analysis and potential survival scenarios and answer this: What is the knife you have on you right now?”

Product Review: Valley Food Storage

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Valley Food Storage recently  asked if I would be willing to review some of their products. I said “send me what you want me to review, and I will give it an honest review on my website.” The following is that review. Please note that Valley Food Storage did not pay me to do this review. 

Valley Food Storage (website: https://valleyfoodstorage.com) provides healthy long-term food storage (freeze-dried foods, powdered foods, and related items). By healthy, they mean:

  • No GMOs
  • No Artifical Preservatives or Chemicals
  • No Fillers
  • No Hydrogenated Oils
  • No MSG
  • Many Gluten-Free Options
  • Many Dairy-Free Options 

Overall, I was extremely impressed with the quality and taste of the products they sent me to review. I also really appreciate the emphasis they place on providing healthy options. A quick look at their website revealed that their prices seem to be among the most affordable in the industry (several other similar companies are extremely expensive by comparison). Here are the individual reviews of the five products they sent me:

Pasta Primavera – Simple to make. Just add water and heat. The pasta primavera has a good taste, and was not at all powdery (which is my experience with another company’s pasta). I’m not much of  pasta person, but my mother is, so I had her try this also. She really liked it, too. 

Freeze-Dried Coconut Milk Bites – WOW!! You eat this straight out of the bag as a snack. I loved it, and will likely order some just to eat as a snack.  Tastes great. I also added  some to my coffee, which both sweetened my coffee and gave it a coconut flavor. Excellent. 

Freeze-Dried Vanilla Greek Yogurt – Tastes exactly like vanilla Greek yogurt, which it is, of course, just freeze dried. You can eat this straight out of the bag, too. It is quite sweet, so it will satisfy any sugar craving you might have.

Freeze-Dried Strawberry Slices – You can reconstitute the strawberries, or eat them straight out of the package. I tried them both ways, and they tasted like strawberries. Very good.

Pineapple Chunks – Like the strawberries, you can either eat the pineapple chunks straight out of the bag or reconstitute them with water. Either way, they taste like pineapples! 

If you are looking for long-term food storage options, check out Valley Food Storage. Their list of products is extensive, and not just food items, but also water storage & purification, and other emergency supplies.