Have We Lost Our Humanity? Social Media Comments About Hurricane Harvey Victims Get Nasty

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As many of you know, I was born and raised in Houston, Texas and let me tell you, those roots run deep. Yes, it is hotter than the hubs of hell there and mosquitos are the size of pterodactyls, but the people are warm and friendly and have always done what they could to help someone in need. I’ve seen this on more than one occasion and all I can conclude is it’s just the Texas way. That’s how I was brought up and for me, that ingrained duty to help those in need has always stayed with me. But it wasn’t just in Texas where I saw this. When 9/11 happened, I watched in pride as countrymen dropped everything to help those affected by the attacks. I saw it when the Fukushima 50 stayed behind to ensure others were out of harm’s way. It wasn’t just a Texan thing, I came to realize it was a human thing.

But have times changed? Have we become so entranced by our own ideologies and cultural division that we are turning our backs on each other? Let me explain.

This weekend, we all watched as Hurricane Harvey hit the coast of Texas with a vengeance. The damage has been so severe and the flooding so widespread that this storm has now been dubbed the “flood of a lifetime.”

In The Prepper’s Blueprint, I wrote how hurricanes are unpredictable in nature and truly one of the most difficult emergencies to prepare for simply because there are so many variables to account for. They can be mild or severe. They cause wind damage, flooding, tornadoes. You can be fully stocked with provisions and then your home is flooded in a matter of minutes because a creek has flooded and all of those provisions are ruined.

Currently, Hurricane Harvey has dumped massive amounts of rainfall in many towns inside and on the outskirts of Houston and affected about a quarter of the Texas population or 6.8 million people in 18 counties. To make matters worse, incessant tornado warnings are keeping Houstonians in a perpetual state of fear.

As well, everyone that I know living in this area prepared as best as they could with the limited warning they received. Many did not evacuate because voluntary or mandatory evacuations were not given by the city. Since Houston was not going to be a direct hit by the hurricane, officials felt that many could hunker down and everyone would be fine. They did not account for Hurricane Harvey turning into a Category 4 hours before it made landfall.  What I can tell you, is as prepared as many were, the storm this size and magnitutde was no match for their preparedness efforts and this can happen. The latest rainfall totals should give you some perspective.

You would think in times such as this, people would see the hell that others are living in and want to help in some capacity. Rather than lending a hand, there are some who choose to sit from the comfort of their homes and make off-handed remarks. In multiple articles on the coverage of Hurricane Harvey, I found comments from readers such as “they deserve what they get because they didn’t evacuate,” or are making political comments in reference to the Hurricane.

Here are some comments from an article at the Washington Post:

And in another Washington Post article, comments said

In this Yahoo article

This isn’t hitting close to home, it’s hitting home

In response to those who are making the above comments, please keep in mind that Texans pay taxes to help with national disasters so when these types of disasters happen in their state, they have every right to request immediate assistance. If national disaster assistance wouldn’t be available, what do you think would happen? Widespread disease, looting, death, and devastation would occur. Do you really want that for someone? Moreover, many of these comments have political overtones. It’s obvious that our country is very divided and there is a lot of bitterness. But political lines cannot be drawn in this type of emergency. By doing so we lose track of what’s important to mankind. I am appalled at the very thought of someone smugly saying how someone doesn’t deserve help and rescue in any type of disaster.

Despite these mean-spirited comments on social media, in true Texas fashion, the communities have bound together. For days I have watched my friends checking on each other through Facebook and social media and making sure everyone was safe, people are taking boats through flooded neighborhoods and risking their lives trying to rescue those in need and take them to safety, as well, people are offering up their homes and businesses for those who are displaced. They are offering food and water to anyone who needs it. It doesn’t matter what nationality, creed, color, or political affiliation they are. If you need help, there are people who want to give it. Simply put, it’s because they care and want to best for their fellow-man.

Moreover, the emergency responders should be commended for their fast acting response. Many haven’t slept in days because of the overwhelming need for assistance. As well, because the city cannot keep up with the need for emergency assistance, good Samaritan are coming from near and far to help those in need.

Rather than spending time making these crass comments on the internet, here’s a novel idea, why don’t you do something proactive and help another human being. Organize a donation center for the victims of this disaster. For instance, many of you have seen a nursing home in Dickinson, TX had to evacuate the elderly. Supplies and donations could be sent there or you could make a donation to the American Red Cross to help with the rescue endeavors they are pursuing. There is so much more we can be doing than turning our backs to those in need. We should all be asking ourselves what has happened to humanity? How have we gotten so far away from caring for those in need? Instead of doing what we can to help we sit and make comments about how they don’t deserve help? We are better than that.

To sum this up, folks, please be sensitive and mindful of what others are going through. Some people are losing everything they have from this storm. My family is battling this storm and in the midst of fighting to save their homes, they are offering refuge to those in need. Let’s all take a lesson from that. Have open and caring hearts and remember that during these times we need to bind together and help our countrymen, not turn our back on them.


Stay strong Texas!

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

From Storage to Stovetop: Freeze-Dried Apples

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In today’s installment of From Storage to Stovetop we are going to show you Freeze-Dried Fuji and Granny Smith apples. YUM! We absolutely love eating these as healthy snacks but they are also great for other things too.

In the video below Jodi shares a few of the ways she uses freeze-dried apples and talks about the difference between dehydrated and freeze-dried. She loves having a variety of fruits on hand to make yummy desserts, snacks, and breakfast goodies without always having to go to the store.

Favorite Recipe Using Freeze-Dried Apples

Who doesn’t love a good peach or apple crisp as fall is approaching? But sometimes you don’t feel like chopping up a bunch of fruit, or you forget to get to the farmer’s market and buy the fresh produce. Well enter freeze-dried fruits. Here is a favorite fall recipe of ours that works PERFECTLY with freeze-dried granny smith apples.

Apple Crisp

5 cups Freeze-Dried Granny Smith Apples, rehydrated (or 5 appples chopped)
½ cup of sugar
½ TB flour
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup water

Combine all ingredients into a 9×13 pan. Combine the following ingredients in a separate bowl.

1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
½ cup melted butter.

Sprinkle over top the apples. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

The post From Storage to Stovetop: Freeze-Dried Apples appeared first on Food Storage Made Easy.

65 Essential Items (Other Than Food & Water) You Better Stockpile

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65 Essential Items (Other Than Food & Water) You Better Stockpile

Image source: Pixabay.com

Many stockpiles focus exclusively on food. But it’s important to plan for the non-edible items you need to store.

Use this checklist of more than 65 non-edible essential stockpile items to make sure you haven’t missed something important.

We’ve split this list into three main categories: cooking supplies, shelter supplies, and personal comfort.

Cooking & Kitchen Supplies Checklist

These cooking and kitchen supplies are needed for food preparation, meal cleanup and food storage:

Dish soap, paper plates and disposable utensils, paper towels (using disposable items saves water, which may be a concern during a crisis), garbage bags, and freezer bags of various sizes are good items to store. Also consider food-grade buckets, can openers, charcoal and lighter fluid, and or one or more means of cooking food, whether that’s a propane fired generator or a propane fired grill or a wood stove. You also may need a knife sharpener. Also include hunting and fishing equipment.

Shelter Supplies Checklist

Shelter supplies are needed for heat, light, repairs, sheltering in place, and items that make a structure livable.

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Heating: You need a source of heat in cold months. First, a supply of heating fuel (is your fuel tank full?). If you have a generator, you need a full tank of fuel to power that, too. If you don’t have a generator, you need a non-electric source of heat, such as a wood stove, and the wood, kindling, and newspaper needed to start a fire. Wood takes time to season, so do not assume you can just chop down a tree and get ready to use firewood. A fresh chopped tree is green wood, and green wood does not burn well.

Light: If the electricity goes out, you need candles and flashlights (and matches/lighters and batteries). It’s fairly easy to get solar power and battery setup to power lighting (heat and appliances are more difficult and expensive), which means you could save on your electric bill now and be prepared while having to store fewer flashlights and candles.

Additionally, evaluate your water supply and what you need for short- and long-term water supplies. Unless you have an artesian spring, your water supply likely depends on electricity (such as either a well pump or municipal water treatment plant). Store a supply of water, or have the knowledge and know-how to get water from a well without electricity.

Every home should have a supply of nails, screws and the basic tools for repair (a hammer, a screwdriver set, a set of socket wrenches, a measuring tape, a hacksaw, a wood saw, and a pipe wrench are the bare-bone basics). Other supplies to have on hand: duct tape, staple gun and staples, and plastic sheeting.

Think you can remember everything, all the time? Maybe not, so get a supply of pens, pencils, paper, and a pencil sharpener.

A washtub, washboard, laundry soap, clothesline and pins: These could go in the next category of health and personal comfort, but laundry and washing is so tied to home and water that it’s in this category.

Before we move on from shelter supplies, you should add the following supplies to your car or garage: a 5-gallon container to store gas, a length of tubing to siphon fuel, and a real spare tire instead of the donut that’s probably in your trunk.

Health and Personal Comfort Supplies Checklist

Health and personal comfort supplies cover everything from toilet paper to an upgraded first-aid kit. Get a good kit, or upgrade the basic first-aid kit you have with compression bandages and QuikClot (lifesavers in the event of heavy bleeding and NOT in the standard first-aid kit), real scissors, real tweezers (the plastic ones in most kits are a joke), antiseptics like peroxide and rubbing alcohol, splints and ace bandage.

Have a supply of your essential medications and the standard medicinal items like aspirin, fever reducers like Tylenol, electrolyte solution, and cough medicine.

Soap, bleach and hand sanitizer are important items to store, as are toothbrushes, toothpaste, and diapers if any of applicable age in the house. Don’t forget to consider the needs of children and  elderly relatives (both may need diapers). Extra towels (see laundry in the above category), blankets and sheets are always good to have.

In conclusion, there are many stockpile supplies that you can’t eat, but you really need.

What would you add to our list? Let us know in the section below:

You Wouldn’t Recognize The Poultry Your Great-Great Grandparents Raised

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You Wouldn’t Recognize The Poultry Your Great-Great Grandparents Raised

For most homesteaders, having poultry is an important part of the lifestyle. We’ve all read the magazine articles about preserving our heritage poultry, and so we bring home flocks of gorgeous Rhode Island Reds and Welsh Harlequin ducks, trios of Royal Palm turkeys, and a pair or two of handsome Pilgrim Geese.

We enjoy our poultry flocks. After all, we are living like our forefathers, right? Well, maybe not.

What if I told you that most of the beautiful species of poultry we raise today weren’t even developed back when great-great granddaddy had his farm and worked the land?

For most of us, our great-great grandparents would have been living life in the 1800s. Whether your ancestors lived on farms or in town, pretty much everyone owned chickens. Dual-purpose chickens provided both eggs and meat, and for this reason most families of six had at least a dozen or more birds. Feeding your flock was mostly about free-ranging them in your yard and feeding them scraps. Occasionally, birds were supplemented with cracked corn, oats, barley or wheat.

Goose and duck flocks were managed in much the same way as chickens, and some breeds were developed to weed crops and orchards. Geese were raised for not only meat but also their feathers and down, which were used in pillows and mattresses. Duck owners enjoyed their meat as well as their eggs. Neither was widely raised until later in the century. In most areas of the country, ducks and geese were hunted rather than grown, most likely as a way to provide meat for the family without the time and expense of managing a flock. Duck meat has never really gained the popularity here that it has in Europe, due largely to the fact that chickens tend to be leaner and far more prolific.

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For the farmer with larger fowl such as turkeys, the birds were primarily allowed to forage. Flocks were raised not only for meat, but also because of their remarkably large appetite for bugs. For this reason, they were often raised in orchards and in woodlots, where the birds also had space to roost in trees. During the winter, birds were supplemented with corn, oats, barley or wheat, much like chickens. Some old-timey turkey-raising manuals even suggest that farmers slaughter a hog as feed for their turkey flocks during the winter months as a way to provide extra fats and protein.

With turkeys being native to over half of the United States, there were plenty of small farms that preferred to hunt them rather than raise them. However, events such as the Mexican-American War and the Civil War impacted the wild populations of the Gould’s, Rio Grande and the Eastern Wild along the Southern United States.

The Breeds of Great-Great Grandaddy’s Day


In the early 1800s, chickens were strictly viewed as a utilitarian bird. This meant that flocks largely consisted of crosses of the birds available at the time. One of the more common purebred birds was the Dominique, a dual-purpose bird with barred markings and a very good foraging ability. These handsome birds were often depicted in paintings from that era and are credited as being the oldest breed in America.

Plymouth Rock

Immigrants to the New World brought along breeds such as the Hamburg and Polish, as well as crossed birds from their native countries. The Java also made its appearance in the early 1800s in the colors of black, white and mottled. From these birds of possible Asiatic descent, the Plymouth Rock was developed and made its first official appearance in 1835. English varieties such as the Dorking were imported into the United States around this same time, and by the 1850s “Hen Fever” had caught on to the point that even small farmers were venturing into new breeds. Some of these early imports included the Brahma, Cochin, Orpington, and later on, the Leghorn. By the end of the century many breeders, farmers and enthusiasts were tinkering with creating their own breeds, and we see the emergence of the Winnebago (modern-day Silver Laced Wyandotte), Jersey Giant, Buckeyes and Rhode Island Red.

For our ancestors, the importation and creation of new breeds created larger, often more robust animals that produced better meat and more eggs. Imports were expensive, and a common practice of those early days was to buy a rooster of imported blood and breed it into an established flock. Since hens were allowed to go broody and hatch their own chickens, it took a relatively short amount of time to completely change the landscape of chicken raising in the U.S.


The first domesticated ducks in American are believed to have been the Aylesbury from England and the Huttegem from Belgium. While I could find very little about the Huttegem, the Aylesbury is still a very popular breed in England and is prized for its delicious meat and good egg laying ability. Both breeds were not uncommon in New England during the 1800s, and small farms throughout the Midwest usually had a combination of these breeds crossed with domesticated wild mallards.

In the early 1800s, several new duck breeds emerged, claiming to be bred from native species that were caught and domesticated. Most never gained popularity and they disappeared. One in particular endured — the Cayuga duck. The Cayuga’s wild beginnings are often disputed, however, with many believing it actually to be a descendant of the Lancashire Black, which was common on farms in Lancashire, England, into the 1860s. Regardless of its start, the Cayuga was named after the Cayuga region of New York, and the breed was popular in the North East due to its hardiness and its personable, easy nature.

As “Hen Fever” ramped up and chickens began to be imported, a few duck breeds also arrived. In 1850, the Rouen entered the U.S. by way of England, and small poultry keepers rushed to add these heavy weight ducks to their small flocks in an effort to increase meat yields.

The late 1800s saw the importation of the Blue Swedish Duck, and near the turn of the century the first Pekin (or Peking) White ducklings arrived. From here, the U.S. saw the development of many other duck breeds well into the 20th Century.


Domesticated geese came into America in the early days of the first European settlers. These birds were most likely descendants of the wild Greylag goose, and/or descendants of the domesticated Roman goose.

Beyond birds bred for the small farm or homestead, geese were being bred in large numbers to be used to weed the cotton fields of the South. Descended from unknown birds that arrived during colonial times, these birds became their own breed, the Cotton Patch. Regardless, in my research I could find no truly distinguished goose breeds listed until the arrival of the Bremens (the modern Embden) in the early 1800s. We do know that the Cotton Patch goose was already being utilized in the south by this time; they just hadn’t yet been developed into a true “breed.”

Toulouse Goose

Following the Bremens, Toulouse arrived during the mid-century and became widely popular in the Midwest due to their heat tolerance. In the later part of the century we see the arrival of both the African and Chinese goose, which descend from the wild swan goose of Asia. While the Toulouse flourished in America, the Africans and Chinese didn’t really catch on until much, much later.


Domesticated turkeys in the Americas have an interesting history. The original turkey breed in America (domesticated) and most widely raised is the Bronze. These birds are descended from varieties brought by the first Europeans, crossed with the wild Eastern Turkeys. The resulting animals displayed Hybrid Vigor — being hardier, taller and much heavier than either. Stock from these crosses was retained and resulted in the breed we know today as the Heritage Bronze.

Sometime during the 1700s, the ancestors of the Norfolk Black (also called the Black Spanish) arrived. These birds descended from turkeys taken from Mexico to Europe in the 1500s and brought back to American with the early European Settlers. The birds were then crossed into wild Eastern Turkeys to make it what it is today. While they enjoyed popularity for a time, the breed had more or less fallen out of favor by the mid-1800s.

The Black was used in developing what some consider to be the first truly American turkey, the Narragansett. Developed in Rhode Island from wild Easterns and Blacks, they were considered THE turkey of choice from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic from the 1700s until their decline around 1900. They were the first breed to be bred and standardized for commercial production, and were popular on small farms and homesteads for their mild dispositions, large size and prolific breeding. Farmers raising these birds during the early 1800s claimed that a flock of a dozen hens could produce a flock of 100-200 birds in a single year!

Sometime right before the 1800s, the Chocolate turkey arrived from France. These birds were not quite as large or as cold-tolerant as the Northeastern breeds, but they became very popular in the Southern United States prior to the Civil War. They were a popular sight on small holdings and plantations alike, but with the desperate times of the war flocks were devastated to such a degree that they never really made a comeback.

About the same time that the Chocolate was arriving, a new breed was finding favor in the Northeast — the Holland White. It’s interesting to note that the Holland is not a Dutch bird as the name suggests, and is actually a mutant strain of the Heritage Bronze. They quickly found favor for being a bit smaller than the other breeds available at the time, and with their white pin feathers they quickly developed into a commercial breed. They were not as popular with small farmers and homesteaders as the other breeds.

In the late 1800s, the Bourbon Red (or “Bourbon Butternut,” as it was originally known) was developed, and if your ancestors lived in Kentucky or Ohio as mine did, this was the breed they raised. The striking red birds with white tail and wing feathers became very popular for their good growth and large size. They have remained popular into the 21st Century.

It’s worth mentioning that the Jersey Buff was also available during the 1800s, though its exact emergence is difficult to pin down. We do know that it was used in the development of the Bourbon Red, but truly never gained popularity and was considered to be extinct by 1915.

What is plain when researching these breeds is that our forefathers relied on poultry that could withstand the climate they were being raised in and reproduce effectively there. Birds that could serve multiple purposes were far more preferred than anything that was just merely pretty, and efficient foragers with good growth rates were a must. Our great-great grandparents simply didn’t have the time, money or energy to expend on stock that didn’t offer a good return.

What would you add? Do you know what types of breeds your ancestors raised? Share your thoughts in the section below:

How To Turn Hedges Into A Rock-Solid Home Defense Fortress

How To Turn Hedges Into A Rock-Solid Home Defense Fortress

Image source: Pixabay.com

There are a lot of homes with wrought iron fences around them in the area where I live. This comes from the strong Hispanic population in the area. In Mexico, it’s common to build cinder block walls or wrought iron fences around a home as a means of protection (remember, they don’t have our Second Amendment rights). So, what we have here is merely a carryover that they’ve brought with them when they moved to the United States.

This is rare in the rest of the country, where we are accustomed to wood fences in the backyard and open front yards. Our fences aren’t built so much for security, but for privacy. We even call them “privacy fences.” In reality, those privacy fences don’t do much to help protect us, considering that the horizontal bars provide a ladder. They aren’t even secure from the other side, as all it takes is a hammer and pry bar to pull the fence apart.

Coming Up With an Alternative

So, what do we do? How can we provide ourselves with some level of perimeter defense, without making it look like we’re trying to turn our home into Fort Knox?

Before we go any farther, let me clarify something. No passive defense system you can build will keep your home safe, unless you build an actual castle, moat and all. However, it can do several things for you: 1) It can slow down your attackers, giving you time to react. 2) It can channel the avenue down which your attackers come. 3) It can limit the access points to your house.

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I recommend planting hedges. First, it can be just as effective at blocking access to your property as a wall can. Perhaps even more so, especially if you use a plant that has thorns. There’s just something about those thorns that people don’t like. Secondly, it won’t look like a wall, so it won’t convey the message of being a part of your defenses, even though it is.

There’s another real advantage of planting a hedge rather than building a fence: The hedge is a whole lot cheaper. Our hedge, which surrounds our front yard, consists of 84 bugambilia bushes. Since I bought them from a wholesale nursery, it cost me less than $200 to plant my hedge.

Creating Your Defensive Hedge

If you decide to plant a defensive hedge, the first thing you must decide is whether you want a slow-growing plant or a fast-growing plant. The slow-growing one will take less maintenance, as you won’t have to trim it as often, but it will be considerably longer before your hedge is at the point of being an effective part of your defenses. A fast-growing one, on the other hand, will augment your defenses within a few months, but you’ll end up having to trim it every week or two.

We planted our hedge in one day, with the help of some friends. While we were doing the project, I took advantage of the opportunity to install underground soaker hoses for watering, cutting down on my maintenance work. I also put a swath of landscaping fabric under the bushes, covering it with mulch. This eliminates the problem of having to mow under the bushes.

You will have to decide how far apart to plant your bushes, based upon the type of bush you select and how fast it grows. Mine are two feet apart, which worked out extremely well. But if I had used a slow-growing plant, I would have planted them closer together.

As part of your planning, decide what openings you are going to leave. The only ones we have are at the front walkway, coming up to our front door and the walkway that connects to the driveway. At the end of the hedge, where it connects to the neighbor’s fence, we have grown the hedge several feet past the corner, eliminating any opening there that can be used to squeeze through. So, we have positive control over the access routes that attackers can use. Those are covered by surveillance cameras.

The most important part of the process begins once the bushes start growing. That is to interweave the branches, crossing them over those of the adjacent bushes. In some cases, the branches on our bushes are actually crossing three other bushes before reaching the top. This makes it impossible for anyone to push their way through the hedge. They would have to cut through it first.

I’ve made that difficult by threading some quarter-inch diameter steel rod through the hedge, with one course halfway up its four-foot height and another about a foot above the ground. It is tied off to the trunks of the bushes where possible. This also serves to keep people from being able to low crawl under the bushes, even though our small dog can still escape that way.

The Psychology Behind the Plan

It’s important to understand what I’m trying to accomplish here. It’s not so much to keep people from being able to approach my front door, as it is controlling how they approach my front door. Without the hedge, people could cross over from my neighbor’s front yard and approach my front door without me having a chance of seeing them. That could mean that my first notice that my home was about to be invaded would be someone’s boot kicking my front door.

Other than trained military operators, people will pick the easiest way to go around or through any obstacle. So, by blocking off my front yard, while leaving open the front walkway, I can pretty much guarantee how people will approach my home. And, thus, my home is safer.

Have you ever used hedges for home defense? Share your advice in the section below:


10 Uses For Galbanum Oil — The ‘Miracle Oil’ Of The Romans

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10 Uses For Galbanum Oil -- The ‘Miracle Oil’ Of The Romans

If you’ve never heard of galbanum oil, you’re not alone. It’s been used for thousands of years since Roman times for a diverse group of applications, from incense to embalming. But despite its history and its fresh, green “forest” aroma, galbanum is an under-the-radar essential oil.

Taken from the Ferula galbaniflua plant, galbanum oil is made by steam distillation of the plant. Galbanum is native to northern Europe and northern Africa, and originated in Iran. The Levant, or “soft” variety, is used to make most of the oil, since it yields more during the extraction process. Mentioned in the book of Exodus, galbanum also was used by the Egyptians for skin preparations and cosmetics. The oil’s main components are cadinene, cadinol, myrcene and pinene.

What can galbanum oil do for you? Its medicinal properties are numerous:

  1. Wounds: heals skin, including scars, boils, blisters and acne.
  2. Relieves chest congestion due to bronchitis and other upper-respiratory ills.
  3. Increases circulation in the body, helping with arthritis, rheumatism and circulation-related issues.
  4. Stimulates the circulation of lymph in the body.
  5. Increases growth of new tissues and cells.
  6. Skin: tightens and firms, eradicates wrinkles (in mature skin), helps with stretch marks and other aging-related skin problems.
  7. Relaxes muscles prone to spasms, and relieves associated pain.
  8. Promotes better sleep.
  9. Supports immune system functioning.
  10. Calming: helps with recovery from depression, shock and trauma (via aromatherapy, including PTSD).

Used topically, you should dilute it with a carrier oil and apply it wherever needed. Never use it undiluted on your skin. Carrot seed, geranium, lavender, spruce and rose otto are great carrier oils. For inhalation, add three to four drops into an essential oil diffuser, or dilute it with essential water to inhale.

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Galbanum also can help keep bugs out of your house. It’s particularly good at deterring ants, roaches, mosquitoes, flies, fleas, lice and bed bugs.

Galbanum is FDA-approved as safe for food flavorings and additives. The best types to use are either food-grade or therapeutic-grade to avoid petrochemical additives. Galbanum also can be blended with other essential oils to make perfumes.

But as with any essential oil, you must carefully follow prescribed doses and not exceed them—more is not always better. Keep this and all essential oils out of your eyes, and away from mucous membranes or other sensitive skin. You should not take galbanum internally, unless you are working with a healthcare practitioner who prescribes it. No adverse reactions are known, but an allergen skin test is a good idea before you use it the first time.

While balbanum isn’t the most popular essential oil, its many benefits can replace a host of more expensive products and pharmaceuticals. Used with care, you may find you can’t live without galbanum in your medicine cabinet.

Have you ever used galbanum oil? Share your thoughts on this oil in the section below:

Civil War, EMP, or Cyberattack-Judgement is Coming Upon America-Part 3

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This is Part 3 of my  guest appearance on the Prepper Website Podcast  with Todd Sepulveda. We talked about the threat of EMP, Civil War, and Cyberattack, We also discussed the fact that while Republicans control the House, Senate, and Oval Office, no talk of overturning Roe vs Wade is coming from Washington. If America allows this opportunity to pass us by, the judgement we deserve is ten fold what it should have been during the Obama administration when our hands were tied.

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


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The post Civil War, EMP, or Cyberattack-Judgement is Coming Upon America-Part 3 appeared first on Prepper Recon.

Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (7/23/17)

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

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


Survival Medicine Hour: Skin Issues, Instruments, Sterile vs. Clean

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Survival Medicine Hour #354

Keeping Instruments Clean

Keeping Instruments Clean

In this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, our hosts discuss the difficulties in achieving sterility off the grid when it comes to techniques for procedures and for the proper cleaning and maintenance of important instruments. Plus, skin conditions that the medic will likely have to treat after a disaster, including contact dermatitis, psoriasis, stasis dermatitis, shingles, and much, much more.

To listen in, click below:


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

Joe and Amy Alton

Amy and Joe Alton

Amy and Joe Alton

Hey, do us a huge favor and follow our YouTube channel at Drbones Nurseamy, Twitter @preppershow, and our Facebook page at Doom and Bloom ™! Also, join our survival

Fill those holes in your medical storage by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of medical kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net

Why Do People Ignore Common Sense in a Crisis?

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ignore common sense

Hurricane Harvey has turned into a life-changing monster here in Texas. We aren’t far from Houston and have been keeping tabs on the massive flooding and rescues. It’s doubtful my husband will have an office to report to on Monday morning.

Local and national news sources are reporting hundreds of rescues — people driving into areas that are clearly flooded, people remaining in their homes until they are waist deep in water and have no way out.

In a Facebook discussion (you can read it here), people are frustrated and confused with such stupidity.

Cristene asks, “Why didn’t you leave when you had the chance?. For your kids sake?. Why?”

Aline, “They had several days of warning…they didn’t have to leave at one time.”

Lisa, “They may not ha e kown exactly where it would make landfall, but they knew it was coming and that it was very slow moving…people need to use their brains and whether or not some “government official” said to evac or not, should know enough to get the hell out.”

Bill, “What did people think? A huge hurricane was coming but would cause no change to the area around them? Ignorance can kill.”

Every one of these people is exactly right. How often do we need to hear, “Turn around, don’t drown,” to convince us that driving into a flooded street, even if it appears to be safe, may be deadly?

And the families stranded on rooftops. Do they not have the sense that God gave a duck (as one of my aunts used to say) to get out while they could?

Well, there are a few answers to these questions and the blame doesn’t lie entirely on the heads of these desperate people.

First, and this one is important, PEOPLE BELIEVE THEIR OWN DATA. Years ago I had a co-worker who would only ever believe the “experts” she consulted and her own personal experiences. If someone had a contrary opinion or relayed information from a different, authoritative source, her own personal evidence was the only information she believed. For those who make apparently foolish decisions in the face of a crisis, the truth is that for many, it’s only until their car’s engine is flooded or their home begins filling up with water do they believe it could happen to them.

This leads to normalcy bias, which I’ve written about at length in this article. Our wonderful, incredible brains insist that everything is fine and life will continue as usual as its way of maintaining psychological and emotional equilibrium. And, as I’ve learned personally, once you’ve experienced one hurricane after another or a series of similar crises, you do tend to believe that everything will be fine. It’s a combination of the brain sending the message and then the receiver being too willing to believe.

Then, there are practical reasons for people not making smart decisions. In many cases, people have no resources for evacuations, no money for a hotel, no family or friends with whom they can stay, and, if they are overworked and overstressed, they have probably not spent much time researching survival and preparedness. Several other reasons for not listening to advice, warnings, and even orders might be explained in this article.

It really isn’t all that hard to be ready

I began prepping, as it’s called, almost 9 years ago when the stormclouds of a major economic recession began to appear, and I’m so glad I did. I started with storing water, buying extra toilet paper, and stocking up on canned food. I was on my own and had to do all my own research and learn from my own mistakes.

For some, that works but for most people, they don’t have time for all the research or money for expensive mistakes in spite of knowing full well they need to prepare. As I’ve been saying, everyone will have their own “Harvey”. For me, it’s this massive hurricane and floods that will last for weeks, but for you, it might be a job loss, a power outage that lasts for several days, an earthquake or other natural disaster — trust me, there are plenty of “Harveys”!

Do you feel like maybe you might need extra help, advice, and support to get ready? Preppers University is ready to do just that with live classes, networking with fellow students, an organized and step-by-step curriculum with lifetime access to all these resources.

If you register today, you’ll get $30 off the registration fee by using coupon code FLASH30. This will bring the fee to $169, or just $21 per week — that’s 3 live classes per week! All are recorded and available on demand, 24/7.

Learn more at this link, and with class starting on Sunday, September 3, you should hurry. It’s common sense!


Survival With Disabilities

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best way to survive if you are crippled

Survival of the fittest should be taken to apply as much to those who are fit of mind; how many great best_survival_blog_shtf_emergency_preparednessminds would be lost to history if only the able-bodied were able to make it through a potential survival situation? It could be you or it could be someone in your group that you can’t do without. Here are some precautions that should be taken when facing a survival situation with disabilities…

By Alex Coyne, a contributing author of Survival Cache & SHTFBlog.com

Chronic Conditions

Chronic conditions can include depression, cholesterol, diabetes, high-blood pressure, asthma and heart conditions that require constant rest and medication. Many chronic medications can be legally procured ahead and stock-piled with an explaining letter from a doctor; natural measures should be taken as a complementary measure to medication and never a replacement for it. Ensure that you familiarize yourself with the medical history of each of those in your group, including their chronic conditions and allergies.

A Support System

Setting up a support system is vital, especially so if some of the people in group need a little more help epic banner 250x250 evolution of portable water filtrationto get around. Anyone in the group with special care needs – temporary or permanent – should be assigned a carer; so much better if they have an existing background in dealing with the particular situation or have an existing medical background of any sort. The need for a support system is as much mental as it is physical, especially for reasons of keeping up morale or for anyone who suffers from depression or anxiety; it’s worth noting that St. John’s Wort is increasingly studied as a natural antidepressant – again, a good supplement, though not replacement.

Deaf and Hearing-Impaired

Those who are hearing-impaired might make use of a hearing-aid – it goes without saying that spare batteries should always be part of the kit; for those who are able to afford it, having a back-up hearing aid as part of the kit is worthwhile, too, for if you find yourself in a serious situation where their primary aid malfunctions and they are unable to find another one. Familiarize yourself with at least basic American Sign Language (ASL) as you never know when it might come in handy.

Sight-Impaired and Blind

Those who are sight-impaired might struggle to get around and might have more trouble navigating unfamiliar territory; where possible, a trusted guide will be an essential help. Aids like glasses should be taken exceptionally good care of – and, can be used to start a fire if nothing else is around.

Impaired Mobility

Impaired mobility can be due to several reasons, including individuals who have to make use of a wheelchair. It goes without saying that they will need more help to get around when navigating certain territories. A good pair of crutches is also worth having as part of your kit – even if there is no-one who requires them in your group at the beginning of the hike.

How have you handled disabilities in a survival situation? Tell us your tips or stories in the comments.

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Article – Bomb shelter business booms as Trump and North Korea posture

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The showdown that pits North Korea’s Kim Jong Un against Donald Trump has once again raised the specter of nuclear annihilation. And that has done wonders for the bomb shelter industry.

Sales and inquiries have spiked, according to several of the U.S. companies that make money from doomsday fears.

“The increase in demand is everywhere. We are getting hundreds of calls,” said Ron Hubbard, president of Atlas Survival Shelters, a firm based in Montebello, California. Inquiries have slowed down as tensions have eased over the last week, but Hubbard said he still expects to have a banner year, selling 1,000 shelters at an average price of $25,000 each.

Man, the guy that runs that shelter company gets interviewed on a regular basis every few years. it seems. Next up will be some ‘news’ article about old missile silos being repurposed or something about that Vivos outfit.

I Kinda like the cylindrical shelters, but if it were me I’d put them above ground, build a crib around it, and surround it with concrete…underground shelters just seem like a recipe for headaches with water and sanitation issues. I’d rather have an aboveground shelter, cage it in a couple feet of concrete, and then slap some earth over it to blend it into the landscape.

August 2017 EDC Pocket Dump

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August 2017 EDC Pocket Dump

Minimalist EDC in my grandmother’s garden. Nope, the CQC-10K is definitely not UK legal, but private property = I get to carry it anyway. Review coming soon, but spoiler alert – it’s freaking amazing. As a side note, I removed a lot of my “extra” mini-tools that were on my key chain. It just got […]

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

August 2017 EDC Pocket Dump, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Planting Fall Garlic And Onions – 4 Simple Tips To A Great Crop!

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It’s hard to believe it, but it’s time for planting fall garlic and onions!  Both garlic and onions are perfect crops to plant in the early fall for a great harvest next June. Planting now allows a good 4 to 6

The post Planting Fall Garlic And Onions – 4 Simple Tips To A Great Crop! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Personal Hygiene-How To Survive Without Power

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Personal hygiene, how to survive without power is the topic of the day. In case you may have missed some of my posts, I am asked to speak to different church groups, businesses, and neighborhoods about emergency preparedness and food storage. I hired a friend to take professional pictures of my emergency preps, cooking devices, wash tubs, emergency toilets, emergency cooking stoves, and fuel, to name a few. I am no longer able to physically carry everything with me to all the classes or presentations.

I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to continue to do these presentations. I’m honored to be able to teach when I can to get the word out about being prepared for the unexpected. Today, let’s talk about personal hygiene. I’m so thankful to my reader who I call a friend, Joanne for asking me to put a “print” button on my website. I want people to be able to print my articles and teach others in whatever manner they feel comfortable. You are welcome to share my pictures and teach your family, friends, and neighbors.

I realize some people “get it”, but many are not interested in any preparedness items or having food storage, which I think is too bad. Somehow we need to help others to be prepared for the unexpected. After a disaster, the government may not be able to bring supplies for 3 days, 3 weeks or 3 months. I just talked to my sister in Texas who lives near where Hurricane Harvey is now a Category 4. She said the gas pumps are empty, the store shelves are empty and you can’t buy any water. I called my sister to check on their family before the authorities started evacuations. She called friends in other cities in Texas and they were in the same predicament.

Here’s the deal, in some areas near Hurricane Harvey they were asked to evacuate or get supplies. I heard the City Manager in one city ask those people who declined to evacuate to please write their social security numbers on their arms so they could be identified after the storm. I took a double take on that one. I had to rewind the DVR to make sure I heard that right.

How to Survive Without Power

There are certain things we want after a disaster, like we at least want clean underwear, right? I think we can all agree on that one. I have seen fancy wringer washers from different stores, I have not purchased one of those yet. It’s on my wish list. But here are a few ways to wash our clothes without any power. In most cases we may lose power after a major, or even a minor disaster. I hope you can use some of these ideas for those unexpected disasters. The water lines may even become contaminated, but I’ll talk about that another day.

Just so you know, the American Red Cross recommends storing one gallon of water per person per day. I disagree. That amount is fine if you only want to hydrate yourself, but what about washing dishes, washing our underwear and cooking with dehydrated or freeze-dried foods? I highly encourage you to store 4 gallons of water per person per day.

Wash Tubs and Wash Boards:

Those shown below are Behrens wash tubs I purchased on Amazon and the wash board I found at a thrift store. The clothespins are made by Kevins Clothespins. I have purchased many brands of clothes pins that fell apart after using them once, this brand is the only one I can endorse.

survive without power

You may have seen the post I did on making these emergency washing machines shown below. This set basically takes two 6-gallon buckets, one we drilled holes in so there would be a bit more friction when washing or rinsing clothes. You need one Gamma lid (we drilled a 2-inch hole in the top) with one mobile washing tool with a handle. I place paper towels between the buckets when stored. They are impossible for me to separate them without that buffer.

survive without power

I did a YouTube for a company called Earth Easy that they use on their website. They sent me the clothesline to try and I highly recommend one. I can close it and store it when not in use. It’s perfect for the HOA I live in. If you already own a clothesline, I tip my hat to you! Thank you for being prepared. You’re going to need it, I promise.

Emergency Toilet Ideas

The picture below shows the difference between a 5-gallon and 6-gallon emergency toilet. The older you get the harder it is to squat down on the lower toilet. Here are some things you will want to store inside your emergency toilet: hand sanitizer, toilet paper, 10-gallon bags, kitty litter or sawdust. The #10 can potty is a post I wrote for emergency toilets in cars. And don’t forget the toilet seat.

survive without power

Sturdy Toilet Set

This emergency toilet was made by a nephew, Dayne. I’m having a friend make one for me and hope to share the instructions on how to make one. This one uses a regular toilet seat that is attached and a 6-gallon bucket. If you are handy you can probably build your own around the bucket. Dayne even attached a toilet paper holder on the side. When I saw this, I almost did a cartwheel, or at least I wished I could do one.  I was so excited to see this design.

survive without power

This picture below shows an approach anyone can make in their own home. Please duct tape the handle so the little ones do not try and flush the large black 30-gallon garbage bag down the sewer lines. All you do is lift the toilet lid and seat, place the bag in the toilet base and fill with kitty litter.

survive without power

If you have a flushable toilet from a trailer, those work great and are fairly inexpensive. Flushable camping toilet

I have wheat buckets so I decided to save money and make my own toilets. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world at this time. We need it more now than ever before. Yes, you can survive without power because you are ready and realize you can’t depend on the government. They can’t begin to take care of everyone, as we have seen after several disasters. We must take care of ourselves and be self-reliant. Do you think we can survive without power? Yes, we can.

Survival food storage by Linda

Gamma Lids

Wash tubs

Wash board


The post Personal Hygiene-How To Survive Without Power appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

7+1 Survival Video Games To Play For Training Your Skills

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What do video games and survival have in common? The simple answer is: not much.

However, considering the fact that we’re in 2017 A.D. and basically living inside of the (digital) matrix, maybe we should consider that it’s entirely possible for you to play video games, and at the same time, hone your survival skills.

That’s an interesting concept, isn’t it?

I don’t pretend to have a definitive answer to the fundamental issue of whether it will work for you. However, since prepping and survival are now mainstream things, as opposed to let’s say ten years ago, I’ve noticed an interesting trend: survival-based video games are actually becoming popular with the new generation.

I’m not a hard-core gamer (not a gamer at all, to be perfectly honest), but I’ve played my share of video games back in the day and this new idea has made me curious.

Another thing that video games and prepping have in common is that survival has been an intrinsic part of every gamer’s DNA since the days of old-school Atari.

The point of Frogger was to get across the road without dying. Basically, in almost any video game, if you’re still alive at the end, you’ve won. There are a few exceptions to that rule, but survival and video games are almost synonymous.

However, are there lessons to be learned from playing video games? Survival lessons that is?


The SEAL Survival Guide to Staying Alive in the War Zone Called “New America”


Well, the short answer is yes, there are things to be learned about survival/prepping even if you’re a pro-gamer who doesn’t get out much from his mother’s basement.

I’m kidding a little bit there, but there are a lot of games which make me remember my first survival book: Robinson Crusoe. Since survival revolves around the holy trinity of food, water, and shelter, Robinson Crusoe can be described as the quintessential survival book, as it makes for a fascinating journey inside the mind of a guy stranded on a remote island.

Survival in such conditions requires exploring, living off the land, scavenging for resources, hunting, fighting the elements, huddling around a fire, and so forth and so on. And if you think about it, all these trials would make for the perfect premise for a (survival) game.

Here are 7+1 games that I’ve picked for you and suggest you should try.


To begin with, I must confess that I firmly believe Minecraft to be the quintessential survival game. Yes, I am aware of the fact there are people in this world who have not (yet) enjoyed this thing of beauty, but that can be remedied easily, especially for preppers and survivalists. The thing is, your only excuse for not playing Minecraft is the fact you did not know it’s a survival game.

Minecraft can be best described as a castaway game which includes all the perks of Robinson Crusoe (the book) and incorporates all the cool elements required from a survival game. Minecraft is the legend of the 21st century, a phenomenon into itself, and before it got famous, it was, first and foremost, the first true-blue survival game.

Playing Minecraft will teach you the importance of building a home/shelter for yourself if stranded in the wild, of gathering resources, and of knowing how to defend yourself (well, against zombies in the game, but that can be extrapolated to anything else less other-worldly). Minecraft was also the first video game that started the modern trend of incorporating survival elements into basically anything.

Video first seen on TeamMojang.

Truth be told, Minecraft can be anything you like, but if you’re a prepper, you’ll definitely enjoy venturing into the wilderness trying to conquer the elements, hiding in the night,  and fighting for survival tooth and nail. In my humble opinion, it remains one of the best games to date in the survival genre.


Another must-try survival video game is Miasmata, a game that will teach you a little bit about homeopathic/traditional medicine.

The thing is, in Miasmata you’ll find yourself alone on an island whose population was affected by a deadly disease/plague, and of course, you’ll have to cure the disease via research. The trick is, the island is bursting with medicinal plants and your job is to find that particular species that will cure the disease.

The atmosphere is very jungle-like and playing Miasmata will make you a wannabe botanist if you’re not already one. Learning holistic medicine is a very important survival skill, at least in my opinion, and Miasmata would make for a great game to play with your kids.

Video first seen on GOG.com.


Rust is another hugely popular survival game. The game is cruel, harsh, and even bullish, but it will teach you a little bit about outdoor survival basics.

The game begins with your spawning into the Rust-World. This is a multiplayer game unlike Minecraft and Miasmata, both of which can also be played in single-player mode.

In the beginning, you have basically zero tools on your person (you’re a naked caveman), besides a rock. The game will teach you the importance of building a shelter and quickly gathering resources in a SHTF scenario (outdoors), along with other survival essentials like, you know, staying alive.

Video first seen on Surge.

Don’t Starve

If you want to learn about the importance of finding food in a survival situation, I must recommend the Don’t Starve video game. I just love it when a game’s title matches its game-play, and Don’t Starve is the perfect example of that philosophy.

The whole experience in Don’t Starve revolves around survival essentials such as finding food/resources for staying alive in the wilderness for as long as possible, but the game also captures one of mankind’s primal terrors, the fear of the dark, which I find to be a quintessential component of a survival video game.

Video first seen on Workard.

The Flame in the Flood

Another cool survival-based video game is The Flame in the Flood, provided you don’t have a problem with being a girl.

The main character in this game is a little girl named Scout who travels/stumbles upon the collapsed society of the United States together with her dog-companion Aesop. They’re trying to stay alive, obviously.

When playing The Flame in the Flood, you’ll learn basic survival skills necessary while traveling mysterious territories, i.e. rafting, gathering resources off the land, fending off wild creatures, how to avoid dying from exposure, and how to seek shelter.

Video first seen on GameSpot.

The Long Dark

If you’re into hunting/tracking/trapping/survival in the wintery wilds and the whole nine yards, in other words, if you’re a survival wilderness freak, you really should check out The Long Dark. While playing this baby, you’ll learn how to keep your calorie intake on the up and up in a wilderness survival scenario.

The game is basically a wilderness simulator in a post-apocalyptic world and it will teach you about the importance of having hunter-gatherer skills, with a focus on the former. Hunting is the name of the game in The Long Dark, together with avoiding being hunted by bigger predators than you.

Video first seen on Eurogamer.

Metal Gear Solid 3

Metal Gear Solid 3 is a good survival game onto itself, as it teaches you how to catch and eat wild animals and how to patch cuts and heal broken bones. For tricks to picking up those skills, it’s almost perfect.

Video first seen on José Mellinas.


Last but not least, let me tell you about DayZ. The early version of the game’s best features were its gritty realism and realistic shooting mechanics as the hero is thrown in a post-apocalyptic world packed with aggressive zombies.

Video seen on Olga Okuneva.

Playing DayZ you’ll understand the importance of gathering basic essentials, including clean water and non-rotten/spoiled food, together with warding off diseases like hepatitis, cholera and dysentery.

There’s a big chance your character will get hurt during the game, but you’ll see that recovering from illnesses and injuries such as a gunshot wound is not that simple; i.e. you’ll have to bandage up the wound if you don’t pass out in the first place and so forth and so on.



These are what I choose, a selection that it’s far from being perfect or complete. Now, it’s your turn. What are your favorite survival games you’d like to share with us?

Feel free to comment in the dedicated section below. And don’t forget: play hard, go pro!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

20 Crime Prevention Tips From a Veteran Cop

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I’ve learned countless crime prevention tips over the years–some good, some bad–but when they come from a veteran cop, I pay close attention. Police officers have about a thousand times more experience with crime than the average citizen. They learn the many ways burglars break into homes, hear stories of home invasions straight from the […]

The post 20 Crime Prevention Tips From a Veteran Cop appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Karen and her Casita

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I spent some time today listening to Karen describe her life and how she ended up living in a small Casita travel trailer. I am wowed by her story, she has lived a very interesting life, has experienced both the good and the bad, and she has a nice story telling style that is easy to listen to (as well as watch)…

The Casita is a relatively newer style of fiberglass travel trailer, instead of being made with a metal skin, there is nothing to rust or bend out of shape. I suspect they don’t have the leaking problems that other travel trailers have, my friend Beth who has lived in various travel trailers and RVs can attest that the older style units have a propensity to leak, and often in the worst place, usually right over your bed in the middle of the night.

Karen shows how has customized her Casita for her life, it looks roomy and comfy. She is one of a growing population of single ladies living a mobile life, some might call her fearless, I see a sensible lady with lots of experience and enough know-how to not be intimidated by anything.

Enjoy the videos


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Making Your Clothes: An Important Survival Skill

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Making your clothes is easy, fun, a great way to up-cycle old clothing, and an important survival skill.

My first experience with making clothes was with a loop loom used to make potholders. When I was growing up, I made a bunch for my family. Then, I went up and down the neighborhood looking for more customers. I gave them a deal they couldn’t refuse—pot holders to match their kitchen colors, and they could set the price. It was a pretty sweet deal for an enterprising 7-year-old. I had fun making them, and my mom let me keep all the money from my sales.

Learning from Mom

Growing up, my mother always had a sewing machine. She made a lot of our clothes, Halloween costumes, and dresses for herself. She taught me how to use her Singer sewing machine. It was only slightly upgraded from the original that worked with a foot treadle. Mom’s electric version had a cabinet with a lever to press with your knee. The lever would speed up or slow down the sewing.  At 10-years-old, I sewed my first dress, a jumper with straps that buttoned and had two pockets in the front.

Making clothes through the years

Fast forward to junior high, I made my Halloween costumes, crocheted granny square vests, and made macramé belts to sell. My mom taught me the basics of crocheting. I learned macramé in art class at school.

Later, I made my first wedding dress with lace sleeves and satin skirts. Sewing saved me a lot of money, and made me some, too!

The Knitting Machine

However, my mother was not a knitter. It was not a skill I picked up as a kid. My father even bought her a double-bedded knitting machine from Germany, but she could never get her proficiency high enough to use it. My father didn’t want us messing up his machines, so we were not allowed to use it.

However, I love sweaters, so the idea of making my own has always intrigued me. I finally learned basic knitting in my 50’s, but hand-knitting took too long. Eventually, I found a knitting machine that was simple enough for me to use and fast enough that I could make something in my limited available time. The “Ultimate Sweater Machine” fit the bill.

It took me a while to get the hang of it. While I was learning, I created some strange pieces. There was a sweater with arms that stuck straight out, an afghan that shrunk when my husband washed it, and several incomplete projects. Eventually, I followed the directions that came with the machine and made my first sweater that looked right. It turned out to be huge. I adjusted the needle setting up, since I was using a bulky yarn.

Unlike sewing, if you screw up a knitted piece, you simply take it apart and start over. That’s what I did with the monster sweater. I unraveled the whole thing, wound it back up into balls, adjusted the rows, and number of needles to make a sweater that fit me. You can see the before and after in the images below


Now that I know how to make a sweater, I can make more and other things as well. Even if it isn’t the first priority for self-sufficiency, being able to make clothing is a skill worth learning.

Do you make your clothing? What is your favorite method? We’d like to know in the comments below.


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The post Making Your Clothes: An Important Survival Skill appeared first on The Grow Network.