The 8 Seeds That Can Store At Least 5 Years

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The 8 Seeds That Can Store At Least 5 Years

Do you have a seed stash tucked away? I certainly do. It’s rare that I use up all the seeds I buy in any given year. When I have some left over, I put them away for next year’s garden.

It just seems so wasteful to throw seeds out, doesn’t it? And, of course, if you harvest and save your own seeds from year to year, then you definitely have a stash, too.

Whether your own stash was purchased or saved from a previous harvest, those seeds won’t be viable forever. The longevity of seeds depends both on which cultivars they are and how they’re stored. Some seeds — including leeks, onions, parsley and parsnips — will last a year at best. Others will remain viable up to five years after they were harvested, and possibly even longer if they’re stored in the right conditions.

Best Method of Seed Storage

Seeds are best stored in cool, dry locations. A general guideline is to keep the combined temperature and humidity level under 100. As an example, the ideal temperature for seed storage is about 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit, which would allow for a maximum humidity level of about 50 percent. To keep your seeds dry, store them in an airtight container. Glass jars with rubber seals on their lids, like baby food or home canning jars, work best. If you’re concerned about moisture within the jar, you can add in a desiccant such as rice.

Keeping the seeds in the fridge or freezer is an excellent way to maintain perfect storage conditions. Keep in mind that frost-free fridges and freezers work by drawing out moisture, and can seriously dry out seeds. However, as long as your seeds are in an appropriate container, they shouldn’t become damaged.

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Freezing seeds properly can exponentially prolong their longevity. After all, seed banks like the Svalbard Global Seed Vault count on freezing to keep their seeds viable for centuries. The home gardener shouldn’t expect her own seeds to last quite as long in a home freezer, given the strict scientific protocols and optimal conditions of the Global Seed Vault. Still, frozen seeds should remain viable longer than seeds stored at room temperature.

8 Seeds That Easily Store for 5 Years

The 8 Seeds That Can Store At Least 5 Years

Image source: Pixabay.com

While storage methods have a big impact on seed longevity, the type of cultivar also makes a difference. Some of the longest-lasting seeds are members of the cabbage family (Brassicaceae), but there are eight different types of vegetable seeds that will remain viable for about five years, even if not frozen:

  1. Broccoli
  2. Cabbage
  3. Cauliflower
  4. Cucumber
  5. Muskmelons
  6. Spinach
  7. Radishes
  8. Lettuce

Viable and Vigorous Seeds for Healthy Plants

For the healthiest and best-producing plants, you need viable, vigorous seeds. Viability is basically the rate at which seeds sprout or germinate. If, in a sample of 10 seeds of the same cultivar, eight sprout, the germination rate is 80 percent, which is highly viable. If, however, only two or three seeds in that sample sprout, the germination rate is 20-30 percent, and the viability is low.

In addition to viability, the vigor of seeds is an important consideration. Viability is generally measured under optimal conditions. But vigor measures how well sprouted seeds perform under less-than-optimal conditions (e.g., outside in the garden). Seeds need to be strong and healthy to flourish in variable weather conditions and in soil that may be less than ideal.

As seeds age, they decrease both in viability and vigor. They may lose their ability to sprout at all, and those that do sprout may just not have the strength to create a healthy plant. It’s easy to test a seed’s viability, but somewhat more difficult for the home gardener to determine a seed’s vigor. However, by keeping track of how long your seeds have been stored, you can use the list above to determine how well your seeds are likely to perform without bothering with tests.

If you’ve had any of the listed seeds stored for five years already, it would be best to get those planted this year, for healthy plants and a bountiful harvest.

What’s your personal record for planting seeds that have been stored a long time? Share your thoughts in the section below:

7 Critical Concealed Carry Skills That Will Keep You Alive

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7 Critical Concealed Carry Skills That Will Keep You Alive

Image source: Pixabay.com

Most people who apply for a concealed carry permit fail to take into consideration that effective concealed carry is actually a lifestyle change.

Approximately 80 percent of the licensed students I work with report that they usually don’t carry on a daily basis. Most say they carry only in their vehicle or while traveling.

Along with the decision to carry daily come some changes in how you go about day-to-day life. Your attire most likely will need to change. (I recommend concealed carry over open carry.) If you carry off-body in a purse, bag or other off-body manner, this will require some adaptation.

Once you’ve established carry methods, your training should continue. This article will cover some key areas to cover in your concealed carry training.

As always, practice and live by the four critical gun safety rules:

  1. Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
  2. Don’t let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until the sights are on target and you’re ready to shoot.
  4. Be aware of your target and what’s around it.

With that in mind, let’s examine seven critical skills you need to practice for everyday carry:

1. Getting the handgun into play if needed

Can you draw your handgun from its place of concealment efficiently? For most folks, getting the pistol out of concealment will present its own challenges and must be practiced. It will require more effort than when drawing from a strong-side open carry setup. Also, what about getting the gun back into its hiding place once the incident is over? You will want to establish a good grip while drawing (a fundamental of marksmanship), and your concealment method should help facilitate this. Practice your concealment draw method now, ahead of any stressful incident in the future that you hope never happens.

2. Defensive accuracy

If you must shoot, then hit what you’re shooting at. There is bullseye accuracy and then there is self-defense accuracy. Your goal should be to blend the two…. meaning you want a combination of speed and accuracy. Shooting lightning fast is great — to the extent you can hit the intended target. Shooting well is a perishable skill; you must hone this skill with solid training. Visit Pistol-Training.com for some excellent drills, or spend some lesson time with a qualified trainer.

3. Running the gun

I always have suggested to students that shooting accuracy is only half the battle. Skills such as emergency or speed reloads, malfunction clearances, one-handed shooting with both right and left hands and again drawing the gun from concealment are just some basic skills every armed citizen should develop and feel confident doing. I teach and practice these skills constantly, both for students and myself.

4. Moving to and shooting from cover

A deadly force confrontation happens in seconds. However, the situation may allow you escape and avoidance (which you should do if at all possible), or you could find yourself needing to take cover. Cover is any object that hopefully will stop incoming bullets. If possible, you should add into your training the act of moving to and shooting from cover.

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7 Critical Concealed Carry Skills That Will Keep You Alive

Image source: Max Pixel

For most people, this will be a different experience that can change how a person grips their handgun and sees their sights. Practice shooting from kneeling, sitting and prone now, instead of always keeping your feet planted in one place and hoping you will never have to move into an uncomfortable shooting position.

5. Dim light shooting

You must be able to identify your threat! There have been far too many tragic cases where a person shoots their own loved one believing they were an intruder. I ALWAYS carry a handheld flashlight and know how to shoot with the light in my support hand. You should have this skill, too. After all, approximately 60 to 70 percent of crime happens in dim light conditions. Depending on the technique used, this may mean firing your pistol one handed … a skill I recommend you train for. A weapon-mounted light system may or may not be appropriate, depending on the risk of flagging innocent people and your carry method.

6. Distance shooting

While most encounters (over 90 percent) occur from about seven yards or less, there could be a situation where a longer shot must be made. With the increase in active shooters, a shot from 12 to 25 yards or farther may be the only option. With a handgun, this can be a challenge for even the seasoned shooter. Train to make center mass shots at least out to 25 yards with your EDC handgun. As with all shooting, your marksmanship fundamentals must be constantly reinforced.
Distance shooting will test these skills.

7. Scenario based or “force decisions” training

Scenario-based training is one of the best techniques you can employ to prepare for an encounter you hope never comes. This type of training should be done in a highly safe and secure manner with qualified trainers, and only with Simunition or airsoft guns. Force decisions (also called reality based training) will challenge you mentally. Your mental prowess is, in my opinion, where the rubber meets the road. You can be the best bullseye shooter in the world, but making decisions under immediate high stress and reacting appropriately is what this type of training is all about. We use this training often. Many students begin to realize where their strengths and weaknesses really are.

A Final Thought

Remember that everywhere you carry, there is now a gun on the scene. Don’t let your gun be used against you. There are many cases of open carry or even concealed carry guns being taken right off the citizen carrying them. Carry discretely and securely.

As a fellow trainer once told me: “Train well and train often.”

What advice would you add? Share your thoughts in the section below:

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

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DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

A rocket cook stove is a super-efficient stove that can use just about anything for fuel — including small twigs, scraps of wood or even dried dung if you’re really in a pinch.

The principle behind the operation of the rocket stove is quite simple: a direct-to-cooking-surface insulated combustion chamber ensures nearly complete combustion of the fuel, giving off more heat, and burning the material quickly and intensely.

Although often used as portable cook stoves, rocket stoves are great alternatives to barbecues and fire pits, using much less fuel. This means you collect less wood. It also means you save money by not having to purchase propane.

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Let’s get right into how you can make your own rocket cook stove with minimal time and money. In fact, you probably have most of what you need to build the stove laying around the house, and if not, you can cheaply buy the materials. Assuming you already have a drill and most of the essential parts (like a wheel barrow), you likely can build this for under $10.

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

Materials

  • Plastic 5-gallon bucket
  • Reciprocating saw or other cutting tool to cut PVC pipe and bucket
  • 4 feet of 4-inch PVC or similar pipe
  • Drill with bit
  • Concrete mix
  • Shovel or mixing device
  • Concrete mixing container – e.g. wheel barrow
  • Measuring tape
  • Piece of metal for burn chamber fuel tray
  • Refractory sand (optional)
  • A marker to mark cuts on the PVC pipe and bucket
  • Water

Step 1: Mark the Intake

Measure about 2 ½ inches from the bottom of the bucket and make a mark. This is where the bottom of the hole for the intake pipe will go. Place the bottom of the pipe against the mark and trace a circle around the pipe with your marker.

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

 

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

 

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

Step 2: Cut the Intake Hole

Drill holes all around the marked intake circle so you can get your reciprocating saw blade in and cut your intake hole.

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

 

 

Step 3: Cut a Concrete Release Line

For ease of getting the bucket off once the concrete dries, you can cut a line from the top of the bucket downward toward the middle of the hole. Tape it with duct tape so it stays together when the concrete is added.

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

 

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

Step 4: Cut and Fit the Pipes

Measure and mark the pipe on a 45-degree angle where you will make a cut, making sure there will be enough pipe to extend beyond the top of the bucket for the combustion chamber outlet pipe, as well as for the intake pipe to extend beyond the intake hole. You can use a simple square to mark the angle.

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

Step 5: Mix Concrete, and Fill the Bottom

Mark the inside of the bucket with the marker at the height of the bottom of the hole.

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove
Mix the concrete, adding sand or even refractory sand if you want the stove really to stand up to the heat. The consistency should be fairly thick. As you fill it, continually tamp down the concrete using whatever is around, being careful to use something smaller to tamp it down around the edges to make sure no air pockets are left.

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

15

16

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

Step 6: Reinforce Bottom

Once you’ve filled the bucket about halfway to the bottom of the hole, you may choose to reinforce this thinner bottom area with something like chicken wire by simply laying it on top and then continuing to fill the concrete up to the hole. 21.jpg, 22.jpg. Continue to tamp as you fill.

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

 

Step 7: Fill with Concrete

Fit the pipes into the hole, and fill it the rest of the way with concrete, tamping as you go.

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

Step 8: Partially Set, and Remove Pipes

Let it sit for a couple of hours and then carefully remove the pipes by twisting a little and raising slowly.

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

Step 9 Set Further and Remove Bucket

After a day or so you should be able to remove the bucket so the concrete sets faster. First, remove the tape, separate the release line and then carefully pull off the bucket.

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

Step 10: Set Completely and Put in Fuel Shelf

After another day or two you will notice the concrete turn a lighter grey. You can now add your fuel shelf, making an inch or so of space underneath it. Any piece of metal that you can bend and shape into the hole will do. You also may choose to place a grill on the top that gives some lift off the top of the stove to allow the air to flow out better.

That’s all there is to creating your own simple-yet-highly efficient rocket cook stove on the cheap. Consider keeping your pipes and bucket so you can quickly make more stoves for your friends and family.

If you liked this article or know of a different way of making rocket cook stoves, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

The 5 Best Herbs To Stop Spring Allergies

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The 5 Best Herbs To Stop Spring Allergies

Butterbur. Image source: Pixabay.com

If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from springtime allergies — sometimes called hay fever — then you already know that finding the perfect solution means finding ways to treat those annoying symptoms, rather than actually “curing” the problem.

Our ancestors used herbal remedies for thousands of years before the first commercially made anti-histamines were available.

I’m fortunate in that I have no known allergies to anything. My husband, though, is not so fortunate. But he did find a solution that seems to work remarkably well after following the recommendation of an old-timer who grew up in our area. (I’ll fill you in on that at the end of this article.)

Here are five herbs that are known to help bring relief from those springtime allergies:

1. Stinging nettle

If you have ever touched one of these plants (and I have), then you are probably thinking this idea is crazy, but I’m not suggesting that you eat fresh leaves! This plant, besides being rich in vitamin K and beta carotene, has been shown in studies to help relieve allergy symptoms almost as well as the usual prescription medications. You should start taking freeze dried supplements a few months prior to allergy season arrives in your area for best results.

2. Butterbur

Like stinging nettle, butterbur has been used for ages to help relieve allergy symptoms. This little plant opens airways to improve breathing due to its ability to inhibit leukotrine, which causes swelling of our airways. Butterbur also is said to work as well as drugs like Zyrtec, but without making you feel sleepy. Consume butterbur supplements a few months before hay fever strikes.

3. Tinospora cordifolia

Tinospora cordifolia.

Tinospora cordifolia.

Also known as guduchi or moonseed, this plant, native to India, has been used to treat hay fever symptoms for perhaps thousands of years in its homeland.

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The heart-shaped leaves of this plant have been reported to stop sneezing, itching, runny nose and watery eyes. The supplement is usually sold as a tablet and unlike other herbal supplements, you can take it just a week or so, or even when symptoms start, to find quick relief.

4. Ginkgo biloba

Although you might think of this as the energy herb, consuming this supplement also has been shown to help manage allergy symptoms. Ginkgo biloba works as a natural anti-inflammatory and also contains several antihistamines, which makes it a natural when it comes to stopping those allergy symptoms.

5. Reishi mushrooms

Sometimes called the mushroom of immortality for its numerous health benefits, Reishi mushrooms have been used as medicine by the Chinese and Japanese since ancient times. These mushrooms act as natural antihistamines due to the high level of compounds called lanostan, which inhibits the release of certain chemicals in the body. Reishi isn’t the type of mushroom you want to eat with a meal, however, as it is very woody and hard. The recommendation for allergy relief is to consume a supplement with 1,000 mgs three times each day.

Now, let me tell you what actually worked for my husband. I did not include it in the list because, technically, it’s not an herb.

I live in a secluded part of the mountains, among wonderful pine trees, oak trees and tons of wildflowers. While they don’t bother me, they certainly do bother my husband. An old-timer who has lived here all his life told him that he used to have allergies when he was young. However, he was given local honey when he was a youngster and he never had a problem with allergies again.

It seems as if everyone here raises bees, so getting local honey isn’t a problem. My husband took one tablespoon of raw honey from the local beekeepers here every single day. (He switched providers every time he finished a jar to ensure he would get a good mixture of wildflower honey.) It probably took a year, but one spring, he noticed that he hardly sneezed and had no other reaction to the pollen.

I’m not a doctor, but it only makes sense that this worked because he allowed his body to get small doses of the pollen and, over time, he developed an immunity or resistance to it.

I’m certain that if we travel and he encounters pollen from other plants that aren’t indigenous to our part of the world, his symptoms will return. However, for now, isn’t this a sweet little trick to stop allergies where you live?

What advice do you have for stopping springtime allergies? Share your tips in the section below:

Spiritual Survival

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By Denis Korn

Be guided by the Holy Spirit

Stuff is Important – Attitude is Essential – Spiritual Survival is Indispensable

Without the proper embodiment of Spiritual Survival – physical survival is incomplete and imperfect, and can be irrelevant.

I have written in a number of articles at this blog on the importance of an appropriate attitude and the necessity for a foundation of spiritual and biblical preparedness.  I want to once again present a perspective that will hopefully stimulate and encourage you to evaluate and reflect on your approach towards preparedness/survival and the motivations for your actions.

While I use a Christian assessment, the points raised are applicable to anyone.

Fear is a powerful motivating force.  For the prepper it can motivate one to be serious, conscientious and realistic, or it can mindlessly move one to react and be vulnerable to deception and manipulation.  Fear can educate and positively stimulate, or it can be a significant barrier to the critical thinking process.  (See Barriers to Critical Thinking – one of the most popular posts on this blog)

A great fear for the Christian is that one’s life decisions and actions that moves us to act are not GOD’S will but our will, and that this occurs most often sub-conscientiously or unconscientiously.  The Christian prays, believes and is often disappointed and disillusioned because prayers, visions and a word from GOD does not manifest.  They feel they have been obedient, however GODLY fulfillment is elusive.  So what does this mean?  It means that one can be confused, depressed or even lose faith and hope.  When in this state decisions are often unsuitable, and actions are often inappropriate.  It is a time to focus and be deeply prayerful towards Divine trust and great faith.  For the true believer the events of our life, as difficult as they may be, have a Divine purpose.  A reliance on our human will often requires an unconscientious identification with the instinct of self-preservation.  We believe our will is the only path to survival – we reinforce our idea of “self” we don’t as biblically instructed die to “self.”  We assert my will be done – not GOD’S will.

According to Proverbs 3:5,6 GOD will direct our paths towards His will when we trust Him with all our hearts, lean not on our own understanding and acknowledge Him in all ways.  As much as we desire the appropriate outcome, that path may not be what we want or will.  The prepper – the premillennialist – the person fixated on the rapture – the person immersed in an impending Divine judgement –  can be caught up in human will and not discern or even be able to seek Divine will.  Significant mistakes can be made with dire consequences.

I am well aware of the difficulty and struggle involved in understanding, expressing and putting into action the balance between reliance on God and reliance on ourselves – both are essential! This requires prayer, serious reflection, critical thinking and common sense – as does all aspects of effective emergency planning.

Questions for reflection

  • Do you possess effective discernment and critical thinking skills?
  • Is fear dictating your thoughts and actions? – Divine faith?  Or neither?
  • Do you earnestly and thoughtfully evaluate the decisions you make and actions you take?
  • Who do you trust?
  • How attached are you to your assumptions and conclusions?  Would you bet your life on them?
  • What is your attitude regarding Spiritual Survival?  Is prayer relevant in your life?
  • Who and what do you rely on for survival during a significant emergency?
  • Are your actions and preparations compatible with your attitude and assessments of potential emergencies and disasters?

May you be lead to seek wise counsel and prayerful action.

 

 

 

The post Spiritual Survival appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

Gear Review: Camping Gear Folding Pocket Chainsaw & Fire Starter Kit By SUMPRI

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#sumpri #pocket #Chain #Saw #Fire #starter I have wanted a pocket chainsaw since I was a boy, It would be simple enough to buy one,  but it seems I never got a round tuit, that is until Sumpri offered me a chance to review their folding pocket chainsaw and fire starter kit. I had great […]

The post Gear Review: Camping Gear Folding Pocket Chainsaw & Fire Starter Kit By SUMPRI appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Survival Medicine Hour: John Steinbaugh of Xstat, Wound Packing, Obesity

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cover celox with roller gauze

Packing a Bleeding Wound

In this episode of The Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton, MD and Amy Alton, ARNP, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, we welcome John Steinbaugh of RevmedX to discuss his XStat product (which we previously mentioned was not an ideal product for the preparedness community), plus new products that his company has to help stop hemorrhage in wounds. Learn about the XGauze and Parabelt, plus some realities about TCCC guidelines and the issues that companies go through getting new technology to the public.

obesity fat

extra weight will decrease chances for survival

Plus, a question for Dr. Bones as a member of Jack Spirko’s popular Survival Podcast Expert Council, this time about what to do with obese group members once the trigger event occurs for a SHTF situation.

Lastly, Dr. Alton talks about how to pack wounds effectively, and some recommendations from a doctor-paramedic team’s recent article in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services.

All this and more in the latest episode of The Survival Medicine Hour with Joe and Amy Alton. To Listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/04/28/survival-medicine-hour-wound-packing-obesity-john-steinbaugh-of-xstat

 

Follow us on Twitter @preppershow

YouTube: DrBonesNurseAmy channel

Facebook: Doom and Bloom

 

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

Joe and Amy Alton

AmyandJoePodcast400x200

Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy

Learn more about bleeding wounds and 150 other survival medicine topics in the Third Edition (700 pages!) of The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, available at Amazon.

The Radical Left is Preparing for a Hot War-Are You?-Part 2

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Bob Griswold of ReadyMadeResources.com is on the show for the second half of our interview. He issues a clarion call to prepare on today’s show. He expects more violence and civil unrest as radical leftist groups like Antifa continue to buy AK-47s, AR-15s, load-bearing equipment, and ammunition. He believes they are preparing for an all-out civil war in America.

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

Ready Made Resources is a trusted name in the prepper community because they’ve been around for 18 years. They offer great prices on Night Vision, water filtration, long term storage food, solar energy components and provide free technical service. Get ready for an uncertain future at ReadyMadeResources.com!

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The post The Radical Left is Preparing for a Hot War-Are You?-Part 2 appeared first on Prepper Recon.

How to seamlessly camouflage a hidden floor safe?

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Keep it Safe and Secure with a hidden floor safe

Do you have valuables? Would you like to keep these valuables hidden without it being obvious that they are hidden? If you are like most people, I’m sure you answered “yes” to both of those questions. Fortunately, there is a way of keeping those valuables safely tucked away, unseen to any “wandering” eyes.

Hidden floor safes are becoming more and more popular. Since you don’t have the limitations that are usually in place with wall safes, you can dig your hole as deep as necessary with a hidden floor safe. Unlike a bulky safe that might sit in a corner or a closet, you don’t have to worry about someone seeing your safe, because it is safely hidden beneath you.

In order to enjoy these hidden flooring solutions, you would need a few things, one of those things being concrete.

Concrete is a very important factor, and plays a huge role in flooring and hidden floor safes. Concrete flooring is incredibly strong, hard, durable, and are easily repaired in case of concrete cracks. When sealed properly, concrete flooring resists grit, dirt, spills, stains and hard impact. This all works in conjunction to keep your valuables safe from burglary and time. Most people envision an ‘industrial’ or ‘prison’ look when they think of concrete flooring, but that is on the contrary. These days it has the ability to take on color and a polished sheen, offering a warm and elegant look.

In order to successfully take advantage of all hidden flooring solutions one would definitely need a few tools and tricks. Unless you are prepared to use a lot of ‘man-strength’ and sweat, a jack hammer is highly suggested to break up any existing concrete. Waterproof sheeting is recommended as an extra combat against the effects of moisture. Concrete would need to be poured in the bottom of the hole and allowed to dry before lowering the safe and filling the space left around the sides. This concrete encasement will make it virtually impossible for any potential thieves to steal without being excessively loud. To get the safe out of the encasement and hole, and carry it out to work on opening it would take too much time and a lot of noise.

Once you have your safe safely in the floor and encased in concrete you would need a camouflage or disguise for it. This is where you can get creative. You can choose to overlay the concrete with tile, so that every square inch is identical and only you know where the safe is. Dawn plank cork flooring and rubber flooring can also be used to cover the concrete floor and seamlessly conceal your hidden floor safe. There are countless other DIY ideas that are easy and affordable.

Rest easier with your valuables protected, secured and tucked away safely in a hidden floor safe, encased in concrete. I think it’s “safe” to say it’s not likely that anyone is going to walk off with that. Join the hundreds who have found that concrete floors and hidden floor safes go hand in hand, and never worry about your valuables again.

Owen is a marketing specialist at Affinity Building Solutions having his primary focus on development and implementation of marketing ideas. His main talking points are flooring solutions, marketing and advertising of concrete flooring.

The post How to seamlessly camouflage a hidden floor safe? appeared first on American Preppers Network.

15 Things You Should Be Hoarding (And Why)

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Nearly everyone has a drawer, closet or room filled with, well, stuff. The word ‘hoarding’ generally evokes terrifying images of a house overflowing with useless junk – newspapers from the past thirty years, every can or bottle the hoarder has ever drunk from, and a seemingly endless supply of containers, wires, screws, and other things […]

The post 15 Things You Should Be Hoarding (And Why) appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Taurus AR-15

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(Miami, FL) –Taurus USA announces their new Taurus® T4SA at the 146th annual NRA Meetings in Atlanta, Georgia. Taurus USA, a leading manufacturer of innovative design in the firearms industry, is reinforcing the company’s commitment to American-made quality and ingenuity. The Taurus T4SA is a lightweight gas-impingement 5.56mm semi-automatic carbine that boasts superior reliability and durability.

Hmm…this can open up a deliciously diabolical philosophical debate: it’s the end of the world and you can only grab one of two guns – either a HiPoint 9mm carbine or the Taurus AR.

I can literally jump into my email and order, right this moment, at least three different American-made AR’s for less than $600 ea. Even when you drift into MSRP country, you can still get a decent AR for less than $750. Taurus is going to have to price their product significantly below that if they want to capture any share of the AR market, IMO.

And, according to this source, the MSRP is $1200. Madness.

My experience with Taurus has been almost nil. Taurus is, to me, one of those guns you buy only if you literally have no other option. (Or you want a disposable gun to leave someplace where it might get lost/stolen/destroyed.) I had a buddy with one of their Beretta 92 clones and it was a decent enough gun, but with trade in Berettas going for around $350 these days why bother South American quality control and non-standard magazines?

Oh, thats right…I’m one of those ‘yuppie survivalists’  who can’t grasp the real issues the way ‘us working men’ do. Hey, if ‘yuppie’ means I’m willing to make the sacrifices to buy quality gear the first time around, so be it. There’s a solution to not being able to afford ‘yuppie survivalist’ gear – either earn more money or spend less money elsewhere.

Thus far I haven’t seen any of these Taurus AR’s floating around, and my vendors don’t show them at the moment, but it will be interesting to see how they are received. The AR market is already pretty saturated, and unless you’re bringing something new to the table it is going to be hard, I would think, to draw any appreciable market share unless you have a radically different pricing schedule.

The AR market is such right now that you can buy two brand-name AR carbines for what you’d pay for one of those Taurii at MSRP. The only reason to spend more than a grand on an AR these days is if it has some really sweet options on it…match triggers, special furniture, high-end scope and mount, etc, etc. Right now, though, you can get rack-grade M4geries all day long for less money than I’ve seen them go for in a long time.

10 Must Have Items For Prepping For The Elderly

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Depending on our age, when prepping, most of us usually only consider what the average healthy person needs in times of a crisis. A healthy person in their prime happens to also be the easiest type of person to prepare for the worst. What about those that are not in their prime? Life situations are…

The post 10 Must Have Items For Prepping For The Elderly appeared first on The Weekend Prepper.

And They Wonder “Why?”

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I was perusing FaceBook this morning, and a friend tagged me along with this pic, asking, “Didn’t you just post something about this guy?”. I laughed my ass off, then responded with, “Not him specifically (don’t know or know of him), but yeah, I’ve posted about his type. Let’s see, right off the top of […]

Heating Using Compost? Why Not?

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I bet you never thought about using compost to generate heat, did you? Mulch and compost are basically biomass and as it decomposes naturally, biomass creates heat as a byproduct. Why wouldn’t you make use of this heat?

We already published a few articles about the numerous benefits of compost and mulch for your household. We talk about what mulch and compost is, how can you DIY, what can you use it for, what are the best kinds of materials to use and so on. Just follow the links to get the general idea.

Long story short, let’s to put the compost to work for us again!

The Magic Behind the Process

The idea behind using compost or mulch for heating is to capture as much of the generated heat as possible and use it for various purposes around the house such as reducing your electricity bill, heating bill etc.

Since any pile of compost, if big enough and healthy enough, produces a reasonable amount of heat during the decomposition process, you can use the respective heat for warming water. When I say healthy, I mean that it has a good ratio (1:1) of nitrogen and carbon.

{adinserter usf}Of course, you’ll save money on your energy bill by doing this and you’ll also reduce the amount of garbage that you send to landfills (again, saving money in the process).

It’s a win-win situation, regardless how you look at it.

Biodegradation is the process that makes the magic things happen in your compost pile and that means that the trillions of microorganisms living in your compost or mulch must be “happy” if you want to obtain the best results.

For a high rate of biodegradation (as in successful composting) you must achieve an optimum level of aeration, balance (in terms of nutrients) and moisture in your compost mound.

All these elements, working in harmony with the fungi and bacteria that “feast” on the waste matter which is part of the compost, end up turning it into humus, water and carbon dioxide. Humus is basically the “end product” of composting and heat is the highly beneficial byproduct of the process of biodegradation, i.e. the conversion of organic matter after it has been eaten by microorganisms.

It sounds a bit complicated, but actually it’s very straightforward after you begin to grasp the concept.

Now, if you want to use the heat that results from composting, you must know that a faster compost rate results in more heat generated during the process.

If you want to achieve the best results, i.e. the most heat, you’ll have to use big piles. The heaps must be at least 3 cubic feet or more while the perfect compost mound measures 4-5 feet in all directions. Only mounds this size or larger are able to generate temperatures over 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

The most heat is generated in the center of the compost mound; that’s the “hot spot”. The hottest temperatures obtained in such piles can be as high as 160 degrees Fahrenheit in “hot” setups.

This is a respectable figure if you’re taking into account that the USDE (the Department of Energy) recommends 120 degrees Fahrenheit as the ideal temperature for heating the water in your household.

 

 

Source : www.survivopedia.com

 

            Check out these related articles from our site:

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Planting The Garden – 3 Tips To Get Vegetable Transplants Off To A Great Start!

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The end of April is here, and with Spring in full force, it’s time to start thinking about planting the garden. I’m not talking about planting the early seed crops that get us out into the garden for the first

The post Planting The Garden – 3 Tips To Get Vegetable Transplants Off To A Great Start! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Matthew 22:29

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But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God…”

     In this particular scene in the Bible, Jesus has been challenged by the Sadducees regarding the social order of society after the resurrection.  These representatives of the upper social and economic echelon of Jewish society fulfilled various political, social, and religious roles, including maintaining the Temple. The Sadducees rejected the Oral Law as proposed by the Pharisees. Rather, they saw the written Torah as the sole source of divine authority, and they are known for not believing in the resurrection of the dead. Rather, they believed in the traditional Jewish concept of Sheol for those who had died.  And according to the Hebrew traditions, Sheol was a place of darkness to which all the dead go, both the righteous and the unrighteous, regardless of the moral choices made in life; a place of stillness and darkness cut off from life and from God.
     So, we can see that by questioning Jesus about the Torah’s command that a man marry his brother’s widow, they hope to lay a trap for Him about the resurrected life… Now there were seven brothers with us; and the first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother; so also the second, and the third, down to the seventh.  Last of all, the woman died.  In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.
     But Jesus is not fooled.  He sees through their subterfuge, and answers rightly: You are mistaken, not understanding [or knowing] the Scriptures nor the power of God.  The first mistake in their reasoning is supposing that if there were a resurrection, men and women would marry as they do in this life.  Jesus makes it clear that this won’t be the case: men and women will be like the angels of God — immortal, and free from all human passions that are part of our present state of existence. There will be no death; and consequently no need of marriage to maintain the population of the spiritual world.
     Furthermore, as supposed experts on the written Torah (the entire Old Testament), they were showing their ignorance of Scriptures such as Daniel 12:2 and Job 19:25-27, which plainly tell of the resurrection of the dead. Jesus is saying, in effect, that their ignorance of Scripture has led them to disbelief in the resurrection. But there is even more to the absurdity of their challenge.
     When they try to present a ridiculous scenario of marriage after the resurrection, Christ attributes that to their ignorance of the power of God.  And He disarms their argument by reminding them that the God they profess to believe in has made known that He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and by declaring that this same God is the God of the living, not the dead [letting them know that the spirits of the Patriarchs are not dead].
     But that wasn’t the only challenge He would receive.  Next, came the Pharisees, who had heard that Jesus had silenced the illogical arguments of the Sadducees. Rather than counting themselves among the elite of Jewish religious society, the Pharisees had the backing of the common people, and claimed Mosaic authority for their interpretation of Jewish Laws.  They gave precedent to the Oral Torah, consisting of the body of oral laws, interpretations, and traditions transmitted by God to Moses orally, and then memorized. So their challenge to Jesus came in the form of a question … Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?  
      Jesus’s answer is concise and deliberate:  “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” There is no debate and no arguing over the veracity; and no need to expound upon countless laws or traditions. 
     So what can we learn from these two different confrontations with Jesus by religious men?  I do not doubt that these men would declare their love for God, just as many Believers would say today. But if we say we want to serve God, is it enough to just say that we love Him? Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 22 that we can love our God, but have doctrinal beliefs that are mistaken; that we may not truly understand what He is telling us in Scripture, and thereby become ignorant of His power.
     How many in the Church today are saying, “I love you” to God, while [like the Sadducees and Pharisees] they are dying because they have only head knowledge of Him, but no heart knowledge?  How many are spiritually suffering because they don’t truly know Him or His power in our lives? We need to look beyond just loving God, to knowing Him and our position in this world.  
     How many of us can truly say, “I love You [God], and because I have set my love on You, I am rooted and grounded in Your love for me. I am growing each day into an understanding of what is the breadth and length and height and depth of Your love.  And because I am understanding Your love, Father, I am walking in Your Power. Furthermore, I know You will deliver me from the snares of the Enemy.  I will see things in this spiritual battle called Life, but they won’t touch me.  Because of my love for You, I know I am in command over the Enemy, and I know the position of Authority that is mine. I love Your Word, Father, and it speaks of Your Power which is at work in me. All Glory to God”!
     Like the Sadducees and the Pharisees, our Enemy seeks to lay traps for us in our understanding of Scripture and God. It is not enough to hang our relationship with God on our head knowledge.  He doesn’t want a circumcision of our minds, but of our hearts.  So, love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and seek the Kingdom first, through study of God’s Holy Word.  Avoid the religious traps that mire us in endless arguments over our sacred religious cows, and which keep us focused on ourselves and our own understandings. Continuing to seek God above all else, and desiring Him more, is the secret to both Divine understanding and power.  



Matthew 22:29

But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God…”

     In this particular scene in the Bible, Jesus has been challenged by the Sadducees regarding the social order of society after the resurrection.  These representatives of the upper social and economic echelon of Jewish society fulfilled various political, social, and religious roles, including maintaining the Temple. The Sadducees rejected the Oral Law as proposed by the Pharisees. Rather, they saw the written Torah as the sole source of divine authority, and they are known for not believing in the resurrection of the dead. Rather, they believed in the traditional Jewish concept of Sheol for those who had died.  And according to the Hebrew traditions, Sheol was a place of darkness to which all the dead go, both the righteous and the unrighteous, regardless of the moral choices made in life; a place of stillness and darkness cut off from life and from God.
     So, we can see that by questioning Jesus about the Torah’s command that a man marry his brother’s widow, they hope to lay a trap for Him about the resurrected life… Now there were seven brothers with us; and the first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother; so also the second, and the third, down to the seventh.  Last of all, the woman died.  In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.
     But Jesus is not fooled.  He sees through their subterfuge, and answers rightly: You are mistaken, not understanding [or knowing] the Scriptures nor the power of God.  The first mistake in their reasoning is supposing that if there were a resurrection, men and women would marry as they do in this life.  Jesus makes it clear that this won’t be the case: men and women will be like the angels of God — immortal, and free from all human passions that are part of our present state of existence. There will be no death; and consequently no need of marriage to maintain the population of the spiritual world.
     Furthermore, as supposed experts on the written Torah (the entire Old Testament), they were showing their ignorance of Scriptures such as Daniel 12:2 and Job 19:25-27, which plainly tell of the resurrection of the dead. Jesus is saying, in effect, that their ignorance of Scripture has led them to disbelief in the resurrection. But there is even more to the absurdity of their challenge.
     When they try to present a ridiculous scenario of marriage after the resurrection, Christ attributes that to their ignorance of the power of God.  And He disarms their argument by reminding them that the God they profess to believe in has made known that He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and by declaring that this same God is the God of the living, not the dead [letting them know that the spirits of the Patriarchs are not dead].
     But that wasn’t the only challenge He would receive.  Next, came the Pharisees, who had heard that Jesus had silenced the illogical arguments of the Sadducees. Rather than counting themselves among the elite of Jewish religious society, the Pharisees had the backing of the common people, and claimed Mosaic authority for their interpretation of Jewish Laws.  They gave precedent to the Oral Torah, consisting of the body of oral laws, interpretations, and traditions transmitted by God to Moses orally, and then memorized. So their challenge to Jesus came in the form of a question … Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?  
      Jesus’s answer is concise and deliberate:  “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” There is no debate and no arguing over the veracity; and no need to expound upon countless laws or traditions. 
     So what can we learn from these two different confrontations with Jesus by religious men?  I do not doubt that these men would declare their love for God, just as many Believers would say today. But if we say we want to serve God, is it enough to just say that we love Him? Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 22 that we can love our God, but have doctrinal beliefs that are mistaken; that we may not truly understand what He is telling us in Scripture, and thereby become ignorant of His power.
     How many in the Church today are saying, “I love you” to God, while [like the Sadducees and Pharisees] they are dying because they have only head knowledge of Him, but no heart knowledge?  How many are spiritually suffering because they don’t truly know Him or His power in our lives? We need to look beyond just loving God, to knowing Him and our position in this world.  
     How many of us can truly say, “I love You [God], and because I have set my love on You, I am rooted and grounded in Your love for me. I am growing each day into an understanding of what is the breadth and length and height and depth of Your love.  And because I am understanding Your love, Father, I am walking in Your Power. Furthermore, I know You will deliver me from the snares of the Enemy.  I will see things in this spiritual battle called Life, but they won’t touch me.  Because of my love for You, I know I am in command over the Enemy, and I know the position of Authority that is mine. I love Your Word, Father, and it speaks of Your Power which is at work in me. All Glory to God”!
     Like the Sadducees and the Pharisees, our Enemy seeks to lay traps for us in our understanding of Scripture and God. It is not enough to hang our relationship with God on our head knowledge.  He doesn’t want a circumcision of our minds, but of our hearts.  So, love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and seek the Kingdom first, through study of God’s Holy Word.  Avoid the religious traps that mire us in endless arguments over our sacred religious cows, and which keep us focused on ourselves and our own understandings. Continuing to seek God above all else, and desiring Him more, is the secret to both Divine understanding and power.  



7 Survival Uses For Cattails

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Cattail can be best described as the swamp supermarket of preppers, and I am being very serious about my statement. Actually, the legend says that the US was on the verge of winning War World 2 with a little help from the humble cattail.

And if you’re wondering what on God’s green’s earth I am talking about, let me give you one flabbergasting fact: cattail produces more edible starch than almost any green plant (starch per acre that is). From this point of view, cattail is more nutritious than rice, potatoes, yams, or taros.

And speaking of War World 2, the US gummint’ was on the verge of feeding GI Joes with starch originated from the cattail plant right before the war ended.

The only plant that’s capable of beating cattails in terms of carbs (starch is the essential carbohydrate) per acre is lichen, but that’s not a green plant. However, an acre of cattails will produce, on average, 6.5K pounds of flour annually.

Are you starting to get the picture? Cattails, food, survival, the end.

Well, that’s just one small step in our journey aimed at discovering the survival uses of cattail. Truth be told, there’s so much to know about this miraculous plant that I could write a book.

Survival Uses for Cattails

To begin with, there are 2 species of cattail to be found in North America: Typhalatifolia and Typhaangustifolia. However, the cattail got its name from its mature brown cylindrical flower spike.

The dried spikes make for excellent torches while the end-of-season fluffy cattails are the ideal tinder. American Indian folk used cattails for building mattresses, for insulation, and for absorption.

Cattails are so great from a prepper’s point of view that if you’re  lost out there in the wild and you managed to get some “tail”, you’ve basically covered four out of five essential survival items: food, water, shelter and fuel for making a fire (the dried stalks are a great source of heating fuel).

It’s important to point out that cattails grow near the water, and regardless where the water flows, you’ll find civilization downstream everywhere in the world.

There’s an old survivalist motto that goes something like this: You name your problem and we’ll improvise a solution from cattails.

As I already told you in the preamble, cattails are very close to a prepper’s seven eleven, the store that never closes out there in the wild.

The fresh (they look like cob) tips of cattail are edible and the same story goes for the white bottom of the stalk, the rootlets off the main roots (they look like spaghetti) and the spurs off the roots. These parts are also rich in vitamin A, B and C, together with essential minerals like phosphorus and magnesium.

The pollen from cattails was used as flour for thousands of years. Eastern Indians were known for their heavy use of cattails, not only for their nutritional value (which is great), but for stuffing and hemp. The fluff was very useful for menstruation and for making diapers.

Discover the survival things the Pioneers took with them when they traveled for months!

Survival Food

Cattails are excellent for their starch content. Here’s a video depicting how to get the starch out of a cattail root. And if you’re wondering why, well, once you got the starch out, it would make for the essential ingredient in your survival kitchen, just like any other flour.

Video first seen on The Apocalyptic Cookbook

However, remember not to eat the fiber, you’ll end up with stomach ache.

Here’s a video about how to cook and eat cattails.

Video first seen on David’s Passage

You can even make pickled cattails! Here  is how.

Video first seen on The Northwest Forager

So, with the food part taken care of, let’s move on to other uses for cattails, shall we?

Let’s enumerate some other survival uses right now: cattail can be used for making pillows, tinder, torches , fire, insulation, for fire transportation. arrow shafts, hand drills, hats, mats, cordage, baskets, bedding, shelters, syrup, bandages for wounds, burns, stings, cuts, bruises, and for mitigating toothaches.

Pretty amazing stuff, isn’t it?

Fire Starting

Now, let’s see about the cigar-shaped  cattail seed head, which contains myriads of seeds. When ripe, you can use these seeds as tinder, as they’re dried and highly combustible.

Video first seen on usframe

I bet you did not know that if you soak it up right in fat or animal oil, a cattail will burn for up to 6 hours (this is fire transportation by any metric).

Video first seen on bushcraftbartons

Here is how to start a fire with cattail using hand drill fire.

Video first seen on gundog5

Insulation

The same seed hairs are incredibly fluffy and soft and if the force is strong in you i.e. if you can gather enough seeds, you can stuff them in pillows. Obviously, if you’re incredibly industrious, you may end up with a mattress made out of cattail seed hairs.

The fluffy cattail seeds make for excellent insulation which can be used to line the inside of clothing or your DIY shoes (think moccasins).

Early civilizations used the seeds for diapers, headgear, bedding, and cushions for cradleboards.

Here’s a tutorial about how to insulate mittens using cattails.

Video first seen on Gregory Logajan

Making Arrow Shafts

Considering their length and the fact that they’re  pretty straight, the cattail stalks are excellent for making arrow shafts. Seeing is believing, so check out this tutorial.

Video first seen on baref00tbushcraft

All you have to do is to remove excess leaves and allow the stalks to dry out thoroughly in the sun. When they turn brown, that means they’re sturdy enough and they can be transformed into a veritable plethora of arrows.

Making Survival Rope

The leaves can be used for making cordage, due to their broadness/thickness; i.e. you’ll never run out of survival rope (and arrows because cattails are abundant). Check out how to make cattail cordage by clicking here.

Video first seen on Bushland Living

Making Baskets

Obviously, you can also use cattail leaves for making baskets if you’re skilled and patient enough. Check out the tutorial.

Video first seen on jodajean1

 

Making Shelter

You can build yourself a shelter from cattails – a teepee-like structure built from freshly uprooted plants. Here’s the video, check it out.

Video first seen on Shawn Woods

And you can even heat it with hot stones!

Video first seen on Shawn Woods

Medicinal Uses

When it comes to medicinal uses, you’ll have to burn cattails and treat abrasions and wounds with the ashes, which have antiseptic properties. The lower part of the stems is rich in amber, a honey-like syrup which is great for treating toothaches and small wounds.

Insect bites, burns and scratches  can be mitigated with a poultice made from the mashed core of the root, while cattail’s young flowers treat diarrhea when eaten.

That concludes today’s epic journey into cattail universe. But there are many other survival secrets that helped our forefathers survive during harsh times.

Click the banner below to uncover them!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

How To Prep Without Anxiety

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Today it’s all about how to prep without anxiety. Maybe you never get anxiety, but I do, sometimes. I don’t have anxiety thinking about prepping. It’s the lifestyle I learned from my mom. Now, my mom had never heard of a Sun Oven or the word prepping. We just had a pantry full of food. I never thought about evacuating my home when I was younger, but life has changed. Life is not the same anymore. We never stored water, except what was in the 40-gallon water heater and our large water dispenser (Las Vegas water was nasty). Now, I’ve learned after many years that water heater water we may all have may or may not be safe to use if our water lines are contaminated. In the last couple years, Utah has had many cities with water that you could not drink, cook with or bathe in, let alone brush your teeth with. Yikes, in Utah? How could this be? Yep, it happens. There were mistakes with pipes connected incorrectly by county workers. One of the culprits was Ecoli. Well, we can all make mistakes, but this is not acceptable. So WE must be prepared to take care of ourselves. Please picture this, I saw people on the news via the TV lined up at city and county buildings to get bottled water because the stores were sold out. Please tell me you will not be one of those people.

I understand if you do not have the budget or the space to store what you need for months or years, but please get enough food and water for three days, then graduate to seven days. Okay, now you get it, start a little at a time, as in one can at a time. Remember, you do not need to buy 100-pound bags of beans if you don’t like to eat beans. I eat a bean burrito with vegetarian beans on a flour tortilla every day, no cheese. I could eat these cold or hot, it doesn’t matter. I can make the tortillas, but I buy a huge bag of tortillas at Costco, and cases of vegetarian refried beans. I count the tortillas out and place six of them in a bag to freeze them. When I get down to five tortillas, I go get a bag from the freezer. If I have zero power, I can make the best flour or corn tortillas on this planet, if I don’t say so myself. See, no anxiety with the tortillas, I can make them. Plus, I have cases of all kinds of beans and I have several #10 cans of beans.

Here’s the deal with beans, the older the beans, the harder those suckers become, and they will take longer to cook, as well as use a lot more fuel to cook them. Just giving you the heads-up here. Hence, I buy three to four cases of my favorite brand of vegetarian beans to store. I usually make quinoa or rice once a week, and if I have leftovers I add it to my burrito. Mark isn’t really fond of beans so it doesn’t make sense for me to make the tortillas from scratch like I used to when my daughters were growing up. I can still picture the foil rectangles lined up with one tortilla on each sheet. One daughter spread a 1/4 cup of homemade cooked mashed beans on each tortilla, then one daughter put a tablespoon of grated cheese, the next daughter rolled them and the next daughter folded the foil. We would make 100 burritos at a time. That’s how we rolled, literally, when the girls were growing up.

I must say, my daughter, Heidi found a dirt clump in one burrito once, that I missed when sorting the beans to cook. She couldn’t eat beans for years, so please watch for dirt clumps and rocks, just saying. You can also pressure cook beans if they do get old, so no worries if you have some old beans. I am not sure how much food value there would be in 40-year old beans, but hey, if we’re starving they say we would eat anything. Yikes, I am just about to admit I threw out my OLD beans, I still feel guilty about it. Just a little, not a lot.

I was talking to a friend today who said to me, “I must admit, prepping gives me anxiety.” I told her she is not alone, I hear it all the time. It’s okay, let’s just do a little at a time. I compare food storage and emergency prep to looking at the rows and rows of food at the grocery stores. I do not like grocery shopping, so I make my pantry of food storage my “grocery store.”

I had to meet a friend at the hospital the other day after she and her daughter were in a minor car accident. Thankfully, they were fine after having x-rays, a CT scan, etc. I stayed there about five hours trying to comfort them, and we talked about car insurance, etc. She only has one car that is now totaled, so this is why her daughter called me from the ambulance to come to the hospital. She needed a ride home and someone to hold her hand. I had chicken pot pies in the oven that needed to cook an hour for a friend who just had a hip replaced, but I headed there after I delivered those. The reason I am telling you this story is because while I was at the hospital my friend who was in a neck brace waiting to hear about the results of all the x-rays, and whatever, mentioned she was glad she had gone to the grocery store that day. BUT she forgot to pick up some coffee and asked if I could stop at the store to pick some up on our way home. Of course, I could do that for her.

Well, the results were fine, thank goodness and we headed to the pharmacy after we left the hospital to get some pain killers for her back pain from the accident. Well, we both forgot to pick up the coffee UNTIL she was home. She asked me if I could pick some up tomorrow, I said I didn’t have a car for two days. I told her she would need to get someone else to pick it up. I also live about 12-14 miles from her, so she would have to call someone else. I only have one car. The reason I am telling you this story is because I want you to store more than one bag of coffee if you drink coffee. What I am saying is NEVER have one can or bag at your house that may be critical to you if you have a disaster, a car accident or an unforeseen emergency.

I remember a reader commented on my blog a few days ago about having had two feet of snow dump in her neighborhood. She mentioned the garbage pick-up and mail delivery was stopped for two months! Wow, I have never had that happen to me where I live. She and her family were fine because they were prepared with food, water, and powdered milk. Although, the cat preferred fresh milk, great story! My point is this, I want you to think what you eat each day (no drive thru’s) and write it down. What do you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day? Here is a PRINTABLE I use for classes when I teach: Where Do I Start by Food Storage Moms You can fill in the blanks for each meal, it doesn’t have to be perfect, you just write down what you need to make those meals. If the store shelves are empty or the roads are closed, you will have your own little grocery store at home so to speak.

Prep Without Anxiety:

  1. Write down what you eat every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For instance, if you eat cereal, buy cereal and some powdered or instant milk. Add some canned or bottle fruit, you are set. If you like pancakes, buy pancake mix and syrup or jam. Who needs butter if we have an emergency, right? If you make pancakes, you already know what supplies you need to make those yummy pancakes. Be sure and have more than one or two choices because you may need food for 30 days or more. But today, just think about three days worth of breakfast ideas, then seven days. You can do it, I promise. Practice makes perfect. Please remember, we need water to make that instant milk or the pancakes each day. Plus, we need water to hydrate ourselves, for hygiene and eventually wash at least our underwear if a water shortage becomes long term. When cooking you’ll need a cooking device for those pancakes. I highly recommend this one. I bought one for all four of my daughters. A gas barbecue is fine but uses a lot of fuel. Camp Chef Butane 1 Burner Stove with Camping Case and don’t forget the fuel: GasOne Butane Fuel Canister (12 Pack)
  2. Lunch is easy if you think about it. Sliced cold cuts will not cut it because they need the refrigerator. Peanut butter and jelly is a staple in my home. Who doesn’t love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? I started buying small jars because it goes rancid very quickly once the jars are open. I can still picture the #10 cans of peanut butter I bought when my girls were growing up. My family rarely ate jam or jelly on our peanut butter because it was too expensive. My mom used to make apricot jam from her trees and that was a real treat! We would have peanut butter sandwiches on my homemade bread with a jar or two of home canned peaches. If you think about it, store some canned tuna (not too many because tuna goes mushy) and some cans of canned meat. Add some jars or packets of mayo and you can make sandwiches, like chicken salad. I always store pickles. Can you just smell the bread and butter pickles? They add a lot to any sandwich. Now if you don’t make bread, store crackers or learn to make crackers. Learn to make biscuits with a cream sauce over them. You can make grilled cheese sandwiches and use up what you have in the refrigerator. Of course, keep the refrigerator and freezer closed as long as possible to keep the food safe if the power goes out for an extended period. I started storing smaller jars of mayo and Miracle Whip because it takes a month or more to use them up before they go bad. A few cases of canned fruit and vegetables are great pantry items. Buy only the ones you will eat. If you can your own fruit and vegetables, you are awesome! I love when the garden is in full bloom, who loves fresh tomato sliced tomatoes? I sure do!
  3. You need to know I am not big on processed food, but here’s the deal, let’s make dinner easy in case of an emergency. Take your family to your local grocery store and let everyone choose one food item they would actually eat for dinner. I love canned chili, this is an easy one for me. I can make just about anything from scratch, but let’s choose some foods that you can just heat and eat using your butane stove or right out of the can. I want you to think of it like camping. I remember making frozen meals to take in the trailer. Well, let’s think a little differently, like without a refrigerator. You may need to grab something from your home grocery store. Are you getting the drift now? The family will eat what they chose at the store to eat in an emergency. I remember making colored bags and filling them to take to young mothers who had a baby. For example, a jar of spaghetti sauce, a package of pasta, and a jar of Parmesan cheese. I added some cans of green beans and a can or two of fruit cocktail. All the family had to do was boil the water for the pasta, add the spaghetti sauce and heat the green beans. I call these my dinners in a bag.

I hope you realize that having a small grocery store at your home, so to speak, will help you beyond anything I can teach you, literally. Plus, you will save money by not going to the store as often. If you cook from scratch, you can even do more! Add some #10 cans of freeze-dried fruits and vegetables as your budget allows. If you can have three days of food, then seven, then thirty days of food stored, you rock. Remember, water is the number one thing you need to store. The American Red Cross suggests one gallon of water per person per day. I recommend four gallons per person per day. You can never have too much water. May God bless you and your family to be prepared for the unexpected. I promise, you can prep without anxiety with just one can at a time. Please just do it. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for following my blog. If you start with food, water, and a butane stove, everything else will fall into place.

My favorite things:

Danish Dough Hand Whisk / Mixer 11″

Water Storage Containers – WaterBrick – 8 Pack Blue

WaterBrick 1833-0001 Stackable Water and Food Storage Container, 3.5 gal of Liquid, 27 lb of Dry Food Products, Blue

The post How To Prep Without Anxiety appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Bug season!

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Duck season! Wabbit season! Does that bring back memories of the old Bugs Bunny and Daffy (along with Elmer Fudd)? I grew up watching that, now I am adding my own responses to it in Elmer’s voice, today I add “Hehehehe, it’s bug season!”

Spring has sprung, except for the last two days of our last(?) cold snap, we have been having warm, even hot days and more importantly, warm nights, which brings out the bugs. Tonight as I sit in my fuzzy PJs and thick robe for probably the last time until next fall, I don’t worry about insects as it’s too cold for them. But rest assured, the bugs are coming.

We had a relatively mild winter, PB really didn’t even have to cut wood, we survived off of what we had leftover from the previous winter, as a result, I suspect the bugs will be prolific this year. Some of the bugs are interesting and fun, others are merely annoying, still others are a pain in more than one way.

I have gotten quite used to the bugs, though I still don’t like them coming inside the SkyCastle unless they are well behaved. Most aren’t, but right now we have a largish spider, a funnel web of some sort that has taken up residence in and around our solar stuff on the inside. She (all spiders are “she” until proven otherwise) has stayed put pretty well, but I noticed her web is getting pretty dusty and filled with moth carcasses, it’s going to have to go, probably sometime tomorrow or the next day we will encourage her to vacate, hopefully without having to dispatch her, I’d much rather have her out on the front porch growing fat on the myriad of moths and other light loving insects that are attracted to our glass door.

With bug season upon us, it’s time to re-evaluate the tightness of the SkyCastle. That means checking windows and doors to make sure they close securely, checking for new and widening cracks in the floors, walls and ceiling, anyplace that has an opening wide enough to push a credit card through is wide enough for spiders, scorpions and centipedes to enter.

I will also be going outside in the evening, just after dark and hunting scorpions. I haven’t had to do it much the last few years so I’ve become lax, it’s time to get out there in the warmer evenings and actively hunt the scorpions. Normally I’m a live and let live kind of gal, but a few years back, we had a rash of scorpions inside the SkyCastle, one got me good on the finger, we were killing one and two each night INSIDE the house, that’s when I declared war on them, or at least the ones within a 10-15 foot diameter around the outside of the SkyCastle.

I use a blacklight LED flashlight to light them up like a cheap kid’s glow in the dark toy. They light up a bright green and don’t seem to know they are lit up. Using a regular white flashlight, the scorpions are well camouflaged, in fact if I have one in a good spot, I’ll go back and forth between the blacklight and the regular flashlight and they practically vanish from sight under the white light.

As far as the annoying bugs go, it’s mostly the moths and other creatures that are attracted to the light coming through the front door, which is actually a window that slides open and closed. We don’t have a curtain, so the bugs that are attracted to the light have nothing to stop them except for the glass itself. I end up going nuts while I’m cooking and the big and small moths are playing kamikaze dive-bombers right into the pot or pan of food I’m cooking. Then when I’m using my laptop or tablet in the dark and it’s the only light, those same insects (the ones who haven’t died in my stir fry) are buzzing around my screen. I wouldn’t mind if they just landed there and stayed still, but no, they have to land, fly around, land, fly around and so on…

For tonight, I can sit here, un-assaulted by the insects in the cold room, not minding the cold toes, knowing this will not last, it is a last respite.

What about you? What insects do you deal with where you live?

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April 2017 EDC Purse Dump

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April 2017 EDC Purse Dump

Basically arranged my EDC in a way that would make it as easy as possible for me to switch purses on the fly. Not that I really care to switch purses often, just that I hate doing it when my EDC is messy. Select cards, coupons, and a bit of change go into that coin […]

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


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

Should You Plan to Barter in a Collapsed Economy?

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prepper barteringIf our economy ever does collapse and the dollars we’ve saved become worthless, one thing is for sure, a system of bartering will emerge, along with a black market. As you stock up on food and other goods, you may have had the thought, “This would be good for bartering.” Prepper bartering is a very popular topic on most prepper forums and blogs. But is it something worth planning and prepping for?

The weaknesses of barter

Most people think barter is merely “I’ll trade you this for that.” In a pure, simple sense that is so. However, where the rubber meets the road, where theory smacks hard into the face of reality, it isn’t nearly that simple and easy. There are definite drawbacks.

Let’s use the realistic example of a parent in search of an antiobiotic for his child. If he’s lucky enough, he’ll come upon an acquaintance who happens to have a stash of antibiotics, maybe even fish antibiotics that are available in livestock stores or on Amazon. The parent explains his need and requests a week’s worth of amoxicillin.

The owner of that antibiotic now has to make a tough decision. His own loved ones may be in need of those pills somewhere down the road. It may be impossible to purchase any more in the near future, but perhaps this desperate parent has something of value to trade.

Here is where bartering gets interesting because now the parent has to think of things he’s willing to give up in order to acquire amoxillin. Food? A Berkey water purifier? Gold or silver? A firearm? Ammunition? What?

He can offer any number of items in trade but until the owner of the Amoxicillin decides he wants something that is offered, the trade isn’t going to happen. In my situation, I’d be thinking:

  • Food? We already have a year’s worth, and I don’t need any more.
  • A Berkey? Got that, plus a few other water purifiers.
  • Gold or silver? Maybe, but how much am I willing to lose?
  • A firearm? I could always use another but look at what I’m giving up: a drug that could save my own life or my child’s life someday. Not sure it’s worth it.
  • Ammo? Same reasoning as above.

The trade for amoxicillin in this case may be dead in the water and the parent in search of the drug may have to move on and find someone else with that drug stashed away somewhere.

So is prepper bartering something you can count on as a survival strategy? Obviously not. There’s no substitute for being very well prepared yourself and thinking ahead to what you might need.

By the way, if the proposed barter runs into a dead end, guess who is vulnerable to robbery or worse? Yep. The guy who let it be known that he has a supply of life saving drugs. Not smart and may very well become a major reason why many people simply won’t turn to barter. It reveals what they have during a time in which scarcity is the rule.

If you DO want to prep for barter…

First, make sure you are stocked up with the basics for yourself and your family before worrying about adding items for barter. Consider these points:

  • Do you have extra funds to purchase barter goods?
  • What percentage of your prep budget will go into buying barter goods?
  • Do you have room to stock up on items specific for barter?

The next steps are:

  • Review lists of barter goods and consider costs. What items can you most afford and do you have room to store them?
  • Think about which potential barter goods can double as useful items for you if you need to raid that stash. Example: if you never, ever drink alcohol, then maybe you shouldn’t stock up on dozens of bottles of liquor.
  • Consider stocking only items whose uses you know very well. The more you know about them, and thus their usefulness and value, the better a deal you can haggle.
  • Prioritize your shopping list, but be prepared to deviate if a great deal pops up.
  • Look for your chosen items on sale, clearance, or have coupons. Over the counter drugs, nutritional supplements, and cosmetics often show up in clearance aisles.

What to buy for your barter stash

Most barter items fall into two main categories: comfort/luxuries and survival essentials.

Imagine living for weeks or months without a bar of soap or a bottle of shampoo. After weeks without electricity, imagine the incredible value a pack of matches might have. Other suggestions in the comfort/luxuries category are:

  • Nail polish
  • Lipstick
  • Feminine hygiene
  • Cigarettes
  • Alcohol
  • Paperback books
  • Hygiene supplies: soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo
  • Candy, chocolate, chewing gum
  • Anything that will help make life more pleasant
  • Coffee
  • Baby wipes
  • Spices
  • Candy, chocolate

Among essentials that would be welcome in a barter exchange:

  • Ammunition
  • Long-term food
  • Water filter/purification
  • Seeds (Read this article about mini seed banks specific for bartering.)
  • Batteries
  • First Aid supplies, many are on this list
  • Tools
  • Vitamins
  • Over the counter medications and medical supplies
  • Baby supplies: diapers, formula, baby clothes
  • Camping gear
  • Insect repellant
  • Matches, fire starters

You can read long lists of barter-able items here. Remember that skills and knowledge are great for bartering and won’t impact what you have stored away.

The bottom line is to give this some thought, don’t over-spend, and keep your eyes open for bargains.

The post Should You Plan to Barter in a Collapsed Economy? appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

Ten Do-It-Yourself Mothers Day Gifts for Under $10

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What useful, fun gift can you get the prepper and/or survival mom when the budget is tight? Try a bunch of items, all made by you and bundled into a lovely gift. She’ll love you for it.

Guilt And Depravity

Guilt And Depravity

“I know there is good in you.”

—Luke to Darth Vader, Return of the Jedi (1983)

As Seen on TV

The mass murderer … the serial killer, the paid assassin, the warmonger, the man responsible for the death of dozens or thousands of innocent people … suddenly becomes one of the good guys and joins the team.  And everyone’s okay with this.  Of course.

How many times has this plotline been drawn up for a TV show?  We can think of Alias, Stargate, Babylon 5, Deep Space 9, Dr. Who, Once Upon a Time, Person of Interest, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, and Black List, for starters.  Our common rationale for buying into this frightening scenario seems to be, “Yes, he was bad.  But he’s good now.”  This assent to “instantly good” usually betrays a rejection of some basic biblical categories. So, let’s take a closer look at guilt and depravity.

Guilty as Charged!

We begin with guilt.  Guilt is a legal category, not really an emotional or psychological one.  In general terms, a man who commits a crime is guilty.  He has broken a law and deserves punishment.  How he feels about his crime is irrelevant.  His guilt is an objective matter.

Scripture tells us of our legal guilt before God our Creator.  God has clearly revealed His law in Scripture.  That law is an expression of His holy nature and of the loving and faithful communion that exists among the Persons of the Trinity.  God’s law is, therefore, good and right in this absolute sense.  The man who breaks that law is in conflict with and at war against God himself … at war with Ultimate Reality.

The Secret To Keeping Kids Calm In The Car … Without DVDs!

We might ask, “Can’t love overlook guilt?  Can’t divine love just accept every man as he is, murderer and victim alike?”  Scripture says: nope.  God is One.  There can be no conflict in His Being.  In Him justice and love meet.  His law is a perfect expression of His love, and God’s justice requires that He punish those who war against it.  In fact, God describes Himself with these words:

The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation (Ex. 34:6-7).

‘At One’ (Atonement)

Hold on just a second, you say.  God says He will “by no means clear the guilty,” and yet He claims that He forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin.  Isn’t this a contradiction?

It’s not a contradiction, because God has many attributes. But it is, to me at least, another fascinating mystery of the Gospel.  Though God must certainly punish sin, He can punish it in the person of a “fit” substitute.  And His love and mercy have moved Him to provide such a substitute.

Guilt And Depravity

Image source: Pixabay.com

That Substitute is God Himself.  The eternal God, in the Person of Jesus Christ, gave Himself as a penal substitute for sinners.  Scripture speaks of atonement.  The shed blood of Christ covers our sins so that we can be “at one” with God.  God can forgive us because Jesus already bore our punishment on the cross.  He can and will cover us with Jesus’ righteousness when we believe the Gospel.  This is the doctrine of justification by faith.

You Dirty Rat! (Depravity)

But substitutionary atonement and justification by faith are not the whole of the Gospel, because guilt is not the whole of man’s problem.  Fallen humanity is not just guilty before God … we also have a depraved nature, and that nature taints all that we are and do.  In the days before the Flood,

. . . GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Gen. 6:5).

Theologians call this total depravity.  This depravity has to do with the condition of the heart.  So it’s “total” not in its depth, but in its breadth.  It touches and defiles all that man is and does.  It lies behind all of our choices, all of our thoughts and feelings.  And, as long as we are dominated by such depravity, we will continue to be at war with God.

What depraved man needs, of course, is a new heart, a new nature.  And this is the rest of the Gospel.  The God who forgives sins for Jesus’ sake also transforms sinners through the regenerating and sanctifying power of His Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:7-14).  Jesus forgives sinners and makes them new creatures (2 Cor. 5:17).  He also gives sinners a heart to love God and to keep His commandments (Heb. 8:10; Ezek. 36:26-27).

But here’s the important thing:  If man has no “depraved heart,” there’s not a lot for Christians to talk about, is there?  Because it follows quite logically then, that we don’t need Jesus to change hearts.  In fact, we don’t need Him at all, except as a little frosting perhaps on an already beautiful cake, so to speak. If our nature is basically good, then we can’t really talk about human depravity in any meaningful sense.  Absolutely no need for “the Gospel rescue mission.”  If you believe this, it’s the “gospel of humanism” that shapes your basic beliefs, assumptions about reality, and ultimately your worldview.

You’re Good Enough, Smart Enough, And Doggone It, People Like You

Romanticism in all its forms and from all ages assumes that man is basically good, that our emotions are pure and our basic intuitions always trustworthy.  For those with this humanistic worldview, mankind in general has learned its destructive habits from society.  Humankind’s poverty, education, food or “the man” has somehow corrupted him.  We’re all hapless victims of Christianity or capitalism, of dark magic or our DNA.  From this starting point, we’ve moved to saying, “But, if you just give us a new environment and the right external influences … you’re going to see change.  Maybe regenerative wonders.  Maybe behavioral miracles.”

Image source: Pixabay.com

Image source: Pixabay.com

Where’s the love, right?  We’ve got to share the love.  Come on people now… If we just loved the criminal more, his inner goodness will “break on through to the other side” and he will become the new man.  The good man.  And since none of the criminal’s corruption was ever his fault, we must now also receive him warmly back into society without qualification or question.  Liberal theology demands he’s never had a sin nature, so the orders are …  forgive, forget and integrate back into our neighborhoods with starry eyes and hopeful grins knowing we’re all in this together and we’re all good.  But where do these ideas really come from? Ideas like we are “all good?”

Fixed Nature?

The Pelagian and the existentialist assume that man has no fixed nature.  Man creates his identity, creates himself, moment by moment by his own autonomous choices.  The “good” man is the one who is currently choosing to do good.  The “evil” man is the one who is currently choosing evil.  But either man can alter the nature of his choices at any moment.  The evil man can decide that he no longer likes the sort of person he’s been and suddenly choose good; the good man can abandon his good works and just as suddenly choose evil.

Heirloom Audio: Putting God Back Into History!

Why would either make such a choice?  Environment.  Crisis.  Loss.  New perspective.  Impress a woman? Whatever.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s not for us to question, we’re told.  But once the man says, “I’m good now,” we are supposed to instantly forget what he’s been and regard him as he says he is.  The past is a dead letter.

Think this is just theology with no practical application?  One of my employee’s husband had a sister who was murdered back in the 80s. She was savagely beaten, raped, tied to a tree and shot in the head.  Her murderer got away with the crime.  Ten years later he even started to brag about it.  Then one day he bragged to the wrong person and was turned in. He admitted in court that he did it and was given 71 years in jail.  After serving only 10 years, he came up for parole and is about to be released.  He told the parole board he was “good now” and proved it by getting a law degree at the taxpayers’ expense while he was serving time.  A law degree proves you’re good?  Irony of ironies, I suppose.  Bottom line:  His parole board and liberal judge wants him in your neighborhood because he says he’s good.

Conclusion: Ideas Have Consequences and Theology Matters

Man, in his rebellion against God, will not admit the existence of guilt and depravity.  Yet our culture still clings to corrupted notions of atonement and justification.  Atonement becomes self-atonement, a demanding program of charity and self-sacrifice or an elaborate system of blood rituals and magic, or a hell of suffering and torment inflicted by the mindless universe, the helpful sadist, or even the empty angst of one’s own self-destructive habits.  Regardless, the goal of self-atonement is self-forgiveness and self-justification.  The rest of us are expected to forgive on demand and, of course, pity anyone who struggles dutifully on their own personal 12-step journey. (We’ve got Freud to thank for much of this.)

The Gospel says that self-atonement is self-delusion and madness.  Only God can forgive sins.  He forgives sins only because of Jesus’ sufferings and death 2,000 years ago on the cross.  In that divine atonement is true justification and new birth.  There is no other remedy for sin.

Patriots’ Prayers for 4-30 / ANNOUNCEMENT

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The weekly Patriots’ Prayers segment is moving – sort of…  Here’s what’s going on: 

The audio version of Patriots’ Prayers will be posted to my You Tube channel each week. It will also be embedded in the upper right column of my website. You will be able to hear the weekly Patriots’ Prayers series on both You Tube and this website. Just click the video at the top of the right-hand column to hear this week’s Patriots’ Prayers!

The text version of many of the prayers from the Patriots’ Prayers series are posted on the Pray for America page of this website. (Several are already posted on that page, and I will be adding others in the future.) Just click the Pray For America tab in my website’s menu bar above. 

Thank you for Praying for America with me!  
 

Sunday Prepper Bible Study-Faithful Shepherds

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Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

1 Timothy 5:17

I spend a lot of time dishing out tongue-lashings for the apostate pulpits in America. As I don’t see any dramatic change in the overall health of the American Church, you should expect more of the same in the future. As much as I hate to hear myself say it, I actually believe it’s part of my calling. Not for the sake of the effeminate, complacent, lukewarm cowards who parasitically live off of the widow’s mite, but for your sake. Most churches in America are so far off of the standard provided in God’s Word, yet the parking lots and offering plates are overflowing. Someone has to stand on the wall and scream, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”

In my rants, I can overlook the faithful shepherds, those who are teaching the whole council of God, men like Pastor Greg Sempsrott of Vero Beach Church of God, Pastor Mike MacIntosh of Horizon Christian Fellowship, and Pastor Mike Spaulding of Calvary Chapel Lima, Ohio. To the men who have chosen the narrow gate, the hard and often thankless work of speaking the truth, and faced unknown spiritual attacks in serving God faithfully, I say thank you.

If you are in an apostate church, get out. Get out today. Like Lot fleeing from Sodom, take your family out of that mess and don’t look back.

If you are in a good church that preaches the Word faithfully in season and out, pray for your pastor. Pray for him every day. The enemy is seeking to take him out. And the devil’s arsenal to destroy pastors is growing day by day. Finally, write him a note of encouragement. One of Satan’s most successful tools against effective men of God is discouragement. The seeds of discouragement are most often sown through emails and criticisms which come from their own flocks. Immature Christians who are so caught up in their own head and can’t see past their own hands, have zero empathy for what it’s like to take on the cares of running a church, and are quick to dish out their opinions like Monday-morning armchair quarterbacks. Those with words of encouragement often get derailed by some seemingly more important task. Take the time right now. Click over to your email tab and let your faithful pastor know that he’s doing a good job. Let him know that you are going to be praying for him. It will be like a drink of cold water to a weary desert traveler to your pastor, and God will bless you for it.

Jesus said, “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his own soul?” Prepper translation: “What good will it do you to survive the coming economic collapse, nuclear war, or even a zombie apocalypse if you don’t know you will go to heaven when you die.” A recent study found that 10 out of 10 people die! On that day we will meet our Maker. It only makes sense to be prepared for that day. Click here to learn more about knowing GOD.

Have a blessed day and happy prepping!

Mark

The post Sunday Prepper Bible Study-Faithful Shepherds appeared first on Prepper Recon.

Comfrey: The Livestock Feeder, Soil Builder & Plant Disease Stopper

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Comfrey: The Livestock Feeder, Soil Builder & Plant Disease Stopper

Image source: Pixabay.com

Comfrey (Symphytum spp.) is one of our most distinctive weeds, with its broad hairy leaves, tall flower stalks and deep taproots. It’s also one of the most persistent. Many varieties don’t spread by seed, but they do spread laterally in clumps. Their tough leaves effectively squash out competition. It’s practically impossible to pull their deep roots up in their entirety, and any fragment of root left in the ground is likely to regrow.

Fortunately, comfrey also has many useful properties for the homesteader, including its leaves being used as livestock feed, soil conditioners and preventers of plant disease. All these uses derive from the fact that comfrey’s deep taproots reach down into the subsoil and bring up minerals and nutrients to a level where they’re available to us.

Feeding Comfrey

Comfrey has been used traditionally as a feed for various kinds of livestock, including horses, cows, pigs, sheep, goats and poultry. Comfrey leaves, cut early before the plant flowers, are as protein-rich as clover and alfalfa, and their mineral-rich quality also provides many micronutrients that can improve animal health.

In recent years, studies have come out showing that comfrey contains compounds which may cause cancer or damage the liver. This has understandably left people worried about either taking it as an internal medicine themselves or feeding it to their livestock.

However, the studies that show these results have focused either on feeding comfrey as a very large percentage of the total diet or on taking a concentrated distillation of comfrey. Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats (2010) also recommends comfrey as goat-safe, according to extensive anecdotal evidence rather than a formal study. I have heard from many homesteaders who offer comfrey to their animals along with a wide variety of other feeds; their animals eat it and show no ill-effects. This mostly matches my experience.

Comfrey: The Livestock Feeder, Soil Builder & Plant Disease Stopper

Image source: Pixabay.com

Some of our pigs have been enthusiastic eaters of comfrey, which is supposed to be an appetite stimulant for them as well as a nutritious feed. So have some of our goats and all of our chickens. We’ve never offered them comfrey only; it’s always been part of a wide range of options. We’ve offered comfrey to our rabbits, but they usually refuse to eat it. I have read that animals are more willing to eat comfrey after it has “wilted” for a day. This seems to work for some farmers; our animals either eat it fresh or don’t eat it at all. I have also read that comfrey can be dried and fed, but none of our animals have been willing to eat dried comfrey, although they’re happy to tear into dried burdock.

Comfrey for Soil-Building and Weed-Stopping

Comfrey’s high nutrient and mineral content also make it an excellent garden or orchard soil-builder, and so far this use remains non-controversial. Incorporated into your compost pile, comfrey leaves will break down quickly and add generous amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and other minerals. (For quicker breakdown, add the leaves under a layer of other wet materials so that they start to decompose quickly instead of air-drying.) Undecomposed comfrey leaves can be buried in planting holes along with seedlings to provide a quick localized nutrient boost.

Comfrey leaves also make good organic mulch. They’re broad, thick and tough, presenting a good barrier to weeds, and their high nutrient profile means they’ll enrich your bed as they break down. As with other green mulches, don’t pile them much more than an inch deep, lest they should rot and turn slimy. A British gardener reports that slugs are drawn to decomposing comfrey leaves, which distracts them from eating actual growing vegetable plants. I don’t have much of a slug problem, so I’ve had no chance to verify this.

Some sources suggest being selective about which plants you use fresh comfrey on. One specific website says that comfrey, because of its high potassium content, is especially beneficial for flowers, fruits and fruiting vegetables like tomatoes and cukes. Other sources recommend planting comfrey in orchards, partly for this reason (also, perhaps, partly because it outcompetes grass so effectively).

Leafy greens or root crops mulched with comfrey may go to seed prematurely. I think this must apply only to true root crops—carrots, parsnips, beets, etc.—and not to tuber crops. Some people bury comfrey leaves along with potatoes to reduce the incidence of scab. I have done this for the last two years and have had much less trouble with scab.

What’s your experience with comfrey—in your garden, your orchard, or the diets of your animals? Share your thoughts in the comment section below:

Does Your Plan B Include a Second Place to Live If Plan A Doesn’t Work Out?

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Does Your Plan B Include a Second Place to Live If Plan A Doesn’t Work Out? This article is a great look the reality of national debt and cost of living. It also sheds light on a topic that scares all homeowners: property value. It’s a terrifying thought when you imagine something in your area …

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How To Throw Knives For Survival

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How To Throw Knives For Survival As a child we all owned at least one ninja set. It featured the might shurken or throwing star. Whether you came up watching Bruce Lee throwing these or the Ninja Turtles there was always part of you that wondered just how hard it could be. There are companies …

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Remington gets into the non-NFA shotgun game

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Remington Arms is bringing its newest firearm — the pistol grip 870 Tac-14 — out to meet the public for the first time this week.

While visiting Remington’s Huntsville, Alabama factory on Wednesday, Senior Product Manager Daniel Cox gave Guns.com a peek at the new gun, set to be unveiled at the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meeting in Atlanta on Friday.

At 26.25 inches overall and with a Raptor Shockwave pistol grip, the 12-gauge’s 14-inch cylinder bore barrel is not a National Firearms Act regulated item as it is a “firearm” and not an SBS or AOW, thus no tax stamp is required under federal law, though state and local laws may apply.

While I’m still not 100% sure there’s a niche in a person’s personal armory to be filled by this thing (other than ‘fun gun’), I’ll probably still get one or two anyway. I like the idea of tweaking ATFE’s nose by following the letter of the law.

I am still waiting for my vendors to get the Mossberg Shockwave in stock so I can get one to play with. As I said, questionable utility but looks like a fun gun to play with.

Emergency Ready: 4 Easy Ways To Start Preparing Your Family For A Natural Disaster

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Before a natural disaster strikes, you want to prepare your family for any devastation that might occur. You want to make sure everyone understands the plans that are in place, writing them down so that family members can easily see them when needed. Find a place to go before a natural disaster strikes to ensure that you and the other people in the home are accounted for no matter where everyone is at during the day or night.

 

Supplies

Gather enough supplies to last for about three days. This is usually how long it takes for everything to get back to normal with the power and safety outside after a disaster. Foods that don’t need to be heated, a gallon of water for each person for each day and first-aid items should be included in the kit. A large plastic tote is ideal for holding all of the items that you need. Keep items for children, such as diapers, baby wipes and any medications, in the kit as well.

 

Cooking Sources

You want to have an alternate cooking source in case the power does take a few days to come back on instead of being fixed in a few hours. A grill is a source that you want to consider as it can allow you to use the food that is in the refrigerator so that it doesn’t go bad. A camp stove is also an option.

 

Education

Set aside some time to talk to the family about the different natural disasters that you might experience during the year. It could be anything from a tornado to a wildfire that breaks out. Describe what to look for with each scenario and the kind of weather to expect with possible situations that you might see, such as falling trees, lightning and large hail. Once the family understands the components of natural disasters, everyone will know when to prepare and how to stay safe when something arrives. You could also consult someone with a background or education in the topic area, such as a masters of public administration online. Gather resources to use in your educational discussion and ensure your family is adequately prepared.

Have A Plan

Look around the home to determine where your designated meeting place will be when the time comes. Make sure everyone knows how to get there from any area of the house. You should also have a plan of action for when someone is outside. Talk about safe places and designated meeting spots for different scenarios, such as work and school as well, asking that everyone call or text once the disaster is over.

 

When it comes to natural disasters, you don’t want to take any chances with your family. Make a plan of action well in advance of the event approaching. Gather enough supplies, and make sure everyone understands where to go and what to do if they aren’t at home.

The post Emergency Ready: 4 Easy Ways To Start Preparing Your Family For A Natural Disaster appeared first on American Preppers Network.

How to Make Beeswax Soap

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Written by Cornelia Adams on The Prepper Journal.

I decided to make beeswax soap for Christmas gifts last year.  It has been on my list of things I should probably know how to do and when my stepfather, who keeps bees, brought me seven pounds of beeswax from his hives, I thought the time was right.

I started my soap-making adventure with a recipe for beeswax soap from the book, “Beeswax Alchemy”.  This book contains directions for making candles, balms and bars, salves, cream and scrubs, soap, and even beeswax art.

BEESWAX – WHERE TO GET IT AND HOW TO HANDLE IT

You can either acquire your beeswax from a beekeeper, which I was fortunate enough to be related to, or you can buy it online and it comes in handy little balls that are easy to measure and melt.  The wax I had was in giant hunks which I sawed off with a bread knife.  I do not recommend this method.  It’s maddening.  Since then I have learned another method which would have saved me a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.

First, beeswax becomes brittle when frozen and is much easier to cut.  Secondly, and I think I will go this route next time, the wax can be melted and poured onto a large cookie sheet lined with freezer paper.  Once hardened, the wax can be broken off into small chunks without sawing at it like a crazed butcher.

You can make soap without beeswax, however, I wanted to use the beeswax I had on hand because the scent is wonderful and it has conditioning properties that I wanted to in my soap.  There is a very basic non-beeswax soap recipe found here.

LYE, LYE, LYE

Without lye, there is no soap.  Lye, or sodium hydroxide, is required to make the chemical reaction that makes soap.  Period.  I had seen lye in the hardware store for cleaning out drains and thought that there must be a softer, gentler lye available for making soap.   To my surprise, the lye I made soap with to give my loved ones was made with the same highly caustic chemical that will burn the eyes out of your head.  Since lye is so dangerous, I want to give you some tips:

  1. Measure everything correctly. This is not the time for measuring with your eyes, use a digital scale, it is most accurate. If your lye to fat ratio is off, or you have added too much beeswax you will waste your time because your soap will be sludgy or rubbery.
  2. Once you have added the water to lye, it’s all business. Wear clothing to cover your skin and protective eye-wear.
  3. When the water is added it creates fumes that should not be breathed in. I didn’t know this and I leaned over the pot of lye and took a deep breath.  I am still here, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
  4. ONLY USE STAINLESS STEEL! The lye will react badly with other metals.  I bought a stainless steel pot that I use only for soap making.  I just cannot make mashed potatoes and serve them from the same pot that had a toxic chemical in it.  I am just weird that way.

Other equipment you need to make soap

  1. Immersion blender –  This is a luxury item.  You can mix all your ingredients up with a STAINLESS STEEL whisk, but I have to tell you, this blender made mixing so much faster and easier.
  2. Freezer paper – You can buy large rolls of it and it is essential for lining cardboard if you are making your own rectangular molds.  It is also nice to wrap the soap in and tie with twine to give as gifts or just to store for yourself.
  3. Soap molds vs. cardboard – If you use the cardboard and make a box (approximately the size of a bread pan) and line with freezer paper.  I bought a silicon soap mold that was the right size.  The advantage of a mold is that it will be more durable than cardboard over time and you don’t have to fool with the freezer paper.  You can get fancier molds INSERT AMAZON LINK HERE that have lovely designs in them, but I opted for the box shape and cut with a blade for a more homesteader look.
  4. Fragrance – I bought essential oils and used the lemongrass. Any of the essential oils will work great, but I would buy the most concentrated possible so the scent is present.  You can combine scents to create something unique, or just use one of them for a distinguishable scent.

Beeswax Soap Making Material List

  • olive oil – 358g
  • coconut oil – 225g
  • palm oil – 177g
  • castor oil – 32g
  • beeswax – 7.2g
  • distilled water – 266g divided
  • lye – 111g
  • honey – 1 TBS
  • fragrance – 2 TSP
  • disposable paper bowl
  • stainless steel bowl for lye
  • stainless steel pot or microwave save container for oils
  • stainless steel whisk or immersion blender
  • digital scale
  • mold
  • freezer paper (if using cardboard)
  • digital thermometer INSERT AMAZON LINK HERE

Yield – eight 4 ounce bars

How do you make soap?

  1. Measure out the lye and place in disposable paper bowl.

  1. Measure out 148 grams of distilled water and pour into stainless steel bowl. Place bowl onto heat resistant surface and then add dry lye crystals to water (NEVER THE OTHER WAY AROUND)  Stir until lye is completely dissolved.  Set aside to cool.

SIDE NOTE:  Those new to digital scales, this is for you.  When measuring ingredients, first select the TARE WEIGHT and then set the container that will hold what you are measuring (ex. plastic cup, bowl, etc.)  This will analyze the weight of the container so that weight is NOT included in the weight of the ingredients.  Then, once the TARE WEIGHT is selected, the scale should read 0.0 (give or take some zeroes) and then you can add the ingredients to be weighed.  If you are not using a digital scale you will have to weigh the container then add the ingredients and subtract the weight of the container to get actual weight of ingredients.

  1. Microwave the honey, 118g of remaining water, and microwave until dissolved.
  2. Prepare the mold.
  3. Heat all the solid oils and beeswax in a stainless steel pot. Add the liquid oils (excluding honey and water mixture) and stir.
  4. Check temperature of lye and the oils. This is crucial!  To keep beeswax from getting hard, the oils need to be around 120 F.  The lye needs to be 120 F as well.
  5. Now add honey water to the lye water ONLY when it has reached the correct temperature. Sometimes this will result in a color change, which is normal.

  1. Now pour the lye water into the oils and mix with the stainless steel whisk or the immersion blender.
  2. When the mixture begins to looks creamy, it has emulsified and this is the time to add your fragrance.
  3. Keep mixing until it looks like a light cake batter. This is called the trace.

  1. Quickly pour into prepared mold or cardboard container lined with freezer paper. Scrape every bit of residue from the pot with a high-temp spatula.

  1. Tap soap mold on the counter to remove air. Smooth out the top and cover mold with cardboard to hold heat in.
  2. In twenty-four hours the soap should be cool enough to cut. If it seems too soft, then wait and continue checking every 4-6 hours.  Once it is hard enough to cut into bars, I cut it with a blade made for cutting soap.  The handle and size made cutting more even and straight.  I wrapped my soaps in freezer paper and twine and stored them in a cool dry spot.
  3. I also allowed my soaps to cure for 30 days because more water will evaporate from them, resulting in a longer lasting soap bar. I hated the thought of going through this process only for the soaps to sludge away in the shower.

The finished product – looks like… soap.

FOR THE HARDCORE SOAPERS – MAKE YOUR OWN LYE

For those that are more adventurous than myself, this is probably the best article describing how to make your own lye.

END RESULT

Like anything else, there are pros and cons, here they are:

PROS

Making soap is a good skill to have under your belt.  One day you may not be able to drive to your local Walmart and pick up a bar of Ivory soap.

They make wonderful gifts!

It is natural and uses a bi-product produced by our dear friend, the honeybee.

This soap is the best if you have sensitive skin, eczema, or other skin conditions.  It will leave you clean without the drying effects of the cheaper commercial soaps.

CONS

The next time I make it, the cost will be significantly less, but it will definitely cost more than cheap drugstore soap.  You can always stock up on the cheap stuff in the event of an emergency and you can shower yourself clean with the best of them.  Personally, I like the idea of having a chemical-free, all natural way to clean up.

The post How to Make Beeswax Soap appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Is Prepping Selfish?

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Over the years I’ve heard a number of excuses for not prepping. One of the more common excuses is that prepping and building self-reliance are somehow selfish. I argue that not only is preparedness and self-reliance NOT selfish, being prepared and self-reliant is in fact a very generous thing to work  towards. Here’s why:

 If you have ever listened to a flight attendant give emergency instructions, you may have noticed that they tell parents traveling with a child to put the oxygen mask on themselves first, before putting one on their child. The airlines don’t say that because they hate children. Instead, they say that because if a parent is to help their child, they must first be able to do so. A parent unconscious from the lack of oxygen will be of absolutely no help to their child.
Likewise, we will be of little help to our family, friends and neighbors, if we are the ones in need of help ourselves. In fact, our own helplessness may make matters much worse for our family and community. Far from being selfish, building self-reliance may be one of the most generous things you can do. 


In an emergency, you can only help others if you are not part of the problem. The first act of generosity is making sure you are not helpless. No matter how much a parent loves their child, they will be unable to help their child if that parent is unconscious. That is why the smartest – and most loving – thing to do is to put an oxygen mask on yourself first, before helping your child put their oxygen mask on.
——————–

 Here is my You Tube video on this subject: 

Yes, I now have a You Tube channel. Please subscribe! (I’m not a professional or polished public speaker, obviously, but hopefully I’ll get better!)  

6 Experts Give Their Top 3 Gardening Tips on How to Keep Pests Out of Your Garden

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6 Experts Give Their Top 3 Gardening Tips on How to Keep Pests Out of Your Garden Starting and maintaining a garden takes hard work, patience, and some basic awareness.  Don’t let garden pests ruin all that hard work, and your beautiful garden, by taking some preventive steps that are easy and effective.  BugsBeGone site …

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What did you do for your preparedness this week? (2017-4-29)

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What’s wrong with this picture? 😉 Saw this during our road-trip – a tanker truck filled with coffee?! And a flammable sign posted on the back?! That’s some potent blend! Actually it was just an advertisement, pretty funny though at first glance.   This weekly post is an open-forum (any topic) to voice your thoughts, […]

Prep Blog Review: From Garden To Pantry

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Growing your own food offers you a great feeling of self-reliance. It doesn’t matter if your have a big garden, or you are growing your food indoors, in small containers, as long as you preserve it to feed you and your loved ones through the winter and during harsh times.

With this thing in mind, for this week’s Prep Blog Review I’ve gathered four articles on this topic.

1. 20 Plants You Can Turn Into Flour  

“In most of the world, wheat is a staple of almost everyone’s diet. Bread, pasta, cakes, cookies, cereal, and even beer all have wheat in them. Because of this, many off gridders are trying to grow their own wheat, but unfortunately, wheat can be difficult to grow depending on the land and climate.

Thankfully there’s a plethora of other plants both wild and domesticated that can be made into flour. Some of these plants are gluten free which can be great for those with sensitivities, but keep in mind they can be quite different to bake with. Gluten is what gives dough made from wheat flour its characteristic stretchiness.”

Read more on Homestead Survival Site.

2. Stock Your Prepper Food Pantry on an Affordable Budget

“If you live in an earthquake-prone region, or one that has seen deadly hurricanes, the devastation will happen again. If you live in a floodplain or an area that has seen tornadoes, you can be sure to experience those events every few years. The densely populated east and west coasts can shut down for a week from a serious storm or mudslide. And deep snow will fall in the mountain states that can affect the infrastructure, making it impassable.

Some of these natural events are commonplace each year, some every few decades, and some may only occur every hundred years. What’s surprising is that too many people still don’t prepare for a serious event they know is likely to occur.”

Read more on Survival Common Sense.

3. How To Make Dandelion Bread 

“Nearly every part of the common dandelion, from its brilliant yellow petals, to its roots have been foraged throughout history for food, drink and medicine.

A rich source of beta-carotene, dandelions are also packed with vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, potassium and zinc.  Young dandelion leaves are fantastic to eat raw and the roots can be roasted, ground and used in place of coffee.  Dandelion extract and tincture is used all over the world to treat ailments from high blood pressure and diabetes to liver complaints. Here you can find another 78 edible flowers to forage.

Dandelions are so easy to gather and it’s worth finding out how many ways you can use them.  Pick them somewhere that hasn’t been sprayed with herbicides and is not too close to busy roads.  Your own garden is probably perfect!”

Read more on Ask a Prepper.

4. 10 Healthy Herbs You Can Grow In Water

“No garden? No Problem! You can grow your own indoor herb garden without a pinch of soil. Even if you live in an apartment with nothing more than a tiny back porch or balcony, there is still room to grow some fragrant herbs.

All you need is water, sunlight, and a place for your plants to spread their roots.”

Read more on Urban Survival Site.

 

This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia. 

How I Started My Blog-Food Storage Moms

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I’m going to share my thoughts on how I started my blog-Food Storage Moms. Here’s the deal, it was about six years ago and I was teaching classes in my home so my neighbors would learn how to be prepared for the unexpected. I shared food storage samples in my home, asked speakers to come, showed people how to bake bread outside and so much more. I did this every Wednesday for about a year from 5:30 to 6:30 P.M. I started each Wednesday on time and ended on time. Some weeks I had two people, some weeks I had over 20 people. I did this FREE of charge because I wanted to make a team of people in the neighborhood that could work together if we had a disaster. I really appreciated those that came, but I had a passion for teaching more people about food storage and emergency preparedness.

This is how I started my blog called Food Storage Moms, one person at a time. I need to tell you a little about me, I hope you don’t mind me spilling my guts today. When my youngest child was in second grade, I was bored. My house was clean, organized more than I care to admit. I wish now I had been more laid back when my girls were growing up. I wasn’t and I own it. So, Mark and I thought maybe I should get a part-time job. Well, I lived in a small town with very few job options but I applied to be a teller at a bank. Well, long story short, I was hired for a full-time job. When Mark came home, I announced, “I start Monday and it’s a full-time job”! I still giggle thinking about that moment because I had always been a stay at home mom.

Before I knew it, I was promoted to the new accounts desk and the bank was purchased by another bank. I was lucky because the new bank kept me working. I was very grateful. The next thing I know, I got a call from another bank asking me to be a manager of a grocery store branch. I was grateful for this new adventure. Within a year, I was asked to work in private banking at the same bank. I loved it! I was asked to cover two branches. I learned how to do car loans, boat loans, and second mortgage home loans.

Then I decided I wanted to do REAL mortgages, you know the Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, FHA and VA government loans. I had NO idea how to do them. I went to work for a company and worked there for three months and decided to withdraw some of my retirement money and I opened my own mortgage company. I hired an underwriter and almost all of my family members worked at the company over the next 15 years. Believe it or not, I did not know how to send or receive any emails when I opened my company, this was in 1997. Thankfully, I did a loan for someone who taught me over the phone how to email. I will be forever thankful to him. After five years, I decided to get my real estate license. Now, I could sell homes and do mortgages. I worked 60-80 hours a week, seven days a week. I was a machine, I have always been driven to do the best wherever I worked.

After 10 years in real estate and 15 years of owning my own mortgage company, I decided to retire. Well, within a year, I was bored yet again. That’s when I decided to teach the world about food storage and emergency preparedness. It was a natural passion for me because I had lived this way my entire life. So, here I am today. I am very grateful that you let me into your homes to teach you. I must say, I learn from you as well. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for following my blog.

My Blog:

Just so you know, when I started my blog, I had to learn to cut and paste stuff. Yep, I own it. I had to learn how to use WORD and make pdfs. I started my website with blogger, but I wanted more. So, then I started looking at other blogs. I HAD to have a WordPress website. I interviewed three web designers and I knew instantly I wanted Jenny at a website company right here in St. George, Utah. We clicked from the get go. She had someone that worked with her by the name of Chad. We clicked instantly as well. I always said, just design it, you both are experts. I don’t need choices, just do it. I want purple, and they took the ball and ran with it by designing my first website.

While they designed my website, I was setting up a business checking account, my LLC, and getting a business license. My sister, Carol helped me with printables and was patient beyond words with me. Remember, I had to learn to cut and paste and work on a real website. Yikes, am I crazy? I had NEVER used WORD! I was still using Word Perfect. Keep in mind, I’m 67 years old today. This was all new to me. I was setting up plugins, and I said to myself, what is a plugin? I remember shaking as Jenny taught me to use a WordPress website. What? I need to pay for hosting, well of course I do. Gotcha, Jenny, I have a self-hosted website. Before I knew it, I was into the website and training for about $5,000.00.

If you know how to do stuff yourself, it’s free or very cheap. I was clueless. Let’s just say, I have learned a lot over the last five years. I was paying for a life coach to help me stay focused. Lyn Christian, from Soul Salt Inc. rocks! I was paying for classes to learn how to use Google+. What the heck is Google+, I asked. I had never used it. I paid Jenny Melrose to coach me how to use Google+. I had to learn how to use Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. Now I use Instagram. I swear I kept thinking I can’t LEARN anything new.

About six months after I started my blog, my friend, Lisa Blair called me and said, “How come you only have three boards and 30 followers on Pinterest?” I said, “What is a board?” The rest is history, thank you, my awesome friend, Lisa for teaching me about Pinterest.

What the heck is Rafflecopter, you ask? You use it for giveaways. Then I learned how to use Co-Schedule and Buffer. Oh my gosh, I hope I don’t need to learn anything else. When I was invited to be in a Southern Utah blogger group five years ago I had the opportunity to learn from some really awesome bloggers. We met monthly for dinner for maybe two years, as I remember, to share tips and ideas. I learned about blogging conferences, SEO (search engine optimizer) and so much more from them. Thankfully, I went to many conferences that were in Salt Lake City, Utah, so I could stay for FREE with my daughter and attend them. I met some really awesome bloggers at each conference. I learned a ton from my Southern Utah blogger group and the conferences. The one thing I remember most about my Southern Utah group was the fact that if you want to be a successful blogger you have to work really hard for two years in order to make money to support the expenses of running a WordPress website.

I was ready for that, I worked 10-14 hours a day seven days a week for four years. Remember, this was all so new to me. I was still in my pajamas at noon. Wow, I look back now and laugh. I was still in my jammies for lunch!!!! I had to learn Amazon. I had never used Amazon before I started my website. I have Amazon ads on my website and I had to learn to put them on my WordPress website. Oh my gosh, can I REALLY do this?  I wish I was more techie, but I’m not.

Three years after the first website was designed, the old developer stopped supporting my “theme”. IT WAS BROKEN! “what do you mean it’s broken,” I asked. “It will no longer work,” Chad said. I had to pay for another website (same name and content). Now, I need to hire someone to design another “theme”. $$$$$ here we go again.

This is getting very expensive now. Dang, I wanted a Genesis “theme” the second time but Chad my web designer decided on a different theme. He designed the website I have today along with his brother, Dallan. My website was hacked about six times the first year, which means someone is breaking into your website and it goes down, as in no website for a few hours or days. In December my website was down seven days. I get so mad just thinking about that week. Breathe, Linda, breathe.

I was hacked at least four times the second year. Dang, now I need to learn how to use a security system with my website and with a backup. Sucuri.net is now my best friend. They keep my website from being hacked, or at least between that company and my new hosting company, Liquid Web, I’m pretty secure. My website is very expensive to run each month. It started out as a hobby but became a business before I knew what was happening. I was going to shut my blog down in March (my second hosting company was not adequate) and two people besides my wonderful husband sent me emails to keep going. One was Todd Sepulveda from “Prepper Website” and the other was Jasper from LiquidWeb. If you need an awesome hosting company, contact Jasper at jhopkins@liquidweb.com. HE and Todd are the two people that made me realize, I NEED to keep going, as in writing. I thank both of them from the bottom of my heart. I truly love my readers as well, what can I say.

Okay, back to my blog, then came sponsors. What, you want to pay to advertise on my website? I was so grateful and honored to get paid to put their, “banners” on my website. This would help big time with my expenses. What, you want to give me “stuff” to review. I was overjoyed to be able to show the world with pictures how to use emergency preparedness stuff. I received boxes weekly with samples to taste and promote. I was beyond thankful. I could tell my readers how I felt about certain products. I have only sent back one item I was asked to review, an emergency radio. To have so few questionable items to review is a wonder to me. That’s one in five years, I just couldn’t recommend it.

I started my blog and asked a friend, Kendra, to help in the beginning. After six months of blogging, the New York Times sent us an email about doing an interview. WHAT? We were both interviewed, via the telephone. You know how interviews go, the article said Kendra started the blog with a friend. WHAT? LOL! Anyway, after about six months or so, Kendra decided to continue doing her own blog and a new little baby was on the way. New York Times Interview with Food Storage Moms I can still feel my heart beating so fast just thinking about being interviewed by the New York Times. At the time, I only had 4,000 followers a month.

The next thing, I know, I get an email about writing a book. Well, I never wanted to write a book, but I agreed to the interview via phone. I had no idea what a BIG deal this was, at least for me. It’s really hard to get a publisher to agree to publish the book you want to write. A lot of writers have written books and had them self-published. Both Melissa Richarson and Randal Chase, who had written books, and who I knew I could trust, looked over the contract I was being asked to sign. Melissa has since written one more book: Beyond Basics with Natural Yeast: Recipes for Whole Grain Health It’s very HARD to write a book, at least it was for me. Several times, I thought, I can’t do this. I swear, I can’t do this. Mark kept pushing me, yes you can. YES, YOU CAN. My kids and grandkids kept telling me, YES YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!!

A couple years later, I received an email asking if Ted Koppel who wrote “Lights Out”, could interview me and keep the interview quiet because he was writing a book about emergency preparedness. They taped my interview, I wasn’t in the book, but as you know, I highly recommend it: Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath

My Blog Tips:

  1. Choose the name you want for your blog, make sure you can get the exact name on EVERY social media channel known to man.
  2. Check to see if that name is available to purchase from a website company or a company like GoDaddy.
  3. If you are the techie type, you will save a lot of money because you can set it up yourself.
  4. Setup an LLC if you are serious about making money. This means you need an EIN number.
  5. It’s time to get a business license if your state and or county requires it.
  6. You need a good CPA to help you with taxes.
  7. Yep, this means you need a business checking account.
  8. You need a Privacy Policy, yep you have a business now. Sponsors won’t talk to you without a Privacy Policy in place. Trust me, they will look for one.
  9. Setup MailChimp or something similar to send out emails when your posts are published. Just so you know, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) may be looking over your shoulder, so please don’t put a phony address on the emails you send out, big fines may apply if you are caught.
  10. If you want to sell something, you need a sales tax # for your state, if it applies.
  11. You need statements on your website that comply with the FTC. We must state that we MAY make money if someone clicks on links within our website.
  12. Make sure you have the dates of your blog at the very bottom showing it’s copyrighted material. January 1st of every year, change the date in the settings to confirm the new year if your “theme” doesn’t do it automatically.
  13. Make sure you have a backup of your blog, if your hosting company goes down, you may too.
  14. Set-up a security system besides the one your hosting company has, you can never be too safe.
  15. Set-up Rafflecopter if you want to do giveaways. It’s honest and there shouldn’t be any cheating when Rafflecopter chooses the winners.
  16. Hire a virtual assistant once you can afford to pay one. I did for about six months. Katie Clark was awesome from ClarksCondensed (com).
  17. Set up as many automatic schedulers that you feel appropriate for your budget. This means apps will do the scheduling for you. Yes, they cost money, but time is money. Remember, it’s a business. In order to make money, you must spend money. I’m starting to sound greedy, and I don’t want it to come across as that. I recommend, ViralTag, Co-Schedule, Buffer to start with.
  18. Choose a really good hosting company. They can make or break you, literally.
  19. Find bloggers you can trust and share ideas with. I will forever be thankful for Mary Ellen Seavey and Jazmin Rode for coming into my life through blogging. They have taught me more than any conference I have attended.
  20. Get a good camera, and buy photo stock pictures as well.

Thanks for letting me blab about my life and my blog today. Together we can teach our neighbors to bake bread, start a fire, make tortillas, a batch of beans, use a Sun Oven or boil water in a Dutch Oven. We can wash our clothes, make a portable toilet and washing machine. Please remember to get clothespins, these are my favorite ones: Kevin’s Quality Clothespins Set of 50.

May God bless you and your neighborhoods, we are prepared for the unexpected.

 

The post How I Started My Blog-Food Storage Moms appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Why Pets Should Have a Place in Your Emergency Planning

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ReadyNutrition Readers, you’re well aware of the importance of family continuity after some kind of a disaster and event.  That’s what survival is all about in a nutshell.  Along the way, don’t forget about the pets in the family.  Some are going to pose a problem, such as the more exotic types that need special care.  Examples of these would be tropical fish, birds, and reptiles, as most of these need special types of water, temperature, and/or food to sustain them.  The specialty requirements for these types of pets are outside of the scope of this article’s abilities.

(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!)

The Prepared Dogs and Cats

Most of us have dogs and cats.  Let us cover their merits.  Dogs have been serving mankind for thousands of years, and for many different purposes.  I absolutely hated the movie, “The Day After,” where the farm family left the dog outside of the cellar to die.  I submit to you that this was a poor choice and absolutely unnecessary.  In the end, the farmer was shot by a “squatter” on his property, and if the dog had been around…well, bare minimum he could have alerted the man to the intruder.

Dogs will be useful for the family to help protect them, either as an early warning sentry or to directly intercede with an antagonist.  Here are some of the best dog breeds to have for a shtf disaster. Dogs are proven (as with most pets) to be very therapeutic and stress-relieving.  Cats, too, have a use besides just hunting down rodents.  In addition to relieving the stress, I tell you from experience: watch your cat and its reactions for an early-warning device.  They will hear, see, and smell something that approaches before you do.  Although they don’t bark, if you train yourself to watch them, you’ll be able to utilize their senses to your benefit.

Stock Up on Pet Food Today

Stock up on some good dog food for the dog, especially the dry food.  You should have many bins full of it.  Remember: barring a helminthic infestation (worms), his dung can be used for compost.  If we have any kind of nuclear war, it won’t seem quite as laughable when you’re trying to grow stuff in your basement.  Remember: cat stool cannot be used as compost, as they have toxoplasmosis; it needs a temperature of 165 F to kill it, and the compost pile doesn’t get that hot.  The disease is a bad one, and cats are the only animal known that excretes the eggs in their feces: it’s endemic to them.  Burn the stool to get rid of it.

They will need food too, and as much dried food as you can stock up the better.  You can supplement with occasional cans of fish.  You will be providing for them (dogs and cats) by foraging in the form of hunting and also scrounging for supplies post-collapse.  Along those lines, you can also make homemade dog and cat food using vittles, grains and vegetables.

Additional Supplies to Consider

Also, set some first aid supplies aside to care for bets. If they are protecting you, injuries could occur and they may require special wound care. As well, some vitamins (either liquid or pill form) to supplement will help them immensely, if you can stock up on it.  If they have any kind of health condition, stock up on any type of medicines you may need for them.

At Your Service

Post collapse they will eventually be back in demand, as dogs and cats are service-type animals, and man is known not for his altruism but for his deadly pragmatic utilitarianism.  It will be practical for you to continue to raise or breed animals.  You will eventually find others who were smart (akin to yourselves) who saved their animals rather than turning them into a few days’ food supply.  When that occurs, you will be able to breed them again.  Sound far-fetched?  No, that’s what “continuity” means, as the days of “Korg 70,000 B.C.” need to be left behind us.

Pick up things you know they’ll need eventually, such as flea collars and scrubs with Lindane (Kwell) for lice and other ectoparasites.  Pick up extras of everything: extra food-bowls, leashes, and small transporting kennels/carriers.  It will all pay off later.  It’s one thing to stay alive, and quite another to have a quality of life.  Supplement all of these measures with the literature you will need to treat and care for your four-legged friends.  They’re a part of your family, and if you think otherwise, you may want to reassess your position.  Take care of one another, and stay 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

Why Pets Should Have a Place in Your Emergency Planning

 

ReadyNutrition Readers, you’re well aware of the importance of family continuity after some kind of a disaster and event.  That’s what survival is all about in a nutshell.  Along the way, don’t forget about the pets in the family.  Some are going to pose a problem, such as the more exotic types that need special care.  Examples of these would be tropical fish, birds, and reptiles, as most of these need special types of water, temperature, and/or food to sustain them.  The specialty requirements for these types of pets are outside of the scope of this article’s abilities.

(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!)

The Prepared Dogs and Cats

Most of us have dogs and cats.  Let us cover their merits.  Dogs have been serving mankind for thousands of years, and for many different purposes.  I absolutely hated the movie, “The Day After,” where the farm family left the dog outside of the cellar to die.  I submit to you that this was a poor choice and absolutely unnecessary.  In the end, the farmer was shot by a “squatter” on his property, and if the dog had been around…well, bare minimum he could have alerted the man to the intruder.

Dogs will be useful for the family to help protect them, either as an early warning sentry or to directly intercede with an antagonist.  Here are some of the best dog breeds to have for a shtf disaster. Dogs are proven (as with most pets) to be very therapeutic and stress-relieving.  Cats, too, have a use besides just hunting down rodents.  In addition to relieving the stress, I tell you from experience: watch your cat and its reactions for an early-warning device.  They will hear, see, and smell something that approaches before you do.  Although they don’t bark, if you train yourself to watch them, you’ll be able to utilize their senses to your benefit.

Stock Up on Pet Food Today

Stock up on some good dog food for the dog, especially the dry food.  You should have many bins full of it.  Remember: barring a helminthic infestation (worms), his dung can be used for compost.  If we have any kind of nuclear war, it won’t seem quite as laughable when you’re trying to grow stuff in your basement.  Remember: cat stool cannot be used as compost, as they have toxoplasmosis; it needs a temperature of 165 F to kill it, and the compost pile doesn’t get that hot.  The disease is a bad one, and cats are the only animal known that excretes the eggs in their feces: it’s endemic to them.  Burn the stool to get rid of it.

They will need food too, and as much dried food as you can stock up the better.  You can supplement with occasional cans of fish.  You will be providing for them (dogs and cats) by foraging in the form of hunting and also scrounging for supplies post-collapse.  Along those lines, you can also make homemade dog and cat food using vittles, grains and vegetables.

Additional Supplies to Consider

Also, set some first aid supplies aside to care for bets. If they are protecting you, injuries could occur and they may require special wound care. As well, some vitamins (either liquid or pill form) to supplement will help them immensely, if you can stock up on it.  If they have any kind of health condition, stock up on any type of medicines you may need for them.

At Your Service

Post collapse they will eventually be back in demand, as dogs and cats are service-type animals, and man is known not for his altruism but for his deadly pragmatic utilitarianism.  It will be practical for you to continue to raise or breed animals.  You will eventually find others who were smart (akin to yourselves) who saved their animals rather than turning them into a few days’ food supply.  When that occurs, you will be able to breed them again.  Sound far-fetched?  No, that’s what “continuity” means, as the days of “Korg 70,000 B.C.” need to be left behind us.

Pick up things you know they’ll need eventually, such as flea collars and scrubs with Lindane (Kwell) for lice and other ectoparasites.  Pick up extras of everything: extra food-bowls, leashes, and small transporting kennels/carriers.  It will all pay off later.  It’s one thing to stay alive, and quite another to have a quality of life.  Supplement all of these measures with the literature you will need to treat and care for your four-legged friends.  They’re a part of your family, and if you think otherwise, you may want to reassess your position.  Take care of one another, and stay 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

Cooking With Backdoor Survival: Download a FREE Cookbook

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Cooking With Backdoor Survival

If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it is that survivalist preppers know how to cook tasty meals from the ingredients in their pantry and garden. Because of that, I put out a call for pantry recipes that could be cobbled together using five ingredients or less. I asked and you came. In a break from our usual prepper fare, today I share with you a compilation of your recipes. What follows is a booklet that includes those recipes along with a hat tip to each submitter. How cool is that?

This is a cookbook for you to keep, to print, and to share. Enjoy!

The post Cooking With Backdoor Survival: Download a FREE Cookbook by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

The Time is Now to Get your Preps in Order!

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The Time is Now to Get your Preps in Order! Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! On this show our host have a special message for you. Forrest and Kyle collectively have decades of prepping, firearms experience, training, and survival experience. That collective knowledge, experience, and research would like to say … Continue reading The Time is Now to Get your Preps in Order!

The post The Time is Now to Get your Preps in Order! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Risk Of Nuclear War Growing, ‘Accidents Inevitable’ – New UN Report

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Risk Of Nuclear War Growing, ‘Accidents Inevitable’ – New UN Report

Image source: Pixabay.com

The risk of an accidental nuclear war is increasing and likely to grow in the years ahead. That’s the conclusion of Understanding Nuclear Weapons, a new report from the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNDIR).

“The complexity of interactions in the tightly coupled systems linked to the management and operation of nuclear stockpiles make accidents inevitable,” the report states.

A simple sensor malfunction or computer glitch can trigger the launch or detonation of nuclear weapons, the report says. The danger from nuclear weapons is increasing for a wide variety of reasons, some of which have little to do with politics.

The UNDIR experts believe the danger of an accidental nuclear war is greater than at any time since the end of the Cold War in 1991 — and that the danger will continue growing. Understanding Nuclear Weapons provides several reasons to be concerned about accidental nuclear war.

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“The threat of a nuclear weapon detonation event in 2017 is arguably at its highest in the 26 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union,” the report stated.

A few of the scenarios that make accidental nuclear war possible include:

  • Lack of training on the part of nations, such North Korea, that have little expertise in controlling nuclear weapons.
  • Over-reliance on automated command and control systems, which make it faster and easier to launch a nuke.
  • Removal of human judgement from the decision-making process. During the Cold War, several accidental missile launches were avoided when military officers realized something was wrong and refused to push the button.
  • Stolen nuclear weapons from terrorists.
  • Cyberattacks and hacking of nuclear weapons.
  • The malfunctioning of old nuclear weapons.

President Trump has ordered a massive review of all US nuclear weapons. The review is designed to see how America’s nuclear arsenal can be modernized.

“All the nuclear-armed States have extensive nuclear modernization programs underway and appear to plan to retain large nuclear arsenals for the indefinite future,” UNDIR concluded.

Do you believe an accidental nuclear war is possible? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Another brick in the wall

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Another brick in the wall

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update on the SkyCastle. This is going on our 9th summer out here, we started out with raw land, just under 6 acres on the side of a mountain in far west Texas (yes, Texas has mountains).

box on stiltsWe went from a box on stilts with 2 out of the 4 walls being builder’s plastic and wire. Now things are quite a bit more advanced now, growing almost organically over the last few years.

So now, the newest thing PB is building is a wall. We were gifted a large load of papercrete blocks (https://www.off-grid.net/what-are-we-going-to-do/) almost a year ago, we debated as to what to do with them… my idea being a keyhole garden, PB wasn’t as on board for that as I was. We had even started to regret getting them.

PB had been wanting to put up a wall around the sitting area in front of the SkyCastle, to protect us from the wind, to delineate the sitting area, he wanted to put it up closer to the sitting area, I thought we should make it bigger, following the walkway/path that we take around the front. Last week when I came home from work, PB had placed a line of papercrete bricks around the outer perimeter of our sitting area, where I wanted it to go, it looked pretty good there.

For now he just has the blocks laid out and some wire around the whole thing, he will ultimately use concrete to encase the blocks and make it more permanent. We will also have to clean up quite a bit of brush and tree limbs that litter the ground out there, it’s really a snake haven. Last week a small rock rattler almost got Zoe, our terrier mix dog, fortunately she was faster than the snake and it didn’t get her, but it was close, that was right out there where we sit.

Here are some pictures of how things look for now, I’ll post more updates as they happen.

The post Another brick in the wall appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Bush shelter saved dad and son lost in Tasmanian wilderness for days

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ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA TO CARRY SURVIVAL GEAR IN YOUR VEHICLE IF YOU ARE GOING BUSH, BUT THERE IS NO POINT IN LEAVING THAT GEAR IN THE VEHICLE IF YOU ARE GOING TO LEAVE THE VEHICLE!
Learn primitive skills & equip yourself with suitable equipment before going bush.

When can you carry a knife – The Loose Cannon

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http://www.sportingshootermag.com.au/gun-law/when-can-you-carry-a-knife-the-loose-cannon?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2028%20April%202017&utm_content=Newsletter%2028%20April%202017+CID_1cf5de6f24c86c7db68643a88369f8e3&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=When%20can%20you%20carry%20a%20knife

3 Methods For Handling Human Waste After A Disaster

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3 Methods For Handling Human Waste After A Disaster Human waste is a touch topic, to begin with. It’s one of the more dangerous substances that will pile up over time in a post-disaster world. Human waste is highly infectious and can contaminate water sources and even growing lands. Most of the worst bacterial illnesses …

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The post 3 Methods For Handling Human Waste After A Disaster appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

An Easy Guide To Growing Herbs – 12 Herbs You Should Have In Your Garden

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An Easy Guide To Growing Herbs – 12 Herbs You Should Have In Your Garden Keeping a flourishing garden is never an easy task and success comes only after hard work. When it comes to growing plants, all gardeners prefer growing herbs as starters. The reason behind their choice is quite simple: you can never …

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The post An Easy Guide To Growing Herbs – 12 Herbs You Should Have In Your Garden appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

An Illustrated Guide to Cooking on a Campfire

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An Illustrated Guide to Cooking on a Campfire There is nothing better than the smell of a campfire burning! There are endless uses for a campfire: a source of warmth, a way to dry clothing when camping, and one of the best uses – cooking. Food cooked over the campfire creates a unique flavour and …

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The post An Illustrated Guide to Cooking on a Campfire appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How to Use Essential Oils As a Prepper

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mitchf1 / Pixabay

With a little help from my contacts at doTERRA, I’m going to touch on just what essential oils are, and the best way to make them part of your life as a prepper; whether for health, beauty, or simply as household products.

 

I’m not the best in the world when it comes to DIY I’ll be honest, but even I didn’t have any problems following the really simple tips doTERRA had. Keep on reading to learn some of their advice and become an expert with essential oils in no time. You’ll surprise your essential oil loving friends with your knowledge and use of essential oils.

Tip #1

The first tip I have for you is to heat certain essential oils on a stovetop, which quickly gets rid of smells from your kitchen including cooking smells. A kitchen smells delicious some of the time, but that doesn’t mean it happens all the time. Adding a few drops of clove, cinnamon, and cardamom, along with orange peel to a cup of water gives you a natural essential oil potpourri that makes you look impressive while smelling great. Just use a low heat to warm the water and rinse it out with soapy water when you’re finished, and your kitchen will smell amazing.

Tip #2

My second tip is to keep lemongrass oil by the bathtub, and mix it into your bath oil or bubble bath. This soothes your skin and leaves you feeling great, especially if you’re not feeling well. If you’re a shower person (or don’t have enough time for a full, relaxing bath), then just drip 5-10 drops of the shower floor during your shower. This causes it to evaporate upwards and fill the air, giving you the same benefits and a lovely smell.

Tip #3

The third tip for the prepper home is about lemon essential oil. This essential oil is an amazing ingredient for cleaning and refreshing counter tops. It can be added to store-bought counter sprays, or used to create your own by combining lemon essential oil with white vinegar, water, and hydrogen peroxide. Get rid of the harsh cleaning products packed with chemicals and replace them with the just-as-effective lemon essential oil.

Tip #4

My fourth tip is to diffuse eucalyptus or rosemary when everyone is feeling under the weather. These essential oils are great for cleansing and purifying. Rosemary is also good because it boosts your energy and focus, while eucalyptus has the added effects of helping clear breathing.

Tip #5

My fifth and final tip for you is to pour lavender in the top of an unscented candle. Lavender is something that is all over the place, sure, but there’s a good reason for this. That is because lavender is calming and invigorating at the same time. It helps you sleep while also making you more alert. It’s almost like taking a sedative that doesn’t make you sleepy. Following this simple DIY trick to creating your own scented candles also lets you avoid synthetic fragrances used in scented candles, which have been shown to cause health issues.

The post How to Use Essential Oils As a Prepper appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Trump Warns Of ‘Major, Major Conflict’ With North Korea; Navy Official Says Hawaii Could Be Hit

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Trump Warns Of ‘Major, Major Conflict’ With North Korea; Navy Official Says Hawaii Could Be Hit

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

President Trump on Thursday did not back away from threatening military action against North Korea, just one day after a top Navy admiral said Hawaii was within reach of the rogue nation’s missiles.

“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump told Reuters. “… We’d love to solve things diplomatically, but it’s very difficult.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson mirrored those comments Friday , saying that “failing to act now on the most pressing security issue in the world may bring catastrophic consequences.”

“The threat of a nuclear attack on Seoul, or Tokyo, is real, and it’s only a matter of time before North Korea develops the capability to strike the U.S. mainland,” Tillerson said.

He added: “All options for responding to future provocations must remain on the table. Diplomatic and financial leverage or power will be backed up by willingness to counteract North Korean aggression with military action, if necessary.”

On Wednesday, Navy Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr. told a Congressional committee that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un “is clearly in a position to threaten Hawaii today, in my opinion.”

Harris is the head of the U.S. Pacific Command or PACOM, the military organization responsible for defending Hawaii.

Harris acknowledged that antimissile defenses may not be able to stop an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) from North Korea, Hawaii News Now reported.

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“We have ‘x’ number of interceptors that can shoot down ‘y’ number of targets,” Harris testified. “If the opposition fired ‘y plus one,’ then that’s at least one that would get through.”

He added, “I believe that our ballistic missile architecture is sufficient to protect Hawaii today.”

Crisis ‘Is Real – The Worst I’ve Seen’

Still, the crisis on the Korean peninsula “is real—the worst I’ve seen,” Harris said.

“There is some doubt within the intelligence community whether Kim Jong-un has that capability today or whether he will soon, but I have to assume he has it, the capability is real, and that he’s moving towards it.”

“Kim Jong-un is making progress and all nations need to take this seriously because their missiles point in all directions. If left unchecked, they will match the capability of his hostile rhetoric.”

Hawaii state legislators are taking Harris’ statements seriously. The Public Safety Committee of the Hawaii State House passed a resolution ordering officials to update plans for coping with a nuclear attack.

The committee wants Cold War-era fallout shelters reopened and stocked with new supplies, Hawaii News Now reported. Legislators also want a nuclear attack response plan that was written in 1985 updated.

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

NSC Report: 17% Drop in Unintentional Gun Deaths

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NSC Report: 17% Drop in Unintentional Gun Deaths We will always have a fight on our hands. Defending the second amendment will be our war and it will carry on for generations to come. Much of it has to do with a person’s unwillingness to understand guns and how they work. Many people have irrational fears …

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34 Primitive Survival Skills All Survivalist Should Know

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34 Primitive Survival Skills All Survivalist Should Know Humans have existed for hundreds of thousands of year and our ancestors have moved from places to places to find a home. It is without any doubt that they possess an incredible willpower and a repertoire of survival skills. The latter, unfortunately, was forgotten over the course. …

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3 Medicinal Mushrooms Anyone Can Find

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3 Medicinal Mushrooms Anyone Can Find

Poplar Mushrooms. Image source: Flickr / Wendell Smith / Creative Commons

An old Croatian proverb went like this: “All mushrooms are edible, some only once.” The meaning: Yes, many mushrooms are delicious and nutritious, but many also are quite poisonous.

If you are not an experienced and competent collector and cannot positively identify look-alike species, I strongly suggest purchasing a field guide that will help you with this, and consider asking a veteran mushroom hunter to help.

Still, the world has 38,000 different species of mushrooms that hold medicinal qualities.

Yep, 38,000.

Researchers have found their compounds potentially effective against all sorts of maladies — from chronic fatigue syndrome to cancer. In the environmental arena, researchers are studying them for their ability to absorb toxic substances.

Many mushrooms also happen to be really delicious.

Here are just three that you are likely to find on your property and some of the information you can use to determine their use in your personal life.

1. Hiratake (Oyster Mushroom)

(Pleurotus Ostreatus)

Where it is grown: Grows wildly in temperate and sub-tropical forests and is responsible for the decomposition of deciduous trees like the beech.

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Medicinal properties: The Hiratake mushroom contains statins that are known to lower the bad type of cholesterol, LDL. The statin compounds are present in the fruited body as well as the mycelium network of the mushroom.

Cultivating: Can be done simply and inexpensively by inoculating a medium of brown rice and then harvesting the fruit bodies or mycelium. Asian countries cultivate it primarily by putting layers of hay into plastic bags, the mushroom spores being placed in between the layers.

Table fare: The oyster mushroom is a common companion in Asian and Indian dishes and makes a good addition to various soups and stews.

Weird but true: Aside from being able to decompose trees, this particular species of mushroom can purportedly decompose disposable diapers and absorb petrochemicals and PCBs.

Its usefulness in waste and toxin remediation is currently being researched by several organizations. Dried, it also makes a high R-value insulator for the homestead.

2. Chestnut Mushroom (Poplar Mushroom)

(Agrocybe Aegerita)

Where it is grown: This mushroom grows naturally all over the world wherever deciduous trees are found. It is particularly fond of Poplars, where it causes holes in the tree, hence the name “Poplar mushroom.”

Medicinal properties: The mushroom contains compounds that are scavengers of free radicals. There also have been studies linking the mushroom’s active compounds to a slowing down of osteoporosis advancement.

Cultivating: Inoculating hardwood chips, sawdust or hardwood logs with the spores. It is known to be one of the easiest mushrooms to cultivate commercially.

Table fare: This mushroom is both meaty and delicious — raw or cooked. But as part of a genus that contains more than 100 different species, some quite poisonous, it is best left to an experienced collector who can differentiate it from its more unpleasant relatives. Having said that, it has a strong, earthy flavor and makes a tremendous contribution to the flavor of sauces, stews and casseroles.

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

Weird but true: The ancient Greeks collected these mushrooms and believed that they “popped” out as a result of lightning strikes. Many morel hunters hold this very same superstition.

3 Medicinal Mushrooms Anyone Can Find

Morel. Image source: Flickr / Creative Commons

3. Morel Mushroom

(Morchella Esculenta)

Where it is grown: It is commonly found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, including North America, Pakistan and China.

Medicinal properties: Particularly high in iron and B-complex vitamins, it is a wonderful addition to the medicine cabinet. This mushroom is also known for its immune-boosting properties.

Cultivating: Although several attempts have been made to commercially grown these ghosts of the woods, none has been successful. Best case is to scatter the trimmings from wild harvested mushrooms in your nearby wooded area and hope for some volunteers. This is usually quite sporadic and takes years to establish.

Table fare: The morel is the most highly prized of all mushrooms for its deeply earthy, meaty flavor. The French cherish its flavors and feature it in many highly refined dishes. For the rest of the world, they are delicious cut in half, dredged in flour, and sautéed in butter until crispy. Delicious!

Weird but true: The morel took center stage for many mushroom conspiracy theorists. An entrepreneur and mycologist was once purported to have found a way to commercially cultivate the mushroom in large scale. Just as he was about to sell his method to a popular pizza chain (of all things), he mysteriously died, prompting many to believe that he was murdered in an attempt to keep his secret from becoming public.

What is your favorite mushroom to forage for and eat? Share your tips in the section below:

A Few Quick Bushcraft Tips and Tricks

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A Few Quick Bushcraft Tips and Tricks There are literally hundreds of tips and tricks out there that are useful in a survival or bushcraft situation. We’ll focus on the four categories needed to secure the basic things you need for survival. If you follow the survival rule of threes, then your basic requirements for … Continue reading A Few Quick Bushcraft Tips and Tricks

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59 Survival Tips, Tricks and Techniques for the Great Outdoors

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59 Survival Tips, Tricks and Techniques for the Great Outdoors The reliance on technology in today’s modern world has left many who travel out into the wilderness for hiking and camping adventures vulnerable if they should lose their equipment. Every year, thousands of people are injured and die from several different causes that all took …

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7 Ammo Storage Tips Every Gun Owner Should Know

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Whether you are a frequent shooter or not, stocking up on ammo is a must for any prepper. Not only is ammo useful for self defense in a SHTF situation, but it will also be needed for hunting and trade.

Because it is so useful, robust, and doesn’t expire quickly, ammo will most likely become the new currency when money fails.

That’s why it’s critical that you not only stock up on ammo, but also know how to store your ammo so that it can last for decades.

By doing this, you can avoid ammo shortages and potential future bans. It also gives you a more certain supply of ammo for hunting, shooting, and self defense.

In this article, we are going to take a look at the top 7 tips for storing your ammo long term so that you’ll know exactly what you need to do to keep your ammo in tip top shape across decades.

  1. Calibers

There is a lot of debate out there on which type of guns are best for survival situations. Chances are you already have your preference and have acquired your desired firearms.

While there is no specific correct answer here, we have to pay attention to what the most popular calibers are out there and consider stocking up on that type of ammo for potential future value.

Some of us will have chosen firearms for these popular calibers, which makes storing ammo for them that much easier. Even if you don’t have firearms in these calibers, you should think about storing some popular ammo for future barter.

For example, some of the most high demand calibers include: .22 LR, .223, .270, .308, and 30-06.

When you start looking at the most popular guns out there, then these calibers start making sense. For example, the AR platform is a top choice among Americans. Typically, the majority of folks get an AR-15 as one of their primary guns.

Of course, there is a long held debate out there between getting an AR-15 (.223) versus an AR-10 (.308). If you have the money, you might consider getting both firearms.

Regardless, you should consider getting both the .223 and .308 ammo since it will be in high demand. There is a lot of discussion on the differences between these two calibers.

Another must have caliber is the classic .22 LR. Most people will have a .22 rifle that they either plink with or use to hunt small game. You can usually get one of these for pretty cheap, and it makes a perfect survival gun for hunting squirrels. The .22 LR ammo is pretty cheap too and you can often buy it in bulk when there isn’t a shortage problem.

Another key topic here is that you should be aware of the details of ammunition. For example, the differences  between rimfire and centerfire are important if you plan on having the ability to reload ammunition, which would make you highly valuable after SHTF. You’ll need a lot more equipment and supplies though in order to be successful at it.

As we can see from the many calibers to choose from, it makes a lot of sense to go ahead and think about standardizing your calibers so that you make ammo storage a lot more simplified.

  1. Dry

Moisture is one of the biggest killers of ammo. Obviously, metal when exposed to moisture will rust and over time, the rust will end up destroying the integrity of the metal casing. Therefore, it is critical that you control the moisture in your storage environment.

Keep in mind that air holds quite a bit of moisture. The warmer the air is, the more moisture it can hold. This is where the concept of humidity comes in. If your room seems pretty dry at 100 degrees Fahrenheit, then you cool down the air to 50 degrees, the air won’t be able to hold all of the moisture that it did before and that is when condensation will start forming on the surfaces in the room.

The best tips here are to either store your ammo in a room where you can control the moisture level, or carefully select a container with a good seal as we’ll discuss later and also use desiccants to help absorb any remaining moisture that you have locked away in the container.

You can get cheap Silica gel packets to put in your containers or there are more expensive desiccants if you have the budget. Remember that you have to carefully handle desiccants, and on occasion bake the moisture out of them to reactivate them.

silica gel packet

  1. Cool

Given our discussion on humidity, the biggest thing you want to try to do is to keep a stable and consistent temperature in your storage environment. This helps prevent temperature cycle swings of the air that will cause moisture to collect on surfaces over and over again.

If you can keep your ammo in a nice air conditioned room, then you are golden. If you have to store it in a garage, attic, or shed where the temperature will be cycling a lot, you will need to take a lot of extra care to keep the moisture out of the container.

Plus, those temperature swings over time will constantly be expanding and contracting the metal in your ammo and container, which will degrade them over time and possibly erode the seal on the container.

  1. Dark

You should always keep your ammo out of direct sunlight. There are many reasons why this is a good idea. Obviously, you should never have bare ammo sitting in the sunlight. I also doubt you would ever have a box of ammo out in the sun either for a long period of time.

There’s a rare chance that someone might have their ammo container sitting in the sun. The problem with this is that over time, the sunlight will start to degrade the container by first attacking the paint. Once there are weaknesses in the paint, metal containers become vulnerable to rust, which leads to the integrity of the container being destroyed and leaving your ammo vulnerable.

The best practice here is to keep your ammo out of the sunlight not only to keep it in good shape, but also to keep it out of view of prying eyes. It’s a good idea to not let anyone other than close family know that you are stockpiling ammo in order to avoid trouble.

  1. Container

As for containers, if you have room in your home where you can safely store ammo on shelves in air conditioning and low moisture, then it makes sense to do so.

Otherwise, the best option is to go buy some military ammo cans. They are designed and built for storing ammo and are fairly cheap. You can find them at gun shops and gun shows. You want to buy them in person so that you can inspect the rubber seal is brand new. There is no point in buying an old ammo can that has a seal that is worn out, as that undermines the whole purpose of the container.

military ammo can

While the military ammo cans are metal, there are also plastic alternatives that are the same size, color, and capability. Ironically, I have found the plastic ones are usually more expensive than the metal ones, but it may be different in your area.

  1. Organization

You want to  consider how you plan on storing your ammo so that you have access to any that you need for shooting or hunting. That way you can keep the long term storage ammo sealed up so that you don’t have to constantly reactivate the desiccants once the containers are closed and sealed.

I recommend getting one military ammo can for each type of caliber and filling the can up with that same caliber ammo. You can then put a piece of tape and use a marker to label the ammo type on the front of the can. This allows you to know what’s in the container without having to break the seal unless you intend to do so.

What I also do is buy an extra military ammo can and place all of my commonly used ammo in it that I use for shooting and hunting. I then label it my “common” can and that way I can open it often and replenish that ammo whenever I need to so that it’s the only container that I have to open.

  1. Location

As far as location, your situation might be different. If you have a storage room in your home where you can keep your ammo in the air conditioning, then putting your ammo in metal cans with silica desiccants is the absolute best way to go. Another great place is to stack your ammo cans in the back and bottom of your closet areas so that they are out of sight.

If you have to store your ammo outside, then make sure you have the water tight container with desiccant solution. You will have the best results if you can put them in the most temperature and humidity stable location possible.

If you plan on burying your ammo, then you might need to take extra precautions for sealing up your containers to prevent water intrusion and to protect against root invasion and other problems. Only bury ammo if you have no other choice.

Conclusion

To wrap up, we looked at the 7 major tips for you to be able to store your ammo for decades. Remember that ammo is one of the best items that you can stockpile for a SHTF situation. You want to choose the most popular calibers because that will be the ammo that is in the highest demand.

You also want to make sure that you put your ammo in the right container, and that you can somewhat control the temperature, moisture, and sunlight. By keeping the ammo organized properly, you don’t have to break the seal of your containers too often, and can find what you need easily.

About the Author

Tom Sheppard is a long time survivalist. He spends a lot of time out in the North Texas woods and enjoys prepping. In his spare time, he shares his expertise by writing articles. He often contributes what he knows over at Trek Warrior on survival gear and skills.

Hands on Coping Activities for Kids

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Hands on coping activities for kids with trauma. Try implementing these 5 tips on a daily basis or add them to your regular routine as-needed basis | PreparednessMama

Hands on coping activities for kids with trauma. Try implementing these 5 tips on a daily basis or add them to your regular routine as-needed basis. As promised here are some hands-on activities to do with your kids to help with coping. These activities will help with general stress and frustration for kids, as well […]

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Everything You Need to Know to Start Your Own Aquaponics System

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Aquaponics is an efficient integration of aquaculture and hydroponics in an automatic system that fuels growing plants and breeding edible fish altogether. In aquaculture, fishes are bred in tanks where they are fed and the disposal of their waste from the tanks is often a major problem in the aquaculture system. Different filters are used…

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Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (4/22/17)

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

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 4/16/17 – 4/22/17

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Prepper Must-Haves – Garden Tools

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

At its most basic, growing food doesn’t take much. At home it can be accomplished with some tin cans and plastic bottles, maybe some storage totes or buckets or drawers that were salvaged for free, and seeds or starts. When we’re working on that scale our hands and a pencil are sufficient.

Most of the time, though, we expand beyond small and tiny containers. Even with some small, modest beds, there are a few tools like hooked three-prong hand cultivators or a small spade that come in handy. When we’re dealing with numerous beds and a larger plot, we want to step up again. If our food production deals with shrubs, brambles and trees, we need a few more things yet.

To some degree, growing style largely dictates what is a must-have item and what can be set aside. Our bodies and health dictate more – as we get older or accumulate injuries, we may need more mechanical help or to spend less time crouched and thus more time with a long-handled tool of some kind. However, for veggie-veggies – not the large-scale calorie staple and protein staple crops like grinding corn, wheat, barley, beans, lentils, and field peas – there are some standards that will apply for most gardeners.

The Underdog

When I see articles about garden tools for beginners, upgrades for old hats, and reviews on the best contraptions to hit the market, there’s one thing that never seems to make it on the pages: Twine.

Maybe the big guys don’t need it. I sure use a fair bit of twine, string and cord in my gardens, though. I also use a fair bit while I’m air layering. Okay, in truth, I use some, and I also use strips of ruined clothing.

We need something to be tying up plants with, though, regularly, and I regularly use cord for parts of my trellises. There are alternatives, like using netting or light-gauge fencing. Cultivar selection for our plants might also reduce or eliminate trellis needs.

Regularly, though, we need to support something, from a seedling tree that needs staked to hanging planters or containers from and above porch railings.

Some decent twine that doesn’t break as we tie the knot and doesn’t rot in a single season will save us a lot of not-nice words. In the long run, it’s worth the money.

It’s also one of those things that really ought to just wander around the garden and outside with us, right there with a handy pair of pliers, pruners, and our pocketknife.

Machines

Stone me now; there’s not the first Kubota, Deere, Gator, or Kioti on my list. Tractors revolutionized the way we farm, made our way of life possible, and made it possible for the human population worldwide to snowball. The thing is, most of us don’t need them.

Sure, a riding mower or an ATV – especially with tow-behind cultivators, furrowers, spreaders or even just trailers – make life a lot easier. As we start cultivating significant properties, move into producing our own staple crops or producing grass hay and grains for livestock, when we start cutting grass straw, we should look in that direction. Until then … they need fuels, they need maintenance, and for the most part they’re a convenience. With the exception of folks who can’t push or pull physically, they’re not necessary for a veggie garden, even a big one.

Tillers/Powered Cultivators might be a must-have or might be a convenience. It depends on our bodies, growing scheme, and the scale of growing. There are some smaller versions where the power head cross-purposes with other tools like weed-eaters, overhead saws, and the tiller, and that’s a right handy tool to consider. Another option would be either electric tillers that can be powered from a running vehicle or charged from a solar battery bank. Because diesel stores so well, diesel-powered machines – or the vehicle that’s going to be used as a generator – might appeal to others despite the upfront costs.

Wood Chipper-Shredders do make my list as a must-have garden item when we get serious about production. So long as we have plenty of junk trees, firewood trimmings, or fruit trees and brambles to feed through them, anyway.

Mulch is an enormous aid in gardening. It saves labor in weeding, prevents soil compaction and erosion, and limits evaporation of rain and irrigation water. While some types of mulch-bed growing creates an alkaline environment that’s tougher on acid-loving domestic veggies and berries, for the most part we can mitigate the pH of our gardens.

Being able to convert bamboo, privet (pre-seed), and tree prunings from living specimens and firewood or construction into mulch is too valuable to ignore that particular machine.

On the other hand, if we’re shy on trees but have the land space, there’s nothing wrong with switching that chipper-shredder for a weed-eater that’s been modified into an electric, gas or diesel powered scythe. It’ll allow us to relatively quickly cut and lay out straw we can use for garden mulch.

Standard Manual Garden Tools

By and large, once we have beds or plots eked out of the ground with either a tiller or a sod cutter, and have dedicated ourselves to maintaining them, getting them seeded with weed-choking cover crops or heavily mulched, we don’t need a whole lot to maintain gardens.

Still, there are some tools that are right handy.

The short list for manual tools for a garden would really be a round-point digging shovel and-or a trenching shovel, a small garden trowel, a hay rake or flat-tined garden rake for leveling and aerating soil or dragging rows for seeds and transplants, a hoe, and in many cases a cultivator of some kind – a weasel, tiller, broad fork, or similar.

A small three-prong cultivator for one-handed or a long-handled, two-handed version can make weeds a much simpler task, and be used for spacing out seed rows.

A garden fork rates pretty highly as well (like a hay fork but with flat, wide tines) since it can be used as a secondary cultivator following a shovel or furrowing plow

Garden by garden, a leaf rake, square-point (transfer, moving) shovel, and both a pointed and a flat-square hoe rate really highly as well.

With them we can turn beds, collect and distribute chipped or leaf mulch and compost, dig in-situ composting trenches and holes, break up soil, level beds and rows, build up triangular and flattened-top mounded rows and beds, and even use them to create seed furrows and cover our beds again.

Mallets

They’re not as ignored and maligned as string, because I don’t use them or see them used quite as much, but I spend a lot of time hammering things. Mallets deserve a little credit there.

I hammer stakes for supporting row covers and baby trees, bird netting, and to keep things from digging under fences. I hammer in supports for new trellises and arbors. I pound in stakes and string line for rows and to mark expansions or areas I want left alone. I tap CMU block into place. I infrequently use nails or stakes to assemble trellises or bounded beds (usually I’m a fan of a screw and a drill for those).

Could I do it with a plumber’s wrench, carpenter’s hammer, or my pruners? Usually. I’d work harder and longer though.

Sometimes the right tool, right at hand, is worth it. Mallets are one of those tools for me, and the shorty 2-3# mallets with a flat square side are one of them for me.

If a garden area is small, and there’s a lot of pre-fab without as much annual assembly season-by-season, a mallet would go down in usefulness.

Power Tools

Having busted on energy draws while discussing machines, I’m going to contradict myself. There are two things that get reached for constantly, especially at the beginning of the growing season, the beginning and early in warm-tender crop seasons, harvest seasons, row-cover seasons, and bed-down-the-garden seasons.

They are my trusty-dusty little drill, and my trusty-dusty little saws-all.

When I say little, I mean that.

As with CCW firearms and EDC/GHB kits, when things are big, bulky and heavy, we don’t carry them all the time. In this case, that means that things get put off or I spend time making round trips to the vehicle.

With lighter, compact tools, they can sit in their bags with a variety of tips and blades, both of them inside a bucket with some string, sturdy pruners, a small hand cultivator, a mini hoe, and a hooked knife. I snag my bucket whenever I’m working in the yard, and whatever I need, it’s right there.

Must-Have’s for the Garden

I have a friend who managed in excess of three acres of just vegetable and fruit production without any fossil-fuel or battery-powered assistance. She does use a “work pig” and her birds, sheep and goats to help her, but the bulk of what she does is by manual labor. It’s possible. It’s not easy, it takes time – especially with livestock – but it’s possible.

I consider it telling that with few exceptions for “block” crops like corn and peas, she doesn’t grow in conventional rows or big plots. She grows in beds, by curving blocks and lines that follow her land’s fairly minor contours. It’s too much work to eke out the space, initially and every year after thaw, to use conventional methods.

It’s also too much work to leave bare earth. The work isn’t just the weed maintenance, but also the water hauling and the amount of time that has to be dedicated to plant health. So she mulches. Her mulches melt away in 12-24 month cycle, but the labor of creating and spreading them works out to be less than fighting more weeds and against harder soil and more evaporation.

If we’re planning to live a power-free or low-power-draw “sustainable” and “self-sufficient” life without the noise or fuels of machines, we might want to consider some of the alternative growing methods and ease-of-gardening methods, just as she does.

Our garden “must-have” tools are going to change depending on those methods.

It’s also going to depend on space. If we have smaller gardens, we can get away with fewer and less-specialized tools. At a market or large family scale conventional garden plot, some mechanization is going to be right on the borderline of a must-have.

Aging and broken bodies may also have to rely on some method that will help them, be it a growing style or machines. That will change the tools they reach for significantly.

The number-one “must” for gardening is to get started.

There are a lot of learning curves specific even to one section of a small yard. No book is going to have every answer, and by the time we’re troubleshooting, we’re already behind the curve. Hard times or a disaster is a terrible time to discover our microclimates, niche pests and diseases, and soil types.

Once we get started, our personal “must have” list will refine itself.  We’ll want backups of what we use most. We may expand to the full array of shovel and hoe and rake types, or we may stick with a few subtly different styles. Over time, we may find that it ebbs and flows.

We can start small and add a few things as budgets open up, working toward those items that multipurpose or have the most value for our lives first, then adding on the things that will allow us to expand and be more efficient. Knowing some of the rec’s and the priorities for them from other growers may help with that, either getting started or expanding.

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Threat Assessments: Prioritize Then Get Organized

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A comprehensive threat assessment first compares the impact of a threat, or situation if you will, with its anticipated frequency. Threats that are anticipated and may be considered ones that would occur with some frequency would be tornadoes if you live in an area prone to such, and wildfires, hurricanes, snow and ice storms, and […]

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How To Make A Tin Can WiFi Antenna to Extend your Communication after an EMP

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Editor’s Note: After an EMP or CME (Corronal Mass Ejection) the world will go dark and silent. However, if you have your faraday cage ready and packed with all essential electronics,

The post How To Make A Tin Can WiFi Antenna to Extend your Communication after an EMP appeared first on Ask a Prepper.

Replacing Gasoline: 7 Homemade Alternatives For Fuel

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Whether you commute several hundred miles per week, or only just once per month, letting go of traveling by car doesn’t feel comfortable to anyone.

While it’s possible to make automobile fuel at home, there are some other options you can, and should consider. If one method does not appeal to you, others may also work and give you better options when it is impossible to buy gasoline or other fuel types.

How Easy is to Make Gasoline at Home?

Gasoline is made from petroleum, which is essentially the remains of living things that died thousands to millions of years ago.

Be prepared to face some problems with trying to make gasoline at home that is comparable to what you would get at the gas pump:

  • Finding petroleum deposits that you can reach with drilling equipment isn’t easy, and most people lack the resources to purchase and process barrels of crude.
  • It takes a good bit of petroleum, water, and other materials to produce even a single gallon of gasoline, and the equipment is also very expensive.
  • Many of the sites online that claim you can make gasoline at home may actually be talking about biodiesel or similar fuels. You can make burnable automobile fuel based on alcohols and other “renewable” fuel sources, but it’s not the same as gasoline made from petroleum. The energy, density, burn characteristics, and effects on delicate engine seals and parts is very different.
  • Even if you have tools and equipment to refine gasoline, it can be a very dangerous process that requires a good bit of skill. Together with that, you will also need to be able to maintain the equipment and make repairs as needed.

Simply put, making gasoline at home isn’t something you can do by yourself, nor can it be done at low cost or in a residential setting. While you may be able to make small amounts of biodiesel, or even a hydrogen based fuel, gasoline is likely to be out of your reach.

ENERGY SAVING PLAN – Find out how you can save energy following two simple steps! 

Start Off with Building a Steam Engine

Before you try to make any kind of fuel at home, think about how you can reconfigure the engine that powers your vehicle.

Historically speaking, the rise of the internal combustion engine didn’t come about just because this engine design worked better than the steam engine. Rather, it had to do with who got bank loans and how they marketed the product.

In terms of technological simplicity, fuel choices, safety, durability, and power delivery, the steam engine outranks the internal combustion engine.

So if you are willing to change an existing vehicle in order to use homemade fuels, start off by converting to a steam engine. Making this change has its benefits, and here are just a few of them:

  • You can burn just about anything to heat up the water used to produce steam. If you are interested in liquid fuels, or even gas based fuels, you only need to install the tanks. If vehicle has the right shape, you can easily power the vehicle on five or six fuels without any problem.
  • Even solar “panels” composed of black plastic tubing with water running through them can be used to heat up the water or keep it in a pre-steam state so that it takes less of other types of fuel to produce steam.
  • Steam engines might weigh a lot less than internal combustion engines, which means the vehicle will require less fuel.
  • If you use hydrogen fuels, or fine tune a solar heating system, the vehicle will have few, if any detectable emissions. Concerned about being followed or having the vehicle stolen? With this option, you won’t need to worry about electronic surveillance equipment following conventional fuel signatures.

Today, it is virtually impossible to obtain a consumer level automobile that uses a steam engine. Researchers are still looking at steam engines and working on them, so you they might come back into style in the next few years.

Research on the patents and materials for steam engines, and start with simple ways to boil water with as little fuel as possible, if you are on a low budget. From there, you can move on to building up pressure from the steam, and then using that pressure to drive a piston.

Some people have successfully converted automobiles to run on steam engines, which is a perfect project to experiment with if you have a homestead or a farm. It may be hard to legally take your vehicle out on the roads, but things can easily change in a crisis situation.

Rely on Water for Hydrogen Fuels

Hydrogen fuels offer more promise for an alternative fuel than most other types because it can be made from water and also natural gas.

But remember that during crisis, you won’t find automobile fuel faster than water. Processing some fuels requires large volumes of water, which makes it even harder since water scarcity forces other priorities to the top of the list.

With just a few modifications to your car, you could use water (which is broken down into hydrogen and oxygen) to reduce the amount of gasoline you need to run the vehicle.

If you explore hydrogen fuels further, you might create your own fuel cell to run an electric motor. This is quite interesting if you have a hybrid vehicle.

Check these patents and devices for converting your vehicle to run on hydrogen, or for getting started to develop your own ideas.

  • Fuel Cells – it produces electrons, which can then be used to power a motor. It differs from a battery because it takes fuel and breaks it down to release energy as opposed to simply store the energy. You can also find small scale kit you can use to start with fuel cells if you don’t want to build one from scratch, and this is a great project to pursue with children or grandchildren.
  • Garrett Electrolytic Carburetor – if you have a vehicle with a carburetor, this is the perfect invention for you: this design adds electrolysis plates to the lower section of the carburetor, and the plates break down the water to release the hydrogen and oxygen. There are similar devices on the market that break water down, and release hydrogen into the engine, and they won’t eliminate all need for gasoline, but increase mileage by a good bit.
  • Denny Klein’s Aquygen– even though these vehicles are not as efficient, the technology behind them is valid and will be better than nothing in time of need.
  • Hydrogen Booster Kits – these kits allow you to “enhance” the fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines by injecting hydrogen into the fuel mix. Some kits are better than others, and results may vary.

As a note of caution, there are many people around the world trying to find a viable way to make vehicles run on water. Most systems either split water apart using hydrolysis, or they try to feed hydrogen and oxygen into the cylinder.

Before building something, check the viability of the plans you are looking at. Look or think about developing a system that pressurizes the oxygen first before attempting to use it to drive a piston.

If you need an electrical charge to drive a motor, look for ways to incorporate a joule thief or some other technology that will give you more current from what has already been produced.

Try to incorporate solar and other devices that can be used to generate power as opposed to simply relying on water or hydrogen. Generating heat to drive a steam engine would also be a viable answer.

Biodiesel

If you have a “flex fuel vehicle”, or one that runs on diesel, then homemade biodiesel may be an option for you. Depending on the recipe, making biodiesel can be dangerous, so study your options carefully and take your time when building and working with your equipment.

There are three main ingredient types you will need for making biodiesel and you can make or obtain them all from natural resources:

  • Fats or oils – this takes up the main bulk of the biodiesel, and you can obtain them from animal or plant based sources: spent cooking oil, scraps of animal fat, and many other kinds of kitchen waste. If you aren’t sure if a particular fat or oil will suit your needs, you can try visiting the Make Biodiesel website to see how different oils and fats compare to each other.
  • Alcohol – usually, methanol, or wood alcohol is recommended for beginners. Wood alcohol is not easy to make, but you can purchase some and work with it until you are ready to use grain or ethyl alcohol. Grain or ethyl alcohol is the edible form found in beer, wine, and other beverages, and you’ll have to set up a still and concentrate ethyl alcohol so that it can be used for making biodiesel.
  •  Lye – it’s not only useful for making soap and opening stuck drains, but it also acts as a key catalyst for making biodiesel. While pure lye is still available on the market, it can be hard to get, so learn how to make lye from potash. Remember there’s a difference between lye made from potash and commercial lye: you may need to tweak your biodiesel recipe a bit if it isn’t already calibrated for homemade lye.

Video first seen on Utah Biodiesel Supply

Unusual Biomass Fuels

A great deal of money and effort has been put into making fuels from corn and other crops that have a high sugar content. Typically, these crops are used to make large quantities of alcohol that can be mixed with gasoline in order to reduce the amount of petroleum used in the fuel.

While there are many problems associated with soil depletion and destruction of plant diversity (because GMO strains are used for fuel production), these fuels are, in my opinion, falsely touted as a viable alternative to petroleum products.

In the last few years, there has also been a push to develop fuels based on the extraction of oils from plants. For example, algae is seen as a viable source of fuel because a high percentage of the plant material is made up of oils. Some people claim that growing algae is hard, but actually extracting oil from algae can be a difficult and expensive process.

If you can get ahold of large amounts of algae, try and see for yourself if you can come up with a viable system.

In a collapsed world, the sheer amount of waste and chemical contamination of surface water will lead to all kinds of algae growth. Learning how to put this noxious stuff to good use for making fuel will be to your advantage.

Video first seen on Lucid Science

The Overlooked Power of Natural Gas

Natural gas from compost and garbage dumps is truly one of the most overlooked sources of fuel in our country.

It is possible (but expensive and time consuming) to convert your vehicle to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquid natural gas (LNG). Storing natural gas safely, and then compressing it enough to provide fuel for a decent driving distance are difficult too.

While there are a few cars made to burn this fuel in the United States, they are far more popular overseas. As prepper vehicles go, natural gas has more than enough power to operate the kind of engine that will be suitable for rough terrain, however refueling and storing natural gas can be a problem.

Video first seen on GasitalyTube Italy

If you want to pursue this path, start of by seeing how much natural gas you can generate from compost piles and other renewable resources. Make sure that you can use the gas for other fuel needs such as cooking and heating your home, since you can use it for other purpose if it turns out that you cannot use natural gas to power a vehicle.

What About Magnet Based Propulsion?

The basic purpose of the engine is to make it possible for the surrounding vehicle to move, which requires a certain amount of power to overcome the effects of gravity. There are different methods that can be used to achieve this goal, and magnetic fields can also be used.

There are toys on the market that rely on reversals of the electromagnetic field between the base and an object in order to make the object float. The same principles are used to power some of the fastest commuter trains in the world.

If you’re interested in this topic, your main problem would be keeping the car moving without having a nearby rail or other source of switching current to work with. If you are interested in powering a vehicle for your homestead, you can build a grid to cover the local area.

Research on advances in wireless current transmission. We are still far away from the system envisioned by Tesla, but wireless power transmission can easily be used to power vehicles levitating in a magnetic field.

Other Engine Designs

In some ways, building an engine for an automobile is not so different from building any other power generation system. At heart, both systems must generate some kind of spinning motion that will either push a vehicle forward or induce electrical current flow in a nearby coil.

Study different ways to induce current, and see if any of these devices can be used to build an automobile engine. For example, the Tesla Turbine can be run on compressed air, or even a steady stream of water.

As strange as it may sound, wind power may have far more to offer in terms of engine design than continuing with the concept of an internal combustion engine. Today, many materials can be used to make smaller and smaller wind turbines that may only require a tiny breeze or a slight shaking to produce an electrical current. Even sound or certain sound based vibrations in different media can be used to generate an electrical current that combines with other sources to run a motor, or even power a series of magnets that will enable the vehicle to break the bounds of gravity.

Remember, right now we are dealing with technologies that must overcome large amounts of weight. Simply put, the more weight you have to deal with, the more power it will take to overcome the effects of gravity. Look at lighter weight polymers and newer materials used to create both propulsion units and the surrounding vehicle.

Some situations can make traveling by automobile very expensive and complicated even on regular times. While a lack of gasoline is bound to be a problem in the post crisis world, trying to make gasoline at home is not a viable option.

There are other alternative fuel and engine design options that you can and should consider.

In most cases, coming up with something useful will take time and effort to come out with something sustainable and tangible, given the limited materials available to the average consumer in these times.

Click the banner below for more!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Resources:

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Own-Gasoline

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/148416-are-steam-cars-poised-for-an-epic-comeback

http://www.stanleymotorcarriage.com/SteamEngine/SteamEngineGeneral.htm

http://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/fuel_cell.html

http://www.make-biodiesel.org/Ingredients/ingredients-for-biodiesel.html

Video: Rodent-Proofing A Shelter

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rodents

heckuva rodent infestation

Sanitation is an important factor in staying healthy in rural homesteads and survival scenarios, and one formidable obstacle for the survival medic is the presence of rodents like rats and mice. When these animals are introduced into new areas, they cause a significant amount of environmental and economic damage. Whether in good times or bad, It makes sense to take measures to prevent rodent infestation in the home and to eliminate those already there.   In this video, Joe Alton, MD discusses rodents and how to prevent them from being unwanted guests in your home, shelter, or retreat.

To watch, click below:

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

 

Joe and Amy Alton

 

JoeAmyLabcoatSMALL300x300

Joe Alton MD        Amy Alton ARNP

 

Find out more about rodents, the disease they cause, and 150 other medical topics in grid-down settings by checking out our Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, available at Amazon. Also, fill those holes in your medical supplies with Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and individual items at store.doomandbloom.net. You’ll be glad you did.

Prayer and Praise

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     I think that one of the most difficult things for a Christian to do is know how to pray.  Even the Apostles, who had witnessed the most astounding miracles — the blind who could see; the lame who could walk; the dead who rose to life — didn’t ask Jesus to teach them how to do greater miracles.  They asked Him to teach them how to pray, which tells me it was a struggle for them, too.
     I think that after spending nearly three years with Him, they had discerned that Jesus’s private prayer life was instrumental to the success of His public ministry, and therefore it was incumbent upon them to know what was involved in a meaningful prayer life. But somehow, down through the centuries, it seems to me that prayer has somehow become seen as the solution to all our problems.  By that, I mean that we have come to believe that whenever confronted with a problem, or some misfortune in our life, if we just knew the right words to say, that God would fix everything.  In one sense, prayer has become a catch-all for everything we desire from God … from our basic human needs to comfort in the most tragic of circumstances.
     Please know that I am not discounting prayer!  It is a very important component of our relationship with God, the Father; just as it was to His Son.  But Jesus prayed to God out of a knowledge of Him and His Truths.  Jesus’s prayers were heartfelt, and centered on the relationship He had with God. Our relationship with God comes from who we understand Him to be; from what He has revealed to us through His Word.
      One of the reasons I think there is so much need for Deliverance Ministries and Inner Healing is that people have the mistaken belief that prayer is all they need in order to be healed.  If they just pray hard enough and often enough, then God will take away the torment of guilt, shame, anger, rebellion, unforgiveness — or whatever sin is keeping them in bondage. But I know too many people for whom prayer has not relieved the pressures and torments of this life. But do we advise those people to quit praying?  Absolutely not! But may I suggest that they alter their prayer life in a manner that has worked for me.

     If you had to define prayer, how would you describe it?  Basically, prayer is just communication between you and God.  But it has to be two-way to be real and effective. I know how easy it is to “talk to” God, but how often do you hang around waiting for His reply?  And is your side of the conversation always about what you need or want? If it is, let me suggest another alternative…
     When those times come in my life when I am anxious about something, or tormented by worry or fear, instead of asking God to fix things for me, or to take away my state of anxiety or uncertainty, I stop and remember all the times He has delivered me from such distress.  You see, God and I have a history — just as each of your lives represent a series of past events connected with Him. And when my prayer conversation with Him is focused on praising Him for all those times He was there for me — especially in the midst of sadness, tragedy, my mistakes, and attacks by the Enemy — then suddenly I am looking forward in the spirit of hope and trust as I remember the evidence of His presence in my past. That undeniable evidence provides assurance that He will be there in my present circumstances, because He is Immutable; He never changes.
     This is exactly how it works in Deliverance Ministry.  The wounds we’ve suffered in our lives are stored in memories; and our memories are stored in pictures.  Jesus and God are Omnipresent, so we know They were there during those events that have wounded us. I believe that Jesus created our imaginations to help our spirits communicate with our minds, so we can recall events in our lives and see that He was there, so that He can heal us inside the memory.
     So when our prayers involve our memories, we have a picture to refer to; the power to recall the Goodness and Protection of God.  And it is a conversation that I can only presume pleases our Abba, Father.  Yes, Jesus tells us in John 14:14 that we can ask anything in His Name, and He will do it.  That is certainly allowable in our prayers. But, as in all truly intimate relationships, there are times when we put our Beloved ahead of ourselves and let them know we recognize all they are to us.  Prayer is not always about what we need; some of the most beautiful prayers in the Bible are ones of praise and remembrance.  How blessed and loved I feel when I can recall my Lord’s presence and grace in my life, and then share those sweet and empowering memories with Him.

Psalm 77:11-12   “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds”.

Psalm 103:2    “Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things He does for me”.
     

Prayer and Praise

     I think that one of the most difficult things for a Christian to do is know how to pray.  Even the Apostles, who had witnessed the most astounding miracles — the blind who could see; the lame who could walk; the dead who rose to life — didn’t ask Jesus to teach them how to do greater miracles.  They asked Him to teach them how to pray, which tells me it was a struggle for them, too.
     I think that after spending nearly three years with Him, they had discerned that Jesus’s private prayer life was instrumental to the success of His public ministry, and therefore it was incumbent upon them to know what was involved in a meaningful prayer life. But somehow, down through the centuries, it seems to me that prayer has somehow become seen as the solution to all our problems.  By that, I mean that we have come to believe that whenever confronted with a problem, or some misfortune in our life, if we just knew the right words to say, that God would fix everything.  In one sense, prayer has become a catch-all for everything we desire from God … from our basic human needs to comfort in the most tragic of circumstances.
     Please know that I am not discounting prayer!  It is a very important component of our relationship with God, the Father; just as it was to His Son.  But Jesus prayed to God out of a knowledge of Him and His Truths.  Jesus’s prayers were heartfelt, and centered on the relationship He had with God. Our relationship with God comes from who we understand Him to be; from what He has revealed to us through His Word.
      One of the reasons I think there is so much need for Deliverance Ministries and Inner Healing is that people have the mistaken belief that prayer is all they need in order to be healed.  If they just pray hard enough and often enough, then God will take away the torment of guilt, shame, anger, rebellion, unforgiveness — or whatever sin is keeping them in bondage. But I know too many people for whom prayer has not relieved the pressures and torments of this life. But do we advise those people to quit praying?  Absolutely not! But may I suggest that they alter their prayer life in a manner that has worked for me.

     If you had to define prayer, how would you describe it?  Basically, prayer is just communication between you and God.  But it has to be two-way to be real and effective. I know how easy it is to “talk to” God, but how often do you hang around waiting for His reply?  And is your side of the conversation always about what you need or want? If it is, let me suggest another alternative…
     When those times come in my life when I am anxious about something, or tormented by worry or fear, instead of asking God to fix things for me, or to take away my state of anxiety or uncertainty, I stop and remember all the times He has delivered me from such distress.  You see, God and I have a history — just as each of your lives represent a series of past events connected with Him. And when my prayer conversation with Him is focused on praising Him for all those times He was there for me — especially in the midst of sadness, tragedy, my mistakes, and attacks by the Enemy — then suddenly I am looking forward in the spirit of hope and trust as I remember the evidence of His presence in my past. That undeniable evidence provides assurance that He will be there in my present circumstances, because He is Immutable; He never changes.
     This is exactly how it works in Deliverance Ministry.  The wounds we’ve suffered in our lives are stored in memories; and our memories are stored in pictures.  Jesus and God are Omnipresent, so we know They were there during those events that have wounded us. I believe that Jesus created our imaginations to help our spirits communicate with our minds, so we can recall events in our lives and see that He was there, so that He can heal us inside the memory.
     So when our prayers involve our memories, we have a picture to refer to; the power to recall the Goodness and Protection of God.  And it is a conversation that I can only presume pleases our Abba, Father.  Yes, Jesus tells us in John 14:14 that we can ask anything in His Name, and He will do it.  That is certainly allowable in our prayers. But, as in all truly intimate relationships, there are times when we put our Beloved ahead of ourselves and let them know we recognize all they are to us.  Prayer is not always about what we need; some of the most beautiful prayers in the Bible are ones of praise and remembrance.  How blessed and loved I feel when I can recall my Lord’s presence and grace in my life, and then share those sweet and empowering memories with Him.

Psalm 77:11-12   “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds”.

Psalm 103:2    “Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things He does for me”.
     

Survival Movies. Surviving An Outbreak. Isolation.

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I have not finished watching this video to date, but it has been very good so far. I have a dislike for Zombie movies, & this one is based on a similar scenario, but it is done very well. Well worth watching, set in England.

What If Your Preparedness Plan Isn’t As Sound As You Think

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Consider this a “coaching” segment and some advice on how to follow a Thomas Hardy “Far from the Madding Crowd” mindset.  Look at the world situation right now.  North Korea is rattling the saber as the U.S. naval armada sails toward the area.  We just gave Syria a foretaste of what is to come with the Tomahawk strike.  Relations with Russia just hit a low point, and the President is not backing down on Syria and North Korea.  Chances are good that we’ll be involved in a war very shortly.  The possibility also exists that it could become a world war.

What does that mean to you, the Reader?  It means that you’re going to have to assess yourself and correctly determine whether you’re prepared for the times to come.

Are You Appropriately Planning Your Preparations?

Part of that is to think outside of the box, to think differently in terms of planning and preparation.  Most everyone has the same type of mindset: “I’m going to acquire all kinds of supplies, practice hard, and when the time comes, I’ll be as ready as I can be.”

Did you ever stop and consider that everyone else has the same idea, to one degree or another?  Most people want to be “spoon-fed” everything, and the preparation is of the mindset that everything will be in place when disaster hits.  Most do not “war game” the situation realistically.  Everyone will have a rallying point of the closest park to hide.  The problem: everyone is thinking of that.  Everyone will take to the roads (Katrina was proof of that) if there’s advance warning.

The Art of Doing the Opposite of the Majority

In preparedness, you must “take the road less traveled by,” to paraphrase Frost.  When the IHM (Incredible Human Mob) is running in one direction, the odds are good that you should not be in their midst.  The art of doing the opposite of the majority is one of the things that will keep you alive and intact.  The mob all runs to an area where there are limited supplies, such as food and water.  What do you think will happen next?  A singing of Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to Be and American” with Bic lighters aflame?  No, they’ll rip one another to shreds for the last bottles of water.

So, how do we compress thinking and acting differently from the majority into one short article?  In reality, we can’t.  What we can do here, however, are consider some possibilities.  Perhaps you and/or your family can sit down and brainstorm some other options for yourselves.  Let’s take it from a SHTF-scenario, shall we?

  1. Safe House: Occupied or Unoccupied – This will involve a retreat where you either can meet up with someone you trust (occupied) or go there with your family (unoccupied) and set up camp.  English Property Law does not necessarily apply.  Do you know of an abandoned barn or shed in a remote location?  Do you know of an abandoned cabin or a partially-ruined building somewhere?  If so, it might be good to preposition some supplies or even a cache there.  If you have someone who you can meet up with…well, you can assure a place for yourself to flee to, and promise that person more…and a share in what you bring.  That will be for you to gauge as to whether or not to trust someone this much, as anyone can go bad in an instant.
  2. Move when they are stationary; Be stationary when they’re on the move: this will be a shock to your circadian rhythm. This step is necessary, however, to cut down on the “new friends” you may not want to “meet” along the way.  You and your family need to sleep in a covered and/or concealed location and post a guard…in shifts.  When it’s night, that’s the time to move and forage for food or supplies.
  3. Attractive to you? Attractive to them, too: Do you see a nice lake with a stream feeding into it in front of you?  Maybe a nice waterfall dropping into it?  A nice cleared area with a bunch of rocks and dead timber strewed about?  If it’s pleasing to your eye, it’ll be pleasing to another person’s eyes as well.  “Attractive” and “High Traffic” areas are almost synonymous.  Avoid what looks perfect, or you’ll bed down and have “guests” when (and if) you wake up.
  4. What you need, they need: This is the reason for a change in time of activity. Did you find food?  Others will need it, and others will come.  You must bank on that.  Just because you’re “paranoid” does not mean that the world is not out to get you…or your supplies.  If you find a food supply and a water supply, you’ll have to either hide it in some way, share it, or defend it.  If you pick “option 2,” that doesn’t mean your altruistic qualities are held by those you share with.
  5. Path of Least Resistance: A happy trail right into the woods.  The part of the mountain without the boulders and stickers all over it to climb.  The open field to cross, as opposed to the woods filled with stickers and thorns.  Don’t you take that path, as others will take it also.

Most will not be thinking outside of the box.  Most will see you and yours in a grid down/SHTF situation as their opportunity.  They will see your belongings as theirs.  For the greatest example of this, see the movie “The Time of the Wolf.”  The first five minutes of the movie tells it all…what happens to the family that packed it all up in a disaster (unspecified) and went to their retreat…that scenario is the “real deal.”  The movie is in French with English subtitles…adding to the horror of the situation.

The bottom line: you can’t expect to survive the disaster…and the mob that makes it through the “first gate” after the initial pandemonium…unless you think and do things differently from them.  Make no mistake about it: the time to prep is far from over.  You cannot trust your future and the welfare of your family in the hands of those who can enmesh us into a world war, and then…on your taxpayer dime…be whisked away to a mountain fortress replete with food, supplies, and an army to defend them.  You only have your wits and the guts to use them.  Stay in that good fight by thinking outside of the box.  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

5 Primitive Skills That Will Come in Handy When SHTF

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If you’ve been part of the prepping community for any length of time you know that when SHTF, life is going to change substantially. You may have an EDC and a BOB and even a bug out location ready and waiting for disaster to strike. But have you really taken the time to think about … Read more…

The post 5 Primitive Skills That Will Come in Handy When SHTF was written by Admin and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 17

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Wow! Are we at another week already?  Last week was a busy week for us here at the Suburban Steader Homestead and this week wasn’t much different.  Let’s check into the going-ons at the Suburban Steader Homestead for Week 17 of 2017! This Week’s Milestones Get Your Hike On! My twin girls are a masters

‘Doomsday Data Vault’ Opens In Norway; Will Help Rebuild Society Post-Apocalypse

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‘Doomsday Data Vault’ Opens In Norway; Will Help Rebuild Society Post-Apocalypse

Image source: Flickr / Creative Commons

The ultimate survival resource is now open for business on a remote Norwegian island.

Svalbard, Norway – already home to the Global Seed Vault – is now home to the Arctic World Archive, which is being billed as the keeper of information to rebuild civilization following a societal-ending apocalypse.

The vault located in an abandoned coalmine on the island of Svalbard is designed to be the ultimate data storage solution, The Verge reported. Data will be recorded on special film that can last as long as 1,000 years and stored 984 feet (300 meters) underground. The film is expected to last that long because of the extreme cold on the island, which is 1,172 miles north of Oslo.

“Located in a disaster-proof vault, the information is kept in permafrost conditions far away from political and physical instabilities in the rest of the world,” a brochure for the archive reads. “The Arctic World Archive is for any country, authority, organization, company or individual in need of ultra-secure storage of their valuable information with guaranteed access in the future.”

It is a first for the world.

Data Is Recorded Using QR Codes

“No energy is needed whatsoever to maintain these temperatures,” said Rune Bjerkestrand, the founder of Piqi, the company that is recording the data.  “Deep in the permafrost it’s minus 5, minus 10 degrees [Celsius], and it’s also quite a dry area. So cold and dry: it’s perfect for the long-term storage of film.”

The Next Generation In Solar Backup Generators Is Finally Here!

The data is recorded via QR (Quick Read) codes, Bjerkestrand explained. QR Codes can be read by smart phones.

“Film is an optical medium, so what we do is, we take files of any kind of data — documents, PDFs, JPGs, TIFFs — and we convert that into big, high-density QR codes,” Bjerkestrand said. “Our QR codes are massive, and very high resolution; we use greyscale to get more data into every code. And in this way we convert a visual storage medium, film, into a digital one.”

The archive is a for-profit venture of Piqi and Norway’s national mining company, SNSK. The first customers were the directors of the national archives of Brazil and Mexico, ABC reported. The Brazilians deposited copies of their constitution and an edict from the Emperor of Brazil abolishing slavery in their country. The Mexicans left a copy of their declaration of independence from Spain.

The purpose of the archive is to protect “the globe’s most valuable data from future catastrophes, war and cyberattack as well as future technological obsolescence,” Bjerkestrand said.

‘What Happens in Wars …’

Another purpose is to keep the data of large corporations safe in case of a catastrophe.

“Historically what happens in wars — in the early stages of wars — is that archives are destroyed,” Bjerkestrand said. “So to have an archive which is protected, in a remote place which is regulated by international treaties, gives it that extra security that things cannot be manipulated or attacked.”

Svalbard, the home of the Global Seed Vault, cannot be used for military purposes because of international treaties. Despite that, getting data to and from the Artic World Archive is easy.

Digital data can be sent there via an optic Internet connection from the mainland, Bjerkestrand said.

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Hose Nozzles and Sprayers: A Complete Buyer’s Guide

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The post Hose Nozzles and Sprayers: A Complete Buyer’s Guide is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a lazy gardener.I want my tools to do most of the work.This is even more true when it comes to watering my garden. When I first started gardening, I worked with what I had on hand…a good hose reel and a high-quality garden hose. But neither of those […]

The post Hose Nozzles and Sprayers: A Complete Buyer’s Guide is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.