Old-Time Methods Vs. New Technology — How To Choose?

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Old-Time Methods Vs. New Technology -- How To Choose?

The 21st century is an excellent time to be a homesteader. We have the best of both worlds, able to both draw from the wisdom of antiquity and still make use of cutting-edge technology.

Homesteaders today have the opportunity to raise our own food and provide for our own needs in the same ways our ancestors did — but unlike them, we are not completely dependent upon our success at raising crops and keeping livestock and harvesting firewood.

If severe weather, illness, family emergency, or other unfortunate events occur, it is not likely to result in the same level of crisis it would have for our forebears. If wildlife destroys the vegetable garden or a hog dies of disease or a cow goes dry, it probably does not create a risk of starving to death for most homesteaders today. And if an exceptionally cold winter empties the woodshed before spring, most of us are able to find an alternative that will keep us from freezing.

Modern homesteaders are fortunate to have an abundance of technology and skills available, but there is so much to choose from that it can be challenging to know when to lean one direction and when to lean the other. It is possible to achieve a nice equilibrium between the world of the past and the world of the present and future, and enjoy both eras by embracing the ability to choose.

Crazy Gadget Can Jump-Start Your Car — And Charge Your Smartphone!

It is helpful to think of new technology and old-time methods as a continuum with many possibilities in the gray area between the two ends, rather than simply a black-and-white view of all one or all the other. Locking ourselves into a rigid set of parameters reduces our ability to appreciate the best of both worlds. Instead, it is valuable to pick and choose, leaning further toward one end or the other in different aspects.

Old-Time Methods Vs. New Technology -- How To Choose?

Image source: Pixabay.com

To do this, we need to first think about what made us become homesteaders in the first place. While self-sufficiency is the baseline definition for the lifestyle, there are a variety of reasons that we chose it. For some, it’s about resource conservation and planet preservation. For others, health and food sovereignty are key. Other reasons include saving money, honoring tradition, being prepared for a world where modern technology and resources might become less accessible, the desire to treat animals humanely, or for the intrinsic value of the skills themselves.

You may not be able to consider yourself a homesteader unless you raise meat animals, or make cheese, or heat with renewable fuels, or live completely off the electric grid. On the other hand, the thing that makes you feel like a homesteader might be nothing more than raising and canning your own tomatoes and keeping a couple of laying hens. Whatever it is you do that makes you a homesteader in your eyes, focus on that first.

If it is about having your own fresh eggs, for example, then do what it takes to make that happen and give yourself permission for guilt-free vegetable purchases at the grocery store. If your reason for homesteading is to reduce your carbon footprint, then it may be more important to live in a small home and practice diligent waste reduction than to raise dairy goats.

Another way to bring old-fashioned practices and modern technology together is to toggle back and forth depending upon the season. You can make butter when the milk is abundant and rich, but plan on buying it during parts of the year, or use your wood stove for heat and cooking in colder months but switch to other fuels during summer.

Modern technology is great, but bear in mind the importance of not becoming reliant upon it. Online recipes and GPS are great, yet it’s wise to maintain some access to hardcopy recipes and know how to use a map. Just in case. Most people store phone numbers and contacts in their phones and tablets, but it is useful to have some way to access the information we need in another format. Again, just in case. Remember that if homesteading is about self-sufficiency, it is counterproductive to be overly dependent on tools of any kind.

In combining modern technology and old-fashioned ways, the absolute litmus test must be this:  Who or what is in charge? Make sure you own your technology, rather than the other way around. Go ahead and use modern technology when it serves you, but be careful that you do not end up serving it. When the latest electronic gadget enhances your ability to accomplish homesteading in the way that is most meaningful to you, use it. But if it takes away from your goals or raison d’etre, let it go.

As long as we use the best and leave the rest from both ends of the spectrum, we can effectively meld the best of antiquity and the best of today’s technology in a way that allows us to maximize our homesteading enjoyment and success.

What do you think? Share your thoughts on balancing new technology and old-time methods in the section below:

Back to Eden Chicken Run Composting: Easy and Productive!

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Paul Gautschi of Back to Eden fame has a method of composting where he throws food scraps and garden waste into his chicken run and lets the birds eat and till and manure it down. Then he takes a wheelbarrow and sifter out and harvests the rich compost/soil in his chicken run and throws it on his gardens.

I have done the same for the last few years and find it works wonderfully.

You can see how I’m using this Back to Eden garden method to make plenty of the good stuff in this video:

It’s really simple and doesn’t take much thought. I’ll share how I do it, then you can tweak in your own gardens however you like.

Back to Eden Chicken Run Composting

The basic idea: throw everything out in the chicken run (or inside the coop, if it has a dirt floor like ours does) and let the chickens turn it into compost.

If you have free-range birds without a dirt-floor chicken coop, this method is a non-starter. I have found that letting birds totally free range is often more trouble than it’s worth, as I’ve lost many birds to predators, plus finding where they lay the eggs is a total pain.

Ideally you can balance “outside time” with safety, as keeping birds locked up in a coop all the time is sad… but finding eviscerated corpses of birds dragged behind the barn is also sad.

Currently we keep our setting hens locked up in the coop for the safety of their eggs. Mothers with young chicks are also kept inside. The other birds are free to wander during the day, but if they start sleeping in the trees and not coming back to the coop, we lock them up for a few days to reset them.

But… back to chicken run composting.

Here’s step 1:

Throw Compostable Items to the Birds!

Yard “waste”, weeds, kitchen scraps, picnic remains… if it’s organic and will break down in a reasonable amount of time, throw it to your hens.

Back To Eden Chicken Run Compost

When you prune trees you can take the entire pruned branches and toss them into the chicken run. When all the leaves fall off, pull the branches out again and throw them into a hugelkultur mound, turn them into biochar, or use them for rocket stove fuel.

The leaves will be turned into compost by your birds, and then you can use that compost in your garden.

This mother hen and her chick started tearing into the leaves and garden “waste” as soon as I dropped it in the coop:

Back To Eden Chicken Composting

Chickens want to work for you if you give them a chance.

Make a Compost Sifter and Start Sifting

I used to have a proper compost sifter made from pressure treated wood with hardware cloth nailed on it. Now I just use a bent piece of hardware cloth. Redneck, but it works.

Back To Eden Chicken Compost Sifting

Throw the dirt and compost from the floor of your coop or chicken run onto the hardware cloth and sift it through. This keeps the rocks and big pieces of junk out of your garden, though if you were going to use this chicken run compost for fruit trees you could just shovel it into a wheelbarrow and skip the sifting.

I love handling dirt so I enjoy sifting.

Back To Eden Chicken Compost Paul Gautschi Sifting

You can see various twigs and debris left behind by the birds. Eventually everything woody will break down, so I don’t take the little twigs out of the run – I just leave them to be turned and manured by the chickens until they’re compost.

Wrapping It All Up

The compost I harvested from the chicken coop in today’s video was the remains of a thick layer of leaves and grass we raked up during a yard clean-up day. The inside of the coop was mostly 6″ deep in it and you can see how thin the layer is now.

I harvested a total of two five-gallon buckets of compost from the coop when all was said and done.

Back To Eden Chicken Compost Handful

Five gallons of compost was spread across my garden beds and the remaining five gallons I set aside to make potting soil.

The Back to Eden garden method, in its whole, works best when you have access to lots of cheap or free wood chips. I do not, so, like most of my gardening, I borrow the pieces that work for me and throw out the pieces that don’t.

Heck, I can’t even follow a recipe in the kitchen without changing it, let alone do so in my garden.

I love the Back to Eden chicken run compost method… it’s amazingly easy and creates rich compost in only a couple of months, and it’s one of the methods I share in my book Compost Everything. I like it so much that I’m going out this afternoon to load up the bottom of my chicken run with a bunch of fresh organic matter.

The chickens enjoy it and I don’t have to spend any time measuring C/N ratios or turning a pile. Win, win, win!

Finally – I posted a video on my site of Paul Gautschi using this method a few years back. You can see that post here.

The post Back to Eden Chicken Run Composting: Easy and Productive! appeared first on The Grow Network.

Back to Eden Chicken Run Composting: Easy and Productive!

Paul Gautschi of Back to Eden fame has a method of composting where he throws food scraps and garden waste into his chicken run and lets the birds eat and till and manure it down. Then he takes a wheelbarrow and sifter out and harvests the rich compost/soil in his chicken run and throws it on his gardens.

I have done the same for the last few years and find it works wonderfully.

You can see how I’m using this Back to Eden garden method to make plenty of the good stuff in this video:

It’s really simple and doesn’t take much thought. I’ll share how I do it, then you can tweak in your own gardens however you like.

Back to Eden Chicken Run Composting

The basic idea: throw everything out in the chicken run (or inside the coop, if it has a dirt floor like ours does) and let the chickens turn it into compost.

If you have free-range birds without a dirt-floor chicken coop, this method is a non-starter. I have found that letting birds totally free range is often more trouble than it’s worth, as I’ve lost many birds to predators, plus finding where they lay the eggs is a total pain.

Ideally you can balance “outside time” with safety, as keeping birds locked up in a coop all the time is sad… but finding eviscerated corpses of birds dragged behind the barn is also sad.

Currently we keep our setting hens locked up in the coop for the safety of their eggs. Mothers with young chicks are also kept inside. The other birds are free to wander during the day, but if they start sleeping in the trees and not coming back to the coop, we lock them up for a few days to reset them.

But… back to chicken run composting.

Here’s step 1:

Throw Compostable Items to the Birds!

Yard “waste”, weeds, kitchen scraps, picnic remains… if it’s organic and will break down in a reasonable amount of time, throw it to your hens.

Back To Eden Chicken Run Compost

When you prune trees you can take the entire pruned branches and toss them into the chicken run. When all the leaves fall off, pull the branches out again and throw them into a hugelkultur mound, turn them into biochar, or use them for rocket stove fuel.

The leaves will be turned into compost by your birds, and then you can use that compost in your garden.

This mother hen and her chick started tearing into the leaves and garden “waste” as soon as I dropped it in the coop:

Back To Eden Chicken Composting

Chickens want to work for you if you give them a chance.

Make a Compost Sifter and Start Sifting

I used to have a proper compost sifter made from pressure treated wood with hardware cloth nailed on it. Now I just use a bent piece of hardware cloth. Redneck, but it works.

Back To Eden Chicken Compost Sifting

Throw the dirt and compost from the floor of your coop or chicken run onto the hardware cloth and sift it through. This keeps the rocks and big pieces of junk out of your garden, though if you were going to use this chicken run compost for fruit trees you could just shovel it into a wheelbarrow and skip the sifting.

I love handling dirt so I enjoy sifting.

Back To Eden Chicken Compost Paul Gautschi Sifting

You can see various twigs and debris left behind by the birds. Eventually everything woody will break down, so I don’t take the little twigs out of the run – I just leave them to be turned and manured by the chickens until they’re compost.

Wrapping It All Up

The compost I harvested from the chicken coop in today’s video was the remains of a thick layer of leaves and grass we raked up during a yard clean-up day. The inside of the coop was mostly 6″ deep in it and you can see how thin the layer is now.

I harvested a total of two five-gallon buckets of compost from the coop when all was said and done.

Back To Eden Chicken Compost Handful

Five gallons of compost was spread across my garden beds and the remaining five gallons I set aside to make potting soil.

The Back to Eden garden method, in its whole, works best when you have access to lots of cheap or free wood chips. I do not, so, like most of my gardening, I borrow the pieces that work for me and throw out the pieces that don’t.

Heck, I can’t even follow a recipe in the kitchen without changing it, let alone do so in my garden.

I love the Back to Eden chicken run compost method… it’s amazingly easy and creates rich compost in only a couple of months, and it’s one of the methods I share in my book Compost Everything. I like it so much that I’m going out this afternoon to load up the bottom of my chicken run with a bunch of fresh organic matter.

The chickens enjoy it and I don’t have to spend any time measuring C/N ratios or turning a pile. Win, win, win!

Finally – I posted a video on my site of Paul Gautschi using this method a few years back. You can see that post here.

The post Back to Eden Chicken Run Composting: Easy and Productive! appeared first on The Grow Network.

Government Regulations Strikes Again

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My lawn boy, my lawn service for the last 23 years cuts lawns on weekends. He also works full time for one if not the largest Mechanical Contractors in Florida. He was just given the information that he and all job site Superintendents must take a six-week course in Spanish so they can communicate with the hand full of Mexican and Cuban employees.
Who mandated this? OSHA. (the government)

I have several issues with this new “regulation”, actually all regulations.

1. A company of his size (hundreds of employees) can somewhat afford the six-week class for all their Supers and group leaders. What about the smaller 20 man contractors like cement masons, roofers, siders, gutter installers, electricians, plumbers, agriculture, etc? They simply can’t afford this mandate.

2. Instead of punishing the American business with this regulation how about making the Mexicans and Cubans learn English before applying for the job???

3. The hiring trend will now be hire only Mexicans and Cubans who can speak basic English and pass over Americans so they don’t have to invest the money for the Spanish classes. This Regulation is a death blow to the American workers as it will spread to all government regulated businesses.

In my business of medical devices and surgical instruments, I had to comply with the FDA, ISO and CE (European Standards, yes Europe’s standards or we couldn’t sell our instruments in Europe!) There are thousands of standards to follow for each product and required several FDA Regulatory Specialists to comply. When I had the opportunity to sell my business and patents I jumped at it and never looked back.

Now, what about the rest of us taxpayers? If in the future we want to shop at WalMart are we going to have to speak Spanish so we can communicate with their employees or read the Spanish signage and labels? Sounds stupid but knowing the liberals they will get Congress to pass it.


Should we now look forward to the high school curriculum to mandate Spanish and Arabic courses along with Koran studies? Unless we make English the language of the USA, we will have to teach other languages and customs to survive in the USA.
Trump, has the right idea to limit government regulations. They’re not needed with a number of lawyer firms ready to attack a sloppily run company. They’ll police themselves. I hope he’s not too late!

How to Buy and Eat Cruelty-Free Chicken

Click here to view the original post.

In recent years, the price of chicken has dropped so low that shoppers today rarely worry about whether they can afford it.

What was once a luxury reserved for Sunday dinners has quickly become a staple meat for cost-effective meals.

Cheap Price, High Cost

While the rise of cheap chicken is thanks to lower costs of production and improved efficiency from factory farming, focusing only on the economics means that today’s poultry comes at a different kind of cost: one that concerns animal welfare, the spread of disease, and unnecessary pollution instead.

With these considerations in mind, modern-day meat suddenly looks far more expensive.

There’s good news if you’re looking for ways to source your chicken more sustainably.

Thanks to popular demand for higher quality food, it’s never been easier to find poultry that was raised without cruelty.

However, more options doesn’t necessarily mean that the search is simple.

Misleading industry terms and inconsistent labeling in grocery stores and restaurants can make it hard to know what quality bird you’re really eating.1The Guardian: Where Can I buy Safer, Healthier, More Sustainable Meat?

In order to learn how to find ethically raised chicken, follow the advice in this guide so that you know where to look.

Understanding Industry Lingo

If life were easy, all it would take to know the origins of your meat would be labels like “humanely raised,” “all natural,” or “free range.”

Unfortunately, the poultry industry has much to gain from looking more ethical than it is, meaning that the labels on most chicken products often imply far more than they legally mean.

  • For example, labeling a chicken breast as “cage free” is meaningless, as chicken cages are only ever used in the egg industry. In any case, even cage-free chickens are usually raised in stuffy and overcrowded conditions that leave them without room to freely move around.
  • In the same way, labeling a chicken as “natural” means even less. All this term legally means is that the food product was minimally processed after butchering and doesn’t contain artificial ingredients. It tells you nothing about how the animal was raised or about the “artificial ingredients” it was exposed to in life.
  • Even the term “organic” is often used to represent more than it means. Large farm lobbyists have been successful in diluting its meaning to ensure that it’s easier for them to meet the standards. This means that even organic chicken raised in factory-farm conditions and with minimal access to the outside world is at no risk of losing its certification.

Terms You Can Trust

Some food industry terms are far more meaningful than others.

The following terms make it easy to understand how your meat was raised because they have stricter standards and aren’t open to interpretation like other industry phrases can be.

Animal Welfare Approved (AWA): As an independent certification, this label ensures that the chicken in question was raised on a sustainable, pasture-based family farm. A directory of AWA certified products can be found here.

Global Animal Partnership: Consisting of a five-part certification system,2Global Animal Partnership: 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standard for Chicken Raised for Meat the Global Animal Partnership has a multi-tiered approach to animal welfare standards. Look for their 4, 5, and 5+ ratings to seek out the farms with the highest standards for humane treatment for their animals.

Certified Humane: As a leading nonprofit certification standard, Certified Humane certification ensures that the producers met the Animal Care Standards for their animals from birth to slaughter; never kept their animals in crates, cages, or tie stalls; and fed them a diet of high-quality food without animal byproducts or antibiotics.3Certifiedhumane.org

5 Tips for Buying Ethically Raised Chicken and Eggs

In many ways, the best ways to buy ethically raised chicken are hiding in plain sight.

You don’t need to change your entire shopping strategy: simply knowing where to look and the kinds of brands to buy is an easy way to source sustainable, delicious poultry.

Following are five strategies for finding suppliers of humane egg and poultry products near you.

1. Connect With a Local Farm

By far, the best way to understand how your chickens were raised is to visit them on the farm yourself.

If a farm visit isn’t realistic, a good alternative is to look up nearby farms online to see what they’re publicizing about their livestock conditions. When you find a farm with practices you approve of, you can connect with them at local farmers’ markets or as part of their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

Need help finding farms around you? These websites are a good place to start.

LocalHarvest.org

EatWild.com

2. Befriend a Butcher

Quaint as the career may sound, butchers still exist, and they typically are a source for some of the freshest, tastiest poultry around.

Because butchers often buy directly from local farms, they tend to have a good idea about the conditions their animals are raised in. By visiting a butcher, you can gain insight about local farm practices and enjoy the flavors of meat cuts often not available in grocery storesall while supporting a local business.

3. Dig Deeper Into Your Store Selections

Shopping the meat aisle of most grocery stores can be a daunting process.

All the imagery of sunlit barns on beautiful farms makes it hard to imagine the chicken it contains actually came from an airless factory farm.

Knowing which brands are known for their high standards can be tricky, but a general rule is to stay away from big brands that dominate store shelves. Most rely on inhumane practices for raising their chickens and are best avoided if you want to hold them accountable for their actions.

A better choice is to carefully comb through the selection in order to find smaller brands with certifications you can trust, like Animal Welfare Approved or Certified Humane.

4. Try a Natural Food Store

Unlike regular grocery stores, natural food stores are far more likely to stock chicken from local farms and co-ops.

Because of their small size, it’s easier for them to carry limited selections of poultry from local farms that raise their animals with high standards.

You can find a co-op near you with the Co-op Directory Service.

5. Eat Smarter in Restaurants

When it comes to eating out, tracking down the origins of the meat on your plate is usually all but impossible. Now, that’s changing, thanks to an innovative new app called the Humane Eating Project.4Foodtank: Humanely sourced meals at the tip of your fingers; A new app supporting animal welfare 

Started by a San Diego nonprofit, the Humane Eating Project is a phone application with a database of over 16,000 restaurants that helps you locate ones near you that serve humanely raised meat or vegetarian food options.

The app also shows you maps to nearby restaurants and provides as much detail as possible about where the restaurant sources its food from and the certifications that it has.

Available for Apple, Android, and Blackberry, you can learn more about the Humane Eating Project from the app store on your phone.

6. Raise Your Own Chickens

For anyone with a few spare feet of yard space and a little ambition, one of the best ways to ensure your chicken is ethically sourced is to raise it yourself.

While local regulations5Extension: Developing Regulations for Keeping Urban Chickens may dictate how many (if any) birds you are allowed to have, an increasing number of cities across the country are legalizing small flocks of hens for homeowners.

Keeping backyard chickens is easier than most people expect.

A flock of four to six birds can provide a small family with eggs for most of the year, and the nutritional benefits are truly unmatched.

Compared to factory-farmed eggs, eggs from backyard chickens with access to pasture have 25 percent more vitamin E, 75 percent more beta carotene, half as much cholesterol, and up to 20 times more omega-3 fatty acids.6Mother Earth News: Benefits of Backyard Eggs

Backyard birds who will stay confined need a minimum of 14 feet of coop and run space per bird. If you’re planning to free range your chickens, they’ll need four square feet of coop space per bird. Ideally, you should also plan on having 871 square feet of available yard space per foraging chicken to help keep your lawn healthy and cut some of your feed costs.

Fencing made from 1/2 inch hardware cloth or electrified poultry netting makes it simple to create outdoor run spaces for backyard birds that both keep them safe from predators and allow your hens to supplement their diet with healthy fats and proteins. (And this added nutrition directly benefits the eggs, as well!)

By raising your own chickens, you can control the conditions they are raised in and the food they eat, ensuring they provide you with healthful meat and eggs from ethically raised chickens.

In Summary

Finding sources of humanely raised chicken might seem hard, but it’s far from impossible if you know where to look.

Don’t be afraid to shop in new ways and seek out local options near you, and you’ll be likely to find new sources for the kind of meat you can feel good about eating.

References   [ + ]

The post How to Buy and Eat Cruelty-Free Chicken appeared first on The Grow Network.

How to Buy and Eat Cruelty-Free Chicken

In recent years, the price of chicken has dropped so low that shoppers today rarely worry about whether they can afford it.

What was once a luxury reserved for Sunday dinners has quickly become a staple meat for cost-effective meals.

Cheap Price, High Cost

While the rise of cheap chicken is thanks to lower costs of production and improved efficiency from factory farming, focusing only on the economics means that today’s poultry comes at a different kind of cost: one that concerns animal welfare, the spread of disease, and unnecessary pollution instead.

With these considerations in mind, modern-day meat suddenly looks far more expensive.

There’s good news if you’re looking for ways to source your chicken more sustainably.

Thanks to popular demand for higher quality food, it’s never been easier to find poultry that was raised without cruelty.

However, more options doesn’t necessarily mean that the search is simple.

Misleading industry terms and inconsistent labeling in grocery stores and restaurants can make it hard to know what quality bird you’re really eating.1The Guardian: Where Can I buy Safer, Healthier, More Sustainable Meat?

In order to learn how to find ethically raised chicken, follow the advice in this guide so that you know where to look.

Understanding Industry Lingo

If life were easy, all it would take to know the origins of your meat would be labels like “humanely raised,” “all natural,” or “free range.”

Unfortunately, the poultry industry has much to gain from looking more ethical than it is, meaning that the labels on most chicken products often imply far more than they legally mean.

  • For example, labeling a chicken breast as “cage free” is meaningless, as chicken cages are only ever used in the egg industry. In any case, even cage-free chickens are usually raised in stuffy and overcrowded conditions that leave them without room to freely move around.
  • In the same way, labeling a chicken as “natural” means even less. All this term legally means is that the food product was minimally processed after butchering and doesn’t contain artificial ingredients. It tells you nothing about how the animal was raised or about the “artificial ingredients” it was exposed to in life.
  • Even the term “organic” is often used to represent more than it means. Large farm lobbyists have been successful in diluting its meaning to ensure that it’s easier for them to meet the standards. This means that even organic chicken raised in factory-farm conditions and with minimal access to the outside world is at no risk of losing its certification.

Terms You Can Trust

Some food industry terms are far more meaningful than others.

The following terms make it easy to understand how your meat was raised because they have stricter standards and aren’t open to interpretation like other industry phrases can be.

Animal Welfare Approved (AWA): As an independent certification, this label ensures that the chicken in question was raised on a sustainable, pasture-based family farm. A directory of AWA certified products can be found here.

Global Animal Partnership: Consisting of a five-part certification system,2Global Animal Partnership: 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standard for Chicken Raised for Meat the Global Animal Partnership has a multi-tiered approach to animal welfare standards. Look for their 4, 5, and 5+ ratings to seek out the farms with the highest standards for humane treatment for their animals.

Certified Humane: As a leading nonprofit certification standard, Certified Humane certification ensures that the producers met the Animal Care Standards for their animals from birth to slaughter; never kept their animals in crates, cages, or tie stalls; and fed them a diet of high-quality food without animal byproducts or antibiotics.3Certifiedhumane.org

5 Tips for Buying Ethically Raised Chicken and Eggs

In many ways, the best ways to buy ethically raised chicken are hiding in plain sight.

You don’t need to change your entire shopping strategy: simply knowing where to look and the kinds of brands to buy is an easy way to source sustainable, delicious poultry.

Following are five strategies for finding suppliers of humane egg and poultry products near you.

1. Connect With a Local Farm

By far, the best way to understand how your chickens were raised is to visit them on the farm yourself.

If a farm visit isn’t realistic, a good alternative is to look up nearby farms online to see what they’re publicizing about their livestock conditions. When you find a farm with practices you approve of, you can connect with them at local farmers’ markets or as part of their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

Need help finding farms around you? These websites are a good place to start.

LocalHarvest.org

EatWild.com

2. Befriend a Butcher

Quaint as the career may sound, butchers still exist, and they typically are a source for some of the freshest, tastiest poultry around.

Because butchers often buy directly from local farms, they tend to have a good idea about the conditions their animals are raised in. By visiting a butcher, you can gain insight about local farm practices and enjoy the flavors of meat cuts often not available in grocery storesall while supporting a local business.

3. Dig Deeper Into Your Store Selections

Shopping the meat aisle of most grocery stores can be a daunting process.

All the imagery of sunlit barns on beautiful farms makes it hard to imagine the chicken it contains actually came from an airless factory farm.

Knowing which brands are known for their high standards can be tricky, but a general rule is to stay away from big brands that dominate store shelves. Most rely on inhumane practices for raising their chickens and are best avoided if you want to hold them accountable for their actions.

A better choice is to carefully comb through the selection in order to find smaller brands with certifications you can trust, like Animal Welfare Approved or Certified Humane.

4. Try a Natural Food Store

Unlike regular grocery stores, natural food stores are far more likely to stock chicken from local farms and co-ops.

Because of their small size, it’s easier for them to carry limited selections of poultry from local farms that raise their animals with high standards.

You can find a co-op near you with the Co-op Directory Service.

5. Eat Smarter in Restaurants

When it comes to eating out, tracking down the origins of the meat on your plate is usually all but impossible. Now, that’s changing, thanks to an innovative new app called the Humane Eating Project.4Foodtank: Humanely sourced meals at the tip of your fingers; A new app supporting animal welfare 

Started by a San Diego nonprofit, the Humane Eating Project is a phone application with a database of over 16,000 restaurants that helps you locate ones near you that serve humanely raised meat or vegetarian food options.

The app also shows you maps to nearby restaurants and provides as much detail as possible about where the restaurant sources its food from and the certifications that it has.

Available for Apple, Android, and Blackberry, you can learn more about the Humane Eating Project from the app store on your phone.

6. Raise Your Own Chickens

For anyone with a few spare feet of yard space and a little ambition, one of the best ways to ensure your chicken is ethically sourced is to raise it yourself.

While local regulations5Extension: Developing Regulations for Keeping Urban Chickens may dictate how many (if any) birds you are allowed to have, an increasing number of cities across the country are legalizing small flocks of hens for homeowners.

Keeping backyard chickens is easier than most people expect.

A flock of four to six birds can provide a small family with eggs for most of the year, and the nutritional benefits are truly unmatched.

Compared to factory-farmed eggs, eggs from backyard chickens with access to pasture have 25 percent more vitamin E, 75 percent more beta carotene, half as much cholesterol, and up to 20 times more omega-3 fatty acids.6Mother Earth News: Benefits of Backyard Eggs

Backyard birds who will stay confined need a minimum of 14 feet of coop and run space per bird. If you’re planning to free range your chickens, they’ll need four square feet of coop space per bird. Ideally, you should also plan on having 871 square feet of available yard space per foraging chicken to help keep your lawn healthy and cut some of your feed costs.

Fencing made from 1/2 inch hardware cloth or electrified poultry netting makes it simple to create outdoor run spaces for backyard birds that both keep them safe from predators and allow your hens to supplement their diet with healthy fats and proteins. (And this added nutrition directly benefits the eggs, as well!)

By raising your own chickens, you can control the conditions they are raised in and the food they eat, ensuring they provide you with healthful meat and eggs from ethically raised chickens.

In Summary

Finding sources of humanely raised chicken might seem hard, but it’s far from impossible if you know where to look.

Don’t be afraid to shop in new ways and seek out local options near you, and you’ll be likely to find new sources for the kind of meat you can feel good about eating.

References   [ + ]

The post How to Buy and Eat Cruelty-Free Chicken appeared first on The Grow Network.

North Korea Tests Major Missile, Warns U.S. Is Now Within ‘Range For Strike’

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North Korea Tests Major Missile, Warns U.S. Is Within ‘Range For Strike’

North Korea Sunday made significant progress in its effort to develop an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capable of hitting the United States, successfully testing a missile that potentially could hit a U.S. territory.

“It appears to have not only demonstrated an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) that might enable them to reliably strike the U.S. base at Guam, but more importantly, may represent a substantial advance to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM),” the monitoring organization 38 North said.

38 North was referring to the Hwsong-12 missile, which flew for 489 miles and reached an altitude of 1,312 miles before crashing about 60 miles off Russian territory.

Are Your Prepared For An EMP? Get Backup Electricity Today!

Experts say the missile flew higher and longer than any North Korean missile to date. The reclusive country, for its part, said the missile was “capable of carrying a large, heavy nuclear warhead,” according to the nation’s official news service.

“The U.S. should not … disregard or misjudge the reality that its mainland and Pacific operation region are in (North Korea’s) sighting range for strike,” said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

(Listen to Off The Grid Radio’s special show about North Korea here.) 

One frightening feature of the launch was the successful test of a homing feature that would allow the warhead to survive the worst reentry situation, the country’s official news agency reported.

Such a homing feature would enable the North to aim the missile at specific targets, such as American cities or military bases.

“This is an advanced missile, if their claims are true,” Joshua Pollack of Nonproliferation Review told Reuters. He noted that the missile fired on Sunday looked similar to mockups of an ICBM the North Koreans may be building.

North Korea claims to have successfully tested five nuclear bombs and is believed to have around 10 nukes in its arsenal.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the launch “dangerous” but warned the world – presumable meaning the U.S. – against “intimidating” the country.

“I would like to confirm that we are categorically against the expansion of the club of nuclear states, including through the Korean Peninsula,” Putin said We are against it and consider it counterproductive, damaging, dangerous.”

Still, Putin supported a “peaceful” solution.

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

Boker Plus Exskelibur I Titanium Framelock Knife Review

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Boker Plus Exskelibur I Titanium Framelock Knife Review

The Boker Plus Exskelibur line of knives has been a mainstay of the Boker catalogue, and for good reason. This Burger/Skellern custom design features unique quirks that no other production knife has (more on this later) with solid ergonomics and way, way above average cutting performance. The variant I have of the Exskelibur I happens to be in […]

This is just the start of the post Boker Plus Exskelibur I Titanium Framelock Knife Review. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Boker Plus Exskelibur I Titanium Framelock Knife Review, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

You Won’t Believe Why Washington State Isn’t Allowed to Prepare for Nuclear War

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If the government was able to take care of everyone during any foreseeable disaster, there probably wouldn’t be a thriving prepper movement today. So many people have taken it upon themselves to prepare for disasters, because they know how the government often reacts to crisis situations. Our government’s response to disasters is often slow and lacking, and the victims of these events are frequently forced to fend for themselves. Still, what they do is better than nothing, and at least at the local level first responders do a great job.

With that said, there’s an expectation among most people that when disaster strikes, the government will do something. And worst case scenario, sometimes there are disasters that the government doesn’t foresee, and they simply don’t have a plan. However, most people don’t realize that sometimes, not only does the government not have a plan, they deliberately avoid making a plan for political reasons.

That may sound totally asinine, but it’s absolutely true. Especially in the state of Washington. With all the hype surrounding North Korea’s missile tests, many states are reexamining their nuclear preparedness plans, except in Washington, where apparently it’s illegal for state authorities to even make those plans. According to King5 news out of Seattle:

Despite the constant threats and missile tests coming out of North Korea, emergency management officials in Washington state say they are prevented from forming an evacuation plan in the event of a nuclear attack.

“State law does not allow any advanced planning,” said Karina Shagren with the Washington State Emergency Management Division.

RCW 38.52.030, passed in 1983, says “The comprehensive, all-hazard emergency plan authorized under this subsection may not include preparation for emergency evacuation or relocation of residents in anticipation of nuclear attack.”

Can you believe that? You might be wondering why any government would actively refuse to prepare for a nuclear war. It turns out that the only thing dumber than this law, is the reason why it exists.

The author of the state law preventing a nuclear attack plan, former Democratic state lawmaker Dick Nelson, says at the time, Washington state was inundated with nuclear threats, and the idea was to create an example of peace.

“It was about finding a middle ground we could all agree on,” he said.

Nelson also felt that if Seattle were to be attacked, the chances of survival would be so low that a preparation plan would have been moot anyway.

Today, Nelson still says he has no regrets.

So in other words, the state decided that refusing to prepare for a nuclear war would send the message that nuclear war is bad and peace is good…or something. I’m struggling to follow the logic here.

It’d be like refusing to prepare for hurricanes, because hurricanes are bad and destructive. It doesn’t make any sense. Trying set a peaceful example by refusing to prepare for war; a preparation that I might add is totally non-violent and only exists to save civilians, doesn’t do anything to actually reduce the probability of that war happening. It doesn’t bring more peace to the world, and it doesn’t save anyone. With this law, Washington has traded the safety of many of their citizens for a shallow political statement.

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Build An Underground Survival Bunker From Scratch

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The whole underground shelter thing is not as cut and dry as you may think. I have serious reservations about long term bunker living. How effective would it actually be? How mind-numbing would it be? Having a short-term bunker or storm shelter, on the other hand, is an idea that I can get behind. Even […]

The post How To Build An Underground Survival Bunker From Scratch appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Must-Read Advice For Surviving In The Wild

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Image Source: Pexels.com

By The Survival Place Blog

There are many reasons why someone might find themselves out in the wild. Perhaps you’re in the military and are deployed out in foreign territories having to live in jungles or other wild areas? Or, you’re someone that likes testing himself and doing extreme things such as mountain climbing or trekking.

Either way, you need to know how to survive in the wild to ensure you make it back home in one piece. Bearing that in mind, here are some tips you must read:

Always Carry A Knife

Knives are one of the most important survival tools out there. You can use a knife as a tool to help cut things, as a hunting device, but also as a combat weapon should you ever run into trouble. With a knife, you have something that can do many different things to help you survive. Plus, they’re easy to carry and don’t weigh much at all. In fact, if you read any KA-BAR review you’ll see that there are top of the range survival knives that are only 7 inches in length. That’s not that long, and you can keep it strapped to your belt or even in your bag. You will always find yourself in a position where a knife can come in handy, it just makes sense to carry one when you’re out in the wild.

Learn How To Start A Fire Anywhere

You won’t be able to survive out in the wild if you can’t start a fire. Fire is essential for cooking food on and providing warmth. Not only that but if you need to attract attention to get rescued, then a fire is a brilliant thing to use. The obvious tip is to bring a lighter with you, but you might break it or run out of fluid. So, you should learn how to start one naturally using things you find in the wild such as sticks and stones. Alternatively, it makes sense to get your hands on some fire starters that won’t break easily and can be used over and over again. Some places sell things like two metal rods that can be rubbed together to create a spark. Fire is your friend, ensure you can call upon it whenever you want.

Brush Up On Wild Food Knowledge

Naturally, you should bring lots of food and preserves with you whenever you’re venturing out in the wild. The food you bring is designed to last a long time, but things could go wrong. You may end up out there longer than you thought, or you could lose all your stuff in an accident. In which case, you must turn to your surrounding environment for nourishment. It’s vital you know what you can and can’t eat out in the wild. One wrong move and you could poison yourself and die. Brush up your wild food knowledge so you know what you can eat, and stay well-fed as you survive.

These are the main things to think about if you want to survive in the wild. Pay close attention as you never know when it can come in handy.

This article was first published at The Survival Place Blog: Must-Read Advice For Surviving In The Wild

Filed under: Emergency Survival Tips, Prepping, Wilderness Survival Gear

8 Affordable DIY Generators The Utility Companies Absolutely Hate

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DIY GeneratorsIt would be impossible to list all the reasons why you might want to build a DIY generator.

  • Maybe you’re preparing for a long-term emergency and want to generate your own power if the grid gets wiped out.
  • Maybe you’re living in a cabin in the wilderness, sustained by the land, supported by Mother Nature.
  • Perhaps you dream of off-grid independence and self-reliance.
  • Maybe you’d like to knock a few dollars off your electric bill or even get rid of it completely.
  • Or maybe you want to do it for the pure joy of making functional science.

Regardless your reason, the goal is always the same; to produce and consume your own electricity.

Now, living off the grid doesn’t require electricity. You can go off grid without it. Human beings have survived all across the world for tens of thousands of years without it.

It’s possible to make camp and sustain yourself without electricity. Instead of light bulbs, use candles. Forget the furnace, use the heat from a fireplace. Instead of an oven, use a wood-stove and thick blankets. You can make it with the right set of survival books, and woodsman know-how.

But electricity makes life a lot easier. And most would also agree it makes like better.

For example, a refrigerator and freezer are very difficult appliances to live without in our modern society.

But electricity is a survival tool like any other – it’s just intangible and non-material. But extremely useful.

Electricity is a versatile tool that helps achieve many survival related goals. Heat, light, cooking, entertainment, communication, construction.

The applications are endless.

The best part is, building DIY generators doesn’t require the intellect of Nicola Tesla. Or even a degree in electrical engineering.

You can buy energy generators and have them installed on your property. Or you can build your own. DIY generators are extremely helpful tools. And they can even serve to increase the sustainability of your off-the-grid outpost.

Building your own generator is a skill that makes a huge difference in a “SHTF” situation. Even if you don’t plan to make a DIY generator today, just knowing “how” is a valuable skill to have at your disposal.

Motor Rotor 1The Principals of Making Electricity

Before we get into the different DIY generators you can build, let’s s cover the general concept. Electric generator all share the same basic principles. So these are the truly important concepts to understand.

Any time you use electricity, you are using energy that came from somewhere else. Whether it’s a coal plant, running water, or wind, power comes from some other form of energy.

You convert one type of energy (wind, water, geothermal, combustion) into another (electricity).

So how do you turn the energy of moving water into electrical power stored in a battery?

No matter the exact DIY generators you intend to build, these two pieces are essential: The Stator and The Rotor.

The Stator is a stationary shell that houses the Rotor, which rotates inside of the Stator. The Rotor is filled with magnets, which, as they spin within the Stator generate electric current.

That current is captured within the Stator’s built in coils and transferred to the storage unit.

Now, to store electricity generated by the Stator and the Rotor you need a battery.

There are many commercial batteries designed for the sole purpose of storing self-produced energy. Basically, the larger the battery, the more energy you can store.

If you plan on using your generator often, I would recommend getting a large battery. One with a significant amount of energy storage potential. Or even better yet, a bank of batteries connected in series.

If you just want off-the-grid electricity to charge a camera and flashlight, small batteries are perfect.

Now, building your own battery is possible – but personally, I’d rather recondition an old battery back to life. It’s easier and less dangerous.

If you’re interested in learning how to recondition old batteries back to life, check out this EZ Battery Reconditioning Course.

Building Homemade DIY Generators

There’s more than one way to skin a cat. Right? If you want DIY electricity, you can look to the sky, look to the sea, look in the ground, look in your garage…

The potential for electrical generation is everywhere.

This is good because no matter the situation, the possibility for electricity generation is there. You just need to understand how to harness it.

For this reason, I’ve compiled a very brief, but comprehensive list of DIY generators.

1 – The Bicycle Generator:

I put this one first because it’s such a simple idea.

By turning the gears (or wheel) of your bike, you turn it into a Rotor. So you can generate electricity and get a workout at the same time.

Need to boil some water? No problem put in twenty minutes on the DIY bike generator, and you are cooking!

Need a reading light? Pedal while you read and you will have light for as long as you are on the bike!

Obviously, this requires physical labor. You won’t be heating a large household via bike-generator. But if you need electricity for small, quick tasks, a bicycle generator is a healthy way to go about it.

You don’t even need a whole bike for this setup – you can build a DIY bike generator using old bike parts. So there is no need to dismantle your prized bug out bicycle.

In the following video, they use a treadmill motor to turn leg power into electrical volts, here’s where you can get a treadmill motor.

2 – Hydroelectric Generator:

I am going to go ahead and call hydroelectricity the BEST option on this list. Because it’s reliable, it’s consistent, and it’s extremely effective.

Hydroelectric power has been in use for thousands and thousands of years. The ancient Greeks were first attributed with converting moving water into grinding wheat. They were not using electricity, but they were harnessing energy. They turned running water and into the useful task of making flour.

Which is exactly the concept behind generating hydroelectric power.

Water wheels are the most popular way of achieving hydroelectric energy. By positioning the wheel in the moving water, the motion of the water is transferred to the spinning wheel. This wheel is then attached to the Rotor. And the energy is collected by Stator before being transferred to a battery.

Many streams and rivers flow at a near-constant rate. So hydroelectric energy is produced day and night, non-stop – effectively and efficiently.

Sadly, building and installing a functional hydroelectric plant yourself is complicated. Not impossible, but requires a lot of foresight, preparation, and planning.

And of course, you need a running body of water nearby too. So they’re not location independent thus making them relatively rare.

3 – Wind Energy:

Just behind hydroelectric energy, wind is one of the next best options.

The basic idea is the same – large blades capture the wind’s momentum, and transfer it to a Rotor/Stator setup.

Unfortunately, wind turbines present a problem for the average Joe. They usually require ongoing upkeep and maintenance.

That’s why most large-scale wind farms have a team of highly trained, highly skilled engineers. They’ve been trained specifically to manage these wind turbines. But it’s becoming easier.

The most important aspect of setting up a wind turbine is investing in an efficient Rotor/Stator set up. A turbine setup that allows you to capture as much of the wind as possible.

However, this only really works in windy regions. Wind doesn’t do you any good if you live in a place where the air is perpetually still (or even unpredictable).

You need a lot of consistent, reliable winds if you want your DIY wind-powered electric generator to pay off.

And here’s a detailed video on how to turn an old cordless drill into a wind turbine.

A side benefit to both wind and water energy is that they’re environmentally sustainable. Using these natural resources (wind and water flow) to generate power doesn’t release pollutants in the process.

4 – Hand Crank Generator:Hand Crank Flashlight

I have a flashlight that requires no charging, and no changing batteries. It’s a hand crank flashlight.

All you have to do is crank the handle until you have generated enough friction to power the thing. This is a basic type of hand crank generator, and the one that you can build is similar.

This electrical generation is like the bike generator. It converts human energy into electrical energy. In other words, you get out of it what you put into it.

If you need to conserve calories because food is scarce – a hand crank generator is a poor choice. But if you’re lost at sea and need to signal for help, having a hand crank generator for light is very helpful.

It’s situational – hand crank generators are not your best option, but they will do in a pinch.

Here’s a video on how to turn an old cordless drill into a DIY hand crank generator.

5 – Compost Heat Generator

How about generating heat from waste?

Now, heat is not electricity, however, heat is a form of energy and highly useful. It’s also exciting to be able to use compost materials (wood chips, grass clippings, mulch, hay, etc.) to generate abundant amounts of heat. Heat you can use to warm a small home, a greenhouse, or even to heat a hot-tub.

The one caveat is you need to run a pump in order to circulate the water. So while this setup creates heat it does take some energy input to run.

6 – Atmospheric Energy Generator

Our atmosphere is full of this potential electrical energy waiting to be tapped. But that’s the challenge, how can you tap this energy for use and consumption?

It’s possible to generate small amounts of “free” energy but nothing I know of has been invented to do so at great scale. However, it’s a source of energy to keep an eye on because, in our modern world, new inventions are always being created and developed.

7 – Solar Power

Everyone knows about solar and that fact that many homes are either fully or partly powered by solar. Now the sun’s rays are free but collecting it and converting it into usable energy is not.

However, you can cut the costs of installing a solar system significantly if you understand how it works and how to build your own DIY Solar Power System.

If you’re interested in setting up a DIY Solar Energy system the right way, check out DIY Home Energy.

8 – Biogas Generator

The general idea behind a biogas generator is fairly simple. You just need a source of organic wastes such as agricultural waste, manure, municipal waste, plant material, sewage, green waste or food waste. You then take these organic wastes and put them into a large bin or tank called a digester.

In the digester, you fill it with a specific ratio of organic material and water.

As the organic waste breaks down, it releases heat and gas.

This bio gas can then power a generator, which then converts the cheap (often free) “waste material” biogas into electricity.

If this sound like a setup you’re interested in getting some blueprints to build, check out the Liberty Generator.

Survival Applications of DIY Electricity

It should be evident that electricity makes life easier. The quality of human life around the world has skyrocketed once it became a common resource.

But for illustrative purposes here’s a short list of survival applications of electricity:

Heat –

First, the most significant survival use of electricity is the ability to generate heat. Especially during winter months and in cooler regions.

Having a method to quickly and efficiently warm your shelter is an absolute game changer.

Cooking –

With electricity, you don’t have to go through the trouble of starting a fire every time you want to cook. Nor do you need to keep a large supply of dry firewood on hand (although I highly recommend it).

But life is easier using hot plates, electric skillets, toasters, or crock pots. All of which make meal preparation a lot easier.

It’s even more important being able to cook food in a dire emergency scenario.

Lighting –

Emergency candles and gas lanterns have a nostalgic appeal and work in the shorter term. But we all know that they’re not the most efficient or the most effective way to light a room.

Modern LED electric bulbs use very little energy and last for a very long time. There’s also a lot of rechargeable options for lanterns, flashlights, and lamps. This is efficient and safe for the environment.

Entertainment –

Believe it or not, entertainment can be as valuable a survival supply as fresh food because it preserves your sanity -which is invaluable in a survival situation. Heck, sanity is a valuable resource in any situation.

Charging a cell phone or a small radio can change miserable circumstances into a bearable one.

Of course, a library of survival books and survival playing cards also electricity free forms of entertainment.

Film/Photography –

Cameras and camera equipment all use electricity and need batteries to run. So if you need to wait for a shot, you may have to use a small DIY energy generator to charge and power your equipment.

Torturing Your Enemies –

Have you seen the movie Taken? Well, in it, Liam Neeson uses a car battery to torture and interrogate his daughter’s kidnappers. It’s pretty brutal – but man, it gets the job done.

Anyway, if you need a form of “enhanced interrogation,” electricity offers one.

The Final Word

Electricity is one of the most effective survival tools ever harnessed by man. It makes life on Earth easier. We leverage it to accomplish an endless number of goals.

And the best part about it, the energy is everywhere – just waiting for you and your DIY generators.

Extract it from the wind, or the water, use your own physical power or transfer it from another energy source.

If you understand the concept behind collecting energy you’ll go far. If you commit those principles to memory, you have the ability to build a generator out of scratch almost anywhere.

Now that’s self-reliance.

The post 8 Affordable DIY Generators The Utility Companies Absolutely Hate appeared first on Skilled Survival.

8 Affordable DIY Generators The Utility Companies Absolutely Hate

DIY GeneratorsIt would be impossible to list all the reasons why you might want to build a DIY generator.

  • Maybe you’re preparing for a long-term emergency and want to generate your own power if the grid gets wiped out.
  • Maybe you’re living in a cabin in the wilderness, sustained by the land, supported by Mother Nature.
  • Perhaps you dream of off-grid independence and self-reliance.
  • Maybe you’d like to knock a few dollars off your electric bill or even get rid of it completely.
  • Or maybe you want to do it for the pure joy of making functional science.

Regardless your reason, the goal is always the same; to produce and consume your own electricity.

Now, living off the grid doesn’t require electricity. You can go off grid without it. Human beings have survived all across the world for tens of thousands of years without it.

It’s possible to make camp and sustain yourself without electricity. Instead of light bulbs, use candles. Forget the furnace, use the heat from a fireplace. Instead of an oven, use a wood-stove and thick blankets. You can make it with the right set of survival books, and woodsman know-how.

But electricity makes life a lot easier. And most would also agree it makes like better.

For example, a refrigerator and freezer are very difficult appliances to live without in our modern society.

But electricity is a survival tool like any other – it’s just intangible and non-material. But extremely useful.

Electricity is a versatile tool that helps achieve many survival related goals. Heat, light, cooking, entertainment, communication, construction.

The applications are endless.

The best part is, building DIY generators doesn’t require the intellect of Nicola Tesla. Or even a degree in electrical engineering.

You can buy energy generators and have them installed on your property. Or you can build your own. DIY generators are extremely helpful tools. And they can even serve to increase the sustainability of your off-the-grid outpost.

Building your own generator is a skill that makes a huge difference in a “SHTF” situation. Even if you don’t plan to make a DIY generator today, just knowing “how” is a valuable skill to have at your disposal.

Motor Rotor 1The Principals of Making Electricity

Before we get into the different DIY generators you can build, let’s s cover the general concept. Electric generator all share the same basic principles. So these are the truly important concepts to understand.

Any time you use electricity, you are using energy that came from somewhere else. Whether it’s a coal plant, running water, or wind, power comes from some other form of energy.

You convert one type of energy (wind, water, geothermal, combustion) into another (electricity).

So how do you turn the energy of moving water into electrical power stored in a battery?

No matter the exact DIY generators you intend to build, these two pieces are essential: The Stator and The Rotor.

The Stator is a stationary shell that houses the Rotor, which rotates inside of the Stator. The Rotor is filled with magnets, which, as they spin within the Stator generate electric current.

That current is captured within the Stator’s built in coils and transferred to the storage unit.

Now, to store electricity generated by the Stator and the Rotor you need a battery.

There are many commercial batteries designed for the sole purpose of storing self-produced energy. Basically, the larger the battery, the more energy you can store.

If you plan on using your generator often, I would recommend getting a large battery. One with a significant amount of energy storage potential. Or even better yet, a bank of batteries connected in series.

If you just want off-the-grid electricity to charge a camera and flashlight, small batteries are perfect.

Now, building your own battery is possible – but personally, I’d rather recondition an old battery back to life. It’s easier and less dangerous.

If you’re interested in learning how to recondition old batteries back to life, check out this EZ Battery Reconditioning Course.

Building Homemade DIY Generators

There’s more than one way to skin a cat. Right? If you want DIY electricity, you can look to the sky, look to the sea, look in the ground, look in your garage…

The potential for electrical generation is everywhere.

This is good because no matter the situation, the possibility for electricity generation is there. You just need to understand how to harness it.

For this reason, I’ve compiled a very brief, but comprehensive list of DIY generators.

1 – The Bicycle Generator:

I put this one first because it’s such a simple idea.

By turning the gears (or wheel) of your bike, you turn it into a Rotor. So you can generate electricity and get a workout at the same time.

Need to boil some water? No problem put in twenty minutes on the DIY bike generator, and you are cooking!

Need a reading light? Pedal while you read and you will have light for as long as you are on the bike!

Obviously, this requires physical labor. You won’t be heating a large household via bike-generator. But if you need electricity for small, quick tasks, a bicycle generator is a healthy way to go about it.

You don’t even need a whole bike for this setup – you can build a DIY bike generator using old bike parts. So there is no need to dismantle your prized bug out bicycle.

In the following video, they use a treadmill motor to turn leg power into electrical volts, here’s where you can get a treadmill motor.

2 – Hydroelectric Generator:

I am going to go ahead and call hydroelectricity the BEST option on this list. Because it’s reliable, it’s consistent, and it’s extremely effective.

Hydroelectric power has been in use for thousands and thousands of years. The ancient Greeks were first attributed with converting moving water into grinding wheat. They were not using electricity, but they were harnessing energy. They turned running water and into the useful task of making flour.

Which is exactly the concept behind generating hydroelectric power.

Water wheels are the most popular way of achieving hydroelectric energy. By positioning the wheel in the moving water, the motion of the water is transferred to the spinning wheel. This wheel is then attached to the Rotor. And the energy is collected by Stator before being transferred to a battery.

Many streams and rivers flow at a near-constant rate. So hydroelectric energy is produced day and night, non-stop – effectively and efficiently.

Sadly, building and installing a functional hydroelectric plant yourself is complicated. Not impossible, but requires a lot of foresight, preparation, and planning.

And of course, you need a running body of water nearby too. So they’re not location independent thus making them relatively rare.

3 – Wind Energy:

Just behind hydroelectric energy, wind is one of the next best options.

The basic idea is the same – large blades capture the wind’s momentum, and transfer it to a Rotor/Stator setup.

Unfortunately, wind turbines present a problem for the average Joe. They usually require ongoing upkeep and maintenance.

That’s why most large-scale wind farms have a team of highly trained, highly skilled engineers. They’ve been trained specifically to manage these wind turbines. But it’s becoming easier.

The most important aspect of setting up a wind turbine is investing in an efficient Rotor/Stator set up. A turbine setup that allows you to capture as much of the wind as possible.

However, this only really works in windy regions. Wind doesn’t do you any good if you live in a place where the air is perpetually still (or even unpredictable).

You need a lot of consistent, reliable winds if you want your DIY wind-powered electric generator to pay off.

And here’s a detailed video on how to turn an old cordless drill into a wind turbine.

A side benefit to both wind and water energy is that they’re environmentally sustainable. Using these natural resources (wind and water flow) to generate power doesn’t release pollutants in the process.

4 – Hand Crank Generator:Hand Crank Flashlight

I have a flashlight that requires no charging, and no changing batteries. It’s a hand crank flashlight.

All you have to do is crank the handle until you have generated enough friction to power the thing. This is a basic type of hand crank generator, and the one that you can build is similar.

This electrical generation is like the bike generator. It converts human energy into electrical energy. In other words, you get out of it what you put into it.

If you need to conserve calories because food is scarce – a hand crank generator is a poor choice. But if you’re lost at sea and need to signal for help, having a hand crank generator for light is very helpful.

It’s situational – hand crank generators are not your best option, but they will do in a pinch.

Here’s a video on how to turn an old cordless drill into a DIY hand crank generator.

5 – Compost Heat Generator

How about generating heat from waste?

Now, heat is not electricity, however, heat is a form of energy and highly useful. It’s also exciting to be able to use compost materials (wood chips, grass clippings, mulch, hay, etc.) to generate abundant amounts of heat. Heat you can use to warm a small home, a greenhouse, or even to heat a hot-tub.

The one caveat is you need to run a pump in order to circulate the water. So while this setup creates heat it does take some energy input to run.

6 – Atmospheric Energy Generator

Our atmosphere is full of this potential electrical energy waiting to be tapped. But that’s the challenge, how can you tap this energy for use and consumption?

It’s possible to generate small amounts of “free” energy but nothing I know of has been invented to do so at great scale. However, it’s a source of energy to keep an eye on because, in our modern world, new inventions are always being created and developed.

7 – Solar Power

Everyone knows about solar and that fact that many homes are either fully or partly powered by solar. Now the sun’s rays are free but collecting it and converting it into usable energy is not.

However, you can cut the costs of installing a solar system significantly if you understand how it works and how to build your own DIY Solar Power System.

If you’re interested in setting up a DIY Solar Energy system the right way, check out DIY Home Energy.

8 – Biogas Generator

The general idea behind a biogas generator is fairly simple. You just need a source of organic wastes such as agricultural waste, manure, municipal waste, plant material, sewage, green waste or food waste. You then take these organic wastes and put them into a large bin or tank called a digester.

In the digester, you fill it with a specific ratio of organic material and water.

As the organic waste breaks down, it releases heat and gas.

This bio gas can then power a generator, which then converts the cheap (often free) “waste material” biogas into electricity.

If this sound like a setup you’re interested in getting some blueprints to build, check out the Liberty Generator.

Survival Applications of DIY Electricity

It should be evident that electricity makes life easier. The quality of human life around the world has skyrocketed once it became a common resource.

But for illustrative purposes here’s a short list of survival applications of electricity:

Heat –

First, the most significant survival use of electricity is the ability to generate heat. Especially during winter months and in cooler regions.

Having a method to quickly and efficiently warm your shelter is an absolute game changer.

Cooking –

With electricity, you don’t have to go through the trouble of starting a fire every time you want to cook. Nor do you need to keep a large supply of dry firewood on hand (although I highly recommend it).

But life is easier using hot plates, electric skillets, toasters, or crock pots. All of which make meal preparation a lot easier.

It’s even more important being able to cook food in a dire emergency scenario.

Lighting –

Emergency candles and gas lanterns have a nostalgic appeal and work in the shorter term. But we all know that they’re not the most efficient or the most effective way to light a room.

Modern LED electric bulbs use very little energy and last for a very long time. There’s also a lot of rechargeable options for lanterns, flashlights, and lamps. This is efficient and safe for the environment.

Entertainment –

Believe it or not, entertainment can be as valuable a survival supply as fresh food because it preserves your sanity -which is invaluable in a survival situation. Heck, sanity is a valuable resource in any situation.

Charging a cell phone or a small radio can change miserable circumstances into a bearable one.

Of course, a library of survival books and survival playing cards also electricity free forms of entertainment.

Film/Photography –

Cameras and camera equipment all use electricity and need batteries to run. So if you need to wait for a shot, you may have to use a small DIY energy generator to charge and power your equipment.

Torturing Your Enemies –

Have you seen the movie Taken? Well, in it, Liam Neeson uses a car battery to torture and interrogate his daughter’s kidnappers. It’s pretty brutal – but man, it gets the job done.

Anyway, if you need a form of “enhanced interrogation,” electricity offers one.

The Final Word

Electricity is one of the most effective survival tools ever harnessed by man. It makes life on Earth easier. We leverage it to accomplish an endless number of goals.

And the best part about it, the energy is everywhere – just waiting for you and your DIY generators.

Extract it from the wind, or the water, use your own physical power or transfer it from another energy source.

If you understand the concept behind collecting energy you’ll go far. If you commit those principles to memory, you have the ability to build a generator out of scratch almost anywhere.

Now that’s self-reliance.

The post 8 Affordable DIY Generators The Utility Companies Absolutely Hate appeared first on Skilled Survival.

Bearded Iris: The Most Popular Flower With the Most Colors

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The post Bearded Iris: The Most Popular Flower With the Most Colors is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

What’s your favorite color? Is it one that you have a hard time finding in flowers and plants for your garden? Perhaps your landscape is seriously lacking a specific color. Or maybe you just want ALL the colors. Every single one.Look no further than the bearded iris to fulfill all your color-rich dreams. Even if you’re […]

The post Bearded Iris: The Most Popular Flower With the Most Colors is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Survival Gear Review: SIG Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder

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Featured_SIG_Kilo2400_laser_Rangefinder_wind_meter

Cutting to the chase, the Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder works as advertised. So now that’s of the way, let’s consider the philosophy behind owning and using such an advanced handheld ballistics computer. And just to get it out of the way, the Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder retails for $1700 and has a street price in bad breath distance of $1500.

By Doc Montana, a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache.com

1_SIG_Kilo2400_laser_Rangefinder_Business_endAs a lifelong hunter and one who was shooting iron sights out a hundred yards, and bringing down big game at two and three hundred yards with 4x scopes, I do find it interesting that the AR15 has enlightened many folks to the capabilities of shooting long distance. The weird thing is that our simple bolt action rifles in .270, .308 and my favorite 30-06 have been around for almost forever and have been capable of hitting targets well beyond 500 yards with minimal skill and out to 1000 yards with considerable skill. Of course, extreme long range, or ELR as the extreme long rangers like to say, has better options including the .338 Lapua and the .50 BMG, but regular old hunting cartridges can easily outshoot most shooters. Well, unless they are using the Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder.

Spell Check for Long Range Shooting

A ballistics solution is the information you need to place your bullet on your target regardless of distance. angle, or atmospheric conditions. It is an adjustment in aiming that takes into consideration every realtime consideration worth taking into consideration. And when the ballistics solution is dialed into the profiled rifle, a scary degree of long range accuracy can be achieved by someone with more brains than skill. Kind of like spell-check for long range shooting.

2_SIG_Kilo2400_laser_Rangefinder_App_screenshot_2The Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder really is a computer surrounded by a 7x optic and a laser rangefinder. If you pair your Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder to your phone using Bluetooth and the Sig App, you can view and enter data via the phone providing the Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder all pertinent info to put your specific bullet on your specific target.

Where the Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder deviates from traditional laser rangefinders, even the good ones, is that the Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder has capabilities well beyond what most shooters expect from their rangefinders. By entering all necessary information into the onboard Applied Ballistics Solutions calculator, the Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder will spit out the exact adjustments necessary to hit the target. If you miss, then bad info entered the equation because the equation is perfect.

Related: Leuopld LTO Tracker Thermal Imager

The Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder is a complete kit that includes a wind speed meter, a tripod mounting frame, an over-engineered case, three batteries, and tactical pen. Oh, and an App available for both iOS and Android. The Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder can easily work without the App, but the App allows an easier input of data, and the ability to upload rifle profiles into the Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder.

So where’s the magic? It is in the ballistic solutions the Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder provides to anyone who asks. I’ve long been a proponent for upgrading a firearm as much for the added performance as to learn how it works. After a few teardowns and rebuilds, you will have an intimate knowledge of the gun and feel comfortable tearing into it for whatever reason, or even fabricating your own parts if something goes south. So using or even just playing with the Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder, you will gain important insights into ELR shooting whether or not you ever pull a trigger on a 1km shot.

3_SIG_Kilo2400_laser_Rangefinder_in_handI know it sounds like ELR blasphemy, but dropping a grand and a half on a ballistics computer with range finder is something you will not have a second chance at when the EMP hits, or the store shelves go bare. For those who don’t think much beyond their apartment hallways, or even the end of the block, shooting long distance is low on the preparedness checklist. The problem is that in a real SHTF situation, the environment changes. Flinging lead down the street or from rooftop to rooftop is not just for the movies. It is something that urban combat across the world has taught us is a realistic skill. Sorry to burst any bubbles, but in a real SHTF WROL, you just might want to have some ELR shooting skills whether by practice or by electronics; the target doesn’t know or care.

One of the odd things about extremely long range shooting is that that the firearms community believe that it requires specialized equipment and near superhuman skill. In reality, anyone who wants to lob bullets an eighth of a mile can do so. But to hit something requires just a little bit more. If you have an endless number of shots, you can walk something in even at five miles, but human threats are of human size and realistic encounters are at the limits of vision, optics, and even the curvature of the earth. But protecting one’s bug out location with a thousand yard shot is not out of the question, but certainly might be out of your plan.

Check Out: New Technology is Bringing Us Closer to Nuclear War

The Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder provides near-instantaneous adjustment suggestions that when dialed into your scope or DOPE will do wonders even you have never ever attempted a shot over 500 yards. I know that’s a scary thought for traditional hunters who wander the woods with their 200 yard guns that can actually shoot a thousand yards, but the reality is that with the right information and understanding, few long guns are short range tools.

The Brass Tacks

Where the Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder really impresses is with it’s ability to quickly provide accurate distances out to thousands of yards. Depending on the reflectiveness of the target, the Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder can push the two mile limit with no problem, and exceed that where the physics allow. As if that kind of accuracy and precision isn’t enough, the Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder has a hyperscan mode that gives a distance value every quarter second. The moment I first tried it, I thought of Jason Bourne.  The optically absurd rangefinding monocular he scans with in multiple movies has a fast reaction output zapping range values as fast as he can move the monocular.

4_SIG_Kilo2400_laser_Rangefinder_user_endThe Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder is powered by a single CR123 battery which is a welcome change (upgrade?) over the CR2 battery that many other high-end rangefinders use. Not only is the CR123 more powerful in advanced size, but is also a common battery size in many other quality field electronics including holographic gun sights, gun lights, flashlights, and night vision scopes. The battery life of the Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder is an interesting question. The Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder ships with three batteries which can be taken several ways. It might be that the Sig Kilo2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder eats batteries, but I haven’t found that to be the case. However, if extended use of the Hyperscan mode is used, I would suspect that the battery will be exhausted rather quickly. This guess is based on a tidbit in my Leica rangerfinder instruction book that mentions that when the low battery indicator comes on, about 200 ranges are left. The Hyperscan mode would blast through 200 ranges in less than a minute of use. The Hyperscan mode ranges at four times a second but for no more than 20 seconds of continious use.

In real life, even if your training and shooting adventures don’t allow the long range stuff, you can count on the SIG Kilo2400 to take you to the next step when it really matters.

Prepping Priorities – What Should You Be Prepping For?

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Writing Contest today.


Practical Preparedness – Planning by Prevalence

When we jump on preparedness sites, sometimes we’re immediately struck by the enormous loads of things to buy, do, and learn. We immediately start hearing about WROL, battle rifles, ammo counts in the thousands, pressure canners, INCH/BOB bags and locations, pace count, and primitive skills. World- and nation-altering events such as nuclear war, internet-ending viruses, Nibiru, Agenda 21 and NWO, and the like pop up. They all have their places, but sometimes things get missed and it can make for a very overwhelming introduction. It can make it hard to prioritize where to spend our time and financial budgets even for those with experience and years of exposure to the prepared mindset.

To make it a little easier to prioritize, we can work in stages. We can look at what is most likely to occur in the near future and our lifetimes, and use that information to help us decide where to focus our time, efforts and resources.

Zone-Ring Systems

In permaculture, planning is based on zones. The basic premise is that you start at 0 or 1 with the self or home, and move outward through 2-4 and eventually into Zone 5. The inner rings have the most immediate contact with the resident, while the outer rings are visited less frequently. Other systems also use similar ring concepts of involvement, frequency and impact.

The same can be applied to preparedness, just like we modified a Health Wheel to fit our particular interests and needs. In this case, instead of looking at the frequency with which we’ll make contact with an area, we’ll be looking at the frequency with which things occur and impact our worlds.

Like permaculture, I’ve gone with five general categories. In this case, they are: Daily, Seasonal/Annual, 5-10 Year, Generational, & Lifetime/Eventually/Maybe. There are some examples for the average Western World resident. Later in the article there’s a few tips for planning for and around those most and least-prevalent scenarios.

Zone 1/First Ring – Daily Occurrences

A layoff can be just as devastating as a zombie invasion if you aren’t prepared.

Daily emergencies are those that strike somebody somewhere every single day in our English-reading modern life. While some affect larger groups, these tend to be personal or family related items. They’re the kinds of things the neighbors might not even notice. Some examples are:

  • Layoff, cut hours, cut wages
  • Major bills (roof, medical, HVAC, veterinary)
  • House fire
  • Major injury/developing disability
  • Theft, burglary, mugging
  • Vehicular accident & malfunction (temporarily removing transportation)
  • Temporary power outages (hours to 1-3 days)
  • Personal physical altercation (mugging, home invasion, the drunk at a bar, date rape)
  • Missing person(s), family death

When considering the financial aspects of preparedness, also consider the things that might not affect jobs, but do affect our income and-or our ability to offset daily costs. For instance, an injury that prevents gardening and picking up overtime or a second job as a stocker, pipe-fitter, or forklift driver, or a developing disability that renders an arm/hand weak or unusable and prevents needlepoint, canine grooming, or weaving.

Zone 2/Second Ring – Seasonal/Annual Occurrences

These are the things we can consult our Almanacs and insurance companies to consider. They regularly tend to affect a larger number of people. It might be a block or a street in some cases, parts of a town or county, or might impact a whole state if not a region. They’d be things like…

River ice jam flooding

 

Let’s hope that last stays firmly in the “annual” category or shifts back to the third prevalence ring for most of us. Let’s also acknowledge that in some places and nations, it’s already more common to be caught in crossfire of some sort than it is to live peaceful lives, and for some of them, it’s as or almost as common as paying monthly bills or going out to eat.

Zone 3/Third Ring – 5-10 Year Occurrences

These are the things that happen regularly, but infrequently. Some occur on cycles. Some, as with the natural disasters above, are a nearly predictable cycle. Some aren’t really predictable, per se, but as with tornadoes in one of the nations’ tornado alley or hurricane-prone areas, you learn to expect them. We can expect them to affect a larger area or more people in many cases.

  • Natural Disasters from above
  • Mudslides
  • Major industrial or business closures/layoffs
  • Drought (personal & widespread impacts)
  • Widespread livestock illnesses (such as the avian diseases that pop up regularly)
  • Temporary outages (3-14 days)
  • Changing life phases (child-birth & toddlers, school-age kids, driving-age youths, empty nests, retirements)
  • Fuel cost cycles

Zone 4/Fourth Ring – Generational Occurrences

The span covered by the term “generation” tends to change if you use the strictest definitions. Most account for a generation to cover about 20-30 years. Some examples of things that very much tend to be generational include:

  • Major wars (mental & physical disabilities, income effects good & bad)
  • Recessions, depressions
  • Fuel cost cycles (more extreme)
  • Serious multi-year “weird” weather (droughts, floods, late or early springs)
  • 25- & 50-year flood levels
  • Some diseases

Zone 5/Fifth Ring – Lifetime/Eventual/Possible Occurrences

A lot of these are going to affect not just a region, not just one nation, but many. In some nations and regions, they may fall under the fourth ring of prevalence instead of the fifth. Some of these are also the big-fear “gotcha’s” or clickbait types that seem to draw folks in. Some are truly believed in, and I try not to judge people on what they believe. Poles have shifted in the past, Yellowstone has erupted, we’ve had serious solar effects on power, and asteroids have struck our earth. Will they happen again in our lifetime or eventually? Some almost certainly. Some are a firm “maybe”. Some are … possible.

  • Great Depression
  • Devastating Midwest seismic activity
  • National or global pandemics in the Western world
  • Major Ring of Fire activity
  • Significant volcanic eruptions (the atmosphere-blocking ash type)
  • Major global climate change (for the hotter or colder)
  • EMP, devastating solar activity
  • Nation-crippling electronic-based virus(es)

Alternative Scale Systems

Like permacuture’s zoning, the business world can also give us some scale systems to apply. High-probability, high-reward, urgent-response items are given priority, while lower-chance and less-likely risks are tended to later. We can create the same for our preparedness.

Another way to look at the five rings would be to apply a timespan for event duration. Perhaps 3-7 days, then 3-6 weeks, 3 months, 6-12 months, and 18-months+.

Like using prevalence, using time spans creates a measurable scale that works off a “most likely” basis. Most of us, at some point inside 1-5 years, will have some sort of financial upheaval or power outage that makes the supplies in the first few rings useful.

Ensuring we have everything we need to cook, clean, stay warm (or cool), and pay bills for those periods will keep us more balanced in our preparedness, and make us better prepared for the things that are MOST likely to occur in our near future and our lifetimes.

Applying Prevalence Rings

It’s inarguable that if you’re ready for the New World Order to freeze the planet and then send out FLIR drones to drop nuclear bombs in the midst of a planned or unplanned foreign-nation bank account hack while satellites are inaccessible due to solar storms’ interference, you’re pretty much good.

That’s not a particularly practical place to start and it might not be the best plan for resource allocation unless everything else really is covered.

There are a world’s worth of things that occur on a small-scale, inside homes and towns, that happen a lot more frequently than the dinosaurs and mega-mammals die out.

I see an awful lot of people hyped on one thing that can go wrong and might one day go wrong, but they exclude all kinds of things that do actually happen.

They forget that we sometimes have disasters that mean daily life is taking place all around us, or in the rest of the county, state, nation and world. They neglect fire extinguishers and smoke detectors for the sexy-cool aspects of preparedness like the rifles and Rambo knives.

Fact is, most of us will experience something from the first tier or two in our lives at least once, and for some of us, they’re regular parts of life.

In many cases of upheaval and crisis, we’re still going to want electricity, most likely.

We will still have a job or need to find a new one, will still be expected to present ourselves showered and with money to receive services, will still have doctor’s appointments, hunting and squatting in county-state-national parks will still be frowned on, and combat gear in the streets will still be the exception rather than the rule.

In some cases, the duration of our life-altering events might only be a few hours or days. However, in many parts of the world, those hours or days can be seriously inconvenient if not downright deadly. The ability to keep a CPAP machine running, repair a down or wrecked vehicle, and continue on with life after a squirrel invasion or a tree comes down is just as important as defending the home from looters and making beeswax candles.

Being able to repel the zombie horde does me little good if my vehicle is in poor repair on a daily basis and leaves me stranded on my way to work. 5K-10K rounds of ammo times my 7 platforms sounds nice, unless I don’t keep oil, coolant, jumper cables and fix-a-flat or a mini air compressor in my vehicle so I can limp my way home to them safely – on a daily basis.

Prioritizing instead of jumping willy-nilly – and tracking instead of continuing to add to whatever my favorite prep stash is – can help prevent daily disasters from truly causing upheaval.

Overlap Between Rings

The nice thing about seriously assessing what is likely to go wrong based on prevalence in the past is that we can sometimes make just little twitches.

We don’t have to be ready for all-out neighborhood wars over food, grazing rights, and tickets to the Earth Arks to create that overlap.

A bug-out bag serves as a shelter-in-place kit as well as a “standard” wildfire or hurricane evac kit. Having a month or two of food (or far more) means we can also weather a big bill because we can skip buying groceries.

Image: How’s your insurance coverage?

Preparing by Prevalence

Resources like the Ready.gov site and our insurance carriers can help us determine what goes wrong in our area. We might be well served making maps using the information they give us about regular, fifty-year and hundred-year floods, wind storms, and snow/hurricane routes to apply to our walk-out and drive-out plans.

We can also use their information – like, what is the number-one thing that causes job-loss or vehicle and home damage in our area – to make sure we’re buffered against it.

Pat’s preparedness arc and the article about a balanced wheel (especially the comments) may help even longtime preppers better assess where they stand, and focus or refocus on any gaps between normal daily life and the return of the Ice Age, Dust Bowl, total economic collapse, and other extreme events. They – and the standard FEMA/Red Cross recommendations for 3-7-10-14 days of supplies – can be excellent starting places for beginners.

The post Prepping Priorities – What Should You Be Prepping For? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Start A Metalworking Business By Building A Forge

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Many advances in human society and culture occurred as different groups learned how to mine metal ore and turn it into useful tools.

You need farm tools, weapons, or machines to carry out various tasks, so keep on hand what you need for metal working. If you know how build and use a forge, you’ll have a valuable skill to barter, but also a good start for a business that can help you survive nowadays.

There are several ways to build a forge that will meet most of your needs. Aim to build at least one forge and learn how to use it so that you have a better chance of being able to make and repair metal items in the future.

What is a Forge?

At it’s simplest, a forge is not much more than a place where you can heat metals up in order to soften them for further working. If you define a forge as all the things that you will need to heat, shape, and temper the metal, then there are a few more parts to consider.

For the sake of this article, I am defining a forge as the equipment you use to heat metals only.

Every Forge Must Have These Parts

You need to obtain and maintain a specific temperature to make metal items that will be durable and useful. As a result, there are some parts that every forge must have in order to achieve maximum temperature without compromising safety:

  • A place to burn fuel. If the forge is going to use coal, this area might be an open pit or tub lined with fireproof material. Forges that use gas or liquid based fuels may have a cylindrical or square shaped fireproof chamber surrounded by a metal jacket. It should be noted that coal burning forges are better for situations where you need to heat large amounts of metal or produce an unusually large shape such as a sword. Since gas fired forges produce a more even heat and are easier to operate, they are usually better for knives or other small items. That being said, if you are looking to build a highly adaptable forge, coal fired ones will be more suitable for your needs.
  • Fuel Inlet – for simple coal forges, you might simply layer some coal in the bottom of the pit, and when more fuel is needed, simply drop it into the burn area. If you are going to use natural gas or propane, then the fuel might be fed into a central chamber via a pipe and nozzle. In a similar fashion, if you are going to use a liquid fuel form, you will most likely want to pipe it in and be able to control the flow via a nozzle.
  • Air Inlet or Tuyere – since burning fuel requires oxygen, the forge must also have a means for introducing larger amounts of air. This is usually done via a tube or pipe extending into the main burn area.
  • Bellows – in order to reach and maintain higher temperatures, more air needs to get into the burn area in a shorter period of time. Bellows are used to push the air into this area as quickly as possible. Coal burning forges might have the Tuyere located under the burn area, and then a pipe would lead from the bellows so that air comes up from the bottom. Gas burning forges usually have a blower or fan that is used for the same purpose.

Materials in Nature You Can Use to Build a Coal Fired Forge

No matter how experienced you may be as a prepper, there are bound to be things that don’t seem very useful right now that will turn out to be very important later on. A metal forge is one of those items that can easily be left out of your plans, or just as bad, left behind if you have to evacuate.

If you are in a situation where you absolutely need a forge, here are some natural materials you can use to build each part of a coal forge:

  • Burn Pit – a pit or even a hole in the ground can serve as a burn pit. You can line the pit with rocks and small stones so that it retains heat better.
  • Air Inlet – create something like a Dakota Firepit design so that you have an easy way to introduce air into the burn area.
  • Bellows – the simplest form of bellows will only force air into the fire when the handles are compressed. On the other hand, if you are going to forge metal, the supply of air must be steady, yet easy to adjust as your working needs change.

There are two forms of bellows that will be suitable for this task. First, the double-acting bellows is not so different from the simpler form.

You will need animal hide, leather, and other soft material to make the bag and attach the pipe, paddle, piston, valves, and handles. The pipe is a simple hollow tube that you can make from wood, bone, or even sturdy reeds or bamboo. Finally, you can make the paddle, piston, valves, and handles from wood harvested from trees.

The second form of bellows is known as a Fuigo Box Bellows. Unlike the Double Acting Bellows, this form does not require a bag. You can make everything but the sealing from wood.

Video first seen on Cut Marks

How to Make a Gas Fired Coffee Can Forge

As a prepper, I find no end to the usefulness of institution sized, or #10 food cans. From making large bins for storing devices to building stoves, there is truly no end to what these sturdy cans can be repurposed for. In this case, they serve as the beginning material for a forge that you can make knives, spear points, and many other useful items with.

Here are the basic instructions:

  • Start off by making sure the can is clean and dry.
  • Most people do not remove the bottom can lid, however having one end of the can closed limits the amount of room you have for heating metal. I recommend removing the bottom lid so that you can extend the metal past the back. While you may have to move the metal back and forth to keep it heating evenly, it is better than having a forge that is too small for anything larger than a 2 -3 inch item.
  • Next, attach a base to where the bottom of forge will be. It should be big enough and wide enough so that the can will not roll over. Be sure to use fireproof material. The base should also be sturdy enough so that it will no collapse under the weight of the can, the lining, and any other attachments you will be adding to the can. If at all possible, try to make the base wider than the size of the can opening. When you are working with metal in such a cramped area, it is all too easy to bump the metal or the tongs holding it into the sides of the can. If the base is not sturdy enough or tips easily, it can make for a disaster as well as more than a few injuries. While many videos and “how-to” guides show coffee can forges with substantially narrower bases, it is better to be on the safe side and realize that accidents can and will happen, especially when you are in a stressful situation or working with unfamiliar equipment.
  • Take a propane torch and measure the tip of it. You will need a metal pipe that is large enough so that the tip of the torch can fit through it easily.
  • Once you locate a suitable metal pipe, drill a hole in the can to accommodate it. If you removed the bottom lid of the can, it might be best to put the hole near the center of the can so that heat will radiate evenly to the front and back of the can. Attach the pipe to the can. The hole should be in an area where you can easily place the torch into the pipe and not have it or the can tip over. If necessary, add a cinder blocks or something else beneath the base of the can so that the torch tip will be at the right height in relation to to the can.
  • Even though a natural gas or propane flame produces quite a bit of heat, tin cans aren’t very good at retaining heat. Therefore, you will need to line the inside of the can with fireproof material. Plaster of Paris, cement, and even mud will work as insulators. When lining the can with an insulator, do not forget to leave the hole open for the torch inlet. Try not to get insulating material in the pipe used for this purpose.

Video first seen on Andrew W

How to Make a Gas Fired Forge From Natural Materials

It is fair to say that a coal fired forge is easier to make mainly because you don’t have to be overly concerned about constructing a viable fire pit. While you will always have to be concerned about the size of the pit in order to conserve fuel, at least you will not have to spend as much time forming a more robust enclosure.

Overall, I would most recommend using fired clay or adobe to make the enclosure for a gas fired forge. When making the enclosure, do not forget that clay shrinks well over 20% from its original size as it loses water. It is better to make the enclosure a bit bigger so that you don’t wind up starting all over again.

Here are some basic rules for making a clay enclosure that can be fired successfully without the benefits of a modern kiln and all it’s heating controls:

  • As with any other clay construction that must be fired, always avoid making air pockets in the clay. Pay extra attention to joining areas and overlaps where air pockets are likely to form.
  • Don’t forget to poke holes in the clay so that it heats evenly. Since it will be much harder to control the speed at which temperatures change in a field kiln, these holes can reduce the risk of the entire vessel cracking.
  • Always make sure the clay is as dry as possible. While moisture isn’t quite as dangerous as air to a clay object being fired, it can still lead to war page and cracking, especially if some areas are thicker than others.
  • Try to make the clay thickness as even as possible throughout the vessel.

You can also make the enclosure from slabs of stone and then join them together with mud or adobe. It will take less work than making a clay vessel, however, you must choose the rocks carefully. Porous rocks can retain water and air that will cause them to explode when heated. They may also release toxic gases that can kill you or leave you with severe health problems. Learn about which rock types can be heated safely, and make sure you know how to recognize them in any terrain.

At the same time, you can also learn more about which rocks carry metal ores or point to veins of ore. This is especially important if you wind up in a situation where you don’t have much metal to work with, or the metal is of the wrong type for your needs.

How to Find Fuel for the Forge

You can use charcoal in a coal fired forge as long as you have enough air flowing through from the bellows. Even if you do not have coal, you can still turn wood or other materials into charcoal and use them in the forge.

Insofar as natural gas fired forges, try getting natural gas from large compost piles or septic waste systems, but it can be difficult to store this type of gas and also ensure that you remain safe. You’ll also need suitable piping and a valve system so that you can control the gas flow. To make these, you will need softer metal ores, or, you can start out with a coal fired forge to make these items, and then build the gas forge.

While forges aren’t especially complicated in terms of the equipment used, they are vital for building and repairing metal items.

No matter how far back society slides, the path back up to a more modern lifestyle cannot happen without metallurgy skills. At the very least, if you have metal forging skills, you and your descendants will have a better chance of surviving and thriving after a major disaster scenario.

Grab your tools and start practicing your skills!

Click the banner below for more!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

References:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Coffee-Can-Forge/

Are You Too Old To Live Off-Grid?

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Now some people may be offended by this question, but this is one of the most common questions we receive. Immediately, I am going to say, “By all means, ABSOLUTELY NOT! No one is ever too old to embrace a dream of any kind let alone a dream of living an off-grid lifestyle which can […]

The post Are You Too Old To Live Off-Grid? appeared first on Trayer Wilderness.

How The Church Got Off-Track

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     This is a topic that has been rattling around in my head and pricking my heart for several weeks now, and I’m not sure that I can adequately unpack it all to my own satisfaction, let alone yours.  But I’m going to try…
     I’ve been researching just how Jesus’s Church went from promoting Healing as a primary component of the Kingdom message in the first few centuries to such a state of denial in our commission to heal in the present century.  Why are we unable to take effective action in healing, which results in a helpless, powerless, and nearly impotent Body of Christ?
     Historically, we can see that members of early Christianity held a warfare worldview… they still held tightly to Jesus’s teachings that forces of evil would come against Him and His Church.  During His entire time on earth, the Bible records the efforts of Satan to tempt Jesus, to send lying and deceiving spirits to sabotage His Message, and to defeat the ultimate plan of God to deliver Believers out of the hands of the Enemy.
     Christians, at that time, knew that this spiritual war between Jesus and the devil was at the heart of the sicknesses and demonic bondage that people were experiencing. They understood that Believers were to fight against sickness, disease and demonic oppression through the power of the Holy Spirit. Today, we have the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John which provide historical documentation of countless healings done by Jesus, proving that He came to set the captives free.  Jesus was just doing what He saw His Father do when YHWH proclaimed in Exodus 15:26 that “I am the LORD who heals you.” So what happened, and why doesn’t Jesus’s Church believe that today?

     It is hard for me to pinpoint the exact moment that things changed and the Church got off track, but many theologians point to the writings of Augustine which eventually moved the Church to a different worldview — one in which the Church came to believe that everything in life happens due to the predetermined will of God.  In fact, it is largely accepted that Augustine was a primary influence on the Reformation and the theologies of Luther and Calvin. (Interested in exploring more about this connection?  Read here and here). I am not interested in dishonoring these important figures of the Reformation, but we need to understand how the Church got from a warfare worldview to what some call a blueprint worldview.  I think you can see how this new idea of God negated the part Satan plays, and would cause a shift in the thinking of the Church regarding healing.
     Augustine’s writings (along with the Reformers) began to move the Church in a new direction. Instead of believing that sickness might be brought on by the devil (who the early Church knew should be resisted), people were to believe that God brought on sickness and personal trials for a person’s spiritual sanctification.  Put in simple terms, God allowed sickness to purify a Believer, or in other words to prune them for greater faith.  This thinking then led to a belief system that to pray against an illness was to resist God’s work He was trying to accomplish in you.  So, instead of praying for healing, the Body of Christ would pray for discernment about why God might have brought sickness or disease into someone’s life.  And the truly remarkable aspect of this deception is that it removed Satan’s guilt in our suffering, and placed all the blame at God’s feet!
     And I can tell you that I have talked to many good Christian friends who see seasons in their life where they have dealt with sickness [or depression or adversity] as proof that God was trying to bring them to their knees in subjection to His will in their life; that somehow they were enduring a purifying fire to rid themselves of some aspect of sin.  I agree that God disciplines those He loves, but if Jesus is truly our model and a picture of how our God loves us, can you find an instance in Scripture where He allowed sickness to sanctify a Believer? Did He ever use sickness as a method to promote His Father’s Kingdom? No! He used the miracles of healing to demonstrate what His Father’s Kingdom was like and to illustrate the goodness of God!  God is not the author of pain and suffering in a Believer’s life!  He is Life and Mercy and Grace!
     For too long, the Church has seen suffering [in its various forms, whether sickness or demonic oppression] as “carrying our cross” and an opportunity to glorify Jesus in our suffering– almost as a badge of honor to prove that we are approved and acceptable to be called “Christian”. But this is just a scheme of the Devil to turn us away from believing in healing and miracles for today! And it has all led to a Church full of people operating in Doubt and Unbelief, which renders the Body powerless to effect the unbelieving world outside the Church doors.
     We have lost the Truth of what Jesus meant when He said, The Kingdom is at hand.  By using the Power that the Father gave Him to perform miracles, healings, signs and wonders, Jesus was able to grab the attention of the people to share the Good News that God’s Kingdom [as it is in Heaven] had begun on earth and would continue until it was fully achieved at Christ’s Second Coming.  He taught that Truth to His Apostles and to the Disciples that He commissioned to continue His works. They were to persist in miracles of healing and deliverance [from demons] through the ever-present power of the Holy Spirit.
     But along the way, the Enemy seduced men like Augustine to diminish the supernatural character of God, and convince Church leaders of the impossibility of His working through Believers to heal and deliver and work miracles today.  Therefore we have not been equipped to carry on Jesus’s work. The Pentecostal and Charismatic movements, which believe in the restoration of miracles, healing and deliverance [as part of the Church’s ministry] has been reviled, and any talk of spiritual warfare in these areas is quickly squelched among many mainline denominations.
     But I hope you can see the devil’s hand in man’s reshaping of the Church.  For me, it is easy to see how the continued work of Jesus could transform our communities, our country, and the world.  Just look around you and see how many people could use the release of Jesus’s healing power in their lives — whether their pain is physical or spiritual.  And do not believe Satan’s lie that these miracles are meant only for Believers.  It is my opinion that we have been given this Power [through the Holy Spirit in us] to show the healing power of God which gives us an opportunity to share a message about the Father’s love for us and what Jesus did for us.  It’s all in accordance to what Jesus did Himself.  For those with Faith, it confirms the power of God.  For those who are Lost, it can be the impetus to become born again.
     It is time that we, the modern Church, become partners with the Divine; and Healing becomes a tool in which we can resist the devil’s evil plans and make this world a little more like Heaven.  By partnering with God, we release His purposes into the earth, and the Church begins to be restored to its own purpose. Let’s change the Church from a powerless direction to one that is active, formidable,  and on fire with the power of the Holy Spirit!  It happened in that first Century, and God can do it again!

Thanks to the writings and ministry of Randy Clark for challenging me to ask the hard questions and to determine my own theology after searching the Scripture.

Luke 9:2    “And He sent them out to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal”.

The Best EDC Wallets. Plus, Clothes for Your Bug Out Bag

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The Best EDC Wallets and Pocket Organizers

Unfortunately, many of us have already experienced how quickly a regular, routine day can go wrong in minutes. A flat tire on a dark highway, a car accident, or a stolen purse or backpack can wreak havoc in our lives. And with increasing stories of terrorist attacks, school shootings, rioting, violence, and weather-related events, we all need to be prepared for the worst.

Everyday Carry (EDC) is a concept designed to help people not only be prepared for life’s unexpected emergencies and daily inconveniences but also can be used to help you survive a potentially life-threatening situation. In fact, you may already have an established portion of an EDC system in place without even realizing it. (more)

Clothing for your Bugout Bag

If there is one thing that I have learned over my survival career, it is the importance of having the right clothing with you for the challenges that you face.  As you assemble and modify your bugout bag for the seasons, you will need to consider which clothing items to take.

For the purposes of this article, I am going to discuss the importance of every item you may want to pack.  Then I will leave it up to you to decide which items to bring and which to leave behind. (more)

Everything You Need To Know To Start Your Garden

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I feel inclined to share everything you need to know to start your garden today. I now live in Southern Utah, so we can start a garden a lot earlier than up north. In Salt Lake City, Utah we always used Mother’s Day as the day we could finally get started with planting vegetables in our gardens. In other words, the middle of May. In Southern Utah, I decided it’s tax day, April 15th or the middle of April. We have all had good years of gardening and occasional years when we wonder what in the world happened to my squash or cucumbers. I used to have a huge garden, with a gas powered tiller and we grew all of our vegetables for the year. Now I have a very small yard and I had to learn to adapt to the clay soil here.

I have heard people say to me “I can’t get anything to grow in my garden.” I get it. It was so much easier to garden in the rich soil I had up north in Salt Lake City, Utah. You could practically dig a hole and plant a tiny plant and BAM that baby would grow like crazy! If I planted seeds, they would sprout and grow great veggies for my neighborhood. It took me a few years here in the desert to get the hang of growing a successful garden. We have a lot of critters here and the bugs are out of control.

I also learned not to put so many coffee grounds in the garden from the local coffee shop because they put too much nitrogen into the soil in my raised garden beds. I guess I put way too many in my planter areas to get rid of the cats in the neighborhood when my flower pots, potato pots, and raised gardens became their litter box. Yep, we learn something new every year, right? Coffee grounds are good, but not the amount I used, just to clarify my statement. The pH level was off and I had to add additional nutrients to offset those coffee grounds to have a successful garden. I call it a learning curve.

I have also learned when to plant and when not to plant certain seeds or plants in my area. I live in Southern Utah where my climate zone is #8A. If you have a local family owned garden center in your area, I highly recommend you go there and get a printout of the times you can plant certain vegetables and other plants or trees you would like in your garden. It’s all about the soil, the seeds, the plants and the watering. I would have to say soil is the biggest learning curve for people.

Start Your Garden:

  1. Good soil: I start with Miracle Grow planting soil. You can buy this at most big box stores or nurseries, plus the items listed below.
  2. Gloves: I buy them every year at the end of the growing season for 1/2 price.
  3. Shovels: One large, one medium, one short small handled one, and then the size we need to dig a small hole for the plants.
  4. Good seeds or plants (non-GMO): You can also start your seeds indoors, but I’ll talk about that another day.
  5. Root starter: I only use Miracle Grow Starter to transplant my seedlings or plants.
  6. Watering can: So you can mix up the Miracle Grow Starter with water.
  7. A good hose and sprinkler attachment.
  8. A pitch fork.
  9. A rake to level the soil.
  10. You may need to add some or all of the items I mention adding to my soil below. Those are the ones I’ve found work best in my planting soil, climate and other factors.  You may need to experiment with different plants and the unique nature of your location.

I have several four-foot by four-foot by 18-inch tall raised garden beds in my backyard. When I first moved here I tried growing tomatoes in pots. It’s too hot, so that didn’t work. The dirt in my yard is hard rock red clay. It almost takes a pick and shovel to dig any kind of a hole for shrubs or trees. I soon realized that my only option was to purchase some raised gardens.

I have a very small house and yard. I need to use as much space to produce food for pleasure and to survive if we had an unforeseen emergency or disaster. I had to learn how to garden here. I have been successful with gardening in this home for about six or eight years now. I have had a garden for as long as I can remember. In years past I canned everything possible from my garden, teaching my daughters the skill of gardening and canning. It’s really fun, I promise. But this desert area took me some time to learn how to garden.

I had been reading about composting (no, I do not compost food). My life is pretty busy and I can’t add that to my plate each day. So I buy organic compost and organic fertilizer. So there you have it, some people love to compost. I don’t.

I had also studied up on different products I thought I would need, but I wanted to hear it from the expert nursery owner if these were the right ones for my area. Bingo! I nailed it with the help of phone calls, reading, and research at various nurseries. Ballard Nursery in LaVerkin, Utah has the most knowledgeable people in my area! Woohoo!

I no longer own a wheelbarrow so I mixed up the following items listed below in each raised garden bed. I used my hands, a small pitch fork, and shovel to make the soil rich and loamy. It really is all about the soil!!!

The base for my garden beds is Miracle Grow soil available almost anywhere. Remember, I have raised garden beds. If you have awesome soil you probably won’t need this. Then I made a concoction of peat moss, Azomite minerals, Coco Coir, organic compost, bone meal, earthworm castings (organic fertilizer), Vermiculite, and a small amount of steer manure. My soil is 15-17-inches deep. You can buy most of these at your local garden centers. I bought some items online and some locally. I promise a garden is all about the seeds and the soil. We can all grow a garden, we just need practice. This is one more way to be prepared for the unexpected. Grow a garden and harvest your own food. It’s all about being self-reliant. Good luck with your gardening efforts.  Be sure to let me know your secrets to gardening success.

My favorite items you to start your garden:
Azomite Micronized Bag, 44 lb
FibreDust Coco Coir Block
Unco Industries Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Earthworm Castings Organic Fertilizer, 15-Pound
Miracle-Gro Nature’s Care Organic Bone Meal, 3 lb.
Espoma VM8 8-Quart Organic Vermiculite

The post Everything You Need To Know To Start Your Garden appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Hypothermia: Tips Against the Cold

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1_featured_hypothermia_ice

Hypothermia presents one of nature’s greatest dangers. Even just among America’s homeless, thousands die from exposure to the freezing elements. Nobody should face the cold unprepared.

By Alex Coyne, a contributing author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog.com

Here are some of the facts behind hypothermia, and some more about what you can do to handle it.

#1: Defining hypothermia.

2_hypothermiaHypothermia literally means “below heat”, and it’s what happens when the body’s temperature drops below 35°C. This means that your organs will eventually begin shutting down due to the cold. Once tissue starts freezing, what you’re dealing with is frostbite, the nasty cousin of hypothermia. Its opposite is hyperthermia, or what happens when the body overheats.

#2: What is frostbite?

The symptoms of frostbite include loss of feeling and discoloration of the skin: This can be blue, red or white, so keep in mind that any unnatural discoloration is generally a bad sign which can point to issues in circulation. Yes, permanent damage or the loss of limbs and digits becomes a real danger here: Once affected by frostbite, your priority is to warm up the affected areas gradually though as soon as possible.  Think of frostbite like freezer burn.

#3: Just how cold…?

There are several factors involved with contracting hypothermia: Cold, air and exposure time are just some of them. Here’s a handy chart from the US National Weather Service showing the temperature, wind and time related to both hypothermia and frostbite, just in case you were wondering.

#4: Recognizing the symptoms.

2_frozen_hypothermiaHypothermia is classified in three stages: Mild, moderate and severe. The symptoms of hypothermia start off slow with shivering – the body’s natural way of trying to warm itself up – slight nausea, drowsiness and confusion, but can eventually turn to much more severe versions thereof. Apathy and slurred speech eventually sets in, and inevitably the sufferer will tire out, fall asleep and into a deep coma and die.

#5: Alcohol will not help.

Do you know anyone who has a brandy to warm themselves up, usually on a camping trip? In the event of hypothermia, it turns out that’s one of the most dangerous things you could possibly do. Contrary to popular belief – yes, this is complete BS – alcohol will not warm you up. What alcohol really does is dilate the blood vessels, making you only feel warmer while you’re losing most of the heat through your skin. It does more harm than good, so don’t do it.

Related: Ten Ways to Survive the Winter Cold

#6: Preparing beforehand.

The best medicine is prevention. When you’re preparing for a trip (or stocking up your grab-and-go bags), make sure you pack essentials like warm, insulated gloves. It’s also worth investing in proper thermal wear, which can be expensive, but you’ll surely thank yourself if you’re stuck somewhere in the cold. Also prepare by checking out the weather forecast before heading out: Is there any bad weather in the cards?

#7: You can’t, and shouldn’t, work it off.

3_exercise_winterIt’s another common myth that exercise will get rid of hypothermia entirely, so you can just “exercise it out” or “walk it off” and you’ll be fine. Like most myths, there’s more harm than good to this one as hypothermia puts intense strain on the heart. Suddenly exercising can cause your body to shut down if you are already in an advanced state of hypothermia. The same applies to throwing someone with hypothermia into a hot bath (or, for that matter, someone with a fever into a cold one): The resulting stress on the heart can cause a heart attack.

#8: Warming up gradually.

Due to the stress hypothermia places on the body (and the ice crystals that form in the tissue in the case of frostbite), the key to getting rid of either is to warm the patient up gradually, not quickly. Getting them out of wet, cold clothes and covering them with a warm blanket or clothes is step one, and much less dangerous than the common method that certainly might kill someone.

#9: The enemy of cold.

Know how to make a fire even in a cold or ice-covered climate, as it might be the quickest way to avoid getting hypothermia. (Remember: Cold doesn’t always come in the form of ice, and both icy wind and cold water can induce hypothermia just as quickly.) Many campers carry a flask of hot tea or coffee for keeping the cold away in the mornings, and – when possible – it’s highly recommended.

Check Out: Emergency Foods from Wild Plants

#10: Increasing your tolerance for cold.

4_ice_adaptControlled exposure to the cold will eventually increase the body’s tolerance levels if done over a long period of time. This is true for people like Wim Hof, better known as “The Iceman” and the Guinness World Record holder for the longest time immersed in ice – a total of one hour and fifty-two minutes. (That doesn’t sound like too much until you actually try it.) There’s nothing superhuman about it, though: Wim (and many others like him) insist that their abilities are due to practice and practice alone.

Download Smart Thermometer from the Google Play Store, Fingerprint Thermometer from PreApps.com, Free Digital Temperature from the App Store or The Thermometer App and make sure you know just how cold it is outside.

Have you experienced frostbite or hypothermia while hiking, swimming or camping?  Tell us your story in the comments.

How To get Started With Fishing

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Although most of our readers live in the big city, I always recommend spending time outdoors and learning a survival skill or two.  Even if nothing happens, you’ll have a relaxing time, and learn to find food for the family in the outdoors.  Last month, we featured getting started with hunting.  This month, we take a look at fishing as a hobby. How To get Started With Fishing Written by Lisa Summertime is finally here; it’s now time to go […]

The post How To get Started With Fishing appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

Try These Unusual Fish Baits for a Successful Catch

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Every fisherman knows that fishing success depends on finding the perfect spot and using the proper fish baits. Most of them prefer to use worms, maggots or homemade bait to bring back home a basket full of fish. However, when you lack the proper bait, you can still enjoy a good catch with these unusual … Read more…

The post Try These Unusual Fish Baits for a Successful Catch was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Scientists Reveal Fukushima Doused Everyone on Earth With Radiation

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When the crisis at the Fukushima power plant first began six years ago, there were legitimate fears that the radioactive particles spewing from the fuel rods could blanket the Earth. Since then the experts and the mainstream media have downplayed that possibility. Either they don’t think it’s possible, or they don’t think it’ll be significant. But recently, scientists in Norway have revealed that the radiation emitted from Fukushima really did have a global reach.

It’s been over half a decade since Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant suffered a catastrophic meltdown due to the effects of a tsunami which struck the island nation, but scientists are only just now confirming its far-reaching effects. After conducting the first worldwide survey to measure the ultimate radiation exposure caused by the reactor meltdown, researchers at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research finally have a figure on exactly how much extra radiation humanity was exposed to.

According to the group’s data, over 80 percent of the radiation that was released by the meltdown ended up in either the ocean or ice at the north and south poles. Of the remaining radiation, each human on the planet received roughly 0.1 millisievert, which equates to about “one extra X-ray each,” according to the team.

Fortunately, that’s not a whole lot of radiation. That’s significantly less than the average amount of background radiation that most people receive in a year. The fact that we all received the equivalent of an x-ray isn’t alarming. What is alarming, however, is the fact that Fukushima did this, and it did it to every man and woman and child on Earth.

The reason why that’s so scary is that the Fukushima disaster is still unfolding. Earlier this year it was revealed that the level of radiation at the power plant was at its highest level since this crisis began in 2011, and the fuel rods have likely melted through their containment vessel. If this situation isn’t contained, then these fuel rods could melt into the groundwater, and spew radioactive particles into the ocean for years (or at least, more than what the power plant is already leaking into the ocean).

And we have to consider that as long as those fuel rods aren’t properly stored, they could still explode. If at any point in the next few decades, (which is how long most experts believe it’s going to take to decommission the power plant) the workers at Fukushima fail to keep the rods cool, they could become critical and cause an eruption of radioactive smoke that would spread throughout the atmosphere.

That’s why the discovery made by these Norwegian researchers should be taken seriously. We know for a fact that the radiation from Fukushima is capable of reaching everyone on our planet. So if the situation in Fukushima ever worsens, we know that there will be nowhere to run to. There will be no escaping the lethal emanations from that power plant.

Read More:

The Next Fukushima? These Nuclear Power Plants Reside in Earthquake Zones

PREPARING FOR THE NEXT ATTACK: HOW TO SURVIVE A NUCLEAR MELTDOWN

5 Foods that Help to Naturally Prevent Radiation Poisoning

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Is There So Much Sodium in Freeze Dried Meals?

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Why Is There So Much Sodium in Freeze Dried Meals | Backdoor Survival

A lingering question in the minds of many preppers is “why the heck do freeze dried entrees have such a high sodium content?.” I had my own thoughts on the matter but they were unconfirmed so I decided to take the question to my two favorite freeze dried meal companies, Mountain House and Legacy Food Storage.

In this special report, I am sharing their responses and invite you to come to your own conclusions.

The post Why Is There So Much Sodium in Freeze Dried Meals? by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Others who are serious about moving off grid

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My wife and I really want to move off grid. We just don’t want to do it alone. We are tired of working everyday just so we can live paycheck to paycheck. We want to be able to live of the land.we want to be able to have a life where we are not so focused on things that are not important. We want to find a group of people who feel the same way. We just don’t know exactly how to start out. So once we find people we can plan everything out together. I am a truck driver, and my wife is a certified nursing assistant. We both love the outdoors. I am 27 and my wife is 20. We are looking for people who are hard working, fun, and have a great attitude. Thanks for your time, and we look forward to hearing from all who are interested.

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