The Best (and Most Useful) Survival Gear in 2017

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William Ellis has been gracious enough to provide us with a guest post about The Best (and Most Useful) Survival Gear in 2017. As always, grab a cup of your favorite beverage and read on. Read More …

The post The Best (and Most Useful) Survival Gear in 2017 appeared first on Use Your Instincts To Survive.

An Acoustic Attack in Cuba Causes and Evacuation

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Photo:  Ars Technica

          According to the US State Department, in the last few months, 21 State Department Employees stationed in the US Embassy in Cuba, have suffered from headaches, hearing loss, cognitive issues, nausea, vomiting, balance issues, etc.  These have been classified as auditory attacks of some type, although the exact sourcing of such remains obscure. The situation was dire enough that half of our diplomats and embassy employees have been called home, leaving only a skeleton staff present while an investigation into this issue continues. Americans have been advised to leave Cuba and to come home.

                     Why would anyone in Cuba wish to send the US, a source of significant revenue, home? Why would anyone disrupt the new atmosphere of cooperation between Cuba and the US?   Why would such a problem occur close to the time that Cuba plans to retire Raul Castro?

                    Who, other than Russia, has done research on sonic weaponry ?   Who could Russia have sold such weapon to, and why ?

                     Our family once bought a mouse repellent for our rural home that plugged into an electrical outlet. It was said to work by producing a sound that mice did not like, but that humans could not hear. Four days of it left us with migraines, nausea, earaches, and general malaise until we threw it away, and then recovered.  The damage from acoustic weapons is not confined to the ears and has been implicated in cardiovascular disease as well.

                    This is a situation that bears watching.

 https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2017/09/274514.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_weapon 

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/10/health/acoustic-weapons-explainer/index.html

An Acoustic Attack in Cuba Causes and Evacuation

                 

Photo:  Ars Technica

          According to the US State Department, in the last few months, 21 State Department Employees stationed in the US Embassy in Cuba, have suffered from headaches, hearing loss, cognitive issues, nausea, vomiting, balance issues, etc.  These have been classified as auditory attacks of some type, although the exact sourcing of such remains obscure. The situation was dire enough that half of our diplomats and embassy employees have been called home, leaving only a skeleton staff present while an investigation into this issue continues. Americans have been advised to leave Cuba and to come home.

                     Why would anyone in Cuba wish to send the US, a source of significant revenue, home? Why would anyone disrupt the new atmosphere of cooperation between Cuba and the US?   Why would such a problem occur close to the time that Cuba plans to retire Raul Castro?

                    Who, other than Russia, has done research on sonic weaponry ?   Who could Russia have sold such weapon to, and why ?

                     Our family once bought a mouse repellent for our rural home that plugged into an electrical outlet. It was said to work by producing a sound that mice did not like, but that humans could not hear. Four days of it left us with migraines, nausea, earaches, and general malaise until we threw it away, and then recovered.  The damage from acoustic weapons is not confined to the ears and has been implicated in cardiovascular disease as well.

                    This is a situation that bears watching.

 https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2017/09/274514.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_weapon 

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/10/health/acoustic-weapons-explainer/index.html

An Acoustic Attack in Cuba Causes and Evacuation

                 

Photo:  Ars Technica

          According to the US State Department, in the last few months, 21 State Department Employees stationed in the US Embassy in Cuba, have suffered from headaches, hearing loss, cognitive issues, nausea, vomiting, balance issues, etc.  These have been classified as auditory attacks of some type, although the exact sourcing of such remains obscure. The situation was dire enough that half of our diplomats and embassy employees have been called home, leaving only a skeleton staff present while an investigation into this issue continues. Americans have been advised to leave Cuba and to come home.

                     Why would anyone in Cuba wish to send the US, a source of significant revenue, home? Why would anyone disrupt the new atmosphere of cooperation between Cuba and the US?   Why would such a problem occur close to the time that Cuba plans to retire Raul Castro?

                    Who, other than Russia, has done research on sonic weaponry ?   Who could Russia have sold such weapon to, and why ?

                     Our family once bought a mouse repellent for our rural home that plugged into an electrical outlet. It was said to work by producing a sound that mice did not like, but that humans could not hear. Four days of it left us with migraines, nausea, earaches, and general malaise until we threw it away, and then recovered.  The damage from acoustic weapons is not confined to the ears and has been implicated in cardiovascular disease as well.

                    This is a situation that bears watching.

 https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2017/09/274514.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_weapon 

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/10/health/acoustic-weapons-explainer/index.html

The November 4th “War Games”?

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After receiving a number of, “What do you think?” and “Is it realistic?” interrogatives from several people concerning the supposed November 4th “Antifa War Games” kickoff, I decided that maybe going over some basic preps and realities might be in order. First, let’s go over some questions that might be asked. Is it realistic to […]

September 2017 EDC Pocket Dump

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September 2017 EDC Pocket Dump

A minimalist EDC update for doing things around my grandmother’s garden. This, of course, does not include all the things in my pocket that can be seen here. The Mandra is a super nifty little knife. I would define it broadly as a neck knife, but you can just about get a full three-finger grip, […]

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


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

Looking for others to homestead in Southern NH

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I’m looking to purchase land in Southern, New Hampshire within the next couple years and homestead. Looking for other that are interested in joining me on this venture. I’m a blacksmith and a welder, looking to do both that ad grow crops to support a shop. E-mail me at leon.homestead1989@gmail.com if you’re interested.

The post Looking for others to homestead in Southern NH appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Be Ready! 4 Emergency Preparedness Steps Homeowners Should Take

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Preparing yourself for an emergency is especially important if you’re a homeowner. By taking the necessary steps to prepare yourself, you’ll be able to handle things better and get your life back on track more quickly following the disaster. Here are four ways to prepare yourself for an emergency situation.

Protect Your Important Documents

All your personal identification, homeownership record and other vital documents should be kept in protected places that are easy to access. You’ll need some of these documents to file any insurance claims. One of the best ways to protect your records is to place them in a storage area that’s both waterproof and fireproof. Just be sure to remember exactly where you’re storing your documents so that you won’t have to scramble to find them. Copies of these documents can be stored virtually in cloud-based storage or on a flash drive.

Have an Emergency Water Supply

Your water supply could be cut off in the event of an emergency. Whether you lose water because of a natural disaster or major problem with your city’s pipelines, you should always have access to an emergency water supply. Keeping bottles of water around your home is a great way to stay prepared. Using catchments to catch rainwater to store for drinking is also useful. You may even want to consider having a well put in your property so that you’ll always have access to your own drinking water.

Check Your Fire Extinguisher’s Expiration Date

You probably have at least one fire extinguisher in your home, and you probably forget to check its expiration date. Once the expiration date has passed, your fire extinguisher will likely be useless if you need to put out a fire. Depending on the type of extinguisher you have, yours could last anywhere from five to 15 years before it needs to be replaced. Your extinguisher should have a tag on it that shows the expiration date. Another way to know if your extinguisher is still good is to make sure that the needle for the pressure gauge is still in the green area.

Create an Emergency Kit

An emergency kit can save your life and provide you with necessary supplies if help isn’t able to reach you right away. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests that you include enough food, water and other supplies in your kit to last you for at least three days. Nonperishable food items that you may want to add to your kit include dry cereal, dried fruit and ready-to-eat canned meats. A can opener will also be useful if you need to open any cans. You’ll want to make sure that your kit has a flashlight, medicine and bandages as well.

Getting yourself and your home ready for an emergency will increase your odds of avoiding further hardships. By preparing yourself, you’ll be more capable of dealing with whatever comes your way.

The post Be Ready! 4 Emergency Preparedness Steps Homeowners Should Take appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Be Ready! 4 Emergency Preparedness Steps Homeowners Should Take

Preparing yourself for an emergency is especially important if you’re a homeowner. By taking the necessary steps to prepare yourself, you’ll be able to handle things better and get your life back on track more quickly following the disaster. Here are four ways to prepare yourself for an emergency situation.

Protect Your Important Documents

All your personal identification, homeownership record and other vital documents should be kept in protected places that are easy to access. You’ll need some of these documents to file any insurance claims. One of the best ways to protect your records is to place them in a storage area that’s both waterproof and fireproof. Just be sure to remember exactly where you’re storing your documents so that you won’t have to scramble to find them. Copies of these documents can be stored virtually in cloud-based storage or on a flash drive.

Have an Emergency Water Supply

Your water supply could be cut off in the event of an emergency. Whether you lose water because of a natural disaster or major problem with your city’s pipelines, you should always have access to an emergency water supply. Keeping bottles of water around your home is a great way to stay prepared. Using catchments to catch rainwater to store for drinking is also useful. You may even want to consider having a well put in your property so that you’ll always have access to your own drinking water.

Check Your Fire Extinguisher’s Expiration Date

You probably have at least one fire extinguisher in your home, and you probably forget to check its expiration date. Once the expiration date has passed, your fire extinguisher will likely be useless if you need to put out a fire. Depending on the type of extinguisher you have, yours could last anywhere from five to 15 years before it needs to be replaced. Your extinguisher should have a tag on it that shows the expiration date. Another way to know if your extinguisher is still good is to make sure that the needle for the pressure gauge is still in the green area.

Create an Emergency Kit

An emergency kit can save your life and provide you with necessary supplies if help isn’t able to reach you right away. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests that you include enough food, water and other supplies in your kit to last you for at least three days. Nonperishable food items that you may want to add to your kit include dry cereal, dried fruit and ready-to-eat canned meats. A can opener will also be useful if you need to open any cans. You’ll want to make sure that your kit has a flashlight, medicine and bandages as well.

Getting yourself and your home ready for an emergency will increase your odds of avoiding further hardships. By preparing yourself, you’ll be more capable of dealing with whatever comes your way.

The post Be Ready! 4 Emergency Preparedness Steps Homeowners Should Take appeared first on American Preppers Network.

The Top 10: My Preppers Inventory Shopping List

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NOTE: This post introduces a new series I hope you’ll like, “The Top 10”. In coming weeks, we’ll have all sorts of Top 10 lists for you, from the worst prepper ideas to ways to improve your security if you live in an urban area. Look for this series to cover some really fascinating topics in the coming weeks and months.

 


Recently I was feeling a strong urge to stock up on food and recheck my preps. I don’t know if it’s that winter is coming, all the unrest in the news, the poor economic outlook, or perhaps something else. Maybe I was just trying to feel in control of our family’s crazy schedule this semester. I call it a prepper-nesting urge.

Whatever the reason, I had to do something about it. I did a quick inventory of food, sanitation, and first aid to see what we were obviously missing, made an inventory prep list, and headed to the stores.

Here’s what I was short on and why they’re important prep items for our family. Check out my list and see if some of these items should be on your own shopping list for this week and always keep some kind of inventory so you, too, will know when you’re running low on an important item.

Canned tomatoes

Many of my food storage dinners require some combination of rice, beans, and tomatoes. They’re very versatile whether you’re making an Italian flavored dish, a Mexican flavored dish, or chili. They’re also a great source of Vitamin C. In fact, my can of tomatoes say the Vitamin C is 20% and only 2-15% on my canned fruits! This is also the time of year when many people can their own tomato sauce, salsa, or stewed tomatoes, and I’m planning on doing some of that as well. Here is more information about why stocking up on tomatoes is a very good thing.

Vinegar

We use white vinegar in a lot of our household cleaning, including as a fabric softer. You can use it to preserve foods, too. Quick pickled red onion slices made with white vinegar add a nice crunch to tacos and sandwiches. Apple cider vinegar can be used in cooking to give depth of flavor, but is even more useful as a natural cold remedy, and it can be used for your skin and hair. Anything that has multiple sanitation and hygiene uses is definitely something I want to keep stocked.

Coffee

I enjoy a good cup of coffee in the morning. My husband  feels even stronger about this “necessity.” After a sleepless night with the kids, we both find the caffeine essential. Something that’s both a comforting daily ritual and contributes to alertness would be important to us in a time of crisis. Add a French press to your preps and you’ll be able to make really delicious coffee by just adding boiling water.

Chicken feed

I count on our chickens to feed us, both in fresh eggs and as a back-up for fresh meat. So if for any reason I was unable to get feed for them, I would definitely want to have extra on hand. I also picked up some wood chips, which is what I use in the nest boxes and what I would use if I had to bring them inside for some reason. I wrote about how we care for our chicks in this article, if you’d like to read more on this topic.

Baby Wipes

We do still have a child in diapers, at least part-time, and it would not be unusual for a newly potty-trained youngster to regress in a time of family stress. But baby wipes are also useful for adult hygiene, particularly when good water is in short supply. Power outages and natural disasters can also bring to a quick halt the ease of showering and bathing. Baby wipes are a must-have, but if you plan on storing them for more than just a couple of months, use a Food Saver to vacuum seal the packages inside a Food Saver bag. I’ve found some brands are not air-tight and allow the wipes to dry out, even when unopened.

Adult Tylenol/Ibuprofen

We have a variety of natural pain options, such as essential oils. But in an emergency, quick pain relief for headaches, sore muscles or even a toothache would be very important. This is a more important prep than most people realize because pain can affect our reaction times, stamina, alertness, and emotional health. It’s an important prep that many people overlook.

Hydrogen Peroxide

There are lots of recommended antiseptics out there. But hydrogen peroxide is very cheap, and I can use it on people and animals. In fact, I’ve used it on my kids, my chickens, and my cat this year. Which is why I needed more.

Toothbrushes

Good dental hygiene is important even in great economic times, but critical prevention measures in times of economic challenges or long term SHTF scenarios. For good measure, I also picked up extra toothpaste and floss. Preparing for a long-term emergency requires plans and supplies when it comes to dental health and issues. This article provides a lot more details and a list of what to have on hand.

Burn Cream

Burns are very common injuries when you’re trying to heat and cook without electricity. As my husband found out at work recently, a bad burn to the fingers or hand is quite debilitating. Having plenty of burn cream on hand can ease suffering and directly contribute to everyone’s ability to pitch in when you need them most. In a long-term power outage, the use of candles and other open-flame light and heat sources would become more common, making burn cream and the knowledge of how to treat burns even more important.

Propane tanks

We have multiple propane tanks that we use not only for our grill but also for our propane heater. In fact, just a few years ago, we (safely) made use of this heater during a blizzard when the power went out for several days, and our propane grill has a burner on the side, making a quick and easy way to boil water for drinking, cooking, bathing, or washing. So I always feel better that we’ll likely have hot food, baths, and clean clothes in a short-term emergency if we have enough propane on hand. As this article explains, propane is a very safe fuel to store.

After making this list and double checking it the next day, I went to Walmart, Fleet Farm, and my grocery store and purchased some of each item. Not 6 months worth or 2 years worth, but just something in each category. As I was walking out of the stores after my purchases, I felt a huge sense of peace and relief!

In addition, I plan to save this list as a quick reference for a last-minute trip to the store during a real emergency. It’s probably not a bad representation of things we use a lot and are likely to need to refresh often.

So if you’re feeling stuck in your prepping, or slightly panicked like me, or you just need a quick way to make some preparedness progress, this list may get you going and trigger additional items for your own preppers shopping list.

 

Hear Me, My God!

     The last several days God has gotten ahold of me and literally shook me out of a stupor.  I have been asking for more of Him… desperately wanting to encounter Him as Jesus did.  I’ve been wanting to see evidence of Him in miracles like the Disciples saw; to see a burning in the hearts of my fellow Christians like what happened in Acts, Chapter Two. I KNOW that, as today’s Body of Christ, we are missing so much of what Jesus told us we would experience after He sent His Spirit to us!  I KNOW we are to be having a greater effect on the world; to be seeing a greater intimacy with God and Jesus through the Holy Spirit. I KNOW so much is lacking … in my prayer life; in how I communicate Jesus to a lost world; in how I communicate the power of a Christian life to fellow Believers. I want more of God in my life, and in my community, my state, and my nation! And I’m SO weary of living in a compromised world — I just don’t want to settle for any less than what the Early Church experienced. So how did it all go so wrong, and how do we get it back?
     I’m going to try to relate in this post and the one following, just what God is showing me, and just what He has done in me.  Let me start by asking, how many of our churches preach the message that Jesus is the same Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow — essentially Forever? If He is truly the same, then everything about Him is the same — what He wants for us and what He intended for us to do after He went to the Father. And He gave us a clear model to follow … Himself! He even gave us a model Prayer to pray, yet I’m not sure we haven’t lost the essence of that because it has become almost a mechanical prayer for so many of us.
     I have spent the last week studying and listening to different teachings on Prayer because I want that intimacy that Jesus had with the Father. He knew that whatever He asked for in prayer would be answered because He talked with God and heard [and saw] His Father’s heart. And He did that as a man! It is available to us, too, because Jesus says, Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  So why don’t we believe it? Why isn’t our prayer life the source of our power, as it was for Jesus?
     Could it be that we are too wrapped up in ourselves when we pray — that we are only conscious of the need(s) we are asking for, instead of focusing on Who we’re praying to?  I think Jesus believed His prayers would be answered, because He really knew the One He was praying to, and that the model for answered prayer is always Heaven — Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
     But perhaps the biggest failure in our prayer life [and it certainly has been in mine] is the lack of persistence.  I’m sure you’ve heard the teaching on Luke 11:9: And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you … that the tense of those verbs is really “keep on asking”, “keep on knocking”.  But what have we come to believe?  If our prayer isn’t answered right away, then “it must not be God’s will”. But I challenge you to find anywhere in the Bible that Jesus said to someone who came to him [in prayer] for healing or deliverance, “I can’t help you because it is God’s will for you to suffer”.
     Can you discern that His parables of The Friend at Midnight (Luke 11:5-13) and The Unjust Judge (Luke 18:1-8) are about showing us what our Father is not like? Unlike the Friend, our Father wants to give us everything we ask for. Jesus says, For everyone who keeps on asking [persistently], receives. And unlike the Unjust Judge, our Father won’t delay in giving us justice, if we pray and not give up and lose heart. Here is the question on Jesus’s heart as He told this parable: When the Son of Man comes, will He find [this kind of persistent] faith on the earth?
      So, we must ask ourselves, do we pray once or twice and then give up? Or do we knock until our knuckles are bruised, and ask .. no, shout! … until our voices are hoarse? Are we prepared to never give up until we get the answer we’ve prayed for, crying out to God, “Father, YOU SAID, in Your Word that if I asked in Jesus’s Name, I would receive! We have made a covenant, God! I am trusting in You to respond! And I know, Father, that no answer doesn’t mean this is Your will. You are not like the Unjust Judge or the Friend who doesn’t want to help.  I’m going to pray [like Jesus did], until I see Your Presence in this situation and something happens!”
     But, I fear that we put no more effort into prayer than we do studying our Bible. We have become too casual about our prayer life, instead of depending on prayer the way the Disciples did.  Do you recall that they returned to Jerusalem right after Jesus ascended into Heaven, and prayed for days in the Upper Room, with one accord, while waiting for the promised Holy Spirit?  They gave themselves “continually to prayer” (Acts 6:4), and after Herod had James killed, and Peter was arrested, “fervent and persistent prayer for him was being made to God by the church” (Acts 12:5).
     And why were they so persistent in prayer, and why did Jesus stress that persistence was so important?  Could it be that persistence in prayer changes us?  That God wants to develop and change our hearts so that we will be better suited to “rule and reign” as kings and priests?  Think about it! When that time comes on earth, He is going to need Saints who will be able to persevere and declare His Word into the storms of life; Faithful who won’t give up because they know their authority.
     The bottom line is this … our prayers don’t have to be lengthy and religious, like those of the Pharisees. We just need to be persistent, and don’t stop! But here’s what I want to make sure we all understand … Jesus points out [at the end of the parable about the Friend] that the real reason we should pray persistently is this:  If you, then, being evil [that is, sinful by nature], know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!
     When we persist in prayer and seek the Father’s answer until He gives it, we will receive more of Him, namely an outpouring of the Holy Spirit!  Yes, I have been fervently praying for healing, and for miracles, and for His provision — but what I’ve really hungered for is more of Him.  I want to be made more full of God! I want that intimacy with Him that only the Holy Spirit can give me. Because I have come to realize that when my prayers are answered, it is the result of the moving of the Holy Spirit.  In other words, by persisting in prayer, my heart is changed and that moves the heart of God, and the Holy Spirit is involved in both.
     All of this has brought me to this point … I am changing the way I pray.  I am praying boldly; I am knocking loudly and often; I am going to ask until He can no longer ignore me; and I’m going to pray, expecting an encounter with the Holy Spirit … because I know it His good pleasure to answer my prayers and to see how much I’m willing to seek Him. Prayer is an important part of strengthening my relationship with my Father, and it is teaching me to grow my relationship with the Holy Spirit. And it is that process that has become an answer to my most fervent prayers.  More on that in the next post…

Thank you to the teachings on Prayer by Bill Johnson, who helped me to recognize the longings of my heart, and how my prayer life effects my relationship with the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. 

John 16:23-24    In that day you will ask nothing of Me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Hear Me, My God!

     The last several days God has gotten ahold of me and literally shook me out of a stupor.  I have been asking for more of Him… desperately wanting to encounter Him as Jesus did.  I’ve been wanting to see evidence of Him in miracles like the Disciples saw; to see a burning in the hearts of my fellow Christians like what happened in Acts, Chapter Two. I KNOW that, as today’s Body of Christ, we are missing so much of what Jesus told us we would experience after He sent His Spirit to us!  I KNOW we are to be having a greater effect on the world; to be seeing a greater intimacy with God and Jesus through the Holy Spirit. I KNOW so much is lacking … in my prayer life; in how I communicate Jesus to a lost world; in how I communicate the power of a Christian life to fellow Believers. I want more of God in my life, and in my community, my state, and my nation! And I’m SO weary of living in a compromised world — I just don’t want to settle for any less than what the Early Church experienced. So how did it all go so wrong, and how do we get it back?
     I’m going to try to relate in this post and the one following, just what God is showing me, and just what He has done in me.  Let me start by asking, how many of our churches preach the message that Jesus is the same Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow — essentially Forever? If He is truly the same, then everything about Him is the same — what He wants for us and what He intended for us to do after He went to the Father. And He gave us a clear model to follow … Himself! He even gave us a model Prayer to pray, yet I’m not sure we haven’t lost the essence of that because it has become almost a mechanical prayer for so many of us.
     I have spent the last week studying and listening to different teachings on Prayer because I want that intimacy that Jesus had with the Father. He knew that whatever He asked for in prayer would be answered because He talked with God and heard [and saw] His Father’s heart. And He did that as a man! It is available to us, too, because Jesus says, Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  So why don’t we believe it? Why isn’t our prayer life the source of our power, as it was for Jesus?
     Could it be that we are too wrapped up in ourselves when we pray — that we are only conscious of the need(s) we are asking for, instead of focusing on Who we’re praying to?  I think Jesus believed His prayers would be answered, because He really knew the One He was praying to, and that the model for answered prayer is always Heaven — Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
     But perhaps the biggest failure in our prayer life [and it certainly has been in mine] is the lack of persistence.  I’m sure you’ve heard the teaching on Luke 11:9: And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you … that the tense of those verbs is really “keep on asking”, “keep on knocking”.  But what have we come to believe?  If our prayer isn’t answered right away, then “it must not be God’s will”. But I challenge you to find anywhere in the Bible that Jesus said to someone who came to him [in prayer] for healing or deliverance, “I can’t help you because it is God’s will for you to suffer”.
     Can you discern that His parables of The Friend at Midnight (Luke 11:5-13) and The Unjust Judge (Luke 18:1-8) are about showing us what our Father is not like? Unlike the Friend, our Father wants to give us everything we ask for. Jesus says, For everyone who keeps on asking [persistently], receives. And unlike the Unjust Judge, our Father won’t delay in giving us justice, if we pray and not give up and lose heart. Here is the question on Jesus’s heart as He told this parable: When the Son of Man comes, will He find [this kind of persistent] faith on the earth?
      So, we must ask ourselves, do we pray once or twice and then give up? Or do we knock until our knuckles are bruised, and ask .. no, shout! … until our voices are hoarse? Are we prepared to never give up until we get the answer we’ve prayed for, crying out to God, “Father, YOU SAID, in Your Word that if I asked in Jesus’s Name, I would receive! We have made a covenant, God! I am trusting in You to respond! And I know, Father, that no answer doesn’t mean this is Your will. You are not like the Unjust Judge or the Friend who doesn’t want to help.  I’m going to pray [like Jesus did], until I see Your Presence in this situation and something happens!”
     But, I fear that we put no more effort into prayer than we do studying our Bible. We have become too casual about our prayer life, instead of depending on prayer the way the Disciples did.  Do you recall that they returned to Jerusalem right after Jesus ascended into Heaven, and prayed for days in the Upper Room, with one accord, while waiting for the promised Holy Spirit?  They gave themselves “continually to prayer” (Acts 6:4), and after Herod had James killed, and Peter was arrested, “fervent and persistent prayer for him was being made to God by the church” (Acts 12:5).
     And why were they so persistent in prayer, and why did Jesus stress that persistence was so important?  Could it be that persistence in prayer changes us?  That God wants to develop and change our hearts so that we will be better suited to “rule and reign” as kings and priests?  Think about it! When that time comes on earth, He is going to need Saints who will be able to persevere and declare His Word into the storms of life; Faithful who won’t give up because they know their authority.
     The bottom line is this … our prayers don’t have to be lengthy and religious, like those of the Pharisees. We just need to be persistent, and don’t stop! But here’s what I want to make sure we all understand … Jesus points out [at the end of the parable about the Friend] that the real reason we should pray persistently is this:  If you, then, being evil [that is, sinful by nature], know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!
     When we persist in prayer and seek the Father’s answer until He gives it, we will receive more of Him, namely an outpouring of the Holy Spirit!  Yes, I have been fervently praying for healing, and for miracles, and for His provision — but what I’ve really hungered for is more of Him.  I want to be made more full of God! I want that intimacy with Him that only the Holy Spirit can give me. Because I have come to realize that when my prayers are answered, it is the result of the moving of the Holy Spirit.  In other words, by persisting in prayer, my heart is changed and that moves the heart of God, and the Holy Spirit is involved in both.
     All of this has brought me to this point … I am changing the way I pray.  I am praying boldly; I am knocking loudly and often; I am going to ask until He can no longer ignore me; and I’m going to pray, expecting an encounter with the Holy Spirit … because I know it His good pleasure to answer my prayers and to see how much I’m willing to seek Him. Prayer is an important part of strengthening my relationship with my Father, and it is teaching me to grow my relationship with the Holy Spirit. And it is that process that has become an answer to my most fervent prayers.  More on that in the next post…

Thank you to the teachings on Prayer by Bill Johnson, who helped me to recognize the longings of my heart, and how my prayer life effects my relationship with the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. 

John 16:23-24    In that day you will ask nothing of Me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

8 Tips for a Great Camping Trip

Click here to view the original post.

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest contribution from Michael Everett at RainyCamping.com to The Prepper Journal. The best way to learn to be prepared is to learn when life is still normal. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award as well as be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.

Camping is one of the best ways to get away from the stress of daily life. At your campsite, you and your family can sleep and dine outdoors in a natural and refreshing environment. Whether you are planning to go on your first camping trip or you want to return to camping after a long break, the following tips and ideas will help you to have a great time.

1. Plan Your Activities in Advance

Create a list of camping activities for you and your children. This will help you avoid boredom and prevent the children from getting involved in dangerous stunts. A little brainstorming will help you to generate enough ideas to last for 1 to 3 days. Take a football, kite, board games, fishing gear, a compass and maps for learning and paint and craft items. Incorporate the “location” into the activities. Finds and paint pine cones if available to be a part of an upcoming holiday, bring a book on plants and have a scavenger hunt for the “safe” ones. Be creative in your teaching.

As such you can convert each camping trip to an educational excursion and adventure for your children. Take nature books along and allow the children to have a firsthand experience with the wonders of nature. Schedule photo sessions for both sunrise and sunset and take advantage of these times to capture unique photographs. Add more physical activities like hiking or kayaking if your campsite is near a river or lake.

2. Choose Your Camping Site With Care

The campsite you pick will determine how well you’ll enjoy your trip. Carefully plan how far you want to travel, the type of location (whether you want a coastal area or countryside forest). Decide whether you want to stay in a camp with a lot of facilities or a place in the wild.

  

Note that camps with plenty of amenities attract a lot of people and are very noisy while areas that are laid back and pristine usually lack basic facilities. Make sure you choose a campsite that is relatively safe so you don’t have to worry about fending off wild bears when you are meant to be sleeping.

3. Create a Camp Box

Creating a camp box can reduce the time you spend packing for your camping trip by half. Start by making a checklist of items you should take for a typical weekend camping trip. Your checklist should include the following:
* Campsite Gear: sleeping bag and pad for each camper, pillows and blankets, heavy duty steel tent stakes and poles, ground cover, extra canopy or tarp, repair kit, chairs, headlamps and lanterns.
* Kitchen Utensils: stove and fuel, lighter, firewood, pot and frying pan, portable coffee maker, trash bags, cooler, ice, water bottles, paper towel, bowls,plates, forks, spoons, and knives.
* Personal Items: toothbrush, toothpaste, toiletries, soap, sunscreen, first aid kit, insect repellent, and any prescription medication.

Update your “Camp Box” as a family exercise after the trip. Have everyone offer suggestions/improvements and most important, what could have been left out.

4. Get Your Camping Gear Off-season

After you have written out the items for your typical camping trip, you need to go shopping to pick up those you don’t have at home. If you are planning for your first camping trip, you should avoid buying so many items during the peak season for hot weather tent camping.

Although June may seem like a nice time to go shopping for camp gear because of the variety of camping gear that will be on display, don’t do it. At this time, tents and other camping gear will be sold at peak prices. Instead, you should buy camping gear in early spring or winter. Many retailers also try to sell off their camp gear at the end of the summer, so you could get very good bargains at that time.

5. Prepare for Night Lighting

A campsite will feel lonely when walk around with light that is coming from your LED headlamp alone. You should have at least one or two extra lighting sources. These will make your campsite and tent look and feel safer and more exciting.

You may use a powerful rechargeable LED lantern that has about 200 to 250 lumens of light at night or a lantern powered by alkaline batteries. You may also use solar lamps that will be fully charged during the day and provide light for at least 12 hours at night.

6. Go Unplugged and Leave Some Gadgets at Home

Try going for a weekend without your smartphone, tablet or laptop. You will experience a refreshing sense of freedom that will linger for a long time. Going unplugged allows you to rely on your memory and improve your cognate ability instead of depending on Google for every single fact during a discussion with your friends and family. If you feel you will need your smartphone to take pictures, use a digital camera instead. Going without all the digital distractions will revive and rejuvenate your mind. Your attention span will improve and your mood will be transformed.

7. Be Creative With Meals

Plan your meals in advance. Make a list of your meals for each day (breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks between meals). Then choose simple recipes that you can easily use to cook at your campsite while focusing on meals that you can cook well over an open flame. You can even practice cooking breakfast meals like cinnamon roll-ups in your yard at home.

Before you set out, prepare some of the food at home. It will be easier to cut vegetables, marinate the meat and wrap potatoes in foil before going to your camp. Pack these into your cooler and set out the food meal by meal. Remember to take all the condiments and utensils you will need to serve each meal.

8. Leave No Trace

Make it your responsibility to practice the principles of “leave no trace” any time you go camping. These principles have been set out to keep campsites tidy. So you can return back month after month, year after year and still have a clean, safe and hygienic place to set up your tent. With the ever increasing number of people going for camping each year, we need to take care of our trash and avoid leaving our poop buried in shallow pits. It is important to stick to trails when moving around and avoid putting soap, food or human waste in streams and lakes.

Conclusion
Apply these simple tips before and during your camping trip. Remember to maintain a positive attitude and make the best of your trip even if you experience unexpected changes in weather at your campsite.

Author’s Bio:

Welcome to Rainy Camping. I am Michael Everett, a camping expert who loves to travel and explore the wilderness throughout the year. I aim to visit every campsite in the world and offer smart advice to the novice adventurers out there.

 

 

The post 8 Tips for a Great Camping Trip appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

8 Tips for a Great Camping Trip

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest contribution from Michael Everett at RainyCamping.com to The Prepper Journal. The best way to learn to be prepared is to learn when life is still normal. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award as well as be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.

Camping is one of the best ways to get away from the stress of daily life. At your campsite, you and your family can sleep and dine outdoors in a natural and refreshing environment. Whether you are planning to go on your first camping trip or you want to return to camping after a long break, the following tips and ideas will help you to have a great time.

1. Plan Your Activities in Advance

Create a list of camping activities for you and your children. This will help you avoid boredom and prevent the children from getting involved in dangerous stunts. A little brainstorming will help you to generate enough ideas to last for 1 to 3 days. Take a football, kite, board games, fishing gear, a compass and maps for learning and paint and craft items. Incorporate the “location” into the activities. Finds and paint pine cones if available to be a part of an upcoming holiday, bring a book on plants and have a scavenger hunt for the “safe” ones. Be creative in your teaching.

As such you can convert each camping trip to an educational excursion and adventure for your children. Take nature books along and allow the children to have a firsthand experience with the wonders of nature. Schedule photo sessions for both sunrise and sunset and take advantage of these times to capture unique photographs. Add more physical activities like hiking or kayaking if your campsite is near a river or lake.

2. Choose Your Camping Site With Care

The campsite you pick will determine how well you’ll enjoy your trip. Carefully plan how far you want to travel, the type of location (whether you want a coastal area or countryside forest). Decide whether you want to stay in a camp with a lot of facilities or a place in the wild.

  

Note that camps with plenty of amenities attract a lot of people and are very noisy while areas that are laid back and pristine usually lack basic facilities. Make sure you choose a campsite that is relatively safe so you don’t have to worry about fending off wild bears when you are meant to be sleeping.

3. Create a Camp Box

Creating a camp box can reduce the time you spend packing for your camping trip by half. Start by making a checklist of items you should take for a typical weekend camping trip. Your checklist should include the following:
* Campsite Gear: sleeping bag and pad for each camper, pillows and blankets, heavy duty steel tent stakes and poles, ground cover, extra canopy or tarp, repair kit, chairs, headlamps and lanterns.
* Kitchen Utensils: stove and fuel, lighter, firewood, pot and frying pan, portable coffee maker, trash bags, cooler, ice, water bottles, paper towel, bowls,plates, forks, spoons, and knives.
* Personal Items: toothbrush, toothpaste, toiletries, soap, sunscreen, first aid kit, insect repellent, and any prescription medication.

Update your “Camp Box” as a family exercise after the trip. Have everyone offer suggestions/improvements and most important, what could have been left out.

4. Get Your Camping Gear Off-season

After you have written out the items for your typical camping trip, you need to go shopping to pick up those you don’t have at home. If you are planning for your first camping trip, you should avoid buying so many items during the peak season for hot weather tent camping.

Although June may seem like a nice time to go shopping for camp gear because of the variety of camping gear that will be on display, don’t do it. At this time, tents and other camping gear will be sold at peak prices. Instead, you should buy camping gear in early spring or winter. Many retailers also try to sell off their camp gear at the end of the summer, so you could get very good bargains at that time.

5. Prepare for Night Lighting

A campsite will feel lonely when walk around with light that is coming from your LED headlamp alone. You should have at least one or two extra lighting sources. These will make your campsite and tent look and feel safer and more exciting.

You may use a powerful rechargeable LED lantern that has about 200 to 250 lumens of light at night or a lantern powered by alkaline batteries. You may also use solar lamps that will be fully charged during the day and provide light for at least 12 hours at night.

6. Go Unplugged and Leave Some Gadgets at Home

Try going for a weekend without your smartphone, tablet or laptop. You will experience a refreshing sense of freedom that will linger for a long time. Going unplugged allows you to rely on your memory and improve your cognate ability instead of depending on Google for every single fact during a discussion with your friends and family. If you feel you will need your smartphone to take pictures, use a digital camera instead. Going without all the digital distractions will revive and rejuvenate your mind. Your attention span will improve and your mood will be transformed.

7. Be Creative With Meals

Plan your meals in advance. Make a list of your meals for each day (breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks between meals). Then choose simple recipes that you can easily use to cook at your campsite while focusing on meals that you can cook well over an open flame. You can even practice cooking breakfast meals like cinnamon roll-ups in your yard at home.

Before you set out, prepare some of the food at home. It will be easier to cut vegetables, marinate the meat and wrap potatoes in foil before going to your camp. Pack these into your cooler and set out the food meal by meal. Remember to take all the condiments and utensils you will need to serve each meal.

8. Leave No Trace

Make it your responsibility to practice the principles of “leave no trace” any time you go camping. These principles have been set out to keep campsites tidy. So you can return back month after month, year after year and still have a clean, safe and hygienic place to set up your tent. With the ever increasing number of people going for camping each year, we need to take care of our trash and avoid leaving our poop buried in shallow pits. It is important to stick to trails when moving around and avoid putting soap, food or human waste in streams and lakes.

Conclusion
Apply these simple tips before and during your camping trip. Remember to maintain a positive attitude and make the best of your trip even if you experience unexpected changes in weather at your campsite.

Author’s Bio:

Welcome to Rainy Camping. I am Michael Everett, a camping expert who loves to travel and explore the wilderness throughout the year. I aim to visit every campsite in the world and offer smart advice to the novice adventurers out there.

 

 

The post 8 Tips for a Great Camping Trip appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

What did you do for your preparedness this week? (2017-9-30)

Click here to view the original post.

Image: Our tree tops are loaded with pine cones this year, way more than previous years…   This weekly post is an open-forum, though preferably focusing on what we all did this week for our prepping & preparedness. Voice your thoughts, opinions, concerns, or questions for others to comment on general topics of preparedness. Because the more who comment, the more who will benefit from the discussion… Are you a first timer? Let’s hear from you too!   ———————————– Note: For articles posted during the week we appreciate that you stay on-topic with your comments. For off-topic comments, post them

The post What did you do for your preparedness this week? (2017-9-30) appeared first on Modern Survival Blog.

What did you do for your preparedness this week? (2017-9-30)

Image: Our tree tops are loaded with pine cones this year, way more than previous years…   This weekly post is an open-forum, though preferably focusing on what we all did this week for our prepping & preparedness. Voice your thoughts, opinions, concerns, or questions for others to comment on general topics of preparedness. Because the more who comment, the more who will benefit from the discussion… Are you a first timer? Let’s hear from you too!   ———————————– Note: For articles posted during the week we appreciate that you stay on-topic with your comments. For off-topic comments, post them

The post What did you do for your preparedness this week? (2017-9-30) appeared first on Modern Survival Blog.

The Top 10: Best Ways to Improve Urban Security

Click here to view the original post.

Being prepared isn’t just about EMP’s or super volcanoes. It’s also about being ready for common bad things that happen every day, such as home break-ins. And as you expand your prepping supplies and food storage, you’ll want to improve your security situation
to protect those things.

The Top 10 Best Ways to Improve Urban Security via The Survival Mom

When we took a few minutes to evaluate our current home and property, we noticed a few areas that could be improved:
• Curtains on basement windows
. Like many people in our area, we have an unfinished basement that is mostly used for laundry and storage. But the tiny basement windows still allowed for someone to see in, especially if the lights were on. Because it’s an unfinished basement, it didn’t require anything fancy. I took a single curtain panel I found on clearance, c
ut it into 4 pieces, hemmed a rough border for a tension rod, and
instantly our storage downstairs became less tempting and more secure. As a side note, I’m not very good at sewing, and usually, delegate this sort of thing to my mother in law. But general s
sewing skills are a good idea to have in your prepper toolbox, and it’s great when you can practice on something like this that doesn’t have
to look good. Cost: Less than $20.
• Add padlocks and fix broken locks
. We added a padlock to our perimeter gate, so at night, it can be locked from the inside. It doesn’t mean that no one can ever get in our fence, but it does mean it would take longer and make more noise to do so, increasing our chances a would-be thief would give up, or of us interrupting an intruder. We also fixed a broken lock on an interior storage cabinet, for similar reasons. Cost: $15 for bolt
– cutter resistant keyed lock.
•Put solar garden lights on the perimeter. This was my favorite because it made my flower bed look so pretty!
But having solar lights on our fence posts and down in the gardens means that when we hear strange noises, we might be able to see what’s going on without leaving the house. The first week they were
up, we stopped 4 raccoons heading to the chicken coop! True, they weren’t human intruders, but it was a good test that the solar garden lights would work the way we intended. Cost: About $4/light.
• Trimmed bushes
. We have beautiful lilac bushes in the front of our house. But they had grown so much in the last few years that it was difficult for me to see outside the front windows. That meant it was hard for me
to see who was coming to my front door, or cars out on our street. By thinning these bushes, it left us some privacy but made it much easier for me to see out. Cost: $0, since we already have the pruning shears, and my kids did the work.
•Fix or install bright white lights and motion sensors at the entrances. We had a motion sensor light above our garage, but the sensor needed some attention and wasn’t coming on reliably. We’ve also noticed a trend in our area where people change their outdoor lights to colored bulbs to show support for some cause, for example, green to support military vets. In my opinion, colored lights greatly reduce your home security
. The idea, after all, is to illuminate entrances for your safety when you arrive home after dark and to make bad guys feel less secure. Consider putting up a yard sign or bumper sticker for the cause
instead, and stick with bright white lights for your entrances. Cost: Replacement bulbs will vary, a motion sensor kit is less than $50
on Amazon
.
• Install closed circuit cameras
.Rather than paying home security company, we ordered a set of closed circuit cameras and installed them ourselves. The sight of cameras may deter thieves, and if not, it may help catch them more quickly using video evidence. Cost: about $100 for a few cameras and a storage hard drive. If you don’t want to DIY, there are inexpe
nsive options out there, such as http://retinasoftsecurity.com/
that starts at $10/month.
•Re-think access to your personal defense items
. For example, if someone forced their way into your front
door while you were home, perhaps you could easily reach your personal defense items in time. But what if it was the back door? Or that basement window? People with larger properties often keep personal defense items with them at all times. You might re-think
access even in a small urban home or apartment because if
that situation occurs, seconds count. Cost: $0 to rearrange what you already own so it’s easier to reach no matter where you are in the home.
•Split up supplies
. This one is specific to your preps. But consider dividing up your food storage, cash, personal defense inventory, or anything else to at least 2 places in your home. You’ll increase your chances of having something left in the event your home is damaged or robbed. Cost: $0
.
•Repair or Replace fencing
. We had a 15-year-old section of privacy fencing that was literally falling apart. If the chickens could push through it, surely a bad guy wouldn’t be slowed! We also chose to replace our bent-up chain link with 6 food wood panel fencing. Our backyard privacy and security improved drastically over just a few weekends! Cost: varies, depending on repair or replacement, and length and type of fencing
.
•Make sure items are stored out of sight
.Again, this is just rethinking what you already have and where
it lives. More expensive items should be locked up, or perhaps even stored indoors. For us, this will be an on-going effort. Cost: $0
.Most of these weren’t super expensive and didn’t take much time. All of them we could do ourselves. Your list may be quite different than mine. But take a quick walk around your apartment, home, or property and see what you could do to improve your own security.
As a bonus, improving your home security might also reduce your home insurance payment. You could even start your list by checking with your home insurance agent to see what would count toward your policy.

What tasks made it on your list?

The Top 10: Best Ways to Improve Urban Security via The Survival Mom

The Top 10: Best Ways to Improve Urban Security

Being prepared isn’t just about EMP’s or super volcanoes. It’s also about being ready for common bad things that happen every day, such as home break-ins. And as you expand your prepping supplies and food storage, you’ll want to improve your security situation
to protect those things.

The Top 10 Best Ways to Improve Urban Security via The Survival Mom

When we took a few minutes to evaluate our current home and property, we noticed a few areas that could be improved:
• Curtains on basement windows
. Like many people in our area, we have an unfinished basement that is mostly used for laundry and storage. But the tiny basement windows still allowed for someone to see in, especially if the lights were on. Because it’s an unfinished basement, it didn’t require anything fancy. I took a single curtain panel I found on clearance, c
ut it into 4 pieces, hemmed a rough border for a tension rod, and
instantly our storage downstairs became less tempting and more secure. As a side note, I’m not very good at sewing, and usually, delegate this sort of thing to my mother in law. But general s
sewing skills are a good idea to have in your prepper toolbox, and it’s great when you can practice on something like this that doesn’t have
to look good. Cost: Less than $20.
• Add padlocks and fix broken locks
. We added a padlock to our perimeter gate, so at night, it can be locked from the inside. It doesn’t mean that no one can ever get in our fence, but it does mean it would take longer and make more noise to do so, increasing our chances a would-be thief would give up, or of us interrupting an intruder. We also fixed a broken lock on an interior storage cabinet, for similar reasons. Cost: $15 for bolt
– cutter resistant keyed lock.
•Put solar garden lights on the perimeter. This was my favorite because it made my flower bed look so pretty!
But having solar lights on our fence posts and down in the gardens means that when we hear strange noises, we might be able to see what’s going on without leaving the house. The first week they were
up, we stopped 4 raccoons heading to the chicken coop! True, they weren’t human intruders, but it was a good test that the solar garden lights would work the way we intended. Cost: About $4/light.
• Trimmed bushes
. We have beautiful lilac bushes in the front of our house. But they had grown so much in the last few years that it was difficult for me to see outside the front windows. That meant it was hard for me
to see who was coming to my front door, or cars out on our street. By thinning these bushes, it left us some privacy but made it much easier for me to see out. Cost: $0, since we already have the pruning shears, and my kids did the work.
•Fix or install bright white lights and motion sensors at the entrances. We had a motion sensor light above our garage, but the sensor needed some attention and wasn’t coming on reliably. We’ve also noticed a trend in our area where people change their outdoor lights to colored bulbs to show support for some cause, for example, green to support military vets. In my opinion, colored lights greatly reduce your home security
. The idea, after all, is to illuminate entrances for your safety when you arrive home after dark and to make bad guys feel less secure. Consider putting up a yard sign or bumper sticker for the cause
instead, and stick with bright white lights for your entrances. Cost: Replacement bulbs will vary, a motion sensor kit is less than $50
on Amazon
.
• Install closed circuit cameras
.Rather than paying home security company, we ordered a set of closed circuit cameras and installed them ourselves. The sight of cameras may deter thieves, and if not, it may help catch them more quickly using video evidence. Cost: about $100 for a few cameras and a storage hard drive. If you don’t want to DIY, there are inexpe
nsive options out there, such as http://retinasoftsecurity.com/
that starts at $10/month.
•Re-think access to your personal defense items
. For example, if someone forced their way into your front
door while you were home, perhaps you could easily reach your personal defense items in time. But what if it was the back door? Or that basement window? People with larger properties often keep personal defense items with them at all times. You might re-think
access even in a small urban home or apartment because if
that situation occurs, seconds count. Cost: $0 to rearrange what you already own so it’s easier to reach no matter where you are in the home.
•Split up supplies
. This one is specific to your preps. But consider dividing up your food storage, cash, personal defense inventory, or anything else to at least 2 places in your home. You’ll increase your chances of having something left in the event your home is damaged or robbed. Cost: $0
.
•Repair or Replace fencing
. We had a 15-year-old section of privacy fencing that was literally falling apart. If the chickens could push through it, surely a bad guy wouldn’t be slowed! We also chose to replace our bent-up chain link with 6 food wood panel fencing. Our backyard privacy and security improved drastically over just a few weekends! Cost: varies, depending on repair or replacement, and length and type of fencing
.
•Make sure items are stored out of sight
.Again, this is just rethinking what you already have and where
it lives. More expensive items should be locked up, or perhaps even stored indoors. For us, this will be an on-going effort. Cost: $0
.Most of these weren’t super expensive and didn’t take much time. All of them we could do ourselves. Your list may be quite different than mine. But take a quick walk around your apartment, home, or property and see what you could do to improve your own security.
As a bonus, improving your home security might also reduce your home insurance payment. You could even start your list by checking with your home insurance agent to see what would count toward your policy.

What tasks made it on your list?

The Top 10: Best Ways to Improve Urban Security via The Survival Mom

The Top 10: Best Ways to Improve Urban Security

Being prepared isn’t just about EMP’s or super volcanoes. It’s also about being ready for common bad things that happen every day, such as home break-ins. And as you expand your prepping supplies and food storage, you’ll want to improve your security situation
to protect those things.

The Top 10 Best Ways to Improve Urban Security via The Survival Mom

When we took a few minutes to evaluate our current home and property, we noticed a few areas that could be improved:
• Curtains on basement windows
. Like many people in our area, we have an unfinished basement that is mostly used for laundry and storage. But the tiny basement windows still allowed for someone to see in, especially if the lights were on. Because it’s an unfinished basement, it didn’t require anything fancy. I took a single curtain panel I found on clearance, c
ut it into 4 pieces, hemmed a rough border for a tension rod, and
instantly our storage downstairs became less tempting and more secure. As a side note, I’m not very good at sewing, and usually, delegate this sort of thing to my mother in law. But general s
sewing skills are a good idea to have in your prepper toolbox, and it’s great when you can practice on something like this that doesn’t have
to look good. Cost: Less than $20.
• Add padlocks and fix broken locks
. We added a padlock to our perimeter gate, so at night, it can be locked from the inside. It doesn’t mean that no one can ever get in our fence, but it does mean it would take longer and make more noise to do so, increasing our chances a would-be thief would give up, or of us interrupting an intruder. We also fixed a broken lock on an interior storage cabinet, for similar reasons. Cost: $15 for bolt
– cutter resistant keyed lock.
•Put solar garden lights on the perimeter. This was my favorite because it made my flower bed look so pretty!
But having solar lights on our fence posts and down in the gardens means that when we hear strange noises, we might be able to see what’s going on without leaving the house. The first week they were
up, we stopped 4 raccoons heading to the chicken coop! True, they weren’t human intruders, but it was a good test that the solar garden lights would work the way we intended. Cost: About $4/light.
• Trimmed bushes
. We have beautiful lilac bushes in the front of our house. But they had grown so much in the last few years that it was difficult for me to see outside the front windows. That meant it was hard for me
to see who was coming to my front door, or cars out on our street. By thinning these bushes, it left us some privacy but made it much easier for me to see out. Cost: $0, since we already have the pruning shears, and my kids did the work.
•Fix or install bright white lights and motion sensors at the entrances. We had a motion sensor light above our garage, but the sensor needed some attention and wasn’t coming on reliably. We’ve also noticed a trend in our area where people change their outdoor lights to colored bulbs to show support for some cause, for example, green to support military vets. In my opinion, colored lights greatly reduce your home security
. The idea, after all, is to illuminate entrances for your safety when you arrive home after dark and to make bad guys feel less secure. Consider putting up a yard sign or bumper sticker for the cause
instead, and stick with bright white lights for your entrances. Cost: Replacement bulbs will vary, a motion sensor kit is less than $50
on Amazon
.
• Install closed circuit cameras
.Rather than paying home security company, we ordered a set of closed circuit cameras and installed them ourselves. The sight of cameras may deter thieves, and if not, it may help catch them more quickly using video evidence. Cost: about $100 for a few cameras and a storage hard drive. If you don’t want to DIY, there are inexpe
nsive options out there, such as http://retinasoftsecurity.com/
that starts at $10/month.
•Re-think access to your personal defense items
. For example, if someone forced their way into your front
door while you were home, perhaps you could easily reach your personal defense items in time. But what if it was the back door? Or that basement window? People with larger properties often keep personal defense items with them at all times. You might re-think
access even in a small urban home or apartment because if
that situation occurs, seconds count. Cost: $0 to rearrange what you already own so it’s easier to reach no matter where you are in the home.
•Split up supplies
. This one is specific to your preps. But consider dividing up your food storage, cash, personal defense inventory, or anything else to at least 2 places in your home. You’ll increase your chances of having something left in the event your home is damaged or robbed. Cost: $0
.
•Repair or Replace fencing
. We had a 15-year-old section of privacy fencing that was literally falling apart. If the chickens could push through it, surely a bad guy wouldn’t be slowed! We also chose to replace our bent-up chain link with 6 food wood panel fencing. Our backyard privacy and security improved drastically over just a few weekends! Cost: varies, depending on repair or replacement, and length and type of fencing
.
•Make sure items are stored out of sight
.Again, this is just rethinking what you already have and where
it lives. More expensive items should be locked up, or perhaps even stored indoors. For us, this will be an on-going effort. Cost: $0
.Most of these weren’t super expensive and didn’t take much time. All of them we could do ourselves. Your list may be quite different than mine. But take a quick walk around your apartment, home, or property and see what you could do to improve your own security.
As a bonus, improving your home security might also reduce your home insurance payment. You could even start your list by checking with your home insurance agent to see what would count toward your policy.

What tasks made it on your list?

The Top 10: Best Ways to Improve Urban Security via The Survival Mom

20 Things NOT To Do If You Bug Out

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Imagine a disaster is imminent and you’ve decided to get out of dodge. You grab your bug out bags, load your vehicle, and hit the road. You might think that once you get out of town, you’re in the clear. But the truth is there are dozens of things that could go wrong when bugging […]

The post 20 Things NOT To Do If You Bug Out appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Dealing with the elderly and the disabled

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Dealing with the elderly and the disabled Micheal Kline “Reality Check” Audio player below! In this show EK is back to discuss the elderly and the disabled members of your group and why they are a vital component. Many preppers out there have the mindset that the weak, old, or infirmed are going to have to … Continue reading Dealing with the elderly and the disabled

The post Dealing with the elderly and the disabled appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

It looks like fall has fell on SW Idaho. Rain and it is cooling down this weekend.

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We hit about 76 degrees F. here at Casa de Chaos today and this weekend we might see the low 60’s for a daytime high along with some rain.  So we got out a tarp to cover the mill ends/kindling.  The mill end wood area is well protected from wind and with the wood up on pallets I think the wood should stay dry.  I will be giving the “mill end guy” a call for another load.  I hope that wood  will be all the small stuff I need to start the wood stove for a quick hot fire and kindling for the winter.  One very nice thing is the guy gets a heck of a lot of mill ends in small Ranger pickup because he stacks it neatly.  What I have now is 2 full pallets of dry wood about 18-24 inches high.  IIRC a cord of wood is about 4 feet tall, 4 feet wide and 8 feet long stacked so 2 pallets should be close to the dimensions of 4 feet wide and about 8 feet long.  Now all I have to do is see how tall of a stack I can build up at $70.00 a delivery.  I have about a cord of dry wood left over from last winter but my wood guy is not returning my calls so I’m a little bit nervous about having enough wood for this winter.  Last but not least Mom is going to give me a hand cutting up the big chunks of wood with the chain saw and test out the new chains.  I don’t have a lot of wood to cut up and I hope the new chains will make the job go faster, safer and more easily.

I got stocked up on coffee this week.  Coffee has been on sale locally but I’m afraid it is because the stores are clearing out older stock and will offer smaller cans at a higher price.  Just a few years ago coffee got very expensive and even the smaller cans of coffee hit around $9.00- $10.00 per can. Thankfully I had coffee stored up and with buying  the sales (loss leaders) I did not pay that much for a can of coffee.  I have to add a few more cans to make sure I have a good stockpile on hand but that is easy this week as I have coupons!

I finally replaced the old blade on my lawn mower.  It was a bit difficult breaking the nut loose, nothing the rubber mallet applied to the wrench could not handle.  The blade worked out great on the lawn.  No problems with vibration/ blade unbalanced and the grass was cut cleanly compared to the older blade.  That gives me 2 blades once I practice sharpening up the old blade.  I want to be more pro-active about stocking up on parts and learning to sharpen all my cutting tools.  I can sharpen a knife and I’m learning how to sharpen an ax.  Now I just have to learn how to sharpen other tools and build an inventory of stones and files for those jobs.  Thank goodness for Youtube vids and the internet.  If you want to learn something there are hundreds of instructional vids to learn how to do a thing.  Remember there is always difference between theory and practice.  Watching a you tube video is Theory!  Doing it your self is practice and you will need lots of practice, or at least I need lots of practice learning a new skill.

I did not buy a TV or the retro Nintendo game system as the Nintendo sold out and I’m having a heck of a time finding a “dumb TV”.  I am a bit of a geek but I hate the idea of being spied upon even if it is passively via a corporation/government.  I have worked very hard to keep my PC/ wifi secure and I don’t want to add anything to my home that must “phone home” simply to work properly.

Rant incoming……

While it torks me I think many people that bought the NES system did so to resell on Ebay. I’m not going to pay a premium price just to get a game console early.   I’m a gamer, not a fool when it comes to money.  With any luck most people will be like me and won’t spend $300.00 to buy the console on Ebay when it sold for $80.00 and Nintendo says they will be shipping out more for the Holiday Season!

It looks like fall has fell on SW Idaho. Rain and it is cooling down this weekend.

We hit about 76 degrees F. here at Casa de Chaos today and this weekend we might see the low 60’s for a daytime high along with some rain.  So we got out a tarp to cover the mill ends/kindling.  The mill end wood area is well protected from wind and with the wood up on pallets I think the wood should stay dry.  I will be giving the “mill end guy” a call for another load.  I hope that wood  will be all the small stuff I need to start the wood stove for a quick hot fire and kindling for the winter.  One very nice thing is the guy gets a heck of a lot of mill ends in small Ranger pickup because he stacks it neatly.  What I have now is 2 full pallets of dry wood about 18-24 inches high.  IIRC a cord of wood is about 4 feet tall, 4 feet wide and 8 feet long stacked so 2 pallets should be close to the dimensions of 4 feet wide and about 8 feet long.  Now all I have to do is see how tall of a stack I can build up at $70.00 a delivery.  I have about a cord of dry wood left over from last winter but my wood guy is not returning my calls so I’m a little bit nervous about having enough wood for this winter.  Last but not least Mom is going to give me a hand cutting up the big chunks of wood with the chain saw and test out the new chains.  I don’t have a lot of wood to cut up and I hope the new chains will make the job go faster, safer and more easily.

I got stocked up on coffee this week.  Coffee has been on sale locally but I’m afraid it is because the stores are clearing out older stock and will offer smaller cans at a higher price.  Just a few years ago coffee got very expensive and even the smaller cans of coffee hit around $9.00- $10.00 per can. Thankfully I had coffee stored up and with buying  the sales (loss leaders) I did not pay that much for a can of coffee.  I have to add a few more cans to make sure I have a good stockpile on hand but that is easy this week as I have coupons!

I finally replaced the old blade on my lawn mower.  It was a bit difficult breaking the nut loose, nothing the rubber mallet applied to the wrench could not handle.  The blade worked out great on the lawn.  No problems with vibration/ blade unbalanced and the grass was cut cleanly compared to the older blade.  That gives me 2 blades once I practice sharpening up the old blade.  I want to be more pro-active about stocking up on parts and learning to sharpen all my cutting tools.  I can sharpen a knife and I’m learning how to sharpen an ax.  Now I just have to learn how to sharpen other tools and build an inventory of stones and files for those jobs.  Thank goodness for Youtube vids and the internet.  If you want to learn something there are hundreds of instructional vids to learn how to do a thing.  Remember there is always difference between theory and practice.  Watching a you tube video is Theory!  Doing it your self is practice and you will need lots of practice, or at least I need lots of practice learning a new skill.

I did not buy a TV or the retro Nintendo game system as the Nintendo sold out and I’m having a heck of a time finding a “dumb TV”.  I am a bit of a geek but I hate the idea of being spied upon even if it is passively via a corporation/government.  I have worked very hard to keep my PC/ wifi secure and I don’t want to add anything to my home that must “phone home” simply to work properly.

Rant incoming……

While it torks me I think many people that bought the NES system did so to resell on Ebay. I’m not going to pay a premium price just to get a game console early.   I’m a gamer, not a fool when it comes to money.  With any luck most people will be like me and won’t spend $300.00 to buy the console on Ebay when it sold for $80.00 and Nintendo says they will be shipping out more for the Holiday Season!

A Comprehensive Guide to Long Term Food Reliance

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By Denis Korn                                                                     foodheart

 

Use A Comprehensive Guide to Long Term Food Reliance as the language of long term food storage – defining and clarifying terms, product options and related information

As the awareness and motivation to store food provisions for extended periods of time grows with every alarming headline, I have been asked to once again post one of the important 15 Foundational Articles.  This is valuable basic overview of long term food storage issues.

I am frequently asked, especially by newer preparedness planners, for a concise overview of food storage basics.  I am thankful for many new readers that have found this blog in the last few months, and I feel that this article: A Comprehensive Primer on Long Term Food Storage is so important that I am posting it again as we approach critical times.  It is directed towards the serious planner who requires information that summarizes the key points of the food storage process.

With so many preparedness websites and blogs and so many instant experts it becomes increasing difficult to know who to trust and what to believe.  This is by no means an easy task.  It takes serious research and asking the right questions – and expecting accurate answers – discerning the truth is challenging and daunting.  I know this is difficult because I not only receive numerous phone calls for help, I personally have seen and heard distortions, inaccurate information and blatant deception.

For over 42 years I have been intimately involved in the preparedness, outdoor recreation and natural foods industries – as a retailer, wholesaler, manufacturer, educator and consultant.  You are invited to read any of the articles at this blog that relates to your interests and be serious about answering the many questions posed and researching what I have conveyed.  I hope you will trust my experiences and insights.

Cook versus No-cook

A primary decision needs to be made, as it relates to the specific long term food provisions that you want to procure. Do you want foods that require cooking or do you want foods that require no cooking – or perhaps some of both?

Cooking required food reserves are simply foods that need to be cooked – boiled, fried or baked – in order to be eaten.  Examples include: traditional grains and beans, pasta, bread – egg – pancake mixes and some soup and stew mixes.

No-cook food reserves are foods that can be eaten as-is, or after hot or cold water is added to the foods, and being reconstituted for a short time, are then eaten.  Examples include: freeze-dried and some dehydrated ingredients, meals and mixes, granola, supplements, fruits and powdered drinks.

Cook

Advantages:

  • Readily available
  • Low cost
  • Familiar to those currently cooking from scratch
  • Basic unprocessed foods

Disadvantages:

  • Requires a significant supply of water and energy (heat source – gas – electricity – wood –etc.) – both of which may be in short supply during emergency conditions especially in vulnerable locations
  • Requires time to prepare – could be a significant disadvantage during the chaos of an emergency
  • May be difficult to prepare if one lacks cooking and recipe creation skills
  • Heavy
  • Beware of so called “long term” pouch food companies that use the marking line of “just-add-water” and “freeze-dried” meals.  Many companies use these terms to give the impression that their foods are easy to prepare and have freeze-dried ingredients which have a positive reputation.  Read the labels carefully!  Many companies market their meals as “freeze-dried” yet they contain no freeze-dried ingredients!  Also, you must cook these meals in order to prepare them.

No-Cook

Advantages:

  • Small amount of water required to reconstitute ingredients and meals
  • In emergency situations, freeze-dried foods can be eaten as-is
  • Pre-blended meals are familiar and nutritious if manufactured by reputable companies
  • Minimum time to prepare – could be a significant advantage during the chaos of an emergency
  • Easy to use

Disadvantages:

  • Higher cost for food preparation technologies utilized
  • Food ingredients are processed to some degree

Pouch versus Can

These can be commercially available dried food products packed in pouches and cans, or empty pouches and cans for do-it-yourself packing.  Pouches referred to in this section are ones that have a good quality metal foil barrier with an adequate thickness as one of the components in the layering of the pouch (3 or more layers required).  Metalized, transparent or plastic only pouches are not suitable for long term storage of food.  Cans are rigid-wall metal cans with the proper seal.

Pouches

Advantages:

  • Convenience of smaller units of product for storage
  • Empty pouches are readily available online for do-it-yourself
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • A good variety of meals and ingredients are available from established and reputable manufacturers
  • If properly sealed with an oxygen absorber and stored properly, shelf can be 5 to 10+ years

Disadvantages:

  • Very susceptible to puncturing and pin-holing (rough handling, squeezing, bending and forcing a pouch into a container may create very small holes in the pouch).  This compromises the integrity of the seams and pouch material resulting in the loss of an oxygen free atmosphere.
  • No protection from animal destruction or penetration
  • Must have quality materials used in pouch construction – difficult to ensure if buying empty
  • Many commercial pouched foods are low quality and use questionable materials – must do research
  • If do-it-yourself, pouch must be sealed properly
  • Must be stored properly or there is a risk of damage
  • Beware of companies marketing their pouches as 20 – 25 – 30 year shelf life – this is a scam

Cans

Advantages:

  • The most reliable for long term food storage – 10 to 25+ years
  • Properly sealed cans with oxygen absorbers, can create an oxygen and moisture free atmosphere for a very long period of time
  • Rugged construction – can not be penetrated by animals (except maybe a hungry and aggressive bear)
  • Easy to store and handle

Disadvantages:

  • Increased cost for dried foods commercially packed in cans for long term reserves
  • Not practical for most of the do-it-yourself packers – cans and sealing equipment are not easily obtained – when they are available they can be more costly than pouches and to be cost effective empty cans need to be purchased in large quantities

NOTE:  If protected from potential breakage, properly sealed glass canning jars – quart to 1/2 gallon – with an added oxygen absorber, can be an excellent container for smaller quantity dried foods.  Glass and metal are the only materials available with a zero gas transmission rate – required for long term storage.

Calories versus Servings

A common marketing tactic used by many food companies today is to promote a given number of servings in an assortment, and sometimes to even state that an assortment is good for a given period of time with a given number of servings.  In the preparedness market place today, where people may have to depend on daily food rations for their nourishment, only knowing the number of servings in an assortment is close to meaningless and the information insignificant .  Why?  Because a “serving” quantity and quality can be anything the company wants it to be.  You need more information.

The standard for comparing one reserve food product with another has traditionally been to compare the number of calories of similar products or meals.  This is done by comparing the calories by either: knowing the stated calories and the weight in a given serving of a product; or the number of calories of a food product in a comparable sized pouch or container.  This enables comparisons of similar items from different companies – comparing apples with apples.  Even the government on their mandated nutritional information requires the calories be listed – and the source of those calories.

How many calories does the company recommend one should consume per day, and how many of their servings will it take to achieve this number?

Now you can do the math and compare the real cost and value of one companies products to another.  What is the cost per quality calorie?  What is the cost for supplying the proper number of calories for the time period in your emergency scenario?  Don’t forget it is the quality of the calories that is critical.  Sugar is not quality calories!

Here is the important issue:  The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for the average adult person is 2,000 calories a day (reputable companies generally allow 1,800 to 2,200 calories a day in formulating their assortments).  There are companies who promote a 500 to 1000 calorie per day allowance!

Long-Term

Generally long-term refers to a time period of three – four years or longer.  Many seek food products with that will last up to 30 years.  In the real world there are few situations where one would rely on 30 year old food, however with the application of the proper technology and storage conditions it is possible to still consume 30 year old food.  Boxed, wet pack, frozen, high moisture foods and canned grocery items are not considered long-term for purposes of this primer.

Shelf Life/Shelf-Stability

This term refers to the viable and reasonable life that can be expected of a food product in storage.  During this time the food product must still have significant nutritional value and be palatable and acceptable.

The 7 factors that effect shelf life and stability are:  temperature – moisture – oxygen – infestation – handling – light – time

Food Storage

Simply stated, food storage refers to food provisions that one stores for a long term.  These food products usually have a long shelf life and can be relied upon during times of need or emergency.  There is a diversity of different foods in various forms that can be utilized for a proper food storage program.

Do-it-Yourself Packing

This can be cost effective, customized, fun to do, involve friends and groups, localized and creative.  Before you start packing your foods, be clear about what it is you want to store and for how long.  Are the foods appropriate for your plans?  Do you know how to prepare them?  Do you have an adequate quantity?  Do you have all the equipment necessary to prepare your foods?  What is the nutritional quality?  Are the containers you are using effective for long term storage?

Nitrogen/oxygen free atmosphere

Basically there are 2 reasons for wanting to store food in an oxygen free environment – (1) eliminate the possibility for infestation and contamination from insects and microorganisms, and (2) control oxidation, which leads to the rancidity of fats and oils, foul taste, off color, and nutritional deterioration.  The lower the oxygen levels – the more effective in preserving the integrity of the foods stored.  Lower oxygen levels are directly related to shelf life.

Some foods are more susceptible to oxidation deterioration than others.  It is important to know how susceptible the foods you are storing are to oxidation, because as you will see the type of container you store your foods in may at some point no longer be an adequate oxygen barrier.

Crucial Questions

The serious and conscientious preparedness planner is encouraged to carefully and honestly answer these 12 crucial questions.  These questions apply not only to long-term food storage planning, but also all preparedness planning.

  1. What are the circumstances or scenarios you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies?
  2. How long will your emergency scenario last, and what is the duration of time for which you will be preparing?
  3. What attitude are you willing to embody and express during the uncertainty and stress of the emergency scenarios you have determined may exist?
  4. What preparedness knowledge do you personally have that is important in providing specific information and instructions needed during the emergency or emergencies for which you are preparing?
  5. During an emergency what facilities, stores, resources, supplies, and assistance is available in your area apart from family and friends?
  6. Are you dependent upon someone or something else to get you through and supply your needs during the emergency scenarios you presume will occur?
  7. Do you have a list of essential supplies you believe will be necessary to have on hand during your estimated emergency?
  8. Do you have an understanding of the financial implications of your projected emergency scenarios?
  9. What are the special needs of yourself, family, or others you care for that might arise during the scenarios you find likely?
  10. In your expected emergency scenarios will you be stationary and remain where you are, or is it possible you will have to be mobile and relocate?
  11. What means of communication do you have available to you during an emergency and with whom do you need to communicate?
  12. In your expected emergency scenarios what transportation options will be necessary and available?

Evaluate the entire list at 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning

Preparedness/Disaster Planning

The first step in the preparedness planning process is the acknowledgment that you have made a wise and sound decision and have chosen to take responsibility for you and your family, and to be prepared in the event of unforeseen circumstances.  Be encouraged to continue this process with diligence, motivation, and discernment.

This process is basically undertaken in three phases – each one of which will take as much time as you wish to devote, and the degree of urgency you are experiencing.

  1. First, there is an initial assessment necessary to determine the direction you are heading.
  2. Second, there is further evaluation, research, and planning required to develop a firm foundation for the third phase, and to develop the clarity required for appropriate and accurate decision making.
  3. Third, there is taking action and assembling the appropriate provisions and critical information you have determined are necessary for your security and peace of mind.  This phase is ongoing as you continue to evaluate, research, and build up your supplies and information.

The initial assessment

This consists of 6 basic questions that you are encouraged to answer that will lead you along the matrix to your destination:

  1. What is your attitude concerning emergency preparedness?
  2. What are the circumstances or scenarios and their severity you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies?
  3. What is the length of time you will be affected during these scenarios that you will be required to rely on your preparedness supplies?
  4. For whom and how many are you preparing?
  5. Where will you be?
  6. How serious are you and how much time, effort, and money are you willing to devote to research, planning, and action, and with what help?

Disaster Scenarios

We live in a time of unprecedented options and potential scenarios that could create challenging and disruptive circumstances.  What is required is serious evaluation of current events for taking effective action.  The delivery of essential goods and services is so interdependent on a multitude of diverse factors, that a breakdown in any one area can have severe consequences on our daily life.  Here are some potential scenarios for your consideration:

Acts of God – Man made disasters – Earth Changes:  Earthquakes – Government Regulation/Control – Catastrophic Weather – Flood – Martial Law – Asteroid/Comet – Fire – Food Shortages – Pole Shift – Hurricanes –  Societal Breakdown – Solar Flare/CME – Storm/Ice/Snow – Civil Disobedience/Riots – Tribulation/Religious – Tornado – Medical Emergency – Severe Earth Changes – Drought – Economic Emergency/Collapse – Power Outage – Major Accident – Mud Slides – Terrorism Attack – Tsunami – Biological/Chemical/Radiological Attack – EMP  (Electrical Magnetic Pulse) Attack – Personal Issues – Bombing – Job Loss – War – Illness – Cyber Attack – No Internet – Unforeseen Emergencies – Financial Loss – Famine/Food Shortages – Grid Breakdown/No Electricity

Trusting Suppliers – Food & Supplies

Preparedness planning is a prudent and wise action to take.  This search for provisions however, can create a dilemma – Who do you trust?  Remember, you and your family are relying on preparedness products, especially food and water options, to sustain you during critical times.  Some situations can be so catastrophic as to have life or death consequences.  It is this very real potential scenario that compels me personally to take the process of emergency planning very seriously.

Numerous preparedness dealers and websites have recently appeared on the scene, and many are claiming the virtues of their products and are hoping to take advantage of current demands.  I have been in this industry for a long time, and I have seen numerous companies come and go as political, economic, or prophetic issues dominate the news.  With the advent of the internet, it has become even more difficult to assess the reliability of online companies.

Many companies are conscientious and dependable – as a previous manufacturer of food reserve products I have had business relationships with a number of these companies over the years.  Unfortunately many are very questionable.  I have examined their products, their data, and the accuracy of their information – it ranges from inadequate, to unclear, to erroneous.  It is hard to believe that businesses promoting products and information essential for survival in an emergency can be fraudulent and dishonorable, however there are companies who prey on fear and greed and are not principled nor respectable.

USDA Inspection

To package meat products legally, shelf-stable food manufacturing establishments must be federally inspected to comply with the strictest USDA standards for truthfulness in labeling, ingredient conformity, wholesomeness, and cleanliness.

Storage Conditions

NOTE:  The six conditions listed are chosen because these are factors in which we have the control to optimize for the longest reliable shelf life.  TIME is the one factor that we can not control – and it does have a significant effect on the shelf life of various foods.  Nutritional value is lost with many foods over time.  To know with certainty the viable nutritional value of all food reserve items at any given time after a lengthy period of storage – is at best complex or most likely mere conjecture and guesswork.  What we can do is to apply proper planning procedures – do your research with trusted resources, rotate and consume your storage foods, and be realistic about how long you will really need the foods you choose to store.

  • Temperature– This is the primary factor affecting the storage life of foods.  The cooler the better. 40 degrees-50 degrees would be great. Room temperature (65 degrees-72 degrees) or below is generally fine.  Avoid above 90 degrees for extended periods of time. The longer food is exposed to very high temperatures the shorter the edible life and the faster the degeneration of nutritional value.  Note:  There are some “foods” available for emergency preparedness that are known as “emergency food or ration bars.”  These products are generally referred to as “life raft bars” because they were originally designed for life rafts and can withstand high heat for extended periods of time.  They primarily consist of white sugar and white flour, and were not meant to be the sole source of nutrition for a long period of time.
  • Moisture– The lower the better.  Moisture can deteriorate food value rapidly and create conditions that promote the growth of harmful organisms.  The moisture level contained in foods varies depending on the type of product it is.  Have foods in moisture barrier containers (metal, glass) in high humidity areas. Note:  Mylar bags or plastic buckets are not a long term (over 5 years) moisture or oxygen barrier. The moisture and gas transmission rates through these materials vary depending upon the specifications of the manufacturers.  Plastic absorbs gases, moisture, and odors.  Note:  Be careful where you store dry foods in cans.  Very cold flooring or any condition where there is a dramatic temperature differential may cause a build up of condensation inside the container.
  • Oxygen – A high oxygen environment causes oxidation, which leads to discoloration, flavor loss, odors, rancidity and the breakdown of nutritional value in foods. It also allows insects to feed on dried food reserves. Without oxygen, insects cannot live, nor can aerobic (oxygen dependent) organisms. Whole grain and beans have natural oxygen barriers and can store for long periods of time in low humidity and if free from infestation. All other processed grains, vegetables, fruits, etc. must be in a very reduced (2% or less) oxygen environment for long term storage.  Note:  Mylar bags or plastic buckets are not a long term (over 5 years) moisture or oxygen barrier. The moisture and gas transmission rates through these materials vary depending upon the specifications of the manufacturers.  Plastic absorbs gases, moisture, and odors.  The best long term storage containers are glass and metal.
  • Infestation – Examples include rodents, insects in all their stages of growth, mold, microorganisms, and any other creatures that get hungry – large or small.  The proper packaging and storage conditions are required to control infestation and not allow critters to both get into the food, or have the necessary environment for them to flourish if they are sealed into a container – such as in the form of eggs or spores.
  • Handling – Rough handling can not only damage the food itself, but it can also adversely effect and compromise the integrity of the container in which the food is stored.  Glass of course can break; any pouched item can develop pin holes, tears, or cracks.  The seams on buckets and cans can be tweaked, twisted, or damaged to allow oxygen to enter the container.
  • Light – Food should not be stored in direct sunlight.  Both for the potential of high temperature, and its affect on food value.  Sunlight directly on stored foods can destroy nutritional value and hasten the degeneration of food quality, taste, and appearance.  Foods packed in light barrier containers do not pose a problem with the affects of light.

PRODUCT OPTIONS

Freeze-dried

This is a specific technology that refers to foods which have been frozen and dried at low temperatures in a vacuum chamber.  Moisture is removed by a process known as sublimation.  The term “freeze-dried” is often used to designate a dried food product that requires no cooking.  Some meal blends will contain a variety of no cook, freeze-dried, dehydrated and other drying technologies.

Unfortunately, there are currently unethical preparedness food “marketing” companies that claim to provide “freeze-dried” foods, however their foods either need to be cooked and/or contain little or no freeze-dried foods at all.  Buyer Beware – read ingredient declarations and preparation instructions.

  • Advantages:
    • Foods retain the highest nutritional value, taste, texture and appearance.
    • Foods do not “shrivel up”, therefore retaining their original shape.
    • Foods reconstitute easily in hot or cold water- can be eaten dry if necessary- no cooking required in preparation.
    • The only method used to dry meat products for long term shelf life.
    • The chosen method of drying by the military, pharmaceutical companies, supplement manufacturers, and those concerned with nutrition and flavor.
    • The lowest moisture content obtainable- resulting in long shelf stability.
    • Excellent for fruits, vegetables, and meats.
    • Very lightweight.
    • The Benefits of Freeze-Drying – From a Major Processor’s Site

      • Retains original characteristics of the product, including:
        • color
        • form
        • size
        • taste
        • texture
        • nutrients
      • Reconstitutes to original state when placed in water
      • Shelf stable at room temperature – cold storage not required
      • The weight of the freeze-dried products is reduced by 70 to 90 percent, with no change in volume
      • The product is light weight and easy to handle
      • Shipping costs are reduced because of the light weight and lack of refrigeration
      • Low water activity virtually eliminates microbiological concerns
      • Offers highest quality in a dry product compared to other drying methods
      • Virtually any type of food or ingredient, whether solid or liquid, can be freeze-dried
  • Disadvantages:
    • Energy intensive- requires special equipment.
    • Higher cost.
    • Limited number of processors.
  • Note: There are many newer technologies which can dry specialized foods such as grains, beans, pastas and some vegetables and still retain taste, nutrition and “no cooking required” reconstitution- at a low cost.

Dehydrated

This is a general designation for all foods that have had water removed. It includes a number of different products and dehydrating techniques. Methods of drying include:

    • Air drying
    • Spray drying
    • Drum drying
    • Belt drying
  • Most commonly “dehydrated” refers to: vegetables, fruits, spices, and beans.
  • Spray dried items include- milk powder, dairy and cheese powders, fruit powders, vegetable powders, egg powders, and oil powders.
  • Most “dehydrated” vegetables and fruits are dried at high temperatures for short periods of time.
  • Advantages:
    • Reduced weight
    • Long shelf life
    • Lower cost
    • No waste- compact
    • Easy to use- large variety
    • Many suppliers
  • Disadvantages:
    • Many products like corn, peas, and green beans have to be cooked to reconstitute, resulting in increased time and loss of nutritional value.
    • High temperature drying of some items reduces nutritional value and taste.
    • Texture of some products is altered from original.

MRE/Retort/Self-Heating

The items in this category are wet packed in foil or plastic “flexible” packaging. MRE is a military term that stands for “Meals Ready to Eat” and was designed as combat rations for the military. Retort (available in many grocery stores and catalog companies) refers to the heating process, which give these products a longer shelf life. Self-heating meals are packaged entrees that contain everything necessary to have a hot meal anywhere. The individual flameless heaters were developed for the military.

    • MRE’s are complete meals- entrees, side dish, dessert, drink, and condiments- all in one large pouch.
    • All items in this category require no refrigeration and have a shelf life of 18 months to 2 years. MRE’s can last 3- 6 years if stored in cooler temperatures.
    • MRE’s were designed by the military to be eaten for no longer than one month at a time. Extended reliance on MRE’s exclusively could cause digestion issues.
    • Items are excellent for immediate use and easy preparation of familiar foods.

Commodities

This category includes dozens of varieties of grains, beans, legumes and seeds, and can be utilized in numerous forms such as; whole, cracked, flaked, instant, flour, pasta and sprouted.

  • Advantages:
    • Very economical- little cost for significant nutritional value.
    • Easily obtainable.
    • Stores well for long periods of time.
    • Versatility of preparation options and diversity of uses – many can be sprouted.
    • Historically relied upon during emergencies.
    • Reproducible – grow new crops.
    • If prepared and utilized properly, can fulfill total nutritional needs for some time.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Can require large quantities of fuel and water to prepare.
    • Requires significant preparation time to utilize all the diverse benefits.
    • Susceptible to infestation if not properly stored.
    • Requires preparation knowledge. Most people do not know how to prepare basic commodities.
    • If not prepared properly or suddenly introduced into the diet in quantity, grains and beans can cause significant digestive problems.
    • Heavy- Not easily transported if you need to be mobile.
    • Many people have allergic reactions to foods in this category.
    • If you rely on only grains and beans for nourishment for an extended length of time, you may have problems digesting these foods; especially if you don’t normally incorporate them into your diet. Preparation diversity is critical.
  • It is essential that those who choose to rely on commodities know how to properly prepare and use them. It is important to obtain good cookbooks and product information before you buy. Do not count on only a few grains and beans- diversity is very important.
  • Tips:
    • Smaller grains (such as millet, amaranth, quinoa, and teff) and smaller beans and legumes (such as aduki, lentils, split peas, mung, and small whites) will require less time, fuel and water to prepare.  Most are great for sprouting
    • Combine like sized grains and beans when cooking for a complete protein meal.
    • Pressure cookers and pre-soaking of most beans will significantly reduce the cooking time of grains and beans.
    • Newly “rediscovered” ancient grain varieties such as amaranth, quinoa, kamut, teff and spelt, are highly recommended because of their superior nutritional value, unique taste and preparation convenience – available at natural food stores.
    • To reduce cooking times for whole or cracked grains, try adding a handful to a thermos, or similar insulated container, add boiling water and let sit all day or overnight. (Use at a ratio of one part grain to one +/- part water by volume). Add dried fruit, nuts, sweetener etc. and enjoy a no cook hot cereal.
  • Uses for wheat:
    • Whole grain, cracked, flaked- cook for a hot cereal or side dish.
    • Flour- baking, pancakes, sauces.
    • Sprouting- eat raw or add to bread.
    • Soaked wheat (rejuvelac – a cultured sprouted wheat drink) – soak cleaned wheat in pure water 1-2 days. Drink water and eat wheat.
    • Gluten for protein source- rinse flour many times to produce gluten product. Cook in recipe.
    • Wheat grass juice- grow wheat in shallow trays with soil or outdoors in the ground, cut at 6″-10″, juice wheat grass, mix small amount with fruit or vegetable juice.
    • Diastatic malt- ground and powdered dried wheat sprouts, a natural sweetener.

Grocery shelf

This is the category people are most familiar with and the one most will start with when beginning a storage program.

    • Store products you are familiar with.
    • Shelf life varies. If possible contact manufacturer. Generally canned items will last 1-4 years, glass jars 6 months- 2 years, boxes and packages 6 months- 1 year.  Many folks believe quality canned foods stored in cooler conditions will last years beyond ‘best used by’ dates.
    • Buy extra each time you shop.
    • Buy case quantities.
    • Rotate supplies.
    • This category contains items that will complement and supplement other food reserve programs.
    • Mark date purchased on container

Comfort foods

During emergencies it is important to have foods available which are special treats and personally satisfying. These include:

    • Fruit drinks- sodas (all natural of course)
    • Candy- crackers- chips- cookies (also all natural)
    • Chocolate- drinks and bars
    • Popcorn
    • Puddings- cake and muffin mixes
    • Dried fruit and nut mixes
    • Teas- herb teas- coffee
    • Meat Jerky’s

Sprouting

It is not only a good idea to eat fresh sprouts normally; it is an essential during any prolonged emergency where fresh vegetables are not available. Sprouts are live, highly nutritious, nutritionally dense foods that contain essential elements for healthy living. They contain enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and much more. In an emergency it can be your only source for important nutrients. They are easy to grow and cost very little for so much value. You can sprout grains, beans, seeds and nuts.

    • Get a good book on sprouting.
    • If possible, use only non-sprayed, pesticide free seeds – preferably organically grown.
    • Sprouting equipment is easily assembled with household items such as glass jars, screening, cheesecloth, or you can buy a number of different sprouting kits.
    • Sprouts are usually eaten raw, and some sprouts can be lightly cooked like beans or used in baking like wheat and rye.

Supplements

Very important in emergency situations when a nutritional diet may not be available.

Many products have 2 to 3 year shelf life.

    • See your natural food store for details.
    • Many products can prevent health problems and illness naturally.
    • Whole food green concentrates are highly recommended. Also, multivitamins, green products, B-complex, vitamin C, seaweeds and immune system strengtheners.

Home Canning/Drying

With an abundance of fresh foods always available, canning and drying your own is very cost effective.

    • Obtain books and literature on canning and drying.
    • Take classes and talk to experienced individuals.
    • Get the proper equipment or learn how to build you own.
    • Know how to properly store canned and dried foods.
    • Canning supplies can be scarce in an emergency. Stock up on jars and lids.

Gardening

If the scenarios you anticipate to occur indicate a disruption of normal food supplies for a long period of time, then you will want to consider planting and maintaining a garden.  Obtain quality, non-hybrid, organic if possible, fresh garden seeds.  Get good gardening books and equipment.  Learn how to properly store seeds – this is critical – for next seasons planting.  Different seeds have varying viability and germination rates over time.

  • It is always a good idea to know basic gardening techniques. If you have a long term planning strategy, gardening is a must for a continuing supply of fresh and nutritional foods.
    • Identify the best foods for your local growing zone.
    • Consider building a green house.
    • Learn how to compost.
    • Use non-hybrid- open pollinated seeds. You can then harvest seeds for the next season.
    • Learn how to save seeds properly. Store seeds in as cool and dry a location as possible.
    • In an emergency situation emphasize “whole plant varieties”. These are plant varieties that can be eaten whole at any point in the growing process. Examples include:

– Carrots – Cauliflower
– Beets – Chard
– Lettuce – Dandelion
– Cabbage – Kale
– Broccoli – Celery
– Radishes – Herbs
– Spinach
– Save seeds of wild edibles.

    • Using shallow trays with a thin layer of rich soil, learn how to grow wheat and barley grass for juice (highly nutritious!), and unhulled sunflower and buckwheat for fresh salad greens

Appliances/Equipment- Food Preparation

  • Cooking pots/utensils
  • Solar oven
  • Alternative stoves- grills- grates
  • Portable stoves that use twigs, pine cones and small wood pieces
  • Fuel- gas/diesel/propane/wood/charcoal/fuel oil/kerosene/shelf stable additive for gas or diesel
  • Generator
  • Sprouting jar/rack
  • Mill/grinder
  • Wheat grass juicer
  • Canning equipment/supplies
  • Pressure cooker
  • Books
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Food containers- plastic/glass/plastic bags/foil
  • Package your own- equipment/supplies
  • Water-purifiers/filters/additives/distillers/containers
  • Camping equipment
  • Non electric can opener

Water

  • Clean water of course is essential for survival. While it is possible to go for weeks without food, after 3 days survival is at great risk without water. Make absolutely sure you answer the following questions.

o How much water do you have available to you in an emergency?

o Will you have enough to clean foods you have stored?

o Will you have enough to cook foods that require lengthy boiling (beans, grains, pasta)?

o What quantities will you need to reconstitute “no cooking required” freeze-dried and dehydrated foods?

o Will you want to wash pots and utensils?

o Do you know how to obtain, store and/or purify water?

o Will you have enough water for sprouting and/or gardening?

  • Plan on at least 1/2 gallon a day per person to survive. One gallon a day per person is considered minimum for drinking, basic food preparation, and basic hygiene. Two gallons for basic bathing, laundry, and cleaning.

Water Sources – Storage – Treatment

Sources:

  • Natural
    • Ponds, lakes, streams, springs, rivers, ocean (use desalinators or distillers only)
    • Know all local locations before an emergency and check quality.
  • Wells
    • Have non-electric collection options available – hand pumps, special buckets, and solar pumps.
  • Bottled , commercial
    • one to two year shelf life – Rotate.
  • Around the house
    • Pools, spas, waterbeds, hot water heater, toilet tank, hoses, pipes – purify before drinking.
  • Collection ideas
    • Snow, rainwater, dew.
  • Survival techniques
    • Plants, underground sources, moisture collection, solar still – get a good survival manual.

Storage:

  • Specially packaged purified water
    • Water in small foil pouches or aseptic fruit juice like boxes – 5-year shelf life.
    • Blue Can canned water – packed in specially lined aluminum cans with at least a 50 year shelf life.
  • Large containers
    • Food grade plastic, concrete, water bladders, cisterns – above or below ground.
  • Small containers
    • Food grade plastic – new is best, numerous types available (If previously filled with food or beverage, used containers can impact tastes and odors), glass. Never use container that held chemicals or cleaners.
    • WaterBrick water storage containers in 3.5 and 1.6 gallon size containers are highly recommended.

Treatment:

  • Devices
    • Portable hand operated purifiers- when rated as a “purifier” the device will kill viruses and filter bacteria and protozoa. Limited types available.
    • Portable hand operated filters- will filter out most bacteria and protozoa. Many types available.
    • Drip/gravity filters and purifiers – counter top transportable units that filter water slowly by gravity.
    • Bottle purifiers- Easy to use, just fill and drink from bottle.
    • Pen like devices- Insert in a glass of water. Utilizes ultra-violet light as a purifier.
    • Desalinators- manual and electric. Removes salt from seawater.
    • Distillers- electric and non-electric available. Steam distills and purifies any contaminated and salt water.
    • Survival Still Non-Electric water distiller is highly recommended.
    • Kitchen units- usually requires water pressure and uses carbon filter element. Some units can be modified to manual use.
    • Boiling- kills viruses and bacteria after 10 minutes (add one minute for every 1000 feet above sea level). May not however kill cysts such as Giardia.
    • Solar ovens can boil water
  • Additives
    • Liquid chlorine bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite – only ingredient) – 6-8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) per gallon of clean water, double for cloudy water. For 5 gallons-1/2 teaspoon for clean water, 1 teaspoon for cloudy water.
    • Iodine (2%)- 12 drops per gallon for clean water, double for cloudy water. Has distinctive odor and taste. Not for pregnant or nursing women or those with thyroid problems.
    • Purification tablets- Iodine or Chlorine- Follow instructions on package. Some brands may not kill Giardia.
    • Stabilized oxygen- A relatively new method of purification. Many swear by it, do your research.
    • Katadyn Micropur (Chlorine Dioxide)- Effective against all microorganisms. Meets EPA purification guidelines.
    • Colloidal Silver- New and becoming more widely available. Worth investigating. Reported to eliminate numerous harmful elements.

Water Storage Tips

  • Store water in a cool, dry, and dark location.
  • Store away from odors, waste products, and petroleum based products (if using plastics – plastic containers can absorb odors).
  • Periodically check containers (6-12 months) and add additional additives if necessary.
  • Water preservatives in liquid form are available.
  • Rotate containers if possible with new water.
  • Don’t use metal containers for long term storage.
  • Use water filters on water stored for long periods of time.

Fuel

  • How much and what kind of fuel is available in your local area?
  • If you want hot meals, boiling water or hot water for clean up you must have a fuel source. If the foods you store require cooking to make them digestible (grains, beans, etc.) you must have fuel to boil water. Sources include:

o Wood, pellets, pine cones, plants.

o Paper, trash, cardboard, cloth.

o Propane, butane-bulk and in small canisters.

o Natural gas.

o Heating oil.

o Kerosene, gasoline, diesel.

o Candles, paraffin, fuel gel.

o Coal, charcoal.

o Rice hulls, corn cobs.

o Electricity.

o The sun- solar ovens, cookers.

The post A Comprehensive Guide to Long Term Food Reliance appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

A Comprehensive Guide to Long Term Food Reliance

By Denis Korn                                                                     foodheart

 

Use A Comprehensive Guide to Long Term Food Reliance as the language of long term food storage – defining and clarifying terms, product options and related information

As the awareness and motivation to store food provisions for extended periods of time grows with every alarming headline, I have been asked to once again post one of the important 15 Foundational Articles.  This is valuable basic overview of long term food storage issues.

I am frequently asked, especially by newer preparedness planners, for a concise overview of food storage basics.  I am thankful for many new readers that have found this blog in the last few months, and I feel that this article: A Comprehensive Primer on Long Term Food Storage is so important that I am posting it again as we approach critical times.  It is directed towards the serious planner who requires information that summarizes the key points of the food storage process.

With so many preparedness websites and blogs and so many instant experts it becomes increasing difficult to know who to trust and what to believe.  This is by no means an easy task.  It takes serious research and asking the right questions – and expecting accurate answers – discerning the truth is challenging and daunting.  I know this is difficult because I not only receive numerous phone calls for help, I personally have seen and heard distortions, inaccurate information and blatant deception.

For over 42 years I have been intimately involved in the preparedness, outdoor recreation and natural foods industries – as a retailer, wholesaler, manufacturer, educator and consultant.  You are invited to read any of the articles at this blog that relates to your interests and be serious about answering the many questions posed and researching what I have conveyed.  I hope you will trust my experiences and insights.

Cook versus No-cook

A primary decision needs to be made, as it relates to the specific long term food provisions that you want to procure. Do you want foods that require cooking or do you want foods that require no cooking – or perhaps some of both?

Cooking required food reserves are simply foods that need to be cooked – boiled, fried or baked – in order to be eaten.  Examples include: traditional grains and beans, pasta, bread – egg – pancake mixes and some soup and stew mixes.

No-cook food reserves are foods that can be eaten as-is, or after hot or cold water is added to the foods, and being reconstituted for a short time, are then eaten.  Examples include: freeze-dried and some dehydrated ingredients, meals and mixes, granola, supplements, fruits and powdered drinks.

Cook

Advantages:

  • Readily available
  • Low cost
  • Familiar to those currently cooking from scratch
  • Basic unprocessed foods

Disadvantages:

  • Requires a significant supply of water and energy (heat source – gas – electricity – wood –etc.) – both of which may be in short supply during emergency conditions especially in vulnerable locations
  • Requires time to prepare – could be a significant disadvantage during the chaos of an emergency
  • May be difficult to prepare if one lacks cooking and recipe creation skills
  • Heavy
  • Beware of so called “long term” pouch food companies that use the marking line of “just-add-water” and “freeze-dried” meals.  Many companies use these terms to give the impression that their foods are easy to prepare and have freeze-dried ingredients which have a positive reputation.  Read the labels carefully!  Many companies market their meals as “freeze-dried” yet they contain no freeze-dried ingredients!  Also, you must cook these meals in order to prepare them.

No-Cook

Advantages:

  • Small amount of water required to reconstitute ingredients and meals
  • In emergency situations, freeze-dried foods can be eaten as-is
  • Pre-blended meals are familiar and nutritious if manufactured by reputable companies
  • Minimum time to prepare – could be a significant advantage during the chaos of an emergency
  • Easy to use

Disadvantages:

  • Higher cost for food preparation technologies utilized
  • Food ingredients are processed to some degree

Pouch versus Can

These can be commercially available dried food products packed in pouches and cans, or empty pouches and cans for do-it-yourself packing.  Pouches referred to in this section are ones that have a good quality metal foil barrier with an adequate thickness as one of the components in the layering of the pouch (3 or more layers required).  Metalized, transparent or plastic only pouches are not suitable for long term storage of food.  Cans are rigid-wall metal cans with the proper seal.

Pouches

Advantages:

  • Convenience of smaller units of product for storage
  • Empty pouches are readily available online for do-it-yourself
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • A good variety of meals and ingredients are available from established and reputable manufacturers
  • If properly sealed with an oxygen absorber and stored properly, shelf can be 5 to 10+ years

Disadvantages:

  • Very susceptible to puncturing and pin-holing (rough handling, squeezing, bending and forcing a pouch into a container may create very small holes in the pouch).  This compromises the integrity of the seams and pouch material resulting in the loss of an oxygen free atmosphere.
  • No protection from animal destruction or penetration
  • Must have quality materials used in pouch construction – difficult to ensure if buying empty
  • Many commercial pouched foods are low quality and use questionable materials – must do research
  • If do-it-yourself, pouch must be sealed properly
  • Must be stored properly or there is a risk of damage
  • Beware of companies marketing their pouches as 20 – 25 – 30 year shelf life – this is a scam

Cans

Advantages:

  • The most reliable for long term food storage – 10 to 25+ years
  • Properly sealed cans with oxygen absorbers, can create an oxygen and moisture free atmosphere for a very long period of time
  • Rugged construction – can not be penetrated by animals (except maybe a hungry and aggressive bear)
  • Easy to store and handle

Disadvantages:

  • Increased cost for dried foods commercially packed in cans for long term reserves
  • Not practical for most of the do-it-yourself packers – cans and sealing equipment are not easily obtained – when they are available they can be more costly than pouches and to be cost effective empty cans need to be purchased in large quantities

NOTE:  If protected from potential breakage, properly sealed glass canning jars – quart to 1/2 gallon – with an added oxygen absorber, can be an excellent container for smaller quantity dried foods.  Glass and metal are the only materials available with a zero gas transmission rate – required for long term storage.

Calories versus Servings

A common marketing tactic used by many food companies today is to promote a given number of servings in an assortment, and sometimes to even state that an assortment is good for a given period of time with a given number of servings.  In the preparedness market place today, where people may have to depend on daily food rations for their nourishment, only knowing the number of servings in an assortment is close to meaningless and the information insignificant .  Why?  Because a “serving” quantity and quality can be anything the company wants it to be.  You need more information.

The standard for comparing one reserve food product with another has traditionally been to compare the number of calories of similar products or meals.  This is done by comparing the calories by either: knowing the stated calories and the weight in a given serving of a product; or the number of calories of a food product in a comparable sized pouch or container.  This enables comparisons of similar items from different companies – comparing apples with apples.  Even the government on their mandated nutritional information requires the calories be listed – and the source of those calories.

How many calories does the company recommend one should consume per day, and how many of their servings will it take to achieve this number?

Now you can do the math and compare the real cost and value of one companies products to another.  What is the cost per quality calorie?  What is the cost for supplying the proper number of calories for the time period in your emergency scenario?  Don’t forget it is the quality of the calories that is critical.  Sugar is not quality calories!

Here is the important issue:  The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for the average adult person is 2,000 calories a day (reputable companies generally allow 1,800 to 2,200 calories a day in formulating their assortments).  There are companies who promote a 500 to 1000 calorie per day allowance!

Long-Term

Generally long-term refers to a time period of three – four years or longer.  Many seek food products with that will last up to 30 years.  In the real world there are few situations where one would rely on 30 year old food, however with the application of the proper technology and storage conditions it is possible to still consume 30 year old food.  Boxed, wet pack, frozen, high moisture foods and canned grocery items are not considered long-term for purposes of this primer.

Shelf Life/Shelf-Stability

This term refers to the viable and reasonable life that can be expected of a food product in storage.  During this time the food product must still have significant nutritional value and be palatable and acceptable.

The 7 factors that effect shelf life and stability are:  temperature – moisture – oxygen – infestation – handling – light – time

Food Storage

Simply stated, food storage refers to food provisions that one stores for a long term.  These food products usually have a long shelf life and can be relied upon during times of need or emergency.  There is a diversity of different foods in various forms that can be utilized for a proper food storage program.

Do-it-Yourself Packing

This can be cost effective, customized, fun to do, involve friends and groups, localized and creative.  Before you start packing your foods, be clear about what it is you want to store and for how long.  Are the foods appropriate for your plans?  Do you know how to prepare them?  Do you have an adequate quantity?  Do you have all the equipment necessary to prepare your foods?  What is the nutritional quality?  Are the containers you are using effective for long term storage?

Nitrogen/oxygen free atmosphere

Basically there are 2 reasons for wanting to store food in an oxygen free environment – (1) eliminate the possibility for infestation and contamination from insects and microorganisms, and (2) control oxidation, which leads to the rancidity of fats and oils, foul taste, off color, and nutritional deterioration.  The lower the oxygen levels – the more effective in preserving the integrity of the foods stored.  Lower oxygen levels are directly related to shelf life.

Some foods are more susceptible to oxidation deterioration than others.  It is important to know how susceptible the foods you are storing are to oxidation, because as you will see the type of container you store your foods in may at some point no longer be an adequate oxygen barrier.

Crucial Questions

The serious and conscientious preparedness planner is encouraged to carefully and honestly answer these 12 crucial questions.  These questions apply not only to long-term food storage planning, but also all preparedness planning.

  1. What are the circumstances or scenarios you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies?
  2. How long will your emergency scenario last, and what is the duration of time for which you will be preparing?
  3. What attitude are you willing to embody and express during the uncertainty and stress of the emergency scenarios you have determined may exist?
  4. What preparedness knowledge do you personally have that is important in providing specific information and instructions needed during the emergency or emergencies for which you are preparing?
  5. During an emergency what facilities, stores, resources, supplies, and assistance is available in your area apart from family and friends?
  6. Are you dependent upon someone or something else to get you through and supply your needs during the emergency scenarios you presume will occur?
  7. Do you have a list of essential supplies you believe will be necessary to have on hand during your estimated emergency?
  8. Do you have an understanding of the financial implications of your projected emergency scenarios?
  9. What are the special needs of yourself, family, or others you care for that might arise during the scenarios you find likely?
  10. In your expected emergency scenarios will you be stationary and remain where you are, or is it possible you will have to be mobile and relocate?
  11. What means of communication do you have available to you during an emergency and with whom do you need to communicate?
  12. In your expected emergency scenarios what transportation options will be necessary and available?

Evaluate the entire list at 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning

Preparedness/Disaster Planning

The first step in the preparedness planning process is the acknowledgment that you have made a wise and sound decision and have chosen to take responsibility for you and your family, and to be prepared in the event of unforeseen circumstances.  Be encouraged to continue this process with diligence, motivation, and discernment.

This process is basically undertaken in three phases – each one of which will take as much time as you wish to devote, and the degree of urgency you are experiencing.

  1. First, there is an initial assessment necessary to determine the direction you are heading.
  2. Second, there is further evaluation, research, and planning required to develop a firm foundation for the third phase, and to develop the clarity required for appropriate and accurate decision making.
  3. Third, there is taking action and assembling the appropriate provisions and critical information you have determined are necessary for your security and peace of mind.  This phase is ongoing as you continue to evaluate, research, and build up your supplies and information.

The initial assessment

This consists of 6 basic questions that you are encouraged to answer that will lead you along the matrix to your destination:

  1. What is your attitude concerning emergency preparedness?
  2. What are the circumstances or scenarios and their severity you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies?
  3. What is the length of time you will be affected during these scenarios that you will be required to rely on your preparedness supplies?
  4. For whom and how many are you preparing?
  5. Where will you be?
  6. How serious are you and how much time, effort, and money are you willing to devote to research, planning, and action, and with what help?

Disaster Scenarios

We live in a time of unprecedented options and potential scenarios that could create challenging and disruptive circumstances.  What is required is serious evaluation of current events for taking effective action.  The delivery of essential goods and services is so interdependent on a multitude of diverse factors, that a breakdown in any one area can have severe consequences on our daily life.  Here are some potential scenarios for your consideration:

Acts of God – Man made disasters – Earth Changes:  Earthquakes – Government Regulation/Control – Catastrophic Weather – Flood – Martial Law – Asteroid/Comet – Fire – Food Shortages – Pole Shift – Hurricanes –  Societal Breakdown – Solar Flare/CME – Storm/Ice/Snow – Civil Disobedience/Riots – Tribulation/Religious – Tornado – Medical Emergency – Severe Earth Changes – Drought – Economic Emergency/Collapse – Power Outage – Major Accident – Mud Slides – Terrorism Attack – Tsunami – Biological/Chemical/Radiological Attack – EMP  (Electrical Magnetic Pulse) Attack – Personal Issues – Bombing – Job Loss – War – Illness – Cyber Attack – No Internet – Unforeseen Emergencies – Financial Loss – Famine/Food Shortages – Grid Breakdown/No Electricity

Trusting Suppliers – Food & Supplies

Preparedness planning is a prudent and wise action to take.  This search for provisions however, can create a dilemma – Who do you trust?  Remember, you and your family are relying on preparedness products, especially food and water options, to sustain you during critical times.  Some situations can be so catastrophic as to have life or death consequences.  It is this very real potential scenario that compels me personally to take the process of emergency planning very seriously.

Numerous preparedness dealers and websites have recently appeared on the scene, and many are claiming the virtues of their products and are hoping to take advantage of current demands.  I have been in this industry for a long time, and I have seen numerous companies come and go as political, economic, or prophetic issues dominate the news.  With the advent of the internet, it has become even more difficult to assess the reliability of online companies.

Many companies are conscientious and dependable – as a previous manufacturer of food reserve products I have had business relationships with a number of these companies over the years.  Unfortunately many are very questionable.  I have examined their products, their data, and the accuracy of their information – it ranges from inadequate, to unclear, to erroneous.  It is hard to believe that businesses promoting products and information essential for survival in an emergency can be fraudulent and dishonorable, however there are companies who prey on fear and greed and are not principled nor respectable.

USDA Inspection

To package meat products legally, shelf-stable food manufacturing establishments must be federally inspected to comply with the strictest USDA standards for truthfulness in labeling, ingredient conformity, wholesomeness, and cleanliness.

Storage Conditions

NOTE:  The six conditions listed are chosen because these are factors in which we have the control to optimize for the longest reliable shelf life.  TIME is the one factor that we can not control – and it does have a significant effect on the shelf life of various foods.  Nutritional value is lost with many foods over time.  To know with certainty the viable nutritional value of all food reserve items at any given time after a lengthy period of storage – is at best complex or most likely mere conjecture and guesswork.  What we can do is to apply proper planning procedures – do your research with trusted resources, rotate and consume your storage foods, and be realistic about how long you will really need the foods you choose to store.

  • Temperature– This is the primary factor affecting the storage life of foods.  The cooler the better. 40 degrees-50 degrees would be great. Room temperature (65 degrees-72 degrees) or below is generally fine.  Avoid above 90 degrees for extended periods of time. The longer food is exposed to very high temperatures the shorter the edible life and the faster the degeneration of nutritional value.  Note:  There are some “foods” available for emergency preparedness that are known as “emergency food or ration bars.”  These products are generally referred to as “life raft bars” because they were originally designed for life rafts and can withstand high heat for extended periods of time.  They primarily consist of white sugar and white flour, and were not meant to be the sole source of nutrition for a long period of time.
  • Moisture– The lower the better.  Moisture can deteriorate food value rapidly and create conditions that promote the growth of harmful organisms.  The moisture level contained in foods varies depending on the type of product it is.  Have foods in moisture barrier containers (metal, glass) in high humidity areas. Note:  Mylar bags or plastic buckets are not a long term (over 5 years) moisture or oxygen barrier. The moisture and gas transmission rates through these materials vary depending upon the specifications of the manufacturers.  Plastic absorbs gases, moisture, and odors.  Note:  Be careful where you store dry foods in cans.  Very cold flooring or any condition where there is a dramatic temperature differential may cause a build up of condensation inside the container.
  • Oxygen – A high oxygen environment causes oxidation, which leads to discoloration, flavor loss, odors, rancidity and the breakdown of nutritional value in foods. It also allows insects to feed on dried food reserves. Without oxygen, insects cannot live, nor can aerobic (oxygen dependent) organisms. Whole grain and beans have natural oxygen barriers and can store for long periods of time in low humidity and if free from infestation. All other processed grains, vegetables, fruits, etc. must be in a very reduced (2% or less) oxygen environment for long term storage.  Note:  Mylar bags or plastic buckets are not a long term (over 5 years) moisture or oxygen barrier. The moisture and gas transmission rates through these materials vary depending upon the specifications of the manufacturers.  Plastic absorbs gases, moisture, and odors.  The best long term storage containers are glass and metal.
  • Infestation – Examples include rodents, insects in all their stages of growth, mold, microorganisms, and any other creatures that get hungry – large or small.  The proper packaging and storage conditions are required to control infestation and not allow critters to both get into the food, or have the necessary environment for them to flourish if they are sealed into a container – such as in the form of eggs or spores.
  • Handling – Rough handling can not only damage the food itself, but it can also adversely effect and compromise the integrity of the container in which the food is stored.  Glass of course can break; any pouched item can develop pin holes, tears, or cracks.  The seams on buckets and cans can be tweaked, twisted, or damaged to allow oxygen to enter the container.
  • Light – Food should not be stored in direct sunlight.  Both for the potential of high temperature, and its affect on food value.  Sunlight directly on stored foods can destroy nutritional value and hasten the degeneration of food quality, taste, and appearance.  Foods packed in light barrier containers do not pose a problem with the affects of light.

PRODUCT OPTIONS

Freeze-dried

This is a specific technology that refers to foods which have been frozen and dried at low temperatures in a vacuum chamber.  Moisture is removed by a process known as sublimation.  The term “freeze-dried” is often used to designate a dried food product that requires no cooking.  Some meal blends will contain a variety of no cook, freeze-dried, dehydrated and other drying technologies.

Unfortunately, there are currently unethical preparedness food “marketing” companies that claim to provide “freeze-dried” foods, however their foods either need to be cooked and/or contain little or no freeze-dried foods at all.  Buyer Beware – read ingredient declarations and preparation instructions.

  • Advantages:
    • Foods retain the highest nutritional value, taste, texture and appearance.
    • Foods do not “shrivel up”, therefore retaining their original shape.
    • Foods reconstitute easily in hot or cold water- can be eaten dry if necessary- no cooking required in preparation.
    • The only method used to dry meat products for long term shelf life.
    • The chosen method of drying by the military, pharmaceutical companies, supplement manufacturers, and those concerned with nutrition and flavor.
    • The lowest moisture content obtainable- resulting in long shelf stability.
    • Excellent for fruits, vegetables, and meats.
    • Very lightweight.
    • The Benefits of Freeze-Drying – From a Major Processor’s Site

      • Retains original characteristics of the product, including:
        • color
        • form
        • size
        • taste
        • texture
        • nutrients
      • Reconstitutes to original state when placed in water
      • Shelf stable at room temperature – cold storage not required
      • The weight of the freeze-dried products is reduced by 70 to 90 percent, with no change in volume
      • The product is light weight and easy to handle
      • Shipping costs are reduced because of the light weight and lack of refrigeration
      • Low water activity virtually eliminates microbiological concerns
      • Offers highest quality in a dry product compared to other drying methods
      • Virtually any type of food or ingredient, whether solid or liquid, can be freeze-dried
  • Disadvantages:
    • Energy intensive- requires special equipment.
    • Higher cost.
    • Limited number of processors.
  • Note: There are many newer technologies which can dry specialized foods such as grains, beans, pastas and some vegetables and still retain taste, nutrition and “no cooking required” reconstitution- at a low cost.

Dehydrated

This is a general designation for all foods that have had water removed. It includes a number of different products and dehydrating techniques. Methods of drying include:

    • Air drying
    • Spray drying
    • Drum drying
    • Belt drying
  • Most commonly “dehydrated” refers to: vegetables, fruits, spices, and beans.
  • Spray dried items include- milk powder, dairy and cheese powders, fruit powders, vegetable powders, egg powders, and oil powders.
  • Most “dehydrated” vegetables and fruits are dried at high temperatures for short periods of time.
  • Advantages:
    • Reduced weight
    • Long shelf life
    • Lower cost
    • No waste- compact
    • Easy to use- large variety
    • Many suppliers
  • Disadvantages:
    • Many products like corn, peas, and green beans have to be cooked to reconstitute, resulting in increased time and loss of nutritional value.
    • High temperature drying of some items reduces nutritional value and taste.
    • Texture of some products is altered from original.

MRE/Retort/Self-Heating

The items in this category are wet packed in foil or plastic “flexible” packaging. MRE is a military term that stands for “Meals Ready to Eat” and was designed as combat rations for the military. Retort (available in many grocery stores and catalog companies) refers to the heating process, which give these products a longer shelf life. Self-heating meals are packaged entrees that contain everything necessary to have a hot meal anywhere. The individual flameless heaters were developed for the military.

    • MRE’s are complete meals- entrees, side dish, dessert, drink, and condiments- all in one large pouch.
    • All items in this category require no refrigeration and have a shelf life of 18 months to 2 years. MRE’s can last 3- 6 years if stored in cooler temperatures.
    • MRE’s were designed by the military to be eaten for no longer than one month at a time. Extended reliance on MRE’s exclusively could cause digestion issues.
    • Items are excellent for immediate use and easy preparation of familiar foods.

Commodities

This category includes dozens of varieties of grains, beans, legumes and seeds, and can be utilized in numerous forms such as; whole, cracked, flaked, instant, flour, pasta and sprouted.

  • Advantages:
    • Very economical- little cost for significant nutritional value.
    • Easily obtainable.
    • Stores well for long periods of time.
    • Versatility of preparation options and diversity of uses – many can be sprouted.
    • Historically relied upon during emergencies.
    • Reproducible – grow new crops.
    • If prepared and utilized properly, can fulfill total nutritional needs for some time.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Can require large quantities of fuel and water to prepare.
    • Requires significant preparation time to utilize all the diverse benefits.
    • Susceptible to infestation if not properly stored.
    • Requires preparation knowledge. Most people do not know how to prepare basic commodities.
    • If not prepared properly or suddenly introduced into the diet in quantity, grains and beans can cause significant digestive problems.
    • Heavy- Not easily transported if you need to be mobile.
    • Many people have allergic reactions to foods in this category.
    • If you rely on only grains and beans for nourishment for an extended length of time, you may have problems digesting these foods; especially if you don’t normally incorporate them into your diet. Preparation diversity is critical.
  • It is essential that those who choose to rely on commodities know how to properly prepare and use them. It is important to obtain good cookbooks and product information before you buy. Do not count on only a few grains and beans- diversity is very important.
  • Tips:
    • Smaller grains (such as millet, amaranth, quinoa, and teff) and smaller beans and legumes (such as aduki, lentils, split peas, mung, and small whites) will require less time, fuel and water to prepare.  Most are great for sprouting
    • Combine like sized grains and beans when cooking for a complete protein meal.
    • Pressure cookers and pre-soaking of most beans will significantly reduce the cooking time of grains and beans.
    • Newly “rediscovered” ancient grain varieties such as amaranth, quinoa, kamut, teff and spelt, are highly recommended because of their superior nutritional value, unique taste and preparation convenience – available at natural food stores.
    • To reduce cooking times for whole or cracked grains, try adding a handful to a thermos, or similar insulated container, add boiling water and let sit all day or overnight. (Use at a ratio of one part grain to one +/- part water by volume). Add dried fruit, nuts, sweetener etc. and enjoy a no cook hot cereal.
  • Uses for wheat:
    • Whole grain, cracked, flaked- cook for a hot cereal or side dish.
    • Flour- baking, pancakes, sauces.
    • Sprouting- eat raw or add to bread.
    • Soaked wheat (rejuvelac – a cultured sprouted wheat drink) – soak cleaned wheat in pure water 1-2 days. Drink water and eat wheat.
    • Gluten for protein source- rinse flour many times to produce gluten product. Cook in recipe.
    • Wheat grass juice- grow wheat in shallow trays with soil or outdoors in the ground, cut at 6″-10″, juice wheat grass, mix small amount with fruit or vegetable juice.
    • Diastatic malt- ground and powdered dried wheat sprouts, a natural sweetener.

Grocery shelf

This is the category people are most familiar with and the one most will start with when beginning a storage program.

    • Store products you are familiar with.
    • Shelf life varies. If possible contact manufacturer. Generally canned items will last 1-4 years, glass jars 6 months- 2 years, boxes and packages 6 months- 1 year.  Many folks believe quality canned foods stored in cooler conditions will last years beyond ‘best used by’ dates.
    • Buy extra each time you shop.
    • Buy case quantities.
    • Rotate supplies.
    • This category contains items that will complement and supplement other food reserve programs.
    • Mark date purchased on container

Comfort foods

During emergencies it is important to have foods available which are special treats and personally satisfying. These include:

    • Fruit drinks- sodas (all natural of course)
    • Candy- crackers- chips- cookies (also all natural)
    • Chocolate- drinks and bars
    • Popcorn
    • Puddings- cake and muffin mixes
    • Dried fruit and nut mixes
    • Teas- herb teas- coffee
    • Meat Jerky’s

Sprouting

It is not only a good idea to eat fresh sprouts normally; it is an essential during any prolonged emergency where fresh vegetables are not available. Sprouts are live, highly nutritious, nutritionally dense foods that contain essential elements for healthy living. They contain enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and much more. In an emergency it can be your only source for important nutrients. They are easy to grow and cost very little for so much value. You can sprout grains, beans, seeds and nuts.

    • Get a good book on sprouting.
    • If possible, use only non-sprayed, pesticide free seeds – preferably organically grown.
    • Sprouting equipment is easily assembled with household items such as glass jars, screening, cheesecloth, or you can buy a number of different sprouting kits.
    • Sprouts are usually eaten raw, and some sprouts can be lightly cooked like beans or used in baking like wheat and rye.

Supplements

Very important in emergency situations when a nutritional diet may not be available.

Many products have 2 to 3 year shelf life.

    • See your natural food store for details.
    • Many products can prevent health problems and illness naturally.
    • Whole food green concentrates are highly recommended. Also, multivitamins, green products, B-complex, vitamin C, seaweeds and immune system strengtheners.

Home Canning/Drying

With an abundance of fresh foods always available, canning and drying your own is very cost effective.

    • Obtain books and literature on canning and drying.
    • Take classes and talk to experienced individuals.
    • Get the proper equipment or learn how to build you own.
    • Know how to properly store canned and dried foods.
    • Canning supplies can be scarce in an emergency. Stock up on jars and lids.

Gardening

If the scenarios you anticipate to occur indicate a disruption of normal food supplies for a long period of time, then you will want to consider planting and maintaining a garden.  Obtain quality, non-hybrid, organic if possible, fresh garden seeds.  Get good gardening books and equipment.  Learn how to properly store seeds – this is critical – for next seasons planting.  Different seeds have varying viability and germination rates over time.

  • It is always a good idea to know basic gardening techniques. If you have a long term planning strategy, gardening is a must for a continuing supply of fresh and nutritional foods.
    • Identify the best foods for your local growing zone.
    • Consider building a green house.
    • Learn how to compost.
    • Use non-hybrid- open pollinated seeds. You can then harvest seeds for the next season.
    • Learn how to save seeds properly. Store seeds in as cool and dry a location as possible.
    • In an emergency situation emphasize “whole plant varieties”. These are plant varieties that can be eaten whole at any point in the growing process. Examples include:

– Carrots – Cauliflower
– Beets – Chard
– Lettuce – Dandelion
– Cabbage – Kale
– Broccoli – Celery
– Radishes – Herbs
– Spinach
– Save seeds of wild edibles.

    • Using shallow trays with a thin layer of rich soil, learn how to grow wheat and barley grass for juice (highly nutritious!), and unhulled sunflower and buckwheat for fresh salad greens

Appliances/Equipment- Food Preparation

  • Cooking pots/utensils
  • Solar oven
  • Alternative stoves- grills- grates
  • Portable stoves that use twigs, pine cones and small wood pieces
  • Fuel- gas/diesel/propane/wood/charcoal/fuel oil/kerosene/shelf stable additive for gas or diesel
  • Generator
  • Sprouting jar/rack
  • Mill/grinder
  • Wheat grass juicer
  • Canning equipment/supplies
  • Pressure cooker
  • Books
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Food containers- plastic/glass/plastic bags/foil
  • Package your own- equipment/supplies
  • Water-purifiers/filters/additives/distillers/containers
  • Camping equipment
  • Non electric can opener

Water

  • Clean water of course is essential for survival. While it is possible to go for weeks without food, after 3 days survival is at great risk without water. Make absolutely sure you answer the following questions.

o How much water do you have available to you in an emergency?

o Will you have enough to clean foods you have stored?

o Will you have enough to cook foods that require lengthy boiling (beans, grains, pasta)?

o What quantities will you need to reconstitute “no cooking required” freeze-dried and dehydrated foods?

o Will you want to wash pots and utensils?

o Do you know how to obtain, store and/or purify water?

o Will you have enough water for sprouting and/or gardening?

  • Plan on at least 1/2 gallon a day per person to survive. One gallon a day per person is considered minimum for drinking, basic food preparation, and basic hygiene. Two gallons for basic bathing, laundry, and cleaning.

Water Sources – Storage – Treatment

Sources:

  • Natural
    • Ponds, lakes, streams, springs, rivers, ocean (use desalinators or distillers only)
    • Know all local locations before an emergency and check quality.
  • Wells
    • Have non-electric collection options available – hand pumps, special buckets, and solar pumps.
  • Bottled , commercial
    • one to two year shelf life – Rotate.
  • Around the house
    • Pools, spas, waterbeds, hot water heater, toilet tank, hoses, pipes – purify before drinking.
  • Collection ideas
    • Snow, rainwater, dew.
  • Survival techniques
    • Plants, underground sources, moisture collection, solar still – get a good survival manual.

Storage:

  • Specially packaged purified water
    • Water in small foil pouches or aseptic fruit juice like boxes – 5-year shelf life.
    • Blue Can canned water – packed in specially lined aluminum cans with at least a 50 year shelf life.
  • Large containers
    • Food grade plastic, concrete, water bladders, cisterns – above or below ground.
  • Small containers
    • Food grade plastic – new is best, numerous types available (If previously filled with food or beverage, used containers can impact tastes and odors), glass. Never use container that held chemicals or cleaners.
    • WaterBrick water storage containers in 3.5 and 1.6 gallon size containers are highly recommended.

Treatment:

  • Devices
    • Portable hand operated purifiers- when rated as a “purifier” the device will kill viruses and filter bacteria and protozoa. Limited types available.
    • Portable hand operated filters- will filter out most bacteria and protozoa. Many types available.
    • Drip/gravity filters and purifiers – counter top transportable units that filter water slowly by gravity.
    • Bottle purifiers- Easy to use, just fill and drink from bottle.
    • Pen like devices- Insert in a glass of water. Utilizes ultra-violet light as a purifier.
    • Desalinators- manual and electric. Removes salt from seawater.
    • Distillers- electric and non-electric available. Steam distills and purifies any contaminated and salt water.
    • Survival Still Non-Electric water distiller is highly recommended.
    • Kitchen units- usually requires water pressure and uses carbon filter element. Some units can be modified to manual use.
    • Boiling- kills viruses and bacteria after 10 minutes (add one minute for every 1000 feet above sea level). May not however kill cysts such as Giardia.
    • Solar ovens can boil water
  • Additives
    • Liquid chlorine bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite – only ingredient) – 6-8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) per gallon of clean water, double for cloudy water. For 5 gallons-1/2 teaspoon for clean water, 1 teaspoon for cloudy water.
    • Iodine (2%)- 12 drops per gallon for clean water, double for cloudy water. Has distinctive odor and taste. Not for pregnant or nursing women or those with thyroid problems.
    • Purification tablets- Iodine or Chlorine- Follow instructions on package. Some brands may not kill Giardia.
    • Stabilized oxygen- A relatively new method of purification. Many swear by it, do your research.
    • Katadyn Micropur (Chlorine Dioxide)- Effective against all microorganisms. Meets EPA purification guidelines.
    • Colloidal Silver- New and becoming more widely available. Worth investigating. Reported to eliminate numerous harmful elements.

Water Storage Tips

  • Store water in a cool, dry, and dark location.
  • Store away from odors, waste products, and petroleum based products (if using plastics – plastic containers can absorb odors).
  • Periodically check containers (6-12 months) and add additional additives if necessary.
  • Water preservatives in liquid form are available.
  • Rotate containers if possible with new water.
  • Don’t use metal containers for long term storage.
  • Use water filters on water stored for long periods of time.

Fuel

  • How much and what kind of fuel is available in your local area?
  • If you want hot meals, boiling water or hot water for clean up you must have a fuel source. If the foods you store require cooking to make them digestible (grains, beans, etc.) you must have fuel to boil water. Sources include:

o Wood, pellets, pine cones, plants.

o Paper, trash, cardboard, cloth.

o Propane, butane-bulk and in small canisters.

o Natural gas.

o Heating oil.

o Kerosene, gasoline, diesel.

o Candles, paraffin, fuel gel.

o Coal, charcoal.

o Rice hulls, corn cobs.

o Electricity.

o The sun- solar ovens, cookers.

The post A Comprehensive Guide to Long Term Food Reliance appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

A Comprehensive Guide to Long Term Food Reliance

By Denis Korn                                                                     foodheart

 

Use A Comprehensive Guide to Long Term Food Reliance as the language of long term food storage – defining and clarifying terms, product options and related information

As the awareness and motivation to store food provisions for extended periods of time grows with every alarming headline, I have been asked to once again post one of the important 15 Foundational Articles.  This is valuable basic overview of long term food storage issues.

I am frequently asked, especially by newer preparedness planners, for a concise overview of food storage basics.  I am thankful for many new readers that have found this blog in the last few months, and I feel that this article: A Comprehensive Primer on Long Term Food Storage is so important that I am posting it again as we approach critical times.  It is directed towards the serious planner who requires information that summarizes the key points of the food storage process.

With so many preparedness websites and blogs and so many instant experts it becomes increasing difficult to know who to trust and what to believe.  This is by no means an easy task.  It takes serious research and asking the right questions – and expecting accurate answers – discerning the truth is challenging and daunting.  I know this is difficult because I not only receive numerous phone calls for help, I personally have seen and heard distortions, inaccurate information and blatant deception.

For over 42 years I have been intimately involved in the preparedness, outdoor recreation and natural foods industries – as a retailer, wholesaler, manufacturer, educator and consultant.  You are invited to read any of the articles at this blog that relates to your interests and be serious about answering the many questions posed and researching what I have conveyed.  I hope you will trust my experiences and insights.

Cook versus No-cook

A primary decision needs to be made, as it relates to the specific long term food provisions that you want to procure. Do you want foods that require cooking or do you want foods that require no cooking – or perhaps some of both?

Cooking required food reserves are simply foods that need to be cooked – boiled, fried or baked – in order to be eaten.  Examples include: traditional grains and beans, pasta, bread – egg – pancake mixes and some soup and stew mixes.

No-cook food reserves are foods that can be eaten as-is, or after hot or cold water is added to the foods, and being reconstituted for a short time, are then eaten.  Examples include: freeze-dried and some dehydrated ingredients, meals and mixes, granola, supplements, fruits and powdered drinks.

Cook

Advantages:

  • Readily available
  • Low cost
  • Familiar to those currently cooking from scratch
  • Basic unprocessed foods

Disadvantages:

  • Requires a significant supply of water and energy (heat source – gas – electricity – wood –etc.) – both of which may be in short supply during emergency conditions especially in vulnerable locations
  • Requires time to prepare – could be a significant disadvantage during the chaos of an emergency
  • May be difficult to prepare if one lacks cooking and recipe creation skills
  • Heavy
  • Beware of so called “long term” pouch food companies that use the marking line of “just-add-water” and “freeze-dried” meals.  Many companies use these terms to give the impression that their foods are easy to prepare and have freeze-dried ingredients which have a positive reputation.  Read the labels carefully!  Many companies market their meals as “freeze-dried” yet they contain no freeze-dried ingredients!  Also, you must cook these meals in order to prepare them.

No-Cook

Advantages:

  • Small amount of water required to reconstitute ingredients and meals
  • In emergency situations, freeze-dried foods can be eaten as-is
  • Pre-blended meals are familiar and nutritious if manufactured by reputable companies
  • Minimum time to prepare – could be a significant advantage during the chaos of an emergency
  • Easy to use

Disadvantages:

  • Higher cost for food preparation technologies utilized
  • Food ingredients are processed to some degree

Pouch versus Can

These can be commercially available dried food products packed in pouches and cans, or empty pouches and cans for do-it-yourself packing.  Pouches referred to in this section are ones that have a good quality metal foil barrier with an adequate thickness as one of the components in the layering of the pouch (3 or more layers required).  Metalized, transparent or plastic only pouches are not suitable for long term storage of food.  Cans are rigid-wall metal cans with the proper seal.

Pouches

Advantages:

  • Convenience of smaller units of product for storage
  • Empty pouches are readily available online for do-it-yourself
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • A good variety of meals and ingredients are available from established and reputable manufacturers
  • If properly sealed with an oxygen absorber and stored properly, shelf can be 5 to 10+ years

Disadvantages:

  • Very susceptible to puncturing and pin-holing (rough handling, squeezing, bending and forcing a pouch into a container may create very small holes in the pouch).  This compromises the integrity of the seams and pouch material resulting in the loss of an oxygen free atmosphere.
  • No protection from animal destruction or penetration
  • Must have quality materials used in pouch construction – difficult to ensure if buying empty
  • Many commercial pouched foods are low quality and use questionable materials – must do research
  • If do-it-yourself, pouch must be sealed properly
  • Must be stored properly or there is a risk of damage
  • Beware of companies marketing their pouches as 20 – 25 – 30 year shelf life – this is a scam

Cans

Advantages:

  • The most reliable for long term food storage – 10 to 25+ years
  • Properly sealed cans with oxygen absorbers, can create an oxygen and moisture free atmosphere for a very long period of time
  • Rugged construction – can not be penetrated by animals (except maybe a hungry and aggressive bear)
  • Easy to store and handle

Disadvantages:

  • Increased cost for dried foods commercially packed in cans for long term reserves
  • Not practical for most of the do-it-yourself packers – cans and sealing equipment are not easily obtained – when they are available they can be more costly than pouches and to be cost effective empty cans need to be purchased in large quantities

NOTE:  If protected from potential breakage, properly sealed glass canning jars – quart to 1/2 gallon – with an added oxygen absorber, can be an excellent container for smaller quantity dried foods.  Glass and metal are the only materials available with a zero gas transmission rate – required for long term storage.

Calories versus Servings

A common marketing tactic used by many food companies today is to promote a given number of servings in an assortment, and sometimes to even state that an assortment is good for a given period of time with a given number of servings.  In the preparedness market place today, where people may have to depend on daily food rations for their nourishment, only knowing the number of servings in an assortment is close to meaningless and the information insignificant .  Why?  Because a “serving” quantity and quality can be anything the company wants it to be.  You need more information.

The standard for comparing one reserve food product with another has traditionally been to compare the number of calories of similar products or meals.  This is done by comparing the calories by either: knowing the stated calories and the weight in a given serving of a product; or the number of calories of a food product in a comparable sized pouch or container.  This enables comparisons of similar items from different companies – comparing apples with apples.  Even the government on their mandated nutritional information requires the calories be listed – and the source of those calories.

How many calories does the company recommend one should consume per day, and how many of their servings will it take to achieve this number?

Now you can do the math and compare the real cost and value of one companies products to another.  What is the cost per quality calorie?  What is the cost for supplying the proper number of calories for the time period in your emergency scenario?  Don’t forget it is the quality of the calories that is critical.  Sugar is not quality calories!

Here is the important issue:  The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for the average adult person is 2,000 calories a day (reputable companies generally allow 1,800 to 2,200 calories a day in formulating their assortments).  There are companies who promote a 500 to 1000 calorie per day allowance!

Long-Term

Generally long-term refers to a time period of three – four years or longer.  Many seek food products with that will last up to 30 years.  In the real world there are few situations where one would rely on 30 year old food, however with the application of the proper technology and storage conditions it is possible to still consume 30 year old food.  Boxed, wet pack, frozen, high moisture foods and canned grocery items are not considered long-term for purposes of this primer.

Shelf Life/Shelf-Stability

This term refers to the viable and reasonable life that can be expected of a food product in storage.  During this time the food product must still have significant nutritional value and be palatable and acceptable.

The 7 factors that effect shelf life and stability are:  temperature – moisture – oxygen – infestation – handling – light – time

Food Storage

Simply stated, food storage refers to food provisions that one stores for a long term.  These food products usually have a long shelf life and can be relied upon during times of need or emergency.  There is a diversity of different foods in various forms that can be utilized for a proper food storage program.

Do-it-Yourself Packing

This can be cost effective, customized, fun to do, involve friends and groups, localized and creative.  Before you start packing your foods, be clear about what it is you want to store and for how long.  Are the foods appropriate for your plans?  Do you know how to prepare them?  Do you have an adequate quantity?  Do you have all the equipment necessary to prepare your foods?  What is the nutritional quality?  Are the containers you are using effective for long term storage?

Nitrogen/oxygen free atmosphere

Basically there are 2 reasons for wanting to store food in an oxygen free environment – (1) eliminate the possibility for infestation and contamination from insects and microorganisms, and (2) control oxidation, which leads to the rancidity of fats and oils, foul taste, off color, and nutritional deterioration.  The lower the oxygen levels – the more effective in preserving the integrity of the foods stored.  Lower oxygen levels are directly related to shelf life.

Some foods are more susceptible to oxidation deterioration than others.  It is important to know how susceptible the foods you are storing are to oxidation, because as you will see the type of container you store your foods in may at some point no longer be an adequate oxygen barrier.

Crucial Questions

The serious and conscientious preparedness planner is encouraged to carefully and honestly answer these 12 crucial questions.  These questions apply not only to long-term food storage planning, but also all preparedness planning.

  1. What are the circumstances or scenarios you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies?
  2. How long will your emergency scenario last, and what is the duration of time for which you will be preparing?
  3. What attitude are you willing to embody and express during the uncertainty and stress of the emergency scenarios you have determined may exist?
  4. What preparedness knowledge do you personally have that is important in providing specific information and instructions needed during the emergency or emergencies for which you are preparing?
  5. During an emergency what facilities, stores, resources, supplies, and assistance is available in your area apart from family and friends?
  6. Are you dependent upon someone or something else to get you through and supply your needs during the emergency scenarios you presume will occur?
  7. Do you have a list of essential supplies you believe will be necessary to have on hand during your estimated emergency?
  8. Do you have an understanding of the financial implications of your projected emergency scenarios?
  9. What are the special needs of yourself, family, or others you care for that might arise during the scenarios you find likely?
  10. In your expected emergency scenarios will you be stationary and remain where you are, or is it possible you will have to be mobile and relocate?
  11. What means of communication do you have available to you during an emergency and with whom do you need to communicate?
  12. In your expected emergency scenarios what transportation options will be necessary and available?

Evaluate the entire list at 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning

Preparedness/Disaster Planning

The first step in the preparedness planning process is the acknowledgment that you have made a wise and sound decision and have chosen to take responsibility for you and your family, and to be prepared in the event of unforeseen circumstances.  Be encouraged to continue this process with diligence, motivation, and discernment.

This process is basically undertaken in three phases – each one of which will take as much time as you wish to devote, and the degree of urgency you are experiencing.

  1. First, there is an initial assessment necessary to determine the direction you are heading.
  2. Second, there is further evaluation, research, and planning required to develop a firm foundation for the third phase, and to develop the clarity required for appropriate and accurate decision making.
  3. Third, there is taking action and assembling the appropriate provisions and critical information you have determined are necessary for your security and peace of mind.  This phase is ongoing as you continue to evaluate, research, and build up your supplies and information.

The initial assessment

This consists of 6 basic questions that you are encouraged to answer that will lead you along the matrix to your destination:

  1. What is your attitude concerning emergency preparedness?
  2. What are the circumstances or scenarios and their severity you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies?
  3. What is the length of time you will be affected during these scenarios that you will be required to rely on your preparedness supplies?
  4. For whom and how many are you preparing?
  5. Where will you be?
  6. How serious are you and how much time, effort, and money are you willing to devote to research, planning, and action, and with what help?

Disaster Scenarios

We live in a time of unprecedented options and potential scenarios that could create challenging and disruptive circumstances.  What is required is serious evaluation of current events for taking effective action.  The delivery of essential goods and services is so interdependent on a multitude of diverse factors, that a breakdown in any one area can have severe consequences on our daily life.  Here are some potential scenarios for your consideration:

Acts of God – Man made disasters – Earth Changes:  Earthquakes – Government Regulation/Control – Catastrophic Weather – Flood – Martial Law – Asteroid/Comet – Fire – Food Shortages – Pole Shift – Hurricanes –  Societal Breakdown – Solar Flare/CME – Storm/Ice/Snow – Civil Disobedience/Riots – Tribulation/Religious – Tornado – Medical Emergency – Severe Earth Changes – Drought – Economic Emergency/Collapse – Power Outage – Major Accident – Mud Slides – Terrorism Attack – Tsunami – Biological/Chemical/Radiological Attack – EMP  (Electrical Magnetic Pulse) Attack – Personal Issues – Bombing – Job Loss – War – Illness – Cyber Attack – No Internet – Unforeseen Emergencies – Financial Loss – Famine/Food Shortages – Grid Breakdown/No Electricity

Trusting Suppliers – Food & Supplies

Preparedness planning is a prudent and wise action to take.  This search for provisions however, can create a dilemma – Who do you trust?  Remember, you and your family are relying on preparedness products, especially food and water options, to sustain you during critical times.  Some situations can be so catastrophic as to have life or death consequences.  It is this very real potential scenario that compels me personally to take the process of emergency planning very seriously.

Numerous preparedness dealers and websites have recently appeared on the scene, and many are claiming the virtues of their products and are hoping to take advantage of current demands.  I have been in this industry for a long time, and I have seen numerous companies come and go as political, economic, or prophetic issues dominate the news.  With the advent of the internet, it has become even more difficult to assess the reliability of online companies.

Many companies are conscientious and dependable – as a previous manufacturer of food reserve products I have had business relationships with a number of these companies over the years.  Unfortunately many are very questionable.  I have examined their products, their data, and the accuracy of their information – it ranges from inadequate, to unclear, to erroneous.  It is hard to believe that businesses promoting products and information essential for survival in an emergency can be fraudulent and dishonorable, however there are companies who prey on fear and greed and are not principled nor respectable.

USDA Inspection

To package meat products legally, shelf-stable food manufacturing establishments must be federally inspected to comply with the strictest USDA standards for truthfulness in labeling, ingredient conformity, wholesomeness, and cleanliness.

Storage Conditions

NOTE:  The six conditions listed are chosen because these are factors in which we have the control to optimize for the longest reliable shelf life.  TIME is the one factor that we can not control – and it does have a significant effect on the shelf life of various foods.  Nutritional value is lost with many foods over time.  To know with certainty the viable nutritional value of all food reserve items at any given time after a lengthy period of storage – is at best complex or most likely mere conjecture and guesswork.  What we can do is to apply proper planning procedures – do your research with trusted resources, rotate and consume your storage foods, and be realistic about how long you will really need the foods you choose to store.

  • Temperature– This is the primary factor affecting the storage life of foods.  The cooler the better. 40 degrees-50 degrees would be great. Room temperature (65 degrees-72 degrees) or below is generally fine.  Avoid above 90 degrees for extended periods of time. The longer food is exposed to very high temperatures the shorter the edible life and the faster the degeneration of nutritional value.  Note:  There are some “foods” available for emergency preparedness that are known as “emergency food or ration bars.”  These products are generally referred to as “life raft bars” because they were originally designed for life rafts and can withstand high heat for extended periods of time.  They primarily consist of white sugar and white flour, and were not meant to be the sole source of nutrition for a long period of time.
  • Moisture– The lower the better.  Moisture can deteriorate food value rapidly and create conditions that promote the growth of harmful organisms.  The moisture level contained in foods varies depending on the type of product it is.  Have foods in moisture barrier containers (metal, glass) in high humidity areas. Note:  Mylar bags or plastic buckets are not a long term (over 5 years) moisture or oxygen barrier. The moisture and gas transmission rates through these materials vary depending upon the specifications of the manufacturers.  Plastic absorbs gases, moisture, and odors.  Note:  Be careful where you store dry foods in cans.  Very cold flooring or any condition where there is a dramatic temperature differential may cause a build up of condensation inside the container.
  • Oxygen – A high oxygen environment causes oxidation, which leads to discoloration, flavor loss, odors, rancidity and the breakdown of nutritional value in foods. It also allows insects to feed on dried food reserves. Without oxygen, insects cannot live, nor can aerobic (oxygen dependent) organisms. Whole grain and beans have natural oxygen barriers and can store for long periods of time in low humidity and if free from infestation. All other processed grains, vegetables, fruits, etc. must be in a very reduced (2% or less) oxygen environment for long term storage.  Note:  Mylar bags or plastic buckets are not a long term (over 5 years) moisture or oxygen barrier. The moisture and gas transmission rates through these materials vary depending upon the specifications of the manufacturers.  Plastic absorbs gases, moisture, and odors.  The best long term storage containers are glass and metal.
  • Infestation – Examples include rodents, insects in all their stages of growth, mold, microorganisms, and any other creatures that get hungry – large or small.  The proper packaging and storage conditions are required to control infestation and not allow critters to both get into the food, or have the necessary environment for them to flourish if they are sealed into a container – such as in the form of eggs or spores.
  • Handling – Rough handling can not only damage the food itself, but it can also adversely effect and compromise the integrity of the container in which the food is stored.  Glass of course can break; any pouched item can develop pin holes, tears, or cracks.  The seams on buckets and cans can be tweaked, twisted, or damaged to allow oxygen to enter the container.
  • Light – Food should not be stored in direct sunlight.  Both for the potential of high temperature, and its affect on food value.  Sunlight directly on stored foods can destroy nutritional value and hasten the degeneration of food quality, taste, and appearance.  Foods packed in light barrier containers do not pose a problem with the affects of light.

PRODUCT OPTIONS

Freeze-dried

This is a specific technology that refers to foods which have been frozen and dried at low temperatures in a vacuum chamber.  Moisture is removed by a process known as sublimation.  The term “freeze-dried” is often used to designate a dried food product that requires no cooking.  Some meal blends will contain a variety of no cook, freeze-dried, dehydrated and other drying technologies.

Unfortunately, there are currently unethical preparedness food “marketing” companies that claim to provide “freeze-dried” foods, however their foods either need to be cooked and/or contain little or no freeze-dried foods at all.  Buyer Beware – read ingredient declarations and preparation instructions.

  • Advantages:
    • Foods retain the highest nutritional value, taste, texture and appearance.
    • Foods do not “shrivel up”, therefore retaining their original shape.
    • Foods reconstitute easily in hot or cold water- can be eaten dry if necessary- no cooking required in preparation.
    • The only method used to dry meat products for long term shelf life.
    • The chosen method of drying by the military, pharmaceutical companies, supplement manufacturers, and those concerned with nutrition and flavor.
    • The lowest moisture content obtainable- resulting in long shelf stability.
    • Excellent for fruits, vegetables, and meats.
    • Very lightweight.
    • The Benefits of Freeze-Drying – From a Major Processor’s Site

      • Retains original characteristics of the product, including:
        • color
        • form
        • size
        • taste
        • texture
        • nutrients
      • Reconstitutes to original state when placed in water
      • Shelf stable at room temperature – cold storage not required
      • The weight of the freeze-dried products is reduced by 70 to 90 percent, with no change in volume
      • The product is light weight and easy to handle
      • Shipping costs are reduced because of the light weight and lack of refrigeration
      • Low water activity virtually eliminates microbiological concerns
      • Offers highest quality in a dry product compared to other drying methods
      • Virtually any type of food or ingredient, whether solid or liquid, can be freeze-dried
  • Disadvantages:
    • Energy intensive- requires special equipment.
    • Higher cost.
    • Limited number of processors.
  • Note: There are many newer technologies which can dry specialized foods such as grains, beans, pastas and some vegetables and still retain taste, nutrition and “no cooking required” reconstitution- at a low cost.

Dehydrated

This is a general designation for all foods that have had water removed. It includes a number of different products and dehydrating techniques. Methods of drying include:

    • Air drying
    • Spray drying
    • Drum drying
    • Belt drying
  • Most commonly “dehydrated” refers to: vegetables, fruits, spices, and beans.
  • Spray dried items include- milk powder, dairy and cheese powders, fruit powders, vegetable powders, egg powders, and oil powders.
  • Most “dehydrated” vegetables and fruits are dried at high temperatures for short periods of time.
  • Advantages:
    • Reduced weight
    • Long shelf life
    • Lower cost
    • No waste- compact
    • Easy to use- large variety
    • Many suppliers
  • Disadvantages:
    • Many products like corn, peas, and green beans have to be cooked to reconstitute, resulting in increased time and loss of nutritional value.
    • High temperature drying of some items reduces nutritional value and taste.
    • Texture of some products is altered from original.

MRE/Retort/Self-Heating

The items in this category are wet packed in foil or plastic “flexible” packaging. MRE is a military term that stands for “Meals Ready to Eat” and was designed as combat rations for the military. Retort (available in many grocery stores and catalog companies) refers to the heating process, which give these products a longer shelf life. Self-heating meals are packaged entrees that contain everything necessary to have a hot meal anywhere. The individual flameless heaters were developed for the military.

    • MRE’s are complete meals- entrees, side dish, dessert, drink, and condiments- all in one large pouch.
    • All items in this category require no refrigeration and have a shelf life of 18 months to 2 years. MRE’s can last 3- 6 years if stored in cooler temperatures.
    • MRE’s were designed by the military to be eaten for no longer than one month at a time. Extended reliance on MRE’s exclusively could cause digestion issues.
    • Items are excellent for immediate use and easy preparation of familiar foods.

Commodities

This category includes dozens of varieties of grains, beans, legumes and seeds, and can be utilized in numerous forms such as; whole, cracked, flaked, instant, flour, pasta and sprouted.

  • Advantages:
    • Very economical- little cost for significant nutritional value.
    • Easily obtainable.
    • Stores well for long periods of time.
    • Versatility of preparation options and diversity of uses – many can be sprouted.
    • Historically relied upon during emergencies.
    • Reproducible – grow new crops.
    • If prepared and utilized properly, can fulfill total nutritional needs for some time.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Can require large quantities of fuel and water to prepare.
    • Requires significant preparation time to utilize all the diverse benefits.
    • Susceptible to infestation if not properly stored.
    • Requires preparation knowledge. Most people do not know how to prepare basic commodities.
    • If not prepared properly or suddenly introduced into the diet in quantity, grains and beans can cause significant digestive problems.
    • Heavy- Not easily transported if you need to be mobile.
    • Many people have allergic reactions to foods in this category.
    • If you rely on only grains and beans for nourishment for an extended length of time, you may have problems digesting these foods; especially if you don’t normally incorporate them into your diet. Preparation diversity is critical.
  • It is essential that those who choose to rely on commodities know how to properly prepare and use them. It is important to obtain good cookbooks and product information before you buy. Do not count on only a few grains and beans- diversity is very important.
  • Tips:
    • Smaller grains (such as millet, amaranth, quinoa, and teff) and smaller beans and legumes (such as aduki, lentils, split peas, mung, and small whites) will require less time, fuel and water to prepare.  Most are great for sprouting
    • Combine like sized grains and beans when cooking for a complete protein meal.
    • Pressure cookers and pre-soaking of most beans will significantly reduce the cooking time of grains and beans.
    • Newly “rediscovered” ancient grain varieties such as amaranth, quinoa, kamut, teff and spelt, are highly recommended because of their superior nutritional value, unique taste and preparation convenience – available at natural food stores.
    • To reduce cooking times for whole or cracked grains, try adding a handful to a thermos, or similar insulated container, add boiling water and let sit all day or overnight. (Use at a ratio of one part grain to one +/- part water by volume). Add dried fruit, nuts, sweetener etc. and enjoy a no cook hot cereal.
  • Uses for wheat:
    • Whole grain, cracked, flaked- cook for a hot cereal or side dish.
    • Flour- baking, pancakes, sauces.
    • Sprouting- eat raw or add to bread.
    • Soaked wheat (rejuvelac – a cultured sprouted wheat drink) – soak cleaned wheat in pure water 1-2 days. Drink water and eat wheat.
    • Gluten for protein source- rinse flour many times to produce gluten product. Cook in recipe.
    • Wheat grass juice- grow wheat in shallow trays with soil or outdoors in the ground, cut at 6″-10″, juice wheat grass, mix small amount with fruit or vegetable juice.
    • Diastatic malt- ground and powdered dried wheat sprouts, a natural sweetener.

Grocery shelf

This is the category people are most familiar with and the one most will start with when beginning a storage program.

    • Store products you are familiar with.
    • Shelf life varies. If possible contact manufacturer. Generally canned items will last 1-4 years, glass jars 6 months- 2 years, boxes and packages 6 months- 1 year.  Many folks believe quality canned foods stored in cooler conditions will last years beyond ‘best used by’ dates.
    • Buy extra each time you shop.
    • Buy case quantities.
    • Rotate supplies.
    • This category contains items that will complement and supplement other food reserve programs.
    • Mark date purchased on container

Comfort foods

During emergencies it is important to have foods available which are special treats and personally satisfying. These include:

    • Fruit drinks- sodas (all natural of course)
    • Candy- crackers- chips- cookies (also all natural)
    • Chocolate- drinks and bars
    • Popcorn
    • Puddings- cake and muffin mixes
    • Dried fruit and nut mixes
    • Teas- herb teas- coffee
    • Meat Jerky’s

Sprouting

It is not only a good idea to eat fresh sprouts normally; it is an essential during any prolonged emergency where fresh vegetables are not available. Sprouts are live, highly nutritious, nutritionally dense foods that contain essential elements for healthy living. They contain enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and much more. In an emergency it can be your only source for important nutrients. They are easy to grow and cost very little for so much value. You can sprout grains, beans, seeds and nuts.

    • Get a good book on sprouting.
    • If possible, use only non-sprayed, pesticide free seeds – preferably organically grown.
    • Sprouting equipment is easily assembled with household items such as glass jars, screening, cheesecloth, or you can buy a number of different sprouting kits.
    • Sprouts are usually eaten raw, and some sprouts can be lightly cooked like beans or used in baking like wheat and rye.

Supplements

Very important in emergency situations when a nutritional diet may not be available.

Many products have 2 to 3 year shelf life.

    • See your natural food store for details.
    • Many products can prevent health problems and illness naturally.
    • Whole food green concentrates are highly recommended. Also, multivitamins, green products, B-complex, vitamin C, seaweeds and immune system strengtheners.

Home Canning/Drying

With an abundance of fresh foods always available, canning and drying your own is very cost effective.

    • Obtain books and literature on canning and drying.
    • Take classes and talk to experienced individuals.
    • Get the proper equipment or learn how to build you own.
    • Know how to properly store canned and dried foods.
    • Canning supplies can be scarce in an emergency. Stock up on jars and lids.

Gardening

If the scenarios you anticipate to occur indicate a disruption of normal food supplies for a long period of time, then you will want to consider planting and maintaining a garden.  Obtain quality, non-hybrid, organic if possible, fresh garden seeds.  Get good gardening books and equipment.  Learn how to properly store seeds – this is critical – for next seasons planting.  Different seeds have varying viability and germination rates over time.

  • It is always a good idea to know basic gardening techniques. If you have a long term planning strategy, gardening is a must for a continuing supply of fresh and nutritional foods.
    • Identify the best foods for your local growing zone.
    • Consider building a green house.
    • Learn how to compost.
    • Use non-hybrid- open pollinated seeds. You can then harvest seeds for the next season.
    • Learn how to save seeds properly. Store seeds in as cool and dry a location as possible.
    • In an emergency situation emphasize “whole plant varieties”. These are plant varieties that can be eaten whole at any point in the growing process. Examples include:

– Carrots – Cauliflower
– Beets – Chard
– Lettuce – Dandelion
– Cabbage – Kale
– Broccoli – Celery
– Radishes – Herbs
– Spinach
– Save seeds of wild edibles.

    • Using shallow trays with a thin layer of rich soil, learn how to grow wheat and barley grass for juice (highly nutritious!), and unhulled sunflower and buckwheat for fresh salad greens

Appliances/Equipment- Food Preparation

  • Cooking pots/utensils
  • Solar oven
  • Alternative stoves- grills- grates
  • Portable stoves that use twigs, pine cones and small wood pieces
  • Fuel- gas/diesel/propane/wood/charcoal/fuel oil/kerosene/shelf stable additive for gas or diesel
  • Generator
  • Sprouting jar/rack
  • Mill/grinder
  • Wheat grass juicer
  • Canning equipment/supplies
  • Pressure cooker
  • Books
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Food containers- plastic/glass/plastic bags/foil
  • Package your own- equipment/supplies
  • Water-purifiers/filters/additives/distillers/containers
  • Camping equipment
  • Non electric can opener

Water

  • Clean water of course is essential for survival. While it is possible to go for weeks without food, after 3 days survival is at great risk without water. Make absolutely sure you answer the following questions.

o How much water do you have available to you in an emergency?

o Will you have enough to clean foods you have stored?

o Will you have enough to cook foods that require lengthy boiling (beans, grains, pasta)?

o What quantities will you need to reconstitute “no cooking required” freeze-dried and dehydrated foods?

o Will you want to wash pots and utensils?

o Do you know how to obtain, store and/or purify water?

o Will you have enough water for sprouting and/or gardening?

  • Plan on at least 1/2 gallon a day per person to survive. One gallon a day per person is considered minimum for drinking, basic food preparation, and basic hygiene. Two gallons for basic bathing, laundry, and cleaning.

Water Sources – Storage – Treatment

Sources:

  • Natural
    • Ponds, lakes, streams, springs, rivers, ocean (use desalinators or distillers only)
    • Know all local locations before an emergency and check quality.
  • Wells
    • Have non-electric collection options available – hand pumps, special buckets, and solar pumps.
  • Bottled , commercial
    • one to two year shelf life – Rotate.
  • Around the house
    • Pools, spas, waterbeds, hot water heater, toilet tank, hoses, pipes – purify before drinking.
  • Collection ideas
    • Snow, rainwater, dew.
  • Survival techniques
    • Plants, underground sources, moisture collection, solar still – get a good survival manual.

Storage:

  • Specially packaged purified water
    • Water in small foil pouches or aseptic fruit juice like boxes – 5-year shelf life.
    • Blue Can canned water – packed in specially lined aluminum cans with at least a 50 year shelf life.
  • Large containers
    • Food grade plastic, concrete, water bladders, cisterns – above or below ground.
  • Small containers
    • Food grade plastic – new is best, numerous types available (If previously filled with food or beverage, used containers can impact tastes and odors), glass. Never use container that held chemicals or cleaners.
    • WaterBrick water storage containers in 3.5 and 1.6 gallon size containers are highly recommended.

Treatment:

  • Devices
    • Portable hand operated purifiers- when rated as a “purifier” the device will kill viruses and filter bacteria and protozoa. Limited types available.
    • Portable hand operated filters- will filter out most bacteria and protozoa. Many types available.
    • Drip/gravity filters and purifiers – counter top transportable units that filter water slowly by gravity.
    • Bottle purifiers- Easy to use, just fill and drink from bottle.
    • Pen like devices- Insert in a glass of water. Utilizes ultra-violet light as a purifier.
    • Desalinators- manual and electric. Removes salt from seawater.
    • Distillers- electric and non-electric available. Steam distills and purifies any contaminated and salt water.
    • Survival Still Non-Electric water distiller is highly recommended.
    • Kitchen units- usually requires water pressure and uses carbon filter element. Some units can be modified to manual use.
    • Boiling- kills viruses and bacteria after 10 minutes (add one minute for every 1000 feet above sea level). May not however kill cysts such as Giardia.
    • Solar ovens can boil water
  • Additives
    • Liquid chlorine bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite – only ingredient) – 6-8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) per gallon of clean water, double for cloudy water. For 5 gallons-1/2 teaspoon for clean water, 1 teaspoon for cloudy water.
    • Iodine (2%)- 12 drops per gallon for clean water, double for cloudy water. Has distinctive odor and taste. Not for pregnant or nursing women or those with thyroid problems.
    • Purification tablets- Iodine or Chlorine- Follow instructions on package. Some brands may not kill Giardia.
    • Stabilized oxygen- A relatively new method of purification. Many swear by it, do your research.
    • Katadyn Micropur (Chlorine Dioxide)- Effective against all microorganisms. Meets EPA purification guidelines.
    • Colloidal Silver- New and becoming more widely available. Worth investigating. Reported to eliminate numerous harmful elements.

Water Storage Tips

  • Store water in a cool, dry, and dark location.
  • Store away from odors, waste products, and petroleum based products (if using plastics – plastic containers can absorb odors).
  • Periodically check containers (6-12 months) and add additional additives if necessary.
  • Water preservatives in liquid form are available.
  • Rotate containers if possible with new water.
  • Don’t use metal containers for long term storage.
  • Use water filters on water stored for long periods of time.

Fuel

  • How much and what kind of fuel is available in your local area?
  • If you want hot meals, boiling water or hot water for clean up you must have a fuel source. If the foods you store require cooking to make them digestible (grains, beans, etc.) you must have fuel to boil water. Sources include:

o Wood, pellets, pine cones, plants.

o Paper, trash, cardboard, cloth.

o Propane, butane-bulk and in small canisters.

o Natural gas.

o Heating oil.

o Kerosene, gasoline, diesel.

o Candles, paraffin, fuel gel.

o Coal, charcoal.

o Rice hulls, corn cobs.

o Electricity.

o The sun- solar ovens, cookers.

The post A Comprehensive Guide to Long Term Food Reliance appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

Review: Loftek LED Portable Floodlight

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I continually look for new gear and while I work towards knowledge as opposed to my dependence on the “new shiny toys”, there are some things I just have to have. Enter the Loftek LED Read More …

The post Review: Loftek LED Portable Floodlight appeared first on Use Your Instincts To Survive.

Australia’s Firearms Amnesty. Security!

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Take a look at the holding place for these firearms. They are NOT being held in a secure facility. Shown are roller garage doors & behind this police officer ordinary changing room lockers with the word “Firearms” on the doors! This is what law abiding firearms owners are up against, guns get stolen from police & military facilities & we get the blame. The gun used in the Tasmanian shootings came from a police facility!!! Stolen or sold?!
More images here: http://www.armidaleexpress.com.au/story/4955991/how-many-guns-have-been-handed-in-amnesty-photos/

Australia’s Firearms Amnesty. Security!

Take a look at the holding place for these firearms. They are NOT being held in a secure facility. Shown are roller garage doors & behind this police officer ordinary changing room lockers with the word “Firearms” on the doors! This is what law abiding firearms owners are up against, guns get stolen from police & military facilities & we get the blame. The gun used in the Tasmanian shootings came from a police facility!!! Stolen or sold?!
More images here: http://www.armidaleexpress.com.au/story/4955991/how-many-guns-have-been-handed-in-amnesty-photos/

Stay Safe and Have Fun with These 7 Tips for Camping in the Rain

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It happens despite our best intentions and efforts—you are all packed and ready to head down to your camping site when the dark clouds start rolling in and the rain starts to pitter-patter all around you. All of a sudden, nobody really wants to go camping anymore. Camping in the rain can really put a damper on everybody’s spirits if you let it. Although it can truly limit some of the activities you have previously planned on doing, camping in the rain can still be comfortable and enjoyable for the rest of the family.

Follow these 7 tips for camping in the rainy days, from preparation to keeping yourselves entertained, to make camping in the rain a fun and memorable experience for the whole family!

Preparations for Camping in the Rain

1. Choose your campsite location wisely.

Choose your campsiteCamping in the rain can be messy, wet, and uncomfortable—even more so when you choose your campsite poorly. Not only that, it can even be dangerous!

Choosing your campsite wisely, on the other hand, will make the difference between a terrible camping trip and a memorable experience for the rest of the family. Luckily, we have you covered with some dos and dont’s on picking the perfect location to pitch your tent to keep everyone’s spirits up and most of all, stay safe during the camping trip.

Do…

  • Pitch your tent on high, flat ground.
  • Choose a well-draining area.
  • Camp under big trees or some sort of shelter from fierce winds.

Don’t…

  • Camp near bodies of water.
  • Camp under overhanging branches.
  • Pitch your tent in a sloping area.
  • Camp in depressed areas where water can accumulate.
  • Camp under lone trees where lightning could strike.

2. Waterproof your tent.

Waterproopf your tentTents are usually waterproof and can hold their own even with a bit of rain. However, constant exposure to heat, wind, and rain could eventually wear down your tent’s waterproof qualities. Cleaning your tent improperly could also result in damage to the coating of the tent material, rendering it…not so waterproof.

Another key area of the tent to consider when sprucing up its waterproofing power is the floor of the tent. Nobody wants to wake up in the middle of the night in a puddle but water can leak into the floor of your tent and turn it into a mini pool.

Keeping your tent waterproof is necessary to stay dry and comfortable during a camping trip in the rain as the tent your primary source of shelter. This guide from Ardent Footsteps can teach you how to waterproof your tent so that when the rains come, you won’t have to worry about keeping dry once you are inside your tent.

3. Plastic bags are your new best friend.

They are not really the environment’s best friend but plastic bags can really save your life when you are camping out in the rain mainly because they are already waterproof themselves. Use plastic bags of all sizes from large garbage bags to the smaller Ziplock sandwich bags to protect your stuff from the rain.

You can use plastic bags to:

  • Segregate clothes and other stuff in your backpack.
  • Line your bags to protect your clothes and other belongings.
  • Protect your gadgets from getting wet in the rain.
  • Keep foodstuffs dry and protected from the rain.

Cheaper plastic bags may not be reusable, but for a single camping trip, they will do. Just remember to dispose of them properly after use. Respect the environment and campground rules by being responsible with your trash and plastic bags.

Camping Activities for Rainy Days

4. Build a fire with wet wood.

Build fires with wet woodCamping is an adventure, and in adventures, you have to be prepared for anything that can happen. You might have arrived in a sunny, dry campsite only to have gray clouds roll in and inconveniently rain down on you just as you finished setting up your tent, making you cold, and miserable.

Not only that, how can you start a proper fire to take care of that problem when the wood all around you is wet?

Thankfully, you can still start a fire with wet wood so you can cook and keep yourself warm in dreary weather conditions. Know which kind of wood you can use to build your fire as well as the steps to get it blazing cheerily in no time in this detailed guide so you will never have to suffer through the cold with gnawing hunger pangs again.

5. Tell stories.

Tell stories in the rainPeople love stories. It does not matter what age they are, everybody loves a good story and camping trips are often the best avenues to share stories.

Remember that old TV show where campers sit around a fire and tell each other scary stories? Well, you can do that huddled in your tent with the rain falling all around your and the wind whistling through the trees to create a chilling ambiance.

If ghost stories aren’t your cup of tea, funny and exciting stories from your childhood and experiences will also do. Kids especially love stories of daring and adventure, while adults love a good humorous story.

6. Hike out in the rain. Yes, you can!

Hike in the rainYou have been planning to go out on a hike but the sudden rain has ruined your plans. Or has it?

While hiking out in the rain can present different challenges to campers—muddy and slippery trails being one of them—it can still be a beautiful and memorable experience. The trails can look fresh and beautiful after a spell of rain.

Just remember to keep these tips in mind:

  • Stick to shorter trails instead of daylong treks.
  • Wear the appropriate clothing to keep yourself warm and dry.
  • Bring a water bottle along and stay hydrated at all times.
  • Bring snacks you can munch on along the way.

7. Read books.

Camping and book lovers might not be a match made in heaven but if you give a bookworm a nice, dry tent, some books, and a bit of rain, they will happily agree to go camping with you. There is nothing a bookworm loves more than poring through pages with the sound of raindrops falling around them.

The next time you find yourself waiting out the rain in your tent, get a small fire going, make some hot chocolate or coffee, and whip out a few books. The image alone of you reading in your tent with a steaming mug of coffee and the rain falling around you is an Instagram-worthy picture!

The last note…

Camping out in the rain can either be the worst trip of your life or an experience that is definitely one for the books. However, making this a great and memorable experience for you and the rest of the family takes some deliberate planning and preparation (like waterproofing your tent). It also pays to pick up a few skills beforehand (like building a fire with wet wood).

Staying cooped up in your tent can keep you warm but the close quarters can give rise to short tempers if you are not careful. Defuse the situation by bringing out fun games, music, and snacks to keep everyone comfortable and happy.

In the end, the rain is not what makes the trip but it is the experience and camaraderie in itself.

What do you think of camping in the rain? What other activities can you suggest for camping in the rain? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends!

Melanie CampbellBio: Melanie Campbell is an outdoor and camping enthusiast behind Ardent Footsteps, enjoying this wonderful world since 2010. She shares expert advice when it comes to camping and outdoor trekking. With the main focus on making the most out of camping and outdoor adventures, Melanie will make you want to go out today!

If you found this article helpful/interesting, please Share it by clicking on the social media links. Thank you for helping us grow!

The post Stay Safe and Have Fun with These 7 Tips for Camping in the Rain appeared first on Surviving Prepper.

Stay Safe and Have Fun with These 7 Tips for Camping in the Rain

It happens despite our best intentions and efforts—you are all packed and ready to head down to your camping site when the dark clouds start rolling in and the rain starts to pitter-patter all around you. All of a sudden, nobody really wants to go camping anymore. Camping in the rain can really put a damper on everybody’s spirits if you let it. Although it can truly limit some of the activities you have previously planned on doing, camping in the rain can still be comfortable and enjoyable for the rest of the family.

Follow these 7 tips for camping in the rainy days, from preparation to keeping yourselves entertained, to make camping in the rain a fun and memorable experience for the whole family!

Preparations for Camping in the Rain

1. Choose your campsite location wisely.

Choose your campsiteCamping in the rain can be messy, wet, and uncomfortable—even more so when you choose your campsite poorly. Not only that, it can even be dangerous!

Choosing your campsite wisely, on the other hand, will make the difference between a terrible camping trip and a memorable experience for the rest of the family. Luckily, we have you covered with some dos and dont’s on picking the perfect location to pitch your tent to keep everyone’s spirits up and most of all, stay safe during the camping trip.

Do…

  • Pitch your tent on high, flat ground.
  • Choose a well-draining area.
  • Camp under big trees or some sort of shelter from fierce winds.

Don’t…

  • Camp near bodies of water.
  • Camp under overhanging branches.
  • Pitch your tent in a sloping area.
  • Camp in depressed areas where water can accumulate.
  • Camp under lone trees where lightning could strike.

2. Waterproof your tent.

Waterproopf your tentTents are usually waterproof and can hold their own even with a bit of rain. However, constant exposure to heat, wind, and rain could eventually wear down your tent’s waterproof qualities. Cleaning your tent improperly could also result in damage to the coating of the tent material, rendering it…not so waterproof.

Another key area of the tent to consider when sprucing up its waterproofing power is the floor of the tent. Nobody wants to wake up in the middle of the night in a puddle but water can leak into the floor of your tent and turn it into a mini pool.

Keeping your tent waterproof is necessary to stay dry and comfortable during a camping trip in the rain as the tent your primary source of shelter. This guide from Ardent Footsteps can teach you how to waterproof your tent so that when the rains come, you won’t have to worry about keeping dry once you are inside your tent.

3. Plastic bags are your new best friend.

They are not really the environment’s best friend but plastic bags can really save your life when you are camping out in the rain mainly because they are already waterproof themselves. Use plastic bags of all sizes from large garbage bags to the smaller Ziplock sandwich bags to protect your stuff from the rain.

You can use plastic bags to:

  • Segregate clothes and other stuff in your backpack.
  • Line your bags to protect your clothes and other belongings.
  • Protect your gadgets from getting wet in the rain.
  • Keep foodstuffs dry and protected from the rain.

Cheaper plastic bags may not be reusable, but for a single camping trip, they will do. Just remember to dispose of them properly after use. Respect the environment and campground rules by being responsible with your trash and plastic bags.

Camping Activities for Rainy Days

4. Build a fire with wet wood.

Build fires with wet woodCamping is an adventure, and in adventures, you have to be prepared for anything that can happen. You might have arrived in a sunny, dry campsite only to have gray clouds roll in and inconveniently rain down on you just as you finished setting up your tent, making you cold, and miserable.

Not only that, how can you start a proper fire to take care of that problem when the wood all around you is wet?

Thankfully, you can still start a fire with wet wood so you can cook and keep yourself warm in dreary weather conditions. Know which kind of wood you can use to build your fire as well as the steps to get it blazing cheerily in no time in this detailed guide so you will never have to suffer through the cold with gnawing hunger pangs again.

5. Tell stories.

Tell stories in the rainPeople love stories. It does not matter what age they are, everybody loves a good story and camping trips are often the best avenues to share stories.

Remember that old TV show where campers sit around a fire and tell each other scary stories? Well, you can do that huddled in your tent with the rain falling all around your and the wind whistling through the trees to create a chilling ambiance.

If ghost stories aren’t your cup of tea, funny and exciting stories from your childhood and experiences will also do. Kids especially love stories of daring and adventure, while adults love a good humorous story.

6. Hike out in the rain. Yes, you can!

Hike in the rainYou have been planning to go out on a hike but the sudden rain has ruined your plans. Or has it?

While hiking out in the rain can present different challenges to campers—muddy and slippery trails being one of them—it can still be a beautiful and memorable experience. The trails can look fresh and beautiful after a spell of rain.

Just remember to keep these tips in mind:

  • Stick to shorter trails instead of daylong treks.
  • Wear the appropriate clothing to keep yourself warm and dry.
  • Bring a water bottle along and stay hydrated at all times.
  • Bring snacks you can munch on along the way.

7. Read books.

Camping and book lovers might not be a match made in heaven but if you give a bookworm a nice, dry tent, some books, and a bit of rain, they will happily agree to go camping with you. There is nothing a bookworm loves more than poring through pages with the sound of raindrops falling around them.

The next time you find yourself waiting out the rain in your tent, get a small fire going, make some hot chocolate or coffee, and whip out a few books. The image alone of you reading in your tent with a steaming mug of coffee and the rain falling around you is an Instagram-worthy picture!

The last note…

Camping out in the rain can either be the worst trip of your life or an experience that is definitely one for the books. However, making this a great and memorable experience for you and the rest of the family takes some deliberate planning and preparation (like waterproofing your tent). It also pays to pick up a few skills beforehand (like building a fire with wet wood).

Staying cooped up in your tent can keep you warm but the close quarters can give rise to short tempers if you are not careful. Defuse the situation by bringing out fun games, music, and snacks to keep everyone comfortable and happy.

In the end, the rain is not what makes the trip but it is the experience and camaraderie in itself.

What do you think of camping in the rain? What other activities can you suggest for camping in the rain? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends!

Melanie CampbellBio: Melanie Campbell is an outdoor and camping enthusiast behind Ardent Footsteps, enjoying this wonderful world since 2010. She shares expert advice when it comes to camping and outdoor trekking. With the main focus on making the most out of camping and outdoor adventures, Melanie will make you want to go out today!

If you found this article helpful/interesting, please Share it by clicking on the social media links. Thank you for helping us grow!

The post Stay Safe and Have Fun with These 7 Tips for Camping in the Rain appeared first on Surviving Prepper.

Stay Safe and Have Fun with These 7 Tips for Camping in the Rain

It happens despite our best intentions and efforts—you are all packed and ready to head down to your camping site when the dark clouds start rolling in and the rain starts to pitter-patter all around you. All of a sudden, nobody really wants to go camping anymore. Camping in the rain can really put a damper on everybody’s spirits if you let it. Although it can truly limit some of the activities you have previously planned on doing, camping in the rain can still be comfortable and enjoyable for the rest of the family.

Follow these 7 tips for camping in the rainy days, from preparation to keeping yourselves entertained, to make camping in the rain a fun and memorable experience for the whole family!

Preparations for Camping in the Rain

1. Choose your campsite location wisely.

Choose your campsiteCamping in the rain can be messy, wet, and uncomfortable—even more so when you choose your campsite poorly. Not only that, it can even be dangerous!

Choosing your campsite wisely, on the other hand, will make the difference between a terrible camping trip and a memorable experience for the rest of the family. Luckily, we have you covered with some dos and dont’s on picking the perfect location to pitch your tent to keep everyone’s spirits up and most of all, stay safe during the camping trip.

Do…

  • Pitch your tent on high, flat ground.
  • Choose a well-draining area.
  • Camp under big trees or some sort of shelter from fierce winds.

Don’t…

  • Camp near bodies of water.
  • Camp under overhanging branches.
  • Pitch your tent in a sloping area.
  • Camp in depressed areas where water can accumulate.
  • Camp under lone trees where lightning could strike.

2. Waterproof your tent.

Waterproopf your tentTents are usually waterproof and can hold their own even with a bit of rain. However, constant exposure to heat, wind, and rain could eventually wear down your tent’s waterproof qualities. Cleaning your tent improperly could also result in damage to the coating of the tent material, rendering it…not so waterproof.

Another key area of the tent to consider when sprucing up its waterproofing power is the floor of the tent. Nobody wants to wake up in the middle of the night in a puddle but water can leak into the floor of your tent and turn it into a mini pool.

Keeping your tent waterproof is necessary to stay dry and comfortable during a camping trip in the rain as the tent your primary source of shelter. This guide from Ardent Footsteps can teach you how to waterproof your tent so that when the rains come, you won’t have to worry about keeping dry once you are inside your tent.

3. Plastic bags are your new best friend.

They are not really the environment’s best friend but plastic bags can really save your life when you are camping out in the rain mainly because they are already waterproof themselves. Use plastic bags of all sizes from large garbage bags to the smaller Ziplock sandwich bags to protect your stuff from the rain.

You can use plastic bags to:

  • Segregate clothes and other stuff in your backpack.
  • Line your bags to protect your clothes and other belongings.
  • Protect your gadgets from getting wet in the rain.
  • Keep foodstuffs dry and protected from the rain.

Cheaper plastic bags may not be reusable, but for a single camping trip, they will do. Just remember to dispose of them properly after use. Respect the environment and campground rules by being responsible with your trash and plastic bags.

Camping Activities for Rainy Days

4. Build a fire with wet wood.

Build fires with wet woodCamping is an adventure, and in adventures, you have to be prepared for anything that can happen. You might have arrived in a sunny, dry campsite only to have gray clouds roll in and inconveniently rain down on you just as you finished setting up your tent, making you cold, and miserable.

Not only that, how can you start a proper fire to take care of that problem when the wood all around you is wet?

Thankfully, you can still start a fire with wet wood so you can cook and keep yourself warm in dreary weather conditions. Know which kind of wood you can use to build your fire as well as the steps to get it blazing cheerily in no time in this detailed guide so you will never have to suffer through the cold with gnawing hunger pangs again.

5. Tell stories.

Tell stories in the rainPeople love stories. It does not matter what age they are, everybody loves a good story and camping trips are often the best avenues to share stories.

Remember that old TV show where campers sit around a fire and tell each other scary stories? Well, you can do that huddled in your tent with the rain falling all around your and the wind whistling through the trees to create a chilling ambiance.

If ghost stories aren’t your cup of tea, funny and exciting stories from your childhood and experiences will also do. Kids especially love stories of daring and adventure, while adults love a good humorous story.

6. Hike out in the rain. Yes, you can!

Hike in the rainYou have been planning to go out on a hike but the sudden rain has ruined your plans. Or has it?

While hiking out in the rain can present different challenges to campers—muddy and slippery trails being one of them—it can still be a beautiful and memorable experience. The trails can look fresh and beautiful after a spell of rain.

Just remember to keep these tips in mind:

  • Stick to shorter trails instead of daylong treks.
  • Wear the appropriate clothing to keep yourself warm and dry.
  • Bring a water bottle along and stay hydrated at all times.
  • Bring snacks you can munch on along the way.

7. Read books.

Camping and book lovers might not be a match made in heaven but if you give a bookworm a nice, dry tent, some books, and a bit of rain, they will happily agree to go camping with you. There is nothing a bookworm loves more than poring through pages with the sound of raindrops falling around them.

The next time you find yourself waiting out the rain in your tent, get a small fire going, make some hot chocolate or coffee, and whip out a few books. The image alone of you reading in your tent with a steaming mug of coffee and the rain falling around you is an Instagram-worthy picture!

The last note…

Camping out in the rain can either be the worst trip of your life or an experience that is definitely one for the books. However, making this a great and memorable experience for you and the rest of the family takes some deliberate planning and preparation (like waterproofing your tent). It also pays to pick up a few skills beforehand (like building a fire with wet wood).

Staying cooped up in your tent can keep you warm but the close quarters can give rise to short tempers if you are not careful. Defuse the situation by bringing out fun games, music, and snacks to keep everyone comfortable and happy.

In the end, the rain is not what makes the trip but it is the experience and camaraderie in itself.

What do you think of camping in the rain? What other activities can you suggest for camping in the rain? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends!

Melanie CampbellBio: Melanie Campbell is an outdoor and camping enthusiast behind Ardent Footsteps, enjoying this wonderful world since 2010. She shares expert advice when it comes to camping and outdoor trekking. With the main focus on making the most out of camping and outdoor adventures, Melanie will make you want to go out today!

If you found this article helpful/interesting, please Share it by clicking on the social media links. Thank you for helping us grow!

The post Stay Safe and Have Fun with These 7 Tips for Camping in the Rain appeared first on Surviving Prepper.

Stay Safe and Have Fun with These 7 Tips for Camping in the Rain

It happens despite our best intentions and efforts—you are all packed and ready to head down to your camping site when the dark clouds start rolling in and the rain starts to pitter-patter all around you. All of a sudden, nobody really wants to go camping anymore. Camping in the rain can really put a damper on everybody’s spirits if you let it. Although it can truly limit some of the activities you have previously planned on doing, camping in the rain can still be comfortable and enjoyable for the rest of the family.

Follow these 7 tips for camping in the rainy days, from preparation to keeping yourselves entertained, to make camping in the rain a fun and memorable experience for the whole family!

Preparations for Camping in the Rain

1. Choose your campsite location wisely.

Choose your campsiteCamping in the rain can be messy, wet, and uncomfortable—even more so when you choose your campsite poorly. Not only that, it can even be dangerous!

Choosing your campsite wisely, on the other hand, will make the difference between a terrible camping trip and a memorable experience for the rest of the family. Luckily, we have you covered with some dos and dont’s on picking the perfect location to pitch your tent to keep everyone’s spirits up and most of all, stay safe during the camping trip.

Do…

  • Pitch your tent on high, flat ground.
  • Choose a well-draining area.
  • Camp under big trees or some sort of shelter from fierce winds.

Don’t…

  • Camp near bodies of water.
  • Camp under overhanging branches.
  • Pitch your tent in a sloping area.
  • Camp in depressed areas where water can accumulate.
  • Camp under lone trees where lightning could strike.

2. Waterproof your tent.

Waterproopf your tentTents are usually waterproof and can hold their own even with a bit of rain. However, constant exposure to heat, wind, and rain could eventually wear down your tent’s waterproof qualities. Cleaning your tent improperly could also result in damage to the coating of the tent material, rendering it…not so waterproof.

Another key area of the tent to consider when sprucing up its waterproofing power is the floor of the tent. Nobody wants to wake up in the middle of the night in a puddle but water can leak into the floor of your tent and turn it into a mini pool.

Keeping your tent waterproof is necessary to stay dry and comfortable during a camping trip in the rain as the tent your primary source of shelter. This guide from Ardent Footsteps can teach you how to waterproof your tent so that when the rains come, you won’t have to worry about keeping dry once you are inside your tent.

3. Plastic bags are your new best friend.

They are not really the environment’s best friend but plastic bags can really save your life when you are camping out in the rain mainly because they are already waterproof themselves. Use plastic bags of all sizes from large garbage bags to the smaller Ziplock sandwich bags to protect your stuff from the rain.

You can use plastic bags to:

  • Segregate clothes and other stuff in your backpack.
  • Line your bags to protect your clothes and other belongings.
  • Protect your gadgets from getting wet in the rain.
  • Keep foodstuffs dry and protected from the rain.

Cheaper plastic bags may not be reusable, but for a single camping trip, they will do. Just remember to dispose of them properly after use. Respect the environment and campground rules by being responsible with your trash and plastic bags.

Camping Activities for Rainy Days

4. Build a fire with wet wood.

Build fires with wet woodCamping is an adventure, and in adventures, you have to be prepared for anything that can happen. You might have arrived in a sunny, dry campsite only to have gray clouds roll in and inconveniently rain down on you just as you finished setting up your tent, making you cold, and miserable.

Not only that, how can you start a proper fire to take care of that problem when the wood all around you is wet?

Thankfully, you can still start a fire with wet wood so you can cook and keep yourself warm in dreary weather conditions. Know which kind of wood you can use to build your fire as well as the steps to get it blazing cheerily in no time in this detailed guide so you will never have to suffer through the cold with gnawing hunger pangs again.

5. Tell stories.

Tell stories in the rainPeople love stories. It does not matter what age they are, everybody loves a good story and camping trips are often the best avenues to share stories.

Remember that old TV show where campers sit around a fire and tell each other scary stories? Well, you can do that huddled in your tent with the rain falling all around your and the wind whistling through the trees to create a chilling ambiance.

If ghost stories aren’t your cup of tea, funny and exciting stories from your childhood and experiences will also do. Kids especially love stories of daring and adventure, while adults love a good humorous story.

6. Hike out in the rain. Yes, you can!

Hike in the rainYou have been planning to go out on a hike but the sudden rain has ruined your plans. Or has it?

While hiking out in the rain can present different challenges to campers—muddy and slippery trails being one of them—it can still be a beautiful and memorable experience. The trails can look fresh and beautiful after a spell of rain.

Just remember to keep these tips in mind:

  • Stick to shorter trails instead of daylong treks.
  • Wear the appropriate clothing to keep yourself warm and dry.
  • Bring a water bottle along and stay hydrated at all times.
  • Bring snacks you can munch on along the way.

7. Read books.

Camping and book lovers might not be a match made in heaven but if you give a bookworm a nice, dry tent, some books, and a bit of rain, they will happily agree to go camping with you. There is nothing a bookworm loves more than poring through pages with the sound of raindrops falling around them.

The next time you find yourself waiting out the rain in your tent, get a small fire going, make some hot chocolate or coffee, and whip out a few books. The image alone of you reading in your tent with a steaming mug of coffee and the rain falling around you is an Instagram-worthy picture!

The last note…

Camping out in the rain can either be the worst trip of your life or an experience that is definitely one for the books. However, making this a great and memorable experience for you and the rest of the family takes some deliberate planning and preparation (like waterproofing your tent). It also pays to pick up a few skills beforehand (like building a fire with wet wood).

Staying cooped up in your tent can keep you warm but the close quarters can give rise to short tempers if you are not careful. Defuse the situation by bringing out fun games, music, and snacks to keep everyone comfortable and happy.

In the end, the rain is not what makes the trip but it is the experience and camaraderie in itself.

What do you think of camping in the rain? What other activities can you suggest for camping in the rain? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends!

Melanie CampbellBio: Melanie Campbell is an outdoor and camping enthusiast behind Ardent Footsteps, enjoying this wonderful world since 2010. She shares expert advice when it comes to camping and outdoor trekking. With the main focus on making the most out of camping and outdoor adventures, Melanie will make you want to go out today!

If you found this article helpful/interesting, please Share it by clicking on the social media links. Thank you for helping us grow!

The post Stay Safe and Have Fun with These 7 Tips for Camping in the Rain appeared first on Surviving Prepper.

Stay Safe and Have Fun with These 7 Tips for Camping in the Rain

It happens despite our best intentions and efforts—you are all packed and ready to head down to your camping site when the dark clouds start rolling in and the rain starts to pitter-patter all around you. All of a sudden, nobody really wants to go camping anymore. Camping in the rain can really put a damper on everybody’s spirits if you let it. Although it can truly limit some of the activities you have previously planned on doing, camping in the rain can still be comfortable and enjoyable for the rest of the family.

Follow these 7 tips for camping in the rainy days, from preparation to keeping yourselves entertained, to make camping in the rain a fun and memorable experience for the whole family!

Preparations for Camping in the Rain

1. Choose your campsite location wisely.

Choose your campsiteCamping in the rain can be messy, wet, and uncomfortable—even more so when you choose your campsite poorly. Not only that, it can even be dangerous!

Choosing your campsite wisely, on the other hand, will make the difference between a terrible camping trip and a memorable experience for the rest of the family. Luckily, we have you covered with some dos and dont’s on picking the perfect location to pitch your tent to keep everyone’s spirits up and most of all, stay safe during the camping trip.

Do…

  • Pitch your tent on high, flat ground.
  • Choose a well-draining area.
  • Camp under big trees or some sort of shelter from fierce winds.

Don’t…

  • Camp near bodies of water.
  • Camp under overhanging branches.
  • Pitch your tent in a sloping area.
  • Camp in depressed areas where water can accumulate.
  • Camp under lone trees where lightning could strike.

2. Waterproof your tent.

Waterproopf your tentTents are usually waterproof and can hold their own even with a bit of rain. However, constant exposure to heat, wind, and rain could eventually wear down your tent’s waterproof qualities. Cleaning your tent improperly could also result in damage to the coating of the tent material, rendering it…not so waterproof.

Another key area of the tent to consider when sprucing up its waterproofing power is the floor of the tent. Nobody wants to wake up in the middle of the night in a puddle but water can leak into the floor of your tent and turn it into a mini pool.

Keeping your tent waterproof is necessary to stay dry and comfortable during a camping trip in the rain as the tent your primary source of shelter. This guide from Ardent Footsteps can teach you how to waterproof your tent so that when the rains come, you won’t have to worry about keeping dry once you are inside your tent.

3. Plastic bags are your new best friend.

They are not really the environment’s best friend but plastic bags can really save your life when you are camping out in the rain mainly because they are already waterproof themselves. Use plastic bags of all sizes from large garbage bags to the smaller Ziplock sandwich bags to protect your stuff from the rain.

You can use plastic bags to:

  • Segregate clothes and other stuff in your backpack.
  • Line your bags to protect your clothes and other belongings.
  • Protect your gadgets from getting wet in the rain.
  • Keep foodstuffs dry and protected from the rain.

Cheaper plastic bags may not be reusable, but for a single camping trip, they will do. Just remember to dispose of them properly after use. Respect the environment and campground rules by being responsible with your trash and plastic bags.

Camping Activities for Rainy Days

4. Build a fire with wet wood.

Build fires with wet woodCamping is an adventure, and in adventures, you have to be prepared for anything that can happen. You might have arrived in a sunny, dry campsite only to have gray clouds roll in and inconveniently rain down on you just as you finished setting up your tent, making you cold, and miserable.

Not only that, how can you start a proper fire to take care of that problem when the wood all around you is wet?

Thankfully, you can still start a fire with wet wood so you can cook and keep yourself warm in dreary weather conditions. Know which kind of wood you can use to build your fire as well as the steps to get it blazing cheerily in no time in this detailed guide so you will never have to suffer through the cold with gnawing hunger pangs again.

5. Tell stories.

Tell stories in the rainPeople love stories. It does not matter what age they are, everybody loves a good story and camping trips are often the best avenues to share stories.

Remember that old TV show where campers sit around a fire and tell each other scary stories? Well, you can do that huddled in your tent with the rain falling all around your and the wind whistling through the trees to create a chilling ambiance.

If ghost stories aren’t your cup of tea, funny and exciting stories from your childhood and experiences will also do. Kids especially love stories of daring and adventure, while adults love a good humorous story.

6. Hike out in the rain. Yes, you can!

Hike in the rainYou have been planning to go out on a hike but the sudden rain has ruined your plans. Or has it?

While hiking out in the rain can present different challenges to campers—muddy and slippery trails being one of them—it can still be a beautiful and memorable experience. The trails can look fresh and beautiful after a spell of rain.

Just remember to keep these tips in mind:

  • Stick to shorter trails instead of daylong treks.
  • Wear the appropriate clothing to keep yourself warm and dry.
  • Bring a water bottle along and stay hydrated at all times.
  • Bring snacks you can munch on along the way.

7. Read books.

Camping and book lovers might not be a match made in heaven but if you give a bookworm a nice, dry tent, some books, and a bit of rain, they will happily agree to go camping with you. There is nothing a bookworm loves more than poring through pages with the sound of raindrops falling around them.

The next time you find yourself waiting out the rain in your tent, get a small fire going, make some hot chocolate or coffee, and whip out a few books. The image alone of you reading in your tent with a steaming mug of coffee and the rain falling around you is an Instagram-worthy picture!

The last note…

Camping out in the rain can either be the worst trip of your life or an experience that is definitely one for the books. However, making this a great and memorable experience for you and the rest of the family takes some deliberate planning and preparation (like waterproofing your tent). It also pays to pick up a few skills beforehand (like building a fire with wet wood).

Staying cooped up in your tent can keep you warm but the close quarters can give rise to short tempers if you are not careful. Defuse the situation by bringing out fun games, music, and snacks to keep everyone comfortable and happy.

In the end, the rain is not what makes the trip but it is the experience and camaraderie in itself.

What do you think of camping in the rain? What other activities can you suggest for camping in the rain? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends!

Melanie CampbellBio: Melanie Campbell is an outdoor and camping enthusiast behind Ardent Footsteps, enjoying this wonderful world since 2010. She shares expert advice when it comes to camping and outdoor trekking. With the main focus on making the most out of camping and outdoor adventures, Melanie will make you want to go out today!

If you found this article helpful/interesting, please Share it by clicking on the social media links. Thank you for helping us grow!

The post Stay Safe and Have Fun with These 7 Tips for Camping in the Rain appeared first on Surviving Prepper.

Stay Safe and Have Fun with These 7 Tips for Camping in the Rain

It happens despite our best intentions and efforts—you are all packed and ready to head down to your camping site when the dark clouds start rolling in and the rain starts to pitter-patter all around you. All of a sudden, nobody really wants to go camping anymore. Camping in the rain can really put a damper on everybody’s spirits if you let it. Although it can truly limit some of the activities you have previously planned on doing, camping in the rain can still be comfortable and enjoyable for the rest of the family.

Follow these 7 tips for camping in the rainy days, from preparation to keeping yourselves entertained, to make camping in the rain a fun and memorable experience for the whole family!

Preparations for Camping in the Rain

1. Choose your campsite location wisely.

Choose your campsiteCamping in the rain can be messy, wet, and uncomfortable—even more so when you choose your campsite poorly. Not only that, it can even be dangerous!

Choosing your campsite wisely, on the other hand, will make the difference between a terrible camping trip and a memorable experience for the rest of the family. Luckily, we have you covered with some dos and dont’s on picking the perfect location to pitch your tent to keep everyone’s spirits up and most of all, stay safe during the camping trip.

Do…

  • Pitch your tent on high, flat ground.
  • Choose a well-draining area.
  • Camp under big trees or some sort of shelter from fierce winds.

Don’t…

  • Camp near bodies of water.
  • Camp under overhanging branches.
  • Pitch your tent in a sloping area.
  • Camp in depressed areas where water can accumulate.
  • Camp under lone trees where lightning could strike.

2. Waterproof your tent.

Waterproopf your tentTents are usually waterproof and can hold their own even with a bit of rain. However, constant exposure to heat, wind, and rain could eventually wear down your tent’s waterproof qualities. Cleaning your tent improperly could also result in damage to the coating of the tent material, rendering it…not so waterproof.

Another key area of the tent to consider when sprucing up its waterproofing power is the floor of the tent. Nobody wants to wake up in the middle of the night in a puddle but water can leak into the floor of your tent and turn it into a mini pool.

Keeping your tent waterproof is necessary to stay dry and comfortable during a camping trip in the rain as the tent your primary source of shelter. This guide from Ardent Footsteps can teach you how to waterproof your tent so that when the rains come, you won’t have to worry about keeping dry once you are inside your tent.

3. Plastic bags are your new best friend.

They are not really the environment’s best friend but plastic bags can really save your life when you are camping out in the rain mainly because they are already waterproof themselves. Use plastic bags of all sizes from large garbage bags to the smaller Ziplock sandwich bags to protect your stuff from the rain.

You can use plastic bags to:

  • Segregate clothes and other stuff in your backpack.
  • Line your bags to protect your clothes and other belongings.
  • Protect your gadgets from getting wet in the rain.
  • Keep foodstuffs dry and protected from the rain.

Cheaper plastic bags may not be reusable, but for a single camping trip, they will do. Just remember to dispose of them properly after use. Respect the environment and campground rules by being responsible with your trash and plastic bags.

Camping Activities for Rainy Days

4. Build a fire with wet wood.

Build fires with wet woodCamping is an adventure, and in adventures, you have to be prepared for anything that can happen. You might have arrived in a sunny, dry campsite only to have gray clouds roll in and inconveniently rain down on you just as you finished setting up your tent, making you cold, and miserable.

Not only that, how can you start a proper fire to take care of that problem when the wood all around you is wet?

Thankfully, you can still start a fire with wet wood so you can cook and keep yourself warm in dreary weather conditions. Know which kind of wood you can use to build your fire as well as the steps to get it blazing cheerily in no time in this detailed guide so you will never have to suffer through the cold with gnawing hunger pangs again.

5. Tell stories.

Tell stories in the rainPeople love stories. It does not matter what age they are, everybody loves a good story and camping trips are often the best avenues to share stories.

Remember that old TV show where campers sit around a fire and tell each other scary stories? Well, you can do that huddled in your tent with the rain falling all around your and the wind whistling through the trees to create a chilling ambiance.

If ghost stories aren’t your cup of tea, funny and exciting stories from your childhood and experiences will also do. Kids especially love stories of daring and adventure, while adults love a good humorous story.

6. Hike out in the rain. Yes, you can!

Hike in the rainYou have been planning to go out on a hike but the sudden rain has ruined your plans. Or has it?

While hiking out in the rain can present different challenges to campers—muddy and slippery trails being one of them—it can still be a beautiful and memorable experience. The trails can look fresh and beautiful after a spell of rain.

Just remember to keep these tips in mind:

  • Stick to shorter trails instead of daylong treks.
  • Wear the appropriate clothing to keep yourself warm and dry.
  • Bring a water bottle along and stay hydrated at all times.
  • Bring snacks you can munch on along the way.

7. Read books.

Camping and book lovers might not be a match made in heaven but if you give a bookworm a nice, dry tent, some books, and a bit of rain, they will happily agree to go camping with you. There is nothing a bookworm loves more than poring through pages with the sound of raindrops falling around them.

The next time you find yourself waiting out the rain in your tent, get a small fire going, make some hot chocolate or coffee, and whip out a few books. The image alone of you reading in your tent with a steaming mug of coffee and the rain falling around you is an Instagram-worthy picture!

The last note…

Camping out in the rain can either be the worst trip of your life or an experience that is definitely one for the books. However, making this a great and memorable experience for you and the rest of the family takes some deliberate planning and preparation (like waterproofing your tent). It also pays to pick up a few skills beforehand (like building a fire with wet wood).

Staying cooped up in your tent can keep you warm but the close quarters can give rise to short tempers if you are not careful. Defuse the situation by bringing out fun games, music, and snacks to keep everyone comfortable and happy.

In the end, the rain is not what makes the trip but it is the experience and camaraderie in itself.

What do you think of camping in the rain? What other activities can you suggest for camping in the rain? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends!

Melanie CampbellBio: Melanie Campbell is an outdoor and camping enthusiast behind Ardent Footsteps, enjoying this wonderful world since 2010. She shares expert advice when it comes to camping and outdoor trekking. With the main focus on making the most out of camping and outdoor adventures, Melanie will make you want to go out today!

If you found this article helpful/interesting, please Share it by clicking on the social media links. Thank you for helping us grow!

The post Stay Safe and Have Fun with These 7 Tips for Camping in the Rain appeared first on Surviving Prepper.

Stay Safe and Have Fun with These 7 Tips for Camping in the Rain

It happens despite our best intentions and efforts—you are all packed and ready to head down to your camping site when the dark clouds start rolling in and the rain starts to pitter-patter all around you. All of a sudden, nobody really wants to go camping anymore. Camping in the rain can really put a damper on everybody’s spirits if you let it. Although it can truly limit some of the activities you have previously planned on doing, camping in the rain can still be comfortable and enjoyable for the rest of the family.

Follow these 7 tips for camping in the rainy days, from preparation to keeping yourselves entertained, to make camping in the rain a fun and memorable experience for the whole family!

Preparations for Camping in the Rain

1. Choose your campsite location wisely.

Choose your campsiteCamping in the rain can be messy, wet, and uncomfortable—even more so when you choose your campsite poorly. Not only that, it can even be dangerous!

Choosing your campsite wisely, on the other hand, will make the difference between a terrible camping trip and a memorable experience for the rest of the family. Luckily, we have you covered with some dos and dont’s on picking the perfect location to pitch your tent to keep everyone’s spirits up and most of all, stay safe during the camping trip.

Do…

  • Pitch your tent on high, flat ground.
  • Choose a well-draining area.
  • Camp under big trees or some sort of shelter from fierce winds.

Don’t…

  • Camp near bodies of water.
  • Camp under overhanging branches.
  • Pitch your tent in a sloping area.
  • Camp in depressed areas where water can accumulate.
  • Camp under lone trees where lightning could strike.

2. Waterproof your tent.

Waterproopf your tentTents are usually waterproof and can hold their own even with a bit of rain. However, constant exposure to heat, wind, and rain could eventually wear down your tent’s waterproof qualities. Cleaning your tent improperly could also result in damage to the coating of the tent material, rendering it…not so waterproof.

Another key area of the tent to consider when sprucing up its waterproofing power is the floor of the tent. Nobody wants to wake up in the middle of the night in a puddle but water can leak into the floor of your tent and turn it into a mini pool.

Keeping your tent waterproof is necessary to stay dry and comfortable during a camping trip in the rain as the tent your primary source of shelter. This guide from Ardent Footsteps can teach you how to waterproof your tent so that when the rains come, you won’t have to worry about keeping dry once you are inside your tent.

3. Plastic bags are your new best friend.

They are not really the environment’s best friend but plastic bags can really save your life when you are camping out in the rain mainly because they are already waterproof themselves. Use plastic bags of all sizes from large garbage bags to the smaller Ziplock sandwich bags to protect your stuff from the rain.

You can use plastic bags to:

  • Segregate clothes and other stuff in your backpack.
  • Line your bags to protect your clothes and other belongings.
  • Protect your gadgets from getting wet in the rain.
  • Keep foodstuffs dry and protected from the rain.

Cheaper plastic bags may not be reusable, but for a single camping trip, they will do. Just remember to dispose of them properly after use. Respect the environment and campground rules by being responsible with your trash and plastic bags.

Camping Activities for Rainy Days

4. Build a fire with wet wood.

Build fires with wet woodCamping is an adventure, and in adventures, you have to be prepared for anything that can happen. You might have arrived in a sunny, dry campsite only to have gray clouds roll in and inconveniently rain down on you just as you finished setting up your tent, making you cold, and miserable.

Not only that, how can you start a proper fire to take care of that problem when the wood all around you is wet?

Thankfully, you can still start a fire with wet wood so you can cook and keep yourself warm in dreary weather conditions. Know which kind of wood you can use to build your fire as well as the steps to get it blazing cheerily in no time in this detailed guide so you will never have to suffer through the cold with gnawing hunger pangs again.

5. Tell stories.

Tell stories in the rainPeople love stories. It does not matter what age they are, everybody loves a good story and camping trips are often the best avenues to share stories.

Remember that old TV show where campers sit around a fire and tell each other scary stories? Well, you can do that huddled in your tent with the rain falling all around your and the wind whistling through the trees to create a chilling ambiance.

If ghost stories aren’t your cup of tea, funny and exciting stories from your childhood and experiences will also do. Kids especially love stories of daring and adventure, while adults love a good humorous story.

6. Hike out in the rain. Yes, you can!

Hike in the rainYou have been planning to go out on a hike but the sudden rain has ruined your plans. Or has it?

While hiking out in the rain can present different challenges to campers—muddy and slippery trails being one of them—it can still be a beautiful and memorable experience. The trails can look fresh and beautiful after a spell of rain.

Just remember to keep these tips in mind:

  • Stick to shorter trails instead of daylong treks.
  • Wear the appropriate clothing to keep yourself warm and dry.
  • Bring a water bottle along and stay hydrated at all times.
  • Bring snacks you can munch on along the way.

7. Read books.

Camping and book lovers might not be a match made in heaven but if you give a bookworm a nice, dry tent, some books, and a bit of rain, they will happily agree to go camping with you. There is nothing a bookworm loves more than poring through pages with the sound of raindrops falling around them.

The next time you find yourself waiting out the rain in your tent, get a small fire going, make some hot chocolate or coffee, and whip out a few books. The image alone of you reading in your tent with a steaming mug of coffee and the rain falling around you is an Instagram-worthy picture!

The last note…

Camping out in the rain can either be the worst trip of your life or an experience that is definitely one for the books. However, making this a great and memorable experience for you and the rest of the family takes some deliberate planning and preparation (like waterproofing your tent). It also pays to pick up a few skills beforehand (like building a fire with wet wood).

Staying cooped up in your tent can keep you warm but the close quarters can give rise to short tempers if you are not careful. Defuse the situation by bringing out fun games, music, and snacks to keep everyone comfortable and happy.

In the end, the rain is not what makes the trip but it is the experience and camaraderie in itself.

What do you think of camping in the rain? What other activities can you suggest for camping in the rain? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends!

Melanie CampbellBio: Melanie Campbell is an outdoor and camping enthusiast behind Ardent Footsteps, enjoying this wonderful world since 2010. She shares expert advice when it comes to camping and outdoor trekking. With the main focus on making the most out of camping and outdoor adventures, Melanie will make you want to go out today!

If you found this article helpful/interesting, please Share it by clicking on the social media links. Thank you for helping us grow!

The post Stay Safe and Have Fun with These 7 Tips for Camping in the Rain appeared first on Surviving Prepper.

More of the same

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thumbnailAnd another one in the safe. I think I may have hit the Magic Number and need to stop picking these things up. At this point I guess I’ll just keep my eyes open for the late versions that had accessory rails.

Hurricane Safety Tips: How To Be Safe at Home or Evacuating

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With multiple high category hurricanes careening from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, different areas of the United States expect heavy rains, strong winds, and flooding. Apart from these, locals must consider other hazards that could come along with this calamity. Recently, Hurricane Harvey extended up to Texas making it the first category 3 hurricane to reach that part of the country in twelve years.

Given all the known danger, everyone must prep up days or weeks before the hurricane hits. After stocking up with some goods and preparing the tools, you need to plan ahead to ensure the safety of your family. We gathered some useful advice and tips to help get you and your family through the possible damage that a strong typhoon can incur no matter where you are.

Quick Navigation

  1. Important Things To Know About Hurricanes
     A. Different Hurricane And Tropical Storm Warnings
     B. Different Hurricane Categories
  2. Preparing For A Hurricane
     A. Learn More About The Area
     B. Stock Up With Food And Water
     C. Prepare All Necessary Tools
     D. Insure Your Home
     E. Install A Generator
     F. Withdraw Cash
     G. Gas Up
     H. Board Up Windows And Doors
  3. Evacuation
  4. Keeping Safe During A Hurricane
     A. Watch For News And Updates From Authorities
     B. Stock Up With Water
     C. Before Electricity Fails
     D. Know About The Eye Of Storm
     E. Other Safety Measures During A Hurricane
  5. How To Keep Safe During Power Outage
  6. Hurricane While Traveling
     A. When A Storm Is About To Hit In A Destination
     B. Stranded Somewhere In Your Trip
     C. Imminent Trips To Destinations About To Get Hit By Storm
  7. Stuck In A Hotel During A Hurricane
     A. When Authorities Announced A Hurricane Watch
    B. When Authorities Issued A Hurricane Warning
    C. What To Do If Authorities Announced An Evacuation
  8. Hurricane While At Work
     A. A Storm Approaches At Home While You’re At Work
    B. If The Storm Hits The Office
  9. After A Hurricane
    A. Wait For Officials Announcement To Return Home
    B. Document Any Damages To Your Home And Report It
    C. Avoid Drinking Tap Water
    D. Do Not Travel

Important Things To Know About Hurricanes

But before anything else, keeping yourself aware will help you make the right preparation for what’s about to come. Follow social media pages with reliable feeds about the weather forecast. Watch the news to know more about the hurricane. It makes an important thing to gather more info about its strength, the direction it will take, the areas most likely to be affected, and the type of warning from the National Weather Service.

Different Hurricane And Tropical Storm Warnings

Hearing about the issued warnings by NWS won’t serve any purpose if you don’t know what they mean. Different warnings suggest a different level of preparation.

The National Weather Service issues an advisory when they see a storm causing hazardous disturbance but not life-threatening. Every household must check the weather updates from time to time for further announcement.

When NWS issues a watch, a possible hurricane may hit the area within 48 hours. You will need to turn on your NOAA weather radio, and check different news sources for more updates. Recharge your mobile phones and double-check your supplies. Ready your BOB or bug-out bags if you need to need to evacuate.

The NWS raises a warning if a hurricane will wreak havoc within the next 36 hours. Continue to listen for updates, ready your supplies, and ask your family to prepare for an evacuation.

Different Hurricane Categories

hurricane categories

The National Hurricane Center refers to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale to determine the category of the storm about to hit the country. This scale will provide a one to 5 category rating based on the hurricane’s sustained wind strength or speed. It estimates the possible damage to properties.

Category 1 will bring sustained winds within the range of 74-95 mph. Although it carries the weakest winds among five categories, it can affect well-constructed homes by damaging its roof, gutter, shingles, and vinyl siding. Its dangerous winds may potentially damage power lines and poles, causing power outages to households in the affected areas.

Category 2 bears extremely strong winds with maximum speed of 110 mph. This hurricane category is enough to cause major damages to well-built houses. It may pull out the roots of shallowly planted trees potentially blocking several roads. Due to its strength and impact to power lines and poles, power outages may last for several days up to a week.

Category 3 is considered as a major hurricane with sustained winds reaching up to 129 mph. It may cause removal of roof decking and other major damages on a well-constructed house. Its strength can snap and uproot trees blocking numerous roads. Water and electricity providers may fail to operate and immediately repair damaged lines due to the impact.

Category 4 brings immensely strong winds of max 156 mph that can cause catastrophic damage. Well-built homes will receive huge beating as it affects not just the roof but the windows, doors, and exterior walls as well. Most trees will fall and isolate many residential units. People may need to leave the area before the storm hits as affected communities will be uninhabitable for several weeks or a month.

Category 5 carries torrential rain and winds of 157 mph or higher that cause catastrophic damage. Due to the immense speed, the winds will destroy many well-built homes causing total roof failure, shattered windows, and wall collapse. The catastrophe will totally ruin the community’s surroundings and isolate it from neighboring places. Power outage will last for several months and most of the area won’t be ideal for any living being for months.

Preparing For A Hurricane

Whether you live in a hurricane prone area or not, preppers should not downplay the potential damage a hurricane, or storm could offer. Also, due to climate changes, typhoons become stronger and more damaging each year. As hurricanes may soon reach other areas of the United States that don’t experience hurricanes for many years, it’s much safer for everyone to prepare before the hurricane season starts.

Learn More About The Area

Some homeowners consider selling their homes in flood-prone areas and buy a property located in an elevated site. But if does not seem possible, collect more necessary information about the community. Usually, families living near bodies of water evacuates first to avoid landslides and flash floods. Identify the nearest evacuation centers or at least, locate the high-ground neighborhood to know where to go if the flood rose.

Stock Up With Food And Water

stock up food supplies

A basic step every prepper must know. Severe storm and flooding may cut your access to fresh food and clean water for a few days. Also, supermarkets don’t open their stores during catastrophic storms for the safety of their employees. According to the CDC, stock your home with at least three to five days of food water. Some foods can go bad overtime. So make sure you got plenty of non-perishable items at the beginning of the hurricane seasons such as canned goods, emergency food buckets, instant noodles, and more. Replace the consumed goods after the storm.

Prepare All Necessary Tools

Apart from food and water, you will need some tools that can come handy in many situations. The below list includes the items you need to gather as per recommendation of CDC.

As authorities may force you to evacuate your home, also purchase an extra of each items above and keep them inside your car’s compartment.

Insure Your Home

Catastrophic winds can totally remove the roof and bring down the walls of your home. Apply for an insurance if you can afford to get one. Read all the conditions in the contract and make sure to adhere. Don’t forget to take pictures of your home before and after the hurricane. Store them in a cool and water-proof place. Secure a soft copy of this image in a waterproof portable flash drive, in an online drive, or in your phone.

Install A Generator

Power outage may likely occur when a strong hurricane strikes. Purchase a power generator that can support the basic appliances such as lights, communication devices, and water filter systems. This serves as a wise investment move as you can use it in other occasions such as scheduled power maintenance, shortage, and a broken tower.

Withdraw Cash

As banks may stay offline when an intense hurricane hits the country, withdraw enough cash that will last for a few days up to a month. Consider the strength of the hurricane and its possible damage that could greatly impact the banking operations and other businesses.

Gas Up

In case that you need to leave your home for safety, fill the tank of your car a few days before the hurricane. You can also buy extra containers of gas as petroleum stations may be out of supply days or weeks after the calamity.

Board Up Windows And Doors

Clear your garage and your lawn from materials that become dangerous when the storm hits such as debris, logs, pieces of woods, branches, and more. The wind can blow these garbage around and break through your window.

Fortify all your windows and doors by covering them with sturdy wood. Patch them up but make sure you reserve a way out in case you need to evacuate.

Evacuation

hurricane evacuation

If authorities asked your family to evacuate, comply. High category hurricanes can destroy homes, kill thousands, and turn the community into a lifeless region. In the past, many people died because they refused to leave their homes before a catastrophic hurricane ruined the area.

If you decide to stay, you place your family and yourself at risk. Also, you endanger the lives of rescuers who will attempt to save your life.

Even if the authorities did not announce a forced evacuation, continue waiting for further updates. If you carry doubts about your safety in your location, do not wait for the authorities to call. You and your family can always evacuate to the nearest sanctuary or community center.

Always ready your car, bug-out bags, and other supplies should the storm changes its route or becomes stronger as it approaches. Move fast but always take extra care when fleeing the area.

Keeping Safe During A Hurricane

Families in safer areas may not need to evacuate. Although their house can resist strong typhoons and it sits at an elevated location, they still need to take necessary measures to keep themselves safe when a storm hits the area.

Watch For News And Updates From Authorities

The hurricane’s strength, range, and speed may vary. Thus, when the weather forecast declares a warning in a specific area, consider the worst case scenario. If you did not need to evacuate in the previous storms, don’t disregard the possibility that the next storm could deal great damage to your home. Ready your battery-operated radio to stay connected to news and updates.

Stock Up With Water

Water services may fail during a storm. Sometimes, the outages last a few days after the storm has passed. Fill your bath tubs, buckets, and containers with water. Use plastic utensils and other household materials that don’t need washing to extend the water supply for more than a week.

Before Electricity Fails

When power outage occurs, you lose access to many useful tools. Before the storm mess with the power supply, charge all your devices such as phones, rechargeable lamp, battery-operated radio, portable TV, power banks, and others.

Turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting. When electricity fails, the goods and produce you stored may go bad. Keeping the fridge cold will extend their shelf life. Just remember to first consume foods that will spoil quickly.

Know About The Eye Of Storm

The eye of the storm brings in a sudden fine weather after a series of strong winds brought by its body and tail. When it arrives, people may get the impression that the hurricane has already left. However, that’s not how hurricanes come and go.

When the eye of storm sets in, do not go out. Continue to listen to weather updates and educate everyone in the household about the center of the storm. After a short while, the strong winds will resume and anyone who got out for very long will be in grave danger.

Other Safety Measures During A Hurricane

Watch out for your family and don’t let anyone go outside the house while the storm approaches. During a storm, debris, branches, and other materials that get caught by a strong wind may cause harm to anyone who go outdoors. Do not cross this danger, unless you need to evacuate.

Turn off the gas or propane tanks. Storm may damage the gas line which causes explosion. Community firetrucks will be sent for rescue operations and may not arrive as quick as possible due to floods and fallen trees blocking the main roads.

Stay away from doors and windows during the storm. Projectiles may fly and break in especially if you did not board them up. As much as possible, avoid injuries as it’s hard to find medical attention in the middle of a storm. Always ready the first aid kit in case of an injury.

How To Keep Safe During Power Outage

hurricane power outageg

Power outages can add up to the danger during a hurricane. This hazard can extend even after the storm. If you live in an area affected by a huge power failure, know the steps you need to take to keep you and your family safe.

Reporting the outage to authority makes one of the first things you need to do when power goes out. If possible, their electricians will restore the power immediately. But if not, they will wait until the storm clears.

The following events can greatly impact the speed of power restoration:

  • Storm surge
  • Flooding
  • Fallen structures
  • Debris
  • Damage received by power plants

People should exercise caution to avoid accidents indirectly caused by the storm. Below list includes tips during a power outage.

  • Don’t get near downed power lines. Watch out for power cords, downed electric utility posts, and possible live wires hidden by floodwaters. Stay indoors unless you need to evacuate.
  • Use flashlights instead of candles for lesser chance of household fires.
  • Turn off electric appliances and unplug them from the socket. This prevents power surge upon restoration of electricity.
  • Keep generator in the safest place. Before the typhoon, build a safe house for the generator which sits at least thirty feet away from home. Learn how to safely use a generator in case of a power outage.
  • Do not frequently open the refrigerator. Bring out the water and other things you may need regularly. As much as possible avoid opening the fridge doors to preserve its cold temperature and prevent spoilage.

Hurricane While Traveling

hurricane map

In some cases, travelers find themselves stranded or treading in the path of a storm. So what should they do if they get locked to a destination where storm is wreaking havoc or has already made its landfall?

When A Storm Is About To Hit In A Destination

Always check for news updates when you go for a trip. But if you get the feeds at a later time, then act quickly and leave. Evacuate coastal areas and other spots prone to flooding.

If you arrived in the destination through airways, contact the airline company to reserve a seat for the next available flight. If no seats are available until the next day, consider purchase a one-way ticket back home from other airlines. Failing to leave immediately increases your chances of getting stuck in the area as the storm approaches.

Before leaving the hotel, ask the management to reserve the room for sometime in case you couldn’t leave the town or city. Airport shelters does not always feel good and comfortable. If your hotel sits near the beach, try to find other accommodation inland for a safer place to let the storm pass.

Stranded Somewhere In Your Trip?

hurricane travel flight cancellation

Airlines usually cancel flights as soon as authorities raised a warning. If you can’t leave the area, contact your friends, family, and employer, to let them know about your location. Also inform them whether you’ll make use of a hotel accommodation or if you’ll let the night pass in airline shelter.

Keep your phone charged and bring along power banks. It makes an important habit while traveling to always pack your travel bags so you can easily leave an area with your things in case of an emergency.

Lastly, waiting for the storm to pass is one of the longest days and nights to survive. If you can’t sleep and you don’t want to spend precious battery life, bring along books, card games, and board games to kill some time.

Imminent Trips To Destinations About To Get Hit By Storm

If you planned an imminent trip to a destination where the storm heads to, coordinate with the airline company and your hotel. Ask about their re-booking and cancellation policies. If the hotel you made a reservation previously gets damage and needed to cancel all reservations, work with your airline to determine alternative destinations. In this instance, most companies allow passengers to re-book without paying extra fees.

Some hotels sit at hurricane prone zones. These companies usually offer refunds and re-booking when a storm is predicted to hit. Re-scheduling of booking can go as far as months or years in these hotels.

Stuck In A Hotel During A Hurricane

Hotels do not serve as a fun place to get stuck during a storm especially if its located in a hurricane-prone area. The fact that you are not in your own home with your family makes it even more chaotic. When you first hear a storm about to hit the area, ready yourself and watch out for any weather updates and announcements.

When Authorities Announced A Hurricane Watch

  • Keep the radio or TV on for important updates about the storm’s direction and speed. You can also check for online feeds in your mobile. While keeping yourself aware of what’s about to arrive, inform your relatives about your condition.
  • Know more about your hotel. Identify exit routes and ask the staff of what you should do in the worst-case scenario. Many hotels will post a list of to-dos in the lobby.
  • Gas up your rental car and get a map of the city. Locate the accessible routes that will remain open and safe when you need to evacuate.
  • Withdraw cash. People would swarm atm machines and banks before the hurricane hits so make sure you get to arrive there first.
  • Purchase enough goods you can carry in case you will need to evacuate. Only buy no-cook and easy-to-open foods. Don’t forget bottled water and some medicines.
  • Check for safer hotels inland and make a reservation. Ask the authorities, staff, or wait for updates regarding evacuation shelters in the area.

When Authorities Issued A Hurricane Warning

  • Continue monitoring the TV and radio broadcasts for further announcements. Ask the hotel staff if you will need to evacuate soon. Low-rise hotels may need to transfer their guests somewhere safer.
  • Pack your important belongings and prepare to leave some clothes if there are too many. Make sure that when you need evacuate, you can move easily to safety. Use a separate bags for your important items such as cash, wallet, emergency items, passport, documents, tactical flashlight, chargers, devices and more.

What To Do If Authorities Announced An Evacuation

  • If the hotel will provide an evacuation plan and shuttle, follow the instructions of the safety officer.
  • If you need to leave the hotel on your own, move quickly. Take your belongings and get to the rental car.
  • Head to the announced evacuation center. Understand that traffic will become heavy and slow. Stay calm to avoid accidents.

Hurricane While At Work

hurricane in the city

An office building may serve as a safe place during a hurricane. However, not all employees would prefer to get stuck in a safe and warm building while their families face the ravaging storm at home.

Always check for hurricane updates. Know its strength and direction. After authorities announced the hurricane category, decide whether you will go to work or not. However, it’s better to stay with your family to protect them during a storm or lead the evacuation. Inform your employer about this decision.

A Storm Approaches At Home While You’re At Work

If you happened to be at work when the storm strikes, figure out whether you can still safely hit the way home or not. Local authorities usually block flood prone areas to avoid accidents.

  • If the road to your way home remains passable, inform your manager that you need to leave. Keep calm and drive safely home. Watch out for flying projectiles, falling debris, and trees blocking the road. If you did not stock up, quickly stop by the nearest convenience store and buy all necessary supplies.
  • Keep the car radio on to keep yourself updated while on the road. Also, make use of a traffic guide app such as Waze to avoid traffic jam and to determine the most convenient route to take.
  • If all the roads are blocked and you can’t get home by foot or by other means, stay in the office. Call your family immediately and check on their status. Ask your wife or your eldest son or daughter to take care of the younger siblings. Moreover, instruct them to watch the weather news and wait for further updates.
  • If authorities raised a hurricane warning at the area, ask your family to evacuate to the nearest shelter. They should also keep their communication lines open. Tell them to keep their phones fully charged. If the network fails, ask them to contact you as soon as possible if it goes back up.
  • You may also coordinate with the local community heads to ensure the safety of your family. As soon as the storm has passed, prepare to go home by foot as trees block most roads after a storm. Stay calm and alert while finding your way home.

If The Storm Hits The Office

Most high-rise buildings can resist strong winds of a hurricane. However, employers must still do its best to secure the lives of their people. But even so, employees should also take some precautions to keep everyone safe.

  • Stay inside. Do not insist to get out of the office. Companies will provide temporary shelter, food, water, and utilities to their employees during a calamity. If you are outside but only a few steps away, go back to the office.
  • Call your family and inform them that you can’t go home. If your home also lies in the path of the storm, instruct them to prepare their bug out bags in case they needed to evacuate.
  • Stay away from windows. Although most establishments use reinforced windows, it may not work against huge projectiles summoned by strong winds.
  • Follow safety and emergency protocol of the company. Security personnel and safety engineers will provide updates and instructions regarding the typhoon.
  • Stay alert and vigilant. Report anything hazardous such as an open window, wall cracks, and leaks to the facilities management. You can also ask the security guards or your manager to report the matter.

After A Hurricane

after the hurricane

Dangers do not end after the hurricane left the area. Everyone should still watch out for possible aftermath such as flooding, falling trees, and live electrical wires scattered in the community.

Wait For Officials Announcement To Return Home

If you evacuated to a shelter, understand about certain rules to follow. Also, it may take some time before you can go back to your home. Even the storm left the town or state, authorities will still need to make sure that it’s safe to get out of the shelter. Volunteers, firemen, and other local government units need some time to clear the roads from fallen trees, brought down lamp posts, live electricity wires, and dangerous materials scattered around the community.

Document Any Damages To Your Home And Report It

If you purchased an insurance, this is the perfect time to fulfill the conditions in the contract. Gather evidence such as before and after photos. Document everything and file for an insurance claim.

Avoid Drinking Tap Water

Storm surges can damage pipe lines leading to contaminated water. Before drinking your tap water, run a quick water test to determine whether it is safe to drink or not. You may also drink sodas or bottled water while your community’s water service provider fixing their pipes and conducting some tests.

Do Not Travel

Avoid traveling while your home and the rest of the community appear in a bad shape. Neighboring towns and states you plan to visit may be dealing with bigger problems such as floods, fallen trees, and landslide. Also, your house needs to be guarded as huge calamities may trigger thieves and looters to become more active.

The post Hurricane Safety Tips: How To Be Safe at Home or Evacuating appeared first on Geek Prepper.

Looking for an off-grid partner

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Hi there,

I’m a 35 year-old woman. I was born and raised in France, then I lived abroad from age 20 to 32 (UK, SE Asia, Australia, USA, Canada and Ireland) and since 2015 I’ve been back in France … working 9 to 5 , paying a mortgage, etc. This is absolutely not the kind of life I want to live. My whole life I’ve had two dreams, one is finding my soulmate and marrying him and the other one is living a simple life in harmony with nature. It’s definitely time to make my dreams happen! 🙂

For now I’m just preparing myself, like I’m educating myself about self-sufficient living,  looking for land, etc., and I’m hoping to make a move within the next couple of years. I’m pretty flexible about location, could pretty much settle anywhere in the world but wouldn’t mind staying in France. No wilderness here but there is still some quite remote and affordable land.

Ideally I would like to do this with a partner so thought I’d reach out here. 😉 If you’re a male, 30 to 45, tall (I’m 5’11 and only interested in taller men) and on the same wavelengths as me as far as living a simple life and all, feel free to get in touch. Would love to get to know about you and see if we could click. My email: thalia.kieddey@gmail.com

PS: the picture was taken summer 2012 in Wisconsin, USA. I’s kinda old but I picked that one because it reflects me living a simple country life. For the record I was shooting cans and not animals. I’m not into hunting whatsoever, I’m an ovo-pescatarian, I only eat organic eggs and wild fish.

The post Looking for an off-grid partner appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Tomato Hornworms: Wiping Out Manduca Quinquemaculata

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The post Tomato Hornworms: Wiping Out Manduca Quinquemaculata is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Anyone who’s as much a fan of home-grown tomatoes as I am is terrified of this fat green tomato worm, and for good reason. Tomato hornworms can destroy tomato plants in rapid-fire fashion. But there’s still hope! With some preparation and careful management, you can get rid of this garden pest and keep it from … Read more

The post Tomato Hornworms: Wiping Out Manduca Quinquemaculata is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Tomato Hornworms: Wiping Out Manduca Quinquemaculata

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The post Tomato Hornworms: Wiping Out Manduca Quinquemaculata is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Anyone who’s as much a fan of home-grown tomatoes as I am is terrified of this fat green tomato worm, and for good reason. Tomato hornworms can destroy tomato plants in rapid-fire fashion. But there’s still hope! With some preparation and careful management, you can get rid of this garden pest and keep it from … Read more

The post Tomato Hornworms: Wiping Out Manduca Quinquemaculata is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

How To Deal When Someone Says “If Anything Happens, I’m Coming To Your House”

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My husband and I built our own house, raised and butchered pigs, chickens, cattle, sewed clothes, made quilts, and a lot of other things over the years. We make sure to have medical supplies and can a lot of food. My writing has been in quite a few magazines read by preppers and homesteaders. I. . . Read More

Top 5 Reasons Why The Police Will Pull You Over

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Ever get pulled over by the police? Most of us have at one time or another. What was the reason? Was it one of these? Avoid these top 5 things and you will greatly lessen your chances of getting pulled over by the police! Who wants to get a ticket, right?   SPEEDING Yes, there’s a “buffer,” perhaps 5-7 mph, but the decision to cut a speeder some slack is up to the officer’s discretion. Not only are you vulnerable on the freeway, but pay attention to speed limit changes while on secondary roads, which sometimes change unexpectedly and often.

The post Top 5 Reasons Why The Police Will Pull You Over appeared first on Modern Survival Blog.

5.11 Tactical Stryke Pants Flex-Tac Ripstop Apparel Review

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5.11 Tactical Stryke Pants Flex-Tac Ripstop Apparel Review

I’ve had these 5.11 Stryke Pants for a while now, have tried and tested them and worn them every day for over a month, and yet still have found myself really struggle with formatting this review. See, reviewing clothes and apparel on this blog is always difficult for me. In terms of reviewing apparel, I’m […]

This is just the start of the post 5.11 Tactical Stryke Pants Flex-Tac Ripstop Apparel Review. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


5.11 Tactical Stryke Pants Flex-Tac Ripstop Apparel Review, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Planning To Retire Off-grid? Here’s Where To Relocate

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One of the big challenges for retiring today is being able to afford retirement. Many of us are in the difficult position of not having company retirement benefits to fall back on. What that means is that all we have to retire on is our Social Security benefits. That’s not all that much.

Having money in savings doesn’t help all that much either. It used to be that if you have a million dollars in the bank, you had it made for retirement. Your million would net you $50,000 per year at 5% interest; but with today’s interest rates, you need five times as much in savings, to net the same amount of income. That’s more than most of us make in our entire life.

So, how are you going to survive?

There are two basic ways that people try to deal with this situation; either downsizing to reduce costs or trying to find a retirement business which can augment their retirement income. Both of those possibilities are workable, although neither is easy.

There is another option; that of going off-grid somewhere and becoming self-sufficient. If you’re not sure what I mean by that, it refers to a self-sufficient lifestyle, where you are not dependent on public utilities, but rather have an autonomous home, generating your own electricity and pumping your own water. For some people, it even includes growing their own food.

Not everyone views living off-grid the same way.

For some, producing your own electricity means that you would have to produce as much electricity as you use now, powering air conditioners, computers and massive entertainment centers.

But for others, living off-grid means changing their lifestyle, simplifying it to the point where they don’t need to produce as much electricity as what most of us currently produce. Financially, at least, this option is much easier.

 

This smart device will help you slash an excess of 70% off your power bill overnight…

 

Living in such a way is extremely cheap, especially if you own the property you’re living on. While this would require a total change of lifestyle, retirement is a massive change anyway. Living off-grid would even give you something to do, tending your garden and feeding your chickens.

If you own a home now or have any savings, this is a real possibility. Selling your home would provide you with funds to buy property for an off-grid home and hopefully even to build the home. Whatever retirement savings you might have could be used for that as well, investing those funds in making it possible to retire in a comfortable, albeit different, way.

Basic Off-Grid Requirements

So, where are the best places to go, if you want to retire off-grid? That seems to be the question. Let’s lay out a few requirements for such a place, then we can discuss some likely locations.

  • It needs to be a remote enough area that you can buy a few acres at a reasonable price.
  • While being remote, it still needs to be accessible.
  • It needs to be close enough to a population center to allow the easy purchase of supplies.
  • It needs to have ample natural resources, especially water (which may require drilling a well).
  • It needs to be someplace where the law allows living off-grid (some states do not allow this).
  • It needs to be an area with a low cost of living.

Weather would probably be a factor as well for most people. Living in a hot climate, without air conditioning, may be fine for some, but others would really struggle with the heat. Likewise, living in a cold climate and heating with wood could cause serious problems for others. Ultimately, you have to find what works for you, not what works for someone else.

Weather can also affect your ability to produce your own electrical power. If you were to live in Washington State, you might have trouble with solar panels, as the constant rain would reduce the available sunlight. For that, you’d be better off in the Southwest, where it is dryer and there’s lots of sunlight.

Of course, there’s always a lot of tradeoffs when looking at different places. That location in the Southwest might give you ample sunlight, but it will also be a whole lot hotter. So, you’ll probably need more sunlight, so that your solar panels could produce enough electricity for your air conditioner.

Domestic Retirement Destinations

Most people will want to retire somewhere in the Continental United States, so that they can be close to family and friends. While this isn’t as cheap as living overseas, let’s face it, making a move that keeps you within the country is considerably easier than going outside the country.

Cumberland Mountains

The Beverly Hillbillies probably made one of the most expensive moves in history, moving from the Cumberland Mountains to Hollywood, California. Personally, I think that old Jed Clampett would have been better off building himself a nice house back home in Tennessee, but then, he wouldn’t have had his own television show if he had done that.

The Cumberland Mountains straddle Kentucky, Tennessee, and a bit of the western part of North Carolina and the Virginias. It’s beautiful mountain country, which really isn’t all that densely populated. That makes for rather low cost of living, as well as not a whole lot of government officials breathing down your neck about regulations.

But the real trick is to get yourself up in the backwoods, where nobody will be looking for you.

While I would personally prefer living in the Rocky Mountains myself, living in the Cumberlands would prove to be a whole lot cheaper. Land in the Rocky Mountains is high, pretty much anywhere you go.

Ozarks

Like the Cumberland Mountains, there are a lot of backwoods areas in the Ozarks, which includes the northern parts of Arkansas and the southern part of Missouri. There’s some beautiful hill country there, even though it really isn’t mountainous. People tend to be friendly and the cost of living is rather low.

One nice thing about this area is that the climate is rather temperate. You’ll have four full seasons, without winter coming so early that you can’t get a crop harvested from your vegetable garden. At the same time, you won’t have the really hot summers that are common in the Deep South.

The Northwest

I’m not sure that calling it the Northwest is the right term, but the area of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas is one of the more sparsely populated parts of the country. As such, it’s a great place to go if you’re looking for a lot of wide open country. In fact, the state of Montana is nicknamed “Big Sky Country.”

These are fairly strong conservative states, so there’s not going to be as much government meddling in your life as there would be in the coastal areas.

That makes it much easier to establish an off-grid lifestyle, without having a bunch of bureaucrats telling you what’s wrong with that. It’s also great country for hunting, allowing you to augment your larder, without spending a fortune at the butcher shop.

Rio Grande Valley

The southern tip of Texas is known as the “Rio Grande Valley;” three lies for the price of one. That term was coined by real-estate developers who were trying to talk settlers from the east into buying farmland there. Invoking the image of a wide, green valley might have sold land, but it wasn’t very honest.

The problem with the Rio Grande Valley is that it’s hot and dry. If you like that, then it’s a great place for you. But I’ll warn you, hot there is really hot. They say that people who live there won’t have to go to hell, because they’ve already experienced the heat.

On the flip side of the coin, the Rio Grande Valley is one of the cheapest places there is in the country to live, with one of the lowest costs of living. Maybe that’s why it’s such a popular retirement destination, with mobile home parks all over the place, dedicated to retired people.

Land is also relatively cheap, allowing you to buy a couple of acres outside of town much lower than you can in many other parts of the country.

The hot temperature does provide one great advantage for those who live there; you can grow crops pretty much year round. So, if you’re planning on growing a lot of your own food as part of your off-grid strategy, the Rio Grande Valley is the destination for you.

Buy an Island

Ok, this one probably isn’t practical for most people, just because of the high price tag, but I like the idea anyway. That is, buy yourself a private island. Yes, there are islands for sale, mostly in the Northeast and Northwest.

While island living isn’t cheap, it’s a great way to get away from it all; and who is going to complain about you living off-grid, when there’s no easy way to get electricity and city water to you?

Islands, by their very nature, are easy to secure. So you probably wouldn’t have much of a problem with the neighborhood kids stealing your hubcaps. For that matter, you might not have any hubcaps anyway; more like a boat. Any car you owned would probably have to be stored on the mainland and would only be used for shopping trips.

Foreign Retirement Destinations

For those who are a little more adventurous, moving outside the United States can provide you with one major advantage, it’s cheap. As long as you stay out of Europe and places like Singapore, the cost of living in much of the world is much cheaper than it is here at home.

Nor is living off-grid considered to be strange. In fact, there are many millions of people in third-world and emerging countries who live off-grid, simply because they don’t have the option of living on-grid.

You can forget about the idea of laws that prevent you from living off-grid; even if you have electricity and water available, nobody is going to think anything of you, if you choose not to use them.

Mexico

Our immediate neighbor to the south is probably the easiest destination to move to. The cost of living in Mexico is considerably less than the United States, even though some things are pretty much the same. That is, the cost is low if you stay out of the tourist destinations.

I live close to Mexico, and I’ve found that Mexican doctors and dentists are excellent, as well as being cheap by our standards. Mexican pharmaceuticals are much cheaper too. In fact, some retired Americans come to the border yearly, just to buy their medications.

There are a couple of potential problems with moving to Mexico though. First off, you really need to speak Spanish, at least enough to carry on a conversation. While there are some people in Mexico who speak English, you really can’t count on finding one when you need them.

Secondly, Mexican law doesn’t allow foreigners to buy property within 25 miles of the borders or large bodies of water. There is a way around this though, simply have a lawyer set up a trust and have the trust buy the land.

Belize

Speaking of Latin America, there’s an even better destination to think about than Mexico, that’s Belize. This small country, located just at the southern tip of Mexico, has a low population and not much else. But English is the predominant language there, making it much easier to move to Belize than to move to Mexico.

In fact, there are enough Americans moving to Belize to retire, that there are real estate companies which specialize in servicing them. But I’d avoid them if I were you, they make their money by selling Americans property for about three times what they pay. You’re much better off buying privately.

Bahamas and Caribbean Islands

While most of us think of the Bahamas and Caribbean Islands as nothing more than vacation destinations, someplace to go on a cruise, they’re actually wonderful retirement locations.

There are a number of the islands which are extremely cheap to live on, if you get away from the tourist traps, and most of the governments will be glad to leave you alone, thankful for the American Dollars you bring into their economy.

These islands also offer you the opportunity to establish a retirement business, serving other Americans who go there on vacation. If you really want to go off-grid, just buy yourself a sailboat and make the islands your home.

There are a lot of options to choose from! Whatever you do after retirement, plan it wisely and prepare for the worst!

This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

How to Store Fuel

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: Another guest submission from Zac Martin. This is a subject that hasn’t been written about in awhile. I did add links to the previous The Prepper Journal posts on the subject at the end for your research. Be safe out there and note my closing message!

A friend of mine just evacuated his mother-in-law from Florida prior to Hurricane Irma’s arrival. I’d heard multiple reports on the news of severe gas shortages all throughout the state and so I asked him if he had had any trouble with filling up his tank.

His response? He had had to drive to three separate gas stations before he finally found one that hadn’t been run dry. What would he have done had they not had enough gas in their car to search all over town for gas stations that weren’t empty yet? He potentially could have been stranded in an area that was being evacuated, or worse.

We’ve had an active hurricane season this year, and there are further reports that we are going to continue to experience a gas shortage this season’s until hurricanes finish pummeling our coastlines.

So how do you avoid gas shortages when crap happens? When the pump runs dry what do you do? Your car will no longer get you anywhere, and if there’s a power shortage in your area (which there is a high probability of if people are evacuating), then eventually your gasoline-powered generator won’t work either.

No generator = no refrigerator, and this can have big repercussions if you have stored medication that needs to be kept cold or a decent amount of food that will otherwise go to waste. Just look at the current state of Puerto Rico. They’ve got absolutely no power and nobody has any idea of when it will be back on. How do you keep your father-in-law’s insulin refrigerated when you have no gasoline?

As you can see, the wisest course of action would be to have at least some fuel stored prior, but there are a lot of questions this raises.

  • How long does gasoline last? Doesn’t diesel degrade? Where should I store it?

We’re going to aim to answer these questions and more throughout this article.

Fuel Storage Basics

The general rule of thumb when it comes to storing fuel is that the more refined the fuel is, the shorter the shelf life is going to be. This means that kerosene, being the least refined, is going to last a much longer time than gasoline does. On average:

  • Kerosene will store 15+ years
  • Diesel will store somewhere around 8-10 years
  • And gasoline will store approximately 2 years

Storing fuel any longer than this can result in engine troubles if you decide to use it. With time, decomposition occurs which can result in gums and peroxides accumulating within the fuel. These can then clog fuel filters, lines and pumps and make it so your engine won’t run altogether.

Gasoline has further problems with becoming useless over time because the butane that’s added to it to help your engine start will evaporate.

So what can we do to protect our fuel?

  1. Protect your fuel from the elements

The first and most important thing that you can do to protect your stored fuel is to make sure that you actually have it stored in a secure container. Fuel needs to be kept away from moisture as this will accumulate within the fuel causing problems when you do finally use it. The best place to store fuel would probably be in a sealed underground container, but those are expensive and a lot harder to come by.

Good ol’ fashioned fuel cans are going to be the most common form of storage for the average American. Do what you can to store these canisters in an area that is not exposed to extremes of temperature or moisture. By doing this you will help to preserve the integrity of your fuel long term.

  1. Use a fuel stabilizer for gasoline

Fuel stabilizers work by preventing the decomposition of the different compounds within fuel, with the most common fuel stabilizer you’ll find being Sta-Bil.

Sta-Bil is a wonderful fuel stabilizer that will actually increase the longevity of your fuel, particularly gasoline. You can find it at essentially any home-improvement-y store out there and I’ve found it at Tractor Supply, Lowe’s, and Home Depot just to name a few.

  1. Buy Gasoline for Storage During the Winter

Gasoline has butane added to it. Butane evaporates over time. This makes starting your car/generator/whatever even more difficult during colder months. Gasoline companies know that butane evaporates, and they also know that if your car doesn’t start during the cold you may assume that the last gas station you went to sold you junk gas.

  

So, they add extra butane to gasoline during the winter time (the infamous “winter blend” always talked about when refineries slow production to switch) to help with cold-weather engine starting. Buying and storing winter-produced gasoline will mean that your gasoline will have extra butane added to it meaning that it will last longer than summer-time gasoline.

  1. Use an Antibacterial for Long-term Diesel Storage

It’s fairly common to have at least some water find its way into your fuel, whether that be from condensation or a faulty gasket. With diesel, that water will have a higher density and sink to the bottom of the fuel tank. However, right where the water line meets the diesel line bacteria and fungi have the potential to grow and cause problems if given enough time and the right conditions.

These bacteria and fungi can give off acidic byproducts which in turn can result in sediment (affectionately referred to as ‘diesel sludge’) depositing at the bottom of the tank, plugged fuel filters, tank corrosion, and crappy fuel. Using a biocide such as Bellicide with long term diesel storage can help to eliminate this problem before it ever becomes an issue.  Sta-Bil also has similar diesel storage products however, and I’m personally more familiar with them.

Wrapping it Up

Nobody wants to be stranded in a potentially dangerous area without access to quality gasoline. Therefore, storing a reasonable amount and taking care of it is a very wise precaution. By following the above tips, you’ll be much better prepared to get your family and yourself out of dodge when the going gets tough.

Sources (article)

  1. Rawles, James Wesley. Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse. P59-60.
  2. Bell Performance. “Label says ‘fights algae’ but do you need a diesel fuel algaecide. https://www.bellperformance.com/blog/bid/111973/Label-Says-Fights-algae-But-Do-You-Need-a-Diesel-Fuel-Algaecide Published December 31, 2012.

Former Subject-matter related Posts on The Prepper Journal:

Editors Note: While we are big fans of Jerry Cans, and think they are the best for storing fuels at home, they are NOT suitable for storing potable water! They have an internal coating that is non-reactive with fuels that protects the can from corrosion and the fuel from reacting with the metal. However this coating will dissolve into water stored in the cans and it is very bad for you. From their official site under FAQ:

“CAN YOU USE THESE CANS FOR STORING WATER OR POTABLE WATER?
This can is not to be used with water. Water will mix with the liner and fuel will not. Wavian cans should never be filled with water. But you can use these plastic BPA Free jerry cans.”
Be careful because a lot of “survival” boards will have posts from someone claiming they raised their child from birth with water stored in a Jerry Can and the kid is now 12 and fine. They leave out that he has three eyes, no nose and a third arm! 😉 Kidding aside, the Jerry Can is NOT for water.

The post How to Store Fuel appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

How To Make Homemade Desiccant for Long-term Storage

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Long-term storage requires a few protection measures if you want to prevent your food and supplies from going to waste. Moisture is one of the enemies of every storage space, and you need to be able and prevent it. Making your homemade desiccant is an easy task and here are three useful methods you can … Read more…

The post How To Make Homemade Desiccant for Long-term Storage was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

The Best Survival-You Are Responsible For Your Family

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I’m teaching a class tonight about the best survival tips every family needs. The one thing I really need to get out to the world is that we must be responsible for our own family. I get it if your home is blown away by a hurricane, flooding, fire, etc. I often joke with my neighbor across the street if my house slides onto their front yard from flooding, I hope they have a nice guest room. I’ll dig for the food and water and take care of us. Those of us who prepare for the unexpected view it as a way of life. Oh, the green beans are on sale, I need a few cans or a case of those. Mark and I just purchased some cans of green beans for $.65 each.

Would I love fresh green beans, sure, but if we have a major disaster, I can sleep at night knowing I have enough food and water for Mark and myself. Canned, dehydrated, or freeze-dried food. And water. And so much more.

Best Survival Tips Or Excuses

Here’s the deal, sometimes I hear these statements:

  1. I can’t afford food storage.
  2. My neighbor has enough for all of us.
  3. My family will feed us.
  4. The school nearby is full of food if we have a disaster.
  5. My church has food for everyone.
  6. That mountain over there has a vault full of food and water.
  7. The government will deliver food to us if we need it.
  8. The American Red Cross will bring food to a center so we can go get it.
  9. The __________Church always comes through with food and water on TV.
  10. I see The__________Church bringing food and water to families on TV.
  11. My neighbor has more food than she needs, she will share.
  12. I’m living paycheck to paycheck.
  13. I’m retired, I can’t afford food storage.
  14. I’m old, I’m going to die anyway.
  15. If it gets that bad, I want to die.
  16. This is a sharing and giving neighborhood, they will all share with one another.
  17. I believe in the Law of Consecration from the Bible.
  18. I’m good I have a tent, I will trade room for food.
  19. I’ll be okay, I have weapons and ammo to protect my food storage and water.
  20. I donate to my church, they will take care of me.
  21. My four-wheelers use up all the space in my garage, no room for water storage.
  22. I will move into my parents home, they will take care of me.
  23. My house is too small to store food and water.
  24. The stores will not be empty for long, the trucks will come quickly to replenish the shelves.
  25. If we lose power, it will come back on soon.
  26. The water in our community will not become contaminated, the government is paid to protect our water sources.
  27. I don’t know where to start, or what I need to store.
  28. My family is on a special diet, not sure what to store.
  29. I used to store extra food but it went rancid.
  30. All I really need is a 72-hour kit.
  31. I have so many weapons and ammo, I’ll get what I need.
  32. I don’t like food storage.
  33. I will not eat any processed food.
  34. My kids wouldn’t eat that.
  35. I don’t know how to prepare food storage for my family.
  36. I have ten buckets of wheat, I will trade wheat for regular food.
  37. I have a case of Vodka, I am prepared to barter.
  38. My family will get tired of eating rice and beans.
  39. Nothing is going to happen that’s so severe we won’t be able to get any food or water.
  40. There is a preparedness chick that lives down the street, she’ll have enough for all of us.
  41. Do I have to buy food in bulk my family won’t eat?
  42. I have 50-gallons of water in my water heater. Oh, wait, the water is contaminated, think again.
  43. I’m on a very tight food budget.
  44. I don’t know how to grow anything in a garden.
  45. I have silver and gold, I will trade for food. Those metals will be useless when the food is gone. You can’t eat silver and gold. I hope you can barter, but I would make other plans as well for food and water.

You need the best survival tools, my friends, today not tomorrow. May God bless this world to get prepared. Please be prepared to take care of your family, no one else can.

P. S. Please teach people to cook from scratch, no one needs to buy a cookbook to learn how to cook your food storage. Good old recipe books from the thrift store are the best.

Food Storage Ideas by Linda

Water Preserver

Lodge Dutch Ovens

The post The Best Survival-You Are Responsible For Your Family appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Caution! It’s Shockingly Easy To Overdose On These Vitamins And Minerals

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Everyone wants to make sure that they’re consuming all of the vitamins and minerals that they need. Giving your body what it needs is one of the simplest things you can do to stay healthy. Unfortunately, most people don’t eat the daily recommended amounts of every nutrient on a regular basis. If they did, the supplement industry in America wouldn’t be raking in $122 billion per year. Taking a pill to shore up a dietary deficit is incredibly convenient, and Americans are willing to pay a lot for that convenience.

Unfortunately, this convenience also comes with a risk. Making vitamins and minerals easier to consume also it makes it easier overdose on them. It’s pretty difficult to eat too many nutrients in food form, but depending on what nutrient you’re talking about, a few pills can seriously hurt you, or even kill. Among these supplements, here are a few that you should be aware of.

Iron

Consuming more than 45mg of iron a day is enough constitute an overdose in most people. For men that’s only about 5 times the recommended daily allowance (RDA), and less than 3 times for women. A severe overdose can lead to vomiting, diarrhea rapid breathing and heart rate, seizures, and unconsciousness. Often sufferers will feel better after a couple of days, before experiencing liver failure. Children are especially vulnerable to iron poisoning, which is why most chewable multivitamins contain very little iron.

Vitamin A

Because this vitamin tends to build up in the body, it’s fairly easy to take too much of it. Some studies have suggested that taking double the RDA of vitamin A on a regular basis is enough to cause birth defects and liver damage. Exceeding that dosage on a regular basis can cause poor vision, nausea, peeling skin, jaundice, hair loss, bone pain, mouth ulcers, and poor appetite. Overall, it sounds an awful lot like radiation sickness in vitamin form.

Zinc

I can speak about this from personal experience. I once took two zinc pills after I forgot that I had taken one earlier in the day. It was not fun, to say the least. I felt chills, nausea, light-headed, and a suffered from a rather foggy brain for several hours. However, I got off lucky.

Taking too much zinc can cause vomiting headaches, cramps, diarrhea, and in the worst cases can lead to kidney failure. Taking too much zinc over a long period of time can cause anemia, heart problems, and seriously mess up your immune system, which will make you more vulnerable to all kinds of infections. Which is ironic, since most people take zinc to support their immune systems.

Calcium

This may be one of the easiest nutrients to overuse. That’s because we’re all constantly told to consume more calcium to keep our bones strong and to prevent osteoporosis. The problem with that, is that it’s probably safe to say that most people living in the developed world don’t have a calcium deficiency. We have one of the most dairy rich diets on the planet, so it’s not something we should be too concerned about.

When you combine those two factors, it’s easy to see how the average person could be consuming too much calcium. We already eat a lot of dairy, and since we’re all so concerned about getting more calcium, lots of foods are fortified with this mineral. And on top of that, there are a lot of people who consume calcium based antacids on a regular basis. And finally, supplementing vitamin D is also pretty common, which increases calcium absorption. The last thing we need is to be taking calcium supplements, but we do.

You probably shouldn’t supplement calcium unless a doctor tells you to, because consuming too much calcium over a long period of time can lead to kidney stones, kidney damage, or even kidney failure. One study found that only eating a slightly more than the RDA can significantly increase your risk of developing heart disease, or die of any cause. Other studies have suggested that eating too much calcium can actually weaken your bones.

 

So take caution before you consume any supplement. Like anything you eat, there is such a thing as “too much.” It’s always a good idea to keep track of what you eat and study the nutrient profiles of your food on a regular basis. Before you take any supplement, you need to know if you’re really deficient in a particular vitamin or mineral. Otherwise, doing something that most people think of as “healthy,” like supplementing our diets with pills, can turn out to be an incredibly unhealthy decision.

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Surviving the crazy holidays and American culture!

Surviving the crazy holidays and American culture! James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio player below! What are the constants of the holiday season? You go places and a focus on prepared travel is in order? Is your vehicle ready for all this travel and do you have the things you need inside of it? We … Continue reading Surviving the crazy holidays and American culture!

The post Surviving the crazy holidays and American culture! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Prepping For a Power Outage

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Power Outage – No phones. No lights. No running water. What would you do if the whole country went dark and you didn’t know if or when the power would be coming back? What you need to know when the power goes out unexpectedly.

Prepping For a Power Outage

Power Outage – No phones. No lights. No running water. What would you do if the whole country went dark and you didn’t know if or when the power would be coming back? What you need to know when the power goes out unexpectedly.

Prepping For a Power Outage

Power Outage – No phones. No lights. No running water. What would you do if the whole country went dark and you didn’t know if or when the power would be coming back? What you need to know when the power goes out unexpectedly.

12 Common Canning Mistakes That Even Experts Make

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12 Common Canning Mistakes That Even Experts Make

Image source: Pixabay.com

It’s the time of year when gardeners and homesteaders are scrambling to preserve our harvest in order to enjoy the literal fruits of our labors as close to year-round as possible. For a lot of us, that means canning. Most of us know our way around the kitchen when it comes to putting up food, but there are some mistakes that beginners—and sometimes even experienced canners—make.

1. Using untested recipes. Trying new methods from unreliable sources might be fine for some things, but not for canning. If it hasn’t come from a rock-solid source that has tested the recipe for safety, it’s not worth the risk.

2. Doubling batches of pectin-added jam. It says on the package not to do it, but newbies often try it anyway. It just seems so counter-intuitive—I mean, if you double everything exactly, why wouldn’t it work? Trust me. It doesn’t. Your jam will look pretty and taste delicious, but there is a very high likelihood that it won’t set. You can still use it to pour over ice cream, but it won’t be jam.

3. Reducing or replacing sugar in jam with regular pectin. This is another one that seems like it should work, but it doesn’t. The jam recipes on regular pectin packages call for a LOT of sugar, which is understandably off-putting. But if you want to use less sugar or a sugar substitute, buy the special pectin for low sugar for successful jamming.

4. Canning low-quality product. Always remember that canning food will in no way improve its flavor and texture. If it is picked too long ago, overripe, or substandard in any other way, it’s not a good candidate for canning. Can the best and eat the rest.

Discover More Than 1,100 Secrets That Every Homesteader Should Know!

I should note that this is advice intended for a scenario of plenty. If hardship or disaster prevents you from having enough high-quality food to can, it may be necessary to can what you have available, whether it is the most desirable or not.

5. Tightening jar rings after processing and leaving them in place during storage. The function of jar rings is to keep the lids on during processing, and nothing more. After processing and cooling, the rings should be loose. Retightening them could compromise your seal, and storing the jars with the rings on will cause the rings to rust and will provide a space for food particles to grow mold and bacteria under the ring. Remove the rings and wash them for use on your next batch, and rinse off the outside of the jar before storing.

12 Common Canning Mistakes That Even Experts Make

Image source: Pixabay.com

6. Fudging the processing time. When canning, precision is key. Use a timer and don’t cut corners when it comes to processing time. And be careful to use the time for the size jar you are using—many recipes give different times for quarts and pints. A note of caution: If you’re using those new 24-ounce canning jars, you won’t find any canning times for them. Don’t try splitting the difference, because unless you’ve tested the process in a food laboratory, you can’t know exactly how long it takes to get adequate heat to the center of that 24-ounce jar. If your recipe gives different times for pints and quarts and you’re using pint-and-a-halfs, use the time for the quarts.

7. Using alternative processing methods. We’ve all seen them—cute tricks for canning in your microwave or dishwasher or oven. And we’ve heard stories about how back in the day they used wax for jam or just inverted the jars on the counter and allowed them to heat-seal. Sure, people did it and lived through it, but why take the risk? None of these methods meet current safety recommendations, and some have made people sick.

8. Not taking headspace seriously. That space between the top of the product and the top of the jar is a key component to canning success. Too little space can cause product to squirt out during processing and get stuck on the rim, which could prevent the lid from sealing. Too much space can also prevent a tight seal, because larger headspaces take longer processing times to push out all the air and create the necessary vacuum. All good recipes give a head space measurement, and they are worth heeding.

9. Getting the temperatures wrong. Use hot jars, and place them into simmering water in the canner. Placing cold jars into hot water can cause breakage. And starting with cool water in the canner can take extra time to bring it up to boil, resulting in overcooked end results.

10. Not using the correct amount of water in the canner. It’s important that your water level is right. Too little water can expose the lids during a vigorous boil, and they may not can properly, and too much will take a long time to reach boiling. For a boiling-water-bath canner, you need at least 1 inch over top of the jars, but no more than 2 inches. It can be hard to judge ahead of time, so keep a kettle full of simmering water on standby when you load the canner, and add more if you need it. Have a long-handled scoop handy for bailing out excess water, too. Pressure canners are easier in this instance—follow the manufacturer’s directions, which will tell you either to use the fill line on the canner itself or to measure a certain depth of water.

11. Removing jars immediately after processing. It’s recommended to leave the jars in the water for a bit. In a boiling-water-bath canner, turn off the heat and remove the lid and let the jars set for five minutes before removing. In a pressure canner, allow it to completely depressurize, remove the weight or open the petcock, and let the jars set for 10 minutes before lifting the lid and removing the jars. This is not crucial, but it contributes to a better sealing rate. Then, let your jars set untouched for 12-24 hours. As much as you want to pick them up to show them off, or to put them away to make room for the next batch, or even to just press down on the lid to see if it sealed, try to leave them alone. This will improve your odds of a good solid seal for the best possible end result.

12. Pouring water off the lid. Oh, I know. This one is so hard to resist! It is super tempting to tilt the jar to pour off the excess water on the top, but don’t do it. Doing so can disrupt the seal you worked so hard to achieve. Remove the jars from the canner, set them on a towel or rack, and let the water evaporate naturally.

If you don’t get every single one of these items right every time, do not worry. Most of us don’t achieve perfection. I would encourage you to focus on product safety first, and continue to work on other possible mistakes which may affect the quality and success of your canning endeavors. And when you enjoy a jar of home-canned chutney or jam next winter, you’ll be glad you went to the trouble of doing your best.

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

12 Common Canning Mistakes That Even Experts Make

12 Common Canning Mistakes That Even Experts Make

Image source: Pixabay.com

It’s the time of year when gardeners and homesteaders are scrambling to preserve our harvest in order to enjoy the literal fruits of our labors as close to year-round as possible. For a lot of us, that means canning. Most of us know our way around the kitchen when it comes to putting up food, but there are some mistakes that beginners—and sometimes even experienced canners—make.

1. Using untested recipes. Trying new methods from unreliable sources might be fine for some things, but not for canning. If it hasn’t come from a rock-solid source that has tested the recipe for safety, it’s not worth the risk.

2. Doubling batches of pectin-added jam. It says on the package not to do it, but newbies often try it anyway. It just seems so counter-intuitive—I mean, if you double everything exactly, why wouldn’t it work? Trust me. It doesn’t. Your jam will look pretty and taste delicious, but there is a very high likelihood that it won’t set. You can still use it to pour over ice cream, but it won’t be jam.

3. Reducing or replacing sugar in jam with regular pectin. This is another one that seems like it should work, but it doesn’t. The jam recipes on regular pectin packages call for a LOT of sugar, which is understandably off-putting. But if you want to use less sugar or a sugar substitute, buy the special pectin for low sugar for successful jamming.

4. Canning low-quality product. Always remember that canning food will in no way improve its flavor and texture. If it is picked too long ago, overripe, or substandard in any other way, it’s not a good candidate for canning. Can the best and eat the rest.

Discover More Than 1,100 Secrets That Every Homesteader Should Know!

I should note that this is advice intended for a scenario of plenty. If hardship or disaster prevents you from having enough high-quality food to can, it may be necessary to can what you have available, whether it is the most desirable or not.

5. Tightening jar rings after processing and leaving them in place during storage. The function of jar rings is to keep the lids on during processing, and nothing more. After processing and cooling, the rings should be loose. Retightening them could compromise your seal, and storing the jars with the rings on will cause the rings to rust and will provide a space for food particles to grow mold and bacteria under the ring. Remove the rings and wash them for use on your next batch, and rinse off the outside of the jar before storing.

12 Common Canning Mistakes That Even Experts Make

Image source: Pixabay.com

6. Fudging the processing time. When canning, precision is key. Use a timer and don’t cut corners when it comes to processing time. And be careful to use the time for the size jar you are using—many recipes give different times for quarts and pints. A note of caution: If you’re using those new 24-ounce canning jars, you won’t find any canning times for them. Don’t try splitting the difference, because unless you’ve tested the process in a food laboratory, you can’t know exactly how long it takes to get adequate heat to the center of that 24-ounce jar. If your recipe gives different times for pints and quarts and you’re using pint-and-a-halfs, use the time for the quarts.

7. Using alternative processing methods. We’ve all seen them—cute tricks for canning in your microwave or dishwasher or oven. And we’ve heard stories about how back in the day they used wax for jam or just inverted the jars on the counter and allowed them to heat-seal. Sure, people did it and lived through it, but why take the risk? None of these methods meet current safety recommendations, and some have made people sick.

8. Not taking headspace seriously. That space between the top of the product and the top of the jar is a key component to canning success. Too little space can cause product to squirt out during processing and get stuck on the rim, which could prevent the lid from sealing. Too much space can also prevent a tight seal, because larger headspaces take longer processing times to push out all the air and create the necessary vacuum. All good recipes give a head space measurement, and they are worth heeding.

9. Getting the temperatures wrong. Use hot jars, and place them into simmering water in the canner. Placing cold jars into hot water can cause breakage. And starting with cool water in the canner can take extra time to bring it up to boil, resulting in overcooked end results.

10. Not using the correct amount of water in the canner. It’s important that your water level is right. Too little water can expose the lids during a vigorous boil, and they may not can properly, and too much will take a long time to reach boiling. For a boiling-water-bath canner, you need at least 1 inch over top of the jars, but no more than 2 inches. It can be hard to judge ahead of time, so keep a kettle full of simmering water on standby when you load the canner, and add more if you need it. Have a long-handled scoop handy for bailing out excess water, too. Pressure canners are easier in this instance—follow the manufacturer’s directions, which will tell you either to use the fill line on the canner itself or to measure a certain depth of water.

11. Removing jars immediately after processing. It’s recommended to leave the jars in the water for a bit. In a boiling-water-bath canner, turn off the heat and remove the lid and let the jars set for five minutes before removing. In a pressure canner, allow it to completely depressurize, remove the weight or open the petcock, and let the jars set for 10 minutes before lifting the lid and removing the jars. This is not crucial, but it contributes to a better sealing rate. Then, let your jars set untouched for 12-24 hours. As much as you want to pick them up to show them off, or to put them away to make room for the next batch, or even to just press down on the lid to see if it sealed, try to leave them alone. This will improve your odds of a good solid seal for the best possible end result.

12. Pouring water off the lid. Oh, I know. This one is so hard to resist! It is super tempting to tilt the jar to pour off the excess water on the top, but don’t do it. Doing so can disrupt the seal you worked so hard to achieve. Remove the jars from the canner, set them on a towel or rack, and let the water evaporate naturally.

If you don’t get every single one of these items right every time, do not worry. Most of us don’t achieve perfection. I would encourage you to focus on product safety first, and continue to work on other possible mistakes which may affect the quality and success of your canning endeavors. And when you enjoy a jar of home-canned chutney or jam next winter, you’ll be glad you went to the trouble of doing your best.

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

12 Common Canning Mistakes That Even Experts Make

12 Common Canning Mistakes That Even Experts Make

Image source: Pixabay.com

It’s the time of year when gardeners and homesteaders are scrambling to preserve our harvest in order to enjoy the literal fruits of our labors as close to year-round as possible. For a lot of us, that means canning. Most of us know our way around the kitchen when it comes to putting up food, but there are some mistakes that beginners—and sometimes even experienced canners—make.

1. Using untested recipes. Trying new methods from unreliable sources might be fine for some things, but not for canning. If it hasn’t come from a rock-solid source that has tested the recipe for safety, it’s not worth the risk.

2. Doubling batches of pectin-added jam. It says on the package not to do it, but newbies often try it anyway. It just seems so counter-intuitive—I mean, if you double everything exactly, why wouldn’t it work? Trust me. It doesn’t. Your jam will look pretty and taste delicious, but there is a very high likelihood that it won’t set. You can still use it to pour over ice cream, but it won’t be jam.

3. Reducing or replacing sugar in jam with regular pectin. This is another one that seems like it should work, but it doesn’t. The jam recipes on regular pectin packages call for a LOT of sugar, which is understandably off-putting. But if you want to use less sugar or a sugar substitute, buy the special pectin for low sugar for successful jamming.

4. Canning low-quality product. Always remember that canning food will in no way improve its flavor and texture. If it is picked too long ago, overripe, or substandard in any other way, it’s not a good candidate for canning. Can the best and eat the rest.

Discover More Than 1,100 Secrets That Every Homesteader Should Know!

I should note that this is advice intended for a scenario of plenty. If hardship or disaster prevents you from having enough high-quality food to can, it may be necessary to can what you have available, whether it is the most desirable or not.

5. Tightening jar rings after processing and leaving them in place during storage. The function of jar rings is to keep the lids on during processing, and nothing more. After processing and cooling, the rings should be loose. Retightening them could compromise your seal, and storing the jars with the rings on will cause the rings to rust and will provide a space for food particles to grow mold and bacteria under the ring. Remove the rings and wash them for use on your next batch, and rinse off the outside of the jar before storing.

12 Common Canning Mistakes That Even Experts Make

Image source: Pixabay.com

6. Fudging the processing time. When canning, precision is key. Use a timer and don’t cut corners when it comes to processing time. And be careful to use the time for the size jar you are using—many recipes give different times for quarts and pints. A note of caution: If you’re using those new 24-ounce canning jars, you won’t find any canning times for them. Don’t try splitting the difference, because unless you’ve tested the process in a food laboratory, you can’t know exactly how long it takes to get adequate heat to the center of that 24-ounce jar. If your recipe gives different times for pints and quarts and you’re using pint-and-a-halfs, use the time for the quarts.

7. Using alternative processing methods. We’ve all seen them—cute tricks for canning in your microwave or dishwasher or oven. And we’ve heard stories about how back in the day they used wax for jam or just inverted the jars on the counter and allowed them to heat-seal. Sure, people did it and lived through it, but why take the risk? None of these methods meet current safety recommendations, and some have made people sick.

8. Not taking headspace seriously. That space between the top of the product and the top of the jar is a key component to canning success. Too little space can cause product to squirt out during processing and get stuck on the rim, which could prevent the lid from sealing. Too much space can also prevent a tight seal, because larger headspaces take longer processing times to push out all the air and create the necessary vacuum. All good recipes give a head space measurement, and they are worth heeding.

9. Getting the temperatures wrong. Use hot jars, and place them into simmering water in the canner. Placing cold jars into hot water can cause breakage. And starting with cool water in the canner can take extra time to bring it up to boil, resulting in overcooked end results.

10. Not using the correct amount of water in the canner. It’s important that your water level is right. Too little water can expose the lids during a vigorous boil, and they may not can properly, and too much will take a long time to reach boiling. For a boiling-water-bath canner, you need at least 1 inch over top of the jars, but no more than 2 inches. It can be hard to judge ahead of time, so keep a kettle full of simmering water on standby when you load the canner, and add more if you need it. Have a long-handled scoop handy for bailing out excess water, too. Pressure canners are easier in this instance—follow the manufacturer’s directions, which will tell you either to use the fill line on the canner itself or to measure a certain depth of water.

11. Removing jars immediately after processing. It’s recommended to leave the jars in the water for a bit. In a boiling-water-bath canner, turn off the heat and remove the lid and let the jars set for five minutes before removing. In a pressure canner, allow it to completely depressurize, remove the weight or open the petcock, and let the jars set for 10 minutes before lifting the lid and removing the jars. This is not crucial, but it contributes to a better sealing rate. Then, let your jars set untouched for 12-24 hours. As much as you want to pick them up to show them off, or to put them away to make room for the next batch, or even to just press down on the lid to see if it sealed, try to leave them alone. This will improve your odds of a good solid seal for the best possible end result.

12. Pouring water off the lid. Oh, I know. This one is so hard to resist! It is super tempting to tilt the jar to pour off the excess water on the top, but don’t do it. Doing so can disrupt the seal you worked so hard to achieve. Remove the jars from the canner, set them on a towel or rack, and let the water evaporate naturally.

If you don’t get every single one of these items right every time, do not worry. Most of us don’t achieve perfection. I would encourage you to focus on product safety first, and continue to work on other possible mistakes which may affect the quality and success of your canning endeavors. And when you enjoy a jar of home-canned chutney or jam next winter, you’ll be glad you went to the trouble of doing your best.

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

Grid Down Preps: Alternatives and Solutions

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America’s power grid is aging and Congress has known this for years. Reams of federal agency reports have been presented that confirm that if a man-made attack (cyber war, terrorists), a solar event, or weather, took down the electrical grid, thousands or even millions of Americans will die.

China & Russia’s Secret Connection To North Korea

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In the span of just a few weeks, North Korea flew missiles over Japan, tested its sixth nuclear bomb, and threatened to test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean. And now it is promising to strike the United States.

Is the rogue nation — headed by Kim Jong-un — on the verge of sparking World War III?

That’s the topic of this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio, as we talk to Peter Vincent Pry, who is chief of staff of the EMP Commission and formerly served in the House Armed Services Committee and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Pry sees eerie parallels between North Korea and 1930s Germany just prior to World War II. He also believes Russia and China are secretly allying with North Korea – and cheering its every move


Pry also tells us:

  • Why he is more concerned about North Korea than he ever has been.
  • What he thinks the Trump administration should do.
  • Why North Korea likely already has the capability to strike the U.S. with an EMP.

Finally, Pry gives us the scoop on a North Korean government study that proves the country is seriously considering unleashing an EMP – and taking out the U.S. power grid. This is one show you don’t want to miss!

 

 

 

A “Culture Of Preparedness”

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  When I was a kid ( around 12) and became aware of the idea of preparedness and Survivalism, there were a number of agencies and organizations that were geared towards preparedness of one type or another. The American Civil Defense Association  and Live Free USA and are the two that come to mind as civilian organizations that […]

On Socratic Dialogue

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[Nyerges is the author of 16 books, founder of School of Self-Reliance, and an outdoor field guide. He can be reached at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or at www.schoolofSelf-Reliance.com.]
I am not an academic authority on “Socratic Dialogue,” but I believe that I have a good general sense of it.  When reading Plato’s account of the life of Socrates, and the events leading up to his trial, we get a good sense of how Socrates interacted with others.
Socrates would ask a series of questions, and each subsequent question was based on the answer to the previous one.  It was a true dialogue, where Socrates listened carefully, and responded appropriately.  Socrates said that he was trying to get to the “truth,” the “truth” that others claim to have found. His questions attempted to draw-out from the other person the knowledge or facts that were presumably available within that other person.  That is, Socrates was doing sometimes called educing – the root of the word “education.”   This suggests that all knowing can be acquired by thinking, and careful research.
I’ve had at least a few teachers who were skilled in educing, constantly engaging in a give and take, where eventually a full picture emerges about a subject. 
In the beginning of undergoing this process, I felt silly and frustrated when I was asked to draw these answers from within. But by attempting to be a part of the dialogue, rather than simply listening to a teacher, I learned that I knew a lot more than I realized.  In time, I realized that I began to think more clearly and systematically about things. I learned that there were ways to know if I only applied my mind to a given subject with research, application, and concentration.
I once went to lecture at a renown metaphysical center. The topic was Socratic Dialogue.  The lecturer was clearly in love with himself and the sound of his words, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I raised my hand to ask a pertinent question and he shushed me.  “No, I’m composing,” he said, and then went on with his monologue.
I sat there thinking about this for a few minutes, and realized that I would learn nothing about the Socratic Dialogue from this man.  I got up and left.  His demonstration with me was the opposite of Socratic Dialogue.  To be fair, this had been billed as a “lecture,” not a demonstration or practicum of Socratic Dialogue.
In my classes, I have tried in my limited way to employ Socratic Dialogue.  When I am asked a question, I am inclined to ask the student, “What do you think is the answer?”  Sometimes I get blanks, or, “I don’t know; that’s why I’m in this class.” But occasionally a student will try to answer their own question, and then we go on from there, step by step, working together to draw from the student the answers – or bits of answers—that were already there inside.  (And for the record, I may or may not know the answer, but that’s not the point.)
A man who once attended my classes mentioned me in his book called “Emergency.” It was an excellent book about his quest to learn about survival in the broadest context. In his book he described my teaching method, suggesting that I didn’t want to give answers to students but just wanted to lord over them that I knew it all!  He didn’t quite get what I was doing, unfortunately.  
Things didn’t go so well for Socrates either.
Even though Socrates changed the life of his lead student, Plato, and the millions of “followers” who read about Socrates through Plato, those leaders and priests who brushed up too closely with Socrates felt that he was somehow exposing or disrespecting them.  These “leaders” of ancient Greece trumped up some charges that Socrates was “corrupting the youth of Athens,” and put the philosopher on trial. Socrates lost, of course, was imprisoned, and fulfilled the death sentence by drinking the prescribed hemlock tea.
I’m still a big fan of Socratic Dialogue, not because of how it turned out with Socrates, but because it is a method that can open us up to our own inner mind, and allow us to experience true education.
Public schools are too large with too many students per teacher, and too controlled, to do Socratic Dialogue.  Public schools tend to fill the students minds with facts that they must memorize. 
Anyone today who comes through the “school system” as a clear-thinking, creative individual does so in spite of the school system, not because of it.

Can Churches Be Made Safe Again?

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Can Churches Be Made Safe Again?

Can Churches Be Made Safe?

church safety

A gunman entered the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee, killing one and injuring several others at a September 24th Sunday religious service. This heinous act of violence in a place of worship underscores the need for a strategy that churches can implement to keep congregants safe.

There is no place where crowds gather that is immune to the bad intentions of a disgruntled, deranged, or politically-motivated individual. Therefore, a culture of situational awareness must be instilled in every citizen. This attitude of calm vigilance is especially needed in religious venues.

Unfortunately, not all pastors prioritize church safety at the level needed in this toxic climate. The premise that their ministry is based on peace fails to take into account that there are those who consider places of worship to be “soft”targets. In this era of active shooters and anti-Christian feeling, pastors must make sure their flock is safe, just like any shepherd. In the New Normal, it’s has become part of the job description.

In my role as medical preparedness writer, it’s my mission to help the average citizen promote the well-being of loved ones in disasters. Lately, I’ve written about hurricanes and earthquakes, but shooter events like the one in Antioch are also instances where mass casualties can occur. These casualties might be minimized with a plan of action and quick action.

Large churches may choose to hire security professionals and install video surveillance technology. Smaller and less affluent churches, however, might benefit by establishing what I call a “safety ministry“. This group should be comprised of parishioners who have some security experience, such as active and former law enforcement, military veterans, and carefully selected others. Members should evaluate the layout of the church and grounds for weak spots and organize a plan of action for calling 911 and other measures when needed.

This goal might best be accomplished with the cooperation and assistance of local police. They can help train church members in how to identify the behavior of possible perpetrators of violence. The pastoral staff should be actively involved in this training to assess liability issues that might arise, and to insure that the safety ministry is not perceived as a “goon squad”.

The call for volunteers for such a ministry should be made publicly and their purpose should be frankly (but calmly) explained so as to emphasize their benefits to all those attending the church. The formation of a security group in private might otherwise tend to cause concern instead of reassurance.

A simple way to avoid or abort acts of violence in places of worship is the placement of friendly but visible “greeters” or ushers at church entrances. These people can look for anomalies, such as someone inappropriately dressed for the weather. If a person seeking entry is wearing an overcoat in hot weather, it could be because they are concealing a weapon. Having greeters outside could also make it easier to identify those acting nervously, loitering in the parking lot, or otherwise exhibiting suspicious behavior.

Safety ministry personnel should have the ability to close and lock doors to prevent a gunman from entering. Conversely, they can also open all the exits that could be used to direct congregants out of harm’s way when necessary. Ushers can also look for packages left behind that might hide an explosive device.

In an active shooter event, multiple casualties are incurred, leaving wounded and bleeding victims at the scene. Safety Ministry personnel should have training on how to stop bleeding and equipment such as first aid kits geared to help them accomplish this goal. Indeed, the church might consider arranging such training for their entire congregation.

Although this article is geared towards security during services, a plan of action should be organized for other times during the week as well, and certainly for youth group meetings and other activities sponsored by the church.

Of course, the elephant in the room is the question as to whether non-professional security personnel should be armed. I can’t give you the answer. This is a decision that must be made taking local laws, risk levels, and the wishes of the congregation into consideration.

Sadly, I envision a future where safety ministries are standard operating procedure for our places of worship. Additionally, I predict that first aid kits will be fixtures next to the fire extinguishers on the walls of every place where crowds gather.

It may be a major challenge to protect people of faith these days, but preparing for untoward events should be the responsibility of every pastor and congregant. With a plan of action, they’ll have the best chance to keep our churches safe in the uncertain future.

Joe Alton MD

dr. alton

Joe Alton MD

(Note: I don’t claim to be a security professional, just an old country doctor. If you have additional advice on how to improve the safety of people of faith, send your tips to drbonespodcast@aol.com!)

 

Besides Church, it’s never a bad idea to have a first aid kit for the home and/or vehicle. Feel free to check out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net. You’ll be glad you did.

The Survival medicine handbook Third Edition 2016

The Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition

Can Churches Be Made Safe Again?

Can Churches Be Made Safe Again?

Can Churches Be Made Safe?

church safety

A gunman entered the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee, killing one and injuring several others at a September 24th Sunday religious service. This heinous act of violence in a place of worship underscores the need for a strategy that churches can implement to keep congregants safe.

There is no place where crowds gather that is immune to the bad intentions of a disgruntled, deranged, or politically-motivated individual. Therefore, a culture of situational awareness must be instilled in every citizen. This attitude of calm vigilance is especially needed in religious venues.

Unfortunately, not all pastors prioritize church safety at the level needed in this toxic climate. The premise that their ministry is based on peace fails to take into account that there are those who consider places of worship to be “soft”targets. In this era of active shooters and anti-Christian feeling, pastors must make sure their flock is safe, just like any shepherd. In the New Normal, it’s has become part of the job description.

In my role as medical preparedness writer, it’s my mission to help the average citizen promote the well-being of loved ones in disasters. Lately, I’ve written about hurricanes and earthquakes, but shooter events like the one in Antioch are also instances where mass casualties can occur. These casualties might be minimized with a plan of action and quick action.

Large churches may choose to hire security professionals and install video surveillance technology. Smaller and less affluent churches, however, might benefit by establishing what I call a “safety ministry“. This group should be comprised of parishioners who have some security experience, such as active and former law enforcement, military veterans, and carefully selected others. Members should evaluate the layout of the church and grounds for weak spots and organize a plan of action for calling 911 and other measures when needed.

This goal might best be accomplished with the cooperation and assistance of local police. They can help train church members in how to identify the behavior of possible perpetrators of violence. The pastoral staff should be actively involved in this training to assess liability issues that might arise, and to insure that the safety ministry is not perceived as a “goon squad”.

The call for volunteers for such a ministry should be made publicly and their purpose should be frankly (but calmly) explained so as to emphasize their benefits to all those attending the church. The formation of a security group in private might otherwise tend to cause concern instead of reassurance.

A simple way to avoid or abort acts of violence in places of worship is the placement of friendly but visible “greeters” or ushers at church entrances. These people can look for anomalies, such as someone inappropriately dressed for the weather. If a person seeking entry is wearing an overcoat in hot weather, it could be because they are concealing a weapon. Having greeters outside could also make it easier to identify those acting nervously, loitering in the parking lot, or otherwise exhibiting suspicious behavior.

Safety ministry personnel should have the ability to close and lock doors to prevent a gunman from entering. Conversely, they can also open all the exits that could be used to direct congregants out of harm’s way when necessary. Ushers can also look for packages left behind that might hide an explosive device.

In an active shooter event, multiple casualties are incurred, leaving wounded and bleeding victims at the scene. Safety Ministry personnel should have training on how to stop bleeding and equipment such as first aid kits geared to help them accomplish this goal. Indeed, the church might consider arranging such training for their entire congregation.

Although this article is geared towards security during services, a plan of action should be organized for other times during the week as well, and certainly for youth group meetings and other activities sponsored by the church.

Of course, the elephant in the room is the question as to whether non-professional security personnel should be armed. I can’t give you the answer. This is a decision that must be made taking local laws, risk levels, and the wishes of the congregation into consideration.

Sadly, I envision a future where safety ministries are standard operating procedure for our places of worship. Additionally, I predict that first aid kits will be fixtures next to the fire extinguishers on the walls of every place where crowds gather.

It may be a major challenge to protect people of faith these days, but preparing for untoward events should be the responsibility of every pastor and congregant. With a plan of action, they’ll have the best chance to keep our churches safe in the uncertain future.

Joe Alton MD

dr. alton

Joe Alton MD

(Note: I don’t claim to be a security professional, just an old country doctor. If you have additional advice on how to improve the safety of people of faith, send your tips to drbonespodcast@aol.com!)

 

Besides Church, it’s never a bad idea to have a first aid kit for the home and/or vehicle. Feel free to check out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net. You’ll be glad you did.

The Survival medicine handbook Third Edition 2016

The Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition

Can Churches Be Made Safe Again?

Can Churches Be Made Safe Again?

Can Churches Be Made Safe?

church safety

A gunman entered the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee, killing one and injuring several others at a September 24th Sunday religious service. This heinous act of violence in a place of worship underscores the need for a strategy that churches can implement to keep congregants safe.

There is no place where crowds gather that is immune to the bad intentions of a disgruntled, deranged, or politically-motivated individual. Therefore, a culture of situational awareness must be instilled in every citizen. This attitude of calm vigilance is especially needed in religious venues.

Unfortunately, not all pastors prioritize church safety at the level needed in this toxic climate. The premise that their ministry is based on peace fails to take into account that there are those who consider places of worship to be “soft”targets. In this era of active shooters and anti-Christian feeling, pastors must make sure their flock is safe, just like any shepherd. In the New Normal, it’s has become part of the job description.

In my role as medical preparedness writer, it’s my mission to help the average citizen promote the well-being of loved ones in disasters. Lately, I’ve written about hurricanes and earthquakes, but shooter events like the one in Antioch are also instances where mass casualties can occur. These casualties might be minimized with a plan of action and quick action.

Large churches may choose to hire security professionals and install video surveillance technology. Smaller and less affluent churches, however, might benefit by establishing what I call a “safety ministry“. This group should be comprised of parishioners who have some security experience, such as active and former law enforcement, military veterans, and carefully selected others. Members should evaluate the layout of the church and grounds for weak spots and organize a plan of action for calling 911 and other measures when needed.

This goal might best be accomplished with the cooperation and assistance of local police. They can help train church members in how to identify the behavior of possible perpetrators of violence. The pastoral staff should be actively involved in this training to assess liability issues that might arise, and to insure that the safety ministry is not perceived as a “goon squad”.

The call for volunteers for such a ministry should be made publicly and their purpose should be frankly (but calmly) explained so as to emphasize their benefits to all those attending the church. The formation of a security group in private might otherwise tend to cause concern instead of reassurance.

A simple way to avoid or abort acts of violence in places of worship is the placement of friendly but visible “greeters” or ushers at church entrances. These people can look for anomalies, such as someone inappropriately dressed for the weather. If a person seeking entry is wearing an overcoat in hot weather, it could be because they are concealing a weapon. Having greeters outside could also make it easier to identify those acting nervously, loitering in the parking lot, or otherwise exhibiting suspicious behavior.

Safety ministry personnel should have the ability to close and lock doors to prevent a gunman from entering. Conversely, they can also open all the exits that could be used to direct congregants out of harm’s way when necessary. Ushers can also look for packages left behind that might hide an explosive device.

In an active shooter event, multiple casualties are incurred, leaving wounded and bleeding victims at the scene. Safety Ministry personnel should have training on how to stop bleeding and equipment such as first aid kits geared to help them accomplish this goal. Indeed, the church might consider arranging such training for their entire congregation.

Although this article is geared towards security during services, a plan of action should be organized for other times during the week as well, and certainly for youth group meetings and other activities sponsored by the church.

Of course, the elephant in the room is the question as to whether non-professional security personnel should be armed. I can’t give you the answer. This is a decision that must be made taking local laws, risk levels, and the wishes of the congregation into consideration.

Sadly, I envision a future where safety ministries are standard operating procedure for our places of worship. Additionally, I predict that first aid kits will be fixtures next to the fire extinguishers on the walls of every place where crowds gather.

It may be a major challenge to protect people of faith these days, but preparing for untoward events should be the responsibility of every pastor and congregant. With a plan of action, they’ll have the best chance to keep our churches safe in the uncertain future.

Joe Alton MD

dr. alton

Joe Alton MD

(Note: I don’t claim to be a security professional, just an old country doctor. If you have additional advice on how to improve the safety of people of faith, send your tips to drbonespodcast@aol.com!)

 

Besides Church, it’s never a bad idea to have a first aid kit for the home and/or vehicle. Feel free to check out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net. You’ll be glad you did.

The Survival medicine handbook Third Edition 2016

The Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition

Alternative News Websites

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Lot of us have our daily routines when it comes to searching out news and information. Lots of us mostly disregard the news coming from the mainstream, given their blatantly obvious agenda. So many of us look elsewhere to discover the pulse of what’s going on out there. That got me to thinking about posting this question: What are the alternative news websites that you visit?   “Alternative” in this context means non-mainstream. “Mainstream” in this context refers to the ‘alphabet channels’ and their associated websites, and other such major news corps and the like. “News” in this context is

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No-Till Garden Cover Crops, How To Stop Next Year’s Weeds This Fall!

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When it comes to low maintenance gardening, nothing can quite lend a hand like planting no-till garden cover crops. Do you want to eliminate nearly all of your weeding woes next year? Would you like to plant your vegetables next

The post No-Till Garden Cover Crops, How To Stop Next Year’s Weeds This Fall! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

It’s A Page Out Of Satan’s Playbook

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     I know this will be a controversial subject, but how many of you are tired of hearing about the battle between the President and the NFL?  I am not here to judge the pros and cons, or the decisions of those who chose to kneel, or to stand with their hand on their heart, or to lock arms, or to stay off the field all together.  We live in a country where freedom of speech and expression are still a birthright. But those in the midst of this controversy [who profess to be Christian] need to recognize that their birthright as Sons of God takes precedence over their identities as members of a football team.
     I don’t even really see this as a matter of supporting the troops or racial inequality or police brutality or crime in black communities.  All I see is Satan spreading deception, discord, and chaos. Are all those issues a reality in our culture?  Yes, they are. Are they insurmountable? Not if we quit listening to the lies of the Father of Lies. As I see it, this entire situation has been orchestrated by the devil.  Does he have his human partners in this state of affairs? Absolutely! But it is time Christians take the lead in these circumstances and shut down the Enemy’s scheme to use man’s pride as his tool to sow evil.

     It is the devil’s delight to destroy … whether it be your peace, your marriage, your health, or our national dialogue.  He loves to kill relationships, and cause anger and conflict.  And his signature is all over this NFL controversy.  He started it with a snide comment and tweet, and then he escalated it with wounded pride, and whispers in the ears of both sides, “You don’t have to take it!  Who does he/they think they are? Strike back! I’ll show them! We need to stand for what is right!”  And then he caps off his scheme by stealing the camaraderie and joy between the players and the fans, which in turn, causes another layer of discord and disharmony.
     I wish just one faithful person would stand up and say, “Guys, look at what Satan is doing to us!”  I mean these players are trained to size up their opponent’s strategy and be ready to adjust their game plan when they find themselves losing.  And there is nothing about this situation that says anyone is winning.  I see the devil’s strategy as plain as day … As I wrote a couple of years ago in a post titled The Four D’s Of The Enemy’s Battle Plan, I am seeing that this battle between the President and the NFL is shaping up to be a tactical salvo in the devil’s spiritual war against this nation.
     The devil is using Deception to convince both sides that they can win this argument. Whatever immediate satisfaction they might gain from making their point will be lost in the escalated animosity that will spill over into all of our society.  He is promising that righteous indignation will win the day, but dramatization and exaggeration will diminish the message.  And if that’s not enough to destroy any goodwill that might be left, the Enemy will employ the news and social media and the world of entertainment to fan the flames and sow more seeds of deception through bitter and malicious comments.
     Division is the next tool Satan is using to implement his scheme … division between races, between players and fans, between political and social agendas, and between those who play a game for millions of dollars and those who die on the battlefield to defend their right to say and do what their conscience tells them.  He uses man’s arrogance, pride, resentments, fear, and misunderstandings  to keep us from finding a better way to communicate our differences and experiences.  He seeks to divide us among ourselves, so that we do not recognize him as our common Enemy who is out to kill and destroy us all.
     And it seems so clear to me that this whole mess is nothing but a Diversion that keeps us from looking at our real problems … a lack of relationship with Jesus Christ, first and foremost; lack of love and respect for our fellow man; and lack of personal responsibility for the ills of this nation.  Is this controversy really worthy of such national conflict?  Whether one stands for the National Anthem is a statement on how we feel about our citizenship in this country.  But where is our statement about our superior citizenship in Heaven (Philippians 3:20)? Satan has us so caught up in this lesser dispute, that we have abdicated our identities as ambassadors of our Father’s Kingdom.
     And lastly, the devil is using a strategy of Discouragement to make us feel that we will never achieve unity in this nation or world. Whether it is the NFL or North Korea, he is painting a bleak picture of our future.  He convinces us that we are headed down a path of no return, and that we will never settle our differences.  We find ourselves tired and apathetic that change will ever be accomplished, and so we don’t turn to the One who could be the instrument of our revival.
     There are voices of reason and faith among members of the NFL, but their voices are small in number.  Let us pray that more Christians among them will walk out their faith in leadership roles, pointing to a higher calling in these circumstances.  And let each of us pray that men of principle will recognize the devil’s strategy and refuse to play by his rules.  Nothing is impossible when we put our faith and trust in Jesus, and lock arms in unity with our Brothers and Sisters in Christ. That is where we are all equal in our worth to the Father. Let it be on earth, as it is in Heaven…

2 Corinthians 2:10-11   “…. if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes”. 
           

Urban Camping When The Power Is Out

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The emotions that accompany living through a disaster then surviving the aftermath are many and complex.

Those of us who are fortunate enough to have a few limbs down or maybe lose some screens or a few roof shingles breathe a sigh of relief, but then feel unnecessarily guilty because we got lucky while our neighbors a few streets over are without power or lost belongings due to flooding, or had a tree fall in their car.

Even if we’re without power, many of us would rather stay in our own homes rather than go stay with a friend, especially if it’s a long-term thing.

Part of that is because home is home. All of your stuff is there and it’s still your sanctuary, even if it’s dark and hot. Part of it is also to protect your property. Unfortunately, the vultures circle after disasters and if they know that a household has evacuated, then the home is fair game for looting.

So, the alternative to imposing on friends – even if they don’t feel that you’re imposing – and leaving your belongings unprotected is staying in your home.

We have a laugh-or-cry joke that our houses turn into giant tents or RVs after a storm and we’re camping in our homes.

And that’s seriously, literally what we’re doing. There’s no power, which means there’s no lights, no air conditioning, no technology, no hot showers, no refrigeration, and often no stove because most stoves here are electric.

The main difference is that we still have our beds, there aren’t as many bugs, and the toilet almost always works. That’s about it.

So, how do you live in a house that’s been turned into a large tent? You take a deep breath, be thankful you still have a house to camp in, find shortcuts and you need to know how to do it safely.

Be Prepared

I probably don’t have to stress the importance of preparation in general, but I will share some details that I’ve learned from experience.

First, don’t wait till the last minute. Ideally, you should have most, if not all, of everything that you need stockpiled. If you don’t, get your rear to the store as soon as you hear the first whisper of impending disaster. If you wait, you’ll be too late.

Now, you probably think that if you have water, canned soups, and maybe ice stocked back, you’ll be fine. Well, yeah, but you don’t need to live that rustically.

Stock up on regular items, too. Chips, juice, a pack or two of Oreos, and maybe a case of beer or a couple of bottles of wine if that’s your thing.

Those types of comfort items make a bad situation a little more comfortable—not that I’m suggesting you drink yourself silly during a hurricane when you’re going to need your wits about you, but you may want to have a beer with dinner after the hurricane, when you’re grilling the stuff from your freezer, and the stores may not have any.

Here are a few more items to stockpile:

  • Charcoal
  • Gasoline for generators and all vehicles
  • Propane for the grill
  • A generator will make your life a thousand times easier. You don’t appreciate a fridge and fan till you don’t have them
  • Comfort foods such as chips
  • Canned soups, canned fruits, and other foods that require minimal preparation and no refrigeration
  • Board games
  • Ice – frozen jugs full of water
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Batteries for your flashlights and games
  • Jar candles or tea light candles – they burn for a few hours and if you drop them in a heat-proof jar, you get quite a bit of light with minimal heat.
  • Matches and/or lighters
  • Cold/hot neck wraps
  • Baby wipes
  • Water, sports drinks, instant coffee/tea
  • Lighter fluid
  • A large cooler
  • Extension cord to run outside to the generator

You’ll be surprised how much the items on this list will come in handy and will mke your life easier if you have to essentially camp in your own house.

Don’t Mess with Power Lines

It never fails that at least one person dies after a storm because they don’t heed his warning. Power Lines carry more than enough juice to kill you. Even if they’re dead, if your chainsaw accidentally hits on one, it can kick back and kill you.

 

This smart device will help you slash an excess of 70% off your power bill overnight…

 

As a matter of fact, this just happened during hurricane Irma. A guy was on a ladder trimming limbs off the power line, and his chainsaw snagged, hit the wire, kicked back up, and hit him in the neck. Completely horrible, and needless, way to die.

If the wires are down, assume they’re hot and stay away from them. Move animals if you need to so that they won’t get hurt either by the wire or the downed limbs and debris.

Don’t Use Grills or Generators Inside

There were four fatalities in my area because people were running their generators inside the house and died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Running a generator in the house, even if it’s well-ventilated, is akin to sitting in your car in the garage, with a tube running from the exhaust to the cracked window. Seriously. A generator should always be at least 15 feet away from the house – thus the extension cords on the list above.

Grills pose a double hazard if you use them in the house – you’re breathing the smoke and gas/lighter fluid fumes, and you’re also running the risk of burning your house down. That’s certainly an instance of going from bad to worse! Seriously though, keep the grills – whether they’re little camp grills or full-sized outdoor grills where they belong – outside!

Here are some alternative methods to cooking without power that may be better for you.

Keep Your Food Cold

Food poisoning would most certainly make urban camping life miserable, especially if it gets so bad that you need to go to a hospital that you can’t reach or that is likely already inundated with disaster-related illnesses and injuries in addition to its standard load. Keeping your food at a safe temperature will go a long way toward helping keep you well.

There’s a saying in the food industry – keep your hot food hot and your cold food cold. It’s pretty self-explanatory, except for one are that many people overlook, especially when camping, urban or otherwise. That’s what to do with food after you’ve already cooked it.

It’s tempting to leave food out for several hours, especially when you have limited cooler or fridge space, but in order to close that room-temperature window of time when illness-causing bacteria likes to grow, get it cold again within two hours of cooking, or one hour if it’s over 90 degrees where the food is sitting.

Here’s a cool way to make a refrigeration unit with clay pots.

Now, to reduce the chance of raw food spoiling and making you sick, here are some suggestions:

  • Keep meats separate from all other foods, and keep fowl away from red meat to prevent the spread of salmonella
  • Don’t let your food float in ice water in the cooler.
  • Once the ice has melted and the water in your cooler is no longer icy cold, dump it. It’s now a cesspool for bacteria. Use it to flush the commode.
  • Cook thawed meats within a couple hours after they’ve reached room temperature if you don’t have a source of refrigeration or within a few days if you’ve kept them cold. Watch for signs of spoilage such as smell, discoloration, or sliminess.
  • If your meat thaws, don’t just wait for it to go bad. Cook it up – that will buy you a couple of extra days if you can refrigerate it afterwards. If you have too much to eat by yourself, give it to a neighbor or somebody else that’s in need. I promise you that for many folks, a hamburger or a piece of real chicken will taste magnificent if they’ve been living on canned food for three days. Whatever you do, don’t waste it if you can avoid it.

Clean Up Flood Waters

Rule number one in staying healthy while you’re urban camping. If your place was flooded, clean it up. Seriously – flood waters are cesspools for disease.

Scrub everything that you can with hot, soapy water and disinfect with bleach. Especially if your power is off, mold and mildew that can damage everything from your respiratory system to your heart and nervous system will start to grow within just a couple of days. The first thing you need to do is clean up any flood waters. Afterward, wash your hands.

Be Careful with Open Fires

Cooking on an open fire or even having a burn pile to clean up the yard can turn catastrophic quickly. Within just a few days after falling, tree leaves and limbs are excellent tinder, regardless of whether it’s roasting outside or freezing, and a stray ash or spark can turn into an inferno in the blink of an eye.

Be even more careful with outdoor fires than you normally would because you may be existing in perfect-storm circumstances – plenty of dry fuel and a team of first responders that are stretched beyond their limits.

There are several different ways to cook when the power is out, so fire may not be your best option. If it is, be careful.

Maintain Personal Hygiene and a Clean Living Space

As with any SHTF scenario, hygiene is a must. If you have no restroom, make sure that your modified one is in an area that isn’t going to affect your food and water supply or stink up the area where you’re going to be living.

Also, wash your hands frequently (hand sanitizer is awesome in this situation) and keep counters and other areas where food may come into contact clean. Dispose of food waste far away from the house.

Urban camping isn’t going to be a walk in the park, but you can make it as comfortable as possible by avoiding sickness and making the best of things.

Maintaining a positive morale is every bit as critical as maintaining a healthy body – when you start to feel sorry for yourself, or angry, think about the family of the man who died in the chainsaw accident, the family who lost their home, and the small businesses that sustained catastrophic damage to inventory or storefront.

Things could always be worse; at least you have a house to “urban camp” in and friends and family who are healthy enough to be so cranky due to the circumstances that you want to smack them.

It may be tough, but you’ll get over it. And that’s all that matters in the end – everything else is just stuff.

If you’ve lived through a situation that required urban camping and have some hints and tips to share please do so in the comments section below.

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

A Bug Out Bag for Frequent Flyers

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest submission from Cellcounter about a different disaster you may have to factor into your prepper planning!. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award, as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

One of the challenges of being a dedicated prepper is that is almost impossible to cover all contingencies. No matter how well you plan, prepare and stock up, you can always have situations arise that you did not prepare for or count on.

For me, one of my almost daily challenges, involves travel. I fly over 200,000 miles domestically every year. This can keep me on the road and in the air almost five days a week. Not the best “Bug Out” scenario, huh?

Over the past three years I have developed a travel friendly, TSA compliant, carry on, bug out bag.

 vs    

First, let me say a few words about what you carry. Do not try to carry credit card knives, ceramic knives, or any type of knife device intended to be covert. TSA will find it and you will be arrested. I have witnessed this with my own eyes on several occasions.

    

I am going to list each item and explain how it fits into the travel bug out bag scenario. Each item will have a “problem” rating. A number will appear in parenthesis ahead of each item indicating how many times I have been stopped because of the item. If I have never been stopped because of the item, “NI” will appear indicating NO ISSUES.

First, EDC (Everyday carry) items. These items should be in your pockets when you approach the TSA checkpoint. You will be required to place these items into a TSA “dog dish” for pass thru in the scanner. Any keys, metal coins, cell phones, etc. must go into the dish as well.

  • (1) Tactical 300 lumen flashlight – I have been stopped only once with this flashlight and TSA only wanted me to unscrew the lid to the battery compartment so they could view the battery
  • (NI) Standard “Bic” type lighter – Yes, believe it or not, you are allowed to carry a standard lighter with you. You cannot have any torch type or jet type lighter. These will be confiscated by TSA
  • (1) Metal tactical ink pen – These pens are available in many shapes and sizes. Stick with the smaller size and make sure you can demonstrate that it writes if stopped and questioned about it (only questioned once)
  • (NI) Paracord bracelet – This a handy item for many situations and has never been an issue.
  • (NI) Large metal coin – A large metal coin can be used as a flat-head screwdriver, can be heated to seal wounds or as a hand warmer when placed in between two pieces of cloth. I have a large NRA coin that I have carried for six years. Challenge coins are great as well.

On to the bug out bag itself. I use the Travelon Packable Multi Pocket Back Pack. I do not unfold it, but leave it in its compact size. Unfolded it expands to 19” x 12.5” x 6”. I place it in my computer bag or shoulder messenger bag. Leaving it in its compact form, I still can put the following items in it:

  • (NI) Eton Scorpion AM/FM/NOAA Emergency Radio – This is one of the most compact radio units out there. It has both solar charging and crank operations. It has an LED flashlight built in and a tough rubberized case and is waterproof. A top-mounted carabiner will allow you to attach it to most anything.
  • (NI) Mylar space blanket – These have multiple uses and have never been an issue through security.
  • (NI) Generic Whistle/Compass/Signal Mirror Match Holder – You have seen these dorky things on every survival site on the web. They normally come with matches and a lanyard. REMOVE the matches. Bad day otherwise.
  • (NI) Lifeline First Aid Kit – This is a small, compact kit containing the normal assortment of bandages, gauze, etc. NOTE: Remove the alcohol wipes and moist towelettes from the kit and place them in your quart-size, 3 oz or less TSA bag.
  • (NI) Hotel size bar soap – Never an issue
  • (NI) Small sewing kit – Small variety of needles, safety pins, buttons and thread.
  • (NI) Eton Blackout Buddy H2O – This a small flashlight device that is activated by adding a few drops of water to a sealed compartment on the device. Last up to 12 hours.
  • (NI) Collapsible shopping bag – These fold up to about 2” X 2”. Great for stashing foraged supplies.
  • (NI) Hiking socks (2 pair) – If TSHTF, you will probably be doing a lot of walking.
  • (2) LifeStraw water filters – This is perfect for travel and will outlast your journey. I have been stopped twice with this item. Once I explained what it was, no problem.

Remember, you are already carrying a lot of useful items as part of your regular travel packing.

  • Spare clothing
  • Paper – Notebook paper makes great kindling
  • Pens, sharpies
  • Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, etc.

What scenarios would necessitate needing these preps?

Well, hopefully you are on the ground if an EMP event happens. If you are lucky enough not to be plunging out of the sky, the items you have with you would allow you to start a trek on foot towards home, a safer situation, etc. If you have any experience in prepping for survival, you will be scavenging and foraging as you go.

  

Economic collapse/civil unrest. When the economy goes, it will go quickly. The day the government handout checks will not cash, the country will plunge into anarchy. Angry entitlement recipients will begin looting, plundering and attacking anyone they see as privileged. Other than the tactical pen, the TSA has rendered you weaponless, so your skill set needs to include defensive techniques, etc.

Earthquake/natural disaster. Least likely if you travel domestically as I do but if it did happen, the LifeStraw could be the difference in life or death. Utilities are the first thing to shut down is these situations.

This is by no means and exhaustive list, this is just what I personally carry through trial and error with the TSA. Remember, the TSA has a horrible job. They have to deal with thousands of disgruntled flyers, flyers ignorant of the regulations, and defiant or drunk flyers as well. Your best chance to go through a TSA checkpoint unscathed is to be polite and treat them like humans. Most days, they do not want to be there any more than you do. Happy Trails and be safe out there.

 

 

 

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4 Essential Marine Gun Tips for an Average Apartment Dweller

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Written by Will Guns are important in a survival situation and you shouldn’t let anyone convince you otherwise!  We need them for self-defense, hunting, and defending our base (which can just as easily be your apartment).  When SHTF, there won’t be another mean to keep safe as all sorts of trouble will head your way.  Worse, you’ll have to defend against other people who, in a need for survival, will set aside any shadow of civilization.  That’s why I think it’s important […]

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