Hunting Squirrels with an Airsoft Rifle for Wilderness Survival

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A guest post by William Bell

Squirrels are the ideal food when you’re in a survival situation. Granted they are not big, but they are usually everywhere, and it’s easy to spot and shoot them. Even more, where there is one squirrel, there will be more as it only takes them a couple of months to reproduce.

While the taste is not fantastic, squirrel meat is a 100% organic, sustainable protein that will keep you alive and functional in an SHTF situation. So, if you’ve never done this before, it’s time to start practicing!

In the interest of adaptation to any conditions the future might throw at us, I decided to try my luck at hunting with airsoft weapons. Many hunters will give you a long look before asking if you’ve gone mad, but to them, airsoft guns are just toys. Still, given the fact that you can hunt squirrels with a slingshot, why wouldn’t this work for a BB gun too?

I know from experience that there are some powerful air guns out there and they are quite effective in hunting small game. Even more, if you master hunting with a BB gun, you’ll be able to save live ammunition for the bigger game when SHTF.

How to choose the Right Air Gun & Ammo

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Of course, not every BB gun will do for hunting so let’s take a look at the caliber and power you’ll need.

The Caliber – Since I didn’t feel like testing out every airsoft weapon in my collection, I reached out to an expert. So, I talked to Tom from googgun.com, and he recommended I try the .177 and the .22 caliber. He also mentioned that the .177 is better for the avian game while the .22 works best with squirrels and other furry rodents. Still, I’ve had luck with both calibers in shooting squirrels.

The Power – If you’re using a .177 gun, you’ll need one that is capable of developing about 415 feet per second at the point of impact (or 3-foot pounds of energy). With a .22 caliber, you’ll only need about 300 fps.

Of course, the point of impact must be in the kill zone (head or heart/lung) for a clean shot. Otherwise, you’ll only manage to injure the squirrel, and this won’t do.

If you want to learn more about the power you need in various situations, here you can find a detailed graph and more information.

Choosing the Ammo – The main concern when you choose the ammo is accuracy. That’s why I strongly recommend testing the ammo you have before going squirrel hunting. It’s very important to find the ammo that works best with your gun, regarding accuracy. After all, you’re not shooting at a still target, and you need pellets to hit the right points.

How to Improve Your Skills

Any survivalist knows that when everything goes haywire, the time for preparedness is over. If you want to survive through hunting, you need the necessary skills, and accurate shooting is one of the most important.

If we talk about squirrels, you must be able to hit a really small target that’s most likely moving at high speeds. For this, I recommend a lot of practice, and here you can also learn a few tricks to make your gun more accurate.

One way to make sure you’ll actually hit the target is to get a scope. Since the kill zone on a squirrel is tiny, I use scopes on all my airsoft guns, and it’s not just improved my accuracy; I can also spot the little buggers better.

The squirrel is highly skilled at hiding (they try to become part of the tree by standing still), and the fur is specially colored to camouflage it. So, if you get a 3-9x scope with an adjustable objective, you may have a better chance at finding them. The adjustable objective is great at bringing things into focus, and the zoom is helpful at placing the pellet in the optimal position.

How to Prepare the Squirrel

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As a hunter, you must know how to shoot and how to prepare the meat for consumption. With squirrels, things are simple as the most of the meat is concentrated in the legs, especially the rear ones. Of course, if you manage to bring down a large one, you may have enough meat to cook the whole body.

To remove the skin, make a vertical cut down the sides and pull half the skin over the head and half over the tail. Next, chop the legs off and cook them as you would cook chicken wings.

You’ll notice that the taste isn’t gamey and the texture is quite clean on the tongue, so there’s no need to wash it down with a beverage. The meat is nourishing, and it brings protein in your diet, which is very important in times of survival.

Also See: FREE PDF – Rabbit Processing

A Few Final Words…

In the spirit of being prepared for anything, knowing how to shoot squirrels with an airsoft gun is quite important. In times of need, live ammunition is important, and a BB gun can help you save it. Even more, squirrels are high in protein and can be found in almost any environment.

 

Biologists are warning that tiny microbial organisms are being moved around the planet on an unprecedented scale.

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Biologists are warning that tiny microbial organisms are being moved around the planet on an unprecedented scale.

They’re worried the usually unseen ecosystems will get out of balance in the same way that larger animals and plants can become pests.

With bacteria in our oceans providing most of the oxygen we breathe it could become a matter of life and death.

5 Reasons Quail Might Be Better Than Chicken For The Homestead

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5 Reasons Quail Might Be Better Than Chicken For The Homestead

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For most homesteaders, poultry is the “gateway livestock,” the first animals purchased as you try to raise your own food. And chickens are easy to raise, and a wonderful source of eggs and meat.

But when you are thinking about what kind of birds you want to raise on your homestead – for food, for profit and for fun – maybe you also should consider quail. More and more homesteaders are giving quail a try.

Here are five reasons why quail might be a good choice for your homestead:

1. Fast food

Standard meat chickens, while delicious, can take 14-16 weeks before they are ready to eat. Most quail, on the other hand, can be butchered eight to 10 weeks after they hatch. Quail are small, but they’re delicious; you can find them on the menus at the finest restaurants. And if you raise your own, you can try out numerous quail recipes in the comfort of your own kitchen!

2. Great egg layers

Most species of quail are prolific layers of small, mottled eggs. Some species, like the bobwhite and coturnix quails, lay hundreds of eggs per year. Pickled quail eggs are a delicacy all over the world, and every homesteader should have a jar or two on hand for a tasty treat.

Goofy Gadget Can Recharge Your Laptop — And Jump-Start Your Car!

Quail also are consistent layers of fertile eggs that are simple to incubate, too, making it easier for homesteaders to keep a steady population of quail on hand.

3. Quiet in the coop

Compared to chickens and other poultry, quail are quiet and easy to maintain. If you are concerned about neighbors and noise coming from your homestead, these may be the perfect birds for you. Most homesteaders keep their quail in some sort of small coop. They don’t need much space at all, and free-ranging them is not really practical. If you’re raising them for meat, you can just harvest older adults, and replace them with the chicks you recently hatched.

4. Easy and cheap to feed

Quail are much smaller than chickens and cost considerably less to feed. If you are raising your quails to harvest, then a good, high-protein turkey starter will suffice. Quail also enjoy the same kind of table scraps you would feed to your chickens. If the quail coop has access to the ground, your quail will almost certainly forage for insects, seeds and grubs. Raising mealworms is also a great treat and protein supplement for the birds, as well.

5. Something completely different

While quail are not rare, they are not exactly common, either. Raising a few quail can offer a homesteader some quality economic benefits that a flock of chickens almost certainly wouldn’t. If you can keep a consistent supply of quail on hand, you may be able to sell them regularly to local restaurants that feature them on the menu. They also are great birds to trade for other items needed on the homestead, and are easy to sell on sites like Craigslist, too.

Have you owned quail? What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

Vandals Target ‘Racist’ Star Spangled Banner Statue

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Vandals Target ‘Racist’ Star Spangled Banner Statue

Even America’s national anthem is now being attacked as racist.

A monument to the author of “The Star Spangled Banner,” Francis Scott Key, was vandalized this week in Baltimore, apparently because Key owned slaves.

The words “Racist Anthem” were written on the monument in black paint and much of the rest of the monument covered in red paint, The Baltimore Sun reported. Key wrote the Banner during the siege of Baltimore in the midst of the War of 1812.

Put God Back Into History And Teach Your Kids What They Won’t Learn Anywhere Else!

The unidentified vandals wrote the third stanza – which rarely is sung — on the pavement. It states: “No refuge could save/ Hireling or slave/ From terror of flight/ Or gloom of grave.” Historians differ over whether Key was referencing U.S. or British slaves.

Key was a slave owner but he also represented runaway slaves as a lawyer and faced down a white mob that was trying to lynch an African American, The Sun reported.

The Key monument was donated to the city of Baltimore by tobacco merchant Charles L. Marburg in 1911. It was restored in 1999.

There are no plans to remove the Key monument, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh told reporters. The city of Baltimore removed monuments to Confederate generals and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney last month.

“We can’t ensure it’s not going to happen again,” Pugh spokesman Anthony McCarthy told reporters.

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

5 Foolproof Ways to Compost Weeds

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The post 5 Foolproof Ways to Compost Weeds is by
Nicki (Bokashi Living) and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Composting weeds can make some gardeners nervous, thinking that they are going to end up spreading the weed all around their garden whenever they spread compost. Troublesome weeds such as couch grass, nettles, buttercups and ground elder, have large root systems. Their root systems are what makes them such prolific growers and so hard to … Read more

The post 5 Foolproof Ways to Compost Weeds is by
Nicki (Bokashi Living) and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Article – Are you prepared for the end of the world as you know it?

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Happy Paratus, guys..

In a startling coincidence, the local leftist fishwrapper has this:

There’s a line, though, that most of us don’t care to cross. It’s one thing to stock up on essentials ahead of a blizzard, but what about stashing a military-style backpack by the back door with enough dried food, medical supplies and handgun ammo to last weeks? That’s tinfoil hat territory, the kind of over-the-top survivalist prep reserved for those who have watched Red Dawn one too many times. I’m as big a fan of The Walking Dead as the next nerd, but the zombie apocalypse is pure fiction, no alien invasion is imminent, and I’m only about 60 percent sure we’re headed for a full government collapse. I need a bug-out bag full of waterproof matches and MREs like I need a hole in my right foot, right? At least that’s what the Southern Poverty Law Center would have me believe.

Havent read the article in its entirety yet, but I’m sure it will live down to the Independent’s usual standard of journalism.

Article – Are you prepared for the end of the world as you know it?

Happy Paratus, guys..

In a startling coincidence, the local leftist fishwrapper has this:

There’s a line, though, that most of us don’t care to cross. It’s one thing to stock up on essentials ahead of a blizzard, but what about stashing a military-style backpack by the back door with enough dried food, medical supplies and handgun ammo to last weeks? That’s tinfoil hat territory, the kind of over-the-top survivalist prep reserved for those who have watched Red Dawn one too many times. I’m as big a fan of The Walking Dead as the next nerd, but the zombie apocalypse is pure fiction, no alien invasion is imminent, and I’m only about 60 percent sure we’re headed for a full government collapse. I need a bug-out bag full of waterproof matches and MREs like I need a hole in my right foot, right? At least that’s what the Southern Poverty Law Center would have me believe.

Havent read the article in its entirety yet, but I’m sure it will live down to the Independent’s usual standard of journalism.

Survival Experts teach life-saving skills 23 September 2017 at FRSGP Expo:

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Providing education, awareness, products, and services for survival in uncertain times!

 

On 23 September 2017, SEPS, LLC presents the third annual Front Royal Sportsman, Gun, and Prepper Expo (FRSGPE III) to be held at New Hope Bible Church in Front Royal, VA, to help address the concerns of millions of Americans influenced by recent catastrophes and events such as historic flooding, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Jose, wide spread wild fires, earthquakes, social and political unrest, threats from North Korea, and the Terrorist attacks in the UK and Spain .  FRSGPE III is the place to find education, awareness, products, and services in answer to the concerns of these uncertain times!

Hosted by New Hope Bible Church, FRSGPE III is a one-day convention where attendees can engage in classes and presentations, purchase innovative and time tested products and services related to survival and emergency preparedness, and find peace of mind!  Vendors will have survival gear, water purifiers, long term food stores, firearms, knives and edged tools, medical gear, tactical gear, and other practical preparedness supplies.    Top notch speakers will cover  topics such as obtaining/purifying water, alternative energy, outdoor survival training, food preparation, self-defense, self-reliant living, and more!

 

As a seasoned Survival and Emergency Preparedness Consultant, and former patrol and SWAT officer, SEPS, LLC owner Jay Blevins (www.jayblevins.com) is keenly aware of our uncertain times, and is passionate about helping people deal with the concerns that arise from them.  Jay is an author and speaker who has appeared on National Geographic, the Today Show, Access Hollywood live,  The Steve Harvey Show, domestic and international radio programs, and has been interviewed for numerous print and online media pieces related to emergency preparedness. Jay has also been the keynote speaker at numerous Survival and Preparedness Expos and Conventions across the country.  Recently, when Ted Koppel was doing research for his acclaimed book, LIGHT’S OUT, Mr. Koppel interviewed Jay at another SEPS, LLC event called EC PREPCON III (page 146).

Don’t miss FRSPGE III at New Hope Bible Church 80 North Lake Avenue Front Royal, VA 22630) Saturday 23 September 2017 9AM-6PM

More info: www.sepsllc.com, direct link http://www.sepsllc.com/events

Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/sepsllc/; Twitter-@SEPSLLC or call 571-274-9464

The post Survival Experts teach life-saving skills 23 September 2017 at FRSGP Expo: appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Alternate Routes To Be Traveled If TSHTF

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Most people don’t think about alternate routes. Instead they drive the same routes and roads everywhere they normally go. These roads are typically the quickest to their destination and are the roads well traveled by most people in vehicles. However if something were to happen that clogs the mainstream routes into traffic jams, would you know alternate routes to get where you’re going? During an evacuation or bug out event, will the masses choose the popular main routes and roads that are most often traveled? The answer to the last question is, YES. People are mostly creatures of habit while

The post Alternate Routes To Be Traveled If TSHTF appeared first on Modern Survival Blog.

Alternate Routes To Be Traveled If TSHTF

Most people don’t think about alternate routes. Instead they drive the same routes and roads everywhere they normally go. These roads are typically the quickest to their destination and are the roads well traveled by most people in vehicles. However if something were to happen that clogs the mainstream routes into traffic jams, would you know alternate routes to get where you’re going? During an evacuation or bug out event, will the masses choose the popular main routes and roads that are most often traveled? The answer to the last question is, YES. People are mostly creatures of habit while

The post Alternate Routes To Be Traveled If TSHTF appeared first on Modern Survival Blog.

What Knife Is Currently In Your Pocket?

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What Knife Is Currently In Your Pocket?

Just thought it’d be cool to do a quick survey of what knife everybody’s carrying at this present moment, so: Which knife or (let’s be honest – with a lot of you that’ll be) knives*, are you currently EDC-ing? If you’ve got two in your pocket, list ’em. If you’ve got one in your bag […]

This is just the start of the post What Knife Is Currently In Your Pocket?. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


What Knife Is Currently In Your Pocket?, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

10 Ways to Catch Fish in an Emergency

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10 Ways to Catch Fish in an Emergency Unwanted times can hit you at any time in the world. There are many cases where outdoorsmen faced the survival issues and they were unable to find the aid and their supplies also finished like water and food. We always pray that these incidents should not happen … Continue reading 10 Ways to Catch Fish in an Emergency

The post 10 Ways to Catch Fish in an Emergency appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

15 Priorities You Need to Follow In the Event of a Nuclear War

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One of the most important characteristics of survivalists, preppers, and their ilk is the ability to concede that no matter how improbable it may be for a situation to arise, it is still possible.  With the current state of affairs of the world being the way they are, there is nothing in the news that can truly dissuade a prepper from this concept.  That being said, what if a nuclear war occurs?  No, really: what will you do, and what actions will you take when it begins?

We have covered the topic of preparedness for a nuclear war before, but we have not discussed immediate actions to take within the first hours that such a nightmare becomes a reality.  First, let us mention again Cresson Kearney’s work Nuclear War Survival Skills,” and downloadable from the internet.  It is the end-all, be-all for information on preparedness for a nuclear war.

Learn How Tactical Gas Masks Can Save Your Life

The topic for this article is immediate actions to be taken when nuclear war presents itself; however, stress and emphasis must be made on preparations beforehand.  You want to garner all of the supplies possible beforehand and prepare a fallout shelter before the football game kicks off.  This will cut down on the scrambling when it all comes about.  There will be enough confusion in the works, and you don’t need to make any more for yourself through a lack of readiness by not having supplies you need in place.  Let’s cover some basics questions you need to answer for yourself and your family.

  1. A Plan: you need a plan to “kick into action” immediately, depending on where you are…at home, at work, or traveling. This plan needs to take into account what you’ll do if your engine dies (from the EMP, or Electromagnetic Pulse), for example, and you’re still five miles from home.
  2. “Rounding Up the Tribe”: How will you gather your family together? Do they know the plan and are they both on board with it and prepared to act in accordance with it?  You need an ORP (Objective Rally Point), so to speak: a place to meet together in one location, if for the purpose of consolidating and traveling back home together. This family preparedness guide for nuclear disasters is a great primer to get started.
  3. Assessing the Targeted Areas: this must be done beforehand, and if you are in a targeted area susceptible to attack, you better be prepared to move out of it.
  4. Personal Protection from Radiation: (in accordance with your assessment of how much radiation there will be) Do you have Geiger Counters (radiological survey meters), dosimeters, and a suit and mask to protect you from the radiation? If so, how will you get to them/into them when it occurs? What about supplements for radiation poisoning if you are exposed?
  5. [We’re using a “Shelter in the Home” Scenario]: OK, you made it home. Now, do you have backup measures in place for the loss of electricity that will occur?  Do you have a shelter where you can “hole up” for at least the next three weeks to a month?  Is it defensible?  Can you effect such a defense while radiation is still at a dangerous level?  Let’s review what needs to be in the shelter:
  6. Food and water supply for all members…at least six months’ worth
  7. Medical supplies and equipment
  8. Shielded electronic supplies (radio, night vision devices, etc., shielded until it is safe to expose them with no threat of EMP) in Faraday cages.
  9. Weapons and ammunition to defend yourselves
  10. Tools and materials to repair or replace components of the shelter
  11. Equipment to monitor radiation levels inside and outside of the shelter
  12. Sanitation and hygiene measures (people don’t stop going to the bathroom or needing to clean themselves regularly)
  13. Books and reading material: survival oriented, and also for a diversion
  14. After the exchange has halted: What will you and your family do then?  Remain in place, or head for new ground?
  15. Stay alert: Keeping a watchful eye on the news and any threats on the horizon will keep you ready to react at a moment’s notice.

There won’t be a lot of time for action.  Hopefully, you’ll be at home, and able to take steps from there.  Such steps can include (but are not limited to): covering all of the basement windows with dirt, and if you have a basement or sub-basement shelter, securing all parts of it prior to relocating into it with your family.  You’ll already (hopefully) have your supplies ready and in position, but you can also run the water and fill up as many containers as possible to take down with you.  Same with food: any canned or dried goods that you can move from the upstairs into the shelter will be money in the bank for you later.

There’s never enough blankets and clothes: stock some of these down in your shelter.  Pets are a big consideration that we’ve covered in a previous article.  You’ll have to provide for them if you do indeed intend to save them.  Special needs members of your family, such as infants and toddlers, the elderly, and any family member with a medical condition…you need to provide for those needs well in advance.

Especially for them, you want to load up on whatever supplies you need to take care of them and move any equipment or supplies that you can manage for them into that shelter.  After the war commences, there won’t be any more deliveries of those necessities.  Research Cresson Kearney’s work and put these measures into place…stocking up on the supplies you need and coordinating all of your initial actions with your family prior to the arrival of that fateful day.  Hopefully, none of these measures will be needed, but if they are, it will give you a better chance if you determine them and implement them beforehand.  Stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Happy Paratus!

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Today is Paratus! Our buddy commander zero was kind enough to give me something so of course I had to reply albeit last minute. 

If you don’t exchange gifts with survivalist friends maybe try to help someone. A small pre made kit or a book like Patriots or One Second After is a good option. 

Practical Prepping

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: Another guest contribution from John D to The Prepper Journal.  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.

What’s your survival strategy?  A fortified bunker?  A well-stocked remote cabin?  An armored vehicle that can withstand an EMP?  Let’s face it, we’re probably not going to spend a fortune on things that we’ll never use, except in an apocalyptic situation.  However, things that are useful in a pre-apocalyptic world, as well as in a post-apocalyptic world, are worthy of consideration.

    

If you happen to have a remote cabin, you’ve acquired it for reasons other than survival.  It may have a sustainable heat source, and possibly an off grid solar electric system.  You may also have a few acres of land, hunting and fishing supplies, and an ATV to use on the property.  These are excellent prepper assets.  On the other hand, if you live in the city and have no remote cabin, you probably don’t have an ATV, or any of those other things.  Millions of people fall into that category, and many will not survive when the SHTF.  In the city, there’ll be too many people for the few available resources.  In the city, when food and water run out, desperate people will do anything to get those things.  Don’t despair, there is hope, but you’ll need a good plan, and the right equipment and supplies.

It’s especially nice when things you do, and purchases you make, happen to be valuable prepper activities and assets.  Canning, or freeze-drying food, is a good example of that.  Not only does it increase your food stockpile, it can also reduce your grocery bill.  If you’re growing your own vegetables, you have the added bonus of pesticide-free food.  You may have purchased a ZeroWater or Brita pitcher, for better quality drinking water on a day-to-day basis, but imagine the value of those when water no longer flows from your faucet.

     

The decisions you make, on a day to day basis, have survival implications.  Perhaps you’ve opted for an under-the-sink water filter, instead of a filtered pitcher.  That’s great for now, but if you bug out, you won’t be taking your installed water filter with you.  If you stay in your home, but city water no longer flows, the installed water filter will be of no value to you.  That’s not to say you shouldn’t install a water filter, but if you have to choose between the two, a filtered pitcher is a better choice from a survival standpoint.

Perhaps you have a couple of flashlights, and a few candles.  You may have bought those when thinking about short-term power outages, but didn’t give any thought to a long-term outage.  Do you have spare batteries?  How long will your battery supply last?  You may have a generator, but how long will your stored fuel last?  Have you considered an off-grid solar electric system?  Unlike batteries, candles, or generator fuel, solar power is sustainable power.  A small system, with two to four panels and two to four batteries, can provide all of the light you’ll need, and also keep your food from spoiling by powering a small, energy-efficient refrigerator or freezer.  A small solar-electric system can be portable.  You can take it with you if you bug out, or use it in your home if you don’t.  Solar panel(s) need not be installed on your roof, but could be placed in your backyard instead, hiding the fact that you have power, when others don’t.  And unlike a generator, there’ll be no noise or smell to attract criminal predators (zombies).  Ground-level panels are easier to take down and pack, facilitating a speedy bug out, in the event you need to do that.  Solar panels can be mounted on a frame, made out of PVC tubing.  The frame can be easily disassembled, packed, transported, and reassembled at your bugout site.

    

If you live in the city, you probably wouldn’t buy an EMP-proof, off-road ATV.  In addition to taking up space in your garage, you’re going to have to start it up once in a while.  You’ll need to make sure it’s in good condition, and ready to roll, if and when you need it.  Fuel will have to be changed periodically, to make sure it’s fresh, and the battery will have to be kept charged.  For me, that seems like a lot to put up with, for a vehicle that I can’t use.  You may consider your bicycle as an alternative to an EMP-damaged car, for bugging out, but you’ll be severely limited when it comes to carrying supplies.  That may be fine if you’re bugging out to a nearby friend or relatives home, but it could be a big problem if you’ll be camping out.  As I mentioned in a previous article, if I can’t escape in my car, I’ll make my getaway on my riding lawn mower, pulling a small trailer.  It’s slow, and it’s noisy, but I suspect it can get me to my bug-out location with the supplies and equipment I’ll need to survive.  I suspect I’ll be traveling with others, who are also escaping unsafe conditions at the edge of a large metropolitan area.

Hardening your home is another project that has an immediate benefit, as well as a benefit after the SHTF.  Longer screws in door hinges and jambs cost very little.  Those won’t stop determined criminals from getting in, but it will slow them down and cause them to make a lot of noise.  That’s where an investment in weapons and ammunition comes in handy.  There are an abundance of articles concerning hardening your home, so I won’t repeat that information here

Do you own a gun?  Are you a hunter?  Do you go to the range now and then to sharpen your skills, or for fun?  Perhaps you have it to protect yourself, your family, and your belongings.  Owning a weapon, and practicing with it, is another fine example of something you benefit from now, and a valuable asset in a post-apocalyptic world.  Fishing equipment and supplies are excellent prepper assets as well.

I purchased a live trap a few years back, when squirrels were becoming a nuisance in my garden.  I implemented what I would call a “squirrel relocation program”.  Since the same squirrel returned to feed every day, it worked out quite well.  That live trap may someday be used to catch small animals for food.  Voila’!  Another prepper asset of great value.

For many, a good prepping strategy must include a bug out plan.  A good bug out plan needs to address three main areas of concern:  1.  A good bug out site.  2.  Getting to the bug out site safely.  3.   Bringing the supplies you’ll need for long-term survival, or having those things already available at the bug out site.  For some, the bug out site may be the home of a friend or relative.  For others, it may be a remote cabin.  Still others may have to depend upon a location suitable for camping out.

Summary/Conclusion:

When food and water run out, you’ll have to leave the security of your home to find those things.  You may not be able to return.  To make matters worse, an EMP event may have damaged your car, forcing you to leave on foot, with only the items you can carry on your back.  Some may escape on bicycles, but most travelers will be on foot, heavily loaded down with supplies.  The bottom line is this:  When the SHTF, we’ll do the best we can with the resources we have, not the things we wish we had.  If your bug out options leave you with no choice other than camping, you’re going to need more supplies than you can carry on your back.  You may not be able to purchase the items you’ll need after the SHTF, so you need to get them before it’s too late, and you’ll need a plan for transporting those things.  Even homeless people seem to understand that, as they can often be seen pushing shopping carts around.  Living off of the land is harder than you might imagine, so don’t be caught without the necessary equipment and supplies.

  

Practicing survival skills is important, but I’m not talking about slaying zombies.  Simply working in your own garden helps to fine-tune an important survival skill.  Being an above-average fisherman, bow hunter, or trapper are skills you develop with time and practice.  These are just some of the activities that you might find enjoyable now, but may save your life in the future.  Dreaming about a fortified survival bunker does you no good.  Purchasing items that you can’t use doesn’t make much sense either.  Make a list of things you own now, that can also be essential for survival, if things get bad.  Evaluate your shortcomings.  Prioritize.  Before you buy anything, consider size and weight.  Collapsible water containers, for example, take up less space than 5-gallon buckets.  If you’ve been thinking about a water purification pitcher, hardening your home, preserving food, an alternative source of electricity, a weapon, fishing supplies, and so on, what are you waiting for?  You’ll benefit now, and you’ll be better prepared for a SHTF situation.  There’s no down side.

Decision Flow Chart:

  • Will I benefit from owning it now?
  • Will it be of value after the SHTF?
  • Is it portable?
  • Can I afford it?

If the answer to all questions is yes, then buy it!

The post Practical Prepping appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

The #1 Item Every Bug Out Bag Should Contain — But Probably Doesn’t

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For more than a year my husband walked around, worked at his job, went scuba diving, and tried to lead a normal life, all with a broken back. He was in pain 24 hours a day, and his insurance company would only pay for chiropractic treatments. That’s right. To this day he hates insurance companies, and I don’t blame him.

It took a single visit to the right doctor to determine that not only was the pain real but that two of his vertebrae were broken.

So, he knows a bit about pain.

bug out bag pain relief

With that in mind, one item I am always sure to have on hand, whether in my car, in my desk, or in a bug out bag is a bottle of pain killers. The pain killer of choice for our family is usually ibuprofen. I’ve also been known to favor a topical product like Biofreeze, which, incidentally is something our local physical therapist uses from time to time.

Why do I think pain killers, or pain relief, are a vital addition to your bug out bag? Because no one can accomplish much, travel far, carry much weight, or assist others if they’re in pain. Even a blister or two on the heels can slow down the strongest and best prepared prepper and an ingrown toenail? You might as well lie down on the side of the road and tell your survival group, “Go on without me.”

In a dire emergency, from the loss of our power grid to a natural disaster that destroys your home, you will be on your feet more, the sedentary lifestyle will be but a memory, and you’ll discover muscles (and pains!) you never knew you had. So, it makes sense to stock up on pain relief medications in order to walk just a little farther, carry the toddler a little farther, or set up a campsite when your back is killing you.

While I generally prefer ibuprofen, there are other pain killers that might be more suitable for you and your family or group. Let’s take a look at them.

NSAIDs as an effective bug out bag pain relief

NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are one of the most common categories of pain killers and have brand names you’ve surely seen around: Bayer, Bufferin, Excedrin, Advil, Motrin IB, Aleve. Their generic names are aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.

Aspirin — Brand names: Bufferin, Bayer, Excel

Aspirin’s active ingredient has been used for more than 2,000 years, and is the original medicine for all aches and pains. Its history is fascinating, and it’s been one of the most researched drugs ever. This article explains how willow and aspirin are similar and this article tells how to use willow as a pain killer, in a pinch. You can count on aspirin to reduce the pain in muscles and joints and for toothaches. Doctors prescribe it on a regular basis to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The main warning a bottle of aspirin carries is that it can cause stomach irritation and bleeding. If you have ulcers, a bleeding disorder, or kidney or liver problems, you should talk with your doctor bef:ore planning on using aspirin as your pain killer of choice. Aspirin shouldn’t be given to children under the age of 2 and any child or teenager recovering from chickenpox or the flu.

Still, aspirin is readily available, inexpensive, and can be effective for years after the so-called expiration date stamped on the bottle. You can expect to feel relief from your pain within 15-20 minutes and get the full effect of the aspirin within 49-100 minutes, based on a dose of 500 mg.

Ibuprofen — Brand names: Motrin IB, Advil, Equate

For the most part, this is what I always try to have on hand. I’ve found that it’s quite effective for headaches and when anyone in the family has body aches from a cold or minor episode of the flu. This is a good choice for bringing down a fever and can even help with migraines, arthritis, and with pains caused by an injury. Like aspirin, ibuprofen can irritate the stomach, although it generally has fewer side effects.

For a few months, I was taking a prescription version of ibuprofen with a dose of 800 mg, twice a day. It was effective, but after a couple of months I had to switch to a naproxen pill due to stomach pains. For this reason, it would be a good plan to have on hand pain killers from the 3 different categories of NSAIDs. If you begin to suffer side effects from one, you can switch to a different one while still contuing to manage the pain. With larger doses beyond the typical dosage of 200 mg every 4-6 hours be sure to talk with a doctor first. Ibuprofen can be very unsafe taken in large doses or for extended periods of time.

A dose of ibuprofen will start to kick in within 20-30 minutes when taken on an empty stomach, so keep an eye on your pain level and take that dose before the pain becomes extreme.

Naproxen — Brand names: Equate, Aleve

Naproxen is another type of NSAID that many experts recommend for the type of muscle aches and pains you get from a workout or vigorous physical activity — something you might expect in a SHTF scenario. It’s also used to treat the pain of gout and osteoarthritis, tendonitis and menstrual pains as well as bursitis.

Like aspirin and ibuprofen, naproxen can also irritate the stomach and it’s not something to take over a long period of time as it can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Risks seem to be higher for older adults. A pregnant woman shouldn’t take naproxen during the last trimester as it could harm the baby.

If naproxen is your choice of NSAIDs, it will take about 45 minutes before it fully takes effect.

Warnings for NSAIDs

Studies have found that NSAIDs (excluding aspirin) increase the risk of heart attack and stroke when taken regularly. NSAIDs can also reduce blood flow to the kidneys, so if you choose to take them, be sure to stay well-hydrated. Just because these are over-the-counter meds does not mean they are meant to be taken daily, over long periods of time

Generally, your best option is to take the least risky drug, at the lowest dose you need to control your pain, for the shortest amount of time possible.

NSAIDs for kids

In the past I’ve been able to stock up on various OTC meds for cheap by watching for coupons and store sales. Often you’ll see coupons for Advil Junior, Advil Children’s Ibuprofen, and other versions of NSAIDs for kids. Read the directions and warning label carefully to make sure that particular medication is safe for your child.

NSAIDs should be given with food in order to alleviate any stomach pains associated with them and NSAIDs have been known to make kids sun sensitive as well. If they’ll be spending time outdoors, apply sunscreen so you don’t have a sunburn to worry about on top of their other complaints!

Acetaminophen for pain relief

The second category of OTC pain killers is acetaminophen, Tylenol being the best known brand. Since acetaminophen isn’t a NSAID, it won’t irritate the stomach but it also won’t reduce inflammation. Instead, it’s usually given for headaches, muscle aches, back pain, colds, fevers, and toothaches. It’s generally quite safe when taken as advised, but it’s also easier to overdose on acetaminophen, and too much can be fatal.

If you’re taking other meds, check the label to see if they include acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated APAP), and if so, add up the total number of milligrams you are taking. Since acetaminophen is a common ingredient in other medications, it’s possible to overdose without realizing it. 2600-3000 mg is the maximum daily dose for an adult, whether taken straight up as a Tylenol capsule or in a combination of other medications taken throughout the day.

One bright spot when you’re in a lot of pain is that it’s generally safe to alternate acetaminophen with a NSAID in order to maintain a higher level of pain relief. Surprisingly, the combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen is more effective for dental pain than opiods, such as vicodin. The two work together well as companions as acetaminophen is cleared by the liver, while ibuprofen is cleared by the kidneys.

Ask your doctor or pharmacisit for their recommended dosage, but generally, a dose of acetaminophen and one of ibuprofen taken alternately every 4 hours is safe for most people and is what our doctors have recommended to us over the years.

What about prescription pain killers?

I’m extremely wary about all pain killers, even though I recommend their inclusion in emergency kits and bug out bags. I’m especially wary when it comes to prescription pain killers, and have had friends become addicted to them. Having said that, there are times when the strongest possible pain medication is called for.

This is a tricky area because, first, without advice from a doctor or pharmacist, giving a Tramadol, Vicodin or Percocet, for example, to someone with pre-existing conditions or allergies could be deadly. Dosages are based on weight and the health history of the patient.

Technically, it’s illegal to give a prescription medication to anyone other than the person it was prescribed for. True, in a worst case scenario this isn’t likely to be an issue, but all the same, it’s something to be considered for your bug out bag.

Natural pain killers

Most of the focus here has been on OTC pain killers because they are generally very effective and give quick relief. Natural remedies, though, shouldn’t be overlooked. Be aware, though, that just because a remedy is “natural” doesn’t mean that it won’t interact with other medications you may be taking with negative results. Also, try out any of these herbs ahead of time to see if they are effective or not.

Here are a few common herbal and natural remedies for pain that would be practical to include in a bug out bag.

  • Turmeric — For back and joints discomfort
  • Boswellia — For osteoarthritic pain.
  • Capsaicin — For muscular pain.
  • White willow bark, for headaches. Also read this article for in-depth information about headache treatments.)
  • Arnica herbal rub — For topical pain.
  • Bone broth — Supports joints and is anti-inflammatory. You can buy a powdered version of this.
  • Caffeine — May be effective for migraines and is sometimes combined with ibuprofen or acetaminophen for greater relief.
  • Kava kava — Sore muscles

There are many other herbs that may help with pain, so continue researching and testing to see what is most effective for you. Then, put several doses of that herb in a water-tight container in your bug out bag. Another tip is to research natural pain killers in this book about foraging and learn how to identfy these plants, so you’ll be able to access them if you’re ever out of range of a pharmacy or doctor’s office.

Prepping for bug out bag pain relief

The best practices for dealing with pain are, first, identifying all the possible causes of the pain and eliminating as many as possible. If the pain persists, then it’s vital to know about the individual OTC drugs, their potential side effects, and how they are best utilized. A well-equipped first aid or medical kit would contain a bottle of each drug that is safe for you and your family members to take, including infant and childrens versions. The charts at this website provide a good summary of information that you can save to your computer and print out.

If you want to carry smaller amounts of these meds, then a vacuum sealer is your best friend. You can create very small pouches using a Food Saver type bag. Use the smallest size bag you can, seal several doses inside, and then trim the edges to create a tiny, sealed pouch. Use a Sharpie to label the pouch with the name of the drug and dosage. You can read more about using a vacuum sealer for things like this here.

Finally, take some time to educate your family members about the safe use of these medications. At some point, it may be up to one on of your children or grandchildren to either take a pain killer dose themselves or provide that med to a family member. They will need to know what is safe and what isn’t.

The #1 Item Every Bug Out Bag Should Contain — But Probably Doesn’t

For more than a year my husband walked around, worked at his job, went scuba diving, and tried to lead a normal life, all with a broken back. He was in pain 24 hours a day, and his insurance company would only pay for chiropractic treatments. That’s right. To this day he hates insurance companies, and I don’t blame him.

It took a single visit to the right doctor to determine that not only was the pain real but that two of his vertebrae were broken.

So, he knows a bit about pain.

bug out bag pain relief

With that in mind, one item I am always sure to have on hand, whether in my car, in my desk, or in a bug out bag is a bottle of pain killers. The pain killer of choice for our family is usually ibuprofen. I’ve also been known to favor a topical product like Biofreeze, which, incidentally is something our local physical therapist uses from time to time.

Why do I think pain killers, or pain relief, are a vital addition to your bug out bag? Because no one can accomplish much, travel far, carry much weight, or assist others if they’re in pain. Even a blister or two on the heels can slow down the strongest and best prepared prepper and an ingrown toenail? You might as well lie down on the side of the road and tell your survival group, “Go on without me.”

In a dire emergency, from the loss of our power grid to a natural disaster that destroys your home, you will be on your feet more, the sedentary lifestyle will be but a memory, and you’ll discover muscles (and pains!) you never knew you had. So, it makes sense to stock up on pain relief medications in order to walk just a little farther, carry the toddler a little farther, or set up a campsite when your back is killing you.

While I generally prefer ibuprofen, there are other pain killers that might be more suitable for you and your family or group. Let’s take a look at them.

NSAIDs as an effective bug out bag pain relief

NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are one of the most common categories of pain killers and have brand names you’ve surely seen around: Bayer, Bufferin, Excedrin, Advil, Motrin IB, Aleve. Their generic names are aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.

Aspirin — Brand names: Bufferin, Bayer, Excel

Aspirin’s active ingredient has been used for more than 2,000 years, and is the original medicine for all aches and pains. Its history is fascinating, and it’s been one of the most researched drugs ever. This article explains how willow and aspirin are similar and this article tells how to use willow as a pain killer, in a pinch. You can count on aspirin to reduce the pain in muscles and joints and for toothaches. Doctors prescribe it on a regular basis to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The main warning a bottle of aspirin carries is that it can cause stomach irritation and bleeding. If you have ulcers, a bleeding disorder, or kidney or liver problems, you should talk with your doctor bef:ore planning on using aspirin as your pain killer of choice. Aspirin shouldn’t be given to children under the age of 2 and any child or teenager recovering from chickenpox or the flu.

Still, aspirin is readily available, inexpensive, and can be effective for years after the so-called expiration date stamped on the bottle. You can expect to feel relief from your pain within 15-20 minutes and get the full effect of the aspirin within 49-100 minutes, based on a dose of 500 mg.

Ibuprofen — Brand names: Motrin IB, Advil, Equate

For the most part, this is what I always try to have on hand. I’ve found that it’s quite effective for headaches and when anyone in the family has body aches from a cold or minor episode of the flu. This is a good choice for bringing down a fever and can even help with migraines, arthritis, and with pains caused by an injury. Like aspirin, ibuprofen can irritate the stomach, although it generally has fewer side effects.

For a few months, I was taking a prescription version of ibuprofen with a dose of 800 mg, twice a day. It was effective, but after a couple of months I had to switch to a naproxen pill due to stomach pains. For this reason, it would be a good plan to have on hand pain killers from the 3 different categories of NSAIDs. If you begin to suffer side effects from one, you can switch to a different one while still contuing to manage the pain. With larger doses beyond the typical dosage of 200 mg every 4-6 hours be sure to talk with a doctor first. Ibuprofen can be very unsafe taken in large doses or for extended periods of time.

A dose of ibuprofen will start to kick in within 20-30 minutes when taken on an empty stomach, so keep an eye on your pain level and take that dose before the pain becomes extreme.

Naproxen — Brand names: Equate, Aleve

Naproxen is another type of NSAID that many experts recommend for the type of muscle aches and pains you get from a workout or vigorous physical activity — something you might expect in a SHTF scenario. It’s also used to treat the pain of gout and osteoarthritis, tendonitis and menstrual pains as well as bursitis.

Like aspirin and ibuprofen, naproxen can also irritate the stomach and it’s not something to take over a long period of time as it can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Risks seem to be higher for older adults. A pregnant woman shouldn’t take naproxen during the last trimester as it could harm the baby.

If naproxen is your choice of NSAIDs, it will take about 45 minutes before it fully takes effect.

Warnings for NSAIDs

Studies have found that NSAIDs (excluding aspirin) increase the risk of heart attack and stroke when taken regularly. NSAIDs can also reduce blood flow to the kidneys, so if you choose to take them, be sure to stay well-hydrated. Just because these are over-the-counter meds does not mean they are meant to be taken daily, over long periods of time

Generally, your best option is to take the least risky drug, at the lowest dose you need to control your pain, for the shortest amount of time possible.

NSAIDs for kids

In the past I’ve been able to stock up on various OTC meds for cheap by watching for coupons and store sales. Often you’ll see coupons for Advil Junior, Advil Children’s Ibuprofen, and other versions of NSAIDs for kids. Read the directions and warning label carefully to make sure that particular medication is safe for your child.

NSAIDs should be given with food in order to alleviate any stomach pains associated with them and NSAIDs have been known to make kids sun sensitive as well. If they’ll be spending time outdoors, apply sunscreen so you don’t have a sunburn to worry about on top of their other complaints!

Acetaminophen for pain relief

The second category of OTC pain killers is acetaminophen, Tylenol being the best known brand. Since acetaminophen isn’t a NSAID, it won’t irritate the stomach but it also won’t reduce inflammation. Instead, it’s usually given for headaches, muscle aches, back pain, colds, fevers, and toothaches. It’s generally quite safe when taken as advised, but it’s also easier to overdose on acetaminophen, and too much can be fatal.

If you’re taking other meds, check the label to see if they include acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated APAP), and if so, add up the total number of milligrams you are taking. Since acetaminophen is a common ingredient in other medications, it’s possible to overdose without realizing it. 2600-3000 mg is the maximum daily dose for an adult, whether taken straight up as a Tylenol capsule or in a combination of other medications taken throughout the day.

One bright spot when you’re in a lot of pain is that it’s generally safe to alternate acetaminophen with a NSAID in order to maintain a higher level of pain relief. Surprisingly, the combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen is more effective for dental pain than opiods, such as vicodin. The two work together well as companions as acetaminophen is cleared by the liver, while ibuprofen is cleared by the kidneys.

Ask your doctor or pharmacisit for their recommended dosage, but generally, a dose of acetaminophen and one of ibuprofen taken alternately every 4 hours is safe for most people and is what our doctors have recommended to us over the years.

What about prescription pain killers?

I’m extremely wary about all pain killers, even though I recommend their inclusion in emergency kits and bug out bags. I’m especially wary when it comes to prescription pain killers, and have had friends become addicted to them. Having said that, there are times when the strongest possible pain medication is called for.

This is a tricky area because, first, without advice from a doctor or pharmacist, giving a Tramadol, Vicodin or Percocet, for example, to someone with pre-existing conditions or allergies could be deadly. Dosages are based on weight and the health history of the patient.

Technically, it’s illegal to give a prescription medication to anyone other than the person it was prescribed for. True, in a worst case scenario this isn’t likely to be an issue, but all the same, it’s something to be considered for your bug out bag.

Natural pain killers

Most of the focus here has been on OTC pain killers because they are generally very effective and give quick relief. Natural remedies, though, shouldn’t be overlooked. Be aware, though, that just because a remedy is “natural” doesn’t mean that it won’t interact with other medications you may be taking with negative results. Also, try out any of these herbs ahead of time to see if they are effective or not.

Here are a few common herbal and natural remedies for pain that would be practical to include in a bug out bag.

  • Turmeric — For back and joints discomfort
  • Boswellia — For osteoarthritic pain.
  • Capsaicin — For muscular pain.
  • White willow bark, for headaches. Also read this article for in-depth information about headache treatments.)
  • Arnica herbal rub — For topical pain.
  • Bone broth — Supports joints and is anti-inflammatory. You can buy a powdered version of this.
  • Caffeine — May be effective for migraines and is sometimes combined with ibuprofen or acetaminophen for greater relief.
  • Kava kava — Sore muscles

There are many other herbs that may help with pain, so continue researching and testing to see what is most effective for you. Then, put several doses of that herb in a water-tight container in your bug out bag. Another tip is to research natural pain killers in this book about foraging and learn how to identfy these plants, so you’ll be able to access them if you’re ever out of range of a pharmacy or doctor’s office.

Prepping for bug out bag pain relief

The best practices for dealing with pain are, first, identifying all the possible causes of the pain and eliminating as many as possible. If the pain persists, then it’s vital to know about the individual OTC drugs, their potential side effects, and how they are best utilized. A well-equipped first aid or medical kit would contain a bottle of each drug that is safe for you and your family members to take, including infant and childrens versions. The charts at this website provide a good summary of information that you can save to your computer and print out.

If you want to carry smaller amounts of these meds, then a vacuum sealer is your best friend. You can create very small pouches using a Food Saver type bag. Use the smallest size bag you can, seal several doses inside, and then trim the edges to create a tiny, sealed pouch. Use a Sharpie to label the pouch with the name of the drug and dosage. You can read more about using a vacuum sealer for things like this here.

Finally, take some time to educate your family members about the safe use of these medications. At some point, it may be up to one on of your children or grandchildren to either take a pain killer dose themselves or provide that med to a family member. They will need to know what is safe and what isn’t.

The #1 Item Every Bug Out Bag Should Contain — But Probably Doesn’t

For more than a year my husband walked around, worked at his job, went scuba diving, and tried to lead a normal life, all with a broken back. He was in pain 24 hours a day, and his insurance company would only pay for chiropractic treatments. That’s right. To this day he hates insurance companies, and I don’t blame him.

It took a single visit to the right doctor to determine that not only was the pain real but that two of his vertebrae were broken.

So, he knows a bit about pain.

bug out bag pain relief

With that in mind, one item I am always sure to have on hand, whether in my car, in my desk, or in a bug out bag is a bottle of pain killers. The pain killer of choice for our family is usually ibuprofen. I’ve also been known to favor a topical product like Biofreeze, which, incidentally is something our local physical therapist uses from time to time.

Why do I think pain killers, or pain relief, are a vital addition to your bug out bag? Because no one can accomplish much, travel far, carry much weight, or assist others if they’re in pain. Even a blister or two on the heels can slow down the strongest and best prepared prepper and an ingrown toenail? You might as well lie down on the side of the road and tell your survival group, “Go on without me.”

In a dire emergency, from the loss of our power grid to a natural disaster that destroys your home, you will be on your feet more, the sedentary lifestyle will be but a memory, and you’ll discover muscles (and pains!) you never knew you had. So, it makes sense to stock up on pain relief medications in order to walk just a little farther, carry the toddler a little farther, or set up a campsite when your back is killing you.

While I generally prefer ibuprofen, there are other pain killers that might be more suitable for you and your family or group. Let’s take a look at them.

NSAIDs as an effective bug out bag pain relief

NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are one of the most common categories of pain killers and have brand names you’ve surely seen around: Bayer, Bufferin, Excedrin, Advil, Motrin IB, Aleve. Their generic names are aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.

Aspirin — Brand names: Bufferin, Bayer, Excel

Aspirin’s active ingredient has been used for more than 2,000 years, and is the original medicine for all aches and pains. Its history is fascinating, and it’s been one of the most researched drugs ever. This article explains how willow and aspirin are similar and this article tells how to use willow as a pain killer, in a pinch. You can count on aspirin to reduce the pain in muscles and joints and for toothaches. Doctors prescribe it on a regular basis to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The main warning a bottle of aspirin carries is that it can cause stomach irritation and bleeding. If you have ulcers, a bleeding disorder, or kidney or liver problems, you should talk with your doctor bef:ore planning on using aspirin as your pain killer of choice. Aspirin shouldn’t be given to children under the age of 2 and any child or teenager recovering from chickenpox or the flu.

Still, aspirin is readily available, inexpensive, and can be effective for years after the so-called expiration date stamped on the bottle. You can expect to feel relief from your pain within 15-20 minutes and get the full effect of the aspirin within 49-100 minutes, based on a dose of 500 mg.

Ibuprofen — Brand names: Motrin IB, Advil, Equate

For the most part, this is what I always try to have on hand. I’ve found that it’s quite effective for headaches and when anyone in the family has body aches from a cold or minor episode of the flu. This is a good choice for bringing down a fever and can even help with migraines, arthritis, and with pains caused by an injury. Like aspirin, ibuprofen can irritate the stomach, although it generally has fewer side effects.

For a few months, I was taking a prescription version of ibuprofen with a dose of 800 mg, twice a day. It was effective, but after a couple of months I had to switch to a naproxen pill due to stomach pains. For this reason, it would be a good plan to have on hand pain killers from the 3 different categories of NSAIDs. If you begin to suffer side effects from one, you can switch to a different one while still contuing to manage the pain. With larger doses beyond the typical dosage of 200 mg every 4-6 hours be sure to talk with a doctor first. Ibuprofen can be very unsafe taken in large doses or for extended periods of time.

A dose of ibuprofen will start to kick in within 20-30 minutes when taken on an empty stomach, so keep an eye on your pain level and take that dose before the pain becomes extreme.

Naproxen — Brand names: Equate, Aleve

Naproxen is another type of NSAID that many experts recommend for the type of muscle aches and pains you get from a workout or vigorous physical activity — something you might expect in a SHTF scenario. It’s also used to treat the pain of gout and osteoarthritis, tendonitis and menstrual pains as well as bursitis.

Like aspirin and ibuprofen, naproxen can also irritate the stomach and it’s not something to take over a long period of time as it can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Risks seem to be higher for older adults. A pregnant woman shouldn’t take naproxen during the last trimester as it could harm the baby.

If naproxen is your choice of NSAIDs, it will take about 45 minutes before it fully takes effect.

Warnings for NSAIDs

Studies have found that NSAIDs (excluding aspirin) increase the risk of heart attack and stroke when taken regularly. NSAIDs can also reduce blood flow to the kidneys, so if you choose to take them, be sure to stay well-hydrated. Just because these are over-the-counter meds does not mean they are meant to be taken daily, over long periods of time

Generally, your best option is to take the least risky drug, at the lowest dose you need to control your pain, for the shortest amount of time possible.

NSAIDs for kids

In the past I’ve been able to stock up on various OTC meds for cheap by watching for coupons and store sales. Often you’ll see coupons for Advil Junior, Advil Children’s Ibuprofen, and other versions of NSAIDs for kids. Read the directions and warning label carefully to make sure that particular medication is safe for your child.

NSAIDs should be given with food in order to alleviate any stomach pains associated with them and NSAIDs have been known to make kids sun sensitive as well. If they’ll be spending time outdoors, apply sunscreen so you don’t have a sunburn to worry about on top of their other complaints!

Acetaminophen for pain relief

The second category of OTC pain killers is acetaminophen, Tylenol being the best known brand. Since acetaminophen isn’t a NSAID, it won’t irritate the stomach but it also won’t reduce inflammation. Instead, it’s usually given for headaches, muscle aches, back pain, colds, fevers, and toothaches. It’s generally quite safe when taken as advised, but it’s also easier to overdose on acetaminophen, and too much can be fatal.

If you’re taking other meds, check the label to see if they include acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated APAP), and if so, add up the total number of milligrams you are taking. Since acetaminophen is a common ingredient in other medications, it’s possible to overdose without realizing it. 2600-3000 mg is the maximum daily dose for an adult, whether taken straight up as a Tylenol capsule or in a combination of other medications taken throughout the day.

One bright spot when you’re in a lot of pain is that it’s generally safe to alternate acetaminophen with a NSAID in order to maintain a higher level of pain relief. Surprisingly, the combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen is more effective for dental pain than opiods, such as vicodin. The two work together well as companions as acetaminophen is cleared by the liver, while ibuprofen is cleared by the kidneys.

Ask your doctor or pharmacisit for their recommended dosage, but generally, a dose of acetaminophen and one of ibuprofen taken alternately every 4 hours is safe for most people and is what our doctors have recommended to us over the years.

What about prescription pain killers?

I’m extremely wary about all pain killers, even though I recommend their inclusion in emergency kits and bug out bags. I’m especially wary when it comes to prescription pain killers, and have had friends become addicted to them. Having said that, there are times when the strongest possible pain medication is called for.

This is a tricky area because, first, without advice from a doctor or pharmacist, giving a Tramadol, Vicodin or Percocet, for example, to someone with pre-existing conditions or allergies could be deadly. Dosages are based on weight and the health history of the patient.

Technically, it’s illegal to give a prescription medication to anyone other than the person it was prescribed for. True, in a worst case scenario this isn’t likely to be an issue, but all the same, it’s something to be considered for your bug out bag.

Natural pain killers

Most of the focus here has been on OTC pain killers because they are generally very effective and give quick relief. Natural remedies, though, shouldn’t be overlooked. Be aware, though, that just because a remedy is “natural” doesn’t mean that it won’t interact with other medications you may be taking with negative results. Also, try out any of these herbs ahead of time to see if they are effective or not.

Here are a few common herbal and natural remedies for pain that would be practical to include in a bug out bag.

  • Turmeric — For back and joints discomfort
  • Boswellia — For osteoarthritic pain.
  • Capsaicin — For muscular pain.
  • White willow bark, for headaches. Also read this article for in-depth information about headache treatments.)
  • Arnica herbal rub — For topical pain.
  • Bone broth — Supports joints and is anti-inflammatory. You can buy a powdered version of this.
  • Caffeine — May be effective for migraines and is sometimes combined with ibuprofen or acetaminophen for greater relief.
  • Kava kava — Sore muscles

There are many other herbs that may help with pain, so continue researching and testing to see what is most effective for you. Then, put several doses of that herb in a water-tight container in your bug out bag. Another tip is to research natural pain killers in this book about foraging and learn how to identfy these plants, so you’ll be able to access them if you’re ever out of range of a pharmacy or doctor’s office.

Prepping for bug out bag pain relief

The best practices for dealing with pain are, first, identifying all the possible causes of the pain and eliminating as many as possible. If the pain persists, then it’s vital to know about the individual OTC drugs, their potential side effects, and how they are best utilized. A well-equipped first aid or medical kit would contain a bottle of each drug that is safe for you and your family members to take, including infant and childrens versions. The charts at this website provide a good summary of information that you can save to your computer and print out.

If you want to carry smaller amounts of these meds, then a vacuum sealer is your best friend. You can create very small pouches using a Food Saver type bag. Use the smallest size bag you can, seal several doses inside, and then trim the edges to create a tiny, sealed pouch. Use a Sharpie to label the pouch with the name of the drug and dosage. You can read more about using a vacuum sealer for things like this here.

Finally, take some time to educate your family members about the safe use of these medications. At some point, it may be up to one on of your children or grandchildren to either take a pain killer dose themselves or provide that med to a family member. They will need to know what is safe and what isn’t.

The #1 Item Every Bug Out Bag Should Contain — But Probably Doesn’t

For more than a year my husband walked around, worked at his job, went scuba diving, and tried to lead a normal life, all with a broken back. He was in pain 24 hours a day, and his insurance company would only pay for chiropractic treatments. That’s right. To this day he hates insurance companies, and I don’t blame him.

It took a single visit to the right doctor to determine that not only was the pain real but that two of his vertebrae were broken.

So, he knows a bit about pain.

bug out bag pain relief

With that in mind, one item I am always sure to have on hand, whether in my car, in my desk, or in a bug out bag is a bottle of pain killers. The pain killer of choice for our family is usually ibuprofen. I’ve also been known to favor a topical product like Biofreeze, which, incidentally is something our local physical therapist uses from time to time.

Why do I think pain killers, or pain relief, are a vital addition to your bug out bag? Because no one can accomplish much, travel far, carry much weight, or assist others if they’re in pain. Even a blister or two on the heels can slow down the strongest and best prepared prepper and an ingrown toenail? You might as well lie down on the side of the road and tell your survival group, “Go on without me.”

In a dire emergency, from the loss of our power grid to a natural disaster that destroys your home, you will be on your feet more, the sedentary lifestyle will be but a memory, and you’ll discover muscles (and pains!) you never knew you had. So, it makes sense to stock up on pain relief medications in order to walk just a little farther, carry the toddler a little farther, or set up a campsite when your back is killing you.

While I generally prefer ibuprofen, there are other pain killers that might be more suitable for you and your family or group. Let’s take a look at them.

NSAIDs as an effective bug out bag pain relief

NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are one of the most common categories of pain killers and have brand names you’ve surely seen around: Bayer, Bufferin, Excedrin, Advil, Motrin IB, Aleve. Their generic names are aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.

Aspirin — Brand names: Bufferin, Bayer, Excel

Aspirin’s active ingredient has been used for more than 2,000 years, and is the original medicine for all aches and pains. Its history is fascinating, and it’s been one of the most researched drugs ever. This article explains how willow and aspirin are similar and this article tells how to use willow as a pain killer, in a pinch. You can count on aspirin to reduce the pain in muscles and joints and for toothaches. Doctors prescribe it on a regular basis to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The main warning a bottle of aspirin carries is that it can cause stomach irritation and bleeding. If you have ulcers, a bleeding disorder, or kidney or liver problems, you should talk with your doctor bef:ore planning on using aspirin as your pain killer of choice. Aspirin shouldn’t be given to children under the age of 2 and any child or teenager recovering from chickenpox or the flu.

Still, aspirin is readily available, inexpensive, and can be effective for years after the so-called expiration date stamped on the bottle. You can expect to feel relief from your pain within 15-20 minutes and get the full effect of the aspirin within 49-100 minutes, based on a dose of 500 mg.

Ibuprofen — Brand names: Motrin IB, Advil, Equate

For the most part, this is what I always try to have on hand. I’ve found that it’s quite effective for headaches and when anyone in the family has body aches from a cold or minor episode of the flu. This is a good choice for bringing down a fever and can even help with migraines, arthritis, and with pains caused by an injury. Like aspirin, ibuprofen can irritate the stomach, although it generally has fewer side effects.

For a few months, I was taking a prescription version of ibuprofen with a dose of 800 mg, twice a day. It was effective, but after a couple of months I had to switch to a naproxen pill due to stomach pains. For this reason, it would be a good plan to have on hand pain killers from the 3 different categories of NSAIDs. If you begin to suffer side effects from one, you can switch to a different one while still contuing to manage the pain. With larger doses beyond the typical dosage of 200 mg every 4-6 hours be sure to talk with a doctor first. Ibuprofen can be very unsafe taken in large doses or for extended periods of time.

A dose of ibuprofen will start to kick in within 20-30 minutes when taken on an empty stomach, so keep an eye on your pain level and take that dose before the pain becomes extreme.

Naproxen — Brand names: Equate, Aleve

Naproxen is another type of NSAID that many experts recommend for the type of muscle aches and pains you get from a workout or vigorous physical activity — something you might expect in a SHTF scenario. It’s also used to treat the pain of gout and osteoarthritis, tendonitis and menstrual pains as well as bursitis.

Like aspirin and ibuprofen, naproxen can also irritate the stomach and it’s not something to take over a long period of time as it can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Risks seem to be higher for older adults. A pregnant woman shouldn’t take naproxen during the last trimester as it could harm the baby.

If naproxen is your choice of NSAIDs, it will take about 45 minutes before it fully takes effect.

Warnings for NSAIDs

Studies have found that NSAIDs (excluding aspirin) increase the risk of heart attack and stroke when taken regularly. NSAIDs can also reduce blood flow to the kidneys, so if you choose to take them, be sure to stay well-hydrated. Just because these are over-the-counter meds does not mean they are meant to be taken daily, over long periods of time

Generally, your best option is to take the least risky drug, at the lowest dose you need to control your pain, for the shortest amount of time possible.

NSAIDs for kids

In the past I’ve been able to stock up on various OTC meds for cheap by watching for coupons and store sales. Often you’ll see coupons for Advil Junior, Advil Children’s Ibuprofen, and other versions of NSAIDs for kids. Read the directions and warning label carefully to make sure that particular medication is safe for your child.

NSAIDs should be given with food in order to alleviate any stomach pains associated with them and NSAIDs have been known to make kids sun sensitive as well. If they’ll be spending time outdoors, apply sunscreen so you don’t have a sunburn to worry about on top of their other complaints!

Acetaminophen for pain relief

The second category of OTC pain killers is acetaminophen, Tylenol being the best known brand. Since acetaminophen isn’t a NSAID, it won’t irritate the stomach but it also won’t reduce inflammation. Instead, it’s usually given for headaches, muscle aches, back pain, colds, fevers, and toothaches. It’s generally quite safe when taken as advised, but it’s also easier to overdose on acetaminophen, and too much can be fatal.

If you’re taking other meds, check the label to see if they include acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated APAP), and if so, add up the total number of milligrams you are taking. Since acetaminophen is a common ingredient in other medications, it’s possible to overdose without realizing it. 2600-3000 mg is the maximum daily dose for an adult, whether taken straight up as a Tylenol capsule or in a combination of other medications taken throughout the day.

One bright spot when you’re in a lot of pain is that it’s generally safe to alternate acetaminophen with a NSAID in order to maintain a higher level of pain relief. Surprisingly, the combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen is more effective for dental pain than opiods, such as vicodin. The two work together well as companions as acetaminophen is cleared by the liver, while ibuprofen is cleared by the kidneys.

Ask your doctor or pharmacisit for their recommended dosage, but generally, a dose of acetaminophen and one of ibuprofen taken alternately every 4 hours is safe for most people and is what our doctors have recommended to us over the years.

What about prescription pain killers?

I’m extremely wary about all pain killers, even though I recommend their inclusion in emergency kits and bug out bags. I’m especially wary when it comes to prescription pain killers, and have had friends become addicted to them. Having said that, there are times when the strongest possible pain medication is called for.

This is a tricky area because, first, without advice from a doctor or pharmacist, giving a Tramadol, Vicodin or Percocet, for example, to someone with pre-existing conditions or allergies could be deadly. Dosages are based on weight and the health history of the patient.

Technically, it’s illegal to give a prescription medication to anyone other than the person it was prescribed for. True, in a worst case scenario this isn’t likely to be an issue, but all the same, it’s something to be considered for your bug out bag.

Natural pain killers

Most of the focus here has been on OTC pain killers because they are generally very effective and give quick relief. Natural remedies, though, shouldn’t be overlooked. Be aware, though, that just because a remedy is “natural” doesn’t mean that it won’t interact with other medications you may be taking with negative results. Also, try out any of these herbs ahead of time to see if they are effective or not.

Here are a few common herbal and natural remedies for pain that would be practical to include in a bug out bag.

  • Turmeric — For back and joints discomfort
  • Boswellia — For osteoarthritic pain.
  • Capsaicin — For muscular pain.
  • White willow bark, for headaches. Also read this article for in-depth information about headache treatments.)
  • Arnica herbal rub — For topical pain.
  • Bone broth — Supports joints and is anti-inflammatory. You can buy a powdered version of this.
  • Caffeine — May be effective for migraines and is sometimes combined with ibuprofen or acetaminophen for greater relief.
  • Kava kava — Sore muscles

There are many other herbs that may help with pain, so continue researching and testing to see what is most effective for you. Then, put several doses of that herb in a water-tight container in your bug out bag. Another tip is to research natural pain killers in this book about foraging and learn how to identfy these plants, so you’ll be able to access them if you’re ever out of range of a pharmacy or doctor’s office.

Prepping for bug out bag pain relief

The best practices for dealing with pain are, first, identifying all the possible causes of the pain and eliminating as many as possible. If the pain persists, then it’s vital to know about the individual OTC drugs, their potential side effects, and how they are best utilized. A well-equipped first aid or medical kit would contain a bottle of each drug that is safe for you and your family members to take, including infant and childrens versions. The charts at this website provide a good summary of information that you can save to your computer and print out.

If you want to carry smaller amounts of these meds, then a vacuum sealer is your best friend. You can create very small pouches using a Food Saver type bag. Use the smallest size bag you can, seal several doses inside, and then trim the edges to create a tiny, sealed pouch. Use a Sharpie to label the pouch with the name of the drug and dosage. You can read more about using a vacuum sealer for things like this here.

Finally, take some time to educate your family members about the safe use of these medications. At some point, it may be up to one on of your children or grandchildren to either take a pain killer dose themselves or provide that med to a family member. They will need to know what is safe and what isn’t.

These 45 Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago Are Useful Even Today

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Human creativity has helped man survive for thousands of years. Wits and resourcefulness were the main keys to improve our way of life and bring comfort in times of need. The following life hacks are a testimony to human ingenuity. They stood the test of time and some of these can be useful even today. … Read more…

The post These 45 Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago Are Useful Even Today was written by Rhonda Owen and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

These 45 Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago Are Useful Even Today

Human creativity has helped man survive for thousands of years. Wits and resourcefulness were the main keys to improve our way of life and bring comfort in times of need. The following life hacks are a testimony to human ingenuity. They stood the test of time and some of these can be useful even today. … Read more…

The post These 45 Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago Are Useful Even Today was written by Rhonda Owen and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

2×4 DIY Adirondack Chair – Perfect For The Patio, Backyard Or Fire Pit!

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If you are looking for the perfect outdoor chair for your pool, campfire, fire pit, or cabin retreat, this inexpensive, easy-to-make 2×4 DIY Adirondack chair is for you! It can be made easily in under 2 hours – with only

The post 2×4 DIY Adirondack Chair – Perfect For The Patio, Backyard Or Fire Pit! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

South Korean Preppers: Government Instructs Citizens How to Get Ready for War

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The government of South Korea is making every effort to turn its citizens into a country of survivalists. With the ever-increasing threats from the North, South Korean preppers are becoming … Read the rest

The post South Korean Preppers: Government Instructs Citizens How to Get Ready for War appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Survival Stories Gone Bad: Chris McCandless

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There are many good reasons why we may end up in a survival situation, but putting ourselves there intentionally is pretty far down on the list.

These days, those who do it intentionally often end up with their own extreme reality show. Others end up as an example of survival stories gone bad.

Chris McCandless fall into this category. Here’s his story.

At the end of April, 1992, Chris, AKA Alexander Supertramp, left Fairbanks, AK and ventured into the Alaskan outback, determined to kill the “false being within.” He survived on a meager diet of scavenged roots, nuts, berries, small game, and mushrooms.

He’d also taken a 10-pound bag of rice with him. He lived for 113 days before dying on about August 18th.

His body was found inside his sleeping bag by a moose hunter who had stopped at the old bus that he had been using for shelter.

There was a note pinned to the door begging any visitor to wait for him because he was injured, weak, and starving. He was so far gone that he hadn’t even taken the note off the door when he returned.

Now, that may sound like a terribly tragic story to you, and it most certainly is, but Chris’s adventure and death is a controversial topic.

Video first seen on carinemccandless.

Some consider him an arrogant, entitled kid who died because of that arrogance and failure to prepare. Others think that he was somebody to admire who fell victim to the tides of misfortune, and yet others think that he was a mentally ill young man who went into a situation and died because of that mental incapacity.

Like everybody, I have an opinion. I believe that it’s a combination of the three. He was certainly not lacking in the clarity or mental capacity to set forth on his adventure, though it turns out that he was educated but misinformed.

From most accounts, he was also at least a little arrogant and likely overconfident in his abilities. Misfortune also played a part. But mostly, in my opinion, it was lack of preparation and experience.

 

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

Anytime you combine arrogance, ignorance, and bad luck, disaster of some type is bound to happen eventually. Even the most humble, skilled, and lucky of us experience misfortune sometimes, and they combined to equal the perfect storm for Chris. It cost him his life.

But … what can we take away from his experience?

Don’t Underestimate the Danger

First and foremost, perhaps his biggest folly was underestimating the danger of what he was doing. Living solely off the land isn’t just a matter of taking a walk, shooting a rabbit or two, and gathering a bushel of berries and edible plants along the way.

Some of those animals may just want to eat you back once the sun sets, and the edible plants, as he learned, aren’t always so edible.

Hard-core wilderness survival at the level he undertook is the epitome of the word survival. The only thing that could have possibly made it more difficult would have been if he were being hunted, barring nuclear fallout and other apocalyptic scenarios.

Don’t let the romance, for lack of a better word, of surviving on your own in the wilderness, being one with nature, and “finding yourself” blind you to the incredibly real dangers of surviving only your own competence and on what’s available to you.

Don’t Overestimate Your Skills

This goes hand-in-hand with underestimating the danger, and both of them can be chalked up to the arrogance factor. This reminds me, on a much more deadly level, of the kid who wants to build his own treehouse. It seems easy, but the reality is a whole different beast than the idea.

You don’t just decide one day, “Hey, I’ve been hiking and have experienced some pretty harsh camping conditions. I think I’ll wonder into the Alaskan bush for an underdetermined amount of time.”

He may have read up on what he would face but this sort of thing isn’t exactly something that you jump into without shorter trips and much more preparation. He was a traveler but had no experience remotely similar to this.

Plus, the fact that he was living on such a limited diet and at such a calorie deficit for so long indicates that he wasn’t prepared. Pictures that he took show that he became gaunt even before he was apparently feeling much of the effects of the poison that eventually killed him.

He was obviously not eating enough calories and was existing on a diet that had very little variance. The same mushrooms, wild potato roots and seeds, and whatever protein he caught surely didn’t provide his body with the wide range of vitamins, nutrients, and fatty acids that it needed to thrive.

In short, he walked in thinking that he could just live off the land, and he couldn’t. Even had he survived, he would have likely been malnourished when he did emerge.

Don’t Ignore Your Body

Your body knows what it needs and it diverts energy from non-critical places on your body to critical ones. In other words, if you’re not eating enough calories, your body will steal it from other parts of your body to keep your vital organs functioning. First it burns sugar, then it burns fat, then it burns muscle.

He was to the point of emaciation – he went in weighing 140 pounds and his remains weighed just 66 pounds with no discernable subcutaneous fat – before he died. He didn’t get that way overnight, nor did he become sick and weak overnight.

The toxin in the wild potato roots and seeds that has now been determined to have led to his demise doesn’t just kill you on the spot. It’s a neurotoxin that acts slowly, so he would have been feeling the effects for days or even weeks – plenty of time to hike to the highway to get help. But he ignored his body.

Prepare for Every Contingency

We all know that this point has an inherent flaw: there’s no way to KNOW every contingency, so there’s no way to prepare for every one of them. What a reasonable, experienced person would do before attempting such an extreme idea is plan and prepare.

They’d play the what-if game. What if I can’t find game? Maybe I should have some back-up MREs. What if I get hurt? Maybe I should have an emergency means to communicate. What if my lighter or matches get wet? I need an alternate method of building a fire. What if, what if, what if.

In his case, he was woefully unprepared for wilderness survival. According to his notes, he attempted to head back to civilization in July, but couldn’t because his path was blocked because the Teklanika River was swollen at the place where he’d crossed in April.

Had he done his research and had a topographical map, he would have known that there was a hand-operated tramway that crossed the river not even a mile away from his original crossing spot.

Have a Backup Plan and Fail-safes

There’s an old saying credited to a German field marshal that says that no plan survives first contact with the enemy. It’s a good saying. That’s why experienced soldiers and outdoorsmen always have a backup plan and fail-safes.

Any experienced hiker or outdoorsman (heck, any Boy Scout) will tell you that it’s just part of the planning process to include information such as your path, your destination, and how long you expect to be gone in a plan that you share with at least one other person. That way, if you don’t show back up or make contact, they know to send somebody after you.

An emergency radio wouldn’t have been a bad thing. Nor would maps, a working knowledge of how to preserve meat (he killed a moose but most of the meat went bad because he didn’t preserve it properly), and just basically used a little bit of common sense. Maybe this is where mentally ill part comes in. Either that, or supreme arrogance.

The one part of his demise that he can’t be blamed for, much, is the fact that the wild potato seeds that made up a majority of his diet were listed as safe to eat in the book he wrote his diary in. It took a couple of decades for it to be determined that the seeds contain a neurotoxic amino acid commonly known as ODAP.

Of course, had he been eating a wide variety of foods and been properly nourished, the toxins likely wouldn’t have affected him.

So, it’s easy to look at Chris’s experience and, if nothing else, learn from it. The real reason that he set off on the trip will never be known, but in the scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that he wasn’t prepared and he died because of it.

Would you do any of the mistakes he did?

Do you have anything to add? If so, please feel free to comment in the section below.

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

15 Cheap Meals You Can Make At The Last Minute

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I have 15 cheap meals you can make at the last meal minute if your pantry is stocked with a few things. Yesterday, Mark was coming down with something and didn’t feel well. First of all, he never gets sick, I think he has been sick maybe three times in all our married life. Well, you know how grandma used to make chicken noodle soup if we had cold or flu symptoms, right? Well, I grabbed the soup pot and filled it with water, then some cans of chicken, freeze-dried celery, carrots from the refrigerator that were on their last legs, so to speak, and some freeze-dried onions. If you add the spice Sweet Basil (spice jar) to soup, it’s fabulous. Here’s the deal, if you have just a few items in your pantry, refrigerator, freezer or veggies fresh from the garden you can make several cheap meals at the last minute.

Please remember, you don’t need to buy a special cook book to use your food storage. If you have some cook books in the cupboard, pull them out and use your favorite recipes using freeze-dried vegetables or dehydrated veggies. Dehydrated food needs more water to hydrate it, but they work great in soups. I’m not going to lie to you and say freeze-dried foods taste great when hydrated in a fresh salad, nope, it’s not going to work for me. Let’s be real here, they are great for some dips, soups, stews and we can sneak them in a few chicken salad recipes.

Yesterday, I must admit I thought I was out of freeze-dried celery, you know to make the chicken soup. I swear I’m OCD with my food storage. It has to be in alphabetical order so I can look at a glance what I have stored.  Luckily I saw three #10 cans of the freeze-dried celery. After I made the soup, I ordered two cases of #10 cans of freeze-dried celery to refill the pantry. I absolutely hate going grocery shopping, although I did go the other day and picked up some case lot sale items. Here are some items I suggest you store, and I will tell you the cheap meals you can make if these are in your pantry.

Now, if you have a large garden and you produce enough to pressure can or water bath your food that’s awesome. Now that I just have two to cook for, it’s more economical to purchase a case or two of canned vegetables, plus a few #10 cans of freeze-dried vegetables or dehydrated vegetables, whichever fits my budget. Yes, freeze-dried vegetables are more expensive than dehydrated, but they typically have a longer shelf-life and you can eat them right out of the can if you had to. Plus, they use less fuel to cook them. Please remember we need to store water in order to be prepared for the unexpected and to make soups, for instance.

Who loves the smell of soup simmering on the stove or in the slow cooker, I know I sure do. I could totally be a vegetarian, but Mark loves meat in just about every soup, chili, stew or casserole.

Cheap Meals In The Pantry

Spices-My Favorites

Chili powder, Sweet basil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, parsley, Cayenne pepper, cinnamon, to name a few.

Freeze-Dried Cheese

Of course, freshly grated cheese tastes better, but in a casserole, you can’t tell the difference. I buy the Colby Freeze-dried cheese, but all of them are great in casseroles. Hydrated freeze-dried Mozzarella is great on pizza as well.

Freeze-Dried Onions

These are great added to any soup, chili, stew or casserole.

Freeze-Dried Celery

These are great added to any soup, chili, stew or casserole.

Dehydrated Carrots

These are great added to any soup, chili, stew or casserole.

Dehydrated Potatoes

I hydrate these and fry them. I make potato soup with all of the vegetables I can put in the pot.

Canned Corn

These are great in soups or as a side dish.

Cans of Green Beans

These are great in soups or as a side dish.

Cans of Your Favorite Fruits

I used to can and preserve so many bushels of fruits, it’s not in the cards these days. I buy canned peaches, fruit cocktail, Mandarin oranges, to name a few. I keep a few cans in the refrigerator because they taste better cold. Do I love fresh fruits, oh yes, but I have to keep within my budget and case lot sales save me trips to the store. I still buy fresh fruits, but I need my pantry stocked, it’s who I am.

Cream of Chicken Soup

I still buy this soup because I have tried every recipe that is “healthy” and homemade and I don’t like any of them. I have to have cream of chicken soup even if I can’t pronounce some of the words. It’s how I roll.

Cans of Chicken

Great for soups, white chili, sandwiches, and casseroles.

Cans of Tuna

Great pantry item for sandwiches, salads, and casseroles.

Cans of Roast Beef

Great for stews, soups, chili, sandwiches, and casseroles.

Cans of Cooked Ground Beef

Great for tacos, soups, stews, and casseroles.

Cans of Cooked Ham

I like cans of ham over the freeze-dried ham because once you open a can of freeze-dried ham it has to be used within two weeks, or at least the brand I bought in #10 cans have to be used within that time period. So I buy smaller cans.

Tomato Powder-Tomato Sauce-Tomato Paste-Diced Tomatoes

I have every type of canned, or freeze-dried tomatoes you can buy. I love fresh tomatoes from my garden in the summer, but I have to have some cans of different tomato products to make to make soups, casseroles or chili throughout the year. Add some spices, veggies and you are good to go.

Better than Bouillon-Vegetable-Chicken-Beef

I add a spoonful of this awesome stuff to all my soups and stews. They sell it at the grocery store and even at Costco.

Boxes of Chicken Broth-Beef Broth-Vegetable Broth

These are easy to grab from the pantry to make soups and stews.

Beans-Navy Beans

These are great for soups and stews or as a side dish.

Beans-Pinto Beans

These are great for soups and stews or as a side dish.

Beans-Kidney Beans

These are great for soups and stews or as a side dish.

Beans-Garbanzo Beans

These are great for soups and stews or as a side dish.

Beans-Refried Beans

I eat a bean burrito every day, no cheese, but I love salsa with them.

Tortillas-Make them or freeze them

I buy corn tortillas and flour tortillas and freeze them. I love to make homemade ones, but I don’t always have time to make them.

Salsa

I used to make salsa, but now I buy it and I have 12 jars in the pantry at all times. I could eat salsa on just about everything.

Spaghetti Sauce

I used to bottle my own spaghetti sauce, now I buy it. It’s fairly inexpensive and I love having several jars on hand ready to open and serve with pasta. I can make spaghetti sauce from scratch with my tomato products, but sometimes I have very little time to do this.

Enchilada Sauce

My favorite is green enchilada sauce, mild.

Pasta

I love pasta, I buy all types, like vermicelli, lasagna, elbow, you name it, I have it.

Rice

I could eat beans and rice every day, I love sticky rice.

Cheap Meals

  1. Spaghetti sauce, cooked pasta, and green beans.
  2. Lasagna with canned cooked ground beef, pasta, spaghetti sauce, and cheese. I never use Ricotta because I never have it on hand.
  3. Tortillas with refried beans and hydrated freeze-dried cheese or no cheese.
  4. Red Chili, all you need is a soup pot, some beans, and tomatoes with some spices, and onions.
  5. White chicken chili, cans of cooked chicken, freeze-dried onions, white navy beans and freeze-dried Mozzarella cheese Linda’s white chili
  6. Chicken noodle soup, freeze-dried celery, dehydrated carrots, freeze-dried onions, cans of cooked chicken and seasonings. Linda’s chicken soup
  7. Beef stew with cans of cooked roast beef or cooked ground beef, diced tomatoes, freeze-dried onions, freeze-dried celery, dehydrated carrots and your favorite spices.
  8. Canned ham with navy beans, freeze-dried onions, dehydrated carrots and freeze-dried celery make a great pot of soup.
  9. Bean burritos, tortillas with refried beans, hydrated freeze-dried onions, freeze-dried cheese, and salsa.
  10. Scalloped potatoes and ham, using cans of cooked ham, freeze-dried onions, cream of chicken soup and dehydrated potatoes (after soaking in water, then drain and cook).
  11. Chicken and rice casserole, using cooked chicken, rice, celery, onions and cream of chicken soup. Linda’s casserole
  12. Tuna noodle casserole, tuna, cooked pasta and cream of chicken soup. Brings back memories, right? I grew up on this stuff.
  13. Tacos with cans of roast beef, cans of chicken, or cans of cooked ground beef. Add some freeze-dried cheese, salsa and you have dinner.
  14. Bean soup, grab a soup pot and add your favorite beans that you like with some cooked rice and vegetables. Soups by Linda
  15. Macaroni and cheese, boil your favorite pasta, add some freeze-dried cheese with a little butter and milk and you have a family favorite. Linda’s Mac and Cheese

I hope my list inspires you to keep your pantry stocked so you can make some cheap meals and survive any disaster, and save money at the same time.

Linda’s frugal recipes

My favorite soup pot

The post 15 Cheap Meals You Can Make At The Last Minute appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Survival Life Article – Itzagascan

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One of the most interesting products I have come across in the past few years is the Itzagascan emergency fuel container. I have several for my vehicles and gave a bunch away as Christmas gifts. If you own a motorized vehicle, you should consider purchasing a few of these just in case. Read my review […]

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

2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 37

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Once again, it’s been about a month since I’ve updated you on the going ons here! Let’s jump in and see what’s been going on here at the Suburban Steader Homestead! This Week’s Milestones Prolific Garden Harvest Continues I told you about my prolific cucumber harvest in my last post.  Well, I’m proud to report

2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 37

Once again, it’s been about a month since I’ve updated you on the going ons here! Let’s jump in and see what’s been going on here at the Suburban Steader Homestead! This Week’s Milestones Prolific Garden Harvest Continues I told you about my prolific cucumber harvest in my last post.  Well, I’m proud to report

Take The Plunge Into Apartment Homesteading

Click here to view the original post.

With everything happening in the world right now, including politics, climate change, natural disasters, a lifestyle of grotesque wastefulness, and our reliance on technology and fossil fuels, you might have cause to worry. As someone who lives in an apartment or condo, what do you do? Apartment homesteading is the way to go!

The movement toward small, single-family farms and gardens, growing and raising one’s own food, and learning the skills of our ancestors shines as a little glimmer of hope for all of us.

My Story

I rent a one-bedroom apartment in a moderate-sized city. This apartment has a small patio, limited kitchen space and storage, and is located off of a state highway in a huge complex with tons of college students. There is very little I can do in the way of serious “survival” or “old-world” skills.

If I can homestead, so can you!

How?

Let’s take a look.

What is Homesteading?

“Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of foodstuffs … Modern homesteaders often use renewable energy options, including solar electricity and wind power. Many also choose to plant and grow heirloom vegetables and raise heritage livestock. Homesteading is not defined by where someone lives, such as the city or the country, but by the lifestyle choices they make.”

There are some very important words for us Apartment Dwellers!

  • Self-sufficiency
  • Subsistence agriculture
  • Home preservation of foodstuffs
  • Renewable energy
  • Plant and grow
  • Raise
  • Lifestyle choices

When you think of modern homesteading, do you picture a large plot of land in a rural area with a house that runs on solar power, a few acres of vegetables, a working well, a mature orchard, a stocked pond, sheep, goats, chickens, and rabbits? Does the picture include a homesteader who makes his or her own clothing, cans his or her own food, and could pretty much survive off the grid without too much trouble?

The Homesteader’s Philosophy

The most important words on that list is “lifestyle choices.” The entire homesteading philosophy is built around the quest for changing or altering your lifestyle in ways that promote self-sufficiency, sustainability, and positive change.

A Homesteader …

  • … educates and trains himself or herself to grow, make, raise, or cultivate everything he or she needs to survive.
  • … gets to know his or her surroundings so that he or she can work with it to do what he or she needs to survive.
  • … uses, reuses, mends, creates, and remakes the resources he or she has so that he or she can sustain his or her lifestyle.
  • … is an agent of change in a society that relies too heavily on mass production and technology to survive.
  • … learns how to survive by his or her own means, and perhaps, to teach the skills and lifestyle to others.

It’s not where you live. It’s how you live.

Even now, in my tiny apartment, I consider myself a homesteader.

I am an Apartment Homesteader, and you can be, too!

  1. I could do everything to save money, read and learn about homesteading during my apartment tenure, and dream about my future homestead. But I would not be acting as an agent of change. I want to promote change NOW.
  2. My homestead looks a lot different from the ideal of a “modern homestead” that you might have pictured.
  3. There are herbs and potted vegetable plants are on the patio and kitchen counter.
  4. Conserve as much energy as possible, and use as little as possible.
  5. There isn’t an option for a gray water system, so conserve water use in your apartment.
  6. The thought of raising livestock in an apartment is very funny! Seek out homesteaders and organic farmers in your region who sell at the farmer’s markets or who are willing to trade labor for goods.
  7. It isn’t about where you live … homesteading is about how you live TODAY.

The methods may be different, but the philosophies are the same:

  • Educate yourself on how to grow as much food as you can.
  • Learn where to find everything you need to survive. Make a list of the things you will need to survive.
  • Get to know your region to find gardeners who share your ideals and desire change.
  • Purchase from companies who have sustainable practices and business models.
  • Get to know the energy and resource systems that are connected with your apartment.
  • Find ways to conserve water and electricity, and implement more sustainable energy practices.
  • Use, reuse, mend, create, and remake all of your clothing, gear, cleaning supplies, and personal care products. This lifestyle choice helps conserve resources and promotes sustainability.
  • As much as you can, end your personal reliance on mass production and technology for survival.
  • Learn and do everything you can to survive on your own means as much as is possible, where you are now.

Are you ready to take the “Apartment Homesteader” plunge?

Why be an Apartment Homesteader?

It isn’t easy. Becoming an apartment homesteader takes work—intentional work.

But the benefits are amazing!

First, write down why you want to be an apartment homesteader. When times get tough, your big WHY will help you get through. It’s super-easy to cave into buying that mass-produced item or slipping out to grab a cheap burger when you can make it healthier at home.

Putting Down Roots

The first true benefit in Apartment Homesteading is the way in which a temporary home feels more permanent with a few acts of conservation and sustainable living.

Apartment Homesteading gives those of us in “temporary” living situations a sense of place and the ability to put down literal roots. It gives us a sense of permanency and a sense of being home, which makes it feel less transient.

Through the acts of growing our own food, being present in your environment through conservation and sustainable acts, and living within your means in preparation for the future, we feel as though we belong to the earth, the land, our communities, and ourselves.

Our identity is bound to that belonging.

Community

The idea of belonging leads to a truly beautiful benefit of apartment homesteading: community.

As an apartment or condo dweller, it is impossible to be a subsistence gardener. It is impossible to grow all of your own food, raise animals for meat, milk, cheese, or eggs, or get “off the grid” through the use of sustainable solar and wind energy.

Like-minded Individuals

However, connecting with like-minded people to trade goods, resources, and talents to get all of the food you need is a great idea. You can learn the skills you need from modern homesteaders and work with your community in a garden space that benefits everyone.

It is mutually beneficial to help homesteaders operate by trading labor for goods, which allows you to get your hands dirty and be a part of the production of all of your food.

Apartment homesteading gives you the opportunity to reach out to people around you who have the same goals, ideas, and concerns.

It provides a community connection for those of us living in what is typically a solitary life.

Broadening the Sustainable Living Reach

Finally, one of the best benefits of apartment homesteading is its ability to bring the move toward sustainable living into the most unsustainable lifestyles and locations.

We literally live on top of one another in our apartment complexes. We don’t live in places known for sustainability practices. Many of us live in cities whose carbon footprints are off the charts, and most of us don’t know what to do about it.

As apartment homesteaders, we make the choice to live sustainably and lessen our reliance on big-ag and big-pharm.

As we plant and use our herbs for medicinal purposes, make chemical-free cleaning supplies, and conserve our use of natural resources in our apartments or condos, we demonstrate to the people around us that sustainability is a choice we make for ourselves—not a decision dictated by where we live.

If I can do it, you can do it. And if we can do it, they can do it.

Apartment Homesteader Goals

Every homesteader needs to set some goals. In order to make a difference with your apartment homestead, create goals that are specific, manageable, and easily accomplished.

We want to promote change! That means you have to be the change.

What goals can you implement in your apartment to move toward self-sufficiency, lessen your reliance on big-ag, preserve food and resources, conserve energy and natural resources, and make sustainable lifestyle choices?

Look to these major categories for the changes you can make:

  • Conservation – Water and Electricity
  • DIY – Do as much as you can for yourself, or learn how
  • Chemical-free living – make your own cleaning supplies and beauty products
  • Gardening – container gardening is perfect, even in small spaces
  • Home Medicine – growing herbs on your kitchen counter is a good place to start
  • Community – reach out to like-minded community members

Here are 12 first-year goals for your apartment homestead, one for each month:

  1. Unplug appliances when not in use
  2. Replace all chemicals in your home with natural, sustainable products that you make yourself
  3. Plant two vegetables in pots for indoor or patio growing
  4. Experiment with Instant Pot and traditional canning techniques to preserve food for cold months
  5. Grow at least 5 different herbs in a mason jar herb garden
  6. Learn the basics of herbal medicine and implement herbal remedies for common maladies
  7. Find and inquire about volunteering for two modern homesteaders in your region
  8. Find a co-op, CSA, or community garden in your area
  9. Cook all of your own meals from scratch
  10. Take a basic living skills class in your area, such as baking bread, growing food, sewing basics, canning, home repairs, emergency preparedness)
  11. Learn basic first aid and CPR
  12. Hang your laundry out to dry (even inside!)

None of these goals are too big or cost a ton of money. As a matter of fact, they may save you money! All of your goals should be somewhat flexible to account for life happenings. Start small, because those small steps will make a big difference in the long run. Celebrate each goal as you accomplish it. If you have already accomplished some of these goals, choose another one?

What skill do you need to add for your apartment homesteading success?

We are defined by the lifestyle choices we make

There is one trap that every homesteader risks falling into—unrealistic expectations.

When it doesn’t work

Sometimes sustainable living projects that you attempt in your apartment simply won’t work.

You may discover that some of the modern homesteaders you hope to work with don’t practice what they preach.

Relying on the systems may be something you have to do, meaning you may not reach all of your goals. Be kind to yourself. You tried. Be curious. Is there another way to accomplish that goal?

None of these “shortcomings,” mean your apartment homestead has or will fail. Keep moving forward!

Remember that any change toward sustainable living is a good change.

Set realistic, manageable, and sustainable goals in your apartment homestead projects, but remember you may experience setbacks and have to alter your original plans.

Find or Create Community

And most importantly, find or create a community you can count on for support.

Share your ideas and goals and your testimony of change with your apartment- or condo-dwelling friends.

Seek out leaders and guides in sustainable and self-sufficient living practices and glean all that you can from them, and offer your support, too.

A tribe of apartment homesteaders can make real, measurable waves in the urban housing world.

Next in this series, follow along as we explore each apartment homesteading goal. Then, implement your own apartment homesteading goals where you live.

You’ll get the REAL story of this apartment homesteading adventure…

… remember, it’s not about where you live; it’s about how you live.

We—the apartment homesteaders—are defined by the lifestyle choices we make, not where we live.

Need some small space composting ideas? Check out this article: 5 Cheap And Easy Solutions For Small-Space Composting.

Are you Apartment Homesteading? Tell us your story in the comments below.

 

Click here to get your FREE pass!

Save

The post Take The Plunge Into Apartment Homesteading appeared first on The Grow Network.

Take The Plunge Into Apartment Homesteading

With everything happening in the world right now, including politics, climate change, natural disasters, a lifestyle of grotesque wastefulness, and our reliance on technology and fossil fuels, you might have cause to worry. As someone who lives in an apartment or condo, what do you do? Apartment homesteading is the way to go!

The movement toward small, single-family farms and gardens, growing and raising one’s own food, and learning the skills of our ancestors shines as a little glimmer of hope for all of us.

My Story

I rent a one-bedroom apartment in a moderate-sized city. This apartment has a small patio, limited kitchen space and storage, and is located off of a state highway in a huge complex with tons of college students. There is very little I can do in the way of serious “survival” or “old-world” skills.

If I can homestead, so can you!

How?

Let’s take a look.

What is Homesteading?

“Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of foodstuffs … Modern homesteaders often use renewable energy options, including solar electricity and wind power. Many also choose to plant and grow heirloom vegetables and raise heritage livestock. Homesteading is not defined by where someone lives, such as the city or the country, but by the lifestyle choices they make.”

There are some very important words for us Apartment Dwellers!

  • Self-sufficiency
  • Subsistence agriculture
  • Home preservation of foodstuffs
  • Renewable energy
  • Plant and grow
  • Raise
  • Lifestyle choices

When you think of modern homesteading, do you picture a large plot of land in a rural area with a house that runs on solar power, a few acres of vegetables, a working well, a mature orchard, a stocked pond, sheep, goats, chickens, and rabbits? Does the picture include a homesteader who makes his or her own clothing, cans his or her own food, and could pretty much survive off the grid without too much trouble?

The Homesteader’s Philosophy

The most important words on that list is “lifestyle choices.” The entire homesteading philosophy is built around the quest for changing or altering your lifestyle in ways that promote self-sufficiency, sustainability, and positive change.

A Homesteader …

  • … educates and trains himself or herself to grow, make, raise, or cultivate everything he or she needs to survive.
  • … gets to know his or her surroundings so that he or she can work with it to do what he or she needs to survive.
  • … uses, reuses, mends, creates, and remakes the resources he or she has so that he or she can sustain his or her lifestyle.
  • … is an agent of change in a society that relies too heavily on mass production and technology to survive.
  • … learns how to survive by his or her own means, and perhaps, to teach the skills and lifestyle to others.

It’s not where you live. It’s how you live.

Even now, in my tiny apartment, I consider myself a homesteader.

I am an Apartment Homesteader, and you can be, too!

  1. I could do everything to save money, read and learn about homesteading during my apartment tenure, and dream about my future homestead. But I would not be acting as an agent of change. I want to promote change NOW.
  2. My homestead looks a lot different from the ideal of a “modern homestead” that you might have pictured.
  3. There are herbs and potted vegetable plants are on the patio and kitchen counter.
  4. Conserve as much energy as possible, and use as little as possible.
  5. There isn’t an option for a gray water system, so conserve water use in your apartment.
  6. The thought of raising livestock in an apartment is very funny! Seek out homesteaders and organic farmers in your region who sell at the farmer’s markets or who are willing to trade labor for goods.
  7. It isn’t about where you live … homesteading is about how you live TODAY.

The methods may be different, but the philosophies are the same:

  • Educate yourself on how to grow as much food as you can.
  • Learn where to find everything you need to survive. Make a list of the things you will need to survive.
  • Get to know your region to find gardeners who share your ideals and desire change.
  • Purchase from companies who have sustainable practices and business models.
  • Get to know the energy and resource systems that are connected with your apartment.
  • Find ways to conserve water and electricity, and implement more sustainable energy practices.
  • Use, reuse, mend, create, and remake all of your clothing, gear, cleaning supplies, and personal care products. This lifestyle choice helps conserve resources and promotes sustainability.
  • As much as you can, end your personal reliance on mass production and technology for survival.
  • Learn and do everything you can to survive on your own means as much as is possible, where you are now.

Are you ready to take the “Apartment Homesteader” plunge?

Why be an Apartment Homesteader?

It isn’t easy. Becoming an apartment homesteader takes work—intentional work.

But the benefits are amazing!

First, write down why you want to be an apartment homesteader. When times get tough, your big WHY will help you get through. It’s super-easy to cave into buying that mass-produced item or slipping out to grab a cheap burger when you can make it healthier at home.

Putting Down Roots

The first true benefit in Apartment Homesteading is the way in which a temporary home feels more permanent with a few acts of conservation and sustainable living.

Apartment Homesteading gives those of us in “temporary” living situations a sense of place and the ability to put down literal roots. It gives us a sense of permanency and a sense of being home, which makes it feel less transient.

Through the acts of growing our own food, being present in your environment through conservation and sustainable acts, and living within your means in preparation for the future, we feel as though we belong to the earth, the land, our communities, and ourselves.

Our identity is bound to that belonging.

Community

The idea of belonging leads to a truly beautiful benefit of apartment homesteading: community.

As an apartment or condo dweller, it is impossible to be a subsistence gardener. It is impossible to grow all of your own food, raise animals for meat, milk, cheese, or eggs, or get “off the grid” through the use of sustainable solar and wind energy.

Like-minded Individuals

However, connecting with like-minded people to trade goods, resources, and talents to get all of the food you need is a great idea. You can learn the skills you need from modern homesteaders and work with your community in a garden space that benefits everyone.

It is mutually beneficial to help homesteaders operate by trading labor for goods, which allows you to get your hands dirty and be a part of the production of all of your food.

Apartment homesteading gives you the opportunity to reach out to people around you who have the same goals, ideas, and concerns.

It provides a community connection for those of us living in what is typically a solitary life.

Broadening the Sustainable Living Reach

Finally, one of the best benefits of apartment homesteading is its ability to bring the move toward sustainable living into the most unsustainable lifestyles and locations.

We literally live on top of one another in our apartment complexes. We don’t live in places known for sustainability practices. Many of us live in cities whose carbon footprints are off the charts, and most of us don’t know what to do about it.

As apartment homesteaders, we make the choice to live sustainably and lessen our reliance on big-ag and big-pharm.

As we plant and use our herbs for medicinal purposes, make chemical-free cleaning supplies, and conserve our use of natural resources in our apartments or condos, we demonstrate to the people around us that sustainability is a choice we make for ourselves—not a decision dictated by where we live.

If I can do it, you can do it. And if we can do it, they can do it.

Apartment Homesteader Goals

Every homesteader needs to set some goals. In order to make a difference with your apartment homestead, create goals that are specific, manageable, and easily accomplished.

We want to promote change! That means you have to be the change.

What goals can you implement in your apartment to move toward self-sufficiency, lessen your reliance on big-ag, preserve food and resources, conserve energy and natural resources, and make sustainable lifestyle choices?

Look to these major categories for the changes you can make:

  • Conservation – Water and Electricity
  • DIY – Do as much as you can for yourself, or learn how
  • Chemical-free living – make your own cleaning supplies and beauty products
  • Gardening – container gardening is perfect, even in small spaces
  • Home Medicine – growing herbs on your kitchen counter is a good place to start
  • Community – reach out to like-minded community members

Here are 12 first-year goals for your apartment homestead, one for each month:

  1. Unplug appliances when not in use
  2. Replace all chemicals in your home with natural, sustainable products that you make yourself
  3. Plant two vegetables in pots for indoor or patio growing
  4. Experiment with Instant Pot and traditional canning techniques to preserve food for cold months
  5. Grow at least 5 different herbs in a mason jar herb garden
  6. Learn the basics of herbal medicine and implement herbal remedies for common maladies
  7. Find and inquire about volunteering for two modern homesteaders in your region
  8. Find a co-op, CSA, or community garden in your area
  9. Cook all of your own meals from scratch
  10. Take a basic living skills class in your area, such as baking bread, growing food, sewing basics, canning, home repairs, emergency preparedness)
  11. Learn basic first aid and CPR
  12. Hang your laundry out to dry (even inside!)

None of these goals are too big or cost a ton of money. As a matter of fact, they may save you money! All of your goals should be somewhat flexible to account for life happenings. Start small, because those small steps will make a big difference in the long run. Celebrate each goal as you accomplish it. If you have already accomplished some of these goals, choose another one?

What skill do you need to add for your apartment homesteading success?

We are defined by the lifestyle choices we make

There is one trap that every homesteader risks falling into—unrealistic expectations.

When it doesn’t work

Sometimes sustainable living projects that you attempt in your apartment simply won’t work.

You may discover that some of the modern homesteaders you hope to work with don’t practice what they preach.

Relying on the systems may be something you have to do, meaning you may not reach all of your goals. Be kind to yourself. You tried. Be curious. Is there another way to accomplish that goal?

None of these “shortcomings,” mean your apartment homestead has or will fail. Keep moving forward!

Remember that any change toward sustainable living is a good change.

Set realistic, manageable, and sustainable goals in your apartment homestead projects, but remember you may experience setbacks and have to alter your original plans.

Find or Create Community

And most importantly, find or create a community you can count on for support.

Share your ideas and goals and your testimony of change with your apartment- or condo-dwelling friends.

Seek out leaders and guides in sustainable and self-sufficient living practices and glean all that you can from them, and offer your support, too.

A tribe of apartment homesteaders can make real, measurable waves in the urban housing world.

Next in this series, follow along as we explore each apartment homesteading goal. Then, implement your own apartment homesteading goals where you live.

You’ll get the REAL story of this apartment homesteading adventure…

… remember, it’s not about where you live; it’s about how you live.

We—the apartment homesteaders—are defined by the lifestyle choices we make, not where we live.

Need some small space composting ideas? Check out this article: 5 Cheap And Easy Solutions For Small-Space Composting.

Are you Apartment Homesteading? Tell us your story in the comments below.

 

Click here to get your FREE pass!

Save

The post Take The Plunge Into Apartment Homesteading appeared first on The Grow Network.