Starting The Process Of Forgiveness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What an amazing place you’re at right now.

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

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

What’s next?

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

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

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

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

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

Some options I like are:

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

Prayer (which includes meditative prayer)

Journaling

Speaking to a priest or pastor

Sessions with a trained therapist

Reading books about forgiveness and love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking For A Safer Country? Read More Here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking For A Safer Country? Read More Here.

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

Secure This House

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1_secure_this_house_featured

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

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

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

Related: Fortifying Your Home

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

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

A Man’s Home is his Castle

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

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

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

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

Repel from the Outside

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

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

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

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

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

Defend from the Inside

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

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

Check Out: Handling an Active Shooter Situation

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

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

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Fire and Ice: How To Prepare for Climbing Mount Rainier

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

Focus on Fitness  

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

Learn the Skills

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

Pick Your Partners

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

Know the Risks

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

Test Your Gear

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

Planning Is Everything

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

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

The New Remington 1911R1 10MM Hunter

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1_1911R1_10mm_hunter_featured

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

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

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

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

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

Recent Remington Renditions

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

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

Check Out: Hiding Home Guns in Plain Sight

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

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

The Remington 1911R1 Long Slide

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 10mm Auto Story

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

Related: How Much Ammo is Enough for SHTF? 

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

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

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

The Remington 1911R1 Hunter’s Purpose

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

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

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

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

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

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Don’t Overlook These 6 Preps

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Early Morning Hike Checking Out Useful Plants

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

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

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

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Is Carbon Monoxide In Your Home Killing You?

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

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

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

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

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

Movie Monday – Happy People Part 4

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

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

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

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

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

80 Clever Uses for Paracord

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

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Dwarf Umbrella Tree Care – Growing Schefflera Arboricola

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

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

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

Hiking Essentials for Your Dog’s Backpack

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

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

6 Hot Springs you must visit

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

Fancy a dip?

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

If you want off the beaten track then try:

Ringbolt Hot Springs – Arizona

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

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

 

Steep Ravine Hot Springs – California

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

 

Goldbug Hot Springs – Idaho

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

For other hot springs in Idaho, check this out.

 

If you want a bit of luxury, then visit:

Wilbur Hot Springs – California

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

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

 

Strawberry Park Hot Springs – Colorado

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

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

 

Breitenbush Hot Springs – Oregon

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

 

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

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March 2017 EDC Purse Dump

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March 2017 EDC Purse Dump

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

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


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

Organic Farm help in Lou of rent

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

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Small Plot Gardening Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Hunt Squirrel with a Slingshot for Survival!

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

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

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

Hunting a squirrel with a slingshot for survival

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

Practice

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

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

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

Always aim for the head

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

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

Choose a big producing tree and be patient

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

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

Best time to hunt squirrels

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

Try and bait your squirrel

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

Final Verdict

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

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

 

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

 

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Video: All About Dysentery

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Shigella boydii

Shigella bacteria

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

To watch, just click below:

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

 

Joe Alton, MD

JoeAltonLibrary3

Joe Alton, MD

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

When Are We Going To Stop Blaming God?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When Hiking Goes Bad

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

Video first seen on ABC News.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8 Survival Lessons to Learn from Amber’s Story

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

Just for those of you who need to know it:

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

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

Amber Van Hecke Facebook Page

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

Don’t Depend Solely on Technology

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

Don’t Cut it Close on Fuel

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

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

Stock That Vehicle Bag

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

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

Don’t Risk Getting Lost

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

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

Pack Energy Dense Food

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

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

Be Proactive

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

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

Keep Your Vehicle in Good Repair

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

Don’t Panic

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

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

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

Could you survive?

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

References:

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

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

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by Todd Walker

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

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

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

Off-Grid Firewood ~ Stay Warm with an Ax

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

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

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

Risk Management

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Off-Grid Strategy

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

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

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

Red Oak logs hauled back to camp

Splitting Strategy: Wedges and Maul

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

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

Pine halved for hauling

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

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

Other DiY Tools: Chopping Platform

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

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

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

Make Every Stroke Count

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

Technique

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

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

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

Aim and Accuracy

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

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

Trading Theory for Action

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

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

By Doing the Stuff, opportunities and learning took place…

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

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

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at our Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there…

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright © by Survival Sherpa: In light of the recent theft of all my content by a pirate site, my sharing policy has changed. I do not permit the re-posting of entire articles from my site without express written consent by me. My content on this site may be shared in digital form (200 words or less) for non-commercial use with a link back (without no-follow attribute) to the original article crediting the author. All photos, drawings, and articles are copyrighted by and the property of Survival Sherpa. You are more than welcome to share our photos and articles on social media for educational purposes as long as you link back to the original article/photo with credit to the author.

Tornado Survival Tips To Help You Prepare, Survive And Rebuild

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

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

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

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

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


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


Why You Should Avoid Drinking Alcohol in High Stress Environments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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


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


Why You Should Avoid Drinking Alcohol in High Stress Environments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Make Easy Herbal Oils, Salves, and Syrups

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

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

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

How to Make Infused Herbal Oils

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

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

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

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

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How to Make Herbal Salves and Balms

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

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

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

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

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

Healing Herbal Syrups and Teas

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

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

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

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

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

Source : www.motherearthnews.com

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

 

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Fevers Post-SHTF

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

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Face the Pain to Let Go

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

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

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

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

Right?

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

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

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

No?

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

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

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

Easy?

No, not easy.

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

How’s that been working for you?

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

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

This is as bad as it’s going to get.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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