Money For Nothing: 3 Overlooked Ways Homesteaders Make Extra Cash

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Money For Nothing: 3 Overlooked Ways Homesteaders Make Extra Cash

Image source: Flickr / Creative Commons

Whether you’re an experienced homesteader or just starting out, you quickly learn: Bills don’t pay themselves, nothing is ever a sure thing, and there is constantly something to fix. Don’t forget about your taxes — the government certainly won’t.

If you want your homestead to generate cash, or even .a profit, hard work is not enough. You must find ways to make as many aspects of your homestead as possible generate revenue.

Here are a few ideas:

1. Fly-tying material.

If you raise poultry and livestock or hunt, chances are you toss a heap of fur and feathers into the trash every time you butcher animals. You could be collecting some money instead. Many of the feathers and furs from poultry and small animals can be re-purposed as fly-tying materials, which are easily sold to fisherman who tie their own flies. Fly-fishing is a popular sport, and these materials are always in demand.

Rooster tail and neck hackles, for example, are important components of dry flies. Ring neck pheasant tail feathers are used in a variety of fishing flies, as well; peacock feathers are often used to make streamer flies. A four-inch strip of rooster tail feathers can sell for anywhere from $4-$10, which is not a bad bit of pocket change from something you would otherwise just throw away. More uncommon feathers, such as those from ring neck pheasants, are even more valuable. Some animal furs, such as the belly fur of rabbits, and the tails from deer and squirrels, also can be sold as well.

2. Goose down.

If you have a flock of geese (and really, you should have one), you no doubt enjoy the giant eggs, the fine meat, and the crazy companionship these big birds provide. But when it comes to butchering, you probably just scald and pluck them and get rid of the feathers as fast and efficiently as you can. If you are, you are throwing away a valuable, easily saved commodity: goose down.

Get Backup Electrical Power In A Convenient, Portable Briefcase!

Down feathers, generally defined as those found on the lower carcass of the goose, are important to the textile industry. Down is used as fill for expensive pillows and to make high-end comforters for beds; that expensive jacket you bought at REI is probably filled with the stuff, too. People who make items like these, especially on a small scale, are always looking for a steady supply of quality down.

Money For Nothing: 3 Overlooked Ways Homesteaders Make Extra Cash

Image source: Pixabay.com

So instead of just throwing the down feathers away, process and store them. Gather the harvested down feathers, place them in a mesh fabric bag, wash them in cold water, and then hang the bag out to dry. Once the feathers are dry, store them in a cool, dry location until you have enough to sell. A quarter pound of feathers can fetch anywhere from $6-10 online.

3. The black gold standard 

No matter how big your herd or flock is, you are probably amazed by how much manure they can produce. Whether it’s poultry, rabbits, goats or other animals, dealing with their manure is likely a part of your routine. But instead of just carting it over to the compost heap, you could be monetizing it instead.

Animal manure is often a high demand item, especially if your homestead is close enough to suburban areas. People want fresh manure to amend their soil, or to energize their compost bins. If your manure is organic, it might even sell for a premium, too.

You should let your manure, especially rabbit and chicken manures, compost for a bit. You can then bag it, load up the bed of your truck, and go sell it at the local farmers market. Better yet, post an ad on Craigslist, and let paying customers come and haul it away for you.

Parting Thoughts

The Internet makes it easier than ever to connect your homestead with customers looking for unique odds and ends. So, try these three ideas when you get a chance, or better yet, think up some new ones on your own.

How do you make cash on the homestead? Share your ideas in the section below:

 

 

 

 

Barriers to Critical Thinking & The 7 Essential Questions

Click here to view the original post.

By Denis Korn                          

I am sharing once again what has been one of the most read of all my posts – Barriers to Critical Thinking.  It continues to be even more timely given the issues that we face as a country and as a civilization today.  I re-post and update this article periodically and I continually receive comments on how relevant and important it is for not only students, but for adults.

This is a blog site that primarily focuses on the process of emergency preparedness planning, and it is essential that one develops an effective foundation and skill set for critical evaluation and assessment of facts and circumstances that lead to actions that are effectual, appropriate and beneficial.   My philosophical background can’t help but guide me to the two core aspects of the critical thinking process: freedom and choice.

Between stimulus and response, there is a space.

In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response.

In our response lies our growth and our happiness.

— Viktor Frankl, MD, PhD 1905 – 1997  Psychologist, Philosopher, Author and Survivor of 4 Nazi Concentration Camps

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”    

–Viktor Frankl

As an expanded Cherokee Proverb states so well:  

There Is A Battle Of Two Wolves Inside Us All

One is evil.  It is anger, envy, jealousy, greed, sorrow, regret, self-pity, guilt, false pride, resentment, lies, inferiority, elitist superiority and ego.

The other is good.  It is joy, peace, serenity, generosity, compassion, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, faith and truth.

The one who wins?  The one you feed.

What we cultivate and nurture will determine our result and experience.  This applies to building a preparedness program and to all aspects of our encounter with life and our perception of reality.  Do we choose freedom and being responsible for our choices and the rewards that follow, or are we going to thoughtlessly and recklessly react without engaging in a critical thinking process?

As an observer of the current events in our society, it is blatantly obvious that those in positions of leadership and influence – government, commerce, media and education – are suffering from “serious delusion and self-interest syndrome.”  The polarization, manipulation and deterioration of our society is so insidious and pervasive that I continue to pray and yearn for our citizens, educators and leaders to embrace and embody the skills of critical thinking, truthful evaluation, selflessness and discernment.  The lying and deception being imposed upon the people by the government, media and the self-serving has reached epidemic proportions – so many folks are reacting not thinking – fear, selfishness and confusion has robed our populace of the basic fundamentals of thoughtful reasoning.

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out… without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable.”

— H. L. Mencken

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” 

— George Orwell

Has decades of incompetent, agenda driven and indoctrinating education finally taken its toll on common sense and judicious thinking?

The following list of the barriers to critical thinking, common sense and rational judgment is overwhelming and intimidating to many – so in your quest to be a skilled thinker you are encouraged to overcome obstacles that will appear in your path.  Be dedicated, competent and persistent – and be willing to help others to be successful and effective thinkers.

Here are the Seven Essential Questions that must be reflected upon and honestly answered to begin the process of developing critical thinking skills:

  1. What is the truth?  Can you differentiate the difference between truth and opinion? (hint: truth is discovered – it is what is — opinion is created by people – it is opinion that is relative not truth)
  2. Who do you trust? Why?
  3. From where do you obtain the information that forms your worldview?  Why?
  4. Can you discern the truth from the lie – the real from the false?  How do you discern? – Try logic, reason, rational evaluation, reliable intuition, common sense, anecdotal evidence, nonjudgmental observation and selfless reflection.
  5. Can you recognize “what really is” from what you believe “ought to be?” – It has been said that strife and discord in life arise from the struggle between “what is” and “what ought to be.”  What do you do when you discover this conflict? 
  6. Can you formulate conclusions and judgments based upon the ability to access, evaluate and determine the relevancy and reliability of facts and evidence?
  7. Which barriers are the most prevalent in your critical thinking process, and which ones do you experience most prevalent in others?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

June 2011

I have decided to post this article on the barriers to critical thinking, which I use in teaching, as the 3rd in a series of posts dealing with the psychological, emotional and spiritual components of emergency and disaster preparedness planning.

Normalcy Bias – Why People are attached to Inaction

The Emotional and Spiritual Components of Preparedness

As I have stated before, there is more to preparing for emergencies than the physical “stuff” you surround yourself with.  Evaluating, understanding and acknowledging all aspects of the planning process is essential for a proper and complete preparedness program.

This article, which I wrote, was an important part of the college course I taught on Critical Thinking – a class I believe to be an essential part of a college experience.  I have not changed it for this post – this is what the students read, reflected upon and discussed in class.  Most struggle with its implications and accuracy.  It not only applies to preparedness planning – but to all aspects of human deliberation.

BARRIERS TO CRITICAL THINKING – from my college course on Critical Thinking

Your responsibility as a critical thinker is to be aware of the barriers, acknowledge the challenges they present, and overcome them to the best of your ability.

“If critical thinking is so important, why is it that uncritical thinking is so common?  Why is it that so many people – including many highly educated and intelligent people – find critical thinking so difficult?”[1] And I [Denis] might add – impossible!

Discovering the answers to these questions is crucial to the understanding of what is required to be a true critical thinker, and the reasons you will encounter from those who resist embodying critical thinking skills are often quite complex, and can be both subtle and blatant.  The following list of barriers to critical thinking will help guide you to recognizing the challenges that await you and was compiled from Critical Thinking: A Student’s Introduction, our text Beyond Feelings: A Guide to Critical Thinking, and personal observation.

  • pride
  • greed
  • egocentrism (self-centered thinking)
  • sociocentrism or ethnocentrism (group/society/cultural-centered thinking)
  • an over-reliance on feelings
  • self-deception
  • the erroneous belief of personal infallible intuition
  • unconscious reaction
  • reacting in self-defense – fear of personal attack – believing one’s ideas and beliefs are an extension of one’s self and must be defended at all costs
  • fear of change or an unwillingness to change
  • a pathological inability to evaluate, recognize, or accept an idea or point of view that differs from one’s own
  • a less than honorable agenda
  • fallacious argumentation (an incorrect or misleading notion or opinion based on inaccurate facts or invalid reasoning – the tendency to mislead – a deceptive belief – erroneousness – any of various types of erroneous reasoning that render arguments logically unsound)
  • lack of relevant background information or ignorance
  • inappropriate bias
  • prejudice
  • unwarranted assumptions
  • overpowering or addictive emotions
  • fear of being wrong or face-saving
  • selective perception and selective memory
  • peer pressure
  • conformism (mindless conformity)
  • indoctrination initiated by uncritical thinkers with malicious and selfish intent
  • provincialism (restricted and unsophisticated thinking)
  • narrow-mindedness or close-mindedness
  • lack of discernment
  • distrust in reason
  • relativism (relativistic thinking)
  • absolutism (there are no exceptions)
  • stereotyping
  • scapegoating (blaming others)
  • denial
  • wishful thinking
  • short-term thinking
  • political correctness
  • superstition
  • being influenced by drugs
  • excessive anger, hate, or bitterness
  • disturbing one’s comfort
  • lack of personal honesty
  • apathy
  • poor reading and comprehension skills
  • poor or dysfunctional communication skills
  • excessive addiction
  • a mental disorder
  • cognitive dissonance (psychological conflict resulting from incompatible beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously)
  • lack of humility
  • the effects of radiation and man-made atmospheric chemicals
  • debilitating fear and uncertainty
  • reliance on main stream television, newspapers and other media for information
  • the effects of television and electronic media, cell phones and other electronics on memory, cognition and brain function

In general – the older one becomes the more well-established and rooted these barriers are in the thought process, and the harder it is to overcome them – they become part of you like a scar.  It is suggested to triumph over them as soon as possible.

Questions for reflection:

– What is the purpose and value in gaining critical thinking skills?  – Is it really necessary?

– What are the rewards?  – What are the challenges?

– Am I willing to do what it takes?  – How important is it for me?  – Can I do it?

– Do I realize that demonstrating, sharing, and embodying wisdom and discernment requires exemplifying critical thinking skills and overcoming its barriers?  –  Are all these barriers overwhelming?

– Do I realize this is a lifelong process?  – What is the difference between intelligence and wisdom?

– What are the steps required for developing critical thinking skills?

– How do I communicate with others who are not critical thinkers and have embodied these barriers to such an extent that they are unwilling to engage in a meaningful dialogue or acknowledge any responsibility in the communication breakdown?  – Or do I bother at all?

– How am I to react or respond when I experience a lack of critical thinking in the media, among friends and family, at the work place, and in my academic courses and studies?

While many think developing critical thinking skills are for the beginning philosophy student, they are in fact vital for everyone.  Recognizing and overcoming the barriers to critical thinking listed above is essential in creating and maintaining genuine, honest, and nurturing relationships – developing leadership skills for both family and vocational choices – fulfilling the goals and missions of businesses and organizations – and discovering and achieving purpose and fulfillment in all aspects of one’s life.  Many of the barriers to critical thinking are barriers to joyfulness, selflessness, and contentment.

Do not be discouraged by the enormity of the task of reflecting upon, acknowledging, and overcoming these barriers.  Have confidence that you will recognize the hold these barriers have on your thought process, and I encourage you to be committed to achieving the obtainable rewards awaiting you when you have accomplished the goal of prevailing over these barriers one by one.

A common denominator of these barriers is that the individual has no control over their effects.  They are held captive by defective responses and impressions.   One “reacts” to a situation, idea, or challenge, whereas the critical thinker “chooses” the process of thoughtful evaluation – embracing – and embodiment.  The critical thinker has the freedom to rightly assess circumstances and concepts, and the result is to arrive at an appropriate and insightful conclusion and reasonable outcome.

Evaluating and embracing an idea, information, knowledge, guideline, doctrine or theology is a mental exercise and is just the beginning of the process – embodiment is the goal and requires diligent and persistent action for true fulfillment and success.

In the pursuit of the embodiment of critical thinking skills always be mindful of the value and necessity of honesty, wisdom, discernment, and the need to distinguish the truth from the lie.  We live in an unprecedented time of media, institutional, educational, and political self-interest that will not hesitate to use any means possible to achieve its objectives including deceptive indoctrination techniques, propaganda, deceitfulness, fallacious argumentation, and fraud.

Life is like riding a bicycle.

To keep your balance you must keep moving.

Albert Einstein, in a letter to his son Eduard, February 5, 1930

The Problem of Egocentric Thinking[2]

Egocentric thinking results from the unfortunate fact that humans do not naturally consider the rights and needs of others.  We do not naturally appreciate the point of view of others nor the limitations in our own point of view.  We become explicitly aware or our egocentric thinking only if trained to do so.  We do not naturally recognize our egocentric assumptions, the egocentric way we use information, the egocentric way we interpret data, the source of our egocentric concepts and ideas, the implications of our egocentric thought.  We do not naturally recognize our self-serving perspective.

As humans we live with the unrealistic but confident sense that we have fundamentally figured out the way things actually are, and that we have done this objectively.  We naturally believe in our intuitive perceptions – however inaccurate [Denis – I personally believe that intuitive perceptions are vital to critical thinking – providing one possesses the required discernment skills].  Instead of using intellectual standards in thinking, we often use self-centered psychological standards to determine what to believe and what to reject.  Here are the most commonly used psychological standards in human thinking.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE I BELIEVE IT.”  Innate egocentrism: I assume that what I believe is true even though I have never questioned the basis for many of my beliefs.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IT.”  Innate sociocentrism: I assume that the dominant beliefs of the groups to which I belong are true even though I have never questioned the basis for those beliefs.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE I WANT TO BELIEVE IT.”  Innate wish fulfillment: I belief in whatever puts me (or the groups to which I belong) in a positive light.  I believe what “feels good,” what does not require me to change my thinking in any significant way, what does not require me to admit I have been wrong.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED IT.”  Innate self-validation: I have a strong desire to maintain beliefs I have long held, even though I have not seriously considered the extent to which those beliefs are justified by the evidence.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE IT IS IN MY SELFISH INTEREST TO BELIEVE IT.”  Innate selfishness: I believe whatever justifies my getting more power, money, or personal advantage even though those beliefs are not grounded in sound reasoning or evidence.

Seriously reflect on this post!

Seriously reflect on this post!


[1] Gregory Bassham, Critical Thinking: A Student’s Introduction, 3rded., (New York, McGraw-Hill, 2008), p. 11

[2] Critical Thinking: Concepts and Tools, Dr. Richard Paul and Dr. Linda Elder

The post Barriers to Critical Thinking & The 7 Essential Questions appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

Barriers to Critical Thinking & The 7 Essential Questions

By Denis Korn                          

I am sharing once again what has been one of the most read of all my posts – Barriers to Critical Thinking.  It continues to be even more timely given the issues that we face as a country and as a civilization today.  I re-post and update this article periodically and I continually receive comments on how relevant and important it is for not only students, but for adults.

This is a blog site that primarily focuses on the process of emergency preparedness planning, and it is essential that one develops an effective foundation and skill set for critical evaluation and assessment of facts and circumstances that lead to actions that are effectual, appropriate and beneficial.   My philosophical background can’t help but guide me to the two core aspects of the critical thinking process: freedom and choice.

Between stimulus and response, there is a space.

In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response.

In our response lies our growth and our happiness.

— Viktor Frankl, MD, PhD 1905 – 1997  Psychologist, Philosopher, Author and Survivor of 4 Nazi Concentration Camps

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”    

–Viktor Frankl

As an expanded Cherokee Proverb states so well:  

There Is A Battle Of Two Wolves Inside Us All

One is evil.  It is anger, envy, jealousy, greed, sorrow, regret, self-pity, guilt, false pride, resentment, lies, inferiority, elitist superiority and ego.

The other is good.  It is joy, peace, serenity, generosity, compassion, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, faith and truth.

The one who wins?  The one you feed.

What we cultivate and nurture will determine our result and experience.  This applies to building a preparedness program and to all aspects of our encounter with life and our perception of reality.  Do we choose freedom and being responsible for our choices and the rewards that follow, or are we going to thoughtlessly and recklessly react without engaging in a critical thinking process?

As an observer of the current events in our society, it is blatantly obvious that those in positions of leadership and influence – government, commerce, media and education – are suffering from “serious delusion and self-interest syndrome.”  The polarization, manipulation and deterioration of our society is so insidious and pervasive that I continue to pray and yearn for our citizens, educators and leaders to embrace and embody the skills of critical thinking, truthful evaluation, selflessness and discernment.  The lying and deception being imposed upon the people by the government, media and the self-serving has reached epidemic proportions – so many folks are reacting not thinking – fear, selfishness and confusion has robed our populace of the basic fundamentals of thoughtful reasoning.

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out… without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable.”

— H. L. Mencken

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” 

— George Orwell

Has decades of incompetent, agenda driven and indoctrinating education finally taken its toll on common sense and judicious thinking?

The following list of the barriers to critical thinking, common sense and rational judgment is overwhelming and intimidating to many – so in your quest to be a skilled thinker you are encouraged to overcome obstacles that will appear in your path.  Be dedicated, competent and persistent – and be willing to help others to be successful and effective thinkers.

Here are the Seven Essential Questions that must be reflected upon and honestly answered to begin the process of developing critical thinking skills:

  1. What is the truth?  Can you differentiate the difference between truth and opinion? (hint: truth is discovered – it is what is — opinion is created by people – it is opinion that is relative not truth)
  2. Who do you trust? Why?
  3. From where do you obtain the information that forms your worldview?  Why?
  4. Can you discern the truth from the lie – the real from the false?  How do you discern? – Try logic, reason, rational evaluation, reliable intuition, common sense, anecdotal evidence, nonjudgmental observation and selfless reflection.
  5. Can you recognize “what really is” from what you believe “ought to be?” – It has been said that strife and discord in life arise from the struggle between “what is” and “what ought to be.”  What do you do when you discover this conflict? 
  6. Can you formulate conclusions and judgments based upon the ability to access, evaluate and determine the relevancy and reliability of facts and evidence?
  7. Which barriers are the most prevalent in your critical thinking process, and which ones do you experience most prevalent in others?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

June 2011

I have decided to post this article on the barriers to critical thinking, which I use in teaching, as the 3rd in a series of posts dealing with the psychological, emotional and spiritual components of emergency and disaster preparedness planning.

Normalcy Bias – Why People are attached to Inaction

The Emotional and Spiritual Components of Preparedness

As I have stated before, there is more to preparing for emergencies than the physical “stuff” you surround yourself with.  Evaluating, understanding and acknowledging all aspects of the planning process is essential for a proper and complete preparedness program.

This article, which I wrote, was an important part of the college course I taught on Critical Thinking – a class I believe to be an essential part of a college experience.  I have not changed it for this post – this is what the students read, reflected upon and discussed in class.  Most struggle with its implications and accuracy.  It not only applies to preparedness planning – but to all aspects of human deliberation.

BARRIERS TO CRITICAL THINKING – from my college course on Critical Thinking

Your responsibility as a critical thinker is to be aware of the barriers, acknowledge the challenges they present, and overcome them to the best of your ability.

“If critical thinking is so important, why is it that uncritical thinking is so common?  Why is it that so many people – including many highly educated and intelligent people – find critical thinking so difficult?”[1] And I [Denis] might add – impossible!

Discovering the answers to these questions is crucial to the understanding of what is required to be a true critical thinker, and the reasons you will encounter from those who resist embodying critical thinking skills are often quite complex, and can be both subtle and blatant.  The following list of barriers to critical thinking will help guide you to recognizing the challenges that await you and was compiled from Critical Thinking: A Student’s Introduction, our text Beyond Feelings: A Guide to Critical Thinking, and personal observation.

  • pride
  • greed
  • egocentrism (self-centered thinking)
  • sociocentrism or ethnocentrism (group/society/cultural-centered thinking)
  • an over-reliance on feelings
  • self-deception
  • the erroneous belief of personal infallible intuition
  • unconscious reaction
  • reacting in self-defense – fear of personal attack – believing one’s ideas and beliefs are an extension of one’s self and must be defended at all costs
  • fear of change or an unwillingness to change
  • a pathological inability to evaluate, recognize, or accept an idea or point of view that differs from one’s own
  • a less than honorable agenda
  • fallacious argumentation (an incorrect or misleading notion or opinion based on inaccurate facts or invalid reasoning – the tendency to mislead – a deceptive belief – erroneousness – any of various types of erroneous reasoning that render arguments logically unsound)
  • lack of relevant background information or ignorance
  • inappropriate bias
  • prejudice
  • unwarranted assumptions
  • overpowering or addictive emotions
  • fear of being wrong or face-saving
  • selective perception and selective memory
  • peer pressure
  • conformism (mindless conformity)
  • indoctrination initiated by uncritical thinkers with malicious and selfish intent
  • provincialism (restricted and unsophisticated thinking)
  • narrow-mindedness or close-mindedness
  • lack of discernment
  • distrust in reason
  • relativism (relativistic thinking)
  • absolutism (there are no exceptions)
  • stereotyping
  • scapegoating (blaming others)
  • denial
  • wishful thinking
  • short-term thinking
  • political correctness
  • superstition
  • being influenced by drugs
  • excessive anger, hate, or bitterness
  • disturbing one’s comfort
  • lack of personal honesty
  • apathy
  • poor reading and comprehension skills
  • poor or dysfunctional communication skills
  • excessive addiction
  • a mental disorder
  • cognitive dissonance (psychological conflict resulting from incompatible beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously)
  • lack of humility
  • the effects of radiation and man-made atmospheric chemicals
  • debilitating fear and uncertainty
  • reliance on main stream television, newspapers and other media for information
  • the effects of television and electronic media, cell phones and other electronics on memory, cognition and brain function

In general – the older one becomes the more well-established and rooted these barriers are in the thought process, and the harder it is to overcome them – they become part of you like a scar.  It is suggested to triumph over them as soon as possible.

Questions for reflection:

– What is the purpose and value in gaining critical thinking skills?  – Is it really necessary?

– What are the rewards?  – What are the challenges?

– Am I willing to do what it takes?  – How important is it for me?  – Can I do it?

– Do I realize that demonstrating, sharing, and embodying wisdom and discernment requires exemplifying critical thinking skills and overcoming its barriers?  –  Are all these barriers overwhelming?

– Do I realize this is a lifelong process?  – What is the difference between intelligence and wisdom?

– What are the steps required for developing critical thinking skills?

– How do I communicate with others who are not critical thinkers and have embodied these barriers to such an extent that they are unwilling to engage in a meaningful dialogue or acknowledge any responsibility in the communication breakdown?  – Or do I bother at all?

– How am I to react or respond when I experience a lack of critical thinking in the media, among friends and family, at the work place, and in my academic courses and studies?

While many think developing critical thinking skills are for the beginning philosophy student, they are in fact vital for everyone.  Recognizing and overcoming the barriers to critical thinking listed above is essential in creating and maintaining genuine, honest, and nurturing relationships – developing leadership skills for both family and vocational choices – fulfilling the goals and missions of businesses and organizations – and discovering and achieving purpose and fulfillment in all aspects of one’s life.  Many of the barriers to critical thinking are barriers to joyfulness, selflessness, and contentment.

Do not be discouraged by the enormity of the task of reflecting upon, acknowledging, and overcoming these barriers.  Have confidence that you will recognize the hold these barriers have on your thought process, and I encourage you to be committed to achieving the obtainable rewards awaiting you when you have accomplished the goal of prevailing over these barriers one by one.

A common denominator of these barriers is that the individual has no control over their effects.  They are held captive by defective responses and impressions.   One “reacts” to a situation, idea, or challenge, whereas the critical thinker “chooses” the process of thoughtful evaluation – embracing – and embodiment.  The critical thinker has the freedom to rightly assess circumstances and concepts, and the result is to arrive at an appropriate and insightful conclusion and reasonable outcome.

Evaluating and embracing an idea, information, knowledge, guideline, doctrine or theology is a mental exercise and is just the beginning of the process – embodiment is the goal and requires diligent and persistent action for true fulfillment and success.

In the pursuit of the embodiment of critical thinking skills always be mindful of the value and necessity of honesty, wisdom, discernment, and the need to distinguish the truth from the lie.  We live in an unprecedented time of media, institutional, educational, and political self-interest that will not hesitate to use any means possible to achieve its objectives including deceptive indoctrination techniques, propaganda, deceitfulness, fallacious argumentation, and fraud.

Life is like riding a bicycle.

To keep your balance you must keep moving.

Albert Einstein, in a letter to his son Eduard, February 5, 1930

The Problem of Egocentric Thinking[2]

Egocentric thinking results from the unfortunate fact that humans do not naturally consider the rights and needs of others.  We do not naturally appreciate the point of view of others nor the limitations in our own point of view.  We become explicitly aware or our egocentric thinking only if trained to do so.  We do not naturally recognize our egocentric assumptions, the egocentric way we use information, the egocentric way we interpret data, the source of our egocentric concepts and ideas, the implications of our egocentric thought.  We do not naturally recognize our self-serving perspective.

As humans we live with the unrealistic but confident sense that we have fundamentally figured out the way things actually are, and that we have done this objectively.  We naturally believe in our intuitive perceptions – however inaccurate [Denis – I personally believe that intuitive perceptions are vital to critical thinking – providing one possesses the required discernment skills].  Instead of using intellectual standards in thinking, we often use self-centered psychological standards to determine what to believe and what to reject.  Here are the most commonly used psychological standards in human thinking.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE I BELIEVE IT.”  Innate egocentrism: I assume that what I believe is true even though I have never questioned the basis for many of my beliefs.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IT.”  Innate sociocentrism: I assume that the dominant beliefs of the groups to which I belong are true even though I have never questioned the basis for those beliefs.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE I WANT TO BELIEVE IT.”  Innate wish fulfillment: I belief in whatever puts me (or the groups to which I belong) in a positive light.  I believe what “feels good,” what does not require me to change my thinking in any significant way, what does not require me to admit I have been wrong.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED IT.”  Innate self-validation: I have a strong desire to maintain beliefs I have long held, even though I have not seriously considered the extent to which those beliefs are justified by the evidence.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE IT IS IN MY SELFISH INTEREST TO BELIEVE IT.”  Innate selfishness: I believe whatever justifies my getting more power, money, or personal advantage even though those beliefs are not grounded in sound reasoning or evidence.

Seriously reflect on this post!

Seriously reflect on this post!


[1] Gregory Bassham, Critical Thinking: A Student’s Introduction, 3rded., (New York, McGraw-Hill, 2008), p. 11

[2] Critical Thinking: Concepts and Tools, Dr. Richard Paul and Dr. Linda Elder

The post Barriers to Critical Thinking & The 7 Essential Questions appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

Barriers to Critical Thinking & The 7 Essential Questions

By Denis Korn                          

I am sharing once again what has been one of the most read of all my posts – Barriers to Critical Thinking.  It continues to be even more timely given the issues that we face as a country and as a civilization today.  I re-post and update this article periodically and I continually receive comments on how relevant and important it is for not only students, but for adults.

This is a blog site that primarily focuses on the process of emergency preparedness planning, and it is essential that one develops an effective foundation and skill set for critical evaluation and assessment of facts and circumstances that lead to actions that are effectual, appropriate and beneficial.   My philosophical background can’t help but guide me to the two core aspects of the critical thinking process: freedom and choice.

Between stimulus and response, there is a space.

In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response.

In our response lies our growth and our happiness.

— Viktor Frankl, MD, PhD 1905 – 1997  Psychologist, Philosopher, Author and Survivor of 4 Nazi Concentration Camps

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”    

–Viktor Frankl

As an expanded Cherokee Proverb states so well:  

There Is A Battle Of Two Wolves Inside Us All

One is evil.  It is anger, envy, jealousy, greed, sorrow, regret, self-pity, guilt, false pride, resentment, lies, inferiority, elitist superiority and ego.

The other is good.  It is joy, peace, serenity, generosity, compassion, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, faith and truth.

The one who wins?  The one you feed.

What we cultivate and nurture will determine our result and experience.  This applies to building a preparedness program and to all aspects of our encounter with life and our perception of reality.  Do we choose freedom and being responsible for our choices and the rewards that follow, or are we going to thoughtlessly and recklessly react without engaging in a critical thinking process?

As an observer of the current events in our society, it is blatantly obvious that those in positions of leadership and influence – government, commerce, media and education – are suffering from “serious delusion and self-interest syndrome.”  The polarization, manipulation and deterioration of our society is so insidious and pervasive that I continue to pray and yearn for our citizens, educators and leaders to embrace and embody the skills of critical thinking, truthful evaluation, selflessness and discernment.  The lying and deception being imposed upon the people by the government, media and the self-serving has reached epidemic proportions – so many folks are reacting not thinking – fear, selfishness and confusion has robed our populace of the basic fundamentals of thoughtful reasoning.

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out… without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable.”

— H. L. Mencken

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” 

— George Orwell

Has decades of incompetent, agenda driven and indoctrinating education finally taken its toll on common sense and judicious thinking?

The following list of the barriers to critical thinking, common sense and rational judgment is overwhelming and intimidating to many – so in your quest to be a skilled thinker you are encouraged to overcome obstacles that will appear in your path.  Be dedicated, competent and persistent – and be willing to help others to be successful and effective thinkers.

Here are the Seven Essential Questions that must be reflected upon and honestly answered to begin the process of developing critical thinking skills:

  1. What is the truth?  Can you differentiate the difference between truth and opinion? (hint: truth is discovered – it is what is — opinion is created by people – it is opinion that is relative not truth)
  2. Who do you trust? Why?
  3. From where do you obtain the information that forms your worldview?  Why?
  4. Can you discern the truth from the lie – the real from the false?  How do you discern? – Try logic, reason, rational evaluation, reliable intuition, common sense, anecdotal evidence, nonjudgmental observation and selfless reflection.
  5. Can you recognize “what really is” from what you believe “ought to be?” – It has been said that strife and discord in life arise from the struggle between “what is” and “what ought to be.”  What do you do when you discover this conflict? 
  6. Can you formulate conclusions and judgments based upon the ability to access, evaluate and determine the relevancy and reliability of facts and evidence?
  7. Which barriers are the most prevalent in your critical thinking process, and which ones do you experience most prevalent in others?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

June 2011

I have decided to post this article on the barriers to critical thinking, which I use in teaching, as the 3rd in a series of posts dealing with the psychological, emotional and spiritual components of emergency and disaster preparedness planning.

Normalcy Bias – Why People are attached to Inaction

The Emotional and Spiritual Components of Preparedness

As I have stated before, there is more to preparing for emergencies than the physical “stuff” you surround yourself with.  Evaluating, understanding and acknowledging all aspects of the planning process is essential for a proper and complete preparedness program.

This article, which I wrote, was an important part of the college course I taught on Critical Thinking – a class I believe to be an essential part of a college experience.  I have not changed it for this post – this is what the students read, reflected upon and discussed in class.  Most struggle with its implications and accuracy.  It not only applies to preparedness planning – but to all aspects of human deliberation.

BARRIERS TO CRITICAL THINKING – from my college course on Critical Thinking

Your responsibility as a critical thinker is to be aware of the barriers, acknowledge the challenges they present, and overcome them to the best of your ability.

“If critical thinking is so important, why is it that uncritical thinking is so common?  Why is it that so many people – including many highly educated and intelligent people – find critical thinking so difficult?”[1] And I [Denis] might add – impossible!

Discovering the answers to these questions is crucial to the understanding of what is required to be a true critical thinker, and the reasons you will encounter from those who resist embodying critical thinking skills are often quite complex, and can be both subtle and blatant.  The following list of barriers to critical thinking will help guide you to recognizing the challenges that await you and was compiled from Critical Thinking: A Student’s Introduction, our text Beyond Feelings: A Guide to Critical Thinking, and personal observation.

  • pride
  • greed
  • egocentrism (self-centered thinking)
  • sociocentrism or ethnocentrism (group/society/cultural-centered thinking)
  • an over-reliance on feelings
  • self-deception
  • the erroneous belief of personal infallible intuition
  • unconscious reaction
  • reacting in self-defense – fear of personal attack – believing one’s ideas and beliefs are an extension of one’s self and must be defended at all costs
  • fear of change or an unwillingness to change
  • a pathological inability to evaluate, recognize, or accept an idea or point of view that differs from one’s own
  • a less than honorable agenda
  • fallacious argumentation (an incorrect or misleading notion or opinion based on inaccurate facts or invalid reasoning – the tendency to mislead – a deceptive belief – erroneousness – any of various types of erroneous reasoning that render arguments logically unsound)
  • lack of relevant background information or ignorance
  • inappropriate bias
  • prejudice
  • unwarranted assumptions
  • overpowering or addictive emotions
  • fear of being wrong or face-saving
  • selective perception and selective memory
  • peer pressure
  • conformism (mindless conformity)
  • indoctrination initiated by uncritical thinkers with malicious and selfish intent
  • provincialism (restricted and unsophisticated thinking)
  • narrow-mindedness or close-mindedness
  • lack of discernment
  • distrust in reason
  • relativism (relativistic thinking)
  • absolutism (there are no exceptions)
  • stereotyping
  • scapegoating (blaming others)
  • denial
  • wishful thinking
  • short-term thinking
  • political correctness
  • superstition
  • being influenced by drugs
  • excessive anger, hate, or bitterness
  • disturbing one’s comfort
  • lack of personal honesty
  • apathy
  • poor reading and comprehension skills
  • poor or dysfunctional communication skills
  • excessive addiction
  • a mental disorder
  • cognitive dissonance (psychological conflict resulting from incompatible beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously)
  • lack of humility
  • the effects of radiation and man-made atmospheric chemicals
  • debilitating fear and uncertainty
  • reliance on main stream television, newspapers and other media for information
  • the effects of television and electronic media, cell phones and other electronics on memory, cognition and brain function

In general – the older one becomes the more well-established and rooted these barriers are in the thought process, and the harder it is to overcome them – they become part of you like a scar.  It is suggested to triumph over them as soon as possible.

Questions for reflection:

– What is the purpose and value in gaining critical thinking skills?  – Is it really necessary?

– What are the rewards?  – What are the challenges?

– Am I willing to do what it takes?  – How important is it for me?  – Can I do it?

– Do I realize that demonstrating, sharing, and embodying wisdom and discernment requires exemplifying critical thinking skills and overcoming its barriers?  –  Are all these barriers overwhelming?

– Do I realize this is a lifelong process?  – What is the difference between intelligence and wisdom?

– What are the steps required for developing critical thinking skills?

– How do I communicate with others who are not critical thinkers and have embodied these barriers to such an extent that they are unwilling to engage in a meaningful dialogue or acknowledge any responsibility in the communication breakdown?  – Or do I bother at all?

– How am I to react or respond when I experience a lack of critical thinking in the media, among friends and family, at the work place, and in my academic courses and studies?

While many think developing critical thinking skills are for the beginning philosophy student, they are in fact vital for everyone.  Recognizing and overcoming the barriers to critical thinking listed above is essential in creating and maintaining genuine, honest, and nurturing relationships – developing leadership skills for both family and vocational choices – fulfilling the goals and missions of businesses and organizations – and discovering and achieving purpose and fulfillment in all aspects of one’s life.  Many of the barriers to critical thinking are barriers to joyfulness, selflessness, and contentment.

Do not be discouraged by the enormity of the task of reflecting upon, acknowledging, and overcoming these barriers.  Have confidence that you will recognize the hold these barriers have on your thought process, and I encourage you to be committed to achieving the obtainable rewards awaiting you when you have accomplished the goal of prevailing over these barriers one by one.

A common denominator of these barriers is that the individual has no control over their effects.  They are held captive by defective responses and impressions.   One “reacts” to a situation, idea, or challenge, whereas the critical thinker “chooses” the process of thoughtful evaluation – embracing – and embodiment.  The critical thinker has the freedom to rightly assess circumstances and concepts, and the result is to arrive at an appropriate and insightful conclusion and reasonable outcome.

Evaluating and embracing an idea, information, knowledge, guideline, doctrine or theology is a mental exercise and is just the beginning of the process – embodiment is the goal and requires diligent and persistent action for true fulfillment and success.

In the pursuit of the embodiment of critical thinking skills always be mindful of the value and necessity of honesty, wisdom, discernment, and the need to distinguish the truth from the lie.  We live in an unprecedented time of media, institutional, educational, and political self-interest that will not hesitate to use any means possible to achieve its objectives including deceptive indoctrination techniques, propaganda, deceitfulness, fallacious argumentation, and fraud.

Life is like riding a bicycle.

To keep your balance you must keep moving.

Albert Einstein, in a letter to his son Eduard, February 5, 1930

The Problem of Egocentric Thinking[2]

Egocentric thinking results from the unfortunate fact that humans do not naturally consider the rights and needs of others.  We do not naturally appreciate the point of view of others nor the limitations in our own point of view.  We become explicitly aware or our egocentric thinking only if trained to do so.  We do not naturally recognize our egocentric assumptions, the egocentric way we use information, the egocentric way we interpret data, the source of our egocentric concepts and ideas, the implications of our egocentric thought.  We do not naturally recognize our self-serving perspective.

As humans we live with the unrealistic but confident sense that we have fundamentally figured out the way things actually are, and that we have done this objectively.  We naturally believe in our intuitive perceptions – however inaccurate [Denis – I personally believe that intuitive perceptions are vital to critical thinking – providing one possesses the required discernment skills].  Instead of using intellectual standards in thinking, we often use self-centered psychological standards to determine what to believe and what to reject.  Here are the most commonly used psychological standards in human thinking.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE I BELIEVE IT.”  Innate egocentrism: I assume that what I believe is true even though I have never questioned the basis for many of my beliefs.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IT.”  Innate sociocentrism: I assume that the dominant beliefs of the groups to which I belong are true even though I have never questioned the basis for those beliefs.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE I WANT TO BELIEVE IT.”  Innate wish fulfillment: I belief in whatever puts me (or the groups to which I belong) in a positive light.  I believe what “feels good,” what does not require me to change my thinking in any significant way, what does not require me to admit I have been wrong.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED IT.”  Innate self-validation: I have a strong desire to maintain beliefs I have long held, even though I have not seriously considered the extent to which those beliefs are justified by the evidence.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE IT IS IN MY SELFISH INTEREST TO BELIEVE IT.”  Innate selfishness: I believe whatever justifies my getting more power, money, or personal advantage even though those beliefs are not grounded in sound reasoning or evidence.

Seriously reflect on this post!

Seriously reflect on this post!


[1] Gregory Bassham, Critical Thinking: A Student’s Introduction, 3rded., (New York, McGraw-Hill, 2008), p. 11

[2] Critical Thinking: Concepts and Tools, Dr. Richard Paul and Dr. Linda Elder

The post Barriers to Critical Thinking & The 7 Essential Questions appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

Barriers to Critical Thinking & The 7 Essential Questions

By Denis Korn                          

I am sharing once again what has been one of the most read of all my posts – Barriers to Critical Thinking.  It continues to be even more timely given the issues that we face as a country and as a civilization today.  I re-post and update this article periodically and I continually receive comments on how relevant and important it is for not only students, but for adults.

This is a blog site that primarily focuses on the process of emergency preparedness planning, and it is essential that one develops an effective foundation and skill set for critical evaluation and assessment of facts and circumstances that lead to actions that are effectual, appropriate and beneficial.   My philosophical background can’t help but guide me to the two core aspects of the critical thinking process: freedom and choice.

Between stimulus and response, there is a space.

In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response.

In our response lies our growth and our happiness.

— Viktor Frankl, MD, PhD 1905 – 1997  Psychologist, Philosopher, Author and Survivor of 4 Nazi Concentration Camps

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”    

–Viktor Frankl

As an expanded Cherokee Proverb states so well:  

There Is A Battle Of Two Wolves Inside Us All

One is evil.  It is anger, envy, jealousy, greed, sorrow, regret, self-pity, guilt, false pride, resentment, lies, inferiority, elitist superiority and ego.

The other is good.  It is joy, peace, serenity, generosity, compassion, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, faith and truth.

The one who wins?  The one you feed.

What we cultivate and nurture will determine our result and experience.  This applies to building a preparedness program and to all aspects of our encounter with life and our perception of reality.  Do we choose freedom and being responsible for our choices and the rewards that follow, or are we going to thoughtlessly and recklessly react without engaging in a critical thinking process?

As an observer of the current events in our society, it is blatantly obvious that those in positions of leadership and influence – government, commerce, media and education – are suffering from “serious delusion and self-interest syndrome.”  The polarization, manipulation and deterioration of our society is so insidious and pervasive that I continue to pray and yearn for our citizens, educators and leaders to embrace and embody the skills of critical thinking, truthful evaluation, selflessness and discernment.  The lying and deception being imposed upon the people by the government, media and the self-serving has reached epidemic proportions – so many folks are reacting not thinking – fear, selfishness and confusion has robed our populace of the basic fundamentals of thoughtful reasoning.

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out… without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable.”

— H. L. Mencken

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” 

— George Orwell

Has decades of incompetent, agenda driven and indoctrinating education finally taken its toll on common sense and judicious thinking?

The following list of the barriers to critical thinking, common sense and rational judgment is overwhelming and intimidating to many – so in your quest to be a skilled thinker you are encouraged to overcome obstacles that will appear in your path.  Be dedicated, competent and persistent – and be willing to help others to be successful and effective thinkers.

Here are the Seven Essential Questions that must be reflected upon and honestly answered to begin the process of developing critical thinking skills:

  1. What is the truth?  Can you differentiate the difference between truth and opinion? (hint: truth is discovered – it is what is — opinion is created by people – it is opinion that is relative not truth)
  2. Who do you trust? Why?
  3. From where do you obtain the information that forms your worldview?  Why?
  4. Can you discern the truth from the lie – the real from the false?  How do you discern? – Try logic, reason, rational evaluation, reliable intuition, common sense, anecdotal evidence, nonjudgmental observation and selfless reflection.
  5. Can you recognize “what really is” from what you believe “ought to be?” – It has been said that strife and discord in life arise from the struggle between “what is” and “what ought to be.”  What do you do when you discover this conflict? 
  6. Can you formulate conclusions and judgments based upon the ability to access, evaluate and determine the relevancy and reliability of facts and evidence?
  7. Which barriers are the most prevalent in your critical thinking process, and which ones do you experience most prevalent in others?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

June 2011

I have decided to post this article on the barriers to critical thinking, which I use in teaching, as the 3rd in a series of posts dealing with the psychological, emotional and spiritual components of emergency and disaster preparedness planning.

Normalcy Bias – Why People are attached to Inaction

The Emotional and Spiritual Components of Preparedness

As I have stated before, there is more to preparing for emergencies than the physical “stuff” you surround yourself with.  Evaluating, understanding and acknowledging all aspects of the planning process is essential for a proper and complete preparedness program.

This article, which I wrote, was an important part of the college course I taught on Critical Thinking – a class I believe to be an essential part of a college experience.  I have not changed it for this post – this is what the students read, reflected upon and discussed in class.  Most struggle with its implications and accuracy.  It not only applies to preparedness planning – but to all aspects of human deliberation.

BARRIERS TO CRITICAL THINKING – from my college course on Critical Thinking

Your responsibility as a critical thinker is to be aware of the barriers, acknowledge the challenges they present, and overcome them to the best of your ability.

“If critical thinking is so important, why is it that uncritical thinking is so common?  Why is it that so many people – including many highly educated and intelligent people – find critical thinking so difficult?”[1] And I [Denis] might add – impossible!

Discovering the answers to these questions is crucial to the understanding of what is required to be a true critical thinker, and the reasons you will encounter from those who resist embodying critical thinking skills are often quite complex, and can be both subtle and blatant.  The following list of barriers to critical thinking will help guide you to recognizing the challenges that await you and was compiled from Critical Thinking: A Student’s Introduction, our text Beyond Feelings: A Guide to Critical Thinking, and personal observation.

  • pride
  • greed
  • egocentrism (self-centered thinking)
  • sociocentrism or ethnocentrism (group/society/cultural-centered thinking)
  • an over-reliance on feelings
  • self-deception
  • the erroneous belief of personal infallible intuition
  • unconscious reaction
  • reacting in self-defense – fear of personal attack – believing one’s ideas and beliefs are an extension of one’s self and must be defended at all costs
  • fear of change or an unwillingness to change
  • a pathological inability to evaluate, recognize, or accept an idea or point of view that differs from one’s own
  • a less than honorable agenda
  • fallacious argumentation (an incorrect or misleading notion or opinion based on inaccurate facts or invalid reasoning – the tendency to mislead – a deceptive belief – erroneousness – any of various types of erroneous reasoning that render arguments logically unsound)
  • lack of relevant background information or ignorance
  • inappropriate bias
  • prejudice
  • unwarranted assumptions
  • overpowering or addictive emotions
  • fear of being wrong or face-saving
  • selective perception and selective memory
  • peer pressure
  • conformism (mindless conformity)
  • indoctrination initiated by uncritical thinkers with malicious and selfish intent
  • provincialism (restricted and unsophisticated thinking)
  • narrow-mindedness or close-mindedness
  • lack of discernment
  • distrust in reason
  • relativism (relativistic thinking)
  • absolutism (there are no exceptions)
  • stereotyping
  • scapegoating (blaming others)
  • denial
  • wishful thinking
  • short-term thinking
  • political correctness
  • superstition
  • being influenced by drugs
  • excessive anger, hate, or bitterness
  • disturbing one’s comfort
  • lack of personal honesty
  • apathy
  • poor reading and comprehension skills
  • poor or dysfunctional communication skills
  • excessive addiction
  • a mental disorder
  • cognitive dissonance (psychological conflict resulting from incompatible beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously)
  • lack of humility
  • the effects of radiation and man-made atmospheric chemicals
  • debilitating fear and uncertainty
  • reliance on main stream television, newspapers and other media for information
  • the effects of television and electronic media, cell phones and other electronics on memory, cognition and brain function

In general – the older one becomes the more well-established and rooted these barriers are in the thought process, and the harder it is to overcome them – they become part of you like a scar.  It is suggested to triumph over them as soon as possible.

Questions for reflection:

– What is the purpose and value in gaining critical thinking skills?  – Is it really necessary?

– What are the rewards?  – What are the challenges?

– Am I willing to do what it takes?  – How important is it for me?  – Can I do it?

– Do I realize that demonstrating, sharing, and embodying wisdom and discernment requires exemplifying critical thinking skills and overcoming its barriers?  –  Are all these barriers overwhelming?

– Do I realize this is a lifelong process?  – What is the difference between intelligence and wisdom?

– What are the steps required for developing critical thinking skills?

– How do I communicate with others who are not critical thinkers and have embodied these barriers to such an extent that they are unwilling to engage in a meaningful dialogue or acknowledge any responsibility in the communication breakdown?  – Or do I bother at all?

– How am I to react or respond when I experience a lack of critical thinking in the media, among friends and family, at the work place, and in my academic courses and studies?

While many think developing critical thinking skills are for the beginning philosophy student, they are in fact vital for everyone.  Recognizing and overcoming the barriers to critical thinking listed above is essential in creating and maintaining genuine, honest, and nurturing relationships – developing leadership skills for both family and vocational choices – fulfilling the goals and missions of businesses and organizations – and discovering and achieving purpose and fulfillment in all aspects of one’s life.  Many of the barriers to critical thinking are barriers to joyfulness, selflessness, and contentment.

Do not be discouraged by the enormity of the task of reflecting upon, acknowledging, and overcoming these barriers.  Have confidence that you will recognize the hold these barriers have on your thought process, and I encourage you to be committed to achieving the obtainable rewards awaiting you when you have accomplished the goal of prevailing over these barriers one by one.

A common denominator of these barriers is that the individual has no control over their effects.  They are held captive by defective responses and impressions.   One “reacts” to a situation, idea, or challenge, whereas the critical thinker “chooses” the process of thoughtful evaluation – embracing – and embodiment.  The critical thinker has the freedom to rightly assess circumstances and concepts, and the result is to arrive at an appropriate and insightful conclusion and reasonable outcome.

Evaluating and embracing an idea, information, knowledge, guideline, doctrine or theology is a mental exercise and is just the beginning of the process – embodiment is the goal and requires diligent and persistent action for true fulfillment and success.

In the pursuit of the embodiment of critical thinking skills always be mindful of the value and necessity of honesty, wisdom, discernment, and the need to distinguish the truth from the lie.  We live in an unprecedented time of media, institutional, educational, and political self-interest that will not hesitate to use any means possible to achieve its objectives including deceptive indoctrination techniques, propaganda, deceitfulness, fallacious argumentation, and fraud.

Life is like riding a bicycle.

To keep your balance you must keep moving.

Albert Einstein, in a letter to his son Eduard, February 5, 1930

The Problem of Egocentric Thinking[2]

Egocentric thinking results from the unfortunate fact that humans do not naturally consider the rights and needs of others.  We do not naturally appreciate the point of view of others nor the limitations in our own point of view.  We become explicitly aware or our egocentric thinking only if trained to do so.  We do not naturally recognize our egocentric assumptions, the egocentric way we use information, the egocentric way we interpret data, the source of our egocentric concepts and ideas, the implications of our egocentric thought.  We do not naturally recognize our self-serving perspective.

As humans we live with the unrealistic but confident sense that we have fundamentally figured out the way things actually are, and that we have done this objectively.  We naturally believe in our intuitive perceptions – however inaccurate [Denis – I personally believe that intuitive perceptions are vital to critical thinking – providing one possesses the required discernment skills].  Instead of using intellectual standards in thinking, we often use self-centered psychological standards to determine what to believe and what to reject.  Here are the most commonly used psychological standards in human thinking.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE I BELIEVE IT.”  Innate egocentrism: I assume that what I believe is true even though I have never questioned the basis for many of my beliefs.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IT.”  Innate sociocentrism: I assume that the dominant beliefs of the groups to which I belong are true even though I have never questioned the basis for those beliefs.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE I WANT TO BELIEVE IT.”  Innate wish fulfillment: I belief in whatever puts me (or the groups to which I belong) in a positive light.  I believe what “feels good,” what does not require me to change my thinking in any significant way, what does not require me to admit I have been wrong.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED IT.”  Innate self-validation: I have a strong desire to maintain beliefs I have long held, even though I have not seriously considered the extent to which those beliefs are justified by the evidence.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE IT IS IN MY SELFISH INTEREST TO BELIEVE IT.”  Innate selfishness: I believe whatever justifies my getting more power, money, or personal advantage even though those beliefs are not grounded in sound reasoning or evidence.

Seriously reflect on this post!

Seriously reflect on this post!


[1] Gregory Bassham, Critical Thinking: A Student’s Introduction, 3rded., (New York, McGraw-Hill, 2008), p. 11

[2] Critical Thinking: Concepts and Tools, Dr. Richard Paul and Dr. Linda Elder

The post Barriers to Critical Thinking & The 7 Essential Questions appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

Video: Dental Abscesses

Click here to view the original post.

dental abscess

In this companion video to a recent article, Joe Alton, MD, aka Dr. Bones, discusses the importance of dental preparedness in long-term survival settings. Perhaps you don’t need a dental kit when the power’s out for a few days, but when you’re stuck in primitive conditions and not likely to get out anytime soon, dental supplies are an important part of being an effective medic.

Let’s face it, pain in your mouth can make you miserable, so miserable that your work efficiency suffers as much as you do. One cause of dental discomfort may be a tooth abscess, which is a serious issue that can turn life-threatening. But what if there is no dentist? Learn what a tooth abscess may look and feel like, plus some possible emergency treatment methods during long-term disasters where there is no dental care available. Hosted by Joe Alton, MD of https://www.doomandbloom.net/

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

 

Joe Alton, MD

 

DIY: The Forgotten Survival Tool Your Ancestors Carried

Click here to view the original post.

DIY: The Forgotten Survival Tool Your Ancestors Carried

Often we can turn to the tools used by our ancestors or indigenous natives to find simple, effective solutions to survival and off-the-grid living. The so-called digging stick is no exception to this rule, and as you will see, the well-equipped survivalist will want to include one of these deceptively simple tools in their bag of tricks.

Anyone who has foraged in the woods knows that a lot of delicious and important foods live underground, and they often form the backbone of a wild food diet. Tubers, bulbs and roots all lurk under the ground, and these starch- and nutrition-packed foods will keep you well-fed and healthy in an off-grid emergency.

The concept of the digging stick is deceptively simple and can be little more than a pointy stick used to help extract roots and tubers from the ground. The tip can be sharpened and fire-hardened for a longer life span, or curved and shaped to serve as a sort of scoop or plow. A crosswise handle also may be fitted to the top to increase leverage and make digging easier.

In a more modern form, a bit of metal can be placed on the tip to improve the useful life of the tool, and help it dig easier. When you realize the digging stick is little more than a pointed and shaped tool designed to make rooting around in the dirt easier, an entire world of possibilities open up.

Get Backup Electrical Power In A Convenient, Portable Briefcase!

But why — you might ask — does the 21st-century world care about one of the most primitive tools ever made? It is precisely because it is a highly primitive tool. It can be made with just your bare hands, or with a simple knife or just a fire. Equally important is that it is a labor- and energy-saving tool. A long-enough stick can be used to dig root vegetables without stooping over, which saves important energy in a survival situation.

DIY: The Forgotten Survival Tool Your Ancestors Carried

Image source: NPS.gov

To make your own digging stick, start with a sturdy branch or stick that is long enough to be comfortable to use. Taking your knife, trim any leaves or smaller branches off it, and shape the tip the way you like it. Use a simple point for basic digging, or curve it and make a sort of bent spoon shape for digging and light soil cultivation or scraping through soft dirt. Run the end through your fire to lightly char and harden it, and you have a basic digging stick! If you are so inclined to use twine, bark or rope, you can tie a crosswise handle to the top, which increases your leverage.

One additional use of the digging stick can be as a light spear or stabbing weapon, particularly if you can fit it with a metal or stone tip. This expands the utility and moves it into the realm of hunting as well as vegetable foraging. You also can carry fishing line and hooks and adapt your digging stick into a fishing pole, and even use it as a light staff or walking stick.

The digging stick is a very useful off-grid tool, which is probably why it has been independently invented by most primitive cultures. Applying modern, 21st-century thinking to the concept, we can lightly improve on it with modern materials, but the power of the digging stick is in its simple function and very simple construction. One could make a fine digging stick out of a fiberglass rod fitted with a steel tip, and even fit a hollow handle to the top to hold survival gear like matches, a compass, fishing line, etc. But being able to make one in minutes when needed is a handy thing, too.

If you plan to incorporate a digging stick into your survival arsenal, you should make one now and practice with it. It is a primitive skill that seems easy on the surface, but like many such skills requires an odd degree of skill and practice to work properly. Experiment with different lengths and configurations, or take them out and test them in the soil in your area. Discover which shapes of tips work best. Learn to work one without having metal tips, and then once you’ve mastered it, go ahead and make one up for your survival gear, or rest easy knowing you could make and properly use on in a pinch.

Our ancient ancestors were not dummies. They survived in a world with primitive medical care at best, and under conditions that would be taxing for nearly all modern people. Plus, they did so with the crudest and simplest of tools. However, they had their brains, and those brains carried them through. Go ahead and make your digging stick, but hone your mind, as well.

Have you ever made a digging stick? Share your tips in the section below:  

This Emergency Food Storage Tip Could be a Lifesaver if the Grid Goes Down in the Summer

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, you’re already all too familiar with the ins and outs of different types of food preservation.  We once did an article on what actions to take in the event of an EMP where the power supply to your refrigerator disappears, possibly forever.  But do we really truly sit back and take stock of the gravity of the situation regarding the seasons?  Yes, most people try to cram their refrigerators and freezers full of food even during the summer months.  It is the summer months that it is time to “divest” your earnings and diversify your food “portfolio,” so to speak.

You must take into consideration a couple of things: the season, and the geographic locale where you reside with regards to your food supply and food shopping.  We’re going more into detail with that.  Firstly, the season.  Summer is here.  Should nuclear fireballs take out the power supply…what about all the food?  OK, so it’ll all keep for at least 24 more hours in the refrigerator, right?  The fact of the matter is you’ll have to take those emergency actions outlined in the previous articles: salt it, can it, smoke it, or dry it out.

How about this for an idea: keep your freezer almost empty and the refrigerator with about 2 to 3 days of food for the family so as not to lose it all because of loss of power?

You can make several casserole-type dishes that you will eat from for several days, as well as the basic essentials, such as a dozen eggs, milk, juice, a few veggies, and some sliced meats or a prepared roast or such.  And that’s it!  What is the rest?  A bunch of condiments and salad dressings. You can concentrate on placing your food dollars into canned goods or long-life, shelf-stable meals, dried goods, and other foods that will be able to withstand the weather and are sealed up tight.

Geographic locale has a lot to do with it.  The Southwestern States are hot and arid most of the year.  Other states (such as Montana, where I reside) are pretty much a continuous “icebox” for at least 8 months out of the year.  These factors should be gauged honestly when thinking about what you need for that refrigerator.  All canned goods are not evil.  For those of you who wish it, buy your happy organic canned soups, etc., for use during the week.  It is more than just a weekly purchase of canned goods that you’ll run through.

It is a way of ensuring that your food is preserved during the hot months if you lose power

The greatest challenge is not simply putting away food and supplies. The greatest challenge is adjusting your lifestyle in a manner that you take into account what is happening in the world around you without panicking.  What others may label as “panic” they’ll be more than willing to “forgive” you for when their own food supply is out…and they come knocking on your door.

Give yourself an edge

The time to cram the refrigerator and freezer full of food is in the winter months when you can store it outside if the grid goes down and still keep from losing most of it.  In the summer months, you need to make adjustments.  In this manner, your family and you can gobble down what is in the fridge with ease and still have plenty of food available without worry about spoilage, loss, or preparations to save or preserve it.  Those last actions may be a bit difficult on the Day after Doomsday when others are out hunting for the food you are trying to save, or worse.  Stay in that good fight and make your preps while you can.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Best Lawn Sweepers: Push, Tow-Behind, and Large Sweeper Picks

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The post Best Lawn Sweepers: Push, Tow-Behind, and Large Sweeper Picks is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Lawn sweeping can feel like a daunting chore, especially if it’s done manually. Some people even hire professional teams or individuals to clean up their yards, which sounds great at first glance. But… Leaves continue to fall and you will have to keep hiring professionals again and again, which will add up. For this reason, … Read more

The post Best Lawn Sweepers: Push, Tow-Behind, and Large Sweeper Picks is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Are You Training? A Firearm Training Option!

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I have linked to many firearm articles on Prepper Website throughout the years.  Almost every article suggests getting some training to effectively use your firearm.  There are all types of training out there from shooting paper targets at the range to spending a whole weekend with a group going through real “live fire” tactical training.  

The issue for many is that the more you move away from target practice, the more expensive it gets.  Ammo, traveling, lodging, etc.. costs $.  One option and experience was recently shared with me by Jesse.  Read his experience and thoughts below.  


I have something I want to share with you that my wife surprised me with this weekend. My wife took me to a virtual shooting range. You use real guns, a full sized Glock and a standard run of the mill AR15. They have been converted over to run on CO2 so it could cycle the bolt for a feeling of recoil. The screen was similar to a golf simulator. You pointed the gun at the screen and shot then you could see your point of impact. Starting out we did some gimmicky things like shooting fun targets and zombies for the 1st half hour but it took a serious turn for the 2nd half hour. We started the police simulator where you were the 1st responder in an active killer situation at a school, an office, and store. There were some CCW type situations as well. They made you react to the situation as it unfolded in front of you and you had to deliver accurate shots to stop the threat in real time.

If you treat this like a training session and reflect on your decisions and shot placement and how your grip and all that lined up with what you believe your skill level is. It was a reality check but also confirmed that some of my techniques were good. All In all,  for 50 bucks for my wife and I for a 1-hour session… well worth it. We are going back for sure. Hope you can find something like this near you and maybe you can share this with our community.

The place we visited is Virtual Marksman in North Canton, OH.

I remembered I watched this video a while ago and I found it again. This is almost the exact thing we did. Our guns were a little different. We didn’t have the round count stopper we just ran the guns till they were out of CO2.  The computer program in the video is the same one I used and I did see a scenario that I actually did. There over 400 different scenarios you can do where you could be in a shoot or a non-shoot. Aaron Cowan explains it far better than I could.

 

 

Thanks for your time and God bless.

-Jesse


If you are interested in looking into TI Virtual Training, click this link and add your city to the Google Search to see if you have one close to you.

Peace,
Todd

Check out these articles:

 

 

College Programs to Prepare You for the Apocalypse

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There are many ways to prepare yourself for the pending apocalypse. For example, you may already have a stockpile of food and supplies stored safely in an underground bunker. You may not realize that your higher level of education may also help you to prepare for the apocalypse. These are some of the top programs you can study to obtain the education you need to survive.

Healthcare Programs

Health and safety are critical when surviving in a dangerous world filled with countless unknown dangers. Getting a healthcare degree or participating in healthcare education can serve you well, and there are many professionals to consider. For example, nurses, EMTs, physical therapists, doctors, and surgeons have expertise that will be extremely useful in an emergency scenario. With knowledge and training to treat poisoning, broken bones, radiation sickness, viruses, etc. you will be able to look after yourself and your family, as well as many others.

Engineering & Technology Programs

/Technology and engineering education will also be critical in an apocalyptic situation. People will be needed to retool generators, create/fix lighting systems, build outdoor shelters, set up communications systems, as well as create your own equipment from found parts. Engineers, architects, electricians, welders, and even computer programmers will have much to contribute in rebuilding after the apocalypse.

Natural Science Programs

If you plan to survive the apocalypse, having education in the natural sciences will help you master the natural environment. After all, you will eventually run out of food in your bunker, and you will need to be able to forage your own food and grow it outdoors when this happens. For starters, you need to know which plants are edible, which ones have medicinal properties, and which ones will poison you. You will also need to understand the animals around you—which ones will be easiest to hunt, where to find them, and what to do if you are threatened by a predator. Botanists, environmentalists, zoologists, geologists and those with hunting experience have the postapocalyptic advantage because they have a better understanding of natural resources.

Conclusion

If you’re concerned about your odds of survival after the apocalypse, or even in an emergency, having education in healthcare, technology, or the natural sciences will come in very useful. If you have the resources, take classes in all three areas to for a better rounded education — and better odds of survival if you find yourself on your own.

 

The post College Programs to Prepare You for the Apocalypse appeared first on American Preppers Network.

College Programs to Prepare You for the Apocalypse

There are many ways to prepare yourself for the pending apocalypse. For example, you may already have a stockpile of food and supplies stored safely in an underground bunker. You may not realize that your higher level of education may also help you to prepare for the apocalypse. These are some of the top programs you can study to obtain the education you need to survive.

Healthcare Programs

Health and safety are critical when surviving in a dangerous world filled with countless unknown dangers. Getting a healthcare degree or participating in healthcare education can serve you well, and there are many professionals to consider. For example, nurses, EMTs, physical therapists, doctors, and surgeons have expertise that will be extremely useful in an emergency scenario. With knowledge and training to treat poisoning, broken bones, radiation sickness, viruses, etc. you will be able to look after yourself and your family, as well as many others.

Engineering & Technology Programs

/Technology and engineering education will also be critical in an apocalyptic situation. People will be needed to retool generators, create/fix lighting systems, build outdoor shelters, set up communications systems, as well as create your own equipment from found parts. Engineers, architects, electricians, welders, and even computer programmers will have much to contribute in rebuilding after the apocalypse.

Natural Science Programs

If you plan to survive the apocalypse, having education in the natural sciences will help you master the natural environment. After all, you will eventually run out of food in your bunker, and you will need to be able to forage your own food and grow it outdoors when this happens. For starters, you need to know which plants are edible, which ones have medicinal properties, and which ones will poison you. You will also need to understand the animals around you—which ones will be easiest to hunt, where to find them, and what to do if you are threatened by a predator. Botanists, environmentalists, zoologists, geologists and those with hunting experience have the postapocalyptic advantage because they have a better understanding of natural resources.

Conclusion

If you’re concerned about your odds of survival after the apocalypse, or even in an emergency, having education in healthcare, technology, or the natural sciences will come in very useful. If you have the resources, take classes in all three areas to for a better rounded education — and better odds of survival if you find yourself on your own.

 

The post College Programs to Prepare You for the Apocalypse appeared first on American Preppers Network.

What Bushcraft Can Teach You about Surviving Emergencies

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What Bushcraft Can Teach You about Surviving Emergencies Pine needle tea, cooking potatoes in aluminum foil over hot coals, using the bow drill method… all of these sound exciting for those looking to get into bushcraft. But little do they know that these types of experiences can teach them some very important lessons about surviving … Continue reading What Bushcraft Can Teach You about Surviving Emergencies

The post What Bushcraft Can Teach You about Surviving Emergencies appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Student Handed Out Copies Of The Constitution. She Was Arrested.

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Student Handed Out Copies Of The Constitution. She Was Arrested.

A student was arrested and handcuffed for distributing copies of the U.S. Constitution on a college campus, prompting a federal lawsuit.

A video shows officers handcuffing and arresting Michelle Gregorie for trespassing at Kellogg Community College (KCC) in Battle Creek, Mich. A member of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), Gregoire was handing out pocket-sized copies of the Constitution at the time of the arrest, a lawsuit from the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) alleged.

The college maintains the student was arrested in September 2016 because YAL is not a registered student organization, a KCC press release stated. KCC staff asked the students to register and move their activities to the Student Center. When they refused, they were arrested, which prompted the lawsuit.

“By policy and practice, Kellogg Community College … claims the unchecked right to prohibit students from engaging in practically any constitutionally protected expression anywhere on campus unless they first obtain permission from KCC officials,” the ADF suite states. “When students request permission, the College’s Solicitation Policy … grants KCC officials unbridled discretion to restrict the content and viewpoint of student speech if it does not ‘support the mission of Kellogg Community College (KCC) or the mission of a recognized college entity or activity.’ Thus, students may not speak spontaneously anywhere on campus.”

The college maintains its policy is constitutional.

“This case is not about free speech or viewpoint discrimination,” KCC spokesman Eric Greene said. “We have felt from day one of this unnecessary lawsuit that the plaintiffs’ claims are without merit and that the College’s Solicitation Policy is constitutional and appropriate in its scope.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom charges that the college violated the students’ First Amendment rights.

What do you think? Should colleges be able to restrict this type of speech? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Red, White, & Blue Yummies From Your Food Storage Pantry

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Red, white, and blue is such a gorgeous color combination that it’s no wonder a total of 38 countries selected those colors for their flags. Personally, I’m kind of partial to the USA flag.

When it comes to food, these colors come together to create dishes that are not only patriotic looking but mouth-watering and totally delicious. When you add the convenience of freeze-dried foods, that makes it possible to enjoy eye-catching, yummy food all year long.

Why incorporate freeze-dried foods? Because they are totally shelf-stable, don’t need refrigerating, and, as individual ingredients, they can be used in hundreds of other recipes. Total versatility, which is something I encourage when it comes to food storage. If you’re new to the idea of freeze-dried fruit, check out this tutorial.

Try some of these over the Fourth of July weekened and through the coming months.

Berry Tart

Pastry Cream

  •  2 c. water
  •  2/3 c. Instant Milk powder
  •  1/2 c. sugar
  •  1/4 tsp. salt
  •  4 egg yolks
  •  1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
  •  2 tbsp. butter, cold
  •  2 tsp. vanilla extract

Fruit Topping

Crust

  •  1 1/4 c. flour
  •  2 tbsp. sugar
  •  1/2 c. butter, chilled and cubed
  •  3 tbsp. ice water

Directions:

For pastry cream:

  1. Combine water, milk powder, ¼ cup of the sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until milk starts to steam.
  2. In a medium size bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining sugar.
  3. Slowly pour scalded milk into egg mixture a little bit at a time until eggs are tempered.
  4. Pour mixture back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until it thickens (2–3 minutes).
  5. Transfer to electric mixer with paddle attachment. Add butter and vanilla and beat on medium speed until butter melts.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto surface of cream to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled.
  7. Just before serving, beat on low speed in mixer until smooth.

To make crust:

  1. Combine flour, sugar, and Scrambled Egg Mix in a food processor.
  2. Add butter and process until mixture resembles coarse meal (10–20 seconds).
  3. Slowly drizzle in ice water while mixing. Mix until dough holds together without being wet or sticky.
  4. Divide into 6 equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disk and wrap in plastic.
  5. Chill dough for one hour. Roll out each crust until ⅛” thick. Press dough into 4” tart pans. Place pans in freezer until dough is chilled (about 20 minutes).
  6. Place pie weights (can use beans) in each tart with parchment between it and bake at 400⁰F for about 15 minutes.

For fruit topping:

  1. Combine water, honey crystals, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add fruit and stir lightly.
  2. Drizzle in cornstarch slurry while stirring. Allow to simmer for 1 minute and instantly remove from heat and cool in ice bath.
  3. Add pastry cream to cooked tart shells, filling almost to top and making a small indent in the middle for topping.
  4. Top with berry mixture and allow to cool slightly before serving. Yields 6 tarts.

Very Berry Meringue Pie

Pie Dough

  •  1 2/3 c. flour
  •  2/3 c. cake flour
  •  1 tsp. salt
  •  1 tbsp. sugar
  •  3/4 c. Shortening Powder + 2 tbsp. water
  •  6 tbsp. butter
  •  1/4 c. ice water

Filling

Meringue

  •  3/4 c. pasteurized egg whites
  •  1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  •  1/4 tsp. salt
  •  1/2 c. sugar

Directions:

Crust

  1. Sift the flours, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl.
  2. In a food processor, add the butter and shortening with the dry ingredients and pulse to cut in.
  3. Slowly drizzle in the ice water and blend just until the dough comes together. Shape into a round disc, wrap, and chill well.
  4. Roll out crust and place in two 9” pie tins.

Filling

  1. Bring water to a simmer in a small pot. Add berries, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla and bring to a simmer.
  2. Stir cornstarch slurry into berries and allow filling to thicken completely, stirring lightly. Stir in butter until completely emulsified.
  3. Cool in ice bath or refrigerator.
  4. Meringue
  5. Let egg whites sit until room temperature and add the cream of tartar and salt. Whip on high speed until frothy.
  6. Add sugar slowly while whisking until dissolved. Whip meringue until stiff peaks form.
  7. Pour filling into crusts and top with meringue.
  8. Torch or bake 10–12 minutes at 375°F to brown meringue peaks. Allow pie to completely cool before serving.

Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

2 cups Freeze Dried Whole Blueberries reconstituted, reserving 1/2 cup liquid

2 to 3 tablespoons Ultra Gel

1/4 cup sugar

1 box vanilla instant pudding

1 cup sour cream

3/4 cup Instant Milk, prepared

1/2 cup fresh or freeze-dried sliced strawberries, rehydrated and drained well

1 pre-baked pie shell

Homemade or store-bought whipped cream

Directions:

Drain blueberries, reserving 1/2 cup liquid. Dissolve sugar in blueberry liquid, add Ultra Gel and mix well. The Gel will create a thicker syrup for the fruit filling.

Gently fold in blueberries and pour into pie shell.

Mix vanilla pudding with 3/4 cup milk. Fold in 1 cup sour cream. Pour over blueberries.

Chill for 1 hour. Top with whipped cream and sliced strawberries.

 

Easiest Red, White & Blue Appetizer

You can’t beat this one for either patriotism or simplicity!

2 blocks cream cheese*, softened to room temperature

Strawberry, cherry, or raspberry jam

Blueberry jam

Optional: a few fresh strawberries, cherries, raspberries, and blueberries for garnish

Dippers: Pretzel sticks, crackers, graham crackers (any flavor), Teddy Grahams, or vanilla wafers. Baguette slices are also good!

Directions:

On a platter, set out each block of cream cheese. Pour red jam over one block and blueberry jam over the other. Serve with the dippers of your choice.

*This works with either the 4 ounce or 8 ounce size cream cheese blocks.

 

Other fun ideas

  • Usually you’ll find a few tablespoons of powdered freeze dried fruit at the bottom of their containers. Make some berry flavored  yogurt, whipped cream, cupcake frosting, or fruit dip by stirring in some of that powder for an easy red (strawberry, raspberry) or blue (blueberry) dip or topping.
  • For a yummy trail mix, combine freeze-dried red and blue berries, freeze-dried cherries, with white chocolate chips, slivered almonds, macadamia nuts, and pretzel sticks.
  • Any of the red and blue freeze-dried fruit can be mixed in with vanilla ice cream or milkshakes.

 

 

 

Legacy Food Storage 72 Hour Food Kit: Classic Chili Mix Review

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Here’s another yummy meal from the Legacy Food Storage Kit we’ve been looking at in recent weeks, this time the Classic Chili Mix: I’m not sure why I keep showing you the front of the packages since they’re all the same besides the name… guess I’m just being thorough. And the backside as usual: Again, … Continue reading “Legacy Food Storage 72 Hour Food Kit: Classic Chili Mix Review”

Podcast #150: Harvesting The Summer Bounty

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May 30th, 2017: In today’s show I talk about being wise to Harvesting The Summer Bounty whether it is in your garden, in the wild around you or in local u-pick farms or farmers markets.  Filling your pantry this time of year is one of the wisest things you can do. If you like Mountain Woman […]

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6 Best Tips For Butchering A Cow

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This isn’t necessarily a topic for the faint of heart, but slaughtering and butchering is part and parcel of being at the top of the food chain in a survival situation unless you’re a vegetarian.

Even if you just want to learn how to break down your meat so that you can buy it in bulk and butcher it yourself, this is the article for you.

Thinking about it, the term “butchered it” is typically meant as a derogatory remark, as in, “She absolutely butchered my hair” or “He butchered that song when he sang it.” It implies that it was hacked up when in fact, butchering is pretty close to an art. As a matter of fact, if you don’t do it right, you really run the risk of … err … butchering a good cut of meat. Yeah, I don’t blame you – I’d groan, too.

Butchering a cow was a skill most pioneers grew up with as an essential part of an independent life.

Discover the golden days’ practice for getting all you can eat food without buying from the supermarket!

Forget About Mad Cow

Before we move forward, let’s clear something up. You’ve no doubt been warned about eating various parts of the cow. You’ve probably been told that you’ll catch Mad Cow Disease. Scientifically known as BSE, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Mad Cow has only been found in one cow – a dairy cow – ever in the US. And it’s not entirely clear that Creutzfeldt Jakob, BSE’s human variant (153 cases, ever) is caused by eating infected animal protein.

In other words, your odds of catching Mad Cow is exactly nil, and the odds of catching the human variant is, well, nil.

What You’ll Need

If you’re going to do this, do it right. You need a crazy sharp knife, non-serrated. I actually have a few different sizes so that I can make long strokes when I need to, but can use almost surgical precision when it counts. You also need a hacksaw (no, I’m not kidding) and a meat cleaver. Though that’s a tool that you may want to use judiciously.

And most importantly – space and containers, then refrigeration or freezer. A cow is big, even when it’s quartered, and you’re going to have a lot of meat.

Finally, use safety equipment including goggles and safety gloves (metal mesh).

Butchering Tips

Remove any membranes from the meat. It will be sort of a bluish sheen stretched over the meat, but you want it off. It’s tough and it gives the meat a stronger flavor

Watch your fingers! You’re going to be cutting blind in some instances so use your head unless you want to lose your fingers. If your knife is sharp enough to cut through cow flesh, it’s definitely sharp enough to cut through yours!

Clean your meat as you go. This is just a personal preference for me, but I’m the rare southern girl who can’t stand the texture of fat. Tendon doesn’t bother me, but it’s tough and unpalatable. So as you clean your meat, trim it before you store it. That way when you pull it out to use it, it’s ready.

Fat and connective tissue (marbling) is what cooks down and makes your steak tender and flavorful, so don’t ruin it by taking the lean route and trimming all of the fat off.

And speaking of the fat, if you’re going to make tallow (and why wouldn’t you?), you need to keep the chunks of fat, then render them down.

Parts of the Cow

Now the first thing that we need to discuss is the parts of the cow. Obviously, there are some folks that enjoy tongue and brain, so that’s in the head. The tongue is removed by simply cutting it out of the mouth and the brains are removed by cracking open the skull.

  • Hind quarters: The rear quarters are where you the rump roast, the round roast, and the shank
  • Front quarters: This is where your chuck roasts. The neck meat is typically used for stew meat or to make hamburger because it has a lot of fat in it. Also, the breast is there, and that means BRISKET!
  • Belly: Flank steak and skirt steak. These cuts are typically tougher than other cuts and are therefore either sliced thin to use in dishes such as fajitas, or are used as stew meat and cooked low and slow for tenderness. You can also marinate them for tenderness.
  • Ribs/Back: Now we’re getting to the good stuff, at least if you’re steak and ribs kinda person. The ribs, short loin, sirloin, and tenderloin are on the back. You can get a variety of cuts from these sections. The rib section has the baby backs and St. Louis style ribs, or you can do boneless ribs. This is also where you’re going to get your steaks from.

Now, let’s break it down a bit further. The ribs are also where you get the ribeye steak, the rib steak, the rib roast and the ribeye roast, depending on how you cut it. As the names imply, the rib roast can be cut into rib steaks, and the same goes for ribeye roast.

The Difference between a Porterhouse and a Filet Mignon

Moving further toward the south end of the cow, you’ll find the short loin section, right behind the ribs. This is where the majority of steaks come from. Top loin, T-Bone, Porterhouse, tenderloin roast and filet mignon, which is just the tenderloin roast cut into steaks.

Now, you may not know this, but all of these steaks are inter-related since they all come from the short loin. Technically, they’re all T-bones, in that they have a T shape to it, with two different cuts of steak – one on either side of the bone. A Porterhouse is cut from the rear end of the loin and is bigger. On one side is a tenderloin, or filet mignon, and on the other is a New York Strip. A standard T-bone is cut closer to the front, is smaller, and contains a smaller portion of tenderloin.

And behind the short loin is the sirloin, which is still a decent cut of meat. As a matter of fact, if it’s cut and cooked right, it’s nearly as tender as the loin. That makes sense considering the tenderloin runs right along the bottom of the sirloin and short loin, coming to a point right behind the ribs.

So, how does all of this information help you? It gives you an idea of what things are going to look like when you get in there. Now you’re ready to start cutting, because there’s no time like the present.

Getting Started

The first thing that you need to decide after the cow is skinned is whether you’re going to age it or not. If so, you need to do it before the roasts are cut into steaks. Many people do it with a steak that they buy from the store and this may be the easiest way for you, too, unless you have somewhere to hang the whole carcass.

The purpose of aging is to break down connective tissue so that the meat is more tender, and to allow the flavors to mellow and develop. Unaged beef will have a metallic, bloody taste to it, but aged beef will have those deep, mellow flavors that are the signatures of a good steak. There are two methods – wet aging and dry aging.

Wet aging is a relatively new process and is done by vacuum-sealing the steak. It’s faster and there is no waste, but you may not be getting the exact flavor that you want. Many people love wet-aged steaks, though. As a matter of fact, you know how it seems that a steak just doesn’t taste the same when you cook it at home? That’s because most store steaks are wet-aged, whereas good steakhouses used dry-aged meat.

The bad part about dry-aging is that you need special, temperature-sensitive meat lockers to do it, and even if you do have them, you’ll lose some meat. Still, I think the flavor is worth it. And you can dry it at home – but that’s an entirely different article!

The only way to truly know your meat is truly safe, is to slaughter it yourself so take the next step to food independence.

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If you have any questions or would like to add anything, please do so in the comments section below. There’s nothing better than talking beef!

 This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

Tactical Vest For The Prepper

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The tactical vest is not only for the military operator, public safety professionals, or general enthusiasts, but they are for the serious prepper who is planning and training for level-3,4 SHTF preparedness. What is a tactical vest for? It primarily enables the operator to carry their gear in a secure and comfortable way. What gear […]

These Are the Jobs That Will Survive the Next Wave of Automation

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Every time our country enters a recession, it seems like another piece of the middle class is eroded away, and never returns. There are widespread layoffs and pay cuts, but when the economy recovers, we don’t have as many well-paying jobs as we had before. There are probably multiple reasons for this, most notably the outsourcing of jobs. However, there’s one reason that most people don’t want to consider because there’s no one to blame for it.

Many jobs don’t come back after a recession, because of automation. When money is tight during a recession, there’s more incentive for companies to automate parts of their workforce. Every economic calamity sows the seeds for a new wave of computer automation and labor-saving inventions; and after the recession has passed, a certain percentage of the population gets left behind. For whatever reason, they fail to learn new skills that will help them adapt to the new economy, so they are either left jobless or are stuck working low paying jobs that may not survive the next recession.

And make no mistake, this is going to keep happening at a rapid pace for at least the next generation or two. By some estimates, half of the jobs we have now may be automated over the next few decades, and it’s not exactly clear how many of those jobs will be replaced.

There’s only one thing you can do to guarantee that you’ll thrive in this future. You have to learn skills that can’t be automated. And when you look at the kinds of careers that are difficult to automate, you’ll find that most of them fall into a handful of categories.

Advanced STEM Careers

These are the biologists, the physicists, the statisticians, the engineers, etc. Just about anyone who attains anything higher than a bachelor’s degree in a STEM related field, is probably going to have a job for the foreseeable future. Though computers will certainly have some impact on these fields, the people who are in them are among the smartest in the world. Unless someone builds a computer that is more intelligent than any human (which isn’t guaranteed), these jobs aren’t going anywhere.

Careers That Guide Automation

If you can’t beat em, you can always join em. One of the best ways insulate yourself from automation, is to find a job that involves creating, running, or maintaining the machines. Think mechanics, computer programmers, and mechanical engineers. While the smartest people in our society are going to occupy the advanced STEM fields, the average Joe’s are going to dominate these jobs, because they don’t require nearly as much education. These are jobs that usually either require a 4-year degree or lengthy on-the-job training. They will probably be the last bastion of high-paying middle-class jobs.

Careers That Revolve Around Human Behavior

One of the biggest obstacles for a computer is interpreting human behavior, and making use of that information. Computers are really just glorified calculators, so despite how advanced they’ve become, they’re about as good at comprehending humans as we are at comprehending God.

So any job that involves sophisticated interaction with humans is probably safe from automation. And fortunately, there are a ton of jobs like this. It includes doctors, nurses, teachers, physical and mental therapists, salesman and marketers, public relations experts, clergymen, etc. Wherever there are people with uniquely human problems and aspirations, there are jobs that a computer can’t touch.

Craftsmen and Artisans

I’m using these terms loosely to describe more than just people who make products with their hands. What I’m about to describe is a unique category of jobs that survive every labor-saving invention, long after they’ve been technically rendered obsolete.

Think about everyone who runs a successful store on Etsy. Most of the stuff they sell aren’t crucial to the modern economy, but there’s still a demand for them. People don’t need highly ornate, handcrafted products. They could probably buy a far cheaper equivalent on Amazon, but they choose to buy handcrafted products because they’re special. Things that come off of an assembly line are practical, but humans have a need for products and services that have a human touch. We have a love of things that are well crafted, but imperfect. And since automation tends to introduce more wealth into society, there will be more demand for these luxuries.

And like I said, it’s not just jobs that involve making things. Any field that can be automated, will have a few holdouts that never die. How much do you want to bet that many years after driverless cars eliminate all of the truck drivers, cab drivers, and delivery jobs, there will still be people you can pay to drive you around town. If you don’t believe me, then consider the companies that still offer horse-drawn carriage rides in New York City, a century after cars made these carriages obsolete.

There is only one caveat with these kinds of jobs. If you decide to enter an obsolete field, you have to be the best at it. The only people who make money with these jobs are the people who offer the highest quality products and services. The runner-ups make a pittance, and everyone else is taking a loss. But if you do put in the effort to be among the best, you can make a lot of money in these jobs.

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

These Are the Jobs That Will Survive the Next Wave of Automation

Every time our country enters a recession, it seems like another piece of the middle class is eroded away, and never returns. There are widespread layoffs and pay cuts, but when the economy recovers, we don’t have as many well-paying jobs as we had before. There are probably multiple reasons for this, most notably the outsourcing of jobs. However, there’s one reason that most people don’t want to consider because there’s no one to blame for it.

Many jobs don’t come back after a recession, because of automation. When money is tight during a recession, there’s more incentive for companies to automate parts of their workforce. Every economic calamity sows the seeds for a new wave of computer automation and labor-saving inventions; and after the recession has passed, a certain percentage of the population gets left behind. For whatever reason, they fail to learn new skills that will help them adapt to the new economy, so they are either left jobless or are stuck working low paying jobs that may not survive the next recession.

And make no mistake, this is going to keep happening at a rapid pace for at least the next generation or two. By some estimates, half of the jobs we have now may be automated over the next few decades, and it’s not exactly clear how many of those jobs will be replaced.

There’s only one thing you can do to guarantee that you’ll thrive in this future. You have to learn skills that can’t be automated. And when you look at the kinds of careers that are difficult to automate, you’ll find that most of them fall into a handful of categories.

Advanced STEM Careers

These are the biologists, the physicists, the statisticians, the engineers, etc. Just about anyone who attains anything higher than a bachelor’s degree in a STEM related field, is probably going to have a job for the foreseeable future. Though computers will certainly have some impact on these fields, the people who are in them are among the smartest in the world. Unless someone builds a computer that is more intelligent than any human (which isn’t guaranteed), these jobs aren’t going anywhere.

Careers That Guide Automation

If you can’t beat em, you can always join em. One of the best ways insulate yourself from automation, is to find a job that involves creating, running, or maintaining the machines. Think mechanics, computer programmers, and mechanical engineers. While the smartest people in our society are going to occupy the advanced STEM fields, the average Joe’s are going to dominate these jobs, because they don’t require nearly as much education. These are jobs that usually either require a 4-year degree or lengthy on-the-job training. They will probably be the last bastion of high-paying middle-class jobs.

Careers That Revolve Around Human Behavior

One of the biggest obstacles for a computer is interpreting human behavior, and making use of that information. Computers are really just glorified calculators, so despite how advanced they’ve become, they’re about as good at comprehending humans as we are at comprehending God.

So any job that involves sophisticated interaction with humans is probably safe from automation. And fortunately, there are a ton of jobs like this. It includes doctors, nurses, teachers, physical and mental therapists, salesman and marketers, public relations experts, clergymen, etc. Wherever there are people with uniquely human problems and aspirations, there are jobs that a computer can’t touch.

Craftsmen and Artisans

I’m using these terms loosely to describe more than just people who make products with their hands. What I’m about to describe is a unique category of jobs that survive every labor-saving invention, long after they’ve been technically rendered obsolete.

Think about everyone who runs a successful store on Etsy. Most of the stuff they sell aren’t crucial to the modern economy, but there’s still a demand for them. People don’t need highly ornate, handcrafted products. They could probably buy a far cheaper equivalent on Amazon, but they choose to buy handcrafted products because they’re special. Things that come off of an assembly line are practical, but humans have a need for products and services that have a human touch. We have a love of things that are well crafted, but imperfect. And since automation tends to introduce more wealth into society, there will be more demand for these luxuries.

And like I said, it’s not just jobs that involve making things. Any field that can be automated, will have a few holdouts that never die. How much do you want to bet that many years after driverless cars eliminate all of the truck drivers, cab drivers, and delivery jobs, there will still be people you can pay to drive you around town. If you don’t believe me, then consider the companies that still offer horse-drawn carriage rides in New York City, a century after cars made these carriages obsolete.

There is only one caveat with these kinds of jobs. If you decide to enter an obsolete field, you have to be the best at it. The only people who make money with these jobs are the people who offer the highest quality products and services. The runner-ups make a pittance, and everyone else is taking a loss. But if you do put in the effort to be among the best, you can make a lot of money in these jobs.

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 Make Money Off Grid: Making A Living From Your Homestead

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There are literally hundreds of ways to earn an income from your off-grid homestead, the trick is finding a way to earn income that still allows you time to enjoy

The post How To Make Money Off Grid: Making A Living From Your Homestead appeared first on Ask a Prepper.

Top Six Effective Substitutes for Eggs

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Eggs are not only healthy; they’re also very versatile. You can fry or boil them. You can also poach or bake them. If you like to bake, then you would know that most baking recipes also call for the use of eggs. With the many different ways of cooking eggs, how can you not love … Read more…

The post Top Six Effective Substitutes for Eggs was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 26

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The Suburban Steader Homestead was a fairly quiet place this week.  This time of year is, unfortunately, not a busy one when it comes to homesteading activities.  That being said, summer is a busy time so let’s check in and see what happened. This Week’s Milestones A Great Getaway Mrs. Suburban Steader and I were

2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 26

The Suburban Steader Homestead was a fairly quiet place this week.  This time of year is, unfortunately, not a busy one when it comes to homesteading activities.  That being said, summer is a busy time so let’s check in and see what happened. This Week’s Milestones A Great Getaway Mrs. Suburban Steader and I were

Summer Travel Safety Tips

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Summer is here!

Are you planning on taking a road trip or family vacation? Remember that prepping doesn’t just apply to surviving the apocalypse. It’s important to take precautionary measures even when you’re taking a trip.

Before you take off on your family vacation, here are a couple of things to think about.

Plan your route
Even if you plan to use GPS on your vacation, make sure you plan your route out ahead of time. Print directions and maps from your computer in case you find your GPS isn’t working. Sometimes when you’re driving through long, wide-open stretches of road (I-70, anyone?) or large cities, GPS becomes unreliable. Have a backup plan.

Bring chargers
Whether your kids love to play on their Nintendo DS game systems or their tablets, consider packing a portable battery charger. You can also use this for your cell phone. I like this one:
Anker PowerCore 10000, One of the Smallest and Lightest 10000mAh External Batteries, Ultra-Compact, High-speed Charging Technology Power Bank for iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and More

I purchased this battery charger before my family moved overseas. We had 17 hours of flying, so I wanted to make sure we’d be able to use all of our devices. I’m happy to say that two years later, I still use this every day and it works just as well as it did when I bought it.

Stay hydrated
One of the biggest dangers with traveling during the summer is dehydration. Drink plenty of water each day and pack water bottles for your kids to drink on the trip. If you’re busy having fun, you might not notice you’re becoming dehydrated until it’s too late. Stay aware and in charge on the journey.

Summer Travel Safety Tips

Summer is here!

Are you planning on taking a road trip or family vacation? Remember that prepping doesn’t just apply to surviving the apocalypse. It’s important to take precautionary measures even when you’re taking a trip.

Before you take off on your family vacation, here are a couple of things to think about.

Plan your route
Even if you plan to use GPS on your vacation, make sure you plan your route out ahead of time. Print directions and maps from your computer in case you find your GPS isn’t working. Sometimes when you’re driving through long, wide-open stretches of road (I-70, anyone?) or large cities, GPS becomes unreliable. Have a backup plan.

Bring chargers
Whether your kids love to play on their Nintendo DS game systems or their tablets, consider packing a portable battery charger. You can also use this for your cell phone. I like this one:
Anker PowerCore 10000, One of the Smallest and Lightest 10000mAh External Batteries, Ultra-Compact, High-speed Charging Technology Power Bank for iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and More

I purchased this battery charger before my family moved overseas. We had 17 hours of flying, so I wanted to make sure we’d be able to use all of our devices. I’m happy to say that two years later, I still use this every day and it works just as well as it did when I bought it.

Stay hydrated
One of the biggest dangers with traveling during the summer is dehydration. Drink plenty of water each day and pack water bottles for your kids to drink on the trip. If you’re busy having fun, you might not notice you’re becoming dehydrated until it’s too late. Stay aware and in charge on the journey.

Prepper Post Round-Up

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Don’t have time to look for great posts this week?

No problem.

Here are a few of my favorite prepper posts this week. Check them out, then leave me a comment and tell me what you thought!

Bug Out Vehicle: What Do You Do If You Can’t Drive?
Prep for SHTF has an interesting post on how to handle being unable to drive. This post is designed to help in an insane situation where you need to leave the city you’re staying in. Think zombie apocalypse, horrible weather, long-term power outage, whatever. I know from personal experience that when you’re in a bad situation and you want to get out of town, sometimes by the time you decide to leave, it’s simply too late. This post shows you what to do.

8 Survival Uses for Cheesecloth
Another Prep for SHTF post this week that was really interesting. Cheesecloth: what can you do with it? More importantly, how can you use it in prepping? Prior to this post, I had never considered using this for a survival tool.

The Myth of Serving Sizes in Packaged Emergency Food
Backdoor Survival has an interesting guest post on survival food. If you’re a prepper who likes packaged foods, you might not be stocking up as much as you think you are. Find out what you need to know to be truly prepared in this post.

21 Items to Stockpile for Pandemic Survival
Modern Survival Blog has an interesting post. This is actually an older one from 2014 that I found linked from a newer blog, but the information is still pretty valuable. Whether you’re concerned about a virus going around or the possibility of a future outbreak, consider what you should have on hand to survive.

3 Pests That Might Eat Your Stockpile Before You Do

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3 Hidden, Unseen Dangers In Your Food Stockpile

Image source: preparedsociety.com

What can be worse than to open up your stockpile, only to find that all of your food supplies have been eaten by something else?

Stockpiling supplies isn’t enough. You need to protect all of them from the pests that could leave your family hungry in a time when food will be scarce.

Venezuelans were eating dogs, cats and pigeons in 2016 because they couldn’t find any food. The Spanish and the Portuguese had to resort to food banks after the economic collapse of 2008. Incredibly, 1 in 7 Americans is on food stamps.

Unless you want to throw money away on food, I recommend you know what the biggest enemies of your stockpile are, and then take these easy steps to protect your food from all of them.

1. Rats and mice

The first things everyone thinks of when they hear the word “pests” are mice and rats. They can wreak havoc in your pantry, particularly if the only thing protecting your Mylar bags is 5-gallon plastic buckets. They will chew away plastic without a problem.

Now, there are various types of mice traps out there, including a few that are really, really cheap. But that doesn’t guarantee that your stockpile will be safe. The first thing you should do is put those plastic buckets into larger, metal buckets.

The only thing about metal buckets is that they’re pretty pricey. A 6-gallon metal bucket with a lid is more than $20 on Amazon … so you’ll probably only put some of your foods in them at first, while you also focus on the other ways to keep mice out of your pantry. (Figuring out the entry point and isolating the room, setting up mice traps, etc.)

Report: 9 Out Of 10 Americans Dead Within A Year …

A better solution is to get one or more of those galvanized trash cans. They’re about $35 each, but they can fit more buckets. Keep in mind that metal containers are more fire-resistant than plastic ones, meaning that in case of a house fire, your stockpile could get away unharmed.

3 Hidden, Unseen Dangers In Your Food StockpileTip: don’t forget to keep pet food the same way you keep your own. Pests will be drawn to it if you leave dry pet food in original packaging.

2. Pantry moths

The good news is that moths have a harder time getting inside containers than do mice. So, if you have #10 cans or glass jars, so long as they are properly sealed, they should be enough.

Nevertheless, having them in your pantry requires to always be careful not to keep containers open. There are plenty of tricks known by pest control folks on how to take care of them. For example, one gentleman I read on a survivalist board suggested using pheromone traps and a portable steamer to make sure not only the moths but also their eggs are removed from your pantry. Sounds like good advice.

3. Ants

Out of all the pests we talk about in this article, you’re probably going to hate the sugar ant the most. That’s because it’s attracted to comfort foods (such as honey) as well as sugar. Some of the things you can do to get rid of ants include:

  • Block as many entryways as you can. Yes, I realize they are really small and can come in through many different places, but this will decrease the chances of them being successful.
  • Ants hate vinegar and lemon juice, so mix a 50-50 solution with water when you clean your pantry. They help clear those trails that they leave to attract other ants.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon, mint or black pepper throughout your pantry; ants do not like them.

Of course, it isn’t just comfort foods that ants like. Pretty much any type of food will attract them. I realize you know how to keep your 5-gallon plastic buckets safe but don’t forget the extra items you bring to your pantry, such as pemmican or seeds. Literally everything should be kept in airtight containers.

Spending a few extra dollars on ways to keep pests at bay could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run.

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

Are You Truly Prepared For A Downed Grid? Read More Here.

New Law To Gun Owners: Turn In Your Magazines By July 1

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New Law To Gun Owners: Turn In Your Magazines By July 1

California will turn large numbers of gun owners into criminals beginning July 1, when a state law that bans magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition goes into effect.

So far, though, gun owners aren’t showing any willingness to turn in their magazines, as the law demands.

“We see no compliance from gun owners,” UCLA School of Law Professor Adam Winkler told The Sacramento Bee. “As best as we can tell, no gun owners are giving up their high-capacity magazines or selling them out of state.”

Winkler was speaking of Proposition 63, which was passed by voters in November and bans magazines holding more than 10 rounds. It also restricts ammunition sales to licensed vendors.

Gun owners are required to turn in magazines but will not be compensated for them.

Sheriff Refuses to Enforce Gun Control Law

“We’re not going to be knocking on anybody’s door looking for them,” Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko told The Bee. “We’re essentially making law-abiding citizens into criminals with this new law.”

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

Persons caught with magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds will be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Yet no one knows how many Californians will be in violation of Proposition 63. Estimates indicate that there may be more than 6.5 million gun owners in the state – and hundreds of thousands of such magazines in California.

Proposition 63 would ban common clips for popular semiautomatic rifles, including the AR-15 and AK-47, and the highly popular Ruger 10/22 hunting and target rifle.

Bosenko noted that no one in his county, which includes the city of Redding, has turned a banned magazine into his office.

The law still could be overturned. A civil rights lawsuit filed by the California Rifle & Pistol Association alleges that the law violates several provisions of the Constitution, including the Second Amendment, the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause, and Guarantee of Due Process.

“The reason for the popularity of these magazines is straightforward: In a confrontation with a violent attacker, having enough ammunition can be the difference between life and death,” C.D. Michel, the attorney who filed the suit, wrote. “Banning magazines over ten rounds is no more likely to reduce criminal abuse of guns than banning high horsepower engines is likely to reduce criminal abuse of automobiles.”

Others disagree. Said Ari Freilich, staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “There’s just a lot of data that shows that large-capacity magazines are particularly attractive to mass shooters and to individuals committing crimes against law enforcement. They do not have legitimate self-defense value.”

Do you think high-capacity magazines should be banned? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Fire in Portugal: More than 60 Dead, some trapped in their Cars while Escaping

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Según la Autoridad Nacional de Protección Civil portuguesa, que monitoriza en su página web en tiempo real la evolución de los incendios, 117 fuegos arden en el país este jueves a mediodía —13 de ellos de grandes dimensiones—. A las 12.30 horas había 3.682 efectivos combatiendo las llamas en Portugal, que cuentan con 1.159 vehículos terrestres y 17 aviones. En la foto, un bombero trabaja en las labores de extinción del incendio forestal que afecta a las localidades de Couto de e Cima y Couto de Baixo en la región de Viseu.

Hi there Fernando

while some people are still recovering from the aftermath of the London fire, we have witnessed right next door, the devastating effects of another terrible fire this time in Portugal.

According to the news at least 30 people died in their cars while trying to escape from the flames (probably too late).

I think this reinforces the message of how important it is to read the (get out of dodge) situation, and is better to leave and come back during a false alarm than to lose your life…

I enclose a link (in spanish) La carretera de la muerte

Thoughts?

-Antonio

.

Hello Antonio.

Sorry for the delay in replying.

Yes, I saw the news. It’s just terrible.  This yet again goes to show: living in more isolated areas does not mean you’ll never have to bug out.

Also, know your threats. Some areas are known to be affected by wildfires, if it happened once, you can be sure it will happen again. Especially in wooded or grassy areas you have to role play the situation and imagine what you would do if it catches fire.

Watch the clip below, its just terrible.

You need a bug out plan, and a good strategy with alternative routes is crucial here.

Also car selection. I would want a truck or at least and SUV, something with AWD or 4WD so as to go off road if needed when escaping. Also a good car kit, with food, water and clothes, especially good shoes for walking.

Above all, staying informed and taking action. I believe that in this case reacting in time would have been the difference between life and death.
Yet again it’s always easy when you’re not the one trapped in that inferno and you only read the news after it happened.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Were America’s Origins Truly Christian?

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America-signingAmericans talk a lot about liberty. It’s debated in the halls of Congress, on television and radio talk shows, and even over the water cooler or coffee pot at work.

Rarely, though, do we discuss the definition and source of liberty.

This week on a special Independence Day edition of Off The Grid Radio, we talk to Off The Grid Radio founder Bill Heid, who has produced a new video – called “The Lost Secrets of Liberty” — that addresses the definition of liberty. It also examines a controversial question: Were America’s origins truly Christian?

Bill tells us:

  • Why the popular dictionary definition of “liberty” is just plain wrong.
  • Why Ethan Allen demanded the surrender of the British at Fort Ticonderoga “in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress.”
  • Why John Adams said American independence had as much to do with religion as with “taxation without representation.”
  • Why Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin wanted a scene out of the book of Exodus as the national seal.

Bill also tells us why atheism can flourish best in a nation that has a Christian foundation. (Bill’s thoughts on this one surprised even us!)

If you enjoy learning about America’s past, then this is one show you don’t want to miss!

A Game Plan For Surviving An Arena Attack

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I’m paranoid, no doubt about it. I hate crowds and can’t remember a time when I felt comfortable being around big groups of people. So, when I heard about the Manchester, England, terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert and the questionable arena safety, my first thought was, “I wouldn’t have been caught dead there, anyway.”

Yeah, I had to first look up “Ariana Grande” — not impressed, but even if I had been a big fan, I still wouldn’t have been at that concert among those thousands of people. Why? To me, a crowd that size in a building that forces the maximum number of humans into the smallest amount of space possible scares the bejeebeers out of me. I’m not sure total arena safety is even possible.

Imagine you’re sitting in such a space, probably not to listen to Ariana but, more likely, enjoying your favorite team and a cold beer with friends. A very loud explosion goes off somewhere close by and instantly, every single person in the arena panics.

I’ve been in panicked crowds before and it gets ugly very fast.

Arena safety issues

Now imagine you want to escape yourself — but maybe your wife and kids are with you. The first thing you have to do is get out of your ROW and make it to the AISLE. You know how little space there is in those rows and they’ll be clogged up instantly be people trying to grab their purses, their kids, their souvenir cups, or their half-eaten hot dogs. It’s going to be insane.

If you’re lucky enough to get to the AISLE, now you have to decide whether or not which exit is your best bet to safety and fresh air. Here is where it gets dangerous because you have multiple rows exiting into just a few aisles. Some people will be going up the steps to an exit, others will be racing down the steps — if a single person trips, they could be trampled to death. Only 3 or 4 people who are moving slowly, freeze in terror, or fall to the ground will clog up the aisle for everyone else coming along behind.

Terrorists often plan secondary explosions to create even more panic and death, so imagine the reaction of the crowd in that scenario. Rushing like panicked wildebeests from one explosion only to encounter a second one as they try to escape.

Most arenas are designed for every aisle entrance/exit to empty into a circular concourse area where restrooms, snackbars, and the like are located. Before and after a game or concert, these become highly congested. In a terror attack, this is just one more area I would want to avoid, but in order to escape the arena entirely, there’s no choice but to navigate through the crowd and find the closest exit. If you can, amidst screaming, wild-eyed people, and, perhaps, smoke and debris from a bomb blast.

Any of these choke points must be avoided at all costs, but when the adrenaline is rushing, you’re looking to make sure the family is still with you, you may or may not be able to make the right safety decisions, such as looking for a secondary exit that most people don’t notice.

Have a plan, put it in place

Still want to go to that football game?

The way I see it, you either choose to not go and stay home to watch it on TV (pay the extra for the NFL cable network — it’ll be a lot cheaper than buying game tickets, paying for parking, beer, and hotdogs) OR stay paranoid the entire 4 quarters.

Along those lines, then, if you have no choice but to go to an arena, choose carefully where you will sit, where you’ll park, and make situational awareness a top priority.

When making plans to attend a game, rodeo, concert, or some other big event, look for police presence. Not all venues have the same level of security. You want to attend events at locations with law enforcement in full view and lots of it. Some venues make a point to have large city buses blocking the main entrances from anyone crazy enough to try and ram an explosive-filled vehicle into the main pedestrian areas.

Take some time to view exterior shots of the arena location, street names, parking areas, multiple driving/walking routes to the arena itself. Keep in mind that the Manchester attack happened in an area near the box office and one of the main entrances, presumably to allow the terrorist to escape. In fact, he was able to escape unharmed. Unless the terrorist is suicide minded, the attack may very well happen in an area that provides a fast and easy escape route, such as a main entrance, the box office, a pedestrian area, and the like.

Once you have the lay of the land, study the floorplan of the interior of the arena. Do a little reverse engineering and on a map of the arena, find your preferred main entrance. Then, follow that entrance to the section of seats you can afford, look for seats at the end of a row, near an aisle exit, and pull out your credit card.

On game day…

To help everyone remember which entrance you use, play the role of a tour guide, “Here we’re entering the South Entrance. Now, right across the street is the Hard Rock Cafe. That will help you remember which entrance we used.” Identifying landmarks can go a long way to cement in memory a route to follow.

Everyone in your group should know where to meet in case someone gets separated, and, in a terror attack like the one in Manchester, you have to know that’s a very real possibility. Outside of most modern arenas there are eye-catching monuments, art work, and other displays. When your group is entering the arena, select one of those as the family or group meeting point, and it wouldn’t hurt for everyone with a cell phone to take a quick pic of that spot. In a panic, it would be easy to forget.

Young kids should have in their pockets an ID card with contact information for parents. I’ve heard of writing mom or dad’s name and cell phone number on a young kid’s arm with a Sharpie, but I haven’t done that myself.

On the big night, get seated strategically. A principle we use when we’re out on family hikes or bike rides, is to have one adult or responsible teenager lead the way with the strongest family member coming along behind the group, ready to help or even pick up and carry the smallest/weakest person, if necessary. This is easy to put in place when selecting seats — make sure the kids are seated in between the strongest/oldest family members. and make sure everyone with you knows where to find the exit and agree to all exit together, following the same route. If one of your kids ends up heading toward a different exit or gets lost in the crowd, the nightmare experience will intensify tenfold.

At this point, buy that beer, get popcorn and hot dogs for the kids, and sit back and enjoy yourself as much as possible. Every day and night around the world millions of people attend events just like this one in relative safety. It’s just guys like me, born paranoid, who can’t fully relax because that’s the way we are.

The post A Game Plan For Surviving An Arena Attack appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

4 Pieces of Marine Equipment Any Prepper on the Coast Needs

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When you are a prepper, your emergency supplies and equipment should extend to your boat. Living on the coast allows you to evacuate land by boat and reach another safe destination. If you are on the water during a disaster, the equipment could help you to reach rescuers or find safety. Consider these four pieces of marine equipment every prepper should have.

Flares and Emergency Signals

Flares and emergency signals are key to getting noticed by other boats and search planes if your vessel becomes disabled on the water. Preppers on the coast should have their boats fully stocked with these emergency beacons in case of a power outage. Other boats will be able to find a vessel in trouble even if the radio goes out.

Boat Lifts

When you need to move your boat between two different elevations of water, a boat lift is a wise choice. As an alternative to a canal lock, companies like Abbotts’ Construction Services Inc., know that a boat lift helps to get your boat to where it needs to be without having to wait for outside assistance. Using a boat lift facilitates getting into a port or harbor, especially in the case of severe weather, power outages or another type of natural disaster.

Radios

Communications radios are also helpful pieces of marine equipment. Radios allow a boat captain to issue a mayday in case of a dangerous situation. They can also be used to call for coast guard assistance. If a captain needs the aid of another boat, using the radio is a simple way to find help as quickly as possible.

GPS Tracking Units

GPS tracking units are an important piece of marine equipment that every boat owner should have. These units pinpoint the boat’s location. In case a severe weather event were to take place, you could use the unit to find the nearest place to come into shore and dock your boat. Consider a GPS unit that has a battery backup in case your boat loses power. If you had to come inland, you could remove the GPS unit from your boat and use it to get to safety.

Each of these pieces of marine equipment should be considered an investment in your safety. Many of these pieces of equipment can also be used on land if needed. By purchasing and installing these pieces of equipment as you can afford to, you will be able to prepare for a wide variety of emergency situations that could occur.

About the Author:
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She writes for many online publications and blogs about home improvements, family, and health. She is an avid hiker, biker and runner. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Goats And Toxic Plants: Separating Fact From Fiction

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Goats And Toxic Plants: Separating Fact From Fiction

Image source: Pixabay.com

Despite the fact that goats have a reputation of being able to digest anything, there are plenty of plants that are potentially toxic to them, and savvy goat owners do well to stay informed about possible poisons that might be available to their animals.

To that end, there are a plethora of lists, both online and in print, of both wild and cultivated plants which are said to pose a threat to the health of goats and other livestock. Like many people, I have developed a collection of trusted and favorite go-to resources over the years. Instead of providing another list here which would risk being repetitive and incomplete, I would like to offer something more valuable — a common-sense guideline for using the information already available to keep your goats safe from toxic plants.

How to Find Resources

An online search for “plants toxic to goats” yields thousands of results. The sources run the gamut from trustworthy to questionable, and include professional information from veterinarians and large established breeders as well as blogs written by amateurs who may or may not have a good grip on the facts. Sometimes the sources agree with one another, and other times they do not.

It can be tough to choose which to believe. I tend to favor sites which are sponsored by real authorities — based on their education, background and experience — and that appear to generally agree with other sites. Originality is great as a concept, but if I find one site which insists a certain plant is perfectly safe while most other credible sources warn against it, I am probably going to be a bit wary of the nonconformist. If the outlier offers a reason — based on verifiable evidence — for going against conventional wisdom, I’ll consider it.

Diatomaceous Earth: The All-Natural Livestock De-Wormer!

Other informational sources include books and magazine articles. These, too, require the reader to be judicious. As with online sources, I steer toward publications that are known for expert advice and fact-checking instead of personal stories of one person’s experience. The latter are often interesting and useful, but not always reliable.

Cooperative extensions, colleges and universities, and other public agricultural vocational programs usually provide solid advice. My state has a state veterinarian’s office which is open to calls and requests for help from the public, and I would not be surprised if many states offer similar availability.

Another excellent option is a goat network. These range from nationwide to local, meet through social media or around a neighbor’s kitchen table, and usually offer a wealth of experience and knowledge. There are official organizations for dairy goats, meat goats, miniature goats, and for virtually every specific breed of goat, as well as regional groups to support goat husbandry for people of all ages. It is highly advisable to build and maintain a rapport with people you know and trust to answer all kinds of questions about goats, including possible toxic plants.

Last but by no means least, a working relationship with a reliable veterinarian or clinic is ideal. It can be challenging to find professional health care for goats in some regions, but it is worth the effort to do so.

Consider Geography and Perspective

I found a lot of dire warnings online against goats eating pine trees. Some sites broadened the warning to include other softwood species.

My own goats had access to a veritable smorgasbord of softwood trees, and seemed to enjoy them with no ill effects, but the literature caused me to be concerned about continuing to include it in their diets.

My veterinarian cleared up the confusion. He told me that pine trees native to much of North America are indeed dangerous to goats, but not the Eastern White Pines we have in this area. It turns out that variations among species due to geography can make a big difference.

Regarding perspective, some people refer to all softwood trees as “pine,” perhaps due to regional colloquialisms or being unfamiliar with trees. To me, “all softwoods” includes fir, spruce, cedar, hemlock and more — all as different from one another as dandelions from daffodils. To other people, “all softwoods” means “all red pines.”

Some sites warned against the tannin in tree bark, so I asked my veterinarian about that, too. He confirmed that excess consumption can indeed build up to toxic levels, but that the goats could safely consume bark as long as they drank plenty of water. This information turned out to be similar to the general warnings against softwood trees, in that it was true, untrue and partially true.

Take Individual Goats and Situation Into Account

Wild cherry trees are generally accepted to be toxic to goats. These trees grow in abundance on my homestead, and I have always taken care to keep them away from my animals. However, because saplings sprout persistently on the many cherry tree stumps inside my large goat pen, it is hard to keep up with. As diligent as I try to be, I know they eat it. I’ve caught them in the act, and found evidence of saplings having been browsed.

Goats And Toxic Plants: Separating Fact From Fiction

Image source: Pixabay.com

But just as I was considering relaxing my vigil — thinking perhaps that my local cherry trees are not the toxic type — a neighbor’s goat browsed a cherry tree and died within hours.

I do not know why my goats have survived cherry tree consumption. My guess is that it is because they have access to so much varied vegetation that the cherry toxins are sufficiently diluted.

To be clear, I absolutely do not recommend offering a poisonous plant to goats. But remember that every situation is different. And in the same way that a plant said to be highly dangerous can turn out to be tolerable, the reverse is also possible. The message here is to use common sense, and if goats present symptoms after consuming a plant — even if the experts say it is not toxic – then observe them closely and be ready to spring into action if necessary.

Choices Must Be Made

Milkweed is included on most lists of plants toxic to goats, so I pull it whenever I see it. It makes me sad to do so, being cognizant of the fact that milkweed is essential to the survival of monarch butterflies. But I must prioritize the health of my goats, and hope that enough of my goat-less neighbors will allow their milkweed to thrive to support the monarchs.

Similarly, I avoid the lovely lupine flowers that are quintessential to my area. I settle for admiring them beside the road on other properties, and keep them away from mine.

As with most things, there are pros and cons to plants toxic to goats, forcing owners to make tough choices. But having goats means keeping them safe, and for me that must come first.

Are Old Wives’ Tales True?

Everyone has a story about goats. But some are anomalies. People often insist that goats instinctively reject poisonous plants. I would not trust my goats’ health to that notion, but every owner makes his or her own decisions for goats in their care.

Another story I heard was about goats and poison ivy. It is said by some that when milking goats eat poison ivy, they pass on immunities to it through their milk. Being highly allergic, I very much wanted that to be true on my farm, but it was not. Goats can safely consume poison ivy themselves, but people who drink their milk afterwards do not then acquire the immunity. Or at least I didn’t.

By researching sources and relying upon those which appear the soundest, keeping in mind that regional differences can change the equation, acknowledging that individual cases may be unique, and remembering that not everything said about goats is true, it is possible to make good choices and protect goats from toxic plants.

Do you have goats? What types of plants do you keep your goats from? Share your tips in the section below:

The 5 C’s of Urban Survival

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In case you don’t know, the “5 C’s of Survivability” is a term coined by survival expert Dave Canterbury from Dual Survival. It’s an easy way to remember the things you need to survive in the wilderness. His list includes a cutting tool, combustion, covering, container, cordage. Since they are the most difficult things to […]

The post The 5 C’s of Urban Survival appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

The 5 C’s of Urban Survival

In case you don’t know, the “5 C’s of Survivability” is a term coined by survival expert Dave Canterbury from Dual Survival. It’s an easy way to remember the things you need to survive in the wilderness. His list includes a cutting tool, combustion, covering, container, cordage. Since they are the most difficult things to […]

The post The 5 C’s of Urban Survival appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

7 Steps to Take Immediately After an Emergency Situation Ends

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7 Steps to Take Immediately After an Emergency Situation Ends

Every emergency situation has the opportunity to be a learning experience. I don’t care if you’ve planned for the situation well, if you’ve gone through a similar situation before, or if you’re more prepared than 99% of the population would have been – each and every time you go through an emergency situation, when it’s […]

This is just the start of the post 7 Steps to Take Immediately After an Emergency Situation Ends. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


7 Steps to Take Immediately After an Emergency Situation Ends, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

How Do You Define “The Atonement” of Jesus Christ?

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     All one has to do is read the various Christian-based blogs, or listen to different podcasts, and we see the differing opinions on diverse doctrines.  One of the “hot topics” of today is The Atonement, and specifically, “is healing included in the Atonement”?  And what saddens me is the ease with which proponents on either side of that debate are willing to label their counterparts as false prophets, or declare that they are teaching false doctrine.  Why can’t we respect each other’s exegesis instead of resorting to name calling?  Knowing that my own opinion will not please everyone, I’m still going to throw my hat in the ring because I think it is an important concept to understand. So, here goes…
     As I began my research on this subject I was surprised to find that the word atonement appears 80 times in the Old Testament (primarily in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers) in conjunction with the sacrificial rituals instituted by God as a means for the Israelites to make amends for their sins.  Atonement only appears once in the New Testament, and only in the King James version. Romans 5:11 reads “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement“.  All other versions of the Bible read “we have now received reconciliation”.
     But what was even more surprising to me is that there are multiple “theories” of what the Atonement is within the bounds of Christianity.  There is the Ransom theory, which originated in the early Church, particularly in the work of Origen. The theory teaches that the death of Christ was a ransom sacrifice, usually said to have been paid to Satan or to death itself, (in some views paid to God the Father), in satisfaction for the bondage and debt on the souls of humanity as a result of inherited sin.
     There is the Satisfaction theory, a theory in Christian theology that Jesus Christ suffered crucifixion as a substitute for human sin, satisfying God’s just wrath against man’s transgression due to Christ’s infinite merit. This theory draws primarily from the works of Anselm of Canterbury. It has been traditionally taught in the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed traditions of Western Christianity.
     Then there is the Moral Influence or Example theory, which teaches that the purpose and work of Jesus Christ was to bring positive moral change to humanity. This moral change came through the teachings and example of Jesus, the Christian movement he founded, and the inspiring effect of his martyrdom and resurrection. It is one of the oldest views of the atonement in Christian theology and a prevalent view for most of Christian history.
     There is also the Recapitulation theory, wherein Christ is seen as the new Adam who succeeds where Adam failed. Christ undoes the wrong that Adam did and, because of His union with humanity, leads humankind on to eternal life (including moral perfection).  And finally, there is the Scapegoat theory, in which a person (Jesus) or animal takes on the sins of others, or is unfairly blamed for problems. The concept originally comes from Leviticus, in which a goat is designated to be cast into the desert with the sins of the community.
     Wow!  With all these various theological theories, no wonder there is much haranguing among the Brethren!  But as always, when confronted with a question such as whether healing is included in the Atonement of Christ, I go back to Scripture and try to determine the original meanings of the words, rather than listen to 21st Century man explain their own reasonings.  So, let’s consider the word atonement, as it is used in the Old Testament.  It is the Hebrew word kâphar, which means “to cover; cancel; propitiate (placate); ransom; to pardon; to purge sin”.  It is the technical term used in the sacrificial rituals in ancient Israel, and at its most basic level means “a material transaction to ransom, or to buy the freedom of”.
     During the sacrificial ritual, the priests would lay their hands on an animal (bull) to transfer the sins of the people to the animal.  Then it was sacrificed and its blood smeared on the altar during the Sin Offering to God. Throughout the Old Testament, the blood sacrifices provide atonement, or a “covering over” of sin; the purpose of the atonement in the Old Testament was to hide the sin from God’s eyes until the crucifixion of Christ, who as the sacrificial Lamb, takes away the sins of the world.
     There are many examples of ransom (payment) made for the covering of the Israelites’ sins, but here are just two of them:  In Numbers 25, Phineas makes atonement for the Children of Israel by spearing an Israelite man in the midst of orgiastic Baal worship with a Midianite woman.  The result: the plagues that had killed 24,000 Israelites stopped.  In 2 Samuel 21, atonement was needed for the sins of Saul who broke his oath to spare the Gibeonites, so King David asked what they would require as payment, and the price was the death of seven of Saul’s sons.  David paid the ransom, and then buried Saul and his sons in the tomb of Kish.  God ended the famine upon the land.
     We see the clearest picture of the Old Testament concept of atonement in Leviticus, Chapter 16, where Aaron is instructed on the rituals of the Day of Atonement, celebrated only one time a year.  Only on this day, could the high priest enter the Holy of Holies in the Temple on behalf of the people of Israel to make atonement for them (for the cleansing of their sins).
     But as I am beginning to see with more frequency, the modern Church does not make a distinction between how a concept is presented in the Old Testament and how it is understood in the New Testament.  Such is the case with “the Atonement”.  As I said, in the New Testament, the only time the word atonement is used is in the King James version of Romans 5:11.  Here the Greek word for atonement is katallagê, meaning “restoration to divine favor; or reconciliation”.  It goes beyond just being covered, or making a ransom payment for sins; here, atonement signifies that sinners are actually made “at one” with God.  And as New Testament Believers, we receive so much more than just forgiveness of our sins.
     In fact, I have read a 1990 sermon by Graham Maxwell, in which he stated that in the 13th Century Oxford English Dictionary, the word “atonement” was being used to mean “Being at one; being in harmony” … in other words, to restore in unity and harmony; a position of “at one-ness”, if I may.  There is a verse in the Bible that I think expresses the New Testament concept of Atonement better than I can, and I like the Amplified version because it gives us the best picture of what is being revealed: For it pleased the Father for all the fullness [of His deity—the sum total of His essence, all His perfection, powers, and attributes] to dwell [permanently] in Him (the Son), and through [the intervention of] the Son to reconcile all things to Himself, making peace [with believers] through the blood of His cross; through Him, [I say,] whether things on earth or things in heaven (Colossians 1:19-20).

     Once again, I think when it comes to the question of what is included in the Atonement of Christ, we need to see it in New Testament terms, and not limit it to its meaning in the Old Testament.   Everything about Christ is the fullness of His Father … and this includes His Atonement.  What He did for us on the Cross brings us into full unity and one-ness with the Father. So the Atonement at the Cross — His shed blood for us — gives us so much more than just a covering for [and forgiveness of] our sins. We receive reconciliation (mending, bringing into harmony) in all things … on earth as it is in heaven.  If the Atonement through Jesus’s blood on the Cross brings us into the fullness of God — the sum total of His essence [or Nature], His perfection, His powers and attributes — then it means everything of God is available to us in the Atonement, and that includes healing as well as forgiveness.  The empty tomb is a picture of ultimate healing. All sins are forgiven in Heaven, and there is no sickness in Heaven.  That is unity between earth and heaven.
     I have seen the arguments of those who try to use Old Testament examples of God inflicting illness on people (2 Samuel 12:15; Exodus 9:8-9; 1 Samuel 5:11-12; Exodus 4:11) as their explanation that healing is not included in the New Testament atonement.  But that is part of the Old Covenant and I think we can all agree that God dealt differently with sin in the Old Covenant than He does in the New — Jesus is evidence of that. And to use Romans 9:21 (Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?) to say that “dishonor” represents God causing sickness, is distorting Scripture, to me.
     And to say that examples of sickness in the New Testament (Epaphraditus, Trophimus, and Tabitha) prove that healing is not in the Atonement is like saying that once we accept Jesus as our Savior, we should never sin again… we are still in these fleshly bodies on earth, where sickness is a weapon of the Enemy to discourage our reconciliation with God. Our Father provided a way for us to live sinless lives through the righteousness of Christ — but we still sin. Likewise, perfect health (and healing) are available in the Atonement — which brings us into harmony with God in Heaven — we just have to walk out the example Jesus gave us, and look to the Father for His perfection and power to achieve it.
     I realize that my words will likely not convince someone who has staked a claim in his or her particular atonement theory.  But I’d like to leave you with this final thought … I find it ironic that in the Old Testament, the priests laid hands on an animal to transfer the people’s sin to the animal (Leviticus 16:20-22).  Yet, in the New Testament, Jesus laid His hands on the people to transfer His Father’s power to heal, while they were yet sinners.  That to me, is a picture of the Atonement of Jesus Christ; restoration to divine favor.  And I believe it is always God’s heart that we be whole and restored as we are in Heaven.  So, why in the world, would we try to limit God and what He has to offer us in the Atonement of His Son? Isn’t that diminishing the power of His Grace? I prefer to receive ALL He has meant for me through the atoning sacrifice of His Son!

Isaiah 53:4    Surely our sicknesses He Himself bore, And our pains He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Struck down by God, and afflicted.

Matthew 8:16-17     That evening they brought to Him many who were oppressed by demons, and He cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.” 

Was Petya Ransomware a DELIBERATE Cyberattack on Ukraine? Here’s How It Could Happen To Us

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The Petya Ransomware attack hit globally, but one country, in particular, was devastated by it. The Ukrainian infrastructure was brought own by the attack, where the epicenter occurred, and … Read the rest

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Why Living Smaller Is Living Better! The 5 Big Keys To Downsizing

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It never ceases to amaze us how many people want to know if living smaller is really living better. Well, it really is! There has not been a single day we have missed oversized suburban home, or all of the

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How To Make Pepper Spray For Self-defense

Speaking of non-lethal and hugely popular self defense methods, pepper spray is often the weapon of choice for both men and women. That stuff is so good that it’s actually used by riot control police and regular police officers alike.

And pepper spray’s popularity is due to its intrinsic qualities: ease of use, carry convenience and, last but not least, it’s actual effectiveness when it comes to stopping an attacker.

Another cool thing about pepper spray is that is completely legal almost anywhere in the world (except from some hard-core socialist countries in the EU where self-defense is almost a crime) and it doesn’t require any kind of special training in order to use it efficiently.

The only thing to take into account when spraying an aggressor in the eyes is the direction of the wind; that’s about all there is to training.

Using pepper spray is pretty safe even from the victim’s perspective, so to speak, because pepper will not cause permanent damage to the soft tissues or the eyes.

Pepper spray works, provided you use it correctly, by causing temporary blindness and an intense burning sensation on the recipient’s face, followed by skin irritation that may take hours to recede. But that’s hardly a real problem anyway, compared to shooting them, right?

Click here to get your Green Beret’s Guide to combat shooting mastery & active shooter defense!

However, the lesson to be taken home about pepper spray used as a self-defense weapon is its availability.  The thing is, if you don’t have your pepper spray can readily available for an emergency, it won’t help you a bit, i.e. if you keep it somewhere at the bottom of your purse, you’ll not be able to prevent an assault.

It’s also pretty straightforward that when using pepper spray in self defense, always aim for the aggressor’s face, thus temporarily incapacitating him/her by causing great pain, especially in the eyes.

The good news about this awesome self-defense weapon is that it’s totally DIY-able. Basically, pepper spray is made from chili peppers – the extracted juice to be precise. That means a homemade pepper spray is made from readily available ingredients in one’s kitchen, especially if you love spicy food.

If you want to add insult to injury, i.e. to add a coughing effect to those tears and swelling, you’ll also require some black pepper to be put into the mix.

Obviously, you should use the hottest kind of peppers you can put your hands on for maximizing the deterrent effect of your homemade pepper spray.

I’ve seen people using a pepper-spray solution put into long-range water guns (you know, those type of toys used by kids) to use on trespassers, including wildlife, the likes of raccoons and similar pests. Toy water guns have more range than regular spray cans when it comes to delivering the pepper blend.

Before getting into the fine arts of pepper spray DIY-ing, I must warn you that what we’re dealing with here is a self-defense weapon and nothing more.

Basically, you must use pepper spray for self-defense only. Unless you’re getting attacked, as in beat up, robbed or when trying to stop a crime/felony, there’s no reason to spray people with your home made pepper spray, alright? Depending on one’s location, even in the US, using pepper spray without cause may be actually against the law, so be careful about what you’re carrying.

And if you’re wondering what’s up with that, even pepper spray may have serious negative health effects on certain people suffering from asthma or on folks allergic to capsaicin.

How to DIY Your Own Pepper Spray

Now, if for some mysterious reason you prefer to DIY your own pepper spray, you’ll only need two main things:

  • a method to deliver the respective substance – the delivery system that is
  • a serious stock of dried chili peppers (or fresh ones if you have some in your garden.

If you’re growing your own stash, you may call yourself an off the grid survivalist, one hundred percent, at least with regard to DIY-ing pepper spray. If not, you can buy it from various places such as grocery stores, farmers markets, and specialty markets.

As far as the delivery system – the canister that is – the possibilities are almost endless, ranging from toy guns as I previously described to a simple spray bottle from one’s medicine cabinet. Bottom line, anything that sprays can be used as a delivery method, provided it’s water-tight. Canister aside, when speaking of efficient pepper spray, you must choose the best ingredients for the job, and by that I mean the hottest chili peppers.

How to Choose the Peppers

Pepper hotness is measured using the SHU rating system (Scoville Heat Unit). The more SHU a pepper has, the better. The idea is to use the hottest readily-available pepper variety, and the most common one  is Cayenne Pepper, which stands proudly anywhere between 30,000 and 60,000 SHU. Thai chili is even better, as it boasts a 50,000 to 150,000 SHU. Red Savina Habanero is the nuke of peppers for sprays, with 350,000 to 650,000 SHU. Of course, we have to mention the mother of all bombs, the Ghost Pepper, the hottest thing known to man, which will disintegrate everything in its path via its whopping 800,000-1,500,000 SHU.

The magic ingredient in pepper spray is called capsaicin, which is an irritant for all mammals, including you, dear reader. Pepper sprays used by law enforcement in the US have a payload of 2,000,000 to 6,000,000 SHU, which is up to three times stronger than what you can buy in the store as a “civilian”. Hence, making your own pepper spray is not such a bad idea after all.

Now, for DIY-ing pepper spray, the best way is to extract the active chemical in chilies (capsaicin) by using a solvent. Don’t worry, the procedure is fairly easy and it doesn’t require complicated chemistry skills or knowledge, but we’ll get back to that in a moment.

To begin with, when DIY-ing pepper spray, always wear rubber gloves and also safety goggles, for protecting your eyes and your hands from the oil. You don’t want concentrated capsaicin anywhere near your eyes or your skin.

It would be advisable to also wear a mask in order to avoid inhalation of toxic vapors, especially if you’re allergic or sensitive to peppers or strong odors. This isn’t a joke, so don’t take it lightly – the oils in these peppers are weaponized for a reason and it would be brutally ironic to injure yourself while you’re making something to protect yourself with.

Now, let’s get down to business.

How to Prepare the Pepper Spray

The simplest way to make your own pepper spray is this: take your dried peppers and chop them as finely as possible using a blender or a grinder, then put them inside a bowl. Six to ten dried chili peppers will suffice, provided they’re the strong kind.

Next, you’ll need 2 tablespoons of minced garlic to add into the mix, followed by 2 tablespoons of baby oil. The latter works as an adhesive of sorts, helping the substance to adhere to skin and clothes and making it very difficult to remove.

Finally, add twelve ounces of vodka (any type of alcohol actually) or vinegar, for increasing the shelf life of your homemade pepper spray. For best results, put the mixture in a blender for two to three minutes on the high setting. If you’re doing it by hand, muddle the garlic, baby oil, and pepper powder together until it has the consistency of a fine, smooth paste before adding the alcohol.

When ready, put the mixture inside a large container, a glass bottle for example, and let it rest overnight in a cold place. To increase its effectiveness, the mixture must be allowed to infuse for a while.

The next morning, you’re almost ready to pour the pepper mixture in your storage vessel of choice, but prior to that, you’ll have to filter it using a funnel and cheesecloth. The homemade pepper spray should be kept inside your refrigerator and it will maintain its properties for up to three months, especially if you’ve used alcohol. In the next step, you’ll just have to fill your spray bottle with the stuff.

Here’s a more high-tech method that will make about 3.5 ounces (100 ml) of pepper spray: you’ll require 100 grams of hot chili powder and about 7 ounces (200 ml) of ethanol (denatured alcohol), mixed together inside of a container. To make sure there are no chili powder clumps, run the mixture through a wire-mesh kitchen strainer and then put it inside a cooking pot. Heat the mixture until the ethanol boils and then evaporates. What’s left inside the cooking pot will look like orange goo, with the consistency of wax. Add to it 20 milliliters of baby oil until it you’ll end up with a honey-like consistency and that’s about it.

The stuff can now be poured in any type of delivery system after it’s thinned using alcohol so it can be sprayed easily (equal parts, one part alcohol, one part orange goo). On the bright side of the news, using this method, you’ll end up with pepper spray that will last you indefinitely if it’s hermetically sealed.

Now that you know how to make your own pepper spray, start practicing.

Learn from the experts the secret of self-defense. Click the banner below to grab your guide!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

Top 5 Best Pistols for SHTF

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by Eric

Ahhh, guns, my favorite subject. What are the top 5 pistols, or should we say handguns, for a SHTF event? Well, that would depend on a few factors.

  • One would be the users experience with handguns.
  • Another would be whether it is intended to cover all your needs or solely intended as a sidearm.
  • Finally, your location would be a deciding factor. If you live in an area that has large, dangerous animals then you need a larger caliber handgun.

However, before I go recommending anything, the first thing I will recommend is that if you have no experience handling firearms, you need to go and get professional training. If you don’t know where to go then you should ask the guy selling the gun to you if they offer training classes or if they can recommend one.

A weapon is only as useful as the person wielding it is skilled. So you can go out and buy the biggest, baddest, most expensive hand gun in the world but if you don’t know how to use it then what good is it really?

Semiautomatic pistol or revolver

This factor depends on the user’s experience with firearms. If the user is experienced with handguns then I would strongly suggest a high capacity semiautomatic pistol. However, if the user is inexperienced with handguns I would strongly suggest that they stick with the simplicity of a revolver. While you’re at it, don’t forget to get a good holster and the best gun belt after doing your due diligence of course.

Simplicity of a revolver

Revolvers are pretty simple, so there isn’t a lot to learn or remember with a revolver. There are no external safeties to be concerned about; the safety is your finger (which is the most reliable safety I might add). There are no concerns about racking the slide and de-cocking the weapon with a revolver either.

De-cocking a pistol can be dangerous if you are inexperienced, especially if the pistol doesn’t have a de-cock mode. Even with a de-cock function some are still dangerous. Of course de-cocking doesn’t apply with striker fired guns (which I abhor, but we’ll get to that later).

This video shows how a revolver works.

With a double action revolver (or double/single action) it’s as simple as:

  • Swing out the cylinder
  • Push ejector to eject spent casings if it has been fired
  • Load all chambers in the cylinder
  • Close the cylinder
  • Aim
  • Pull the trigger [double action only (DAO), if it’s double/single you can cock it first for a more accurate shot]

If it’s a single action revolver like a Colt .45 or similar (cowboy style) then to use the handgun you perform the following steps.

  • Put the gun on half cock
  • Open the loading gate
  • Push ejector rod and eject one casing
  • Rotate cylinder one chamber and push ejector rod to eject spent casing, repeat 4 more times until empty.
  • Load one cartridge
  • Rotate the cylinder by hand to the next chamber and load a cartridge
  • Repeat until 5 cartridges are loaded (you can load all six in a modern version)
  • Close the loading gate
  • Cock the weapon
  • Aim
  • Then pull the trigger to fire.

taurus judge .410

photo credits: Ben Branam on Flickr.com

Taurus Judge/Smith & Wesson Governor

As you can see by the steps involved, a modern double/single action revolver is far superior to the old single action style. But if you want to use .45 LC caliber, a single action revolver is pretty much your only choice unless you buy a .454 Casull, a Taurus Judge, or a Smith & We$$on Governor.

These two revolvers fire both .410 shot shells as well as .45 LC cartridges. They are both also double/single action and can be a suitable choice for SHTF as the .45 LC is fairly common. After all, the .45 LC is one of the oldest handgun cartridges, having been around since 1872.

The .45 LC loaded to higher pressures can take game like whitetail deer from short distances from a handgun. It is also a very good man stopper even in lower pressure loads. The .410 shot shell spreads quite a bit from a short 3” barrel. But if you get the 6” barrel version the gun is better balanced, holds a tighter shot pattern (barely) for small game, and has a higher muzzle pressure with the .45 LC.

Between these two handguns I can’t really say that one is better than the other. But what I can say is that the Taurus Judge is going to cost less than the Smith & Wesson.

Taking all of these things into consideration I would say that the stainless steel, 3” magnum chambered, Taurus Judge with a 6” barrel, is an excellent choice for a SHTF handgun. With its versatility you could probably get by with just that if you could only buy one gun and you need it to serve multiple purposes. Another reason would be that you are trying to keep your pack lighter and don’t want to carry a rifle.

A quality 4” .357 magnum revolver (no EAA)

Another good choice for a SHTF handgun in a revolver is a .357 magnum. I would recommend getting one with a 4” barrel. The reason why is that it is a happy medium between the conceal ability of a 2” barreled snub nosed, and the higher pressures, greater accuracy, and range of a 6” barrel.

The 4” barrel will still allow you to carry the gun concealed fairly easily, and it will be suitable for hunting. I suppose that you could hunt with a snub nosed, but it would definitely not be ideal. The 4” will cover both self defense and hunting quite well.

Another good point for the .357 magnum is that beside the .357 magnum cartridge, it will also fire the .38 special cartridge. This gives you a little more options for ammo availability. In a pinch you can even chamber and fire .38 short colt and .38 long colt cartridges from a .357 magnum revolver.

Keep in mind though, if you fire a lot of shorter cartridges, make sure to clean the chambers in the cylinder thoroughly before chambering a .357 magnum cartridge again. If you don’t, there could be issues with the cartridge fully seating due to chamber fouling.

This choice, just like any other handgun that offers it, I would also recommend a stainless steel version. Stainless steel is more durable when faced with the elements, and there is no finish to rub off in a holster or pocket.

The make and model of the .357 magnum revolver doesn’t really matter, as long as it is a quality firearm. Never trust your life to a cheap firearm. By the way, in this use of the word, cheap doesn’t mean inexpensive, cheap means poorly made. I wrote an article a short time back about cheap vs. inexpensive handguns that can clear that up for you.

Semiautomatic pistols

My next suggestions are for semiautomatic pistols. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, if you have no or little experience handling a semiautomatic pistol, you should get professional training. Just because someone may have handled a .22 or .38 or whatever revolver before, or their uncle handed them a “9” that they emptied the magazine from, doesn’t mean they can dive right in to a semiautomatic on their own. GET TRAINING.

This video shows how a semiautomatic pistol works. As you can easily see it is much more complex than a revolver.

9mm or .40 cal

Now that we cleared that up, if you want to get a pistol for self defense in case of SHTF, there are literally 100’s of options. The first consideration is caliber. Do you solely intend for this handgun to be for self defense against humans? If so, then a 9mm or .40 caliber pistol will do quite well for this.

These calibers were actually designed with shooting humans in mind. Also, because they are prolific in military and police use, the ammunition availability will probably be pretty fair even after supply lines dry up.

The 9mm and .40 caliber will also handle medium game somewhat reliably. Humans, large dogs, or whatever you might encounter up to about 200 pounds in the woods can be dealt with reasonably with these calibers. However, if you live where there are larger animals, or if you also want to hunt with the pistol, then I would recommend moving up to a .45 ACP.

45 acp

The .45 ACP

The .45 ACP was also designed with the human animal in mind being a cartridge designed for a military sidearm. However some people actually like to deer hunt with this caliber. With a quality, accurate pistol a deer can be taken at ranges out to about 40-50 yards.

Maybe even farther out if you are awesome. Also, because the cartridge has been in production in most parts of the world for over 100 years ammo availability should not be an issue.

Now, the make or model of any of these calibers pistols relies solely on you. Myself, I prefer stainless steel pistols with a hammer and decocker, but many other people prefer plastic striker fired guns.

For the sake of this article I will not suggest any particular brand of pistol. I will only say that you should buy the best quality firearm that you can afford. You do not want to trust your life to a cheap gun. Again, cheap here meaning of poor quality, like I mentioned earlier in the article I wrote another article that discusses this subject.

Here is a video comparing the effects of a 9mm, a .40 caliber, and a .45 ACP on a pig head.

Number five – big bore handguns

Since I listed three calibers for the semiautomatic, and I’m going to mention two here, then technically I listed more than “5 top guns”, but it had to be done to cover all the ground.

Here I will say that if you live in an area that has very large, very dangerous animals, then I would get a larger caliber handgun. This larger caliber handgun can be a revolver or a semiautomatic, depending on what caliber you choose. But for larger, dangerous game I would recommend the following calibers.

.44 magnum (available in a revolver or semiautomatic)

.454 Casull (revolver)

.460 Ruger (revolver)

.500 S&W (revolver)

There are a couple of other .50 caliber semiautomatics available but the ammunition is somewhat obscure so I wouldn’t get one for SHTF scenarios.

Honorable mention

Some people say that their go to gun for SHTF would be a .22 LR because they will be able to carry a lot more ammunition with them. I can’t argue that point, but I can argue that if this is the only gun you can have then it cannot possibly meet all of your needs, especially if there are large, dangerous animals where you live.

Still others have sworn by the .22 magnum semiautomatic Kel Tec PMR 30. This is a polymer pistol that holds 30 rounds of .22 magnum ammunition. A neat gun, no doubt, but I don’t think I would swear by it as my only handgun or weapon in case of SHTF.

Here is a video showing the effect of a .22 magnum fired into ballistics gel.

Final words

In the end it’s like I’ve said many times before. The best gun is the gun that you have. The best gun is the gun that you are comfortable with and that you can hit the target with.

Some may say “oh, a .22”, but I guarantee you that if they are on the receiving end of ANY firearm and they start hearing BANG, BANG, BANG, they are ready to go. Especially if when they hear bangs happening they also start feeling extreme pain in a part of their body.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you a .22 is the best gun, but I’m also not going to tell you to leave it behind if that’s all you have. I myself hope that if the S ever hits the F, I will be able to get to my safe place with all of my stuff.

If I have to hunker down at home (bug in), then I am fairly heavily armed, better than average I’d say. Even for an American. I can only hope that if anyone on the outside wants inside, that favor smiles on me.

Prepping with Kids: Yoga for Stress Refief

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Prepping with Kids, Yoga for stress relief | PreparednessMama

Some days being a kid is just plain stressful. Use these poses to teach your kids yoga for stress relief. It’s a skill they need to learn now so they can use it in the future. Now that you’re a little way into summer, it feels appropriate to revisit coping with trauma. LOL! How are […]

The post Prepping with Kids: Yoga for Stress Refief appeared first on PreparednessMama.

The Advantages Of AGM Sealed Batteries For Your RV Or Off-Grid

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Sealed batteries, particularly the AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery, is becoming increasingly popular for off-grid applications and have always been preferred in RV or trailer applications due to their safety attributes. The AGM battery is a lead acid battery, but unlike its traditional counterpart it is sealed tight and offers a number of advantages that […]

Whats your media diet?

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Whats your media diet? James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio player below! We Drudge, we Prepper Website, we SHTFplan and we may even Future Danger from time to time. As preppers and survivalists we consume a lot of media. In fact, its one of the more addictive parts of this whole process. There are tons … Continue reading Whats your media diet?

The post Whats your media diet? appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

4 Reasons The 16-Gauge Shotgun Is NOT Obsolete

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4 Reasons The 16-Gauge Shotgun Is NOT Obsolete

Image source: HoneyKnivesOfChina

The phrase “16-gauge shotgun” often sparks memories of yesteryear: the dusty old single shot from the 50s you inherited from your grandfather, or the quirky old pump you once eyed in the gun store.

The 16-gauge shotgun is a strange gun, especially in the Western U.S. I understand it has a bit more popularity in the Northeast, and of course our European cousins seem overly fond of it. But just what good is a semi-obsolete shotgun that seems to stay alive out of sheer force of habit?

Here are four good answers you should consider one:

1. They can be cheap. Odds are that a comparable 16-gauge will be cheaper on the used gun rack than a similar 12- or 20-gauge. The market just isn’t there, and these things can languish on the shelves. They still go “boom,” though, and still are perfectly good for whatever use you might have for a shotgun. If you are into saving money, you can assemble a nice battery of quality shotguns at an incredible saving by going with a 16-gauge.

2. They fill a sweet spot between 12- and-20 gauge. The shot patterns fall nicely in the middle of the two, and often 16s are lighter to carry than a 12. The right-in-the-middle performance of a 16-gauge means better success in the field and better performance in the kind of circumstances where you might want to haul a light 20-gauge around. The 16-gauge really shines in thick brush, where hunters might normally choose a 12-gauge to bust through the cover. However, you wind up with small game riddled with more pellets than might be desirable, but often a 20-gauge just won’t cut it. The 16 is “just right” for those circumstances.

3. The 16-gauge is a handloader’s dream come true. Admittedly, this is because at some point you have to load for it, due to inconsistent availability of ammo, but once you are freed from the traditional market and cultural expectations of what the “ideal” load is, you are wide open to do your own thing. I have always maintained that if I must load my ammo, I’d rather do it for a niche gun than one where I can get whatever I want off the shelf in the gunstore. This is why I carry a .41 magnum revolver, shoot a Krag, and have a 16-gauge single shot for birds. Beyond that, you can make a 16-gauge do the work of a 20 or 12 with little effort, depending on how you load for it. What’s not to love?

4. The ammo really isn’t that hard to find. If you live near a population center or a large sporting goods store, odds are there are basic 16-gauge loads available to you: birdshot, buckshot, slugs and the like. It’s easy to overlook, but once you start shopping for it, 16-gauge ammo seems to pop up everywhere. Really, a good 16-gauge is a darn fine gun. What I like most about them, though, is that you can walk into almost any country gun shop, or old pawnshop, and find at least one or two neat old 16-gauges. There is something classy about picking up an old break-action shotgun, cleaning it up and bringing it back to life.

So many 16-gauge shotguns fed families, or were prized possessions and are now relegated to the dustbin of history because they aren’t the “latest” and “greatest” scattergun. When shopping for a used 16-gauge, you often will find they are well-preserved, often because at some point the owner decided it was too oddball a cartridge to keep using regularly.

I have seen fine semi-auto 16s at crazy low prices. I can’t begin to count the number of nearly mint 1950s department store branded pumps I’ve run across, either. And, of course, there are a great many old single-shot 16s out there. Well-used, well-loved, but still with plenty of life left in them. The 16-gauge is a direct link back to a different time in American history, when things moved a little slower and were at times a bit simpler.

Hardly an obsolete cartridge, with just a little bit of care, you’ll find a good 16-gauge shotgun is one heck of an off-the-grid companion or even just spare shotgun. Pick one up. You’ll be glad you did.

Do you own a 16-gauge? Have you ever shot one? What do you think? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Great Emergency Food Storage for Small Spaces – Legacy’s 72 Hour Kit

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Today we had a tropical storm.   Many streets were impassable, and parking areas were closed off due to flooding.  Fortunately, the storm was just that, not a hurricane.  Weather forecasters are warning of an active hurricane season and advising people to get prepared.   Natural and man-made disasters can happen anywhere.  That’s why I always recommend having a stockpile of emergency foods.  It should include foods that are easy to prepare, preferably a combination […]

The post Great Emergency Food Storage for Small Spaces – Legacy’s 72 Hour Kit appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

US Civil War Just Went Hot!

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Bob Griswold of Ready Made Resources is on the show today. We talk about the hot war between the left and right in America. Bob urges people to prepare now and to not ignore the warnings.

 

Since the EMP, Danny Walker’s compound has survived waves of violence and the death of many key members. When Danny gets an unexpected piece of news, he pledges to put an end to the persistent threat in Charlotte. He will kill Regent Schlusser and shut down his consortium of depravity, or he will die trying. Get your copy of Seven Cows, Ugly and Gaunt; Book Four: Vengeance today!

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Trading Post in the Woods is ran by veteran crisis responders who know how important it is to be prepared. They specialize in comprehensive natural survival remedy kits, preparedness and homesteading supplies as well as skills training. Visit them online today at TradingPostInTheWoods.com.

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CampingSurvival.com has all of your preparedness needs including; bug out bags, long term food storage, water filters, gas masks, and first aid kits. Use coupon code PREPPERRECON to get 5% off your entire order at Camping Survival.

silver-195x195

The dollar has lost over 90% of its purchasing power since 1971. Silver, on the other hand, has proved to be a very stable form of wealth preservation over the years. Silver.com offers fantastic prices on silver and gold. Check out Silver.com today.

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

Happy Prepping!

Mark

The post US Civil War Just Went Hot! appeared first on Prepper Recon.

Legacy Food Storage 72 Hour Food Kit: Stroganoff Review

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Last night my kids and I decided to make the Stroganoff which is part of the Legacy 72 Hour Kit I started reviewing a few weeks back. It’s non-GMO, vegetarian, and obviously low in fat. Here’s the front of the package: And the backside: Just like with the other meals thus far, it’s super simple … Continue reading “Legacy Food Storage 72 Hour Food Kit: Stroganoff Review”

Uncovered FEMA Report Warns: 4-10 Years WITHOUT ELECTRICITY After Major Solar Storm

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Uncovered FEMA Report Warns: 4-10 Years WITHOUT ELECTRICITY After Major Solar StormJune 28, 2017

A perfect solar storm similar to one that slammed into Earth in 1859 would knock out the United States electric grid for four to 10 years if it hit today, an unpublished report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) indicates.

The 36-page report was posted this month at GovernmentAttic.org, which uncovers old government documents that often are acquired via Freedom of Information Act requests. The 2010 document was titled, “Mitigation strategies for FEMA command, control, and communications during and after a solar superstorm.”

The storm that hit Earth in 1859 was dubbed the Carrington Event and caught telegraph machines – the most advanced technology of the day – on fire.

Are Your Prepared For A Downed Grid? Get Backup Electricity Today!

Predicting what would happen if that type of solar crashed into Earth in the 21st century, the document says: “Significant power grid collapses may occur in North America and elsewhere; could require 4-10 years to fully restore.”

But even a smaller storm, like the one that hit Earth in 1921, would “could cause large-scale power grid collapse” if it hit today.

The report predicts that Internet, cable TV and telephone service would shut down. Cell phone service also would quickly be lost.

“Approximately 60% of the cellular towers in the U.S. have battery backup only for 2-24 hours,” the report states. “As these towers lose power, large portions of the cellular network will begin to fail. Urban and populated suburban areas are more likely to have cell towers with generator backup with fuel reserves ranging from 1-7 days, depending on location and equipment owner.”

FEMA never published the report, which is dated December 2010. Off The Grid News reached out to an expert on the grid who has frequent contact with government agencies. This person said the report appeared to be legitimate.

“This paper recreates the 1859 event today using the latest research to explain and understand: 1) The nature and effects of radio blackouts, solar radiation storms, and geomagnetic storms; 2) their potential for cascading effects on global power and telecommunications systems; and, 3) the implications for FEMA …in planning for and responding to such an event,” the report reads.

A Carrington-type event would generate massive amounts of energy that would blow out transformers. It is the replacement of these transformers that is of concern to FEMA and other government agencies. Each transformer is custom-made; there are no backup parts. It is not known how many transformers there are in the U.S., but it likely is in the tens of thousands. Each one takes up to two years to build.

“Loss of key infrastructure for extended periods due to the cascading effects from a space weather event (or other disturbance) could lead to a lack of food, given low inventories and reliance on just-in-time delivery, loss of basic transportation, inability to pump fuel, and loss of refrigeration,” is how a 2008 report from the National Academy of Sciences described the aftermath of a major solar storm.

What is your reaction? Do you think America is ready for such a crisis? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Panic in the Year Zero

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Everyone visualizes their “end of the world” scenario. For some it is the Wi-Fi being down for more than an hour, for others it is more serious, the stuff of biblical writings, history, stories, legends and movies ad nauseam, the article title here is from an ancient sci-fi movie.

So, what is your move in this situation: Rule of law is gone, you are hunkered down somewhere, with family and friends. Your turn to scout and during your patrol you are overtaken by several seriously armed and hungry men who want to take your stuff, shoot you and move on. What do you have left to bargain with? They already have what you were carrying. You have the promise of more food and supplies because these will become scarce quickly. How do you do this and minimize the danger to your group?

 

You do it by setting up small caches of food and water at increasing distances from your camp. Making the promise that there is more as well as clothing and equipment in other sites. You should have no more than three of these as even today’s college students will eventually catch on.

These are small quantities you all know about that you can “give up” as you bring them closer to your camp, and your sentry with the FN SCAR® 17S with the Trijicon TA11E ACOG 3.5×35 Scope. Betting your life that he (or she – I have been to an Israeli Kibbutz) is alert and sighting in. You have noticed in zombie movies and TV shows that the uninfected are just as dangerous as the infected, right? And you do know that there will be no real zombies, other than maybe the occasional former government officials roaming around in circles looking for handouts. As a pepper, you better have absorbed these fact, and purged the myth of the old Western movies that when strangers approach your camp fire they are simply seeking some of that coffee you made using an old gym sock, or worse, as a filter. Of course, the world is full of good people with pure intentions! Your ability to determine this in a split second becomes a life and death choice in a world gone dark.

Making a zone around your site, with clear views of the easy approach routes, and putting in the small stashes is just good planning. Think this is “out there”? Coyotes (Coyotaje) do it all along the Southwest border for the reverse reasons, and they include weapons in case they lose theirs along the way.

 

A final thought. You will have a turn as sentry. Could you pull the trigger? I don’t need to know that answer but you and your family and friends do.

The post Panic in the Year Zero appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Jeanette Finicum at Red Pill Expo Bozeman Montana June 24 2017

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The author, not me, went to this event and filmed this.

Why this in an anti-nuclear, anti-toxic environment blog?

Because we might get some small wins here and there, but with a bloated corrupt system of government that cannot be made to adhere to our basic laws, we are aren’t going to get the big wins that we absolutely need.

Good Work Spike! http://fromthetrenchesworldreport.com/jeanette-finicum-red-pill-expo-bozeman-montana-june-24-2017/201865

13 Ways to Declare Your Personal Independence

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We preppers like to talk about self-reliance and independence and, perhaps, we achieve a bit of that when it comes to growing our own food, having multiple ways to survive if/when the power goes out, and storing water for emergencies. However, we can still be very much chained by habits and mindsets that are much harder to change than just snagging a few extra cans of soup every trip to the grocery store.

13 Ways to Declare Your Personal Independence via The Survival Mom

This Independence Day, why not declare your personal independence in ways that will establish a whole new course toward true freedom?

1. Get ride of DEBT. When my husband and I paid off the last credit card a few years back, I cannot tell you how great it was to finally be free of that financial burden. With 2 vehicles that are paid off as well, we only have our mortgage each month, and my goal is to have that paid off within 10 years. We applied Dave Ramsey’s popular money management system from his very easy-to-read book The Total Money Makover, and soon were free of debt with savings in the bank as well.

Declaring financial indpendence isn’t easy and will take time, but every little bit helps, even if you save just $1 a day or use something like this 52 Week Savings Plan.

2. Free your household from CHEMICALS. I’m not an enemy of all chemicals but most consumers mindlessly purchase products for cleaning, personal care, our pets, pest elimination, and even food without checking the ingredients. And, all too often, those ingredients are words we can’t even pronounce, much less understand how they might impact our health.

For many years, the #1 cleaning product in my house was simple white vinegar. I mixed it in a big bucket with some water to mop my floors, used it on countertops, tabletops, and had a spray bottle with half water/half vinegar for an all-purpose cleaning spray. You can increase your independence from questionable chemical additives by making your own lotions, lip balms, toothpaste, pet treats, and soap.

Download my free guide, “Switch From Store-Bought to Homemade” for more ideas and recipes, and check out this article with recipes specifically for cleaning your house.

3. Along those same lines, establish FOOD FREEDOM and set yourself and your family free from preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, excessive sodium, and other undesirable ingredients in your food. Take a look at what is in your grocery cart and if most of it is processed, figure out ways to make those same foods from scratch but with wholesome ingredients. This is so much easier than you might think.

Years ago I went on a from-scratch-cooking kick and was amazed by how simple it was and how I could adjust recipes to suit my own taste, include in-season produce, and, in general, tweak recipes in multiple ways. I’ve written about using a no-recipe cooking method for soups and casseroles and suggest giving it a try. There’s no need to ingest ingredients that food production companies decide to add to their products when those ingredients are unhealthy.

Growing your own food, learning to preserve it by canning and/or dehydrating, and even raising chickens and bees (both are entirely possible in the suburbs) are all ways of declaring independence and increasing self-reliance at the same time.

TIP: Want to get started with canning? Tomatoes are in season everywhere right now and are one of the easiest of all foods to can. Here is more information to help you get started.

4. Take a long, hard look at how you might get your children out of the PUBLIC EDUCATION system. Even though I was a classroom teacher for several years and then I trained teachers for an additional 4 more years, I’m not a big fan of public schools. I’ve homeschooled our kids from kindergarten through their senior year — my daughter just graduated from high school as a homeschooler — and I wouldn’t change a thing.

When you homeschool, you remove your kids from “the matrix”, as I call it. They are free to become their own, independent-minded individual, free to explore their God-given interests and talents, free from daily, intense peer pressure (and sometimes bullying), and this sets the entire family free from the demands of public school.

Our family has enjoyed the freedom to travel, visit relatives, and vacation throughout the year, not just during the summer months. Some years we’ve spent less than $200 on school books and supplies, other years more, but that was by choice of curriculum, special classes, sports, etc. Homeschooling can be VERY budget-friendly.

I’ve written numerous articles about homeschooling — how to get started, the curriculum I use, etc. — and you can read them all right here.

5. Reduce your GROCERY BILL. Can you imagine spending just $200-400 a month on groceries? Well, some families do just that by cooking all meals from scratch (this is almost always cheaper than buying processed foods), starting and expanding a backyard garden, raising chickens and other small lifestock, buying in-season produce at farmers markets, and basic meal planning focusing on the most frugal meals possible.

You may not have much control over your rent, mortgage, or car payment amounts, but you have a ton of control over how much you spend on food! Check out this article about planning meals to get started. Knowing ahead of time what you will be cooking and serving several days in advance alleviates a lot of stress and allows you to shop the grocery store ads and clip coupons in order to save even more.

6. Get over MATERIALISM already! Wow, will this one set you free in more ways than one. There’s no need to keep up with the Joneses, especially when you think about how much the Joneses are spending. They may very well be in debt up to their eyeballs, as this old commercial reminds us.

That sure doesn’t look like freedom or independence to me!

Every day we are inundated by both subtle and blatant messages about what we “should” own. Women’s websites and magazines are among the worst. Unless we use a certain cosmetic, we’ll never be beautiful. Until we go on an expensive diet, we’ll never have the body we want, and of course, the message of this never-ending drumbeat is BUY-BUY-BUY!

Well, you and I can say, “NO!” to these messages of materialism and get back to just the basics and focus on wants vs. needs. This, by the way, is a great way to help our kids and grandkids also declare their independence and avoid the debt trap as adults.

7. Let go of THE PAST. Some of the most miserable people I’ve ever known are tied to past mistakes, past grievances, past relationships. They have never let go and moved on to see what the next chapter of their lives might hold.

This Independence Day, forgive yourself for mistakes you’ve made and learn from them. One thing I’ve taught my own kids is this: Would you ever talk to your best friend the way you talk to yourself? Would you ever blame and never forgive your best friend because they made a mistake? Of course their answer is always no, and I say, “Then why do you talk to yourself like that?”

Be kind to yourself as though you were your very best friend. Give yourself grace, forgiveness, and mercy.

Have a grudge against someone who hurt or rejected you? The best thing I ever did in a situation like this was write a friendly, neutral email to the person wishing them the best of luck, and you know what? I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT THEM AGAIN!  Really. That one simple step totally removed any power I thought they had over me, and I stopped my mental conversations of what I’d like to say, what I should have said, etc. I just wish I had thought to write that email months earlier!

When you take this step, also seek out people who are positive, happy, and excited about life. It’s been said that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. If that’s the case, be purposeful and selective about who those 5 people are! Married to a perpetually grumpy spouse? Then determine the other four people will be rays of bright, shining lights in your life!

8. Decide to stop STUPID/RISKY BEHAVIOR. Why chain yourself to bad habits that are affecting your physical, mental, and/or emotional health? Even not getting enough sleep every night has extremely negative effects after a while.

Some people avoid going to the doctor, the dentist, getting any exercise, among other bad decisions, and end up paying a high price with an unhealthy body that couldn’t run a block if they saw a mushroom cloud on the horizon.

Don’t be that person!

9. If you’re a prepper, you may already have set yourself free from worrying about WHAT OTHERS THINK, but if not, this is something you need to make a habit of today. Nothing will bind you down more than worrying about what other people think, when the truth is, they really don’t think about you very often at all.

10. Declare your independence by taking charge of your TIME. You do realize that time is life, right? As those seconds and minutes tick away, that’s your life ticking away, so why squander it by saying “yes” to commitments you really don’t want or need in your life? Spending it on mindless video games and forms of entertainment that have no value at all. When we don’t manage our time, we give control of our lives over to everyone and everything else, and there’s certainly no independence in that!

When we manage time well, our lives become more balanced, and this leads to better physical, emotional, and mental health. Granted, it’s hard to achieve this during the baby/toddler/little kid years, but even an hour or so of alone-time can help. I love this book, Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Livesbecause it sheds so much light on the importance of using time strategically.

11. If you’re still SEEKING STATUS and approval from others, you aren’t truly independent, my sweet friend. Learn who you are, clarify your values, and decide what your own definition is of success. If you define success as having a happy marriage, healthy kids, and a home that is a haven for your loved ones, then you can hold your head up high because you’ve succeeded!

Self-confidence, modeled in front of your children, is a magnificent legacy that will extend to generations long after you’re gone.

12. If you do nothing else, set yourself free from SOCIAL MEDIA!! What a scourge this has become. On Twitter and Facebook, I have never seen so much rage, hatred, disrespect, and pure meanness on display every single day. Sometimes it’s aimed at “friends” but more often at total strangers. People who wouldn’t even look you in the eye in real life have no problem calling you a &*(&*!!! or a $%^^& or even a $%&^*&@ simply because you voice an opinion they don’t like.

Who needs that kind of “social” in their lives? Not me. Not only does social media expose you to a steady stream of negative vibe but it also sucks away time like nothing else can. I’ve found myself scrolling through Facebook posts for hours each week, maybe getting a recipe idea here or there, maybe watching a funny cat video — but how is that really useful or helpful to me? I have plenty of cookbooks with hundreds of recipes, maybe thousands, that I’ve never read and if our 5 pets aren’t here for my entertainment, then what are they good for???

I’m being a bit facetious with that last bit there, but you get my point. Nothing online, nothing at all, will ever contribute to your quality of life the way real relationships and real life will.

13. Finally, find ways to reduce your DEPENDENCE ON OTHERS. Preparing for emergencies and being ready for things like power outages, bad weather, and unexpected expenses. Simple things like clearing your home of clutter and unwanted/unneccessary belongings and getting organized, setting aside some money each week, and developing practical skills will all help you become independent and able to face challenges without total reliance on others.

Foster this attitude in your other family members as detailed in this article.

I’ve always wondered if it really is the nature of humans to fear independence and both need and want someone to rule over them, give them orders, and then obey, as in this speech by Loki in The Avengers movie,

I think you and me, though, we’re different. We were drawn to the idea of preparedness exactly because we reject the thought of being controlled and ruled over by others in a time of crisis and seek independence in ways that are often small but gradually accumulate to something of real significance.

Enjoy your Independence Day, not just this July 4th, but on every day of the year!

13 Ways to Declare Your Personal Independence via The Survival Mom

Dakin’s Solution for Wound Care

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Dakin’s Solution

Dakin’s Solution by Century Pharm.

One of the challenges facing the caregiver in austere settings is how to prevent infection in open wounds. After a disaster, people may be forced to perform activities of daily survival to which they are not accustomed. Injuries may occur as a result. Infections will be more likely in areas where hygiene and sanitation are questionable; without advanced medical care, a bad outcome may be the end result.

A simple and affordable method that was used as far back as World War I may be the answer for the medic: Wound care with Dakin’s solution.

Dakin’s solution is the product of the efforts of an English chemist, Henry Drysdale Dakin, and a French surgeon named Alexis Carrel. In their search for a useful antiseptic to save the lives of wounded soldiers during WWI, they used sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) and baking soda to make a solution that had significant protective effect against infection. The chlorine in the solution had a solvent action on dead cells, which prevented the accumulation of bacteria in open wounds.

(As an aside, both sides in the war were also using chlorine in gaseous form as an anti-personnel weapon!)

Today, Dakin’s solution is still considered effective enough to be used after surgery and on chronic wounds, like bedsores, by many practitioners. It’s easily prepared and can be made stronger or milder by varying the amount of bleach used. Use it simply to clean the wound during dressing changes by pouring onto the affected area, or to moisten dressings used in an open wound.

Dakin’s Solution Recipe

pan with lid (image by pixabay)

To make Dakin’s solution, you’ll need just a few items. This recipe is from Ohio State University’s Department of Inpatient Nursing:

  • Unscented household bleach (sodium hypochlorite solution 5.25%, avoid more concentrated versions).
  • Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • A pan with a lid
  • Sterile measuring cup and spoon (sterilize by boiling)
  • Sterile canning jar and lid

Of course, wash your hands beforehand, just as you would with any medical procedure. Then:

1. Put 4 cups (32 ounces) of water into the pan and cover with the lid.

2. Boil the water for 15 minutes with the lid on.

3. Remove from the heat source.

4. Use the sterile spoon to add ½ teaspoon of baking soda to the water.

5. Add bleach (sodium hypochlorite 5.25%) in the amount needed (see below).

6. Pour into sterile canning jar and close with a sterile lid.

7.  Label and store in a dark place.

The amount of sodium hypochlorite to add:

Full Strength  (0.5%):       95 ml (about 3 oz. or 6 tablespoons)

Half Strength (0.25%):     48 ml (3 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon)

!/4 Strength   (0.125%):    24 ml (1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons)

1/8 Strength  (0.0625%):  12 ml (2 ½ teaspoons)

Note: 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon = 14.7 ml; 2 tablespoons = 1 US ounce = 29.5 ml

Once canned, it’s been said that Dakin’s solution will remain potent for about 30 days. For survival purposes, however, I would make it as I need it for wounds or maybe have just make just a few jars at a time. Once open, discard the remainder after a day or so. You may also consider Century Pharmaceutical’s buffered version of Dakin’s that is thought to last about a year.

Using Dakin’s Solution on Wounds

dressing an open wound

Pour into wound once daily for mildly infected wounds, twice daily for heavily infected wounds with drainage of pus. Alternatively, moisten (not soak) dressings used inside the wound (not on top of the skin) with a mild strength solution and observe progress. I would prefer using it as a cleanser as opposed to a regular component of a wet dressing. Some studies show that use in this manner may be injurious to developing cells. Having said that, if you’re dealing with a severe infection (as opposed to preventing one), it may be reasonable to incorporate Dakin’s into the dressing.

Dakin’s solution can be used as a mouthwash for infections inside the oral cavity, but must never be swallowed. Swish for about a minute before spitting it out no more than twice a week.

Full strength may irritate skin, so consider protecting skin edges with petroleum jelly or other skin protectant/moisture barrier. Look for evidence of skin rashes, burning, itching, hives, or blisters. If irritation occurs, drop down to a milder strength or discontinue. Do not use in those allergic to Chlorine.

It should be noted that not all practitioners agree about the benefits of Dakin’s solution. Certainly, there may be other options with regards to regular wound care, including sterile normal saline and sterilized tap water. Antibiotics also play an important role in treating infected wounds, and a good supply is important for any medic in a remote setting. However, Dakin’s is well tolerated by patients and is simple to make with affordable ingredients. It’s another tool in the medical woodshed for scenarios where modern medical help is not on the way.

Joe Alton MD

Joe Alton MD

Learn about wound infections and 150 more medical topic in remote or disaster settings by getting a copy of our 700 page third edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way.

Is a Concealed Carry Weapon Really Necessary?

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January 2017: 39 people were killed and 70 wounded in a nightclub in Istanbul. Things have changed. Methods have changed and we have learned so much about the threats we face. There are instances when, in hindsight, we can place a concealed carry weapon or a CCW into a situation and proclaim, “it would have […]

The post Is a Concealed Carry Weapon Really Necessary? appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Innocent Man Spends 90 Days In Jail After Police Mistake Drywall Powder For …

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Innocent Man Spends 90 Days In Jail After Police Mistake Drywall Powder For Cocaine

Image source: Wikimedia

Handyman Karlos Cashe spent three months in jail because police were unable to tell the difference between drywall powder and cocaine.

Cashe was arrested after Oviedo, Fla., police conducted a field test on white powder in his vehicle and determined it was crack.

“I sat there 90 days knowing I was innocent,” Cashe told reporters.

He was unable to make bail because of a 2015 arrest that was for cocaine possession. But he since has gotten his life back on track and has a job.

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

“I know for a fact [that] it’s drywall because I’m a handyman,” Cashe said. “I said that continuously during the arrest stop.”

The powder tested positive for cocaine in a field drug test, but charges later were dropped and he was released after a laboratory test determined the substance was not cocaine.

“That little piece of crack was under his seat thing,” an unidentified cop said in bodycam video obtained by WESH 2 television. Police tested the substance after a drug-sniffing dog located it.

Disturbingly, Cashe is far from alone. Last year ProPublica reported that hundreds of people have been jailed due to inaccurate field tests.

“I want them to restore what I lost for those 90 days,” Cashe said.

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

 

How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally: 13 Ant Control Tips

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The post How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally: 13 Ant Control Tips is by
Lorin Nielsen and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

When you step into your yard to relax in the evening, the last thing you want to see is a line of ants plodding along what appears to be a spontaneous ant highway. Unfortunately, our yards, gardens, and even our homes attract ants like a local park draws children — and they want to stay. … Read more

The post How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally: 13 Ant Control Tips is by
Lorin Nielsen and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

The gender pay gap – as measured by 1000ths of an inch

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Here’s a quick word association test – how big is the gender pay gap? How
much less are women paid for doing the same work? You might automatically
say 30% less. Or 25% less. Or even 21% less. These are all common figures,
all used by various experts, celebrities and even heads of state. Yet they
are all totally and tragically wrong.

There is no gender pay gap. It is a complete myth.

1/1000th of an inch is the width of a human hair. That’s about the real
size of the gender pay gap – and it is probably in favor of women.

How could that be? The gender pay gap is common knowledge. As carved in
stone as 365 1/4 days in a year or 5280 feet in a mile. You don’t even have
to think about things like this.

That, of course, is the problem. You don’t think about it. You got your
information about the gender pay gap from a reliable source at some point
in the past and have had no reason to think about it since.

If you did think about it, however, it would be quite obvious that there
were serious problems with it. The fact is – and you know this already – if
a man and a woman worked in adjacent cubicles doing exactly the same work,
then they would get exactly the same pay. Their cubicles would be exactly
the same size. And there would probably be exactly the same number of steps
to the washroom and to their parking spaces. Because if that were not the
case, it would be against the law in any western country. The company would
be charged with discrimination and forced to pay a huge fine. Furthermore,
the woman would sue the company – and win – and get a huge settlement. In
addition the resultant bad publicity could actually force the company out
of business. So no company would pay men and women differently for the same
job. They simply would not dare to take that much risk for such a small
reward.

Another, humorous side of this argument is made by Christina Hoff Somers –
who calls herself The Factual Feminist. She says that if women really could
be paid a lot less for the same work, then every company would immediately
fire all of its men and hire all those low paid women to do the same work. (
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oqyrflOQFc)

But, of course, they don’t.

So it’s pretty clear when you do think about it – a gender pay gap for the
same work simply does not and could not exist in today’s workplace.

Why then do feminists continue to claim such a pay gap exists? Again,
Christina Hoff Somers suggests that it is agenda driven. Modern day
feminists need women to be victims, oppressed by the evil patriarchy in
order to have something to fight against. So they keep using the gender pay
gap as a trigger to get people riled up.

In fact, if there was an evil patriarchy oppressing women, why would it let
more women into universities than men, allow more women than men to graduate
universities, give women advantages in private sector job hunting, as well
in criminal and in family courts. Pretty inefficient patriarchy.

If they are so patently wrong, then where did these pay gap figures of 30%
less, 25% less and 21% less come from? Benjamin Disraeli once said there
are three kinds of lies. Lies. Damned lies. And statistics. And that’s
exactly where the discrepancy figures come from. Milo Yiannopoulos, the
Conservative speaker, who recently billed himself as The Dangerous Faggot
on his tour of American Universities, says the figure comes from bad math
and bad economics.  If you take the earnings of all women who work and
compare it to the wages earned by all men who work, there will be a gap.
But it’s certainly not a gap in pay for doing the same work. It’s a
statistic and one that lies, because it doesn’t take into account the life
choices women make – to have a more balanced life, rather than to spend
every waking moment at work. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTcy4GiN1iQ)

Dr Jordan Peterson, a Psychology Professor from the University of Toronto
expands upon this idea, saying that competitive places, like top law firms
simply cannot keep their female lawyers after age 35, because there are
innate differences between men and women, and at that age women generally
decide that they simply do not want to spend 8 hour weeks working and every
waking moment in the office. They’d rather have a more balanced life.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lq_QjDbkLuA)

The point is, with a little research and a bit of thinking, it’s obvious
that there is no gender pay gap for the same work. It’s a myth. Even
measured in 1/1000ths of an inch, there is no difference. The question, of
course is, why don’t more people question it? Why didn’t you?

The truth is, like most of us, you probably don’t have lot of spare time.
What little you do have you don’t want to waste on things like calculating
how many feet in a mile. Or how many days in a year. You simply take the
figures for granted.

This exercise illustrates not so much about the agenda of modern feminists
or about the mythical gender pay gap, but rather a phenomenon that Tom
Peters in the Search for Excellence books defined as a “blinding flash of
the obvious”. Maybe you need to reorganize your life so you do have more
time. More time to think. More time to spend with your friends and family.
More time to relax and enjoy life.

The path to this state of being is probably to become your own boss – which
the internet let’s you do now with little to no investment and a lot
greater job satisfaction and a lot more fun. For example, you could set up
your own website quite affordably and write out a blog every week or every
day. It could become very popular very quickly and begin attracting
advertisers and paying you, in some cases, even more than you earn now. If
you have a lot of opinions you’d like to share, this is something you can
do easily, from anywhere in the world. Here’s an idea how to get started. (
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Website)

Another exciting possibility is making a regular podcast. You can do this
in audio alone or audio and video. All you really need to do this is a
smart phone with a camera. Once you’re done you upload your podcasts, which
can contain your opinions on big issues, your take on breaking news and
even your conversations with your friends. It could be serious. It could be
comedy. It could be dramatic. But it’s said to be the most fun you can have
with your clothes on. You upload your finished productions to YouTube and
when your unique brand of entertainment catches on, you can make millions
from advertisers or from viewer contributions. Thousands of people are
doing just that right now, and more are coming on-line every hour. Here’s
an idea of how to do a podcast: (http://www.podbean.com/start-podcast)

If you don’t have strong opinions or you don’t want to put yourself up
front as a target, however, there’s an even more comfortable way to be your
own boss on the intenet and make the money you need to take care of things.
Selling. This is far beyond selling a few things out of the garage on
eBay. This is serious business. Internet millionaires can teach you how to
join their exclusive club and show you how to sell pretty well anything to
anybody and make a big profit on the transaction. One way to learn this
skill is here: (https://go.preppers.org/action-plan-video)

All of these exciting internet possibilities can be tried out without
giving up your day job. See what works for you before you make huge
changes in your life. But start working towards a future that gives you
more control, more spare time and quite possibly even more money.

The Gender pay gap is a myth. And so is the idea that you have to work long
hours for someone else. You are the author of your own novel. Make it into
an exciting story, starting today. Write on.

The post The gender pay gap – as measured by 1000ths of an inch appeared first on American Preppers Network.

How To Preserve Fruits And Vegetables | episode 151

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How To Preserve Fruits And Vegetables | episode 151
How To Preserve Fruits And Vegetables | episode 151

How To Preserve Fruits And Vegetables | episode 151

http://www.survivalpunk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/How-To-Preserve-Fruits-And-Vegatables.mp3

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This week I have an episode all about How to preserve fruits and vegetables.  The last episode was all about How to preserve meat. 

Many of the same techniques work for both. You really need to find the method that works well for which item. 

Canning works great for meat to make a stew with but will turn some softer veggies into mush. 

Some methods of preservation work better than others and some are easier. 

Free dried foods will last the longest. But Freeze drying at home is all but impossible unless you have 30k to spend. 

In this case, I say buying freeze dried foods is best not trying to make a DIY rig at home.

Fermentation works great and can have added benefits for both gut health and to fight off scurvy. 

With ferments like sauerkraut without canning, you can expect it to last up to 6 months. With wines and distilled alcohol, it will last forever. 

Freezing is the quickest and easiest method available. While the grid is still up, take advantage of this method. If the grid fails you will need to consume the frozen goods or preserve them another way. 

 

Topics

  • Methods of preserving fruits and veggies
  • Canning/ Pressure Canning
  • Fermenting
  • Pickling
  • Freezing
  • Freeze dried
  • Drying
  • Salted
  • Cellaring
  • Jam and Jelly

 

Links
 

Portable Soup

Salted Cauliflower

Preserving In Oil

Parched Corn

Sauerkraut

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The post How To Preserve Fruits And Vegetables | episode 151 appeared first on Survival Punk.

How To Make A Homemade Battery From Scratch Right Now

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How To Make A Homemade BatteryElectrical energy (and the storage of this energy with batteries) has fundamentally changed our society.

The electrical grid is one of modern societies most valuable (and vulnerable) resources.

So it’s no wonder why we so heavily rely on it. We use it for everything in modern life from warmth during cold months to cool during hot months. From entertainment when we’re bored to increase food preservation using refrigeration.

It even takes electrical power to operate fuel pumps. Fuel pumps that support our mass market food chain. The very supply chain that fills your local grocery store – daily.

So without grid power, you’re local grocer would quickly become bare.

In such an event (even for a few weeks) life would become a much more challenging endeavor. Millions of people would suffer and societies norms would crumble without the grid.

And that’s in just the first few weeks of widespread grid power loss. A longer disaster without power, the more widespread the suffering and death becomes.

And in the case of an EMP strike, nuclear attacks, or an extreme natural disaster, the grid could become wiped out indefinitely.

Can You Imagine Modern Life Without The Grid?

It’s scary.

And when it happens, people are going to start hoarding and using batteries like they’re going out of style. All available batteries will vanish from store shelves before you can say “turmoil.”

Because having a battery is like carrying around a little pocket generator. And as we’re all aware, power generation is useful (no matter what form it comes in).

Batteries are used to power any number of important devices like flashlights for illumination, hot plates for cooking, and radios for emergency communication.

Unfortunately, traditional AA or AAA batteries won’t last long in a serious emergency.

They’ll also become one of the first resources looted from stores. But even if your lucky and snag a few hundred AA before a disaster, they’re consumable – they won’t last forever, right?

Maybe not...later in this article I'll show you resource that helps you recondition any of your batteries to resurrect them from the trash heap.

Sure, high-quality batteries tend to have a longer life than cheap ones, but we’re talking a few days or weeks longer – max. Not enough to make a significant difference in a prolonged disaster.

However, just because something is no longer on a shelf, doesn’t mean it’s not available. The electrical grid might not be working – but electricity can still be generated.

Commercial batteries may be long gone – but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a homemade battery!

That’s precisely the purpose of this article. To discuss homemade batteries and how to ‘home-make’ them. It won’t be easy, and they won’t generate power like a DIY generator. But a homemade battery can store the energy generated from a homemade generator.

So it’s a survival skill worth learning!

USB Batteries

The Latest In Rechargeable Battery TechnologyUSB Battery

Before I show you how to make a homemade battery from scratch,  I wanted to make sure you saw the latest and greatest new gear in the “rechargeable battery” space.

It’s a USB rechargeable battery.

Take a look.

It might just be the world’s best survival battery. The EasyPower USB Battery uses a simple USB connection to recharge.

Meaning, it works just as well in the office as it does in the wilderness…And that my friend, makes it the best AA battery for any situation on the planet!

Click here to learn more.

Batteries editedHow Batteries Work

Before building your own batteries, it’s imperative to understand the basic concepts first. And in this case, all batteries follow the same general idea:

Mix the right chemical solutions, and connect them to ‘flow’ in one direction – from negative (-) to positive (+).

There are three parts to every battery: the anode (-), the cathode (+), and the electrolyte.

The anode and the cathode (which are the negative (-) and the positive (+) ends of a battery) connect to the electrolyte.

Chemical reactions within the battery then start generating energy. The energy that flows from negative (-) to positive (+) around the circuit you’ve created.

The simplest battery I know of is made with a lemon, a copper piece of wire, and a sliver of aluminum:

Stick the two metallic pieces into the lemon’s skin and connect them with a wire and you have got a battery.

Granted, it won’t generate much voltage (you can’t run your car on lemons), but there is some energy.

This concept is the same for larger, more powerful batteries; only the chemicals are a lot more potent…

How To Make A Homemade Battery

Let’s start small, and build our way up. But before we jump into making the batteries, let’s clarify one crucial point.

The batteries we’ll be building today produce only DC (Direct Current) electricity. As opposed to the more efficient, but more complicated AC (Alternating Current) power.

DC batteries (like the ones you’ll be making) are crude vs. batteries used in engines. They’re great for the basics like lighting, small amounts of heat, and powering small pocket radios (like the Kaito  KA-208) but it won’t replace your car battery.Kaito Pocket Radio

Building A 1.5 Volt Battery

Supplies: aluminum can, copper wire/cord, water, bleach, cup.

Cut the can along its side and flatten it out, roll up the edge of the can into a small aluminum bar.

Fill the cup about halfway with water, add a teaspoon of bleach and mix with a spoon.

Place the copper cord and the aluminum bar into the cup. Make sure they’re not touching each other at the bottom. Then connect the two with a wire.

The chemical reaction within the cup generates roughly 1.5 volts of electricity. It will flow from the aluminum cathode (-) to the copper anode (+).

Building On That Battery

In a sense, these little cup batteries act like legos. Because you can connect one aluminum cathode (-) to the next copper anode (+). You can stack eight or nine cups to make a ~12 Volt DC battery.

Make four or five of those, and you can generate 60 Volts of DC electricity – not bad at all.

The Ice Tray Battery

Supplies: 1 ice tray, copper wire, aluminum bolts/screws, vinegar, lime juice, water

The next step up in homemade battery technology is the more compact, more portable Ice Tray 9 volt.

Using the same concept as above, you can pour a solution of vinegar, water, bleach and lime juice into each ‘cube.’

Using the copper wire, make a hanging loop. Now drape the copper wire loop and aluminum screw over the edge between each ‘cube’ on the ice tray.

Make sure that both the ends of the screw and the copper wire are submerged in the battery solution.

The electric flow moves from the aluminum screw cathode (-) into the electrolyte in the ‘cubes’ and into the copper wire anode (+). Which, receives it and passes it along to the next aluminum cathode. Do not break this circuit!

Alternate cathode to the anode to the electrolyte, to cathode. In the same way in a counterclockwise direction around the ice tray.

Once you have an entire circuit to carry your electricity, use two pieces of wire to connect the 9-volt battery.

If it doesn’t work right away, double check your circuit is unbroken and flows in a single direction.

Here’s an excellent video giving an overview of how these small battery setups work.

And here’s another ice cube tray battery but using dirt to fill the cells “The DIY Earth Battery”:

Reconditioning Old Batteries

It may sound implausible. It may seem unsafe. It may even sound too good to be true.

old car batteryBut it is possible to recondition old batteries (car, AA, AAA, etc.).

Now, this is advantageous knowledge to learn. Why? Because homemade batteries aren’t revolutions in high electricity output.

That is to say; they’re crude and small. An ice cube tray batteries only work well for small tasks.

Bigger batteries (i.e. car batteries) offer more power and more survival applications.

Knowing how to recondition batteries serves a lot of practical survival purposes.

And reconditioning batteries is also an environmentally sustainable practice! Batteries are toxic and difficult to recycle. And in our throw away society, many of them wasted every day by people who don’t know how to recondition them.

Still Not Convinced?

Reconditioning old batteries can also be financially beneficial too.

Many people who learn how to recondition batteries, fix up old used ones and then resell them.

Sounds great right?! Well, good. Because I’m about to explain how to do it.

Be warned – reconditioning old batteries is more complicated than building the simple science class contraptions in the “Homemade Batteries” section of this article. It can also be dangerous.

I highly encourage you to invest in some safety equipment first. Items like chemical goggles, chemical gloves, and chemical aprons are a must.

Here’s One Simple Way To Recondition An Old Car Battery:

Remove the rubber tops that protect the caps. Then, remove the caps as well – depending on what kind of battery you’re working with, you may have to remove as many as seven caps. But be sure to remove all entirely!

Once the caps are out, fill the battery with new battery acid. You can easily buy battery acid online from reputable sources. Or, if you need to, you can mix your own:

  1. Boil a ½ gallon of distilled water
  2. Add a ½ lb of Epsom salt
  3. Stir until salt is completely dissolved

Make sure the lead plates inside each cell of the battery are completely covered before replacing the cells of the battery.

Rock the battery back and forth for 60 seconds. Rocking helps to ensure the mixture has coated all surfaces within both battery cells.

Plug the battery in to charge for the next 24 hours. Be sure to check that you’ve correctly connected the positive (+) and negative (-) ends in the right places!

This process often works but it’s more of a short term solution. This process won’t bring your battery back to life anywhere close to “like-new” or work for very long.

However, there are other more technical methods and processes that are more effective at restoring an old car battery. That’s why I highly recommend consulting a professional guide before trying this yourself.

It’s Worth Getting Detailed Guidance From The Pros

So here’s a worthwhile video from a professional battery reconditioning expert giving some advice on the best way to get started:

Battery Reconditioning

A few more notes on refurbishing batteries:

Be extremely cautious when working with reconditioned batteries. If done incorrectly a car battery can become a small bomb.

If tampered with or improperly your “reconditioned” battery might just go BOOM. Also, regularly operating vehicles on refurbished batteries can be hazardous to you and others. It all comes back to knowing what the heck you’re doing and you do this by investing in professional knowledge and advice.

Survival Applications For Homemade Batteries

How useful would it be to make a homemade battery or refurbish old batteries in a world without electricity? To be one of few who’s figured out the secret mysteries of battery making and refurbishment.

That’s the kind of power that pays off.

But it’s always good to visualize the benefits to that kind of technology. Because in our world of flashing lights, gadgets, and computers, it’s easy to take electricity for granted.

It’s everywhere today – without it, you wouldn’t be reading this article.

Now, smaller homemade batteries are best for simple basic needs such as lighting, heat, and communication.

With a small homemade battery, you don’t need a candle; you don’t have to rely on the grid or even commercial batteries. But you can still have consistent, flameless, odorless, chemical-free light. You just need a little battery.

Refurbished car batteries are great for a lot of things. You can charge small devices like phones, GPS, computers, flashlights, radios and other gadgets with them. Then just recharge the car battery itself with a small solar panel setup or any of these DIY generators setups.

Refurbished car batteries can power larger appliances. Small refrigerators, televisions, surveillance systems, and the like are all on the table. Albeit, for only a few hours, unless you daisy chain multiple batteries to create what’s called a battery bank.

With off-grid power generation and a large bank of car batteries, you can even get off the grid entirely. Knowing you don’t need the grid at all is a fundamental self-reliant achievement. It’s a lofty but worthwhile goal!

 

dead batteryEverything Dies, Get Over It

The simple fact of the matter is this: Batteries don’t last forever.

Not the homemade ones, not the commercial ones, not the ones with the pink badass little bunny….

And even refurbished batteries can only be resurrected so many times. Batteries, like all things, eventually die. Don’t ever expect them to live forever.

That being said, it’s always best to stay prepared for when your batteries do in fact kick the bucket.

If you have lots of homemade batteries configured, make sure you’re staying stocked up replacement supplies.

You’ll have to replace pieces or entire cells throughout the life of the battery. That’s alright – it’s the small price you’ll pay for having electricity when no one else does.

And if you are reconditioning batteries; stay safe. Never forget you’re working with electrical boxes full of acid that can (and will) explode if you mess them up too bad.

Once again, this is the price of harnessing free home-generated electricity when others do not.

The Final Word

The first battery was made by Volta in 1800. And since then batteries have become an integral part of life in the modern world.

They’re in our cars and trucks, they’re in our phones and computers, and just about everywhere else you look.

And for a good reason. Portable stored electricity is one of the greatest and most versatile resources ever invented.

Knowing how to make and refurbish batteries are survival skills that aren’t very common. They’re techniques for survivors who want to set themselves ahead of the masses.

And storing the power of electricity is one hell of a leg up.

Will Brendza

The post How To Make A Homemade Battery From Scratch Right Now appeared first on Skilled Survival.

How To Make A Homemade Battery From Scratch Right Now

How To Make A Homemade BatteryElectrical energy (and the storage of this energy with batteries) has fundamentally changed our society.

The electrical grid is one of modern societies most valuable (and vulnerable) resources.

So it’s no wonder why we so heavily rely on it. We use it for everything in modern life from warmth during cold months to cool during hot months. From entertainment when we’re bored to increase food preservation using refrigeration.

It even takes electrical power to operate fuel pumps. Fuel pumps that support our mass market food chain. The very supply chain that fills your local grocery store – daily.

So without grid power, you’re local grocer would quickly become bare.

In such an event (even for a few weeks) life would become a much more challenging endeavor. Millions of people would suffer and societies norms would crumble without the grid.

And that’s in just the first few weeks of widespread grid power loss. A longer disaster without power, the more widespread the suffering and death becomes.

And in the case of an EMP strike, nuclear attacks, or an extreme natural disaster, the grid could become wiped out indefinitely.

Can You Imagine Modern Life Without The Grid?

It’s scary.

And when it happens, people are going to start hoarding and using batteries like they’re going out of style. All available batteries will vanish from store shelves before you can say “turmoil.”

Because having a battery is like carrying around a little pocket generator. And as we’re all aware, power generation is useful (no matter what form it comes in).

Batteries are used to power any number of important devices like flashlights for illumination, hot plates for cooking, and radios for emergency communication.

Unfortunately, traditional AA or AAA batteries won’t last long in a serious emergency.

They’ll also become one of the first resources looted from stores. But even if your lucky and snag a few hundred AA before a disaster, they’re consumable – they won’t last forever, right?

Maybe not...later in this article I'll show you resource that helps you recondition any of your batteries to resurrect them from the trash heap.

Sure, high-quality batteries tend to have a longer life than cheap ones, but we’re talking a few days or weeks longer – max. Not enough to make a significant difference in a prolonged disaster.

However, just because something is no longer on a shelf, doesn’t mean it’s not available. The electrical grid might not be working – but electricity can still be generated.

Commercial batteries may be long gone – but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a homemade battery!

That’s precisely the purpose of this article. To discuss homemade batteries and how to ‘home-make’ them. It won’t be easy, and they won’t generate power like a DIY generator. But a homemade battery can store the energy generated from a homemade generator.

So it’s a survival skill worth learning!

USB Batteries

The Latest In Rechargeable Battery TechnologyUSB Battery

Before I show you how to make a homemade battery from scratch,  I wanted to make sure you saw the latest and greatest new gear in the “rechargeable battery” space.

It’s a USB rechargeable battery.

Take a look.

It might just be the world’s best survival battery. The EasyPower USB Battery uses a simple USB connection to recharge.

Meaning, it works just as well in the office as it does in the wilderness…And that my friend, makes it the best AA battery for any situation on the planet!

Click here to learn more.

Batteries editedHow Batteries Work

Before building your own batteries, it’s imperative to understand the basic concepts first. And in this case, all batteries follow the same general idea:

Mix the right chemical solutions, and connect them to ‘flow’ in one direction – from negative (-) to positive (+).

There are three parts to every battery: the anode (-), the cathode (+), and the electrolyte.

The anode and the cathode (which are the negative (-) and the positive (+) ends of a battery) connect to the electrolyte.

Chemical reactions within the battery then start generating energy. The energy that flows from negative (-) to positive (+) around the circuit you’ve created.

The simplest battery I know of is made with a lemon, a copper piece of wire, and a sliver of aluminum:

Stick the two metallic pieces into the lemon’s skin and connect them with a wire and you have got a battery.

Granted, it won’t generate much voltage (you can’t run your car on lemons), but there is some energy.

This concept is the same for larger, more powerful batteries; only the chemicals are a lot more potent…

How To Make A Homemade Battery

Let’s start small, and build our way up. But before we jump into making the batteries, let’s clarify one crucial point.

The batteries we’ll be building today produce only DC (Direct Current) electricity. As opposed to the more efficient, but more complicated AC (Alternating Current) power.

DC batteries (like the ones you’ll be making) are crude vs. batteries used in engines. They’re great for the basics like lighting, small amounts of heat, and powering small pocket radios (like the Kaito  KA-208) but it won’t replace your car battery.Kaito Pocket Radio

Building A 1.5 Volt Battery

Supplies: aluminum can, copper wire/cord, water, bleach, cup.

Cut the can along its side and flatten it out, roll up the edge of the can into a small aluminum bar.

Fill the cup about halfway with water, add a teaspoon of bleach and mix with a spoon.

Place the copper cord and the aluminum bar into the cup. Make sure they’re not touching each other at the bottom. Then connect the two with a wire.

The chemical reaction within the cup generates roughly 1.5 volts of electricity. It will flow from the aluminum cathode (-) to the copper anode (+).

Building On That Battery

In a sense, these little cup batteries act like legos. Because you can connect one aluminum cathode (-) to the next copper anode (+). You can stack eight or nine cups to make a ~12 Volt DC battery.

Make four or five of those, and you can generate 60 Volts of DC electricity – not bad at all.

The Ice Tray Battery

Supplies: 1 ice tray, copper wire, aluminum bolts/screws, vinegar, lime juice, water

The next step up in homemade battery technology is the more compact, more portable Ice Tray 9 volt.

Using the same concept as above, you can pour a solution of vinegar, water, bleach and lime juice into each ‘cube.’

Using the copper wire, make a hanging loop. Now drape the copper wire loop and aluminum screw over the edge between each ‘cube’ on the ice tray.

Make sure that both the ends of the screw and the copper wire are submerged in the battery solution.

The electric flow moves from the aluminum screw cathode (-) into the electrolyte in the ‘cubes’ and into the copper wire anode (+). Which, receives it and passes it along to the next aluminum cathode. Do not break this circuit!

Alternate cathode to the anode to the electrolyte, to cathode. In the same way in a counterclockwise direction around the ice tray.

Once you have an entire circuit to carry your electricity, use two pieces of wire to connect the 9-volt battery.

If it doesn’t work right away, double check your circuit is unbroken and flows in a single direction.

Here’s an excellent video giving an overview of how these small battery setups work.

And here’s another ice cube tray battery but using dirt to fill the cells “The DIY Earth Battery”:

Reconditioning Old Batteries

It may sound implausible. It may seem unsafe. It may even sound too good to be true.

old car batteryBut it is possible to recondition old batteries (car, AA, AAA, etc.).

Now, this is advantageous knowledge to learn. Why? Because homemade batteries aren’t revolutions in high electricity output.

That is to say; they’re crude and small. An ice cube tray batteries only work well for small tasks.

Bigger batteries (i.e. car batteries) offer more power and more survival applications.

Knowing how to recondition batteries serves a lot of practical survival purposes.

And reconditioning batteries is also an environmentally sustainable practice! Batteries are toxic and difficult to recycle. And in our throw away society, many of them wasted every day by people who don’t know how to recondition them.

Still Not Convinced?

Reconditioning old batteries can also be financially beneficial too.

Many people who learn how to recondition batteries, fix up old used ones and then resell them.

Sounds great right?! Well, good. Because I’m about to explain how to do it.

Be warned – reconditioning old batteries is more complicated than building the simple science class contraptions in the “Homemade Batteries” section of this article. It can also be dangerous.

I highly encourage you to invest in some safety equipment first. Items like chemical goggles, chemical gloves, and chemical aprons are a must.

Here’s One Simple Way To Recondition An Old Car Battery:

Remove the rubber tops that protect the caps. Then, remove the caps as well – depending on what kind of battery you’re working with, you may have to remove as many as seven caps. But be sure to remove all entirely!

Once the caps are out, fill the battery with new battery acid. You can easily buy battery acid online from reputable sources. Or, if you need to, you can mix your own:

  1. Boil a ½ gallon of distilled water
  2. Add a ½ lb of Epsom salt
  3. Stir until salt is completely dissolved

Make sure the lead plates inside each cell of the battery are completely covered before replacing the cells of the battery.

Rock the battery back and forth for 60 seconds. Rocking helps to ensure the mixture has coated all surfaces within both battery cells.

Plug the battery in to charge for the next 24 hours. Be sure to check that you’ve correctly connected the positive (+) and negative (-) ends in the right places!

This process often works but it’s more of a short term solution. This process won’t bring your battery back to life anywhere close to “like-new” or work for very long.

However, there are other more technical methods and processes that are more effective at restoring an old car battery. That’s why I highly recommend consulting a professional guide before trying this yourself.

It’s Worth Getting Detailed Guidance From The Pros

So here’s a worthwhile video from a professional battery reconditioning expert giving some advice on the best way to get started:

Battery Reconditioning

A few more notes on refurbishing batteries:

Be extremely cautious when working with reconditioned batteries. If done incorrectly a car battery can become a small bomb.

If tampered with or improperly your “reconditioned” battery might just go BOOM. Also, regularly operating vehicles on refurbished batteries can be hazardous to you and others. It all comes back to knowing what the heck you’re doing and you do this by investing in professional knowledge and advice.

Survival Applications For Homemade Batteries

How useful would it be to make a homemade battery or refurbish old batteries in a world without electricity? To be one of few who’s figured out the secret mysteries of battery making and refurbishment.

That’s the kind of power that pays off.

But it’s always good to visualize the benefits to that kind of technology. Because in our world of flashing lights, gadgets, and computers, it’s easy to take electricity for granted.

It’s everywhere today – without it, you wouldn’t be reading this article.

Now, smaller homemade batteries are best for simple basic needs such as lighting, heat, and communication.

With a small homemade battery, you don’t need a candle; you don’t have to rely on the grid or even commercial batteries. But you can still have consistent, flameless, odorless, chemical-free light. You just need a little battery.

Refurbished car batteries are great for a lot of things. You can charge small devices like phones, GPS, computers, flashlights, radios and other gadgets with them. Then just recharge the car battery itself with a small solar panel setup or any of these DIY generators setups.

Refurbished car batteries can power larger appliances. Small refrigerators, televisions, surveillance systems, and the like are all on the table. Albeit, for only a few hours, unless you daisy chain multiple batteries to create what’s called a battery bank.

With off-grid power generation and a large bank of car batteries, you can even get off the grid entirely. Knowing you don’t need the grid at all is a fundamental self-reliant achievement. It’s a lofty but worthwhile goal!

 

dead batteryEverything Dies, Get Over It

The simple fact of the matter is this: Batteries don’t last forever.

Not the homemade ones, not the commercial ones, not the ones with the pink badass little bunny….

And even refurbished batteries can only be resurrected so many times. Batteries, like all things, eventually die. Don’t ever expect them to live forever.

That being said, it’s always best to stay prepared for when your batteries do in fact kick the bucket.

If you have lots of homemade batteries configured, make sure you’re staying stocked up replacement supplies.

You’ll have to replace pieces or entire cells throughout the life of the battery. That’s alright – it’s the small price you’ll pay for having electricity when no one else does.

And if you are reconditioning batteries; stay safe. Never forget you’re working with electrical boxes full of acid that can (and will) explode if you mess them up too bad.

Once again, this is the price of harnessing free home-generated electricity when others do not.

The Final Word

The first battery was made by Volta in 1800. And since then batteries have become an integral part of life in the modern world.

They’re in our cars and trucks, they’re in our phones and computers, and just about everywhere else you look.

And for a good reason. Portable stored electricity is one of the greatest and most versatile resources ever invented.

Knowing how to make and refurbish batteries are survival skills that aren’t very common. They’re techniques for survivors who want to set themselves ahead of the masses.

And storing the power of electricity is one hell of a leg up.

Will Brendza

The post How To Make A Homemade Battery From Scratch Right Now appeared first on Skilled Survival.

Food Storage and Freeze drying!

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Food Storage and Freeze drying! Ray Becker “The Ray Becker Show” Audio player provided! On this show, I have a guest with me: Stephanie from Harvest Right. We are going to cover Freeze Drying food for long term storage. Along with freeze drying, I will address other methods of storing your food. Long term storage … Continue reading Food Storage and Freeze drying!

The post Food Storage and Freeze drying! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

8 Ways You Can Signal for Help if Lost in the Wild

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If you get lost in the wild, you should be aware that search and rescue teams will probably use air resources as the primary means of determining your location. Okay, there may be also ground teams looking for “the lost sheep,” but in any situation, being capable of signaling for help in a survival scenario is of utmost importance.

When it comes to air search and rescue, agencies fly search patterns using small planes or helicopters in a grid pattern, mostly during the day. It’s worth mentioning that if we’re talking about extreme cases, they do perform search and rescue missions even at night, but you’ll have to consider yourself extra-lucky in such eventuality.

Ground search and rescue personnel may arrive at your location on horseback if the terrain is extra-difficult or by using 4×4 trucks, ATVs and sometimes even motorcycles. Tracking dogs are also commonly used in searches.

Now, try to consider getting lost, then being found from a logical standpoint, and from the eyes of the rescue team. Think about what would be the best way to find somebody if you were looking at the ground from a small fixed-wing aircraft, a helicopter, or a ground unit crisscrossing the land, looking along country routes and trying to see through trees. What about the folks walking area trails or driving pickup trucks on remote and sinister roadways? What would draw their attention?

Find a Good Spot

The first rule of escape survival is quite the opposite of the first rule of being lost. You need to know how to signaling for help: the former requires silence and invisibility, which includes avoiding clearings and roadways. The latter stipulates that you should find a large, open area then get out in the open and do everything you can to get noticed; that would be the first step to take in a SHTF, being lost scenario.

Hence, the first thing to do is to find a large open area that’s easy to reach from your shelter (if any). Speaking of large open areas, the spot must be wide enough to allow for a helicopter to land; it should be very large and flat, with no obstructing vegetation/trees/rocks on the ground. That would be the ideal setup. However, in a survival scenario, you’ll just have to settle for what you have close by, so just do the best you can.

Always avoid shaded/shadowed areas beneath/adjacent to rocks, big trees, and other obstacles that will obstruct somebody in the air’s view of you. Shady areas are excellent for hiding, but you’re looking for the opposite if you’re lost. You want to be easily seen from the ground or from the air.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Use Your Gear

The first thing you need to do after you find a good spot is take a look at your gear and at what’s readily available nearby. Check out and arrange/identify what can be used as a signaling tool. Evaluate each item and opportunity very carefully, as your life actually depends on it.

In our day and age, almost everybody carries a cell phone and/or a GPS gadget. However, high tech gear tends to die quickly and break easily. If you’re lucky enough to have a cell phone with a live battery and at least minimal network coverage, you can try to send an SMS message, even if you don’t have enough reception to initiate a phone call to 911 or a dear friend/ emergency contact. Try to send as much intel as possible in the simplest way, to the person you think most likely to see it immediately, or send the text to a group of people. Keep your text short, saying something like:  “SOS 50deg48 min 51 sec N 122 deg 29 min 31 sec W fall w broken leg injured call 911” or something similar.

But that would be the best case scenario, isn’t it? Find an elevated position, snatch a little bit of signal, send a clever SMS and wait for the Air Cavalry to arrive. In reality, things are rarely that easy, so you may have to settle for the old way: signaling your location by using rocks, sticks, dirt, shadows, signal fires, and so on.

As the general rule of thumb, it’s very important to remember the CLASS acronym with regard to ground to air signaling.

C stands for Contrast. The best way to signal your presence is by using colors which are in contrast to the background. For example, dig a trench, thus creating a black shadow/writing against white snow. You could also use branches. Or, if the soil is covered in green vegetation, an orange tent would draw attention.

L stands for Location, and it refers to the open area (close to your shelter) I already told you about in the preamble.

A stands for Angularity, meaning that in order to catch your rescuer’s eyes, your signals must have as many straight lines and sharp corners as possible, because ninety degree corners in nature are a pretty rare occurrence.

S stands for Size. Size is everything, right? The bigger, the betterMake your letters and fires as big as possible, without burning the forest down.

Finally, the S stands for shape. A large V-shaped sign means that you’re looking for assistance/help, an X signifies that you’re injured, big arrows can be used for communicating the direction you’re traveling to, etc.

If you’re on the move, it’s very important to leave crystal-clear signals, like notes and arrows indicating your intentions, the direction you’re traveling to, or other details that will help your rescuers find you.

Use Signal Fires and Smoke

Now, getting back to business, the best (as in field-proven) method to make your presence noticed regardless of whether it’s day or night is by fire. Fire has been used for thousands of years for signaling for rescue, and it works beautifully. During the night, fire makes for the most effective visual means when it comes to signaling one’s presence.

The international distress signal follows the rule of three, i.e. you must build 3 fires in a straight line (25 meters between the fires) or in a triangle so that you’re not mistaken or a regular camper out having a good time. Always remember to build your fires somewhere visible from the air/distance, i.e. in a location where the foliage/natural obstacles will not hide it.

An excellent way to attract attention is to set a tree on fire by placing dry wood/combustible material in its lower branches and setting it ablaze. For producing smoke (during the day), add green leaves/small green trees to the fire. For best results, when signaling for help during the day, the color of the smoke should contrast with the background, i.e. white smoke against a dark background and vice versa.

Video first seen on Travel and Escape

A large fire smothered with moss or green leaves will produce white smoke. To get black smoke, you must add oil soaked rags or rubber to a fire. However, keep in mind that smoke signals are only effective on clear days, sans snow, rain or high winds.

If you want to get noticed by search and rescue teams in an effective manner, think along the lines of putting yourself at odds with your surroundings. That would require motion, contrast and sound.

By contrast, I am talking about displaying colors and shapes that are strikingly different from your natural surroundings. For example, you can use a space blanket, bright clothing, tarps, tents, ribbons or improvised flags. Searchers are constantly looking for camping equipment/manmade stuff, provided it’s obvious (as in visible) from both ground and air. Motion translates into creating movement that’s different (at odds) with a still landscape. Think along the lines of a flag pole.

In addition to signal pyres, you can also try to reveal your presence by building mounds, i.e. 3 large rock-made piles forming a triangle that can be easily noticed from the air (in an open area obviously). The taller the mounds, the better, as taller structures will cast larger shadows, thus making them more visible from distance.

Write a Message on the Ground

Depending on your location, you can also try to write a message/sign on the ground that can be noticed by search and rescue teams flying overhead. On sand, you can use a big branch to write an SOS/HELP ME message. On land, you may go for branches, rocks or anything else that can be gathered to create (as big as possible) letters.

Use a Mirror

Signal mirrors are used for both motion and contrast in sunlight, as they’re pretty good at providing directed flashes toward ground or air searchers. This type of signal goes a long way and it’s especially effective from an elevated position, such as a mountain or a tree-top.

If possible, try to get to the highest point available when signaling, thus maximizing your chances of getting rescued.

Video first seen on TJack Survival

Use a Whistle

Audible signals are also worth considering, whether we’re talking about shooting your gun (3 shots spaced 5 seconds apart) or by using a whistle. Seriously speaking, there’s no excuse for not having a whistle in your EDC survival kit. Whistles require little effort (compared to yelling) and they never run out of ammo. Always remember the rule of threes when signaling, including when using a whistle.

Wave your Arms

If everything else fails or you don’t have anything else available, you can always try to attract attention via body signals by waving your arms to the side and down. But don’t hope for much when you’re using this method because you’re a tiny person in a world of waving trees, etc.

Finally, I’ve saved the best for last. Remember, we live in the 21th century and it’s the Year of the Lord 2017.

Use a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)

What’s your excuse for not having one of these little bad boys with you every time you’re adventuring outdoors? Or even better, a PLB (personal locator beacon)? I know, they’re a bit expensive, but better safe than sorry, right?

Know that you know how to signal for help if lost in the wild, will you be able to protect your own in a life or death scenario?

Click the banner below and find out!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

US Nuclear Plant Hacked Today, per ABC news citing Unamed Government Officials

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NOTE: added to bottom, new information about Entergy’s “Nuclear 17” the NRC nickname for a particular and recent hack.   Of course there was no immediate threat to the public.

——————————————–
This from ABC News TODAY (you know, fake news).   A Google search indicates that all of the top search page results all use ABC as the source, and almost all use the exact same words as ABC.    

Federal authorities are investigating a breach into computer systems of at least one U.S. nuclear power plant, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News. 

 One U.S. official called this an “ongoing matter” that is still being investigated. No public word has been given on who may be responsible, but authorities are looking at the possibility that a nation-state may be behind the hack.

Funny how these “Government Officials” are now never even named.    As if there would have to be some justification for remaining an anonymous source in a case like this?

I wonder how long before another anonymous official postulates that “Russia would have the capability of doing this”

Here is the story:
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/us-nuclear-plants-computer-system-hacked/story?id=48314345
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stock here–In true conspiracy fashion, it is verified that radiation reporting stations can be hacked to provide false readings, no readings.   Another takeaway, there is no fix, its a basic problem with the systems.

“In this [Black Hat] talk, I’m going to try to explain how to reverse-engineer an entire radio protocol, from physical to application layer,” he says.
An attacker could wage a cyberattack on these devices as far away as 20 kilometers, he says. “You don’t need to be near the facility to attack it,” Santamarta says. And there are plenty of tools available for an attacker to jump onto the RF network. “The problem with radio is it’s difficult to mitigate” an attack via it, he says.
The weak RF protocols and firmware could allow an attacker to inject fake radiation readings, so that if there were a radiation accident or leak, it couldn’t be detected, for example. Or the reverse: it could send phony readings of high radiation levels when none were actually present, he says.

 http://www.darkreading.com/vulnerabilities—threats/nuclear-plants-hospitals-at-risk-of-hacked-radiation-monitoring-devices/d/d-id/1329200

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stock here—if memory served me correctly, and it did, I remembered a number of attacks just

recently.

A German nuclear plant suffered a disruptive cyber attack, the news was publicly confirmed by the IAEA Director Yukiya Amano.

and here is another one were they achieved in placing malware on a non-internet connected computer network that controlled movement of spent fuel…

https://www.techworm.net/2016/10/nuclear-power-plant-hacked-hackers-tried-steal-ingredients-dirty-bombs.html

Gundremmingen officials said the IT system was not connected to the Internet and that the virus may have been carried into the network on a USB an employee used on his office or home computer, which would be the real source of the contamination.

The virus that was discovered in the system at the Gundremmingen nuclear plant was used to load and unload nuclear fuel from the power plant’s Block B and then transfer old fuel to the warehouse.

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And in South Korea, hackers got into the computer systems of a nuclear plant stole, note this “other internal information about the plant”.

The spin on the story is that is just focused on blueprints, which is bad enough, but pretended that it was the blueprints that were the most important thing, and that the hackers “threatened to release more blueprints.”

The cyber attack came into light after a hacker posted blueprints of nuclear reactors online and threatened further “leaks” unless authorities close down the reactors. According to the South Korean Yonhap News Agency, the hacker was able to access blueprints of reactors, floor maps and other internal information on the plant. 

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Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, right?   Fukuleaks does a great job of updating status in June 2017

http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=16310

JAEA Plutonium Accident
More Thyroid Cancers
Mutant Rice Erases Rumors 
More Fukushima Contractor Graft 
Fukushima Robots
Contamination Found Again

———————————————————————–
More detailed hacking information HERE
Including “Nuclear 17”

U.S. authorities are investigating a cyber intrusion affecting multiple nuclear power generation sites this year, E&E News has learned.
There is no evidence that the nuclear energy industry’s highly regulated safety systems were compromised. But any cybersecurity breach — targeted or not — at closely guarded U.S. nuclear reactors marks an escalation of hackers’ probes into U.S. critical infrastructure.
Electricity-sector officials confirmed yesterday that they are working to unpack the significance of the secretive cyber event, code named “Nuclear 17.”
Asked about the case, a representative from the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) said the nonprofit grid overseer “is aware of an incident” and has shared information with its members through a secure portal.
U.S. energy utilities pass around information on the latest hacking threats and vulnerabilities through NERC’s Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center. That organization “is working closely with the government to better understand any implications this incident might have for the electricity industry,” NERC spokeswoman Kimberly Mielcarek said in an emailed statement.

 Entergy Corp., which owns and operates nuclear plants across several states, from Louisiana to New York, declined to offer details about the incident, citing corporate security policy. “In keeping with our rigorous procedures to protect our computers and other information systems from cyber and physical harm, Entergy is aware of, but has not been affected by, the recent cyber incident named ‘Nuclear 17,‘” spokeswoman Emily Parenteau said in an emailed statement.
 

The cyber attack came into light after a hacker posted blueprints of nuclear reactors online and threatened further “leaks” unless authorities close down the reactors. According to the South Korean Yonhap News Agency, the hacker was able to access blueprints of reactors, floor maps and other internal information on the plant.

Can You Reload A Pistol With One Hand? Here’s How It’s Done

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There’s a big difference between going to the range to shoot a few paper targets, and having to use a firearm to protect yourself. A gap exists between those two situations that can be measured in miles. So even if you’re a really good shot, you’re not necessarily proficient with a firearm. You have to be prepared to use a firearm in real world situations, and those situations can be unbelievably messy and chaotic.

One thing you should prepare yourself for is the possibility that in an actual gunfight, you may only be able to aim and shoot with one hand. For instance, what if you were shot in the hand? That’s a very intricate appendage, and even a small caliber round could disable it.

That’s why you should learn how to fire and reload a pistol with only one hand. It’s very easy to learn, and could easily save your life one day. Here’s how it’s done.

And, it’s not just pistols that can be reloaded with one hand. The same can be done with AK-47 type rifles.

To prepare for a firefight in the real world, you have to consider the worst case scenario, and train yourself to overcome it. You have to abandon any immature fantasies you have and accept reality. No matter how good you think you are, you can still get shot in places that can significantly hinder your ability to shoot back. So don’t settle for just shooting at paper targets. Become genuinely proficient with your weapons, and learn how to stay alive in even those direst situations.

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

Can You Reload A Pistol With One Hand? Here’s How It’s Done

There’s a big difference between going to the range to shoot a few paper targets, and having to use a firearm to protect yourself. A gap exists between those two situations that can be measured in miles. So even if you’re a really good shot, you’re not necessarily proficient with a firearm. You have to be prepared to use a firearm in real world situations, and those situations can be unbelievably messy and chaotic.

One thing you should prepare yourself for is the possibility that in an actual gunfight, you may only be able to aim and shoot with one hand. For instance, what if you were shot in the hand? That’s a very intricate appendage, and even a small caliber round could disable it.

That’s why you should learn how to fire and reload a pistol with only one hand. It’s very easy to learn, and could easily save your life one day. Here’s how it’s done.

And, it’s not just pistols that can be reloaded with one hand. The same can be done with AK-47 type rifles.

To prepare for a firefight in the real world, you have to consider the worst case scenario, and train yourself to overcome it. You have to abandon any immature fantasies you have and accept reality. No matter how good you think you are, you can still get shot in places that can significantly hinder your ability to shoot back. So don’t settle for just shooting at paper targets. Become genuinely proficient with your weapons, and learn how to stay alive in even those direst situations.

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

6 Important Tips on How to Start Prepping

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Prepping is one of the most mainstream activities that people are often engaged in doing. Prepping is not just about surviving for the day, but rather have a plan to last you for longer. Most people would think that you just wake up one day and start prepping. That is not how it works; you … Read more…

The post 6 Important Tips on How to Start Prepping was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

8 Tomato-Growing Mistakes Even Smart Gardeners Make

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8 Tomato-Growing Mistakes Even Smart Gardeners Make

Image source: Pixabay.com

Tomatoes aren’t difficult to grow. No matter how little care I give my plants, I always get some fruit. However, with a little extra care, tomato plants will reward you with a more bountiful — and tastier — crop. To max out your tomato production, avoid making these mistakes:

1. Not rotating crops

Tomatoes are heavy feeders and deplete soil as they draw up nutrients to send to their fruit. It’s best to rotate tomato plants annually, so that they have lots of nutrients in the new spot while the old spot is given time to replenish.

2. Not enough sun

Make sure the new spot is in a sunny location that’s warm but not hot. Like many garden vegetables, tomatoes can make do with six hours of sunlight daily, but the more sun they have, the better they produce. Sunlight gives plants energy, and tomatoes use extra energy to create extra fruit.

3. Too much heat

Although they’re sun worshippers, tomatoes don’t like extreme heat. If you live in a zone where temperatures regularly soar over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s best to pick a spot where your plants will be shaded in the afternoon. Morning sun is important since it dries dew — and dry leaves keep disease at bay. But extreme heat destroys the pollen on tomato flowers, which means they won’t produce fruit. Try to pick a spot that will be shaded only during the hottest hours of the day.

4. Crowding the plants

Tomatoes — especially indeterminate varieties–are big plants. Popular varieties like Beefsteak, Super Fantastic, Early Girl and Lemon Boy are all indeterminate, and as such can grow up to six-feet tall or in some cases, even taller. Determinate varieties (bush tomatoes) are smaller, but still can reach heights of 3-4 feet.

The All-Natural Fertilizer That Can Double Your Garden Yield!

Make sure you give your plants sufficient space to grow. Consider whether you’re planting in rows, beds or square-foot plots, as well as whether the plant is determinate or indeterminate.

5. Not planting deeply enough

8 Tomato-Growing Mistakes Even Smart Gardeners Make

Image source: Pixabay.com

Tomato seedlings should be planted deep. In fact, it’s recommended to bury a full two-thirds of a seedling in soil. It is perfectly OK to cover existing leaves. The stem that’s buried will develop roots, too. The more roots your plant has, the more nutrients it can soak up and send to the fruit, which makes for more flavorful tomatoes.

6. Not pruning

Pruning? Tomatoes? You betcha. While it’s not essential, pruning your tomato plants — especially the big indeterminate varieties — has a few notable benefits:

  • Fewer leaves will increase the amount of sun and air that reach existing leaves and fruit. Wet leaves will dry more quickly, reducing the chance of pest or disease infestations. Diseases that flourish in wet conditions include:
    • Powdery mildew
    • Fusarium wilt
    • Verticillium wilt
    • Leaf spot
    • Bacterial spot
    • Bacterial canker
  • Since your plant has fewer leaves to support, it will use its energy to produce more and bigger fruit instead.
  • Fewer leaves to support also means that more of your plant’s energy can be directed toward ripening fruit, giving you an earlier harvest.

Before it’s time to prune leaves, however, you may need to pinch off flowers. Plants should be at least 12-18 inches tall before flowers are allowed to set. Otherwise, the plant may not be strong enough, with a strong healthy root system in place, to support heavy fruit and provide them with nutrients.

Determinate and indeterminate varieties must be pruned differently. With determinate varieties, only prune the bottom branches that touch the soil. Those branches may contribute to the spread of disease if left. However, removing other stems and/or leaves on determinate varieties may reduce your harvest.

On indeterminate varieties, prune off suckers as they appear. Suckers are the smaller branches that start growing right in the groove where an existing branch meets the main stem.

7. Not humoring the picky feeders

Tomatoes are heavy feeders and should be fertilized during the growing season, BUT they have specific feeding needs. Fertilizing weekly with a natural compost or fertilizer is the best option.

8. Watering frequently

Deep, strong roots are key to growing great tomatoes. In addition to planting seedlings deeply, you can encourage strong root growth by watering plants heavily about every 5-7 days. With this type of watering, plants will develop long, strong roots to seek water. With shallow watering, the roots will remain stunted near the surface to access the water there; with more frequent watering, plants have no reason to create stronger roots.

Watering too infrequently, so that the soil severely dries out, can cause problems like blossom end rot. Tomato roots need water to soak up calcium from the soil; without water — and ergo without calcium — tomato fruit are susceptible to disease.

Watering tomato plants at their base will help keep leaves dry, and again, dry leaves are the key to reducing pest and disease issues. For best results, install drip lines or hand water.

Final Thoughts

After reading through this, you may think that tomatoes are the most difficult vegetables in the world to grow. Nothing is further from the truth. However, correcting at least some of these mistakes will result in a bigger harvest of heavier, more flavorful fruit that ripens quickly.

What tomato-growing mistakes would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below: