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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Classic Pemmican Recipe

The following recipe was used during the 1700s.

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

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

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

Meat-Pulverizing Tips

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

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

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

Beef-Trying Tips

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

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

Fat-Rendering Tips

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

Dried Fruit Tips

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

Putting it All Together

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

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

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

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

Tips on Eating Pemmican

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

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

Give it a Try

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image source: Pixabay.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image source: MossbergOwners.com

 

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

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

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

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

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

12 GA SHOTGUN – MAVERICK 88 ($180)

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

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

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

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

.22 RIFLE – MOSSBERG 702 PLINKSTER ($100)

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

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

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

9MM PISTOL – TAURUS PT111 G2 ($220)

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources:

What is Maca? TheMacaTeam.com

Maca Nutrition Facts, TheMacaTeam.com

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

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

Maca May Help Improve Your Reproductive Health, Mercola.com

Top 5 Maca Root Benefits & Nutrition, DrAxe.com

Maca Root Buttocks, TheMacaTeam.com

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

The Best Survival Towel: Staying Dry and Getting By

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

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

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

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Training for Real World Scenarios with Airsoft

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy Prepping!

Mark

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7 Things You Need To Survive An EMP

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

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

Chicken Fried Steak Throwdown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Rifle/Carbine Scope Mounting

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Rifle/Carbine Scope Mounting and Sighting, the

Proper Way

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

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

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

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

#1  How To MountA Precision Riflescope

#2  How To Zero A Rifle Scope at 100 Yards

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

Tools Needed:

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

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


How to Pack a Hiking Bag

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

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

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

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Here Are The Survival Maps You Should Be Using

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

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

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

12 Strategic Planning Maps Sources for Location Selection

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

1. USGS Natural Hazards Maps

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

2. FEMA Earthquake Hazard Maps 

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

3. FEMA Flood Map Service Centergov

They can help you understand flood insurance rate maps.

4. National Geospatial Intelligence Maps

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

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

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

6. Nuclear Target Maps

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

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

7. Nukemap

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

8. EarthExplorer

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

9. Google Earth

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

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

10. Books

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

11. Threat-specific Online Searches

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

12. Digital Survival Library

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

 

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

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

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

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

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How to Make Your Own Digital Survival Library

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SERE Maps

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

Phone Book Maps

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

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

Tyvek

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

Fabric

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

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

Light Source

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

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

UV Light & Marker

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

General Direction SERE Compass

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

Maps for Travel, Recreation and Emergency Preparedness

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

Neighborhood Maps for Emergency Response

I keep these in an emergency-response binder.

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

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

US Geological Survey

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

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

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

USDA Forest Service Maps

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

US National Park Maps

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

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Map

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

Maps for Your Vehicle

City Maps

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

Topo Maps of the Entire State

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

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

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

US Road Atlas

They are long distance backup to the above atlases.

Compact Phone Book

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

Custom Maps

Custom Maps Printed by University Libraries

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

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

DIY

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

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

Custom Maps

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

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

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

Matthew 16:19

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

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

     

     

Turn Your Stairs Into A Secret Room / Storage

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

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

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