What should be in emergency kit?

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A friend of mine lives in Northern Idaho and recent cold weather and a windstorm had her living without power.  They had to figure out how to stay warm during a power outage for 10 days!  With the cold weather and storms moving in, I’ve had several people […]

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The ‘Survival’ Flour That Lasts 30 Years. And You Already Own It.

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The ‘Survival’ Flour That Lasts 30 Years. And You Already Own It.

Image source: Pixabay.com

Have you tried baking with oat flour? Oat flour is a great alternative to wheat flour – especially for homesteaders, survivalists and preppers.

Why? Oats are inexpensive and have a very long shelf life. When packaged in unopened #10 cans or sealed in Mylar bags and placed in a five-gallon food-grade bucket, oats can last 30 years or more.

When most Americans think of flour, they think of all-purpose flour or whole-wheat flour because those are the types most readily available on supermarket shelves. However, oat flour usually is there in a less conspicuous spot, and in fewer quantities.

Unlike wheat flour, oat flour is gluten-free, so you may find it in your store’s healthy foods section, as well. (You also can make it at home – keep reading.)

That lack of gluten in oat flour gives baked goods a different texture than those made with wheat flour. However, for people who are cutting back or avoiding gluten for dietary or health reasons, oat flour is a welcome choice. As a general rule, however, oat flour is lighter and less coarse than whole-wheat flour.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

Image source: Pixabay.com

Image source: Pixabay.com

The flavors of oat and wheat flour are similar, although you may discover that oat flour has a heartier and somewhat sweeter taste than all-purpose wheat flour.

How the texture of oat flour compares with wheat flour really depends on the type of wheat flour you have been using. Whole-wheat flour has a thicker, grainier texture than all-purpose wheat flour, for example. Similarly, home-ground oat flour usually has a coarser texture than mill-ground oat flour.

Oat flour is easy to make, and you do not need a special grinder. You can make your own oat flour by putting dried oats into your blender and using the pulse setting to chop the oats into a fine powder. One and one-fourth cups of rolled oats makes about one cup of oat flour.

Grind small one- to two-cup batches at a time. Store unused flour in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

If you’ve never used oat flour, a good place to start is with quick bread and muffin recipes. Experiment with the ratio, perhaps using one-fourth oat flour and three-fourths wheat flour to start. Then you can slowly increase the ratio of oat flour the next time you bake that item until you are using only oat flour.

Since oat flour does not contain gluten, you may need to adjust your rising ingredients slightly. For example, if your recipe calls for them, you may need to add extra yeast and/or extra baking powder with oat flour than with wheat flour. You also may need to add more or less moisture to get the right consistency.

You can try adding a tablespoon of tapioca starch or potato starch per cup of oat flour used to help lighten the mixture if you like.

Oat flour, which has 120 calories per one-third cup, also works well as a thickener for sauces and gravies.

Oat flour is higher in fiber than wheat flour, and your oat-based baked items will be more nutrient-dense.  Oats are a significant source of protein, vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium, iron and other minerals.

Have you ever baked with oat flour? What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

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

Seeking Off-Gridders to Join Me

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I am semi-retired and divide my time between travelling, my Irving home, and my 36 acres in Payne Springs,Tx. OK – its not 40 Acres ad a Mule – but its close.

The country acres are beautiful with a combination of pasture and trees. The land is less than 2 miles from  Cedar Creek Reservoir which is 35,000 acres and 80 miles southeast of Dallas.

The land is surrounded by farm land and across the road from an organic pecan orchard. I conducted lots of research and know what is most likely going to occur in the future. I am developing the land and presently it is completely fenced with a well in place. I am looking for a few individuals with building and farming skills. My previous work history includes teaching, nursing, counseling and consulting. OffgridAnnie is looking forward to meeting interested individuals.

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Seeking Off Gridders to Join Me

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I am semi-retired and divide my time between travelling, my Irving home, and my 36 acres in Payne Springs,Tx. The country acres are beautiful with a combination of pasture and trees. The land is less than 2 miles from  Cedar Creek Reservoir which is 35,000 acres and 80 miles southeast of Dallas. The land is surrounded by farm land and across the road from an organic pecan orchard. I conducted lots of research and know what is most likely going to occur in the future. I am developing the land and presently it is completely fenced with a well in place. I am looking for a few individuals with building and farming skills. My previous work history includes teaching, nursing, counseling and consulting. OffgridAnnie is looking forward to meeting interested individuals.

The post Seeking Off Gridders to Join Me appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Earthships resort planned for Indonesia

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Earthships overheat easily

Indonesia’s first of many Earthships resorts is under construction on the island of Gili Kenawa, in West Sumbawa. Like neighbouring islands in the West Nusa Tenggara region of Indonesia, it’s covered by green hills and a perfect location for the construction of Earthships – sustainable, off-grid homes built of recycled materials. A bit like pets – you have to maintain and nurture them – this one began construction late last year, marking the beginning of a planned Earthship resort on the so-called “Earthship Island”.

The pilot project is part of Eco Regions Indonesia, a sustainable development program covering more than 20,000 hectares of island forest, reefs and beaches in Lombok and Sumbawa. The ambitious plan aims to create Asia’s largest eco-region – addressing eco-tourism, environmental performance, the needs of the local community and sustainable development.

The partnership between Eco Regions and Earthship Biotecture in Gili Kenawa will jointly develop Southeast Asia’s first Earthship academy and Earthship resort. The project began in late 2016 and includes a minimum of 44 Earthships, to be built in three years.

The Earthship team comprises more than 50 people and includes a specialised construction team and a group of local workers and volunteers, who will train other local teams for future construction. Agus, a local worker from nearby Poto Tano and one of the first to be trained in Earthship construction, is proud to be involved.

“This is the first of such buildings in Indonesia,” Agus told the Jakarta Post. “There are old tires and plastic bottles everywhere, so it’s good to learn how to make strong buildings with this.”

Sustainable warrior Brooke said the heat on the beautiful island was a bit of a shock when she first arrived, but the team – which includes volunteers from across the world – was settling in to learn from eco-legend Mike Reynolds, who leads the project.

Mike, a 72-year-old architect who has been named the ‘father of the global Earthship movement’, has been living in and building these passive, off-the-grid homes for almost 40 years, adapting their design to use in various weather conditions and locations.

“I think real sustainability involves six aspects of humanity,” Mike told The Jakarta Post.

“First, humans need comfortable shelter that doesn’t use fuel. We all need electricity and water, and all societies need to do something with sewage and the garbage they produce. Last but not least, everybody needs food.”

He said that in order to live sustainably, all of humanity needs to address these six aspects of living.

“We’re trying to make a building that addresses all of these six things, all the time, all over the world. That’s what this building will be,” Mike said.

Building an Earthship

The Earthship is built using tires stuffed with compressed soil, tin, mud, plastic, and bottles for insulation and decoration. Energy is captured from the sun and wind, and rain is gathered for water. Grey water is treated to water gardens around the Earthship.

The building under construction is less than 20 degree Celsius inside, while the outdoor temperature is unbearable. The insulation system of recycled bottles circulates and cools the air as it enters and moves within the building, creating a natural airflow without the use of conventional air-conditioning or fans.

Mike said the off-grid systems are sustainable and easy to adapt to.

“I have been living in an Earthship for more than 40 years,” he said. “My office is an Earthship, my house is an Earthship. When I am hungry, I just go into the Earthships, pick bananas, grapes and I eat. I don’t have utility bills; when it rains, I am happy because I have water. But when it’s not raining I am happy too because I have the sun and sun makes electricity. I know that when I use the toilet, I am making soil for the plants. Every part of your daily life routine is contributing to your daily life routine and the Earth.”

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Improving your Glock trigger

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Other than the sights, Glocks are perfect just the way they are.

Seriously, just taking a few classes will make you appreciate your Glock. You’ll see most other guns fail all the time. They are heavier, they break, have sharp edges that cut the hands of the shooters, have problems feeding, ejecting and so on. You even see this with guns worth thousands. Glocks rarely have such problems, and they keep up with the best in terms of accuracy for all practical purposes.

The trigger though, yes, it has that staple gun feeling going on. Which is fine for a fighting gun. Now, if you want to improve it some, there are a couple things that can be done. It will never be a fine tuned 1911 race gun, and I’m not suggesting spending crazy money on a new trigger kit.

What I did was install a ZEV Race Connector v4 and ZEV’s competition trigger spring.  I didn’t install the reduced power firing pin spring and firing pin safety spring, which would have brought down the trigger to around 3 lbs, mostly because I didn’t want it to be too light and because a lighter firing pin spring means you could have problems if the gun is dirty or if you have a hard primer.

With these two installed the trigger feels noticeably better. A bit lighter, but what’s more important more predictable and with a shorter trigger reset. At least that’s the way I feel it.

If you’re not too happy with your Glock trigger give it a try. Keep in mind, ZEV does say *ZEV Technologies recommends this for competition use ONLY* so check your CCW laws and requirements before making the modification.


Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Ask a Prepper Series: Desert Island Survival Scenario

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Ask a Prepper Series: Desert Island Survival Scenario Besides shooting the shit when we get together, we sometimes like to run through survival scenarios. One of us had caught that Tom Hanks Castaway movie showing on TV recently and another had stumbled on this online image. We pulled this up on a screen and got to …

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Lessons from History – Hand Powered Tools

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

Crank It Out

When we hear “crank it out”, we tend to be hearing “get it done”. We have a lot of advantages with that these days. Nobody’s spinning a wheel on a giant roller to produce our news – we just tap a few buttons, and systems lift and press, roll, and cut for us, or we’re online and reading away without a walk to the morning paper at all.

The conveniences are all around us, from our coffee grinders and brewers, out in our sheds, and all around our homes and lives. But it wasn’t actually too far back in history that “crank” was a very literal term for a lot of those conveniences.

In my kitchen, I have a simple slider mandolin, mason jar pump-top onion chopper, and a salad spinner. I’m going to break down and get a cherry pitter this year or next year. They’re convenient. They save labor in time and energy. Grinders are there for coffee and wheat, so I stay happy/sane. My world is full of items that do the same, from my battery drill and power saws to the blender that cranks out curach and turns strained jelly peels and pulp into slurries for fruit roll-ups.

A disaster is a bad time to lose all of our conveniences in life. There are also some hand powered tools we can pull from the pages of history – and that inspire modern tools – that will help us with our self-reliance. They bounce back and forth from the kitchen to the workshop, out to the barn. Here’s a quick look at a handful of those things that can help us keep cranking it out.

Oil press

An oil press can be a big financial commitment, and it’s not for everybody. Until there’s enough land space to be producing foods, let alone oil nuts and seeds, it should go on the back-burner. On the other hand, if you’re in suburbia and you have the 1-2 working oil presses in 3-25 miles, you have a very powerful bartering tool at your fingertips.

Essential Oils Natural Remedies: The Complete A-Z Reference of Essential Oils for Health and Healing

That’s because fats are important. A lot of game animals are very lean in fats. In a world where we and our limited livestock are working just as hard as wildlife to eat, stay warm, prepare for winter, recover, and raise a family, we’re going to get leaner, too. That’s not always a good thing. There are vitamins and minerals our bodies can’t process without fats.

Fats are also important in baking, and make cooking (and cleanup) a whole lot easier. Plus, check out your powdered peanut butter. I’ll bet it tells you to add some oil for best results.

Sadly, even Crisco and powdered margarine won’t last forever, and it’s not like they’re all that good for you.

There is an alternative to a press to get those fats – at least one.

We can basically mince the heck out of various seeds and nuts, turn them into a slurry, let them settle (for hours or days), pour off the liquids (that’s what we keep), strain and press the wet mass (to get more of the liquids), and wait for the water to dehydrate (days). There are regularly additional steps for different types of plants, like shelling, simmering, filtering, additional pour-offs, and milling. Fermentation and spoilage risks are high. Labor and time are through the roof.

With an oil press, an impressive number of tree and grass seeds can be turned into oils.

Many presses have or can be fitted with automatic shellers and separators. The leftover meal can be dried to use in breads, thicken stock and gravy, or be fed to animals. The same presses can be used for a wide variety of seeds and nuts, sometimes requiring a gear change and sometimes extremely small or large seeds require an additional piece or to be minced. Sometimes we do have to take our peanut shells and skins off, and feed it just corn kernels.

(There are corn threshers and bean-pea shellers available crank-style, too.)

Not only is the time and effort hugely reduced with an oil press, our product comes out cleaner and we usually have more to show for it at the end of the day.

I won’t go into as much detail for the rest of today’s list, but those types of factors are there for all of them. It’s why the “convenience” and “efficiency” machines came into play in the first place.

Hand Beater

While we’re right there talking about speed and ease in the kitchen, let’s talk about rotary beaters.

I know that at various stages, there were also rotary and pull-cord blenders on the counters. This guy has good memories for me, though.

Moms and Grandma used to have a set. They made whipping eggs or cupcake frosting for twelve or a classroom fast and easy. If we’re going to be doing a lot of from-scratch cooking, or if we have months and months’ worth of powdered milk, butter and creamed soups stored, something as simple as a design that hasn’t much changed in 50-100 years and can still be found in stores is a force multiplier.


Another kitchen equivalent to the venerable 1911 is also probably one of the most commonly suggested and available hand-crank tools. It extends way beyond the preparedness-homesteading crowds. Like a cherry pitter, anybody who grows or processes a lot of fruit considers these things gold. When I’m only filling out a few drawers in a dehydrator I’ll still just whip out the mini-paddle mandolin, but when you start talking buckets and bushels, these apple peelers more than earn their price.

Ours has the option for using the coring center or just a spike, so I can also peel potatoes with it, and the slicing blade can come off so I can grate those, pears, or apples instead of slicing them.

Hand-Crank Food Processor

Once we’ve peeled or washed our produce, there’s another gem we can upgrade to if we want – people have actually started (or returned to) making hand-crank food processors. Like the electric versions, they make pretty fast work of assembling salsa veggies, dicing for relish and chutney, slicing salads, or cutting butter into pie and tart crust.

Salad Master

There’s another version we can use that bolts onto a countertop or table. I actually prefer it, because I like the resiliency of metal when I’m plunking down a chunk of change (Queen Klutz here).

You can get them in a number of styles and there are sets with attachments as far ranging as the modern Kitchen Aid base mixer. That means a single hand crank base can be adapted for ground meat and sausages, and pressing pasta, as well as mincing, slicing and dicing veggies.

Which styles we like best is just personal preference.

Applesauce and Baby Food Strainer

If we do a lot of jelly and jam canning, want to quickly churn out applesauce, or want to make our own baby food, there are some pretty simple devices out there still – and that we can pick up from old farm estate sales fairly regularly if we watch for those.

Like the Foley applesauce and baby food strainer, many are meant to be used as a stage in the process of cooking.

You can also find steam and hand-crank juicers that work for syrups and jellies. If you plan to forage or produce a lot of the cranberry viburnum and chokecherry type fruits, those are handy to have.

Butter Churns

When we think of churning butter, a lot of people apparently think of somebody sitting with the tall canister and paddle or plunger, lifting up and down. I think of my blender, personally.

Throughout history, however, there have been a lot of different styles and scales of butter churns, and some of the small and countertop hand crank versions are more likely to fit into our storage space – and regularly, our budgets.

Styles like the canning-jar base are also a lot more hygienic than the wooden ones and the larger, longer metal designs. You can clean them more effectively in between uses.

If we’re in a world with limited outside assistance, that becomes even more important. Goats aren’t as likely to have a milk infection, but cattle used to get them regularly. They still do in some cases. Some of those diseases will only spoil flavor, but some of them have human health concerns. If that milk is transferred into plastic or wooden containers, it takes a lot of cleanser and then a lot of rinsing to regain comfort in using them. Water is going to be a hugely important resource for a lot of people, and it still might not do the trick.

Smaller glass and metal vessels can fit inside pressure canners and are easier to reach (and rinse) than larger ones, and long, skinny churns.

They’re far faster than shaking a jar or rolling it underfoot – although if you’re about to shell a solid ton of peas, the foot thing might work for you.

Centrifuge for Butterfat Testing

So, we have our goats, sheep, camels or cattle, and we want the ones with the highest butterfat for butter and clotted cream. How do we find out in the second and third generation of livestock after a crash?

An old-school hand-crank centrifuge.

That centrifuge can also be used just to find out which animal’s butterfat or heaviest creams separate fastest and easiest.

Instead of having shallow containers sit for hours – without jostling – with the risks of pests, dust and heat spoilage, we can also use various turn-of-the-century tools to speed that process.

Hand-crank sewing machines

When a ram horn catches us and rips a hole in our clothes, or our pockets start failing, when growing kids need clothes made out of curtains, we can sit down with a needle and hand sew, but if a sewing machine is available, it tends to be a lot faster of a process.

It’s also an easier process for old and damaged hands – some tension adjustments and threading is required, but then those hands (and eyes) can relax a bit.

You can hunt up antiques, or run some searches for non-electric sewing machines – they’re out there, especially from/for some of the still-developing nations.

Modern Manual Drill

Nothing is going to help us rebuild a shed or fence or put in a new milking bench like our electric drill and driver, but there are still manufacturers out there for hand-crank versions that will be faster and easier than doing it all with a screwdriver.

Hand augers are commonly seen on the lists of disaster tools, and are shaped a bit differently. They’re really good at what they do. Modern and yester-year manual drills that can also be fitted with our current drill’s screw tips have some advantages, too.

Combined, they make a pretty handy pairing around a house or farm that’s looking at losing power. 

Bench Grinders

Modern-made and antique, there are all kinds of handy things for the shop. While a drill is one of the most commonly reached-for items in our house, the wheel grinders are in high demand at my father’s. They make fast work out of sharpening tools and blades.

Some of the hand-crank versions are massive beasts that can be set up for two hands, and can handle light notching, planer, and plank sanding and some can even be set up as circular saws and used to cut pipes, tubing and OSB. (Those are two-person jobs for safety reasons.)

As with the kitchen, the speed and work effort compared to a hacksaw, steel wool, and sharpening stone plays a factor when looking at the costs.

And, as with the kitchen, both the bench grinders and the manual drills mean that people with injuries or ailments can still get work done in a lot of cases, and do that work faster. That, too, factors into what we’ll pay and how we prioritize.

The Wide Range of Shop Tools

Shop tools of all kinds are out there. I don’t use a drill press often enough (and they’re expensive enough) to have given it its own listing. But they’re out there. So are things like barn beam boring drills, smaller tinker-merchant and jeweler’s presses, ratcheting drill presses and nail setters.

Farm horses used to regularly be hitched to circle and power things like turnip slicers, grain threshers, and grain mills. Horse-drawn harvesters dug, separated and in some cases even sorted potatoes and turnips, working off gears attached to the wheels. Dogs and goats can handle some of that workload with smaller versions.

Modern Spins

Just as some of the hand-crank and -lever tools that bear consideration can be had from current production runs, the modern world has not turned its back on hand cranks.

They’re there in tire pumps and emergency lights large and small. We can also buy little hand-cranked battery boxes to charge our small electronic devices. One of my earliest articles dealt with laundry, with several modern takes on manual washers and wringers.

In some cases, we can find those devices in bike-pedal powered forms as well.

Cranking It Out in the Modern Age

The internet is a wonderful thing. It brings the whole world right to our fingertips, and it can regularly have most of that world delivered to our door.

We didn’t jump from caveman sticks and rocks directly over to sending email over HAM radio. Throughout history, there are gadgets that made lives easier and allowed us to do more work. As preparedness spending grows, we can find a lot of new manual gadgets becoming available from suppliers and inventors.

Whatever you reach for this week or this month, especially over planting and harvest season and the next DIY build or repair, make a note of it (a real, physical note). Is it a force multiplier? A must-have? A beloved convenience? How important does it rate on your scale?

If you’re doing things by hand or planning for a world without power, it might be worth popping a “manual” or “hand-operated” search for that item into your browser. There are fair chances somebody has one, makes one, or has a hack to create one.

If you liked this article, please rate it.

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Best Tactical Backpacks of 2017: Reviews, Features, & Our Top Picks

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Tactical Backpacks: What Are They and Why Do You Need One?It was not a good day.For the first time in over 15 years we drug our sorry butts back to the trailhead in defeat, with the loss of our gear as evident as the loss of our pride. Broken straps, lost cell phones and water …

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The Great Defender: You’ll Want This By Your Side When It Hits the Fan

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45 acp[Editor’sNote: Simply put, things can to hell in a hand basket very quickly following a disaster. The widespread breakdown of the social order leads to looting in disaster prone areas which leads to the importance of being able to defend one’s home, family and their preps during a disaster breakdown. Because home defense is such an important consideration, it is important to familiarize yourself with the best firearms and ammunition choices out there. Jeremiah Johnson has been relentless in writing information on this subject and brings up another well informed article on this ammunition choice.]

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, over the past weeks, we have gone into great detail on firearms, caring and maintaining firearms, and why preppers should diversify their ammunition supplies. This week, we are focusing on the .45 ACP – a worthy cartridge with a long and unique history, and it is also worth your consideration with regard to home defense and survival, for a number of reasons we’ll outline here today.  So, without further adieu, let’s get started!

The History of the .45 ACP Cartridge

I want to discuss the .45 ACP cartridge.  This information is worthwhile and the cartridge itself has a great deal of history behind it.  In 1898 the Spanish-American War (characterized by Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders) came to a close, but the Philippine insurrection did not.  The Moros (Philippine islanders) were able to take a hit from the .38 handguns and the .30 Krag rifle the Army had in service…and keep coming.  They could not, however, “soak up” the .45 Long Colts and the 12-gauge buckshot used from personally-owned Colts and Winchesters.  Yes, back then, many could carry their own choice of weapons.

Two officers were crucial in determining the choice back in 1904.  At the behest of Brigadier General William Crozier (appointed Chief of Army Ordnance in 1901, a new position created by President Theodore Roosevelt), a board was formed comprised of two men.  Colonel John T. Thompson (Ordnance) and Colonel Louis A. LaGarde (Medical Corps) were tasked with finding the optimal sized cartridge for the U.S. Military.  LaGarde’s report contained the following summary:

“The Board was of the opinion that a bullet which will have the shock effect and stopping power at short ranges necessary for a military pistol or revolver should have a caliber not less than .45[caliber].”

                Shotgun News, November 1, 2011, p. 13; article:

                 “High Standard M1911A1,” by Peter G. Kokalis

There we have the first glimmerings of the beginnings of the .45 ACP, and I must mention the author of the article referenced, Peter G. Kokalis was the Senior Editor for Shotgun News with a lifetime of experience in shooting and reloading, as well as being a combat veteran.  Kokalis summarized the .45 ACP cartridge’s capabilities most eloquently.  In essence, he clears up a lot of misconceptions relating to kinetic energy of a round.  Most people equate high velocity with knockdown power.  For long-range shooting, this holds to be true in many cases.

Short-Range Combat

What we’re dealing with here is short-range combat…where you (the homeowner) are protecting your house and family from a break-in at close ranges.  In such ranges, you will need stopping power.  Here are some terms you need to keep in mind:

  1. Wound Track – the path of the bullet through the body, also referred to as the “permanent cavity.” Three factors influence this wound track:
  2. Yaw – the way the bullet tumbles through the body after impact
  3. Expansion – of the bullet itself, also referred to as “mushrooming”
  4. Fragmentation – the way the bullet disintegrates in the body after impact as it moves through the tissue
  5. Temporary cavitation – the path opened up as the bullet travels through the vital organs…a path that “rebounds,” or bounces back into original position, though not without damage to certain organs

Depth of penetration is the most important factor, as Kokalis outlines here, in this excerpted segment of his article:

“Most important of all, is the fact that penetration is without doubt the single most important parameter in the wound ballistics equation.  It has been determined that in law enforcement and self-defense scenarios, a minimum of 12 inches, and up to 18 inches of penetration will produce the most effective results – required to reach the body’s vital organs.  Once we’ve obtained the necessary penetration, the bullet that makes the biggest hole will do the most damage.

 As a result of the above, there is only one possible conclusion.  The .45 ACP cartridge is the most effective handgun round – among those commonly available – that you can use in a gunfight.  Even anecdotal evidence over the last 100 years has proven this to be so countless times.”

Kokalis went on to explain that a 230-grain JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) expands (on average) from .45 (that is .45 of an inch) to .65 with approximately 15.5 inches of penetration.  I must add his final words in the article, as they should drive the point home:

“This can be summarized in one sentence: use the largest caliber with the heaviest bullet, propelled at moderate velocity.  In other words, deploy with a handgun chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge.”

To clarify what he meant by “moderate velocity” is that other, faster bullets tend to go right through the target at close distances, whereas the .45 ACP (considered a low-velocity round at – on average – 930 feet per second) has both the penetration power and will “open up” for greater internal damage to the target.

To add my own words to Mr. Kokalis’, I have used other calibers, such as 9mm Luger, .38, and .45 Long Colt.  The .45 ACP is an excellent round that is also multipurpose when using different types of ammunition.  The +P rounds (in brands such as Buffalo Bore) turn your cartridge into a super-penetrator that can and will defeat body armor.  It is also a good round to protect against large and ferocious predators.  You can pick up the standard FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) rounds at 230 grains for under $40.00 for a box of 100 at your friendly Wal-Mart for target shooting.

A Frugal Ammunition Choice

They’re easy to reload, and economical: the .45 ACP will not bankrupt your savings while giving you that large caliber round with the stopping power you need.  As to the piece you wish to throw it out of, take your pick.  The 1911 is tried and true (in my humble opinion one of the finest handguns ever made), and has served our military nobly throughout its existence.  So, .45 ACP?  Try it, you’ll like it: the round will serve your needs well, and at a price you can afford.  Keep that powder dry and don’t store it with your primers!  JJ out!



Don’t forget to join us March 9th 7 p.m. (CST) for a FREE interactive webinar about solar cooking. Click here for more details!


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

Building a Natural Emergency Shelter With No Tools

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ominous_forest_coldHave you ever tried to build a shelter from natural materials in the woods?  Have you ever tried to do it with no tools?  Have you ever tried to do it with no tools in the winter in a foot of snow? Well I did, and here’s what happened. I went out snowshoeing with my yellow lab (Phyllis) and thought it might be cool to pretend that I was lost and needed to set up a shelter for the night.  It was about noon in mid-February, which meant I had roughly four and a half hours to build a shelter and get a fire going.

By Jarhead Survivor, a Contributing Author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog

Since I never go into the woods without minimal equipment I can’t say that I had zero gear, but I didn’t use any of it when I built it.  Here’s a little video of just how easy it is to build a shelter from natural materials in the snow with no tools.  What could go wrong?

Time Line:

  1.  Fall on my ass:  5 seconds
  2. Swear:  17 seconds
  3. Gather wood:  1:20
  4. Breaking wood:  2:51
  5. Constructing the shelter:  4:54
  6. Tipping:  6:08
  7. Covering the shelter:  6:53
  8. Digging the firepit:  7:19
  9. Lighting the fire:  8:24
  10. Chillin’ in the shelter:  9:03

Don’t Lose Heat!

Before we actually build the shelter let’s take a look at some of the objectives.  First and foremost, don’t lose heat!  You lose heat through the following processes:

  • Convection – think blowing wind here
  • Conduction – like sleeping on the cold ground or sitting on a cold rock or log
  • Radiation – heat leaving your body like heat waves coming off  a woodstove
  • Evaporation – sweat

Building a shelter from what you have around you with no tools and keeping these rules in mind is a bit of a tradeoff.  Do the best you can with what you have.

Resources and Construction

In my case, I decided to build a lean-to style shelter from what was lying around in the forest.  In the section of forest I was in, there were a lot of standing dead fir trees about three to four inches at the base.  I looked all over and found a good supply of what I’d need, then went back to where I’d decided to set up my camp.

Read Also: Emergency Storage of Wild Plant Foods

It was in the forest near water, although this wasn’t absolutely necessary since there was so much snow on the ground.  However, it’s easier to gather water or ice then melt snow, so you exploit whatever edge you can, which is what I did in my mock survival situation.  It was also close to my supply of wood and a decent amount of fir trees, which I’d need for the fir boughs.

Next I laid a small log between two trees supported by small logs I’d broken and put underneath to hold it up.  This “cross beam” was about three feet off the ground.  Then, I laid a couple of ribs along it to get an idea of how long they’d need to be so I could break bunch to the right length.

survival_shelter_fallen_treeAfter this, I went and gathered what I hoped was enough wood to put the ribs on the shelter.  (If you haven’t seen the video, you should check out the first minute or two.  I completely fall on my back, while breaking some trees off).  Hey – nobody said it was going to be easy. Next I had to break the tree length sticks to the right size.  To do this, I found two trees close together.   Then I stuck the wood I wanted to break between the two and pulled on it until it broke where I wanted it to.  This isn’t pretty, but it gets the job done.  (Again, see the video for a demonstration).

I tried to build the shelter with it’s back to the wind so as to cut down on convection.  When you have a wind blowing it lowers the temperature considerably and with my shelter set up with it’s back to the wind and the fire throwing heat in, I was in pretty good shape.

Covering It Up

winter_shelter_survival_fireOnce I had the ribs on it was time to cover it up.  There are plenty of fir trees in that area, so I resorted to a technique called “tipping”, which means to break the tips off some fir branches in order to get what I need.  This doesn’t particularly hurt the tree as long as you don’t snap off every branch.  I gathered five or ten armloads and put some on the outside of the shelter and a few armloads inside as well to avoid losing heat through conduction.

Related: Ten Facts About Fire

Special note:  if I were going to build this for real, I’d put a lot more pine boughs over the top and on the ground to really help with the insulation.  Since this was a demo and I was getting tired I decided to go light on the insulation.

Next I broke some wood up for the fire and grabbed some small dead branches off fir and pine trees.  I piled the wood up and put the tinder on top then lit it with a lighter I happened to have in my pocket.  (I could have used a firesteel, but the lighter was quicker and easier).

Pretty soon I had a merry blaze going and decided to make myself some coffee.  Part of that small kit I told you about is a military canteen cup, so I poured in some water and made coffee using a coffee bag (exactly like a teabag, but with coffee instead).

After Action Report

canteen_cup_fire_shelter_survivalIt really wasn’t that difficult making a shelter using natural materials.  True, I don’t feel like I totally finished it, but it would have been easy enough if I needed.  I could have also covered it up with snow to really insulate it or added more to the front to make it less of a lean-to and more of a full shelter instead. The total time to make the shelter, even in the snow, was about two to three hours.  The thing about a shelter like this is you need a lot of wood to keep you warm through the night.  In the area I was in, it wouldn’t have been a problem because of all the dead wood laying around, but in other areas it might not have worked out so well.

Again, you’ll need to adjust the kind of shelter you have according to the materials available. Questions?  Comments? Sound off below!


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BMS Custom Made Rifles

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bms_rifle_customJust the idea of having a custom rifle built to your own specifications is enticing.  In fact, having anything created on our own behalf for personal use is rather satisfying.  For the prepper looking for something a little more special than a stock weapon, a firearm from a custom machine and gun manufacturing build shop is the way to go. Sure you can pull completely utilitarian products right off the shelf and in most cases they perform well.  Sometimes not.  

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

Ever bought a new pair of tactical pants or a jacket at the store or mail order, then after a few times of wearing it, the garment just does not feel exactly right?  Back in the closet it goes. Maybe later, you’ll sell it at a garage sale.  In fact, how many pieces of gear do you have collecting dust right now that just did not work out as expected?

The Custom Concept

bms_custom_builds_riflesEver attended a really big knife show?  Looking at all the blades hand shaped and hewn by small shop custom steel smiths is exhilarating.  Then examine those individualized handle panels of exotic woods, or high strength synthetics, all shapes, all colors, palm swells, fits and finishes.  Owning a new custom made knife is special.  Using them is even more special.  

Read Also: The SOG Pillar Knife

It is the same with having a custom firearm built to your own specifications.  There is usually a general platform, design, configurations, and materials, but many of the final details are left to the customer.  Options are the element of customizing the firearm to the customer.  That is the purpose after all of having a custom made gun.  It is tailored to just you and virtually nobody else.  

BMS’s Custom Manufactured Rifles

bms_rifle_top_profileBryant’s Machine Shop in Jackson, Mississippi creates specialized rifles from solid billets of aluminum or other materials.   This is not a factory assembly line rifle by any means of the imagination.  It is not a back room sweat shop either where assorted export parts are assembled in dim light to produce a finished rifle.  Quite the contrary as a matter of fact. BMS’s equipment is the best state-of-the-art CNC machines available on the market today.  They design and manufacture a lot of custom parts and pieces for a lot of different industries and purposes all in house.  For our interest, they also manufacture some of the finest AR platform rifles made as well as other rifles, rimfires, and now suppressors.  

They offer the complete package for sport shooting, hunting, and defensive work.  All of these purposes should appeal to preppers and survivalists of all survival core values.  

BMS has been manufacturing custom AR-15 type rifles for several years and can offer an amazing array of customer specific demands for that one-of-a-kind special rifle.  They can also custom build a more standard rifle built in the precision care mode for an exceptional firearm.  

BMS AR-15s can be customized with any number of features including different barrel types, styles, and lengths, various types of forearms, flattop rail configurations, pistol grips and stocks, and other hardware accessories.  Custom colors and coating finishes are also a trademark of BMS.  I suspect if you can think of it, they can figure out a way to do it.  

Related: How to Pick the Best Personal Protection Firearm

BMS can even supply optical options from conventional optical scopes, red dots, electronic sights as well as night vision and thermal units for night hunting operations.  You just have to contact BMS to explore all the varieties of customizations they can do with an AR rifle.  

BMS’s New Build

bms_rifle_custom_excellenceFor survivalists wanting to add a substantial increase in firepower to their prepping arsenal, BMS is now building AR-10 units chambered for the .308 Winchester or the 7.62 NATO.  The .308 of course amps up considerably more terminal ballistics on target, thus allowing shooters to reach out to touch longer range targets with greater target impact.  Bryant’s new AR-10 is configured from 7075 billet aluminum for both the upper and lower units.  

The set up includes a 556 barrel, a Velocity 3 pound trigger, a Strike Industries stock, Magpul pistol grip, and an extended charging handle for easier reach and operation.  The slim line type handguard can be offered with either M-Lok or KeyMod accessories attachment modes.  

If the idea of having a custom AR-15 or AR-10 built for you sounds intriguing, then contact BMS for details.  Pricing depends on which rifle is ordered and the features specified.  All you need on your end is a licensed FFL for the local transfer shipment.


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Micro-nuclear lobbies Trump

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Caroline Cochrane, boss of OKLO

Cochrane – “Industry shouldn’t pay 90%…”

Advanced nuclear developers are calling on President Donald Trump to continue government support of the disruptive technologies which could enable off-grid settlements to spring up all across America.

“Industry shouldn’t have to bear 90% of the regulatory burden. The government should fund the NRC in a more effective way,” said Caroline Cochran, founder of OKLO, a California nuclear technology startup seeking to build a single megawatt advanced reactor to replace diesel generators in largely off-grid markets. Cochran said the current user fee structure should instead resemble that of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where the government evenly splits the regulatory costs with pharmaceutical firms for medical devices and drugs.

In June 2016, the DOE awarded OKLO and seven other advanced nuclear developers, including Transatomic Power, a total of $2 million in vouchers as part of the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear, or GAIN program. Under GAIN, OKLO is working with DOE national laboratories to model the simulated use of depleted uranium as a fuel and study legacy data of metallic fuels as the developer works toward filing a design certification application with the NRC.

“None of this is possible without the continued government support,” John Hopkins, chairman and CEO of NuScale Power LLC, reminded attendees at Third Way’s annual advanced nuclear conference in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 21. “With other so-called new technologies: jet engines, everything; it has always started with state funding. We’ve got to continue to have that moving forward with this administration.”

Hopkins called on the new administration to continue support of public-private partnerships and U.S. Department of Energy-funded research and development initiatives, including an Obama-era DOE program to help advanced nuclear reactor developers and manufacturers. Hopkins also said the nuclear industry needs to push to preserve loan guarantees of up to $18.5 billion and figure out how to use production tax credits for new reactors from the Energy Policy Act of 2005 before they expire at the end of 2020.

NuScale recently submitted the first-ever design certification application for small modular reactors (SMRs) to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, after more than half a billion dollars in investment and what the company described as 2 million hours of work. The company, majority-owned by Fluor Corp., itself benefited from DOE support, with the agency in 2014 awarding it $217 million in matching funds to develop the reactor design. NuScale has invested more than $300 million on its own.

Hopkins said NuScale is hopeful that its design will be docketed by the NRC within the next few weeks. The first of NuScale’s commercial 50-MW factory-built SMRs are slated to be installed at the Idaho National Laboratory in eastern Idaho, in partnership with the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, or UAMPS. The proposed 600-MW plant will consist of up to 12 SMRs, and will be operated by Energy Northwest.

Costly NRC and consultation reviews paid for by developers, along with insufficient funding for the agency itself, were repeatedly cited as barriers to commercialization by speakers at the conference.

Cochran said she is confident that OKLO will make it through the regulatory process and has found NRC staff to be “amiable” to making changes to accommodate advanced nuclear designs in a review and certification process intended for existing light water reactors. “Not saying it’s going to be easy but we do believe it is possible and we are moving forward on that,” she said.

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Hamish McLaren’s 5 Tips To Surviving Monster Winter Storms

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Having a safe bunker to withstand the wrath of a monster winter storm is a real benefit. Unfortunately, not everyone has this privilege but below tips can help you save yourself in times like this. Hamish McLaren shares his top five tips for surviving a monster winter storm.

  1. Stay Inside

    No matter how big or small your dwelling is, when a storm occurs, do not wander around to gauge the effect of it. Your best bet is to stay inside. When the storm is severe, a basement or closet might be the answer. It is easy to save yourself when you are in a shelter of some kind, so wait out till help arrives. In addition, don’t risk others lives by sending them out; it can be extremely dangerous and most likely to end in disaster. Seek out a cave or an overhang if you are stuck outside alone without a tent or car. A quick thinking during a storm can give you one more chance to live.

  2. Keep Yourself Warm

    If you are stuck inside a home or building, gather as many blankets as you can to keep yourself warm. Coats, tarps, bed-sheets – anything can help you escape from cold drift and prevent frostbite or hypothermia. If there are many people around under the same roof, use one another’s body heat as well. For those out in the wilderness, it is necessary to use some kind of signaling to draw other’s attention. One word of caution – people stuck inside a car should never let the engine run as any snow accumulating in the exhaust pipe can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

  3. Eat and Drink if Possible

    Food and drink, if you have access to them, is important to keep yourself warm and healthy during a severe winter storm. Stay hydrated either from your regular water supply or by melting snow. Store water for further use. If you have food and do not know when the help would arrive, ration it to make it last over many days.

  4. Plan For Your Next Move

    When the storm settles down, it is time to think about your next move. Obviously, this is to seek help by digging your way out of your house, car or whatever the shelter you are in. If you are lost and can’t get yourself out, stay still and wait till help arrives. If you are on the road on foot or in the wilderness and sure that it is safe to venture out, hike to safety in the direction of nearest civilization.

  5. Get Treatment Immediately

    Because of an explosion in the number of storms in recent years, many types of storm survival kits have arrived in today’s market. It is no longer a matter of waiting for the nurse to treat you in case of minor injuries. These kits have first aid materials that are really useful for wounds. So, take time to buy these kits and read the instructions on them. Understanding what each and every item in the kit does is absolutely necessary if you wish to stay fine.

Movie Monday – Happy People Part 1

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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.

How to Unplug from the Digital World

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Erase yourself from the Search Engines

There is plenty of information out there about how to physically move off the grid, but what about going off the grid in the digital world? For many off-gridders, a social media or digital presence is still necessary – to remain plugged into the world around us, at least socially. But as the ease with which the government – and landlords, potential employers, even strangers – can track our movements online increases, so too seems to be the interest in disappearing from the digital world and becoming truly invisible. But how do you vanish from the internet?

Bradley Shear, a lawyer who specialises in social media and privacy, warned that it wouldn’t be easy. He said if you really want to step away from the internet and leave no digital trace, it would mean giving up using all electronic devices.

“[To go the full off-grid route] it’s cash, barters,” Bradley said. “Do not use any electronic device that can lead back to your whereabouts.”

Social media backlog

Bradley suggests deleting your social media accounts, or at least cleaning them up. Social media accounts, more or less, ensure you actively participate in letting the internet learn more about you; Facebook, in particular, is very good at tracking what you do across the rest of the web – even when you aren’t actively using it. The site stores your search information to suggest particular webpages, news of interest and advertisements.

“You have to think about the digital accounts you currently have,” Bradley said. “You have a Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, old Myspace? Anything that has your name on it. You want to either delete content from them or delete the accounts altogether.”

Although when you delete your accounts many of the companies will still keep the data you previously gave them, at least it won’t be publicly shared.

Bradley pointed out that Gmail in particular has to go – and you can’t use Google or Yahoo, because these programs all track your access location.

“Every time you access [Gmail], they have your IP address,” he said.

If you want to make sure your activity isn’t tracked across the web, Bradley said to use a virtual private network, or VPN, every time you access the internet, unless you only login from public machines (such as those at a public library or internet café). To search, Bradley suggests using sites such as DuckDuckGo instead of the traditional engines that track you.

If all that sounds too painful to deal with, at the very least consider deleting unnecessary content from your social media accounts. Twitter and Facebook let you download an archive of your data on the platform, in case you’re worried about losing any of those utterly amazing early tweets. And beyond the in-account settings for each service, third-party tools such as TweetDelete allow you to erase years of content automatically. But even that, Bradley said, doesn’t provide perfect results – the government probably already has your tweets on file.

“Using a service that deletes old tweets is helpful,” he said. “However, the Library of Congress is cataloguing every single tweet ever.”

JustDelete.Me provides a good starting point for people who want straightforward links to the deletion pages of a ton of accounts, along with a bit of guidance on how easy or hard it is to delete each one.


For those who can’t stand to go completely off the grid – which is probably most of us – Bradley said one of the most valuable things to do is litter the internet with misinformation about yourself.

“Never have a real birthday,” he said. “Always use a throwaway birthday when signing up for social media accounts or pretty much any other service online. Use a throwaway email. If a site or an app is asking for a bunch of information that you think it doesn’t need from you to provide you with whatever service it is promising, don’t do it. If that personal information is required to use that service, then make up some stuff. You want to provide as many alternative facts as possible.”

Of course, most of us will have already provided a lot of the information to a bunch of sites – so try to change it. On many sites, you can change your birthday, your likes and dislikes, past employment experiences, place of residence and other personal details, although some have a limit on how many times you can alter information (like Facebook).

Bradley said he knows that he’s essentially advising people to ignore the terms of service for these sites, and he’s okay with that.

“Feel free to protect your privacy and violate their terms of service,” he said.

Data leaks

Anyone who’s ever self-Googled knows that there are a ton of “people search” sites out there that promise to host valuable information about individuals. Usually, this information – phone numbers, social media profiles, addresses, anything else available from public records or through data collection on the internet – is sold for a fee (but not always). These companies are known as data brokers, businesses that collect information to sell it to other businesses. Bradley warned that trying to fully disappear from their databases is like “whack-a-mole.”

“Look at the first five to 10 pages of your Google results and see who has your name,” Bradley said. Your information will probably be on sites such as Whitepages, Spokeo and Intelius, for example, and each of these sites should have a way to opt out – but Bradley warned that sometimes the opt-out process can be a scam. If the site requires users to verify their identity before opting out by giving more information or providing a government ID, get out of there.

The second part of keeping your information out of the hands of data brokers involves plugging any digital leaks. If you’ve ever signed up for an account by linking it to a Facebook, Google or Twitter account, you have a leak, and should undo it if possible.

The other thing to think about is your phone – and what permissions you have given your apps.
“Most apps ask for way too much information,” Bradley said. “If you want to keep your phone, go ahead and delete every single app you don’t actually need.”

Of course, even doing all of these things won’t completely disappear most of us from the internet – particularly those who are older or have been using it for all our lives so have an extensive digital trail. So, the question becomes: Can you really disappear from the internet?

Bradley said it doesn’t matter if it’s futile or not – it’s important to try as much as you can, and do it properly, as if it’s going to work.

“You might not get perfect results, but it’s always worth the effort to try.”

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15 Best Black Flowers To Add Depth And Drama To Your Garden

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15 Best Black Flowers To Add Depth And Drama To Your Garden “Black is such as happy color.” While some might not agree with Morticia Addams, black can certainly add some drama to your garden. While there are few flowers that are a true black, a mixture of dark maroons, purples, burgundies, and reds will certainly suffice. Adding black flowers and plants to your garden will add tremendous depth and drama. As soon as you plant some of the plants or flowers you will instantly have a beautiful, deep and dramatic garden. If you plant any of these in your

The post 15 Best Black Flowers To Add Depth And Drama To Your Garden appeared first on Mental Scoop.

20 Alternative Weapons for Preppers After SHTF

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The only weapons that most preppers own are a gun and/or a knife. But in a long-term survival scenario, you’ll need a wider variety of weapons. For example, bows are quiet but can hit targets from a long distance. Sling shots don’t reach as far, but there’s an unlimited supply of ammo on the ground. […]

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New rules damage UK energy security – help big producers

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Big Utilities need backup power

British energy regulator Ofgem has moved a step closer to removing a significant revenue stream for off-grid electricity production, which could impact the quantity of new large-scale generation in future.

Ofgem says it intends to accept a proposal from two huge Utility companies to reduce payments made to small-scale distributed generators by suppliers for providing off-grid electricity during peak winter hours. Suppliers can save on system transmission charges as a result.

The so-called triad payments, which off-grid generators receive for providing electricity during three half-hour periods of the highest demand across winter, will drop from the current level of approximately £45/kW to around £2/kW. The reforms will be phased in over three years from 2018 to 2020.

Previous forecasts had been for the payments to increase to £72/kW over the next four years.

Last year, a report by global advisory KPMG warned that just over 2GW of new embedded generation contracted by the UK government under its capacity market could fail to deliver if off-grid financial benefits were removed. The report, which was commissioned by off-grid generator UK Power Reserve, argued for transitional arrangements to be put in place.

However, Ofgem disagreed in a statement last week. “We believe the proposed reforms would not have a material impact on security of supply,” it said.

While a potential reduction in consumer bills is the main motivation behind Ofgem’s proposals, concerns have been raised that the level of so-called ‘embedded’ benefits has distorted the market in favour of small-scale generation.

As a result, developers of larger new gas-fired generation – some of which are also subject to system transmission charges that off-grid generators escape – have been unable to compete in capacity market auctions and bid in low enough to meet the clearing price awarded for capacity contracts.

The reforms proposed by Ofgem were sparked by network code modification proposals submitted by utilities Scottish Power and EDF.

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Prepping and Survival Drills to Run

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by Ryan

If there is one theme that I preach repeatedly for survival situations, it is to practice before your life depends upon your skills. So many survivalists pour through books, videos, and television shows learning every little trick in the book. However, too many people stop there. I cannot count how many times I expected a survival technique to be simple, yet it turned out to be nearly impossible. More importantly, I like to focus on time sensitive situations that would really create natural pressure. In this article I will cover situations you need to practice both alone and with your family.

Bugging In

First we can look at bugging in situations. When you make the decision to lock down, there is an order of tasks to complete and a small amount of time to get them completed. This is a family ordeal unless you live alone, so sit down with a pen and paper and get your family involved. When the bug in decision is made somebody needs to do inventory, to secure the property, to gather or run out for supplies, and to get weapons ready for defense.

Obviously you do not want small children loading guns, but you also want to assign the most difficult tasks to the most experienced and physically able members of your family. A person with a bum knee would be ideal to board up windows or gather weapons. Somebody with a good feel for the time frame of the emergency should be the one handling inventory or rounding up supplies. Make these decisions in advance and do a few trial runs to ensure everybody knows their role. Time how long it takes to get locked down.

Step 1 – Plan out assignments for each person (Inventory, supply run, windows, perimeter, pets and small children, weapons).

Step 2 – Use a timer to see how long it takes to safely complete all tasks. Take notes as you go on anybody that looks lost or confused.

Step 3 – Assess the completion of the tasks. Is your property secure? Do you have the needed supplies? Is everybody inside and locked down?

Step 4 – Make changes to your assignments or provide additional guidance. Run the drill again to see if the time or completion improves.

Bugging Out

The opposite of this situation would be preparing to bug out. Again, you have a small amount of time to get everybody prepared and moving in the right direction. Make sure all bug out bags are packed and in a common location by the door. If you have pets or small children, assign somebody to get them together.

If there is food or water to take, make sure somebody gets it into your bags. Finally, make sure everybody knows and practices leaving on foot or by vehicle. Drill who will be leading, who will be navigating, and who will be keeping an eye out for threats. Time how long it takes to get from your home to a safe place.

Step 1 – Gather everybody and assign tasks (gathering small children and pets, collecting weapons, food and water, a last second inventory, ensuring everybody has their BOB, locking down the house as you leave, checking vehicle for fluids).

Step 2 – Assign roles for travel (lead hiker/driver, navigation, lookout, kids and pets duty).

Step 3 – Run the drill with a timer and first see how long it takes you to get out of your home and safely away from the property. Take notes as you go. This drill will feel rushed so the notes are vital.

Step 4 – Take the drill a step further and give your family some distance to cover. Go on foot for a few miles or take your vehicle during a time of bad traffic.

Step 5 – Assess the completion of the tasks. Did your family forget to bring anything vital? Is everybody accounted for? Did the property get locked down so looters can’t get it? How long did it take you to get to safety?

Step 6 – Make changes and run it again. Try to improve the time it takes you to get to safety.

Gathering the Family

A scenario that could relate to either bugging in or bugging out is moving each family member to the same location. For most families daytime disasters can result in both parents being at different workplaces, and all the kids being at different schools. Designate and practice one parent or driving teen to pick up each child and move them away from congested locations like schools and daycares. Pick a public rendezvous point where traffic will not be an issue and practice getting the whole family together during rush hour. Mark a paper map with short cuts that can shave minutes off your drive time.

Step 1 – Create a plan. Assign each person that can drive a family member that cannot. Get out a paper map and plot the locations of each person. Then figure out where to meet.

Step 2 – Time how long it takes to get each member of the family away from congested areas. Each person needs to be at least a mile from any schools, daycares, shopping centers, or large office buildings.

Step 3 – Time how long it takes to get the whole family together at the rendezvous point.

Step 4 – Time how long it takes to get everybody from that point to your home or other secure location.

Step 5 – Adjust your strategy to try to get everybody reaching the rendezvous point at the same time. This may mean moving the location to accommodate those that travel slower. You can step up the difficulty by running the drill during rush hour or after a sporting event lets out.

House Fires

Another drill to run in your home is evacuating during a house fire. Your workplace probably has an evacuation plan, but what if an electrical fire breaks out at home in the middle of the night. Sit down with your family and designate who will gather small children and pets. Assign one person to make sure they grab their cell phone and have them call 911 as soon as they have left the building. Ensure everybody knows where fire extinguishers are located, but designate one adult to decide whether to try and fight the flames or just bail and wait for help. Again, practice this drill several times by setting a loud alarm to go off in the middle of the night.

Step 1 – Sit down with the family and assign tasks to each person (gathering small children and pets, grabbing a cell to call 911, ensuring everybody made it outside, deciding whether to use a fire extinguisher or not).

Step 2 – Tell your family that the drill starts when a loud alarm clock goes off in the hallway, but do not tell them what time it will go off. Try to pick times that would catch them off guard (middle of the night or in the morning when getting ready for the day).

Step 3 – Run the drill and take notes as you go. Use a timer to see how long it takes to get everybody to safety and how long it takes to get the extinguisher and get back to the fire.

Step 4 – Make adjustments and run it again. You should be able to get the whole family out of the house in less than 2 minutes with practice. To step up the difficulty, cut the power so the drill must be done in complete darkness.



Another common household disaster is flooding. As you practice this situation, you will have to decide if wind damage will be a concern. When flooding is related to hurricanes, you will also need to board up windows and secure the exterior. Cell phones would likely be down so practice alternative communication methods.

Ensure everybody in the family knows to focus their efforts on the lowest spot in the house. Designate one person to cut power to areas that will have standing water. Have a designated place to which you can move furniture, and make sure anybody physically able can help with the effort. Have a cache of dry clothes and blankets, and verify that everybody knows where they are. If safety gets to be an issue, have a higher ground area for everybody to meet and wait for help.

Step 1 – Gather everybody to assign tasks and to designate an area for furniture. Also determine a safe area of higher ground to move to if safety is an issue.

Step 2 – Practice moving the most valuable items to your designated area with a timer. Make sure somebody cuts the power first.

Step 3 – Douse each other with cold water and then scramble to get to your high ground area and change into dry clothes. May want to do this one on a hot day.



Riot survival is another good drill to practice with your family. If you are in a crowd and disaster strikes, your family needs to know how to act. The next time you are at a sporting event or concert, have your family pretend that the crowd has gotten hostile. Teach them to walk diagonally across the crowd with arms locked, but never against the crowd. Show them how to be a gray man and blend in while avoiding eye contact and confrontation. Show them the back alleys and shortcuts that will get you all to safety.

Step 1 – Run through a list of do’s and don’ts for moving through a riot. Make sure everybody understands the danger.

Step 2 – Find a crowded place, lock arms, and time how long it takes you to get safely out of the crowd. If you notice anybody talking to people in the crowd, making eye contact, or moving against the flow of people then make everybody start over.

Step 3 – Review with everybody the things they did right and wrong. Run it again to improve your time.

Emergency Shelters

Building a shelter quickly can absolutely save your life if you are stuck in the wild. Show your family how to build a lean-to or debris shelter with only natural materials. Time this drill and then show them how much faster you can build a shelter with a tarp or emergency blanket. If you live in an area with lots of snow, show them how to build a snow cave. If you live in the tropics, show them how to make a raised platform. Ensure everybody participates.

Step 1 – Show everybody how to make a simple shelter with natural materials.

Step 2 – Tear it down and make them build one without your help. Time how long it takes.

Step 3 – Build a shelter with a tarp or emergency blanket and show them the time difference.

Step 4 – Take it down and make them build one.

Step 5 – Make suggestions and run it again to improve your time.

fire building

Fire Building

Building a fire is another practice that can save your life, and it can be tougher than you would think. These drills should be done in stages. First show them how much tinder, kindling, and fuel they need to gather and how to build a fire with a lighter or matches. Then increase the difficulty by showing them the use of a ferro rod or bow drill. Teach them what kind of wood is needed for friction fire. To really sink in the urgency, time them on building a fire in the rain or snow.

Step 1 – Show everybody how to build a friction fire, a fire with a ferro rod, and a fire with a lighter.

Step 2 – Make them build a lighter fire without your help and time them.

Step 3 – Make them build a ferro rod fire without your help and time them.

Step 4 – Make them build a friction fire without your help and time them.

Step 5 – Make them build any kind of fire in the rain or snow and time them.

Step 6 – Give them feedback and run it again to improve the times focusing on the ones that were most difficult.

First Aid

Related to building a fire, showing your family how to help somebody that has fallen through the ice is very important. You need to first explain to never risk their own safety to get somebody out of the water, but instead to extend a rope or pole to them. The remainder of the drill is all about speed. You only have a few minutes to dry off and warm up, so hammer this home. Have somebody building a fire while somebody else rolls the victim in snow to dry them off. Get their clothes stripped off and practice using body heat in a sleeping bag. Finally get water boiling to warm them up from the inside.

Step 1 – Wait until there is snow on the ground and mark a big circle or rectangle to represent ice.

Step 2 – Put one person in the center and have your family rescue them without crossing onto the ice themselves.

Step 3 – Have one person build a fire while everybody else helps to pretend to dry off the victim and use body heat to warm them up.

There are a few other first aid techniques that should be drilled with the whole family. CPR and mouth to mouth are two that everybody should know and practice. Helping a choking victim is another important drill. In fact, I actually saved my wife from choking just a few years ago. Stopping the bleeding on severe cuts is very important. Emphasize pressure, elevation, and tourniquets only as a last measure. Teach how to build makeshift crutches or a splint for an arm or leg. You never know when the family member with the most medical training might be unconscious and needing help, so teach everybody these tactics.

Step 1 – Designate one person to be the victim and tell them what their ailment is, but do not tell anybody else.

Step 2 – Have the rest of the family diagnose the issue by communicating with the victim. You can add visible symptoms as well if appropriate.

Step 3 – Have them treat the victim using life-saving first aid methods.

Water Purification

If severely dehydrated, the time it takes you to purify water might be vital. I suggest drilling your family on purifying water by building a fire, building a filter, digging a proximity well, and purifying in sunlight. It would also be smart to practice rainwater catches and solar stills. Time each method to show them which options will help save them the fastest.

Step 1 – Train everybody on how to most quickly purify water.

Step 2 – Supply them with natural materials and have them decide the quickest option. Time them on how long it takes and note how effective they are.

Step 3 – Give them a different set of materials and see if they change their method.

Step 4 – Discuss and repeat to improve times.

mad dog


Finally, how to react to large predators should be discussed and practiced. Many people make the incorrect decision to run when they feel threatened. Pretend to be different species of predators and see how they react. If they are not in immediate danger, have them practice building a fire inside a boma and have them sharpen spears. Show them that being proactive is often more effective than waiting to be attacked.

Step 1 – Treat this like charades and pretend to be an animal coming around the corner in close proximity to them.

Step 2 – See how they react based on the type of animal you are and either attack or walk away depending on how they respond.

Step 3 – if they respond correctly, ask them to then build a camp for the night that would protect them from this type of animal. If they get it wrong, explain why and do it again with a different type of animal.

It is easy to fall into the habit of explaining or displaying these skills rather than drilling them. This is a mistake. Everybody that is able should be required to physically participate in the drills. Just watching or listening is not enough. It is likely that you will know much more than the rest of your family on these subjects, so it may get frustrating to watch them fumble around. Remember that you were once the novice, and in some cases may still be a novice. Have patience and make sure each person is able to struggle their way to a solution. It will make for a much more memorable lesson.

3 Edible Plants in Your Backyard for Health and Nutrition

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3 Edible Plants in Your Backyard for Health and Nutrition Who decided which plants were good garden plants and which ones were weeds? It’s interesting to contemplate isn’t it? Especially when you consider that many of the plants we pull and toss are actually edible plants with as much or more nutritional value than those …

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Product Review: Plug & Farm Tower

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I waited until I had a chance to actually grow some plants in the tower before writing this review. Because I live in a warm area of the country (zone 9b) I’m able to have a year-round growing cycle, but I don’t have a lot of space.

This seemed perfect for me, so I’m recommending it to any prepper interested to grow its own food and save some space and money.

And here’s why!

Building the Tower

The tower itself was easy to assemble and get started and came with all of the necessary tools and parts, as you can see in the unboxing video below:

The drip system was logical and was organized in such a manner that it worked with gravity.

With a standard soil-based drip system, this usually means that the bottom plants don’t get as much water as the top plants, but since this system is made in such a way that it recycles water from top to bottom and uses a planting medium that’s much less dense than dirt, the water flows freely through it so that the bottom plants get just as much water as the top ones.

All in all, with the exception of the instructions, I’ve had a good experience with the tower.

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Each section is well-constructed, as is the base, though I did mount it to a wall for stability. It’s easy to use and easy to assemble, and works with gravity.

It also uses very little water, which is, of course, a huge deal, especially in a drought or survival situation. I can even see where it would be perfectly good for indoor use if you were so inclined.

What to Plant

I chose to plant strawberries, green peppers, tomatoes, basil, and lettuce. I sprouted the seeds and grew them to seedlings, then transplanted them into the tower.

I had a mishap a few weeks after I planted my seedlings and lost the whole crop, so I had to start over. I’m now starting to see the beginnings of fruit from the new batch, so I’m excited to see what happens.

I also reevaluated the positioning of my plants the second time through. Originally, I’d place the tomatoes in the middle because I thought that it would be easier to stake them using the side of the tower and letting them grow down, but I rethought that and decided it would be better to have them on the far left so that I can use lattice to support the plants if need be.

If you’re looking for a great way to grow vertically in small spaces using very little water, this tower is a great option.

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

In The Presence of Warriors

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     Have you ever looked forward to a meeting of a group of people, knowing in your spirit that it was going to be an appointed time of the Lord’s?  That is what happened to me these last few days.  A seemingly random text about what was on our calendar turned into three days of renewing old friendships, making new ones, and all of it exalting the Lord.
     But this post is about more than relationships built on common faith.  For me, the lone woman in the group, it was about being in the presence of faithful men who embody what it means to be a Spiritual Warrior.  It was about observing strong men who are seeking the heart of God; men who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable if it means their lives can have an impact on this world for the Kingdom of God.  These are men who have found renewed purpose in their lives; who have made a commitment to put God first above all else, and to unpack the truths of Scripture while uncovering and exposing the lies of religion and false doctrine.  In other words, these are men of character, determined to press into God and know Him fully, and to know who they are in Christ.  And, oh yeah, they aren’t afraid to stand against the spiritual darkness that might threaten them and their families, nor to take back territory from the Enemy.
     The definition of a warrior is this:  One who is engaged aggressively or energetically in an activity, cause, or conflict.  The cause of these men is the Kingdom of God, and they are aggressively pursuing it in their lives and energetically advancing the message of that Gospel. Each has fought his own spiritual and demonic battles, and come out victorious on the other side — because they knew that Jesus had already defeated those demons; they just had to partner with Him and be in agreement that they are Overcomers.  They are now equipped to lead others into the battles for their lives, and to model what it means to have a new identity in Christ.
     I had the privilege of listening to Godly men claim their authority to use the power of God [that is in them] to manifest His presence on this earth. They are warriors who no longer desire to cling to the powerless doctrines of men that instruct us to accept unanswered prayers, or to assume that all suffering and persecution is God’s means of revealing our areas of weakness and wrong attitudes in order that we might humble ourselves before God and He can accomplish His purpose in our lives. We do not serve a God who condones cancer or poverty or shame or guilt in order to cause us to seek Him. He has given us His authority, as Believers, to use His power to conquer the schemes of the devil, thereby glorifying Him in the spiritual realm.
     These are men that believe that concept and who no longer accept the lies that Satan tells them; truthfully, they know who they are … men seeking holiness and righteousness in the image of Christ. And they know that the authority given to them by the Word of the Lord is not power unto their flesh.  It means they’ve been given the right to give commands and take action (as Spiritual Warriors) against Satan; against sin; against sickness, infirmity and disease; against themselves [by just saying “no” to temptation and sin]; and against any situations or circumstances in which they or others find themselves.  But perhaps, more importantly, they know that this authority they wield is backed up by the Power of the God of the Universe, through the Holy Spirit.  In fact, they are on intimate terms with the Holy Spirit and dependent on His power to back up their authority.
     They have no qualms about following what Jesus has taught them through His Word, and they are ready to do whatever the Holy Spirit leads them to do on a daily basis.  It was so edifying and encouraging to hear them proclaim their total dependence on Jesus; listening for His instructions in their lives.  They know, without a doubt, that it’s not enough to KNOW what Jesus desires of His followers; they must be committed to DO IT! 
     In short, as women of the faith, they are what we would want in a faithful man who is willing to take on the role of Spiritual Warrior: fearless.  They don’t ignore Satan or his demons; nor do they go looking for a fight — but they resist him when he comes calling.  And for them, that means submitting to God and listening to Him like a sheep that follows its Shepherd … but resisting like a lion, confident that the enemy will flee. And they understand [that at times] the battle will be won easily and swiftly; while at other times, they may have to stand for awhile, and then … continue to stand until the enemy leaves the field of battle.
     And perhaps the most enlightening aspect of spending time with these warriors was the overriding desire to be obedient — it was the realization that Jesus has already defeated our Enemy; by dying in their place, and accepting the punishment for their sins and those who sinned against them, Jesus has satisfied God’s righteous anger against them, men who believe. They are covered by His blood and healed by His stripes.  They don’t just know the meaning of Propitiation; they live it.
     In wrapping up my experience this past week with these inspirational warriors, I want to borrow from the words of Andrew Wommack, who is a well-known proponent of our Authority and Power. I believe that he accurately describes the theology that is represented by the lives of “my” Spiritual Warriors.  They are authentic in their belief that “[Jesus] deposited His resurrection power inside every believer. He’s done His part, and now it is up to us to do ours. We need to take the authority He has given us and become commanders instead of beggars”.  My warriors will not beg God to deliver them from every sling and arrow of the devil.  They will step up and be the Warriors that God made them to be, and use the authority they have been given by their Creator to call upon His power [inside them] to establish this world as His Kingdom.
     They are battle-tested and battle-ready.  And even more precious to us women, they protect, shield, guard, encourage, and love their families. And I’m proud to call them my husband, my “spiritual son”, and my spiritual “brother” in Christ.  May God strengthen them, nourish them, and sustain them in their purpose for His Kingdom.  I know that crowns await them in heaven.

Ephesians 6:10     “In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might.”


Bugging out by car when it hits the fan

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If disaster hits, you must be ready to leave quickly without attracting unwanted attention. Bugging out by car is the number one and only choice for most preppers. Even more, bugging out by car provides a certain safety from criminal elements. If you plan to do the same when disaster strikes, here is what you … Read more…

The post Bugging out by car when it hits the fan was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

5 Sustainable Ways to Repurpose Newspapers

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newspaper sustainableHey, all of you Readers out there in ReadyNutrition Land!

Some of the you are looking to make more sustainable choices for your home. No doubt many of you have read articles on how the trash in our homes can serve other purposes.  Learning how to get creative and make do with what you have around you is the core of being self-reliant – and what many of us are trying to achieve.

Small Changes Make Big Impacts

One way we can all minimize the amount of trash that comes into our homes is simply to reuse it. Newspapers seem to accumulate the most in homes and knowing its many uses can serve you in a more sustainable manner. Here are give interesting ways you can utilize all of those old newspapers lying around.

1. Fuel

Let’s forget about the news portion, shall we, and concentrate on some uses for that old Sunday paper.  Firstly, there’s fuel, and as we’ve been doing a lot of articles on woodstoves and winter preps, what could be more in line?  Fire starting material for your winter fires is one thing.  Another is (during the summertime) making bricks out of torn, soaked newspapers that are place into a press and then compacted.

log maker

This Single Paper Log Maker is a great investment for making paper logs. It’s a very simple design.  I have one myself.  You shred your newspaper, wet it (a plastic bin is best for this), and then form it into bricks by pressing it with the bars of the press you see above.  The water squirts out all over the place (do it in your backyard…there’s no room in the bathtub), and you come out with a “brick” that you can allow to dry by setting in the sun.  It takes several days to dry, and making these bricks is one heck of a workout!  You may be able to make about a dozen of them in a couple of hours. They are compacted, and the burn time varies, although they’ll go for at least 45 min. to an hour.

Newspaper can also be cut into 3” strips, rolled up tightly, and soaked in paraffin for fire-starting material.  These guys can be kept in small cans, akin to tuna fish cans after they’re rolled…the tuna fish cans give you about a 2” roll.  Then place a wick in them…a real wick…and use them for a candle.

2. Insulation Material

Remember that article I wrote about the importance of having a thermos in the wintertime and in the extreme cold weather?  Well, guess what?  You can take those coolers and cardboard boxes and further insulate that thermos by: 1. Rolling the thermos up in several layers of newspaper, and 2. “Balling,” or “crunching” up a whole bunch of the newspaper, and then “nesting” your thermos in the middle of your box…to provide further insulation and some “loft” in between the walls of the container and your thermos.

3. Make Your Own Paper

If you are interested in making paper, now is your time to start recycling the newspaper.  There are plenty of books and videos that show how to do it.  In addition, you can take natural materials such as leaves, grass, dried plant stalks, etc., macerate (chop) them and then add to the shredded-up newspaper.  Be careful in this case to use the black and white, and not the colored newspaper, as the colors will leach and make it more difficult for you to blend.

A good supply of newspapers can be stacked and stored within bins.  Ensure there are no dripping flammable liquids around, or anything that can potentially ignite them, and store them in a cool, dry place.  Store them as they come: flat and compressed as they are when they’re brand new.

4. Emergency Insulation

Newspaper can be used for extra insulation when it is needed, and your vehicle should have a small box/bin with a short stack.  You never know when you’ll have to have a fire such as if there’s an accident, or a breakdown that leaves you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

5. Transport Meat and Fish

You can also use it as a field-expedient way to wrap up fish or meat if you need to transport them…as I mentioned, it is not the preferred method, but it is a method.  During the winter, it can keep a layer of insulation between the cold and the meat and keep the exterior from freezing.  In the summer, it will keep flies and other pests from laying eggs in the meat.

So, these are a few for starters.  What uses have you found for newspaper?  Any ideas, “recipes,” or useful projects we would love to hear about, so drop us your comments and let us know what things you guys and gals do with yours!  Oh, and I almost forgot…what could be more quaint than taking a really-expensive or high-quality gift and wrapping it up in newspaper?  A big surprise there that will surely earn a laugh!  Keep in that good fight!



Here are some other great ways to use newspaper:

Learn how to simplify your life using what you have around you

Make your own seed tape

Make paper pots for growing plants

Stash some newspapers aside for pets during emergencies




Don’t forget to join us March 9th 7 p.m. (CST) for a FREE interactive webinar about solar cooking. Click here for more details!


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

Do you have a plan for migraines?

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Do you have a plan for migraines? Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio in player below! We are talking about how to avoid and respond to migraine headaches. The last thing anyone needs during an emergency is a migraine, so we will look at what a migraine is, what triggers a migraine, and herbs that … Continue reading Do you have a plan for migraines?

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