News: Chaos in QLD as 80,000 without electricity & Floods in NSW.

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Can we expect more of this and worse in the future? Is this a part of climate change? Trump and Turnbull are putting the world in danger!

This Federal Agency Has Seized $3.2 Billion From People – Without Charging Them With A Crime

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This Federal Agency Has Seized $3.2 Billion From People – Without Charging Them With A Crime

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WASHINGTON — One single branch of the U.S. government, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), has collected more than $4 billion through civil forfeiture since 2007.

Disturbingly, most of that money — $3.2 billion — was seized in cash without criminal charges or convictions, a report from the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Justice found this week. The $3.2 billion figure does not include the value of cars, homes and other items the DEA took.

The report – dubbed “The Review of the Department’s Oversight of Cash Seizure and Forfeiture”found that reasons for the seizures included “traveling to or from a known source city for drug trafficking, purchasing a ticket within 24 hours of travel, purchasing a ticket for a long flight with an immediate return, purchasing a one-way ticket, and traveling without checked luggage.”

Discover How To Become Invisible In Today’s Surveillance State!

Darpana Sheth, senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, told The Washington Post that the report “raises serious concerns that maybe the real purpose here is not to fight crime, but to seize and forfeit property.”

Civil forfeiture is the controversial method whereby law enforcement officials can seize property they believe to be tied to drug trafficking, without going to trial or even pressing charges. (Listen to Off The Grid Radio’s in-depth report on it here.)

Sheth said a criminal conviction should be required to seize money.

“Nobody in America should lose their property without being convicted of a crime,” Sheth said. “If our goal is to curb crime, we should simply abolish civil forfeiture.”

Do you support or oppose civil forfeiture? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Bugging Out on Foot is a Risky Proposition

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Bugging Out on Foot is a Risky Proposition This is a nice short reality check. The bug out is one heck of a commitment. I am always happy to see someone inject some reality into the fantasy of the bug out. It should really be the last possible option. In this article there are several …

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The post Bugging Out on Foot is a Risky Proposition appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Video – Target practice

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Found this elsewhere in the blogosphere and it really was too good to not share:

Reminds me…at some point I need to go shooting. The weather is getting nice and it might not be a bad idea to get in some range time.

As an aside, theres a gun show here in town this weekend so that’ll be interesting.

Antibiotic-Free Meat: A Buying Guide

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Finally, a straightforward guide to help you buy antibiotic-free meat.   If you’re not raising your own livestock, here’s how you can be sure there are no antibiotics in your meat… 

Today, the steak on your plate was raised from a baby calf to butchering weight at speeds that would astound your ancestors.

“Bigger, faster, cheaper” is the mantra of the commercial meat industry, and one key to their success has been the widespread use of antibiotics.

Livestock fed a steady diet of growth-promoting antibiotics can put on weight at impressive rates, but recently scientists are sounding the alarm about the consequences of feeding these powerful medications to essentially healthy animals.

Concerned with the rising risk of antibiotic resistance, many scientists believe that feeding significant doses of antibiotics to livestock has dire rammifications for both human health and modern medicine. The risk of creating superbugs (microbes so powerful that known antibiotics can’t keep them in check) is too real to ignore, and warnings are coming out that unless we begin to take antibiotic resistance more seriously.

The risk of creating superbugs (microbes so powerful that known antibiotics can’t keep them in check) is too real to ignore, and warnings are coming out that unless we begin to take antibiotic resistance more seriously, modern medicine may lose its effectiveness in the next hundred years.[i]

The stakes are high, so take the time to educate yourself about the use of antibiotics for livestock to learn what’s really happening to the animals that become your dinner.

The Mixed Blessing of Antibiotics

buying antibiotic-free meat

Antibiotics are medicines that destroy bacteria, making them useful for controlling, treating and even preventing disease and infections.

In the decades since their discovery, antibiotics have saved millions of lives because simple cuts are no longer a death threat, and invasive surgeries and once unthinkable organ transplants are now routine.

Unfortunately, almost eighty years of global antibiotic use is starting to reveal some downsides.

Because antibiotics work by killing off entire populations of bacteria within your body, they essentially destroy all bacteria within range. However, bacteria are living organisms that have random genetic variances that equip a few out of millions to survive the onslaught of specific antibiotics. These surviving bacteria then become the ones that propagate, and consequently spread their resistant genes.

Over time, entire populations of bacteria become resistant to multiple forms of antibiotics, which makes them SUPERBUGS.

Because they are resistant to most common antibiotics, superbugs are incredibly difficult to control. They are responsible for an estimated 700,000 deaths annually, and that number is expected to rise to over 10 million by 2050.

For this reason, the World Health Organization recently listed antibiotic resistance as a major global threat for the 21st century.[ii]

Out Of Control:  Superbugs and the Meat Industry

sourcing antibiotic-free beef

The root of the problem of antibiotic resistance comes from an overuse of antibiotics themselves, and one of the ways that antibiotics are used carelessly is with livestock.[iii]

While humans need a prescription to gain access to antibiotics, farmers aren’t under the same requirements for their animals and can administer them with minimal regulation. In 2011, almost 30 million pounds of antibiotics were used for animal production, which was almost four times the amount used by the national human population.[iv]

Why are so many antibiotics given to animals?

In past decades livestock producers began to use them as a preventative measure to keep their animals healthy against infectious disease, something that became increasingly important as factory farms kept animals in tight living conditions.

They later found that small daily doses of certain antibiotics made animals grow bigger and faster, often gaining as much as 3 percent more weight than otherwise possible.[v]

Consumers may like cheap meat, but feeding excessive amounts of antibiotics to animals has some dire consequences for human health.

The growing threat of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria from the overuse of these drugs can compromise the effectiveness of treatments for humans, putting the reliability of life-saving drugs at risk for the people that need them most.

China and Colistin: An Example of Bacteria Gone Bad

Antibiotics meat China

To understand the true threat of antibiotic resistance, you only need to travel over to China to get a glimpse of what the damage can be.

Recent reports have shown that Chinese strains of E. coli (a diverse, often dangerous strain of bacteria) is showing resistance to an old form of antibiotic called colistin.[vi] Discovered in the 1950s, colistin fell out of favor when antibiotics with fewer side effects were discovered. However, as preferable meditations continued to be compromised by antibiotic resistance, colistin use became widespread again. Unfortunately, even this trusted antibiotic is becoming vulnerable to E. coli superbugs.

The growing problem with colistin resistance is traced back to the Chinese meat industry, where over 8000 tons of it are given to pigs and chickens every year to enhance their growth.

Strains of resistant E. coli have been found in meat, livestock and even people around the world, and the threat is real that the colistin resistant gene in E. coli could spread to other dangerous bacteria as well. The danger doesn’t just stay near farms, either.

Manure tainted with drug-resistant bacteria often infects nearby water systems.

And flies often carry the bacteria to cities far away, sometimes even to already vulnerable hospital patients.[vii]

Sick From Tainted Meat: 

Modern medicine losing its potency has dire consequences for everyone on the planet, and the effects for your health should be a top concern.

Widespread antibiotic resistance in livestock means that dangerous pathogens aren’t always killed off before meat makes it to your plate. A 2001 report from the New England Journal of Medicine found that 20 percent of ground meat in supermarkets contained salmonella, and 84 percent of that salmonella was resistant to one or more antibiotics.

Antibiotics meat ecoli

A 2001 report from the New England Journal of Medicine found that 20 percent of ground meat in supermarkets contained salmonella, and 84 percent of that salmonella was resistant to one or more antibiotics.[viii] The situation is similar for poultry. Consumer Reports tests of chicken from 2006 and 2012 revealed that over two-thirds of their samples were contaminated with salmonella, 60 percent of which was resistant to forms of antibiotics.[ix]

Though the meat industry believes these statistics aren’t concerning, because people thoroughly cook their meat before eating it, partially raw meat, unwashed cutting boards, or thawing meat juice that leaks onto other foods in the refrigerator are all ways that pathogens can spread.[x]

More Drug-Resistant Diseases

Humans and animals swap diseases all the time. A full two-thirds of human diseases first began in animals, and drug resistance that starts with animals can also jump the species boundary.[xi]

Evidence is now growing that resistant bacteria from antibiotic treated farm animals can spread to the humans that eat them. This means that ingesting drug-resistant bacteria in meat that wasn’t fully cooked might make you ill with a disease that antibiotics are powerless to treat.[xii]

antibiotic-free meat: antibiotics in agriculture

The problem is only growing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that over two million Americans become sick with drug-resistant bacteria every year, and more than 23,000 end up dying.[xiii]

The connection between the increased use of antibiotics for meat production and the loss of effectiveness of human medicine is becoming better understood, and the evidence is clear that feeding unregulated amounts of antibiotics to livestock is only going to harm human health in the long run.

The threat of looming antibiotic resistance is real, but those in authority aren’t always acting in the public interest. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council,[xiv] the FDA has buried research findings that revealed 18 types of antibiotics currently used on livestock that carry a high risk of increasing the levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria for diseases that affect humans.

Even worse, many of these medications don’t reach the FDA’s own safety standards, yet they are used widely on livestock across the country.

Best Ways to Source Antibiotic-Free Meat:

In recent years, consumer outrage against antibiotics has created positive changes in the food industry.

Three of the largest chicken producers in America (Tyson, Perdue and Foster Farms) recently stated that they intend to reduce the amount of antibiotics fed to their healthy birds.

Large corporations like McDonald’s,[xv] Wendy’s and Popeyes are also taking a stand against fluoroquinolones (a family of synthetic antibiotics) and are refusing to buy birds that have been treated with them.[xvi]

However, there’s still no way to know for sure if these brands are sticking to their promises and keeping antibiotics out of their products.

Antibiotics chicken meat

If you want to reject antibiotics in your meat, you’ll need reliable ways to source antibiotic-free alternatives.

(Assuming you’re not ready to start raising your own livestock, which is what we ultimately recommend.)

Reading The Labels:

Antibiotic free meat

To ensure that the meat you eat doesn’t contain trace amounts of dangerous bacteria, you need to familiarize yourself with the following methods of identification.

  • Country of Origin: Depending on where your meat is sourced from, it might automatically be safe from antibiotics. Since 2006, European Union has banned farmers from using antibiotics to promote growth and instead regulates their use to treating disease only.[xvii]
  • USDA Organic: When organically-raised animals become sick, they are treated with antibiotics and sent to a conventional production system where they are no longer labeled as organic. This means that any meat product with the label USDA Organic is guaranteed to be free of antibiotics, both for promoting growth and for treating illness.[xviii]
  • ‘Raised Without Antibiotics’, ‘No Antibiotics Administered’ and Similar Variations: These labels signify that the meat in question came from animals raised without antibiotics, often in conditions comparable to organic (but uncertified). For extra reliability, look for labels accompanied by a “USDA Process Verified” shield, which ensures that the company in question paid to have their claims verified.

Labels to Avoid When Buying Antibiotic-Free Meat

There’s lots of money to be made selling shady meat, which is why healthy sounding labels that are actually meaningless abound in the supermarket. If you really want to source meat that’s free from antibiotics, be sure to avoid these convincing, yet empty, claims.

  • Antibiotic-Free: The USDA has never legally authorized the use of the term “antibiotic-free”, so if you see it on packaging it has no legal meaning.
  • Natural: The USDA meaning of natural is very loose, and only implies that the final product is minimally processed and doesn’t contain added colors or artificial ingredients. Antibiotics are fully allowed in “natural” meat, making the term meaningless if you’re trying to avoid them.
  • No Antibiotic Residues: Though this isn’t a USDA-approved claim, it’s often used on labels to refer to the fact that antibiotics were not used for the last days or weeks of the animal’s life so that traces of the chemicals would have time to naturally work themselves out. However, the label “No Antibiotic Residues” usually implies that the animal was fed significant amounts of antibiotics earlier in life.
  • No Antibiotic Growth Promotants: Not only is this claim not approved by the USDA, it’s also intentionally misleading. Animals that aren’t given antibiotics to aid their growth levels might still get them regularly to stay healthy in their crowded cages, meaning their exposure levels are far higher than the label implies.[xix]

The growing threat of antibiotic resistance is likely to only get worse.

To cut out the biggest source of antibiotic use and keep the planet safe, do what you can to buy antibiotic-free meat.  Better yet, raise your own livestock.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the continuation of modern medicine might someday depend on it.

antibiotic resistance

Sources

[i] The Biggest Threat to Modern Medicine- Antibiotic Resistance

[ii] World Health Organization: What to Do About Resistant Bacteria in the Food Chain

[iii] STAT- The Livestock Industry is Key in the Race to Fight Antibiotic Resistance

[iv] Consumers Union: The Overuse of Antibiotics in Food Animals Threatens Public Health

[v] Frontline: Modern Meat

[vi] Flies are Spreading Antibiotic Resistance From Farms to People

[vii] Flies are Spreading Antibiotic Resistance From Farms to People

[viii] The Isolation of Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella from Retail Ground Meats

[ix] Consumer Reports: The High Cost of Cheap Chicken

[x] Superbug Resistant to Last Resort Antibiotic Arises in China

[xi] 13 Animal-to-Human Diseases Kill 2.2 Million People Each Year

[xii] Frontline: Modern Meat

[xiii] Center for Disease Control: Antibiotic/Antimicrobial Resistance

[xiv] NRDC Petitions FDA: Agency’s Weak Attempt to Curb Antibiotic Abuse in the Livestock Industry is Failing

[xv] McDonald’s Now Serving Chicken Raised Without Antibiotics-Mostly

[xvi] Frontline: Modern Meat

[xvii] European Commission: Ban on Antibiotics as Growth Promoters in Animal Feed Enters into Effect

[xviii] USDA: Organic

[xix] Consumer Reports: Antibiotics in the Meat Industry

The post Antibiotic-Free Meat: A Buying Guide appeared first on The Grow Network.

Start Prepping Without Feeling Overwhelmed

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Kena K. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


Everyone has different reasons for prepping. For us it was the combination of hearing about the increasing devastation of more natural disasters in the U.S. and abroad, and seeing how many people lost their jobs and homes during the economic recession. Initially, our thought was just to have some extra food in the cupboards in case I lost my job. We started by emptying out the closet in our extra bedroom, which allowed us to get rid of some of the extra “stuff ”we all seem to accumulate. Next, we purchased a few shelving units on sale, and secured them to the wall inside the closet. From there, we researched food items with longer storage lives like beans, instant rice, oatmeal, pasta, instant potatoes, honey and sugar and then started buying a little extra food each time we went to the store, focusing on sales to keep things cheaper. Once home with the the food, I wrote the “use by” date on the labels of the food before storing them in the closet so the items that expire soonest would be used first and those with the later expiration dates would be placed behind those to be used later.

As time went on our food storage grew and became more diverse. We began to compare our closet to a savings vault and the more food we put in it, the richer we felt. Coincidentally, the more we collected, the more interested we got in the whole prepping concept. I organized the food according to categories like beans, rice, oatmeal, canned fruit, canned vegetables, canned fish and meats, boxed meals, spices, baking items, drink mixes (coffee, tea, hot cocoa, hot cider, instant milk, Gatorade, Tang, Kool-Aid, etc.) and so on. We not only thought of ourselves, we also planned for the possibility that other members of our family might have to leave their homes, so we downsized more of our “junk” to create more space, and collected more food.

The biggest challenge for me was storing water. I didn’t want anything to be so heavy it would fall on our heads, collapse the shelves, or worse to leak and ruin our food, so I boiled water and stored it in glass quart jars that I had saved from empty juice containers, and then dated the jars and placed them upright, underneath the shelving units where lucky for me, they fit perfectly. I also purchased and stored some plastic drinking water bottles. Since the minimum recommendation is to save one gallon of water per day, per person and pets, and since water is life, I found it difficult to determine how many days we should save for and where to find enough space to store it all. Eventually, I got creative and found other places throughout the house to store more water and we kept empty 5 gallon water containers with our camping gear so we could use them to gather more water, as needed.

Prepping isn’t a new idea – What is new is the idea that you don’t need to prepare.

At some point, we began to expand our storage items from just food into thoughts of our pets needs, first aid, extra indoor and outdoor clothes and shoes, towels and blankets, soap, shampoo, lotion, toothbrushes, toothpaste and the like, again purchasing items on sale. We started going to garage sales to look for things like oil lamps and camping items. We made Bug Out Bags for ourselves should we need to evacuate at a moments notice and I even stored a few emergency items in my purse and in our vehicles. We have a camp trailer so we also got it ready with extra sleeping bags, food, hygiene items, books, puzzles, cards, and toys for the grandkids. It became a game to us, always thinking of things we might need and how to purchase them without spending tons of money. We bought things like tools, personal protection items, backpacks, cooking and camping gear for each other for our birthday and Christmas presents. During the winter when the weather was too bad to go outside, I used my time to copy our important papers, put family pictures in a small photo album, and wrote down their addresses, phone numbers and birthdays and anything else of importance I could think of (scars, blood types, etc). We stored some state and Forest Service maps in the glove box and our backpacks in case we had to travel or use the back roads. I also started collecting recipes for ways to use the freeze-dried foods we’d purchased.

In the spring we expanded our garden area and mostly planted food that we could freeze, dry or can. We felt really good growing our own food because we kept it organic and knew it would taste so much better in the winter than grocery canned foods. We read articles on sprouting and bought seeds so we could try it. Since we owned an acre of land outside the city limits we figured we should utilize our property to help us survive, so instead of a yard full of grass and ornamental trees, we opted for edible landscaping by planting a few fruit trees, berry plants, rhubarb and herbs. We even raised our own chickens for eggs and meat, and had rabbits and turkeys for awhile.

Keep in mind that none of this happened over night by any means. It was something that we started that grew over time. It grew because we saw the importance of it, turned it into a game and then had fun doing it.

What could possibly go wrong?

As our adult children came to visit they began to notice all the food we were collecting and they laughed saying if the Cascadia Fault line acted up, they would just bring their friends and come to our house since we were already so stocked up. I had read an article about someone who opened his property to a few friends who ended up bringing other friend after the Katrina hurricane in 2005 but no one brought anything to contribute towards the cause and soon the years worth of food that he had saved for himself was gone because he had to share it with everyone else. Remembering this, I told the kids that they were more than welcome to come and to think about what they could bring to contribute (food, bedding, towels, etc), and that we had indeed planned for them to stay with us if need be, but then I had to let them know that we did not have enough for their friends, so they would have to prepare for themselves or plan on going someplace else. I felt like I was being a bit mean, but when the SHTF, we all have to decide who can enter our domain and who can’t…and what we are willing to do in order to back that up.

Major cities affected by a disturbance in this subduction zone include Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia; Seattle, Washington; and Portland, Oregon.

That year for Christmas, I gave the kids a mini survival bag for the glove box of their cars that included things like a metal cup with a bit of food, a pocket knife, flashlight, fire starter, and hand warmers and a tiny address book that I wrote our address and phone number in, thinking that in an emergency they may not have cell service so it would be helpful to have important numbers written down with the hope they might be able to use a land line. I told them it was just a starter kit, and encouraged them to add to it.

After some time, I noticed it seems the kids have been paying attention. They have started to collect extra food in case the power goes out or they get sick and can’t go to work or get to the store. My 80 year old mother recently had to rely on the water and food she had stored for just such an occasion when she was unable to leave home due to a heavy snow storm. Fortunately she didn’t lose power, but if she had, she would have been OK because she had candles, a flashlight and an indoor propane heater on hand that we had given her. She had extra blankets and winter clothes too, all things we had given her or that she had gotten for herself. It was a big relief to know she was prepared as we do not live in the same town and are in fact divided by a mountain pass that may have been impossible for us to go over during the storm. Fortunately, she also has a kind neighbor who helped keep her walkway shoveled and some folks from her church who stopped by to check on her. I would prefer that we lived closer so we could help her more, but for now at least, that is not the case.

Whatever your reason, I hope this article inspires you to begin your prepping adventure. Keep it simple, make a game of it, and don’t spend a ton of money upfront if you don’t have it. Second-hand stores, Dollar stores, garage and estate sales, all have great deals. Online stores and military supply stores are great places to look for backpacks, camping supplies, military clothing and a whole host of other items without paying an arm and a leg for it like you might at a specialty-type store. There are numerous prepping articles full of great advice and helpful lists of whatever you might be interested in, like what to put in your first aid kit or your bug-out bag for example. There are also plenty of prepper-type stores online to buy freeze-dried and dehydrated food if you choose to go that way, and they tend to have different items on sale every month, which is how I am building up our freeze-dried and dehydrated items. You can even find a limited supply at some stores like Walmart. So, there are lots of options, and the more you get into it, the more you will want to do. Perhaps you can get others to join you – encourage your family, friends and neighbors to have extra supplies on hand “just-in-case” explaining you never know when you might get sick or when the power will go out. Let them know they don’t want to be the one stuck without gas, food or water. They wouldn’t want the power to go out and be sitting in the dark without some sort of light, heat, or a way to cook and clean. Invite your friends to go to a garage sale with you as a fun way to get started.

There is still so much I want learn like emergency first aid, tying knots, identifying edible mushrooms and wild foods. Reading books and watching survival-type shows is a fun way to be introduced to different ways to build shelter, make fires, use weapons and just live off the land, but of course nothing prepares you for this type of survival like taking a class and practicing your skills and I look forward to it all. I hope you do, too.

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The post Start Prepping Without Feeling Overwhelmed appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Layers of Security for Your Rural Home or Compound

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This article will focus on security in a mostly rural area “Mostly rural” can mean that you do have neighbors, but they are not what most would consider within shouting distance, so in other words, if you have a security breach, then you are likely on your own. They say that prevention is the best […]

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34 Primitive Survival Skills All Survivalists Should Know

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This article was shared with us by Colin, freelance writer and editor at Basis Gear Maybe you’ve got a few tricks up your sleeve when it comes to outdoor survival, or perhaps you are searching for some? In any case, it goes without saying that as an earth-dweller, surviving outdoors is a matter of extreme importance. When it comes down to this, preparation is everything. How should you prepare? By taking into account the variety of skills and information essential […]

The post 34 Primitive Survival Skills All Survivalists Should Know appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

A Survivalist’s Top Prepping Tips

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Prepping, prepper, survivalist, surviving, expo, community, people

Fire is one of survivalist Fischer’s top prepping priorities

Last month hordes of prepping enthusiasts and survivalists turned out for the Survival Expo in Richmond, Virginia. Vendors like Preparedness Essentials were present selling prepping  products from long term food storage solutions to solar power to tactical gear. One of the vendors was Joe Fischer, a firefighter and air force veteran turned business owner who promotes survivalist training. His business USURVIVEALL also sells survival equipment like the Firestarter which retails at $25.00.

“Preparedness is a way of life.”

Joe is a strong advocate of versatile items in a grid down situation. The essentials in the trunk of his car include pouches of tuna, rice and beans and tea lights. But two key pieces are his bandana and some black tape. Why? They are versatile! A bandana can protect your face from bugs, act as a water filter and be used as a bag to carry berries or other food. Whereas, black tape can be used as a bandage, for repairs or lashing things together to make a shelter or some other construction.

Fischer doesn’t prep for civil unrest, economic collapse or the end of the world, he simply wants to be ready for a particularly bad storm, tornado or power outage. Versatility he believes is the key to surviving.

His top prepping priorities are:

  • Fire – not only for heat and cooking, fire is an important resource for purifying water. It also has soothing abilities; anyone who’s sat by a crackling fire knows how calming it is. Therefore, it helps put you at ease, as Fischer points out, “every animal on earth is afraid of fire”.
  • Knife – common sense prevails, this is an extremely important tool for any survival situation and can get you out of some sticky situations.
  • Shelter and water – a product like a mylar blanket not only keeps you warm but can be set up as a shelter. It can also be used to collect water. Plus, it’s cheap and easy to pack, folding down into a small square for transport.
  • Cordage – something that doesn’t cross everyone’s mind, but is just as important urges Fischer. Cord can help you string up a shelter or a rain tarp. Not to mention if you need to do some climbing (up or down) this can be the difference between life and death.
Prepping, prepper, survivalist, survival, off-grid, self-sufficiency, versatile

A bandana is a versatile piece of kit that could be game-changing in a survival situation

The next Expo coordinated by RK Prepper Shows is being held in Springfield, Montana on June 24th and June 25th. Tickets are priced between $12 – $14.50 for adults and $5 – $7.50 and can be purchased online.

Surviving societal collapse

Even though Fischer doesn’t believe in prepping for end-of-the-world scenarios, two South Carolina law makers have a different view. Josiah Magnuson and Jonathon Hill have set up the “Virtue Solution Project”, a group which aims to save America… or survive societal collapse. Based on a mix of religion, political organizing and disaster prepping, the group advocates their followers to form communities that do not rely on corporate America. Community preparedness centres will enable followers to learn about spiritual leadership, first aid, farming, renewable energy and tactical defence.

Magnuson is setting up the first prepping centre in a barn on an acre of land outside Campabello. Although it will start life as a coffee shop, it is hoped it will be developed further for the group. Apparently, other groups are planned for Pickens, Simpsonville, Charleston and over the border in Georgia.

Magnuson states, “there will come a point where there is a major disaster in our country…we need to be ready for that, and (prepping) will give us an opportunity to have a fresh beginning.”

The group is heavily based on religion, with a focus to reshape community ideas towards those of the Founding Fathers. However, Hill points out that the group is in its infancy and development of ideas is still taking place. “We’re not saying that everybody should go and pick up guns and go have a revolution.” Instead, he says prepping is about self-sufficiency and providing for your neighbours and community.

For a more in depth analysis of the group’s ideology, take a look at this article.

The post A Survivalist’s Top Prepping Tips appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

3 Things To Do: Protecting Your Online Communications

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I tend to hide in the background of the American Preppers Network. I’m the web-master, the guy that makes the guts of the place work. It’s a thankless job, but somebody has to do it. Well, actually it’s not thankless, both Tom and Gman at Prepper Broadcast have thanked me for countless little and big things that have happened over the years. What most people may not know is how I got the job in the first place. You see, I sorta hacked one of Tom’s sites….

I actually don’t remember how long ago this was, it’s been literally years. It was way back in the beginning when River Walker first coined the term “Preppers” before anyone else, yes even Doomsday Preppers didn’t exists back then. Tom was trying to create a nation wide network of like minded people who wanted to connect and share information on preparedness. He set about setting up each and every state blog and worked hard at getting people involved. I was busy doing my own thing, hosting sites, and working on side projects for mostly my own amusement when I noticed that one of his sites had an error.

Getting a hold Tom back then was like trying to pull teeth from a bull in heat.

After several emails with no reply, I just fixed it myself. Being the honest guy I am, I sent him a final email on the subject telling him what I had done. That last email actually got a response from him, he asked “You want a job?”

Hacking for the most part is rather easy. Most people are unaware that all your on-line communications are out there for the whole world to see. Finding out how to access your personal bank account, your browser history, and guessing your passwords can be done with just a few keystrokes. Tracing you to your door is even easier. This so called set of “private” information is very public.

And now the Nanny.gov wants help to spy on you, from your own ISP.1 2 3

Yes, in the Republican controlled Congress, rules made by the FCC to protect consumers’ right to privacy were over tuned4. Well so much for Trump being the hero of the common man in the White House. What this means to you is basically this. Before you didn’t have any real privacy on-line from hackers, trolls, and various scum on the net. Now, you can add your own Internet Service Provider and any branch of the government to the list.

There are three things you need to do now.

  • You need to use the privacy features of your browser.

When you use incognito mode, Chrome doesn’t record any history or cookies, and it disables browser extensions. This means that third party services like Facebook, Google, etc that use cookies to track your movement across the internet to serve you better ads won’t follow you to the incognito tab.” guidingtech.com 5

Most browsers that are available, even if you use alternative operating systems other then windows, leak. They leak your history, tracking cookies, saved login settings to your bank and social networks. And that’s not to mention other information about you that goes out on the net from your ISP, or the data that is literally mined from advertiser software and places you go to. The privacy tab option helps prevent most of those leaks, but not all.

The most important thing to remember about the privacy tab is that it mostly helps with preventing unwanted snoops from checking out what you are doing with your browser who have physical access to that browser, your house guest for example. Some private modes are better then others. It all depends on how much effort is put into making it secure by the developer and how much you trust those developers. Firefox’s private mode automatically blocking web trackers, where as Chrome’s doesn’t 6, But that being said, Firefox has been known to still record the SSL certificates from sites7.

Private browsing prevents people from snooping on your web browsing after it’s occurred, but they can still snoop while it’s occurring … ” – howtogeek.com 8

  • You need to be able to turn off Java.

Java is a favorite target of cybercriminals because it is so easy to exploit, and also because users are frequently using outdated versions of it.” – tomsguide.com9

The easiest way to do this is to install an extension that allows you to toggle Java. on and off at will. Sometimes you still need to use Java due to login options on sites your active in, or simply because you trust the site in question. If you want to remain anonymous, to hide your IP, and prevent maleware, you are going to need to turn it off, and know if it is off.

Fortunately, Java is heading the way of the dinosaur10, sites are now using HTML5 which simply doesn’t need it anymore. The number one issue with Java that I have is that it does not self update, if there is a future security risk involving Java your system will not automatically update. A lot of things use Java, not just the personal computer or laptop, this is the main source of DDOS attacks on the internet.

  • You need to anonymize your connection to the internet.

Tor aims to conceal its users’ identities and their online activity from surveillance and traffic analysis by separating identification and routing. It is an implementation of onion routing, which encrypts and then randomly bounces communications through a network of relays run by volunteers around the globe.” – wikipedia 11

This is where it gets hard. Even if you set up a VPN on your laptop, the browser on your other devices is not configured. And not only that, how can you be sure to trust your VPN? You need something between you and the router that you connect too. Not everyone is a tech geek like me, a simple solution is needed for the average Joe to protect himself from big brother, and the nosy neighborhood. You need to either use a simple solution, or jump on a huge learning curve about proxies, virtual private networking, and the peer-to-peer system, to name a few.

I found such a device. It’s called Anonabox. The original Anonabox is perfect for using as a simple way to securely connect to the internet in a way that I don’t have to worry about being traced back to my ISP. It uses the TOR Onion networking system which is constantly evolving to to be better. This isn’t the total geek version AnonaboxPro, which I also got for myself, it’s the one I use so I don’t have to worry about the other devices, and the kids.

It’s real simple to use. It’s pre-configured, locked up, and plug in-play. You just plug it into your router, power it up and connect to it via WIFI. That simple.

There are a lot of reasons to use TOR. But it is not user friendly. Even the most basic set up12 can be a real headache for the average user, even experts have fallen prey to the FBI because of simple mistakes13. Having a simple always on, hardware connected to the TOR network like Anonabox reduces the risks of stupid mistakes. You do still have limitations, you can’t use Skype over TOR, and most people will fine it hard to stream movies over TOR unless they use a Kodi with a high cache amount.

Some geeks might suggest to just use the TOR Browser bundle, but that isn’t always the best option, Freedom Hosting was taken out by the FBI due to the bundle having vulnerabilities14. Using a standalone plug in-play helps avoid problems from others on your network.

The Anonabox Original is a small light weight device that works right our of the box. I have very fast internet, my main worry for using the Anonabox was whether it would slow the net down to the point where I couldn’t use it with Kodi. But it turned out that it worked fairly well, not as good as a direct VPN connection, but still good enough to use CCLOUD VOD on Kodi, which is what I am currently using to watch classic movies. Using a TOR Browser to watch streaming movies from other sources just doesn’t work unless you can cache the whole film, or via a torrent.

I also got an AnonaboxPro, which I plan to use with the darkspider project. For a more technical article on it visit my blog.

– wolfe

1https://epic.org/privacy/netneutrality/ What does that have to do with privacy?

The post 3 Things To Do: Protecting Your Online Communications appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Dealing with Bureaucracy

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Feds attack Rancher

Not only in Nevada

Off-Grid living and Government Bureaucracy are totally opposed to each other. Many people go off the grid just to get away from the Bureaucrats. but you can never escape them altogether. An anonymous rancher from the mid-west tells his story:

I’m sure most everyone would agree that public service is a noble calling. We are indebted to all those since our founding fathers who have stepped up to serve the greater good. Unfortunately, serving the good of the public and that of the bureaucracy seems to be almost diametrically opposed.

I know many ranchers who have considered just moving out of the system entirely versus dealing with bureaucrats and bureaucracies. But the reality is there is no way to avoid them, no matter how frustrating, impersonal, complex, incompetent, and arrogant they may be. In fact, the reach of bureaucracies into our daily lives seems to be growing exponentially, almost at the pace of their incompetence.

In business, we have to innovate, we have to do things more efficiently (reduce overhead), we have to improve the quality and timeliness of our decision-making and we have to become more customer centric and deliver more value. It is a never-ending, daily struggle for survival that ensures that businesses have this type of focus.

The great irony is that bureaucracies, because of their nature, often perversely have the opposite incentives. They must spend all their money, grow their sphere of influence and gobble up more and more resources while often doing less and less.

Thus, innovative, cost-effective, efficient, customer focused, responsive to change, or even user-friendly are not words that one usually associates with bureaucracies, and for good reason.

For example, I recently had to go to a local social security office—local when you are a rancher includes traveling 180 miles to the nearest government office—to get a replacement social security card for my son. I won’t go through the month of wasted time attempting the process through the mail that his mother suffered through.

I knew I was in trouble when the alert security guard sent me back to my car as he spotted my pocket knife. When I returned, I had the privilege of standing in line to answer several questions on a touch screen computer so that I could be issued a number that would allow me to speak to a human.

There was not enough seating so we had to stand. The only thing to do was to watch the Social Security TV network that was playing on several big screens around the room. The weather was the focal point, along with admittedly well-conceived marketing messages that would make you inclined to be supportive of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the job it does.

The other tidbits were kind of shocking as they were highly reflective of a political agenda, which ironically was mostly focused on global warming. While I hope I never have to return to that office, I almost want to go back in a year or so and see if the new administration has changed the agenda of the SSA television network.

What struck me is that the Trump administration probably wouldn’t be able to effect that change. There are just so many layers, so many agencies, that it is almost impossible to believe that they could ever get that far down their priority list.

Sitting there waiting for my number to be called, I couldn’t help but overhear the conversations between desperate people who were needing problems resolved and the absolute indifference to their situations by the people working there and their rigid adherence to a set of rules.

7 hour wait – thank you Bureaucracy

My problem was solved instantly. Why it required a 7-hour drive and 2 hours of waiting, when it should have taken a 30 second phone call, is something I never will understand. But it did make me understand something I had never taken the time to contemplate before.

My state is unique as far as ranching goes. One side of the state operates in relative freedom from government, land is almost universally privately held and we do not have much pressure from urban governments. The other side operates largely on public lands and deals constantly with a myriad of competing interests for those lands, as well as urban and development encroachment.

Those of who us who live without having to deal with government bureaucracy tend to be a little less concerned about government; those who are forced to deal with them realize the importance of being engaged at so many levels.

Ranchers and bureaucrats are destined to not get along. Ranchers aren’t tied to rules and power grabs when it comes to Bureaucracy problems, they are geared to fixing them proactively and as quickly as possible. Ranchers live by a code that respects others; bureaucracies by their nature are almost inclined to disdain the individual. Ranchers are inclined to action; bureaucracies to discussion.

In case you are wondering, I didn’t walk out with the card even after having to provide what seemed like 25 different proofs of our identity. Instead, the new card will be mailed in 10-14 days. If it doesn’t show up, I’m sure I’d be welcome to return to get another number next week.

The post Dealing with Bureaucracy appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Save Money with Increased Self-Sufficiency

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Becoming more self-sufficient can help you save money in so many different ways. Perhaps the original driving force behind becoming more self-reliant wasn’t money, but once you start developing skills and independence, it just might become a pleasant side effect.

Of course there are so many different ways to increase your self-sufficiency, and most of these aren’t going to happen overnight. But let’s take at five things that your great-grandparents probably did, and that you can do, too, in order to save money.

Grow it, keep it, use it and don't forget about the sun. Five tips for increasing self-sufficiency while saving money. Try the free solar calculator to find out what you need.

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Grow It Yourself

This is DIY, except with food! You can grow your own fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs. There are a variety of different ways that you can grow your own food, including planting your own vegetable garden, growing non-hybrid vegetables and harvesting your own seeds, and using square foot gardening techniques in order to grow a lot of food in very small spaces. You don’t need a hundred acres and a team of horses to grow your family’s food.

Want to get even more self-reliant and frugal? Homemade compost and composted manure are fabulously frugal, even if you need to get them from someone else. Just be sure to source your compost and manure locally.

Potatoes and winter squash, in my experience, grow with almost no attention, and a 10 pound bag of seed potatoes can easily become a hundred pounds or more of storage potatoes in your root cellar! The frugal way is to plant the potatoes that sprout over the winter.

Did you know that you can get varieties of many fruit trees that can grow in a large planter pot? What’s more frugal and self-reliant than an apple tree? Well, an orchard, to be honest. The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is always ‘today’.

Frugal gardeners don’t like being bound to short growing seasons. Build a greenhouse, or pick up a kit that lets you put one together quickly.

Go Au Naturel

No, no, no – leave your clothes on. That’s not what I meant.

There are SO many ways that you can use renewable, natural resources in order to be more self-sufficient AND save a boatload of money.

Do you heat with wood? (If you can, you should.) Instead of buying split wood, buy it in chunks or even logs and split it yourself. As a comparison, we can buy 8′ lengths of hardwood logs for about $100 per cord. Split wood that is ready to age, though, is well over $300 per cord, and aged firewood – I don’t even want to ask anyone.

How about water? I realize that there are some areas where rainwater harvesting is restricted for a variety of reasons. (Just as not everyone is about to burn firewood) But if you CAN harvest your own rainwater, do it! Rainwater is great for watering your garden. That’s a common bit of advice. What you might not know, though, is that rainwater is soft water and therefore fabulous for washing your hair and for cooking dried beans! Just make sure you filter the water well if you’re using it for beans.

And then there is … the sun! It’s funny how often we ignore it because the sun is one of the best ways to increase your self-sufficiency in so many different ways. The most obvious, in my opinion, are solar panels.

I despise paying electricity bills. If you find yourself sending hundreds of dollars every month to the power company, and especially if you then deal with power outages throughout the year, you might be wondering if there’s a better way.

There is. Install solar panels and get a solar array set up for your home, and say goodbye to power bills. If it works for us, here in dark and cloudy Nova Scotia, where we average something like two hours of sunlight a day in December … it can work for you.

Try this fun, simple to use solar calculator!

The power of solar goes beyond solar electricity, though. Some people heat their homes entirely with solar heating panels, and solar water heaters do away with the cost of your electric or gas hot water tank. And don’t forget that retro-progessive, solar-power method of clothes drying – hanging them out on the line.

Grow it, keep it, use it and don't forget about the sun. Five tips for increasing self-sufficiency while saving money. Try the free solar calculator to find out what you need.

Be Like Old MacDonald

No matter where you live, you can probably figure out a way to raise some livestock. Even apartment dwellers can raise a few bunnies or rent a field and barn to raise some pigs.  Some of the most common small livestock are chicken and ducks, sheep, goats … and even bees. Chickens and ducks provide eggs, meat and manure. Goats or small cows give milk, pigs essentially turn compost into bacon, and bees make honey.

It goes farther, though. Goats and sheep (provided you have the right breeds) can provide you with materials for spinning, knitting and crochet. If you learn to spin wool into yarn, you can make some of your own blankets and clothing. Snuggle under a warm wool blanket on a cold winter’s night and you might think that you’ve discovered how to spin straw into gold!

Store It

There’s no sense going to the work of growing all of that food unless you know how to store it. If it’s possible, consider building a root cellar. Learning to can foods means that you can preserve a lot of what you grow or cook and enjoy it all year.

Use and Reuse

You’ve probably heard that slogan from World War II – Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. When you use and reuse whatever you can as much as possible, you reduce waste and find new and creative ways to do things. Not only does this increase your self-sufficiency, but it will save you a lot of money.

There are many ways that you can become more self-sufficient. Be conscious of alternative techniques to improve your health and well being, your impact on the environment, and your wallet, and you may find other ways to increase your self-reliance as well.

5.11 tactical RUSH 72 backpack review

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Recently, I purchased the RUSH 12 as a trekking bag, but I have really wanted the 5.11 tactical RUSH 72 backpack for a long time for being my ultimate bug out bag. I finally purchased it and I am so glad that I did. This is the one pack that I keep loaded down with all my needed items that I can just grab and go when I am in a hurry, and the RUSH 72 literally does it all. There is too much room in this bag, and I love the fact that it can be laid flat and that the main compartment is able to be unzipped all the way around so it become a front loaded bag. That is beyond awesome in my book.

This is what makes it so simple to stock in its place within this pack without having to dig through all the stuff in your bag just to get one single item. It is really roomy, but it is quite comfortable because of the MOLLE equipped middle belt, it takes the force of your stuff from your shoulders and into your waist it really belongs. That makes it great for those who often get stiff trekking long distances with a bag on your back.

This is one bag that is really durable. That is what sold me on it, and it is a real testament to the 5.11 items quality. The bag is super tough and flawless. Although, it is a bit heavier than the other bug out bags that I have owned, simply because it is made from the greatest nylon that I have ever seen on any other type of equipment. There are no missed stitches, or frays. It is tough enough that I would be comfortable to throw it off a cliff and not have any major damage done to it.

The compartments

There is one large major compartment, one big front compartment, and 2 side chambers, a hydration compartment, and some smaller pockets. These all have firm inner zippered and non-zippered pockets. It has straps that hold it to the main compartment which was made for expanding the bag. The front compartment has a gap between this pocket and the large pocket, but the nylon straps are normally loose and allow you to put in whatever you need such as small camping items.

I managed to fit a small camping tent, inflatable camp out pad, cook set, 3-liter bladder, first aid kit, water filter, dried foods, some paracord, multi tool, and a machete as well as a few other odds and ends.

I won’t lie, I have carried a whole lot of civilian backpacks but I have also carried a few military rucksacks. This bag is actually really great for its size. It is perfect to make a 72-hour bug out bag that has a bunch of alternative pockets and MOLLE webbing all over the bag.

The 5.11 tactical RUSH 72 backpack was one that I was quite surprised to find that it worked perfectly for many of my treks, hunting trips, and even my man in the wild hikes up in the wilderness. This bag can hold my food, clothing, and shelter. I don’t think that there is going to be any other type of bag out there that can really do that.

What is better is that it also has a tier strap system that will let you connect your RUSH bags into one large carry on for luggage when you are traveling on planes.

Being able to pick out the right type of bug out bag and getting to be the right size was a bit challenging. If it is too large then you will be dragging out a lot of luggage, if it is too small then you are stuck tying your gear to the outside of the bag and end up snagging everything. Having a good quality bag was really important and the 5.11 has a great reputation among civilians, dooms day preppers and even survivalists. To be honest this is the best bug out bag that there is.

The quality of this bag is great. I love that it was literally made to be able to withstand years and years of abuse. I am constantly on the go, and this has literally become my go to bag and when I am ready, it is right there, ready with all my gear. Another thing that I loved was that there was so many pockets. There are so many of them and they are all useable and easy to arrange. It helps me to stay organized, which is a plus. It is customizable and expandable. The MOLLE webbing allows for there to be some pretty awesome MOLLE attachments. It was built to be compatible with the Camelback. Plus, it is the right size to work for a 3 or 4 day wilderness trip in cold weather. There is just one issue; it is a bit expensive for some people. No it is not cheap, and you are getting what you pay for.

Conclusion

Overall, this is a great bag that is of excellent quality, perfect size, and a lot of organization that I really need for my gear. I have managed to get the chance to carry mine all over as a carry on when I flew, as a laptop bag, and some major hiking. There is a lot of room in this bag and it literally lives up to that 72-hour concept. I honestly prefer the storm gray color, as many people do not really give it a second glance, so you are less likely to be robbed. This is one of the best bags that I have ever owned and I will continue to use it until it finally gives out and becomes something that I can keep because I have had so many awesome adventures in it. You certainly cannot go wrong with the 5.11 tactical RUSH 72 backpack.

 

A 5-Year-Old Girl Guarded A Pretend Castle With A ‘Stick Gun.’ She Got Suspended From School.

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A 5-Year-Old Girl Guarded A Pretend Castle With A ‘Stick Gun.’ She Got Suspended From School.

Image source: Reuters screen capture.

RAEFORD, N.C. — Make-believe is now a forbidden activity on the playground at some schools – but only if it involves a pretend gun.

Five-year-old Caitlin Miller discovered this the hard way when she was taken to the principal’s office during recess and suspended.

Her misdeed: “turning a stick into a gun and threatening to shoot and kill other students,” a note from the assistant principal said. Or, at least, that’s how the school saw it.

Caitlin and her friends were playing “king and queen” during recess on the Raeford, N.C., school playground when she noticed a stick shaped like a Star Trek phaser pistol on the ground.

She picked up the stick and used it to guard the castle’s king and queen against an intruder – at least until teachers noticed and took her to the principal’s office. There, Caitlin was given a note to take home to her mom. It included a picture of the stick. Caitlin was suspended from school for one day.

Heirloom Audio: Christian Heroes For Christian Kids

A 5-Year-Old Girl Guarded A Pretend Castle With A ‘Stick Gun.’ She Got Suspended From School.“One minute she’s playing with her friends and the next her teachers are dragging her to the principal’s office,” her mother, Brandy Miller, told WTVD TV. “She’s confused. Nobody explained anything to her.”

The school stood by its action against the kindergartener.

“Any student engaging in such behavior will be removed from the classroom or school environment for as long as is necessary to provide a safe and orderly environment for learning,” a press release from the Hoke County School District reads.

Caitlin has grown up around guns, as her father serves in the Army. Her mother did not know what to tell the girl, not wanting to bring up the subject of school shootings.

Now, the girl feels uncomfortable at school.

“She feels like all the teachers hate her,” Miller wrote on Facebook. “I can’t imagine being five and feeling that way.”

Do you think the girl should have been suspended? Share your thoughts in the section below:

16 Remedies for Radiation Exposure (link)

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I didn’t realize there were so many potential helpful “remedies” for exposure to radiation. That said, they shouldn’t be considered equals either and, of course, it depends on what radioisotope you’ve been exposed to. Regardless, radiation safety seems to boil down to (1) NOT being deficient in vitamins and minerals in order to avoid unwanted … Continue reading “16 Remedies for Radiation Exposure (link)”

Survival Mom DIY: Bone Broth For Nourishment During Hard Times

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how to make bone broth

Bone broth has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity in the last little while, but it’s actually been around for a while. Some people refer to it as stock, but according to culinary experts, while stock and broth are related, they are distinct liquids with different characteristics. Functionally, though, they are so similar that I’ll be treating them as though they are the same thing in this article.

One of my favorite meals growing up was my mom’s turkey noodle soup, made from the little bits of meat and bones of our leftover Thanksgiving turkey. My mom would make a huge pot of it every year, which we would then keep in the fridge until someone felt a little peckish. The broth would set up like Jell-O, so if we wanted some we’d have to gouge out a portion with a measuring cup; it would melt into a liquid in the microwave.

Her secret? Boiling the turkey bones the way she did, created bone broth. She didn’t know it at the time, but she was a trend-setter before bone broth was a trend! They say that if the broth becomes a solid upon refrigeration, you’re doing it right. And she created perfect bone broth every time. Objectively, I can see how perhaps this description would seem unappetizing to some, and that is unfortunate because soup broth had a rich, delicious flavor that could not be rivaled by lowly bullion cubes.

Bone broth has been part of global culinary culture of millennia (these recipes from Ancient Mesopotamia call for chicken stock), and it continues to pop up in our wider culture, even apart from the fact that it has suddenly become trendy. Remember that scene from the film Nanny McPhee where the slightly crazed military cook exclaims with glee, “There’s a lot of goodness in a turkey neck!” and the audience collectively goes, “Ugh,” at the unappetizing sight? Ta da! Bone broth!

From a survival or prepper’s point of view, bone broth is one way to stave off nutritional deficiencies or even starvation in an extreme scenario. It’s important to know how to make bone broth for that reason alone, although if the power grid has failed and you’re making this over an open fire, just know it will need to be consumed quickly, since refrigeration might not be an option.

3 Steps for making bone broth

Bone broth is economical, flavorful, nutritious, and on top of all that is a good way to use the little tiny scraps and bits of protein that can be found on bones. Bone broth at its most basic can be made in three steps:

Step one: Obtain soup bones

Soup bones are extremely inexpensive and can be found at any regular grocery store. Usually these will be labeled “soup bones” and can be found in large quantities for as little as one dollar. Oxtails and sections of beef shank are slightly more expensive but also make excellent bone broth. Bones from fish or poultry are equally effective.

Alternately, just keep any bones from your everday cooking. I keep bones in a zip-loc bag in the freezer until I’m ready to make a large batch of broth.

Step two: Boil the bones

Boil and boil. Boil those things into oblivion. This can take up to several hours. The process can be expedited by using a pressure cooker instead of a regular stock pot (more on that later). This process gets all the nutrition that can be had out of the bone (bits of fat, protein, collagen, etc.) and into the broth.

There is some debate as to how long you should boil your bones. Some say 2-3 hours is sufficient, while others claim that you should leave it to simmer overnight or as long as a full 24 hours. Many suggest roasting beef bones first for optimal flavor, but I have been known to skip this step and still be pleased with the result. You can also add vegetables to your bones during the cooking process, and this does improve the flavor. Aromatic vegetables like celery and onions and herbs are popular additions, as are carrots.

Step three: Strain out the solids

Because, you know, you couldn’t actually want to eat the bone. (While crunchy, the bones would most likely do a number on your teeth, apart from being a possible choking hazard.)  If you used the carcass of your Thanksgiving turkey or the leftovers of a roast chicken, you’ll find lots of teeny little bones and bits of gristle that you’d rather not find in your soup. Any solids remaining from vegetables can be discarded, as after an intense boil all of the nutrients have gone out of them and into the broth.

A note on economy

In times and places where rationing has been in place, getting good cuts of meat became extremely difficult, if not impossible. If meat was being sold by the pound, it was in the butcher’s best interest to sell you a cut that mostly contained bone. Using the bone for broth meant the money spent on the meat could be used to the fullest extent possible. Before the 20th century when the vast majority of humans lived in conditions that we moderns would consider abject poverty, using bones in this way became a matter of course. All the more reason to know how to make bone broth in order to maintain a high level of nutrition for your family. During the Great Depression, surely many utilized bone broth, or stock, in their meals, along with the foods on this list.

On nutrition and bone broth

In health food circles, bone broth has been tied to a number of health benefits, including better joint health, improved digestive function, and improved immune response. Bone broth is high in minerals such as manganese, calcium, and iron. It has enjoyed some popularity as an alternative to sports drinks – the sodium content replaces electrolytes, but without all the sugar that sports drinks are known for. Nutrition experts warn that while very healthy, bone broth shouldn’t be viewed as a cure-all.

Cooking options for making bone broth

If you don’t already have a pressure cooker, go ahead and get one. Cooking foods under pressure means they are done in less time than if you were to use a conventional pot or pan. From a preparedness standpoint, cooking things more quickly means not only less time, but also less fuel. A regular, run-of-the-mill one with no bells or whistles can be found on amazon for about $45. As with all things, you can also get a super-fancy one for over $100 if you felt so inclined. More on using pressure cookers can be found here.

An electronic pressure cooker can be powered up by a smaller generator, in a worst case scenario, although, admittedly, it would be worthless in a long-term power failure. A standard pressure cooker can be used on something like a campstove, but the tricky part would be maintaining the level of heat and pressure throughout the cooking time. This isn’t impossible by any means, but just know that it would be a factor, since the heat from altnerative cooking stoves can fluctuate.

Otherwise, a large stock pot filled with water and bones and brought to a boil and then kept at a low simmer for several hours will produce bone broth just fine.

Recipes

Alton Brown, as with so very many things, has the best bone broth recipe. Technically this is a stock, not bone broth, because it’s cooked for less than 24 hours, but it can be used the same. Please note that his method calls for the use of a pressure cooker.

Another recipe for bone broth can be found here, courtesy of the Paleohacks blog.

If you aren’t already a fan of bone broth, I hope you will be inspired to become one! And if you are, what is your favorite use for it?

 

how to make bone broth

6 Intimidating (And Quiet) Alternatives To Guns

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6 Intimidating (And Quiet) Alternatives To Guns

A firearm is a critical defensive tool to have in your survival kit, but there are a wide variety of non-firearm alternatives available on the market.

While a gun might be your first and best defensive option, it has some drawbacks, too. One of the biggest is noise – guns are loud, and even suppressed firearms are fairly noisy. Shooting an unsuppressed firearm can cause severe hearing damage, give away your location to an imminent threat, or scare away wild game that you are trying to hunt.

Another downside is that firearms need ammunition to function – without it, your expensive new gun is just a menacing-looking paperweight. Your supply of ammunition is limited by its cost, the amount of space you have to store it, and (in survival situations that require you to leave your home) the weight you can carry. Consequently, you may only have a limited amount of ammunition on hand when your survival plan needs to be put into play. You should consider purchasing one or more non-firearm defensive tools if:

  1. You want a backup to your firearm in case you run out of ammunition.
  2. You want a quiet defensive tool.
  3. You cannot carry a gun in some locations.
  4. You have moral, philosophical or ideological objections to the use of firearms.

This article will discuss your options for purchasing alternative defensive tools to add to your bug-out bag or emergency stash. Remember: You will need to practice and become proficient with any defensive tool to ensure that you can operate it effectively when a disaster strikes.

Projectile Weapons

1. A crossbow or compound bow.

While crossbows and compound bows are traditionally used for hunting, they also can be used as a defensive tool. While not as effective as a firearm, a good crossbow or compound bow will provide lethal accuracy out to 60 yards without the loud report of a gunshot. A well-constructed entry level crossbow (firing at 300fps or greater) will typically cost around $500, though lower-powered variants can be purchased for much less. Entry level compound bows firing at 300fps or greater will typically start at $200, and go up from there. You will want to purchase a case, spare bolts or arrows, replacement arrowheads, spare bow strings, and bow wax.

2. A survival bow.

As with the crossbow or compound bow, a survival bow is a hunting tool that can double as a defensive weapon. Unlike compound bows, a survival bow can be disassembled easily, and stored in a small pouch or carrying case. Aside from its ability to be disassembled for compact storage, the main benefit of the survival bow is its simple design when compared to a compound bow. However, survival bows are not as easy to shoot as compound bows because they have a much heavier draw. Your bow should have a minimum of a 40-pound draw – if the manufacturer doesn’t provide you with draw information, it is likely under the 40-pound mark. A decent survival bow can be purchased for as little as $90.

3. A slingshot.

They can use virtually any small object as ammunition, are compact enough to store virtually anywhere, and are very quiet. Steel ball bearings are the best ammunition for this type of weapon, but marbles, rocks and even steel nuts from a hardware store will function adequately.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

While a slingshot may not kill an attacker, it can certainly break bones and cause substantial bodily trauma. The best part is the price – a decent slingshot can be purchased for under $100.

Handheld Weapons

4. A machete.

A machete is a great tool to have in your prep kit, regardless of whether or not you are looking for an alternative to firearms for defending yourself. You can find a high-quality machete for less than $50 at any hardware or sporting goods store. Just remember that machetes are designed to slash, not stab.

5. An expandable baton.

6 Intimidating (And Quiet) Alternatives To Guns This compact, concealable defensive tool is an excellent choice for close-range defense. The expandable baton is composed of a handle that contains telescoping metal shafts, and a weighted tip.

It’s The Low-Cost Way To Defend Yourself Against Criminal Scum!

With the flick of your wrist, the baton expands to its full size, and makes a formidable impact weapon. An entry-level expandable baton can be purchased for around $25, and high-end versions for under $100.

6. A knife.

A fixed-blade knife is an ideal defensive tool because it is designed to withstand a lot of abuse. However, they are harder to store because of their length. Folding knives may not be as durable or reliable as fixed blades, but are good to have because they are easy to store or carry unobtrusively. When looking for a high-quality knife, expect to spend at least $50, maybe more. Some can be purchased for under $20, but their quality and durability may be questionable.

What weapons would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Pulled Over By Police While Carrying (How to Handle It)

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I know a lot of people who complain about how paranoid the police are. It seems like police officers always assume the worst about the people they pull over, and many officers are apparently very trigger happy. For example, an officer shot this man because he exited his vehicle while holding his wallet, which the […]

The post Pulled Over By Police While Carrying (How to Handle It) appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Always Prepared: 5 Items You Absolutely Must Have in Your 72-Hour Kit

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Disaster preparedness has become much more mainstream in recent years, with hundreds of thousands of people getting interested in what items they should have to provide for themselves and their families in the event of an emergency. If you are getting started in disaster preparedness, the first thing you should be putting together is a 72-hour kit, sometimes also called a bug out bag. This is a light, portable pack that can easily be carried with you and which will give you the supplies you need to survive for at least three days. Here are five of the top items that should be in everyone’s 72-hour bag.

Personal Water Purifier

Getting fresh water is one of the most difficult parts of dealing with a disaster situation. The amount of bottled water you would need to survive for 72 hours would weigh you down and severely inhibit your mobility. A better option is a personal water purifier. These filter-based devices are small, straw-like systems that will remove dirt, debris and even bacteria from water. Be aware that some toxins, such as heavy metals, and viruses will not be caught by these filters, so it is still important to choose your water source carefully.

LED Flashlight

If you’re on the move in a disaster situation, it may be necessary for you to remain mobile at night. If this is the case, a good LED flashlight is absolutely essential. LEDs are both brighter and more energy efficient than normal bulbs, making them a more reliable option in a real emergency. Even though they are energy efficient, it’s also a good idea to keep at least one set of spare batteries for your flashlight in your pack.

High-Calorie Food

In a disaster scenario, you may have to move several miles a day or otherwise exert yourself physically, meaning you will need calories to fuel your activity. There are survival food bars that are specifically intended to serve this purpose, but other options are also available. High-protein snack bars make a decent alternative, as do canned tuna, peanut butter and instant pastas that can be prepared using only boiling water. Remember, in a life-or-death situation, the more calories that are in a given food, the better it is. You can also bring along a small pack of multivitamins to round out your nutritional needs.

A Good Jacket

You never know in advance what the weather may be like when you need to use your 72-hour kit, which is why it’s important to put a good jacket in your pack. Because it may be bitterly cold, it’s best to have a heated jacket that can keep you warmer than your body heat alone can. As with your flashlight, be sure to bring along a spare battery for your heated jacket, as it could mean the difference between life and death in extreme temperature conditions.

First-Aid Kit

In an emergency situation, the possibility of injury is always a risk. One of the key components of your 72-hour kit should be a basic first-aid kit that will allow you to clean and treat any injuries that may come up. This kit should also have common over-the-counter medicines in it to relieve symptoms of illness.

A disaster scenario is never something to look forward to, but with a little basic planning you can get through one without too much difficulty. Put your 72-hour kit together well in advance, and you will have everything you need to deal with an emergency. If you have a family, also be sure to put together a similar kit for each family member, as carrying all of the necessary supplies for everyone will be too much for any one person.

The post Always Prepared: 5 Items You Absolutely Must Have in Your 72-Hour Kit appeared first on American Preppers Network.

12 Long Blooming Plants You’ll Love

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12 Long Blooming Plants You’ll Love What’s the point of planting if your plants die within weeks or months? If you’re going through all the trouble of digging up your garden you might as well plant something with a little endurance, something that’s willing to sprout all over again once the bitter winter frost has passed. These twelve plants could very well be your next long-lasting perennial. 1. Moonbeam (Coreopsis) If we’re being honest, this one’s first because I love its name. Moonbeam grows in clumps around one to two feet tall, they are known for their density and feature yellow

The post 12 Long Blooming Plants You’ll Love appeared first on Mental Scoop.

Lucky Bamboo Care – Growing Dracaena Sanderiana

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The post Lucky Bamboo Care – Growing Dracaena Sanderiana is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

In Asian cultures, lucky bamboo has been a symbol of good fortune for over 4,000 years. Recently it’s also become popular house plant that is widely available outside of Asia.Aside from being a pretty plant, one of the main reasons for its popularity is how easy it is to grow. Quick Navigation Lucky Bamboo OverviewLucky Bamboo […]

The post Lucky Bamboo Care – Growing Dracaena Sanderiana is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

22 Ways for Growing a Successful Vegetable Garden

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Spring is fast approaching, so are you planning to grow a healthy and beautiful vegetable garden that will help beautify your home’s outdoor and be a place of relaxation? Growing your own fruits and vegetables in the yard lets you spend more time outside, at the same time saves your money for buying organic food. So if you have the space to grow your own vegetables, you should definitely take advantage of that. Even if you only have a small space, it isn’t an obstacle anymore in your effort to vegetable garden. In the following projects you will find a lot of vegetable garden designs to help you start your neat and tidy veggie garden that produces fresh and tasty food for you. Take a look and get started!

1. Use metal trough as container for vegetable garden and install a path between your veggies:

Tutorial of above project ====> houseandbloom.com

2. If you are planning to plant cucumbers, melons, and beans in your garden, you can build a trellis and raised garden box combo to let them get support at some point:

Tutorial of above project ====> weedemandreap.com

3. Spiral garden has very cool looking and works great for people with limited space:

Source: recycledawblog.blogspot.com

4. Use landscaping rocks to build a series of raised garden beds and put a galvanized water trough in the center of garden for easy watering:

Source: recycledawblog.blogspot.com

4. Use landscaping rocks to build a series of raised garden beds and put a galvanized water trough in the center of garden for easy watering:

Source: bhg.com

5. U-shaped raised garden makes efficient use of limited space:

Source: brittanystager.com

6. Build pea tepees structure to make the harvesting and maintenance more easier:

Source: lillbutton2.blogspot.com    Source: grit.com

7. Use landscape stones to build a stunning carved garden in your backyard:

Source: paintspeckledpawprints.net

8. Wire trellis is a great option to build a vertical growing garden in a tiny backyard:

Source: gardenoholic.com

9. Lay the ground with red bricks or pebble and place cedar and pine planks garden boxes on it to plant your veggies:

Source Unknown.

10. Build a mini vegetable garden along a foundation wall:

Source: flickr.com

11. Concrete blocks are the perfect materials to organize an easy and cheap vegetable growing place:

Source: vintagekidsmodernworld.com

12. Build a bean tunnel for your climbing beans:

Source: wahsegavalleyfarm.typepad.com

Source Unknown.

Source: houzz.com

Source: palletwoodprojects.com

Above image source: raisedurbangardens.com    Bottom image source: gardensall.com

Source: bengreenfieldfitness.com

Source: flickr.com    Source: landscapingcapetown.co.za

Source Unknown.

Source: commmunitygardening.blogspot.com

Source: youtube.com

Source: homegardenseedsorganic.com

 

 

Source : www.woohome.com

 

 

 

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How To Get Rid Of Any Burrowing Animals With This Dawn Soap Solution

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How To Get Rid Of Any Burrowing Animals With This Dawn Soap Solution I have enough trouble walking on my own two feet without holes under them. Seriously, gravity is a cruel mistress, but divots and holes in my yard definitely do not help. Ankles are sensitive! And even if you’ve figured out how to avoid mole holes and hills, your kids sure haven’t. Have you ever heard the phrase, curiosity killed the cat…curiosity may have contributed, but a mole clawing your cat’s face off because your cat was curious enough to poke its head in the mole’s hole was

The post How To Get Rid Of Any Burrowing Animals With This Dawn Soap Solution appeared first on Mental Scoop.

How To Make A Living On A 5-Acre Farm

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Josh Volk

Many homesteaders wrongly believe they must have a big farm – and hundreds or thousands of acres – to make a living off their land.

But this week’s guest on Off The Grid Radio says that with only five acres and a little bit of patience and work, any homesteader can transform their land into a compact farm and a career.

His name is Josh Volk, and his book — “Compact Farms: 15 Proven Plans for Market Farms on 5 Acres or Less — profiles people who have made a career out of their small farms.

Josh give us an overview on what he discovered, including:

  • How a five-acre “compact farm” provides benefits that a larger farm does not.
  • What you can grow on your compact farm to make the most money.
  • Why organic methods often work best and keep costs down.
  • What someone who wants to start a “compact farm” should do first.

Finally, Josh gives us ideas on where the produce from a compact farm can be sold. (Hint: It’s not simply at a farmers’ market.)

We learned a lot from talking to Josh … and you will, too!

 

7-Year-Old Boy Makes Twisted Joke At School … So CPS Seizes Him

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7-Year-Old Boy Makes Twisted Joke At School … So CPS Seizes Him

Image source: Health Impact News/family

Eight police officers surrounded a couple’s home and took their seven-year-old son away because of a disagreement with school officials over ADHD and mental health, the parents say.

Christian and Katie Maple lost custody of seven-year-old Camden because they disagreed with school officials’ assessment of the boys’ mental health, they told Health Impact News. He attends Bowman Primary School in Lebanon, Ohio.

They describe him as a normal American boy: He has five siblings and enjoys Star Wars, Pokemon, football and Legos. He even has tested a grade above his current grade, the website reported.

“The school thinks he is ADHD, we as parents disagree,” the couple told Health Impact News. “We believe that it stems mostly from boredom and not being challenged in the classroom. The school has tried on several occasions to get us to have him diagnosed, so that he can be medicated.

Turn Drive Time Into Learning Time For Your Kids — Without DVDs!

“We as parents do not have the problems the school claims to have with him, at home. We know how to deal with a rambunctious 7-year-old, but the school is content with making him believe that he is a bad child, we disagree.”

The controversy began when the parents were called to pick up Camden following an incident at school. Camden had been disruptive in class and had told a school counselor that he was upset because he felt that he was bad and he wanted to “erase himself from the earth.” The counselor asked how he would have done that, and he responded that he would have stabbed himself in the eye, Health Impact News reported.

Christian and Katie had a lengthy conversation with their son after they left school. They saw the incident different than the school saw it.

“Camden said that he did not want to hurt himself and just said that because he was upset and wanted to see what the counselor would say,” they told the website. “The school thought we should have taken him to the hospital emergency room for a mental health evaluation, but upon assessing the situation and speaking to him at home, it was clear to us that he posed no threat to himself and just said it to get a rise out of the counselor. He has never said anything about harming himself prior to this incident or after. This was one time, one day … most likely repeating something he heard somewhere.”

They added, “If we really believed that he would have really hurt himself, then we would have taken him to be assessed. They’ve blown this way out of proportion.”

Put God Back Into History With These Amazing Stories For Kids! Read More Here.

The next day, school officials phoned the couple to ask if they had taken him to the hospital. They also wanted to know the details of the couple’s conversation with the boy. When the parents refused to disclose what was said, the school contacted CPS, according to the parents.

Two weeks later, Christian and Katie learned that there was a court hearing “later that day” on March 3. The judge sided with the school and CPS, and police officers were sent to the home to assist in the boy’s removal. He remains in state custody.

The parents were ordered to get a psychological evaluation and drug and alcohol tests. The psychological tests came back normal. The drug and alcohol test results were clean.

“How can this be?” Katie asked. “How can CPS get away with ripping children from loving homes without just cause? … CPS should not have this much unchecked power.”

They added, “There is nothing to stop this from happening to anyone.”

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

Family Vacation & Still Prepping

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Family Vacation & Still Prepping Host: James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio in player below! I know we dedicate a lot of time and money to prepping and survival but I am a firm believer in balance. I think as important as it is to be prepared it’s just as important to hit the road … Continue reading Family Vacation & Still Prepping

The post Family Vacation & Still Prepping appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Top American Knives: Best Folders & Fixed Blades Made in the USA

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Top American Knives: Best Folders & Fixed Blades Made in the USA

The USA will always have a legendary status in the knife world. As a relatively new country (speaking as a European), the bulk of modern designs stem from the States due to a positive legislative and cultural environment. Other countries manufacture knives too, naturally, but the reality is that 99% of people who would EDC… Read More

This is just the start of the post Top American Knives: Best Folders & Fixed Blades Made in the USA. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Top American Knives: Best Folders & Fixed Blades Made in the USA, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Reload: Cyber attack, what you don’t know could get you killed!

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When most people think of a cyber-attack, they think of someone stealing data or something to that effect. The truth could not be farther from the truth. In today’s post, we are going to…

The post Reload: Cyber attack, what you don’t know could get you killed! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

How To Make A Potato Pot

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I love potatoes. Boiled, mashed, fried, baked – it doesn’t matter how they’re served, I’ll eat them. They help stretch your food supply and provide energy when you need it the most.

Unless you have a place to grow a traditional garden, you may have discarded the idea of growing them, but you can make a potato pot and grow them wherever you want – and you can even take them with you if you need to bug out.

If you’re shooting for the “potato” that offers the most health benefits, shoot for yams or sweet potatoes. Though the names are often used interchangeably, they are not the same vegetable, nor do they have the same nutrients, though they’re both high in vitamins, particularly vitamin A. Technically, neither one are even potatoes but that’s outside the scope of this article.

How to Store Your Potatoes

If you were raised in the country, you likely remember the root cellars. Ever wonder why they’re called that? Me too, and the best explanation I can come up with is that they were used to store root vegetables – traditional white, yellow, or red potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, etc. All of these will store all winter if kept at the right temperature. The important thing is to not wash them because the dirt extends their shelf lives.

Unlike other potatoes, sweet potatoes love the warmth – unlike traditional spuds, room temperature is great for them. They’ll keep up to a year! Again, don’t wash them. And if you’re growing them yourself, as you’re going to be after you make your pots, do your best to leave them somewhere warm – 80 degrees is great – for 10 days or so after you harvest them. This promotes the growth of a chemical on the skin that protects them from rot and also “cures” them to make them sweet.

Another advantage to growing sweet potatoes is that you have a tremendous yield. Believe it or not, you can yield as much as 130 pounds of sweet potatoes from just 3 potatoes.

You can grow both sweet potatoes and “regular” potatoes in pots, but the process is different. We’ll take about the easiest and fastest way first, then tell you how to grow sweet potatoes.

Now, are you ready to get your hands dirty and make a potato pot that will produce a great crop of potatoes? Good. Let’s get started.

These lessons of yesterday will teach you the basic skills for survival cooking! 

Making a Standard Potato Pot

First off, I have to say that this is the perfect  idea for a prepper because once you get it going, you’ll have potatoes literally forever without even needing to add dirt or fertilizer. It’s absolutely brilliant, but so simple that anybody with 1 potato, soil, water, and access to clover can do it.

Of course, any potato crop is self-perpetuating, but with this one, you don’t need fertilizer and you won’t have to dig in the garden.

Expect to yield about 10x (perhaps just a bit less) the weight of potatoes that you plant; that’s ten pounds for every pound, so you don’t have to do math.

  • First, choose your container. You can grow them in anything from a 5-gallon bucket up. Use a bucket or container that has never been used to store any type of chemical or poison. A great place to get food-grade buckets is local restaurants and bakeries. They usually buy in bulk, and items such as pickles, lard, sugar, flour, and frosting often come in 5-gallon buckets.
  • Fill your container with a mixture of potting soil and compost. I’ve even heard of people using sand and sawdust, but for this method, use the potting soil and compost.
  • Let your potato sit long enough to start growing eyes. That way you know that it will grow because some are treated with chemicals that keep them from sprouting in order to extend shelf life. While you’re waiting, prepare your bucket and get your clover growing.
  • Drill holes in the bottom of your bucket for drainage and make sure that you have a place to put the bucket so that it’s not in direct contact with something such as dirt that can clog the holes and prevent drainage.
  • Put a few inches of gravel (and sand if you’d like) in the bottom of the bucket and fill it with soil to within several inches of the top.
  • Sprinkle white clover seeds across the top of the soil and just run your hand over them to get a bit of soil over them.
  • Once your potato sprouts eyes and you know it’s good to grow, your clover should be starting to grow, too. Dig a hole 12 inches deep or so in the center of the bucket. Don’t worry if you have to dig through the clover – it will grow back.
  • Plant your potato at the bottom and cover back up with dirt.
  • You’ll see a plant within just a couple of weeks, then all you have to do is water it once or twice a week and let it grow. After 3 months or so, the plant will die back. When it does that, your potatoes are ready to harvest.

Video first seen on Hollis & Nancy’s Homestead

Making a Sweet Potato Pot

This has several steps and takes quite a bit of advance wait time, but your yield will be awesome. Plus, sweet potatoes are delicious and nutritious just as they are. Not to say that a good old regular potato isn’t delicious, too!

Because the yield is so high, you may want to use 20 gallon buckets for this. That’s what was used here – if you’re only using 5-gallon buckets, just put one slip per bucket. You’ll know what that means in a minute.

  • Start with a single sweet potato. Unless you want to be overrun with them, or intend to sell them or trade them, you don’t need more than a couple because one potato seriously can yield forty pounds or so.
  • Find cups, jars, or containers that are wide enough and deep enough to accommodate one half of the potato, lengthwise.
  • Stick 3 toothpicks into the potato at equal distances around the middle so that you can dangle one end of the potato (half of it or so) into the glass or jar and have one end sticking out. You want to have at least a half-inch or so all around the potato between it and the inside of the container.
  • Put the potato into the container so that it’s suspended by the toothpicks.
  • Now it’s time to wait for the slips to grow. Slips are basically shoots that grow into individual plants, and one potato can yield up to 50.
  • The slips will begin to grow off of the bottom and up around the potato and will be ready to separate after a couple of months.
  • Once they are, separate them out into different jars, and you can even cut and root new slips off the first ones as they grow. Once you have the slips that you want and they’re at least 12 inches tall, it’s time to plant them.
  • You’ll want a trellis behind them because sweet potatoes vine, and they root where they touch the ground, so if you’re using containers, you don’t want them vining all over your yard.
  • Fill the buckets with equal parts potting soil, peat moss, and compost to about 6 inches of the top.
  • Ramp the dirt so that one side of the container (the one furthest away from the trellis) is 8 inches or so more shallow than the side closest to the trellis and soak it with water.
  • Place 3-6 slips in each bucket so that the tops are facing the trellis and the roots are at the side of the bucket that’s furthest away from the trellis.
  • Add soil mixture to cover the roots and make the dirt level. It’s OK if you cover up some of the leaves and only just the tops are sticking out.
  • Water it again a bit and cover with straw or mulch to keep weeds from growing.

Video first seen on OFF GRID with DOUG and STACY

They love hot weather and take about three months to mature. They’ll get super bushy, so try to encourage any long vines to grow up the trellis. The plants will also grow really pretty flowers, which makes them great for ornamentals. Since the good stuff isn’t visible, if people don’t know what they are, they’ll just think they’re bushes – hiding your garden in plain sight.

The leaves will start to turn yellow. After that, leave them for another week or so and test a part of the bucket by digging down to see if they’re ready. Or, you can just dump a bucket and see how they are. Though remember – you only get one shot if you do it that way.

Now you know how make a potato pot.

Potatoes are the ultimate survival crop and they were included almost in every meal during the Great Depression.

Discover more about how our forefathers handled their survival food.

Click the banner below and uncover their secrets!

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

Gear Review: Acke 24 watt Grow Lamp

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I love growing my own vegetables, and I have been searching for ways to do this inside, becasue of this I have used a bunch of different grow lights.  The cheap ones don’t work, and the good ones are expensive – and they all take a lot of electricity. I was pretty pleased to get […]

The post Gear Review: Acke 24 watt Grow Lamp appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Bugging Out vs. Full Time Retreat

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Bugging Out vs. Full Time Retreat   Bugging out is no light weight issue and its good to read an article that looks at it that way as well. One of the greatest injustices done to preppers across the nation by the Nat Geo Doomsday Preppers nightmare was the representation of the bug out. It …

Continue reading »

The post Bugging Out vs. Full Time Retreat appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How to Get the Most Calories per Foot Out of Your Homestead Garden

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An ideal way to get the most calories from your homestead garden is to plant high-calorie plants. The best plants for homesteading are staple crops that form the bulk of the human diet. And these crops should return good yields, be calorie-dense, easy to grow, harvest, and store. A calorie-dense crop is one that can […]

The post How to Get the Most Calories per Foot Out of Your Homestead Garden appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Fishing For Survival: Top 5 Tips Revealed

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Ever found yourself in a survival scenario within the wilderness with little or no fishing gear at your disposal? Such a situation might be not only stressful but also dire. You’re bound to be hungry and frustrated. Luckily, one way of fending for yourself or your crew is by hitting the local waterway and hauling […]

The post Fishing For Survival: Top 5 Tips Revealed appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Why You Should Include Cash in Your EDC

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Why You Should Include Cash in Your EDC   The amount cash that is being saved by Americans is terrifying. We are a plastic society. More than half of all Americans do not have access to enough cash to survive for two months. This is a real problem! ATMs only give out 300 per day …

Continue reading »

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Taking Care of Your Fishing Reels

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Do you want to be able to maintain and repair your own fishing reels? Most anglers do, but the problem is that it’s not that simple. The best fishing reels these days are just as complicated as the most sophisticated automatic watches, and they come with tiny parts that work in mysterious ways. But you […]

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How To Store As Much Water As Possible

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Today it’s all about how to store as much water as possible for any disaster or unforeseen emergency. This post follows yesterday’s “how to store food storage” in a small home. Today, I’m going to show you how I store water several different ways. I love getting emails asking how do I store water, food storage and just about everything else. So, I decided to invite you into my home and show you how I store my emergency preparedness items. There are so many ways to store water, some are expensive, some are fairly cheap. Keep in mind, I didn’t buy all of these items in a day. Please note when filling any water container be sure to use a lead-free hose like this one: NeverKink 8612-50 Boat and Camper Hose, Drinking Water Safe, 5/8-Inch-by-50-Foot

I live in a fairly small home that’s 1900 square feet. I mentioned yesterday, I have a three car garage. Here’s the deal, there is no way you could get two normal size cars in the double garage. The third stall we store our emergency prep items. I live in Southern Utah where the temperatures get up to 120 degrees sometimes in the summer. All my food storage is stored inside my house.

Let’s get started with how to store as much water as possible! This is a queen size bed in my guest room. The room is very small. I have 16 WaterBricks (the 3.5-gallon ones) under the bed filled water and Water Preserver. 55 Gallon Water Preserver Concentrate 5 Year Emergency Disaster Preparedness, Survival Kits, Emergency Water Storage, Earthquake, Hurricane, Safety The reason I use Water Preserver for water preservation is because I only have to rotate the water every five years. If you decide to use bleach in your water containers, you will need to rotate the water every six months.

How To Store As Much Water As Possible

Now, this picture is in my master bedroom where I have a dresser shown kitty-corner. It’s not flat against the wall and looks awesome in the bedroom without anyone knowing I have 12 cases of Blue Cans stacked neatly behind the dresser. Please brace yourself for the cost of these. This stack of water is one of the things I have been saving money to buy. They last 50 years and taste better than any water I have tasted. I have reverse osmosis in my kitchen, so I’m pretty fussy as to the taste of water. These can be stored up to 145 degrees, awesome, huh? If you look at the website they are cheaper, if you can pick them up. I ordered mine off of Amazon. Blue Can – Premium Emergency Drinking Water Please check this website if they have a distributor near you: Blue Can Water I bought these Blue Cans to store and not have to worry about rotating due to age, or fret due to the temperature in my home. I can sleep at night, yes I would call it a luxury, that’s how I roll with water.

How To Store As Much Water As Possible

This tank below holds 160 gallons and has two spigots. You can find these at most emergency preparedness stores. I like the fact that I can fill it on the top and fill a bucket with one of the spigots, or drain the entire tank from the lower spigot. I used three containers of the Water Preserver when I filled this tank. We put it on 2 by 4’s on the garage floor to keep it off the concrete.

How To Store As Much Water As Possible

Now, this picture I had a hard time taking because it’s HUGE, it holds 250 gallons and has two spigots as well. When Mark and I saw it at the store we didn’t realize how big the tank was. The store delivered it to our home and we started to laugh, how in the world are we going to get this in our garage. After laughing, we rinsed it out (that was a little challenging) then we put it on 2 by 4’s on the garage floor to keep it off the concrete. Then we filled it. We did strap it to the wall, but if we have an earthquake I’m not sure how well it would hold it in place. I do feel more secure having it strapped. You can buy large tanks like this at most emergency preparedness stores. This tank is about 84 inches tall and 32 inches in diameter. In this tank, I actually used a 16-ounce bottle of Nano Silver (63 ppm) that came with the purchase to keep this water purified.  I will trade out the water in five years and refill it with fresh water and a new bottle of Nano Silver.

How To Store As Much Water As Possible

These are the usual 55-gallon water barrels with a UV/sun protection cover that will reflect the sun and help keep them from getting as much damage. I didn’t want to buy tarps because we have critters here that would have loved making a nest under the tarps. Remember, I live where the heat can get up to 120 degrees in the summer. Because I stored these outside, the likelihood that they may freeze is always a possibility, so I filled them using one bottle Water Preserver and left a four-inch space for the water to expand. The Barrel Bag WB-381 ”The Barrel Bag” 55-Gallon Drum Cover Grey Here’s the deal on these bags, I never used them when I lived where it was colder. These bags do keep the barrels from discoloring and cracking in the heat where I live, but they are expensive. I only bought them for their UV/sun protection. I have seen these barrels at Walmart, Costco and some grocery stores. Remember to get a pump to pump the water out when needed. They usually have the pumps sitting next to the barrels at most stores. I used one bottle of Water Preserver in each barrel. I will rotate these after five years with fresh water and preserver. You also need a bung with these to tighten the cap on top. BUNG: Duda Energy dwrench Aluminum Drum Wrench for Opening 10 gal, 15 gal, 20 gal, 30 gal and 55 gal Barrels Standard, 2″ Bung Racing Fuel Methanol, 2″ PUMP: Blue Drum Water Pump

How To Store As Much Water As Possible

Please store as much water as possible, you don’t want to be the family standing in line at the grocery store waiting to see if there is any bottled water left on the shelves after a disaster. Trust me on that one! May God bless you for being prepared for the unexpected.  You may have some other ideas for effective water storage.  I’d love to hear what you’ve done so I can share it with my other readers. Thanks so much for your loyalty and for staying on top of issues relating to emergency preparedness.  You are the best!

The post How To Store As Much Water As Possible appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

How To Store As Much Water As Possible

Today it’s all about how to store as much water as possible for any disaster or unforeseen emergency. This post follows yesterday’s “how to store food storage” in a small home. Today, I’m going to show you how I store water several different ways. I love getting emails asking how do I store water, food storage and just about everything else. So, I decided to invite you into my home and show you how I store my emergency preparedness items. There are so many ways to store water, some are expensive, some are fairly cheap. Keep in mind, I didn’t buy all of these items in a day. Please note when filling any water container be sure to use a lead-free hose like this one: NeverKink 8612-50 Boat and Camper Hose, Drinking Water Safe, 5/8-Inch-by-50-Foot

I live in a fairly small home that’s 1900 square feet. I mentioned yesterday, I have a three car garage. Here’s the deal, there is no way you could get two normal size cars in the double garage. The third stall we store our emergency prep items. I live in Southern Utah where the temperatures get up to 120 degrees sometimes in the summer. All my food storage is stored inside my house.

Let’s get started with how to store as much water as possible! This is a queen size bed in my guest room. The room is very small. I have 16 WaterBricks (the 3.5-gallon ones) under the bed filled water and Water Preserver. 55 Gallon Water Preserver Concentrate 5 Year Emergency Disaster Preparedness, Survival Kits, Emergency Water Storage, Earthquake, Hurricane, Safety The reason I use Water Preserver for water preservation is because I only have to rotate the water every five years. If you decide to use bleach in your water containers, you will need to rotate the water every six months.

How To Store As Much Water As Possible

Now, this picture is in my master bedroom where I have a dresser shown kitty-corner. It’s not flat against the wall and looks awesome in the bedroom without anyone knowing I have 12 cases of Blue Cans stacked neatly behind the dresser. Please brace yourself for the cost of these. This stack of water is one of the things I have been saving money to buy. They last 50 years and taste better than any water I have tasted. I have reverse osmosis in my kitchen, so I’m pretty fussy as to the taste of water. These can be stored up to 145 degrees, awesome, huh? If you look at the website they are cheaper, if you can pick them up. I ordered mine off of Amazon. Blue Can – Premium Emergency Drinking Water Please check this website if they have a distributor near you: Blue Can Water I bought these Blue Cans to store and not have to worry about rotating due to age, or fret due to the temperature in my home. I can sleep at night, yes I would call it a luxury, that’s how I roll with water.

How To Store As Much Water As Possible

This tank below holds 160 gallons and has two spigots. You can find these at most emergency preparedness stores. I like the fact that I can fill it on the top and fill a bucket with one of the spigots, or drain the entire tank from the lower spigot. I used three containers of the Water Preserver when I filled this tank. We put it on 2 by 4’s on the garage floor to keep it off the concrete.

How To Store As Much Water As Possible

Now, this picture I had a hard time taking because it’s HUGE, it holds 250 gallons and has two spigots as well. When Mark and I saw it at the store we didn’t realize how big the tank was. The store delivered it to our home and we started to laugh, how in the world are we going to get this in our garage. After laughing, we rinsed it out (that was a little challenging) then we put it on 2 by 4’s on the garage floor to keep it off the concrete. Then we filled it. We did strap it to the wall, but if we have an earthquake I’m not sure how well it would hold it in place. I do feel more secure having it strapped. You can buy large tanks like this at most emergency preparedness stores. This tank is about 84 inches tall and 32 inches in diameter. In this tank, I actually used a 16-ounce bottle of Nano Silver (63 ppm) that came with the purchase to keep this water purified.  I will trade out the water in five years and refill it with fresh water and a new bottle of Nano Silver.

How To Store As Much Water As Possible

These are the usual 55-gallon water barrels with a UV/sun protection cover that will reflect the sun and help keep them from getting as much damage. I didn’t want to buy tarps because we have critters here that would have loved making a nest under the tarps. Remember, I live where the heat can get up to 120 degrees in the summer. Because I stored these outside, the likelihood that they may freeze is always a possibility, so I filled them using one bottle Water Preserver and left a four-inch space for the water to expand. The Barrel Bag WB-381 ”The Barrel Bag” 55-Gallon Drum Cover Grey Here’s the deal on these bags, I never used them when I lived where it was colder. These bags do keep the barrels from discoloring and cracking in the heat where I live, but they are expensive. I only bought them for their UV/sun protection. I have seen these barrels at Walmart, Costco and some grocery stores. Remember to get a pump to pump the water out when needed. They usually have the pumps sitting next to the barrels at most stores. I used one bottle of Water Preserver in each barrel. I will rotate these after five years with fresh water and preserver. You also need a bung with these to tighten the cap on top. BUNG: Duda Energy dwrench Aluminum Drum Wrench for Opening 10 gal, 15 gal, 20 gal, 30 gal and 55 gal Barrels Standard, 2″ Bung Racing Fuel Methanol, 2″ PUMP: Blue Drum Water Pump

How To Store As Much Water As Possible

Please store as much water as possible, you don’t want to be the family standing in line at the grocery store waiting to see if there is any bottled water left on the shelves after a disaster. Trust me on that one! May God bless you for being prepared for the unexpected.  You may have some other ideas for effective water storage.  I’d love to hear what you’ve done so I can share it with my other readers. Thanks so much for your loyalty and for staying on top of issues relating to emergency preparedness.  You are the best!

The post How To Store As Much Water As Possible appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Dehydrated vs Freeze Dried Food

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Dehydrated vs Freeze Dried Food   Its a topic among peppers and survivalists that gets plenty of time on forums across the net. Though it may seem trivial the differences in dehydrated and freeze dried foods can be a very big deal based on your plan. This article has broken down each one of these …

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How To Prevent Hacking

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How To Prevent Hacking This topic may have nothing to do with food storage or AR15s but it is a very relevant topic in this day and age. It comes from wikihow and I think they are some of the most efficient articles written on the net. In a time like this where media and content …

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LED Grow Lights For Indoor Plants

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LED grow lights are made up of light-emitting diodes, and are advantageous over other methods of plant lights because they consume much less electricity and the typical LED has a life span of 50,000 hours (if on a 12 hour timer, 11 years). If you use an alternative energy source in your home (e.g. solar […]

A Prepper’s DIY: Building Your Own Cleaning Kits for Firearms

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ReadyNutrition Readers, there can never be enough emphasis placed on the importance of weapons cleaning and maintenance.  We had a piece recently on how to maintain your weapons during the wintertime.  Keep in mind: the game changes completely when you fire the firearm.  You cannot afford to allow that weapon to sit with carbon buildup after you’ve fired it.  The moisture will come into play, and neglected, the weapon will be in really bad shape in about a week’s period of time or less.  If you are taking the tips on a regularly-scheduled maintenance program seriously, then it should be no problem whatsoever to incorporate your cleaning sessions into it after you have fired.


Keep this in mind: If you’ll maintain your car, can you do any less for your weapon…a piece of equipment where cleanliness and function may mean life or death?


Building Your Own Cleaning Kits for Firearms

So, how about a cleaning kit for your weapon?  Here’s what you need: One large “mothership” cleaning kit for general purpose and maintenance, and one cleaning kit that is portable, for what you carry or tote into the great outdoors.  There are plenty of different brands to choose from, and in the manner that fishing gear is more tailored to catch fishermen than fish, the same principle applies to cleaning kits.  You need some basics, and it is the basics we’ll cover.  First, your component parts:

  1. Cleaning rods: brass or steel is preferable; aluminum if there’s nothing else.  You want enough sections to be able to clean out your longest rifle barrel, and extra sections and handgrips for pistols and other rifles, as well.
  2. Bore Brushes: these are often stamped with the caliber (.22, .38, .45, etc.) on the base just past the threaded part you screw into the rod. They are also made for your chamber…to clean where the cartridge is actually seated when fired.  The ones stamped with the caliber are meant to pass through the entire length of the barrel. If you have multiple firearms, consider getting this bore brush kit.
  3. Patch-tips: have an “eye” hole at the end, and are threaded to screw onto your cleaning rod. The larger the eye, the bigger the patch it takes.
  4. Cleaning brushes: You will have some that are made with nylon bristles, akin to a toothbrush, and some with wire/metal bristles. This latter group is especially helpful with carbon buildups.
  5. Patches: can be 1” square, 2” square, and so forth; usually made of cotton or muslin fiber to clean the inside of the barrel and other locations with your firearm.
  6. Pipe cleaners: especially helpful for small holes and other locations that have interworking mechanisms, such as trigger or hammer assemblies. Very useful in cleaning out carbon from around springs, deep within the magazine well, and in front of your firing pins.
  7. Bore light devices: Once again, there are numerous types to choose from. I carry a small “mini Maglite” that uses one AAA battery; however, I recommend the little Plexiglas 90-degree angle “sticks” that are L-shaped.  You place one end into the end of your barrel, and the other end point toward a light source (a light bulb, the sun, etc.) and it will illuminate your barrel.
  8. Lubricant: Self-explanatory here. The function is to clean and also to coat with a light coating.  If you caught my other piece, then you may recall: I recommend 5W/30 Mobil Synthetic Motor Oil, available at about $7 to $8 per quart.  All the name-brand oils (Outers, etc.) sell for little 1 – 2 ounce bottles for about $3 to $4.  You do the math.  The Mobil Synthetic is a better oil, and far less expensive.
  9. Bore Solvent: On this one I don’t cut corners, because other solvents can leave a film…I pick up the brand-name stuff from Outers, RCBS, etc. A small bottle of it will last you a long time if you stretch it.  You need it to clean off hardcore powder fouling…the type coming from when you burn off more than a couple of hundred rounds in a weapon.  Search your catalogs, and you can find volume deals for a gallon at a time.
  10. Cleaning rags, pouches, and other accessories (magnifying glass, scraping tools, etc.)

Now as we mentioned in the beginning, what you can do for ease of simplicity is work from the “mothership” principle: consolidate the majority of your supplies in one box/chest, and “work” off of smaller, independent “kits” for individual firearms.

You want the ability to clean each weapon no matter where it is.  If they’re consolidated in one location?  Fine, but you want the ability to throw together a pouch with all of the supplies and materials listed above specific to any firearm.  Tote the kit with you along with the firearm when you leave home, away from the consolidated supplies (the mothership).  You will find that you can build numerous “kits,” or pouches for each firearm.  Keep them all together until the time you take the firearm away.

The rule of thumb: if the firearm is away from the home, the cleaning kit should be with it.  You will find military issue nylon pouches (they have three snaps) are exceptionally useful for these individual kits.  They hold all of the rods (broken down), your brushes, patches, and a small bottle for your oil.   This photo shows an issue kit you can order from www.amazon.com for $16.20 called a UTG Model 4/AR15 Cleaning Kit Complete with Pouch

Although specifically for an M-4 (AR-15), as it is a 5.56 mm/.223 caliber weapon, you will find it can be used for a variety of different weapons cleaning applications.  Use your imagination, as necessity is the mother of invention.  You want to keep your cleaning kits and supplies in a water-tight, sealable case that will prevent moisture and perhaps take a beating.  Supplement this kit with cleaning rags and a small tool kit.  Patches you can make from something such as a white or cream-colored bedsheet that has outlived its original use.

Use your creativity and your imagination to make what you want and tailor it to your use.  Bottom line: your weapon can’t take care of you unless it is properly taken care of.  You can be smart and use some of these tips to lessen the bite to your wallet.  Just don’t cut corners when it comes to maintenance.  When you’re done at the range, either take it down and clean it there, or take it home and clean it right away.  Practice hard, clean those firearms, 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

Prepper Book Festival: Survive In Style The Prepper’s Guide to Living Comfortably During Disasters + Giveaway

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Survive In Style | Backdoor Survival

Survive in Style: The Prepper’s Guide to Living Comfortably During Disasters is a handbook for accomplishing self-sufficiency in the areas of water, energy, food, transportation, economics and just about anything else you can think of. In this newest Prepper Book Festival title, enjoy an interview with author Dan Chiras and enter to win a copy for free. There will be three winners.

The post Prepper Book Festival: Survive In Style The Prepper’s Guide to Living Comfortably During Disasters + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Are You Prepared for Natural Disasters?

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Are You Prepared for Natural DisastersTalking about natural disasters is not up there with the most “sexy” or “fun” aspects of prepping, but it’s important to make sure we are prepared for these natural disasters none the less. The odds of a natural disaster or a personal doomsday happening in our lifetime are far greater than a global or national disaster scenario…although these odds are changing daily.

The basics of preparedness are the same regardless which disaster(s) you are preparing for. Preparing for these natural disasters is a great way to build your foundation, and become become better prepared for even the smallest disaster situation or personal doomsday.

The truth is, if we don’t have the basics covered, we really aren’t prepared at all. We could have the perfect bug out bag, but without an escape and evasion plan, we could be in for a tough time.

I recently published this video about 10 basic things we should have taken care of to be prepared for any disaster scenario. How many of these do you have checked off your list? If you only get 7 out of 10 you might have a little work to do.

Here are the 10 tips from the video…

  1. You have enough food stored
  2. You have cash set aside
  3. You have out of area emergency contacts
  4. You have water stored
  5. You have a plan for the family
  6. You know where you’ll go (including pets)
  7. You have a good first aid kit
  8. You have first aid training
  9. You practice for a disaster
  10. Your car is in good mechanical condition

SPP195 Are You Prepared for Natural Disasters?

In this weeks show we went over some of the basics of preparing for a natural disaster. This might all seem very simple to you (especially if you’ve been prepping for a while) but they are areas that sometimes get overlooked because they are so simple.

Sometimes what you thought was a perfect plan will not work out like you thought it would. Sometimes we get so focused on the bigger details, we forget about the small details. Having the greatest bug out vehicle that can bust through a concrete wall is worthless if it runs out of gas, or gets a flat tire.

Topics Covered In The Show…

Here are a few of the things we talked about in this weeks show. We went into quite a bit of detail with all of these, so make sure and listen.

Stay Informed

Before: A little bit of extra warning can go a long way in a disaster situation. With a hurricane or blizzard you will have plenty of warning, an earthquake or tornado is a different story. At this point you will have TV, radio and phone service…make sure you use them.

During: Some of these services might be out during a natural disaster, but a shortwave radio might still be useful. I have this Crank Radio which also has a solar panel and light.

After: A natural disaster can cause quite a bit of damage. The first thing we will want to do is make sure everyone is safe. You can register on the Red Cross website to check in as “safe and well”. You can also check in on others who might be affected, as long as they know to use the website.

Evacuation Planning

Home and Away: Evacuation planning is not just choosing a bug out route, it could mean getting out of the house in the first place. Earthquakes and tornadoes could destroy your home leaving you trapped, and in a house fire you would need to find the safest escape route.

Escape Routes: This could be anything from escaping the house, to escaping the neighborhood. Make sure everyone knows which routes to take and why. Make sure to always have a plan B, and also a plan C.

Timing Is Everything: While you would have plenty of time to prepared for a hurricane, some natural disasters won’t afford you that luxury. This is why staying informed and having supplies ready to go is important.

Destinations: It’s not only important to have your destinations picked out, it’s important that everyone is on the same page. Make sure everyone knows where you will meet, and where you will meet if that isn’t an option. This could be anything from the front yard, to a school paring lot, to a relatives home.

Include the Pets: If you own pets you are going to want to have a plan and supplies for them as well. If you need to evacuate you will need supplies for them, as well as a suitable location. If you plan on going to a relatives home, make sure they are OK with Fido coming along.

Family Disaster Planning

Contact Information: These days we don’t know peoples actual phone numbers, they are just names in our cell phone. You can make wallet sized cards with contact information, as well as important medical information. Wallet size contact cards are great for teenagers because they don’t need to remember anything other than where it is when they need it.

Important Websites: You should also add important websites to these cards, the SafeAndWell website I linked to above is one of them. While the internet might be down during the natural disaster, it could be available in the future. It could also be available in other areas.

If You’re Separated: The entire family is rarely in the same place all the time. Parents go to works, kids go to school, and a disaster is not going to wait until we are ready. This is why having pre planned meeting points and contact information is so important. If we know that they know, it can make an already stressful situation a little more bearable.

Money on Hand: In a natural disaster scenario money will not be useless, but ATM’s might. Everyone should carry some emergency cash in their wallet for event’s like this. This could be $100 in small bills, or whatever you can afford.

Practice Your Plans: Having these plans is only the first step. The more important step is making sure everyone understands these plans and is on the same page. The family might not take this as serious as you, but when the time comes they will remember.

Around the House: During or after a natural disaster there are some safety precautions we need to make sure everyone understands. Make sure everyone knows where the breaker box is (and how to shut if off) and where the gas shutoff is. Make sure a bad situation doesn’t get worse by something that could have been avoided.

Survival Skills

The Basics: Making sure the family knows survival skills doesn’t mean they need to know how to use a ferro rod to start a fire, but do they know how to use a fire extinguisher? Do they know what to do during a house fire? Or do they know the basics of first aid.

And Then Some: While we might not be able to get the whole family on board with the more advanced survival skills like trauma care, CPR  or bugging out, they are important to learn. We never know what situation might present itself, so the more we know, the better our odds will be.

Disaster Supplies

3 Days Minimum: FEMA recommends that we have 3 days worth of food and water stored. As preppers, if we only have 3 days worth of supplies, we think we are severely slacking.  In the event of a natural disaster 3 days is probably OK, but I feel much better knowing I’m covered if day 4 or 5 rolls around.

Staying or Going?: Having 3 days worth of supplies doesn’t just mean around the house. If we find ourselves in a situation where we need to leave, we need to have some of these supplies ready to go. This means food, water, bug out bags, and other supplies.

The Right Tools For the Job: The supplies you need will depend on the natural disaster you are preparing for. While the basic survival supplies like food water and first aid might be the same, some tools will be specific to the disaster. A pry bar or a pick ax might be useful after an earthquake, they might not be during a blizzard.

This is just a general list that would cover a number of disaster scenarios. Make sure you have these covered, and then refine this list depending on which natural disaster scenario you are concerned about. If you have any ideas or thoughts, let me know in the comments below…

The post Are You Prepared for Natural Disasters? appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

Journaling Your Forgiveness Journey

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Do you journal? Have you thought about journaling as part of your forgiveness journey? Today I want to talk about this in a bit more detail. Welcome to Day Seventeen of 30 Days to Forgiveness.

One great tool as you move along the path to forgiveness is a journal. The format is far less important than the content, though.

There are many benefits to journaling. If you’ve kept a diary in the past, you might be familiar with them. If you have never tried it, why not start now? Just as when teenager girls spill their secrets to “Dear Diary”, a journal is always available and ready to listen as you pour out your thoughts and feelings.

A journal can be as simple or fancy as you like. You probably have everything you need.

You can use a simple notebook, one from that box or six that you bought when they were on sale for ten cents each so you bought enough to get all four … children … through … Was it just me? (My mother-in-law saw them recently and said, “Don’t you ever buy another notebook!” That IS the plan, actually!)

Or  you could look through your shelves for that beautiful blank book that you bought and never got past writing the first entry. If you don’t have any beautiful blank books, this is a great excuse to get one.

I am told that I have an addiction to beautiful blank books. Maybe …… There’s actually something about those high quality blank pages that just invite me to start writing. And it’s actually just a general love of books, from ten cents scribblers to leather-bound journals to ones that actually have words in them.

Let’s get back to the topic, though!

Your journal certainly does not need to be on paper.

Some people prefer keeping a digital diary. Open a Word document on your computer and start typing. Or turn on your phone’s video and talk, saving the file to your Dropbox. I’m sure there are some apps out there that can help you with your journaling.

For most of us, a journal is going to be a very private thing, so I don’t recommend that you use your tumblr, Facebook or Livejournal (do people still use that?) account.

But you can format it any way you like, so long as you find a way that works for you.

The most important aspect is going to be choosing something that’s easy and natural for you. If you spend your days typing and dread writing out anything by hand, you are probably not going to spend the time it takes to hand write a journal. It doesn’t matter how pretty it is. You’ll write one or two entries and then fall into the “Uh, I’ll do that later. Yea, later.”

If you struggle with the written word but really love to record vlogs (a vlog is a video log, just like a blog is a web log), then set up a place to save your videos privately and make a commitment to journaling that way every evening.

And if you really want to be wild and reckless, or if you decide it’s not working as well as you thought, change it up. Nothing says you can’t move from a written journal to a video one or the other way around. Your journal, your thoughts – pick the way that works best for you.

Much more important than the format, though, is the content. What you write down or record will help you process your thoughts and feelings, and it gives you a record that you can look at down the road. When you’re having a bad day or struggling to find thoughts of love and forgiveness, it can help to look back and see how far you’ve come.

A journal can help you clear your thoughts and see the path ahead. It can help remind you and focus your thoughts and feelings on why you need to embrace forgiveness.

If you’re not sure what to write about, start with a quote or Bible verse about forgiveness and then start writing your thoughts about it. There’s no right or wrong.

One great tool as you move along the path to forgiveness is a journal. The format is far less important than the content, though.