Raw Milk Is Poison — Legislators Claim While Maintaining Ban

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Image source: Pixabay.com

Image source: Pixabay.com

Raw milk is still illegal in Montana, as the state’s Senate killed a bill that would have allowed for limited sales of the unpasteurized product.

“It does not provide adequate disease, drug or antibiotic testing,” Krista Lee Evans said of House Bill (HB) 325. Evans represents the Montana Milk Producers Association.

Others agreed.

“We have found through the years and years of public health work … that pasteurization does its work,” state Sen. Jill Cohenour, a Democrat, said. “It protects us from the sicknesses that can come from raw milk.”

Looking For A Safer Country? Read More Here.

HB 325 would have allowed farmers to sell raw cow, sheep and goat milk directly to the public, AgWeek reported. Sale of raw milk in retail stores still would have been illegal.

HB 325 was written and introduced by State Representative Nancy Ballance and sponsored in the Senate by Keith Regier. Both are Republicans.

Ballance called HB 325 the “ultimate freedom bill.” Ballance introduced similar bills that failed in 2013 and 2015.

“Processing foods takes valuable nutrients out of the food,” Regier said. “Steamed or raw vegetables are said to be healthier. Many of you eat salad with raw ingredients.”

Raw milk sales are illegal in 20 states, according to Procon.org. Eight states allow raw milk to be sold through cow share agreements, 17 states allow sales direct from the farm and 13 states allow it to be sold in stores.

Do you believe the sale of raw milk should be legal? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Govt warned must transform UK national grid

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UK National Grid report boss

Tamsin Cooper – Green Alliance Director

A new report from think tank Green Alliance warns that the UK Government needs to help the country’s power system catch up with the growth of electric vehicles and solar by transforming the UK national grid.

At present, the UK national grid is woefully prepared to meet the demand on the system by increasing solar power systems and electric vehicle takeup.

More consumers are choosing to buy small-scale renewable energy technologies according to the report, which warns that consequences of not upgrading the grid urgently could be disastrous. If no action is taken, just six electric cars charging in close proximity at peak time could overload the grid and disrupt the local power supply.

This in turn would provide ample ammunition for critics of renewable energy that want to see clean energy growth stopped in its tracks. At present, one in five of the UK’s local grids are unable to accept more distributed energy like rooftop solar. However, if the Government designs a smarter power system now, electric car batteries could store enough power to keep the UK’s lights on for 7 hours at a time by 2025, virtually eliminating blackouts, and distributed energy could save customers over £1.6 billion per year. Growth in clean energy development is moving increasingly fast.

By 2020 IKEA will be a net exporter of its own solar and wind energy, and the falling price of battery storage could soon allow UK households to operate off the UK national grid for months at a time.

The report predicts that the UK will reach a tipping point as soon as 2020, when government will lose the ability to control the speed of small scale energy deployment. Similar tipping points outside the UK have seen mixed responses: In Nevada, attempts to clampdown on rooftop solar’s effect on the local power system were met with ferocious consumer backlash, ultimately leading to a reversal of new less favourable tariffs and the grid administration being sacked. This should be a warning to the UK Government, but how much notice will it actually take? In California, smart EV charging infrastructure has been used to  keep the lights on at peak times and given that 40 per cent of drivers would consider buying an EV, the UK should follow California’s lead.

Intervention needed

The report says four main government interventions are necessary to get the benefits of small scale energy:

*A new independent system designer should be employed to ensure small scale energy is well integrated.

*Distribution network operators (DNOs) should be transformed into distribution system operators to actively integrate EVs and solar in a smart network.

*Small scale technologies should be enabled to provide system flexibility, for instance through smart charging of EVs.

*Automation and aggregators should be adopted to make more flexible ‘time of use’ tariffs attractive to customers.

“The energy transition is unstoppable and will in part be driven by customer choice, ie democratisation as well as decarbonisation of energy” said Matthew Knight, director of energy strategy and government affairs at Siemens. “The challenge for government and industry is to help customers to make good choices. And adapt markets so that the system can benefit from the flexibility new technologies can bring.”

Brian Tilley, head of policy development at E.ON, added that a new energy world is emerging, more decentralised and more flexible. E.ON has adapted its business and now believes that the way the UK national grid is governed needs to adapt also. “Put simply, in the coming years customers will increasingly take control of their own energy generation blurring the lines between consumer, generator and supplier” said Tilley. “The benefits of this change, if handled correctly, could be huge for both customers and the country. Ultimately, the transition to a more decentralised energy system should be grasped as an opportunity, and not be placed in the too difficult to do pile.”

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North Korea to use Chemical and Biological Weapons Against the US

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Too many Americans are completely detached from the horrors of war as the US has enjoyed an unprecedented period of peace within its continental borders.  The ability to not know

Personal and Family Preparedness.

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Personal and Family Preparedness.

Personally I don’t see one thing as being more important than another. There is no point in prioritising shelter if you are unable to protect & defend. But for the purpose of this article, I will start with my home & work my way through other priorities.

We have two dwellings, a main house & an old cottage. Both are situated in a forest that we own. We do have fire breaks, but this winter we will be widening those breaks because of the new threat posed by global warming. On the main house we have two 5000 gallon cement water tanks, plus another 1000 gallons in a polly tank for the garden. We have two fire pumps, one on the lower cement tank, & one down at Cattail Pond. The Cattail Pond pump can pump water up to the main house & the cottage for gardens & fire fighting. The gardens supply us with all our vegetable needs for the house & the chooks, but we also keep on hand a good supply of dried, bottled & canned foods. The chooks are kept mainly for eggs.

The main house & the cottage are both off grid & self-sustainable with grey water systems & composting toilets. The cottage has two 1000 gallon water tanks but we will be adding another larger tank soon. Heating of both houses & hot water is provided by wood burning stoves, plus a wood heater in the main house & a large open fire in the cottage. Cooking of course is also done on the wood burning stoves & the forest supplies all our firewood. 240 volt Electricity is supplied by solar panels & batteries.

We have four 4WDs, The Lada is only used on the property, but the Hilux & Triton diesels are registered for the road, as is the X-Trail SUV. If we ever have to leave here, the whole family can just fit in the Hilux & the two Tritons with all our equipment. Every family member that is able to carry has their own pack & arms. I am a primitive skills instructor & I have passed my skills on to my three sons. Arms are a mixture of modern breech-loaders, muzzle-loaders & traditional bows. Our equipment is all 18thcentury except for medical supplies & some of the water containers. We do not expect to have to leave our forest home as we have plenty of people & arms to protect what we have, but we are prepared to leave if we consider it necessary.

Individual equipment is much the same for everyone with a few exceptions including arms, types of packs, clothing. & personal items.

Equipment List:

.62 cal/20 gauge flintlock fusil. 42 inch barrel.

.70 caliber smoothbore flintlock pistol.

Gun tools and spare lock parts.

Shot pouch and contents.

Leather drawstring pouch of .60 caliber ball (in knapsack).

Powder horn.

Ball mould and swan shot mould.

5 Gunpowder wallets

Lead ladle.

Butcher/Hunting knife.

Legging knife.

Clasp knife.

Tomahawk.

Fire bag.

Tinderbox.

Belt pouch.

Fishing tackle in brass container.

Two brass snares.

Roll of brass snare wire.

Knapsack.

Scrip.

Market Wallet.

Tin Cup.

Kettle.

Water filter bags (cotton & linen bags).

Medical pouch.

Housewife.

Piece of soap and a broken ivory comb.

Dried foods in bags.

Wooden spoon.

Compass.

Whet stone.

Small metal file.

Oilcloth.

One blanket (Monmouth cap, spare wool waistcoat and wool shirt rolled inside blanket).

Two glass saddle flasks.

Length of hemp rope.

Bottle of rum.

Basic list of what I carry. This list is made up from items that we know were carried, from items that my research has shown were available, & from items that have been found, such as the brass snare wire. I am not saying every woodsrunner carried all these items, but I am saying that some woodsrunners may have carried all these items. From experimental archaeology results in historical trekking, I think the items I have chosen are a reasonable choice for any woodsrunner that is going to live in the wilderness for a year or more.

Skills: All adult male family members have these skills. The only reason the women don’t have these skills is because they have not shown any interest. Two of the women can use a gun & one of the girls has her own bow. One of our family is a trained nurse & others have skills such as cooking, clothing manufacture, weaving & gardening.

Skills List:

Fire-bow Flint & steel fire lighting

Wet weather fire lighting

fire lighting

Flintlock fire lighting

Flintlock use, service & repair

Marksmanship with either gun or bow.

Field dressing & butchering game

Blade sharpening

Tomahawk throwing

Making rawhide

Brain tanning

Primitive shelter construction

How to stay warm in winter with only one blanket

Cordage manufacture

Moccasin construction and repair

Sewing

Axe and tomahawk helve making

Fishing

Hunting

Evasion

Tracking

Reading sign

Woods lore

Navigation

Primitive trap construction & trapping

Open fire cooking

Fireplace construction

Clothing manufacture

Drying meat & other foods

Knowledge of plant tinders & preparation

Knowledge of native foods & preparation

Knowledge of native plants in the area and their uses for other than tinder and food.

Scouting/Ranging.

Basic first aid.

Finding and treating water.

General leather work.

Basic Home Brewing Equipment

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Basic Home Brewing Equipment A good friend told me that this nation was born on the back of home brewing. Craft brew shared space on our lips along with the ideas of God given freedom. In these small ale houses men gathered to discuss the oppression of the crown. That said, this article touches on …

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5 Prepping Things to Accomplish in April

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5 Prepping Things to Accomplish in April Preppers so rarely engage in the self inspections. The first tip in this article is about getting around your home and your property and looking for things to fix or secure. This is such a crucial step in the process of what we do. You learn so much about …

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Healthy Backyard Geese

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Healthy Backyard Geese We have all heard about backyard chickens. One of the great investments of life if you do not have them yet. There is also an argument about having ducks instead of chickens. I do love some fresh duck eggs. What is news to me, however, is this article about backyard geese. I …

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Surviving in the Wilderness

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Surviving in the Wilderness A different take on an old idea. You know, its easy to disregard and article based on a often covered topic. What you are missing in doing so is the fact that every person is a unique experience and they offer that in their writing. Its often those little tips and …

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Just About Everything You’ve Heard About Eggs Is Wrong

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Just About Everything You’ve Heard About Eggs Is Wrong

Image source: Pixabay.com

The American Egg Board launched “the incredible, edible egg” as its marketing slogan in 1976, and then five years ago it aired a new version in radio, TV and social media. Long maligned as a contributing cause of high cholesterol and heart disease, the egg actually is an incredible source of nutrition.

With no sugar and no carbs, the lowly chicken egg is an inexpensive source of high quality protein.

In addition to six grams of protein, an egg contains vitamin A, which is needed for the healthy cellular development; vitamin B12, which is important in the formation of red blood cells; all nine essential amino acids; and choline, which helps the body’s nerve, muscle and liver function. No wonder many nutritionists describe eggs as nature’s large vitamin pills.

Eating eggs boosts:

  1. Brain function.
  2. Bone development.
  3. Immune function.
  4. Memory
  5. Vision

Scientists also believe that pregnant mothers can boost the brain development of their babies by eating eggs.

New Capsule Protects You From Toxins And Pollutants!

Long-term studies have shown that the effect of regular egg consumption on blood cholesterol levels is minimal. Some studies also suggest that egg consumption actually may boost the amount of “good” cholesterol in healthy individuals and even help prevent some types of strokes.

According to the USDA, one large egg has about 186 mg of cholesterol — the entire amount of which is found in the egg yolk. If you are diabetic or have high cholesterol, you may want to eat only the egg whites. The white part of a large egg contains about 60 percent of the egg’s total protein content.

Healthy individuals, however, will benefit from the nutrition-dense egg yolk. The yolk contains fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A. E, and D, choline and the carotenoids lutein/zeaxanthin.

The high-quality protein in an egg is important for building and maintaining lean body mass. It can reduce hunger, and, as a result, help in weight loss programs.

According to authors Karen Cicero and Colleen Pierre in their book The Giant Book of Kitchen Cures, athletes in heavy training can benefit from eating hard-boiled eggs. Research indicates the choline level in the blood can drop by as much as 450 percent after heavy exercise. The choline in eggs is a natural way of boosting blood choline levels.

The choline content in eggs also is beneficial to older adults in boosting memory retention.  Cicero and Pierre call eggs “single serving packages stuffed with easy-to-digest protein for maintaining muscle and building immunity against pneumonia and flu.”

Need more convincing about the benefits of eating eggs? Here are some other interesting facts:

1. Brown or white?

An egg’s shell color indicates the breed of the hen that laid it, and not its quality or nutritional value. White-feathered hens usually lay white eggs and hens with red feathered hens usually lay brown eggs.

2. Yolk color

Have you been tempted to throw away an egg with a yolk color different from what you are used to? Egg yolk color is determined by the hen’s diet and has nothing to do with nutritional value. A dark yellow yolk indicates a hen that ate green vegetables. A medium-yellow yolk reveals a diet of alfalfa and corn. A hen that lays an egg with a pale yellow yolk probably eats wheat and barley.

3. Shelf life

Just About Everything You’ve Heard About Eggs Is Wrong

Image source: Pixabay.com

Store-bought egg packages have a “sell by” date rather than an expiration date. Eggs usually are edible for up to four weeks after the “sell by” date. To gauge freshness, crack open an egg. If there is no unpleasant odor, it is OK to eat.

4. Label terms

  • Free-range hens have roamed outdoors at some point, but there is no regulation on how long they have been outside.
  • Cage-free eggs usually are from hens that roam a barn or warehouse. Actual living conditions can vary widely.
  • Certified organic eggs are from hens that have some outdoor access and that eat an organic vegetarian diet free of pesticides, animal by-products, or GMOs.
  • The USDA grades eggs as AA, A or B based on quality and appearance, not size or color. Grade AA eggs are nearly perfect with clean, uncracked shells, thick, firm whites and defect-free yolks. Grade A eggs are similar with slightly lower interior egg quality. Grade B eggs, which are not sold in supermarkets, may have slight stains and be irregular size or shape.

5. Refrigerate or not?

The USDA requires that eggs sold commercially in the U.S. must be power-washed. The washed eggs lose a natural membrane and therefore must be refrigerated. Eggs sold in much of the rest of the world are not power washed and thus, they retain a natural membrane that allows them to be stored at room temperature.

The average American eats 250 eggs per year, which adds up to a total consumption of 76.5 billion eggs. With their high nutritional value and their versatility as main courses, in salads and sandwiches and in myriads of recipes, eggs truly are incredible.

Sources

www.eggnutritioncenter.org

www.incredibleegg.org

Cicero, Karen. Giant book of kitchen counter cures. Jerry Baker publisher, 2001. Print.

DJI Mavic Pro Unmanned Air Vehicle – The Ultimate Prepper X-Factor

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

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


The concept of preppers utilizing unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) for forward surveillance and other situations is not new.  Until recently, the technology has been unattainable except for those with deep pockets. In recent years a decent consumer UAV with desirable features would cost thousands of dollars to achieve what DJI has done for a fraction of the cost in designing the DJI Mavic Pro.  Out of the box, the Mavic Pro is extremely easy to fly, has collision avoidance technology, and a 4.3 mile range (the longest range offered by a DJI – even more than their most expensive UAV).   If you combine this aircraft with a $22.00 app by Litchi Software, it adds an ability to pre-program a flight plan with waypoints, while varying your altitude, speed, and camera orientation to focus on points of interest (POIs) along its route.  Additionally, if in the event that you lose signal, the Mavic can be programmed to hover in place or automatically “go home”, or to wherever the controller may be – if you happen to be on the move.  The bottom line is that this craft is not a toy and with proper training, it has some serious tactical applications.  I have detailed a series of flight testing below to show that the Mavic can successfully drop a small payload via parachute for very little cost.

Before I continue, I want to quickly get two things out-of-the-way.  First, I have no connection at all to DJI and receive zero in return from them for writing this article. Secondly, you may be asking yourself, why do I keep referring to these machines as UAVs?  The simple answer is that I believe the use of the word “drone” does not do a UAV justice.  A drone can be a form of AI (a robot), or some other ground based machine or gadget.  Back in the mid to late 80s, prior to the adoption of the term Unmanned Air Vehicle, the pioneers initially used the term “Remotely Piloted Vehicles”, or RPVs.  I will use both RPV and UAV interchangeably as I believe these terms better define the Mavic.  That said, I realize most people refer to them as drones as do I in other content that I produce.

Much like most advanced technology, the consumer use of UAVs was born from the pioneers in the US Government that began using them for surveillance and lethal applications in the late 1980s/early 1990s.  The technology was cutting edge at the time, but rudimentary by today’s standards.  Think of the difference between the first cell phones versus the smartphones of today.

Additionally, the concept of using UAVs to many in the Government was scary.  In the beginning, they were inherently unstable and a lost signal would result in a crash.  They could only be tested on military ranges or large swathes of private land, primarily with the sanction of generous landowners in the Southwest.  As an added obstacle, some in the Government lacked foresight into the program capabilities and wanted to cut off funding as they believed these vehicles could never be stable or reliable enough to use in tactical situations.  Thankfully, the ragtag team of pioneers persevered and were able to eventually produce one of the first stable

DJI Mavic Pro Fly More Combo: Foldable Propeller Quadcopter Drone Kit with Remote, 3 Batteries, 16GB MicroSD, Charging Hub, Car Charger, Power Bank Adapter, Shoulder Bag

UAVs of its kind known as the gas-powered EXDRONE (I never liked the name).  Launched from a rocket, or as I refer to it as a big bottle rocket, the EXDRONE had a rudimentary autopilot, with a fraction of the accuracy built into the Mavic Pro, that has a built-in GPS.  It also had a real-time video feed, mostly unheard of at the time.  Basically, a heading could be programmed into its system, but the EXDRONE required some old school flight planning including wind calculations.  With some bright communication experts on hand to fine tune the antennas, the RPV range was extended from about 20 miles to 50 miles, and teams along the route could be deployed along high points to keep line of sight for the real-time video feed and take control as necessary utilizing a regular Futaba controller, which was the prevalent RC aircraft controller at the time (and still now to a certain extent).  Each team would have its own portable base unit and use a 4×4 Sony video screen to navigate along the flight path.  As a note, prior to the autopilot, the teams would need to fly it manually from the start and practice handing it off by giving notification to the forward team that they were turning off their Futaba in “3, 2, 1”….  At the same time the forward team would turn their controller on when the countdown ended.  This “handoff” was the time when the RPV was at most risk.  Lost communication would result in a crash.  Again, the technology was rudimentary, but it was shown that forward surveillance could be achieved via UAV.

These pioneers had no idea that what they were doing would eventually provide a huge impact in keeping the world safe from terrorism.  Given the limited technology, support, and budget, it was hard for them to see the eventual development of RPVs such as the Predator and its use of hellfire missiles to take out terrorist targets.  In my view, we are still in the infancy of the UAV revolution.  The technology is advancing faster than ever and there are still many yet untapped uses for these vehicles.

Some preppers may still be hesitant on the utility of RPVs such as the Mavic Pro.  With a cost of $1000, it is not inexpensive, but given the possible uses in a SHTF scenario, it may be the best money you ever spent.  Let’s first take a brief look at some of the specific features of the Mavic and why I think it gives you the best bang for the buck.  I will follow with some tactical uses with a specific design I am testing to deploy a small payload.  I am sure some of the smarter readers can think of other uses and I would be happy to see them in the comments.

Features of Mavic Pro – base cost $1000

27 Minute Flight Time/4.3 Mile Range – The Mavic comes with one battery that gives a 27 minute flight time after a full charge.  This time is a little better than the average UAV.  The 4.3 mile range is one of the furthest ranges out there in the consumer market.  A reasonably priced special antenna boosting apparatus ($13.99/Amazon) can be used to boost the range of the transmitter, though given a 27 minute flight time limitation, flying out too far may drain out the battery on the return trip.   In contrast, the DJI Matrice 100 has a 40 minute flight time, but it is over triple the price of the Mavic.  Additionally, the range of the Matrice 100 is less than 3 miles.  If budget permits, it would be optimum to obtain a few extra batteries, which cost $89 each.  One benefit of using the Litchi software is that it will give an estimated flight plan time (assuming no wind) to prevent the battery from fully draining.

Lightweight, Foldable Arms and Props – The Mavic arms and props fold up nice and neatly to easily fit in a small backpack for deployment.  Alternatively, there are many hardshell cases available on Amazon if better protection for the RPV and its accessories are required.

Software – The Mavic can be controlled using free DJI GO software or via Litchi.  With DJI GO, there is currently no autopilot capability except auto takeoff and land.  I enjoy the use of this software when just flying around the vicinity to have fun.  It is not, however, recommend it for mission style sorties.  For missions, the Litchi software is highly recommended.  As mentioned above, a flight plan can be programmed into the aircraft so that you can concentrate on the real-time video feed to gather intelligence.  As mentioned previously, altitude changes, POI camera focus, loitering, and speed changes are all standard Litchi features.  In my view, Litchi is superior to the DJI app in with the exception of not having the ability to “Go Live”, namely on Facebook or YouTube (DJI allows live broadcasts).  You can also store missions for future repeat use.  Lastly, the software provides real-time verbal telemetry feedback (altitude, distance, battery power, etc.), which comes in handy if you might be focusing your attention on a POI.  The Litchi learning curve is helped with tons of YouTube instructional videos.

Collision Avoidance – The Mavic, unlike many similarly priced competitor UAVs, has a collision avoidance system built-in.  Even if you tried to manually fly it into an obstacle, the Mavic avoidance system would first beep as a warning and then stop.

Insurance – It is highly recommended to purchase DJI insurance ($99.00) which even covers damage from crashing into water.  It can be used twice.

Limitations

No Thermal Camera Capability – At the time of this writing, I do not know of any plans by DJI to offer a version of their Zenmuse thermal camera on the Mavic Pro.  In my opinion, a thermal camera offering would put this RPV at the top of the heap for first responders and the military, giving them the ability to conduct night search and rescue operations.  While the thermal cameras are not inexpensive (6-12k) for an average consumer, it would be a lot cheaper than using helicopters with FLIRs, and the Mavic noise signature would be virtually undetectable from above.

Payload Limited (not really built for payload deployment) – The Mavic is really not built to carry a payload.  DJI has other UAVs for this purpose, but they are triple or quadruple the cost.  

Battery Life is Average – With a 27 minute battery life between charges, any mission would be limited to a short-range, especially if you decide to embark on the payload experiment detailed below.

Tactical Applications for a Drone

Tactical Use Caveats – all uses assume a SHTF environment.  My scenarios also assume you have a DJI Mavic Pro, not some toy that hovers 100 feet in the air.  Additionally, keep in mind the FAA has an altitude limit of 400 feet above ground level (AGL), no fly zones, and it is illegal to fly at night:

Threat assessment for specific location(s) – The Mavic can provide valuable intel if you might be concerned of a specific location in your vicinity.  With a preprogrammed flight plan, the UAV can circle the area from a safe distance and orient itself towards the POI.  It can be programmed to remain there as long as the battery limit permits (approximately 27 minute flight time per charge).

Avoid/Monitor Civil Unrest – In a SHTF scenario, it is quite possible there would be civil disturbance as people run out of food, water, and medical supplies.  Prior to making supply runs, the Mavic can scout ahead to determine if there are pockets of unrest blocking your route.

Avoid Capture by Hostiles – Much like the civil unrest scenario, the Mavic might provide some help in trying to avoid captors.  In this scenario, you might have a further standoff or climb to a higher altitude to minimize UAV detection.  The Mavic is pretty quiet and cannot be heard and is hard to see at 400 feet AGL.  In a SHTF environment, if the altitude limits go out the window, it would allow for an even further standoff.

Zombie Horde Herding/Redirection – I actually have to give my 16 year son credit for this one.  Given zombie affinity for sound, if flown low enough, the Mavic RPV could redirect a zombie horde away from you.  In all seriousness, I am sure there are some readers that can think of real life diversionary tactics that might be applied utilizing the Mavic (I mean no offense to Zombies).  I can see some kind of small battery operated sound generator, maybe on a timer, being attached and used as a diversion prior to an offensive (or defensive) operation.

Scout for Water/Food Supplies/Vehicles – Food, water, and other supplies will become harder to find in a disaster scenario.  While large bodies of water might be easier to identify, the Mavic may be able to assist in finding some lesser known streams or tributaries.  Additionally, while drones cannot be used for hunting, all bets are off in a survival situation.  The Mavic can help to possibly locate wildlife and even herd them towards your location.

Disaster Surveillance (Inaccessible Area) – A survival situation can occur not only from nefarious individuals/governments, but also from natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornados, and hurricanes.  In August of 1992 I was at ground zero in S.W. Miami Florida in my house with my mother and brother when Category 5 Hurricane Andrew hit.  For anyone that was there, they would remember that it hit landfall at 4:30 AM and the worst of it lasted for about two hours.  It was a relatively small hurricane, but it left $23 billion in damage in its aftermath (As a memento, I framed the front page of the August 25th Miami Herald publication, titled “Destruction at Dawn”, where the picture taken was about a mile from my house).

It was almost like a nuclear bomb hit, and it was this event that spurred me into a prepper mindset in my 20s.  Communities were reduced to rubble.  There were many dishonest people both within and from out-of-state who swooped in and took advantage of the less fortunate.  It was sickening to see blocks of ice being sold for $50.00, and $300.00 generators being sold for thousands.  The roads were not navigable due to flooding and debris.  I think back quite often as to how a Mavic Pro could have helped us avoid a lot of dead ends, obstacles, and gridlock in trying to get out of the city, which would not restore full power for 6 months.

Small Payload Drop – In certain scenarios, small amounts of food, medical supplies, or communications can be dropped from a Mavic.  By my best estimates, the Mavic has between a 1-2 lb. payload capability.  I am currently flight testing it for payload stability and experimenting with a payload drop mechanism that does not require the addition of any electronics.  If you use the idea below, I just ask that proper credit for the theory be given (a link to this article would be greatly appreciated).  I have not seen too many YouTube videos with Mavic payload experiments, so I will share my idea as I believe we all benefit if someone has success.  Here is a YouTube link to the maiden voyage where the Mavic drops a 1.5 lb. ham radio.  It is recommended you have a detailed plan and be sure to consult some flight testing reference material.  If you decide to experiment on your own, perform tests in small increments at low altitudes.  Keep good notes, develop a flight test checklist, and be aware of your area.  Most of all, expect that things will not goes as planned and both major and minor adjustments will be required:

 

Eight Design Payload Deployment Criteria

  • Low cost, material readily available
  • Max 2 LB payload (actual payload weight will be determined during flight testing)
  • Use of parachute to drop from high altitudes, protecting the payload
  • No servos or other added electronics
  • Aircraft stability
  • Avoid prop wash
  • Simple to Fabricate
  • Reusable

Theory – Before you crack up laughing at some of the materials, keep in mind that I have a method to my madness and an Aerospace Engineering degree with some UAV flight testing experience.  Before the current technological revolution in UAVs, in the late 80’s and early 90’s, the pioneers activated certain features during flight by extreme altitude drop (free fall).  The solution offered below utilizes this same premise, mixing old theory with the new technology demonstrated with the DJI Mavic Pro.  All of the items were purchased on EBay for less than $20.00.  Keep in mind I have seen payload release systems that range from $100-$1000, all of which are servo actuated.  These are great, but I do not know of any application that uses a payload mechanism without having to add some kind of electronic actuation.

Design – A Tupperware container will be attached to the four UAV arms via fishing line and zip ties.  Eye hooks will be fastened to the four corners of the container, hung from the arms via four pieces of fishing line, each cut to 2 feet.  The end result would be that the container with payload will fly approximately 2 feet below the UAV to avoid prop wash.  Four lines were used for flight stability purposes.  The payload will be attached to a parachute via zip ties and placed in the container.

A trap door will be fabricated at the bottom of the container with a release mechanism that uses gravity to release the payload.  You can buy a 36” flare parachute on eBay or fabricate a parachute from bedsheets (36” is the size needed to safely drop up to a 2 LB payload – there are templates online).  The payload will be dropped by using its own weight first by vertically rising at the fastest rate possible, then descending quickly to break the bond of the release mechanism.  The trap door “release will be fabricated from a black office clip, zip ties, and an electrical connector.  The trap door was made by cutting out three sides of the bottom part of the container, leaving one short side intact.

The reason for leaving one side intact is that it will act as a “hinge” to allow the payload to fall through.  I also put duct tape around the edges of the cuts so the parachute would not get snagged.  The free side of the trap door will be attached to the side of the container utilizing the zip ties, the electrical connector, and office clip.

The idea is that the weight of the payload, combined with a sudden upward or downward movement, will cause the electrical connector to release from the office clip, allowing the payload to deploy through the trapdoor at the bottom of the container.  The payload I used is a Baofeng BF-F8HP ham radio.   I attached it with the antenna via zip ties to the chute.

Photo 6 shows the whole contraption attached to the UAV. A radio was chosen as a payload to illustrate a real live first responder scenario, where communications might be desired with individuals in an area rendered inaccessible due to a natural disaster.

Challenges/Risks

  • The payload may be too heavy for the container and deploy before desired
  • Wind may cause the payload to prematurely deploy
  • The fishing line could break and get tangled into the props, causing catastrophic failure
  • Sudden RPV turns or altitude change can prematurely deploy the parachute
  • The setup may cause unstable flight
  • Flight time most likely shortened
  • Undue strain on electrical system

The key to success is to find the optimum payload weight so that the UAV can fly stable without premature deployment.

If it is too heavy, the payload will be deployed before it is desired since the mechanism works via gravity.  If too light, it would not deploy at all.  Once the optimum weight is found, quarters can be added or removed to balance it out depending on the payload.

As you can see, though the Mavic cannot carry huge payloads like some of its older brothers and sisters in the DJI line up, I believe you get the most bang for the buck if you want to utilize it in a SHTF scenario or even as a First Responder.  With a little bit of ingenuity, I am sure others can come up with a fancier/prettier payload release for the system.

The post DJI Mavic Pro Unmanned Air Vehicle – The Ultimate Prepper X-Factor appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

How to Get Started Homesteading

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How to Get Started Homesteading For someone who just heard of it, homesteading might be a lifestyle that is impossible to achieve in modern times. Most people imagine homesteading means you have to move to a remote place, building your own home, growing and raising your own food, and living without electricity. Basically, like how …

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On Responsibilities

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Earlier we discussed rights, now it is time to discuss their big brother, responsibilities.  For each right you claim, you inherit an equally important responsibility. When a boy gets his first rifle, not only does he get a great privilege, but he also becomes responsible for how he uses it.  The most clichéd version of […]

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Renaissance Republican

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I am a Renaissance Republican, another one of the silent majority of Americans who are too busy working on taking care of myself and fulfilling my own responsibilities to do much beyond vote and watch in disgust at modern politics. But it has gotten to the point where I am tired of watching the contract […]

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Are Revolvers Good Survival Guns

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The old adage that says: the best gun is the one you’ve got, applies to not only everyday carry, but also to survival in general. Of course, it’s always better to have a gun chambered in a readily available caliber, should the S ever HTF. But again, whatever you’ve got and have ammunition for is […]

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Comic Con star yearns for Bora Bora

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millie bobbie brown wide smile

Smile – you are off the grid

“Stranger Things” fans gave Millie Bobby Brown — the 13-year-old breakout star of Netflix‘s sci-fi series — pure and unmitigated rock-star treatment on closing day of this year’s Indiana Comic Con.  highlights of the session – she yearns for an off-grid life and she hates shopping.

Brown’s Q&A was peppered with bio info you might find in a teen-focused magazine from the “Stranger Things” era:

Where would you like to visit? “Bora Bora, because it’s off the grid.”

What’s your favorite color? Purple.

What’s your TV obsession? “Friday Night Lights” and “The Vampire Diaries.”

Music favorites? Gorillaz and Whitney Houston.

Give her space when she’s eating in a restaurant or trying to catch a flight.

And don’t bother sending Eggos, the breakfast treat closely identified with Eleven. Brown is wary of hidden cameras and poisoned waffles.

When doors opened to the large hall where Brown answered audience questions, the first of 500 or so attendees ran to grab prime seats as if the event were a Harry Styles concert. It took exactly one fan into the session, 13-year-old Addison Tuttle of Lexington, Ky., for Brown to field her first request for a date.

After someone said Brown’s YouTube videos are a source of encouragement when this particular fan feels unwanted or unimportant, the “Stranger Things” actress stepped down from the dais to deliver a hug. Tears fell for multiple fans when given the chance to talk to the actress who portrays telekinetic youngster Eleven.

Christy Blanch, the Q&A’s moderator and owner of Muncie’s Aw Yeah Comics store, paused to note the affection in the room.

“I have been doing this for four years, and I have never seen this amount of emotion in questions,” Blanch told Brown.”I did Carrie Fisher’s panel and nobody broke down like this.”

Brown, a native of Spain who spent early years in England and now lives in Atlanta where “Stranger Things” is made, appeared comfortable in the setting.

She agreed to pose with a Godzilla action figure supplied by a fan who asked about Brown’s role in the upcoming film “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” When asked to showcase her rapping skills, Brown said she felt like singing and belted out an a cappella minute of Emeli Sande song “Read All About It (Part III).”

Wearing black, low-cut Chuck Taylor tennis shoes, Brown told the story behind the Victoria Beckham-designed rabbit shirt she wore this Easter Sunday.

“I hate shopping,” Brown said. “My mom tricks me into going shopping. She says, ‘Oh, we’re just going to get Starbucks,’ and here we are! We were in Target the other day, and she said, ‘Just try on this. It looks really cute and you can wear it to the con.’ I said, ‘I’m not trying it on. Just buy it and we’ll see if it fits.’”

Regarding the signature pink dress with the Peter Pan collar worn by Brown’s character during the latter episodes of the first season of “Stranger Things,” Fishers High School junior Sarah Dunlap said she bought hers for $40 at Hot Topic.

Justin Hanks, a 27-year-old from Cincinnati, said it was a challenge to find the dress in his size. Of all the Indiana Comic Con attendees paying homage to Eleven, Hanks likely was the only one sporting a beard.

“When we go to a convention, I like to be something obnoxious and over the top,” he said. “As soon as we saw that Millie Bobby Brown was coming, I thought, ‘Oh, I have to do this.’”

Hanks’ friend, 23-year-old Adam Grey, combined wardrobe elements associated with the “Stranger Things” character portrayed by Winona Ryder: a Christmas-light necklace, a handheld ax and a phone receiver and cord emerging from a pocket of a khaki jacket.

Brown referred to Ryder as her “second mom” and she said David Harbour’s Sheriff Hopper may be her favorite character on the show. But most of the Q&A session focused on the show’s young actors.

Shortly after auditions, the girl and four boys — Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair) and Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson) — exchanged texts: “Did you get the job of ‘Stranger Things’?”

Brown said she’s closest to Schnapp, whose character’s disappearance triggers the story of “Stranger Things.”

“Noah is my best friend,” Brown said. “We’re the same age. We do everything together. We go to Six Flags. We have play dates. I mean, we are children.”

Brown said Wolfhard is her adviser, McLaughlin resembles a watchful older sibling and Matarazzo is her “entertainer.”

When asked what’s difficult about portraying Eleven, Brown said it’s all easy.

“She’s part of me,” Brown said. “She’s my alter ego. It’s not hard to switch back and forth. She’s just there. As soon as they say cut, I’m ‘the Millster’ again.”

Set in fictional small-town Hawkins, Ind., “Stranger Things” unfolds as a 1980s tale influenced by the work of Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter and Stephen King.

Perhaps aware that Brown couldn’t talk about particulars on the show’s second season, which premieres on Halloween, no one asked.

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Water from thin air

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Omar Yaghi in Berkeley, and his metal-organic models

Omar Yaghi and his metal-organic models

Scientists have created a device that can literally extract water from the air using solar power.  Solar Water could revolutionise off-grid living which currently requires a natural water source to be viable – even if its just  rain. This device could one day provide personalized water to those in areas affected by chronic drought.

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of California Berkeley published their findings in the journal Science on Thursday.

The invention can harvest water from the atmosphere in conditions where relative humidity is as low as 20 percent, which makes it potentially usable in many of the planet`s driest regions.

This is a major breakthrough in the long-standing challenge of harvesting water from the air at low humidity,said Omar Yaghi from Berkeley, who along with colleague Evelyn Wang from MIT created the revolutionary tech.

In order to harvest water, the system uses a specially designed material, a metal organic framework (MOF) designed by Yaghi over 20 years ago. By combining metals like magnesium or aluminium with organic molecules the MOF creates rigid, porous structures ideal for storing liquids and gases.

Essentially the system absorbs and traps air in nanometer sized pores. When sunlight is added, water molecules inside the trapped air get released and condensed into drinkable H2O. Using just 2.2 pounds (997g) of MOF the device can harvest 2.8 litres of water over a 12 hour period.

One vision for the future is to have a solar water device at home running on ambient solar for delivering water that satisfies the needs of a household, Yaghi told Berkeley news.

The ingenious device is not yet ready for commercial production but the scientists have big plans for their technology.

There is a lot of potential for scaling up the amount of water that is being harvested. It is just a matter of further engineering now, expressed Yaghi.

To have solar water running all the time, you could design a system that absorbs the humidity during the night and evolves it during the day, he said. Or design the solar collector to allow for this at a much faster rate, where more air is pushed in. We wanted to demonstrate that if you are cut off somewhere in the desert, you could survive because of this device. A person needs about a Coke can of water per day. That is something one could collect in less than an hour with this system.

There is no other way to do that right now, except by using extra energy. Your electric dehumidifier at home produces very expensive water, he added.

Wang echoed these statements; This solar water device offers a new way to harvest water from air that does not require high relative humidity conditions and is much more energy efficient than other existing technologies, the mechanical engineer said.

With an estimated 1 in 10 people lacking access to clean drinking water and 4 billion people worldwide facing severe water shortages the potential for this technology is huge.

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How to Start a Fire with Firesteel and a Knife

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How to Use Firesteel

Using firesteel in a survival or emergency situation can be tough. Here’s how to properly use a ferro rod and knife to start a soul-warming, life-saving blaze – every time…

Here’s What You’ll Need:

using firesteel

 

First, you’ll need some REALLY DRY tinder (this is the fine stuff) because this is ONE of the MAJOR keys to SUCCESS. Dead grass or weeds, fine, dry wood shavings, twine pulled apart, dryer lint or cotton balls all make good tinder.

Next you’ll need a campfire all set up and ready to go – I recommend a teepee fire for beginners – we’ll talk more about this in a minute.

You’ll need some comfortable leather gloves and a ferrocerium fire steel rod such as the Bear Grylls, Schrade and Exotac rods.

And last but not least, you’ll need a fixed blade knife.

Set Up Your Tee Pee Fire

using firesteel
Now… set up your tee pee fire with your dry tinder on a dry surface like sticks or a rock, and add kindling. Then top it off with some larger sticks for fuel.

Your Survival Knife

using firesteel
Next we’ll need our knife. Just about any sturdy fixed blade knife with a 90 degree / squared-off AND UNCOATED spine.

The Bear Grylls knife is a popular one with those just getting into survival land. With its included ferro rod and well-designed, notched, coating-free striker area on the spine toward the handle, it’s a perfect knife to start with.

Ferro Rod

using firesteel
Now… If you are using a new ferro rod (like the one that comes with the Bear Grylls knife, you’ll need to remove the dark rust-inhibiting coating from the portion of the rod you are going to strike.

To do this, angle the spine of your blade and scrape off a good bit of the coating. It should throw a nice shower of sparks.

using firesteel

Bonus Tip
Most beginners make the mistake of striking the ferro rod by pushing the knife over the rod and toward the fire… This often results in TOO MANY sparks falling short of the tinder, AND by pushing your knife out toward the fire you run the risk of knocking your fire over as your hand travels forward… which is really frustrating.

So Here’s the Right Way to Do It

using firesteel

With gloves on, hold the knife firmly with your strong hand, spine side facing down and the edge facing up.

Brace your hand on the ground close to your tinder for support. This hand will be stationary during the process.

Now grip the ferro rod with your other hand and bring it under your knife spine tilting it at about a 45 degree angle to the blade.

To generate sparks, pull the ferro rod toward you while it rubs against the edge of the knife spine.

Bonus Tip2

Problems? Here’s What to Do
If after a minute or two you can’t get a fire, your tinder is probably too wet or may not be the proper material.

So, if you have a choice, find new tinder. If not, keep trying. It might take up to 20 minutes to get a fire going in wet or humid situations.

ONE Last thing…

vaselinecotton
Since practice makes perfect… Here’s a simple way to practice using your ferro rod and knife without starting an entire camp fire.

Grab a cotton ball and add a small dab of petroleum jelly…This will allow the cotton ball to burn much longer.

To prepare your cotton ball tinder… Simply pull it apart a bit, expanding it to two or 3 times its original size, so it literally catches the sparks.

Then follow the steps we talked about earlier… AND with a strike or two… You should have a nice little practice fire in no time.

using firesteel

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Briefcase Backup Review And Giveaway

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Everyone likes giveaways, right? I mean, who doesn’t throw their name in the hat when there’s a chance to win something? And if it’s a really good prize, they’ll really want to win.

Well, we’ve got a really good prize for you. We’re giving away one of our Briefcase Backup units. Yeah, that’s right — the portable electric power unit that we sell for $497 and others sell for double that … we’re giving one away.

This is a great unit, providing you with 120-volt AC, 12-volt DC (cigarette lighter adapter) and 5-volt DC (via USB) for running just about anything you might want to run when you’re out camping, fishing, hunting, at the beach or even on the top of a mountain, backpacking. It also will provide you a source of emergency electric power whenever the lights go out. In today’s world, that’s a necessity.

The two internal 10-watt, monocrystalline solar panels will recharge the unit, so even when you’re waaaaay out there and can’t plug it in to recharge, you can still have electrical power. That’s a real convenience, and it’s all self-contained in a rugged, military-style ABS plastic case, with a carrying handle, just like a briefcase. When opened, the solar panels recharge the internal battery and when closed, there’s an access panel to get to the power connections. There’s even a LCD display, so you’ll know how much power you’ve got left.

How’s that for a giveaway? Others are doing drawings for $50 items, but we’re giving away something that’s worth 10 times that much … or even more if you count what others are charging for it.

So, what’s to lose? Wouldn’t you like to take this baby along on your next little trip? You know you don’t want to miss out.


Here’s What You Need To Do For Your Chance To Win

Please answer the following question in the comments section at the bottom of the page:
Tell us why you think this would be a great off the grid item in a crisis and why you think you should win it?
Sign up to win using the form below and share this video with your friends.
Every friend that you get to sign up earns you 5 points. The person with the most points at the end of the contest wins the Briefcase Backup!

10 Steps To Take After The SHTF

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There are many things you can do at the onset of a disaster. Most people panic. But when you panic, it leads to drastic and dangerous decision making. Panic leads to the type of radical actions that get people hurt or killed. Another thing people do at the onset of disaster is freeze. They haven’t […]

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How To Throw Knives For Survival

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How To Throw KnivesWatching a skilled knife thrower in action is an incredible thing to behold.

But if you’ve never tried it yourself, you may not realize “the experts make it look easy”. Accurately throwing knives takes a lot of practice (and some guidance doesn’t hurt either).

Why You Should Learn To Throw Knives

But first, why would you want to throw a knife in the first place?

Well, perhaps you want to know the skill as a “last resort” self-defense tactic. Maybe you’d like to hunt small game silently and discreetly. Or perhaps you dream of joining a circus to dazzle crowds with your bladed accuracy.

Or maybe you just think throwing knives is badass. Which it is indeed!

Regardless of why you want to throw a knife, learning the skill takes guidance. So this article will serve as detailed instruction on how to throwing knives.

But before we dive in,  I want to warn you – there’s some serious controversy surrounding the usefulness of this skill for self-defense and survival.

Many believe if you enter a fight with a knife, you should NEVER throw away your weapon. Not only are you effectively disarming yourself, but unless you make the perfect throw, you’ll make your assailant angrier (and now you have no weapon).

You also probably just armed your assailant with the weapon you just threw at them…

It’s easy to see the logic there, and I agree with it. But like I said: I’ve seen some amazing knife throwers in my day. And it’s frightening to behold how accurately and how powerfully some can sling a blade.

So it’s really a matter of skill and experience. Check out this video to see how effective and deadly a knife throw can be.

Sure, you may be a beginner today. But after a few years of practice, when some chump tries to mug you in a dark alley, you’ll have the confidence and ability to cast a knife and end his criminal days.

Just don’t try until you have no doubt in your ability to nail the target.

A Brief History of Throwing Knives

Throwing knives have been used widely throughout history and across many cultures. It’s an ancient art form.

They’re used for hunting and martial purposes in Japan, Africa, and the Americas. And they are still incorporated into many forms of martial arts today.

In most cases, throwing knives were specially made for throwing. And the warriors who threw them would be armed with another weapon as well.

Today, most expert knife throwers are hobbyists (or secret ninjas). There are knife throwing clubs and even professional competitions.

Throwing A Knife

Sure you could go into your kitchen, grab a bread knife and start hurling it around the house. But you’re not going to have much success. Instead, to practice correctly, get yourself a set of throwing knives and a safe space outside. That way, you won’t throw towards anyone or anything valuable (i.e., the neighbor’s kids or cars).

In general, there are three types of throwing knives:

  1. Handle Heavy Knives
  2. Blade Heavy Knives
  3. Balanced Knives

How to Hold the Knife

You always want to hold the knife opposite of the heavy end, so the weighted side gets thrown first. So, for example, if you have a heavy handle knife, you would hold the blade – if you have a heavy blade knife, you would hold the handle.

Balanced blades can be thrown from either end and are the preferred knives amongst throwing professionals.

Place your index, middle and ring fingers on one side of the end you are holding, and your thumb on the other. Hold the knife gently but firmly.

How to Throw Knives

There are many schools of thought on how to throw a knife.

There are many different techniques, and none of them are right or wrong – they’re just different. And some work better than others.

For this article, I will explain a few of the main ways to throw a knife.

The Professional Technique

No matter which way you decide to throw the blade, the first step is always the same: find your “throwing line.” This is the distance from you to your target – usually about five paces. This is where most professionals throw from, and as a beginner, you’ll want to start here too.

Simply take a step forward from where you stand on the throwing line. Keeping the knife horizontal to the target, swing, gently release and always follow through (just like a good golf swing or baseball pitch).

While this method is perfect for practicing accuracy and getting a good feel for throwing a knife, it does not generate a whole lot of Oomph.

The Power Knife Throw

To get more power out of your throw, you need a couple of extra steps. Once you have found your throwing line, take another step backward, and one more step at a 45-degree angle.

Stand with your weak shoulder to the target (left shoulder for the right-handed, right shoulder for the left-handed). Place your back foot one step in front of your front foot (almost like you’re mid-stride, with the target to your side).

Wind up and take a big step towards your line with your back foot (the one on your dominant side) and throw that knife really friggin’ hard.

Once again: keep the knife horizontal to the target throughout the throw, and gently let it go and follow through. The extra step lets you pitch that knife like a baseball, with all your humanly might.

Successfully throwing a knife like this generates more than enough force to peg an animal you’re hunting, or to punch a hole in an enemy.

Timing the release is the hardest part of throwing a knife. Knowing when to let go, and how to let go of the blade, so it spins correctly, flies the right way, and sinks where you want it to is a matter of trial and error.

Practice is the only way to perfect this skill.

The “No Spin” Knife Throw

There is a third way to throw a knife. It is not typical, but it can be effective.

The no spin throw sounds exactly as it looks: the thrower launches their knife in such a way that it doesn’t rotate on its way to the target.

Start in the same place you would for the Power Throw (described above), and in almost the same stance. But hold the knife with your pointer finger supporting the back edge of the knife.

Step outwards with your dominant leg and throw the knife point first towards the target, release gently and follow through. Watch the video for more details on this throw.

Buying Throwing Knives

Now here is where things get tricky. Because the internet is full of throwing knives for sale. And I’m here to tell you, that not all are created equal.

In fact, there are a lot of throwing knives out there that are utter garbage.

This is an important section because the knife makes a difference. It needs to be weighted correctly and made of the right type of steel. For a beginner, this step is an easy one to mess up – because you don’t know what you are looking for in a throwing knife.

But do not worry, that is why this article is here.

SOG Fling 3-Piece set:

SOG throwing knifeThis is a standard set of balanced throwing blades. Their handles are wrapped in nylon cord for grip and weight, just like the old school throwing knives which were bound with leather or sinew.

The cord offers a special survival bonus, as it can be removed in a survival emergency and repurposed. Each SOG Fling knife is 9.5”, and comes with a ballistic nylon sheath for storage.

Magnum by Boker Ziel 3-piece set:

magnum knife setThese knives are longer throwing knives, at 13.25”. The stainless steel blades look a bit like scalpels. And at 14 ounces they are heavy enough to surgically strike down anything they sink their hefty weight into.

The Magnum blades come with a very nice leather sheath for storage.

Cold Steel Pro Balance Sport:

Cold Steel Balanced KnifeCold Steel is known for making excellent professional grade throwing knives. And this intermediate Cold Steel Pro Balance Sport thrower is no exception to that.

The blade is expertly balanced and crafted with hard spring tempering. 13.25” long and 11.5 ounces, these professional throwing knives are an incredible bang for your buck.

You get nearly the same quality weapon that the pros use for a margin of the price.

Perfect Point Throwing Knife 3-piece set:

Perfect Point Throwing KnivesAnother high-quality budget throwing knife is The Perfect Point RC-179 Series. It’s a well-balanced knife and allows accurate throws every time.

It’s made from a black stainless steel construction and has a laser cut-out at end of handle allows a lanyard to be tied to it.

It includes a black nylon sheath for safe transport and each knife measures 8 inches in overall length.

KA-BAR Fighting/Utility Serrated Edge Knife

KA-BAR Military Survival KnifeFirst off, let me be clear – the KA-BAR is NOT designed specifically to be thrown. However, if you’re into survival (like we are) you may prefer to learn how to throw your bushcraft survival knife (since we don’t carry throwing knives in our bug out bags).

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #104 Item Bug Out Bag Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

If you watched the video “Will It Kill You?” video above, you noticed the Ka-Bar CAN be thrown with success with practice. And when it hits it’s target it’s a devastating blow.

BONUS! Shuriken and the Art of Shuriken Jutsu

Ninja stars, as they are commonly known, are another throwing knife. I kept them separate from the rest of the throwing knives because they are overtly different than regular western throwing knives (heavy handled, heavy bladed, or balanced).

Shuriken were not typically instruments of assassination, as many people believe. Most shuriken (most throwing knives for that matter) cannot be thrown with enough force to stick directly into a person.

Especially if that person is very far away. Instead, martial artists would use them to cut, slice or otherwise nick their targets skin. They were used as distractions, and nuisances during fights, and were used to target exposed areas of the body (like the eyes, and hands).

The Ninja were a crafty bunch – they would embed their shuriken into the ground so that enemies would step on them like caltrops.

They would wrap them in a lit fuse and throw them at structures to start fires.

They would wrap them in poisonous cloth, which they lit on fire before throwing, to cover a vast area in toxic smoke.

They were even used as handheld weapons, for close combat.

Shurikens didn’t have to be perfectly shaped “stars” either – many were made from nails or coins. Shuriken came in many different shapes and sizes. Some were circular with sharpened outer edges. Others were more like pointed throwing darts (known as Bo Shuriken). They were perhaps the most effectively used throwing knives of all time.

Throwing a shuriken is very similar to throwing a regular throwing knife. You only need to make certain that you hold it so that the blade has no chance of cutting your skin when you release it.

The Japanese martial artists who developed the art of throwing shuriken (Shurikenjutsu) created more ways to throw these deadly weapons than you can imagine: overhead, underarm, sideways, rear ways…

Sometimes in battle, they would whip out a shuriken so quickly and with such stealth, that warriors who got cut by them would think they were being attacked by an invisible swordsman.

The Final Word

Yes, a thrown knife can function as an additional self-defense weapon – if you know how to do it. But it takes lots of practice.

If knife throwing is something that interests you, it’s a great hobby. Much like darts or target shooting, throwing knives is a fun and relaxing way to practice a skill that has some actual, practical self-defense applications.

If you’re more into survival than knife throwing competitions, you should learn how to throw your survival knife. That way, you won’t weigh down your bug out bag with an unnecessary set of throwing knives.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #104 Item Bug Out Bag Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.
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No More Bicycle Flats (video)

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This idea has been around for some time, it seems, but if you’re looking to NOT have to deal with bicycle flat tires consider a (for 26″ tires). They’re certainly more expensive than a traditional inner tube and obviously you’ll need to purchase the correct size for your bicycle but knowing that you won’t be … Continue reading “No More Bicycle Flats (video)”

5+1 Organic Remedies For Your Spring Garden

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It’s almost that time of year again – time to set out your plants and get that beautiful garden growing! But, one of the biggest problems that many of us face is that we grow our own food to avoid chemicals, but we need fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides to really get the most out of our labor.

Don’t worry – there are excellent organic options to help your garden grow.

Read the article below to discover them!

Seeds

You’re not going to grow anything of quality if you don’t start with good seeds. It’s easy to go the cheap route and buy seeds at the dollar store, but do your research. This isn’t the place that you want to skimp because if you do it right, you’ll only have to buy seeds once because next year, you’ll use ones that you harvest from your own crop.

Now, you’ve likely heard of GMO, which stands for “genetically modified organism.” Scientists literally modify the DNA of the plant to make it “better.” Of course, we know that actually means, “more profitable,” not “more healthy.”

Because science tinkered with the natural structure of the plant, the seeds are unreliable. You may get great results by replanting them, or none of them may grow. Besides, GMO have been linked to several different illnesses. Skip them.

You want to go with heirloom seeds because they’ve been carefully cultivated from one type of plant for generations. They’re reliable and safe. To learn more about the different types of seeds, check out this article.

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

Organic Fertilizer

In the event SHTF, you might not be able to run down to the garden center and pick up a bag of Miracle Gro. Why would you want to even when you can? You can make your own fertilizer at home that’s every bit as good as the store-bought stuff, and you know exactly what’s in it.

But what if your tomato plants grow just fine? I’ll be rude and answer a question with a question. How do you know that they’re growing fine? Sure, they may be growing and producing, but here’s the thing – our soil is depleted.

That means that what passes for a tomato today likely only has a fraction of the nutrients that it had 100 years ago. Too many seasons of constant planting without a break has sucked all the nutrients out of the soil, and if there’s none in the soil, well, there’s none in the plant.

So you need fertilizer. Your compost is going to be a huge part of that, but you can also add nutrients in other ways, such as by mixing Epsom salt around your tomatoes and peppers or by mixing a bit of diluted vinegar in if your soil isn’t acidic enough. Check out this article for more tips for fertilizer, but don’t skip it, whatever you do!

Video first seen on GrowVeg

Compost

This is probably the most proactive step you can take for a healthy garden, but to do it right, you’re going to need to do it right. You can put many things, from food scraps to paper and ash in it, but there are definitely some no-nos.

Now, before you start saying that you can’t have a compost pile because you don’t have a big enough area, let me stop you because you only need an area the size of a bin to have a compost pile … err, bin.

Oh, and you can have liquid manure compost – aka manure tea – too. It’s exceptionally good for plants that require extra nitrogen. Manure tea is exactly what it sounds like – manure that’s been steeped in water. It’s a bit involved and takes some time, but it’s well worth the end result. It’s especially good for plants with deep roots.

Herbicides

Oh, those nasty weeds. Of course, if you’re container gardening, it’s not such a hassle, but if you have a traditional garden, it’s a real pain, literally and figuratively. And if you opt to use commercial herbicides, you’re often defeating one of the purposes of growing your own garden  by using chemicals on your food.

Fortunately, you have many natural options that will work just as well as harmful chemicals. First, mulch is an excellent idea for several reasons. It helps keep the weeds to a minimum, it holds the moisture in the soil, and it acts as a natural fertilizer when it breaks down. That’s assuming you make your own mulch, which is cheap (or free), or buy organic mulch, which is NOT cheap or free.

Another option that isn’t exactly an herbicide but works as well as one is to use landscape fabric, which you can also make yourself from recycled sheets, feed sacks, etc. Or, you can buy it. It prevents weeds from growing by blocking out the sunlight. A natural result of this is that it helps hold moisture in the soil as well.

Boiling water works, too. It’ll kill a weed quick, but this isn’t particularly effective if you’re treating your entire garden.

Borax, bleach, vinegar, and salt water are also effective herbicides though you may need to repeat the process. Add a little liquid dish detergent to each for an extra boost. Be sure to spray these only on the leaves of the plants that you want to kill because none of them discriminate.

Be careful not to saturate the soil because all of them alter the pH and can have catastrophic effects on your plants.

Video first seen on Grow Your Heirlooms

Insecticides

This is the big bad of the chemicals that most people consider necessary to growing a healthy, productive garden. And it’s true – nothing will wipe out a garden faster that a horde of hungry aphids, beetles, or other flying or crawling creatures.

Fortunately, you have options here, too, and some of them, such as dish detergent, serve double duty and kill weeds, too.

Neem is probably the most effective. It’s been used for centuries and has more than 50 natural insecticides. Since it’s safe for you, your pets, and your plants, you can use it without worrying about damage. The only problem is that the bug has to actually eat the plant to die, so if you have an infestation of something, you may have some losses before you win the battle.

Himalayan salt kills spider mites. Just mix 2 Tbsp. of salt in 1 gallon of water and mist onto infested areas.

Chrysanthemum flower spray is lethal to insects because it paralyzes their nervous systems and immobilizes them. Just boil 3.5 ounces of flowers with a liter of water into a tea and spray directly on the plant. The spray stores for up to 2 months. Add some neem oil to give it an extra boost.

I call this the pizza spray – it’s made of 1 clove minced garlic, 1 medium sliced onion, and 1 tsp. cayenne pepper. Add them to a quart of water and let it soak for an hour. You don’t want to cook it; just let it soak. Add a tablespoon of liquid soap and spray directly onto the plant. This will stay potent for a week or better in the fridge.

Grind a couple of handfuls of dried chilis and add to a cup of diatomaceous Earth, then add 2 liters of water. Let it soak overnight, then shake it up and apply.

Other natural pesticides include orange oil, citrus oil. Eucalyptus oil, soap, and mineral oil. Dilute them with water and spray directly onto the plant.

Note that, with the exception of the soap, all of these concoctions are drinkable (though I don’t imagine that you’d want to) so you’re not going to poison yourself.

Critters

Bunnies and deers are really cute until you find them eating your carrots and corn. Then, not so much. As a matter of fact, so may say that they’d look delicious on  a plate side-by-side with said veggies after they’re busted dining on your labors.

I once lost an entire crop of cherries overnight because apparently the birds had been waiting for them to be perfect just as I had, but they were up earlier than I was. Two words – bird netting.

But, they do have minds of their own and aren’t easily deterred. Some good ideas that may help you keep from feeding the neighborhood wildlife instead of saving it all for yourself are as follows:

Marigolds. Rabbits, deer, and other wildlife hate the smell of them so plant them around your perimeter. You can also build chicken wire fences around your garden, or around the plants that you’re worried about.

Raccoons and some other animals hate the smell of Epsom salt – which, by the way, isn’t a salt so it won’t kill your plants. Just sprinkle it around the perimeter of the garden. It also increases the magnesium in your soil, so your plants may thank you.

Solar motion-activated lights may help scare them off, especially if you relocate them regularly so that the animals don’t get used to them.

Finally, you can cover your plants at night using tulle netting – that gauzy stuff that a bride’s veil is made of. For that matter, if you’re only covering it at night, you can use light sheets or other fabric that won’t break the plants.

We’ve covered most of the ways that you can grow a healthy, delicious garden without worrying about chemicals leeching into your foods. Plus, most of these suggestions are free or super cheap, so it’s a win in all directions!

Do you wonder what are the secrets that helped our grandparents grow their own food to survive during harsh times?

Click the banner bellow and uncover them!

If you have any more ideas about organic remedies to keep your survival garden healthy, share them in the comments section below. Happy gardening!

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

7 Ways To Succeed At Being A Charitable Prepper

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Spring is in the air, summer is on the way. This is the time of year when many people begin to pack up their winter gear and spring clean their home in preparation for the summer. If you are like me, I have piles of items I do not need anymore but still have good use left. These items can be donated to help others, and there seems to be a plethora of ways and places to give to. You could possibly help in more ways than you know by being a charitable prepper.

TIP: For help with your spring cleaning, get Survival Mom’s free ebook, “Declutter & Organize Your Living Space.”

A charitable prepper can give food

Food storage is an obvious place to begin, but you can do more with food than just donate cans before they expire. (FYI – most food pantries accept food that is 1-2 years past its best by date, but give them a call first to double check.) Having a food supply on hand in a well-stocked pantry means you can make or provide meals for people who need them quickly.

Meals are often needed for funerals, families who just had a baby, families dealing with illnesses or even people just going through a move or big transition. If you like to cook, you can make a meal from your food storage and take it on over. A warm casserole is easy to make and is always welcomed! Or, you can put together meal packages where all the ingredients are provided, along with a recipe and disposable cooking pan. (Throwing in disposable plates and utensils when you give a meal is another way to make life easier for someone.) Dehydrated or freeze-dried food can be put in large mason jars to make instant soups, tasty chili or skillet meals. You can find families to give food to by calling churches, funeral homes, food pantries or refugee/immigration services.

READ MORE: You can learn more about dehydrating dinners here.

Give from your garden

Giving people the means to grow their own food can not only help them feed themselves, but help them become more self-sustaining. You can read and learn how to save and store your own seeds. This is a great way to encourage someone to begin growing their own food, and if you are already saving your own seeds, you may have a plentiful stock that you could share from.

Consider putting together seed kits for people you know, or donate them with instructions to food pantries. Here are instructions for putting together a well-organized seed bank in an Altoids in. Some cities have a piece of land set aside for a community garden. Many of those who participate are lower income residents who are wanting to supplement their food budget. Call your local community center and offer your seeds with instructions for when and how to plant them.

Supplies

While toy donations are very popular around the holidays, consider other times of the year, too. Many hospitals, teachers, and after school centers would love to have coloring, crafting and writing supplies. If your preps include supplies from the after back-to-school sales, giving some of those away would be appreciated. My children’s teachers are now starting to request items for the classroom instead of for them individually. Children can even make homemade cards to take to nursing homes, hospitals, fire stations or send to military deployed overseas (visit USO.org for more information on contacting military members).

Use your skills to create items for giving

If you are a good seamstress, woodworker or crafter, you could use your skills to make items to donate. Bandanas, light weight hats, simple skirts and shorts could easily be made. If you can knit or sew, you could make these items and find a church, foster care organization, food pantry or soup kitchen to donate the items to. Some charities  accept handmade wooden toys to pass out to children.

Families in need often don’t have money for photographs. Offering a photograph session at one of these places could help capture a family’s memories. Another way to help could be offering to mend clothes or do handyman services for families in need. You could see if a local community center, church or library would let you host a class in its building for free.

Consider what skills you have and then figure out ways to use them to bless those in need.

Teach what you know

Sharing prepping skills by teaching them is another way to help people. Sewing, crocheting and crafting classes can be offered with supplies provided so that the people learning can take something home. They will then also have learned a skill that can help them be more self-sustaining.

Putting together small sewing kits for people attending a mending class to take home would allow them mend their own clothes. Providing a skein of yarn and knitting needles after a knitting class can put them on the start of making their own scarves or hats. Preppers tend to learn many skills to set themselves up for survival. Passing on those skills could be one of the best gifts you can give someone.

Big items

Sometimes prepping means stocking up and sometimes it means paring down. Walk through your house while spring cleaning and see if there is anything you could part with, like you would do if you were going to have a garage sale. You can sell the extra items and use the money to donate cash to a charity. Another option is to donate the  items to places where they could be used. Thrift stores are one good way to donate household items as a lot of them are used to fund charities. Another way is to contact your state’s immigration/refugee services and see if there are any families nearby who are in need of household items.

Money

Money is also another way preppers can help charities. Giving bigger tips, paying it forward, or just keeping an eye out for people who could use some help is a way to share your blessings. Consider paying for someone’s bill at a restaurant, pay for the person behind you in the drive-through, or put a few dollars in the Redbox DVD when you return it. Some find it easier to purchase gift cards to give to those in need. If you do have extra money, you can also buy things to help support the organizations and families around you. If you don’t have much in savingss, learn about the 52-weeks-savings plan so you’ll have money to use for charities next year.

TIP: You can read about how to make the 52 weeks savings plan work for you

Don’t forget that one of the easiest ways to give is with your time. Spend some time volunteering in your community. We live in neighborhoods and communities that have many opportunities for us to serve others. There are always going to be people around us who need our help. While we have many blessings, some have very little. Let’s take a few steps to make the world around us a little better. What ways do you find to be charitable?

North Korea Official Warns: ‘Thermonuclear War May Break Out At Any Moment’

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North Korea Official Warns: ‘Thermonuclear War May Break Out At Any Moment’

PYONGYANG – A pair of high-ranking North Korean officials are warning that the world is on the brink of nuclear war due to U.S. involvement.

“The United States are disturbing the peace and global stability, insisting in a gangster logic,” North Koran foreign minister Han Song-Ryol said over the weekend.

Han added that “nuclear war could break out at any moment” and that the country will continue missile tests “on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis” no matter what the rest of the world thinks.

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Meanwhile, Kim In Ryong, North Korea’s deputy United Nations ambassador, warned of “a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any minute.”

Kim called the Korean peninsula “the world’s biggest hot spot.”

“[North Korea] is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S.,”

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, during a visit to South Korea, said the “people of North Korea” and “the military of North Korea” should not “mistake the resolve of the United States of America to stand with our allies.”

“But all options are on the table as we continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of South Korea for denuclearization of this peninsula and for the long-term prosperity and freedom of the people of South Korea,” Pence said.

What do you think the U.S. should do? Share your thoughts in the section below:

How to explain to your friends and family what a Prepper is without sounding nuts!

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Hello, my friend and welcome back!  I know we have all had those awkward conversations with close friends or family members and sometimes it can be like explaining why you believe in God.  In…

The post How to explain to your friends and family what a Prepper is without sounding nuts! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Hot and Spicy Garlic Dill Pickle Recipe – Our Secret Recipe!

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Jim tells everyone about our Hot and Spicy Garlic Dill Pickle recipe. So for today’s recipe of the week, we decided it was a good time to share our most famous pickle recipe.  These pickles are a favorite to anyone

The post Hot and Spicy Garlic Dill Pickle Recipe – Our Secret Recipe! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Study Finds Link Between Radiation Therapy and Secondary Cancers

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cancer patientIn the medical world, there probably isn’t anything that fits the description of “necessary evil,” quite like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is the slash and burn of medical treatments, because it doesn’t just harm cancer cells. It can decimate everything in your body. It can suppress your immune system, make you lose all of your hair, cause infertility, lead to nausea, vomiting, and organ damage.

The radiation side of this treatment is especially damaging. We know this intuitively. We all know what radiation is capable of doing to the human body.

However, it might surprise you to learn that although it’s widely accepted in the medical community, that radiation therapy can cause secondary cancers later in life, that fact has never been scientifically proven. Of course, this risk is often downplayed in the name of eliminating a more immediate danger, but it’s something that people need to be aware of, because it’s not a minor risk.

A recent study found a solid link between radiation therapy and secondary cancers, And it shows just how significant that risk is.

Never forget that radiation therapy should be a last resort. If you have cancer, always look for a second professional opinion, and explore every option before deciding to undergo radiation therapy.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Take Responsibility For Your Own Part

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In the last post we talked about being kind instead of being right. Using an example from my own life, I showed that it’s possible for both parties to be “right”. Seeing the situation from the other’s perspective can help us understand when we might not have a monopoly on being right. Welcome to Day Twenty Seven of 30 Days to Forgiveness Today we’re going to take it a step further. Today I will suggest that you start to take responsibility for your part in whatever must be forgiven. Hey, don’t run away yet. This isn’t about ‘blame’. Remember how

Does Prepping Make us Paranoid?

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Does Prepping Make us Paranoid? Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps“ Audio in player below! Earlier shows I’ve talked about how paranoia can be a part of prepping and is it good or not? Well this show is about “Does Prepping Make us Paranoid?” This is a simple question, with a harder answer. Since the term … Continue reading Does Prepping Make us Paranoid?

The post Does Prepping Make us Paranoid? appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.