The 8 Seeds That Can Store At Least 5 Years

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The 8 Seeds That Can Store At Least 5 Years

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

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

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

Best Method of Seed Storage

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

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

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

8 Seeds That Easily Store for 5 Years

The 8 Seeds That Can Store At Least 5 Years

Image source: Pixabay.com

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

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

Viable and Vigorous Seeds for Healthy Plants

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

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

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

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

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

7 Critical Concealed Carry Skills That Will Keep You Alive

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7 Critical Concealed Carry Skills That Will Keep You Alive

Image source: Pixabay.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Getting the handgun into play if needed

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

2. Defensive accuracy

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

3. Running the gun

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

4. Moving to and shooting from cover

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

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7 Critical Concealed Carry Skills That Will Keep You Alive

Image source: Max Pixel

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

5. Dim light shooting

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

6. Distance shooting

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

7. Scenario based or “force decisions” training

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

A Final Thought

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

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

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

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

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DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

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

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

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

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

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

Materials

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

Step 1: Mark the Intake

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

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

 

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

 

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

Step 2: Cut the Intake Hole

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

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

 

 

Step 3: Cut a Concrete Release Line

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

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

 

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

Step 4: Cut and Fit the Pipes

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

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Cooking Stove

Step 5: Mix Concrete, and Fill the Bottom

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

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

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

15

16

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

Step 6: Reinforce Bottom

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

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

 

Step 7: Fill with Concrete

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

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

Step 8: Partially Set, and Remove Pipes

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

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

Step 9 Set Further and Remove Bucket

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

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

DIY: A $10 Indestructible Off-Grid Rocket Stove

Step 10: Set Completely and Put in Fuel Shelf

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

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

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

The 5 Best Herbs To Stop Spring Allergies

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The 5 Best Herbs To Stop Spring Allergies

Butterbur. Image source: Pixabay.com

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

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

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

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

1. Stinging nettle

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

2. Butterbur

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

3. Tinospora cordifolia

Tinospora cordifolia.

Tinospora cordifolia.

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

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

4. Ginkgo biloba

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

5. Reishi mushrooms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spiritual Survival

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By Denis Korn

Be guided by the Holy Spirit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions for reflection

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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cover celox with roller gauze

Packing a Bleeding Wound

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

obesity fat

extra weight will decrease chances for survival

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

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

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

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

 

Follow us on Twitter @preppershow

YouTube: DrBonesNurseAmy channel

Facebook: Doom and Bloom

 

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

Joe and Amy Alton

AmyandJoePodcast400x200

Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to seamlessly camouflage a hidden floor safe?

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Keep it Safe and Secure with a hidden floor safe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15 Things You Should Be Hoarding (And Why)

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

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

Taurus AR-15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 Must Have Items For Prepping For The Elderly

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

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

And They Wonder “Why?”

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

Heating Using Compost? Why Not?

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

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

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

The Magic Behind the Process

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Source : www.survivopedia.com

 

            Check out these related articles from our site:

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

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

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

Matthew 22:29

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

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



Matthew 22:29

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

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



7 Survival Uses For Cattails

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

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

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

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

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

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

Survival Uses for Cattails

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Survival Food

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

Video first seen on The Apocalyptic Cookbook

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

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

Video first seen on David’s Passage

You can even make pickled cattails! Here  is how.

Video first seen on The Northwest Forager

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

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

Pretty amazing stuff, isn’t it?

Fire Starting

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

Video first seen on usframe

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

Video first seen on bushcraftbartons

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

Video first seen on gundog5

Insulation

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

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

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

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

Video first seen on Gregory Logajan

Making Arrow Shafts

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

Video first seen on baref00tbushcraft

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

Making Survival Rope

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

Video first seen on Bushland Living

Making Baskets

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

Video first seen on jodajean1

 

Making Shelter

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

Video first seen on Shawn Woods

And you can even heat it with hot stones!

Video first seen on Shawn Woods

Medicinal Uses

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

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

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

Click the banner below to uncover them!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

How To Prep Without Anxiety

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prep Without Anxiety:

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

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

My favorite things:

Danish Dough Hand Whisk / Mixer 11″

Water Storage Containers – WaterBrick – 8 Pack Blue

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

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

Bug season!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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April 2017 EDC Purse Dump

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April 2017 EDC Purse Dump

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

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


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

Should You Plan to Barter in a Collapsed Economy?

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

The weaknesses of barter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you DO want to prep for barter…

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

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

The next steps are:

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

What to buy for your barter stash

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

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

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

Among essentials that would be welcome in a barter exchange:

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

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

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

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

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

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