Another brick in the wall

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Another brick in the wall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When can you carry a knife – The Loose Cannon

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

3 Methods For Handling Human Waste After A Disaster

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

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

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

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An Illustrated Guide to Cooking on a Campfire

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

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How to Use Essential Oils As a Prepper

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mitchf1 / Pixabay

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

 

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

Tip #1

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

Tip #2

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

Tip #3

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

Tip #4

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

Tip #5

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

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

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

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

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NSC Report: 17% Drop in Unintentional Gun Deaths

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

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34 Primitive Survival Skills All Survivalist Should Know

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

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3 Medicinal Mushrooms Anyone Can Find

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3 Medicinal Mushrooms Anyone Can Find

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

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

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

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

Yep, 38,000.

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

Many mushrooms also happen to be really delicious.

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

1. Hiratake (Oyster Mushroom)

(Pleurotus Ostreatus)

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Chestnut Mushroom (Poplar Mushroom)

(Agrocybe Aegerita)

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

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

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

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

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

3 Medicinal Mushrooms Anyone Can Find

Morel. Image source: Flickr / Creative Commons

3. Morel Mushroom

(Morchella Esculenta)

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Few Quick Bushcraft Tips and Tricks

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

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59 Survival Tips, Tricks and Techniques for the Great Outdoors

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

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7 Ammo Storage Tips Every Gun Owner Should Know

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Calibers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Dry

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

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

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

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

silica gel packet

  1. Cool

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

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

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

  1. Dark

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

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

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

  1. Container

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

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

military ammo can

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

  1. Organization

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

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

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

  1. Location

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

About the Author

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

Hands on Coping Activities for Kids

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

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

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Everything You Need to Know to Start Your Own Aquaponics System

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

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

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

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

Peace,
Todd

 

 

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Prepper Must-Haves – Garden Tools

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

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

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

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

The Underdog

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

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

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

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

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

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

Machines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Standard Manual Garden Tools

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

Still, there are some tools that are right handy.

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

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

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

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

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

Mallets

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

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

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

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

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

Power Tools

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

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

When I say little, I mean that.

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

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

Must-Have’s for the Garden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The post Prepper Must-Haves – Garden Tools appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Threat Assessments: Prioritize Then Get Organized

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

The post Threat Assessments: Prioritize Then Get Organized appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

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

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

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

Replacing Gasoline: 7 Homemade Alternatives For Fuel

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

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

How Easy is to Make Gasoline at Home?

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

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

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

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

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

Start Off with Building a Steam Engine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rely on Water for Hydrogen Fuels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Biodiesel

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

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

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

Video first seen on Utah Biodiesel Supply

Unusual Biomass Fuels

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

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

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

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

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

Video first seen on Lucid Science

The Overlooked Power of Natural Gas

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

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

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

Video first seen on GasitalyTube Italy

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

What About Magnet Based Propulsion?

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

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

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

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

Other Engine Designs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click the banner below for more!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Resources:

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

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

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

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

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

Video: Rodent-Proofing A Shelter

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rodents

heckuva rodent infestation

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

To watch, click below:

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

 

Joe and Amy Alton

 

JoeAmyLabcoatSMALL300x300

Joe Alton MD        Amy Alton ARNP

 

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

Prayer and Praise

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

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

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

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

Prayer and Praise

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

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

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

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

Survival Movies. Surviving An Outbreak. Isolation.

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

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

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

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

Are You Appropriately Planning Your Preparations?

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

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

The Art of Doing the Opposite of the Majority

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Primitive Skills That Will Come in Handy When SHTF

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

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

2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 17

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