Nuclear Protection Supplies

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If you value preparedness you probably have most of the supplies you’ll need to survive pretty much anything that befalls you. The fact is, while there’s a huge variety of

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7 DAY CHALLENGE 2017- DAY 4: PRACTICE

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day4

Friday September 22

Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 3 days, we are “PRACTICING” our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the next 3 days! Please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.

No one likes talking about it, but it happens. The main bread winner in the family has suffered a serious accident. They have been in a coma in the hospital for weeks and it doesn’t look good. You’re not sure where money will come from if they can’t get back to work, and tough decisions will need to be made considering their long-term care. To make matters worse things are falling apart at home. Going to the grocery store is far beyond your capacity to manage so you’ve been eating out of your three-month supply. Spending extra money on eating out is not an option. You have been so busy with the hospital that you forgot to pay some bills and your water got turned off.

Goal: PRACTICE eating your three month supply foods, live without running water, and evaluate your crisis plans.

Today’s Tasks:

  • Use the recipes and ingredients from your three month supply plan for your meals today.
  • Revisit your three month supply plan. Inventory what you have on hand.
  • Determine how long you will be able to survive without buying more food.
  • Discuss with your loved ones (with sensitivity depending on ages) what would happen should a parent die.
  • Put a plan in place on how bills will get paid if the person paying them should die.
  • Update or research your living will
  • Cook your meals and clean up without using running water.
  • Do a load of laundry today without using running water.
  • You can’t waste water on flushing toilets so figure out an alternative solution for potty issues today (this emergency toilet kit could be helpful).

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
  • You cannot use any perishable items as you have not been to the grocery store in a while.
  • DO NOT USE RUNNING WATER AT ALL TODAY.

Advanced Tasks:

  • Go and shut off the main water supply to your house to avoid temptation to use water (view tutorial).
  • Locate the nearest source of fresh water to your home, stock up on some extra water since your plumbing is shut off.
REMEMBER, TOMORROW’S CHALLENGE WILL BE DIFFERENT
Check back first thing in the morning!


MAKE SURE to visit the group page on Facebook to discuss your progress and share tips. It’s a great place to learn from other people’s experience and knowledge.

We will also be posting a lot on instagram (@foodstoragemadeeasy) over the next few days. Come join the fun there with hash tag #fsme7daychallenge

The post 7 DAY CHALLENGE 2017- DAY 4: PRACTICE appeared first on Food Storage Made Easy.

How to Make Your Own Soap – Soapmaking Part 1

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Soapmaking

Soap….it’s one of those things that is easily taken for granted in western culture…but what would you use to clean yourself if you didn’t have soap?  I decided to do a little research into the history of soap and here’s what I found:

Before the Ivory Bar

The earliest evidences of what we know as soap were found in an excavation in Iraq (ancient Babylon), lending evidence to the production of soap-like substances almost 6000 years ago.  Many ancient cultures used various formats of mixing oils, fats, ashes, salts and water to make soaps.  Supposedly Romans used urine….ew…..But these concoctions weren’t used on the body, but only for cleaning textiles, tools and utensils, etc.  There is evidence, however,  that by 1550 BC in Egypt, oils and alkaline salts were made into a soap that was used on the skin to heal sores and diseases. The reality is that people were pretty funky until the relationship between being clean and health was established, it seems.  Commercial soap as we know it didn’t come into production until after World War I.

The soapwort plant was also a source for cleaning as it was mixed with water and the saponins of the plant worked to make a lather for cleansing.

File:Saponaria-officinalis-plant.jpg

Soapwort: Saponaria officinalis

Romans and Greeks were known to clean themselves by using water and ashes, sand or pumice and then anointing themselves with oil.  The ruins of Pompeii (destroyed in 79AD) reveal an entire soap factory!  So, somewhere along the line, people started using soap for personal hygiene and as a preventative for disease.  There are records that in the 2nd century AD, a Greek physician, Galen, recommended washing with soap for this reason.

By the 8th century, soap was being made in Italy and Spain from goat tallow and beech tree ashes.  By the 13th century, Italy and France were centers of soap-making, bringing soap into the forefront for use in bathing, laundry, shaving and shampooing. Of course, the Castille area in Spain is famous for making the first hard, white bars of olive oil soap – still made today as castile soap.  I will be sharing a recipe that is my favorite.

Out of Ashes….Lye!

So I have not done it yet, but I plan to try to make a soap mixture of some sort using ashes from our woodstove this winter, lard that I rendered last winter and water – and see what happens.  I will definitely do a post when I do that.  What I love about that idea is that it is simple and made with ingredients that I won’t have to purchase.  I have movie-images of people outside stirring big bubbling kettles of soap for hours and I wonder if that is accurate.  I intend to find out….

Photo courtesy of NY public library

But for now, I want to share with you my experience in making some simple homemade soaps.  My mission is to make the most luxuriant lathering and moisturizing soap that I can possibly make, while keeping the bar hard and long-lasting.  (This is a challenge, so I’ve been told because the more luxuriant bars tend to dissipate more quickly.)  I needed to start at square one, being a complete novice at soap-making.  So my husband bought me a book for Christmas, called Milk Soapmaking by Anne L. Watson and I began to assemble the tools I would need to successfully make soap.

Materials Needed

It was a bit overwhelming for our extremely tight budget, but I finally managed to acquire some lye (I just purchased Roebic drain cleaner at Lowe’s – you have to get 100% sodium hydroxide and this is a bead form of lye which is what you need to use for milk soaps), various oils and fats, an instant-read digital thermometer, a digital scale that tares, an immersion stick blender, goggles, rubber gloves, various stainless steel pots (no aluminum!), a glass pitcher with a spout, containers for measuring ingredients, and then pans for pouring the soap into to set and parchment paper to line those pans so you can get the soap back out! (My first mistake) You also want to make sure any spoons you use are stainless steel or plastic.  She also recommends getting pH strips to test the alkalinity of your soap.  I got some but haven’t used them yet.  You need ones that measure the range of 7 (neutral)-11(too alkaline to use).  I’ve been letting my bars sit for 3 months before using them.

Let me preface my experience by saying that I was attempting to make soap with certain qualities and appearance of the soap meant nothing to me.  I totally did not care to fuss with making my soap beautiful.  Functional and effective was what I was after.  So you wouldn’t look at my soaps and salivate.

Cold-Process Milk Soap

Soapmaking

I started out with a basic, cold-process milk soap.  I had some raw milk go sour and so  I decided this was a perfect use for it.  The lye kills everything, so it totally doesn’t matter that it was soured.  I poured the soured milk into 9 ounce portions in ziploc bags and layed them flat in the freezer.  You need the milk to be frozen when you use it for your soap to manage the temperature of the lye mixture.  Using it frozen is a great boon to getting your mixture to the temperature needed to add the fats more quickly.

Here’s the recipe I used:

9 ounces (255g) coconut oil
21 ounces (595g) olive oil
9 ounces (255g) fluid milk (frozen)
4.1 ounces (116g) lye

*Remember, this is a cool technique soap. (Differs from the warm technique in the form of milk used and the making of the lye solution.)

Ready, Set, Soap!

Get all your materials ready and dress to prepare for splashes. (long sleeves, gloves, etc.) Keep the kids occupied.  Seriously – if your children are undisciplined, do NOT make soap around them.  You cannot be interrupted and they must not be permitted to be anywhere near the lye.  Wear your goggles!  I have proven their effectiveness after only 3 batches of soap!  Also…lye fumes are toxic.  Decide where you will mix your lye solution.  If you can mix your lye solution outside, do it.  Some folks do it on the stove with the exhaust fan on, or go near an open window.  Do NOT breathe in these fumes! (They are much worse with a warm technique soap.)

Step 1: Turn on your scale. Put your pot on the scale and push the tare button.  Measure the coconut oil into the pot.  Tare again.  Add the olive oil. Gently heat until coconut oil melts.  OR melt premeasured coconut oil in the microwave and then add it melted to the pot. Set aside the fats.

Soapmaking

Step 2: Put a dry measuring cup on the scale for measuring lye.  This should be a cup you will use exclusively for lye.  Measure lye into the cup very slowly so as to not overshoot and have to pour any back.  The beaded lye likes to travel about.

Soapmaking

Step 3: Put the frozen milk into your pot or glass pitcher.

Soapmaking

Step 4: Gently pour the lye on top of the milk, stirring carefully with your long-handled slotted spoon.  Avoid splashes!  (*Note: Never, never, never pour lye in first and add liquid on top of it!! Imagine a volcano….) Don’t worry about any changes of color or if it gets grainy(happens with lowfat milk, but why would you use lowfat milk when high fat makes such a nicer soap?) or thickens- it’s all fine.

Soapmaking

Step 5: Determine when your lye is dissolved.  Take the temperature at the start and keep a watch on it as you stir.  When it begins to definitely fall, your lye is dissolved. UNLESS you’re making a really high-fat soap, (which this recipe is not) where the fats cause the temps to keep rising – in this case, you’d just stir for a good 5 minutes to be sure it is dissolved. How to tell if you have enough fat to expect the temps to rise or fall? If the mixture is thickening as you stir, expect it to keep rising.  If it stays thin, the temps should drop.

SoapmakingSoapmaking

Step 6: Time to combine!  Add your lye mixture to the melted fats in the pot by pouring it through a sieve.  Again, this sieve should be exclusively for soapmaking. If you used high-fat milk, it might be too thick to pour. That’s okay – just spoon it in. Stir with the long-handled spoon until mixed.

Soapmaking

Step 7: Add any fragrances (essential oils are best.  I learned that orange oil doesn’t last at all.) or colorants (I wasn’t bothered.).

Soapmaking

Step 8: Check your temperature and note it.

Step 9: The tricky part.  Immerse your stick blender into the mixture and blend. (Make sure you keep it submerged or you’ll have a big mess to clean up!)

Soapmaking

Watch the mixture change forms until it becomes thick and creamy. When your blender sounds like it’s working harder, turn it off and stir your soap with a spoon for about half a minute.  If it thins again (false trace) use the blender some more. What you’re going for here is what soapmakers call ”trace.”  It’s where you see a trace of the movement of the blender through the mixture as it’s thickening up. The temperature will also go up a couple degrees from the heat generated by saponification. If this happens, you want to be done and pour your soap into the mold.  Do not let it go any higher than 5 degrees from the starting temp.

Soapmaking

First batch, first mistake – I forgot to line the pan with parchment paper. Digging the soap out of there didn’t make for pretty bars!

 

Step10: Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or you can freeze for 1 hour and then move to the ‘frig to get it as pale as possible.  Then move it to your countertop or some other room temperature place to cure.

Soapmaking

Step 11:  After 12-24 hours pull the soap out of the mold.

Step 12: Test your soap. Put on your rubber gloves. Drop a bit of distilled water onto the setting soap and work it in a bit.  Press in a ph strip.  If the reading is high (11-12), wait until it reads around 7-10.

Step 13: Cut into bars and let cure. Use a cheese wire, a knife, a pizza wheel, whatever works for the mold you chose.  If it seems to want to chip, maybe wait another day to cut the bars.  Be on the alert for any lye granules as you cut.  If you see any, test with a pH strip and if it’s lye, you’ll have to ditch the batch.  The soap should be uniform and creamy.  Let the bars cure where they can get good air circulation.  I just put mine on a lined old cookie sheet and turned them over every day.

The soap in the middle of the basket is the soap from this recipe.

The soap in the middle of the basket is the soap from this recipe.

In a few months – enjoy! You can probably use your soap sooner than this, but it will just dissolve so much more slowly if you are patient and let it really dry out. Minimum wait is really a month.

Next time I’ll walk you through the warm technique soap I made and then my favorite – olive oil castile.

Aren’t you glad we don’t have to use sand and ashes?


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How to Run the Economy on the Weather. An interesting read.

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Stoneferry (detail), a painting by John Ward of Hull.

How to Choose a Hiking Water Filter (+2017 Buyer Guide)

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Just how important is water to us? Without water, a man will die within three days. Our body is made up of around 65 percent water. You can probably survive a trail hike or a short camping trip with nothing but your trusty water jug. But it becomes a whole new game when you’re trapped, isolated and trying to survive until help arrives.

Quick Navigation

  A. What is a Hiking Water Filter
  B. Buyers Guide to Choosing a Water Filter
     1. Portability
     2. Filtration vs Purification
     3. Effectivenss
     4. What is the Micron Rating
     5. Output Speed
     6. Convenience
     7. Taste Quality
     8. EPA Standards

  C. Types of Filters
     1. Pumps
     2. Straws
     3. Bottles
     4. Ceramic
     5. Gravity Fed

Nature has provided us plenty of water sources. There are lakes, streams and small rivers that we can use to take a bath in or for cleaning our clothes. As for drinking it, one should not do so unless he or she has a quality water filter handy. This is especially important as your life will depend on just one sip of unclean water.

Lakes, rivers and streams were once the main source of drinking water. But this is no longer the case, as numerous factories and companies have now polluted the once potable sources. A single drop of water can contain billions of harmful bacteria, viruses and dangerous chemicals, all of which can prove to be fatal for humans.

Whether for camping, hiking, mountaineering or for surviving, a reliable source of drinking water ensures you’ll live for another day. For this reason you’ll need a good water filtration system for the job!

Remember the rule of drinking water in the wild- Filter First, Then Hydrate.

 

 

A. What Is A Survival Water Filter?

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you mention the words “water filter”?

Many of us would think either the big stainless steel tanks connected to the kitchen faucet or the small filters that are independently attached.

A survival water filter works the same way, with the exception of being portable. It’s one of the list of essential items to get if you’re making a bug out bag. Survival water filters are great for staying alive and preventing death due to dehydration.

The best survival water filters are ones that can effectively filter out harmful contaminants that could make you very sick very quickly. Almost all of us would think twice about taking a gulp of water from lakes because we know that we can get ill from it. Some of the worst things that can happen are diarrhea, vomiting, gastroenteritis, etc. But if you have a filtration system, you’d be more confident that you can quench your thirst without getting sick.

Not to mention filters can also make water smell better and taste better as well.

Why Is It Important To Own A Survival Water Filter?

You will need an excellent survival water filter to be able to drink from any stream, lake or river anytime when needed.

Water filters can get you clean, drinkable water with little exertion, i.e., squeezing or pumping water through the filter. They are also effective and very convenient to have along. These equipment shine best in emergency and survival situations where there will be very little water to drink. These filters will save your life while you’re waiting for rescue or until you reach the next stop.

Potable water isn’t just for drinking. You can use it to cook your food and for sanitation purposes. In order to survive, each person must have at least a gallon of water per day. Unsafe water will just bring about more trouble as they can enter your system through various means.

B. The Buyer’s Guide In Finding The Best Survival Water Filter

There’s more to a survival water filter than meets the eye. Aside from being able to effectively filter water, there are features that you’ll need to consider.

1. Portability

The ultimate water filtration system should be portable enough that you can bring it everywhere you go, regardless of your clothes and your bag. Today’s portable water filters are small and affordable that there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t have one in your hiking or emergency bag.

All the essential survival tools should be able to fit inside your bug out bag. This bag should always be ready in case of emergency situations. Some water filters are so small that they can easily fit in your pocket. Some just weigh as little as 2 ounces. A good portable filter will be anywhere between 6 to 13 inches.

2. Filtration and Purification

Purifying water is not an absolute necessity if you’re hiking within the US. If you intend to go on trips in other countries though, this feature becomes a must-have.

  • Water Filtration

Filtration is done by passing the raw water through a filtration sieve, via biological or by using chemical processes. One of the most common filtration methods is by passing the raw water through a carbon filter to make it safe to drink. It should be noted that this filtration method will not eliminate certain viruses or certain chemicals in the water. Water filtration does not ensure that the water is 100% safe to drink.

  • Water Purification

Purification is done to eliminate impurities from the raw water. While filtration deals with cleaning the water, purification makes the raw water free from chemicals, pathogens and possible bio contaminants. Boiling is an example of a purification method. In the same vein as filtration, purification may not eliminate other types of impurities in the water.

 

3. Filtration Effectiveness

Just how fine are the sieves that are used to filter the water? It all boils down to the micron level. The general rule is that a smaller micron level is better at filtering out contaminants than filters that have bigger micron levels. There are some survival water filters that are advertised to have .1 or .2 microns, while others say they can eliminate 99.9% viruses and microorganisms.

4. Understanding the Micron Rating

What is a micron rating? Essentially, it measures the size of openings found in a filter. The smallest micron sizes are at .1 microns, which can stop bacteria from passing through (bacteria is at .2 micron). A filter that has a smaller micron rating should also be able to prevent cysts and viruses from passing through. Pore size helps if you plan on drawing water to drink from springs, rivers and deep wells.

5. Output Speed

How much water can a filter process at one time? A high flow rate makes it easier and quicker to collect potable water from a source. In general, larger filters will have a higher speed of water output as compared to the smaller water filter variants. Pump type water filters can put out a rate at around 1 to 2 liters of potable water per minute. Straw-type water filters have smaller filters, but they are more portable and it can be used to drink water directly from the souce. The “sip and drink” mechanism is only possible because of the filter’s reduced surface area.

6. Convenience

How easy is it to draw and drink water using the filter? Each type has its own pros and cons. For example, the straw type requires you to submerge the device and suck the water straight from the source, while the pump type requires a bit of exertion to use.

7. Taste Quality

Great-tasting water is free of chemicals and microorganisms. The moment we taste something funny in the water, we immediately stop because it is our natural instinct. Potable water should be at best neutral. Water filters will sometimes have features such as activated carbon that effectively traps the “funny taste” of contaminated water.

8. Passes EPA Standards

Make sure to check out if a water filtration system passes EPA standards. The Environmental Protection Agency has set a standard that determines whether water is safe for public consumption or not. In short, if a water filter passes this, then it should be safe for you to use.

B. Types of Water Filters

There are now different water filters, each with their own unique mechanisms. Here’s how each type works in terms of filtering and drawing water from the source, along with the best of its kind:

1. Pump Type Filters

Raw water is “pushed” via a pump mechanism through the filter. This type of water filter usually have the fastest flow rate as compared to the other water filter types. A good pump type filtration system can usually put out a liter or two of potable water per minute. You get more potable water in less time which can come in handy in some emergency situations.  A .2 micron glass fiber filter pushes out drinkable water quickly with little to no effort. You also get a durable 11-oz microfilter which attaches to your hydration pack of water bottles and 1/4″ drink tubes.

 

 

2. Straw Type Filters

Just as the name says, straw types are basically straws that can filter water while you take a sip. The advantages are many- you carry around a lightweight and extremely portable straw in your pocket or your backpack and whip it out as needed. You will have the ability to drink straight from the source or collect raw water in a container and use the straw on it. On the other hand, you’ll have to be right beside the water source if you don’t have a container you can use to collect the raw water. Older people will probably find it more difficult to use a straw type water filter as they will have to be on all fours to get a good drink.

 

 

LifeStraw Water Filters will let you drink up to a thousand liters of water without common water contaminants such as chlorine and iodine. The compact size and the negligible weight (only 2 oz) make it the perfect companion for camping and hiking purposes. Simply submerge the LifeStraw in a nearby pool of water and take a sip. You won’t have to wait for the chemicals to react or pump water when you have the LifeStraw packed.

 

Survival Hax features a .1 micron filter, which is about the tenth of most home water filtration systems. Dirty water flows through the filter and into the hollow membranes.

 

Then, it passes the activated carbon and finally into the designated mouthpiece. The result is a chemical free, BPA free and delicious water that’s safe to drink and enjoy. The modified straw can fit into any water bottle with a 28mm opening.

 

 

Tap water, ground water, river water, rainwater and even flood water will turn into potable drinking water with the Outdoors 365 Survival Straw. The filter may be attached to a 2L bottle and can process up to 1500 liters. The active carbon and high precision micron material make it one of the best portable water filters out there.

 

 

This offering from Sawyer is one of the lightest and most portable ever. Featuring a .1 micron hollow fiber membrane filter and weighing only a mere 2 ounces, the Mini can be screwed onto water bottles that have standard threaded tops. The filter can last for up to a hundred thousand gallons. Sip straight from the water source or drink from the bottle.

 

 

JBW’s Emergency Water Filter has an amazing .01 micron filter which can eliminate harmful chemicals such as iodine, chlorine, etc. Comes with a sealed bag for emergency purposes. The camo design is durable and great for concealment.

 

 

Survivor Filter has a .05 micron UF membrane filter which can effectively remove gardia, protozoa, staph, bacteria and viruses from the water you drink. The carbon-activated filter eliminates heavy metals, odors, chemicals and the funny taste. The pre-filter cotton takes out the larger particles before it hits the carbon filter, ensuring a longer-lasting use.

 

3. Water Bottles with a Built-in Water Filter

These all-in-one filters are very convenient and handy. You can use them for collecting or filtering water, depending on what the situation dictates. Like all the other water filter devices in this list, built-in water filter systems are designed to be lightweight and easily maintainable. Some have a coffee press mechanism while others have a bite valve you can drink from. What reaches your mouth is safe, clean and tasteless water.

 

     

LifeStraw’s vaunted membrane water filter pairs up with a reusable BPA-free bottle to give you the Go Water Filter Bottle. A carbon-activated filters works to eliminate chlorine, odor and tastes, making your water safe and enjoyable to drink. The 23 oz water bottle is leak-free, durable and stylish and made from food grade silicone and BPA-free tritan material. Fill up by the nearest stream, river or lake and drink your thirst away with the award-wining water filter straw.

 

Woder’s 24 model has the ability to filter up to 25 gallons or 145 refills as you use it to turn raw water into potable source from any outdoor source, including ponds, wells, rivers, lakes and streams. You can save up to $500 on bottled water. The most unique thing about Woder’s offering is that all the essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium are left intact.

 


Life Defender’s excellent .01 micron filters can be used reliably to a maximum 1,500 liters of water before needing a replacement. The accompanying 22 oz water bottle holds the taste-free, contaminant-free water as it passes through the coconut activated carbon filter. The BPA aspect makes the bottle forever reusable.

 

4. Ceramic Type Water Filters

Ceramic water filters are among the most popular portable water filtration systems for a good reason. Ceramic has been mainly used to filter out contaminants since ancient times. This material is very good at producing very clean, drinkable water from lakes, rivers and ponds. Though they may appear to be solid, a ceramic is actually porous and has many microscopic openings that can weed out microbes and harmful contaminants.

With all that good, why aren’t all water filters made of ceramic? One of the main disadvantages of ceramic is that it’s heavier and more fragile. You can’t just leave them along with your other things or they may break prematurely. If you don’t mind the extra weight, ceramic filters are among the best when filtering out bacteria and other contaminants from outdoor water sources. Ceramics last for a lifetime and they bring danger down to almost zero when you use them.

 

 

The special Vario Dual technology brings a unique aspect to the water filtration system. The whole Vario tech has 3 stages of filtration- an adjustable pre-filter made of ceramic which can be changed according to how cloudy the raw water looks, active charcoal to eliminate the taste in water, and a high performance glass fiber filter to make the water safe to drink. The ceramic disc is cleanable, which considerably extends the lifespan of the Vario-based water filter. The .2 micron glass fiber microfilter is great for eliminating harmful water-borne bacteria. The carbon core is replaceable, which overall makes the Vario Water Filter a good buy.

 

5. Gravity Water Filters

There’s no effort needed when you opt in for a gravity water filter. Basically, raw water passes through the filter and comes out clean and drinkable. The process goes like this- water is put on the container, which passes the filter as it naturally gravitates downward. The hose has hollow membranes that filter the water, making it safe to drink. Gravity water filters have the edge over pressure-based filters as they are more effective in producing potable water. The only disadvantage is that it takes a long time for the filtering process to be completed. It’s not recommended if you’re on the go and need a quick drink ASAP!

 

The huge 25 liter reservoir will satisfy your group’s need to drink water during camping trips, hiking and in emergency situations. The Xpor Outdoor Hydration Pack is perfect for small groups of campers and outdoor adventurers. The food grade TPU material holds the potable water in place. There’s even a versatile shower head included.

 

Skip the effort of having to pump potable water with the Platypus 4L Water Filter System. The gravity-fed filter takes the raw water from the dirty reservoir and proceeds to produce safe drinking water while it hangs from a support. Platypus’ offering filters water an a rate of 1.75 L per minute. The filter can be used to produce 1,500 L of water before needing a replacement. This is one of the best water filters to get if you’re planning to have a filtration system for the whole group or family.

 

Sawyer products are known for their efficiency and technologically advanced solutions that produces drinkable water better than most US standard bottled water. The SP194 is no exception- the filter eliminates viruses clean off while churning out up to 4 L of safe water within a record 10 minutes. It’s great for solo use, but it shines when used in a group setting. The gravity filtration system simply requires you to hang the bag up to filter the raw water inside the reservoir. Just fill it up, attach the filter and tubing to the “clean” tank reservoir, and you’ll have safe water to drink within minutes.

 

The LifeStraw mission comes with all the bells and whistles from a premium water filter system. The high capacity reservoir can be filled up to a maximum of 12 or 5 L. The filter sports a hollow membrane and can be easily hooked up to a tree or any similar support. Expect an 18,000 L filter lifespan that churns out potable water at a rate of around 9 to 12 L drinking water per hour.

The best water filtration system is the one that specifically caters to all your needs, whether you need a simple filter system on short camping trips or a high-end water filter system for the whole family. It all boils down to preference. A straw water filter works best on solo hikes because of its unbeatable portability, while a gravity water filter system is best for group camping or for large-scale emergency situations.

The post How to Choose a Hiking Water Filter (+2017 Buyer Guide) appeared first on Geek Prepper.

100 Percent Of Puerto Rico Without Electricity; Power May Be Out For MONTHS

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100 Perfect Of Puerto Rico Without Electricity; Power May Be Out For MONTHS

The electricity might be off for months in Puerto Rico following the destruction from Hurricane Maria, Governor Ricardo Rossello says.

A full 100 percent of the island – which is home to 3.5 million people — was without electricity on Thursday afternoon, The New York Times reported. The blackout is so widespread because Hurricane Irma already had knocked out 70 percent of the island’s power.

“Irma gave us a break, but Maria destroyed us,” San Juan resident Edwin Serrano told The Times.

Maria was the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico since 1932, and the devastation on the island is far from over.

Finally, A Backup Generator That Doesn’t Require Gasoline!

All of Puerto Rico was under a flood warning Thursday because of storm surges in the sea and up to 35 inches of rain.

Power Grid Destroyed

“It’s a good time for dads to buy a ball and a glove and change the way you entertain your children,” Ricardo Ramos of Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority told CNN.

President Trump said Thursday that Puerto Rico’s power grid is down.

“It wasn’t in good shape to start off with. But their electrical grid is totally destroyed, and so are many other things,” Trump said.

It will take more than a month to restore electricity to the island, said Jenniffer González-Colón, Puerto Rico’s non-voting representative to the U.S. House. Power lines all over the island are on the ground.

Many families will be without running water for months because the pumps that supply the water system are knocked out, González-Colón added.

“The country is paralyzed — it’s like a war zone,” said real-estate marketer Carmen González. “This has been devastating. The whole of Condado is full of obstacles.”

Telephone service also is out on the island, making the situation worse for millions of Americans who have relatives in Puerto Rico.

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

100 Perfect Of Puerto Rico Without Electricity; Power May Be Out For MONTHS

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100 Perfect Of Puerto Rico Without Electricity; Power May Be Out For MONTHS

The electricity might be off for months in Puerto Rico following the destruction from Hurricane Maria, Governor Ricardo Rossello says.

A full 100 percent of the island – which is home to 3.5 million people — was without electricity on Thursday afternoon, The New York Times reported. The blackout is so widespread because Hurricane Irma already had knocked out 70 percent of the island’s power.

“Irma gave us a break, but Maria destroyed us,” San Juan resident Edwin Serrano told The Times.

Maria was the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico since 1932, and the devastation on the island is far from over.

Finally, A Backup Generator That Doesn’t Require Gasoline!

All of Puerto Rico was under a flood warning Thursday because of storm surges in the sea and up to 35 inches of rain.

Power Grid Destroyed

“It’s a good time for dads to buy a ball and a glove and change the way you entertain your children,” Ricardo Ramos of Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority told CNN.

President Trump said Thursday that Puerto Rico’s power grid is down.

“It wasn’t in good shape to start off with. But their electrical grid is totally destroyed, and so are many other things,” Trump said.

It will take more than a month to restore electricity to the island, said Jenniffer González-Colón, Puerto Rico’s non-voting representative to the U.S. House. Power lines all over the island are on the ground.

Many families will be without running water for months because the pumps that supply the water system are knocked out, González-Colón added.

“The country is paralyzed — it’s like a war zone,” said real-estate marketer Carmen González. “This has been devastating. The whole of Condado is full of obstacles.”

Telephone service also is out on the island, making the situation worse for millions of Americans who have relatives in Puerto Rico.

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

My Biggest Financial Mistake Will Make You Wealthy

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If you’ve heard me say this once, you’ve heard me say it a thousand times:

True wealth has nothing to do with money.

Which is all good until you need to pay your mortgage, put gas in your car, or buy some groceries, right?

Because the cold, hard fact is …

… that we live in a world dominated by an economic system that runs on money. Dollars (or pesos, or yen, or pounds … you know what I mean) are the currency of transactions for almost everything. They’re how you buy and sell and get things done.

But what if you could improve your quality of life without spending more money … in fact, while spending less?

I show you how in this next video chapter of Grow: All True Wealth Comes From The Ground.

In it, I reveal:

  • Money—Good Or Evil?
  • How To Love What You Do And Still Pay The Mortgage
  • The BIGGEST Financial Mistake Of My Life

Then, would you leave me a comment below?

How has producing your own food and medicine saved you money?

What’s your advice to someone who wants to love what they do for a living?

Did you see the last Grow Book Chapter? Click here to read How To Leave A More Powerful Legacy!

Thank you so much!

 

Click here to get your FREE pass!

The post My Biggest Financial Mistake Will Make You Wealthy appeared first on The Grow Network.

My Biggest Financial Mistake Will Make You Wealthy

If you’ve heard me say this once, you’ve heard me say it a thousand times:

True wealth has nothing to do with money.

Which is all good until you need to pay your mortgage, put gas in your car, or buy some groceries, right?

Because the cold, hard fact is …

… that we live in a world dominated by an economic system that runs on money. Dollars (or pesos, or yen, or pounds … you know what I mean) are the currency of transactions for almost everything. They’re how you buy and sell and get things done.

But what if you could improve your quality of life without spending more money … in fact, while spending less?

I show you how in this next video chapter of Grow: All True Wealth Comes From The Ground.

In it, I reveal:

  • Money—Good Or Evil?
  • How To Love What You Do And Still Pay The Mortgage
  • The BIGGEST Financial Mistake Of My Life

Then, would you leave me a comment below?

How has producing your own food and medicine saved you money?

What’s your advice to someone who wants to love what they do for a living?

Did you see the last Grow Book Chapter? Click here to read How To Leave A More Powerful Legacy!

Thank you so much!

 

Click here to get your FREE pass!

The post My Biggest Financial Mistake Will Make You Wealthy appeared first on The Grow Network.

Milkweed Is Edible? Yes, And It’s Super-Easy To Prepare, Too

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Milkweed Is Edible? Yes, And It's Super-Easy To Prepare, Too

Photographer: Steve Nubie

August, September and early October are the prime months for milkweed pods in many parts of North America. The pods range in size from 2 to 4 inches and grow in clusters of 4 to 8 pods.

They’re typically a light green color and filled with a combination of seeds and soft, silky floss. I’ll usually collect about 20 or so pods and head to the kitchen or camp.

In early to mid-summer, the milkweed shoots first emerge, and they taste great when gently boiled, shocked and sautéed in butter or olive oil. We’re going to start with the pods because they’re in season now, and cover the spring shoots later.

Prepping the Pods

Milkweed Is Edible? Yes, And It's Super-Easy To Prepare, Too

Photographer: Steve Nubie

Raw milkweed pods are quite bitter and the white, milky sap is not exactly appetizing. It is also very sticky. They have numerous seeds and a stringy, silky floss inside of the pod. In order to remove the bitterness and the sap, they must be boiled in water and shocked in ice water, and then boiled and shocked again. (The duration for boiling is 10 minutes and then a shock in ice water followed by another 2 minutes in boiling water and a final shock in ice water.) This is done for any milkweed pod, regardless of its size.

Discover More Than 1,100 Homesteading Tips And Tricks!

Prior to the boiling water/ice-water shock, the seeds and silky floss need to be removed.

This can be done by gently pulling the seam apart with your thumbs on the curved back of the pod and pulling out the silk and the seeds.

Milkweed Is Edible? Yes, And It's Super-Easy To Prepare, Too

Photographer: Steve Nubie

There is also a tough, inner lining or membrane that needs to be removed. This is easy to do after the first boil and shock by gently pulling the tough membrane from the pod.

Large pods up to 4 inches are the best for stuffing. The best cooking methods involve baking or sautéing.

One thing you’ll notice during the first boil is a lot of bubbles and the white sap floating to the surface.

That’s good news, and you don’t have to skim the surface. The ice-water shock will rinse them.

Milkweed Is Edible? Yes, And It's Super-Easy To Prepare, Too

Photographer: Steve Nubie

After you’ve chilled them for a few minutes in the ice water and you’ve removed the tough inner membrane, boil them again for 2 minutes. You shouldn’t see any more sap or bubbles. You’re just giving them a final rinse and finish to clean the now-exposed inner membrane of the pod, and they’re ready for stuffing.

Baked and Stuffed Milkweed Pods

Larger milkweed pods up to 4 inches are the best for stuffing. You can stuff them with any combination you like, but I prefer a mix of chopped vegetables and a cheese-like mozzarella or cream cheese. However, you can use any cheese. I’ve also tried some variations with chopped fruit. Here’s a sample recipe with the cheese blend and the proportions if you want to give it a try.

Ingredients:

  • 24 to 30 large prepped milkweed pods, about 3 to 4 inches in length.
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese or 8 ounces of shredded mozzarella.
  • 2 tablespoons of onion, finely diced.
  • 1 jalapeno finely diced or two tablespoons of sweet bell pepper.
  • 3 tablespoons of crispy, diced bacon.
  • Bread crumbs or corn meal.
  • Salt and pepper.

Directions:

  • Milkweed Is Edible? Yes, And It's Super-Easy To Prepare, Too

    Photographer: Steve Nubie

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Combine the cheese in a bowl with the diced pepper, diced onion and bacon; salt and pepper to suit your taste and combine everything with a large wooden spoon.
  • Stuff the pods until they’re full, but not so much that you can’t close the seam in the side of the pod. You can either stuff the whole pod, or cut them in half to create a half-shelled pod and simply spoon the stuffing on top.
  • Coat the seam with some bread crumbs or corn meal to help seal the pod during baking if you’re using a whole pod, and you can also sprinkle some on top of the half-shelled pods.
  • Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the crumbs or corn meal are browned.
  • Serve warm or cold with your favorite dip, or eat them plain.

Sautéed and Stuffed Milkweed Pod Halves

The large 3- to 4-inch pods also can be sautéed. Prep the pods the same way you would for baking, but break or cut them in half so they’re a half-shelled pod. Stuff them and sauté on the bottom of the pod only in 3 tablespoons of oil and 3 tablespoons of butter. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until they turn a golden brown.

Other Ways to Eat Milkweed Pods

  • Unstuffed small pods. Small pods up to 2-inches in length can be eaten unstuffed with the immature seeds and immature floss. You’ll still need to remove the inner membrane. so gently remove the immature seeds and silk and give the small pods the hot water treatment for 10 minutes before removing the membrane. Repeat for 2 minutes in the boiling water, followed by the ice water shock. Once they’re prepped, re-insert the immature seeds and silk and bake or sauté. The immature seeds and silk actually have a creamy texture. Don’t boil the pods with the immature seeds and silk inside. They’ll dissolve in the boiling water.
  • Salad or soup. Give the pods the boiling water/ice-water treatment and chill them in the refrigerator. Chop them and add them to a salad or soup.
  • Milkweed chips. Chop the prepped pods into larger chunks and sauté or deep fry them for milkweed chips.
  • In sauces. Dice the prepped pods and add them to a sauce like a marinara or chili.

Milkweed Shoots

Milkweed shoots show up in the Spring. They are surprisingly tender and not bitter. They look similar to dogbane shoots which are very bitter, but dogbane has pointy leaves and a smooth surface while milkweed shoots have a velvety leaf like sage and rounded leaves.

The best way to prepare milkweed shoots after you wash them is to remove the leaves from the stem and chop the stem into pieces about 2- to 3-inches long. Boil them for 3 minutes in salted water and then shock them in ice water. Drain the leaves and the shoots and sauté them in butter or olive oil. Sometimes I’ll add a little garlic.

They have an asparagus flavor note and the boiled and shocked leaves and stems also can be frozen for future use. A variation is to sauté them in rendered bacon fat and then top them with crumbled bacon.

Storing Milkweed Pods

Milkweed pods can be kept in the refrigerator and will have a shelf life similar to other produce in the fridge. The prepped pods also can be frozen and should be good for up to 3 months.

Milkweeds are easy to harvest and easy to prepare. Give them a try and who knows — you may really like them and try them again and again.

Have you ever eaten milkweed? Share your tips in the section below:

15 Things You Don’t Actually Need To Survive Disasters

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Last week I’d heard about a story of three family members who died during Hurricane Irma because they ran a generator inside their home. Although I couldn’t find more details, I did find this article about the incident. Sadly, such a tragedy was entirely preventable by understanding what carbon monoxide (CO) is, how it can … Continue reading “15 Things You Don’t Actually Need To Survive Disasters”

Off-Grid Life In Alaska, With No Roads

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For homesteaders Bryan and Laura Emerson, a trip to town doesn’t involve a quick drive in the family car. In fact, in their neck of the woods, nothing is quick. And they’re perfectly fine with that.

Bryan and Laura live on a lake in the bush of Alaska, where they are a 20-minute float plane trip to the nearest road. They’re also this week’s guests on Off The Grid Radio, and they tell us what it’s like to live 100 percent off-grid in the heart of America’s “Last Frontier” – in a location that gets 20 hours of sunlight.

They also share with us:

  • How they generate electricity and obtain water.
  • What they grow, store and eat in such a unique climate.
  • How they make money by telecommuting.
  • Why they don’t have indoor plumbing.
  • How Laura survived a frightening encounter with a bear … on their property.
  • Why they ditched the city life for the bush.

Finally, Bryan and Laura provide tips for people who are considering moving off-grid, even to Alaska. We were inspired by their story, and you will be, too!

 

 

Having Access or Escape!

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Having Access or Escape! James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio player below! I want to look at some ideas and thoughts concerning access. Its a topic that we rarely discuss. There are a number of reasons why. The major one is because of laws. Breaking and entering is a big deal in our society, as … Continue reading Having Access or Escape!

The post Having Access or Escape! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Finding the Best Survival Seeds – What to Look for and Where to Find Them

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When you want to add to your survival strategy by including survival seeds, it is helpful to know where to find high-quality seeds and what potential problems you should look for before you buy. In this blog, we look at: What makes quality survival seeds Best practices for seed storage and vaults Pitfalls to consider. . . Read More

Are You Ruining Your Food Storage in One of These Four Ways?

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Building a “home store” of food and other supplies isn’t easy: it requires a lot of time, effort, expense, and dedication.  It takes work. No one wants to waste that time, effort, expense, and work!  Am I right?     Yet, more often than not, that is exactly what happens.  Since 2010 or so, I’ve […]

The post Are You Ruining Your Food Storage in One of These Four Ways? appeared first on Simple Family Preparedness.

Survival Medicine Hour: Post-Irma, Floods, Shoulder Dislocation

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Survival Medicine Hour #354

wildfire

close shave #1: Gatlinburg, Nov. 2106

This Survival Medicine Hour 9/15: Hurricane Irma has wreaked havoc on Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, and our hosts Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr.Bones and Nurse Amy have now had two different homes survive destruction in a year: Their place in Gatlinburg on Ski Mountain, where 100 homes burned to the foundation last November as part of a huge human-set wildfire, and now their home in South Florida from Hurricane  Irma’s winds. We’ll talk about flood survival and give you some tips on what to do in the aftermath of storms like Harvey and Irma.

hurricane winds

close shave #2: Irma

Also, your shoulder is the most flexible of your joints, but also the least stable and most likely to be dislocated by trauma. Find out more about how to recognize and treat this painful but common wilderness and off-grid injury.

shoulder joint: most flexible, least stable

shoulder joint: most flexible, least stable

To Listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/09/15/survival-medicine-hour-irma-floods-shoulder-dislocation

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

Joe and Amy Alton

Nurse Amy and Dr. Bones

Nurse Amy and Dr. Bones

We’d like to announce that we’ll be holding an 8 hour class on 10/21 near Knoxville, TN, where they’ll impart a lot of knowledge and teach a lot of hands-on skills! Check doomandbloom.net’s classes page to find out more!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @preppershow, Facebook at Doom and Bloom(TM), and YouTube at DrBones NurseAmy!

Survival Medicine Hour: Post-Irma, Floods, Shoulder Dislocation

Survival Medicine Hour #354

wildfire

close shave #1: Gatlinburg, Nov. 2106

This Survival Medicine Hour 9/15: Hurricane Irma has wreaked havoc on Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, and our hosts Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr.Bones and Nurse Amy have now had two different homes survive destruction in a year: Their place in Gatlinburg on Ski Mountain, where 100 homes burned to the foundation last November as part of a huge human-set wildfire, and now their home in South Florida from Hurricane  Irma’s winds. We’ll talk about flood survival and give you some tips on what to do in the aftermath of storms like Harvey and Irma.

hurricane winds

close shave #2: Irma

Also, your shoulder is the most flexible of your joints, but also the least stable and most likely to be dislocated by trauma. Find out more about how to recognize and treat this painful but common wilderness and off-grid injury.

shoulder joint: most flexible, least stable

shoulder joint: most flexible, least stable

To Listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/09/15/survival-medicine-hour-irma-floods-shoulder-dislocation

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

Joe and Amy Alton

Nurse Amy and Dr. Bones

Nurse Amy and Dr. Bones

We’d like to announce that we’ll be holding an 8 hour class on 10/21 near Knoxville, TN, where they’ll impart a lot of knowledge and teach a lot of hands-on skills! Check doomandbloom.net’s classes page to find out more!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @preppershow, Facebook at Doom and Bloom(TM), and YouTube at DrBones NurseAmy!

The Perfect Prepper House? (Conclusion)

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Guest article, by ‘NRP’ Final in a series I started back in December of 2015, I took a little break. In past articles I tried to point out a few types/methods of construction, location, materials and so-on in building the “Perfect Prepper House”. With the recent developments in Weather, Possible pending War, Social Unrest and just all out concern in regards to surviving the Apocalypse of your choice I’m going to hit more on what a Home should mean to the Owner. First of all building or preparing a person’s ‘Castle’ is totally a matter of choice. Each and every

The post The Perfect Prepper House? (Conclusion) appeared first on Modern Survival Blog.

Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch–and other lessons on raising chickens

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Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch and other lessons on rasising chickens

When we first started raising chickens nearly 5 years ago, our local municipal limit of 30 birds seemed like a very large number. Not anymore. This summer we’ve hatched 3 batches of chicks, 20 new babies in total, adding to the 2 dozen adults we already had. After taking our oldest hens out to a friend in the country, we’ve currently got…..29 chickens.

We decided to keep chickens to be more self-sufficient with our food. And although we’re “urban farming” on 1/10 acre city lot, and dreaming of a country acreage someday, we’re doing absolutely all we can to maximize our space and our food production where we are now. But until this year, we’ve gotten our chicks and chickens from other people or hatcheries or the feed store. Raising them ourselves this summer has taught us a few things about raising our own food long term.

Have Research and Reference Materials on Hand

Even after keeping chickens for several years, this new phase gave us so many questions! How long does it take after you introduce the rooster before the hens lay fertilized eggs? What if you remove the rooster–how long are eggs still fertile? How many days does it take for the eggs to hatch? How many eggs can one hen sit on at a time? What if she gets off the nest? What’s the development like inside the egg? How do you know if an egg won’t hatch? How long after the first one hatches should you wait for the rest? We have several homesteading books on my shelf, but I checked out another whole stack from the library as well. After this experience, I plan to add more specific books for each type of animal we own or want to own, as well as veterinary reference books. Keeping animals can constantly bring new situations, so a well-stocked reference bookshelf is essential.

Even after keeping chickens for several years, this new phase gave us so many questions! How long does it take after you introduce the rooster before the hens lay fertilized eggs? What if you remove the rooster–how long are eggs still fertile? How many days does it take for the eggs to hatch? How many eggs can one hen sit on at a time? What if she gets off the nest? What’s the development like inside the egg? How do you know if an egg won’t hatch? How long after the first one hatches should you wait for the rest? We have several homesteading books on my shelf, but I checked out another whole stack from the library as well. After this experience, I plan to add more specific books for each type of animal we own or want to own, as well as veterinary reference books. Keeping animals can constantly bring new situations, so a well-stocked reference bookshelf is essential.

Plan for a Loss of Production

A lot of people don’t know that egg production isn’t steady year-round anyway. You have eggs coming out your ears in the spring, but by Christmas, you’re just hoping you get at least 2 to make those holiday cookies. This is largely due to sunlight and length of day. But when a mama (or “broody”) hen decides to sit on eggs, she’s probably out of production for 6-8 weeks. If she was laying 6 eggs a week, you’re out a potential 3 dozen eggs! If we were dependent on our chickens for a food source without grocery stores, we’d want to account for this by having extra animals. During the World Wars, the US Government actually encouraged people to keep backyard chickens, with propaganda posters saying things like, “Uncle Sam expects you to keep Hens and Raise Chickens!”  The rule of thumb was 2 hens per person to have enough eggs. I’ve read the rule for goats is 1 milking goat per person to have sufficient milk and cheese. If we were counting on our chicken flock (or pigs or goats for that matter), and if we had space, I might double numbers like these and plan to sell or barter any extra production.

TIP- Dehydrated and freeze-dried foods are among the easiest foods around for both everyday cooking and long-term food storage. Read  how to make and use dried eggs.

Don’t Count your Chickens before they Hatch

It might be an old saying, but it is definitely true. Our second batch of sitting was a total mess. After the first 2 hens hatched out our first 7 chicks out of 11 eggs, 5 (FIVE!) of the other hens decided they’d like to give it a try. We had 5 mama’s and 23 eggs…. to start. But they fought over who was sitting on what, and 4 eggs got left in the cold. Then they squabbled with a non-sitting hen who just wanted to lay her daily egg in the nest box, and 2 more eggs got broken. On it went for 3 weeks, and those 23 eggs only resulted in 8 chicks hatched. Let’s just say that on average, then, half the brooded eggs will result in chicks. Half of those will be roosters, so if we want 6 new laying hens, we’d probably want to start with about 24 eggs. You’re still not counting them before they hatch, but you are giving yourself better odds that you’ll end up with what you want.

Choose which Advice to Take….and Leave

When the first couple of hens decided to go broody and share a nest this spring, we decided to candle our eggs or check development by holding the eggs up to a bright light. Using this method, you can determine if any eggs are not fertile or have stopped developing, and discard them before they become rotten.  A rotten egg that breaks in the nest is more than just the worst smell in your life. It’s a very real danger to the other unhatched eggs and newly hatched chicks because it contains so much bad bacteria. We had a more seasoned chicken keeper tell us he’s never done this, and he prefers to leave the nests and mamas undisturbed. But we decided against this advice, and good thing, too, because with the 2nd batch of eggs, we had a rotten one.  It was a horrible smell!  And I have no doubt we would have had some very sick–and potentially never hatched–baby chicks if it had contaminated that nest. You can do all the research you like, and seek out advice is always a great idea. But at the end of the day, they’re your animals, and your family’s food source, so you need to make the wisest decisions you can for your situation, possibly regardless of what has worked for others.

Plan First Aid for the Animals

Survival moms spend plenty of time stocking first aid supplies for our kids. But when you raise animals, you also need to have first aid supplies for them. In many cases, this can just mean extra people supplies. Previously, for example, we’ve needed hydrogen peroxide and antibiotic ointment for injured hens. So when a 4-day old chick got itself stuck in some wire, we cut him (or her) out with wire cutters, and were prepared to treat him and isolate him if necessary.  In addition, a sick animal–even a chicken– may need to spend some time in isolation to recover.  In our case, we needed “maternity wards” to separate out some of the chicks and mama’s.  If these animals are your food sources, their health and well-being directly affect yours, so you will need to have a plan and the supplies on hand to treat common injuries and illnesses, including additional pens or shelters.

Don’t get Emotional

Keeping chickens (or goats or pigs) is primarily about raising your own food. Sometimes, you’ll need to make life or death decisions in the interest of the animal or perhaps the whole flock. Remember our little chick stuck in the wire? If he had gotten severely injured, we probably would have just put him out of his misery. It’s OK to be sad if you lose an animal unexpectedly, like to a predator attack. But don’t let emotion cloud decision-making about what’s best for an individual animal, the whole flock, or especially your own family long-term.

Consider Genetic Diversity

So long as we were buying our chicks or pullets each year from outside sources, we haven’t had to consider the genetic diversity of our birds at all. But in thinking about next year, we realized we needed to pay more attention to this area, as now all of our flock is somehow related to the rest. The result of inbreeding in animals can lead to sub-par production, or to deformity and death. It can also lead to sterile animals, so eventually you wouldn’t have any babies to replenish your stock. Make sure you plan your own flocks or herds in conjunction with some neighbors or keep records and separate pens to control breeding.  If you’re planning to raise your own food for self-sufficiency purposes, especially for those SHTF scenarios, you cannot overlook this aspect of animal husbandry.

Don’t Forget all the Free Science and Fun!  

Keeping animals for food isn’t all problems and calculations. It’s also so much fun!  The excitement over waiting for eggs to hatch, and watching the teeny baby chicks emerge rivaled birthdays and holidays. And it’s hands-on science for my kids. I can’t think of a better way for them to learn about embryo development, genetics, or zoology.

TIP- If you have considered raising chickens in your backyard but are still on the fence, read on to discover the lessons my family has learned.

I have already warned my husband that the day after we move onto our dream country acreage, I’m buying pigs. I think every lesson we’ve learned over the last few years with our chickens–including raising our own–can be scaled up or translated to larger farm animals in the future. Meanwhile, now that we’ve got hatching chicks down, a friend just asked us to keep her meat rabbits while she moves. Hmmm…..

If you keep animals for food, what are some lessons you’ve learned?

Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch and other lessons on raising chickens via The Survival Mom

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Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch–and other lessons on raising chickens

Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch and other lessons on rasising chickens

When we first started raising chickens nearly 5 years ago, our local municipal limit of 30 birds seemed like a very large number. Not anymore. This summer we’ve hatched 3 batches of chicks, 20 new babies in total, adding to the 2 dozen adults we already had. After taking our oldest hens out to a friend in the country, we’ve currently got…..29 chickens.

We decided to keep chickens to be more self-sufficient with our food. And although we’re “urban farming” on 1/10 acre city lot, and dreaming of a country acreage someday, we’re doing absolutely all we can to maximize our space and our food production where we are now. But until this year, we’ve gotten our chicks and chickens from other people or hatcheries or the feed store. Raising them ourselves this summer has taught us a few things about raising our own food long term.

Have Research and Reference Materials on Hand

Even after keeping chickens for several years, this new phase gave us so many questions! How long does it take after you introduce the rooster before the hens lay fertilized eggs? What if you remove the rooster–how long are eggs still fertile? How many days does it take for the eggs to hatch? How many eggs can one hen sit on at a time? What if she gets off the nest? What’s the development like inside the egg? How do you know if an egg won’t hatch? How long after the first one hatches should you wait for the rest? We have several homesteading books on my shelf, but I checked out another whole stack from the library as well. After this experience, I plan to add more specific books for each type of animal we own or want to own, as well as veterinary reference books. Keeping animals can constantly bring new situations, so a well-stocked reference bookshelf is essential.

Even after keeping chickens for several years, this new phase gave us so many questions! How long does it take after you introduce the rooster before the hens lay fertilized eggs? What if you remove the rooster–how long are eggs still fertile? How many days does it take for the eggs to hatch? How many eggs can one hen sit on at a time? What if she gets off the nest? What’s the development like inside the egg? How do you know if an egg won’t hatch? How long after the first one hatches should you wait for the rest? We have several homesteading books on my shelf, but I checked out another whole stack from the library as well. After this experience, I plan to add more specific books for each type of animal we own or want to own, as well as veterinary reference books. Keeping animals can constantly bring new situations, so a well-stocked reference bookshelf is essential.

Plan for a Loss of Production

A lot of people don’t know that egg production isn’t steady year-round anyway. You have eggs coming out your ears in the spring, but by Christmas, you’re just hoping you get at least 2 to make those holiday cookies. This is largely due to sunlight and length of day. But when a mama (or “broody”) hen decides to sit on eggs, she’s probably out of production for 6-8 weeks. If she was laying 6 eggs a week, you’re out a potential 3 dozen eggs! If we were dependent on our chickens for a food source without grocery stores, we’d want to account for this by having extra animals. During the World Wars, the US Government actually encouraged people to keep backyard chickens, with propaganda posters saying things like, “Uncle Sam expects you to keep Hens and Raise Chickens!”  The rule of thumb was 2 hens per person to have enough eggs. I’ve read the rule for goats is 1 milking goat per person to have sufficient milk and cheese. If we were counting on our chicken flock (or pigs or goats for that matter), and if we had space, I might double numbers like these and plan to sell or barter any extra production.

TIP- Dehydrated and freeze-dried foods are among the easiest foods around for both everyday cooking and long-term food storage. Read  how to make and use dried eggs.

Don’t Count your Chickens before they Hatch

It might be an old saying, but it is definitely true. Our second batch of sitting was a total mess. After the first 2 hens hatched out our first 7 chicks out of 11 eggs, 5 (FIVE!) of the other hens decided they’d like to give it a try. We had 5 mama’s and 23 eggs…. to start. But they fought over who was sitting on what, and 4 eggs got left in the cold. Then they squabbled with a non-sitting hen who just wanted to lay her daily egg in the nest box, and 2 more eggs got broken. On it went for 3 weeks, and those 23 eggs only resulted in 8 chicks hatched. Let’s just say that on average, then, half the brooded eggs will result in chicks. Half of those will be roosters, so if we want 6 new laying hens, we’d probably want to start with about 24 eggs. You’re still not counting them before they hatch, but you are giving yourself better odds that you’ll end up with what you want.

Choose which Advice to Take….and Leave

When the first couple of hens decided to go broody and share a nest this spring, we decided to candle our eggs or check development by holding the eggs up to a bright light. Using this method, you can determine if any eggs are not fertile or have stopped developing, and discard them before they become rotten.  A rotten egg that breaks in the nest is more than just the worst smell in your life. It’s a very real danger to the other unhatched eggs and newly hatched chicks because it contains so much bad bacteria. We had a more seasoned chicken keeper tell us he’s never done this, and he prefers to leave the nests and mamas undisturbed. But we decided against this advice, and good thing, too, because with the 2nd batch of eggs, we had a rotten one.  It was a horrible smell!  And I have no doubt we would have had some very sick–and potentially never hatched–baby chicks if it had contaminated that nest. You can do all the research you like, and seek out advice is always a great idea. But at the end of the day, they’re your animals, and your family’s food source, so you need to make the wisest decisions you can for your situation, possibly regardless of what has worked for others.

Plan First Aid for the Animals

Survival moms spend plenty of time stocking first aid supplies for our kids. But when you raise animals, you also need to have first aid supplies for them. In many cases, this can just mean extra people supplies. Previously, for example, we’ve needed hydrogen peroxide and antibiotic ointment for injured hens. So when a 4-day old chick got itself stuck in some wire, we cut him (or her) out with wire cutters, and were prepared to treat him and isolate him if necessary.  In addition, a sick animal–even a chicken– may need to spend some time in isolation to recover.  In our case, we needed “maternity wards” to separate out some of the chicks and mama’s.  If these animals are your food sources, their health and well-being directly affect yours, so you will need to have a plan and the supplies on hand to treat common injuries and illnesses, including additional pens or shelters.

Don’t get Emotional

Keeping chickens (or goats or pigs) is primarily about raising your own food. Sometimes, you’ll need to make life or death decisions in the interest of the animal or perhaps the whole flock. Remember our little chick stuck in the wire? If he had gotten severely injured, we probably would have just put him out of his misery. It’s OK to be sad if you lose an animal unexpectedly, like to a predator attack. But don’t let emotion cloud decision-making about what’s best for an individual animal, the whole flock, or especially your own family long-term.

Consider Genetic Diversity

So long as we were buying our chicks or pullets each year from outside sources, we haven’t had to consider the genetic diversity of our birds at all. But in thinking about next year, we realized we needed to pay more attention to this area, as now all of our flock is somehow related to the rest. The result of inbreeding in animals can lead to sub-par production, or to deformity and death. It can also lead to sterile animals, so eventually you wouldn’t have any babies to replenish your stock. Make sure you plan your own flocks or herds in conjunction with some neighbors or keep records and separate pens to control breeding.  If you’re planning to raise your own food for self-sufficiency purposes, especially for those SHTF scenarios, you cannot overlook this aspect of animal husbandry.

Don’t Forget all the Free Science and Fun!  

Keeping animals for food isn’t all problems and calculations. It’s also so much fun!  The excitement over waiting for eggs to hatch, and watching the teeny baby chicks emerge rivaled birthdays and holidays. And it’s hands-on science for my kids. I can’t think of a better way for them to learn about embryo development, genetics, or zoology.

TIP- If you have considered raising chickens in your backyard but are still on the fence, read on to discover the lessons my family has learned.

I have already warned my husband that the day after we move onto our dream country acreage, I’m buying pigs. I think every lesson we’ve learned over the last few years with our chickens–including raising our own–can be scaled up or translated to larger farm animals in the future. Meanwhile, now that we’ve got hatching chicks down, a friend just asked us to keep her meat rabbits while she moves. Hmmm…..

If you keep animals for food, what are some lessons you’ve learned?

Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch and other lessons on raising chickens via The Survival Mom

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Q&A On Storing Meat Without Refrigeration In Hot Areas

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You work hard to stretch your grocery dollars, but there’s no way around it – meat is expensive. When you find a good deal, or if you’re preparing for an emergency, you stockpile. Also, if you’re a hunter like most of the people in my family are, you probably bring in game meat.

Regardless of how much meat you have in the freezer – a lot or a little – when emergency strikes, you don’t want it to go bad.

“How can I store meat in Florida with no refrigeration? Your attic is not cool, your storage building is not cool, and if you go underground it is still only about 68°F if you are lucky. Can you please give me some ideas?

Thank You.

Frank “

Yes, Frank, you got it right! This isn’t much of an issue if you lose power because off a blizzard in Connecticut in February. That’s an entirely different set of worries, but keeping meat cold isn’t one of them. But if you lose it because of a hurricane in Florida or Texas or the Bahamas in September, you have a problem. I know it because I live in Florida too.

Once meat defrosts, you’re on a pretty strict time-clock, especially if you don’t have a fridge. There are, of course, refrigeration units that you can build that don’t need power, but chances are good that if you’re reading this, you’re probably a little too far behind the eight ball for that kind of info to do you any good.

Here are some tips that may help you get a bit more mileage before your meat goes bad. None of them are long-term solutions to refrigerating meat without power, but they’ll help you get through a little longer.

Freeze Jugs and Baggies of Water

If you know the emergency is coming and you have meat stored in your refrigerator, prepare. Block ice melts much slower than bagged, cubed ice, plus you’re probably not going to be able to lay hands on a bag of ice for two hundred square miles.

I save milk jugs and juice jugs (a couple of different sizes) and fill them with water. I usually fill some quart-sized baggies, too, then I freeze them. Typically, it takes a day or a day and a half for the milk jugs to freeze all the way through, and less for the smaller containers and baggies.

I realize you may not have much room in your freezer to hold the jugs, but since you’re only a few days away from the storm, Throw the frozen ones to the back of the top shelf of the fridge where it’s coldest and throw a few more in the freezer.

Basically, what you’re doing here is creating the elements for an old-fashioned ice box that will keep the inside of your fridge and freezer cooler for longer. For Irma, I froze 5 gallons of water one half-gallon and several baggies. You can also use them in coolers, and when it melts, you have drinking water. Double duty!

For that matter, freeze your milk, juice, and other perishable liquids to extend their lives and to have additional “ice” to keep the inside of the freezer, fridge, or cooler cold.

Use the Igloo Effect

Group food together into piles in your fridge or freezer. Doing so will keep it all colder longer. This is something you can do before a major storm as part of your preps.

Make a few smaller clusters that you’ll use in one day, then you can just pull them from the freezer all at once and close the door for the rest of the day.

Dry Ice

Dry ice is -140 degrees F. That’s cold enough to freeze your skin instantly, but it’s a good thing when it comes to power outages because 50 pounds of dry ice will keep a fully stocked 18-cubic-inch freezer cold for two days and it’s not that hard to come by.

I know that there are places in Miami and Tampa in Florida that sells it, and I’m sure that there are other places, too. Plus you can order it and have it delivered. May be a worthy investment if you have a ton of meat.

Make a Clay Pot Cooler

This is actually a really good idea and can be made pretty much on the fly if you have two unglazed terra cotta pots – one bigger than the other.

It works no matter the size of the pots; as a matter of fact, it’s based on the same premise as modern refrigeration: evaporative cooling.

Video first seen on GlobeAware.

Here’s also a Survivopedia article that walks you through it, even though it’s a simple project, I would hypothesize that if you used extremely cold water, the temp inside the pots would drop significantly, too.

Don’t Freeze it to Begin With

Yes, I realize this is a case of pointing out the glaringly obvious, but it’s only glaringly obvious because you’re sitting there with a freezer full of thawing meat and no idea what to do with it.

The bottom line is that without refrigeration, your meat is going to be bad in a few days, and in the heat, there aren’t many viable options for keeping meat cold other than electric refrigeration. Store meat in other ways – can it or dry it – if you want to have it for emergencies.

You can find a lot of helpful info in this article about canning meat, and you can also get the proper way to dry the meat if you read this article.

If you’re worried about wasting it, the only real solution is to cook it up and what you don’t eat, give away.

For Irma, a bunch of us got together and had a huge barbecue. Not only did it keep us from wasting meat, it gave us all a much-needed morale boost and some leftovers to throw in the cooler. Also, keep your coolers in the shade to extend what little bit of cold you have left for as long as possible.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of options for keeping meat cold for longer than a few days in hot regions without refrigeration. Heat trumps ice every time.

But there are ways to do it, same as our ancestors used to do it. Check the banner below for more!

However, I hope that some of these tips helped at least a little bit, and if you’re in this situation, please share it before you just let it go to waste. In those situations, there’s never a lack of people who could use it.

If you have any other suggestions for keeping meat cold in hot climates without refrigeration, please share them with us in the comments section below.

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

Who Do You Listen To?

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     I’ve done a lot of thinking lately about the different responses we Christians have when it comes to trials in our lives.  Why do some seem so able to hear from the Father or Jesus or the Holy Spirit, and walk out their circumstances in confidence and trust … while others seem to strive and struggle under a mantle of oppression?  Both sets of Christians love the Lord without question and earnestly seek Him; yet only one overcomes their trials in victory.  What is the difference?  Is one’s faith stronger or bigger or more mature? Perhaps. But Jesus says if we have faith as small as a mustard seed, we can do the impossible (such as telling a mountain to move).

     Before I go on, I would like to say this [about that] … depending on which version of the Bible you read, that verse can be rendered, “faith like a mustard seed”, which implies a different connotation than referring to the size (small) of the mustard seed.  Jesus might have been suggesting that if your faith [acts] like a mustard seed, it will grow from a small seed into a bush 4 feet tall, or a tree 10-15 tall (which are actual sizes of various mustard seed plants), putting the emphasis on the active growth of your faith, [rather than the size], which enables you to move mountains. But back to my original issue…
     Ultimately, I think my question is this:  why do some Christians seem to go from anxiety to anxiety, while others go from glory to glory?  You may be familiar with 2 Corinthians 3:18, which says, And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit (Amplified Bible).  Now, I have heard this verse interpreted like this … The first “glory” is that of the Old Covenant—the Law of Moses—while the second is that of the New Covenant, the gospel of Jesus Christ. The interpretation goes on to say that it is two different kinds of glory, and the transformation is from the glory of the Law to the glory of faith in Jesus Christ.  The conclusion is that each “glory” refers to something different.  I disagree with this interpretation.
     The word “glory” is from the Greek word dôxa and Strong’s Concordance tells us it refers to “what God essentially is and does, as exhibited in whatever way He reveals Himself; the character and ways of God as exhibited through Jesus and through Believers”. So, in the case of 2 Corinthians 3:18, those who move from “glory to glory” progressively grow into being like Jesus in every circumstance in their life; revealing the very character of God while walking in the ways of God’s own glory.  It isn’t a question of two kinds of glory, but rather a measure of growth [through our faith] in becoming more like Jesus in how we respond to trials.
     And that word “respond” correlates to Jesus’s model for us.  Jesus always responded to the Father (staying focused on hearing or seeing what the Father communicated), rather than reacting to the dark side.  That allowed Him to walk out God’s glory (character and ways) instead of being distracted and turned aside by the temptations of the dark side.  Here lies the difference between those who react to spirits of anxiety [which are the temptations] and those who respond to God’s glory.
     Both sets of Christians are new creations when they receive Jesus as their Savior.  They have new foundations from which to occupy this earth.  Those Christians who live in anxiety and oppression have allowed that foundation to become weakened by listening to two eternal temptations that the Enemy presents to them:  1)  The first is what he whispered to Adam and Eve in the Garden … Can it really be that God has said ….? Today, he asks the anxiety-ridden Christian, Is that really what God said [in His promises over your life]? Can you really trust Him to deliver on those promises?  2)  The second temptation was delivered to Jesus in the wilderness:  IF you are the Son of God … Today, the same Enemy whispers to the anxious Christian, Are you sure you are a Child of God? Are you confident in who you are?  
     Can you see that if we truly believe the promises of God which are contained in the Bible, and if we are certain of our true identity as a Child of God and Co-Heir with Jesus, then the trials and fiery darts the Enemy throws at us can be defeated by our faith because we stand on a strong foundation of God’s glory (His character and ways) as exhibited through Jesus, in whose image we are being transformed.  When you listen to the Holy Spirit, instead of the Enemy, your journey through this life will be from one glory [experience and encounter] to another.

     But if you do not take captive those tempting and persuasive thoughts that the Enemy tosses your way, you will listen to his seductive whispers that cause cracks in your foundation, and you begin to doubt the promises of God and who you are.  I am not saying it is easy!  And I am not condemning those who struggle with these battles of faith.  The Bible says the devil is cunning and intelligent and deceptive.  He prowls around looking for someone who has doubts about God, or who doesn’t fully believe the character and ways of God. BUT he is no match for the Christian who recognizes those snares and traps, and who is ready to declare that they are joined to the Lord and are one spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17).
     I know from our deliverance ministry how difficult it can be to stop listening to the devil, especially when you have a history of sinning or being sinned against — and we all have that to varying degrees. But when you accept Jesus as your Savior, you become sealed with the Holy Spirit who will help you to start to renew your mind, so that those old thoughts now come against a mind that is being transformed to the mind of Christ, who resisted those tempting thoughts.  You will be able to fight the way He fought those temptations; each and every one was defeated with the Word of God.
     Believers must come to realize that just because you have been Saved, it does not mean that the devil will quit trying to talk to you.  Salvation does not guarantee a devil-free life.  You are not transported into the magic Kingdom of God, where the devil has no access.  On the contrary, you are now behind enemy lines, because “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19).  In fact, you can expect that you have become an even bigger target for him, and he will use all the tricks and schemes that worked before you accepted Christ to cause a crack in that new foundation.
     So, let us become convicted that we will no longer listen to the devil when he comes knocking on the door to our mind.  We will do what Jesus did … speak the Word of God as the Holy Spirit inspired His thoughts.  Remember, the Bible says in Matthew 4:1 that “Jesus was led by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil”.  Matthew 10:19-20 tells us that when we are handed over to our enemies, we don’t need to worry about what to say, “for what you are to say will be given you within that [very] hour; for it is not you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you”.  That’s what happened in the wilderness, and is our model when our thoughts do not conform to the mind of Christ. Just as the Holy Spirit gave the Word to Jesus to speak to the devil in response to the temptations in the wilderness, so should we seek the Word from the Spirit when that same enemy comes against us.
     Once you begin listening only to the Holy Spirit, and consciously and persistently stop listening to the devil, you will find that the whispers of those spirits of anxiety, doubt, and unbelief will be harder to hear. You will recognize them for who they are, and the Spirit will give you the words to resist them.  Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear …

Luke 8:18   “Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”

     

Who Do You Listen To?

     I’ve done a lot of thinking lately about the different responses we Christians have when it comes to trials in our lives.  Why do some seem so able to hear from the Father or Jesus or the Holy Spirit, and walk out their circumstances in confidence and trust … while others seem to strive and struggle under a mantle of oppression?  Both sets of Christians love the Lord without question and earnestly seek Him; yet only one overcomes their trials in victory.  What is the difference?  Is one’s faith stronger or bigger or more mature? Perhaps. But Jesus says if we have faith as small as a mustard seed, we can do the impossible (such as telling a mountain to move).

     Before I go on, I would like to say this [about that] … depending on which version of the Bible you read, that verse can be rendered, “faith like a mustard seed”, which implies a different connotation than referring to the size (small) of the mustard seed.  Jesus might have been suggesting that if your faith [acts] like a mustard seed, it will grow from a small seed into a bush 4 feet tall, or a tree 10-15 tall (which are actual sizes of various mustard seed plants), putting the emphasis on the active growth of your faith, [rather than the size], which enables you to move mountains. But back to my original issue…
     Ultimately, I think my question is this:  why do some Christians seem to go from anxiety to anxiety, while others go from glory to glory?  You may be familiar with 2 Corinthians 3:18, which says, And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit (Amplified Bible).  Now, I have heard this verse interpreted like this … The first “glory” is that of the Old Covenant—the Law of Moses—while the second is that of the New Covenant, the gospel of Jesus Christ. The interpretation goes on to say that it is two different kinds of glory, and the transformation is from the glory of the Law to the glory of faith in Jesus Christ.  The conclusion is that each “glory” refers to something different.  I disagree with this interpretation.
     The word “glory” is from the Greek word dôxa and Strong’s Concordance tells us it refers to “what God essentially is and does, as exhibited in whatever way He reveals Himself; the character and ways of God as exhibited through Jesus and through Believers”. So, in the case of 2 Corinthians 3:18, those who move from “glory to glory” progressively grow into being like Jesus in every circumstance in their life; revealing the very character of God while walking in the ways of God’s own glory.  It isn’t a question of two kinds of glory, but rather a measure of growth [through our faith] in becoming more like Jesus in how we respond to trials.
     And that word “respond” correlates to Jesus’s model for us.  Jesus always responded to the Father (staying focused on hearing or seeing what the Father communicated), rather than reacting to the dark side.  That allowed Him to walk out God’s glory (character and ways) instead of being distracted and turned aside by the temptations of the dark side.  Here lies the difference between those who react to spirits of anxiety [which are the temptations] and those who respond to God’s glory.
     Both sets of Christians are new creations when they receive Jesus as their Savior.  They have new foundations from which to occupy this earth.  Those Christians who live in anxiety and oppression have allowed that foundation to become weakened by listening to two eternal temptations that the Enemy presents to them:  1)  The first is what he whispered to Adam and Eve in the Garden … Can it really be that God has said ….? Today, he asks the anxiety-ridden Christian, Is that really what God said [in His promises over your life]? Can you really trust Him to deliver on those promises?  2)  The second temptation was delivered to Jesus in the wilderness:  IF you are the Son of God … Today, the same Enemy whispers to the anxious Christian, Are you sure you are a Child of God? Are you confident in who you are?  
     Can you see that if we truly believe the promises of God which are contained in the Bible, and if we are certain of our true identity as a Child of God and Co-Heir with Jesus, then the trials and fiery darts the Enemy throws at us can be defeated by our faith because we stand on a strong foundation of God’s glory (His character and ways) as exhibited through Jesus, in whose image we are being transformed.  When you listen to the Holy Spirit, instead of the Enemy, your journey through this life will be from one glory [experience and encounter] to another.

     But if you do not take captive those tempting and persuasive thoughts that the Enemy tosses your way, you will listen to his seductive whispers that cause cracks in your foundation, and you begin to doubt the promises of God and who you are.  I am not saying it is easy!  And I am not condemning those who struggle with these battles of faith.  The Bible says the devil is cunning and intelligent and deceptive.  He prowls around looking for someone who has doubts about God, or who doesn’t fully believe the character and ways of God. BUT he is no match for the Christian who recognizes those snares and traps, and who is ready to declare that they are joined to the Lord and are one spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17).
     I know from our deliverance ministry how difficult it can be to stop listening to the devil, especially when you have a history of sinning or being sinned against — and we all have that to varying degrees. But when you accept Jesus as your Savior, you become sealed with the Holy Spirit who will help you to start to renew your mind, so that those old thoughts now come against a mind that is being transformed to the mind of Christ, who resisted those tempting thoughts.  You will be able to fight the way He fought those temptations; each and every one was defeated with the Word of God.
     Believers must come to realize that just because you have been Saved, it does not mean that the devil will quit trying to talk to you.  Salvation does not guarantee a devil-free life.  You are not transported into the magic Kingdom of God, where the devil has no access.  On the contrary, you are now behind enemy lines, because “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19).  In fact, you can expect that you have become an even bigger target for him, and he will use all the tricks and schemes that worked before you accepted Christ to cause a crack in that new foundation.
     So, let us become convicted that we will no longer listen to the devil when he comes knocking on the door to our mind.  We will do what Jesus did … speak the Word of God as the Holy Spirit inspired His thoughts.  Remember, the Bible says in Matthew 4:1 that “Jesus was led by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil”.  Matthew 10:19-20 tells us that when we are handed over to our enemies, we don’t need to worry about what to say, “for what you are to say will be given you within that [very] hour; for it is not you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you”.  That’s what happened in the wilderness, and is our model when our thoughts do not conform to the mind of Christ. Just as the Holy Spirit gave the Word to Jesus to speak to the devil in response to the temptations in the wilderness, so should we seek the Word from the Spirit when that same enemy comes against us.
     Once you begin listening only to the Holy Spirit, and consciously and persistently stop listening to the devil, you will find that the whispers of those spirits of anxiety, doubt, and unbelief will be harder to hear. You will recognize them for who they are, and the Spirit will give you the words to resist them.  Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear …

Luke 8:18   “Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”

     

Survival Life Article – Wavian 20L Jerry Can

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Jerry Cans are popular in many different communities because of their versatility and utility. I purchased one last year and finally got around to writing a review on it. If you are in the market for one, consider the Wavian 20L Jerry Can. It’s a great product that you should consider adding to your inventory.

The post Survival Life Article – Wavian 20L Jerry Can appeared first on Smart Suburban Survival.

Emergency Food Storage-This Is What You Need

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Today, I decided I need to address emergency food storage because I know many people are not prepared for the unexpected. Here’s the deal, if you have watched the news or saw pictures on social media, you can see that NO ONE is going to help you right away after a disaster. I was pleased to see people helping people into boats, carrying animals through flooded water, what a blessing that was to see. But, let’s be real here, if you are not evacuated and you have not lost your home, what do you have in your house right this minute that you could feed your family? Water is critical as well. I heard from a young woman the other day that she didn’t know where to start with emergency food storage, how much water to store, or anything else, for that matter. I get it. I grew up with a single mom who taught me to cook from scratch and make bread just to save money. She always had a full pantry, or at least at the time I thought it was a full pantry.

I’m going to share a few basics with you today because I don’t want any of you to have to stand in line at grocery stores only to find the shelves are empty after an unforeseen emergency. Plus, I don’t want you to have to pay $20.00 for a case of water. I want you to store water and some emergency food storage, so you don’t have to leave your home for a week or two if it’s a major disaster. I would love it if you are prepared for a month, three months, or more. I’m not saying get it all at once, just can a week or a case of water per week, whatever your budget can spare.

If you think the government will deliver food and water, forget that. I heard complaints about major rescue groups after many disasters. I have also heard wonderful things done for each other, but not in all areas of the city or counties after the recent hurricanes. This is why we must be self-reliant. I better add one more thing here, keep your gas tanks 3/4 full, I’m begging you. I don’t want you to be in your car waiting in line at the service stations only to find that the gas pumps are empty when you get closer to the front of the line.

Yes, this happened even before the last hurricane, please keep your eye on the gas level in all your cars. It’s easy for me, I only have one car. If you are wondering if I store gasoline at my home, no I do not. Now, this is a very basic list, but it’s very easy to achieve without a lot of money. You don’t have to buy it all at once, but please start and get your neighbors to start stashing a little emergency food storage. Remember, you don’t have to buy #10 cans of every food item. Buy what you can afford.

Emergency Food Storage

Water

Many government agencies say that the water needed is one gallon per person per day. My minimum is 4-gallons per person per day. If you have 5 in the family that is either 5-gallons or 20 gallons per day. If water is contaminated don’t count on that water heater, just think about all the water that’s been contaminated over just this last year in several states.

Instant milk

You need water for this, but I would also add some hot chocolate mix, who doesn’t love hot chocolate, right? It’s great for cereal and making mac and cheese.

Flavored Drinks

Thanks to Rita for reminding to add lemonade and Kool-aid packets. Yes, it needs sugar, but who doesn’t love a glass of lemonade, right? I need to look at my Kool-Aid stash. I love hearing from readers! Thanks to Diane, she reminded me to get sugar-free drink powders and tea bags. They are great hot or cold!!

Pancake Mix/Syrup

Buy the pancake mix where you just add water. Stir and make a great breakfast. I love the Krusteuz brand from Costco. I can make it from scratch, but it depends on how many people I will need to be feed after a disaster. Hungry people…..

Cold Cereal

It’s almost embarrassing when I fill a shopping cart at a local grocery store every six months with large bags overflowing the basket. Do I get weird looks, yep? I just smile and know I won’t be back for six more months.

Cans of Soup/Stew/Ravioli

Here’s the deal, I do not eat cans of food every day, but I need reassurance I can use a can opener if I need to feed those on my street who have not prepared for the unexpected.

Macaroni and Cheese

Who doesn’t love a little mac and cheese? Yes, you can make it without the butter, just use milk.

Cans of Canned Meats

Tuna, chicken, roast beef, etc. I grew up on cans of corned beef and pickle sandwiches. I haven’t had one since I got married.

Mayo/Miracle Whip/Mustard

If you buy the small jars you won’t waste as much if we have zero electricity to keep it cold.

Crackers

If you have a few boxes of crackers we can pretend we are at Costco serving samples, right? Spread a little meat and mayo on some of those crackers!

Cans of Vegetables

I can eat green beans, corn, and beets right out of the can. Peas, not a good idea for me, too mushy.

Cans of Fruits

Fruits are pretty easy to choose, take the family down the grocery aisles and choose fruit cocktail, Mandarin oranges, peaches, etc.

Cans of Beans

Choose your favorite ones like refried beans, beans you can make a pot of soup with, any kind of bean works for me.

Rice

Rice fills the belly and is fairly cheap.

Pasta/Spaghetti Sauce

We need water to boil spaghetti, and we can add the spaghetti sauce right over the hot pasta. This is why I recommend a butane stove. Butane Stove and Butane Fuel

I feel in my heart I have to remind people to spread the word to get people prepared, we must be able to take care of ourselves. The government will not always be there when you need help, there are too many people to help. You can sleep at night even if you just fill a large plastic bucket with items you could grab and take with you if you had to evacuate. Mine would have to have wheels, I overpack, just giving you the heads-up here. Thanks again for being prepared, your family will thank you, I promise. May God bless all of you!

WaterBricks I recommend

Survival Needs by Linda

Instant milk 

The post Emergency Food Storage-This Is What You Need appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Predicting Your Security Needs After the SHTF

Click here to view the original post.

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest contribution from Ukrainian to The Prepper Journal.  A very interesting article on security from the real world, happening every day, as we here are bombarded with stories of “political correctness”, paid demonstrators and fake news. I have only made minimal corrections to the English grammar as the authors English is far superior to my Ukrainian!

Here is his bio unedited: Here is my story just to prove that it is my own experience: I was sent as a deputy commander of task group to the East of Ukraine two years after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014. According to our mission, we camped for indefinite duration in the forest approximately 70km away from the battle line. We had to hide in the forest not to be spotted by drones and stay there as long as the equipment we were watching over was not needed closer to the battle line. We had to count only on ourselves, and we had to post security guards around and be able to perform all the time dismounted patrolling as it was impossible to build any fence around such a huge territory. We were supplied with provisions (food/water) and fuel, but all the rest was made with our axes and shovels.

 

Surviving in a community after TEOTWAWKI is what I choose. This is the only way not just to survive but to have the possibility to live on and save your family and future generations, to be able to farm and rebuild our world step by step.

“No, I can do it alone, I don’t need anyone to protect my loved ones” – this is a typical first mistake that I hear from young and ambitious people who have never lived in a forest alone. I have done just that. I cannot imagine living in the wilderness alone and being responsible for the lives of my wife and children when other people or gangs will be trying to take away our food, medicine or worst of all – my daughters!  As you can read in other article presented here, the number of people looking for your provision will be quite large. So, if you want to be secure, you can build a fence or a wall or just hide in the house, but to be ultimately secure, this is useless. Hungry people are armed and no less clever than you. The only thing that can stop them is by being armed and ready to repell an attack.

How Does One Function Without Rest?

How long can you be awake even sitting in a corner of a room or cave watching the corridor or entrance? Without resting, taking time to prepare meal or to go to the toilet? What will you do if someone tries to ferret you off?

  

People we know these answer: according to studies we were provided within our military courses, the average trained soldier will no longer be operational on the fourth day without sleep. If there is any possibility to sleep, the picture is as follows:

  • 30 minutes per 24 hours – operational availability lasts from 3.5 to 4.5 days
  • 1.5 hours per 24 hours – operational availability lasts from 6 to 7 days
  • 3 hours per 24 hours – 91% of soldiers are fully operational not less than 9 days
  • 4 hours per 24 hours – 93% of soldiers are fully operational not less than 12 days
  • 5 hours per 24 hours – 96% of soldiers are fully operational not less than 90 days

The term “operational” means that you can run (not far away), shoot and work. But it is hard to concentrate, make a decision or keep your emotional stability.

  • 6 hours per 24 hours is the minimum time required for a decision-making person to be in an adequate psychological state
  • 7-8 hours per 24 hours is enough for 98% of people to keep optimal muscle tone and and their mental stability.

Don’t try to compare the table mentioned above to your current life; it has nothing to do with a life in peace that you have today, without the added stresses of a loss of the ROL and while you access to everything you need.

So as you see, all people are helpless during the period of sleep. It is clear, isn’t it? Let’s go further – work in pairs. It is still not a solution, but of course if you are the only two who survived in the group, it is the only option.

The “Gamer” Mindset

I would like to talk about what we need to organize a functional and proper defense for a long period with the possibility to work and rest enough for all. So let’s start from the beginning (or the end of the world as we know it).

Those who play real-time strategy video games know that to control the territory, you need to put a unit there. The unit usually has a 360-degree observation zone and maintains control all the time. In the case of an attack or an enemy spotting, the others are automatically informed about it. This has nothing to do with reality where everything is up to human beings. First – humans have a slightly over 210-degree forward-facing horizontal arc and can concentrate only for a short period of time. Second – in the case of an attack, you (sitting in a camp) will never know about it if the “unit” does not send you a signal. Even in the 21st century, it is a challenge not to miss one of the outpost guards being eliminated unnoticed, so, in reality, without any radio or electronic communication, only the sound of a shot or screaming can be a signal in the real world. To prevent that, you have to provide an advantage to the man on the post. You have to provide an edge to better insure the possibility of seeing the enemy first. Third – only in games are units are always armed and know where to run. In real life you have to teach people how to cope with panic and where to run. Forth – one shot indicates just an alarm, possibly a direction, nothing more.

According to an old USSR manual on guard duty, the patrolling course of a guard post has to be organized with a telephone handset placed every 50 meter and connected with quick-reaction alert unit. Everyone in the same Verizon text-sharing group will be the first thing to go when the SHTF. But in a case of instant danger to life a soldier on sentry he has to shoot first and only then to report. For the quick-reaction alert unit the shot is a signal to move forward to the attacked post, if they have determined which post on the single shot. A second shot fixes this BUT also lets others, enemy know exactly where they need to go as well.

More specifically, let’s simulate a real-life situation when you have to protect only one access point to your position/bunker/shelter (theoretically it can be a long corridor or tunnel, where the other side is blocked, or a staircase serving your story). You need at least two reliefs by 3 people. So, in total, 6 men are needed to guard only one direction/sector 24/7.

I would like to explain this assertion. To have one man all the time on an observation post, you need at least 3 men for a day. And in three weeks, those three men will be ill, indifferent to any danger and trying to fell asleep anywhere according to studies, as they will have no possibility to sleep more than 4 hours per day. Their possibility to react quickly and to work will start to decrease dramatically by the end of the first week. Their heart rate will be approximately 20 bpm higher than normal. In conditions of constant threat, those three men will face mental disorder by the end of the second week.

When I was sleeping less than 5 hours per day, working during the daylight and administrating the camp at night, it was hard to stay calm, in one week my reaction was slower, I experienced headache and was angry with anything that wasn’t as I expected it to be.

Giving them one day of rest is the best way to avoid all these negative consequences. So with two reliefs, with three people in each, you have a very extended period (up to year or more) for securing one post. BUT don’t expect these 6 people to do anything else. Every day three of them will use any free time to sleep/rest/eat/toilet and return back to the post while the second group prepares for the next day, sleeping approximately 7-8 hours and not being able to do hard physical work more then 3-4 hours per day (cleaning, repairing, cooking, etc.).

So you can’t rely on them if you need to build or go out on patrol or to gather supplies. After such exhausting work, they will hardly be able to go to the post and stay prepared.

You may say that only two men per day are enough for one post and that they can sleep 6 hours, changing each other whenever they want and as they like. But I have some arguments why it is impossible.

First, you don’t have any communication devices (no electricity to recharge), so while “unit A” is sleeping and “unit B” is on the post, the third (“unit C”) is preparing and moves to the post. All the time in such a routine two of them are ready. Only one can rest. This is a way not to be killed while sleeping.  The way and the process of changing is usually not more than 15 minutes if the post is 5 minutes away. Before exiting, “unit C” wakes up “unit A” and leaves. In 10 minutes “unit B” has to come and only then “unit A” can sleep one more hour. If nobody returns – it is a signal for fight for “unit A”. Then “unit B” has 30 min for eating/drinking/toilet before he is ready to go to sleep, sending “unit A” to change “unit C”. Thus you see that such a routine gives the possibility to control all the process by all three men without leaving any of them alone. And in my case (as I experienced such a routine in a forest in winter), we needed one man tending the fire in the tent and controlling the tent.

Second, waiting for an attack is really exhausting, as the watching man has to listen, watch, smell, keep silent and feel his weapon ready for use. The watchman has to be replaced on the post every two hours by the next if we want to have efficient protection, as it is based on the reaction of a human, not a robot. If the weather is bad (very cold and windy/rainy), the changing time cannot be more than one hour.

Third, two people only create a great risk if one falls asleep, gets assassinated unnoticed, or leaves the post in unusual circumstances.

In my experience, we used “one man on a post” only to protect some important objects inside the camp as an additional measure (to protect our ordnance dump etc.). But to afford protection from a real outside threat, minimum two people on a post (double sentry) are required. This dramatically increases the observation quality of the sector and decrease risks to lose one man in a covered attack.

The approach “two men per one post” is widely used and requires 6 men per one relief. 12 men are needed for one post protecting for a long period. And once again, I want to underscore that it is only for protection; no other serious work can be done by those people.

What Does All this Mean for Preppers?

That brings us to the understanding that in case we need to make a really efficient protection of a small settlement, we have to surround it by observation posts. Let’s imagine the ideal camp on a paper (in reality, it can be really hard to find such a place). There is a post on every corner of the square and, what is really important, eye contact of every post with their neighboring two posts.

The area conditions matters; in fact it is the most important in planning the protection line. Across a field you can distinguish the head of a person at a distance of 400 meter (apx. 1/4 of a mile), while the color and details of clothes can be seen from 250 to 300 meter. Eyes as spots are seen from 60-80 meter. During the night, a normal person talking is heard from a distance of 200 meter. So, depending on the skills and weapons you have and the threat you expect, the distance between posts without any communication devices can vary, but it is reasonable to make not more than 200 meter distance between two posts to be able to control each other and the line between.

For example the Nazi World War II Eastern Front military headquarter located in a pine forest about 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) north of Vinnytsia (Ukraine) was surrounded by 36 outposts placed every 200 meter. Of course it was just a first line of defense; there were also tons of barbed wire, concrete, bunkers and ditches but they were preparing to protect against guerrilla forces and commando, not from “just hungry armed people”.

Let’s move on. You can easily spot the movement of man’s arms and legs from a distance of 700 meter so the field in front of the post has to be not less than that to use all your capabilities sitting in a prepared firing position. At the same time, people on a post can’t use open fires because that is like an advertisement for the enemy. For example, at nighttime, smoking a cigarette can be spotted without any optics from the distance of 400-500 meter, one stroked match is visible from a distance of 1500 meters (apx. 1 mile), and a common fire on a ground can be spotted from 6 to 8 kilometers (apx. from 3.7 to 5 mile). That is one more reason to change people every two hours, as they can’t warm up/dry with fire or smoke on the post.

I lived in an organized armed group that was cut off from civilization, living in the forest and waiting for enemies to come from any side. I was responsible for the security line around the camp and, due to the obstacles, this was really close to “surviving conditions”. The only difference – we had walkie-talkies but were expecting radio jamming, so we exercised old military procedure when no electronic devises were used.

Our military tactic is very simple to remember – spot first, shoot first, hit first. To perform that all you need is an open area and 24 hours of eye control of it. Our day’s efficient shooting distance of average combatant was 500 meters with open barrel sight. You have to see the enemy from a longer distance and be in well prepared watching post not to allow them cross the line of 750 meters (the efficient shooting range with simple old optics).

According to method we used, let’s count what is needed for the permanent protection of the camp with four posts.

If we have 4 posts with at least 2 people on it to make a simple square, that makes 8 men standing. You have to change the watchman every 2 hours (if the weather isn’t very cold, otherwise only one hour without rotation). For 3.5 hours for sleeping in the night you should have 3 pairs of guards. One day of “square” guard without patrolling is 4*(2*3)=24 people. Complete the cycle of endless protecting routine of the camp would theoretically require 24*3=72 soldiers. Why theoretically? Because in practice some of them will be injured or become ill in the first two weeks and should be replaced.

Then you need a commander, who has to control the process and to check all the posts. This makes plus 3 better trained trusted men (one for 24 hours, usually it is sergeants/officers).

So in total: 4*(2*3)*3+3=75 people is needed for protection and the same time each relief is able to work every third day. So you have an ideal model when there are enough people to guard and work every day.

Of course you can do the same task with two reliefs, in case of a lack of personnel, and you can put only one man per post. But you should be ready that they will not able to work efficiently, fell like a boiled rag by the end of the first month, and your defense will be extremely vulnerable.

If you expect the guard to be in good condition, you have to give them two days with 7-8 hours for sleep. And the same time they will be able to work hard for one day and complete light work for another one.

“Light work” means day-to-day work. When I was administrating our military tent-camp in forest, we were supplied by food/water and lumber. Even with that, we had a lot of work to do:

  1. The place for toilet has to be dug and replaced time to time (in my case once per two week)
  2. Cast-iron stoves need a lot of wood to be filled, so we spent not less than 3 hours per day for chopping (five stoves inside tents and one for water heating in a washing tent).
  3. Someone has to cook
  4. Someone has to keep the fire all the day in cold weather and time to time in warm weather if the humidity is too high inside the tents (shelter)
  5. Everything in storages has be taken away for airing and drying very often and brought back, as living in nature is not suitable for our stuff
  6. You have to organize place for washing and warm up water there every morning and evening; you need at least one man to clean that place and one to bring water to the tanks and make fire/warm it
  7. All weapons have to be oiled and cleaned after any use or once per week just because you don’t want they become rusty
  8. Days after rain are totally full of work for tent settlements – you have to dry everything and to dig drainage flows again
  9. You have to repair and build as much protection systems as you can. This is not impossible to finish, as there is no limit to make it perfect or even enough using wood and soil (unless you have enough concrete for your needs)
  10. We had separate tent for the sick with medics looking after them; that’s also serious work that HAS to be done.

“Hard work” – in our case it included going to the fighting line, patrolling the area and nearby villages, etc. After TEOTWAWKI , that would include, as I see it, expeditions for loot, provision and anything else you need but can’t produce.

I have tried to explain how to organize a 24 hour protection system and how many people you need. You might not agree with me, but I have just described what I have experienced, which worked very efficiently for more than half a year. Of course you may introduce patrolling and add more posts, but now you can imagine the approximate number of people you need.

I think there is no need to say that in the case of attack, all people in a settlement “resting and working” take arms and run to prepared defensive positions and reinforce the posts.

 

Editor: And, 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

 

The post Predicting Your Security Needs After the SHTF appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Predicting Your Security Needs After the SHTF

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest contribution from Ukrainian to The Prepper Journal.  A very interesting article on security from the real world, happening every day, as we here are bombarded with stories of “political correctness”, paid demonstrators and fake news. I have only made minimal corrections to the English grammar as the authors English is far superior to my Ukrainian!

Here is his bio unedited: Here is my story just to prove that it is my own experience: I was sent as a deputy commander of task group to the East of Ukraine two years after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014. According to our mission, we camped for indefinite duration in the forest approximately 70km away from the battle line. We had to hide in the forest not to be spotted by drones and stay there as long as the equipment we were watching over was not needed closer to the battle line. We had to count only on ourselves, and we had to post security guards around and be able to perform all the time dismounted patrolling as it was impossible to build any fence around such a huge territory. We were supplied with provisions (food/water) and fuel, but all the rest was made with our axes and shovels.

 

Surviving in a community after TEOTWAWKI is what I choose. This is the only way not just to survive but to have the possibility to live on and save your family and future generations, to be able to farm and rebuild our world step by step.

“No, I can do it alone, I don’t need anyone to protect my loved ones” – this is a typical first mistake that I hear from young and ambitious people who have never lived in a forest alone. I have done just that. I cannot imagine living in the wilderness alone and being responsible for the lives of my wife and children when other people or gangs will be trying to take away our food, medicine or worst of all – my daughters!  As you can read in other article presented here, the number of people looking for your provision will be quite large. So, if you want to be secure, you can build a fence or a wall or just hide in the house, but to be ultimately secure, this is useless. Hungry people are armed and no less clever than you. The only thing that can stop them is by being armed and ready to repell an attack.

How Does One Function Without Rest?

How long can you be awake even sitting in a corner of a room or cave watching the corridor or entrance? Without resting, taking time to prepare meal or to go to the toilet? What will you do if someone tries to ferret you off?

  

People we know these answer: according to studies we were provided within our military courses, the average trained soldier will no longer be operational on the fourth day without sleep. If there is any possibility to sleep, the picture is as follows:

  • 30 minutes per 24 hours – operational availability lasts from 3.5 to 4.5 days
  • 1.5 hours per 24 hours – operational availability lasts from 6 to 7 days
  • 3 hours per 24 hours – 91% of soldiers are fully operational not less than 9 days
  • 4 hours per 24 hours – 93% of soldiers are fully operational not less than 12 days
  • 5 hours per 24 hours – 96% of soldiers are fully operational not less than 90 days

The term “operational” means that you can run (not far away), shoot and work. But it is hard to concentrate, make a decision or keep your emotional stability.

  • 6 hours per 24 hours is the minimum time required for a decision-making person to be in an adequate psychological state
  • 7-8 hours per 24 hours is enough for 98% of people to keep optimal muscle tone and and their mental stability.

Don’t try to compare the table mentioned above to your current life; it has nothing to do with a life in peace that you have today, without the added stresses of a loss of the ROL and while you access to everything you need.

So as you see, all people are helpless during the period of sleep. It is clear, isn’t it? Let’s go further – work in pairs. It is still not a solution, but of course if you are the only two who survived in the group, it is the only option.

The “Gamer” Mindset

I would like to talk about what we need to organize a functional and proper defense for a long period with the possibility to work and rest enough for all. So let’s start from the beginning (or the end of the world as we know it).

Those who play real-time strategy video games know that to control the territory, you need to put a unit there. The unit usually has a 360-degree observation zone and maintains control all the time. In the case of an attack or an enemy spotting, the others are automatically informed about it. This has nothing to do with reality where everything is up to human beings. First – humans have a slightly over 210-degree forward-facing horizontal arc and can concentrate only for a short period of time. Second – in the case of an attack, you (sitting in a camp) will never know about it if the “unit” does not send you a signal. Even in the 21st century, it is a challenge not to miss one of the outpost guards being eliminated unnoticed, so, in reality, without any radio or electronic communication, only the sound of a shot or screaming can be a signal in the real world. To prevent that, you have to provide an advantage to the man on the post. You have to provide an edge to better insure the possibility of seeing the enemy first. Third – only in games are units are always armed and know where to run. In real life you have to teach people how to cope with panic and where to run. Forth – one shot indicates just an alarm, possibly a direction, nothing more.

According to an old USSR manual on guard duty, the patrolling course of a guard post has to be organized with a telephone handset placed every 50 meter and connected with quick-reaction alert unit. Everyone in the same Verizon text-sharing group will be the first thing to go when the SHTF. But in a case of instant danger to life a soldier on sentry he has to shoot first and only then to report. For the quick-reaction alert unit the shot is a signal to move forward to the attacked post, if they have determined which post on the single shot. A second shot fixes this BUT also lets others, enemy know exactly where they need to go as well.

More specifically, let’s simulate a real-life situation when you have to protect only one access point to your position/bunker/shelter (theoretically it can be a long corridor or tunnel, where the other side is blocked, or a staircase serving your story). You need at least two reliefs by 3 people. So, in total, 6 men are needed to guard only one direction/sector 24/7.

I would like to explain this assertion. To have one man all the time on an observation post, you need at least 3 men for a day. And in three weeks, those three men will be ill, indifferent to any danger and trying to fell asleep anywhere according to studies, as they will have no possibility to sleep more than 4 hours per day. Their possibility to react quickly and to work will start to decrease dramatically by the end of the first week. Their heart rate will be approximately 20 bpm higher than normal. In conditions of constant threat, those three men will face mental disorder by the end of the second week.

When I was sleeping less than 5 hours per day, working during the daylight and administrating the camp at night, it was hard to stay calm, in one week my reaction was slower, I experienced headache and was angry with anything that wasn’t as I expected it to be.

Giving them one day of rest is the best way to avoid all these negative consequences. So with two reliefs, with three people in each, you have a very extended period (up to year or more) for securing one post. BUT don’t expect these 6 people to do anything else. Every day three of them will use any free time to sleep/rest/eat/toilet and return back to the post while the second group prepares for the next day, sleeping approximately 7-8 hours and not being able to do hard physical work more then 3-4 hours per day (cleaning, repairing, cooking, etc.).

So you can’t rely on them if you need to build or go out on patrol or to gather supplies. After such exhausting work, they will hardly be able to go to the post and stay prepared.

You may say that only two men per day are enough for one post and that they can sleep 6 hours, changing each other whenever they want and as they like. But I have some arguments why it is impossible.

First, you don’t have any communication devices (no electricity to recharge), so while “unit A” is sleeping and “unit B” is on the post, the third (“unit C”) is preparing and moves to the post. All the time in such a routine two of them are ready. Only one can rest. This is a way not to be killed while sleeping.  The way and the process of changing is usually not more than 15 minutes if the post is 5 minutes away. Before exiting, “unit C” wakes up “unit A” and leaves. In 10 minutes “unit B” has to come and only then “unit A” can sleep one more hour. If nobody returns – it is a signal for fight for “unit A”. Then “unit B” has 30 min for eating/drinking/toilet before he is ready to go to sleep, sending “unit A” to change “unit C”. Thus you see that such a routine gives the possibility to control all the process by all three men without leaving any of them alone. And in my case (as I experienced such a routine in a forest in winter), we needed one man tending the fire in the tent and controlling the tent.

Second, waiting for an attack is really exhausting, as the watching man has to listen, watch, smell, keep silent and feel his weapon ready for use. The watchman has to be replaced on the post every two hours by the next if we want to have efficient protection, as it is based on the reaction of a human, not a robot. If the weather is bad (very cold and windy/rainy), the changing time cannot be more than one hour.

Third, two people only create a great risk if one falls asleep, gets assassinated unnoticed, or leaves the post in unusual circumstances.

In my experience, we used “one man on a post” only to protect some important objects inside the camp as an additional measure (to protect our ordnance dump etc.). But to afford protection from a real outside threat, minimum two people on a post (double sentry) are required. This dramatically increases the observation quality of the sector and decrease risks to lose one man in a covered attack.

The approach “two men per one post” is widely used and requires 6 men per one relief. 12 men are needed for one post protecting for a long period. And once again, I want to underscore that it is only for protection; no other serious work can be done by those people.

What Does All this Mean for Preppers?

That brings us to the understanding that in case we need to make a really efficient protection of a small settlement, we have to surround it by observation posts. Let’s imagine the ideal camp on a paper (in reality, it can be really hard to find such a place). There is a post on every corner of the square and, what is really important, eye contact of every post with their neighboring two posts.

The area conditions matters; in fact it is the most important in planning the protection line. Across a field you can distinguish the head of a person at a distance of 400 meter (apx. 1/4 of a mile), while the color and details of clothes can be seen from 250 to 300 meter. Eyes as spots are seen from 60-80 meter. During the night, a normal person talking is heard from a distance of 200 meter. So, depending on the skills and weapons you have and the threat you expect, the distance between posts without any communication devices can vary, but it is reasonable to make not more than 200 meter distance between two posts to be able to control each other and the line between.

For example the Nazi World War II Eastern Front military headquarter located in a pine forest about 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) north of Vinnytsia (Ukraine) was surrounded by 36 outposts placed every 200 meter. Of course it was just a first line of defense; there were also tons of barbed wire, concrete, bunkers and ditches but they were preparing to protect against guerrilla forces and commando, not from “just hungry armed people”.

Let’s move on. You can easily spot the movement of man’s arms and legs from a distance of 700 meter so the field in front of the post has to be not less than that to use all your capabilities sitting in a prepared firing position. At the same time, people on a post can’t use open fires because that is like an advertisement for the enemy. For example, at nighttime, smoking a cigarette can be spotted without any optics from the distance of 400-500 meter, one stroked match is visible from a distance of 1500 meters (apx. 1 mile), and a common fire on a ground can be spotted from 6 to 8 kilometers (apx. from 3.7 to 5 mile). That is one more reason to change people every two hours, as they can’t warm up/dry with fire or smoke on the post.

I lived in an organized armed group that was cut off from civilization, living in the forest and waiting for enemies to come from any side. I was responsible for the security line around the camp and, due to the obstacles, this was really close to “surviving conditions”. The only difference – we had walkie-talkies but were expecting radio jamming, so we exercised old military procedure when no electronic devises were used.

Our military tactic is very simple to remember – spot first, shoot first, hit first. To perform that all you need is an open area and 24 hours of eye control of it. Our day’s efficient shooting distance of average combatant was 500 meters with open barrel sight. You have to see the enemy from a longer distance and be in well prepared watching post not to allow them cross the line of 750 meters (the efficient shooting range with simple old optics).

According to method we used, let’s count what is needed for the permanent protection of the camp with four posts.

If we have 4 posts with at least 2 people on it to make a simple square, that makes 8 men standing. You have to change the watchman every 2 hours (if the weather isn’t very cold, otherwise only one hour without rotation). For 3.5 hours for sleeping in the night you should have 3 pairs of guards. One day of “square” guard without patrolling is 4*(2*3)=24 people. Complete the cycle of endless protecting routine of the camp would theoretically require 24*3=72 soldiers. Why theoretically? Because in practice some of them will be injured or become ill in the first two weeks and should be replaced.

Then you need a commander, who has to control the process and to check all the posts. This makes plus 3 better trained trusted men (one for 24 hours, usually it is sergeants/officers).

So in total: 4*(2*3)*3+3=75 people is needed for protection and the same time each relief is able to work every third day. So you have an ideal model when there are enough people to guard and work every day.

Of course you can do the same task with two reliefs, in case of a lack of personnel, and you can put only one man per post. But you should be ready that they will not able to work efficiently, fell like a boiled rag by the end of the first month, and your defense will be extremely vulnerable.

If you expect the guard to be in good condition, you have to give them two days with 7-8 hours for sleep. And the same time they will be able to work hard for one day and complete light work for another one.

“Light work” means day-to-day work. When I was administrating our military tent-camp in forest, we were supplied by food/water and lumber. Even with that, we had a lot of work to do:

  1. The place for toilet has to be dug and replaced time to time (in my case once per two week)
  2. Cast-iron stoves need a lot of wood to be filled, so we spent not less than 3 hours per day for chopping (five stoves inside tents and one for water heating in a washing tent).
  3. Someone has to cook
  4. Someone has to keep the fire all the day in cold weather and time to time in warm weather if the humidity is too high inside the tents (shelter)
  5. Everything in storages has be taken away for airing and drying very often and brought back, as living in nature is not suitable for our stuff
  6. You have to organize place for washing and warm up water there every morning and evening; you need at least one man to clean that place and one to bring water to the tanks and make fire/warm it
  7. All weapons have to be oiled and cleaned after any use or once per week just because you don’t want they become rusty
  8. Days after rain are totally full of work for tent settlements – you have to dry everything and to dig drainage flows again
  9. You have to repair and build as much protection systems as you can. This is not impossible to finish, as there is no limit to make it perfect or even enough using wood and soil (unless you have enough concrete for your needs)
  10. We had separate tent for the sick with medics looking after them; that’s also serious work that HAS to be done.

“Hard work” – in our case it included going to the fighting line, patrolling the area and nearby villages, etc. After TEOTWAWKI , that would include, as I see it, expeditions for loot, provision and anything else you need but can’t produce.

I have tried to explain how to organize a 24 hour protection system and how many people you need. You might not agree with me, but I have just described what I have experienced, which worked very efficiently for more than half a year. Of course you may introduce patrolling and add more posts, but now you can imagine the approximate number of people you need.

I think there is no need to say that in the case of attack, all people in a settlement “resting and working” take arms and run to prepared defensive positions and reinforce the posts.

 

Editor: And, 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

 

The post Predicting Your Security Needs After the SHTF appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

3 Unique Tips for Finding Your Way Out of the Wilderness

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Wilderness survival is a vast subject that few people ever truly master. Even certain subsets of this subject can be daunting. Fortunately, there are plenty of online resources and books that can help. It’s a super popular subject that has been discussed at length by countless websites and authors, including yours truly.

But throughout my time researching this subject over the years, I’ve stumbled on a few survival tips that don’t seem to be mentioned very often. Perhaps their usefulness is a little too narrow, or there are better options that are little more versatile and applicable in more situations. However, I’ve always felt that there is no survival tip that is too niche, so to speak. I like to learn everything, even if some of that knowledge is only useful in rare circumstances. In that spirit, I’ve come up with a three survival tips on the subject of navigating your way out of the wilderness, that I don’t think get mentioned often enough.

Pay Attention To The Animals

We all know that certain animals can sense magnetic fields, and use that ability to navigate. What most people don’t realize is that observing some of these animals can help you figure out which way is north or south. If you’re ever lost in the forests of North America or Europe, pay attention to any deer you might run across. They almost always face magnetic north or south when they’re grazing.

Follow The Water

With advances in modern infrastructure, it’s a lot easier for a community to spring up where there is no water. However, most towns and cities that are around today were built a long time ago, when they absolutely needed to be near water sources. For that reason, one of the best ways to find civilization is to simply follow any rivers or streams you run across. Obviously, doing this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll find civilization, but if you don’t know which direction the nearest community is, then following a river gives you the best odds of getting out of the wilderness. Plus, you’ll be able to stay hydrated throughout the journey.

Look For Light Pollution

One of the most noticeable side effects of modern civilization is the abundance of light it produces. Even at night, most communities have plenty of streetlights running until dawn. Depending on the size of these communities and how far away they are, you should be able to see the light they produce even if you can’t see the town itself. When it gets dark, try to find a high vantage point and scan your surroundings. If civilization is near, you should be able to see a glimmer of light over the horizon.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

3 Unique Tips for Finding Your Way Out of the Wilderness

Wilderness survival is a vast subject that few people ever truly master. Even certain subsets of this subject can be daunting. Fortunately, there are plenty of online resources and books that can help. It’s a super popular subject that has been discussed at length by countless websites and authors, including yours truly.

But throughout my time researching this subject over the years, I’ve stumbled on a few survival tips that don’t seem to be mentioned very often. Perhaps their usefulness is a little too narrow, or there are better options that are little more versatile and applicable in more situations. However, I’ve always felt that there is no survival tip that is too niche, so to speak. I like to learn everything, even if some of that knowledge is only useful in rare circumstances. In that spirit, I’ve come up with a three survival tips on the subject of navigating your way out of the wilderness, that I don’t think get mentioned often enough.

Pay Attention To The Animals

We all know that certain animals can sense magnetic fields, and use that ability to navigate. What most people don’t realize is that observing some of these animals can help you figure out which way is north or south. If you’re ever lost in the forests of North America or Europe, pay attention to any deer you might run across. They almost always face magnetic north or south when they’re grazing.

Follow The Water

With advances in modern infrastructure, it’s a lot easier for a community to spring up where there is no water. However, most towns and cities that are around today were built a long time ago, when they absolutely needed to be near water sources. For that reason, one of the best ways to find civilization is to simply follow any rivers or streams you run across. Obviously, doing this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll find civilization, but if you don’t know which direction the nearest community is, then following a river gives you the best odds of getting out of the wilderness. Plus, you’ll be able to stay hydrated throughout the journey.

Look For Light Pollution

One of the most noticeable side effects of modern civilization is the abundance of light it produces. Even at night, most communities have plenty of streetlights running until dawn. Depending on the size of these communities and how far away they are, you should be able to see the light they produce even if you can’t see the town itself. When it gets dark, try to find a high vantage point and scan your surroundings. If civilization is near, you should be able to see a glimmer of light over the horizon.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

35 Tips to Survive an Earthquake

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Over 200 people died in the horrific earthquake that struck Mexico City on September 19th, 2017, reminding everyone that earthquakes are one of the only natural disasters that can completely destroy a large area without a hint of warning. Not only do they collapse buildings, destroy bridges, cut water pipes, and knock down power lines, […]

The post 35 Tips to Survive an Earthquake appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Matter of Facts and Survivalist Prepper: Bugging In or Bugging Out

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Matter of Facts and Survivalist Prepper: Bugging In Or Out

If you are like me you have probably read a hundred articles, listen to a bunch of podcasts about bugging out, and still want more. This week Lisa and I were guests on the Matter of Facts podcast hosted by Phil and Andrew talking about bugging out, as well as a few other subjects.

We had such a good time on their show, I took a segment of it and replayed it on our podcast. The full podcast will be out tomorrow (Friday the 22nd) at MOFPodcast.com. For those of you who haven’t listened to the Matter of Facts podcast, I highly recommend them. They talk about preparedness and firearms, with a little politics sprinkled in.

SPP220 Matter of Facts and Survivalist Prepper: Bugging In or Bugging Out

When it comes to bugging in vs bugging out, there are quite a few differences we need to consider. Each requires a different mindset, different skill set, and different supplies. While bugging out is almost always a last resort, bugging in (back to your home) may not be a choice.

I get the question all the time “Why do I need a bug out bag? I’m not going anywhere!” My answer is that while none of us plan on bugging out, if we have no choice, and the situation requires it, we need to be ready.

In this podcast we didn’t go too much into supplies, but rather how each persons situation is different. Where you live will be a factor, where you work will be a factor and your physical ability will be a factor.

Here are a few of the bullet points we covered in this show, but in the full podcast we covered much more. Along with the points below we covered silencers, homesteading and food storage.

Bugging Out & Bug Out Bags

  • My bag sits in my car along with other supplies, but I need to be ready to hoof it at a moment’s notice. At that point I need to decide what to take, and what to leave.
  • Bugging out is longer term than bugging in (getting home). It requires planning for 3 days or more.
  • What you can carry is different than what you should carry.
  • Your physical fitness will determine what you can take, and how far you can go.
  • Learning the right skills means carrying less supplies.
  • Keeping your feet healthy is critical.

Bugging In & Get Home Bags

  • Bugging in means knowing different routes and planning for those.
  • Even if the trip should be short, don’t plan on it. Plan on spending the night, plan for the worst case scenario.
  • Bugging in requires supplies for a short trip, and supplies to get you from point A to Point B quickly and safely.
  • Will your neighbors be helpful or a hindrance?
  • Can you create (or do you have) a support group that will help you stay put.
  • How do you maintain operational security.
  • Wearing the proper clothes for the weather & environment.

More About the MOF Podcast…

You already know that the MOF podcast is available on iTunes and any other podcasting app, but they also have a YouTube channel, a Facebook group, and they are also on Instagram. Make sure and check them out, and let them know you found them through our podcast.

The post Matter of Facts and Survivalist Prepper: Bugging In or Bugging Out appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.