Organization

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You know, a big part of being a survivalist is simply being he manager of your own personal warehouse. Sure we have to learn skills, read a lot of books, practice various tasks, etc., but we also have to be curator to a stockpile of gear. Think about it, you keep gear in your vehicle, in your home, at work, at a friends house, buried at some middle-of-nowhere cache, etc, etc. And all that gear has information about it that needs to be kept – where is it, what is it, how much of it is there, when does it expire, etc, etc. It can be a major pain in the ass.

Someone I used to know turned me on to a program called Evernote. It runs on your desktop machine as well as on your phone/pad. I’ve found it to be exceptionally useful..more so than a simple spreasheet (although the data can be imported/exported through spreadsheets). Right about now there’s a contingent of people mentally screaming “No! Government sees everything on the interweb! They’ll know to come to your house for your guns and food!”.

Not worried. If you’re really worried about it, do your inventory management on your mobile device while youre snagging McDonalds free wifi. Or just don’t put your name and address in any of the files.

I find evernote most useful for tracking inventory of Deep Sleep stuff. For example, if a vendor emails me a deal on magazines I can pop into Evernote, bring up my ‘Mag’ notebook (or just search for ‘magazines’) and view my list of what I have on hand. Then I can make an informed decision about whether I need to sell the other kidney and buy more mags.

Another useful thing about Evernote is the ability to selectively share some of the data. For example, lets say you and your brother are planning on riding out the apocalypse together. You can have one notebook that is shared between the two of you. Say the two of you want to stock up on radio equipment. You might have a notebook named ‘Radio Gear’. You give him access to it. Now when he’s at some hamfest in Iowa he can check and see a live version of the list of gear and know what does or does not need to be purchased. Handy. Excellent for avoiding those awkward moments of “I didn’t know if we had [name of item] so I picked up three cases of it. I wish I’d know we already had plenty.”

Having said that, spreadsheets are still amazingly useful…especially if your Excel skills are good enough to take advantage of tables and conditional formatting. Again, it’s going to knock some people’s tinfoil hats off, but Excel is great for keeping track of guns. I also use it to keep track of the long term food storage… having those spreadsheets accessible to me was quite handy when I was up at the Mormon cannery a few weeks back. I immediately knoew what I did and did not need, which means whatever money I spent was spent wisely.

There’s that old saying that the first step to wisdom is knowing what you do not know. If you don’t know what you have vs. what you need to get then you’re not using your resources wisely. You’ll wind up with a hundred AA-batteries and five MagLites that take D-batteries. You can’t be your own quartermaster without knowing what the heck you do and do not have.

Between Evernote and Excel, the savvy survivalist can manage his resources wisely and make the most of their purchasing power. If you’re just going along with a clipboard and legal pad you are definitely doing yourself a disservice.

 

Off Road Checklist: Don’t Get Stuck Bugging Out

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

4.42/5 (19)

If you find yourself in a survival situation and realize it’s time to get your family on the road to safety, most of us are going to hope we can rely on our vehicle. All things being equal, a properly maintained vehicle of just about any configuration and size is going to be better than humping out-of-town under the power of your two feet. You can carry more stuff, further, faster and a vehicle affords you a little more protection.

However, one of the very real risks we face when we are trying to make our escape is that the way will be blocked with too many other cars. In evacuation situations, such as hurricanes, we see news reports of traffic backed up for miles and hear stories of people sleeping in their cars, running out of gas and getting into fights. This is certainly a possibility, but if you are prepared to bug out and act quickly ahead of the crowd, you could largely avoid this fate. In a dangerous survival situation, you want to be on the road, hopefully to your destination safely before anyone else even knows what is happening.

But there are no guarantees in life and so as preppers, we have backup plans. We have our bags ready to go, caches planned along our multiple routes and with some luck we will make it to our bug out retreats even if we must walk there. Vehicles can break down or become stuck and if this happens and we are not prepared, you could find yourself leaving the family bug out mobile parked, when you could have kept going with some simple supplies.

Those alternate routes could lead you through areas that aren’t paved over obstacles that could put a halt to your forward progress, but with this off road checklist, you could be able to unstuck yourself and keep going.

Off Road Checklist – Getting your vehicle out of a bad situation

If you are attempting a mud pit like this, I hope your vehicle is up to the challenge.

This list isn’t for the type of off roading enthusiast pictured galloping through the mud hole above, but for the prepper looking for a little insurance should you find your self on back-roads without the advantage of AAA. Now I know that not everyone is going to see a need for some of these items, but if you plan on going off the paved roads, some of these items could help you.

Jack and tire iron to change your tire – I’m going to start with some of the more obvious choices, but you should never get in your vehicle and set off on a road trip, certainly one that holds the fate of your family without the ability to change a flat tire. Off road terrain is rougher than asphalt and your average commuter tires have weaker side walls than off road tires. These tools and a spare will get you back on the road in a short time, but you must make sure you have them, AND know how to use them.

Spare Tire, Full Size – And since we are talking about tires… a full-size spare is going to allow you to go faster and will put up with more abuse, like those high-speed J turns you will be doing to get away from the zombies or the mutant biker gangs.

via GIPHY

Tire repair kit But what if someone shoots a hole in one of your tires as you execute that flawless J turn, keeping your family safe? Or as you are careening through the industrial park a hunk of metal punctures your back spare that you just put on before the evasive maneuvers? A tire repair kit may be able to get you back on the road.

Fix A Flat – To inflate that tire. Either that or a good air compressor you can connect to your battery to get aired up and going again.

Basic Tool Kit

Just an assortment of items you can use for minor or major repairs if you have to.

  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Hammer
  • Wrenches (standard and metric)
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Sockets (standard and Metric)
  • Prybar
  • Electrical tape
  • Allen wrenches
  • Hacksaw
  • Spare Fuses

Getting Un-Stuck

MaxTrax – Makes getting out of snow, sand and mud easy even without 4WD

So that was the basic items, but if you are traveling across really rugged terrain, and assuming you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, the following items can be used by you, hopefully with another buddy in another vehicle to get unstuck.

  • MaxTrax – These lightweight traction pads can get you out of snow, sand and mud easily. Just wedge them under the tire that is slipping and slowly roll out. There are cheaper knock-offs but I have read varying reviews on their durability. They stack nicely too.
  • Tow strap – If you are stuck in mud or sand, sometimes you will need some assistance getting un stuck. If your buddy has a trailer hitch, you can connect up and use the tow strap to pull your vehicle out and get back on the road.
  • More Power Pull – Don’t want to mount a winch to the family car? No problem, bring the winch along with you. The Wyeth 3-ton Ratchet puller works just like a winch in terms of physics, but you supply the power. You can attach to a tree and ratchet yourself out of that sticky situation. A winch is a nicer option, but that requires a more permanent commitment to your vehicles aesthetics.
  • Shackle or two – You can use these for connection points if you have them on your vehicle’s frame or to connect to straps.

A short-cut through a rain washed dirt road could stop your progress.

  • Chain (Grade 70) – Can handle a load up to 6,000 lbs. For serious hauling chores.
  • Receiver Hitch with D-Ring – Even if you don’t have a bug out trailer you are dragging along, that factory trailer hitch of yours can be used as a recovery point. Slide this in before you hit the trail and you will be ready to pull or be pulled.
  • Snatch block – Doubles the capacity of your winch.
  • Shovel – Because sometimes you will need to dig yourself out. Also works for burying number #2.
  • Axe – You might need to chop some branches to get an unobstructed connection for your winch cable or a downed tree could be blocking your path on that old logging road. Bonus would be a chainsaw, but not everyone would do that.
  • Gloves – With just about any work like this gloves protect your hands and give you a better grip for safety. Buy 12 pair..

What did I forget? I already know that some of you will have a long list of items and that’s what I would like you to share with the group. What’s in your off road checklist?

If you liked this article, please rate it.

The post Off Road Checklist: Don’t Get Stuck Bugging Out appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

The War Against Germs and Parasites

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The War Against Germs and Parasites This is a very interesting article about germs and parasites attributed to wild game. Much is written about how to procure wild game and how to hunt it quietly in a post SHTF situation. There are even some great article on butchering and storing meat. Where this article shines …

Continue reading »

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The trash on trash

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    The trash on trash

The trash on trash

When we lived in the city and had city services, one of the things that was taken care of with no thought at all was the trash. Two times a week, a big closed dump truck came by and took our trash from the curb, all we had to do was have it bagged up and set out by the curb. I remember hearing the trash truck coming and running to make sure the trash was all out there. We didn’t worry about how much trash we had, or how much room it took up as long as we weren’t getting low on trash bags.

The city did provide blue totes for recyclables, hoping the neighborhood would take the trouble to separate out some of their trash, cardboard, glass, and plastic, some of the neighbors did it, some didn’t, honestly it was just easier to put everything in a bag and drop it by the curb.

I also remember, that even then PB tended to condense our trash, he was a human powered trash compactor, crushing plastic and cardboard containers, we rinsed our food containers so it didn’t stink (and attract animals), things like milk jugs and glass bottles were stuffed with cut down plastic and paper trash so they wouldn’t be large empty spaces in the trash bags. We had fewer but heavier trash bags. PB also enjoyed going out and chatting with the trash guy as he helped toss our trash bags into the truck.

Move ahead several years and we are now living on a mountain side in far west Texas. We don’t have “local” trash pickup, not even in town. There is a trash service of sorts, you can rent a small dumpster that is kept in a central location in the neighborhood, many of our neighbors do that. They go in together, several households to a dumpster because of the cost, it’s several hundred dollars per year (over $300 last I heard). Dumpsters are very coveted, you don’t want to be seen putting your trash into someone elses dumpster.

There is a trash dump in town, it’s not a landfill though, the trash is put into large dumpsters and a company comes by and takes the trash away, presumably to a landfill in some other town. There are fees for using this place, a couple of dollars per trash bag, a set fee for a truck or trailer load. We have used this place before and it’s pretty convenient, they even have recycling dumpsters that are free to use, for cardboard, plastic and glass.

Honestly though, we take care of our own trash most of the time. First of all, we generate very little trash, especially as compared to everyone else, I really notice it when we have visitors stay over or when I’m at someone else’s house. Before trash is even generated, I am considerate of what I buy, what kind of packaging it comes in. Paper and cardboard are the best, this can be burned, whether as fire starter in the wood burning stove, or outside in the burn barrel. Plastics get condensed, as well as metal cans. Again everything gets rinsed off so it doesn’t attract animals. Food leftovers that aren’t going to be eaten get composted.

We end up going to the dump about 4-5 times a year, we do have a truck load of trash, neatly condensed, clean and ready to be tossed into the appropriate container, metal into metal, plastic into plastic, glass into glass.

For those of you who live in more rural areas, how do you deal with your trash?

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You Have Your Bug-Out Bag – Now What Do You Do With It?

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featured_road_through_forest

winterfire-300x225One thing I constantly try to keep in mind is that not everybody is familiar with the great outdoors. Recently I had a conversation with a friend at work who told me he had a bug-out bag full of good gear, but when we talked it became evident that he didn’t have a real solid plan of what to do with it in case he actually needed to bug-out. So I thought I’d write a short guide on what do do with your bug-out kit once you actually have to step outside the door with it.

By Jarhead Survivor, a Contributing Author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog

Let’s assume you have the basics of what should be in a good camping kit. Remember the Survival Rule of 3’s?

1. You can survive three hours without shelter
2. You can survive three days without water
3. You can survive three weeks without food

This means you’ll need shelter, water – carrying some and with a wait to purify it, and food.

Let’s further assume that this bug-out (or camping trip) will last for three days and you want to go off grid where there is no electricity or other people in the area. We’ll also say that you’ve cleared the trouble area and now it’s time to enter the woods and set up camp.

In your pack you should have a shelter of some kind such as a tarp, tent or bivy. You’ll also need water and food, and a way to navigate such as map and compass. Don’t forget a first-aid kit! Add in some basics such as a knife, flashlight, sleeping bag, water filter, mess kit, stove, fuel, etc, and pretty soon you’ll have a pretty heavy pack with lots of gear. (See this post about keeping your pack weight down.)

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

So now it’s time to bug-out. What are the actual first steps you take? As silly as it might sound make sure you’ve got your pack(s) ready to go. When you’re satisfied that all is good go ahead and shoulder it. Make sure it fits properly and the waist and shoulder straps are cinched properly.

Check Out: The Survival Staff

Open the door and start walking.

I know that sounds a little silly, but stay with me.

glock_19_katrina_pistol_trijicon_streamlight_tlr2_surefire_with_gerber_lmf-2Now, if this is a full scale event with millions of people trying to get out of Dodge don’t be shy about taking care of yourself. If you have a gun carry it to where you can get to it easily. Very likely that someone who hasn’t done the planning you have might decide that your stuff looks pretty good and they’d like to have it for themselves. A gun is a great way to dissuade them if comes down to it.

In The Woods

ominous_forest_coldNow you’ve reached the patch of wilderness that is your destination. What do do? One of the first things you should have done is look over your map or Google Maps and get a sense of the land. Is there water in that patch of woods? If so are they lakes, streams, or rivers? Any cliffs or mountains? Swamps? Are there roads or trails? What’s out there that might benefit or hinder you? Where’s the nearest road in case you get lost? What’s the azimuth to it? The more information you have about the area you’ll be working in the better off you’ll be.

Now that we have a map and a better understanding of the area it’s time to pick a location for a camp. When I’m camping I typically look for a spot near water, but high enough not to be bothered by rising water if it rains. If possible, talk to people who’ve camped there before and ask them what the land is like and if there’s anything to watch out for.

Next to a lake or river on a high bank is usually a good spot. Spots like these will likely draw in other hikers/campers/refugees as well, so keep that in mind when selecting your camp. If you’re planning on burning wood make sure there’s plenty of dry dead wood in your area that will burn good. Standing dead is your best choice.

Watch out for “widow makers.” A widow maker is a dead tree or branch on or over where you’re setting up that might fall down during a high wind. Nothing will ruin your night like a widow maker crashing through your tent and killing you.

Camp

Once you’re happy with your area it’s time to set up your tent. (I’ll assume we’re using a tent in this scenario, although a tarp or poncho would work just as well.)

Clear the area of debris where your tent is going to be. Rocks, roots, pine cones, any of these things can make an overnight feel like a week if it gets under your sleeping mat. Once your tent is set up put the sleeping pad and sleeping bag inside, grab your axe/hatchet/saw and head out to get some firewood.

Related: Cold Weather Survival in a Blizzard

shelter_fire_camping_out-2As mentioned earlier, standing dead wood is your best bet. If you find wood lying directly on the ground it’s likely to be wet, damp, and/or punky and probably won’t burn very well. Tree’s that are standing, but dead, will offer a great source of firewood once you’ve cut them down. I usually have a small saw and don’t cut anything bigger than four or five inches at the base, which makes dragging and processing the wood a little easier.

After you cut the tree down don’t cut it up yet. I like to leave it at tree length as much as possible and carry it back as one unit, then cut it up when I get back to camp. Make a good stack of wood so you’ll be able to have a fire well into the evening. If you’re depending on the fire to keep you warm gather as much wood as you think you’ll need, then add some more. An all night fire burns a lot of wood!

Eating

If I’m doing a long distance hike I’ll primarily take freeze dried foods, which aren’t bad, but then again they rarely make me jump for joy either. But anything tastes good if you’re hungry enough!

At dinner I would advise using a fire to heat your water and food and save your stove fuel for when you really need it. When I’m in the field dinner is usually my biggest meal. I like to eat, hang out around the fire, then go to bed when I get tired.

Breakfast is typically a quick affair where I’ll either something simple like GORP, or heat up water for oatmeal and instant coffee. If you’re not moving you can use a fire to heat your meal. If you’re packing up and getting ready to leave you could probably use your stove to heat the water. This isn’t a hard and fast rule though! If you’d rather have a small fire before you get going go ahead. Just make sure your fire is dead before you leave.

If you’re on the move lunch is another quick meal. When I’m walking I like to stop for lunch somewhere high if possible and enjoy whatever view I can. If you’re trying not to be seen there are all kinds of places where you can drop your pack and get your stove going. My lunches are typically quick and easy to prepare, maybe some Oodles of Noodles and an energy bar, or if I don’t want to cook some GORP or trail mix might do the trick.

Moving

gps_compass_lostWhen you’re moving from place to place you need to keep accurate track of your location. You can do this by using a GPS unit or a map and compass. Being old school I like the map and compass and I highly suggest that you get a little schooling on them if you don’t already know how. If you’re on a bug-out and the S has really HTF then you don’t want to rely too heavily on anything that uses batteries.

If you’re moving site to site leave yourself a little wiggle room on the amount of time you expect it will take you to get there. I’ve pulled into a site after dark on many occasions and it can suck setting up camp in the dark after a day of hiking a heavy pack through the woods. Do what you have to do. Sometimes being in the woods on a long trip sucks and you just need to suck it up.

Conserving Your Resources

When I talk about conservation I’m thinking more about conserving your supplies as much as possible. Drink from streams with a filter if possible and save the water in your canteen. (But do drink. A lot!) If you’re sitting around the fire at night there’s no need to have your headlamp or flashlight going. Keep them off and save the batteries. If it’s the right time of year you can fish and pick berries to help offset what you eat.

Bathroom Breaks at Camp

When you’re traveling a bathroom is no big deal. Just step off the trail and do your business. Bury everything when you’re done.

If you’re in camp you’ll need to designate a spot for pit stops. I usually like to walk about fifteen steps from camp, but at night you’ll realistically probably only walk a few steps away before you let fly. Unwise, but understandable, especially if it’s cold. Better for everyone if you all have the discipline to go to the prescribed bathroom spot.

Summary

Now you have a basic idea of what an off-grid camp out looks like. A bug-out to the wilderness won’t be that different except you’ll probably be more on the alert for other people while you’re out there and will probably want to practice more light and noise security.

Every camp out is different, but they all share the same attributes and in order to get good at it you need to get out there and do it. Practice, practice, practice!

If you’re nervous start by sleeping out in your backyard or at a campground. As you get more confident head out into the wilderness for longer stays.

Talk to people who’ve camped in that area and see what they have to say. Is a gun necessary due to animals? Does it rain a lot? Etc. Ask questions about where they camped and how they made out. Ok, if you have questions or comments sound off below!

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Survival Gear Review: Estwing Survival Tomahawk and Double Bit Axe

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1_featured_Estwing_EBTA_Tomahawk_EBDBA_Double_BIt_Axe_stump

2_Estwing_EBTA_Tomahawk_EBDBA_Double_BIt_Axe_head_compare_3The company Estwing makes some of the most ubiquitous and diversified hammers, camp axes and hatchets ever to roll around the bed of a pickup. Ernest Estwing’s steel tools are the industry standard from framing hammers to camp axes, and the ones we grew up with and loved for their simplicity and durability since 1923. But tomahawks? Well, let’s take a closer look. The Estwing brand is an American made all-steel uber-strong set of striking tools from pry bars to drilling hammers, to camp hatchets, to full-sized axes. And two diversions from the traditional line of swinging tools includes some even more traditional tomahawk-like tools.

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

These are single-bladed, pick iron variants of the same tools the Algonquian Indians used to crack skulls and carve up meat before the Europeans came to North America. Jumping into the 21st century, the tomahawk, and even “tactical tomahawk,” have entered the mainstream bug out vernacular with a vengeance. To the point that any major knife or axe maker worth his or her survival salt makes a tomahawk or tomahawk-ish hand tool. I included the “ish” because one of the earth’s premier axe maker failed to market a “tomahawk” but does have an excessively expensive “Outdoor Axe” that easily mimics a tomahawk for most practical purposes. But enough of the Sweed.

Related: 12 Things You Should Know About Knives

In Estwing’s lineup of tools that fall under the axe/hatchet variety are a series of tomahawks that two head designs and a series of colors and handle options. Actually, Estwing only lists one head as a tomahawk but I am lumping their double-bit axe into the tomahawk category due to it’s size. I consider double-bit axes as those twice-as-big lumber tools that Paul Bunyan would have slung over his shoulder, not a two-pound 17-inch double-headed hatchet. So I’ll take the liberty and consider them together and both in the tomahawk family.

Two Bits

3_Estwing_EBTA_Tomahawk_EBDBA_Double_BIt_Axe_chopping_doubleThe double bit axe has two of the same edges. Often double bits are ground at different angles for two distinct chopping experiences. But this is more of a case of redundancy than duality. For throwing, camp chores, and general small-scale slicing, a double-edged axe like this works great. Very great, in fact. This is certainly not a felling axe, but it would easily be a go-to camp axe, or bug out tool. Like all Estwing tools I’ve had the privilege to use, the double bit axe preforms like a champ. Maybe not the world champion, but certainly a national champion.

The thin-thickness of the Estwing double bit places this tool outside the common axe/hatchet/wood splitting duties where lateral forces are as important as downward chopping forces. So more angled chopping is needed if using the Estwing double-edged axe for traditional firewood preparation. Throwing, on the other hand is truly a forte compared to those wood chopping tools with little personality.

Tom-A-Hawk

The Estwing Tomahawk is a precision chopper. The balance is wonderful, and the grip to blade ratio leans heavily toward small work. Small accurate work to be more specific. The proportions of this tomahawk’s design supports a fine woodworking talent that make the Estwing Tomahawk a great piece of camp gear for minor woodworking, kindling chores, and even some kitchen duties.

5_Estwing_EBTA_Tomahawk_EBDBA_Double_BIt_Axe_choppingUnlike the Double Bit axe, the Estwing Tomahawk has a vastly different back end. Protruding opposite the Estwing Tomahawk’s main feature is a powerful spike that is as deadly as is it is functional. When you need a hole in something fast, the Estwing Tomahawk will deliver with the speed and force of a quality geology hammer. The pick is not sharp like a blade, but more of a blunt sharp, to coin an oxymoron. But anything organic that gets in its way is history. Between the two, I really like the precision chopping of the Estwing Tomahawk over the double bit axe. But if I was to carry one in my truck for camping duties, it would be a toss up with a leaning towards the double bit. Luckily I don’t have to choose. And given the relatively low street prices, you might not need to either. But no matter which Estwing you carry, you will be able to push it to your limit before reaching it’s limit.

Check Out: How to Pick the Best Personal Protection Firearm

Overall, both tools are in the thinish metal Estwing tradition with excellent rubberized shock-absorbing grips. They lean more towards value than brute strength or selective steel. But for 95% of users, those potential limitations are not limitations. So when it comes to outfitting your bug out bag or bug out vehicle, I can whole-heartedly suggest either of these Estwing tools. And even another one. But that is for later review. Stay tuned.

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The 6 Best Ways To Predator-Proof Your Chicken Coop (You Are Doing No. 4 … Right?)

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The 6 Best Ways To Predator-Proof Your Chicken Coop (You Are Doing No. 4 … Right?)

Image source: Pixabay.com

My headlights showed that no one had closed the pop door on the coop even though the sunlight had vanished a half hour prior. I had just returned from picking up pizzas for supper and noticed a hen sitting outside in the snow.

Putting the van in park, I glanced at the coop again. There he was — an opossum standing just inside the building. I honked the horn to warn the other hens. The pop door seemed as if it were exploding as my hens flew out and scattered. Some ran for the safety of the back steps to the house, a few scurried into the garage, and one flew up to the roof to roost. Fortunately, all of my hens returned to the coop unharmed. On this night, pizza saved my flock, but by utilizing a few tips, I hope to prevent this from ever happening again.

Predators are a fact of life on the homestead. Raccoons, opossums, weasels, foxes and snakes are common threats to any chicken coop. In addition to these ground-level predators, air attacks from hawks and owls occur in some rural areas. Of course, completely eliminating the threat to hens is impossible, but managing the threat is doable.

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

Here are a few tips to tighten the security of your coop and increase the level of safety enjoyed by your flock.

1. Install an automatic pop door

A sliding pop door is a DIY project that can be made with the help of an electric motor and timer, or it can be purchased and installed rather easily. Using a timer to regulate the door opening and closing can be tricky if your birds free-range, as the length of each day changes dramatically and a bird closed out of the coop certainly will draw predators. If constructing your own door, including a bottom rail will hinder some types of predators from lifting the door and helping themselves to your flock.

2. Upgrade your locks

A few predators, raccoons in particular, are skilled at opening doors and lifting latches. This could pose a problem for the inhabitants of your coop. Upgrade the latches and locks on your coop by including multistep latches and even padlocks to deter the most-skilled predators.

The 6 Best Ways To Predator-Proof Your Chicken Coop (You Are Doing No. 4 … Right?)

Image source: Pixabay.com

3. Replace chicken wire

Chicken wire is fine for some projects, but it is not the best option for protecting your flock. Replace the chicken wire in windows, screen doors and the run with hardware cloth. This cloth is a sturdy mesh that allows air to flow through easily while making it difficult for predators to tear. It also can be used as a covering for a run to deter hawks and owls from sampling your chickens.

4. Bury the fencing

Bury at least 12 inches of fencing below the surface to prevent burrowing animals from entering the run, but do it with the proper materials.

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

Uncoated metal, such as chicken wire, deteriorates quickly. When burying fencing for a chicken run, or as a protective measure around the coop, use coated metal below the surface. Chicken wire can deteriorate in as little as three years when exposed to the constant moisture typically found in the soil.

5. Keep it clean

Cleaning the coop is certainly necessary to maintain healthy chickens, but keeping the area surrounding the coop clean is just as important to their safety. At dusk, remove uneaten food and treats from the run and coop. This will discourage predators looking for an easy meal — and rodents that can spread disease — from entering the coop. Remove tall grasses, vines and other debris from around the coop, as well. Predators will be less inclined to stroll out to the coop when they will be in full view.

6. Perform regular maintenance

Small creatures, such as weasels, snakes and young opossums, can squeeze through very small holes. Replace worn or rotten boards promptly, including floor boards. Also, take care that the seams are properly fitted together, using a sealant to ensure there are no gaps for predators to slide through. Mend or replace fencing or hardware cloth that has been damaged.

How do you keep predators out of your flock? Share your tips in the section below:

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

Will America’s Coming Collapse resemble Europe’s Current Crisis?

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by Silence Dogood

Currently the unraveling of Europe is becoming clear, especially to those that are paying attention. The horrific migrant crisis, the rapes, the tenuous economy, the various financial bubbles all stemming from central bankers and their money printing.

Manipulated bond markets, credit markets are creating housing bubbles and have forced much of the middle class to flee these over priced areas leaving entire communities of our city’s because they no longer can afford to live there.

We stand back and watch seeing the inevitable breakup of the European Union, beginning with Brexit and the public discourse of people in the major cities struggling with racial tension, it seems we cannot see what is behind it all. I know I can see the connection if you cannot.

It is boiling across Europe as you read this, all hidden by the mainstream media outlets.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-11/europe-s-credit-investors-are-seeing-bubbles-and-still-adding-risk

The chart in the above link shows the credit bubble ready to burst, as it started forming as far back as August of 2016.

Many economists are blaming the bond market for driving this credit bubble. The low yields are forcing investors into the credit markets, most hoping to prop up their portfolios o, at the very least, to stave off the drop in interest rates. It is pushing bankers to invest into this inflating bubble, rather then leave their money to dwindle over the next three decades in some zero or negative interest investment.

The European Central Bank started buying corporate bonds back in June of this year, infusing the European economy with more money to hide the fact it is unsustainable.

America has been implementing the same strategy with our Federal Reserve.

This of course, reduces the buying power of the nations currency, right across the board, and is affecting the inflation of the money due to zero or negative interest rates, all this is being done while inflating a rampant bubble that we now see everywhere with the cheap credit from this failing debt based system.

The carelessness of the central banks coupled with the Brexit, has exacerbated the situation and created even more foolish credit use by those that run our systems.

It is now the new “Monte Carlo,” and has made gamblers out of every European banker, who by using the people’s money (our Bonds) as their poker chips they are betting on a rigged game, hoping to get out just before the table gets flipped by the biggest loser.

Their new gambler mentality is simply betting with our low to zero interest rate loans speculating on these bubble markets, rather then with honest investment.

The loans given to the publically traded companies are mostly used by CEOs to buy back their own shares and keep up to the spiraling descent of the entire system.

This is why the inflation increase is not obvious to the moral majority.

This makes complete sense to any businessman, as most would rather invest in bubble markets then hold onto zero yield savings, bonds, or similar financial products.

The Central Bank must know this too, or they are the stupidest businessmen of the century.

No, I think by now, it is merely a wait and see game; with each player trying to bump the last bet, hoping that they hold the winning hand in the end.

Soon someone will call “all in,” and shove the last of their pile into the center, and then we will see the chips fall…

Just remember, folks, they are playing with your money created from your promissory notes (The nation’s Bonds).

Just look at these interest rates, and you will see who is next and what is driving this madness.

 central bank interest rate region percentage date
 FED interest rate United States 0.500 % 12-16-2015
 RBA interest rate Australia 1.500 % 08-02-2016
 BACEN interest rate Brazil 14.000 % 10-19-2016
 BoE interest rate Great Britain 0.250 % 08-04-2016
 BOC interest rate Canada 0.500 % 07-15-2015
 PBC interest rate China 4.350 % 10-23-2015
 ECB interest rate Europe 0.000 % 03-10-2016
 BoJ interest rate Japan 0.000 % 02-01-2016
 CBR interest rate Russia 10.000 % 09-16-2016
 SARB interest rate South Africa 7.000 % 03-17-2016

As you can see from the chart abov,  things are not looking good for Europe or Japan, and similarly they do not bode well for the North American markets either.

The low interest rates are just the beginning. I am quite sure the Fed will pretend to bump the rates higher soon in North America as they have each December, claiming they will stem the flow of speculation, but knowing each time they do it they just simply move the market.

They will inevitably drop the rates again within a month or risk destroying the whole system, and reveal the true house of cards that it is.

Can America expect much of the same woes as Europe has, right here at home?

Certainly, we do.

We are talking about the same issues and same market pressures as Europe. We are taking on the same migrant policies as Europe. Despite knowing it would be far cheaper and much more practical to leave the refugees where they are, in their own countries. Simply create a protected zone for them to exist in, until the conflict is settled or at the very least protect them somewhere in an alternate Muslim country, where they will be able to assimilate without civil war.

We can simply provide housing and food for them at far cheaper cost than bringing them here to our countries to live. Our army can easily teach them to construct clean living conditions they will need to survive, and offer military protection only until they are established. They can use their own people after that to patrol the facilities; we could then simply provide a military bubble of protection, with air support, merely on a consultant capacity after that.

Perhaps some solutions are in order…

This migrant problem does not take a brain surgeon to figure out. Perhaps we can even use our private mystery mercenaries, such as Blackwater (or whatever they call themselves nowadays), posting them over there to do the job of protection. They are much cheaper then our military these days (or so they claim) and the bonus using these guys is that those boys would be there by choice.

The globalist propaganda has definitely fogged our collective minds for we cannot see this for ourselves anymore.

As the above charts regarding interest rates in Europe’s banking system indicate, we are only 0.5% away from the same scenario as Europe, so we can simple extrapolate what our market will do following the same sort of pattern as Europe.

What we saw back in 2008 shows us the ends to which this will lead… the 2007 housing bubble crash which led to the financial crash of 2008.

Yet, even the charts we mentioned do not show the over inflated money bubble that most currencies are in these days.

When that ship comes in there will be… all hell to pay.

It is speculated that all though we are obviously different then the European Union, the United States may fall in a similar fashion. Europe’s collapse began with Greece’s default. The charts indicate Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Spain, or France are next.

Similarly in America, California, has nearly the exact same profile as Greece’s debt back when it fell.

This makes California the first probable state to bring down the rest of the Union by default.

As this link shows, the debt of California is the largest in the union, with the least chance of maintaining itself. This is the catalyst that will start the unraveling of the Federal Reserve’s debt and its Ponzi scheme.

Lets stare into our crystal ball, America will be ablaze sometime in the coming future, as this perfect storm brews over the nation, a storm of financial, religion, government over reach and injustices that will collide at once, causing many other lesser systems to fail soon after.

The illogical strife of left verses Right paradigm has started right after the elections. Foolish people who are not able to recognize that they are being used by the same system they are complaining about. The frustration has been created by ignorance, and the lack of teaching basic civics, and financial concepts in our failing school systems.

It will not take much else to make it reach a tipping point now.

A simple spark will set off this fuel fire, a simple bump in the interest rates for more then a few weeks will bring down our markets, proving once and for all that the people cannot repay even the interest on the debt these banksters say we owe.

A so-called bank holiday will be declared to stop the outflow of the failing money system. The state owned banks would confiscate funds from their depositors just as they did in Cyprus, to shore up their balance sheets.

People will panic nation wide, withdrawing money from the failing system, while creating riots; the nation will need to impose martial law to quell the rioters. Food stamps will not be enough to feed the nation, the store shelves will be bare within 3 days, and all commerce will cease. The nation will struggle under weight of it, will set off race riots, as throngs of disgruntle people will meet in the streets mobs will campout in front of government buildings.

Years may roll by without any relief in sight for the people, only complete reform will allow the world to begin again.

The worst of it all is a lot of this could have been prevented.

We have known for decades this was coming. We even had solutions, but the ignorant refuse to learn.

They prefer to listen to the corporately controlled media, and simple hide their heads in the sand. I suppose this is human nature.

Those people have always been with us. They are the ones that throw loved ones into the volcano, or cower in fear at an eclipse. Two hundred and forty years ago, the smart ones left this system behind. They thought they had left it for good, and created a new way of living, but there are no new lands now for us to go to, and we simply cannot just sail off and start again. We have to face this problem for the last time.

We cannot fix this collapse without facing up to the problem of where it started.

We must stop listening to the hierarchy. We need to cut off the head of this snake once and for all. The people at the top of the pyramid have used religion, government, and mass control over us for thousands of years. Surely, with very little effort we can come up with a new system to satisfy at least our nation.

Get rid of the control of our money system. Many years have taught us that neither our Government nor the private bankers can control money responsibly. Our governments over the past have also exploited their control by printing too much.

A finite money system is needed, interest free. Whether that is backed by Gold and Silver, or some form of Bitcoin makes no difference. The fact that it is finite is what matters, no more runaway printing presses controlled by institutions to fund their wars for profit.

A free market is all that is required to dictate the money’s value after that.

Governments cannot be trusted with regulating the market either. I am sure we all can agree on that too, no one needs to regulate a free market system. There is also a reason why congress is the only ones that can declare war. Yet over the last hundred or so wars the Untied States has been involved in, congress only agreed to a handful of them, this has got to end.

End the FIAT currency scam. It is nothing more then counterfeit money, and only worth the paper, it is printed on.

Forget about blending cultures with clearly different ideologies, such as historically rival religious groups, and stop interfering in their nations too. If they have a contradictory ideology or we believe it is flawed some how, then it will adapt on their own, or fail. They will become extinct because they themselves will end it; we do not have to impose our ideals on their way of life. Radical groups will not rise up because of foreign interference either. Our western foreign policies created these crazy radical groups, not the nations they stemmed from. This is our government’s doing.

Now we may need to end it for good, but not before designing a plan to get out of their countries, after. Let’s start acting like the mature ones here, clean up our own back yards first.

Anyway, I thought I would give a few ideas for a change. These are incomplete obviously, but too many articles simply complain about the situation, and never offer any solutions.

I’m so sorry Europe’s strife is coming for us here in America too, so keep prepping. Everyday we learn more and everyday we grow stronger.

Don’t let these bastards win…

Your humble servant

Silence Dogood

Ficus Benjamina – Weeping Fig Tree Care

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The post Ficus Benjamina – Weeping Fig Tree Care is by
hp4u and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Ficus benjamina, also known as the weeping fig tree, is a beautiful and beneficial tree that comes from Southeast Asia and Northern Australia.In this guide you’ll learn exactly how to grow a weeping fig plant in your home, as well as the beneficial properties it has for your health.​ Quick Navigation PlantingWhen to PlantHow to […]

The post Ficus Benjamina – Weeping Fig Tree Care is by
hp4u and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

21 Tips for growing cucumbers

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Looking to add cucumbers to your garden? These easy tips and guidelines could have you knee-deep in cucumbers in as little as 2 months.

Growing cucumbers is among the most popular activities in backyard vegetable gardens across the country. In fact, almost half of the nation’s home vegetable growers – 47 percent according to Susan Littlefield, horticultural editor at the National Gardening Association – plant cucumbers. That makes cukes America’s No. 2 most popular homegrown vegetable. (Tomatoes, which should surprise no one, are the runaway favorite at 86 percent.)

There are two forms of cucumber plants, bush and vining. Bush selections form compact plants and are ideally suited for small gardens and containers. Vining plants, however, may be the better choice. They clamber up trellises and produce fruit that is straighter with less disease and insect problems than cukes grown on bushing plants.

Cucumber plants make two basic types of fruit, those for slicing and those for pickling. There are many varieties of each. Pickling varieties seem to reach their peak faster than slicing varieties.

Growing cucumbers is easy if you have a garden space that gets maximum sunshine. If you follow the few simple directions below from the National Gardening Association and don’t have unexpected late spring freezes, you should begin harvesting cucumbers in 65 to 105 days.

Planning and preparation

1. Select disease-resistant varieties.

2. Choose a sunny and fertile site with well-drained soil.

3. For an earlier harvest and to reduce the threat of insect damage to seedlings, start a few plants indoors in individual pots (or trays with separate compartments) about a month before your last spring frost date.

4. Set up trellises or a fence if you plant the vining form.

Planting

5. Sow seeds in the garden only after danger of frost has passed and you are sure the soil will remain reliably warm. Cucumber plants are extremely susceptible to frost.

6. Make a second sowing 4 to 5 weeks later for a late summer or early fall harvest.

7.  To seed in rows, plant seeds 1 inch deep and about 6 inches apart.

8. To seed in hills, plant four or five seeds in 1-foot-diameter circles set 5 to 6 feet apart.

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Care

9. Thin cucumber plants in rows to 1 or 2 feet apart, depending on the type (slicing or pickling), when 3 to 4 inches tall.

10. Thin cucumber plants in hills to the healthiest two plants when plants have two or three leaves.

11. Keep soil evenly moist to prevent the fruit from becoming bitter.

12. Side-dress cucumber plants about 4 weeks after planting. Apply two handfuls of good compost or a tablespoon of 5-10-10 or similar fertilizer per plant in a narrow band along each plant.

13. Apply a thick layer of mulch after applying the fertilizer.

Controlling pests

14. Monitor cucumbers and other vegetables for the buildup of insect pests.

15. Perhaps the best way for home gardeners to control insects, especially the destructive cucumber beetle, Littlefield advised, involve strategies to disrupt the insect’s life cycle and habits. These include covering young plants with lightweight row covers until they begin flowering and crop rotation, she said.

16. If you decide to use insecticides, consider trying natural, less-toxic pesticides first. The problem with this approach, said Littlefield, is that there are not many effective “natural insecticide” choices in the case of cucumber beetles.

17. The most effective of the “natural insecticides” choices, she added, is kaolin clay applied preventatively. It acts as a repellent.

18. There’s also a problem with using broad-spectrum contact insecticides such as malathion, bifenthrin, cyhalothrin, cyfluthrin, permethrin, carbaryl and pyrethrin. These kill beneficial predators and parasites of insect pests.

19. In the case of all insecticides, read package labels to be aware of whether you must wait several days before harvesting cucumbers after applying the insecticide.

20. Consider capturing the pest, placing it in a sealed plastic bag and taking it to your local garden center and asking the staff there what control method would work best in your area.

Harvesting

21. Once cucumbers reach pickling or slicing size, harvest every couple of days to prevent cukes from getting excessively large or yellow and to keep plants productive.

 

Source : www.mnn.com

 

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Do You Really Need That to Survive: Night Vision Devices

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There are essentially two types of night vision devices and it comes down to personal preferences and in some cases particular mission requirements when it comes time to choose. First, there is low-level light, which is naturally present and is enhanced by the device. Once enhanced an image is presented to you. Not only is […]

The post Do You Really Need That to Survive: Night Vision Devices appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

Do You Really Need That to Survive: Night Vision Devices

There are essentially two types of night vision devices and it comes down to personal preferences and in some cases particular mission requirements when it comes time to choose. First, there is low-level light, which is naturally present and is enhanced by the device. Once enhanced an image is presented to you. Not only is […]

The post Do You Really Need That to Survive: Night Vision Devices appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

Do You Really Need That to Survive: Night Vision Devices

There are essentially two types of night vision devices and it comes down to personal preferences and in some cases particular mission requirements when it comes time to choose. First, there is low-level light, which is naturally present and is enhanced by the device. Once enhanced an image is presented to you. Not only is […]

The post Do You Really Need That to Survive: Night Vision Devices appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

This U.S. City May Issue $1,000 Fines For ‘Bad Smells’

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This U.S. City May Issue $1,000 Fines For ‘Bad Smells’Property owners in one major American city soon might face a $1,000 fine for foul odors. The city is even planning to equip code inspectors with a smell measuring device called the Nasal Ranger to enforce the measure.

Officials in Las Vegas would use the device to test the air in neighborhoods, The Las Vegas Review Journal reported. If bad smells were detected, property owners would have the choice of clearing the air or paying a fine.

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No smell ordinance is on the books, but the city council is scheduled to discuss one. The main targets of the ordinance will be recreational marijuana growers.

The ‘Nasal Ranger’

“It comes up with a scientific reading, so if we had to go to court, we’re not standing there and going, ‘Yeah, it’s stinky,’” code enforcement supervisor Vicki Ozuna said of the Nasal Ranger.

The $2,000 device looks like a hair dryer. Officers would put the device up to their noise and take a reading. If the reading was high, property owners might face a fine. The officers also would get special training in detecting smells.

The city decided to crack down on odors because of a cat hoarder’s home that was so smelly the walls had to be ripped out to end the stink. City officials found they were powerless to do anything about the cathouse, even though residents could smell it from across the street.

What do you think? Should cities crack down on foul smells? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Transporting Firearms Across State Lines

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The following information regarding transporting firearms across state lines was obtained from the NRA-ILA, and I thought that some of you might find it beneficial to know…   CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law. To […]

Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (3/11/17)

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

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

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 3/5/17 – 3/11/17

Peace,
Todd

Follow Me:
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Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (3/11/17)

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

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

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 3/5/17 – 3/11/17

Peace,
Todd

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle PlusYouTube

How To Protect Your Ammo Stockpile

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Even though you may make every effort to become self sufficient, there are some things that cannot be made without a good bit of help from modern tools and equipment. Some of the best ammunition in the world will no longer be available once society collapses and the technology and skills are lost for making it.

Under these circumstances, you may feel that it is best to store away as much ammo as possible. At the very least, if you have a bigger stockpile left, there is a chance that you or your survivors can command greater resources once societies begin to form again.

In the meantime, storing ammo properly is also very important so that you will be prepared for smaller emergencies that require the use of the items in your stockpile.

Here are some basic guidelines for keeping your ammunition safe in a world where new technologies may make it a bit more complicated than expected.

Making Your Ammo Invisible

Ground penetrating radars, X-ray scanners, satellites, and other devices make it very hard to hide metallic objects even in your own home or in the ground beneath it. This, in turn, means that making ammo invisible will be harder than you may have expected. Here are some things you can try:

  • All of your ammo should be impossible to trace to you. When you buy ammo, always pay cash and only divulge your identity to people that you can trust. Never buy all your ammo in one place. If someone is watching your purchases at one location, they may not be able to gauge your stockpile as easily if you buy elsewhere.
  • Pack your ammo into smaller cans that can be harder to spot by scanners from above or at ground level. Smaller boxes can be hidden among metal pipes or other “scrap” as long as the metals in question are similar to those found in the bullets. If there is a reason why you would store away bullets with aluminum or steel casings over brass ones, this would be it!
  • If you purchase a square or rectangular shaped ammo can, it may be very easy to spot on some scanners. You may want to make unevenly shaped boxes from polymer or other materials that will keep the ammo dry, cool, and safe. When using polymer, do not forget to cover the outer surface of the container with rocks, bits of metal, or anything else that will help scramble the signature of the ammunition hidden within the can.
  • You may also be able to find paints and other materials that will absorb scanner signals or reflect them in a way that masks the presence of the ammo can. You will need to have a good idea of the technologies used to scan for ammo or metal, and then figure out which coatings will best suit your needs. While you may be tempted to try and jam scanners, the consistent failure of these devices in certain areas may draw unwanted attention. It is truly better to make the signature of your cache as small as possible so that it is overlooked or mistaken for something else.  Just remember that it can be harder to fool modern computers that do not get tired, bored, or lose focus as a human viewer would.

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Making Your Ammo Stockpile Mobile

One of the most important, but overlooked aspects of ammo stockpiling is making sure that you can move everything around with ease.  Here are some things you can do to make the task easier:

  • If you have ammo stored away from home or underground, make sure that you have pulleys, carts, and other devices to move the ammo around with ease.
  • Always make sure that you can clear pathways easily, yet cover them back up so that the presence of your ammo remains undetected.
  • Have a locus of four or five locations nearby that you can rotate each can in and out of. If you have two cans of ammo in your home, then you should have at least 10 hiding places that the cans can be moved in and out of.
  • Take the time now to practice moving ammo around so that you know what to expect. In an emergency, there is nothing worse than being pressed for time and unsure how long it will take to accomplish a task. Even if something does go wrong or the unexpected happens, these time frames will help you make better decisions about what to take along and what to leave behind.
  • Never forget that lighter weight is easier to carry around. Lighter weight cans are also less likely to break apart or puncture when jolted in transit.
  • When you practice moving ammo from one place to another, always include awareness of fires, excess heat, and water. Never put ammo near heat or flames even if you want to test your skills. It is safest to make sure that you are aware as you go through your drills. If you truly feel compelled to drill with live fire, then use ammo cans filled with sand; this will keep you safe and help you gain a sense of what must be done. Don’t forget to include a thermometer on top of the can and one that will record temperatures inside the can. If nothing else convinces you to avoid drilling with ammo in the presence of fire or excess heat, this may well do the job.

Video first seen on Patriotsurvival

Avoid Indirect Damage from EMPs and Nuclear Blasts

It is true that nuclear blasts and EMPs cannot directly cause primers to explode or gunpowder to ignite. EMPs are well known for causing fires.

If you have ammo cans stored near wires, cables, or anything else that might burn up from the EMP, then the heat from that fire may be enough to cause the ammo to explode. The thermal wave from a nuclear blast and the fires caused by it can also affect ammo in a harmful way.

There is only one real way to prevent EMPs and nuclear blasts from ruining your ammo supply. As with protecting yourself, all of your ammo will have to be stored in an underground bunker or shelter. Never hesitate to build additional tunnels or layers of tunnels so that you can move the ammo around underground.

If you cannot store ammo underground, then you can still take some steps to reduce the risk of ammo related explosions caused by an EMP. If you decide to stash ammo in the walls of your home make sure that the cans are far enough away from electrical wiring, metal pipes, or anything else that might conduct electricity. You should also avoid storing ammo in any location where only a bit of plaster or wood stands between an electrical appliance and the ammo hiding in the wall.

When storing ammo in a bug out bag, make sure that all electronic devices and conductive materials are stored away in EMP proof bags. As long as no fires start in the bug out bag, and everything stays cool and dry, then the ammo should also remain safe.

Safeguarding Your Stockpile

There are many different ways to safeguard your ammo stockpile. If you are prepping with a group, then you can always look for way to use conventional guard duty systems. That being said, no matter how much you trust the people around you, it never hurts to have a few hidden caches of ammo that only you know about.

If you have ammo stored in remote locations, the geography of the region itself should be able to deter electronic scanners and curious people. While you may not be able to actively patrol these areas, you should still be able to draw adversaries into fire zones or use traps to neutralize them.

When setting traps in areas you don’t plan on visiting very often, just make sure you remember what you did. There are few things worse in life than going to a cave where you hid some ammo, only to wind up hung up by a snare you set in front of the entrance, and then forgot about.

Depending on the location of your stockpile, some defense methods may be more feasible than others. For example, if you rent an apartment, or have very little room to hide ammo, then decoys, distractions, and diversions may offer some viable options.

Consider a situation where you have only one room suitable for storing ammo, you can still put one can in plain view. Even if it is empty, the invader may well move over to that can first. From there, you can choose any number of actions.

First, you can detonate traps that will prevent the invader from taking further action. If there is more than one person, you may want to use this diversion to grab your bug out bag and run. Should you be fortunate enough to have several minutes to make your escape, then you can always try to move one or two ammo cans to your bug out vehicle.

Without a question, if you have been drilling on moving ammo from one place to another, you will know pretty much how long it takes and then make your decision from there. If you feel that you cannot get the ammo out in time, it is truly better to escape with your life rather than lose it for the sake of a few rounds of ammo.

At its simplest, you can keep your ammo storage plans to choosing airtight and waterproof cans that will be stored away in a cool, dry location.

As a prepper, however, it is also important to be able to move, manage, and care for your stockpile even in extreme circumstances. Being able to effectively hide ammo, move it around, and use simple tools will all make it easier to have plenty of ammo on hand for years to come.

Keeping up with electronic technologies and polymers will also go a long way towards helping you keep your stockpile safe, sound, and in good condition.

No matter whether you are storing rounds or gunpowder, following some basic rules and maintaining a good level of stockpile awareness will truly be of immense benefit.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

My Passion For The Bible

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     Want to get an idea of what typically happens when I sit down to write a blog post?  I receive ideas from several sources — whether it be a podcast, an article I’ve read, or a discussion with fellow Christians — but they all drive me to the Bible to see what God has to say on any given subject.  Such was the case, yesterday, when I found myself in a discussion with my husband about the importance of Luke 10:19, and how it pertains to our Kingdom work.

     As you can see, if you click on this link, different versions of the Bible give us different text and slightly different interpretations. (NOTE: the use of the word “authority” in the ESV and NASB Bibles when referring to what Jesus has given us to tread on serpents and scorpions, versus the use of the word “power” in the King James Bible). I will be writing on this important verse (and its consequences for us) in an upcoming blog, but for today, I want to share where my study took me.

     When I began to research the different words used and their meanings in the original context of the Biblical writers, I went to my trusty Strong’s Concordance. And that’s when my focus took a different direction.  I was fascinated with what I found and how it affected my theology, but I was also curious about why the different versions of the Bible used such different words to express the context of the verse. Consequently, it was important to know what version of the Bible my Strong’s Concordance is based on, since it did not reference the use of the word “authority” for Luke 10:19, but rather, “power”.  Since I now know that Strong’s Concordance is an index of every word in the King James version of the Bible, it was interesting to discover new insights to Luke 10:19, and how the use of “power” instead of “authority” affects my theology.

     Let me start by saying that it is important that we understand what was said to the original audience; and what was the original, intended meaning of the text.  When you read the Bible, the question you should be asking yourself is, What is the point of the original author? That is called exegesis, a term I’m sure you have heard before.  Another word you’ve probably heard is hermeneutics, which is the study of the contemporary relevance of the ancient texts.  But here is where it gets dangerous … while we all want to know what the Bible means for us today, we cannot make it mean whatever we want it to mean, and then claim it was the original intent, revealed by the Holy Spirit.  As Dr. Gordon D. Fee, a Christian theologian and Professor Emeritus of New Testament Studies at Regent College in Canada explains: A text cannot mean what it could never have meant for its original readers/hearers…the true meaning of the Biblical text for us is what God originally intended it to mean when it was first spoken or written. 
     I hope you’re not getting bored!  I promise you this is going to get fascinating real quick!  Because I am always focused on authentic nterpretation of the Bible, I began to research history to find out just how the ancient manuscripts were first interpreted; how we ended up with our modern versions of the Bible; and just how reliable are they? Come along for the ride!
     Over 3400 years ago (1400 B.C.), the first Word of God was written by God, Himself.  He wrote the Ten Commandments on stone tablets and delivered them to Moses. It would be 900 years later (500 B.C.) that all the original Hebrew manuscripts of the 39 Books of the Old Testament were completed.  In 200 B.C., as the Greek Empire is being eclipsed by the emerging Roman Empire, the Old Testament (along with 14 Books of the Apochrypha) are translated into the Greek Septuagint (meaning “70” for the number of scholars who translated the Hebrew into Greek). It wouldn’t be until the 1st Century A.D. that all the original Greek manuscripts that make up the 27 Books of the New Testament would be completed.
     In 315 A.D. the Bishop of Alexandria recognized the 27 Books of the New Testament which are today’s Canon of Scripture.  Sixty-seven years later, in 382 A.D., Jerome produced his Latin Vulgate manuscripts, which are actually quite controversial for his paraphrastic style (meaning he translated in the vernacular, rather than a more critical translation of the Hebrew text. For the next 1,000 years of the Dark & Middle Ages, the Word was trapped in only Latin.

John Wycliffe

     Then, in 1384, along came John Wycliffe, an Oxford professor, scholar, and theologian. Wycliffe was well-known throughout Europe for his opposition to the teaching of the organized Church, which he believed to be contrary to the Bible. With the help of his followers and many other faithful scribes, Wycliffe produced dozens of English language manuscript copies of the Scriptures. They were translated out of the Latin Vulgate, which was the only source text available to Wycliffe. The Pope was so infuriated by his teachings and his translation of the Bible into English, that 44 years after Wycliffe had died, he ordered his bones to be dug-up, crushed, and scattered in the river!
     One of Wycliffe’s followers, John Hus, actively promoted Wycliffe’s ideas: that people should be permitted to read the Bible in their own language, and they should oppose the tyranny of the Roman Church that threatened anyone possessing a non-Latin Bible with execution. Hus was burned at the stake in 1415, with Wycliffe’s manuscript Bibles used as kindling for the fire.
     But it was the invention of the Gutenberg printing press in the 1450’s that would eventually allow the Bible [and other books] to be effectively produced in large quantities in a short period of time. This would become essential to the success of the Reformation.
     In the 1490’s another Oxford professor, and the personal physician to King Henry the 7th and 8th, Thomas Linacre, decided to learn Greek. After reading the Gospels in Greek, and comparing it to the Latin Vulgate, he wrote in his diary, “Either this (the original Greek) is not the Gospel… or we are not Christians.” The Latin had become so corrupt that it no longer even preserved the message of the Gospel… yet the Church still threatened to kill anyone who read the scripture in any language other than Latin… though Latin was not an original language of the scriptures.
     Other faithful men like Oxford professor John Colet (1496) and the great scholar Erasmus (1516) translated the Bible from the more accurate and reliable Greek and published new versions of the Bible in English (Colet) and a Greek-Latin parallel Bible (Erasmus). The 1516 Greek-Latin New Testament of Erasmus further focused attention on just how corrupt and inaccurate the Latin Vulgate had become, and how important it was to go back and use the original Greek (New Testament) and original Hebrew (Old Testament) languages to maintain accuracy… and to translate them faithfully into the languages of the common people, whether that be English, German, or any other language.
     As history progresses, we see men like William Tyndale, who was the first man to ever print the New Testament in the English language; and Martin Luther, who published a German Pentateuch in 1523, and another edition of the German New Testament in 1529. In the 1530’s he would go on to publish the entire Bible in German. Tyndale had been forced to flee England because of the wide-spread rumor that his English New Testament project was underway, causing inquisitors and bounty hunters to be constantly on Tyndale’s trail to arrest him and prevent his project. God foiled their plans, and in 1525-1526 the Tyndale New Testament became the first printed edition of the scripture in the English language.
     While the Tyndale Bibles were burned as soon as the Bishop could confiscate them, copies trickled through, and actually ended up in the bedroom of King Henry VIII. The more the King and Bishop resisted its distribution, the more fascinated the public at large became. The church declared it contained thousands of errors as they torched hundreds of New Testaments confiscated by the clergy, while in fact, they burned them because they could find no errors at all. One risked death by burning if caught in mere possession of Tyndale’s forbidden books.

William Tynedale

     Today, there are only two known copies left of Tyndale’s 1525-26 First Edition. Any copies printed prior to 1570 are extremely valuable. Tyndale’s flight was an inspiration to freedom-loving Englishmen who drew courage from the 11 years that he was hunted. In the end, Tyndale was caught: betrayed by an Englishman that he had befriended. Tyndale was incarcerated for 500 days before he was strangled and burned at the stake in 1536. Tyndale’s last words were, “Oh Lord, open the King of England’s eyes”. This prayer would be answered just three years later in 1539, when King Henry VIII finally allowed, and even funded, the printing of an English Bible known as the “Great Bible”. But before that could happen…
     In 1535, Myles Coverdale printed the first complete Bible in the English language, making use of Luther’s German text and the Latin as sources. Thus, the first complete English Bible was printed on October 4, 1535, and is known as the Coverdale Bible. But the English Bible wasn’t out of danger yet.  History would see the reigns of King Henry VIII and the establishment of the Anglican Church, along with the reign of Queen “Bloody” Mary, who was the next obstacle to the printing of the Bible in English. She was possessed in her quest to return England to the Roman Church. In 1555, John “Thomas Matthew” Rogers (a disciple of Tyndales’s) and Thomas Cranmer  (the Archbishop of Canterbury) were both burned at the stake. Mary went on to burn Reformers at the stake by the hundreds for the “crime” of being a Protestant.
     The Protestant exiles would congregate in Geneva, Switzerland under the protection of John Calvin and John Knox, both leaders of the Protestant Reformation.  It was there that the Church of Geneva determined to produce a Bible that would educate their families while they continued in exile.  The Geneva Bible was the first Bible to add numbered verses to the chapters, so that referencing specific passages would be easier. Every chapter was also accompanied by extensive marginal notes and references so thorough and complete that the Geneva Bible is also considered the first English “Study Bible”.
     By the 1580’s, the Roman Catholic Church saw that it had lost the battle to suppress the will of God: that His Holy Word be available in the English language. In 1582, the Church of Rome surrendered their fight for “Latin only” and decided that if the Bible was to be available in English, they would at least have an official Roman Catholic English translation. And so, using the corrupt and inaccurate Latin Vulgate as the only source text, they went on to publish an English Bible with all the distortions and corruptions that Erasmus had revealed and warned of 75 years earlier. Because it was translated at the Roman Catholic College in the city of Rheims, it was known as the Rheims New TestamentThe Douay Old Testament was translated by the Church of Rome in 1609 at the College in the city of Douay. The combined product is commonly referred to as the “Douay/Rheims” Version.
     In the early 16oo’s, the “translation to end all translations” (for a while at least) was the result of the combined effort of about fifty scholars. They took into consideration: The Tyndale New Testament, The Coverdale Bible, The Matthews Bible, The Great Bible, The Geneva Bible, and even the Rheims New Testament. The great revision of the Bishop’s Bible had begun. From 1605 to 1606 the scholars engaged in private research. From 1607 to 1609 the work was assembled. In 1610 the work went to press, and in 1611 the first of the huge (16 inch tall) pulpit folios known today as “The 1611 King James Bible” came off the printing press.

The 1611 King James Bible

     The King James Bible turned out to be an excellent and accurate translation, and it became the most printed book in the history of the world, and the only book with one billion copies in print. In fact, for over 250 years…until the appearance of the English Revised Version of 1881-1885, the King James Version reigned without much of a rival. The King James Bible has the distinction of being the first English language Bible to be printed in America.
     But here is another fascinating set of facts … Up until the 1880’s every Protestant Bible (not just Catholic Bibles) had 80 books, not 66! The inter-testamental books written hundreds of years before Christ called “The Apocrypha” were part of virtually every printing of the Tyndale-Matthews Bible, the Great Bible, the Bishops Bible, the Protestant Geneva Bible, and the King James Bible until their removal in the 1880’s! The original 1611 King James contained the Apocrypha, and King James threatened anyone who dared to print the Bible without the Apocrypha with heavy fines and a year in jail. Only for the last 120 years has the Protestant Church rejected these books, and removed them from their Bibles. This has left most modern-day Christians believing the popular myth that there is something “Roman Catholic” about the Apocrypha. There is, however, no truth in that myth, and no widely-accepted reason for the removal of the Apocrypha in the 1880’s has ever been officially issued by a mainline Protestant denomination.
     The 20th Century finds several new versions of the Bible coming into print — the American Standard Version in 1901; and it wasn’t until 1971 that it underwent a revision to become the New American Standard Version. This NASB version is considered by nearly all evangelical Christian scholars and translators today, to be the most accurate, word-for-word translation of the original Greek and Hebrew scriptures into the modern English language that has ever been produced. It remains the most popular version among theologians, professors, scholars, and seminary students today. Some, however, have taken issue with it because it is so direct and literal a translation (focused on accuracy), that it does not flow as easily in conversational English. (For me, the accuracy issue is the most fundamental; I don’t demand that my Bible be an “easy read”).
     The answer to the NASB Bible was the New International Version (NIV) which was designed not for “word-for-word” accuracy, but rather, for “phrase-for-phrase” accuracy, and ease of reading even at a Junior High-School reading level. It was meant to appeal to a broader (and in some instances less-educated) cross-section of the general public. But here is my problem with the NIV: there are several instances when the deity of Jesus is removed; for instance 1 Corinthians 15:47 reads, the second man is The Lord from heaven. The NIV reads, the second man is from heaven.  The NIV lowers Christ from being God’s SON and CHILD, to merely God’s SERVANT. (All believers are God’s servants).  This is evident in Acts 3:13 … hath glorified His Son Jesus (KJV) versus has glorified his servant Jesus (NIV). There are many more changes that concern me, and believe me, I was firmly in the NIV camp for years, it being the first Bible that I seriously studied… but no more.  And I caution you about the latest version of the NIV, called Today’s New International Version (TNIV), which seeks to remove all gender-specific references in the Bible whenever possible!

      As we look at the modern translations, the last few years have seen the advent of Study Bibles, some better than others.  But here is what I want us all to concentrate on … As Christians, it is important for us to make wise decisions on which versions of the Bible that we depend upon to receive the best translation of God’s Word.  And, yes, our critics will no doubt point to the various translation errors and say that is why we cannot trust the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God.  But the Word of God as revealed to man has remained unchanged from generation to generation, no matter how hard the Enemy has tried to corrupt it.  History shows us that God has always used men who were willing to die to see that His Word stayed true and authentic.  He has preserved His Word as a means to know Him and to worship Him. And just as He inspired the original writers to represent Him accurately, He can inspire us, who are sincerely seeking Him, to receive His true revelation.  No matter what version of the Bible you are reading, I recommend that you compare and contrast versions in your never-ending journey to know the God we serve.  The journey His Word has taken to get to us in the 21st Century is nothing less than miraculous.  It has survived for over 3400 years, and neither man nor devil has been able to destroy it.  May it forever be a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path!

Thank you to Greatsite.com for providing the historical facts of the Bible’s timeline.  You can read a more detailed history of the facts I’ve given you, by clicking this link

If you are interested to know what versions of the Bible I consult in my personal study, I refer to the King James Bible, the Greek New Testament (by Kenneth Wuest), the Septuagint, the Complete Jewish Bible, the English Standard Version, the Geneva Bible, and the New American Standard Version. I am by no means stating that other versions are in error; these are just the versions that I find most useful for me.

Isaiah 40:8   “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever.”

     

Eight Must-follow Rules for Concealed Carry

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Carrying a concealed weapon comes with responsibilities and consequences. Concealed carry is a complex subject and you need to inform yourself to stay current and stay alive. Learning about concealed carry weapon is an ongoing process and it continues even after you receive your certificate. The information in this article may be new to you … Read more…

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Grow a Bumper Crop of Basil in Containers

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Basil is one of the most popular herbs to grow for culinary creations and you can easily grow basil in containers. Find out how to get a bumper crop for pesto and cooking | PreparednessMama

Basil and containers go together Basil is one of the most popular herbs to grow for culinary creations and you can easily grow basil in containers. After all, who can resist a batch of fresh pesto made from basil growing in your own yard! As soon as the weather turns I begin growing basil in […]

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MY HOME INVASION STORY: BREAK IN & ROBBERY ATTEMPT – WHILE I WAS HOME

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When I was 16 or 17,  I was home whilst someone attempted to break in.

The experience ended well for me (not so much for the perp), but I figured it would be interesting to discuss, since enough years have passed and I can look back on the situation critically. Before I get into the meat of this story, I would like to preemptively point out that I had little to no tactical training back when it happened, and frankly didn’t really think about home security very much.

MY STORY

Prior to breaking down my reaction to the threat, let’s discuss the parameters.

My home at the time was my grandmother’s home here in the UK, which is basically a 2 bedroom flat that consists of a top floor of a house (downstairs was one flat, upstairs was another). To get to me you have to open a creaky gate, break down my front door, and climb a long set of stairs. The gate isn’t locked; it faces onto a main street and the front door is plain wood with a very basic Yale lock (not the most secure) and a privacy chain. There’s no secondary door, nothing else to get through once you get through the front door.

Now onto the story. It’s around 4 in the afternoon, I am typing away at my desk much like I am now, and I hear scratching by the door. I ignore it for 1 minute, assuming it’s the postman (in hindsight, I should have remembered the postman already came in the morning), but the scratching becomes more aggressive, and so I decide to take a peek from the top of the stairs. I can see through the privacy glass on the top of the door; it’s this huge bloke. We are talking 6 foot 3+ and all muscle. At this point I figure out he was attempting to lock pick his way in. I sort of freeze.

The strange thing is, I don’t panic or run, but rather just stand there observing him. I’m so unprepared for this event that my mind doesn’t really know how to react – so I sorta just stand there. Staring.

After 10 seconds of standing still and doing nothing, I feel a wave of panic wash over me and retreat to my bedroom. I breath in and out a few times and look around for a weapon. Now some of you reading this are probably thinking… “Bro…Why didn’t you call the cops yet?”

Well, I don’t know. Honestly the thought didn’t even cross my mind.

So here I am in my bedroom frantically trying to come up with a plan. I decide to confront this person because I am 17 and invincible (or so 17 year olds tend to think – I for one did), but first I want to be “ready.”

This is the UK so firearms and ranged weapons are not an option, and even in my quasi-panicked state I realized that if this invader made his way into the house, it wouldn’t end well for me. The idea of standing on the top of the stairs with a bowie staring down this moron menacingly just didn’t feel viable, so in my head, the only option I had was to dissuade him from entering the property. Bare in mind that as I am thinking about this, this guy is still picking away at my door; you can imagine my mental state.

Oddly enough, even though I have been a knife nut since I was a kid, I didn’t grab a knife. Instead, the first thing I grabbed (instinctively) was my tomahawk.

I think to this day I would still grab a hawk for home defence if all I had were edged tools. If I got to choose, either the SOG F06P-N FastHawk or the CRKT Chogan T-Hawk. Can’t decide which.

Anyway, I grab the hawk, slip it in my belt loop, put on a pair of Doc Martens, and stomp my way out of my bedroom. Once I reach the top of the stairs, I still see the top of this bloke’s head through the privacy glass and decide to head over to the living room to get a better look at him from the front windows.

Big bloke.

Meathead.

Looks like an asshole.

Alone.

Right, Meathead is alone.

I go back to the top of the stairs, shout out, “OI, What the f– do you think you’re doing mate?!” (yes, yes, how very Brit of me).

The meathead obviously heard me, though instead of running away like I expected, he instead… I shit you not… tries to ram the door down.

Think about this: house is facing a main road, he has been picking away at the lock for a solid 3 minutes by now and he hears a guy confront him from behind the door…. so he tries to ram it down? Most important lesson I learned that day is that criminals are generally complete idiots.

Back to the story. Meathead is really going at the door, slamming his shoulder in and I can see the frame flexing, so I stomp down the stairs and brace the door.

Here is where it all gets very interesting for me and quite anti-climactic for you, dear reader. At some point, as I am bracing the door and feel this parasite slam his shoulder into it, something inside me just snapped. I felt a sense of fury wash over me to the point that I did something so incredibly stupid that I am surprised I am still here typing this to you today.

I swung the door wide open.

Yep.

I was so f—-ing pissed that I thought, this guy is gonna get a tomahawk to the face and what did this genius criminal mastermind do when he saw me?

Took one look at me and ran away down the street.

That’s the end of that story folks.

3-6 months later (I don’t recall precisely) the Crown Prosecution Service sent me a letter saying the idiot had been prosecuted. I called 20 minutes after the incident ended – needed some time to calm down. Turns out he robbed quite a few places in the area, but they of course eventually caught him, and he went straight to the slammer (prison).

WHAT I LEARNED

Looking back, things that surprised me about the situation & the way I reacted:

  • I am a giant knife nerd and have been for decades and yet, when push came to shove, I grabbed, and still would grab, a hawk. Like I said, this mindset hasn’t changed, and I might write an article on the matter if any of you are interested (let me know in the comments).
  • At no point did calling the police, or anyone else for that matter, cross my mind. To this day I am still more of a do it yourself kinda guy, but honestly – that was pretty dumb of me.
  • The amount of rage I felt when I saw someone try to break into my home can’t be quantified. The idiot criminal outweighed me by 3 of me (easily) and I just didn’t care – I just saw red and went for it with zero tactical foresight. The medieval ages made sense to me for the first time in my life.
  • That a criminal would try to pick a lock in broad daylight and when that failed, ram it down. Brazen is an understatement.

In hindsight, I should have called the police first, shouted out that I knew what he was doing and that the police were on their way, then braced the door.

I would have been fine with little to no risk.

We can anticipate how we will react to stressful events; I’d like to think that I learned from this experience and I would be more cautious if this happened again, but I know myself well enough to know that if someone was trying to break into my home, my gut reaction wouldn’t be to hide out and wait for backup.

When it comes to my family and my home – frankly if you are breaking in: expect war.

At some point, despite pragmatic rationalism, we have to be honest with each other and accept that deep down we are still animals with very basic and very violent core instincts. When you feel like your home is under attack and your family could be in danger it’s very difficult to walk away and be calm. I wager that most people, especially in this day and age of tolerance to the point of stupidity, would argue that in such a situation they would be calm and rational, but straight up – I wouldn’t count on it.

I have learned from this experience. I have 2 front doors now and have both a hawk and a tactical flashlight next to my bed. I 100% would call the cops first and report a robbery in progress, or rather, get Elise to do so, but with the way our current home is laid out, I can open one door and close it behind me whilst forcing a confrontation with the potential assailant without putting my family in danger.

I think when it comes to advice, the best I can do is to say; “Know thyself.” Cheesy I know, but true. Going through life disregarding your own personality when it comes to conflict is frankly silly. I would say that it’s much better to understand how you will react to a stressful, combative situation and plan accordingly for the safety of both yourself and your family.

THOUGHTS ABOUT HOME ROBBERIES?

How about you? Please chime in with your own experiences and thoughts on the matter – what would you have done differently?

 

Source : morethanjustsurviving.com

About the author : Knife aficionado and lifelong tinkerer. Into bushcraft, hiking, and gear.
Coauthor of survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

 

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Preppers – If You Aren’t Doing This Annually, You Won’t Be Disaster Ready

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Well, it may seem cliché to say that spring is right around the corner, as in most of the U.S. there’s still plenty of snow on the ground.  Winter still seems “deep” to some (especially Yours Truly, as I have almost 3’ of snow on the ground), and the cold weather has not broken.  Nevertheless, everyone out there in ReadyNutrition Land, the early bird gets the worm.  I’m referring to all your gear that you’ll be breaking out soon when the cold weather breaks.

Stay on top of your prepper gear 

Maintenance

Your gear can best be maintained according to a maintenance schedule and you can get a start on it now.  Some preppers do it twice a year when Daylight Savings Time hits. But it’s more than giving it a glance and it doesn’t just mean cleaning it.  It also means inspecting it for serviceability and function.  It means making sure that it’s well organized and that you can pick it up at a moment’s notice to “rock and roll” with it…be out the door and on the moor!  You can’t do that unless it’s ready.  Let’s discuss it, shall we?

How’s that rucksack?  If you’re the way I am, you absolutely hate anything that can detract from your load-carrying capabilities.  Inspect that rucksack!  Has it been sitting out in the garage or in the basement, on the cement floor?  I hope not.  Are your straps in order, and are there any signs of dry-rot, mildew, or water damage?  You need to find that out now, and even more:


Preppers – The time to find out about deficiencies was yesterday, and there should be a “zero defects” policy regarding them.


What does this mean?  If you’re serious about survival and prepping, and you really want to survive a disaster/SHTF scenario when it happens (notice I wrote “when” and not “if”), then you’ll be on top of this…all the time.  The conditions for the rucksack I mentioned should never occur.  They won’t occur if you follow a regular schedule of checking it and correcting anything that surfaces.  For the nylon on your rucksack you can use a shoeshine brush or a medium to stiff bristle brush to clean off any dirt and dust.  Maintain the straps in the same way.

Dirt or mud, clean it off…if it’s not easy with the brush, then take some warm water on a clean towel or rag and “damp scrub” it off.  The nylon of the straps and the pack clean up well, but you don’t want to leave it too damp.  Always place the rucksack off the floor.  Don’t allow it to contact the floor surface.  Inspect the connecting points of the ruck, and inspect every piece that snaps or buckles.  Everything should be clean and working.  Canteens should be emptied and dried to prevent funk from going inside of them, or (as JJ does) if you’re going to store water in them the water needs to be changed periodically (say every month) to keep the “grand Funk railroad” from slipping in.

Familiarization

This may seem an oxymoron, however, unless you have a photographic memory you’re going to have a hard time remembering how you packed your gear…what is where.  One way to solve this (as I mentioned in other articles) is to keep an inventory sheet of everything, listed on an actual diagram of your rucksack.  This enables you to look at the diagram of the ruck and see how it’s made…where the pouches are, etc. …and know exactly what is in it.  Guess what?  It won’t be enough, because when you change seasons (in this case, Winter to Spring) you should have a full layout of all of your equipment you will tote.

Why?  For accountability (know that everything you think you have you actually have), and for serviceability (to know it is all in working order).  Along with that rucksack is that jungle hammock, that one-man tent and all of its accoutrements, flashlights, radios (don’t open that tube and find leaking batteries!), and all of your other gear and gadgets.

If it all comes to a halt, you don’t have the time to do all of this…and it’s on you…nobody else.

Tents have those “friction rods.”  How would you like to find out when you’re in the middle of a torrential downpour and setting up the dome that the friction rods are “ganked,” or broken?  Or you want to open up that poncho and string the bungees at the corners and top…a temporary shelter…and find that the vinyl is all eaten up from some kind of acid or rot, and there’s a giant hole in it?


Ben Franklin: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”


If you follow a regular schedule of inspection and maintenance, you won’t have a “can of snakes” spring open on you.  This seems overly simplistic, but it is the way of mankind to procrastinate…to move toward the path of least resistance.  It is the way of all of us…and what makes us win?  The ability to be able to fight that part of our natures and discipline ourselves…make ourselves do what it is that is right to do, although we don’t feel like doing it.  Your gear should be clean, serviceable, well-organized, and accounted for…in its place and you know exactly where it is.

I’ll fill you in on one of my techniques.  When I come across someone, I can assess them in an instant if they carry.  If I ask them to look at their weapon and it is rusted or dirty, or it has carbon on it, and is un-lubed?  Then I need know no more.  But if the bluing is worn-down where points of contact meet the holster…and it’s cleaned and oiled…and the holster appears a little worn, but clean and serviceable…I know that one “draws,” cleans the weapon…is one with it.  That individual I remember.

It’s a standard that I hold myself to every day.

In the 82nd Airborne, we had a saying (a mantra, if you prefer): “My weapon, my equipment, and me.”

Sound overly simplistic?  No, it’s ordered…I kept it with me in Special Forces…I keep it with me now.  My weapon’s continuity ensures that I can continue if under fire.  My equipment and gear enables me to live, to be sheltered, to carry food, medicine, and supplies.  These two taken care of, then I must take care of myself…eating, rest, and hygiene, along with physical conditioning.

See how much is in it when you take a really good look?  But I’m not trying to berate you, the Readers in any way.  I’m trying to give you of myself…in lessons paid for with time, experience, and much grief to learn them correctly.

Because iron sharpens iron, and in order to survive, you must be made of steel…you and your family.  Yes, President Trump is in, and we’re “riding the crest” of an upswing.  Remember: all is fleeting, and it can all change in the blink of an eye. Don’t blink for too long, or the moment will have passed.  You must prioritize.  Prep your equipment now, before the Spring hits, and follow a regular program of maintenance and inspection.  Be steel.  You can do it.  Fight that good fight, and fight it to win.  JJ out!

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 11

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I can’t believe I’m writing another weekly wrap-up post already.  This week seemed to go by way too quick.  There’s good reason for that – I had a lot of fun this week and was quite busy!  Come along and see what I accomplished this week on the Suburban Steader Homestead. This Week’s Milestones Travelin’

Two Old Salts Talking About “Salt”

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Two Old Salts Talking About “Salt” Host: Bob Hawkins “The APN Report“ Audio in player below! What bears scrutiny more important than anything else, is the food we eat, and what effects it has on our wellness. If you haven’t seen a photo of me, you may not realize that I’m “fluffy”, in other words, I’m … Continue reading Two Old Salts Talking About “Salt”

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