Raising Chickens: Coop Considerations

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If you are reading this article hoping to figure out the absolute best coop option available for raising chickens, you’re going to be disappointed.

That’s because the coop, as we know it today, is more about what humans want than about what makes chickens happy.

Depending on your location, regulations, and preferences, you might decide to go with a movable chicken tractor, a fixed coop and run, or a fixed coop with free-range access or paddock areas.

You can raise healthy, happy poultry in any of them, as long as they meet your birds’ six basic needs, provide them with enough space to keep your chickens healthy and happy, and make it as easy as possible for you to manage poop and thwart predators.

Meeting Chickens’ Needs

From a chicken’s perspective, its needs are basic:

  • Fresh air
  • Clean water
  • A patch of dirt to use as a dust bath
  • Lots of forage (particularly insects)
  • Options to let it escape from predators
  • Enough freedom of movement that it doesn’t have to spend all day standing in its own poop

Sometimes it needs a little private time, away from the rest of the flock. If it’s a broody hen, then it also wants a safe place to nest, undisturbed, for about twenty-one days.

The Last-Century Chicken

If it had been a backyard chicken a hundred years or so ago, it may have roosted in the barn with other animals, roosted in a tree, or found shelter around the porch of the family that threw it scraps.

Maybe it spent its nights in a designated outbuilding reserved just for chickens, but it probably wasn’t anything like the luxury chicken manors found on sites like Pinterest today.

It probably didn’t have a nest box.

Eggs were often collected by children in a manner resembling an Easter egg hunt, since the hen’s goal was to hide its eggs for safekeeping until it had enough to make it worth risking life and limb to set a nest.

As long as it laid eighty or so eggs a year and managed to hatch a brood of chicken replacements once in a while, the family that let it forage in the yard was content to keep the bird around.

As far as predator protection went, the bird and its flock mates kept watch and used elaborate vocal communications to warn each other when trouble was near. If there was a rooster among them and the flock was attacked, he might defend the hens in his care to the death, if necessary.

Mamas would also protect their chicks by sheltering them in her wings.

But, among mature hens, with the moral imperative to survive and reproduce hardwired into their chicken nature, the expression “you don’t have to be faster than a bear, just faster than the guy behind you” usually applied.

Weak or sick hens were often pecked to death by stronger hens for the health and safety of the flock.

And though the birds may have really appreciated it when the lady who lived in the house threw them kitchen scraps or a handful of grain, they’d watched her wring enough chicken necks to realize they should scatter if she got too close.

How Things Have Changed

Things have changed a bit in the last hundred years.

As more areas are developed and populations increase, so does predator pressure on livestock. And it’s not just your random roaming mountain lion (which is now a rarity in the suburbs) or a wily coyote.

Now, chickens have to be careful about domesticated dogs and cats, escaped pet snakes and ferrets, car traffic, and even overzealous or malicious neighbor children. Top that off with all the local legal ordinances, HOA requirements, and other lethal hazards in our environments, and we’ve got to rethink the way we raise chickens.

Toward that end, let’s take a look at chicken space needs.

The Truth About Chicken Spaces

A hundred years ago, eggs were eaten when available and chicken meat was reserved for special occasions. Now, the average American eats 90 pounds of chicken meat1http://www.nationalchickencouncil.org/about-the-industry/statistics/percapita-consumption-of-poultry-and-livestock-1965-to-estimated-2012-inpounds/ and about 250 eggs2https://www.uspoultry.org/economic_data per year.

In fact, chicken-based products rank No. 3, just below bread and dessert, among our sources of calories in the American diet.3http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthy-eating/top-10-sources-of-caloriesin-the-us-diet

Living Space for Factory-Farmed Chickens

The amount of space and quality of life considered suitable for raising chickens seems to have declined in direct proportion to the amount of chicken meat and eggs we want to eat. Today, your grocery store egg layer gets about a sheet-of-paper-sized allotment of space and shares a battery cage the size of a filing drawer with five to nine other hens.4https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_cage

Your typical grain-fed broiler gets only eight-tenths of a square foot per bird.5http://www.nationalchickencouncil.org/industry-issues/animal-welfare-forbroiler-chickens/

“Free-range” birds need only two square feet of space outdoors to qualify and “pasture-raised” requires 108 square feet per bird.6http://certifiedhumane.org/free-range-and-pasture-raised-officiallydefined-by-hfac-for-certified-humane-label/

All of us who are concerned about the state of our factory-farmed food system would love to give our chickens as much room to roam as their hearts desire. But sometimes you’ve only got a limited area to work with.

And when you factor in the costs of predator protection, less space starts to make a whole lot more sense.

The Ideal Amount of Space for Chickens

So, how much space do chickens really need to be healthy and happy?

We’re not talking about how much they can survive in, but more like what amount of space would be enough to keep you from having to trim their beaks to keep them from pecking each other to death.

The answer is, “less than you might think, but more than factory farms allot.”

Right-Sizing Your Coop

As Marjory tells us in her Grow Your Own Groceries video series, you will need about four square feet of space per chicken in the coop if they will be allowed to forage outdoors most of the day.

If your chickens will be confined full-time, then you need to add an additional 10 square feet to that number. If you have an 8-foot-by-8-foot coop, or 64 square feet of chicken space, you can protect 16 chickens for overnight lodging and only 4 chickens for full-time living quarters.

But as Marjory also points out in her video, a suburban backyard may be best suited for about two or three hens if you intend to allow your chickens unfettered access to your landscape.

Cost Considerations

Building or buying coops can be expensive—even if you free-source your materials by using discarded pallets, scrap wood, or non-traditional building materials.

The larger your coop, the more labor intensive it will be to build and the more space you have to maintain. It may also mean more regulations to navigate and more hoops to jump through. Additionally, if you live in cold-climate areas, smaller coops that keep chickens in close contact are warmer without supplemental heat.

So, bigger is not always better when building a coop. However, for overall chicken health and happiness, the more outdoor foraging space you can provide the better.

These space suggestions are just a starting point for determining your coop size and style of raising chickens.

Coop Concerns When Raising Chickens

All chicken owners need to think about two major things: predator protection and poop.

Chicken books and blogs often break these ideas down into more categories. But for simplicity and easy memorization, we settled on these two concepts as the big ideas chicken keepers should address to provide safe, healthy habitats for chickens.

Predator Protection

Many chicken owners will tell you that the hardest part about keeping chickens is keeping them safe. When you confine chickens to a limited space, you also limit their ability to protect themselves from predation.

Also, when you invest your time and resources into caring for your flock, you don’t want to face the 40 percent loss rate that would occur if your chickens were not housed in a predator-proof coop.7http://www.thehappychickencoop.com/a-history-of-chickens/

Suburban development has placed pressure on wildlife to seek new habitats and find alternate ways of feeding themselves. As a result, suburban areas are sometimes the most predator-prone places of all.

Add to that the number of backyard pets eager to express their genetic history (i.e., dogs descended from wolves, house cats from jungle cats), and you’ve got lots of incentive to place priority on building a rock-solid coop.

Ways Predators Can Breach a Coop

Here’s a few predator facts to be aware of when planning predator protection.

  • An owl can fly through an open window and carry away a small chicken.
  • A fox or digging dog can tunnel under a foot of dirt to get to your chickens.
  • A determined raccoon can claw through chicken wire, reach a paw through openings over an inch wide, and open many doors.
  • A bear can tear a door from its hinges.

Planning All-Around Predator Protection

Given these examples, as you are planning your coop, you will want to consider predator protection overhead, underground, and all around (e.g., windows and eaves).

This includes measures like the following:

  • Burying wire mesh (better than chicken wire) underground around the perimeter of your coop or placing it underneath moveable coops, over windows, around eaves, and over any openings otherwise not protected
  • Building a floor in a fixed coop or elevating a coop off the ground to deter diggers
  • The use of electric fencing, motion-sensing lights, or even a well-trained livestock guardian dog (LGD)
  • The use of overhead netting if flying predators (e.g., hawks, owls, magpies) are a big concern—or keeping chickens confined until they are full sized

You may also want to keep separate storage and feeding areas and make egg collection a frequent activity.

Many predators, such as bears, snakes, and opossums, are more interested in your chicken feed or eggs than in eating your chickens. By removing red-carpet invites like a feed trough housed in your coop and by emptying nest boxes daily, you can discourage some predators.

If there are other chicken keepers in your area, talk to them to find out what kind of predator pressure they have experienced to determine where to focus your efforts and what to expect.

Poop (Ventilation and Cleaning)

Yep, we just said poop, not manure. When the thick, putrid stink of fresh chicken droppings first hits your nasal passages, you’ll understand why.

This stuff doesn’t come out as lovely, garden-friendly manure.

It’s as rank and nasty as our stuff is until the freshness dissipates, which—depending on degree of soppiness and external humidity—can be minutes to hours.

How poop is treated in the collection process also determines whether it is useful manure or nuisance “feces” (as it is often referred to in city ordinances on chicken keeping).

Managing the Smell

Chickens may have just as many olfactory senses as human beings,8http://www.wardhenline.com/uncooped/behavior_senses so managing poop odors is as important for your chickens as it is for you (and your neighbors).

For indoor areas, good ventilation is key.

  • You can use wire-mesh covered windows or vents for this purpose and open coop doors during the day. Placing windows on opposite sides of the coop with access to the prevailing winds can be helpful.
  • However, keep in mind, ventilation is good, but drafts in extremely cold weather are bad.
  • For cold-weather areas, avoid placing ventilation openings directly across from nest boxes or roost bars.
  • For warmer climates, feel free to take advantage of cross breezes over roost bars. Or better yet, opt for an open coop, with plenty of fresh air for your chickens’ olfactory pleasure.

Other ways to minimize poop odors include adding a layer of fresh litter to poop-catching surfaces (e.g., straw, wood shavings, or cardboard chips on floors) or using a square head spade to scrape up manure and ladle it into a lidded bucket on a daily basis.

Alternatively, if you use a chicken tractor instead of a coop, you may need to move your chickens once or twice daily to keep them from spending the day standing in their own poop or creating problems in your soil from excessive nitrogen and phosphorous.

Except with a chicken tractor–style coop, you will need to the clean up the poop in the coop—and the more often the better if you want to cut down on pests, attract fewer predators, minimize the potential for health issues in your flock, maximize compost for your garden, and remain friendly with your neighbors.

(NOTE: Some people also use the built-up litter method to control odors, generate a little heat during the winter, and produce some nice compost for their spring garden.)

Coop Design With Cleanup in Mind

So, an important consideration related to poop and coop design is easy cleanup.

If considering an elevated coop, it’s a good idea to bring it up to waist height and make sure you can reach all parts of the coop by bending at the waist rather than hunching. This way you can use a hand shovel, dust pan, and brush for easy cleaning. In larger elevated coops, this may require more doors for comfortable cleaning access.

A coop that is tall enough to stand up in with easy-to-sweep floors or pitchfork-accessible areas also works. And the fewer unnecessary horizontal poop-catching surfaces, the better.

Bottom line, the easier your coop is to clean, the more likely you will be to clean it.

A clean coop contributes enormously to chicken well-being. It also cuts down on the likelihood that neighbors will take offense over your keeping chickens. Plus, fresh poop has a lot more benefits for your compost pile than old, dried droppings, so collect it early and often.

If chicken poop accumulates in outdoor run areas or heavily trafficked chicken hangouts, occasionally adding some kind of mulch material or hosing down the area to dilute and distribute can help.

You can also minimize poop plots by using movable pens or paddocks to direct chicken activity.

Once you’ve established how much space you need for the number of chickens you want to keep and how you want to manage the two chicken biggies of poop and predation, you can move on to choosing the coop style that works best for you.

Remember, there is no one perfect coop for everyone. But, by thinking through these coop considerations ahead of time, you’ll be well on your way to choosing a coop that’s perfect for you.

References   [ + ]

1. http://www.nationalchickencouncil.org/about-the-industry/statistics/percapita-consumption-of-poultry-and-livestock-1965-to-estimated-2012-inpounds/
2. https://www.uspoultry.org/economic_data
3. http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthy-eating/top-10-sources-of-caloriesin-the-us-diet
4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_cage
5. http://www.nationalchickencouncil.org/industry-issues/animal-welfare-forbroiler-chickens/
6. http://certifiedhumane.org/free-range-and-pasture-raised-officiallydefined-by-hfac-for-certified-humane-label/
7. http://www.thehappychickencoop.com/a-history-of-chickens/
8. http://www.wardhenline.com/uncooped/behavior_senses

The post Raising Chickens: Coop Considerations appeared first on The Grow Network.

Critical Questions You Better Answer Before Going Off-Grid

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Questions You Better Answer Before Going Off-Grid

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Going off-grid means different things to different folks. For some, it’s living a “normal” life without an electric bill. For others, it’s a dance of compromise with what you are willing to live without and what you won’t live without; making those things you deem necessary for your life run off power you generate yourself. And for still others, off-grid living is a couple of solar panels deep in the woods somewhere with just the bare minimums.

Whatever your version of off-grid living is, there are several key questions to ask before you take the plunge.

What is it that you want to accomplish, and what does your off-grid life look like?

This is truly the first step, before you look at pretty solar packages and rugged wind generators. Long before you start looking at wattages and discussing power storage, you need to determine just what you want from an off-grid life.

I’ll give you three very different examples:

The first, is my parents. When we were selling our house in Mississippi to move to Southern Oregon and go off-grid, they decided it was something they wanted to do, as well. My dad knew he wanted to be able to live a pretty normal life. He enjoys watching TV, my mom likes to sew and watch movies. They run a construction company from their house, and always have computers, scanners and printers working. They grow a garden and put up some of their own food, so they knew they’d need a freezer (or three). My mom very much likes modern conveniences and already had her eyes on a new Samsung side-by-side refrigerator, long before the final design for their new house was done. Dad knew they would have to save power where they could, so they went with wood heat; propane water heating, cooking and clothes dryer; LED and energy efficient lighting and appliances; and, of course, a diesel backup generator for those snowy winter days when the sky barely peaks out. They settled on a 4,500-watt system with a 40kw backup battery bank.

Next is us. Unlike my folks, we run a full homesteading operation here. We don’t mind minimums. We have no TV service of any kind and use our TV on those rare occasions that we feel like watching movies or old TV shows on DVD that we can pick up for cheap at the local Walmart. We have a very basic washing machine and no dryer of any kind. Our biggest splurge for household appliances is our super-efficient French door refrigerator, and two super-efficient freezers that we keep full enough and in an insulated building so that they don’t run much. Our main heat source is wood, and we use propane for backup heating, cooking and water heating.

We have two main barns with lights that get turned on for winter feeding. There are lights in the rabbit barns, as well. We also hatch poultry from April until October, so we run a full-sized cabinet incubator and up to two brooder pads. In the summer, we also run fans in the poultry and rabbit houses. In addition, we have a well with a 2hp pump that runs 2 hours a day from May until late September to water our garden. We also use the well to fill our cistern and a much smaller pump to take water into the house. When we sized our system, we wanted the very minimal usage of the diesel backup generator. We ended up with a 6,000-watt system and the same 40kw backup battery bank.

If you are thinking these first two are very large systems, you are right. So here is an example of going the absolute other direction. I met this young lady who lives about 15 miles from us. She lives in a camper that she built a roof over. She has a well that she runs with a 6,500-watt generator, and she pumps her water into a tank that she has hooked up to the camper. She can charge her camper battery bank with a 150-watt solar charger kit. Heating, water heating and cooking are all done with propane. Her battery system is modified from the original, and she uses four 6volt deep cycle RV batteries. When the snow gets deep and she can’t keep the panels clear, she simply charges up her batteries with the generator and if she’s careful, can go for several days.

No matter what you want your life to look like, it’s easiest to make it happen if you can fully define your version.

What is your current power usage? What do you have now that you can live without?

Whether you have an existing home you are taking off the grid or building a new home, it’s important to have a base starting point such as a current power bill. This gives you an idea of what you use right now with the appliances and gadgets you have currently. If you plan to live just as you do now, is it possible to generate the amount of power that you presently use, or are you going to have to modify your lifestyle a bit?

When we planned our solar, we set out our highest bills (one summer, one winter) to give us our starting point. We lived in a house with electric cooking, electric water heating and central heat/air, all of which we knew would not be feasible to support with a solar system. Then we went room by room and determined what we would need at the new house, what we needed that would have to convert to propane, and what we flat out could live without. There was also a short list of items we use every now and then, such as food dehydrators, clothes irons and waffle makers. We then looked at the power requirements of each item.

Next, we went through the drawings we’d done of our new property to determine if there were power needs there that we didn’t currently have. A well pump. Barn lighting. A bigger incubator and an extra brooder pad. All these things were figured out well before we looked at systems.

(To determine what the power usage is on appliances and gadgets, there are a number of places to look – owner’s manuals, product plates placed by the manufacturer, or any one of a number of websites.)

Does everyone in the household agree with the vision?

No matter what type of system you have, you need to make sure that everyone in the household is on the same page and understands that off-grid living is a change, regardless of system size. If you are going solar, then you already know that when there is no sun, less power is being generated. This means that you aren’t running the washing machine before bed, the kids aren’t up all-night binging on video games, and that non-essential devices are off.

Earlier this year our 18-year-old nephew moved in with us. He’d been here to visit a few times before and had stayed for a long weekend a couple months before making the move. We explained at length how the system worked, and why we have a lights-out-at-10 p.m. policy around here. He doesn’t own much, just a few clothes, a cell phone, a beat-up car, and a computer that he’ll need when he gets started at the local Community College this fall. He didn’t mind the power restrictions, and we figured we could make the computer work, so he moved in.

Within two weeks, we found out that he is also an avid gamer. As in, sit-in-front-of-the-computer-for-hours-on-end type gamer. And the simple desktop computer for school?  It’s a high-end gaming computer that draws 500 watts when it’s on! (For reference, my desktop computer uses around 125 watts.) Needless to say, it’s not a problem during summer days when we have power to spare, but we’ve already had the talk that he’s going to need a laptop for school usage, as we simply won’t be able to support the power on that big beast during the winter months and evenings that he needs to be studying. There was a surprising amount of whining and complaining, but he’s come around.

We would strongly suggest you make sure, on the front end, that everyone in the household understands exactly what off-grid living will mean to their daily life.

Can you install everything yourself, or are you going to have to hire out?

Depending on the size of your off-grid system, this can be a very big deal. If you plan a small system of a few panels or a small wind turbine, a small inverter and a couple of batteries, you may be more than capable of doing it yourself. Larger systems require a good understanding of what you are dealing with, as inverters and charge controllers can be very complex.

Beyond the electrical work required to install an off-grid system, you may require mechanical assembly and/or construction work. Even the smallest of solar arrays require some sort of racking assembly. Wind turbines require tall poles with ground tethers. You’ll need a dry place with good ventilation to house not only your inverters but also your battery bank.

We were fortunate that my father has spent his entire life in the construction industry and that my husband is a mechanical engineer by trade as well as being a car enthusiast in his spare time. Installation of our system required concrete work, rack construction, underground conduit installation, battery box construction and wiring. Lots and lots of wiring.

Even though we had the experience to put our system in, mistakes were still made. A wire was hooked up incorrectly that resulted in both of our charge controllers getting blown. It was our mistake and a fairly costly one — new controllers cost us an extra $1,000.

Can you maintain your system yourself?

For the most part, maintaining an off-grid system is pretty simple. However, when compared to an on-grid lifestyle there is much more to it. Not only do battery charge levels need to be monitored daily to ensure that there are no problems, but batteries themselves will need to be regularly maintained and even periodically replaced. Solar panels may need to be adjusted several times per year for maximum solar gain, cleared of snow in winter, or washed down during heavy pollen or if your area gets dusty during the latter part of summer. Wind power is also not without its maintenance, including checking connections and bolts, adjusting tension on guy wire, and checking blades for worn edges. If you are using a backup generator, there will be maintenance to do there as well – radiator coolant checks, oil changes, filters, plugs, etc.

It’s important to think through these items and be realistic with yourself.  If you don’t know how to do these things, can you learn, or is there someone nearby that can help you?

Final Thoughts

Going to an off-grid lifestyle is wonderful as long as you really think it through before you set out. After living off-grid for the last four years, I can say that there is a real sense of pride and self-reliance when you can meet all of your own power needs.

I’ve talked a lot about bigger systems, but depending on your lifestyle choices it is possible to live with just a few panels or a small turbine if you do your planning correctly. I’m going to leave you with my personal story of moving to an off-grid lifestyle.

For the first year of living at our homestead, I lived alone with no more power than a 150-watt kit and two 6v deep cycle batteries, and a couple of gas powered generators. I was able to get two cords of firewood delivered, and I split over half by myself, my husband doing the rest when he came to visit. I used the firewood to heat the house with our tiny woodstove, and occasionally heated my meals on it. I had propane lights, a propane range, and an old tiny propane refrigerator. When I needed to charge my phone, iPad, or my portable DVD player I ran a little 4,500-watt generator. For water, I had a 250-gallon carry tank on a trailer which I would fill from the well head and truck the 500 feet to the house to be emptied into a much larger cistern. I used a 7,500-watt generator to run the well pump. The deep cycle batteries I mentioned earlier ran an RV pump that ran water from the cistern to the house. On the days I needed to do laundry, I would wheel the 7,500-watt generator down from the well head to the house.

The hardest part was not the work of it all — it was the complete change from the convenient life we’d lived in Mississippi. I had to constantly monitor the battery levels of everything around me, and filling the cistern was at minimum a two-hour event. At night, the quiet was almost deafening. You really never notice the hum of all the electrical gadgets in your life until they are gone.

A year after moving, our house in Mississippi sold and my husband moved in. It was so late into the fall that we had to wait until the following spring to break ground on the shop that would house all our solar equipment and the area where the solar panel racking would be built. After 21 months we finally were able to put in a regular refrigerator, run normal household lights, and live – mostly — like regular people.

While we now live what most people would consider a “normal” life, we live more of a hybrid lifestyle. We have modern appliances, yet still are very conscious of the weather and power usage at all hours of the day. It’s just something you have to embrace, use power when you can make it, and stop using it when you can’t.  It becomes a skill to know when you can and can’t use anything connected to power, but it’s something you will learn living off-grid.

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

4 Military Skills Every Prepper Should Master

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4 Military Skills Every Prepper Should Master

U.S. military personnel operate all over the world, often in extremely challenging conditions. In order to accomplish difficult missions, they have amassed a wealth of critical skills. Many of these skills are applicable to preppers, homesteaders and survivalists. If you want to survive, or even thrive in periods of uncertainty, here are four military skills you need to master today.

1. Land Navigation

At one time, using a map, protractor, and compass to navigate were basic and essential military tasks. However, even the military relies heavily on GPS to navigate these days, just like you probably do. But what happens if you cannot power your handheld devices, or the GPS satellites overhead are dismantled? That’s when basic navigation skills become critical.

Every prepper should be able to determine their location on a map, and navigate using a map and compass. These skills will help you move from one place to another as expediently as possible, saving time and energy. They will also help you do other tasks as well, such as place a garden to achieve optimal sun exposure. So study the basic principles of land navigation, and start practicing as soon as you can.

2. Starting Fires

Whether you’re isolated and exposed to the elements, or in a situation where electrical power and fuel are unavailable, you’ll likely need to build a fire sooner or later. Fire can sterilize your water or medical equipment, cook your food, and keep you alive when temperatures plummet. It can even help you signal to others for help or as a warning.

Good preppers should be able to start a fire and boil a cup of water in 15 minutes or less. You should also maintain a fire kit on hand at all times. When traveling, keep your fire kit on your body; it should be one of the last pieces of gear you discard in an emergency, like when you’re evading people who want to hurt you. Practice building fires with your fire kit, until you’re proficient. Also, study different types of survival fires, so you can have a heat source regardless of the situation you’re in.

3. Apply a Tourniquet

For today’s military, blood loss due to traumatic injury is a major cause of combat fatalities. Most military units preparing to go to a war zone focus a great deal of time on how to stop the bleeding as rapidly as possible. For traumatic injuries where a simple bandage dressing won’t work, one of the best ways to do so is with a tourniquet.

A tourniquet normally consists of a wrapped bandage strip and a device, such as a piece of wood, that can compress a wrapped bandage to the point that it stops all arterial bleeding on a wounded extremity. Applying a tourniquet properly on a wound can often mean the difference between life and death for an injured person. Preppers should learn how to apply tourniquets effectively. They should also keep ready-made tourniquets on hand in their homes, survival kits and vehicles at all times.

4. Find and Purify Water

You also won’t fare very well in a survival situation if you drink contaminated water. Learning how to find and safely purify water is a military skill that every prepper needs to master if they want to be ready.

Preppers should learn how to find water in any type of environment. In some cases, that may require them to build solar stills, and trap water condensation. At other times, knowing where to dig on a dry riverbed may be critical to getting access to a water source. All preppers should know how to purify water, as well, especially if they are unsure of the water’s quality. Survivalists and preppers should keep water purification gear on hand at all times as well.

Parting Thoughts

Don’t wait until you’re in dire straits before you practice these skills. Find someone who can teach you the right way to become proficient. Then practice these skills often – until they’re perfected.

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

 

10 Wild, Off-Grid Foods You Can Forage For Each Fall

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10 Wild, Off-Grid Foods You Can Forage For Each Fall

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From backyard gardens to large-scale farms, fall is often viewed as harvest time. But “nature’s garden” is in full yield in the autumn, too, as the trees begin to lose their leaves and heavy frosts set in.

Following are a few of the highest-yielding, nutritious wild foods that are ready for harvest in the fall. You will need a good plant ID book to make sure you get the right plant. As with foraging at any time, do NOT eat anything you are not 100 percent certain is the correct plant.

Root Crops

Many plants begin to bring their energy into their roots in the fall to wait out the winter underground, in preparation for a growth explosion in the spring. Most root crops can either be dug up with a shovel, or pulled up after loosening the soil around them with the garden fork.

1. Burdock (Arctium species): a variety of burdock has been eaten in Japan for centuries, and with a delicious sweet flavor and a delightful crunchy texture, it’s well worth trying. Burdock should be harvested the fall of their first year (before they produce along central stock with flowers) and can be dried or eaten right away.

2. Chicory (Cichorium intybus): known as an excellent coffee substitute, chicory is best harvested once the top of the plant mostly dies, sending its energy to the roots. It can be roasted and ground into a powder for a delightful tea high in nutrients.

3. Dandelion (Taraxacum species): another potential coffee substitute, dandelion roots are known as a powerful medicine and can be roasted much the same way as chicory. Be careful not to confuse them with chicory, since the leaves look similar.

Nuts

Many nuts are available in the fall, and they are available from year to year under two categories: mast year nut producers, and annual producers. Mast year nuts produce nuts irregularly from year to year, with some years being “mast years” of high production, and other years yielding few or no nuts at all. Many nuts can be harvested simply by waiting until they fall to the ground, particularly after strong winds around the time they are ripe. One can put a tarp under the tree to catch the nuts during windy periods, knock the branches with a long stick, climb a ladder and shake the branches (or shake the whole tree if small enough), or get a good, solid throwing stick and chuck it at the nuts to dislodge them. Nuts keep longer once dried for two weeks either in a cotton sack (e.g. old pillow case), or on screens, and then roasted. You may also choose to purchase specialized “pickers” for your nuts to pick them up off the ground, which can be purchased online.

4. Acorns (Quercus species): With mast years every 2-3 years, acorns fall when they are ripe in early- to mid-fall, especially during wind events.

5. Walnuts (Juglans species): Irregular mast producers, walnuts may still produce at least some nuts during low-production years. They are both delectable and nutritious, though some species such as black walnut (Juglans nigra) are more difficult to shell, with relatively little nut meat, while others, such as English walnut (Juglans regia) have much bigger nuts with thinner shells. Depending on the species, they ripen throughout the fall. The hulls can be removed by stomping on them and rolling them with your feet, or they can be cut off with a knife by cutting a line around their diameter and removing by hand with a good, thick set of gloves (the hulls will stain your hands). You can then put them in a bucket with a lid, some gravel, and a bit of water, and shake the bucket vigorously to remove hull remnants, followed by a good rinse before drying (old pillow cases hung indoors away from sun work well). Dispose of the hulls by spreading them across the landscape away from gardens, as black walnuts especially can damage soil life and inhibit plant growth.

6. Hickories (Carya ovata, Carya laciniosa, Carya palida, Carya tomentosa, and Carya ovalis): Closely related to pecans, but often sweeter tasting, most hickories produce annually, ripening in the early fall, or late summer. Once dry, husks are easy to remove.

7. Pecans (Carya illinoinensis): Another irregular mast producer, they are usually ready in November, when they fall consistently from the trees. Some trees may have very small nuts that are difficult to remove from shells, though as with other hickories, husks are fairly easy to remove.

8. Hazelnuts (Corylus species): Ripening from late August through September, as with all nuts, you’ll have to beat the squirrels to hazels. Nuts can be found during mast years under the leaves and are easy to remove from the shell.

Other Fall Forage Crops

9. Apples (Malus domestica): There are many wild or untended apple trees growing throughout North America and elsewhere. Once you start looking in the fall, they shouldn’t be hard to spot in a good year. Similar to nuts, many apple trees don’t produce a heavy crop every year. Lower quality apples can be used to make apple chips (simply by cutting and dehydrating), or apple cider.

10. Hackberry / Sugarberry (Celtis species): There are several species of hackberry, many of them containing a delectable and sweet date flavored dark, light brown or orangish berry ready in mid to late fall. One way to harvest them is to wait until the leaves fall from the tree, put a tarp under the tree and shake the tree or branches vigorously. Due to their low moisture and high sugar content, the berries keep quite well without any processing and can be stored in paper bags or simply in a bowl or container that allows excess moisture to escape.

Although there are many other wild foods available for harvest in the fall, this list of higher-yielding foods is a good place to start. Other wild foods to look out for in the fall include rosehips, elderberries, watercress, amaranth seed, ground nut and many others. Fortunately, most plant ID books give a good indication as to the season that a given crop is available, so hopefully this will only be the start of your journey to find the best foods nature has to offer in your area.

If you have your own favorite fall forage crops you like to harvest in the fall, please share in the comments below!

9 Disease-Causing Foods Smart People Avoid

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  9 Disease-Causing Foods Smart People Avoid

You’ve probably heard that old adage that “if you have your health, you have everything”. This ancient piece of wisdom isn’t that far off, if you think about it. You could have money in the bank, a great place to live, even tons of friends and family, but if you were seriously ill, had a stroke, or developed cancer, how could you enjoy any of those things?

This is why it’s good to note that, unless you are on the verge of starvation, it would be better to avoid certain foods that, while inexpensive and plentiful, might cause you serious health problems.

Again, in the case of starvation, eating or drinking these items are of little consequence, but in this article, we are talking about storing them for future use or keeping your pantry stocked with them.

1. Sodas

Whether you want to call them pop, soft drinks, or sodas, there is no denying that these items are popular (especially with children) and are inexpensive. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of evidence which shows that consuming even one can a day can lead to a much higher risk of heart attack, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.  Stick with clean, pure, natural water.

2. Processed Meats

The lists of processed meats is a long one, but think along the lines of bacon, bologna, sausage, and hot dogs. These foods contain tars from the smoking process, excessive amounts of salt and not so healthy preservatives. The World Health Organization says flat out that processed meats can lead to cancer. Avoiding these types of meats is an idea whose time has come.

3. Potato Chips and Snack Foods

Yes, I have to agree, sometimes it feels like a bag of chips can solve just about any problem, but I’ve quit eating these myself after discovering that just 1 ounce of chips each day can not only lead to 2 pounds of unwanted fat every year, but that these snack foods are fried in super high temps to keep them crispy, which leads them to absorb a known carcinogen called acrylamide. Acrylamide is also found in cigarettes, friends, so think twice before you stock up on those salty treats!

4. Vegetable Oils

It’s hard to pass up those BOGOF offers on canola oil or corn oil, but there are more and more studies being released showing that these processed oils can lead to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s and certain types of cancer, including breast cancer. Use butter or extra virgin olive oil. Yes, it’s more expensive, but surely your brain is worth the extra $.

5. Highly Salted or Smoked Foods

Smoked and salty foods include tasty items like nuts, pretzels, snack crackers, salami, and picked pig’s feet. All of these items contain numerous items that can cause cancer, including the smoke or smoke flavoring, preservatives, and high levels of salt, all of which have been linked to higher rates of cancer. Japan has a very high rate of stomach cancer due to the country’s love of salty foods.

6. Excessive Alcohol Consumption

This one might really hurt, but it’s a fact. Alcohol is the second leading cause of cancer, second only to tobacco use. This isn’t to say that one drink a day will hurt you; in fact, studies show that a 5 ounce glass of wine each day or one ounce of whiskey actually has health benefits. We are talking about excessive consumption of alcohol, which is anything more than what is listed above.

7. Red Meat

Think twice before you decide to stock up that freezer with T-bone steaks. Studies have found that those who consume more than 500grams (about 1 pound) each week can lead to a 30% increase in the risk of developing colorectal cancer. The good news here is that you can still enjoy hamburger night, just limit your red meat consumption to less than 1 pound a week.

8. Char-Grilled Meats and Vegetables

Although those slightly blackened on the grill pieces of chicken or corn on the cob sound so super delish, the unfortunately form substances called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAH for short. PAH’s are known carcinogens and are listed in the American Cancer Society’s page as “Reasonably Anticipated Human Carcinogens”. Enjoy your grill, just don’t overcook the food.

9. Excessive Sugar Consumption

While sugar in all its forms, including honey, refined white sugar, or agave nectar, does not cause cancer in and of itself, excessive consumption usually leads to weight gain and obesity, and all the health problems that come with it. Contrary to those click bait articles you might have read, sugar does not “feed” cancer cells, nor does it stimulate cancer cells to begin growing. Enjoy sugar in moderation and watch your weight to avoid health problems.

Stealth van build and tour

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Could you live in a van? I could if I had this one, it’s designed to be a “stealth van”, it has loads of space and the space is used in a most logical and efficient manner. I like that it is tall enough to comfortably stand, even for the taller chaps. It does have a bathroom, as of the time of this video, the bathroom only contains a toilet, but it will eventually contain a shower.

The video briefly shows and explains the following features of their van:
-Garage and storage area
-LPG storage box
-Bedroom
-Natural light and ventilation
-Benefits of a ‘stealth’ style conversion
-Kitchen and dinette area
-Overhead storage cabinets
-Bathroom and toilet area; and
-Battery storage and supply (lithium phosphate)

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Adding value to yourself

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There’s a rallying cry that the left like to use about how WalMart doesn’t pay it’s employees enough to live on , and thus the welfare expenses created by these employees are directly attributable to WalMart. Evil corportaion, 1%, blah, blah, blah.

Never mind that, because of minimum wage laws, the same could be said of EVERY business that pays a similar rate as WallyWorld. So, I said to the person who was carrying on about this, that those welfare costs would be even higher if WalMart didn’t give them a job at all, and that if you don’t like what Walmart pays you perhaps you should make yourself into the kind of employee who is worth more than what WalMart pays.

You can imagine the response to that.

But, it’s true. Case in point – I’m doing an internship program at a corporate HQ here in town.One of my duties is to reconcile a list of customer deposits against payments received that month. Normally, this process takes about 12 hours of cutting/pasting/comparing against two separate spreadsheets. After doing this a few times, I said to the boss “Would you mind if I tinkered with these spreadsheets? I think I can come up with a way to make this work faster.” *** They said go ahead, just experiment on copies of the files rather than the originals. As they were saying that I was bouncing the idea around in my head coming up with a solution and by the time they said “And we’ll pay you for your time” I’d already finished the formulas in my head.

After a half hour of tinkering, I had a workable solution. After a couple hours at my computer that night before bed, I had a more refined and elegant solution. I turned a 12 hour job into one hour. When I demonstrated it the next day to the guy above me, you’d have thought I’d discovered plutonium. But, it makes sense…I just gave them 11 man-hours to put towards other projects and duties.  Thats an example of how you create a value that other people are willing to pay for. If they have to cut the payroll down, who is more likely to get the pink slip…the guy who comes in, does his work, and leaves at 5:00:01, or the guy who comes in ten minutes early, stays until the job is done, and actively contributes to improve the processes and efficiency of the business?

There are far too many people out there who don’t realize that every human being is not worth the same as another. Sure, it’s a lovely egalitarian thought but the guy who sweeps the floors in the warehouse is not as equally valuable as the person running the product management system in the office. Sad, but true. Some fellow traveler comment about how the CEO makes 75 times what the lowest paid employee makes. There is nothing wrong with that….that’s how it should be. You know why the CEO gets paid 75 times more? Because I can walk out the door and find someone qualified to sweep the floors and scrub the toilets in about four minutes, but I can’t walk out and find someone qualified to manage and run a billion-dollar-a-year company in four minutes. Ben and Jerrys, the ice cream socialists from Vermont, made a big fuss years back about how the highest paid person in their company would not earn more than five times what the lowest paid person made. Try to imagine the results of trying to find someone who has the talent to run a multi-million dollar company for less than $150,000 per year. B&J quietly abandoned the policy when no one would come work for their corporate positions.

Sure, the economy may be doing somewhat better these days but being prepared for economic uncertainty includes making myself into the sort of person who, when the ax starts falling, is put at the back of the line.

 

*** For those who are curious, I simply cut/paste all the payment, invoice, balance, date data (four columns) into a table, and then VLOOKUPped against the data in my other spreadsheet and wherever a payment was found, I had the invoice, date, payment, and amount values moved into their respective places through a series of IF and VLOOKUP formulas. Yeah, it was formula soup but it works. (And, yeah, macros would have helped bu we’re not allowed to use macros on the corporate machines.)

It Glows in the Dark! Smitco LLC Journal Review

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My son loves art.

Whether it’s drawing, painting, or crafting, he’ll spend hours working on projects and creating crafts. This is great for me because I love to see my kids being creative and using their imaginations. We’ve got shelves full of notebooks my little guy has used to draft his crafting plans and to just write, but this week, we decided to try something a little bit different.

We had the chance to try out a SmitCo LLC journal designed for kids to use to record their thoughts, hopes, dreams, and ideas. While it’s marketed toward girls, my son found this journal to be a fantastic addition to his notebook collection. If you’ve got boys or girls who love the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, for example, you may find that this type of journal is perfect for your little ones.

Here are some key features of this journal:

  • It comes with a matching pen
  • The pages are lined and include some illustrations
  • The front of the journal lights up and blinks
  • Included is a satin pink bookmark (attached)
Do your kids like to read?
Draw?
Come up with creative ways to spend their time?
A journal like this could be a fantastic Christmas gift or just a way to encourage your child to record their thoughts and practice writing. 
Here are some more ideas for using your Smitco LLC journal:
  • Drawing pictures of your family
  • Making lists of things you want to do someday
  • Writing down story ideas
  • Creating stories
  • Writing down your thoughts after a long day
  • Drawing pictures of your favorite things
  • Recording important information
The reason I love notebooks so much is that they’re completely versatile and you can use them for literally anything. When it comes to my son, he has several notebooks he uses for different things: drawings, ideas, projects. A journal is a fantastic way to encourage critical and creative thinking in both boys and girls and is a fairly inexpensive gift for the budget-conscious shopper.
What do you think? Have you ever used a journal like this? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Note: I received a complimentary copy of a journal in order to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are my own.

30 Classic Movies to Watch With Your Kids

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It’s getting colder out there and with winter comes more time indoors. While I love spending time outside regardless of the weather, I’ve found that it’s not always possible to go outdoors. Whether your kids are sick, have asthma problems, or just don’t tolerate the cold very well, sometimes spending time inside is a better choice.

If you’ve found that you’re stuck indoors a lot with your little ones, you might get a little bit anxious. As a parent, you’re probably concerned about letting your kids have too much time online or in front of their devices, but spending time together as you watch classic films can be a lot of fun and opens up the possibility to discuss many different topics, including:

  • How people lived during different time periods
  • Social issues that affected the story
  • Clothing and apparel during different time periods
  • Similarities between today and the past

Make sure you talk with your kids after the movie and find out what they thought and what they found most interesting! When you’re ready to get started, grab a bag of popcorn and settle in for a night of movie watching! Here are 30 classic (or at least pre-1995!) films you need to watch with your kids.

1. Swiss Family Robinson
2. Pollyanna
3. Anne of Green Gables
4. The Parent Trap
5. The Goonies
6. The Princess Bride
7. The Neverending Story
8. Free Willy
9. Dennis the Menace
10. Mrs. Doubtfire
11. Charlotte’s Web
12. Babe
13. The Fox and the Hound
14. Angels in the Outfield
15. The Secret Garden
16. Homeward Bound
17. Fiddler on the Roof
18. Little Women
19. Old Yeller
20. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
21. Home Alone
22. Mary Poppins
23. E.T.
24. Labyrinth
25. Stand by Me
26. A Troll in Central Park
27. 3 Ninjas Kick Back
28. The Wizard of Oz
29. The Sound of Music
30. Miracle on 34th Street

Most of these films are available directly through Amazon, but many are also on Netflix

What are your must-see movies for kids?

Survival Gear Review: Camillus Carnivore

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Survival Blade

There is a reason that knives are lumped into named categories, and that is because the knife profile of that best survival toolparticular category has been honed (pardon the pun) over decades or even hundreds of years. Whether cutlass or cleaver, Bowie or barlow, choice of shape, thickness, blade steel, edge, and hardness have all been chosen to support the mission of the knife. But what happens when a knife design crosses between categories? Well, compromises have to be made, and the user of such a tool must work within the constraints of those limitations. An such is the case with the Camillus Carnivore.

By Doc Montana, a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache.com 

The Company

The Camillus Knife Company has been in business, in name anyway, since 1896. It has been a supplier of manyCamillus_About_image military contracts including the famous four-blade folder used by U.S. Forces. Basically is it a metallic version of the iconic Boy Scout pocket knife.  While Camillus might push the All American Company image, it cannot claim all American made. Most of the product line seems to be made in China now, with a few high dollar blades forged in upstate New York. The Acme United Corporation, an even older conglomerate, bought Camillus in 2009 rolling it into their portfolio of “innovative cutting, first aid, and sharpening products.” So much so was the innovation that in 2011 Camillis signed up with world famous survivalist Les Stroud, aka Survivorman, to design and market survival tools. However the Camillus Carnivore, as yet, is not one of them.

Knife-like Thing

By combining the traits of a large machete-like blade with that of a diverse survival knife, the Camillus CarnivoreCamillis_Carnivore_titanum_X_X2_both_in_hand can run double duty as long as you abide by the rules of limitation. Most machete-sized edged tools utilize a spring steel of moderate hardness (or softer hardness to use an oxymoron) that gives great physical flexibility and ease of sharpening. Stainless steels, on the other hand, don’t like to be bent, and resist the sharpening stone more aggressively than carbon steels. In the case of the Camillus Carnivore, a “Titanium bonded” stainless steel, presumably a 440 Chinese variety. The bonded property presumably is an inexpensive way of hardening the very edge of the blade. It is common among disposable edges like razor blades, but presents issues with actual hand knives in that the resharpenability of the blade is more difficult. But that might not really be an issue with a knife like the Camillus Carnivore since it seem to be more of a here-and-now survival tool that might have limited use in the long term. But it was never designed as such, nor should you expect it too. That’s the difference between a $25 knife and a $250 knife. Both work as advertised.

Also Read: The Ultimate Survival Arm

For a large blade that sells for between $20 and $30, one should not have high expectations for the handle. And with the Camillus Carnivore, you might be surprised…or not. The grip of the Carnivore is hard plastic covering with an exposed tail section that ensures that all accurate pounding will skip the grip and focus the force completely on the blade. That’s a good thing, and something I’ve stressed with expensive knives like most of the Fallkniven variety.

Related: Timahawk Review

The featured-filled blade has multiple tools from it’s long sharp edge, to the gut hook/cord cutter, to the tanto-Camillis_Carnivore_titanum_X_X2_handlesesk blade end, to the serrated saw section, to the prybar tip. But it that very tip that has created some of the issues that has given the Camillus Carnivore more than its share of negative reviews in the past. Remember that difference between spring steel and stainless? Well a blade of stainless does not like to be used in a prying fashion and tends to snap rather than bend. A spring steel blade might go up to a 90 degree bend before giving up. So some users of the Camillus Carnivore bent the prybar, which is easy given the foot between the handle and wedged tip, thus snapping the blade and then lopping a whole pile of stars off their review.

Another defect that isn’t is the inability of the tip to penetrate. I figured the case, but in the field I repeatedly triedCamillis_Carnivore_titanum_X_X2_can_stabbing to puncture a rusty tin can. No go. But you could say it more of a feature than a bug. By providing a solid prying surface, in order to avoid tip breakage, there best not be a tip to break. And thus had the Camillus Carnivore. A blunt-nosed long-beaked cutting/chopping tool.

Related: Crovel Elite Review

My field tests of two versions of the Camillus Carnivore, the X and the XZ, in two different lengths, has proved them worth their price. As choppers they both excel and the blade-forward weight provides a great platform for aggressive and precision wood striking. Of course, the blade works well for blade stuff like cutting and slicing as long as it’s sharp.

Surprisingly, the sawback of the Camillus Carnivore really does work well as a saw. I’ve tried many other saw-back Camillis_Carnivore_titanum_X_X2_choppingblades including Gerber, SOG and others, but most fail spectacularly. They cut no better than a serrated knife, and mostly just scrape the wood and clog their teeth.

BOB Worthy

As a survival tool, the Camillus Carnivore is worthy of bug out bag carry. Not everything has to be heirloom quality and serve the next generation with the same vigor as a decade ago. So for a unique edged chopping hand tool that you will use within its limitations, then the Camillus Carnivore is one to consider. Seriously.

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NWO Pummeling America — Dividing Men and Women — Allegations to Take Down Men

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I am not defending Roy Moore here, because basically none of us really know what happened.
One Washington Post Story

Blue is my comments, Black is direct quotation from the WaPo article

But an analysis of how the “story” is presented shows clearly that there is a narrative that is being pushed, a narrative that is being created by the Globalists.

The big “news” would be 14 year old  Leigh Corfman.   Even in the article above, by the Washington Post, who created this story, who found all these females, even in the article, they dance around the issue of any sexual contact, insinuating as hard as possible, but not coming straight out and saying so.   Read it closely.   This is all lawyered up, so quite possibly they want to juice it as much as possible, while still making a slander or defamation suit harder to press.

Below is the “fluff filler”.   For sure there is no illegal stuff occurring in any of the 3.  So the addition of these three makes the “narrative” clear cut.

Aside from Corfman, three other women interviewed by The Washington Post in recent weeks say Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s, episodes they say they found flattering at the time, but troubling as they got older. None of the three women say that Moore forced them into any sort of relationship or sexual contact.

Wendy Miller says she was…..16 when he asked her on dates, which her mother forbade.

hmmmm, so the first girl that the “article” presents to us, is the youngest.   But they never had any date.   Does it seem credible that he would ask her out, and i mean ask “her” in front of her Mom?   Any gentleman in that situation would clear up quickly any possible overriding objection, and would have asked the Mom if it was OK take take her daughter on a date, probably even when Wendy wasn’t there.

so the “began asking her” implies that he got turned down at least 2 times and maybe multiple times in front of both the daughter and the Mom.   It’s possible, but it sees kind of weird.    Anyway, the age of consent is and was 16 in Alabama, so I guess this is just “filler material” to set precedent that he liked young women.

Debbie Wesson Gibson says she was 17 when Moore spoke to her high school civics class and asked
her out on the first of several dates that did not progress beyond kissing.

Gloria Thacker Deason says she was an 18-year-old cheerleader when Moore began taking her on
dates that included bottles of Mateus Rosé wine. The legal drinking age in Alabama was 19.

———————————————————————————————————-
Neither Corfman nor any of the other women sought out The Post, LOL, indeed the Post spent a lot of money and time to find women who could have possibly had contact with Moore.

All were initially reluctant to speak publicly but chose to do so after multiple interviews 

Kind of funny, “after multiple interviews” kind of hard to imagine women in their 50’s wanting to take time for multiple “interviews”.    Were these phone calls?   Were some offers made to them?   What were they told that they would possibly want to change their mind about “speaking”? 

She remembers going inside and him giving her alcohol on this visit or the next, and that at some point she told him she was 14.

I don’t think the above is likely.   A young girl, self admittedly  flattered by the attentions of an older man, is not likely to rock the boat, don’t ask don’t tell when it comes to age.   But of course, the Washington Post would need to establish that he was clearly informed about her age, to prevent the I didn’t know she was under 16 defense. 

In Alabama, the statute of limitations for bringing felony charges involving sexual abuse of a minor in 1979 would have run out three years later, and the time frame for filing a civil complaint would have ended when the alleged victim turned 21, according to Child USA, a nonprofit research and advocacy group at the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Improvised Household First Aid – 5 Essentials

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Improvised Household First Aid – 5 Essentials First aid is a massive factor in surviving any disaster. The moment you are cut off from normal emergency services you have to have answers. The first aid kit is also important in daily life as well. If you have a cheap little kit you will find that …

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Human Immortality

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cyborg_robo-cop

I was reading an article the other day about how a human born today may have the opportunity to live for a 1000 cyborg_robo-cop-future-humanyears.  It seemed pretty far fetched but Cambridge is a pretty respectable institution. So I started digging for the technologies that will allow this to happen.  I hope you take the time to read these articles and think about their repercussions if the become a reality. The information provided in the articles is fascinating and scary. Each of these technologies has the potential to be used for good or evil. How they get used and the impacts on society remain to be seen. I personally believe that we as a society need to get ahead of the technologies and the laws that govern their use to ensure we minimize any negative impacts on society.

By Dave H, a contributing author of SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

The Next Fontier

Here is a brief list of medical technologies with articles you should keep you eye on in the near future.

Senolytic Drugs

The premise of these drugs is to remove damaged cells (senescent cells) from our systems so they can be replaced with newer cells. Apparently what happens when we age some damaged cells that should have died and been replaced remain in our systems. These damaged cells degrade the performance of our organs and muscle tissues. The senolytic drugs target the damaged cells and force their removal as well as replacement with new cells. This replacement restores the organ and muscle function. Human trials are going to begin in the next several years. A whole new class of medicine is about to begin.

Related: Trans-Humanist Movement

Surgery at a Molecular Level

How about DNA based machines that do surgery on your body at a molecular level.  This sounds like a cheap sci-fi movie but the reality is closer than you think.  Cal-Tech already has the robots working cooperatively.  According to the article these DNA robots may be able to work together to perform small scale surgeries.  I did not see a timetable for clinical trials. However, it seems closer to science fact than science fiction.

Tissue Regeneration

What about tissue regeneration?  Scientists have found the 326 genes that allow the anole lizard to regenerate The Answer Water Bottle Filtration Solution 300x250their amputated tail.  Here is another article on the same subject. This one takes a simpler approach to the regeneration puzzle.Based upon the research listed above it appears tissue regeneration in humans will become possible sometime in the not too distant future.

Stem Cells Zombies

The next article has me very concerned because I am not sure what we will get. Researchers are working to reawaken brain dead patients with the latest stem cell innovations. This is a bit too creepy for me.  What happens to their memories? Their personalities? Can they be brought completely back? Will they be left in some semi-vegetative state?

Externally Controlling Body Movements

When I first read this article, I was thinking they had the ability to install a chip that controlled the body.  Not with this one.  It is accomplished by ‘implanting specifically built DNA strands and nanoparticles’. Just think of the possibilities. Maybe we can get a semi-vegetative state individual that we can control externally.  I wonder if they would have rights?

The Fountain of Youth

At the end of our chromosomes are strands called telomeres. As we age these strands shorten. When they wear away we go away. I think of them as natures little time bomb that ensures we go away at the proper time. Scientists have now figured out how to regenerate the telomeres.  With a little work telomere regeneration may actually become the fountain of youth.

Also Read: UN Agenda 21

My Thoughts

Looking at the research and emerging technology the original article stating that a human born today may live to 1000 years may be accurate.  According to UN Agenda 21 the planet has an extra 6.5 + billion extra people.  There are so many articles on Agenda 21 I won’t even cite any in this article.  These extra people become even more extra when you consider AI and technology will eliminate a large percentage of jobs in the world in the next 20 years.

Technology aside what are the moral and ethical issues?  So, who will get the life extending technology?  I just don’t see how providing life extending technologies to the general population is feasible. The planet cannot support hundreds of billions of people. Technology and AI are already replacing people in the workforce at an alarming rate.

Also Read: SHTF Firearm Choices

Will a super race be created?  Will we consider them to be human?  This makes me think of Hitler and the masterbrave_new_world_review race but I don’t think color or religion will be a consideration to be part of this futuristic group. The rest of us would then become their slaves, puppets or toys. Maybe we will be entering the Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World? Would you choose to live in the savage lands or in the general society?

Could we build a race that can live long enough to explore the cosmos (article)?  From all of the options I feel this has the best potential for a positive outcome.  Will natural procreation be eliminated?  It would make sense to stop natural reproduction if people don’t die.  You would only need to replace people when they cannot be repaired and the die.  I don’t have the answers. However, it is something worth watching. What are your thoughts?

 

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Human Immortality

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I was reading an article the other day about how a human born today may have the opportunity to live for a 1000 cyborg_robo-cop-future-humanyears.  It seemed pretty far fetched but Cambridge is a pretty respectable institution. So I started digging for the technologies that will allow this to happen.  I hope you take the time to read these articles and think about their repercussions if the become a reality. The information provided in the articles is fascinating and scary. Each of these technologies has the potential to be used for good or evil. How they get used and the impacts on society remain to be seen. I personally believe that we as a society need to get ahead of the technologies and the laws that govern their use to ensure we minimize any negative impacts on society.

By Dave H, a contributing author of SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

The Next Fontier

Here is a brief list of medical technologies with articles you should keep you eye on in the near future.

Senolytic Drugs

The premise of these drugs is to remove damaged cells (senescent cells) from our systems so they can be replaced with newer cells. Apparently what happens when we age some damaged cells that should have died and been replaced remain in our systems. These damaged cells degrade the performance of our organs and muscle tissues. The senolytic drugs target the damaged cells and force their removal as well as replacement with new cells. This replacement restores the organ and muscle function. Human trials are going to begin in the next several years. A whole new class of medicine is about to begin.

Related: Trans-Humanist Movement

Surgery at a Molecular Level

How about DNA based machines that do surgery on your body at a molecular level.  This sounds like a cheap sci-fi movie but the reality is closer than you think.  Cal-Tech already has the robots working cooperatively.  According to the article these DNA robots may be able to work together to perform small scale surgeries.  I did not see a timetable for clinical trials. However, it seems closer to science fact than science fiction.

Tissue Regeneration

What about tissue regeneration?  Scientists have found the 326 genes that allow the anole lizard to regenerate their amputated tail.  Here is another article on the same subject. This one takes a simpler approach to the regeneration puzzle.Based upon the research listed above it appears tissue regeneration in humans will become possible sometime in the not too distant future.

Stem Cells Zombies

The next article has me very concerned because I am not sure what we will get. Researchers are working to reawaken brain dead patients with the latest stem cell innovations. This is a bit too creepy for me.  What happens to their memories? Their personalities? Can they be brought completely back? Will they be left in some semi-vegetative state?

Externally Controlling Body Movements

When I first read this article, I was thinking they had the ability to install a chip that controlled the body.  Not with this one.  It is accomplished by ‘implanting specifically built DNA strands and nanoparticles’. Just think of the possibilities. Maybe we can get a semi-vegetative state individual that we can control externally.  I wonder if they would have rights?

The Fountain of Youth

At the end of our chromosomes are strands called telomeres. As we age these strands shorten. When they wear away we go away. I think of them as natures little time bomb that ensures we go away at the proper time. Scientists have now figured out how to regenerate the telomeres.  With a little work telomere regeneration may actually become the fountain of youth.

Also Read: UN Agenda 21

My Thoughts

Looking at the research and emerging technology the original article stating that a human born today may live to 1000 years may be accurate.  According to UN Agenda 21 the planet has an extra 6.5 + billion extra people.  There are so many articles on Agenda 21 I won’t even cite any in this article.  These extra people become even more extra when you consider AI and technology will eliminate a large percentage of jobs in the world in the next 20 years.

Technology aside what are the moral and ethical issues?  So, who will get the life extending technology?  I just don’t see how providing life extending technologies to the general population is feasible. The planet cannot support hundreds of billions of people. Technology and AI are already replacing people in the workforce at an alarming rate.

Also Read: SHTF Firearm Choices

Will a super race be created?  Will we consider them to be human?  This makes me think of Hitler and the masterbrave_new_world_review race but I don’t think color or religion will be a consideration to be part of this futuristic group. The rest of us would then become their slaves, puppets or toys. Maybe we will be entering the Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World? Would you choose to live in the savage lands or in the general society?

Could we build a race that can live long enough to explore the cosmos (article)?  From all of the options I feel this has the best potential for a positive outcome.  Will natural procreation be eliminated?  It would make sense to stop natural reproduction if people don’t die.  You would only need to replace people when they cannot be repaired and the die.  I don’t have the answers. However, it is something worth watching. What are your thoughts?

 

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How to Pick the Best Pressure Cooker

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How to Pick the Best Pressure Cooker I know people and I have canned food using a hot water bath and not a pressure cooker. While this can be done it’s important that you have a quality pressure cooker because some products can only be canned using a pressure cooker. Canning is a must if …

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The post How to Pick the Best Pressure Cooker appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Why not chat?

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Why not chat?

Why not chat?

Finding quality shows to meet the demands of the prepper survival listening audience is no easy task. As producer of Prepper Broadcasting I’ve worked with many podcasters over the last several years. I have had many favorites but on occasion I have to stop and wonder, do I really have favorites? While I no longer do a podcast myself I easily remember the work that it takes to put a 60-minute show together (it’s not as easy as one might think).

Continue reading Why not chat? at Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

The Ideal Prepper Group Size

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The Ideal Prepper Group Size There are topics of fiery debate in the prepper world. One such debate is that of the prepper group. Some people are bent on having the perfect group with the perfect skill set. In times of disaster and disorder I think many people just find great solace in the organized. …

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The post The Ideal Prepper Group Size appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

The Beginning Of Sorrows

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I had the privilege of being on the Prepper Academy Podcast with Forrest Garvin recently. We talked about the troubling time we are now living in and discussed what you can do to be prepared.

 

The Days of Elijah, Book Three: Angel of the Abyss is now available!

Everett and Courtney Carroll have endured to the midpoint of the Great Tribulation. The previous Seal and Trumpet Judgments have left the planet in shambles. The western hemisphere is nearly uninhabitable. The prophet Elijah gives Everett a special mission, which will give him a unique role in fulfilling end-times prophecy, but he’ll have to survive the coming cataclysms first.

 

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The post The Beginning Of Sorrows appeared first on Prepper Recon.

A Review of the Hydro Blu Go Flow 10L Water Gravity Bag with Versa Filter

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Water filters are plentiful. Hydro Blu is one of the newer players in the market. The company was founded and based in Utah. The owners are outdoor enthusiasts that wanted to make filters that were affordable and practical. If you want to buy a Hydro Blu you can do so directly through their website here.. . . Read More

8 Things Preppers Often Focus on Too Much

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8 Things Preppers Often Focus on Too Much There are some very interesting articles out there and this hits home. What are we talking about too much? What are we thinking about too much? It really is an interesting thing when you look at how we divide our time. This article is a great look …

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The post 8 Things Preppers Often Focus on Too Much appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Victim of Success: Hosting Shutdown (I’m back!)

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Hello all –

Just a quick note, this blog got a little too popular with website traffic and my hosting company shut it down.  We were getting around 100k or so unique visits a month which put a load on the server, they (hosting company) wanted me to shell out a few hundred bucks a month or more for a dedicated server.  I refused to do that but have since had the site allowed back online so I can weigh my options and try to streamline things.

We’ve had quite a bit go on with the hurricanes, especially in Puerto Rico, while this blog as been offline.  That in addition to serious fires out west and multiple shootings.  I’m sure that it goes without saying, a little preparedness goes a long way.

I’m working on a few projects and hope to have some regular posts up in the future.  In the meantime just wanted to drop a note, hope all is well!

Victim of Success: Hosting Shutdown (I’m back!)

Hello all –

Just a quick note, this blog got a little too popular with website traffic and my hosting company shut it down.  We were getting around 100k or so unique visits a month which put a load on the server, they (hosting company) wanted me to shell out a few hundred bucks a month or more for a dedicated server.  I refused to do that but have since had the site allowed back online so I can weigh my options and try to streamline things.

We’ve had quite a bit go on with the hurricanes, especially in Puerto Rico, while this blog as been offline.  That in addition to serious fires out west and multiple shootings.  I’m sure that it goes without saying, a little preparedness goes a long way.

I’m working on a few projects and hope to have some regular posts up in the future.  In the meantime just wanted to drop a note, hope all is well!

FREE: The Complete Pet Safety Action Plan Book, 5 Days Only

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If you’ll recall, about two weeks ago I mentioned that I was looking for Kindle book review team members because I’m now writing Amazon Kindle books. That process has been going great and I must say “thank you” again to those who have taken the time to help out. As a result, my first book, … Continue reading “FREE: The Complete Pet Safety Action Plan Book, 5 Days Only”

Discontinued Spyderco Knife Sale @ Blade HQ

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Discontinued Spyderco Knife Sale @ Blade HQ

So we weren’t planning on publishing today, but we stumbled on a sale section of Blade HQ website we thought was too good to pass up sharing. Thomas so desperately wishes we lived in the States and could take advantage of these crazy prices, but since we don’t, the best we can do is share […]

This is just the start of the post Discontinued Spyderco Knife Sale @ Blade HQ. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Discontinued Spyderco Knife Sale @ Blade HQ, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Discontinued Spyderco Knife Sale @ Blade HQ

Discontinued Spyderco Knife Sale @ Blade HQ

So we weren’t planning on publishing today, but we stumbled on a sale section of Blade HQ website we thought was too good to pass up sharing. Thomas so desperately wishes we lived in the States and could take advantage of these crazy prices, but since we don’t, the best we can do is share […]

This is just the start of the post Discontinued Spyderco Knife Sale @ Blade HQ. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Discontinued Spyderco Knife Sale @ Blade HQ, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Shiplap Vs. Drywall – 4 Great Reasons To Use Shiplap In Your Home

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When it comes to using shiplap vs. drywall in the home, for us, shiplap always win out! When we built our home at the farm last year, we wanted to use natural materials whenever possible. So that meant choosing wood

The post Shiplap Vs. Drywall – 4 Great Reasons To Use Shiplap In Your Home appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

The effects of nuclear exchanges!

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The effects of nuclear exchanges!
David Jones “Prepping Up with the Jones “ Audio player provided!

On this show Dave continues the talk on the effects of nuclear exchanges and what can be expected in your area of the country. Some of the things discussed in this show include; What makes a good nuclear target, what about nuclear power plants? How many nukes does each country have and what is a nuclear winter?

Continue reading The effects of nuclear exchanges! at Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Martyrdom: Receiving The Crown of Life

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     What I am about to discuss is a sensitive subject.  And to some of you, it will be a difficult subject to contemplate. I want to broach it however, as we, here in Texas, are still mourning the loss of 26 lives from the demonic attack on the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.  The state’s official count is 25, but because one of the victims was pregnant, God recognizes 26 killed in this evil slaughter of His saints.
     While the media has continued a constant barrage of cameras and reporters who have besieged this small town of 600 souls, causing chaos and confusion, they have failed to accurately report the horrendous actions that took place at the beckoning of Satan, himself.  Based on local and first-hand reports, the massacre was orchestrated straight from hell.  As always, the Sunday morning service was recorded, and when the gunman entered the sanctuary with a semi-automatic carbine, among the first victims were those recording the service.  So the cameras kept rolling.
     I know that the promoted storyline is that the attack was based on a domestic dispute with the gunman’s in-laws.  But they were not even present at the church that day, and what occurred at the scene could only have been carried out by a satanically influenced individual.  It is beyond comprehension that if the intended victims were not there, that any person (even a mentally ill one) would empty magazine after magazine into the crowd and then systematically apply an execution-style shot to each victim.
   

     The world may want to label these innocent church-goers as tragic victims, but I’m willing to say that, in heaven, they are viewed as Christian martyrs.  And I think they deserve to receive that notable title.  As I stated in an earlier blog, the Enemy of all mankind knows his time is short.  And he is very aware that God’s remnant is walking in the power and authority Jesus gave us to “trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy”.  So he is actually feeling cornered and is ramping up the persecution and martyrdom of God’s saints.
    The Apostle Paul warns us of these days in 2 Timothy 3:13, when he writes, “But evil men and seducers will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” No one knows for sure how the gunman became seduced by evil, but it is obvious that he was deceived into thinking he had a right to do what he did.
     It is commonly accepted that we are in the last days before Jesus’s return.  The world is in chaos, and our sense of security is being tested.  I mean, if you can’t feel safe at church, then you know that evil is on the rise, right?  But it is exactly because this attack was so evil and took place against Christians that we must identify these saints as modern-day martyrs.  Jesus, Himself, said,  “Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and will kill you. And you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake” (Matt. 24:9).
     It is natural that as these kinds of events become more commonplace, that Believers begin to fear for their lives.  But we must face the fact that lawlessness the Bible predicts is indeed increasing, and that the Bible also tells us that we must be prepared to “overcome him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of our testimony; and love not our lives unto death.”  That is exactly what those 26 innocent saints did one week ago.  They are those who are written about in Revelation 6:9-11 … “I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed”.
     That may be a frightening picture for some, if not most, of you.  But we must realize that Death was the price the faithful in Sutherland Springs paid for the testimony of their faith in Christ.  And we can rejoice that as Revelation 2:10 tells us, because they were faithful until death (martyred) they will receive the Crown of Life. the martyr’s crown.  And just like Stephen, who was martyred, their spirits were received by Jesus, Himself.  In truth, they have no better testimony than they were hated by the Anti-Christ and his human agent.  We can take some comfort in knowing that they stood in the presence of Jesus immediately upon their martyrdom.
     Did any of these people wake up that morning and think it was going to be the day they would be called to martyrdom?  I seriously doubt it.  But martyrs they are, nonetheless.  And their numbers will rise as we close in on the Day of the Lord. We must not be surprised nor dismayed.  The Holy Bible tells us this will happen.  So how do we prepare for martyrdom should we be called to that fate?
     These are just a few suggestions, but we can begin by confessing all known sin to God and asking for forgiveness.  Next keep the Word of God in your mind and heart as much as possible, staying focused on our Lord instead of fearing the Enemy. Pray for the Lord’s Grace to keep you strong in your faith until the end. Pray for our Lord Jesus to be glorified by your death and martyrdom. As difficult as it might be, pray for the murderers.  And above all else, keep looking to Jesus.
     None of us want to think that we will be faced with the possibility of martyrdom for our faith.  But if we can fear God more than we fear evil men or the Enemy who wishes to kill and destroy us, then we can endure what this world brings against us for the sake and purpose of glorifying Him.  And if nothing else, last week’s tragic event should tell us that we cannot expect advance notice — it is time that today’s Christian be prepared to confess the Lord Jesus Christ every moment of every day.  Such is the course laid before us.

Revelation 14:13    Then I heard [the distinct words of] a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’” “Yes, [blessed indeed],” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest and have relief from their labors, for their deeds do follow them.”

Surviving Off-grid: Use Pipes And Ducts To Generate Electricity

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A prepper’s mind will always find ways to survive when others won’t see any way out of the crisis. When it comes to generating electricity, there are many unexplored options laying right around your own home.

If you have pipes with water flowing through them, there may be several ways to generate 12 volts or more of electricity with relatively little effort.

Even if the majority of pipes in your home are made of plastic, there are still ways to make use of them, as well as every tap and drain in your home. Depending on the optimizations that you choose, you might need running water to generate electricity.

Combine systems that require flowing water with ones that don’t, and you’ll always have electricity as long as your house is standing.

 

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

 

What to Beware Around Metal Plumbing Pipes

No matter whether a house is brand new, or has been around for several decades, there are always going to be changes that may not always be obvious. Even though all of the appliances and electrical features in your house work perfectly, shorts can develop that prevent the electricity from completing its journey back to the power plant.

As a result, this electricity may start flowing through metal pipes and other fixtures in your home. Contrary to popular belief, this situation is actually very common.

Before touching and examining metal pipes and other fixtures that aren’t connected to the electrical system, take some precautions. If you aren’t sure how to set up grounding for plumbing pipes, ask a plumber. Since the amperage carried through plumbing pipes can be high enough to injure or kill, be sure you know how to work around any and all metal pipes safely.

Use the Power of Moving Water in Vertical Pipes

If you have hot water in bathroom and kitchen faucets, this water goes through vertical pipes at some point on its journey through your home. Locate the pipes where the water flows from a higher point to a lower one. Aside from any pumping pressure from the water source, you will also have the benefit of gravity speeding the water’s rate of flow.

No matter whether these pipes are made of plastic or metal, you can cut into the pipe and insert a device with some kind of spinning rotor, blade, or wheel that has magnets attached to it. As the water passes over the wheel, it will cause it to spin. From there all you need to do is set up a system of coils outside the pipe that will generate electricity for you.

Depending on the length of the pipe, you may even be able to insert one device at the highest point on the pipe, and the second one further down. You’ll have to monitor the water flow rate to make sure you don’t slow it up too much with too many devices.

Also, optimize the blade or rotor design for the device. Since it is likely you will be building the device yourself, have a look at shell blade designs that are emerging for optimizing wind turbines. If you must build your own system, see if you can use fiberglass or other lightweight materials.

Just avoid placing these devices in lines or taps used for drinking or food preparation unless you are sure the materials pose no threat to your health. You should also look for the smallest magnets that will generate the strongest field.

Aside from using indoor pipes, you can also use gutters or other outdoor installations where water will move from an upper elevation to a lower one. While the power from these systems may be transitory, you should be able to harvest from at least two or three points along the tubing, plus from the exhaust spout.

Remember that these tube systems can be expanded with umbrellas or other objects to increase the water capture area. Once the water has exited the spout, you may also want to see if you can store it for use in the garden or some other purpose.

Video first seen on JohnnyQ90.

Take Advantage of Drains

Once you master generating power from vertical water pipes, start exploring the same kind of system for sink drains. To make this kind of system work, you’ll need to open up the device fairly often to remove debris or anything else in the drain water that will catch on the blades. Use a pre-filter or some kind of other trap so that the blades stay as clean as possible.

As a way of getting started, create a blade system that simply sits in the bottom of your sink. If you already have a fairly deep sink basin, you may have more than enough room to work with. In these cases, you will be looking more for blade designs that have a flatter profile than a shell or some of the newer optimizations emerging in the wind power market.

Since some sink drain pipes are made of metal, find out if they are already capable of conducting electricity. If they are, keep reading, because there are some small changes you can make around the drain that may give you a reasonable amount of electricity at very low cost. If all of the pipes are made of plastic, you can still use the water flow to generate electricity.

Getting Electricity from Taps and Shower Heads

There are two possible locations that you can use to generate power from taps and faucets.

 

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

 

First, you would have to cut into the pipe just below the valves that allow water into the faucet. Even though these areas are likely to have an upward water flow, they still have a good bit of pressure behind them.

In fact, if you have ever made the same mistake of trying to remove a faucet system without closing the water valves, you will find out just how much water pressure there is!

Chances are you already have regulators on your faucets that reduce the amount of water that you use. You can achieve the same goal, and spin a rotor if you change the regulator design.

While these devices may not yet exist on the market, you can still combine rubberized faucet attachments and fiberglass blades with magnets mounted on them to achieve your goal. Just make sure that the blade system is as light as possible, so that it spins as easily from any air in the pipes as well as from the moving water.

Securing Access to In-house Pipes

As a prepper, you already know the areas where you can store your stockpile in the walls of your home. While you are exploring these options, take note of the water pipes found in the walls. Whether they are made of plastic or metal, you could modify the pipes so that they are easy to see an access without having to get into the wall space. Alternatively, you can still leave access points in the wall and cover them with paintings for other items.

Overall, the device is used to generate electricity from water pipes do not require a great deal of maintenance as long as the water is clean. If there happens to be more debris than expected in the water, you will not want to have to take an entire wall apart every time a filter needs cleaning.

Also, be aware that mice, termites, and other vermin can live for decades in the walls of your home without being detected. Even if they don’t chew on parts of the device, they’re moving over or through the area may jar something loose.

These are just a few reasons why it is very important to have as much access to in-house pipes used for generating electricity as possible.

Set Up Workable Valve Systems

Indoor plumbing for free is a great deal of convenience and ease.

On the other hand, plumbing leaks can be some of the most aggravating and expensive problems to deal with. Any joint for cut in a pipe is a place where weaknesses can develop and evolve into leaks. There may also be other times when you need to close off the flow of water in a fairly small area to manage your electrical generating system.

All of these situations can be more easily managed when you have valves set up that will give you more control of the water flow. For example if you have a device lodged in the downward hot and cold pipes for your bathroom sink, it would be useful to have corresponding valves somewhere upwind from that point. If you do have a problem in that area, it will be very easy to close off all water flow from the sink without disrupting the toilet and the shower.

If the only valve in your home is sitting on the main water entrance, it can spell a great deal of trouble when you have to work in more localized areas. These valve systems can also be used to create alternate routes for the water flow.

This can be very helpful if you need to make modifications to your system, and don’t necessarily want to replace all of the pipes where you were inserting devices. In these cases all you would need to do is open one set of valves and close the other until you are ready to reverse them again.

Locating Metal Pipes and Avoiding Problems

Many people are surprised to find out just how many metal pipes exist beneath their yards and lawns. In order to find out more about pipes on your own property, you can use a metal detector. Try to purchase or rent a detector that also gives you some ideas about the kind of metal used to manufacture the pipes. This information will help you figure out the best way to get the most electricity from them.

Before using these pipes for generating electricity, know what is actually going through them. For example, if the pipe is for natural gas, don’t use it for any other purpose. These pipes can be very dangerous to disrupt, as well as to modify. On the other hand, if the water pipes flowing into your house are made of metal, there is no reason to avoid using them.

If your home has or previously had a septic tank and leach field system, the tank and leach field may have some metal fittings on it. Since these areas are likely to be saturated with debris from waste water, don’t disturb them let alone use them.

Insofar as locating metal pipes indoors, you are also likely to find gas pipes, as well as ones for transporting oil. Avoid using any pipe that carries any kind of fuel, as you never know when electrical devices will short out, build up heat, or generate sparks. This is also something you will need to be very careful about when building and placing your devices.

What You Need to Know About Grounded and Bonded Metals

Did you know that metal plumbing pipes are often grounded? Depending on the number of pipes in your home or underneath it, there are many ways to ground or bond all of the metals so that you don’t get a shock from them.

Some homes also use metal pipes in the plumbing system as a means to ground the electrical system. It is fair to say that as long as you have metal pipes anywhere in your home, there is a good chance that they are already conducting electricity. You may also find that steel cabinets or other large metal furnishings will also conduct electricity even if you aren’t aware of it.

Video first seen on Bryan Ropar.

Before you test to find out if metal pipes and furnishings are, in fact, conducting electricity, understand the differences between bonding, grounding, and earthing. It will help you recognize each of these methods for avoiding dangerous sharks. From there, there are two methods that you can use to determine if there is already some current flow in the pipes of your home:

  • First, you can drain the water from your pipes, and then use an OHM meter to see if there is any current flowing.
  • Second, you can use an EMF meter to see if there is a magnetic field around the pipes without draining the water from them. If you find a magnetic field, then there’s a viable means to receive electricity from the pipes. Regardless of the source of the magnetic field, you’ll be able to use it for your generating an electrical current.

Using Outdoor Buried Pipes

Once you locate underground pipes that are suitable for generating electricity, you may be surprised at just how easy it is to tap them for a viable amount of current. Just look at some of the designs for earth batteries in order to see how to make this work.

  • Start off by finding out what kind of metal the buried pipes are made from.
  • Next, locate a second type of metal that will create a difference in electrical potential. Do your best to choose a metal that will provide the largest amount of variance. Just about any kind of scrap metal will do, as long as it is the right kind.
  • Once the two metals and wires are in place, you should be able to get a steady amount of electricity from the system. Unlike many other electrical power generation systems, you will not need to be concerned about time of day, temperature, or other weather conditions.
  • Insofar as electrolyte, remember that moist soil itself can act in this capacity. You can still try using other electrolytes, or you can see if soil containing iron metabolizing bacteria can be used and require less maintenance.

When you are stressed about paying your utility bills, or concerned about the increasing risk of power loss, look for the answer to your problems in the walls of your home.

There are many ways to generate small amounts of electricity from both plastic and water pipes that can help you get on the path to energy independence.

Also explore the options and take advantage of safe metal pipes in your yard and under your lawn!

This article haa been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

References:

https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/injury-prevention-safety/electricity/electrical/electrical-safety-for-plumbers-metal-water-pipes-can-shock-you

http://www.ecmweb.com/bonding-amp-grounding/understanding-differences-between-bonding-grounding-and-earthing

https://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/103896/how-to-tell-if-water-pipes-are-grounded

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170209133509.htm

2 Prepping Principles to Remember

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prepping principlesTumultuous times don’t exactly portend a prosperous future. When I was in college and then into the early years of my career, it seemed that my income would continue to increase. The value of our house would always go up, year after year, and by the time I hit 65, I’d have more than enough money to retire and live the good life.

I’ve wised up, though, and the world has become more and more chaotic. Right now my retirement funds are looking good, but that wasn’t the case just 7 or 8 years ago. It’s been a wild ride, financially, and I don’t feel particularly secure about the future.

With this in mind, I made the decision some time back to always buy the best quality products I possibly can. In a way, it seems counter-intuitive. Since the Great Recession of 2009-2012, our income has had quite a few ups and downs, so shouldn’t we be switching to the cheapest off-brands on the market?  Not at all. Going, “cheap” is often more expensive than buying quality in the first place, which is a smart prepping principle.

When our son was in his rough and tumble years, pretty much from age 3 up until just recently!, my wife switched to Levis jeans for him after his knees had poked their way through the eleventh pair in a row of off-brand jeans. I remember her buying the Levis on eBay in order to save money, and sure enough, that more expensive brand turned out to be tougher than he was, and that’s saying a lot!

When my daughter needed a pair of hiking boots, she found a pair she liked that was made of faux leather. We knew the cheap materials wouldn’t keep her feet warm and dry, nor would they stand up to much wear and tear, so, just before a family camping trip, we purchased a pair at REI for just shy of $100, and those boots have stood the test of time. A pair of $39 boots that are scuffed and ruined in a month are more expensive per wear than a $100 pair that ends up being worn for years and then sold at a garage sale for $10! That’s the real bargain and a much better way of being prepared.

A partner principle to buying quality is taking care of what you own. “Oh, well. I’ll just get another one!” was a common statement back in the day when something I owned was lost or broken. That was back in the days when my parents bought most of everything I needed — a childish point of view, to be sure.

That’s not how I think anymore. I can’t think like that anymore! There is no guarantee that I’ll have the extra dollars to buy a pair of replacement sunglasses, for example. Instead, the habit of always, always putting my sunglasses in the same place every time, insures they’ll be there when I need them and will be far less likely to disappear. When the lenses are scratched, I take them to an optical company to be buffed. I buy a good quality pair of sunglasses, and they typically last for years, so I get the benefit of better quality along with the longer lifespan since I take care of them.

Over the years, we’ve been teaching our kids to take care of what they own. After a game of Uno, we make sure that every Uno card makes its’ way back into the box and that school books are kept in a bookshelf. There are plenty of bookshelves in the house, and that’s where our books belong.

This mindset harkens back to the days of my grandparents and the Great Depression when the rhyme, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without,” wasn’t just a quaint quote but a way of life.

As preppers, it’s important to have quality gear, clothing, tools, etc. so when we really, really need them, they are there to do the job. I’ve had nightmares of being in a dire, life and death scenario only to find out that all the “Made in China” gear in a storebought “survival kit” turned out to be nothing but cheap crap. You can bet, my own kit has high quality everything — I just can’t take the risk.

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