‘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.

Courage Under Siege: Adversity To Victory

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Today is a special day for two reasons!  Today is National Tell Your Story Day and today the collaborative book that I am honor to be a part of has gone live on Amazon. Courage Under Siege:  Adversity To Victory is a collaboration of 11 women (including myself) sharing their stories of how they overcame […]

The post Courage Under Siege: Adversity To Victory appeared first on Trayer Wilderness.

Husqvarna Hatchet Review

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Husqvarna made a huge impact on the axe and hatchet market when it introduced their product line of hatchets and axes. Their hatchets and axes have become very popular for lots of different users, from gardeners to campers to survivalists.  In the following article I’ll go over why they have become so popular.

Husqvarna hatchet review 2017 – The basics

Name Size Total weight Head weight Made Special features Handle Price
husqvarna hatchet
Check today’s price
15 inches 2.2 pounds 1.25lbs Sweden Hand forged Hickory $$

Who makes the hatchet?

Husqvarna does not manufacture their own hatchets and it contracts out with several Swedish hatchet makers.  In 2011, it began to change their hatchet makers from Wetterlings to Hults Bruk. This caused several changes in the hatchets that were being made.

This product isn’t to be confused with the Husqvarna axe.  Axe’s have a much longer handle.  I have used a lot of hatchets in my day, and when it comes to using one that will last, I always pick the Husqvarna Hatchet. There are plenty of models that are out there, but none of them can really do the job that this one can when I go camping or backpacking. It allows me to be able to not only cut some firewood, but I can use it to whittle, make shelters, cooking rigs, and I have used it a few times to skin animals. This model is literally a power house tool and comes at a bargain price considering the value (latest price here).

Husqvarna hatchet sheet

husqvarna hatchetThe Specs

People like to know exactly what they get when they buy a product so I’ll go over everything in this section.  It comes with a little tag on it that shows that it’s made in Sweden, as shown below:

Husqvarna hatchet tag Husqvarna hatchet tag (2)

The size is 15 inches.  On the amazon description it says it’s 13 inches but that’s incorrect. The older model was 13 inches. The full size of the hatchet is 15 inches, the handle without the axe head is 13 inches as shown below.

Husqvarna hatchet size Husqvarna hatchet handle

Head size is just over 6 inches.

Head size

Edge size is about 3.75 inches

edge size

“Hammer” size is 1 inch by 2 inches.  It’s a massive hammer

hammer size

The weight – 2.24lbs (the scales in the pic are in grams)


The grain is almost perfect, it’s tightly packed and almost verticle

the graingrain from topThe sheath


My experience with the hatchet

I have been using this Husqvarna hatchet for over two years now and I decided that we knew each other enough to do an in depth review.  When I first got it and was doing some practice “air swings” around my living room, I believed that it was too heavy and was disappointed.  Then I went outside and tested it out and I began to get used to it and I fell in love with it. It was during this time that I was using other hatchets that I believed were better, but boy was I wrong. I always seemed to come back to the Husqvarna Hatchet. I could not even believe that I thought it was too heavy or too wide to choke down on. 

Because I was used to light hatchets, it just took a little while to get used to the heavier hatchet.  I believe that I just got stronger from using this hatchet and all of the drawbacks that I thought I had about this hatchet turned into huge advantages. I was able to focus on what I was doing instead of whining about how heavy it was. 

Yes, it may be easier to swing a lighter hatchet BUT to get the same amount of cutting power you have to swing much harder.  The harder you swing, the more likely you are to make a mistake and hurt yourself.  With the Husqvarna hatchet, you don’t have to swing anywhere near as hard to achieve greater cutting power.  The weight is only an issue on the backswing, on the downswing you’re just letting gravity do it’s thing. You would think that you’d end up much more tired after using a heavy hatchet than a light one, but it doesn’t work out like that.  Because it’s only heavy on the backswing and you don’t have to swing as hard on the downswing and you get through the work faster you don’t end up any more tired using the Husqvarna hatchet.

It’s also easier to hit the spot that you were aiming for when you don’t have to swing the hatchet too hard. The wide shaft just makes sure that you are getting a firmer grip and even prevents the hatchet from turning in your hand.

The axe head is made of Swedish steel and the handle is a very smooth hickory. I was amazed that I spent less than $50 on this great tool, and I am still amazed at how sharp it stays. I use my Husqvarna a lot and it is great knowing that it is very durable. The handle is slightly thicker than normal, but that is okay for me, seeing how I want to know that I have a decent grip on it. The head design is great considering that the grinded part of the axe near the edge wasn’t at all polished and you can still see the grind marks on it.  The best part is that the head is attached very well using a circular metal pin.

The edge comes sharp enough to partially pass the paper test.  I can get a couple of inches through, but not the whole sheet.  That’s as sharp as you need your hatchet anyway. 

It keeps a great edge even after giving it a thorough work out. 

The number #1 reason I love this hatchet

I love the fact that it’s hand forged, I love the fact that it’s made in Sweden, I love the length and weight but the number one reason I love this hatchet is Chopping power.  Pure and simple, it’s a beast and easily outperforms other mid-priced hatchets.  Nothing comes close performance wise for mid-priced hatchets.  Because it’s got so much chopping power, it’s heaps of fun to use because you feel like Arnold Schwarzenegger because you’re cutting in much deeper than you would with other hatchets.

The Price

It runs around $40-$50 (check the amazon price – here), which makes it a mid-range hatchet when it comes to how much it costs. 

The reason you’re not paying $100 more for this hatchet is because the finishing of it isn’t perfect.  There are still grind marks on the axe edge, it’s not a “mirror” finish.  Does it affect the performance?  No.  I’d much rather save $100 and have an awesome tool than spend another $100 on something that’s used to chop wood.  It’s not a beauty contest, it’s a chopping contest.

It should be noted that the old Husqvarna hatchets used to be made by Wetterlings, which was not of good quality and you can tell by the strike patterns on the hatchet.

The hatchet handle

The handle of the Husqvarna hatchet has a good grain when compared to the previous models. It is larger as well. It is two inches longer than the older model and it is a bit thicker as well. The handle is still comfortable to use, but the size difference is very noticeable. The difference in handle size accounts for the weight difference as well. The head weight is about the same, the extra length and thickness of the handle makes it a bit of a heavier hatchet, coming in at 2.2 pounds.

The head design

The head design is great. The overall geometry and shape is excellent. This design has been used by Hults Bruk (a premium axe manufacturer) for a very long time as their main pattern. The axe edge is big, the cheeks have a great curvature and the head is very well balanced. The hatchet came very sharp. I have heard some complaints about this hatchet that the grind of the bit didn’t seem to be polished at all, and that you were able to see grind marks. Even though this is true, it does not effect the performance of the hatchet. 

The sheath

To keep the blade protected it came with a leather sheath.  If you want to you can just puncture holes in to the sheath on the sides to put a leather band through to help it to stay on the hatchet but I’ve had no issues with the sheath falling off.  There used to be an issue with the sheaths falling off, but that was the older model.  It’s all fixed now.

Let’s talk about the pro’s and con’s.


  • Huge chopping power
  • Very packable
  • Heavier head
  • Slightly wider to help split kindling
  • Swedish steel head
  • Hickory handle
  • Very decently priced
  • Can be used for carving
  • Comes very sharp
  • Edge retention is excellent


  • Probably too heavy for females
  • If you’re doing massive hikes over multiple days, you’d probably prefer a lighter hatchet

The Verdict

A great hatchet is a must for your survival backpack.  Overall, it’s a great buy when you plan to be out backpacking or camping. It is even good if you plan to use it around your home for random projects.  It is completely versatile. I wasn’t expecting a huge difference from other models, but it is small enough to carry around, and still handles the biggest jobs. You can certainly use it in any situation.  I highly recommend the Husqvarna hatchet.  It can be purchased at a great price here.

This is a hatchet that will have its little imperfections, just like the older models. They are normally minor and can be fixed if you really want to but the imperfections don’t affect the performance. If we are wanting a great practical tool, then you need the Husqvarna Hatchet.

If you’re looking for a backup to your hatchet, try my Survival tools page.

We’ve got a page which compares the best hatchet’s on the market.

Similar priced alternatives

Hatchet Rating Length (inches) Weight (pounds) Handle Made Price
Fiskars X7
fiskars x7Check Today’s Price
4.7 14 1.4 Nyglass, Fiberglass Reinforced Composite – Virtually Unbreakable Finland

Our Review


Known as the “backpackers hatchet”. This is the best value hatchet you can buy

Schrade SCAXE2L
Schrade SCAXE2LCheck Today’s Price
4.5 15.7 2 Black Glass Fiber Filled PA with TPR Rubber Grip China

Our Review


For those that want a bigger hatchet. Comes with a sharpening stone and fire starter

Husqvarna hatchet
Written by: Survivor Steve
4.8 / 5 stars

Tactical Tomahawk Guide

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Although spears, battleaxes, and swords are extinct, tomahawks still remain to be quite useful and thrive in self-defense, combat, bushcraft and as survival weapons. They continue to be used in various situations as we have a natural ability to be able to swing hawk like things and accurately hit something. If you need proof, just hand a toddler a hammer and watch the destruction.

Tomahawks are great for those who don’t feel comfortable or can’t afford a handgun or for those who live in an area that isn’t gun-friendly.  It’s important to note that ‘hawks are different to survival hatchets.  When it comes to self-defense, most encounters will happen within 5 feet of you, and a tomahawk is a close quarter fighting tool and when it is wielded by someone it can be a great weapon.

The best Tactical Tomahawks for 2017

Price Range

Low – Less than $30

Mid – $30 to $50

High – Greater than $50

Tomahawk Rating Length
Made Price
CRKT 2725 Kangee Tomahawk with SpikeCRKT 2725 Tomahawk
Check Today’s Price

The best quality

13.75 32 Taiwan High
SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F06TN-CP Fasthawk
Check Today’s Price

Best value throwing hawk

12.5 19 China Low
SOG F06P-N FastHawk
SOG F06P-N tomahawk
Check Today’s Price

Best looking and is light so great for throwing over and over again

12.5 19 China low

CRKT 2730 RMJ Woods Chogan T-Hawk Carbon Steel Axe
Check Today’s Price

Best traditional looking hawk

19.1 33 Taiwan but the handle is made of USA Tennessee hickory Mid
Sog Specialty Knives F01TN-CP
Check Today’s Price

Is basically a bigger and stronger version of the SOG FastHawks

15.75 24 China  Mid

Cold Steel Trench Hawk Axe
Cold Steel Trench Hawk Axe
Check Today’s Price
4.6 19 24 Taiwan Mid
SOG SK1001-CP Survival Hawk
SOG SK1001-CP survival tomahawk
Check Today’s Price

Comes with a firestarter and has paracord on the handle

12.1 19.5 China Mid

Ontario 9423BM Ranger RD Hawk II
Ontario 9423BM Ranger RD Hawk II
Check Today’s Price
4.4 12.4 28 USA High
SOG Voodoo Hawk
SOG voodoo hawk
Check Today’s Price
4.4 12.5 23.1 China Mid

Why I love Tomahawks

After a hard, long day of work, there’s nothing better than getting a few ‘hawks out and taking out my frustration by “playing” with my ‘hawks by throwing them at my target board.  Yes, tomahawks have survival purposes buy you know what, ‘hawks are just heaps of fun.  As a side note, buy decent tomahawks because the cheap ones just break too easy.  It’s not much fun wasting your money on a tomahawk that breaks after a few goes.

What you should look for in a Tactical Tomahawk

Weight: When you are looking to buy a tomahawk, most of them vary in weight. The best are normally 16 oz to 23 oz. The heavier it is, the less likely you will be to use it for self-defense.

Edge: Many tomahawks will have a utility edge, that is great for all around chores, but it isn’t great for self-defense. You should look to purchase one that has the main edge sharp enough to shave the hair off of your arm, or you could spend some time with the whetstone tuning the edge to bring it up to where it needs to be.

Handle material: Tomahawks will come with handles that are made from wood, hybrids, or integral. A wood handled tomahawk is inexpensive and traditional, and they are more about the weight towards the head. A wood handle is easy to replace if you break it. The integral tomahawk, where the head and handle are made from the same piece of metal will be more expensive as well as stronger. The last are hybrids. These are made from other materials and are not made from the same materials as the head.

Handle Length: The average handle length is 12 inches to 22 inches. When it comes to finding a handle, you need to take your stature and strength into account. A great way to find the right length is by placing the head in your palm and measuring the handle to your elbow.

When it comes to finding the right type of tomahawk, you should use this guide to ensure that you are finding the right one for you.

A closer look at the best ‘hawks

To most people a tomahawk is an ancient tool that Native Americans used to shave the scalps off of American settlers. For others it is just a hatchet. Hopefully this little introduction will shed some light on the truth, while a tomahawk is been used since settler times, it is still a great tool to use in modern times. You can use tomahawks to clear paths, create firewood or defend yourself in survival situations. Below is a list of the best tomahawks that are available right now, from utility tomahawks, to ones used for self-defense.

1. Columbia River Knife and Tool Kangee T-Hawk

CRKT 2725 TomahawkThis is a one of a kind tool. It is a tactical tomahawk that will save your life if you need it. You can use it to cut up kindle for fire or if you want to use it to throw for protection, then this is the right one for you. Although it isn’t that great when it comes to splitting logs, but it is still very sharp. It is about 14 inches long and it fits great in most people’s hands and it feels quite comfortable. The backend has a spike that you can use for splitting or puncturing whatever you need to. This is a great tang tomahawk, plus it comes with quality kydex sheath and buckles that fit. The handle made from a rubber type material and fits in most people’s hands.  It it expensive though – check out the latest price.


2. SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F06TN-CP Fasthawk

SOG-Specialty-Knives-F06TN-CP-BallisticIt’s small at only just 12.5 inches but it’s really light weight so you can throw this thing all day and not get tired and allows for very fast striking.  It’s really cheap (check the latest price) and it’s just one of those tools that is great quality and great value which is rare to find.  It’s made by a trusted brand so you can’t go wrong.  Check out my full SOG FastHawk review.

3. SOG F06P-N FastHawk

SOG F06P-N tomahawkThis Hawk look absolutely incredible.  It’s the same as the other SOG FastHawks except for the look.  I like the way a muli-colored hawk looks when it is being thrown as opposed to an all black tomahawk.

4. CRKT 2730 RMJ Woods Chogan T-Hawk Carbon Steel Axe

Columbia-River-Knife-Tool-2730This is a bit different because it doesn’t have a spike on the back, it has a hammer which is more like a hatchet than a tomahawk but it’s definitely designed for throwing.  The issue is because it doesn’t have a spike on the back, it can’t pierce through heavy items which could be an issue tactically.  It is more expensive (check the current price) than the SOG tomahawks.  It is made the “traditional” way which is to put the tomahawk head through the bottom of the haft and not from the top.  It’s far better at chopping tasks than the other hawks on the page because it’s longer and heavier.  Read my full review here.


5. SOG Specialty Knives F01TN-CP


You can use this tool for breaching operations as well as traditional tomahawk uses.  It’s like the SOG FastHawks but bigger and heavier so can take more punishment.  It’s about $10 more than the FastHawks (check the price) Check out my Sog F01TN-CP Tactical Tomahawk review.


6. Cold Steel Trench Hawk Axe

Cold Steel Trench Hawk Axe

If you are like me, you are always on the lookout for the next best product for your collection, or maybe you are just looking for an upgraded tool that you can trust. The Cold Steel Trench Hawk Axe is one I finally got to try out and I really enjoyed. It now hangs in my shed, along with my other collection. Keep reading to find out why.

The first thing that I noticed was that it provides many tactical uses, which is great for those who need options. On one end you have the sharp cutting edge, while the other side of the head offers a wedge styled spike. This bad boy was forged using 5150 carbon steel, so you know that it is made to last and be durable. To make it even more reinforced, it was differentially hardened, meaning the axe head cutting edge is harder than the rest of the axe head.  If the axe head is too hard it is more likely to break.  The ideal scenario is that the hawk edge is harder than the rest of the axe head, it allows for the edge to remain sharper longer but because the rest of the tomahawk head is slightly softer, it can take more punishment with less likely change of failure.  This is actually how the Vikings made axes and the master Japanese bladesmiths used differential heat treating as well.

The second thing I look at is the handle, because if the handle design sucks it won’t matter how well designed the head is. The Trench Hawk handle was also designed nicely, and it is shock resistant. This allows you to make your blows without worrying about the handle breaking. However, when the handle does wear out (and all handles eventually wear down and/or break from repeated use) they can easily be replaced, and cheap too!  The only problem with the handle is it isn’t textured enough so can be a little slippery if you have sweaty palms.

Now, this is where I start paying more attention to details, such as how long I can expect to use the item before I wear down. This means, weight, balance, etc. The Trench Hawk weighs in at 29oz, making it just under 2lbs. The primary cutting edge measures in at 3.5” while the hawk length is just over 8.5” with the overall length being 19”. This gives it a good balance for cutting, without having to over exert with force. It is light enough, I was able to use it without getting tired quickly like I have with heavier axes in the past.

Pros of the trench hawk:

  • Affordable price, under $100
  • Offers multiple options with cutting edge and spike
  • Lightweight and decent balance.

Cons of the trench hawk:

  • Handle is shock resistant, but eventually wears down
  • Handle isn’t textured enough to provide a great grip

Trench hawk verdict

I find that the Cold Steel Trench Hawk Axe is a great product for less than $100. I am able to depend on it for my cutting needs, and being light weight I can use it for longer periods of time before getting worn out. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new ‘hawk.

Overall this is a really great Hawk but it’s a bit more expensive (check the Amazon price here) than the SOG models that I prefer.  It throws really well, is long but doesn’t have a textured handle so if your hands are sweaty, it could be a bit of an issue.  It’s really simple to replace the handle as well.  New handles cost about $10 so if it breaks for whatever reason, you can fix it easily.


7. Ontario 9423BM Ranger RD Hawk II

This awesome tomahawk is made by OntarioKnife, which was founded in 1889. This is a very small tomahawk, which is great for beginners and even women. It is only 13 inches long and weighs just over a pound. It was made from 1075 carbon steel and it has been made to last. What most do not know is that the U.S. Military uses this as well. It is durable and decent for throwing, but it wasn’t made to be thrown. This model is great for light wood splitting and defense. This is a great compact tomahawk and if you want something bigger than your average bowie knife but smaller than all of the other tomahawks, then this is what you need. Don’t ever let that small size fool you, it will cause some serious damage is needed.  It is an expensive item and I don’t think the quality justifies the price.


8. SOG Voodoo Hawk

SOG voodoo hawk

Really good without being great.  It’s still a really good ‘hawk but the performance of the SOG Fast Hawk is better.  Being designed as a combination between SOG’s FastHawk and tactical Tomahawk, it has some unique features to offer, which peaked my interest enough I had to grab it! Besides the features, which I am fixing to get too, I fell in love with the appearance too!

Let’s start with the head and work our way down. The head is designed as an extended cutting head. The blade length itself is 3.5” wide making it big enough for most cutting jobs, without adding too much weight. This is a good thing, which I will get into later. The blade hardness level is RC. 51-53 and made out of 3CR13 Steel. This means it will be sharp when needed and withstand the blows, while assisting you in the cutting process without the need of massive force behind it.

Now, let’s get to the next important thing, the overall weight of the tool. Weighting it at just 28oz, this thing is light enough to swing all day if needed without getting worn out to quickly. You will find that it’s much easier to grip the glass-reinforced nylon handle compared to other types of axes too. This is a great feature because it lets you swing with less force, but inflect a powerful blow every time.

The hole axe, head to handle has a pretty black finish and it comes with a protective sheath, which is also black. The sheath attaches to the belt loop for easy carrying, with a snap closure. The overall length of this thing is only 12.56”, making it small enough to pack on hikes, camping or any other use you may need a lightweight, but dependable axe for.  Let’s move into the pros and cons.

Pros of the Voodoo Hawk

  • Lightweight and balanced
  • Affordable
  • Length is just over 1ft,

Cons of the Voodoo Hawk

  • The handle grip may vary depending on hand size.

Verdict of the Voodoo Hawk

Overall, I am very satisfied with the SOG Voodoo Hawk. I enjoy being able to easily carry it around with me on my hiking trips or when I go camping. I can even use it at home to cut limbs and small tress. The black finish really fits my other tool collection, and it was very affordable. It’s always a plus when I am able to use my axe without taking breaks every ten minutes due to being so heavy.


These are the best tomahawks that are on the market right now. They are great for splitting, defense tactics, and so much more.

Ka-Bar Kukri Machete review

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I was looking for a machete that I could take with me when I went exploring outdoors. I often find myself in scenario’s where I am surrounded by bush, or a bunch of weeds and I could explore what’s over that way, if only I had a way to get there. This is when I decided to research machete’s and get one for my next adventure.

Ka Bar Kukri

Ka bar kukri review key points – 2017

Name Overall length Blade Material Price Our rating
Ka-Bar 2-11249-9 Kukri Machete

Check today’s price

17 inches 1085 Carbon Steel $$ 4.7


I began looking into machetes when I was much younger, first learning more about them and finding out there are various styles made for different uses. Some are better at chopping thicker bush, others for thinner stuff. After learning more, I decided which style I was needing, and I started reviewing the Ka-Bar series.


I came across the Ka-Bar Kukri Machete and suddenly knew I had to try it out.  Not only is it in my favorite color (black – same as the Condor Tools Warlock Machete), and made from carbon steel, but it’s under 2lbs and 17 inches in length. I knew I wanted something that would be light enough to add to my backpack without weighing me down, and long enough I could chop a decent amount per swing to reduce energy waste.  This machete is a bit different to the Ka Bar Combat machete which I’ve covered on my combat machetes page.


What I found was that not only did it easily cut down the small thin weeds and bush, it handled the larger, thicker weeds just as easy. Before I would have to search for a camp site that had little to no weeds or debris unless I wanted to put on my gloves and clear them out. With the Kukri machete I was able to clear a campsite in a field of weeds, chopping them away and removing the debris in a fraction of the time it used to would have taken me.  That’s why I consider it to be the best kukri.


This is a mid-priced machete that you just can’t go wrong with.  The only reason you wouldn’t buy it is if all you wanted to do was cut really thin overgrowth.  To do that you’d be best off with a longer machete as it will do the job much faster.  Check the latest price.  There are many cheaper options out there but considering you’ll get years of use out of the tool, it makes sense to spend a few extra bucks and get a better quality product because it will make your chopping tasks easier and safer.  The reason it’s safer is because quality steel maintains its edge better.  A blade that dulls quickly is a dangerous blade.

Alternatives to the Ka Bar Kukri

The Ka Bar Kukri really is a great machete.  If you want to keep your options open, at this price point you might want to consider the Condor Bolo machete

Condor Bolo

or the Condor Heavy Duty Kukri

Condor Heavy Duty kukri in leaves

You can find cheaper machetes like the Schrade SCHKM1 machete but you’re best off forking out the extra money for the better machetes.  The reason is that machetes are a big hunk of steel.  If you want a decent big hunk of steel, you’ve got to pay for it.

Other features

It also has a black leather and Cordura sheath which looks just as awesome as the machete it’s self. The hole in the butt of the handle allows me to put a lanyard on it to hang up or keep handy at my side as well.

Ka bar handle

The Ka-Bar Kukri is normally used for hacking away through some pretty tough materials. It is great if you plan to clear out a plot of land. This is a heavy duty knife that will be able to chop through trees that are 8 inches in diameter. You can even throw it in your car just in case you get into a compromising situation or in case you have a tough job to do. You can take it with you when you go camping as it is great for getting firewood, fending off wild animals, or clearing up your camp site. It is very capable of doing what a small hatchet or small axe would be able to do. If you are a hunter then this knife could help you to make your kill into more manageable sections. There are so many different possibilities.

ka bar kukri blade

There isn’t any secret to knowing that the kukri packs a very powerful punch. When you mix a machete with the kukri plus the materials that Ka-Bar is known for and you will have a virtually indestructible knife in your hands. The Kukri Machete is that one knife that everyone wants. It has a sleek design, rock solid build, and tough materials that will ensure a clean cut every single time.

Ka bar kukri - 1

Although, even with this chopping machine there will be drawbacks. It is due to the use of 1085 carbon steel, that it can rust fairly easily if it isn’t maintained properly. To be 100% fair, pretty much all of the kukri knives will use a non-stainless high carbon steel which make them extremely tough and durable enough to resist chipping, but they tend to be pretty susceptible to rust and discoloration within the process. The coating on the blade makes this a non-issue to begin with, but after time it will then begin to wear the coating off like they are prone to do after hard use. That is when the hard carbon steel will become exposed to all of the elements and will begin to require more attention in order to prevent corrosion. Another thing is that the blade tends to dull pretty quick than it should and due to the kukri shape, it is a real pain to sharpen up all the time. It isn’t very hard to get a nice razor sharp edge from this steel blade with a bit of practice. The sheath just like with other inexpensive knives of this particular size, is pretty boring and mediocre, but it is good for regular use.

Still it is safe to say that there are plenty of upsides to this tool that really outweigh all of the minor nitpicks when you consider what you will be getting. It is normally priced at or lower than $50, the Ka-Bar Kukri machete will give you great performance for the price. The value for the money is quite high and it doesn’t matter if you need to simply trim back some tree branches around your yard or you are full on in the wilderness, the Ka-Bar Kukri machete will never let you down.

The verdict

Overall, I am very satisfied with my decision to purchase the Kukri machete and it has been very useful for my needs on every exploration trip since. It can be used for tall grass, but it’s best on thicker vines and I have even used it on thin trees with success. I would recommend giving this product a try, and it’s priced at a reasonable and affordable price.

Click here to see how it compares to the best machetes.

Ka Bar Kukri
Written by: Survivor Steve
4.7 / 5 stars

Wetterlings Wilderness Hatchet Review

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The First thing to clear up is the name of this product. When I bought this product many moons ago, it was called the Wildlife hatchet. Then they decided to call the hatchet they sent to North America the “Expedition” hatchet and changed the name of the Wildlife hatchet to the Wilderness hatchet, but only for Europe. Clear as mud? Anyway, it doesn’t really matter, for all intents and purposes it’s the same product and I’m going to call it the Wildlife hatchet for the rest of the article because that’s what I bought originally and it will make life easier.

If you are fond of adventure and like to be out camping then the Wetterlings Wildlife Hatchet is the right companion for you on those trips. The almost 13 inch long handle made with American hickory is the right size for a good grip. The length provides the right amount of power needed for chopping kindling or lopping branches or bush or for splitting sticks for a campfire. Great care is taken to make sure that the grain of the handle runs vertically so that the axe has greater strength.

Wetterlings Wildlife hatchet in wood

The Wetterlings Wildlife Hatchet is small enough to go with you wherever you need it in the wild. The lightweight hatchet weighs only about 1and 1/4th lbs and is easy to carry on your belt or hitched to your backpack. Most comparable hatchets are a bit heavier. Thread a suitable string through the lanyard loop at the end of the handle and hitch it into your belt loop so it stays with you as move about in the wilderness for some real time adventure. The string secures the handle and helps it to remain in place even on very long trips where you don’t want to be left without your lifesaver for chopping kindling for cooking or clearing the bush.

Wetterlings hatchet

The small wildlife hatchet is equally handy at home when you need to cut branches in the backyard or carve a few things or sculpt wood if you are creative. If you need to limb branches then this hatchet is of the right size and sharpness to get the job done effortlessly. It is sharp enough to chop down small trees if you want to clear up a space for some gardening.

Wetterlings axes are hand forged

As you know it takes a lot of expertise and skill to hand forge a hatchet head. However, the Swedish Wetterlings blacksmiths have been forging Swedish carbon steel for more than 125 years and they have almost perfected the art of instinctively using the forging hammers to shape up the head perfectly to requirement. As a testimony to the fact that the head is hand forged they leave signature forging hammer marks on it. Add to this the fact that that they are hardened and sharpened by hand to get the sharp edge and smooth polished finish makes them the most natural companions when on a trip into the untamed wild. They shine without polish and grinding and are made to last. Obviously being hand forged in Sweden means more expensive (latest price here) than other hatchet options. If you’d prefer a better value hatchet that is still awesome, look no further than the Husqvarna hatchet.

The Wetterlings Wildlife hatchet in action


The handles too are hand carved and made in Wetterlings own workshops to ensure quality. The hatchets are really a work of craftsmanship as the finished product shows balance and power in the handle and the blade. Since the head is already sharpened for use you can use the hatchet straight away. However, depending on the job you are doing you could sharpen it a bit if you like it to be razor sharp for sculpting. Cleave wood knots and it will slice into them like a knife in butter. Whatever you do ensure you carry the Wetterlings Wildlife Hatchet with you on your trips into the wilderness or you’d feel lost. The Wetterlings Wildlife hatchet is one of the best camping hatchets you can buy.


Wetterlings Wilderness hatchet
Written by: Survivor Steve
4.6 / 5 stars

RUSH 12 Survival Backpack Review

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I was searching for a great day pack that I could use, every day around town or something that could be used as a carry on whenever I was flying but I also wanted it to be my survival backpack. The 5.11 tactical brand has been growing pretty fast and I read some good reviews, so I decided to buy one and see how well it would do on my most recent trip. The 22L day pack is great. It is very popular, and has plenty of attachments and pockets for your daily carrying needs. It is practical and tactical.

Even though it says “Made In China”, it doesn’t mean that its build is crappy. The truth is, it was very well stitched together, and the materials that were used were a lot better than my normal camping bags. It seems to be pretty tough and it has a waterproof coating. There are over 16 different pockets on this backpack, as well as slots and compartments. The only issue that I found so far is the fact that once it gets full, it is really heavy, which is to be expected, but it is great for a day pack. I have managed to put my laptop, iPod, extra headphones, etc. in my backpack and I have no worries about if I will be able to get them out without a lot of hassle. The one thing that I loved beyond a doubt was the fleece lined pocket for glasses. I wear expensive shades, so I have to protect them.

The sternum strap is great to help add in the stability you need with a full pack. This is great for those who travel, I myself have managed to not have this bag checked, and it fits just right in the overhead compartments. I now use this backpack to carry a ton of college textbooks, a laptop and plenty of snacks for college. Let’s talk about pro’s and con’s.


  • Sternum strap
  • Price
  • Very well made
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Easy on your back and shoulders
  • Can be used as a carry on
  • Great for travel


  • The sternum strap rides a bit high
  • Can be a tad bit heavier than expected when loaded down

Overall the RUSH 12 backpack is great. It is sleek, water resistant, cheaper than expected and much more. You will certainly get the quality that you want for its price. Don’t get me wrong, I never wanted to spend a lot on a backpack, but this model has a variety of uses that are certainly worth every penny that was spent on it. Another popular survival backpack you may be interested in is the TRIAB 18 survival backpack. Both are made by 5.11 tactical and I have coupons for them here so that you can save some cash.

How to pick a survival rifle

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Each and every person will have their own preference and opinion when it comes to selecting the best survival rifle. Some will insist if you select one, to select a .22 while others will state a handgun is better. There happens to be a community who swear by M16’s.

The truth is, there isn’t the perfect survival weapon and each person should be entitled to equip themselves with that they like and need. With that being said, a survival rifle should be capable of performing with a very deadly effect when it is needed.

What you need to look for in a survival rifle

There isn’t a perfect gun out there, so there isn’t a gun that is just right for each level of shooting.


When it comes to survival situations, your rifle could be the one thing that will determine if you die or if you live. Not only will it be used to protect, but it can put food on the table when the other food sources are scarce.

When a gun has all the bells and whistles it could hamper your survival skills. The best rifle will be the one without all of the fancy optics and rail accessories that will serve you best when it comes to self-defense and hunting.

If your gun will still fire after it has fell off a ledge, has been dragged through the mud, or has dealt with the rain, then it is very reliable. If you were able to have only your rifle to survive, you want it something that will shoot with accuracy after sitting for years as it did when it was brand new and out of the box.

Weight and Size

Let’s be honest, a heavy and larger rifle is less versatile and less effective when it comes to certain survival scenarios. When you are searching for a rifle, you need to find something that is lightweight, convenient to carry, draw, and shoot as well as being compact. If you are on the move, having a heavy gun will hamper you as well.

When it comes to selecting the right type of rifle for your survival needs, it really depends on you. It could be a .22, M16, or something else that is legal in your area. You should always check to ensure that you are properly trained with gun safety before you decide to purchase a weapon.

The Surprising Identity Of The Average Couponer

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The Surprising Identity Of The Average Couponer   There is something to be said for taking on survivalist projects and reusing materials which both help lower environmental impact and cut the cost of living.  By reusing or creating materials ourselves, we go against the very core of consumerist ideals that are deeply ingrained into today’s …

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TRIAB 18 survival backpack review

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The TRIAB 18 isn’t an ordinary backpack, it’s a survival backpack which is made by 5.11 tactical who are really well known for making great backpacks. It isn’t even considered a backpack since it converts into an awesome sling bag in a matter of seconds. You can cram everything you need in it without worrying about it. There is nothing that could make this backpack better. It is beyond that type of amazing. It shows you how storage should be handled, but in a really useful, functional, and stylish type of way. It doesn’t matter if you plan to use it to carry your gear, hiking, or you just really want an awesome sling bag to take to school, then you need the TRIAB 18 by 5.11 tactical.

The features are beyond impressive, so let’s discuss why this backpack is so great. The fact that it turns from a backpack to a sling bag, and it is easy to convert. Simply unbuckle one of the straps, twist and insert into the pocket it goes into. Then you can cross the strap you want to the other side. There are also two different chest straps. One for the sling bag mode, and one of the backpack mode. There is plenty of storage space and this allows you to get what you need at that moment instead of digging around for it constantly.

Another awesome feature is the pack handle. It has a different design when it is compared to any other traditional backpacks. It is reinforced and super sturdy, plus its vertical and front facing, instead of being placed on the top of the bag. I will say that the handle is very convenient, simply because I have to grab it constantly off the ground, and it just makes it easier, not to mention how all the weight is evenly distributed in my hand when my pack is full. There are some things that I am not a fan of, such as the holes for the hose of a hydration pack, basically covering up the whole case for sunglasses, which makes it about useless. It then gets really hard to grab your sunglasses when you need them. Let’s talk pro’s and con’s.


  • It’s a hybrid pack so it can be a backpack or sling bag
  • Very comfortable
  • Easy to access everything in the pack
  • Lots of storage
  • High quality materials


  • The placement of the holes for the hydration hoses
  • Can’t access sunglasses case very easily.

Basically, this is a great backpack for the price. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who is looking for something to double as a gear or day pack. It works and there are plenty of places to stick what you need in. The only issue is not being able to get to my sunglass case because of the hose holes. Another great backpack you might be interested in is the Rush 12 Survival Backpack which is also made by 5.11 tactical. These items can be fairly expensive so I’ve got a 5.11 coupons page so you don’t have to pay full price.



How to pick a Survival Bow

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Whenever you become a survivalist, you will come to a point where you need to find an alternate survival weapon. There are normal projectile weapons like the handgun, shotgun, and rifle that will work great, but it is nice to really have options like a survival bow or crossbow. The crossbow is a nice and quiet option for a weapon but how does the bow stack up against the gun in a survival situation?

Why should you choose the best survival crossbow?

There are so many reasons you should purchase the best survival bow you can afford.  Crossbows never jam. They are quiet. The bolts are easier to manufacture than the cartridges.

Crossbows manufacturers are very similar to a car manufacturer, each one will claim that they are the best. Even though there are differences in style, performance, and details, the crossbow will do the same thing. They will throw a bolt from a trigger controlled bow. What you need to find out is the type of features that you need for survival.


When it comes to selecting a crossbow for hunting or survival, you will have several different options that you can choose from. You need to find out if you want a compound or recurve bow and if you want to use long or short bolts as well as how tall you are and what you will be hunting. You should also know if you will need a cocking device or will you be able to cock it by hand.

Important Factors


A recurve bow is easier to maintain and repair than a compound bow and are simpler as well. This tends to make them more reliable while compound bows have small moving parts that will wear out and break down.


Weight is a vital factor that you will need to consider when it comes to a survival situation. A recurve crossbow will weigh less than your compound bows.


A compound bow is not as accurate as a recurve bow, simply because they will go out of tune often. Just bumping it or dropping it can make it useless.


Recurve bows do not have a cocking mechanism and will cause you to manually cock it. Unlike the compound bow.


The overall power of a crossbow will determine the speed of the bolt. A compound bow tends to be more powerful than a recurve just because they are not able to shoot the bolt as quickly.


A recurve crossbow tends to be lighter weight on your arm because there are not any cams, cables, sliders, or pulleys, which means that they are more balanced and quicker for you to aim.


A compound crossbow may be too complicated for a survival instance. A recurve is lighter, quieter, more reliable, simpler and they tend to be more accurate as well.



Estwing hatchet review

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When it comes to hatchets, Estwing has a reputation for making the best of the best. There are plenty of models, but the Sportsman E24A tends to be the one that everyone loves. The Estwing hatches and axes have become quite popular and they are available practically anywhere.

The truth is, Estwing hatches aren’t cheap at all, but they are more in the mid-range of prices and they tend to look amazing. The give you a complete picture of what type of marketing that they have. They are normally around 13 inches long and made of 1055 carbon steel. The handle is made of steel with a strong leather cover and it weighs around 2 pounds. That isn’t bad especially if you are using it when you are out in the woods.

Estwing hatchet

The one thing that you will notice is that the hatchet is made as a single mold and not in pieces which tends to make it a lot sturdier than any thing else. When it comes to the shock that comes through the handle, Estwing has done a lot of research, but let’s be honest, it still gives you a lot of force in your hand than a wood handle would.  The best thing about the design is that this hatchet is virtually indestructible because it’s made out of one piece of solid steel.

It is quite hard to destroy these hatchets, but it does have a quite interesting shape that is unlike other hatchets that are out there. The cheeks tend to be quite thin which have a more concave shape to the poll. The cutting edge has been left quite thick. It is due to this thickness that when it comes to hardcore chopping, this isn’t your best bet.

When it is purchased it comes with a dull edge and it takes quite a bit to really get it sharp. Even though the hatchet is quite thick it has a lot of issues chopping wood, which is a bit of a shame that the designers from Estwing weren’t able to give it a better cutting edge. Carving is a bit of hassle as well.


The reason you buy this hatchet is simple, it’s made from one piece of steel which makes it pretty much indestructible.  Check the latest price.  Personally, I feel that there are better options available at that price point but at the end of the day, I completely understand the pull of a product that’s made in the USA.


  • Lightweight
  • Great design
  • Leather handle
  • Made in the USA since 1923


  • Not great for chopping or carving
  • has a lot of shock when used in the handle
  • Has a thick edge
  • Hard to sharpen


Unfortunately the Scandinavians are better at making axe’s and hatchets and they quite simply make better products like the Husqvarna hatchet.  It is a great looking hatchet, not as cool looking as the Schrade SCAXE2L though.  When it comes down to it, this is best to be used when in the woods for safety. Chopping, cutting, and splitting is a really hard task to do. Not only does it make a great conversation piece, it is a great looking tool but if you really want a quality survival hatchet, you’ll need to look for another product.  If you still want to buy the product you can buy it from Amazon cheaply.


Estwing hatchet
Written by: Survivor Steve
4.4 / 5 stars

Condor Warlock Machete review

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The machete is one of the most common bladed tools in the world.  Machete’s come in many different designs.  Many survivalists and outdoor enthusiast claim that if they could own only one blade, that the machete would be the best choice.  There are so many different styles of machetes and the quality varies dramatically.  In this article I’m going to review the Condor Warlock machete.  If you’re new to Condor Tools and Knives, they make their products in El Salvador and are known for making top quality blades.

Condor Warlock

Condor Warlock review – the basics

Knife model Our rating Overall length (inches) Blade material Price
Condor Tool and Knives Warlock Machete
Condor tools warlock macheteCheck Today’s Price
This thing can take an absolute beating
19.4 1075 High Carbon steel High

Uses for the Condor Warlock Machete

Some machetes like the kukri are great at chopping tasks, some machetes like the Latin machete are great at clearing vegetation.  The way the Condor Warlock machete is designed it can do both really well BUT it is primarily a chopper.  It’s just too heavy to be using on light slashing tasks all day.  If that’s what you’re after, try a thinner, longer machete.

Machetes are normally used within the subtropical and tropical regions for agricultural uses. It is the tool of choice when it comes to chopping down sugar cane, but these purposes don’t really make machetes popular for the general public. People love machetes due to their versatility. It may be used for a variety of different types of tasks.

Condor tools warlock machete

Each section of the blade is used for certain purposes.  You can create an imaginary division that will separate the cutting edge of the blade in to three sections, you will have the top of the blade, the bottom and the middle.

The top part of the blade is the first feature. It is used for most of the cutting and chopping tasks then you have the middle that is good for chopping up game, tree branches and slicing meat. Then you have your bottom part which is the easiest part to control so you can use it for finer tasks like sharpening sticks or feathering sticks.

Besides the sharpened sections, the part of the blade that is near the handle is blunt. You can use this for hammering objects such as fire steel or opening beer bottles.  The handle is long enough that you can adjust your grip so you can have better control.

Condor warlock in action

The back of the machete also has different uses as well. You can drive nails and scale fish with it. If you need to split logs, the back of the machete is thick enough and strong enough that batoning is not a problem.  You can even use it as a makeshift shovel (although I wouldn’t recommend it) or you can flip meat on a grill with it.  Just be sure that it is clean when you use it.  No one likes dirty meat unless you are in a survival situation, then food is food.

It doesn’t matter if you go hiking, fishing, hunting, or just for a short walk in a field, you can always experience nature in a near to primal state.  This means you are going to deal with things that aren’t normal for your everyday life, and you will always need a tool that will help you with those tasks. So, when you are out enjoying nature, and you don’t want a chance to be overwhelmed with a bunch of tools, then you need something that is universal and will help you in almost every situation.  With a name like Warlock, it sounds like a combat machete. It sure is one cool machete.

Condor Tool and Knives create such a tool that will let you perform plenty of different tasks using only their product and the best one is the Warlock Machete. Now every situation is different and the only reason that anyone recommends the Condor Warlock is that it is perfect for mid-range nature. Meaning that you will get the most out of your tools. Condor only has quality craftsmanship, ergonomic features that will really show you what they are all about, and the material quality that they use will not only guarantee reliability, but a long life when in use.


The Warlock is a mid-high priced machete.  Check today’s price.  If you’re looking for a kukri style machete, check out my review of the Ka Bar Kukri.  At this price point, I prefer the Condor Bolo machete

Want to see the Condor Warlock Machete in action?

The Condor Warlock machete is very multi-functional that will inspire anyone at the first contact.

The blade has a black epoxy powder finish that make it look super intimidating as well as aggressive.  Although, the design is what really makes it such a beast of a tool. The blade tapers towards the tip, which will you to have maximum force with each one of your swings. This is an awesome feature that will let you cut through even the most thick and hard pieces of wood or forest. Not to mention since the design makes it very different from other Condor models, it can even be used as a simple knife.

You can use this bad boy to skin fish, butcher game, and even use it as self-defense weapon, if you are ever in that type of situation. The force allows for hacking, but has a pointy tip which allows you to stab. The blade is made from 1075 carbon steel and the blade is 12.5 inches long and is perfect for cramped spaces but comfortable use. It has a Micarta handle and even comes with a black leather sheath for transporting it.

How does the Condor Warlock perform

What you’re looking for is the ability to perform the tasks you want at a high level and still maintain an edge.  It also has to be comfortable in the hand, not be slippery and have a good balance.

Chopping ability – While camping for the weekend I needed some firewood because it was fairly cold and I had my wife with me who feels the cold a lot more than I do. Because I had my wife with me, I must admit I was showing off a bit and of course I had to make sure she was warm which means I needed a big fire.  Maybe it’s the inner caveman speaking but I do like to build a big fire (safely of course, I take every possible precaution and don’t take risk when it comes to fire) when I have my wife around.  To keep a decent fire going for a weekend takes a lot of wood.  So the machete got an absolute beating that weekend.  I was targeting the branches of standing dead trees because they’re usually fairly dry and burn well, just don’t pick a bug infested tree.  The blade has a big belly and pretty much has the chopping power of a good hatchet which really surprised me.

Does it maintain an edge? – The machete is made of 1075 high carbon steel which is one of the more popular steels to use.  It’s one that many bladesmiths use and they use it because it has a good balance of strength and edge retention and it’s easy to forge with.  After a weekend of abuse, the edge held up really well.  There was some minor damage to the blade, but you’ve got to expect that and nothing that 10 minutes of sharpening didn’t fix.

The handle – A lot of people don’t like micarta.  I must admit, I prefer wood but I had no issues with the performance of the handle.  I got fairly sweaty but still maintained the grip well.  The machete handle is long enough that it can be used one or two handed.

Balance of the blade – The big belly near the tip of the blade gives it maximum chopping power much like swinging a hatchet.

Other points of interest – If you’re doing a little bit of light clearing work, it’s fine but it’s not the type of tool to use if you’re going to be clearing brush all day.  It’s just too heavy and there are better tools available.  The black epoxy powder will show some wear and tear as well.  That’s not really an issue, that upsets some people but you can’t expect that after heavy use, there won’t be some minor wear and tear.

The Verdict

No matter what, this machete is very useful in and out of nature. So if you need to clear a path, defend yourself from wild beasts, prepare firewood, or prepare something to eat, you are going to have a very handy tool to do so with.  The Condor Tool and Knives Warlock Machete comes in different colors as well, but this is the model that you need that will give you what you want when you are heading off on an adventure. It can be purchased from amazon on this link.

See how it compares to the best machetes.

Condor Warlock Machete
Written by: Survivor Steve
4.7 / 5 stars

Bow vs. Gun

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Gun versus. bow: which one is right for you? That’s the question, isn’t it?

Looking at bows – your needs will often dictate the size and shape of your survival weapons. These kinds of weapons can be designed from nearly everything: high-end take down bow with more than 80-pounds of draw to a twig and paracord.

Looking at guns – the most powerful survival weapons ever developed are firearms. In fact, today’s rifles have been designed to hit targets more than 600 yards away with supreme accuracy. The ammo can bring the target down, allowing them to either slowly bleed out or die immediately.

So, which weapon would be ideal – gun or bow?

Looking At The Good and Bad Of Bow and Arrows As Survival Weapons


3 Positive Aspects Of Using A Bow As A Survival Weapon


  • survival bows guide reviews survival weaponsBow survival weapons are a great choice – run out of gun ammo and you’re out of luck. However, with a bow, you can shoot at animals or other things and even if you hit a target and it gets away, you just need another arrow – made of another kind of material – to go back to hunting. And, that’s the best thing about arrows – they can be made from most kinds of materials. You do need to be able to choose the best survival bow.
  • Another worthwhile trait of bows is that they’re silent, especially if they’re used correctly with string silencers. Bear in mind that not all occasions are going to involve animals. If you’ve got a smart enemy, he can keep tabs on you based on the direction in which the arrow came from if they see it flying at them.
  • The speed of the arrow, compared to bullets, is extremely slow – no sound can be heard when done correctly. This means you can shoot the arrow and be gone before the enemy has a chance to be alerted to the direction you were in.

3 Negative Aspects Of Using A Bow As A Survival Weapon


  • One of the biggest downfalls of the bow is the rate of fire; an issue that goes back to the middle ages. With modern-day firearms, the rates of fire increase with new technology making sure that misfires happen less and less.
  • It’s difficult to get training to properly use the bow to hit the target. There are some rapid-fire archers that can shoot three targets while running. The problem is that it took them years to learn how to do this – training to learn how to aim and hit the target. If you’ve just begun using the bow, this could be a big issue. Practice will make perfect.
  • In order to hit a target with a bow shot, you need to be closer than you would if you have a rifle. This means you need a higher degree of stealth efforts and situational awareness without letting the target know you’re around. Most survival bows need you to be within 50 yards of the targets.

Looking At The Good and Bad Of Firearms As A Survival Weapon


3 Positive Aspects Of Using A Firearm As Survival Weapons


  • survival firearms Survival Weapons defense kitsGuns have the stopping ability and power to take down someone or something with very little effort. Bow survival weapons cannot compare to this kind of power seen with firearms.
  • Firearms are not that difficult to learn and can stop something immediately. This can be seen in the various news reports all around the world – children using guns to hold off intruders in their home. And, be honest, the loud sound a gun makes can make any person second guess themselves on the attempt they’re trying to make.
  • There are several things that will affect the long distance from targets and rates of fire in a firearm. And, with these things taken into consideration, you have the ability to hit a great distance, more so than a bow. These things include:
  • Firearm type
  • Kind metal bullet is made out of
  • Ammo’s powder grain weight

4 Negative Aspects Of Using A Firearm As Survival Weapons


  • A real issue in today’s world is the shortage of ammunition. And, if there is a shortage, it’s not going to get any better if there is a situation where survival is the key. In many city environments, even if you can find someone with reload kits to barter with to get new ones, you’ll still have to pay to get it – supply and demand. Every bullet counts, which means you can’t target practice like you can with bow and arrow.
  • When it comes to bullets, they’re not all the same. In fact, if you find ammo on the ground or in the woods that fits your gun, it may actually not be the right kind of load for it. How much powder is in the casing? Sure, your rifle may have killed a bear several years ago, but that doesn’t mean some random bullets you find are going to do the same thing. Powder loads play a huge part in bullet effectiveness.
  • It’s imperative that your gun is kept clean – a golden rule that’s been drilled into every person who’s taken firearms training. Sure, you may have a cleaning kit but do you have it when it’s necessary? What do you do when you’ve got no gun oil and no suitable alternative nearby? All the ammo on Earth isn’t going to make a bit of difference if you’re unable to properly clean your firearms. Plus, if you try shooting it for a long time, it’s bound to get jammed or blow the gun apart (and yes, that does happen!). Of course, if you’re in a situation where you need to stay in your vehicle for a couple of days until the search party finds you, it’s a bit different. However, in most instances, you’re going to be in the “flight or fight” mode of survival.
  • One of the biggest negative aspects of a gun is the sound it makes – something you don’t experience with a bow and arrow. If an arrow missing its target, the deer may look up for a moment, which lets you get that second chance to take it down. However, bring in a gun and do the same thing, and the deer is going to take off like a bolt of lightning. And, the sound is also going to let other people know you’re around. If you’re in survival mode, not all the other survivors are going to help you or want to barter. They’re going to want what you have – guns, foods, ammo, medicine, etc. If you’re busy going after your food, you may not even realize they’re nearby you.

What Weapon Would Be Better?

Would a bow be something you’d choose over a gun? Sure, the gun can be readily used unlike a bow. But, if you missed your target and ran out of bullets, you’d be scrambling to find a way to make more or find the ones that didn’t hit anything. This just isn’t always feasibly possible.

And, with a bow, you can easily sneak up on your target. On top of that, bowhunters are usually the ones doing the tracking, trying to locate the final resting place of their target before they can go after the meat.

So, again, the question is presented to you: what is your preferred survival weapon: a firearm or bow and arrow?

Also check our Best Machete Guide!


Building Your Own Firearm (Part 3 – AR-15 Lower Parts)

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Written by John Hertig on The Prepper Journal.

Last time, we finished our look at the legality and mechanics of building your own firearm, particularly the manufacturing of the receiver.  Even though this receiver IS considered to be the firearm, it is not usable as is.  In the next two articles, we look at what is needed to get the firearm functional.  In particular, we will concentrate on the AR-15 style rifles and pistols.  This is because these (and the very similar AR-10 and AR-308) are the most common firearms built from 80% receivers.  This decision will give us the widest choices of parts and tooling and options to experiment with.  By the way, note that the AR in all of these means “Armalite Rifle” (the company which designed this style), not “Assault Rife”.

I let my fingers do the surfing online to find the best combination of apparent quality and price as of February, 2017.  Note that this does not mean this list of parts, prices and sources is still valid, and it was based upon my preferences and budget so may not be the best choice for you and your particular needs.

Once you have a completed receiver which you made for yourself or bought (stripped) through normal firearm purchase channels, you have the basis to easily assemble the firearm.  The bottom part of an AR style firearm, consisting of the receiver, pistol grip, internal Lower Parts Kit (LPK), and the buffer tube kit and stock, is often called the “lower”.  The upper part, consisting of the rest of the firearm, is called, not surprisingly, the “upper”.

The AR-15 80% Receiver

When choosing a receiver, either 80% or finished, the options usually are “cast” aluminum, “billet” aluminum, “forged” aluminum, or some form of reinforced plastic (polymer).  The plastic is likely to be lighter and easier to machine, while the aluminum should be more durable.  There is not that much stress on the lower when firing an AR slowly; the choice between the weakest and strongest lowers can be guided largely by rapid fire requirements and non-firing situations such as dropping it, banging it on something, or applying inappropriate force to the buffer tube or when the upper is hinged open.  The aluminum receivers tend to be of either 7075-T6 (newer, machines better) or 6061-T6 (the previous standard).  The strongest are made by forging, that is, heating the aluminum to where it is softened but not melted, and then forcing it into the desired shape.  Like with knives, this process improves the metallic structure.  Another decent, but often more expensive choice, is taking a billet (block) of aluminum and machining the desired shape into it, potentially providing a more pleasing appearance than forged but with not quite the same strength.   Casting (pouring liquid aluminum into a mold) is the least desirable aluminum choice, not being either the strongest (at least some of them have been known to crack or crumble) or the best looking, and I don’t know why you would choose this option unless you find one dirt cheap, particularly if you are looking for one to practice on.  I couldn’t find any, but I didn’t look very hard.  As for the plastic, there are a wide range of choices; I like the ones which have metal inserts at the points most likely to be affected by stress, and probably will avoid any which do not have those inserts.

Since I plan to try out at least two of the three mechanical methods of crafting a finished receiver (I have a drill press AND a router), and there are three attractive types of receivers to try, I needed to cut down the vast number of choices to a number I could make valid decisions between.  A key factor for me is whether engraving of a serial number and other BATFE recommended text can be provided, as I see following government laws and recommendations to be wise, particularly when the benefits are greater than the costs.

First up would be plastic, which I’m a bit nervous about.  To minimize my concerns, I looked for one which had metal at the stress points, and found the “Liberator” from Tennessee Arms.  It uses fiber-filled nylon with brass inserts at the threaded holes, available in black, dark earth, grey and olive drab; these shades match Magpul stocks color choices.  The cost for the receiver alone is $75, or $99.95 with a one-time use jig which seems a reasonable cost for a single build.  Since the jig is for the drill press method, that is the method I’ll use for this receiver.  Another advantage of this source is that they do engraving of serial numbers and/or a custom image, and I can make an image of the BATFE recommended information.  Their best value is a receiver, jig, set of bits and engraving for $109.  And they were offering a 20% discount plus a quantity discount when I ordered.

Next I looked for forged aluminum, and narrowed it down to a few choices.  From an economy and appearance standpoint, a good choice seems to be the anodized one from www.80-lower.com for $59.95, or $69.95 with FIRE/SAFE marked.  This company offers several multiple-use jigs including the “Easy Jig” so can cover either the router or drill press methods at various price points.  However, they don’t offer engraving.  For that, an alternative is a raw one from Atomic Engraving for $79.99 or an anodized one for $89.99 which include a serial number and BATFE suggested text engraved; they also have an unmarked (except for Fire/Safe) anodized receiver for $64.95.  Another choice is the anodized one from Daytona Tactical for $69.95 with your choice of stock images engraved on one side and for an additional $14.95, they will engrave a serial number and up to four lines of text on the other side.  They also have raw receivers for $44.95 and Cerakoted ones for $69.95, but they won’t engrave either of these because “it does not show up well”.  I’ll use the “Easy Jig” and my router for whichever of these I end up choosing.

Finally, there are a number of billet options.  Since Ghost Gunner has a raw one for $65, which they specifically chose to be used with their machine, this is the one I’d go with if I decide to try that machine.  Although allegedly “any” raw aluminum receiver can be used with the machine, I’d use their specified receiver the first time using this methodology.  As a computer controlled mill, the machine should be able to be programmed to engrave anything desired, so with the machine, I should be able to save money and trouble on any receiver I like since engraving will no longer be a factor in the purchase decision.  If engraving does not enter into the choice, there is a raw one from Daytona Tactical for $59.95 but as mentioned above, they won’t engrave it because it is raw.  They will Cerakote it for $15, though.  And  www.80-lower.com  has one Fire/Safe marked and anodized for $99.95.

One way to improve the search for engraved receivers seems to be to look for “CA Compliant 80%” lower or receiver, which is popping up a lot now due to the new California law.  If the choice is to get a receiver without engraving, but engraving is desired and you are unable to do it yourself, Atomic Engraving will engrave your own 80% receiver (or one of theirs) for $35 to $95 plus shipping, depending on how much engraving you want.

The AR-15 Lower Parts Kit

Basically, this is a set of all the parts which go into the receiver, including hammer, trigger, other controls, disconnector, pins and springs.  Annoyingly, it often also includes the pistol grip, which unless you want a stock (standard) grip, means you end up with an extra.  The trigger guard is not used on receivers which have the trigger guard built-in, typically billet and polymer ones.

The parts are standard from most sources with the major difference usually being quality.  “Mil-spec” (to military specifications) should be the lowest grade you consider, with higher grade parts used as your budget allows or your uses require.  Although a separate hammer and trigger is the norm, you can get a “one piece” drop-in target grade trigger group which can be used instead of the separate parts.  Other high-end parts are available for builds which push the limits of what the platform can do.

For good quality at a medium price, I settled on the Anderson set from Anderson Rifles for $49.70 at a mil-spec level.  If it turns out I need a higher level of quality, there is Spike’s Tactical LPK from Joe Bob Outfitters for $69.95.  And of course there is yet higher quality than that, at a significantly higher price.

Naturally, most LPKs come with the standard right hand only, 90 degree throw, safety selector.  These are adequate but not optimal.  I would prefer an ambidextrous safety, and might as well stick with Anderson who has an ambidextrous selector for $15.75.  It works well, but is wider than the receiver and sticks down enough to be a bit annoying.  A 45 or 60 degree throw safety would be a bit easier to use, and with custom shaped levers, perhaps more comfortable.  But some of these require a notch in the edge of the safety hole (to encourage use only on receivers with the “FIRE” marking appropriately located), which would be difficult to machine at home.  If you use a safety with one of these tabs, it would be easier to grind off the tab than notch the edge of the safety hole.  And if you are really into ambidextrous, magazine releases are also available for $25 and up.

Note that the pins which hold the hammer and trigger in place can, over time, develop looseness, and can even “walk” out of the receiver.  The way to prevent (or fix) this is “anti-walk” or “anti-rotate” pins.  KNS makes a couple of sets for the hammer and trigger pins for up to $40, but you can find their minimal models as low as $20 if you search.  KNS also has spring-loaded takedown and pivot pins for $20 which seems like would be very handy for final fitting, testing, cleaning and changing to different uppers.

The AR-15 Buffer Tube Kit and Stock

The remaining parts of the lower are the buffer tube kit and stock.  Buffer tubes are available in rifle, carbine and pistol lengths.  The buffer tube screws into the back of the receiver, and contains the buffer, which cushions the bolt slamming back, the mainspring, which pushes the bolt back forward into battery, and some mounting hardware.  The stock mounts around or to the buffer tube.  Stocks can be fixed or adjustable (collapsible); complete stock and buffer tube kits can be found as low as $40, but I wouldn’t trust them.  A stock alone for $40 should be adequate though.  On the other hand, you can spend hundreds on the stock, which you should avoid unless you know exactly what you are going for (and can afford it).  Note that there are two common carbine length buffer tube formats, mil-spec and commercial.  Either will work, but make sure all the parts you get are one or the other, since they are not compatible.  Mil-spec may offer a bit better selection of stocks.  Also, be aware that bolts come in different weights, and it is wise to match the buffer weight to the bolt.

For the carbine length buffer tube kit, I’ll get it from the same place as my bolt for $22.95 to get the best match (and attractive price).  If I were building a rifle for which accuracy or long-range was the key factor, I’d get a fixed stock with length and comb adjustments (like the Magpul PRS), which might have its own buffer tube built-in or more likely, requires the rifle length tube.  But “tactical accuracy” is good enough for me, although being big; I’d want it to be big and sturdy, like the Magpul MOE SL-S or MOE SL.

You do not want to use a carbine or rifle buffer tube on a pistol (due to a risk of being charged with possessing a Short Barrel Rifle), and Red Barn Armory seems to have good pistol specific ones by Phase 5 Tactical or Spike’s Tactical for $69.95.  As a cheaper option, Delta Team Tactical has one for $32.99.  And if you want a wrist brace system with the tube, there is the SIG system from Delta Team Tactical for $119.99.

Tune in next time for the upper parts and some useful accessories.

The post Building Your Own Firearm (Part 3 – AR-15 Lower Parts) appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

The Most AMAZING Garden Veggie EVER!

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The Most AMAZING Garden Veggie EVER! The title reads like some sort of terrible infomercial but it seems these homesteaders are onto something. They have found an incredible veggie that you most likely never heard of that really produces. Its one of those rare breeds that doesn’t have issues with pests, doesn’t have issues with …

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Everything you Need to Know About Prepper Shelters

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Everything you Need to Know About Prepper Shelters Recently I asked a friend if he thought he was prepared for a disaster scenario, something like a  severe weather event or a human-caused catastrophe. He said: “Sure I am. I have a week or so worth of non-perishable food in the pantry and my AR-15 in …

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4 Accurate and Affordable Sniper Rifles

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Long range shooting is a skill that takes knowledge and a lot of practice to master. Most civilians will use a nice hunting rifle to learn the basics. These are more than adequate for a 300 meter shot or so. But if you want to reach out to 800 or 1000 meters, you need to have a higher end rifle. So if you are serious about long range shooting, you have to invest a little money in a rifle that is better quality and built to higher tolerances. But, a high-end military-level sniper rifle is at least $5,000 and as much as $15,000. That’s more than the average civilian can spend on a rifle. But there are 4 accurate and affordable sniper rifles that are made by big firearm manufacturers. Let’s take a look at them.

Savage Arms 10 BA Stealth

Savage Arms really is an underrated firearm manufacturer. For the price, this is an amazing rifle. A simple, single purpose design with no extra fluff.

Features: Factory Blue Printed Savage Action, Monolithic Aluminum Chassis Machined from Solid Billet, M-LOK forend, One-Piece EGW Scope Rail, Fab Defense GLR-SHOCK Six-Position Buttstock with Adjustable Cheek Piece, 5/8×24 Threaded Muzzle with Protector.

4 Accurate Sniper Rifles that are Affordable - Savage 10 BA Stealth

Caliber Capacity Rate of Twist Barrel Length Overall Length Length of Pull MSRP
308 Win 10 1:10 20″ 41.25″ Adjustable $1207.00
6.5 Creedmoor 10 1:8 24″ 45.25″ Adjustable $1207.00

Savage Arms 110 BA Stealth

The Savage Arms 110 BA Stealth is the big bore version of the Savage Arms 10 BA Stealth. Chambered in 300 Win Mag and 338 Lapua Mag.

Features: Factory Blue Printed Savage Action, Monolithic Aluminum Chassis Machined from Solid Billet, M-LOK forend, One-Piece Picatinny Rail, Fab Defense GLR-16 Buttstock, Muzzle Brake

4 Accurate Sniper Rifles that are Affordable - Savage 110 BA Stealth

Caliber Capacity Rate of Twist Barrel Length Overall Length Length of Pull MSRP
300 Win Mag 5 1:9.3 24″ 49″ Adjustable $1484.00
338 Lapua Mag 5 1:9.3 24″ 49″ Adjustable $1484.00

Ruger Precision Rifle

The Ruger Precision Rifle is very impressive. It generated a huge amount of media and fanfare when it first came out at the end of 2015. Ruger was not able to keep up with the demand for the rifle at first. There are very few bad things that are said about this rifle platform.

Features: Ruger Precision Rifle® Hybrid Muzzle Brake, Cold hammer-forged 4140 chrome-moly steel barrel with 5R Rifling, 20 MOA Picatinny rail, “Upper” receiver and one-piece bolt are precision CNC-machined from pre-hardened 4140 chrome-moly steel, Ruger® Precision MSR stock with QD sling attachment points features a bottom Picatinny rail and soft rubber buttpad. The left-folding stock hinge is attached to an AR-style buffer tube and accepts any AR-style stock. Length of pull and comb height are adjustable, “Lower” magazine well halves are precision machined from 7075-T6 aluminum and are Type III hard coat anodized, Multi-magazine interface functions interchangeably with AICS and M110/SR-25/DPMS/Magpul-style magazines, Ruger Marksman Adjustable™ trigger is externally adjustable with a pull weight range of 2.25 to 5.0 lbs., two 10-round magazines.

4 Accurate Sniper Rifles that are Affordable - Ruger Precision Rifle

Caliber Capacity Rate of Twist Barrel Length Overall Length Length of Pull MSRP
308 Win 10 1:10 20″ 39.25″ 12″ – 15.50″ $1599.00
6.5 Creedmoor 10 1:8 24″ 43.25″ 12″ – 15.50″ $1599.00
6mm Creedmoor 10 1:7.7 24″ 43.25″ 12″ – 15.50″ $1599.00
5.56 NATO / 223 Rem 10 1:7 20″ 39.25″ 12″ – 15.50″ $1599.00

Remington 700 Tactical Chassis

There are many different models of the Remington 700 and many ways to upgrade your existing rifles. But there is no need to upgrade anything on the Remington 700 Tactical Chassis, other than adding a nice scope to it. There is a considerable difference in price for the Remington over the previously mentioned rifles. Hell you can almost buy both the Savage and the Ruger for the same price as the Remington! Is it really that much better? Remington thinks so.

Features: Magpul MAG307 PRS Adjustable with Pistol Grip, Aluminum Chassis with Full Length Acessory Rail, X-Mark Pro Trigger, Target Tactical Bolt Handle

4 Accurate Sniper Rifles that are Affordable - Remington 700 Tactical Chassis

Caliber Capacity Rate of Twist Barrel Length Overall Length Length of Pull MSRP
308 Win 5 1:10 24″ 46 1/4″ 15 1/4 – 16 1/8″ $2,900.00
300 Win Mag 5 1:10 24″ 48″ 15 1/4 – 16 1/8″ $3,100.00
338 Lapua Mag 5 1:10 26″ 50″ 15 1/4 – 16 1/8″ $3,500.00

4 Accurate Sniper Rifles that are Affordable

All four of these rifles are really remarkable firearms. Each will shoot a sub-MOA with factory ammo at 100 yards. You will not be disappointed by any of them. Which one to buy? It really depends on the amount of money that you can invest.

If I was buying a 308 Win, I would buy the Ruger Precision Rifle. If I was buying the 6.5 Creedmoor I would go for the Savage Arms 10 BA Stealth. If I was the 300 Win Mag or 338 Lapua Mag I would go with the Remington 700 Tactical Chassis. Just my opinions.

Tell me what you think!

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The post 4 Accurate and Affordable Sniper Rifles appeared first on Surviving Prepper.

It’s The Quirky Medicinal Tree That Pharmaceutical Companies Use

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It’s The Quirky Medicinal Tree That Pharmaceutical Companies Use

The tamarack tree is an oddity. It is the duck-billed platypus of the tree world, refusing to be solidly classified into any one category. Part softwood, part hardwood, and completely unique, the tamarack is a distinctive component of the northern forest.

It’s useful for everyone from off-gridders to pharmaceutical companies and – not surprisingly – Native Americans made use of it, too.

Tamaracks are native to North America, primarily in Canada and in the United States, from the northern Great Lakes region to the Northeast. It has more than one name, often even within in the same region. Its Latin nomenclature is Larix laricina, and it is also known as a larch — eastern, black, red or American — or a hackmatack.

The word “tamarack” is said to be derived from a Native American word, but there are several theories as to the meaning, ranging from an Algonkian word meaning “snowshoe wood” to an Ojibwa word meaning “swamp tree.” Whichever origin is correct, both meanings are accurately descriptive of the tamarack tree.

Tamaracks do tend to prefer cool swamps, but are not exclusive to wet areas. They do not like shade, which can keep them from taking off in dense forests, but grow very quickly in the right conditions. Excellent for reforestation and erosion prevention, stands of tamaracks are often planted in areas that have been heavily logged.

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The wood of tamarack trees is strong yet supple, which probably made it an excellent candidate for Native American crafts such as snowshoes. Harder and heavier than most softwood trees and even some hardwoods, the coarse-grained tamarack can be milled into lumber, planking, poles, and posts. Its rot-resistant quality made it a common choice in shipbuilding, particularly the “knees,” which are large root formations that render an L-shaped piece of wood.

Tamaracks have enough similarities to other softwoods — such as bearing cones and needles — that they are classified as such. They are medium-sized trees, averaging around 50 feet tall, with a slender profile. Their branches are short, stiff and horizontal. Tamaracks bear small round seed cones in spring which open in fall and remain on the tree until the following year.

It’s The Quirky Medicinal Tree That Pharmaceutical Companies Use

Image source: Pixabay.com

However, there are many distinct differences between tamaracks and typical softwoods. Before explaining how they are unlike others in the group, it might be useful to mention the basic differences between softwoods and hardwoods. Softwoods, also known as conifers or evergreens, are a classification of trees that includes species such as pine, spruce, fir, cedar and hemlock. They are differentiated from hardwoods, or deciduous trees, by their generally softer wood, their cones, and the fact that they retain their leaves — called “needles” because of their shape and texture — all year-round.

A Softwood Tree … For Firewood?

Tamaracks do not fit neatly into the softwood description. Not only are they hard enough to be used for lumber and building, but they are one of the few softwood species that are considered to be efficient as firewood. According to the heat classifications from online sources[1], tamarack is of moderate heat value, matching red maples and surpassing aspens.

The most notable difference between tamaracks and other softwoods, however, is the fact that they lose their needles in the fall. They are the only native North American softwood to do so, making them a truly unique tree. Their inch-long needles grow in clusters like pine needles and look almost like tiny dust brushes. They turn from green to yellow in fall, often much later than the leaves of true deciduous trees so that they offer a last blast of lovely autumn color.

But the tamarack is not just another pretty face. In addition to its uses for lumber, pulp, and firewood, tamarack is useful in traditional medicines, as an emergency edible, and as a source for resin. It also contains a chemical used in modern pharmaceuticals and an additive to foods.

The spring leaf shoots of tamarack trees can be cooked and eaten. Tea made from ground-up dried bark can be used to cure a variety of ills, from headache to dysentery to common colds and skin ailments. Resin can be chewed like gum or used in crafts.[2], [3]

One of the lesser-known but important modern uses of tamarack trees is for the extraction of the chemical arabinogalactan. This substance, sometimes called AG by the industries that use it, serves as a stabilizer, binder, sweetener and a source of fiber in foods. According to WebMD, it is used to treat “the common cold, flu, H1N1 (swine) flu, ear infections in children, and HIV/AIDS.” It’s even used to treat liver cancer and is used “to provide dietary fiber, lower cholesterol, and to boost the immune system.” [4]

Arabinogalactan is also used in veterinary medicine, cosmetics and commercial printing. It is extracted from tamarack trees using a water process, from byproducts of the lumber industry. [5]

Truly like no other, the tamarack tree is multifaceted and useful. Industries from wood to chemicals, as well as homesteaders, backwoodsmen and practitioners of traditional arts all can gain something useful from the North American tamarack tree.

Do you have a tamarack tree on your plot? How do you use it? Share your tips in the section below:

[1] http://www.almanac.com/content/best-firewood-heat-values-and-tips

[2] http://www.nativetech.org/willow/tamarack/tamarack.html

[3] http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/l/larix-laricina=tamarack.php

[4] http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-974-LARCH%20ARABINOGALACTAN.aspx?activeIngredientId=974&activeIngredientName=LARCH%20ARABINOGALACTAN

[5] http://arabinogalactan.info/


SouthOrd PXS-14 USA-Made 14 Piece Lock Pick Set Review

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SouthOrd PXS-14 USA-Made 14 Piece Lock Pick Set Review

When I think of lock picking, SouthOrd is the brand that immediately springs to mind. A few days ago I scribbled about a lock pick adventure on Survival Threads and decided to test out the waters and do a review of my favourite (thus so far) lock picking set, the SouthOrd PXS-14. I understand that… Read More

This is just the start of the post SouthOrd PXS-14 USA-Made 14 Piece Lock Pick Set Review. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

SouthOrd PXS-14 USA-Made 14 Piece Lock Pick Set Review, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

He Criticized Red Light Cameras. The State Fined Him $500 – And Threatened Jail

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He Criticized Red Light Cameras. The State Fined Him $500 – And Threatened Jail

Questioning red light cameras created an unexpected problem for Mats Järlström, who was fined $500 for “unlicensed practice of engineering” by the state of Oregon.

That sparked a lawsuit by the Institute for Justice on his behalf.

“Criticizing the government’s engineering isn’t a crime; it’s a constitutional right,” said attorney Sam Gedge of the Institute for Justice.

The Institute filed the federal lawsuit contending that Oregon’s Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying violated Järlström’s First Amendment rights by fining him. Järlström contended that many of the 25,000-plus red-light-running citations at one busy intersection in Beaverton are bogus because the yellow light is too short. He has an engineering background.

“Specifically, Järlström wishes to communicate about the mathematics behind traffic-light timing,” the Institute’s complaint states. “If he does so in Oregon, however, he will be exposed to government investigation and punishment for engaging in the unlicensed ‘practice of engineering.’”

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Järlström sent a number of emails to the city and the sheriff of Washington County with a formula backing up his allegations.

In some of the emails, Järlström called himself an “engineer” because he has a bachelor’s degree in engineering, The Oregonian reported. That prompted the board to investigate the Beaverton resident for “practicing engineering without a license.”

Fined for Using Math

After two years of investigation, the board fined Järlström $500 and ordered him to stop critiquing lights. They also warned that Järlström can face thousands of dollars in fines and years of jail if he did not stop.

Story continues below video

But that “unauthorized engineering” merely consisted of using a mathematical formula to analyze traffic lights’ operations, Gedge said. Järlström was prompted to start analyzing the lights after his wife received a ticket in 2013.

The Institute of Traffic Engineers asked Järlström to present his research at its national conference. He has also appeared on national media, including 60 Minutes.

A Free Speech Issue?

“Under the First Amendment, you don’t need to be a licensed lawyer to write an article critical of a Supreme Court decision, you don’t need to be a licensed landscape architect to create a gardening blog, and you don’t need to be a licensed engineer to talk about traffic lights,” Gedge said. “Whether or not you use math, criticizing the government is a core constitutional right that cannot be hampered by onerous licensing requirements.”

The lawsuit, Mats Järlström v. Christopher D. Aldridge et. All, asks the court to overturn the board’s ruling.

It looks as if unlicensed use of math is now illegal in Oregon.

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

Do You Know These 25 Native American Survival skills?

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This article was originally published by Alex Park on survivallife.com


It is very easy to forget in our modern times of the internet and instant heat, cooling, food and shelter that people use to live a much simpler and much harder life before the advents of the modern comforts we take for granted every day. The Native Americans are the prime example of how people use to live off the land and survived the threats of nature with basic and cultivated survival tactics.

Native Americans crafted their own survival tools, built their own fires, foraged for their food and hunted their prey all by hand and it is astounding to think how well they were able to survive and thrive based on necessity alone. Would someone like you or me be able to do the same if we were put into such a hostile environment? Probably not but that it is why it is good to be aware of how the Native Americans were so deftly able to sustain themselves in an unforgiving North American wilderness.

The following list will highlight just 25 of some of the more interesting survival tactics commonly used by the tribes of the Native Americans of North America. Let this list be an insight into the lives of these fascinating people, an educational tool for our modern culture, a means of appreciating a society that is so rare and thin today and a reminder that the human spirit and will are much stronger than what we give them credit for.

25. Community –The tribal mindset and lifestyle of the Native Americans of yesteryear plays a huge role into their survival tactics. As you probably are already aware, Native Americans distinguished themselves by tribes. You have probably already heard of the more common and prominent tribes like the Apache, Navajo and Mohican. The sense of community, sharing of resources and wisdom and collective protection between tribesmen cannot be understated when considering how Native Americans were able to survive.

24. Footwear – If you have ever worked a day in your life with an improper pair of shoes then you know how important footwear is to comfort and bodily health. Footwear was integral to Native American survival and moccasins made of tanned leather and sewn together were common in North American tribes. Although designs and cuts differed from tribe to tribe features like rabbit pelt for added warmth and hardened rawhide for increased durability were common attributes of moccosins.

23. The Fox Walk – The fox walk was a method of tracking, traversing and hunting stealthily for Native Americans. This specific style consisting of wearing thin moccasins to feel the ground better, landing on the heel first and rolling your foot down, and traveling in lines to conceal your numbers was used in battle and in hunting.

22. Preserving Meat – Meat got many Native American tribes through harsh winters but there were no preservatives or refrigerators back then. Instead, Native Americans would preserve meat by cutting it into lean strips, eliminating fat and drying it in the sun. This is essentially what we know today as beef jerky. This thin, dried meat can keep for a very long time and was an essential food supply for Native Americans. We put together a guide to preserving meat in the wilderness.

21. Animal Hides – Animal hides were essential to Native American life and key to their survival. By honing a process of tanning and smoking, Native Americans were able to turn raw animal hides into moccasins, clothing and even shelter

20. Natural Observation – Being able to tell what kind of weather was on the horizon was a huge asset for Native Americans and they used the natural signs of the environment to predict weather and to prepare accordingly. They would study the behaviors of animals who have much keener senses for weather than we do and read the clouds.

19. Using Plants – How Native Americans were able to discern the healing powers of certain plants is an unknown but we do know that these practices were handed down from generation to generation so it was probably a case of trial and error. They would use plants, herbs and other life found in nature to heal wounds and treat illnesses.


18. Artful Crafting – By turning the crafting of basic survival tools and shelters into works of art, Native Americans were able to make the essentials of life that would stand up to the rigors of their environment. Native Americans took their time to craft tools and shelters thus ensuring their durability and overall quality and helping them survive in harsh conditions.

17. Body Paint – Before hunts, Native American tribes would paint their bodies so that they could blend into the natural scenery as stealth was a very important aspect of survival in those times.

16. Clothing – Proper clothing is essential for anyone to survive in any situation and the Native Americans had their clothing crafting skills down to a science. They used animal hides and smoked leathers to create warm clothing for the cold winters. They also used certain colored clothing for stealth when hunting prey.

15. Camps – The Native Americans often built temporary camps for hunting excursions but they still needed to maintain a certain level of stealth. They would build these camps of earth-toned materials and animal skins and tuck them into the base of foothills or other strategic natural sites so that they would be hard to spot from a distance.


14. Blow Guns – These have become something of a novelty in today’s day and age but blow guns were actually used for hunting and in warfare by Native American tribes such as the Cherokee. They would fashion these weapons out of cane or reed. The reed would be hollowed out to a tube wherein a dart would be inserted and propelled by a strong breath towards a target. Blow guns were used primarily to kill small game like birds, rabbits and squirrels and were sometimes tipped with poison extracted from venomous snakes and even Gila Monsters.

13. Deadfalls – Deadfalls are a kind of trap that were used by Native Americans to kill their prey. A heavy rock or log would be elevated by rope or a lever made of wood over a piece of meat or food to entice an animal. The deadfalls usually had a trigger that when the animal touched it, would activate the primitive trap and send the heavy object crashing down on them.

12. Snares – Trapping was one of the main ways that Native Americans caught their food and snares were among the most common types of traps utilized. A snare uses a vine that is tied in a loop and attached to a young sapling that is bent over and is fastened by tying it to a stick driven into the ground. The loop goes around a piece of meat to entice an animal and when the animal puts its head through the loop and tries to make off with the bait, the stick is dislodges and the loop turns into a noose around the prey’s neck and is suspended in the air as the sapling, free of its fastener, springs back into an upright position.

11. Trapping Pits –This is one of the more straightforward survival tactics utilized by the Native Americans. As the name suggests, this trap is simply a dug pit sometimes fitted with spikes at the bottom to kill or bleed the trapped animal. The dug pit would be covered up by branches and earth so that unsuspecting animals would walk over it and fall in.

10. Fishing Weirs – Fish were an indispensible source of food for Native Americans and among the ways that they would catch fish were fishing weirs. Fishing weirs are essentially traps built by rock or wood that would lead fish migrating up or downstream to a corridor built to be narrow and ultimately trap the fish.

9. Spearfishing – Another way the Native Americans caught fish was by spearfishing. There were different methods of spearfishing employed depending on the time of year. In the winter when the lakes would freeze over, a hole was cut into the ice and a lure made of bone was used to entice the fish toward the hole. Then, a spear made of wood for the shaft and copper or bone for the tip punctured the fish.

8. Hunting Tactics – It may seem simple now that we look back but many hunting tactics devised by Native Americans were learned over the generations and used to help them survive. Simple tactics like reading the wind and standing downwind from a target increased the chances for success of a hunt dramatically.

7. Nomadic Practices – Not all Native American tribes stayed in one place. After the Spanish visitors brought horses to the great plains, many tribes such as the Blackfeet, Crow and Comanche adopted a nomadic lifestyle in order to hunt buffalo across the plains all year round. This supplied for them a stable food source and ensured, to a certain degree, survival.

6. Teepees – Of course, there can be no survival without some form of shelter. The Great Plains Native Americans knew this very well and built teepees which are essentially tents. They were commonly made from buffalo hides and long wooden poles.

5. Dedicated Tribe Roles – A lost every aspect of Native American life was spurred by survival. This is even true of the gender roles of the Native Americans. The men were the hunters and to prevent any waste which could mean the difference between life and death in the North American frontier, the women were the cooks. They would prepare the meat that the men brought back immediately so as not to waste a single morsel and ensure that they had plenty of food.

4. Bows – An indelible image that most people have of Native Americans is the bow and arrowwhich was vital for the survival of all tribes in North and South America. Most bows were fashioned out of wood and strengthened with animal tendons. Bow strings were made from animal tendon or yucca and similar natural fibers.

3. Axes – There are certain tools that are as essential now as they were in the days of the Native Americans for survival. Among them are axes. While Native Americans used axes for warfare, they were also used to chop wood that would be used for many different causes and to hunt prey.

2. Water – This may seem a simple and almost thoughtless aspect of survival but the fact of the matter is that if the Native Americans did not have sources of fresh water to draw from, they would have never survived. The plentiful rivers and lakes of the Americas helped sustain the Natives and they regarded water sources with great reverence.

1. Fire – There is no life without food and warmth and fire is number one on the list of 25 essential survival skills that kept Native Americans alive because it provided both. There were many methods of building fires among Native Americans but among the most common were striking stones like pyrites together to create a spark that would be caught be a pile of tinder. The friction caused by rubbing 2 sticks together also generated enough heat to combust tinder. Bow drills and fire pump drills were also common methods of starting fires. These contraptions used string wrapped around a stick and controlled by a bow to generate the heat needed to start a flame.

Though the methods and practices of Native Americans varied from tribe to tribe, the innovation for the sake of survival was universal. They borrowed methods form each other and created ones unique to their tribe. They even borrowed from foreign settlers and visitors. The Native Americans were a group of humans that had to learn how to adapt and we are all the richer and wiser for their survival efforts.

It is hard to separate the survival tactics we employ today from those introduced to us by the Native Americans. Thus, we owe a debt of gratitude to these people who learned how to tame the wild Americas and make them a place hospitable for human life.

Saving our forefathers ways starts with people like you and me actually relearning these skills and putting them to use to live better lives through good times and bad. Our answers on these lost skills comes straight from the source, from old forgotten classic books written by past generations, and from first hand witness accounts from the past few hundred years. Aside from a precious few who have gone out of their way to learn basic survival skills, most of us today would be utterly hopeless if we were plopped in the middle of a forest or jungle and suddenly forced to fend for ourselves using only the resources around us. To our ancient ancestors, we’d appear as helpless as babies. In short, our forefathers lived more simply than most people today are willing to live and that is why they survived with no grocery store, no cheap oil, no cars, no electricity, and no running water. Just like our forefathers used to do, The Lost Ways Book teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available. It comes as a step-by-step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you how to use basic ingredients to make super-food for your loved ones. Watch the video HERE


Source : survivallife.com


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Situational Awareness: 4 Steps To Follow

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If a major disaster strikes your town, the disaster itself won’t be the only threat to your safety. You’ll also have to beware of two types of people: those without food or supplies who are desperate enough to rob anybody, and criminals who are taking advantage of the lack of law enforcement. That’s why situational […]

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Rooting Hormones Explained and Reviewed

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

Have you tried to propagate plants but not had much success?Have you excitedly taken cuttings from your garden and placed them lovingly in your nursery, only to see them wilting and drooping?Well, you might be missing out on a key element of propagating cuttings successfully – using rooting hormone. If you’ve never experimented with rooting […]

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

North Korea: What The Media Isn’t Telling You

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Kim Jon Un

North Korea has been one of America’s enemies for years, but in recent weeks things have escalated to a new, dangerous level. The North Koreans are threatening to strike the United States, and the U.S. is reportedly considering a preemptive attack.

What should the United States do?

That’s the topic on this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio, as we talk to Peter Vincent Pry, who is chief of staff of the EMP Commission and who formerly served in the House Armed Services Committee and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Pry – who has co-written articles on the subject for The Wall Street Journal, The Hill and the Washington Times – says that what we’re hearing in the mainstream media isn’t the full picture. In fact, Pry says, North Korea is even more dangerous than we may realize.

Pry tells us:

  • Why we can’t necessarily believe what the experts tell us about North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capability.
  • Why North Korea could use an unconventional method to strike the U.S. with an EMP or traditional nuclear attack.
  • Why every American citizen should be concerned that North Korea has two satellites that regularly fly over the U.S.
  • Why we can’t trust the Chinese, who are responsible for more than 80 percent of North Korea’s imports and exports.

Finally, Pry gives us his thoughts on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

If you want to separate fact from fiction, then don’t miss this week’s show. You won’t hear any of it from the mainstream media!


Pearl Harbor Survivor, 94, Denied Hearing Aids By VA

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Pearl Harbor Survivor, 94, Denied Hearing Aids By VA

Image source: GoFundMe

The last living Pearl Harbor Survivor in Philadelphia was denied hearing aids because of a paperwork snafu at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The hearing aids were sitting on the table in front of Alexander Horanzy, 94, when he was told the VA would not pay for them. Previously, Horanzy had been told he was approved for hearing aids and even was tested and fitted for them.

“So I drove him up there and they wouldn’t give them to him,” Horanzy’s granddaughter, Joyce Fiore, told KYW News Radio. “They said his medical records were lost in a fire. They had them right there, so he was denied.”

Said Horanzy, “I was so darn mad I couldn’t even talk. My granddaughter was there with me, so we just walked out.”

Tired Of Losing Freedoms And Looking For A Second Country? Read More Here.

Horanzy almost died of malaria 70 years ago while fighting on New Guinea in World War II, the Great Generation Foundation reported. Before that, he had witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as a young Army private.

Despite that service, Horanzy was told he was ineligible for hearing aids because the Department of Veteran Affairs was unable to locate his paperwork.

Horanzy needs the aids to get through his day. He was unable to hear the speeches and presentations at one of the final Pearl Harbor Veterans’ reunions in December 2016.

“He can’t talk on the phone much and [hear] the TV,” Fiore said. “It’s very hard for him.”

The Greatest Generation Foundation has set up a Go Fund Me Page to pay for the aids. The page had collected $7,868 as of April 27. That means Horanzy will get the hearing aids, which cost $6,500. The website says he was denied hearing ads by the VA because of “lost medical records that don’t support his past medical history

There are a few thousand surviving Pearl Harbor veterans.

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10 Prepper Actions You Must Do After A Big Move

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Our family was not planning on moving so far away from California. The West Coast had been our home for almost 3 decades. It did not take long before we found ourselves in the deep south of Georgia. Good bye salty air, hello bugs!

As we were adjusting to the new culture, unpacking and getting settled in our home, my thinking was still in California mode. Pictures and shelves were not being hung over beds, fragile items were placed in enclosed cabinets and my thoughts keep going back to earthquakes. In California I had things strategically placed and tacked down. Mentally, I was still thinking of “the big one”. I obviously had to think about prepping after a big move. Now that we are in Georgia, we have some great art work hanging in places we never would have before. I needed to learn about the types of disasters that occur in my new area and how to best prepare for them.

10 Easy Steps To Help You Prepare

  • Each city has its own set of hazards. Gather those that you may live with and make a list of the disaster risks that you are aware of. First list the ones that are most probable. Think of the places that you will be going to on a regular basis. These would include places of employment, worship, schools, and shopping centers. Spend the next month observing your new area. As you drive around, notice any tunnels, rivers, bridges, power lines, railroads, trucking routes, chemical plants or refineries. Look for alternate routes to work and ways out of town. It does take a while, but learn your way around your new city without needing GPS. Have a paper map of your area in each car and at home.

  TIP: You can read about 5 steps to making a personalized threat analysis here.

  • Locate where the closest CERT class is in your area. You can find classes on the FEMA’s website. If you have already taken CERT classes, but it was quite a while ago, a refresher would not hurt. You can learn, in the classes, what the major risks are in your area, how to prepare yourself and how your community is prepared to handle emergencies. CERT classes are the perfect opportunity to ask questions and be with people, like yourself, that want to learn more about preparing. It is a great place to connect with others and you may find yourself happy to be a volunteer for your new town.
  • Your local city and county web sites may have an emergency preparedness section. Some cities allow their residents see the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). The EOP lists any risk assessment, available resources, continuity of government, and mutual agreements with other agencies. You will learn how your city responds to emergency and disaster situations related to national security, technological incidents, and natural disasters. The local city and county web sites also have information about local utilities, phone numbers, evacuation places, and emergency instructions.
  • Start connecting with neighbors, people at your church and coworkers. Those that have lived in your area for a while can be a wealth of information. They have an in depth knowledge of the town and its history. These are the people you may be depending on if something happens in the near future. They may also know places to shop to get any preparedness items you may need.
  • Local prepper groups are another way to get information about your city’s hazards. Preppergroups.com, PrepperLink.com and Meetup.com are sites you can go to in your search for a group to belong to. Some of these groups vary in their purpose. If there is not a group nearby, there are many sites that help you form a prepper group in your town. Chances are, there are others who are prepared or want to be and would love to join other like minded people.
  • One of my favorite places to go is Usa.com. Just enter your zip code and you have a ton of information about your new town. On the left side you can click on “Natural Disasters and Extremes”. There is a 60 year history of the disasters in your area and how often they occur.
  • As important as it is to know the potential dangers in your area, there are the hazards that can happen anywhere you move to. Check your new home for any fire hazards, have carbon monoxide and smoke detectors installed and/or checked. Inspect the area around your home. Trim any trees in areas where they could cause problems or call to have the utility company trim them. Check your home for good security, maybe an alarm system or additional locks. Learn what the laws are concerning firearms in your state. Have adequate home, life, and auto insurance to help you get through a disaster.

TIP: Keep your family safe by creating a fire escape plan.

  • Check social media! The Red Cross and other government agencies have a presence on social media. There are more people than you realize who are reaching out to others through Facebook and other sites. I have chosen to receive updates from our local county emergency management office and the US National Weather Service on my Facebook. My phone alerts me about any upcoming storms headed my way.
  • Evaluate your primary risks and see if there is a secondary risk that could affect your family. You may not experience the earthquake, but you may be in the line of the tsunami. The fire did not get to your home, but the coming rains could cause a mud slide in your neighborhood. Think about the disasters that could happen and look for the secondary risk. If you are a business owner, there are also first and secondary risks that may abruptly slow or stop your livelihood. Gauge what options you have to minimize the effects a disaster could have to your employment.
  • Civil disturbances are more than the rioting in big cities that we see on the evening news. It also includes acts of war and terrorist attacks. While some civil disturbances are out of our control and unpredictable, being prepared is still necessary. No one saw the attacks in San Bernardino or Orlando coming. Again, look at what is probable for your area and do your best to have a plan. You can educate yourself about civil unrest and how to stay save with this Survival Mom article.

Moving is stressful, don’t make prepping after a big move add to your stress. Unpack, find the lamps and register the cars first. Work on this project in baby steps if needed. Do your best to not become overwhelmed. Look around and make decisions based on what is truly probable. Remember that you are prepping for you and your family. Though there may be some similarities with others in your area, you have to tailor prepping to your needs.



Link – What I Learned Living off a 30 Day Emergency Supply of Food

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Interesting series of posts.

My goal was simple: to see what it would be like to live off a basic food storage kit for 30 days. I had no ulterior motives; I just wanted to see if I could eat what was in the box for 30 days. Sometimes I like to experience things or challenge myself in ways some people might think is odd. To me, I just see it as a fun experiment. Might be a bored housewife thing. Might be a quirk in my personality. Either way, I was actually oddly excited to try this. I was curious about so much.

Not all 30-day kits are the same, though. The Wise brand kits turn up in Costco and a few other places, and I’ve not really heard anyone say too many nice things about them. Mountain House makes a few different kits and most people are have neutral/good comments about them. Augason Farms makes a 30-day kit that I recommend as an entry-level way to try a variety of their products. It’s a broad selection of small cans (not pouches) with about 20 different items. I catch these on sale every once in a while and they make outstanding gifts.

Mountain House offers a few variations on this theme…2-, 3-, 4-, 5, and 14-day kits of pouches. I’ve sold the 3-day kits before and they’re an attractive and convenient option. (By the by –$50 Rebate when you buy the 14-Day Emergency Food Supply + Free Shipping!

All these kits, and this is touched on in the link at the begining of this post, are best when you use them to supplement or augment an existing stockpile of food. Rice, pasta, grain, whatever….these kits help stretch things out and prevent appetite fatigue.

In my opinion, where these kits really shine is in portability. If you have just got to go, go, go and it’s a matter of taking whatever you can grab and throw in the back of the truck in five minutes, thats where these things shine.

Anyway, I’ve seen a few people online do similar types of ‘dietary challenges’ and I thought it would be interesting to bring it to everyones attention.


Seasonal Allergies – Why Local Honey Might Just Be The Cure!

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It’s Spring, and that means seasonal allergies are hitting people head on like a Mack truck! Pollen counts in the Spring can reach ridiculous levels as trees, shrubs, bushes and more begin to flower. And that means all kinds of

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12 Ways Activated Carbon Will Help Your Resilience

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Not so long ago, activated carbon was a common cure for many different ailment as well as a common household staple. Old habits and remedies should be revived: they are based on natural solutions much safer for our health than anything nowadays industries are offering us.

If you know how to use activated carbon, you might revert serious health problems now as well as prevent some of the worst ones that can occur anytime in your life.

If you want a good “multi-use” item in your medicine kit, activated carbon is the one to carry.

From removing ingested poison from stomach to air and water filtration, keep reading to find out the top 12 uses for activated charcoal.

Remove Ingested Poison from Stomach

No matter how hard you try, there are going to be times when you consume something that will present a danger to your health. By the same token, if you have livestock or other animals living with you, there is also a chance they will ingest some kind of poison that needs to be absorbed by a media such as activated carbon.

Fortunately, making and using activated carbon for this purpose uses the same basic process as you would use for most other purposes.  You may also want to purchase pre-manufactured activated carbon at a local pharmacy that is made for this purpose.

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

Reduce Gas Reflux and Stomach Bloating

Given the number of toxins and dangerous additives in modern foods, it should come as no surprise that acid reflux and stomach bloating are on the rise. When you factor in side effects from various drugs, this situation gets even worse.

During a major social collapse or other crisis, you may wind up consuming other foods that irritate your stomach simply because you have no choice. These and many other situations may be made even worse because you may not have any remedies on hand to deal with the situation. Activated carbon capsules can help reduce both stomach bloat and acid.

Aquarium Filtration

If you are going to grow your own food, aquariums and fish ponds are likely to be part of your plans. Even if you choose not to eat the fish, you will still need waste from them for hydroponics and other forms of fertilizer.

Large numbers of fish are hard to keep in a smaller area without the use of activated carbon.

Here are some ways activated carbon makes it easier to start and maintain a healthy aquarium or fish pond:

  • Activated carbon helps remove gas based fish waste from the water.
  • When aquarium and pond water is cleaner, there is a less chance of toxic algae buildup.
  • Water that is full of toxins increases the risk of fish disease. Given that some fish carry TB and other illnesses, you will not want to take this kind of chance, especially if you are planning to eat the fish or use the water to fertilize plants.
  • When aquarium water is full of fish waste or other toxins, the fish will be less likely to breed and produce healthy offspring. While this may not be of much concern while you can still buy fish, it will most certainly be a problem when you must replace them in a crisis situation.
  • Aquarium and pond water are notorious for pulling toxins from the air. As a result, if the area is polluted, you can rest assured that the water in the aquarium is also in bad condition.  Activated carbon will pull these toxins from the water and help ensure your fish remain as healthy as possible.

To use activated carbon for this purpose, just break bigger pieces down to about the size of a pea and add them to the air filter.

I have used bubble filters for decades in my aquariums and have never needed to buy pre-fabricated cartridges for them.

If you plan to use bigger or stronger power filters, then you may need to find some way to refill the cartridge once the activated carbon needs replacing. Some aquarists say it is possible to reuse the carbon after heating it up and letting it dry out. I have never gotten this or other variations to work properly.

Keep Your Teeth Clean

Many people are surprised to learn that activated carbon can remove all kinds of stains and hidden debris from teeth. No matter whether you want to whiten your teeth or keep them clean without using toothpaste, activated carbon will be very useful.

All you need to do is grind the activated carbon down to a powder and mix it with some water.  Let the black paste sit on your teeth for a minute or so, brush, and then rinse off as you would any other toothpaste. Since activated carbon doesn’t have a good taste or texture, you may want to follow up with a peppermint wash or something else that helps you feel more comfortable.

You can use baking soda as toothpaste and then follow up with activated carbon now as well as during a major disaster.

Modern toothpaste is filled with carcinogens and other dangerous toxins. As with the air and water, more than a few of the chronic illnesses you are dealing with right now may be made worse by toothpaste.

Give activated carbon a try and see how you feel both from a dental and physical perspective. Remember, cavities and other dental diseases don’t just come from bad dental hygiene. They also come from making bad food choices and ingesting chemicals that do harm to the enamel on your teeth.

Ask your dentist about the benefits of using activated carbon as a toothpaste replacer, as well as what you can do to make your own toothpaste so that you can avoid all the toxins in modern formulas.

If your dentist says that modern toothpaste is an absolute necessity for dental health, bring with you a list of all the ingredients in the toothpaste, and the studies that prove one or more is carcinogenic. As strange as it may sound, if you wind up needing to get a second opinion, this may be better than going on with a growing health problem that you weren’t aware of.

Video first seen on Silke Dewulf.

Remove Pesticides from Soil

If you thought air and water pollution were bad, you may not realize that soil pollution is just as bad. Runoff from commercial farms and factories as well as pollution falling from the air all lead to soil based problems miles away from the initial site of contaminant release.

Once activated carbon touches something, it will begin leaching various chemicals from it. In this case, if you mix activated carbon into the soil, it will pull out pesticides and other dangerous toxins.

Personally, I would recommend using blocks or sheets of carbon for this purpose. You can try them a the surface level, or bury them in layers in order to give the chemicals a chance to leach through to the carbon layers.

Later on, you will need to remove the carbon so that the plants don’t break it down and release the pesticides right back into the soil.

Remember, activated carbon doesn’t break chemicals down, it is simply a very porous medium that acts as a storage container. You will still have to remove the carbon from the soil to completely get rid of the pesticide and other toxins.

Air Filtration

Do you ever notice that when you travel to certain areas, the air smells really bad? Do you also notice that this sensation seems to fade after a few days? The air around you is so dirty it is probably making you and your family members very sick even though your nose had adapted to it.

From higher volumes of cars passing to garbage dumps and industrial smokestacks, there are actually very few places left where there is safe, clean air to breathe. Here are just a few contaminants that trigger everything from asthma to increased risk of panic attacks, heart problems, and other diseases:

  • Aside from carbon monoxide, automobiles also release other dangerous chemicals into the air, and some of them are known to trigger asthma and other breathing disorders.
  • Medical waste and rubbish dumps release dangerous chemicals into the air. If you smell something bad in the air when downwind of a dump, then this is the natural gas released by the piles of garbage. The dump may also be releasing all kinds of chemicals created when trash mixes together and new substances begin to form. You can’t tell just how many of these substances cause cancer or other health problems simply because you inhaled the disgusting odor of rotting trash.
  • Factories and power plants also release volatile organic compounds and other chemicals into the air. You may be able to smell some of them, while others are odorless.

If you spend the money and time to build an air quality sensor capable of detecting specific chemicals, you’ll be amazed at how dangerous the air around you really is. It will get much worse after a crisis because of increased numbers of fires and a lack of tools, labor, and resources required to manage dangerous chemicals.

Activated carbon can be used to remove most volatile organic compounds, and many other chemical based contaminants from the air. In fact, if you suffer from chronic medical problems, you might need a pre-fabricated carbon filter attached to a fan or some other source of air flow. Aside from cleaner smelling air, it will ease your health problems.

If you are concerned about gas attacks or other social collapse related scenarios – these kinds of filters will be essential if you plan to stay in your home. While there is much more to prepping for an air quality related disaster, activated carbon filters are a good place to start.

There are a number of furnace filters available that have activated carbon in them. In most cases, these are little more than a liquid solution of activated carbon added to the filter media.

You can try experimenting with your own versions to see if you can get a filter that effectively removes odors (and therefore their cause) from the air.

DIY Respirators and Gas Masks

Even if you could seal off your home entirely from the outside world, it would not be a feasible option. Gases and bio weapons will easily seep through even the tiniest crack and can be devastating, and there will also be times when you have to leave your location. And if you are away from your bug out location, you’ll need to protect your lungs as much as possible.

These are reasons why making and wearing a viable gas mask or respirator is very important. As with air filters, activated carbon offers the widest range of protection against a range of chemicals.

Considering the rising rate of smog and other air pollutants, activated carbon masks are also very important for improving and maintaining a reasonable level of health. For example, in many Asian countries, people don’t go outdoors or exercise without wearing an activated carbon mask.

While this is a fairly rare sight in the United States, those who know the truth are doing the exact same thing. If you have asthma or other chronic breathing problems, even a surgical style mask with activated carbon in it can make a big difference.

I have personally noticed a 50% reduction in noxious odors from insecticides, smog, and other fumes when wearing this kind of mask. Others that have tried them notice a 70% or better reduction. While I have not tried the wrap-around designs more common in Asian countries, I suspect they would be more effective because they would seal off the areas where I tend to get the most air leaks.

A surgical style activated carbon mask is better than nothing, however you will need a more robust respirator design for gas attacks and other dangerous situations.

Just remember to practice breathing with these masks, and they can and do restrict air flow. Also make sure you keep the mask clean and change the cartridges on a regular basis. As good as activated carbon is at filtering out many kinds of chemicals, the pores in it still fill up quickly, hence the need to replace the cartridges often.

You can and should try taking used cartridges apart to see if you can find a way to refill the activated carbon part. Even if you cannot obtain or make the other filter media, at least you may be able to keep this vital part of the mask working for a longer period of time.

Filter Water

As a prepper, you may already be giving a lot more thought to water quality than air quality, but activated carbon isn’t only useful for removing the bad taste from water after it has been boiled. That bad taste is an indicator that the water isn’t as clean as you think it is.

Boiling water will kill off bacteria, however it will actually cause an increase in the concentration of heavy metals, pesticides, and even dangerous drugs that have leached into just about every potable water supply at the surface level. While activated carbon will not remove all heavy metals, it is excellent for removing most other dangerous chemicals and drugs.

Typically, filtering water with activated carbon is a lot easier than filtering air. At the simplest, just add some activated carbon to a clean sock and pour the water through it. You can also make your own cartridges and add a pump for larger volumes of water.

When designing your own system, don’t forget to make it easy to change the cartridge as well as detect when it needs to be changed. Since many water quality issues reflect in changes in pH, you may want to try building a pH sensor into your system so that you know when to change the filter.

Video first seen on MakerBoat

Preserve Papers

If you have books, paper based maps, or other important documents in your stockpile, it is very important to keep them free of air based chemicals that will do damage to them.

While a ziploc bag can be very useful, adding some activated carbon to the bag will also ensure the paper does not break down as quickly.

Remove Odor From Fabrics

Today, many people still use moth balls and other camphor based products to store clothes away for long periods of time. Aside from making your clothes very smelly, many of these products can also be very dangerous to your health.

If you want to keep clothes in your stockpile odor free, activated carbon may be of some help. If you routinely have bad smelling clothes, adding some activated carbon to the wash will also get rid of the problem.

You can make activated carbon sachets from nylon stockings (or very thin socks) and aquarium carbon, or buy them pre-made at the pet store.

Scent Block for Hunting

More than a few hunters have lost a chance to capture dinner because the target animal got a whiff of the hunter when the breeze changed.  Since most animals are afraid of human scent, even a slight breeze can cause problems.

Today, a number of hunting supply stores sell activated carbon solutions that will absorb body odors before they can be carried to the animal. You can also grind activated carbon into a powder and mix it with water.

Next, just dip your clothes in the solution and let them dry. Even though there is some controversy over whether this actually works, there is no harm in giving it a try, especially if you know or suspect that scent related issues are interfering with the hunt.

More than a few hunters also store their clothes in activated carbon in order to prevent other odors from getting into the clothes.

Tip: if you have been using the same clothes for years, and took a lot of time making sure they absorbed the scent of the woods, this can help prevent that from being disrupted.  All you need to do is add a few sachets of activated carbon to the bag or box and store away until needed for the next season.

Video first seen on Cabela’s Hunting

Manage Stings and Insect Bites

Bee stings and insect bites can become infected as well as cause a lot of pain and irritation. While activated carbon will not stop an infection, it can pull out the venom from stings and small bites.  Just apply the activated carbon to the skin and let it absorb the venom.

If you are allergic to bees or other insects, it is still very important to use an Epi-pen or other neutralizers that have a known track record for reliably managing this problem.

Activated carbon will not work for snake bites. Insect bites have much smaller amounts of venom than a snakebite. You can try a moist chewing tobacco bandage for snakebite and a constriction band above the site of a snakebite. You will still need the proper anti-venom to treat this condition.

Now that you know how to use activated charcoal, discover more valuable survival secrets from our forefathers.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

Step by Step on How to Make Tenkara Fishing Rod

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With the tenkara being the latest trend in fly fishing, I have found many anglers longing to get to know every single detail about it. I am lucky to have learnt about it earlier and perfected my skill, thanks to my father. Before I proceed, I will let you know what a tenkara is. Tenkara […]

The post Step by Step on How to Make Tenkara Fishing Rod appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

The Urgency of Doing: Knowing is NOT Enough

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by Todd Walker

Bewildered, you approach two doors. One reads Self-Reliance. The other reads Books About Self-Reliance. Which will you open?

500 years after the life of Leonardo da Vinci, his words resonate in my soul.

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

In one of his thousands of notebook entries, da Vinci wrote, “I know I am not a man of letters, experience is my one true mistress, and I will cite her in all cases. Only through experimentation can we truly know anything.”

In 1452, born a bastard son, Leonardo’s future was bleak. No formal education was offered to illegitimate children in his day. Apprenticeships to professional guilds was out of the question. He had no choice but to bootstrap his way out of a situation which he had no control over. In spite of all the obstacles, da Vinci reached genius status as a painter, engineer, botanist, scientist, anatomist, sculptor, and inventor.

How did he become the ultimate Renaissance Man?

He traded theory for action.

Designed for Doing

For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them. ~ Aristotle

There are two classes of knowledge: Experiential and Theoretical. Near the end of my undergraduate studies, I was introduced to Experiential Learning Theory. It’s worth another look when comparing book learning to hands-on self-reliance.

Book Knowledge (Conventional Training)

I’m not anti-book. I have books stacked, shelved, and archived all over the house. However, it is one thing to read about self-reliance and another to apply what you’ve read for self-reliant living. Skills only become yours by doing.

Conventional training (here’s a book, go read it – or lectures) is based on knowledge transfer which arrogantly assumes what the individual needs to learn and how the student learns best. The focus is on the needs of the educational system, i.e. – passing high-stakes tests, school rankings, etc. – and not the individual’s interest or learning style. This is the “sage on the stage” model where information is taught externally but rarely applied internally.

I saw a funny but applicable cartoon the other day about wilderness survival which went something like this…

A guy wearing his bug-out-bag is approached by a woman.

Girl: What’s inside?

Guy: Survival books.

Girl: What if you have to survive longer than 72 hours?

Guy: Right. I need a bigger bag of books!

Again, books aren’t bad – correction, some are actually bad. Book knowledge is entertaining but not very useful until it’s applied through hands-on experimentation in context to the real-world. Conventional training is about memorizing facts. Experiential learning consists of applied knowledge acquired from doing. The urgency of doing is real.

Designed for Doing- Conventional vs Experiential - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Experiential Learning

The cornerstone of learning for me is my experience. Your experience will be different from mine. Where we go astray is trying to mimic what another “successful” person has achieved. By doing what they do, dressing like them, copying their “keys to success”, to the point of hero-worship, we lose our unique self and temperament. Being a fan of someone is one thing. Becoming their mini-me will only limit what you could have become. You and I must live our own story.

Other people’s ideas, even my own ideas, will never be as authoritative as my experience.

Experiential Self-Reliance

One of my goals is to get people to think about what they think they think.

~ Scott Jones, Postcards to the Past

Here’s a few thoughts I thought I thought along my journey.

A.) Planning

Quit it. This may come as a shock to OCD minds, but by the time you’ve got every detail planned out on how to do stuff (which I’m guilty of), you’ve just wasted a lot of valuable time. You really don’t need a 31 step plan like the experts say.

Procrastination often cross-dresses in plan’s clothes. It’s tricky like that. Just start and make adjustments as you move forward. Taking action has a way of bringing a plan together. The perfect plan does not exist. Stop wasting time on the sofa.

We tell ourselves, “I’m going to start learning a new skill. I’m just going to start tomorrow.”

B) Failing

Do it fast. You can’t plan for all the mistakes. Since I know I’m going to fail, I want to fail fast. The quicker I flop, the faster I can make adjustments and shorten my learning curve.

C.) Beginning

At the onset of my recent Cordwood Challenge, I had legitimate fear. Failure and bodily injury were on the top of the list. Looking at that measly pile of wood I chopped the first day, self-doubt doubled down.

Here’s the thing about beginning. It has power to overcome fear and doubt. When we start, providence moves us a step closer to what we were created to do. This may seem overly dramatic, spiritual, or too philosophical coming from a wood chopper. Maybe so, but many doors were opened for me personally and professionally since that first ax swing.

The benefits of bold beginnings are often invisible. Most people give up before reaping their rewards.

D.) Doing the Work

Self-reliance is a byproduct of the Work. Reading about it is not the Work. It’s physical, dirty, sweaty, smelly, and satisfying. It comes dressed in overalls with a hoe in its hand.

I’ve had the privilege of learning skills from very talented people. How did they reach such high skill level? To put it simply, they isolated themselves with their Work. True artisans spend thousands of hours alone hammering, chopping, baking, writing, carving, experimenting, failing, reflecting, and acting again on an idea.

Whatever Work you were born to do, start doing it.

A side note to our regular readers: I haven’t published an article for over a month. I don’t offer apologies. This has been a much-needed break which has given me time to think about what I think I think.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,


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

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

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

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


How to Keep Your Cool in the Summer Kitchen

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How to keep your house cool in the hot summer. Use these summer kitchen tips | PreparednessMama

How to keep your house cool in the hot summer. Until the money for my beautiful outdoor kitchen come in, I’m going to utilize a few of these summer kitchen tips. I moved to Texas a little over two years ago and discovered something that I’d never really thought about before we moved. The heat […]

The post How to Keep Your Cool in the Summer Kitchen appeared first on PreparednessMama.

Gentle Reminder To Be Prepared To Survive Disasters

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This is my gentle reminder to be prepared to survive disasters. Now, this could be two feet of snow in your yard that doesn’t melt for two months, like a reader, Kathy, told me about where she lives. She said they hadn’t had snow like that in 20 years. What’s really scary is the thought of no garbage pickup or mail delivery for those two months. Luckily, Kathy was prepared with food and water, except for the cat she has who wouldn’t drink the powdered milk! I loved that comment! It’s a good reminder to store extra pet food for our dogs, cats, etc. I’m not sure what the farmers would do for outside animals. I now have a dog again, a male black and white ShihTzu, so I grabbed one extra bag of food when I went to the store the other day. Remember, we also need to store water for our pets, just a quick tip to think about.

Now, two months with that much snow means the roads were probably not driveable or they would have had garbage pickup and mail delivery. Is that a major disaster? Well, if you don’t have direct deposit for your monthly paychecks, retirement checks, or whatever, you may not be able to pay your bills. If you pay your bills online, if available, it wouldn’t be as major a disaster. Of course, if there is no mail delivery you may want to setup paperless statements. I prefer paperless statements on everything because they are never in the mailbox. If the power is down, that’s okay, I have direct deposit and my payments are ACH (automatic clearing house) which means my bills will automatically be paid whether or not I have the Internet. UNLESS we have a grid down we could get things done, with a grid down then payments will not exist. Paychecks will not exist, at least, until power is back up and running. Banks will be closed and your money unavailable. If you haven’t read the book called, “Lights Out” by Ted Koppel, you need to ASAP. Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath

If you haven’t purchased the paperback copy of my book, you may want to in order to be prepared for the unexpected: Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready for Any Emergency or Disaster Situation If you already have it, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for buying it.

Gentle Reminder:

  1. Store food, even if it’s one can a week, just make sure it’s something you will enjoy eating.
  2. Store water, please store at least one gallon per person per day. I prefer four gallons per person per day, but that’s how I roll. Don’t forget to store water for your pet as well.
  3. Store your basic first aid supplies at the very minimum. If the stores are closed you may not have fever reducing medicine at your home if you use it. Yes, I love essential oils, but I need aspirin for my arthritis, it’s the only thing that works for me. Another gentle reminder to check your cabinets for your favorite ones.
  4. Store the product My Doctor Suggests Silver Solution if it’s right for you. I use it whenever I am exposed to sick people. I still wish churches had those hand sanitizer deals hooked to the walls. Oh my, the hand shaking and germs, just thinking out loud. Sorry, I use hand wipes on the grocery carts, I’m not proud, if the stores don’t supply them, I bring my own. Wow, I’m starting to sound like a germaphobic….okay, I own it. I recommend this one: 30ppm, Triple Strength pH Balanced Colloidal Solution – Daily Colloidal Silver Supplement for Immune Health – 16oz Bottle of Silver Water This silver will not turn you blue or gray, I use it all the time and have for years.
  5. These may be considered a first aid kit item, but I highly recommend this cough drop: Original All Natural Silver Lozenges – Soothing Honey with Lemon: The Perfect Cough Drop for Cough, Throat & Mouth Health and Immune Support – Contains 30ppm Silver Solution in Each Drop
  6. Keep your gas tank at least 3/4 full because, as you may know, the tanks’ pumps don’t work without electricity. Now, if you live out in the country where an older gas station still exists and works with a hand crank you are lucky!
  7. Please check on your neighbors if you have a power outage. If you have older people living near you, see if they need help, I’m sure they would love a hug or two, I promise. Before you have a disaster, whether small or big, deliver a case or two of water to an elderly couple on your street. Trust me, if they were your parents you would love to have someone deliver some water in case of emergency. Also, consider giving WaterBricks for Christmas or birthdays to your family members. You can sleep at night knowing your loved ones have water when needed. Please help the elderly fill some containers, they may need that kind of help too.
  8. Flashlights are critical, so be sure to know where they are and have some extra batteries available. I gave a solar one to one of my granddaughters who went to college. She is serving a mission right now for her church, proud grandma here, she took it with her! I love it!

Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected and heeding my gentle reminder tips, I thank you and you neighborhood thanks you! May God bless our world.

My favorite things:

Water Storage Containers – WaterBrick – 8 Pack Blue

WaterBrick WB-0001 Ventless Spigot Assembly, Fits Both WaterBrick Water Container Sizes, Blue/White/Red

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

55 Gallon Water Preserver Concentrate 5 Year Emergency Disaster Preparedness, Survival Kits, Emergency Water Storage, Earthquake, Hurricane, Safety  I use 1/2 teaspoon per 3.5-gallon WaterBrick of this product. You only need to rotate every five years.

A New Fighting Chance: Silver Solution: A Quantum Leap In Silver Technology: How molecular structuring safely destroys bacteria, viruses and yeast.

The post Gentle Reminder To Be Prepared To Survive Disasters appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Spring and Summer Prepping Ideas

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Spring and Summer Prepping IdeasAs spring and summer arrive, everything starts to spring to life, and that should include us. The winter time can lead us to becoming complacent about prepping because there is only so much we can do indoors. You can’t go camping, you can’t grow a garden, and you can’t practice fire starting skills indoors…or you shouldn’t anyway.

This is my most favorite time of the year! The days are getting longer, it is finally warm outside, and it is the pre-season to summer, when we will be prepping up a storm!

Since the weather is warming up, and the days are getting longer, this is the perfect time to get outside and get some work done. It is still too early to plant our garden outside yet, it snowed yesterday morning, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get everything ready to go.

SPP199 Spring and Summer Prepping Ideas

Getting Outside

As the days get longer and warmer, we finally have the chance to get outside and get some work done, so why not take advantage of it. Prepping is about much more than what supplies we have, it’s about skills and being ready for some hard times.

Gardening: There is a lot of prep work that goes into gardening. Now is the perfect time to acclimate yourself to being outside. Get those garden beds ready! Weed, and work the dirt. Get your compost pile in shape, and move some ready compost to your garden.

Camping:  Going camping doesn’t mean heading out to the woods for a week with nothing more than a bug out bag. Camping is a great way to apply all those skills we learned over the winter. it’s also a great way of getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and spend some quality time with the family.

Physical Fitness: Any sort of SHTF event, or disaster scenario is going to require some hard work.Not only that, but the healthier we are now, the less problems we will have is these scenarios. When we are cooped up in the house, it can be tough to stay physically fit, but the summer brings a number of opportunity’s.

Taking your bug out bag for a walk, planting a garden or doing work around the house are all great ways to become “Farmer Strong” as Dale calls it. I know plenty of farmers who could outwork a gym rat every day of the week.

Go For a Hike: With the weather being warmer, this is an excellent time to put your pack on, and go out for a hike. Keep it short at first, and maybe only take the bare necessities the first couple of times you go out. You will build endurance, as well as some muscle.

Walking is an excellent way to get in shape. And by making it fun, and bringing your camera a long to capture some memories along your journey can motivate you to keep going.

Have a Stay-Cation

Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a trip, why not use that money for an improvement around your home? Instead of going to lay on a beach somewhere or traveling to faraway places, I usually take my vacation to get caught up around our home. It’s also fun to sleep in at home, and spend the day moving slowly around home, instead of hurrying up and going somewhere. We also use that time to take shorter day trips to places around us and exploring new places within our own community.

Clean Out the Garage

If your garage is anything like mine, it isn’t just for storing your cars. In fact, our garage is a workshop and a “catchall” for our preparedness supplies. Over time, things get moved around and misplaced. Move that stuff out, go through it, and make sure you are organized.

If you are lucky enough to have a garage, take advantage of the storage space. Hang peg board up, or build some shelves. Do what you can to make the most of the space you have. Over time, you will have more preparedness supplies than you know what to do with…believe me, I know!

Make Important Repairs

If things have been piling up on your “to do” list, now is the time to get those projects done. It doesn’t all have to be done in one weekend, but take advantage of the warmer weather while you can. Instead of overwhelming yourself by trying to get everything done at one time (Lisa) get your list and focus on one task at a time.

Do it right, and do it well. By the end of the summer, hopefully you will have everything checked or crossed off that list. Again, take advantage of the warm weather. It’s much easier to make needed repairs when it’s warm and dry, than it is slopping through mud or a foot of snow.

Neighborhood Get Together

Some of us might be a little leery about putting our selves out there with the neighbors, but it is very important. We should always be mindful of our operational security, but because these people are right outside our front door, it’s important to know who they actually are.

You don’t necessarily need to have a full blown neighborhood BBQ (unless you want to), but anything we can do to get to know who our neighbors really are, not “who we think they are” will give us a better idea about who will be helpful, and who we need to watch out for.

Learning Something New

Again, don’t set out to complete a new task every weekend. Instead think of one thing you really want to do and do it. For me, it is planting a cornfield. That has been something I have always wanted to do, and this summer, I am going to do it! I might also learn how to start a fire the non-traditional way and challenge Dale to a fire starting contest, but the corn field comes first.

Dale is planning on learning to pressure can. We can’t do this indoors because we have a ceramic top stove, so he plans on getting an outdoor propane burner. He is also getting ready to start the “Bushcraft Prepping” course at the Survivalist Prepper Academy.

These are just a few things to think about before summer is in full swing around us. Plan and prepare now for an incredible and productive summer. How about you? What are your plans for the upcoming summer?

Also from the show…

200th Episode Giveaway: To celebrate our 200th episode of the Survivalist Prepper Podcast we are giving away a great compound bow package from Apollo-Tactical along with a couple other prizes. Click here to enter the giveaway.

YouTube Live: Earlier this week Dale and I were on the Learning to be Prepared YouTube channel talking about preparedness. Click here to watch the replay. We mentioned a podcast Dale did in the past with Brian Gittens from the UK. You can listen to that here.

HydroFlo Water Filter Discount: Dale recently did a video on the HydroFlo Jerry Can water filter, and they have also set up a coupon code SP20 for fans of Survivalist Prepper to get a 20% discount. Have a look at their website here.

The post Spring and Summer Prepping Ideas appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

Prepper Book Festival: Watch Your Back – How to Avoid the Most Dangerous Moments In Life + Giveaway

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Watch Your Back Roger Eckstine | Backdoor Survival

As prepper’s it is easy to focus on being prepared to defend what is ours when situations get dire following a disruptive event. The reality, however, is that dangerous situations are a part of everyday life. This includes visits to the local ATM, a drive down a busy freeway, or any seemingly mundane situation that involves waiting in a crowded line.

It is important to recognize that avoiding deadly situations should be the rule and not the exception. Watch Your Back: How to Avoid the Most Dangerous Moments in Daily Life, by Roger Eckstine, will prepare you for both everyday dangers and those that are more extreme. In addition to an interview with the author, three books are up for grabs in this newest Backdoor Survival giveaway.

The post Prepper Book Festival: Watch Your Back – How to Avoid the Most Dangerous Moments In Life + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Sustainable Gardening Systems!

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Sustainable Gardening Systems James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio in player below! Is there anything like eating out of your backyard? I don’t know about you but when I get the change to look out back and see beds of kale, chard, beets and spinach growing tall I am so satisfied. Just having access to … Continue reading Sustainable Gardening Systems!

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