I Teach Concealed Carry Classes. Here Are 3 Deadly Mistakes New Owners Make.

Click here to view the original post.
I Teach Concealed Carry Classes. Here Are 3 Deadly Mistakes New Owners Make

Image source: Pixabay.com

For more than a decade, I’ve carried concealed and competed in area matches. Now I’m an instructor.

As a practitioner and teacher of concealed carry and gun handling, there are a handful of errors that don’t surprise me anymore. Some, I made myself and now witness others doing the same.

This article is an attempt to help others learn from typical mistakes of new concealed carriers.

1. Choosing a gun that’s too complicated.

I tend to agree with a comment made in a class I took earlier this year with Rob Pincus of Personal Defense Network: “It’s 2017. You should have a gun that goes bang without you having to do anything but press the trigger.”

His comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the sentiment is valid. Safety is the result of observance of muzzle-and-finger discipline first, and a good holster that covers the trigger guard second. In light of the handful of drop-safe manufacturing issues in recent years, selecting a model with a solid reputation in that department earns a place on the safety checklist, too.

Vicious New Hand-Held Self-Defense Tool Turns Lethal In Seconds!

In that high-stress moment that the gun is carried to address, the ability of the mind to tell the fingers to do things like disengage a safety lever is greatly diminished. Likewise, many people commit accuracy errors on that initial long trigger pull that is the correct firing procedure on a double/single action handgun. The KISS (keep it simple, stupid) principle should apply when choosing a lifesaving product.

This advice will make some fans of certain platforms scoff. I love my 1911 as much as the next person, but I’ve also tested myself with it in competition and have experienced a couple moments in which my finger “forgot” to disengage the safety lever. Lesson learned.

2. Blowing the bank on the first holster.

It’ll likely be necessary to experiment with various methods of carry before settling on one that suits your lifestyle. That holster that had great reviews in the magazine, or was praised by a friend who carries, and perhaps cost over $100, may not suit your daily habits.

What does “suit your lifestyle” mean? It means the gun/holster setup must be comfortable enough to wear for the typical hours you spend doing things typical for your day. Examples: people who have to bend from the waist a lot will find “printing” of the gun to be a problem if they carry inside the waistband, behind the midline. Women who wear dresses may find that carrying on-body means choosing a gun that’s much smaller than what they’d prefer, as models that fit comfortably and safely in thigh or bra holsters are limited.

Retention of the gun in the holster is a consideration. If your job involves climbing trees or on and off roofs, for example, the ability of the holster to not allow the gun to slide out without your help is critical. Velcro is a popular retention device, but is noisy—a potential risk in some situations.

Above all, the holster must prevent penetration of the trigger guard by any outside object, whether the gun is worn on the body or off. Choices abound; it’s wise to keep an open mind and try several rigs until you find one that’s ideal for you.

3. Yakking about your armed status.

It’s very tempting to talk about your gun, choice of holster, licensure and experiences as a concealed carrier, especially in the workplace. A few workplaces nurture a culture friendly to self-protection; many more do not. Conversations, even among trusted friends or coworkers, can increase your risk for burglary when inside-circle stories about firearms are inevitably shared outside of that circle. A staggering number of people have a close relative who is substance-dependent and possibly motivated to steal.

Likewise, boasting about your armed status via gun stickers or catchy sayings stuck on your car or front lawn also may increase the likelihood of a car or home burglary when you’re not around. In a recent survey of Oregon inmates convicted of burglary, signs like “due to the price of ammo, don’t expect a warning shot” repelled about half of would-be burglars. Others reported they view such signs as an advertisement of where to snatch guns when the homeowner is away.

Braggadocio should be reserved for supportive circles, and not T-shirts, public social media posts, or even the interior of your AR-15’s dust cover. Unfortunately, wearing or otherwise promoting somewhat tongue-in-cheek statements, the kind about self-defense commonly found in gun-owner circles, are often cited as legal evidence the gun owner was looking for a fight. While gun owners should not have to kowtow to the whims of anti-gunners, the fact is, public statements about gun use may well be used to your detriment in court.

Summary

These three “mistakes” will surely not meet with agreement of everyone. I hope it gives readers who are new to, or in their first years of daily carry, food for thought as they navigate decisions about defensive living.

What mistakes would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Smoke!

Click here to view the original post.

Gosh the smoke from fires has been kicking my ass.  Fires are common in the west but having the valley fill with smoke for this long is unusual.  So I have been indoors and feeling less than spry about the situation.  I have added new filters to all the Holmes air filter systems in the house and that has helped a lot on making me breathe and feel better in the last few days.

I have been moving forward on the house window and siding project.  Would you believe the contractor and the Mortgage finance guys both left the original companies I contacted and now I’m having to redo some of the paperwork to get things done?   I’m moving ahead and with a little bit of luck, I should get the loan finished up this month and get the siding/window work started in September.

I am “solar powered” and get to be a very grumpy gus when confined to indoors for whatever reason. I have been getting a few (prepping) additions done on a small scale.  Mostly just rotating food and adding some items that sort of low.  When I cleaned the basement and added shelves I saw a few weak areas that needed to be address.  Nothing big as the 55 gallon drums are a good to go and my water supply is solid.  I just need to build up some of the everyday items I let get a bit low or out of date.

My new snow blower arrived today!  This weekend I’ll put it together and see if it functions.  I suspect another “hard winter” will happen so I’m trying to get ahead of the game with the small electric snowblower as I can’t shovel snow before I got disabled.  I’ll be adding a lot of salt for the front sidewalks and sand for the backyard along with a massive propane torch to melt the ice build up.

Some great news on Mom’s ankle and heel problems.  The physical therapists are working on her knee as well as the foot problem and her knee is gaining a lot more range of motion.  Mom’s knee has gone from about 10 degree bend to over 40 degree bend in just a week!  Plus she does not hurt so bad overnight.

Life has been a bit rough here at Casa de Chaos but things are looking good for the future.   Hell if it was easy everyone would play the game!

Aussies shocked by energy price rises

Click here to view the original post.

Cheap land , pricey energy

Rising electricity prices in Queensland are forcing a soon-to-be retired single woman to become 100% energy self-sufficient, storing renewable energy onsite.

Homeowner Liza Jackson is going off the grid on Bribie island in Queensland. And she is one of many residents leaving the grid behind. With a population of 20,000 Bribie is the smallest and most northerly of three major sand islands forming the coastline sheltering the northern part of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia.

A survey revealed 75% of islanders are struggling to pay their bills, while 31% are sacrificing groceries to compensate.

Ms Jackson has already spent $6500 on 16 solar panels for a lean $38 quarterly saving and is working toward buying battery backups to fight the rising costs.

“I’ve lived in north West Australia where the prices are astronomical, but I’ve been gobsmacked by the prices of power in Queensland,” she said.

“With the rising costs, I’m looking at myself becoming pensioner and thinking ‘I’m not going to afford this’.

“If you believe that (prices will plateau), then you believe in the tooth fairy… there’s no limit on these private companies buying wholesale and on selling to customers.”

She’s not alone, according to the Bribie Island Neighbourhood Centre’s relief and budgeting volunteer Michael Daniell.

“(Electricity) is getting out of control… it’s increasing all the time and wages and Centrelink isn’t matching it,” he said.

“Young couples with children are the hardest… food, electricity and a roof over your head are the major priorities and sometimes it can mean going without one of them.”

Mr Daniell said he helps struggling bill payers manage their debt through widely available schemes the public often aren’t aware of.

“We do have a Home Emergency Assistance Scheme; if you’re a current concession holder we can help you claim (part of) your bill.

“My advice is, don’t ignore debt, ring up the (power) companies and work out a plan.

“They don’t know how much debt you’re in; if you just call and tell them your circumstances they can work something out.”

The state and federal governments have recently been in a war of words about the current state of electricity prices in the Sunshine State, with each party blaming the other.

“Since the Palaszczuk Government launched our Powering Queensland Plan, forward wholesale contract prices for 2018 have fallen by more than 16%,” Acting Energy Minister Curtis Pitt said.

“Between March-May this year, Queensland had the lowest wholesale prices of any state, and we remain the lowest.

“Due to the broken state of the National Electricity Market, wholesale electricity prices have increased across the board but much more in every other state between 2014-15 and 2016-17 than Queensland, which includes: 177% in South Australia, 131% in New South Wales, 119% in Victoria, 103% in Tasmania and 77% in Queensland,” Mr Pitt said.

This comes after Queensland’s wholesale electricity prices hit record highs and was the most expensive in the country in January.

Phone the Bribie Island Neighbourhood Centre on 34088440 for financial help.

Wholesale electricity rises in Australia, 2014-17

South Australia177%

NSW131%

Victoria119%

Tasmania103%

Queensland77%

The post Aussies shocked by energy price rises appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

China Threatens to Attack United States if US Strikes North Korea

Click here to view the original post.

Spoiler:  This is the wild card worst case scenario I warned could materialize.  Before today’s announcement in China’s state run press, we could only speculate what China’s response would be

Guns vs. Body Armor

Click here to view the original post.

By Staff Writer – The Survival Place Blog

More and more people who are not professionally involved in the military, security and/or law enforcement fields are starting to consider body armor. Civilian safety is, in fact, becoming a hot topic of discussion on both government and public levels as the number of assaults, violent accidents, urban unrest and terrorist attacks through the roof in the last decade. Even though a lot of people have gotten in the habit of walking around with pepper spray or some other form of personal protection, now body armor is quickly becoming the next best thing to stay safe any place, any time.

Body armor comes in many shapes and types, but you should have a good understanding of what it can and cannot do for you in all situations. Essentially, no body armor is 100% bulletproof and different levels are only suited against the type of bullets they are tested against. This means that you should carefully examine the potential threats you are likely to face and choose your vest accordingly.

Body armor is generally classified as soft and hard. Soft body armor is more concealable and lighter, making it particularly suitable in urban situations and scenarios. It can provide protection from bullet and/or stab wounds, but the application isn’t as hard core. Covert soft body armor is designed to be worn under clothing or a light jacket and protects the wearer from other threats that the average person could face. There are a number of ballistic threats that body armor is efficient in stopping, which include:

223 Remington

The .223 Remington (5.56×45mm NATO) became popular in part due to the military acceptance of the M16.  It is almost identical with the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge in terms of external dimensions bu there are differences in maximum pressure and chamber shape. Given its specifications, this round you requires a level III protective vest.

.308 Winchester

The .308 Winchester is similar to the military 7.62x51mm specifications, making it the most popular big-game hunting cartridge in the world. It is commonly used by Military Snipers and Police Sharpshooters. Well-adapted for short-action rifles, it requires a vest at the highest level of IV to ensure protection.

7.62×54mmR

Developed by the Russian Empire, this is the longest serving military-issued cartridge in the world. This round remains one of the few standard-issue rimmed cartridges that are still in military use, and in 2011 the cartridge reached 120 years in service. Mostly used in sniper rifles like the Dragunov SVD sniper rifle and machine guns like the PKM, the round has a similar performance to the iconic American .30-06 cartridge. Adequate protection against this rifle caliber requires level IV body armor.

.30-06

The .30-06 Springfield cartridge was introduced to the US Army in 1906 and remained in use for the next 75 years. Still a popular sporting round, most major manufacturers produce ammunition for it. There have been slight modifications done over the years, including shortening the barrel at its breech and resizing the chamber. This round also will require a vest at Level IV for protection.

.300 Winchester Magnum

The .300 Winchester Magnum is a popular, belted, bottle-necked magnum rifle cartridge that was introduced by Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1963. It is designed to fit a standard length action, based on the .375 H&H Magnum. Extremely versatile popular with a variety of users, the round has found a fan base with gun enthusiasts, hunters, the Military and Law Enforcement. The .330WM is known as the most popular .30 cal magnum among American hunters, and requires a Level IV vest for protection.

.338 Lapua Magnum

The .338 Lapua Magnum was developed for the military long-range sniper. Its potential as an anti-materiel round is limited due to its lack of power, although it still requires the highest level of protection, NIJ Level IV for any sort of protection.

.50 BMG

The .50 Browning machine gun was developed in the late 1910s and became a standard cartridge for NATO forces and many non-NATO forces. The cartridge is available in many variants, and is based on the shape of the .30-06 cartridge. This round will need a vest at Level IV with hard armor plates.

Given the wide range of bullet proof vests available, it is important to choose the right type for each situation and expected threats to ensure adequate protection.  Most soft armors come with the option of additional protection in the form of hard plates, so there is a great deal of flexibility in choosing the right bullet proof vest.

In recent years, the most commonly used firearms in random and terrorist attacks are semi-automatic AR-15 rifles and low-caliber handguns. While the latter can be stopped by a standard Level III vest, you will need additional ceramic plates to ensure protection against the 5.56 mm ammunition used in most AR-15 rifles. There is currently a large variety of covert and overt bulletproof vests that have pockets, where extra SAPI plates can be fitted to up the security level to the desired standard. Both carry their advantages in different situations. For example, covert vests work better in urban environments, where you don’t want to draw attention to the fact that you are wearing body armor while overt vests are easy and quick to put on in the event of an attack.

The ease of access to these guns poses a lot of security issues, the biggest one of them all of how can civilians equip themselves against such a common danger. With proper research and assessment of the crime statistics of your local urban environment, you can take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety in the event of any attack.

This article originally published by The Survival Place Blog: Guns vs. Body Armor

Check out our friends at safeguardclothing.com

The post Guns vs. Body Armor appeared first on The Survival Place Blog.

 How To Harden Your Home Using the Cheapest Materials on the Market

Click here to view the original post.

By Jeremiah Johnson – Ready Nutrition

Purchasing sandbags have always been sold in late summer early fall as a preparedness product that is associated with the flooding attached to the fall rainy seasons and hurricanes.  The time to order and purchase your sandbags is now, but for a different reason: to harden your house if possible.  Those sandbags can be filled with more than just sand and can be used to stop more than just water.  Look at the world situation right now with North Korea, China, and Russia: need I say any more to encourage you to prepare and fortify your homes for a SHTF event?

There are charts ad infinitum that will give you the amounts of layers of sandbags that are needed to stop a bullet, depending on the caliber.  Most fill them with sand; however, unless you live on a beach, sand may be something not found out in your backyard.  You can fill them with dirt, but the stopping factor is significantly reduced.  It’s up to you: your decision (to paraphrase “Alice in Chains”).  You can make them permanent with concrete.  You can convert a front porch into a semi-fortified fighting position with three layers of sandbags about 3 to 4 feet high.

I don’t care to hear naysayers complaining at how the front porch will collapse, the room will collapse, yada yada.  It is up to you the homeowner to find what the weight-bearing structural load is for your porch or any other room you intend to fortify.  The main point is that there are steps you can take at home to make your property harder to enter and to enable you to defend it.

One of the big problems is that it’s hard (or impossible) to “scrap” different types of building materials or construction supplies out of the dump.  The days of “dumpster diving” for materials are just about over.  Salvage companies save everything to sell back to China, to be sent back (and sold) to us…as the salvors are raising money that is taxed by the local government…the same local government that will not permit you the citizen to “dumpster dive,” as it cuts into the “chain of events” just outlined…and their profits.

You’ll have to pick up some rolls of heavy-gauge fencing wire to cover over your windows.  Nail them right to the frame with fencing staples, and ensure they’re taut.  In this way, the Molotov will not go through.  Also, ensure that you have at least 1 inch between this fencing-grating and the glass from the window.  The Molotov may hit and allow the glass to break by bending the wire in enough so that the bottle’s weight impacts the window.  Then you’ll have to cover the busted window with plastic.

And since we’re on the subject, you can pick up rolls of 6 mil plastic, 25’ x 10’ for about $10 at Wal-Mart…could come in handy to close those windows if needed.  If you pick up the fencing wire rolls with rectangular apertures, say 2” x 4” it will facilitate you using the window as a firing port if the window is able to be opened from the inside and not a fixed window.  I wrote several articles a couple of years ago for SHTFplan detailing how to harden your home; I highly recommend reading them if possible.

A good door brace (also referred to as a New York Lock) for the entry doors to your home will help out.  It won’t completely prevent a break-in, but it’ll slow it down enough for you to deal with it.  Consider a good brace-bar to go across the door.  You want to make sure you have a solid frame.  If it is one of those premade “cookie-cutter home” frames, you may have to reinforce it.

Plywood sheets should be measured and cut for the event (or eventuality, depending on your viewpoint) that your windows will disappear.  Cut out your sizes to be able to nail or bolt into the frame on the outside of the window, and mark the pieces to enable you to match them up to the appropriate window.  I suggest (at a minimum) ½” pressure-treated plywood.  Also: measure and match up with those pieces pre-cut 2” x 4” sections, to put together as a “T” or multiple “T’s” to brace up the plywood in the center when it is in place.  You never know when some fool will try to smash out the center of the plywood and enter the house.

Cut apertures for firing ports and viewing ports at the appropriate levels in your sheets.  You can cover these up with pieces of plywood either on a screw or on a hinge to the side, to enable you to use your firearms to deal with Mr. Moron who just won’t take “no” for an answer.  Make sure you take down and remove any trees, bushes, or anything that can provide marauders with cover and/or concealment.  Cut down these things and use them for firewood later.

Now is the time to place any building materials and supplies you can on your property for use in repairs later.  Most of this article applies to those who live in a house, and it has not yet taken into consideration the plethora of neighbors, neighborhood associations, and other assorted worthless groups that try to infringe on your rights and safety in the interest of keeping their property values high and in conformity.  You may have to do it all on the q-t, and keep the OPSEC at a high.

The best thing you can do: conduct a thorough assessment of your home and determine likely avenues of approach for invaders foreign or domestic, weak points in the house, and areas where you would most likely make a stand.  We’re getting “long in the tooth,” so to speak, with world events, and you need to harden all of the points of your home now while there is still time.  An ounce of prevention is more than a pound of cure.  Keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

About the author:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

The post  How To Harden Your Home Using the Cheapest Materials on the Market appeared first on The Survival Place Blog.

Seal Team Six E&E kit: cash, Copenhagen and cigarettes

Click here to view the original post.


Sure they have some great gear, and small survival tin kits with a lot of useful tools (and of course the training to go along with it) but I think it’s interesting that Robert O’Neill mentions CASH as the first thing that comes to mind if he ever has to make his way home on his own after a mission. What does he do when he gets a call right before getting in a plane to go God knows where? Hit the ATM for as much cash as he can and buys some tobacco.

“I know I’m going to jump somewhere but I don’t know where I’m going to end up. And I can buy my way home with money, or somewhere else I can barter with tobacco…plus I love tobacco”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5uAG0xpcXg

Folks that have never been to 3rd world countries just don’t understand the power of a 20, 50, let alone 100 USD bill. With absurd conversion rates in most of the third world, a 50 dollar bill is in parts of the world more money than the average person there will see in the same place in his entire life. You can buy shelter, food, you can buy transportation or even loyalty.

Cash is king indeed.

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”

Book Review: The Red Cliffs of Zerhoun

Click here to view the original post.
The Red Cliffs of Zerhoun by Matthew Bracken
Today I will be reviewing this book by Matthew Bracken. I will try to keep big spoilers to a minimum as it relates to this book but inevitably a review gives away some stuff. I will also compare and contrast with Matt Brackens other books so there may be some spoilers there. Also for the sake of full disclosure I paid full price for this book and do not have any relationship with Matthew Bracken. To the best of my recollection I have never interacted with the guy. That said I do like his stuff and have all his books. Getting started.
Brief Overview: “Dan Kilmer is a former Marine sniper in his late thirties. Fifteen years earlier, he returned home from military service in the Middle East and gave college a try, but his combat experiences prevented him from fitting into campus life. In a South Florida boatyard, his uncle was attempting to refurbish an old cargo schooner, and Dan left college to help him finish the flagging project. After two years of work but before the sixty-foot boat was relaunched, his uncle fell from a scaffold and died. While still in his mid-twenties, Dan inherited the schooner Rebel Yell, but not the means to maintain it or to afford the cruising lifestyle. Soon after, he left the United States to embark on a series of voyages, mostly in pursuit of beautiful women and good times. The action in this new novel takes place a few years after his adventures in Castigo Cay, the first Dan Kilmer novel. In The Red Cliffs of Zerhoun, Dan’s trading schooner is located in southwest Ireland, where he is attempting to sell 96 drums of diesel fuel salvaged from an abandoned NATO base in Greenland. The global financial system has collapsed, and both paper and digital currency have no value, but diesel fuel and gold still do. While waiting to sell his remaining thirty barrels, Dan is approached by a retired SAS colonel and asked to transport a dozen former special operations commandos 1,400 miles south to the Canary Islands, where they will be transported by a landing craft to Morocco in order to conduct a rescue operation. Two months earlier, nearly seventy Irish and English girls had been kidnapped by pirates from their elite Irish boarding academy and taken to Port Zerhoun, which is under the control of a cartel of modern corsairs. The young schoolgirls will be sold at auction as sex slaves, unless a ragtag team of former commandos can liberate them in time.”
The Good:
-This books collapse scenario is plausible. Particularly the scenario Matt lays out of a violent, economically depressed world is vivid and realistic. Things in many areas have fallen apart but more in a “there is very little fuel and the electricity doesn’t work much” than a cataclysmic typical survivalist scenario where civilization as we know it falls apart and the world descends into murdering rapist cannibal gangs. Manufacture of most complicated modern goods is seriously limited and the supply of them as well as fossil fuels are highly prized/ rare/ expensive. This is probably the most realistic portrayal I have seen.
-The geo politics in the book are current and valid. They didn’t dust off the same scrolling paragraph at the beginning of red dawn kind of start scenario. Too many books in this realm start with “the stock market crashed or the lights went out” then go into their plot. This book takes a real quality look both at current situations (portrayed as past since the book is in the near future) and realistic future ones based on the current trajectory.
-Along these lines technology available to our happy go lucky group of adventurers and mercenaries reflected the overall scenario of the book and is downright plausible. A decade into a collapse scenario most of the wiz bang electronics people have now will have stopped working.
This was a sharp contrast with the first Dan Kilmer book where he had all kinds of cool toys: night vision, lasers, a small UAV, etc. In this book they were navigating by sextant and rocking iron sights on their rifles. This brings up an excellent point. Gear fails and the most vulnerable/ fragile gear is by far electronics. Having a plan/ gear set up that uses modern gear but can easily fall back to older durable gear is prudent. So relying solely on a red dot sight is a bad plan.
-The book portrays people and social situations in realistic ways. Characters had faults and a person who is great in one way may be a jerk in another. How they are motivated in different ways (economics, morality, etc) or combinations of ways is so good. How sex is portrayed is realistic for normal society and straddles a fine line between ignoring the matter entirely like some books written by very socially conservative Christian types or randomly being fairly dirty like Unintended Consequences. Ditto various realistic but very unpleasant events like rape and slavery.
-Things went wrong. Missions fail. Small missions relying on single points of failure can come apart if a vehicle doesn’t work or a rope breaks or whatever. In a collapse scenario where gear is decades old and questionably maintained things will go wrong even more often.
-Piracy. While the resurgence of Islamic raiding of Europe to steal slaves is a “what if” the relationship between lack of global stability and piracy is quite solid. We are seeing it now in Somalia. Piracy based out of the the Med and NW Africa if Europes stability starts to crack is absolutely realistic.
-Dan finally got his shit together and bought a Glock 19.
The Bad:
-Depending on their stance on Islam, the Arab world and North Africans someone could be really offended by this book. Someone could also say that Matthew Bracken is speaking the politically incorrect truth. I will let you judge that one for yourself.
-There was one moment where a main character made a total mental 180 on a huge decision in a way that was pretty ‘the writer had a deadline and couldn’t figure out a good way to do it facing a tight deadline’ ish. Just didn’t seem plausible at all.
-Like many books there were times the good guys got really, really lucky.
The Ugly:
-Matt Bracken takes a long time between books. I wish he could get one out every year or so.
General Thoughts:
-The items characters in this books really valued (aside from the obvious boats, gold, etc) were durable, common and readily fixable. Think Glock 9mm pistols, Toyota trucks, strait razors, etc. Looking at Glocks and Toyotas they tend to just work for a really long time. They also are so widely available odds are high you can find a broken one to snag parts out of. You can’t say that about a CZ PO7 Duty or a Land rover.
-There was a shift from Matts other books such as Castigo Cay (and doubly his first 2 Enemies books) where the economy is seriously damaged and there are localized problems but mostly we have the same landscape as today. Less electronic stuff and the ability to replace things easily decreases.
Overall Impression: An excellent book. Buy and read it.

10 Benefits Of Growing Lavender At Home

Click here to view the original post.

Growing lavender is fun, easy, and has a number of health and culinary benefits. Lavender is known for its versatility and numerous uses, especially its oils, which are extracted from the flower of the plant through steam distillation. It is a member of the mint family, and can be used for medicinal or culinary purposes.

The flowers of the lavender plant have a soothing fragrance when they are fresh or dry, which is one of the many reasons why they are so popular among those who grow herbs.

The calming scent of lavender makes it a regular ingredient in aromatherapy. Lavender oil combines beautifully with other herbs, such as cedarwood, pine, clary sage, geranium, and nutmeg. You’ll find lavender commonly used in many personal care products, including lotions, gels, and soaps, as well as in sweet and savory foods.

In addition to the calming effect of its aroma, lavender oil has many other benefits.

On a related note … Did you see this article on the benefits of Mugwort?

10 Benefits of Lavender and Lavender Oils

1 Bug Repellent

Lavender oil is the perfect natural alternative to harmful bug repellents. The scent of lavender oil is too strong for many types of insects including mosquitos, midges, and moths.

If you have been bitten by a bug, rub a few drops of lavender oil onto your skin. This should relieve the irritation caused by the bite. Lavender oil has anti-inflammatory properties.

Next time you go out in the woods, keep a bottle of lavender oil in your Natural First Aid Kit.

2 Insomnia

One in three adults has trouble sleeping, (1) which heavily affects his or her ability to do day-to-day activities. The lack of sleep affects mood and the immune system, too.

Prescription drugs that help you sleep can have severe side-effects, including addiction.

Lavender oil induces sleep without any side-effects; a few drops on your pillow, or a sachet of lavender under your pillow, is all you need.

3 Nervous system

Lavender’s soothing aroma is known to calm nerves and reduce anxiety. It helps provide symptom relief of migraines, depression, and emotional stress. The calming fragrance relaxes your nerves, while revitalizing your brain.

Studies found that people suffering from anxiety and stress before an exam had increased mental function after sniffing lavender oil. (2)

4 Skin Conditions

It is common for people to suffer from acne breakouts during puberty, but some adults also suffer from this bacterial outbreak.

Lavender oil reduces the growth of bacteria that cause infections and regulates the over-secretion of sebum (oil produced by the skin).

Scars left by acne can be reduced by the use of lavender oil. By adding a couple of drops to your moisturizer, or even some water splashed on your face, should reduce your acne and its scars.

5 Immune system

According to the Journal of Medical Microbiology, “lavender shows a potent antifungal effect against strains of fungi responsible for common skin and nail infections.” (3) Lavender has antibacterial and antiviral properties, which protect the body from diseases like TB, typhoid, and diphtheria.

6 Circulatory system

Research has found that aromatherapy using lavender promotes blood circulation, lowers elevated blood pressure, and reduces hypertension.

The increased blood flow leads to increased amounts of oxygen in the muscles and the brain. Your skin also glows due to better blood flow, and your body is better protected against heart disease. (4)

7 Digestive system

Lavender oil leads to better digestion by increasing the movement of food in the digestive track.

The oil stimulates your intestines and the production of bile and gastric juices. This helps with upset stomach, stomach pain, indigestion, gas, colic, vomiting, and diarrhea. (5)

8 Pain relief

It can help with sore or tight muscles, joint pain, sprains, backache, and menstrual cramps.

For menstrual cramps, massage a few drops of lavender oil on your lower abdomen and apply a warm towel. Also, applying the oil on the bottom of your feet will help.

9 Diabetes treatment

In 2014, Scientists in Tunisia tested the effects of lavender oil on blood sugar levels to see if it would help with diabetes.

During their study, they found that lavender oil treatments protected the body from increased blood glucose, weight gain, and liver and kidney function. Researchers were amazed to find that the radical antioxidant properties of lavender were more effective than Vitamin C. (6)

10 Healthy Hair

Lavender oil helps kill lice, lice eggs, and nits. There are some studies that show that lavender can possibly treat hair loss and boosts hair growth by up to 44 percent after seven months of treatment. (7)

 

growing-lavender

© maximkabb

 

Growing Lavender at home

Lavender is a very useful herb, it can be used for everything from taking care of you to cleaning your home. With these types of benefits, it would be great to grow your own lavender plants.

Here is one of the easiest way of growing lavender at home:

Grow Lavender in Pots

Growing lavender in a pot is easy, whether you use seeds, cuttings or bought plants.

If you’re going to use seeds, place them on top of sandy soil. Cover them lightly with a layer of perlite. In two to three weeks, your seeds should sprout.

If you’re going to use cuttings, make sure to take them below the node (the leafy part of the plant). Dip your cuttings in root hormone or an organic rooting hormone. Place them upright in warm, damp sandy soil.

Make your own Organic Rooting Hormone! Grab a small cup and cinnamon. Spit into the cup, or have your son do it. Dip your cutting in the saliva. Then, dip it into the cinnamon. Place your cutting into  your rooting medium. Saliva is a natural root enhancer, and cinnamon minimizes damping off of your cutting.

Whatever type of container you choose to hold your lavender plant, keep in mind that while lavender does need water, it does not like moisture. This means that you need a container with a good drainage system.

A container with plenty of drainage holes is perfect. If there are only a couple of holes, drill some more.

If your pot is going to be inside, then get a pot with a removable saucer at the bottom to catch the excess water. Do not get a pot with an attached saucer. You don’t want your lavender plant to be too damp.

Maintain your potted lavender

Once you’ve found the right amount of moisture in the sandy soil, maintaining your lavender becomes pretty easy. Ensure that the plant receives the right amount of sun exposure, water, soil pH, and temperature.

Sunlight

Place your lavender pot somewhere that it will get at least 8 hours of sunlight a day. Note: In places in the southwest and southeast where the sun is extremely strong, your lavender may need a bit of shade.

Water

Lavender does not require much water. Let the soil become dry in between watering, but do not let it get so dry that the plant wilts.

Soil pH

Lavender does not like acidic soils. It may look fine the first year, but it will start dying off. This member of the mint family loves an alkaline soil with a pH between 6.7 to 7.3.

Temperature

Depending on where you live, your lavender will grow best in the late spring to early summer. If you are in a cooler climate, you might want to look at varieties, like English Lavender, which will grow in your cooler temperatures.

French Lavender is at its healthiest when it is warm. There is a good chance it won’t survive a cold winter, which is why it is better to plant it in pots, so it can easily be moved when temperatures drop.

Harvesting Lavender

Lavender has many benefits in all its forms.

If you prune the first bloom in early spring, you may have a second harvest in the summer.

When re-flowering begins to slow, (after about a month of flowering), you’ll be ready for your final harvest. Remove the flower stems from the bush and gather the stems into a bunch.

Cut your lavender a few inches above the woody growth with a harvesting knife.

Drying Lavender

Dry lavender in bunches, on screens, with a dehydrator, or in a paper bag. Either dry in a cool, dark place hanging upside-down, or on a screen out in the sun. Note: The sun will change the color of the lavender.

Now use YOUR lavender for anything from crafts to cooking. However, the lavender oil, which you can extract through steam distillation, is lavender’s most popular use.

What is your favorite way to use lavender? The comment section is waiting for you below.

Resources:

  1. Trouble Sleeping? [https://centracare.org/florida/blog/2016/05/23/trouble-sleeping/]
  2. Lavender Oil Benefits: Reducing Stress and Depression [https://www.drwhitaker.com/lavender-oil-benefits-reducing-stress-and-depression]
  3. Lavender Oil Has Potent Antifungal Effect. Science News. [https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110214201842.htm]
  4. Relaxation effects of lavender… [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17689755]
  5. Love Lavender? Try Lavender Oil. Mercola. [http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/lavender-oil.aspx]
  6. Lavender essential oils attenuate hyperglycemia… [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3880178/]
  7. What are the health benefits of lavender? Medical News Today. [http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265922.php]

Save

The post 10 Benefits Of Growing Lavender At Home appeared first on The Grow Network.

10 Benefits Of Growing Lavender At Home

Growing lavender is fun, easy, and has a number of health and culinary benefits. Lavender is known for its versatility and numerous uses, especially its oils, which are extracted from the flower of the plant through steam distillation. It is a member of the mint family, and can be used for medicinal or culinary purposes.

The flowers of the lavender plant have a soothing fragrance when they are fresh or dry, which is one of the many reasons why they are so popular among those who grow herbs.

The calming scent of lavender makes it a regular ingredient in aromatherapy. Lavender oil combines beautifully with other herbs, such as cedarwood, pine, clary sage, geranium, and nutmeg. You’ll find lavender commonly used in many personal care products, including lotions, gels, and soaps, as well as in sweet and savory foods.

In addition to the calming effect of its aroma, lavender oil has many other benefits.

On a related note … Did you see this article on the benefits of Mugwort?

10 Benefits of Lavender and Lavender Oils

1 Bug Repellent

Lavender oil is the perfect natural alternative to harmful bug repellents. The scent of lavender oil is too strong for many types of insects including mosquitos, midges, and moths.

If you have been bitten by a bug, rub a few drops of lavender oil onto your skin. This should relieve the irritation caused by the bite. Lavender oil has anti-inflammatory properties.

Next time you go out in the woods, keep a bottle of lavender oil in your Natural First Aid Kit.

2 Insomnia

One in three adults has trouble sleeping, (1) which heavily affects his or her ability to do day-to-day activities. The lack of sleep affects mood and the immune system, too.

Prescription drugs that help you sleep can have severe side-effects, including addiction.

Lavender oil induces sleep without any side-effects; a few drops on your pillow, or a sachet of lavender under your pillow, is all you need.

3 Nervous system

Lavender’s soothing aroma is known to calm nerves and reduce anxiety. It helps provide symptom relief of migraines, depression, and emotional stress. The calming fragrance relaxes your nerves, while revitalizing your brain.

Studies found that people suffering from anxiety and stress before an exam had increased mental function after sniffing lavender oil. (2)

4 Skin Conditions

It is common for people to suffer from acne breakouts during puberty, but some adults also suffer from this bacterial outbreak.

Lavender oil reduces the growth of bacteria that cause infections and regulates the over-secretion of sebum (oil produced by the skin).

Scars left by acne can be reduced by the use of lavender oil. By adding a couple of drops to your moisturizer, or even some water splashed on your face, should reduce your acne and its scars.

5 Immune system

According to the Journal of Medical Microbiology, “lavender shows a potent antifungal effect against strains of fungi responsible for common skin and nail infections.” (3) Lavender has antibacterial and antiviral properties, which protect the body from diseases like TB, typhoid, and diphtheria.

6 Circulatory system

Research has found that aromatherapy using lavender promotes blood circulation, lowers elevated blood pressure, and reduces hypertension.

The increased blood flow leads to increased amounts of oxygen in the muscles and the brain. Your skin also glows due to better blood flow, and your body is better protected against heart disease. (4)

7 Digestive system

Lavender oil leads to better digestion by increasing the movement of food in the digestive track.

The oil stimulates your intestines and the production of bile and gastric juices. This helps with upset stomach, stomach pain, indigestion, gas, colic, vomiting, and diarrhea. (5)

8 Pain relief

It can help with sore or tight muscles, joint pain, sprains, backache, and menstrual cramps.

For menstrual cramps, massage a few drops of lavender oil on your lower abdomen and apply a warm towel. Also, applying the oil on the bottom of your feet will help.

9 Diabetes treatment

In 2014, Scientists in Tunisia tested the effects of lavender oil on blood sugar levels to see if it would help with diabetes.

During their study, they found that lavender oil treatments protected the body from increased blood glucose, weight gain, and liver and kidney function. Researchers were amazed to find that the radical antioxidant properties of lavender were more effective than Vitamin C. (6)

10 Healthy Hair

Lavender oil helps kill lice, lice eggs, and nits. There are some studies that show that lavender can possibly treat hair loss and boosts hair growth by up to 44 percent after seven months of treatment. (7)

 

growing-lavender

© maximkabb

 

Growing Lavender at home

Lavender is a very useful herb, it can be used for everything from taking care of you to cleaning your home. With these types of benefits, it would be great to grow your own lavender plants.

Here is one of the easiest way of growing lavender at home:

Grow Lavender in Pots

Growing lavender in a pot is easy, whether you use seeds, cuttings or bought plants.

If you’re going to use seeds, place them on top of sandy soil. Cover them lightly with a layer of perlite. In two to three weeks, your seeds should sprout.

If you’re going to use cuttings, make sure to take them below the node (the leafy part of the plant). Dip your cuttings in root hormone or an organic rooting hormone. Place them upright in warm, damp sandy soil.

Make your own Organic Rooting Hormone! Grab a small cup and cinnamon. Spit into the cup, or have your son do it. Dip your cutting in the saliva. Then, dip it into the cinnamon. Place your cutting into  your rooting medium. Saliva is a natural root enhancer, and cinnamon minimizes damping off of your cutting.

Whatever type of container you choose to hold your lavender plant, keep in mind that while lavender does need water, it does not like moisture. This means that you need a container with a good drainage system.

A container with plenty of drainage holes is perfect. If there are only a couple of holes, drill some more.

If your pot is going to be inside, then get a pot with a removable saucer at the bottom to catch the excess water. Do not get a pot with an attached saucer. You don’t want your lavender plant to be too damp.

Maintain your potted lavender

Once you’ve found the right amount of moisture in the sandy soil, maintaining your lavender becomes pretty easy. Ensure that the plant receives the right amount of sun exposure, water, soil pH, and temperature.

Sunlight

Place your lavender pot somewhere that it will get at least 8 hours of sunlight a day. Note: In places in the southwest and southeast where the sun is extremely strong, your lavender may need a bit of shade.

Water

Lavender does not require much water. Let the soil become dry in between watering, but do not let it get so dry that the plant wilts.

Soil pH

Lavender does not like acidic soils. It may look fine the first year, but it will start dying off. This member of the mint family loves an alkaline soil with a pH between 6.7 to 7.3.

Temperature

Depending on where you live, your lavender will grow best in the late spring to early summer. If you are in a cooler climate, you might want to look at varieties, like English Lavender, which will grow in your cooler temperatures.

French Lavender is at its healthiest when it is warm. There is a good chance it won’t survive a cold winter, which is why it is better to plant it in pots, so it can easily be moved when temperatures drop.

Harvesting Lavender

Lavender has many benefits in all its forms.

If you prune the first bloom in early spring, you may have a second harvest in the summer.

When re-flowering begins to slow, (after about a month of flowering), you’ll be ready for your final harvest. Remove the flower stems from the bush and gather the stems into a bunch.

Cut your lavender a few inches above the woody growth with a harvesting knife.

Drying Lavender

Dry lavender in bunches, on screens, with a dehydrator, or in a paper bag. Either dry in a cool, dark place hanging upside-down, or on a screen out in the sun. Note: The sun will change the color of the lavender.

Now use YOUR lavender for anything from crafts to cooking. However, the lavender oil, which you can extract through steam distillation, is lavender’s most popular use.

What is your favorite way to use lavender? The comment section is waiting for you below.

Resources:

  1. Trouble Sleeping? [https://centracare.org/florida/blog/2016/05/23/trouble-sleeping/]
  2. Lavender Oil Benefits: Reducing Stress and Depression [https://www.drwhitaker.com/lavender-oil-benefits-reducing-stress-and-depression]
  3. Lavender Oil Has Potent Antifungal Effect. Science News. [https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110214201842.htm]
  4. Relaxation effects of lavender… [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17689755]
  5. Love Lavender? Try Lavender Oil. Mercola. [http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/lavender-oil.aspx]
  6. Lavender essential oils attenuate hyperglycemia… [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3880178/]
  7. What are the health benefits of lavender? Medical News Today. [http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265922.php]

Save

The post 10 Benefits Of Growing Lavender At Home appeared first on The Grow Network.

7 Delicious Off-Grid Foods That Fight High Blood Pressure

Click here to view the original post.
7 Delicious Off-Grid Foods That Fight High Blood Pressure

Image source: Pixabay.com

According to the CDC, 75 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure, which brings with it an increase of strokes and heart disease.

Eating certain foods, though, can help to maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Eating foods high in calcium, potassium and magnesium can cut your risk of heart attack nearly in half. Try eating these foods – all of which you can grow yourself:

1. White beans

White beans are super-high in magnesium and potassium. In fact, one cup of white beans contains the RDA of 30 percent magnesium, 24 percent potassium and 13 percent calcium.

Furthermore, white beans are an excellent source of meatless protein, and it’s a good way for vegetarians not only to get their intake of minerals, but protein, as well. Try eating them in soups, salads and as side dishes.

Do You Want Fast, All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effects!

Choose no-salt or low-sodium white beans. It’s best to cook your own; an easy way to do this is to use a slow cooker.

2. Broccoli

Broccoli is a good source of all three minerals and even can be cooked to receive the benefits. One cup of cooked broccoli contains the RDA of 14 percent potassium, 8 percent magnesium and 6 percent calcium.

3. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes make for a yummy side dish with any meal. In addition, you will get 15 percent of the RDA of potassium, 8 percent magnesium and 4 percent calcium (with the skins). Without the skins, they provide the RDA of 10 percent potassium, 7 percent magnesium and 4 percent calcium.

Have you ever considered adding a cooked sweet potato to your favorite smoothie? If not, they make a delicious addition. Bake several potatoes at a time.

4. Bananas

Everyone knows that bananas are a good source of potassium. In fact, one banana contains the RDA of 12 percent of potassium. However, did you know that it also contains 8 percent magnesium?

Banana skins can turn brown quickly, but don’t toss them out! It is perfectly fine to use browned-skinned bananas in smoothies or for cooking.

5. Kale

Kale is good raw or cooked and doesn’t lose too much nutritional value when cooked. Try a cup of kale in your salad to get the RDA of 9 percent calcium, 9 percent potassium and 6 percent magnesium.

6. Avocado

Just half of a medium-sized avocado contains the RDA of 10 percent potassium and 5 percent magnesium. In addition to minerals, avocados contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and health-promoting carotenoids.

Peel carefully, as the dark green flesh just under the brittle skin comprises large amounts of these disease-fighting compounds.

7. Tilapia

Can’t forget about fish! Tilapia – which is easily raised off-grid — is a mild, white fish extremely low in environmental toxins, such as mercury and PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls. Moreover, it is considered a sustainable, environmentally friendly choice of fish.

Four ounces of tilapia provides 8 percent magnesium and 8 percent potassium towards your RDA.

What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:

 

7 Delicious Off-Grid Foods That Fight High Blood Pressure

7 Delicious Off-Grid Foods That Fight High Blood Pressure

Image source: Pixabay.com

According to the CDC, 75 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure, which brings with it an increase of strokes and heart disease.

Eating certain foods, though, can help to maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Eating foods high in calcium, potassium and magnesium can cut your risk of heart attack nearly in half. Try eating these foods – all of which you can grow yourself:

1. White beans

White beans are super-high in magnesium and potassium. In fact, one cup of white beans contains the RDA of 30 percent magnesium, 24 percent potassium and 13 percent calcium.

Furthermore, white beans are an excellent source of meatless protein, and it’s a good way for vegetarians not only to get their intake of minerals, but protein, as well. Try eating them in soups, salads and as side dishes.

Do You Want Fast, All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effects!

Choose no-salt or low-sodium white beans. It’s best to cook your own; an easy way to do this is to use a slow cooker.

2. Broccoli

Broccoli is a good source of all three minerals and even can be cooked to receive the benefits. One cup of cooked broccoli contains the RDA of 14 percent potassium, 8 percent magnesium and 6 percent calcium.

3. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes make for a yummy side dish with any meal. In addition, you will get 15 percent of the RDA of potassium, 8 percent magnesium and 4 percent calcium (with the skins). Without the skins, they provide the RDA of 10 percent potassium, 7 percent magnesium and 4 percent calcium.

Have you ever considered adding a cooked sweet potato to your favorite smoothie? If not, they make a delicious addition. Bake several potatoes at a time.

4. Bananas

Everyone knows that bananas are a good source of potassium. In fact, one banana contains the RDA of 12 percent of potassium. However, did you know that it also contains 8 percent magnesium?

Banana skins can turn brown quickly, but don’t toss them out! It is perfectly fine to use browned-skinned bananas in smoothies or for cooking.

5. Kale

Kale is good raw or cooked and doesn’t lose too much nutritional value when cooked. Try a cup of kale in your salad to get the RDA of 9 percent calcium, 9 percent potassium and 6 percent magnesium.

6. Avocado

Just half of a medium-sized avocado contains the RDA of 10 percent potassium and 5 percent magnesium. In addition to minerals, avocados contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and health-promoting carotenoids.

Peel carefully, as the dark green flesh just under the brittle skin comprises large amounts of these disease-fighting compounds.

7. Tilapia

Can’t forget about fish! Tilapia – which is easily raised off-grid — is a mild, white fish extremely low in environmental toxins, such as mercury and PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls. Moreover, it is considered a sustainable, environmentally friendly choice of fish.

Four ounces of tilapia provides 8 percent magnesium and 8 percent potassium towards your RDA.

What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:

 

Straw Bale Gardening: It’s Not A Fad

Click here to view the original post.

Some gardening fads come and go, but straw bale gardening is one trend that may be here to stay.

Who wouldn’t want a gardening method that provides portability, easier access and better drainage?

On this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio, we talk to Craig LeHoullier, the author of “Growing Vegetables in Straw Bales.”

Craig tells us:

  • Why gardeners should give straw bale gardening a try.
  • Which vegetables grow best in straw bales.
  • How to plant from seed, and with transplants, using straw bales.
  • Where gardeners can acquire straw bales.

Finally, Craig tells us the downside of straw bale gardening – and how to overcome it. If you’ve ever wanted to try straw bale gardening, then this show is for you!

 

10 Defensive Shooting Tips That Could Save Your Life

Click here to view the original post.

Owning a gun is one thing, but knowing how to wield it is something else entirely. If you don’t know how to properly use your firearm in a self-defensive situation, not only do your chances of survival go down, but your chances of accidentally harming yourself or somebody else go up. Fortunately, this can all […]

The post 10 Defensive Shooting Tips That Could Save Your Life appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

How To Grow A Garden When You Don’t Own Land

Click here to view the original post.
How To Grow A Garden When You Don’t Own Land

Image source: Pixabay.com

There is hope for apartment dwellers and renters who want to guarantee their food security. If you think you must own land to begin, think again. There’s no reason why you can’t start right away.

Growing Food Indoors

Select food crops that thrive indoors. You can grow mushrooms and sprout beans with little to no special equipment. If you have a sunny windowsill or if you purchase indoor plant lighting, you can grow dwarf carrots, radishes, beans, peas, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants or lettuce. Many herbs also will thrive indoors.

Container Gardening

Container gardening is perfect for many renters. A few pots on an apartment balcony can supply you with lots of food. If you have a bigger area, such as a patio or lawn, you can grow even more. Don’t discount shady areas; plenty of food will grow in partial sunlight.

Looking For Non-GMO Herb Seeds? Get Them From A Company You Can Trust!

You don’t need to buy expensive pots, either; salvaged containers will do just fine. If you have more space, you can build large raised beds using scrap wood; this is a good solution for an unused corner of a yard, patio or deck. You

How To Grow A Garden When You Don’t Own Land

Image source: Pixabay.com

can grow a sustenance garden on a sunny balcony:

  • Strawberries: Hanging baskets are perfect for strawberries; look for baskets at least 8 inches deep, or make your own.
  • Tomatoes and peppers: Grow these in five-gallon pots or planter boxes in a sunny spot. Make sure they stay warm and get plenty of water, and you should get a nice yield.
  • Beans and peas: Build a trellis along a wall, and plant the beans and peas along the bottom in a box. You can train the plants to climb and make good use of vertical space.
  • Lettuce, kale and herbs: Grow in a trough or planter at least 12 inches deep. You can reseed these throughout the growing season to maximize the harvest.
  • Carrots, radishes and turnips: These will need a deeper pot or box, but will usually flourish to fill whatever space is available.
  • Potatoes: Plant seed potatoes in a narrow, deep box, leaving space for each plant. You also can construct a potato box, which will allow for more potatoes in less space. To start immediately, try growing potatoes directly in a sack of soil.
  • Apples, cherries, figs and pears: Fruiting trees can be grown in larger containers. You also can train fruit trees to grow in confined areas.
  • Squash, cucumbers and melons: If you have a wider space, plant these in 12-inch deep soil. Remember that these plants will spread a bit.

The key to growing food in a small space is to use every available square inch. If your balcony has a railing, consider putting planter boxes on either side of it. Use vertical space with trellises and hanging baskets. Stagger pots, with smaller pots using up spaces between larger pots.

Community Plots and Other Alternatives

If you have no usable space for growing food, look into community gardening. In many urban areas, community gardens (or allotments) are run by dedicated individuals trying to produce food for their families and make food security more accessible. Rules will vary, but in most cases, you will work the garden or your portion of it in exchange for square footage. Resources and knowledge are often shared, and this can be a great way for an urban farmer to get started.

If you cannot grow your own food, look into community supported agriculture and farmers’ markets. At the very least, supporting local growers means you’ll have access to their resources. If you develop strong relationships with local producers, you may even find yourself in a bargaining position should food security become an issue. You can have some security in knowing that you are supporting food production in your region.

Don’t let urban dwelling or renting stop you from ensuring your food security, and don’t leave it in unknown hands. Everyone can take immediate action to begin growing some or all of the food necessary for survival; you might just need to get creative.

What ideas would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Preparedness For Newcomers To The Group

Click here to view the original post.

When the balloon goes up and the “S” hits the fan for real, you will hunker down into defensive mode. You have prepared for a long time and now your preparedness will pay off big time. You have been the Ant while all the Grasshppers were partying. The future looks grim for those who didn’t see it coming. They laughed and even scoffed at you for being a prepper. After all, preppers are just a bunch of kook’s right? While the impact rapidly sets in and others are running out of food, water, and supplies, you begin to realize that

The post Preparedness For Newcomers To The Group appeared first on Modern Survival Blog.

Preparedness For Newcomers To The Group

When the balloon goes up and the “S” hits the fan for real, you will hunker down into defensive mode. You have prepared for a long time and now your preparedness will pay off big time. You have been the Ant while all the Grasshppers were partying. The future looks grim for those who didn’t see it coming. They laughed and even scoffed at you for being a prepper. After all, preppers are just a bunch of kook’s right? While the impact rapidly sets in and others are running out of food, water, and supplies, you begin to realize that

The post Preparedness For Newcomers To The Group appeared first on Modern Survival Blog.

Preparedness For Newcomers To The Group

When the balloon goes up and the “S” hits the fan for real, you will hunker down into defensive mode. You have prepared for a long time and now your preparedness will pay off big time. You have been the Ant while all the Grasshppers were partying. The future looks grim for those who didn’t see it coming. They laughed and even scoffed at you for being a prepper. After all, preppers are just a bunch of kook’s right? While the impact rapidly sets in and others are running out of food, water, and supplies, you begin to realize that

The post Preparedness For Newcomers To The Group appeared first on Modern Survival Blog.

Preparedness For Newcomers To The Group

When the balloon goes up and the “S” hits the fan for real, you will hunker down into defensive mode. You have prepared for a long time and now your preparedness will pay off big time. You have been the Ant while all the Grasshppers were partying. The future looks grim for those who didn’t see it coming. They laughed and even scoffed at you for being a prepper. After all, preppers are just a bunch of kook’s right? While the impact rapidly sets in and others are running out of food, water, and supplies, you begin to realize that

The post Preparedness For Newcomers To The Group appeared first on Modern Survival Blog.

The Truth about Bartering Part 1

Click here to view the original post.

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest contribution from Mike Harris, it is the first of several articles on the subject of understanding economics in order to understand how it may change in different EOTW scenarios. As well as my predecessor, I am not a fan of multi-part posts BUT some subjects need to be understood a little at a time as there is a lot of information to absorb. Your constructive comments are always welcome! 

Part 1 Money VS Barter VS Commodity

There is a lot of misinformation out there on bartering and money exchange. The purpose of this piece is to briefly introduce the concepts of bartering, money (currency), and commodity money. It is important not only know what they are but how they work on both a macro and micro economic scale. Only then can we make the best-informed decisions on how to go about these exchanges.

 

 

What is Bartering?

So, to begin, what is bartering? Simple defined it’s the act of exchanging goods and services without using money; “I’ll give you three hens for 20 feet of chicken wire”. Now exchanges like these happen every day and are relatively easy to do, most people think of this type of scenario (Bilateral trade) when they think of bartering. However not all trade in a bartering scenario can be done one to one. For example, if you own a landscaping company and a legal firm is wanting your services for a water fall feature but your priority is getting new work clothes for your workers and have no need for legal services a bilateral trade (one to one trade) may not be possible. The clothing store that does sell the work clothes has no need for your landscaping services, however the clothing store is interested in legal consultation for the importation of raw materials across state lines. So, in this situation it is very possible that a three-way trade (multilateral trade) can be made. As the individual (microeconomic) and local commerce grows into a national (macroeconomic) economic environment trade becomes more complex the arrangement of trades has to become more and more elaborate.

Are Silver Certificates still legal tender?

What is Money?

So instead of creating an extreme multifaceted or even computerized bartering system, governments and localities implement an official medium of exchange known as money. When money is established as a medium of exchange, people then depend its value for dependable and accurate calculation, meaning the money becomes a unit of account (currency). It is important for these steps to take place because even in the example noted earlier using a medium of exchange (money) does not mean transactions will happen instantaneously meaning exchanging money for items happens over the course of days, weeks, even years. So, it’s important that the official currency holds it’s worth; this is known as “store of value”. Subsequently when a government simply declares something with no intrinsic value as holding value to use as a medium of exchange we call this fiat. If you look at bills backed by the Federal Reserve (not a government agency) you will see the phrase “legal tender for all debts, public and private.” Simple put this means if someone is selling something and you “tender” (offer the official government implemented “medium of exchange” aka money) you have legally paid, regardless if the seller accepts the currency.  This allows the government to force people to accept it’s official “currency” as the medium of exchange. This is how a government can turn worthless colored paper into something of value.  The colored paper allows for complex exchanges to take place more easily then bartering. This coupled with government intervention is what keeps public confidence in the colored paper (dollar). This leads right into the last portion I want to quickly touch on which is seigniorage.  Seigniorage is the difference between the value of money and the cost to produce and distribute it; this tax is known as seigniorage. A great example of this is to look at our history. Historically speaking, seigniorage was the profit resulting from producing coins. Silver and gold were mixed with base metals to make durable coins. The British “sterling” was 92.5% pure silver; the base metal added (the pure silver retained by the government mint) was (less costs) the profit, the seigniorage. United States gold coins before 1933 were made from 90% gold and 10% copper. Seigniorage is earned by selling the coins above the melt value in exchange for the government guaranteeing the weight of the coin (fiat).

 

What is Commodity Money?

Commodity money is anything that holds intrinsic value in and of itself and is widely accepted as a medium of exchange. Things like Gold, silver, jewelry, precious metals/stones, seashells are all considered commodity money. Even items like chocolate and cigarettes can be seen as a commodity currency. This is frequently seen on Military deployments, and in prison/refugee settings. The main difference between commodity money and official currency is commodity money is “widely accepted” meaning voluntarily accepted due to its intrinsic value. In this kind of economic environment (micro/macro-economic) sellers and consumers will want to hold onto the more valuable commodities and use the lesser value commodities as payment. Examples of this would include a Marine trading an off brand can of chewing tobacco for new boot inserts and gloves. In doing this he keeps his higher quality Copenhagen chewing tobacco for himself and trades his lesser value tobacco for items he wants and or needs. This tendency for the least valuable commodity to circulate is known as Gresham’s Law, this can be seen in every economic system including our own fiat currency system just look at the Coinage Act of 1965.

Summary

It’s very important to understand not only why we use fiat currency but also how it works. As one can clearly see economics is more than just adding numbers together. While Commutative Law (a + b will always equal b + a) will always hold true, the values of these numbers will be ever changing. Now with this being said economics is not impossibly difficult to learn and understand and should NOT be seen as a field of study only for the worthy few. I believe the more we know the more empowered we become. The more empowered we are the better we are as prepared minded individuals who are responsible for securing our future! I hope for this short series to be a way to dispel a lot of the bartering and money myths being spread out there. By using science, facts, reason and logic to prepare we can help safe guard our futures!

The post The Truth about Bartering Part 1 appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

A Nation Can Fall

Click here to view the original post.

A Nation Can Fall James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio player below! Another socialist paradise ruled by a charismatic leader, who was loved by Hollywood, has fallen. It goes to show you the great judgement of those we like to idolize in our nation. Sean Penn, most notably, was in love with Hugo Chavez. The … Continue reading A Nation Can Fall

The post A Nation Can Fall appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

How To Recognize And Use Mushrooms For Food And Fire

Click here to view the original post.

Many people that find themselves in the woods with no edible resources other than mushrooms may be tempted to give them a try. It’s not easy to know exactly which species of mushroom is safe to eat, and which ones can kill you. Making a mistake can kill you, so you really have to know what you’re doing.

On the other hand, you won’t be hurt if you burn the wrong type of mushroom, but knowing what to choose to start a fire will help you for sure.

Take a moment and get a few tips on how to recognize and use this natural resource for food and fire!

General Characteristics of Most Poisonous Mushrooms

Simply assuming that mushrooms eaten by animals will also be edible to humans is a mistake. Consider that humans can consume chocolate with absolutely no ill effect (and may even consider chocolate medicinal and downright miraculously curative), yet dogs can die if they eat even small amounts of chocolate. By the same token, animals can eat mushrooms that have chemicals in them that are poisonous to humans.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Here are some general guidelines you can use to avoid many mushrooms that are poisonous to humans:

  • Avoid mushrooms that are red colored or have red on them. These mushrooms are like many other living things in nature. Their bright colors are meant as a warning to stay away from them.
  • Some white or dull colored mushrooms are also some of the most deadly. Mushrooms with a bulbous base, or a skirt around the stem can also be poisonous. You should also avoid mushrooms with white gills.
  • If you touch the gills on a Milkcap mushroom, it will emit liquid or “milk”. Even though some mushrooms in this family are safe to eat, most are toxic. It is best to avoid all of them until you know which ones are safe and which ones aren’t in the area you are traveling through.

If you have ever tried to survive on foods gathered from nature, then you know that experimenting with unknown food types is vital. With the exception of mushrooms, you can use the Universal Edibility Test to determine if the item is safe to eat.

The poisons some mushrooms house can take days, or even weeks to kill. Some poisons may slowly attack and destroy your liver, while others will cause toxic, and eventually fatal buildups in other organs. Other mushrooms cause hallucinations, which can lead to accidents, injury, and death. Since just one bite of a poisonous mushroom can get you killed, you just can’t rely on these tests to evaluate them as a food source.

Start Your Own Mushroom Identification Table

If you can get a field guide for the area you are foraging in, they can help you identify mushrooms that are safe to eat, and build your list into a table based on the mushrooms that you encounter.

Here are the basic fields your table should have, or the questions you should be able to answer about each mushroom that you encounter. Keep a few pages for spore prints (once you know how to make them safely) or other tests that will help you compare patterns later on.

  • What season are you encountering the mushroom in? As with many plants, fungi also have set temperature, humidity, and lighting requirements. In some cases, a poisonous strain that looks like a safe one may pop up during a different season. While it is possible for them to overlap if temperatures are unstable, you can still count this data and compare it with other features.
  • Where is the mushroom growing? Contrary to popular belief, mushrooms won’t grow in just any place with sufficient dead material to live on. For example, some mushroom species will only live on a certain tree type, and cannot be raised in fields, or on other wood types or parts of the same tree. Also, edible mushrooms may differ from poisonous counterparts because they grow on different kinds of dead material.
  • How are the mushrooms growing in relation to each other? In some cases, edible mushrooms may grow in a ring, while poisonous ones grow in tufts, or vice versa. Pay attention to where each mushroom of the same strain is in relation to the others. You’ll still need to rely on other tests, as you never know if an animal or something else came along and disrupted the original growing pattern of the mushroom crop.
  • What color is the exposed side of the mushroom cap? What does its texture look and feel like?
  • How big is the mushroom cap? If you have ever watched mushrooms crop up overnight, then you may already know that some emerge as small buttons that quickly form wider, flat cap shapes. Others will emerge almost fully sized and then fall apart within a matter of days. There is still a maximum size for various mushroom species that you can use to help try and identify them.
  • If the mushroom has gills or other markings underneath, what is their pattern? You may notice forks in the gills, or other shapes that will help you distinguish between a poisonous mushroom and a safe one. Make note of how the gills or underside parts feel. Are they brittle or do they bend easily? Do they appear close together? Are the underside structures attached to the stem?
  • What color are the gills, or if the mushroom does not have gills, what color is in the area where the gills would be?
  • Does the mushroom have a bulb at its base? Does it have a ring around the stem?
  • Is the mushroom brightly colored or red?
  • How does the mushroom smell? Does it have a pleasant “mushroomy” odor, or does it smell acrid, like iodine, otherwise unpleasant? (In many cases, pleasant smelling mushrooms are more likely safe to eat. Still, every person’s sense of smell is different, and some people may consider iodine a pleasant smell and actually be nauseated by the odor of an edible mushroom).
  • Pay attention to how the mushroom’s flesh changes color when cut or bruised. If you have some lye available, you can expose some mushroom flesh to it. In some instances, the color change and what the color changes to may be the best test you can use to confirm which species of mushroom you are dealing with.
  • What color are the spore prints? While it can take several hours for the spores to drop onto paper, they will give you some very important information that will help you identify the mushroom you are dealing with.
  • As with potatoes and some other foods we take for granted as being edible, some mushrooms need to be cooked in order to be edible. When scavenging for edible mushrooms, list this information as well so that you know how to prepare the mushroom safely after harvesting it.

14920747 – collection of edible mushrooms on white background

How to Choose Fungus for Starting Fires

Humans have been using mushrooms for survival for thousands of years. Certain kinds of mushrooms were widely favored for medicine, food, and even starting fires.

Knowing the characteristics of polypore mushrooms can give you an enormous advantage if you need to start a fire, or carry a smoldering ember from one place to another. There are also other strains of mushrooms for the same purpose, but they may not be as effective.

Do you wonder how to recognize a polypore? This mushroom type usually grows on rotting wood. You’ll notice ridges of hard material growing out from tree trunks, as well as near areas where the tree trunk is covered with moss.

Polypores usually have hard, almost woody caps that may have a smooth or rough texture. They may also be brown, gray, or multi-colored.

Some polypores also look like “shelves” extending from the surface they are growing on. Depending on the species of mushroom, they can grow quickly, while others may take years to produce a good sized cap.

If you look underneath the cap of a polypore, you will more than likely find tubes or pores instead of gills.

Even though the polypores grow on tree trunks, there are others that grow on or near the roots of trees. In many cases, these mushrooms form a symbiotic relationship with the trees: they can help the tree communicate with other trees in the area by sending certain chemical signals.

Mushrooms can also cleanse the soil of contaminants, or change the pH to one that is more amenable to the the tree species in question. Polypores may also offer increased resistance to disease, insects, and other organisms that might otherwise cause damage to the roots of the trees.

As you learn more about these kinds of polypores, you may be surprised at how many uses humans have for them.

Basic Steps for Starting a Fire With Mushrooms

Overall, you will find that it isn’t especially hard to start a fire using polypore mushrooms. Here are the steps you will need to take:

Start off by locating some woody polypore mushrooms. Do not be concerned if they have a hard outer surface that cannot be broken or cracked easily.

Take a knife or other sharp object, and dig into the cap. You should reach a soft interior that feels something like felt. Pull off the hard outer shell of the cap until you have the felty inner surface to work with.

Next, you can shred the inner soft part of the cap, or cut it into thin slices. You may also want to crush the soft part to make something of a chunky powder. If you can, try to set aside some slightly thicker slices. Later on, once you have the fire going, you can use these bits to make charcoal, and also something similar to tinder cloth.

To start a fire using mushrooms, simply use your favorite sparking method and then use the mushrooms for tinder. Even though the mushroom will smolder quite a bit, surrounding dry tinder will ignite easily enough.

Other Ways to Use Fungus for Starting Fires

Today, many people interested in survival and off gridding make it a point to study as many different ways to start a fire as possible. Human history is also filled with a number of interesting, albeit strange methods and devices. In this case, lets have a look at how the Vikings used Polypores to start fires, and also carry the embers need to start a new fire from one location to another.

As with most other methods used to build fires with polypores, the Vikings also started off by separating the hard outer shell from the soft interior. Next, they cut this cut the softer part into thin slices, and then beat them until the became soft and pliable.

After using a method similar to what you would use to make tinder cloth, only with the mushroom bits, the Vikings went on to boil the mushroom bits in urine. Since urine has sodium nitrate in it, the resulting charred mushroom ignited more easily. It would also smolder for days on end, which made it safer and easier to carry from one location to another.

If you don’t go camping very often, or have not had to try and live in the woods for a prolonged period of time, it is easy enough to dismiss mushrooms as a source of survival food and fire.

On the other hand, mushrooms are some of the oldest and most resilient organisms on the planet. This, in turn means that many catastrophic disasters that will wipe out other organisms may not do much damage to mushrooms.

It might take some work and effort to learn how to classify mushrooms, it will be well worth it. They might save your life one day!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Survival Life Article – Keysmart Lite

Click here to view the original post.

We don’t often think about it but how do you manage all the keys in your life? I found a really handy product called the Keysmart that does a good job of managing the keys in my EDC. Check out my review over at Survival Life to see if you should add it to your […]

The post Survival Life Article – Keysmart Lite appeared first on Smart Suburban Survival.

Safe Food Storage Containers-My Secrets Of The Trade

Click here to view the original post.

Do you sometimes wonder what you can use for safe food storage containers? Here are my secrets of the trade, so to speak. I use whatever I can get my hands on when they go on sale if they are the types I really want. I do prefer certain storage containers over others, and I will explain what I use them for and why they work for me. Most plastic safe food storage containers today have a number on the bottom that will tell you if the plastic is BPA Free, etc. Plastic Bottle Labels

Here’s the deal, some people have huge beautiful custom made wood or metal shelves lined in a pantry. Some people, like me, have a small home and we need to be a bit more creative in storing our food for short term or long term storage. Let’s get started with my favorites. I store some of these in one tall thin pantry closet, but they work fantastic. All my #10 cans are stored on rolling 48-inches wide by 18-inches deep by 72-inches tall shelving. Yes, the wheels lock for safety. I buy the shelves online at Costco because they are more heavy duty compared to the ones sold at many stores. They are a little more expensive, but I buy “right” the first time, plus they last for years. Costco Shelves

Safe Food Storage Containers

5 Gallon Buckets

The advantage about 5-gallon buckets is that they are fairly cheap at most local big box stores. In fact, some grocery stores and bakeries will give them away to shoppers who buy products from them. They come in white, red, green, blue, yellow and black through various distributors. Please keep in mind the black ones are not safe for storing food. I bought black ones to store my pine cones and the store informed me they are not to be used for food items.  5-gallon Gamma lids and 5-gallon buckets

They are cheap, or free, easy to handle or easy to fill with our favorite food storage items. Plus you can buy them to color code your food or emergency fuel. I purchase Gamma Lids because they are easier to open the buckets than the hard to open lids they come with.

This is a list of some food items I store in 5-gallon buckets:

Bread flour

Sugar

Pasta

Beans

Rice

My hard white wheat comes in 6-gallon buckets and I replace the lids with RED Gamma lids.

2 Gallon Buckets

I use this size for my pantry, you may have seen this picture before. Here again, I buy the Gamma Lids that fit the bucket size. The ones on each side are the 2-gallon buckets and the center ones are the 5-gallon size. The 2-gallon size fits nicely on my pantry shelves and the 5-gallon ones sit on the floor. My daughter used to do lettering, so she did the black vinyl lettering that identifies the contents. Magic markers work well to label them, too. Here are the 2-gallon buckets and the 2-gallon Gamma lids

safe food storage containers

The 2-gallon buckets I use to store sugar, flour, brown sugar, and powdered sugar with 2-gallon size Gamma Lids.

Glass Mason Jars

I store popcorn, quinoa, freeze-dried celery, freeze-dried-onions, freeze-dried green onions, freeze-dried garlic, and many more items I use almost daily. I use my FoodSaver whenever I use quart mason jars or pint jars, as long as it is not a powder. I’m not going to go into how you can place the powder in a baggie on top of the food item if you are making meals in a jar. The powders will ruin the accessory tubes because it will get sucked up into the tube and damage the unit. Of course, we can use Ball/Kerr brand Mason jars for water bath canning as well as pressure canning.

I store my home dehydrated fruits and vegetables in these as well after using my Food Saver with the product. They are only stored for one year or less. I do not use oxygen absorbers because I eat them way too fast to need them.

JarBoxes

These are great for storing your Mason jars because they keep the filled jars safe from breakage and the empty jars clean and dust free for next year. The thing that’s really cool about these containers is a woman designed them by the name of Jeri of Wyoming who preserves just about every kind of food known to man. She started out by selling only quart sizes, then designed a pint size safe food storage container next. Now they are sold every where! I have only “talked” to her through emails, but I’m so proud of her success and this awesome idea to protect our Mason jars!!

They snap shut and are stackable! I have them stacked in closets and under beds. I love these!

JarBOX open:
safe food storage containers

JarBox Closed:

safe food storage container

OXO Plastic Containers

I have several sizes of Oxo containers. They have an easy to open pop up lid that’s great for arthritic hands like mine. They are stackable and BPA free. I love them! Once I open my #10 cans of my popular food storage items I remove the oxygen absorber and pour the contents of the can into the correct size I need, depending on the amount of food in each can. As you know every #10 is full, fuller or less full than other #10 cans. I cannot say for sure which #10 will fit which OXO container because all food storage items are so different.

I store freeze-dried pineapple, strawberries, apple slices and eat them as snacks out of the OXO containers. Please note, be careful with strong flavors like onions in these containers. I can’t get rid of the smell, but I just wash it and refill it with the same item. I store just about every #10 can of food in these because they are so easy to open and close.

I hope this post today helps every family decide which safe food storage containers will work best for them. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless all of us.

JarBOX(.com)

The post Safe Food Storage Containers-My Secrets Of The Trade appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Safe Food Storage Containers-My Secrets Of The Trade

Do you sometimes wonder what you can use for safe food storage containers? Here are my secrets of the trade, so to speak. I use whatever I can get my hands on when they go on sale if they are the types I really want. I do prefer certain storage containers over others, and I will explain what I use them for and why they work for me. Most plastic safe food storage containers today have a number on the bottom that will tell you if the plastic is BPA Free, etc. Plastic Bottle Labels

Here’s the deal, some people have huge beautiful custom made wood or metal shelves lined in a pantry. Some people, like me, have a small home and we need to be a bit more creative in storing our food for short term or long term storage. Let’s get started with my favorites. I store some of these in one tall thin pantry closet, but they work fantastic. All my #10 cans are stored on rolling 48-inches wide by 18-inches deep by 72-inches tall shelving. Yes, the wheels lock for safety. I buy the shelves online at Costco because they are more heavy duty compared to the ones sold at many stores. They are a little more expensive, but I buy “right” the first time, plus they last for years. Costco Shelves

Safe Food Storage Containers

5 Gallon Buckets

The advantage about 5-gallon buckets is that they are fairly cheap at most local big box stores. In fact, some grocery stores and bakeries will give them away to shoppers who buy products from them. They come in white, red, green, blue, yellow and black through various distributors. Please keep in mind the black ones are not safe for storing food. I bought black ones to store my pine cones and the store informed me they are not to be used for food items.  5-gallon Gamma lids and 5-gallon buckets

They are cheap, or free, easy to handle or easy to fill with our favorite food storage items. Plus you can buy them to color code your food or emergency fuel. I purchase Gamma Lids because they are easier to open the buckets than the hard to open lids they come with.

This is a list of some food items I store in 5-gallon buckets:

Bread flour

Sugar

Pasta

Beans

Rice

My hard white wheat comes in 6-gallon buckets and I replace the lids with RED Gamma lids.

2 Gallon Buckets

I use this size for my pantry, you may have seen this picture before. Here again, I buy the Gamma Lids that fit the bucket size. The ones on each side are the 2-gallon buckets and the center ones are the 5-gallon size. The 2-gallon size fits nicely on my pantry shelves and the 5-gallon ones sit on the floor. My daughter used to do lettering, so she did the black vinyl lettering that identifies the contents. Magic markers work well to label them, too. Here are the 2-gallon buckets and the 2-gallon Gamma lids

safe food storage containers

The 2-gallon buckets I use to store sugar, flour, brown sugar, and powdered sugar with 2-gallon size Gamma Lids.

Glass Mason Jars

I store popcorn, quinoa, freeze-dried celery, freeze-dried-onions, freeze-dried green onions, freeze-dried garlic, and many more items I use almost daily. I use my FoodSaver whenever I use quart mason jars or pint jars, as long as it is not a powder. I’m not going to go into how you can place the powder in a baggie on top of the food item if you are making meals in a jar. The powders will ruin the accessory tubes because it will get sucked up into the tube and damage the unit. Of course, we can use Ball/Kerr brand Mason jars for water bath canning as well as pressure canning.

I store my home dehydrated fruits and vegetables in these as well after using my Food Saver with the product. They are only stored for one year or less. I do not use oxygen absorbers because I eat them way too fast to need them.

JarBoxes

These are great for storing your Mason jars because they keep the filled jars safe from breakage and the empty jars clean and dust free for next year. The thing that’s really cool about these containers is a woman designed them by the name of Jeri of Wyoming who preserves just about every kind of food known to man. She started out by selling only quart sizes, then designed a pint size safe food storage container next. Now they are sold every where! I have only “talked” to her through emails, but I’m so proud of her success and this awesome idea to protect our Mason jars!!

They snap shut and are stackable! I have them stacked in closets and under beds. I love these!

JarBOX open:
safe food storage containers

JarBox Closed:

safe food storage container

OXO Plastic Containers

I have several sizes of Oxo containers. They have an easy to open pop up lid that’s great for arthritic hands like mine. They are stackable and BPA free. I love them! Once I open my #10 cans of my popular food storage items I remove the oxygen absorber and pour the contents of the can into the correct size I need, depending on the amount of food in each can. As you know every #10 is full, fuller or less full than other #10 cans. I cannot say for sure which #10 will fit which OXO container because all food storage items are so different.

I store freeze-dried pineapple, strawberries, apple slices and eat them as snacks out of the OXO containers. Please note, be careful with strong flavors like onions in these containers. I can’t get rid of the smell, but I just wash it and refill it with the same item. I store just about every #10 can of food in these because they are so easy to open and close.

I hope this post today helps every family decide which safe food storage containers will work best for them. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless all of us.

JarBOX(.com)

The post Safe Food Storage Containers-My Secrets Of The Trade appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Is Expired Tabasco Sauce Okay to Use?

Click here to view the original post.

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com I have been going through my stored items and using older supplies.   I had a bucket containing spices and condiments.  I found two bottles of Tabasco sauce Tabasco Sauce (original) that were stored back in Nov. 2010. The boxes said “BEST BY 08/13.   It doesn’t technically say “expired” but “best by.”  But it’s always better to check if expired food or past the best by date is safe to eat. How they were […]

The post Is Expired Tabasco Sauce Okay to Use? appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

Long term prepping challenges

Click here to view the original post.

Long term prepping challengesIt can be pretty confusing for anyone just getting into preparedness, but once that fog clears, it becomes fairly basic. Unfortunately, that is just the beginning. After a while, we find ourselves with a whole new set of long term prepping challenges.

If you have been at this for more than a year or so, you probably have a good grasp on food storage, water storage, first aid and other miscellaneous survival supplies. To become better prepared, we need to take these basic skills to the next level.

SPP214 Long Term Prepping Challenges

This week in the show, Lisa and I talked about some of the challenges we begin to face as we get deeper into preparedness.  We covered everything from Self-doubt, to getting out of debt, to storage problems and solutions.

Getting Out of Debt

Let’s face it, as Americans we are really good at justifying our purchases. Quite often, we confuse our wants with our needs. Couple that with the endless supply of companies willing to “help you out” and it’s far too easy to get into debt.

Getting out of debt (and staying out of debt) is much harder, but one of the most important parts of becoming better prepared. The money we spend monthly on credit card debt could be better spent, saved or invested.  Not to mention the money you pay in interest, which is basically paying to be in debt.

Helpful Links…

Investing in Silver

10 Ways to Reduce Debt

Maintaining Your Preparedness Level

This is something we all battle with. We reach our preparedness goal, and we tend to let off the gas a little bit. Let’s say you reach your goal of being prepared for 6 months, and you give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. If you wait too long, that 6 months will turn into 3 before you know it.

This is also why it’s important to do inventory, and why we try to store food and supplies with long shelf lives. If we just “get it and forget it” or supplies could become spoiled, damaged, or destroyed when you actually need them.

Helpful Links…

Prepping Supplies at Home

11 Things That Will Derail Your SHTF Plans

Where to Store Everything

Inevitably we all run into this problem. Cupboards get packed, closets get stuffed and we begin to look for creative ways to store our supplies. A lot of this also depends on your living situation as well. Smaller homes and apartments only has so much available storage space, while larger homes have their own set of challenges.

In a larger home you will have more options, but how you store your preparedness supplies is just as important as where you store them. If you store things in front of things, in front of other things, you will have a hard time finding that thing you need when you need it.

Helpful Links…

Storage Problems & Solutions for Preppers

Food Storage: One Sizes Does not Fit All

Staying Organized

Along the same lines as where to store everything is staying organized. The deeper you get into preparedness the harder this becomes. It doesn’t take long at all to accumulate all sorts of different preparedness supplies.

What also complicates things is that we need to use these supplies and practice with them. It does no good having a great survival knife and a ferro rod if you don’t know how to use them. It’s easier said than done for some people (me) but these supplies need to “go back home” when we are done with them.

Helpful Links…

Organization and Storage Ideas for Preppers

Storage Problems & Solutions for Preppers

Battling Complacency & Self-Doubt

Just like in the story of the boy who cried wolf, sometimes we can begin to wonder if everything we are doing is a waste of time and energy. We hear and read about all the bad things that could happen, but nothing ever does.

Becoming complacent is dangerous because just because the odds are against a major disaster happening, there is still a chance. As preppers, becoming lackadaisical should not be an option, because we know better. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if something happened to my family because I took the easy way out.

Helpful Links…

The Different Types of Prepping (And Preppers)

Why We Crazy Preppers Aren’t So Crazy

Practice & Honing Your Skills

Once you get the basics of preparedness down, it’s time to practice and learn new skills. The skills you decide to focus on really depends on your priorities and your interests. Preparedness is a never-ending journey, and we should be trying to grow every day.

It’s not only important to have emergency plans, it’s important to practice them, and make sure the family is on the same page. The perfect bug out plan is pointless if you are the only one in the family who knows what it is, and how to execute it.

Helpful Links…

10 Wilderness Survival Skills Everyone Should Know

15 DIY Prepping Ideas to Learn New Skills

Moving Further Away

For most of us, moving out to the boonies and away from society (people) is not an option, and some of us have no desire to do so in the first place. For most people, this is a long term goal, and not something that can be done overnight.

For some people this could mean moving out of an urban area to a more suburban area. For us, we have already taken that step. We live in a semi-rural area, and our plans are to get a little further away in the future.

Helpful Links…

The Difference Between Urban and Rural Prepping

Surviving An Economic Collapse: What Are Your Options?

What Are Your Challenges?

If you have any challenges you have encountered after prepping for a while, we would love to hear about them. Leave a comment below and let everyone know…

The post Long term prepping challenges appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.