BBC gives evidence against off-grid dweller

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Pocock family outside their houseA Scottish crofter has reason to regret making a documentary with the BBC TV station, for which he was paid precisely nothing.

Iain Pocock, whose off-grid lifestyle featured in a television documentary series has lost a damages claim against a Highland Council thanks to evidence given by the broadcaster.

Iain Pocock and his wife Sasha were walking down Baron Taylor Street in Inverness when he caught a foot on the raised edge of a slab and fell with his left leg giving way, allegedly leaving him in excruciating pain.

Mr Pocock claimed that the injury restricted his ability to carry out tasks at the croft at Cougie, near Tomich, in Inverness-shire, where the family led a self-sufficient life.

Court Action

He raised an action at the Court of Session in Edinburgh against Highland Council, suing for £500,000 compensation following the injury he sustained on February 9, 2012.

But the local authority, which denied liability, said that during 2012 and 2013, Mr Pocock and his family were the subject of BBC documentary in which the pursuer’s wife referred to being reliant on a generator for power, and were unable to connect to the national grid because it was too expensive.

In the documentary, Power to the Pococks: A year in the life of a crofting family, reference is made to a quote of £230,000 to connect to the grid and Mrs Pocock saying they do not have the money “unless they win the lottery”.

Various parts of the documentary were played during the action.

Lord Clark referred to excerpts which showed Mr Pocock carrying out activities such as using an axe and a chainsaw to cut firewood, carrying out maintenance of a wind turbine by climbing up a metal scaffold, kneeling while milking, sliding on ice and “spinning round a pole in a barn”.

Lord Clark acknowledged evidence from Mr Pocock and documentary director, Stephen Bennett, that filming did not take place during periods when the pursuer was in pain. But the judge said: “It may be the case that the pursuer’s evidence to some degree over-emphasised the effects of the accident and the BBC documentary supported the view that his injuries were not quite so severe as he had stated, but I regard any difference as being largely immaterial.”

It was also contended in the action that there was a duty by the council to repair a paving defect with a height difference greater than 20mm within seven days, or at most within 21 days. But the judge concluded that Mr Pocock had failed to establish the key factual basis of this case – that the defect in the paving slab at its date of identification involved a height difference greater than 20mm.

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Uncertain: Film Review

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On a boat on the river

Misty-lensed view of off-grid living

Like a flower growing out of a crack in the wall, the southern town of Uncertain sits on the border between Texas and Louisiana, so named because early surveyors couldn’t be sure to which state this out-of-the-way burg actually belonged. The population, mostly poor or in some way seeking to avoid the law, hovers in the double-digits — 94, according to a sign on the city limits, although it seems that residents are either dying or leaving faster than they can be replenished.

Like a documentary version of “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” complete with the looming threat of a surreal environmental catastrophe (in this case, an invasive fern-like plant called salvinia that’s “swallowing up” the lake and suffocating the fish), “Uncertain” focuses on a handful of these locals, individuals whose fates mirror the town’s name. In another director’s hands, the residents might be labeled “eccentric” and condescendingly depicted for laughs, but Ewan McNicol and Anna Sandilands approach this touch-and-go community with curiosity and humanism, capturing what feels like a deciding moment in a series of struggles so remote, they would otherwise escape our notice entirely.

Finally trickling into a few theaters — and iTunes — nearly two years after it premiered at the 2015 Tribeca film festival, where its directors won the Albert Maysles Documentary Director Award, a movie like this isn’t apt to inspire any spontaneous pilgrimages (it’s hard enough attracting audiences to visit the town vicariously on screen). “Uncertain is not on the way to anywhere,” says the local sheriff. “You’ve either got to know where you’re going or be lost to find it.”

Those who have come to Uncertain are generally trying to escape something — the law, mostly. They are haunted, at any rate, which makes for an evocative portrait of several rugged souls whom the directors met after setting out to learn what they might find in a town with such an intriguing name. To join them is to step back in time to a place that looks positively primeval (the swamp-like Cabbo Lake is shrouded in mist and the thick grey moss that hangs from surrounding cypress branches), where barely-employed locals spend their time hunting and fishing, or else trying to forget their troubles at the town bar (or in the case of the opening scene, passed out drunk in a drifting rowboat).

Instantly fascinating, the film’s various characters speak in a thick Texas drawl, sometimes so strong that they require subtitles to understand. Now in his seventies, Henry recalls how the other black folk in town resented him for having white friends, calling him an “Uncle Tom,” which blew up in an altercation where he shot another man in the face. Roughly a generation younger, recovering addict Wayne was also responsible for taking another man’s life, albeit under very different circumstances (the film even includes video of his arrest). He invites the filmmakers along for late-night hunting sessions, as he stalks a wild boar with his muzzleloading rifle. A scruffy white kid covered in amateur tattoos, diabetic Zach doesn’t see much future in Uncertain (where people “retire at 21,” he says) and decides to try his luck in Austin.

Visually, this gorgeously photographed film (lensed by McNicol himself) recalls the work of Cannes-anointed documentarian Robert Minervini, albeit a gentler view of marginal American lives than those seen in “The Other Side.” Though shot digitally, the footage goes a long way to suggest the organic texture of the lakeside community: the muggy, mosquito-filled air; the eerie serenity out on the water, or in the woods; the old bait shop with its peeling paint job. The line between animal and human, nature and civilization, seems especially porous in Uncertain. In one scene, with the aid of night vision, we observe as a half-domesticated raccoon spends his evenings indoors, curled up next to the family dog.

With the support of Daniel Hart’s almost elegiac score, the filmmakers distill the coarse poetry in their surroundings, giving voice to the suspended dreams of the locals. Their situation may not be hopeless, but it’s far from easy, and the filmmakers search the salvinia problem for a metaphor of some sort, finding an imperfect one in a scientific project to control the spreading water weed via the introduction of weevils. Residents worry whether the solution may have come too late. “It’s sad to see that the only place like this is going away,” says one, as we wonder what will become of this town and its citizens. I guess that’s Uncertain for you.

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The Hidden Worm That Can Kill Your Goats & Sheep

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The Hidden Worm That Can Kill Your Goats & Sheep

Image source: Pixabay.com

I lived in ignorant bliss for years. Like many keepers of small ruminants up north, I was more complacent than I should have been about the possibility of parasites. As a general rule of thumb, these organisms have been more of a problem in southern locations for longer than they have in the north, but are gradually making their way to all regions of the country.

About six months after I purchased two doelings and integrated them into my herd, a visiting animal health expert noticed some worrisome symptoms in one of the young goats and took fecal samples back to her office to examine under a microscope. The next day, she called me with the results: the animal was loaded with barber pole worm.

I had never even heard of barber pole worms, and I set about learning all I could about it by asking other goat owners, seeking information from animal health experts, and searching online.

What Are They?  

Barber pole worm, or Haemonchus contortus, is a parasitic organism which thrives in the abomasum—or last stomach—of ruminants. It is highly contagious, often deadly, and once contracted is nearly impossible to eradicate.

Research revealed that my first order of business was saving the life of my goat. How-to’s varied widely among all the sources I consulted, many of them directly contradicting one another on everything from types of medications to frequency and dosage. It was scary and confusing, to say the least.

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A person in my goat network took the time to tell me the story of what worked for her, and I believe her help is the reason my goat survived. She recommended I use a specific type of anthelmintic—the scientific term for a chemical de-wormer—called levamisole hydrochloride.   The information I found online supported her advice. Levamisole is available only via mail order in my state, but the lady happened to have some on hand and offered it to me at her cost.

Lest the treatment described above sounds like a panacea, it most assuredly is not. Different drugs are more or less effective by region, by farm, by animal, and by a whole host of other factors. But if a treatment worked at a farm nearby, that is a good place to start.

Before continuing with information about barber pole worm, it is worth noting that I am not a veterinarian. Any knowledge I have of animal health and parasites is gained through my own research and experience as a goat owner, and should never be taken as advice in lieu of consulting an expert.

First, a few barber pole basics. It is the adult worms, striped like a barber pole, which take hold in the stomachs of ruminants. From there, they lay eggs which are passed out of the animal’s body through its feces. Once on the ground, the eggs develop into larvae and are ingested by ruminants as they graze. Back inside the digestive system, the larvae become adults and the life cycle continues.

Symptoms of Barber Pole Worm

The Hidden Worm That Can Kill Your Goats & Sheep

Image source: Pixabay.com

Visible symptoms of the possible presence of barber pole worms include diarrhea, hanging tail, dull coat, lethargy and depression. It is important to remember that these signs can be indicative of other maladies, as well, so while these symptoms indicate that something is wrong, it is not always barber pole worm.

If barber pole worm progresses, edema—fluid buildup in body tissues—sometimes becomes visible, particularly in the face and jaw.

An excellent way to diagnose the presence of stomach worms—of which barber pole worm is a likely candidate—is by determining whether the animal is anemic. This can be achieved using a diagnostic tool called “FAMACHA.” This is basically a chart showing how to compare the colors of the tissue under the lower eyelids of the animal—pink tissue means there is plenty of healthy blood flow and white means anemic—and providing guidelines of when to treat.

“The Big Book Of Off The Grid Secrets” — Every Homesteader Needs A Copy!

Another excellent diagnostic method is a fecal exam. Veterinarians typically offer this service, but it can be costly and cumbersome for multiple animals and follow-ups. For this reason, many people learn to do it themselves. Examining fecal content is not nearly as off-putting as it sounds.  Training can be attained for little or no money, often from another ruminant owner. My own microscope training was provided to me by the professor who first diagnosed my sick goat, but since that time my state cooperative extension has begun to offer quarterly microscope training workshops.

The expense of owning a good quality microscope can seem daunting, but groups and clubs can potentially share ownership in equipment, giving each member easy access without being solely responsible for cost or storage.

It is important to be aware that fecal exams do not always tell the full story. The presence of parasite eggs in fecal matter does not necessarily correspond exactly with the presence of adult stomach worms. When in doubt, always consult a veterinarian.

It is critical to catch barber pole early. Unchecked, it can be deadly. In late stages it is even possible for the treatment itself to be dangerous because the sudden die-off of parasites can render an animal too compromised to recover.

As with most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is wise to screen new animals for parasites before putting them in with your existing herd, even when buying high quality stock from a reputable dealer. Once barber pole was present on my farm, the only option from that point forward was to manage it.

Some livestock owners get desirable results by routinely administering anthelmintics to the entire herd or flock. However, current school of thought recommends treating only sick animals. The reason for this is to avoid the risk of creating a medication-resistant super-organism.

Hot to Prevent Barber Pole Worm

When my goat was first diagnosed, I treated my entire herd. It was important at that time to make a complete break in the life cycle of the parasite. I carefully monitored the fecal egg counts after the first dose and treated only sick animals from there on.

Parasite activity is minimal in winter in cold climates. It flares up most in spring and fall, so diligence is most crucial during those seasons. Some individual animals and certain breeds are naturally more resilient, and young stock is generally far more susceptible than are adults. Resilience—the innate ability to thrive in the presence of barber pole worm or avoid getting it at all—is an excellent trait to keep in mind when culling a herd.

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The Hidden Worm That Can Kill Your Goats & Sheep

Image source: Pixabay.com

Some of the best ways to manage barber pole worm are really more about managing the livestock, pasture and infrastructure. Parasite eggs and larvae thrive best in warm humid conditions, multiply most easily in crowded conditions, are most plentiful close to the ground, and have a more profound effect on less healthy animals. With those facts in mind, good parasite management includes:

  • Keeping indoor quarters clean.
  • Allowing ample space in the most-used paddocks.
  • Rotating pastures and sticking to the highest and driest during damp seasons.
  • Keeping hay and feed up off the ground by using hay and grain feeders.
  • Hanging water buckets on walls to minimize spills and feces contamination.
  • Keeping feed and water containers clean.
  • Providing mid-level browse. Sheep tend to graze and goats prefer browse, but both will eat vegetation higher off the ground if browse is provided. This will help limit the likelihood of the larvae being ingested.
  • Maintaining overall herd health.
  • Staying abreast of any health changes in individual animals and within the overall herd, particularly during seasons when parasites are most prevalent.
  • Doing fecal exams often.
  • Being responsible regarding biosecurity: Use due diligence to prevent yourself and visitors from carrying barber pole worms to other farms.

Two other preventative treatments being increasingly recommended by veterinarians and farmers are copper and tannin. Many sheep and goat owners use copper boluses—capsules filled with copper pellets—as effective treatment. The drawback to these is that they can be challenging to administer, because they need to be shot with a special gun down the animal’s gullet in order to remain intact and not chewed. An easier yet arguably less effective method is to offer free-choice tannin. This is easily found in the bark of softwood trees, but comes with a warning: certain pine trees are toxic to goats and sheep. Pine trees native to my region pose no danger, but that is not the case in all areas of the country. The bark of other trees, most notably cherry, can be toxic, as well. If you are not certain, consult your veterinarian.

No small ruminant farmer wants to have barber pole worm show up in his or her herd, but it is becoming increasingly common in most areas. But with attention to self-education and adoption of careful practices, barber pole worm can be monitored, managed and mitigated.

Have your sheep or goats ever had barber pole worm? Share your advice in the section below:

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

LED Lighting

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Off-Grid or just want to save money? LED’s have finally come of age. They arrived with performance, long life and compatibility with incandescent fixtures compared to the current CFL’s.
I’ve worked with LED’s for use in the medical devices we designed and I can say the last seven years have seen dramatic improvements in LED technology. I prefer LED’s over CFL’s because of their long working life and lower operating watts.

Our Gov should have waited with the CFL’s and pushed for the development of LED’s, but hey, what would you expect from them.

Yesterday, I was at Sam’s Club and in the isle they had several skids loaded with GE, LED 60-watt equivalent bulbs. I stopped, read the packaging and bought 3, 6-packs of them. The price, $9.99 for six LED’s or $1.66 each. Each are rated to last 13 years at 3 hours a day of use.

Their reduced size now allows them to fit in existing table lamps, fixtures, etc. The light they emit is smooth even light, no shadowy gray areas or doughnut holes. They completely replicate the light and output of an incandescent 60-watt bulb but instead of using 60 watts they use only 9 watts

Amazon link for more information:

 LED vs 100-watt incandescent.

Making Maple Syrup

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1_featured_syrupandshack

2_tappedinsnowMaking Maple syrup is an annual celebration of spring, as it is one of the first wild plant foods of the year and the rising of the sap marks the beginning of the spring harvest.  For the do-it-yourself tapper, it is not so much about calculating (the work to syrup ratio turns many a woodsman to purchase rather than boil, and perhaps even to the manufactured, corn syrup based, imitations) as it is about experiencing the full spectrum of early spring weather while communing with the forests and partaking in one of the most quintessentially American traditions.

By Nathaniel Whitmore, a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache

For me, cooking sap is a way of remembering my first mentor who taught me of wild edibles and medicinal herbs.  It is also a time to remember the Native Americans who taught early colonists how to tap Maple trees and boil the sap into syrup and sugar.  It is also a great way to start off a new year with an act of self-reliance.  Even if you don’t have the time or lifestyle to make syrup every year, you should be familiar with the basic principles and practices in the case of necessity.  The process is rather simple, but there are several things to know and be aware of.  This article will explain the basic steps of making syrup, including some information you should know about trees, the season, and the process of cooking.

When to Make Maple Syrup

When the dormant sap of trees first rises in the late winter and early spring, its sugar content is high and it is free of many of the stronger tasting constituents of the sap of a fully awakened tree.  It is this sap, that rises and descends back to the roots with the warm and cold of early spring.  Once the trees bud, the sap takes on bitter flavor and remains suspended in the tree, while the hole you drill to receive the sap through starts to heal up.

This year, because of regular warm spells, the sap is very watery.  I have not counted the gallons I boiled or the syrup resulting from it, but I have heard a couple people say that a local paper reported that the ratio was around 70 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.  Good cold winters followed by ideal spring conditions (such as a March, in my area, with lots of warm days well above freezing alternating with cold nights well below freezing), produce much sweeter sap than warm winters.  We had sap flow all year and by mid February people were tapping trees and getting good sap flow.  Often, it is still much too cold in February for much sugaring.  Generally, a good year starts off with Sugar Maple yielding around 1 gallon of sap for 35 gallons of syrup.  The average for Sugar Maple is said to be 40 to 1.  The average for Red Maple is 60 to 1.  In spite of the watery sap, the syrup still tastes delicious!

Which Trees to Tap

Generally, syrup is made from Maple trees.  However, many other types of trees were tapped by Native Americans, including Birch, Ash, Hickory, and Black Walnut.  The ideal tree is Sugar Maple.  Quite a lot of syrup is made from Red Maple.  Silver Maple, Ash-Leaf Maple (Box Elder), and others can also be used.  

9_maple_leaf_imageMaple trees are relatively easy to pick out.  One distinct characteristic of Maples is that they have opposite branching.  When looking at the buds or branch silhouettes, you can see that the buds are formed directly opposite each other and the branches tend to remain that way (of course, here and there one of two opposite branches breaks off, but overwhelmingly the opposite branch arrangement is obvious).  Most other trees have alternate branch arrangement, where the branches come from one side then the other, or spiral around, so that they are alternating, rather than opposite.  A third type, such as is seen in many evergreens, is the whorled arrangement, in which several branches spread out from a certain point, or node.

The only other trees in my area besides Maple that have opposite leaves are Ash trees.  Ash are easy to tell apart because, having compound leaves, the branches are rather stout (the smaller branching taking place in the deciduous stem of the compound leaf).  Since Maple have only simple leaves, they need more finely divided branches.

Maple bark is distinct, but difficult to describe and highly variable.  Red Maples develop a much more shaggy appearance in older specimens, while Sugar Maple has its distinct folds.  Red Maples have large red buds, while those of Sugar Maple are smaller and brown.  Sugar Maple prefers upland, more exposed areas.  Red Maple prefers moist areas and is also known as Swamp Maple.  (Sugar Maple is known as Hard Maple and Red as Soft Maple because of the density of the wood.  Sugar Maple is good firewood.)

Besides the sugar content of the sap, Red Maple often doesn’t flow as well as Sugar because of the cooler shady areas it tends to grow.  Generally, people try to tap on the south side of the tree of trees with good southern exposure.  This is because on an average year, the trees that warm up the easiest run the best for syrup productions.  However, if you are tapping the same trees year after year, you will want to spiral around the tree with the taps each year to avoid damaging the “sweet spot”.

Tapping the Trees

9_dropofsapI use a non-electric drill to make the holes for my spiles.  It is a traditional tool, works well, is much more peaceful than a power drill, and doesn’t run out of battery power.  The holes are drilled so that they are a little deeper than the spile will need to go (you don’t want to smash it into the back of the hole) and at a little bit of a downward slant so the sap doesn’t stagnate in the back of the hole. When you hammer the tap, or spile, into the hole, take care not to split the tree.  If you split the tree, sap will run out of the crack and less through your spile into the sap bucket.  I listen for a change in tone as I tap.  When the hollow thud turns to a crisp note, I know the spile is seated tightly.

Hang your bucket, cover with the lid, and, if the weather is right, enjoy the pings of the drops of sap landing in the empty buckets.

Boiling Maple Sap

Cooking of the sap is best done in a shallow pan, for surface area.  Bring the sap to a good boil.  As it gets cooking and for a little while after it is boiling impurities will rise to the top in the form of foam.  Use a sieve to scoop the foam from the boiling sap. Repeat this until it is cooking well without abundant foam production.  Every time you add sap, you will need to repeat the process of removing impurities as they foam to the surface.

3_3_goldenelixerAnother type of foam marks the end of the process.  Once the sugar concentration gets to a certain point, which depends also on the temperature, it turns to foam.  This is a very important point, for if you are not carefully watching towards the end, you could miss this stage as the syrup all turns to foam and bubbles out of the pan.  Many people like to finish the process inside.  It is particularly dangerous to leave almost finished syrup unattended in your home.  It could foam over and cause some problems.  This second foam, which marks the sugar concentration of syrup, is not to be removed with the sieve – it will simply calm back down to syrup once taken off the flame.

Finishing Steps

Once cooled, the syrup should be poured into large jars and let settle so that the sediment can sink to the bottom.  You can then pour the clear syrup off the top.  It might then be left to settle again, to remove any more sediment or sugar sand.  Often, people like to filter the syrup.  It can then be jarred.

With time, and sometimes quite quickly with watery syrup, mold can develop.  In order to recover moldy syrup simply bring to a simmer again and skim the mold off the top.  Let it simmer for a bit, being careful not to let it foam over, and skim repeatedly to make sure the syrup is heated up well and the impurities are completely removed.

Equipment

4_buckets on Red MapleI use the old fashioned galvanized buckets.  Many people today use plastic equipment, including plastic hose linked together to replace buckets at each tree.  I have often wondered about ways to make syrup without these specialty spiles and buckets.  Natives would sometimes collect sap through “v” shaped cuts, rather than holes with spiles.  It is, of course, possible to fashion spile with wood, bamboo, or other plants.

The process of cooking becomes much more challenging without metal.  The large, flat, pans used for sap boiling are perfect for the job.  I can’t easily imagine trying to boil without it.  Native people used hot rocks to boil sap, and apparently for making sugar.  I am sure they had ingenious ways for doing so, but any quantity of production will be much easier (and still plenty of work) with metal.

Drinking Sap

5_maplesyrupWhen I first began making Maple syrup, I was warned not to drink the sap.  However, this old knowledge was either misguided or the wisdom, for better or worse, has been forgotten.  Today, there are many companies bottling the sap itself for commercial sale.  It is being promoted as a sort of northern version of Coconut water. Sap, especially the first of the season, is indeed delicious.  It has a noticeably sweet taste and is otherwise clean and crisp like water.  Besides sugar, it has significant mineral content. It is also enjoyable to use the partially concentrated sap for making tea and oatmeal.  So, really, there are many ways to enjoy Maple sap, straight from the tree, during the cooking process, and as syrup.

Even if making Maple syrup is not much of an option, sap is a potentially important clean water substitute.  Weather permitting and without a good water source, it could be possible to tap a tree in the spring and collect the sap for cooking and drinking.  I mostly use 3 gallon buckets on the trees and on good days they can overflow.

One year I made some syrup from Black Birch when boiling from a stand of Red Maple.  The Maple ran for a couple weeks before the Birch started.  The Birch continued after the Red Maple had stopped.  The Black Birch produced copious amounts of sap.  Similarly, the Black Walnut that we tapped this season, though it dripped a little when first drilled it did not run much at first, when the Sugar Maple were productive, but then started to run well.  So, the staggered timing of the various tree’s sap flow is significant.  Knowing when which trees tend to run could help you collect sap beyond the season of any one species.

Pancake Ideas

pancakes_syrupOne final thought about Maple syrup- pancakes!  Since much of the delight in Maple syrup is in gathering food from the trees, I especially like to include other ingredients from the trees when eating it.  One of my favorites is acorn pancakes.  Properly prepared acorns are delicious and make very tasty pancakes.  I also like to use Slippery Elm powder as an ingredient.  (Sometimes, I simply make a gruel with Slippery Elm and Maple syrup.  It is very delicious.)  Walnuts can be added for additional flavor and nourishment from the trees.

The obvious drawback to Maple syrup is its high simple sugar content.  For this reason, I also like to use Cinnamon at times in my pancakes.  Cinnamon is known to help with blood sugar problems.  Blueberries (and other dark-colored fruits) are also good, as their high antioxidant content helps offset the sugar concentration.  Using such healthy ingredients makes enjoying Maple syrup a more wholesome and nourishing experience.

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PDF For Active Shooter Guidelines for Places of Mass Gathering.

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Yet again in the PDF (link below) the government blames law abiding gun owners for criminal access to illegal firearms. This is a lie and unfair. Law abiding gun owners have their/our firearms locked away in secure gun safes. Gun thefts from government agencies and purchases on the black market are largely responsible for criminal access to illegal guns. Simple guns are easy to make from items which can be purchased in any major hardware store. It is not rocket science, anyone with a hacksaw, a hand drill and a screw driver can make a shotgun.
Restrictions and controls made on law abiding citizens are done so for one purpose, to control the people. The last gun confiscation by the government did nothing to make the populace safer, on the contrary, home invasions have increased along with other violent crimes.
Australians are given no legal right to carry anything for use in self defence.

National Counter-Terrorism Committee

NATIONAL GUIDELINES for the PROTECTION of PLACES of MASS GATHERING from TERRORISM


Contents

Introduction                                                                                   3

Purpose                                                                                   3

Definition                                                                                        4

Security context                                                                              4

Principles                                                                                        4

Process for engaging with places of mass gathering

at risk from terrorism                                                             5

Risk management in the current environment                                             5

Roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders in the

        protection of places of mass gathering                                           6

        Role of the Commonwealth Government                                               6

        Role of the State and Territory governments                                         6

        Role of State and Territory police                                                   6

Role of the National Counter-Terrorism Committee                                     7

Role of owners and operators of places of mass gathering and event organisers       7

Role of Mass Gatherings Strategy Group (MGSG)                                 7

Role of the Business Advisory Group (BAG)                                  8

Roles of peak bodies and associations                                            8

Distribution of relevant intelligence and information/communications protocols Current security context Introduction

In November 2009, COAG SOM agreed to recommendations of the Review of the National Critical Infrastructure Protection Arrangements, including that work relating to the protection of places of mass gathering should be coordinated by the National Counter-Terrorism Committee (NCTC).

In December 2009, NCTC noted that the protection of places of mass gathering is most effectively delivered through a business government partnership, and agreed to coordinate at a national level, work associated with protecting places of mass gathering. In December 2010, NCTC agreed to establish the Mass Gatherings Strategy Group (MGSG) to operate as a national forum to share information on issues and best practice relating to the protection of places of mass gathering from terrorism.

NCTC also agreed to establish a consultative forum with business comprising national and major venue owners and operators, through a Business Advisory Group (BAG), to exchange information, and engage with law enforcement authorities to discuss Australia-wide issues relevant to the protection of places of mass gathering.

Purpose

Places of mass gathering not only present terrorists with potential opportunities for mass casualties, symbolism and high impact media coverage, they pose a broad range of security challenges for their owners and operators. NCTC noted that places of mass gathering have been specifically identified by religious and political extremists as attractive targets.  

All jurisdictions have robust and well tested arrangements for the planning and management of major and specific events. However, determining which places of mass gathering are at higher risk is not an easy task given the sheer number and variations of such places, and the limited security resources available. Once identified, they further present the challenge of what consistent risk mitigation strategies to develop and implement.

This document has been developed to ensure a nationally consistent approach is taken by all Australian jurisdictions in the development of their own guidelines for the protection of places of mass gathering from terrorism. The approach supports a systematic process identifying security risk management activities which can be integrated into existing jurisdictional emergency management arrangements. It provides a basis for:

•       identifying places of mass gathering that are vulnerable to the threat of terrorism, and

•       risk management arrangements associated with this threat, based on the roles and responsibilities shared among all private and public stakeholders.

Definition

Places of mass gathering incorporate a diverse range of facilities including, but not limited to, sporting venues, shopping and business precincts, tourism/entertainment venues/attractions, hotels and convention centres, major events and public transport hubs. This also includes significant one off events. They are characterised by having a large concentration of people on a predictable basis and often have a minimum of security controls present. Identification of places of mass gathering for the purpose of this document is based on risk and not on any arbitrary numerical threshold.

Given the pervasive threat to a diverse range of targets, the identification of places of mass gathering cannot be precise.

The identification of places of mass gathering potentially at risk from terrorism should be informed by the current security context.

Security context

The current security context for mass gatherings is provided by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and is at Annexure A.

Places of mass gathering are potential targets for terrorist attack, particularly in larger cities, as they may satisfy the following criteria:

•       provide opportunity for attack in terms of accessibility and vulnerability

•       cause high-impact imagery likely to be generated by an attack

•       have high symbolic value, and

•       have consequences in terms of mass casualties, economic impact and public anxiety in the broader community.

By concentrating large numbers of people at high density in accessible places, at regular or predictable times, mass gatherings present the opportunity for terrorists to inflict mass casualties, cause economic damage, and instil public fear.

Places of mass gathering, or the events themselves, may have symbolic value, or be representative of Western culture. Furthermore, any terrorist attack against a place of mass gathering would generate considerable media interest.

Principles

The national approach is based on the following principles:

•       counter-terrorism preparedness for places of mass gathering focuses on the protection and safety of people

•       all levels of government contribute to the prevention, preparedness, response and
recovery from a terrorist incident, including local government

•       event managers and owners and operators of places of mass gathering are responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure the protection and safety of people

•       prevention and preparedness arrangements for protection from terrorism are
underpinned by an intelligence-led, risk management approach

•       security arrangements for places of mass gathering recognise the dynamic nature of the terrorist threat and are responsive to changes in the security environment, and

•       effective security outcomes in complex mass gathering environments require cooperation and coordination between all stakeholders.

PDF For Active Shooter Guidelines for Places of Mass Gathering.

Yet again in the PDF (link below) the government blames law abiding gun owners for criminal access to illegal firearms. This is a lie and unfair. Law abiding gun owners have their/our firearms locked away in secure gun safes. Gun thefts from government agencies and purchases on the black market are largely responsible for criminal access to illegal guns. Simple guns are easy to make from items which can be purchased in any major hardware store. It is not rocket science, anyone with a hacksaw, a hand drill and a screw driver can make a shotgun.
Restrictions and controls made on law abiding citizens are done so for one purpose, to control the people. The last gun confiscation by the government did nothing to make the populace safer, on the contrary, home invasions have increased along with other violent crimes.
Australians are given no legal right to carry anything for use in self defence.

National Counter-Terrorism Committee

NATIONAL GUIDELINES for the PROTECTION of PLACES of MASS GATHERING from TERRORISM


Contents

Introduction                                                                                   3

Purpose                                                                                   3

Definition                                                                                        4

Security context                                                                              4

Principles                                                                                        4

Process for engaging with places of mass gathering

at risk from terrorism                                                             5

Risk management in the current environment                                             5

Roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders in the

        protection of places of mass gathering                                           6

        Role of the Commonwealth Government                                               6

        Role of the State and Territory governments                                         6

        Role of State and Territory police                                                   6

Role of the National Counter-Terrorism Committee                                     7

Role of owners and operators of places of mass gathering and event organisers       7

Role of Mass Gatherings Strategy Group (MGSG)                                 7

Role of the Business Advisory Group (BAG)                                  8

Roles of peak bodies and associations                                            8

Distribution of relevant intelligence and information/communications protocols Current security context Introduction

In November 2009, COAG SOM agreed to recommendations of the Review of the National Critical Infrastructure Protection Arrangements, including that work relating to the protection of places of mass gathering should be coordinated by the National Counter-Terrorism Committee (NCTC).

In December 2009, NCTC noted that the protection of places of mass gathering is most effectively delivered through a business government partnership, and agreed to coordinate at a national level, work associated with protecting places of mass gathering. In December 2010, NCTC agreed to establish the Mass Gatherings Strategy Group (MGSG) to operate as a national forum to share information on issues and best practice relating to the protection of places of mass gathering from terrorism.

NCTC also agreed to establish a consultative forum with business comprising national and major venue owners and operators, through a Business Advisory Group (BAG), to exchange information, and engage with law enforcement authorities to discuss Australia-wide issues relevant to the protection of places of mass gathering.

Purpose

Places of mass gathering not only present terrorists with potential opportunities for mass casualties, symbolism and high impact media coverage, they pose a broad range of security challenges for their owners and operators. NCTC noted that places of mass gathering have been specifically identified by religious and political extremists as attractive targets.  

All jurisdictions have robust and well tested arrangements for the planning and management of major and specific events. However, determining which places of mass gathering are at higher risk is not an easy task given the sheer number and variations of such places, and the limited security resources available. Once identified, they further present the challenge of what consistent risk mitigation strategies to develop and implement.

This document has been developed to ensure a nationally consistent approach is taken by all Australian jurisdictions in the development of their own guidelines for the protection of places of mass gathering from terrorism. The approach supports a systematic process identifying security risk management activities which can be integrated into existing jurisdictional emergency management arrangements. It provides a basis for:

•       identifying places of mass gathering that are vulnerable to the threat of terrorism, and

•       risk management arrangements associated with this threat, based on the roles and responsibilities shared among all private and public stakeholders.

Definition

Places of mass gathering incorporate a diverse range of facilities including, but not limited to, sporting venues, shopping and business precincts, tourism/entertainment venues/attractions, hotels and convention centres, major events and public transport hubs. This also includes significant one off events. They are characterised by having a large concentration of people on a predictable basis and often have a minimum of security controls present. Identification of places of mass gathering for the purpose of this document is based on risk and not on any arbitrary numerical threshold.

Given the pervasive threat to a diverse range of targets, the identification of places of mass gathering cannot be precise.

The identification of places of mass gathering potentially at risk from terrorism should be informed by the current security context.

Security context

The current security context for mass gatherings is provided by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and is at Annexure A.

Places of mass gathering are potential targets for terrorist attack, particularly in larger cities, as they may satisfy the following criteria:

•       provide opportunity for attack in terms of accessibility and vulnerability

•       cause high-impact imagery likely to be generated by an attack

•       have high symbolic value, and

•       have consequences in terms of mass casualties, economic impact and public anxiety in the broader community.

By concentrating large numbers of people at high density in accessible places, at regular or predictable times, mass gatherings present the opportunity for terrorists to inflict mass casualties, cause economic damage, and instil public fear.

Places of mass gathering, or the events themselves, may have symbolic value, or be representative of Western culture. Furthermore, any terrorist attack against a place of mass gathering would generate considerable media interest.

Principles

The national approach is based on the following principles:

•       counter-terrorism preparedness for places of mass gathering focuses on the protection and safety of people

•       all levels of government contribute to the prevention, preparedness, response and
recovery from a terrorist incident, including local government

•       event managers and owners and operators of places of mass gathering are responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure the protection and safety of people

•       prevention and preparedness arrangements for protection from terrorism are
underpinned by an intelligence-led, risk management approach

•       security arrangements for places of mass gathering recognise the dynamic nature of the terrorist threat and are responsive to changes in the security environment, and

•       effective security outcomes in complex mass gathering environments require cooperation and coordination between all stakeholders.

Note: security at public transport hubs is considered more specifically under the Inter-Governmental Agreement on Surface Transport Security.

Process for engaging with places of mass gathering at risk from terrorism

The national approach relies on an active business government partnership. This partnership will be achieved through three principal methods of engagement based on an intelligence-led, risk management process.

•       Guided self assessment: all owners and operators of places of mass gathering have an obligation to consider the risk of terrorism in their security and emergency planning processes. Governments should make available tools through which owners and operators can self assess the risk of terrorism to their operation.

•       Top down: intelligence-led advice will be provided to owners and operators when relevant.

•       Bottom up: specific responses to enquiries from industry/owners and operators about the threat of terrorism to their operations will be provided. The exchange of information and engagement with law enforcement authorities to discuss Australia-wide issues relevant to the protection of places of mass gathering will occur via the BAG.

Risk management in the current environment

The Australian and New Zealand Standard for Risk Management (AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009) is the standard by which all places of mass gathering will be assessed. In accordance with ISO 31000:2009, it is first necessary to establish the strategic context for actual and potential threats. In the current security environment, all security risk assessment processes should consider terrorism in all its forms. Refer to Annexure A.

Following completion of an assessment, the development of appropriate security and on-site emergency management plans may be an appropriate treatment strategy. Additionally owners and operators should engage with State and Territory and local governments regarding recovery issues.

Roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders in the protection of places of mass gathering

Role of the Commonwealth Government

The Commonwealth Government has responsibility to:

•       communicate relevant intelligence and information to State and Territory government stakeholders, and other relevant stakeholders

•       participate in the promulgation of a nationally consistent approach to the protection of places of mass gatherings

•       where relevant, liaise with and support State and Territory governments in providing protective security arrangements for places of mass gathering

•       regulate aviation and maritime industry participants, based on a preventative security approach

•       assist industry through peak bodies and advisory groups as appropriate

•       coordinate the establishment of a task force for major events where Commonwealth Government action is required, and

•       manage and coordinate public information and the media at a national level.

Role of State and Territory governments

State and Territory governments have responsibility to:  

•       provide leadership and whole-of-government coordination in implementing the nationally consistent approach for the protection of places of mass gathering by providing owners and operators with jurisdictionally or otherwise developed guidance material

•       where relevant liaise with the Commonwealth Government on mass gathering protection arrangements

•       communicate relevant information through jurisdictionally agreed arrangements, and

•       manage and coordinate public information and the media within the jurisdiction.

Role of State and Territory police

Where appropriate, State and Territory police have responsibility to:

•       assist in the provision of protective security guidance (as deemed appropriate by the respective police service/force) to event organisers and owners and operators of places of mass gathering and develop protective security strategies to counter terrorism

•       advise event organisers and owners and operators of places of mass gathering of relevant threat information, in accordance with jurisdictional arrangements

•       communicate directly with owners and operators of places of mass gathering where there is an imminent and specific threat and coordinate the operational response, and

•       establish and maintain liaison with owners and operators of places of mass gathering in accordance with jurisdictional arrangements.

State and Territory police also have operational responsibility for preventing and responding to acts of terrorism and investigate terrorist activity, threats and incidents.


Role of the National Counter-Terrorism Committee

The NCTC (senior representatives from relevant Commonwealth Government agencies and First Ministers’ departments and police from each jurisdiction) has responsibility to build national capability and promote the protection of places of mass gathering in a manner consistent with broader counter-terrorism arrangements. The NCTC supports the operation of the MGSG to provide a conduit for the national exchange of information within a government and business partnership via collaboration with the BAG. This model seeks to create a culture of collaboration between stakeholders to improve Australia’s capacity to operate in a heightened terrorism environment.

Role of owners and operators of places of mass gathering and event organisers

Owners and operators of places of mass gathering and event organisers are encouraged to:

maintain an awareness of their operating environment

provide adequate security for their assets, based on threat and risk

actively apply risk management techniques to their planning processes

conduct regular reviews of risk assessments and security, emergency and contingency plans

report any incidents or suspicious activity to State or Territory police

develop and regularly review business continuity plans, including identifying interdependencies

conduct training and exercise their security, emergency and contingency plans, and

participate in government exercises to assist in harmonising prevention, response and recovery arrangements with relevant controlling agencies.

Role of the Mass Gatherings Strategy Group (MGSG)

The MGSG shall:

provide a forum for all jurisdictions to share information, initiate strategies and/or oversight activities on issues and best practice relating to the protection of places of mass gathering from terrorism, and

supplement and support existing or proposed arrangements within jurisdictions, and coordinate at a national level the work associated with protecting places of mass gathering, recognising the varying capabilities of jurisdictions.

Role of the Business Advisory Group (BAG)

The BAG shall:

•       operate as a forum for national and major venue owners and operators to exchange information, and engage with law enforcement authorities to discuss Australia-wide issues relevant to the protection of places of mass gathering.

Roles of peak bodies and associations

Peak bodies and associations are encouraged to disseminate and promote information in consultation with the BAG to support the nationally consistent approach to the protection of places of mass gathering from terrorism.

Distribution of relevant intelligence and information/communications protocols

ASIO is the national assessing authority for security threat assessments and security intelligence reports (SIR). Threat assessments and SIR are prepared on the basis of information available from Commonwealth Government, State and Territory resources, overseas liaison and open sources. From time to time, specific risks or threats may emerge that require an immediate response. On these occasions, a well coordinated but more operationally focussed response will be required from governments and industry.

Responsibility for the distribution of relevant intelligence and information is summarised below.

•       ASIO has responsibility to provide intelligence to relevant Commonwealth Government departments and agencies, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and State and Territory police.

•       In the knowledge of an imminent and specific threat, ASIO will liaise with the State and Territory police, owners and operators of places of mass gathering and other relevant stakeholders.

•       State and Territory police liaise with relevant owners and operators of places of mass gathering, in accordance with jurisdictional arrangements, to provide information on the national and localised security threat context. Police will communicate directly with key bodies where there is an imminent and specific threat and will coordinate the operational response. Police also gather and disseminate intelligence to relevant agencies as required and as appropriate.

•       State and Territory governments liaise with relevant owners and operators of places of mass gathering, in accordance with jurisdictional arrangements, to promote the harmonisation of prevention, response and recovery plans between governments and owners and operators of places of mass gathering.

•       The owners and operators of places of mass gathering and event organisers are expected to provide adequate security of their assets, including staff and pass information to the police on incidents and specific activities such as hoaxes/threats, unusual purchases or thefts, unusual training, or apparent surveillance.

While some overlap may occur in information being passed from industry peak bodies to their constituency and the mechanisms within States and Territories, this is preferable to the possibility that information might not be passed to some owners and operators of places of mass gathering.
Current security context
 The main terrorist threat to Australia emanates from al-Qa’ida (AQ) and Islamist terrorists inspired by AQ’s world view. Public statements by AQ figures and other extremists continue to criticise Australia, and identify Australians and Australian interests as legitimate targets. 
Despite international counter-terrorism efforts, AQ retains the intent and capability to conduct terrorist attacks and to operationally influence like-minded terrorist networks to undertake attacks. The threat to Australian interests domestically and overseas from AQ like-minded groups will endure for the foreseeable future.

Critical infrastructure and places of mass gathering feature prominently in terrorist attacks linked to AQ and its affiliates – characterised by their symbolic nature, concentration of people in enclosed spaces and economic and social importance. Terrorist attacks have targeted government buildings, diplomatic and consular offices, commercial buildings including hotels and other tourist facilities, residential compounds, commercial and military shipping, aviation, oil and other energy and transport infrastructure. The aviation sector remains a particular focus for AQ and its affiliates.

AQ and like-minded terrorist networks have considered, undertaken and trained for a range of attack methodologies, including suicide bombing using person-borne and vehicle-borne (car, truck, boat and plane) improvised explosive devices, assassination, missile attack and remote-control truck bombing.

Conventional and improvised weapons remain the primary feature of terrorist attacks, despite terrorist groups having an interest in, and having ready access to, information on cyber attacks and on weapons of mass destruction. Innovation and ingenuity in circumventing security measures is a feature of terrorist attacks. However, past plots may not provide a basis for future attack planning.

 Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

September 2010

Local Civil Defense Needs To Be Revived

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By: Tom Chatham The ability to provide emergency assistance to the local population following an event is critical to preservation of law and order, not to mention life. The ability to keep the population calm in the face of mass destruction will make recovery much easier by freeing up valuable manpower for recovery efforts. The […]

6th Anniversary of Fukushima — HumanERROR — With Transcript

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Lyrics transcribed courtesy of John Bertucci:
partial transcript…
Long ago, human beings lost their true sense of time, and because of this, their senses grew dull and they lost other-dimensional creative powers that would be unimaginable today, like telepathy and advanced powers of thought.
Ever since then, evil people have created a false sense of time to keep those abilities smothered.
Using the science of destruction, they built civilizations dependent on material things and created religion to force their self-serving rules on a bewildered populace, while behind the scenes, they monopolized energy and built money-based economies, snuffing out our powerful natural abilities.
Over thousands of years, genetic memory loss set in: after numerous reincarnations, here we are, having completely forgotten those abilities. We all have collective amnesia!
Talking about four-dimensional science and philosophy may bore people who have no interest in fantasy, so let me put it simply: For a long time, some people have made money by destroying nature and irresponsibly making dangerous products, all while using the media to deceive the masses and inflicting horrible pain and suffering on those in harmony with nature.
The electricity powering our lives is no exception — it’s built on the suffering of others.
But peer deep into Pandora’s box and you’ll see advanced technologies that harness natural energy without destroying nature.
With technologies like solar power and other renewables, we can get all the electricity we need without nuclear power, and cheaply, too.
We could shut down all the nuclear plants and easily make up the difference by operating our hydroelectric and thermal power plants at full capacity.
But powerful interests hide this fact from us.
Why? Because of money! Money! Those people are terminally insane!
Power companies get up to a trillion yen (about US$13 billion) in subsidies from the government to build a nuclear power plant. Once the location is chosen, the power company showers the locals with money.
They take the guys to hostess bars and the old people to hot springs.
Wine and dine, wine and dine! And they lie to them about the nuclear plant being good for the local economy.
They actually have a manual on how to use money to divide the community into supporters and opponents.
Fishermen even sell off their fishing rights for enormous sums.
Then there’s a PR barrage that’s nothing but propaganda, about safety measures and secret dangerous experiments.
Where does the money for all that come from? From your taxes!
This is how Japan has aggressively constructed 59 nuclear power plants, either operating, decommissioned, or planned.
That means we are now living with over 50 time bombs strapped to our bodies.
If even one blows up, the entire area around it becomes uninhabitable for all living things, and contamination slowly spreads all over. That’s not pleasant to imagine.
Japan built these reactors under the banner of peacefully using nuclear power, but the real reason is that the government wants nuclear weapons.

The Truth About EMP Strikes and How to Prepare

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EMP. These three letters may look innocent enough, but every prepper worth his or her salt should know better. Let’s take a look at what EMP really is and what it can do in relation to humanity’s survival in SHTF scenarios.

Quick Navigation:

    A. What is an EMP?
    B. Scientific Probability of an EMP?
    C. How to Prepare for an EMP Strike

A. What is an EMP?

You may have heard about EMP attacks on shows such as NBC’s doomsday-themed TV series Revolution, or read about it in end-of-days books such as One Second After. ElectroMagnetic Pulses, or EMPs for short, are used to shut down and disable anything that has an electronic component within. In the movie The Matrix, an EMP was used to disable the Sentinels that were invading Zion. In Ocean’s Eleven, EMP was used to temporarily knock out power as the protagonists went on to complete a heist.

You can see it on various social media platforms. Type in the letters “EMP” on YouTube and you’ll be presented with hundreds of videos regarding the subject. EMP has become a part of both survivalist’s and prepper’s scenarios. You can do a search and see many blogs tackling the subject of how to prepare against EMP attacks when they happen.

EMP attacks are a big enough problem, so much that they could become a threat at a national level. The idea of EMP started out with scientists and researchers thinking about the after-effects of a considerable nuclear blast. The rise of modern technology and the terrifying pace of scientific achievements have led to EMPs being able to stand alone. Today, EMPs are electronic bombs that can attack one of the most precious human resources- electricity. If broken down in the simplest terms, an EMP attack is an electromagnetic burst of energy caused by rapid acceleration of particles.

What are the effects of an EMP blast? It can cause trouble to all electronic devices, equipment and products that make use of electrical components to function. A large enough EMP can even physically damage power lines, buildings and airplanes. For example, a massive EMP burst can have enough power to fry electronic circuits within the radius of the blast range, potentially disabling power grids. This effect can set back cities and the affected areas immediately back to the stone age until the power is turned back on. In military scenarios, it can disable a base or a strategic installation in just a few minutes.

1) The Chemistry of ElectroMagnetic Pulses

The IEC, or the International Electrotechnical Commission states that EMP can be classified into 3 categories- the E1, the E2 and the E3.

  • E1 Electromagnetic Pulse

The E1 is considered as the fastest EMP pulse amongst the three. The lifespan of an E1 is also very brief, only lasting a few microseconds. Its effect is very intense. Most EMP weapons and nuclear blasts give out an E1 pulse.

The best example of an E1 attack is a huge nuclear detonation occurring hundreds of miles from above. Once the charge is detonated, a strong EMP usually follows. There are some factors that influence how potent the blast is, including the size of the blast, how high it was and the scale of magnetic field present in the blast area. As the EMP pulse expands, gamma rays are created via the fission process, which is then sent down towards the earth.

In technical terms, the resulting gamma radiation takes out the electrons from the higher atmosphere and sends them hurtling towards the lower atmosphere. The natural magnetic field of Earth reacts with the charged particles, producing an electromagnetic pulse which then travels at nearly the speed of light towards the ground. The first gamma ray reaction has a potent cascading effect that produces around 30,000 electrons. All of these things happen within just a few billionths of a second and in a simultaneous manner.

 

  • E2 Electromagnetic Pulse

The E2 is a bit slower than E1. It can be compared to that of a lightning bolt strike. The E2 is perhaps the easiest type of EMP attack to protect against, but some nuclear detonations can have both E1 and E2 types of EMP pulses. In these cases, some of the electronic equipment or power grids that are protected from E2-type blasts could be disabled or destroyed when exposed to the deadly effects of the E1 blast.

It’s also worthy to note that the E2 comes right after the E1 blast commences. The secondary gamma rays and the high-energy scattered rays are produced after the reaction of the air molecules; the E2 blast comes after the E1 and lasts just 1 second. E2 EMPs are considered as intermediate pulses.

 

  • E3 Electromagnetic Pulse

The E3 blast is the longest-lasting of the three. It can either last for minutes, hours and even days. It is also the slowest of the 3 types due to its low frequency of 1 Hz or less. It can be compared to that of natural geomagnetic storms that are produced by extreme solar flares. Our sun is known to produce intense E3 pulses via coronal mass ejections, or CMEs. You should know that the sun does not produce E1 or E2 EMPs.

 

2) Sources of EMP

There are 3 things that can cause EMPs- solar storms, a nuclear blast or something similar, and a lightning bolt.

Lightning bolts are natural phenomenons. A lightning strike directly affects the electric current on all nearby cables and wires. The resulting surge of enormous electricity can incapacitate all the electronic devices, equipment and appliances that are plugged into the electric wall sockets of your home. For this reason most electricians and experts recommend using a surge protector to keep your electronic devices such as computers, TV and other appliances safe from lightning bolts.

CMEs come from the sun and directly above us. This goes the same for high altitude nuclear detonations. EMPs release a huge amount of charged particles that interact with our Earth’s ionosphere, which is the atmosphere that contains electrically charged particles and electrons. The ionosphere can be found if one goes up between 30 to 500 miles above the Earth’s surface.

An EMP blast puts out a sizeable amount of downward particle surge within the Earth’s ionosphere, creating tremendous electrical currents that have the power to short-circuit transformers, power grids and equipment that rely on electricity to run.

In retrospect, E1 pulses can be generated by stars found in our galaxy, but we don’t have to worry about getting hit by one. The chances are so miniscule that we have a greater chance of being hit by a large asteroid than being hit with E1 pulses coming from the surrounding stars.

So that leaves out nuclear-based EMPs and solar-based EMPs. We shouldn’t be worried about being hit by nuclear EMPs as long as those in power do what they can to prevent it from happening. Solar EMPs are different- it can and will happen sooner or later. Our sun produces CMEs in a regular manner. Scientists have witnessed that the sun releases solar EMPs anywhere from one per 5 days to 3 per day. The solar EMP that reaches Earth may or may not have the strength to devastate mankind. Most solar EMPs that reach Earth are usually pointing in a direction that will not have any significant effect on us. You should know that Earth has been hit with a few solar EMPs during the course of history.

 

3) The Effects of EMP

An EMP blast can affect those who are within line or sight on the center point of the explosion. An EMP blast that originates from California can affect the whole of the United States if it is large enough and high enough.

The short time interval between the type of EMP blasts amplify the effect of the electromagnetic pulse. Chief among the concerns is the deadly E1 pulse. E1 pulses are fast, simultaneous and generate high frequencies. Most preppers are worried about E1 waves because they are deadly and difficult to protect against. They can potentially break down communication systems and civilized communities by disabling sensors, security components, electronic equipment, computers and anything else that runs on electricity. The usual precautions against lightning bolts (power surge protection, etc) will not work because E1 pulses have immense energy and are very quick.

The resulting E2 pulses aren’t as potent as E1 waves are, but they could enhance the damage that the E1 pulses have created. E3 EMP pulses do the most damage in power supplies. They could delay or even halt power delivery systems carried by undersea and underground cables.

The doomsday scenario seen in most SHTF films are quite accurate. Society today is so dependent on electrical systems for security, communication and other day-to-day function. Now, imagine if an EMP blast disabled all types of electrical systems and electronics in less than a second. The United States is instantly thrown back decades in terms of technology.

All modern conveniences such as computers, the internet, smart phones, microwave ovens and TVs won’t work. Not only that, but some of the latest cars would instantly decelerate and stop, and airplanes both commercial and private would fall out of the sky. Think of how hard it would be to communicate with friends and loved ones, and how difficult it would be to resume normal life without the aid of electricity or computers.

 

4) Why You Should Worry About EMP

As mentioned before, America has grown so much in technological aspects that it’s impossible to turn back and function without the use of computers and other electronic staples. This means that we are vulnerable against EMP attacks. An EMP lights up the sky while turning the cities dark. Electronic communication is halted. It becomes hard to transport food and other necessities. Transportation for medical emergencies will not exist. All vehicles, whether trucks, sports cars and buses will come to a complete stop. Traffic lights won’t work. Computers and mobile phones will be shut off. The recent unrests in the Middle East and the production of bomb-grade Plutonium and Uranium bring us closer to the likelihood of an EMP pulse that could disrupt all civilization.

The threat of an EMP pulse should be taken seriously by the United States. Vigilance in terms of looking at other countries’ nuclear capacity should be done. Remedies that could prevent or even counteract EMP attacks should be developed. These precautions should be done as soon as possible, or else we’ll suffer the deadly consequences.

 

B. Scientific Probability of an EMP Attack

How real is the EMP threat we’re talking about? It’s very real. In fact, we should not put it off as a theoretical manner. National Homeland Security Executive Director Peter Vincent Pry was a part of the EMP Task Force and worked as a CIA staffer in regards to possible EMP attacks. You can read more about EMP by picking up his latest book “The Long Sunday”.

The US government is taking the right step towards preparing for possible EMP blasts. We have seen hearings on two separate occasions- one in 2012 and the other in 2014, about how EMP pulses from nuclear blasts or from the sun could negatively affect the U.S. infrastructure.

The EMP Commission stated before the Armed Services Committee in 2008 that the United States economy and its society are so dependent on electricity that a collapse on the power grid via a man-made or natural EMP wave of a significant scale can certainly lead to disastrous civilian casualties. The same conclusion was reached on separate reports made the NAS, DOE, DHS, DOD and other independent research facilities and government agencies. As of the moment, there are 11 unique government case studies on the vulnerabilities and threats the US has to face from GMD and EMP assaults.

EMP Threat Commission chairman Dr. William Graham has predicted that if an EMP attack were to knock out the power grid for 1 year’s time, the human population will be reduced to 10%.

But the fact stands that Earth has been hit with significant EMP pulses before, and we are most likely to be hit again. The first ever recorded EMP wave was the Carrington Event in 1859, a recorded documentation of our Earth being hit with a solar flare. On September 1, 11:18 am EDT, a solar astronomer named Richard Carrington witnessed the event through the use of a telescope.

The second instance was in 1962, named the Star Fish Prime experiment. Our United States government launched a 1.4 megaton nuclear charge about 250 miles high above the Pacific Ocean. The test results were much stronger than anticipated- the pulse damaged microwave links and street lights in Hawaii, located 900 miles away.

The third time was the Soviet EMP test that was called Test 184, which was coincidentally around the same time as the Star Fish Prime experiment. The nuclear warhead wasn’t as powerful as the Star Fish Prime explosion, but the test was conducted over the populated area of Kazakshtan, about 180 miles above ground. The EMP blast that resulted from Test 184 incapacitated a shielded, 600-mile underground power line buried 3 ft. below ground.

The final EMP event was a natural CME wave that hit Canada. In March of 1989, six million residents were without electricity for approximately 9 hours.

C. How to Prepare for an EMP Strike

There’s only so much we can do to counter the effects of EMP attacks when they finally happen. Even the best preppers may not know how to prepare against TEOTWAWKI events that have electromagnetic pulse aspects in them. A well-stocked underground bunker that’s about 35 feet or more below ground may provide enough protection to survive the initial blasts, but that’s about it.

Those who are caught completely unaware will have even lesser chances of surviving the cataclysmic event. The key is to prepare ahead of time and expect that the EMP attack will happen. The protective measures and the costs needed to acquire them may be too much for some, but there are a few simple and straightforward methods to countering the most damaging effects. Practicing and honing the art of concealment and evasion will help against massive EMP attacks.

2) Consider Your Home Location

You can be certain that your sanctuary will be the target of refugees and looters after an EMP attack brings down the civilized world. It makes sense to fortify your home against these types of attacks. Homes in rural and suburban locations are especially vulnerable. A small, close-knit community that are situated just behind large bodies of water can come together and collectively defend their territory. Home locations that are near the proximity of military bases are excellent so long as the military base stands active.

3) How Deep Can You Go?

A vacation house or a fortified remote location can prove to be great against small bands of thieves and marauders, but the best type of defense is digging deep at an approximate 30 ft underground. As mentioned earlier, evasion is your best defense for EMP attacks; it allows you to survive as long as you are undetected by hostile forces. It might not be a good idea to build your own underground construct, but you can pool with like-minded individuals, friends or relatives. Making it to the bunker should also be part of the plan.

 

4) Protect Your Electronic Devices

One of the best communication devices that will be your best friend is the HAM radio. If you don’t have one, then now is the best time to get one. Satellite phones and computers could still have limited uses in a post-EMP society. Medical equipment that are battery operated could prove to be invaluable to some. Preppers may insulate whole rooms from EMP waves, or protect their most vital electronic equipment by investing in Faraday cages. You can even create DIY EMP shielding projects using copper mesh, aluminum foil or Mylar products.

 

5) Study Health and Medicine

An EMP attack can put a premium on medicines and medical equipment. Those who have serious medical conditions should understand and prepare for a rapidly-dwindling stock. Most medicines will not be available in a large enough supply, so you should prepare by seeking alternative preventive and medical care. Take a good look at your natural surroundings. This is where most of your medicines will come from. Learn how to extract natural oils, herbs and plants that can help you in cases of medical emergency. Moreover, your diet should prioritize building up one’s immune system and overall health.

 

6) Water, Food and Storage

These 3 commodities should be on top of any TEOTWAWKI situations you prepare for. You should remember that air and heat are the biggest factors that could affect your food and water storage. Seal the grains in vacuum and store them in a cool, dry place. You will need plenty of water to survive long-term. The minimum consumption of water is a gallon a day for each person. If you can, go for a renewable source instead of stocking up on a year’s supply of potable water.

7) Tips For Surviving an EMP Attack

Tip Number 1: Don’t Ever Underestimate The Dangers of EMP

Staying alive entails never underestimating the situation you are in. The rules of survival will state this again and again. Plan an immediate route in the aftermath of an EMP assault. How important is this tip? You may very well be dead if you hesitate in just a few seconds. Anything could happen. No one can tell what will happen next. Prepare for the worst.

Tip Number 2: Use All Your Available Money

You should understand that cash becomes one of the most useless resources in the event that a SHTF happens. Preppers understand how the economy shifts to that of basic goods. Do what you can to trade your cash to essential survival items such as water, ammo, food, etc. Pennies can be left out as the copper inside them can prove to be invaluable.

Tip Number 3: Ration Your Food

Your survival stash of food and water should last for a year at the very least. When the EMP hits, start rationing the food because you’ll be sharing it with the other people as part of the survival process. Remember that no one is likely to survive End Of Day scenarios alone, but what you can do is control the food distribution until new sources are found.

No one wants to experience a terrifying EMP attack, much less surviving one. But we should all do our best to prepare for its eventuality if we want to make it out alive. There’s much you can do now instead of having to scramble for precious resources and making sense of it all when an EMP pulse lights up the atmosphere. Do your best to plan accordingly.

Those 10/22 mags…redux

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The bad news: no more of the Butler Creek Hot Lips magazines. :( All gone. Those of you who got some from me know you got a smoking deal, right?

The good news: same vendor just dropped a slew of the Steel Lip mags on me. Obviously they are a bit spendier than the Hot Lips, but very much worth it.

$110 gets you ten (10) of them, including Priority Mail shipping. Email me for a payable invoice. If you want, say, 25 or more, we can do a tiny bit better.

How To Choose The Right Grain Mill For Your Needs

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A grain mill is a very useful kitchen appliance.It is a necessary tool if you have whole grains as part of your food storage program. And it is an essential kitchen appliance for those who wish to cook the freshest, most nutritionally complete foods.

There are many types of grain mills available today. You can […]

The post How To Choose The Right Grain Mill For Your Needs appeared first on The Weekend Prepper.

How To Choose The Right Grain Mill For Your Needs

A grain mill is a very useful kitchen appliance.It is a necessary tool if you have whole grains as part of your food storage program. And it is an essential kitchen appliance for those who wish to cook the freshest, most nutritionally complete foods.

There are many types of grain mills available today. You can […]

The post How To Choose The Right Grain Mill For Your Needs appeared first on The Weekend Prepper.

Prepper Supplies Checklist – Part 3

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Kitchen Supplies Checklist #2 O Baby Food Grinder – Hand-crank  O Baking Pans – Disposable  O Dish Soap  O Disinfecting Wipes  O Garbage Bags  O Plates & Bowls – Disposable  O Pot Holders – Leather  O Tinfoil & Plastic Wrap O Utensils – Disposable O Water Bottles & […]

The post Prepper Supplies Checklist – Part 3 appeared first on Preppers Survive.

Prepper Supplies Checklist – Part 2

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First Aid Checklist #2 O Antibiotic Ointment O Anti-Fungal  O Antiseptic- Alcohol Prep Pads 200ct Box  O Bandages – Triangle  O Band Aids – Waterproof  O Quickclot® – Stops Bleeding Fast  O Blood Pressure Kit (Manual)  O Burn Cream (Lidocaine)  O Dental Emergency Kit  O  Eye Drops O […]

The post Prepper Supplies Checklist – Part 2 appeared first on Preppers Survive.

3 Reasons Heritage Hogs Are Just Plain Better Than Commercial Hogs

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3 Reasons Heritage Hogs Are Just Plain Better Than Commercial Hogs

Guinea Hog. Image source: USDA

If you’re thinking about raising a couple of hogs for your family’s freezer, the first place to start is by deciding on the type of pig you want.

Heritage hogs and commercial meat hogs are distinctly different in many ways. Depending upon your space constraints, budget, timeline and individual beliefs you may find one better than the other. Heritage hogs are more self-sufficient but slower to grow. Meat hogs are fast growers but require more maintenance. And when it comes to the quality of the meat, it’s like comparing apples to oranges.

Heritage animals were bred by our colonial forefathers to adapt well to the local environment with little maintenance. In America, common breeds include Choctaw, Guinea Hog, Mulefood, Ossabaw Island and Gloucester Old Spot. These breeds were developed to exhibit better foraging abilities, longevity, maternal instincts, and resistance to disease and parasites when compared to selectively bred commercial breeds.

Here’s four traits of heritage hogs you need to know:

1. Heritage hogs are cheaper to feed (but need more space). You can set a heritage hog loose on acres of pasture and allow it to forage for the bulk of its diet, saving you tons in feed costs. But this means it must have permanent access to pasture. This is the first, and largest, discrepancy between the two types of hogs. How much space are you willing to dedicate as “hog land?” Heritage hogs were developed to fend for themselves on open land.

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

For a small farm without an acre to spare for hog pasture, heritage breeds may not be the right choice. Commercial hogs that were developed to thrive in very small spaces get by perfectly well on as little as 20 square feet of space per hog. These breeds include Duroc, Hampshire, Yorkshire and Landraces. They will do just fine on dirt; however, these types of hogs need access to commercial hog feed 24/7 to meet their growing potential.

2. Heritage hogs are heartier. Not only are heritage breeds raised more humanely than your standard commercial CAFO pig, but they are also much more hearty. Thanks to their DNA, heritage breeds are naturally resistant to a variety of diseases and parasites. They are able to adapt to their environment without any help from you. You won’t ever have to juice up your Old Spots with antibiotics or growth hormones. Nor will you have to give them regular de-wormer. While commercial-breed hogs may not specifically require antibiotics or other medications, they are more susceptible to disease and parasites than heritage hogs. They also don’t deal as well with extreme weather conditions.

3 Reasons Heritage Hogs Are Just Plain Better Than Commercial Hogs

Guinea Hog. Image source: USDA

3. Heritage pork is more flavorful. When you think about the pork you will get as a reward in the end, a big factor is the taste you want. Commercial-type hogs have a leaner carcass, producing a light pink meat and little lard. This is the classic “supermarket” pork taste that so many people are accustomed to and may prefer. However, darker heritage pork has a more full, complex flavor; it is well-marbled with fat, meaning it is more juicy and tender. Like all grass-fed meat, heritage pork is also healthier for you. It is higher in good fatty acids, beta carotene, and vitamins D and E.

Learn How To Make Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

Of course, not everything about heritage hogs is great. Let’s examine the one negative.

Caveat: They’re Slow Growers

Though the cost of feeding commercial hogs might seem daunting, remember that you will only be feeding them for a matter of months. Commercial hogs are bred for fast growth and good feed efficiency. A 50-pound feeder hog can reach market weight in as little as 100 days. If you are looking for some farm-raised meat and needing it fast, commercial hogs are the way to go. This is especially beneficial if you don’t like having hogs around full-time. Raise a couple of Hampshire-Durocs from August to November and have a pork-filled freezer and pig-free yard until next summer.

Though some heritage breeds mature faster, most take over a year to reach a weight worth taking to the butcher, some even longer. This is due in part to their genetics makeup and in part to their diet. If you are supplementing your heritage hogs with commercial feed, you may be feeding them more than a commercial hog in the long run.

As far as temperament goes, it can be a toss-up. Both types have more docile and more aggressive breeds. If you are looking for a pig with personality, Guinea Hogs can be real sweethearts. However, you may find raising pigs you’ve bonded with a big drawback when it’s time to hit the butcher’s block. Ultimately, if you want some quick, low-cost pork you raised yourself, then crossbreed commercial hogs are the way to go. If you want to preserve an environmentally sustainable breed that practically cares for itself, get a heritage hog.

What is your favorite type of hog? Share your advice in the section below:

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

China Official Warns: U.S. & North Korea On ‘Collision’ Course For War

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China Official Warns: U.S. & North Korea On ‘Collision’ Course For War

BEIJING — China’s foreign minister says war between the United States and North Korea may be inevitable.

“The two sides are like two accelerating trains coming towards each other,” Wang Yi said at a news conference this week. “The question is, are the two sides really ready for a head-on collision?”

Wang’s remarks were prompted by North Korean ballistic missile tests and the U.S. beginning deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea. Once functional, THAAD will be able to shoot down North Korean missiles. The Chinese government is afraid THAAD’s deployment will kick off an arms race in Asia.

Xinhua, China’s state media, warned of an “arms race.”

“More missile shields of one side inevitably bring more nuclear missiles of the opposing side that can break through the missile shield,” the Xinhua article said, according to CNN.

Are You Prepared For A Lengthy Blackout? Get Backup Electricity Today!

Wang warned South Korea, a key U.S. ally, to cease and desist the deployment of THAAD because it undermines China’s security. China also believes the system could be used to spy on the country.

Wang’s frankness was unusual for a Chinese leader.

“They don’t usually use this kind of language but it’s not completely surprising given that they are not really effectively able to constrain or restrain what the North Koreans do and they’re deeply unhappy about the U.S. deployment of THAAD to South Korea,” Professor Steve Tsang of the SOAS China Institute told CNN.

U.S. Causing North Korean Missiles to Explode?

The US already is conducting cyberwarfare and electronic warfare against North Korea, and hacking may have caused a number of its missiles to explode, The New York Times reported. The effort was apparently so successful that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un ordered an investigation and may have had security officials executed.

Still, North Korea has managed three successful medium-range missile tests and Kim claims his military is in the final stage of preparation for the test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could hit the United States.

“Senior [American] national security leaders have stated that the U.S. needs to work off the assumption that North Korea will have ICBM capabilities soon, and in this business ‘soon’ could mean five to 10 years, or earlier,” Ariel Cohen of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security told the Washington Free Beacon.

Cohen thinks North Korea soon may be able to launch an attack on U.S. military bases in Hawaii. The U.S. would have little defense against an attack because 56 percent of the anti-missiles deployed in Alaska and California failed in tests, The Times reported.

What is your reaction? Do you believe North Korea is a legitimate threat? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Be Prepared For A Downed Grid. Learn More Here.

China Official Warns: U.S. & North Korea On ‘Collision’ Course For War

China Official Warns: U.S. & North Korea On ‘Collision’ Course For War

BEIJING — China’s foreign minister says war between the United States and North Korea may be inevitable.

“The two sides are like two accelerating trains coming towards each other,” Wang Yi said at a news conference this week. “The question is, are the two sides really ready for a head-on collision?”

Wang’s remarks were prompted by North Korean ballistic missile tests and the U.S. beginning deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea. Once functional, THAAD will be able to shoot down North Korean missiles. The Chinese government is afraid THAAD’s deployment will kick off an arms race in Asia.

Xinhua, China’s state media, warned of an “arms race.”

“More missile shields of one side inevitably bring more nuclear missiles of the opposing side that can break through the missile shield,” the Xinhua article said, according to CNN.

Are You Prepared For A Lengthy Blackout? Get Backup Electricity Today!

Wang warned South Korea, a key U.S. ally, to cease and desist the deployment of THAAD because it undermines China’s security. China also believes the system could be used to spy on the country.

Wang’s frankness was unusual for a Chinese leader.

“They don’t usually use this kind of language but it’s not completely surprising given that they are not really effectively able to constrain or restrain what the North Koreans do and they’re deeply unhappy about the U.S. deployment of THAAD to South Korea,” Professor Steve Tsang of the SOAS China Institute told CNN.

U.S. Causing North Korean Missiles to Explode?

The US already is conducting cyberwarfare and electronic warfare against North Korea, and hacking may have caused a number of its missiles to explode, The New York Times reported. The effort was apparently so successful that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un ordered an investigation and may have had security officials executed.

Still, North Korea has managed three successful medium-range missile tests and Kim claims his military is in the final stage of preparation for the test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could hit the United States.

“Senior [American] national security leaders have stated that the U.S. needs to work off the assumption that North Korea will have ICBM capabilities soon, and in this business ‘soon’ could mean five to 10 years, or earlier,” Ariel Cohen of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security told the Washington Free Beacon.

Cohen thinks North Korea soon may be able to launch an attack on U.S. military bases in Hawaii. The U.S. would have little defense against an attack because 56 percent of the anti-missiles deployed in Alaska and California failed in tests, The Times reported.

What is your reaction? Do you believe North Korea is a legitimate threat? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Be Prepared For A Downed Grid. Learn More Here.

16 Best Hobbies for Preppers

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

4.5/5 (2)

Have you ever thought sometimes that Prepping is all work and no play? To the uninformed, prepping and preppers by association are consumed with fear and doom. Who wants to live a life where all you think about are bad things happening to the people around us? Many people I have talked to, who don’t understand preppers think we just sit around scared, paranoid and in fear of that knock on the door or the plague that could wipe out 80% of our nation but that isn’t true at all. At least for most of us. I think in some ways it is the people who never consider prepping that walk around in fear. Fear of terrorists, of people who have different opinions, of those who aren’t vaccinated, of someone who might own a firearm, of people who want more freedom and, well you get the point.

I have said before that the message of prepping is hope, not doom although you must choose how you look at things. I prepare because I want to be ready if something horrible happens, but I am prepping to survive whatever “it” may be. I don’t have a fatalistic view on my chances of survival, only what may necessitate me having to employ measures to ensure it. My wife and I had this same conversation back in the beginning as she saw (put up with) my ongoing efforts to get my family more prepared. She viewed my outlook on the future as extremely bleak. She couldn’t imagine a world like I was preparing for and wondered what was the point in living through those conditions. Since then she has seen that I am actively engaged in trying to protect my family to the best of my ability so that we can survive and hopefully help others in a calamity. She knows that I want to be part of the team helping others and that I don’t want to depend (or myself become a burden) on emergency services.

But other people can focus on the negative and get mired in the events we are prepping for more than the outcome we are trying to achieve so with this post, I want to give you some ideas for hobbies that preppers can participate in that can do two things. First, these hobbies for preppers will give you skills that you can use in a survival situation but can also enrich your life right now. Second, these hobbies will help you focus on the goal of surviving if for some reason you have gotten a little mired in the thoughts about the future and have become a little negative in your outlook.

Best Hobbies for Preppers

Below I have listed 16 of the best hobbies for preppers in no certain order that can give you training and encouragement in your abilities.

Backpacking/Hiking/Camping

I lumped these three together because they are so similar but I have often advocated backpacking as a way to both test and practice your bug out plans. There are some that disagree with me, but when you are preparing for a backpacking trip into the woods, you need to consider all the same things you would as a bug out. The only exception usually is security.

Backpacking trips require you to lay out and plan for one or more days living in the environment, usually away from civilization and returning safely. You have to carry everything on your back, navigate trails, inclines declines, obstacles just as you would in a bug out scenario. Best of all you get to see how carrying all your gear will feel at the end of a day. How far did you make it? Is there anything you realized you forgot once you got out into the woods? If you had to do it all over again, what would you change?

Hiking and Camping are similar but with a good bit less risk. With hiking, we are usually talking about day trips back so minor preparations are needed, but still a great activity and you can learn a lot about yourself and your own physical ability. Camping, when done from the convenience of a car and a camp site is the least like bugging out on foot, but could mimic a vehicle bug out scenario and it’s just good to get out of the house, into nature and spend time away from it all with family and friends.

Geocaching

The contents of the geocache at Buckden Rake

Geocaching is a fun activity that I started a few years back with my children and passed the interest off to a son-in-law who is now sharing it with his children. Geocaching is a great way to learn how to use a GPS unit to find items hidden and this ties directly into your own plans to stash prepping supplies in caches along your bug out route.

While playing this “game” you learn simple navigational skills but perhaps more importantly, how people hide items, how to find them and it really makes you think out of the box in some cases. Finding a hidden ammo box in the woods is one thing but finding a micro cache in the middle of a downtown business district is something altogether different. Another great activity to do with kids as they get to join in with finding the hidden caches and discovering the interesting objects people have left behind.

Hunting

In a grid down scenario, any activity that makes you more adept at bringing home food is a good one in my book. Hunting is a natural in that respect and it can teach you more than simply shooting at game. You can learn how to stalk prey, how to appropriately camouflage yourself and your movements, you can learn to identify game trails and habits of the game you are looking for.

Hunting allows you to employee various tools and methods to achieve your intended results. Firearms, bowed weapons, snares and traps are all useful and can give you great experience if you must depend on hunting to feed the family.

Auto Mechanics

When is the last time you changed your own oil?

Can you fix things? When is the last time you changed your own oil? Do you even know how to do that? While I can admit that some of the newer cars aren’t really set up for you to perform your own maintenance, that shouldn’t stop you from learning if you have the notion. As I have gotten older my need to work on my own cars has decreased but I still have manuals and have been known to turn a wrench when it’s necessary.

Knowing how to do basic repairs to your vehicle is a great skill and it can start with simple things like changing tires, belts, batteries and hoses to more complex projects like replacing water pumps, alternators or half-shafts. With the right tools and a manual for guidance or YouTube, anyone can do practically anything you need to repair your vehicle. This can save you money and could be vital if for some reason we aren’t able to take a vehicle to the shop to get it fixed.

Fishing

Like hunting, this hobby can put food on the table as well as be a simple, enjoyable way to get outside and spend some time either alone or with friends. Fishing can take on many different styles, but the basics are the same. Sometime the gear is different.

Gardening

In terms of putting food on the table and being in a place where you are able to store food away, gardening is one that we should all be doing. As I mentioned in a post the other day, in a disaster, your food won’t last forever so you need a backup plan for your backup plan.

Gardening can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Many people start with a small plot and grow tomatoes, but if you are aiming to be able to put up enough food to last your family through the winter and up to the next harvest, a little more land and time will be required. Start learning how to grow your own food now, what your solid conditions are like, how to compost and you will be one step closer to being ready to have your garden provide everything you need.

Paintball/Airsoft

What does paintball have to do with prepping? For starters, it can teach you team tactics, simulate military maneuvers to achieve objectives and deal with some of the stress in combat. OK, before anyone screams at me, I know this does not compare to real combat. Bullets go through walls much faster than paint balls do but if you look at this as training and you treat your surroundings as though the paint balls  are real bullets, it can be beneficial and instructive.

Air-Soft is lumped in here too with the same benefits and less mess. As long as you understand the difference between cover and concealment, both of these games can teach you lessons. If nothing else, you can see how out of shape you are from running and hiding behind obstacles.

Off-Roading

This hobby might be one of the most expensive for preppers, but if you already have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, getting off-road isn’t impossible and you can learn how to drive off the pavement and see what obstacles your vehicle can overcome. Communities like Overland Bound offer instruction, support, ideas and events to practice the skills needed to successfully go off-road.

Combine off-roading with camping and you have the makings of a really good vehicle bug out practice scenario. When you plan to go out with friends you can practice your bug out load plan, vehicle to vehicle communications with CB or Ham, land navigation with maps or GPS and field recovery when you get stuck in a mud pit that “didn’t look that deep” or break a part on the trail.

Marksmanship

One of the most important requirements for owning a firearm is practice so that you are proficient in the safe use and handling of this tool. Part of this I believe is being able to hit what you are shooting at and when your life depends on accurately hitting a target you are going to wish you had all the practice in the world.

Marksmanship can apply to pistols, rifles and even bows. Starting with paper targets and learning the fundamentals is key to getting better, more confident with that weapon and when the time comes you need to use it for hunting, practice or self-defense you can’t have enough training under your belt.

Orienteering

Orienteering combines racing with map reading. You can do this on your own or join a group like Orienteering.org. Timed races put individuals or teams though a course where you have to find your way with a map, compass and find different points along the way.

Want to create a secret treasure map to your hidden cache in the middle of 10,000 acres of forest? This is a good way to practice. It also helps with terrain recognition, and the obvious skills of map reading and how to use a compass.

Exercising/Fitness

More of a chore for some people than a hobby, exercise is one of the most critical components to being able to survive in a grid down or SHTF scenario and it’s one thing we most easily overlook or choose to ignore. Being able to move yourself from point to point, lift heavy objects repeatedly, perform manual labor and still have the strength to stand watch with alertness in the middle of the night is not something we can ignore.

Exercise can come in many forms, from simply walking during your lunch hour each day, to lifting weights, riding bikes, to following a routine from an app on your phone while you watch TV at night. The point is to do something to make sure your body is ready for the rigors of a stressful situation when you are faced with it.

Self-Defense Arts

When the SHTF, you already know that violent acts will become more pronounced. We see it every day now even though all the major systems we depend on are functioning normally. Having the ability and skill to defend yourself is important to all preppers. I carry a concealed weapon almost every day and so do many of you, but what if you aren’t able to take that weapon and someone threatens your life?

Self-defense classes help you avoid dying in a fight. You can choose from dozens of activities like boxing, Krav Maga, Judo, Karate, Taekwondo, Brazilian Jui jiitsu and countless others but they can all be used to keep you and your family safe while at the same time giving you focus, increasing your fitness levels and bolstering your confidence level.

Beekeeping

Keeping bees can not only help your garden and fruit orchards produce more.

You might be thinking that beekeeping is going to be too advanced but in reality, it takes about the same amount of time and means as gardening or other outdoor hobbies. In recent years, beekeeping has grown as a hobby to help families grow healthier plants while also helping the families be more self-reliant.

Keeping bees can not only help your garden and  fruit orchards produce more, but you also get the benefits of honey, which can be stored forever and wax which can be used in making soap, candles and healing salves to heal minor scrapes or burns.

Ham Radio

Ham Radio operators can still communicate if there is no electric power, satellites or cellular service. That is the primary reason they are the go-to method of communication for preppers as well as emergency response teams in virtually every large city. With the right equipment, Ham operators can talk to people in other countries using technology that was around in the early 1900s. If some disaster knocks out the cell phone service, emergency communications can be routed through Amateur Radio and you can keep in touch with others in your family, group, region or state easily.

Ham or Amateur radios fall under the control of the FCC and there is a licensing process associated with being able to communicate on the radio. To speak on the air legally, you must first obtain your Technician level license and a call sign from the FCC. Your name and information will be listed in at least one public database and this information is freely accessible to anyone who wants to look.

Food Preservation

By now you probably are more than aware that if the power grid goes down, just about all of the food preservation capacity we have is lost. Yes, we have canned food, but grocery stores rely heavily on the refrigerated containers to keep meat and dairy product fresh. The freezers we all have rely on electricity too so in a true collapse how will you keep that bounty of vegetables around for longer than a week or two? It must be preserved.

From root cellars to pickling, canning and salting people for millennia have been storing food without the convenience of refrigerators or freezers and with a little work, we can do the same thing. Start small with making pickles from cucumbers you get from the store or better yet, your garden. Move up to veggies, soups, salsa and spaghetti sauce or stews. You can even can meat!

Drone operation

How can piloting one of those annoying remote control gadgets help you in prepping? Well, it is a hobby I have been wanting to try for a while for a couple of good reasons. First of all, it looks fun, but the ability to fly a drone with an HD camera 400 feet up in the air could have serious grid-down prepping advantages. The one drawback is the FAA requires registration and they have a lengthy list of rules. Most of them I see the rationale with, just hate the process.

Mostly it is about the ability for intelligence. You can fly a drown over your retreat location to get unobstructed surveillance to see who is coming from miles away. You can verify threats before they are close enough to do you any harm. Optionally, you could use a drone to advance scout a route you were getting ready to take on foot or to determine if that old logging road you are using has an ambush roadblock ahead. Or get really cool video of your kid’s soccer game.

So who is still with me? There are just 16 hobbies for preppers but I know there are so many more than can be used. What hobbies do you find help your prepping skills?

If you liked this article, please rate it.

The post 16 Best Hobbies for Preppers appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Preppers Stuck In Cities: Elite Chartering “Getaway Boats in Case of Manhattan Emergency”

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grid-down-city

By Mac Slavo – SHTFplan.com

There is an inherent dilemma for most of the people living in cities.

Even those who are aware of the extremely fragile fabric of society are often stuck living urban lives. Perhaps they plan to retire to a country abode, or construct a hideaway to escape to if the need ever arises, but for now, they are stuck in the city making a living.

This is true even for the rich, but now, they have a back-up plan.

The biggest of American cities, and one of the most gridlocked, is New York City, with Manhattan and Long Island both isolated islands – trapped during emergencies from the rest of the world.

That’s why those with means, and forethought, are now chartering emergency charters to get out of the city – probably a good idea, especially if the helicopter is out of your price range.

via NY Post:

“A lot of people don’t want to wait on a line to get on a ferry, and they don’t want to worry about walking off of Manhattan, as people had to do in the past,” [Chris Dowhie, co-owner of Plan B Marine] told The Post.“They know a boat is the fastest way, and we take the worry out of maintaining and preparing and always readying your vessel,” he added.

Not only does the company promise a speedy getaway, it plans individual evacuation routes for each person, depending on their personal needs.

[…]

“You don’t have a captain. You have to drive this boat yourself,” Dowhie told The Post, adding that in a crisis, people are more concerned with helping their own families than maneuvering someone else’s escape vehicle.

[…]

The unique evacuation service costs an annual fee of $90,000 and is catered toward wealthy individuals and corporations who don’t have time to mastermind their own escape.

Clients access the boats with an individual punch-in number, and should they need to abandon it at any time, Dowhie’s company will locate it.

Interesting concept, and the fact that this has become a business model is also telling of the times.

Estimates have placed evacuation from major coastal cities at more than 24 hours:

hd-120924.Hours.to.evacuate

Estimated evacuation times during major emergencies.

For Long Island, where millions of New Yorkers live, it would be 20-29 hours to get off the island – during that time, people will lose their patience, run out of gas, become hungry, be denied access to medications and drugs, need emergency services, resort to crime, etc.

The one percenters have long been serious about their prepping, for they know too well about the very real dangers being constructed, and the house of cards that is ever poised to collapse.

There has been a steady rise in the upper class investment into underground bunker communities – typically decked out with furnishings and amenities that nearly compare with above-ground living.

They have also been the high profile investors buying up getaway farms in places like New Zealand or South America, and hedging with mountain retreats and fortified safe rooms.

While the amount of money they are spending remains mostly pocket change the biggest players, it represents a serious consideration of the high risk for social disruption, chaos and mega-disasters, such as the collapse of the power grid.

James-Bond-Jetpack

The good news is that while the rich may indeed be living the high life, with escape hatches built in, there are many steps that the average, and more modest, individual can also take to increase your chances of survival during modest times.

Todd Savage, who specializes in strategic relocation, says that finding balance is key. For some, a permanent move isn’t possible because of work, medical needs or family life:

Not everyone will prepare for the same threats. It’s a personal choice. Some folks think that a nuclear exchange is imminent, others a socioeconomic collapse, maybe an EMP (solar or military), or a worldwide pandemic.

Everyone who is concerned with a potential disaster should perform a personal threat assessment. It can help you decide to either relocate permanently to a rural homestead or acquire a bug-out survival property.

(Survival Retreat Consulting)

When it comes to elite prepping, you have to always ask yourself: ‘Do they know something that I don’t know?

Considering their access to power, and their insider vision of human affairs, the chances are very good that they may.

Boats and hideaway properties can be arranged at lower prices as well, or DIY. If you’re not on an island, there are likely some back roads that can save your life, and keep you out of the major chaos. Plan your escape route, with several alternate routes, that avoid the major intersections with highways, bridges and other points at which the majority of traffic is forced to flow, at a slow, grinding and dangerous pace.

Safe rooms can been adapted to almost any space, and for relatively little money, and fortifications can be retrofitted where ever you need them. Just food for thought, better now than too late.

Something big is coming.

This article first appeared at SHTFplan.comPreppers Stuck In Cities: Elite Chartering “Getaway Boats in Case of Manhattan Emergency”

Filed under: Disaster Scenerios, News/ Current Events, Prepping

Hygiene and being resourceful!

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Hygiene and being resourceful! When you talk about threats in a post disaster scenario it’s easy to get wrapped up in the obvious. I wouldn’t begrudge anyone for having fear of roving mobs of the desperate, life threatening conditions of the environment around us or even the very real possibility of starvation. These are threats … Continue reading Hygiene and being resourceful!

The post Hygiene and being resourceful! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Lost Survival Lessons from the 18th Century Pirates Who Ruled the Atlantic

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This article is about the Privateers who were called the good pirates of the 17th and 18th Century working under the British Crown. They were seizing only Spanish royal ships and

The post Lost Survival Lessons from the 18th Century Pirates Who Ruled the Atlantic appeared first on Ask a Prepper.

Ancient Survival Medicine That We Lost To History

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Ancient Survival Medicine

Before Europeans discovered the Americas and introduced such diseases as chicken pox, the flu, smallpox, and measles, Native Americans were relatively disease-free and, for the most part, lived long, healthy lives, unless of course famine struck.

Native American remedies for existing illnesses were made of indigenous medicinal plants, many of which were highly effective.

Unlike modern medicine, sick patients weren’t just handed medicine until they either got better or died. Instead, Native Americans took care of their health holistically; it was strongly linked to spirituality.

The Native American ideal state of health and well-being was intrinsically linked to a close connection to the Earth and living in harmony with the environment.

In other words, they weren’t the “savages” that Europeans assumed that they were; I’m sure that, if they had the European desire for progress and financial gain, the Americas would have been vastly different than they were when Columbus found them. Instead, they believed that natural balance must be maintained. Life was about coexistence, not the almighty dollar.

But, if you take a look at what they actually did to maintain that balance, you may be surprised to find that their methods coincide with what modern medical practitioners preach on a daily basis.

Regular Cardio and Strength Training

Many tribes greeted the dawn with an early morning run to celebrate the arrival of a new day. How many people do you know that run in the mornings (or at some point during the day) as part of their exercise routine?

Of course, along with the physical exercise they also benefited from the release of stress-releasing hormones that we now know comes from physical exercise. Since running was, in large part, spiritual, there was also surely the clarity of mind that comes with meditation.

Oh, and we can’t forget that regularly carrying animal carcasses, curing hides, carrying water, setting up and tearing down camps, and participating in ceremonies and games that centered on acts of physical strength are all examples of strength training in its purest form.

Get this lifesaving information about surviving when doctors, pharmacies and hospitals are shut down!

Healthy Diets

The Native American concept of fast food was eating berries, fruits, and nuts as they picked them. They didn’t typically gorge themselves unless it was a celebratory feast and the only chips they had were possibly buffalo chips – depending on location – that they used to start a fire (or possibly create a home remedy).

Everybody now is preaching that free-range, organic, hormone-free meat is the only healthy option. Well guess what – the Native Americans were already following that diet. They treated sick animals in the same way that the treated sick people – herbally.

Either that or they just put them down and maybe ate them, depending on the illness or injury. Plus the animals weren’t ingesting grass poisoned with artificial pesticides and other chemicals.

Nuts and seeds were rich in Omega-3’s, high in good fats and low in bad fats, so they had that covered, and the berries that they ate, again, had no pesticides or chemicals. And lest we forget, they had to work for their food, so they were naturally exercising every day of their lives.

Until less than 100 years ago, diabetes was practically non-existent in the Native American population, until they began to adopt the eating habits of other Americans.

Mental Health

We now know that mental health is critical to physical health.

Native Americans regularly meditated and practiced acts of gratitude for everything that surrounded them.

As some modern philosophies teach, they were present and mindful. They celebrated the seasons and the bounty, and they were grateful and respectful to the animals that they killed to sustain themselves.

In a nutshell, Native Americans had a healthy outlook on life and worked regularly to maintain that. They knew, without an advanced medical degree, what it took to stay healthy.

Medicinal Herbs

For every illness, there’s a cure. At least in theory. Though Western Medicine hasn’t managed to find cures for many diseases, Native Americans had treatments for just about everything, and if you pay attention to early American writers, they often worked.

These treatments were entirely natural – no penicillin or opiates required. There are natural elements that provide the origins of these modern meds, such as soil and plants that contain natural antibiotics and plants such as willow bark that contain natural pain killers. In fact, willow bark was an original ingredient in aspirin.

Just because a cure is natural doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work as well as modern medications; in fact, the opposite is often true.

As preppers, we realize that we may not always have access to OTC and prescription meds so, considering that, we’ve put together a special report on Native American remedies that teaches you how to use the eight super-plants that treat more than thirty diseases. You’ll also learn how to help your body stay healthy and heal itself naturally, and how to preserve your food without refrigeration or electricity.

Click here to subscribe to Survivopedia’s newsletter and get this month’s FREE REPORT to find out more about our ancestors’ natural healing secrets. 

Native American Remedies

In general, their naturally healthy lifestyles prevented many diseases, but some did exist. Plus, you have to consider injuries such as broken bones, open wounds, and infections.

When treating any medical condition, the knowledge of the tribe healer often saved the day with a combination of treatments.

Throughout the generations, natural remedies were handed down from one healer to the next, and it seems pretty likely that the entire tribe knew how to use herbs, plants, seeds, and roots for healing, too.

These ingredients, alone or combined, were used to make poultices, teas, decoctions, salves, and oils that worked in conjunction with other holistic methods described above.

Sweat Lodges

Also known as medicine lodges, sweat lodges were often used for healing, prayer, introspection, and purification. Sweat sessions were required to be supervised by trained elders who were experienced with the process and could safely control the situation in case somebody became ill or uncomfortable.

Many holistic healers believe that sweating purifies the body by flushing toxins from the body and may help kill disease by raising the body temperature to a point that bacteria and viruses can’t survive. That is, of course, theoretical, but it makes a certain amount of sense.

Remember that knowledge is the only doctor that can save you when there is no medical help around you.

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

Ancient Survival Medicine That We Lost To History

Ancient Survival Medicine

Before Europeans discovered the Americas and introduced such diseases as chicken pox, the flu, smallpox, and measles, Native Americans were relatively disease-free and, for the most part, lived long, healthy lives, unless of course famine struck.

Native American remedies for existing illnesses were made of indigenous medicinal plants, many of which were highly effective.

Unlike modern medicine, sick patients weren’t just handed medicine until they either got better or died. Instead, Native Americans took care of their health holistically; it was strongly linked to spirituality.

The Native American ideal state of health and well-being was intrinsically linked to a close connection to the Earth and living in harmony with the environment.

In other words, they weren’t the “savages” that Europeans assumed that they were; I’m sure that, if they had the European desire for progress and financial gain, the Americas would have been vastly different than they were when Columbus found them. Instead, they believed that natural balance must be maintained. Life was about coexistence, not the almighty dollar.

But, if you take a look at what they actually did to maintain that balance, you may be surprised to find that their methods coincide with what modern medical practitioners preach on a daily basis.

Regular Cardio and Strength Training

Many tribes greeted the dawn with an early morning run to celebrate the arrival of a new day. How many people do you know that run in the mornings (or at some point during the day) as part of their exercise routine?

Of course, along with the physical exercise they also benefited from the release of stress-releasing hormones that we now know comes from physical exercise. Since running was, in large part, spiritual, there was also surely the clarity of mind that comes with meditation.

Oh, and we can’t forget that regularly carrying animal carcasses, curing hides, carrying water, setting up and tearing down camps, and participating in ceremonies and games that centered on acts of physical strength are all examples of strength training in its purest form.

Get this lifesaving information about surviving when doctors, pharmacies and hospitals are shut down!

Healthy Diets

The Native American concept of fast food was eating berries, fruits, and nuts as they picked them. They didn’t typically gorge themselves unless it was a celebratory feast and the only chips they had were possibly buffalo chips – depending on location – that they used to start a fire (or possibly create a home remedy).

Everybody now is preaching that free-range, organic, hormone-free meat is the only healthy option. Well guess what – the Native Americans were already following that diet. They treated sick animals in the same way that the treated sick people – herbally.

Either that or they just put them down and maybe ate them, depending on the illness or injury. Plus the animals weren’t ingesting grass poisoned with artificial pesticides and other chemicals.

Nuts and seeds were rich in Omega-3’s, high in good fats and low in bad fats, so they had that covered, and the berries that they ate, again, had no pesticides or chemicals. And lest we forget, they had to work for their food, so they were naturally exercising every day of their lives.

Until less than 100 years ago, diabetes was practically non-existent in the Native American population, until they began to adopt the eating habits of other Americans.

Mental Health

We now know that mental health is critical to physical health.

Native Americans regularly meditated and practiced acts of gratitude for everything that surrounded them.

As some modern philosophies teach, they were present and mindful. They celebrated the seasons and the bounty, and they were grateful and respectful to the animals that they killed to sustain themselves.

In a nutshell, Native Americans had a healthy outlook on life and worked regularly to maintain that. They knew, without an advanced medical degree, what it took to stay healthy.

Medicinal Herbs

For every illness, there’s a cure. At least in theory. Though Western Medicine hasn’t managed to find cures for many diseases, Native Americans had treatments for just about everything, and if you pay attention to early American writers, they often worked.

These treatments were entirely natural – no penicillin or opiates required. There are natural elements that provide the origins of these modern meds, such as soil and plants that contain natural antibiotics and plants such as willow bark that contain natural pain killers. In fact, willow bark was an original ingredient in aspirin.

Just because a cure is natural doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work as well as modern medications; in fact, the opposite is often true.

As preppers, we realize that we may not always have access to OTC and prescription meds so, considering that, we’ve put together a special report on Native American remedies that teaches you how to use the eight super-plants that treat more than thirty diseases. You’ll also learn how to help your body stay healthy and heal itself naturally, and how to preserve your food without refrigeration or electricity.

Click here to subscribe to Survivopedia’s newsletter and get this month’s FREE REPORT to find out more about our ancestors’ natural healing secrets. 

Native American Remedies

In general, their naturally healthy lifestyles prevented many diseases, but some did exist. Plus, you have to consider injuries such as broken bones, open wounds, and infections.

When treating any medical condition, the knowledge of the tribe healer often saved the day with a combination of treatments.

Throughout the generations, natural remedies were handed down from one healer to the next, and it seems pretty likely that the entire tribe knew how to use herbs, plants, seeds, and roots for healing, too.

These ingredients, alone or combined, were used to make poultices, teas, decoctions, salves, and oils that worked in conjunction with other holistic methods described above.

Sweat Lodges

Also known as medicine lodges, sweat lodges were often used for healing, prayer, introspection, and purification. Sweat sessions were required to be supervised by trained elders who were experienced with the process and could safely control the situation in case somebody became ill or uncomfortable.

Many holistic healers believe that sweating purifies the body by flushing toxins from the body and may help kill disease by raising the body temperature to a point that bacteria and viruses can’t survive. That is, of course, theoretical, but it makes a certain amount of sense.

Remember that knowledge is the only doctor that can save you when there is no medical help around you.

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

Survival Gear Review: Surefire FirePak

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1_Surefire_FirePak_Smartphone_Camera_1500_Lumen_mobile_lighting_solution_on_phone

2_Surefire_FirePak_Smartphone_Camera_1500_Lumen_mobile_lighting_solution_on_case_boxSince smartphones are often considered almost as important as knives, guns, and flashlights as part of a personal EDC, it’s time to consider other technologies beyond the usual stuff. Surefire is always full of bright surprises just as they are loaded with cutting edge technology to serve our lighting needs whether reading a map or clearing a cave.

By Doc Montana, a contributing author of Survival Cache and SHTFBlog

Surefire is well known as the maker of some of the world’s best flashlights, but recently they have let some of their lighting magic seep into the world of smartphones. With Surefire’s new “FirePak Smartphone Video Illuminator + Charger” lighting system, you can carry a blinding light, a cell phone charger, and a lower lumen general lighting solution. By blasting up to 1500 lumens of light onto a questionable subject. That’s like flicking on a 100 watt light bulb in their face!

Sunburn in a Can

3_Surefire_FirePak_Smartphone_Camera_1500_Lumen_mobile_lighting_solution_box_case_FirePakThe Surefire FirePak was designed for the “millennial” smartphone user so their videos and selfies can continue its madness into the deep night. The lightly rectangular block named the “FirePak” contains a large rechargeable battery, two USB ports (one for charging itself, one for charging other devices), a sliding multi-position switch, a battery indicator light, and most of all two forward-facing LED lights. What’s unusual about the pair of LED lights is they have asymmetrical 10mm reflectors. with one offset in one direction and the other offset 180 degrees. This combination of lights produces full-frame illumination specifically designed for a smartphone’s 16:9 HD aspect ratio. In other words, the FirePak lights up a rough rectangle that is proportioned to what the cell phone camera sees. No wasted light, no dark spots or vignetting. So blasting bad guys or questionable scenes is a simple job for the FirePak.

Smooth Lighting

A side advantage of the FirePak is found when it is actually used for making cell phone videos. Slo-mo can take advantage of the clean flicker-free lighting that is modulated so it does not interfere with the shutter speed of a digital camera or cell phone camera.

Read Also: Bug Out Flashlight Wisdom

The Surefire FirePak has a six position switch, off—on (but no-light)—low—med low—med high—high.  When on but no-light, the light output can be controlled by the App up to 10 meters away (which has it’s own set of advantages).

The runtime for the FirePak on high output is about five hours. You might get about one and a half complete iPhone 7 recharges if the FirePak’s battery is used only for that purpose. And running on the lowest light output of 100 lumens, the FirePak should give about 10 hours of useful light off a full starting charge. Obviously there are many combinations of the above, but you can always head off to school with a full charge if you plug the FirePak into a wall outlet or computer overnight. And you can even charge the Firepak with a traditional external recharging cell phone battery such as any of those so popular today.

Photons don’t lie

5_Surefire_FirePak_Smartphone_Camera_1500_Lumen_mobile_lighting_solution_Case_railsThe Surefire FirePak produces a bright stream of light that can easily reach out 20 yards or more when needed, or shine a spotlight on a local scene making closer subject stand out from the background. Light output is affected by the inverse square law meaning that the light’s intensity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source. Double the distance between the light and subject and you have one fourth the quantity of photons of light falling on the subject. So brightness is relative. It takes a substantial amount more lumens of light to significantly change the scene brightness. The scale of lumens from 100-1500 of the FirePak is about four doublings of lumens. That’s a pretty good range from reading a book to putting a pretty big dent in the darkness around a campsite.

Related: Surefire Defender Flashlights

The FirePak is designed to be mounted to the smartphone using a slide-on docking attachment system that begins with a custom Surefire phone case. The dual-rail yoke on the back of the FirePak slides into a pair of slots on the back of the svelte phone case Surefire makes. It’s mostly held in place by friction, but there is a mild stopping block that locks the sliding. But overcoming the block and following friction to separate the two is done by just sliding them apart.

Get the App

4_Surefire_FirePak_Smartphone_Camera_1500_Lumen_mobile_lighting_solution_App_screenThe Surefire FirePak has an accompanying App called the Surefire FIrePak Illuminator that can be downloaded onto your phone. The App can talk to the FirePak via Bluetooth allowing some on-screen light control and customization. Additional features of the App include grid overlays for photo composition, tools for white balance, a self-timer, output levels, exposure brightness (ISO), and Bluetooth controls including battery percentage. But consider this option: you can place the FirePak about 30 feet from the phone and control its light output from off to 100 lumens to 1500 lumens. And because the connection is Bluetooth, you can do this kind of remote lighting anywhere in the world.

For example, you are camping your bugout location. Before dark, you place your FirePak in to the side of your camp about 10 yards from your tent or bivy sacks. In the middle of the night, you hear a noise. Not a forest noise, but a predator noise. The two-legged kind. In the dark of your sleeping bag, you open the Surefire FirePak App and fire up your FirePak. Suddenly it’s daylight in your camp and even if the disoriented and now frightened intruder attacked the source of the light, you would be safely off to the side ready to take action. A more domestic use would be to run roughly the same scenario in your house. Night. Intruder. Blazing light anywhere. You, the hero.

Being prepared means taking advantage of every advantage. The Surefire FirePak makes for a seriously new tangent in portable lighting. And I’m sure there are many more advantages that have yet to be problems. Surefire has proven itself over and over, so while the FirePak is only a relative of the flashlight, the light it spills is all the same. Just more of it.

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What Is Your Theology?

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     Think about that for a moment. Can you explain your personal theology? According to Webster’s Dictionary, Theology is “The science of God or of religion; the science which treats of the existence, character, and attributes of God, His laws and government, the doctrines we are to believe, and the duties we are to practice. . . the science of Christian faith and life.”  That’s kind of a long-winded definition to say that theology is what you believe about God; how you define His character and nature; and how you relate to Him. But your theology should be defined by more than that. His “laws and government” should speak to your understanding of the Kingdom of God/Heaven and how it pertains to you.  The doctrines you believe need to be carefully examined — are their origins found in the Word of God; or do your set of beliefs come from a man’s teaching, a denomination’s rules, or simply what makes you feel better about your life’s circumstances (with a little bit of all of the above thrown in to make it meet the “religious” test)?

     Furthermore, where do your practices and traditions come from?  Again, are they taken directly from the Bible, or are you having a hard time knowing exactly why you do the things you do, and believe the things you do.  As a Christian, can you explain your understanding of God and the foundations of your faith — and back it up? If not, I’d like to suggest that you have developed a theology that serves yourself and not God.  I don’t say that to offend anyone!  In fact, my goal is that it will cause you to examine your belief system so that you can discover where you differ with God’s Word and renew your mind and heart so that you are walking with Him in Truth.
     I have come to believe that the 21st Century Church is not walking in the same power and authority that the First Century Church did because we do not truly trust or believe what Jesus tells us in the Bible about Himself, or who we are in Him, and how He wants us to live our lives.  We have reduced His message down to a goal of being Saved or “born again”.  But let me ask you this — how many of you, once you made a profession of faith, were actually discipled? Do you even know what it means to be discipled? You’re probably familiar with the noun form of that word — to be “a Disciple”, or follower of Jesus.  But what does the verb form — to disciple — mean?  Well, in Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus gave a commandment to all His disciples (including us):  All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. 
     We got the part about making them disciples; about getting them Saved so that they can be known as a follower of Jesus.  And we sorta got the baptism part down, although some Christians have lessened its significance by saying it’s not an essential part of your Christian walk. But we have dropped the ball on teaching them to observe [comply with; keep; obey] all of Jesus’s commandments.  I would add that we don’t even teach them what His commandments are let alone that we are to obey them! And therefore, I would submit to you that we are no better than the Gentiles Paul refers to in Ephesians 4:  “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.”
     If a Christian is ignorant of Jesus’s commands, then of what benefit is it to be “born again”?  As He explained to Nicodemus in John 3, we have to throw off our old nature [our flesh] and accept a new Spirit.  When that happens, we are told to “to be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God” (Ephesians 4). The renewal of our minds combined with transforming our lives by following the commandments of Jesus projects the Kingdom of God.
     But what happens when we are ignorant of His commands, and who He says He is, and who He says we are to become by transforming our lives?  We end up developing our own religious traditions and theologies to explain the state of our lives.  For instance, consider the Scripture 1 John 1:5:  This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all.  So if you have experienced a tragedy in your life such as a devastating illness or the unexplained loss of a loved one, do you tend to explain it as “the will of God” because you have no answers?  But how can it be God’s will if He is only Light, and no darkness exists in Him?  Because I think we can all agree that sickness, disease, and death are all from the Enemy, and they are Darkness. He comes to kill, steal, and destroy, remember? That’s why Jesus healed people and raised them from the dead — to destroy the works of the devil and because He only did what the Father told Him to do (John 5:19).
     So can you see that this is an example of how the Church has compromised the Word of God to fit their own theology?  Another similar tradition is that God is in control of everything. So if a tragedy has occurred in your life, or your life is just a mess, then it must be because God is testing our faith or trying to teach us a lesson.  Show me in the Bible where it says that!
     Kent Owen, at BibleBro.net explains the fallacy of this tradition so well:  “God created the world and gave dominion to Man (Gen 1:26).  Man sinned and became a slave to sin (John 8:34).  Satan is the father of disobedience (Eph 2:2) which is lawlessness, and all lawlessness is sin [death] (1Jn 3:4).  Simply put, sinners belong to Satan.  God does not own the earth again until He takes it back at the end of this age.  Until God takes back the earth, He has empowered His children so that they can “stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:11).  What bad thing does God cause or allow in your life … unless you ask Him through prayer?”
       And who is going to pray for something bad to happen to them? If anything bad happens in your life, it’s either because you allowed it by not using your God-given authority, OR you are inexplicably, and tragically, the victim of the devil.  Remember, God [and Jesus] are Life; the devil is Death. And he prowls like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  When it is your loved one, it can be hard to comprehend.  During our suffering, it can be difficult to grasp that Satan was the one behind the tragedy.  Perhaps you can see how we try to explain God to ourselves by developing traditions and theology that make it acceptable to our vision of God.  But we do Him a disservice when we fail to give the Enemy credit for His works of lawlessness, sin, and death!
     If we’re earnest in seeking God through His Word, we would discern that 1 Corinthians 10:13 is the real Truth of God:  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.  God does not tempt (test) you by bringing tragedy into your life!  Scripture very plainly calls Satan the Tempter in Matthew 4.  It was he who tempted our Lord.
     So if your theology tells you that a tragic death or illness is “God’s will” for some unknown reason; a reason that the Bible never proclaims, then how is it any different than a “Christian” with multiple fatal diseases who believes that God caused or allowed his illness sharing his faith with an unsaved man?  Wouldn’t that message he is delivering say to that unsaved man, “If you become a child of God like me, God may also give you what He gave me; this horrible disease”?
     Can I explain everything bad or tragic that happens in someone’s life according to my image of God?  No, because I do not know all the schemes of the Enemy; only that it is his desire to destroy our relationship with God anyway he can. I know that not everyone gets healed or delivered from the devil’s attacks, but I do not want to change the Truth of the Bible [and my theology] to create a false image of Jesus or the Father. And I know that my eternal salvation does not rely on who I am, but on Who He is.  Therefore I must be diligent in seeing Him in the Light of His Truth, not through the traditions and skewed theology of man which misrepresents the God of the Bible.  When that happens, we have a distorted relationship with Him, and an inaccurate image of ourselves.
     My purpose for writing this post today is to ask you to seriously consider your belief system.  I do not write it to be condemning, but to exhort you to try to throw off all inessential and flawed doctrine, man-made philosophy, or self-defined tenets of religion.  Go to the Word and find out who God is and who you are.  See what Jesus says about Himself and the Father, and how He wants us to live out our faith in Him.  And then don’t let your theology come between you and God. You need to be settled in your understanding of the God we serve, so that the Enemy cannot mislead you or keep you in bondage to his lies. God’s Truth, as He reveals in His Word, is all we need … and it alone should be enough to form our theology.

Mark 7:8,13     “You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men … thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
 
     

8 Dangerous Hiking Mistakes Most People Make

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Hiking is a pastime that millions of Americans enjoy each year. They go camping across the country and they love to abandon their campsite to explore the surrounding area. However, this exploring journey may not end well for some of them. There are a few hiking mistakes that are a common occurrence for the inexperienced … Read more…

The post 8 Dangerous Hiking Mistakes Most People Make was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Bicycle power can help you maintain self-sufficiency when SHTF

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One of the persistent myths about prepping is that it requires spending lots of cash on fancy survival gear. However, much of what may prove to be extremely useful in a big disaster/SHTF scenario might already be lying around the house. Those old bicycles collecting dust in your garage are the perfect example. Not only might a bicycle represent the ultimate stealth bug-out vehicle, pedal power can also be utilized in a number of other useful ways if and when the power grid goes down.

First, let’s consider the use of bicycles in a survival situation in terms of what they were originally designed for: transportation. When you consider that gasoline can only be stored for a few years at the most and that there likely won’t be any gas stations open after a societal collapse, the lowly bicycle becomes more and more attractive as a survival transportation solution.

Add to this the fact that bicycles are virtually indestructible if maintained properly and boast a potential lifespan of several decades, and you’ll begin to see the practical potential of bicycles in a long-term survival scenario. Bicycles are easily repaired and maintained, requiring only a few tools and a bit of technical knowledge along with some spare tires, chains, chain grease and oil to keep them functioning properly.

The stealth aspect is a huge advantage as well. Bicycles produce virtually no noise, which could be a lifesaving advantage if you need to travel undetected. Silence is also crucial if you’re out hunting game, and that brings us to another great advantage of bicycles: they can go many places other vehicles cannot. A solid mountain bike is capable of traversing some of the roughest terrain imaginable at quite respectable speeds.

If you’ve got deep pockets, there are several manufacturers making bikes designed specifically with survival scenarios in mind with lots of cool attachments and features such as camouflage paint, but a decent mountain bike can be customized at home for a lot less money. It is easy enough to add a rack that can carry a fair amount of extra gear or supplies, and if you want camouflage, just grab a couple of cans of the preferred colors of spray paint.

The potential of pedal power in a survival situation goes far beyond mere transportation. Bicycles can be converted to drive all sorts of machinery in situations when there is no electricity available from the grid. In fact, bicycles can be used to generate your own electricity. With the new, longer-term storage capacity battery technology now emerging, it is conceivable that pedal power could could supply all of the electricity you will ever really need when the SHTF.

Many of the devices that require an electric motor can be driven by human pedal power. A water pump, for example, can be relatively easily modified to be powered by a belt connected to a bicycle frame and pedals. The possibilities are quite broad; sewing machines, weaving looms, grain threshers, and wood and metal lathes can all be powered by pedals.

There are plenty of DIY plans available online for these types of uses of pedal power. I have included several links below, and once you understand how to convert a bicycle to drive one machine, you’ll have the basic knowledge to come up with your own ideas for harnessing this marvelous, non-polluting, highly efficient form of power generation.

Perhaps you’d like a pedal-powered ice cream maker, for example? Since you’ll be burning all those calories while making your own delicious post-apocalyptic homemade ice cream, you’ll be able to thoroughly enjoy eating it, free of guilt!

Source : www.naturalnews.com

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Raspberry Pink Grapefruit Chia Seed Jam

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Raspberry pink grapefruit chia seed jam is a wonderfully tart jam that works well on your morning toast or yogurt. Try this naturally healthy recipe | PreparednessMama

Thicken Homemade Jam with Chia Seeds Did you know that you can substitute chia seed to thicken your jam instead of using pectin? If can be a quick way to prepare a simple jam using only natural ingredients. It also makes a great gift. Be aware that research is not clear about whether you can […]

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Just a Little Black Cupboard

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A few weeks ago I saw a little black bathroom cupboard at the thrift store but I didn’t get it because it was spray painted black and everywhere something had touched it the paint had scratched right off. The next week, however, the little black bathroom cupboard was still in the thrift store and so it must have just been mine. Anyway, I took it home because I knew just where we needed it…in Michelle’s bathroom. Michelle’s bathroom is really cluttered and messy. Apparently it takes a million products to make her beautiful every day.

 

I wish I had taken a picture of the cupboard when it was black but I forgot all about it. I just took it out on the porch and started sanding…and sanding…and sanding…   Took me most of the day to get as much black off of the cupboard as I could. Then came the painting…coat after coat. Did I mention I am not exactly a painter? I was still doing coats the next day.

Then I decided that since her bathroom is mostly yellow that we needed some yellow stenciled on. I ended up with this.

Phil got it mounted on the wall for me tonight which turned out easier than I thought it was going to be. 

I cleaned up and organized Michelle’s bathroom again and now we have this:

2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 10

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Wow! Double digit weeks already.  Can you believe we’ve gone through ten weeks – seventy days – already in 2017? Tick, tock, tick, tock folks! Time marches on and you need to make sure you’re making the most of it.  With that thought in mind, come along and see what I accomplished this week on

The Connection Between Forgiveness & Depression (Day Six)

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In the last post, we briefly touched on some of the negatives associated with ignoring forgiveness, and I mentioned depression. Today I want to dig into that a little more deeply.

What is the connection between forgiveness and depression?

Well, I know I said that forgiveness is about you. And it is. But the truth is that it’s not just about you. When we choose to hold onto a grudge, the chances of all involved ending up depressed are fairly high.

If you’re thinking that you’re fine with being miserable as long as you bring them down, too, you really need to keep going through this series. And I love you lots, really and truly, but … well, let’s just keep working on that anger, shall we?

Forgiveness and depression - what's the connection? Can we make ourselves healthier by choosing to forgive?

Anyway, the point is that by choosing not to forgive, you’re hurting yourself and you’re also potentially putting those around you in a dark place as well. That means your spouse, your children and your friends. It means the people who love you and want you to be happy.

There have been some studies down at universities in the United States that show a definite link between forgiveness and depression, and that certainly fits with what I’ve seen over the years.

When we choose to hold onto grudges and hurts and feelings of resentment, we feel less connected to the people around us. When we feel less connected, we have less capability for happiness and positive feelings and experiences … sounds like depression to me.

The good news is that it works both ways.

When we are depressed, it is very difficult to think about positive things. In fact, our brain changes so that we see everything negatively.

When we consciously and purposefully fill our minds with positive thoughts, we can mitigate or reverse those changes.

So let’s see if I can explain this better. We’ll pick one of those awful hurts from an earlier post. You are the adult child of an alcoholic. While depressed, every time you think about your mother, the thoughts are negative and bitter. She was drunk when you came home from school. You were always embarrassed. Other people had a real mother, but you just had this lush that screamed unforgivable things at you. Worse than screaming, though, was when she’d start hitting. Or throwing things. You’ll never forget the day she decided she hated the dinner plates and smashed every one of them, one by one, at your feet.

Look at those memories straight on.

They are there and they’re not going away. All of that awful mess is part of the story that made you, with your strengths and your compassion for others and all of your experience and knowledge.

Now, while accepting your mother exactly as she is, start working on forgiving her.

It wasn’t okay, not a bit of what happened, and it wasn’t right, and it’s totally fine to state that aloud and emphatically. It was NOT right and it was NOT okay.

Love might have to come later, so don’t worry about that right now. You’re just starting. What you need to do now is to start working on separating your negative feelings, which are hurting you every day, from the actions of your mother. It will take time and practice to identify the negative feelings, accept them and release them.

What happened in the past will always be there, and you can’t change that, but you can disassociate them from those awful feelings that drag you down.

There’s nothing special about that example of the violent, alcoholic mother. Perhaps you have a child who has rejected you and all you hold dear, and there are memories that just leave you gasping with hurt. Or you may have physical scars from a violent spouse.

Face those hurts. Look them straight on, name them and then start the process of stepping away from them. The thing that hurt you will always be there. It is in the past and can’t be changed. But you choose whether you let it continue to affect you every day.

Giving – and receiving – forgiveness has a powerful impact on lifting depression.

This doesn’t come natural to us.

Remember Captain Kirk saying that we’re killers and we must simply choose to not kill – today? Violence and hatred and grudges are our natural lot. Forgiveness is something that we must learn, and it’s something we can ultimately only do with God’s help. This is the power of the Cross, at Easter and throughout the year, that we can drop our burden of pain and shame and hurt there and, with the help of God, leave it there.

Despite our violent tendencies, we’re social creatures who crave and physically need connections with other people. We’re so pack-oriented, in fact, that we’ll bond with small furry animals! Actively forgiving, and building connections with other people, helps us to work well together and brings us joy and happiness because that’s how we’re made – regardless of how we act.

This can help lift us out of depression or prevent it in the first place.

It boils down to this – you have a choice. No matter how big the hurt or how much you think you need to hang on to, the ball is always in your court. You can choose to hold on to grudges, resentment, anger and pain, and greatly increase the risk of depression for yourself and those around you, or you can choose forgiveness.

Letting go of that anger and pain makes room for much happier feelings.

Forgiveness and depression - what's the connection? Can we make ourselves healthier by choosing to forgive?