Free Manuals: Military Manuals & Books About Knot-Tying

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Here are some free downloads of various books on knots and military manuals that you may find useful. You may want to consider downloading them to an older laptop and sticking it in a Faraday Bag. This will let you keep them handy, even in a worst-case scenario, without the expense of printing them.

Knot-tying

Essential Fishing Knots

Pioneering Knots and Lashings

Ropes-Knots-Ladders-Lashings-Anchorages

Knots, Splices, Attachments and Ladders

Knots, Splices and Rope Work

Knots-for-Mountaineering-Camping-Climbing-Utility-Rescue-Etc

Free military manuals

Arctic SubArctic SurvivalB-GL-323-003-FP-001

Basic Food Preparation

Canadian Military Field Craft

Marine Land Navigation

Mountain Operations FM3976

Pressure Points Military Hand to Hand Combat Guide

TC 31 – Special Forces Caching Techniques 

Terrain Analysis

Topographic Operations

US Army fm31 70 Basic Cold Weather Manual

US Army Combatives hand to hand combat FM-325-150

US Army Field Manual FM 3-19.15, Civil Disturbance Operations 

US Army Map Reading and Land Navigation

Army stp21-1 Soldiers Manual of Common Tasks Warrior Skills Level 1

US Army stp21-24 Soldiers Manual of Common Tasks Warrior Skills Level-2-3-and-4

US Marine Corps Hand to Hand Combat

US Marine Corp Pistol Markmanship

pc-iceberg

The post Free Manuals: Military Manuals & Books About Knot-Tying appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

Answering Objections to Preparedness

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I’ve been around the survival and preparedness community since about 2003. During that time, I’ve heard many objections to very idea of preparedness (actually, just excuses for their own lack of preparedness). Here are three of the more common objections, and how I answer them:

Objection:  Preparedness and self reliance are selfish.

Answer:  Self-reliance and preparedness are not anti-social or selfish. They do not mean shutting yourself off from your friends or community. It certainly doesn’t mean heading for the hills and hiding, heavily armed, in a secret compound having no contact with the outside world until after some dread doomsday comes to pass.

If you have ever listened to a flight attendant give emergency instructions, you may have noticed that they tell parents traveling with a child to put the oxygen mask on themselves first, before putting one on their child. The airlines don’t say that because they hate children. Instead, they say that because if a parent is to help their child, they must first be able to do so. A parent unconscious from the lack of oxygen will be of absolutely no help to their child.

Likewise, we will be of little or no help to our family, friends and neighbors, if we are the ones in need of help ourselves. In fact, our own helplessness may make matters much worse for our community. Far from being selfish, building self-reliance and being prepared may be among the most generous things you can do.

Objection:  Preppers and survivalists are failing to trust God.

Answer:  Ever hear a minister or other person of faith give this objection? I have. One way to answer this objection is to point out the hypocrisy of the person making it. Do they have insurance? Do they have a spare tire in their car? Do they have smoke alarms in their house? Do they own a first aid kit.? Do they have an IRA or other type of retirement account? Have they taught their children how to call 911? Well, I guess they are failing to trust God, too.

However, the best way to answer this objection is by pointing out all the many passages in both the Old and New Testaments in which God calls for his people to prepare for difficult times in the future. Here are just a few of the passages that deal with preparedness:

A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; The simple pass on and are punished.” — Proverbs 27:12 (NKJV)

The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.” —  Proverbs 21:20 (NIV)

But if anyone does not provide for his own, that is his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” — 1 Timothy 5:8 (HCSB)

Then He [Jesus] said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.” — Luke 22:36 (NKJV)

By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” — Hebrews 11:7 (ESV)

And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.” — Genesis 6:21

A host of other verses could be quoted also, including Genesis 41:47-57 (food storage), Exodus 22:2 (self-defense), Psalm 144:1(self-defense training!), Proverbs 6:6-11 (look to the ant’s example – constantly prepare for the future), 1 Corinthians 16:13 (stay alert, be brave, be strong), 1 Thessalonians 5:6 (stay alert, situational awareness), and Matthew 25:1-13 (the wisdom of the five prepared virgins compared to the foolishness of the five ill-prepared virgins).

The Bible makes it clear that preparedness (both physical and spiritual) is not only prudent, but in fact is commanded by God.


Objection:  Nothing bad has happened yet, therefore nothing bad will ever happen.

Answer:  It is true that predictions of societal doom and even the collapse of America and Western Civilization have been around for a long time. Blood moons, 9/11 anniversaries, Jade Helm 15, Y2K, Shemitah, the end of the Mayan Calendar, and rumors of Planet X/Nirubu, have all come and gone, without TEOTWAWKI. Obama’s reign ended, Hillary was avoided, peak oil hasn’t happened, and the 2nd Amendment seems safe (for now). All this has lead many people, including some former preppers, to dismiss the need to prepare for any major events.

Nothing bad happened, therefore nothing bad will happen” is an example of normalcy bias. It is also an error in logic involving the improper use of inductive reasoning. Just because the Minnesota Vikings have never won the Superbowl, does not mean that they can never win the Superbowl. Just because major society altering events haven’t yet occurred, doesn’t mean that they can never occur.  

Pay attention to the news. Its obvious that we live in a dangerous world. There are many flashpoints and potential disasters, both politically and economically, as well as the slow and purposeful eroding away of our freedoms and privacy. And we haven’t even mentioned the many possible natural disasters that await. It is not really a matter of if a major SHTF event happens, but when.  

When it happens, whatever “it” may be, our modern world may collapse like a house of cards. Just consider the interrelated, fragile and unsustainable nature of our infrastructure, power grid, industrial agricultural system, and just-in-time inventory and delivery systems. Or the false nature of our current global economic system, with its foundations of fiat currencies, massive government, business, and personal debt, and centralized controls set up to benefit the global elites to the detriment of the other 95% of the world’s population.  A house of cards, indeed.

Besides, preparedness is about more than the end of the world. It is also about being ready for life’s everyday emergencies. Hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, house fires, car accidents, household injuries, a job loss, financial difficulties, unexpected illnesses, and even unexpected deaths, are just some of the many potential disasters that befall regular folks every single day. Every one of us will face these everyday disasters at multiple times  in our life. Preparedness and self-reliance will help us survive those disasters, as well as the zombie apocalypse.  

3 Ways to Start Prepping Today

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If you’re interested in learning about what preppers do and how you can simply prep for emergencies without turning into a hoarder, this is the post for you. Originally shared here, you’ll find some tips and tricks for getting started with prepping for disasters you might encounter while you’re out and about with your kiddos.

As the leaves are starting to turn color and the weather is growing cooler, I’m constantly reminded that it’s time to start getting ready for winter.

As a city prepper and urban survivalist, this means getting the bug-out bags out of the car and repacking them to prep for winter. Out go the extra fans and bottles of water and in go extra socks, hats, and boots.

If you’re ready to start prepping for winter, too, but don’t have a lot of time, there are a couple of ways you can start prepping today. Whether you have kids, pets, or elderly relatives living with you, it’s important that you’re always working toward being prepared for anything you might encounter.

1. Put a blanket in your car.
No, really. You don’t have to pack blankets for every single person who might ever ride in your car. You don’t need a comforter that’s going to take up your entire trunk. Just pack one blanket in your car that’s small, but that will provide warmth should you find yourself stranded somewhere. If you’re worried about your trunk leaking or the blanket becoming damaged, store it in a plastic bag or small duffel.

2. Buy some cheap hats.
One things my kids always seem to lose are hats. Seriously. During the summer months, I seem to have a dozen hats around my house, but in the winter, we’re scrambling to find them. Head to your local Dollar Tree or Target’s $1 section to pick up some cheap winter hats. These don’t need to be fancy. They just need to be warm. (Tip: You can also find cheap, hand-knitted hats on Etsy.) Keep a few in your car. If you break down in the winter, you’ll be glad to know that you have this extra warmth available to your family.

3. Check your purse.
This one is for the ladies. If you carry a purse, take a quick look. Do you have extra cash inside? What about hard candy? A sewing kit? A flashlight? Do you have an emergency whistle? Make sure that you have at least a couple of emergency items in your purse. At the very least, you should have a pocket knife and a flashlight available.

Books About Bravery

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As a parent, raising kids who are brave, courageous, and strong is important. Whether you have boys or girls, toddlers or teens, it’s vital that you talk with your kids about standing up for themselves, being brave, and facing their fears. 
One of my favorite things about books is that they provide a safe, neutral way to talk with your kids about difficult topics. Bravery is one of those topics. While it seems like a simple thing to tell your kids to be brave, the truth is that learning how to put that bravery into practice can be tricky. Sometimes kids don’t know exactly how to apply the concept of courage to their lives, which is where books come in.
Stories provide a way for kids to see other children (albeit fictional ones) facing hardships and overcoming those problems. 
If you have younger kids (elementary age), here are several books you can read with them to start talking about the concepts of bravery, courage, and fear.


1. Sheila Rae, the Brave


2. The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread



3. Dad and the Dinosaur


4. Oh So Brave Dragon: A Picture Book


5. Lionheart
Have you read any of these books with your youngsters? If not, check out Amazon to buy a copy or visit your local library to read for free.

Gram Conversions for Baking

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Baking is an exacting science. Measuring by weight/grams is far more accurate than measuring by volume, therefore is more likely to achieve reliable and consistent results especially when baking bread. Refer to the chart below to convert baking measures into grams.
All Purpose White Flour:
          1/2 cup = 60 grams

1 cup = 120 grams

          2 cups = 240 grams

          3 cups = 360 grams

         

Whole Wheat Grain Kernels, to Be Home Milled:
1/2 cup = 100 grams

1 cup = 200 grams

2 cups = 400 grams

         

Water, Milk:
1 oz = 30 grams

4 oz = ½ cup = 120 grams

8 oz = 1 cup = 240 grams

Oil:

          1 oz = 28 = grams

2 oz = ¼ cup = 56 grams

4 oz = ½ cup = 112 grams

8 oz = 1 cup = 224 grams

                  
Butter:

          1 tbs = 15 grams

2 tbs = 30 grams

4 tbs = ½ stick = ¼ cup = 60 grams

          8 tbs = 1 stick = ½ cup = 120 grams

          16 tbs = 2 sticks = 1 cup = 240 grams

Shortening:
Can shortening be substituted for oil? Yes in equal weights.

Not only does shortening have 50% less saturated fat than butter and 0g trans fat per serving, it gives you higher, lighter-textured baked goods.

Sugar, White or Light Brown (lightly packed):

          ¼  cup = 50 grams

          ½ cup = 100 grams

          1 cup = 200 grams



Seax

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The seax is the knife that was common place among the Germanic tribe, the Anglo Saxons and was popular from the 5th century until the 11th.  It’s popularity spread all over northern Europe.  The Vikings also had a very similar tool which is commonly referred to as a Viking Seax but it was the Anglo Saxons who were historically first to develop the knife that we know today as the seax.  The Anglo Saxons conquered Britain and it’s where we get the English language from.

It was an everyday knife, it was a hunting knife, fighting knife, a general all round knife.  The reason it’s so famous, even today is because if you’re a knife enthusiast you can’t help admire just how spectacular seax knives look.  Here are some modern recreations:

Seax - Northmen 3
http://northmen.com/en/products/available-items/damascus-seax-viking-shortsword

Seax - Northmen 1 Seax - Northmen 2seax and sheath
The most famous type of seax is the broken back seax as shown in the image below:
broken back seax

Seax types

Below you can see all the different types of seax’s. They varied in size, design and blade point significantly but when you see a seax, you know it’s a seax and you can’t really mistake it for anything else.

The first image is the best explanation.  It shows the broad seax categories of:

  • Narrow longseax
  • Longseax
  • Heavy Broadseax
  • Light broadseax
  • Narrow seax
  • Short seax

It also shows the different types of blade points:

Seax classification

seax types SeaxTypesDefined..

Seax – key characteristics

I’m just going to put the key characterists of seax’s below because that’s the easiest way to understand the similarities between the blades.

  • Blade length 18-80cm
  • No false edge like a bowie knife.
  • No sharpening notch
  • No ricasso
  • No distal taper
  • Blades were thick 1/4-3/8″
  • Blade geometry was a full-flat grind and sometimes slightly convex
  • Blade edge was not perfectly straight, there is always some curve even if it is a slight curve
  • The blade is widest at the ‘hump’ of the blade and then tapering from there in both directions
  • Some were pattern welded which is another reason why they have so much visual appeal. 
  • No guard
  • Hidden tang
  • Metal handle fittings were rare
  • Handles were generally very long

Seax Handle

There are few surviving in tact handles but what we do know is this, they were hidden tang just like swords of the era and just like early bowie knives.  Metal handle fittings were rare.

The other thing about the handles was that they were extremely long by modern standards.  The Aachen seax which is often referred to as the knife of Charlemagne has a handle of almost 9″ which is massive.  Most modern knife handles are about 5″.  The handle was made of horn (bovine),

Seax sheath

What’s interesting is how the seax was worn.  It was worn horizontally or at an angle with the blade edge facing up on the front side of the body.  Why is this the case?  Because the blade is so long, if you had it by your side it wouldn’t be very practical unless you were actually fighting and seeing as it was an everyday tool it was more practical to have it in front.  It actually had brass rings which were attached either via leather or chain to the belt.

This is an awesome video showing how to make a seax sheath:

How the seax was worn

seax worn out the front Wearing a seax how a seax was worn Seax worn out the front in art

Seax – chopper or thrusters?

No one really knows but the seax knife has no guard so as a stabbing knife, it would have been very dangerous to the user.  Once you’ve got one in your hand and feel the weight balance, you’d have to say that it was a chopper.  There are some continental examples with guards but they were so small they were more likely to be just a measure to stop your hand riding up onto the blade in general use, the guards were just too small to be used as a guard to protect from stabbing.  If you were to thrust and hit any type of armor, you would end up cutting your own hand.

 

 

Seax

The seax is the knife that was common place among the Germanic tribe, the Anglo Saxons and was popular from the 5th century until the 11th.  It’s popularity spread all over northern Europe.  The Vikings also had a very similar tool which is commonly referred to as a Viking Seax but it was the Anglo Saxons who were historically first to develop the knife that we know today as the seax.  The Anglo Saxons conquered Britain and it’s where we get the English language from.

It was an everyday knife, it was a hunting knife, fighting knife, a general all round knife.  The reason it’s so famous, even today is because if you’re a knife enthusiast you can’t help admire just how spectacular seax knives look.  Here are some modern recreations:

Seax - Northmen 3
http://northmen.com/en/products/available-items/damascus-seax-viking-shortsword

Seax - Northmen 1 Seax - Northmen 2seax and sheath
The most famous type of seax is the broken back seax as shown in the image below:
broken back seax

Seax types

Below you can see all the different types of seax’s. They varied in size, design and blade point significantly but when you see a seax, you know it’s a seax and you can’t really mistake it for anything else.

The first image is the best explanation.  It shows the broad seax categories of:

  • Narrow longseax
  • Longseax
  • Heavy Broadseax
  • Light broadseax
  • Narrow seax
  • Short seax

It also shows the different types of blade points:

Seax classification

seax types SeaxTypesDefined..

Seax – key characteristics

I’m just going to put the key characterists of seax’s below because that’s the easiest way to understand the similarities between the blades.

  • Blade length 18-80cm
  • No false edge like a bowie knife.
  • No sharpening notch
  • No ricasso
  • No distal taper
  • Blades were thick 1/4-3/8″
  • Blade geometry was a full-flat grind and sometimes slightly convex
  • Blade edge was not perfectly straight, there is always some curve even if it is a slight curve
  • The blade is widest at the ‘hump’ of the blade and then tapering from there in both directions
  • Some were pattern welded which is another reason why they have so much visual appeal. 
  • No guard
  • Hidden tang
  • Metal handle fittings were rare
  • Handles were generally very long

Seax Handle

There are few surviving in tact handles but what we do know is this, they were hidden tang just like swords of the era and just like early bowie knives.  Metal handle fittings were rare.

The other thing about the handles was that they were extremely long by modern standards.  The Aachen seax which is often referred to as the knife of Charlemagne has a handle of almost 9″ which is massive.  Most modern knife handles are about 5″.  The handle was made of horn (bovine),

Seax sheath

What’s interesting is how the seax was worn.  It was worn horizontally or at an angle with the blade edge facing up on the front side of the body.  Why is this the case?  Because the blade is so long, if you had it by your side it wouldn’t be very practical unless you were actually fighting and seeing as it was an everyday tool it was more practical to have it in front.  It actually had brass rings which were attached either via leather or chain to the belt.

This is an awesome video showing how to make a seax sheath:

How the seax was worn

seax worn out the front Wearing a seax how a seax was worn Seax worn out the front in art

Seax – chopper or thrusters?

No one really knows but the seax knife has no guard so as a stabbing knife, it would have been very dangerous to the user.  Once you’ve got one in your hand and feel the weight balance, you’d have to say that it was a chopper.  There are some continental examples with guards but they were so small they were more likely to be just a measure to stop your hand riding up onto the blade in general use, the guards were just too small to be used as a guard to protect from stabbing.  If you were to thrust and hit any type of armor, you would end up cutting your own hand.

 

 

Seax

The seax is the knife that was common place among the Germanic tribe, the Anglo Saxons and was popular from the 5th century until the 11th.  It’s popularity spread all over northern Europe.  The Vikings also had a very similar tool which is commonly referred to as a Viking Seax but it was the Anglo Saxons who were historically first to develop the knife that we know today as the seax.  The Anglo Saxons conquered Britain and it’s where we get the English language from.

It was an everyday knife, it was a hunting knife, fighting knife, a general all round knife.  The reason it’s so famous, even today is because if you’re a knife enthusiast you can’t help admire just how spectacular seax knives look.  Here are some modern recreations:

Seax - Northmen 3
http://northmen.com/en/products/available-items/damascus-seax-viking-shortsword

Seax - Northmen 1 Seax - Northmen 2seax and sheath
The most famous type of seax is the broken back seax as shown in the image below:
broken back seax

Seax types

Below you can see all the different types of seax’s. They varied in size, design and blade point significantly but when you see a seax, you know it’s a seax and you can’t really mistake it for anything else.

The first image is the best explanation.  It shows the broad seax categories of:

  • Narrow longseax
  • Longseax
  • Heavy Broadseax
  • Light broadseax
  • Narrow seax
  • Short seax

It also shows the different types of blade points:

Seax classification

seax types SeaxTypesDefined..

Seax – key characteristics

I’m just going to put the key characterists of seax’s below because that’s the easiest way to understand the similarities between the blades.

  • Blade length 18-80cm
  • No false edge like a bowie knife.
  • No sharpening notch
  • No ricasso
  • No distal taper
  • Blades were thick 1/4-3/8″
  • Blade geometry was a full-flat grind and sometimes slightly convex
  • Blade edge was not perfectly straight, there is always some curve even if it is a slight curve
  • The blade is widest at the ‘hump’ of the blade and then tapering from there in both directions
  • Some were pattern welded which is another reason why they have so much visual appeal. 
  • No guard
  • Hidden tang
  • Metal handle fittings were rare
  • Handles were generally very long

Seax Handle

There are few surviving in tact handles but what we do know is this, they were hidden tang just like swords of the era and just like early bowie knives.  Metal handle fittings were rare.

The other thing about the handles was that they were extremely long by modern standards.  The Aachen seax which is often referred to as the knife of Charlemagne has a handle of almost 9″ which is massive.  Most modern knife handles are about 5″.  The handle was made of horn (bovine),

Seax sheath

What’s interesting is how the seax was worn.  It was worn horizontally or at an angle with the blade edge facing up on the front side of the body.  Why is this the case?  Because the blade is so long, if you had it by your side it wouldn’t be very practical unless you were actually fighting and seeing as it was an everyday tool it was more practical to have it in front.  It actually had brass rings which were attached either via leather or chain to the belt.

This is an awesome video showing how to make a seax sheath:

How the seax was worn

seax worn out the front Wearing a seax how a seax was worn Seax worn out the front in art

Seax – chopper or thrusters?

No one really knows but the seax knife has no guard so as a stabbing knife, it would have been very dangerous to the user.  Once you’ve got one in your hand and feel the weight balance, you’d have to say that it was a chopper.  There are some continental examples with guards but they were so small they were more likely to be just a measure to stop your hand riding up onto the blade in general use, the guards were just too small to be used as a guard to protect from stabbing.  If you were to thrust and hit any type of armor, you would end up cutting your own hand.

 

 

Surviving a Blizzard or Winter Storm Without Power

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Surviving a Blizzard or Winter Storm Without Power We are in the throes of winter. While its alluring to spend your time worrying about things like North Korea and other threats that face us, we are still in the throes of winter. Winter doesn’t get its true respect until the ice collects on the power …

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Surviving a Blizzard or Winter Storm Without Power

Surviving a Blizzard or Winter Storm Without Power We are in the throes of winter. While its alluring to spend your time worrying about things like North Korea and other threats that face us, we are still in the throes of winter. Winter doesn’t get its true respect until the ice collects on the power …

Continue reading

The post Surviving a Blizzard or Winter Storm Without Power appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

South African Crime Documentary

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Message:

I saw these videos on South African crime on Lauren Southerns YouTube

channel and remembered that you did some post about this very thing. I

placed a your link in her comment section and thought you may want to

see the documentary she is doing on South African crime. I have been

watching her content for a while now. She has good content and a good

head on her shoulders, like yourself. It is tragic that this is not

reported in international news more. Thanks for all your good work,
-P

Thank P, those are worth watching.

It actually remind me of Argentina a lot. Driving by and seeing all houses with reinforced doors + bars on every single window and gates all over the place. Many have electrified fences as well. On poor neighbourhoods you see barb wire, broken bottles on the top of walls. Gated communities with heavy private security, neighbours hiring their own security, or in some cases organizing themselves.

These are the solutions people just try to come up with when the government fails and people have to fend for themselves. Out in the country its hardly better with people getting killed like we see in those clips.
I had the pleasure of meeting some young South African expats many years ago. They were young people like myself back then and they were simply fed up and looking to leave SA. They didn’t want to live their lives like that and I can fully understand that.

Finally, something interesting said in one of the videos, about your life being spent “indoors” when crime is that bad. Again, reminds me of Argentina. You rush from one house to another, or to a mall or gated community with security, always worrying about being safe.  You’re living in South Africa (or South America) but the time you spend doing outdoors stuff is seriously restricted by how dangerous it is.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

When is it OK to Open Fire on Intruders

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When is it OK to Open Fire on Intruders Protecting your family and property is a natural instinct. You keep your guns for that unwanted occasion when uninvited intruders make their way onto your land, and you fully intend to use them. So you should, as it’s your right to protect your family, but when …

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Adverse Weather Driving Tips

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Adverse Weather Driving Tips While things like firearms training, first aid, bushcraft and navigation skills often come to mind when you think of survival, what about driving? Do you ever think about driving through a disaster? This is a funny topic because every prepper consider the bugout. They all know that there is a bugout …

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Book Review: The Tiger’s Way

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I have a friend that runs a local “mutual aid group” that uses The Tiger’s Way as a field manual, if you pick this book up, you will soon know why. The author, John Poole, has been both a commissioned infantry officer, as well as a noncom (USMC). He has also spent several years as a trainer and researcher. I have to give him some credit simply because of his opening line on his amazon author bio “Through an inverted military career, H. John Poole has discovered a few things that more promotable people miss”. This guy is not afraid to

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Free PDF: 2012 Emergency Response Guide

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The Emergency Response Guidebook published by the US Department of Transportation, developed jointly with Transport Canada and the Secretariat of Transport and Communications is used by firefighters, police, and other emergency response personnel who may be the first to arrive on the scene of a transportation incident regarding dangerous goods/hazardous materials. The primary purpose of the Guide is to provide immediate information regarding the chemical, therefore allowing them to take appropriate action to protect themselves and the general public. You can find ERG aps for you phone, and I have one, but for those times when I don’t have signal

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Worm Composting 101: Why Every Gardener Should Do It

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Every seasoned gardener knows that worms are essential to healthy soil, and an increasing number of gardeners are using that scientific fact to their benefit.

By setting up a worm composting system, gardeners can produce super-rich fertilizer, get rid of food waste, and have extra worms, too!

Today’s guest on Off The Grid Radio is Joanne Olszewski, a vermicomposting enthusiast and the co-author of the book Worms Eat My Garbage (Storey), which was originally written by the late Mary Appelhof.

Joanne tells us:

  • How to set up a worm composting system.
  • What types of worms to use.
  • Which foods are a no-no for vermicomposting.
  • How to separate the worms from the compost.
  • Why it’s the perfect indoor winter gardening activity.

We learned a lot from Joanne, and we think you will, too!

 

Your Tiny World Without Communication & Transportation

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Thinking once again about hypothetical results from an event or events that may happen in our future: The loss of our electrical grid. That is, power grid infrastructure damage either from man made circumstances (EMP, electromagnetic pulse) or that from our own nearby fireball, the sun (CME, Coronal Mass Ejection). This time however I thought about it from a slightly different viewpoint than previous articles on the subject. I thought about how tiny our world would become. Our personal spheres would shrink to become incredibly small. That alone would be shocking for most people living in today’s modern world. Without

The post Your Tiny World Without Communication & Transportation appeared first on Modern Survival Blog.

Edible Blewit Mushrooms

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Edible Blewit Mushrooms Foraging is a good time. While some preppers can confuse it with a serious source of food, I would argue that foraging is merely a bridge from one food source to another. It is not a long term food solution that will help keep you alive. You can only really depend on …

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The Reality of Barter and Trade in an SHTF Economy

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Barter is a hot topic in prepper circles, so I thought we thought we should tap into Selco’s knowledge more deeply on this matter.

 

How quickly did people turn to barter once your city was locked down?

It was a matter of a few weeks.

Actually, for ordinary folks, it was a matter of few weeks because we did not get the new reality right at the beginning of everything.

Later when I remembered that period, I realized that even right at the beginning of SHTF there were people who did not want to take money for goods. They asked for valuables like gold, jewelry, or weapon for goods that they had.

Some of them were smart enough to realize that money was gonna become worthless really soon, and even gold and jewelry were only good in the first period, and then only if you had a connection to outside world to exchange it for something useful.

Ordinary folks needed few weeks. It was a process that went from buying goods with money, then buying goods from people who still wanted to take money (at outrages prices) to the moment when money was worthless, and only goods for goods were accepted.

It was rare, but sometimes you could find someone who would sell you something for foreign money but at the 20-50 times bigger prices.

For example if pack of cigarettes cost around 1,50 German Mark (outside of the war region) we could buy that pack for 40 German Marks.

US dollar and Canadian dollar had even worse value.

Obviously, people would accept that money had connection to the outside world, and some of them ended up as millionaires because of that.

Same ratio was for precious metals and jewelery.

For small and quick trades, the usual currency were cigarettes, because of the percentage of people that smoked.

Even values were expressed often like “Oh, that’s worth 10 cigarettes.” In other situations it was ammunition-bullets.

How were trade items valued? If someone wanted to make a trade, who set the terms?

Nothing was fixed.

Through the whole period, the value of goods went up and down based on a lot of things.

For example if a UN food convoy managed to enter the city and some local warlord (usually) took it all, and the majority of the food was cans of fish, you could count on the fact that that month those types of cans gonna be cheaper then the month before. Or if that day’s US airplanes managed to “hit“ with airdrops in our area then MREs were going to be bit cheaper to find.

Sometimes a simple rumor (planted by rival groups) for example about “poisoned“ cans of cookies meant that people did not valued it so highly anymore.

Some things did not change value too much during the whole period, like alcohol, simply because it was available.

Other things’ value was a matter of the situation.

For example, if you had a sick kid at home, and you needed antibiotic and you spread that word, you could expect high price simply because you give that information that you need something really hard and fast.

But usually, we knew the value of things (goods) for that week for example, at least approximately.

What were the general rules of trade during this time?

The value of things and trading “rules on the ground“ were similar to trade rules at normal life flea markets.

A few of those “rules on the ground“ during the trade were:

  1. If YOU need something then the price is going up. (Do not look like you desperately need something.)
  2. Do not offer all that you got in “one hand“ or on one try. (Do not go to trade with your best shots all together, it looks desperate, and you are losing all the advantage then.)
  3. Do not ever give a reason for someone to take the risk of attacking you because you have way too cool stuff (or way too much stuff) with you. (Have some amount of food, or ammo, or whatever, do another trade at another time with more of that. Remember people will take chances if they calculate it is a risk worth taking.)
  4. Never give info how much of the goods you actually have at home. ( The reason is same as above.)
  5. Never do trade at your home (unless you trust the person 100%) because you never know to who you are giving valuable information about how much you have, what your home look like, how many people are there (defense) etc.
  6. Doing the trade in other trader s home might mean that you are at his “playground“ (or he is stupid) so you are losing the edge. You are risking of being on unknown terrain. Always try to choose neutral ground somewhere that you can control the situation, giving the opponent the chance to feel safe. (But not safer than you).

It is most important that you understand when SHTF (for real) system is out, and only thing that protect you from losing everything is you.

Trade is gonna be a matter of carefully planning. It starts with information about who has something that you need, then checking that information, and rechecking, and then sending information to him that you want to trade, then setting the terms about the place and number of people where you’re gonna do the trade.

Usually, there was a rumor or information about who was safe to trade with. There was information about people who like to scam other people during the trade. If you did a good and fair trade with a man you could “save him“ as a safe trader (to some extent) for future trade.

Everything else is matter of trust and skills.

Maybe, just maybe, if you are living in some nice small town there is gonna be something like a market, where people freely gonna exchange their goods between each other.

I never saw anything like that because it needs some kind of system to back it.

Trade when SHTF is a high-risk situation simply because it is about resources, and there is no law, no system.

Are skills or products more valuable?

In the long run, skills were more valuable, simply because you can not “spend“ your skills.

If you had medical skills you could expect that people over the time (through the word on the street) will hear that, and that you simply will have opportunities to get something for that skill.

I pointed out in an earlier article that when a serious collapse happens, things fall apart around you fiscally, there are no services, so skills for “repairing“ were valuable, and so were technical skills.

Medicines were substituted with home (natural) remedies so knowing that stuff was valuable, making simple cloth pieces was good, and repairing weapons. I knew people who did good because they made very basic cigar holders from wood and empty bullet shell simply because people smoked bad tobbaco hand rolled in paper.

Skills that made the new reality easier.

Skills were also more safe to trade simply because by attacking and killing you, the attacker cannot take away your skills from you.

What were the top physical items for barter? Do you recommend that people stock up on things specifically for barter? If so, what kinds of things?

In my case those were MREs, meat cans, alcohol, batteries, candles, cigarettes, weapons and ammo, drugs, and medicines… but if we are talking about the future, preparing, some things need to be mentioned.

There are lists about “100 things to store for SHTF“, and while they are good lists, they may be completely different from “100 things to trade when SHTF.”

Obviously when SHTF you will miss everything, because the “trucks are stopped“ and there are no stores and normal buying.

The basics that you need to cover are something that every prepper already knows: food, defense, water, shelter, fire, medicine, and communication.

Out of these essentials, you go in deeper. Like under medicine you’ll have antibiotics but also some knowledge about natural remedies. Under food, you’ll have cans but also some way to produce food like seeds or hunting or whatever.

If you are PLANNING to store things for trade then you need to have a strategy for that.

Let’s say you are storing huge amounts of food for you and your family for SHTF but you are also planning to trade that food for other items when SHTF.

Some advice for people who are counting to store things for trade are:

  1. Store things of everyday use, nothing too fancy. For example store rice or pasta (if that food is common in your region), lighters, batteries, or candles.
  2. Store small things, or in small packages, stuff that is gonna be easy to carry hidden on you, in your jacket, for example, lighters, spices, cigarettes, quick soups… not cannister of fuel, bags of wheat. I am not saying not to store fuel. I am saying it is much better to carry 20 AA batteries to trade then a 20-liter canister of fuel especially because value might be similar. Remember, do not give reason to anyone to take the risk of attacking you because you have something.
  3. Think about things that are cheap today, may have multipurpose uses when SHTF, and do not take too much space to store (alcohol pads or condoms for example).
  4. Think about things that you can “sell but keep“. For example, a solar panel with a setup for charging batteries for people. You are selling charging of batteries to people.
  5. NEVER be the “big trader“ or the person who has a lot of interesting stuff. Be the small person who is gonna offer good things through the network of a few people. Being big trader means attracting too much attention with too many cool things that you have. Hide your trading activities through a network of other traders.
  6. Understand today’s value and the value when SHTF. Think about the small things that save lives, antibiotics, anti-tetanus shots, povidone pads [iodine]. For example, candles are really cheap today but will be rare when SHTF.
  7. Do not underestimate things that are people addicted to, no matter what you think about it. Cigarettes, alcohol, or coffee (or whatever is case in your region) – the value will go way up.
  8. “Store“ skills and knowledge. It is best investment. Learn skills that are gonna be valuable like gardening, shoe repairing, clothes making. Maybe you can be the person who has knowledge about natural remedies.

Should you have precious metals as a means for buying goods when the SHTF?

Through human history, gold and silver were valuable. They were used for getting goods in all times, including hardest times like wars and similar.

Having precious metal for SHTF is big in the prepping community but I need to point out some things.

The value of gold went down during SHTF so much that you need to think about it very hard.

For example, in normal times (I am using these numbers as an example) you could buy with one gold ring 300 small cans of meat. When SHTF you could buy 20, and you could buy 20 if you could find a man who wanted to take that ring from you.

He did not usually want to take it because he could take stuff that he could immediately use, like weapons, drugs, or medicines.

He simply could not do anything immediately useful with it.

Having precious metals is a great idea for later, when some kind of system jumps in, because they are gonna be again precious.

Right in the middle of SHTF, the value of it is poor.

That is one of the reasons why some local warlords came out as very powerful people after everything. They simply took precious metal from folks for a “can of the soup“ value (or sometimes for nothing) and they had enough power to store that metal for the time when it would be valuable again.

Do not throw everything into precious metals. Store immediately useful things.

What were the top skills?

It was simple: skills that you might use to kill people or to heal them.

So fighting, security, medical skills, knowing herbal remedies, repairing a weapon, making a new one.

Right after those skills were skills about food.

Knowing what kind of herbs around us you could eat, or even knowing what kind of tree bark you could eat maybe, how to make some plants edible mixed with other ingredients, how to repair clothes and things in your home.

Were there markets for bartering or did people mostly do this in private?

In one period of time there was something like a market, but it was strictly under control of local warlord, so it was not smart to go there since you really could not know what to expect.

Almost all the trades were made in private arrangments after you got information about someone who had something that he wants to trade.

The best situation was if you knew that person prior the war so you had already built trust from before.

Scams were usual, attacks during the trade happened too, especially if the value of goods was high.

If you need to trade for something, do that in advance. In other words, do not wait to be completely without food and then go to look for food through the trade, because you are under pressure, you are desperate. It is not a good setup for trade.

How did you remain safe when trading goods and services? What were the risks?

The basic rule is not to go alone to trade.

The reasons are very simple because you have resources with you for trade, you are possible target so you need more security – more people.

The trade place usually needed to be checked for possible ambush or scam setup. You needed people for that.

You needed a guard during the trade, someone to check up things during your negotiation with the other trader, someone who was going to watch for things.

The ideal number of people was 3.

The risks are scams (bad goods) or an attack.

You could lower that risk by trading with known people or simply by showing enough force so that they understand it is not worth the risk.

Scams were avoided by checking goods of course. If you are buying batteries you need to check them all. You need to taste coffee – is it mixed with old coffee that was used and dried? Cigarettes packs were carefully opened and 1-2 cigarettes could be missing and the pack glued again.

It was like a chess game. 

What are some myths about barter that most people think are the truth?

Trade is probably the survival topic with largest number of myths.

It is partly because we like to think that somehow the world will collapse but the majority of people will live by the rules from normal times, and partly because we are influenced by movies, shows, and fiction books. 

“When SHTF people simply get all together and help each other, and that goes for trade too.“

No, actually when times get really hard people jump into survival mode, or perish.

For you it may mean that you ‘l be nice, and do only good things, for another, it may mean that he will do whatever it takes so he and his family survive.

That may include killing you over 3 MREs during the trade.

“When SHTF I will thrive because I stored a lot of things for trade, and I will simply be the biggest trader.“ 

It is possible. People did that and survived. And even got rich after everything was over.

But they had gangs around them, enough manpower to protect the goods, the control to not be overrun, and they were ruthless.

Most probably, you are an ordinary person who just wants to survive SHTF. You do not have 100 armed people with you. You just need to be small and careful.

You are not a warlord.

“When it comes to trade it is all about weapon and force.“

Actually, it is not.

It is about the correct mindset to decide what makes sense in that moment and what you really need (and what you do not). Weapons help a lot but do not solve the problem alone.

It is very similar to bargaining at a flea market with the possibility of violence.

Anything to add?

After years of being in the survival world, talking with other preppers and writing my articles I found out that a great number of people  think something like “I cannot wait to go to trade when SHTF!“

In reality, one of the points of careful preparing is to delay the moment when you need to go out and trade as long as you can.

Why?

Because you’re gonna need time to scan what is going on and who is who in the new collapsed world. You need to gather information about who is good and who is not, who is trusted and who is a scammer, what area is safe

If you need to go out on the 10th day in order to trade something maybe you are doing something wrong?

 

 

 

More from Selco 

More information about Selco

Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution.

In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today.

He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations like Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months.

Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.

Read more of Selco’s articles here: https://shtfschool.com/blog/

And take advantage of a deep and profound insight into his knowledge and advice by signing up for the outstanding and unrivaled online course. More details here: https://shtfschool.com/survival-boot-camp/

Daisy Luther

About the Author

Daisy Luther

Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, leaving all links intact, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio. Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. Daisy is the publisher of The Cheapskate’s Guide to the Galaxy, a monthly frugality newsletter, and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. She is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find Daisy onFacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

The Reality of Barter and Trade in an SHTF Economy

 

 

Barter is a hot topic in prepper circles, so I thought we thought we should tap into Selco’s knowledge more deeply on this matter.

 

How quickly did people turn to barter once your city was locked down?

It was a matter of a few weeks.

Actually, for ordinary folks, it was a matter of few weeks because we did not get the new reality right at the beginning of everything.

Later when I remembered that period, I realized that even right at the beginning of SHTF there were people who did not want to take money for goods. They asked for valuables like gold, jewelry, or weapon for goods that they had.

Some of them were smart enough to realize that money was gonna become worthless really soon, and even gold and jewelry were only good in the first period, and then only if you had a connection to outside world to exchange it for something useful.

Ordinary folks needed few weeks. It was a process that went from buying goods with money, then buying goods from people who still wanted to take money (at outrages prices) to the moment when money was worthless, and only goods for goods were accepted.

It was rare, but sometimes you could find someone who would sell you something for foreign money but at the 20-50 times bigger prices.

For example if pack of cigarettes cost around 1,50 German Mark (outside of the war region) we could buy that pack for 40 German Marks.

US dollar and Canadian dollar had even worse value.

Obviously, people would accept that money had connection to the outside world, and some of them ended up as millionaires because of that.

Same ratio was for precious metals and jewelery.

For small and quick trades, the usual currency were cigarettes, because of the percentage of people that smoked.

Even values were expressed often like “Oh, that’s worth 10 cigarettes.” In other situations it was ammunition-bullets.

How were trade items valued? If someone wanted to make a trade, who set the terms?

Nothing was fixed.

Through the whole period, the value of goods went up and down based on a lot of things.

For example if a UN food convoy managed to enter the city and some local warlord (usually) took it all, and the majority of the food was cans of fish, you could count on the fact that that month those types of cans gonna be cheaper then the month before. Or if that day’s US airplanes managed to “hit“ with airdrops in our area then MREs were going to be bit cheaper to find.

Sometimes a simple rumor (planted by rival groups) for example about “poisoned“ cans of cookies meant that people did not valued it so highly anymore.

Some things did not change value too much during the whole period, like alcohol, simply because it was available.

Other things’ value was a matter of the situation.

For example, if you had a sick kid at home, and you needed antibiotic and you spread that word, you could expect high price simply because you give that information that you need something really hard and fast.

But usually, we knew the value of things (goods) for that week for example, at least approximately.

What were the general rules of trade during this time?

The value of things and trading “rules on the ground“ were similar to trade rules at normal life flea markets.

A few of those “rules on the ground“ during the trade were:

  1. If YOU need something then the price is going up. (Do not look like you desperately need something.)
  2. Do not offer all that you got in “one hand“ or on one try. (Do not go to trade with your best shots all together, it looks desperate, and you are losing all the advantage then.)
  3. Do not ever give a reason for someone to take the risk of attacking you because you have way too cool stuff (or way too much stuff) with you. (Have some amount of food, or ammo, or whatever, do another trade at another time with more of that. Remember people will take chances if they calculate it is a risk worth taking.)
  4. Never give info how much of the goods you actually have at home. ( The reason is same as above.)
  5. Never do trade at your home (unless you trust the person 100%) because you never know to who you are giving valuable information about how much you have, what your home look like, how many people are there (defense) etc.
  6. Doing the trade in other trader s home might mean that you are at his “playground“ (or he is stupid) so you are losing the edge. You are risking of being on unknown terrain. Always try to choose neutral ground somewhere that you can control the situation, giving the opponent the chance to feel safe. (But not safer than you).

It is most important that you understand when SHTF (for real) system is out, and only thing that protect you from losing everything is you.

Trade is gonna be a matter of carefully planning. It starts with information about who has something that you need, then checking that information, and rechecking, and then sending information to him that you want to trade, then setting the terms about the place and number of people where you’re gonna do the trade.

Usually, there was a rumor or information about who was safe to trade with. There was information about people who like to scam other people during the trade. If you did a good and fair trade with a man you could “save him“ as a safe trader (to some extent) for future trade.

Everything else is matter of trust and skills.

Maybe, just maybe, if you are living in some nice small town there is gonna be something like a market, where people freely gonna exchange their goods between each other.

I never saw anything like that because it needs some kind of system to back it.

Trade when SHTF is a high-risk situation simply because it is about resources, and there is no law, no system.

Are skills or products more valuable?

In the long run, skills were more valuable, simply because you can not “spend“ your skills.

If you had medical skills you could expect that people over the time (through the word on the street) will hear that, and that you simply will have opportunities to get something for that skill.

I pointed out in an earlier article that when a serious collapse happens, things fall apart around you fiscally, there are no services, so skills for “repairing“ were valuable, and so were technical skills.

Medicines were substituted with home (natural) remedies so knowing that stuff was valuable, making simple cloth pieces was good, and repairing weapons. I knew people who did good because they made very basic cigar holders from wood and empty bullet shell simply because people smoked bad tobbaco hand rolled in paper.

Skills that made the new reality easier.

Skills were also more safe to trade simply because by attacking and killing you, the attacker cannot take away your skills from you.

What were the top physical items for barter? Do you recommend that people stock up on things specifically for barter? If so, what kinds of things?

In my case those were MREs, meat cans, alcohol, batteries, candles, cigarettes, weapons and ammo, drugs, and medicines… but if we are talking about the future, preparing, some things need to be mentioned.

There are lists about “100 things to store for SHTF“, and while they are good lists, they may be completely different from “100 things to trade when SHTF.”

Obviously when SHTF you will miss everything, because the “trucks are stopped“ and there are no stores and normal buying.

The basics that you need to cover are something that every prepper already knows: food, defense, water, shelter, fire, medicine, and communication.

Out of these essentials, you go in deeper. Like under medicine you’ll have antibiotics but also some knowledge about natural remedies. Under food, you’ll have cans but also some way to produce food like seeds or hunting or whatever.

If you are PLANNING to store things for trade then you need to have a strategy for that.

Let’s say you are storing huge amounts of food for you and your family for SHTF but you are also planning to trade that food for other items when SHTF.

Some advice for people who are counting to store things for trade are:

  1. Store things of everyday use, nothing too fancy. For example store rice or pasta (if that food is common in your region), lighters, batteries, or candles.
  2. Store small things, or in small packages, stuff that is gonna be easy to carry hidden on you, in your jacket, for example, lighters, spices, cigarettes, quick soups… not cannister of fuel, bags of wheat. I am not saying not to store fuel. I am saying it is much better to carry 20 AA batteries to trade then a 20-liter canister of fuel especially because value might be similar. Remember, do not give reason to anyone to take the risk of attacking you because you have something.
  3. Think about things that are cheap today, may have multipurpose uses when SHTF, and do not take too much space to store (alcohol pads or condoms for example).
  4. Think about things that you can “sell but keep“. For example, a solar panel with a setup for charging batteries for people. You are selling charging of batteries to people.
  5. NEVER be the “big trader“ or the person who has a lot of interesting stuff. Be the small person who is gonna offer good things through the network of a few people. Being big trader means attracting too much attention with too many cool things that you have. Hide your trading activities through a network of other traders.
  6. Understand today’s value and the value when SHTF. Think about the small things that save lives, antibiotics, anti-tetanus shots, povidone pads [iodine]. For example, candles are really cheap today but will be rare when SHTF.
  7. Do not underestimate things that are people addicted to, no matter what you think about it. Cigarettes, alcohol, or coffee (or whatever is case in your region) – the value will go way up.
  8. “Store“ skills and knowledge. It is best investment. Learn skills that are gonna be valuable like gardening, shoe repairing, clothes making. Maybe you can be the person who has knowledge about natural remedies.

Should you have precious metals as a means for buying goods when the SHTF?

Through human history, gold and silver were valuable. They were used for getting goods in all times, including hardest times like wars and similar.

Having precious metal for SHTF is big in the prepping community but I need to point out some things.

The value of gold went down during SHTF so much that you need to think about it very hard.

For example, in normal times (I am using these numbers as an example) you could buy with one gold ring 300 small cans of meat. When SHTF you could buy 20, and you could buy 20 if you could find a man who wanted to take that ring from you.

He did not usually want to take it because he could take stuff that he could immediately use, like weapons, drugs, or medicines.

He simply could not do anything immediately useful with it.

Having precious metals is a great idea for later, when some kind of system jumps in, because they are gonna be again precious.

Right in the middle of SHTF, the value of it is poor.

That is one of the reasons why some local warlords came out as very powerful people after everything. They simply took precious metal from folks for a “can of the soup“ value (or sometimes for nothing) and they had enough power to store that metal for the time when it would be valuable again.

Do not throw everything into precious metals. Store immediately useful things.

What were the top skills?

It was simple: skills that you might use to kill people or to heal them.

So fighting, security, medical skills, knowing herbal remedies, repairing a weapon, making a new one.

Right after those skills were skills about food.

Knowing what kind of herbs around us you could eat, or even knowing what kind of tree bark you could eat maybe, how to make some plants edible mixed with other ingredients, how to repair clothes and things in your home.

Were there markets for bartering or did people mostly do this in private?

In one period of time there was something like a market, but it was strictly under control of local warlord, so it was not smart to go there since you really could not know what to expect.

Almost all the trades were made in private arrangments after you got information about someone who had something that he wants to trade.

The best situation was if you knew that person prior the war so you had already built trust from before.

Scams were usual, attacks during the trade happened too, especially if the value of goods was high.

If you need to trade for something, do that in advance. In other words, do not wait to be completely without food and then go to look for food through the trade, because you are under pressure, you are desperate. It is not a good setup for trade.

How did you remain safe when trading goods and services? What were the risks?

The basic rule is not to go alone to trade.

The reasons are very simple because you have resources with you for trade, you are possible target so you need more security – more people.

The trade place usually needed to be checked for possible ambush or scam setup. You needed people for that.

You needed a guard during the trade, someone to check up things during your negotiation with the other trader, someone who was going to watch for things.

The ideal number of people was 3.

The risks are scams (bad goods) or an attack.

You could lower that risk by trading with known people or simply by showing enough force so that they understand it is not worth the risk.

Scams were avoided by checking goods of course. If you are buying batteries you need to check them all. You need to taste coffee – is it mixed with old coffee that was used and dried? Cigarettes packs were carefully opened and 1-2 cigarettes could be missing and the pack glued again.

It was like a chess game. 

What are some myths about barter that most people think are the truth?

Trade is probably the survival topic with largest number of myths.

It is partly because we like to think that somehow the world will collapse but the majority of people will live by the rules from normal times, and partly because we are influenced by movies, shows, and fiction books. 

“When SHTF people simply get all together and help each other, and that goes for trade too.“

No, actually when times get really hard people jump into survival mode, or perish.

For you it may mean that you ‘l be nice, and do only good things, for another, it may mean that he will do whatever it takes so he and his family survive.

That may include killing you over 3 MREs during the trade.

“When SHTF I will thrive because I stored a lot of things for trade, and I will simply be the biggest trader.“ 

It is possible. People did that and survived. And even got rich after everything was over.

But they had gangs around them, enough manpower to protect the goods, the control to not be overrun, and they were ruthless.

Most probably, you are an ordinary person who just wants to survive SHTF. You do not have 100 armed people with you. You just need to be small and careful.

You are not a warlord.

“When it comes to trade it is all about weapon and force.“

Actually, it is not.

It is about the correct mindset to decide what makes sense in that moment and what you really need (and what you do not). Weapons help a lot but do not solve the problem alone.

It is very similar to bargaining at a flea market with the possibility of violence.

Anything to add?

After years of being in the survival world, talking with other preppers and writing my articles I found out that a great number of people  think something like “I cannot wait to go to trade when SHTF!“

In reality, one of the points of careful preparing is to delay the moment when you need to go out and trade as long as you can.

Why?

Because you’re gonna need time to scan what is going on and who is who in the new collapsed world. You need to gather information about who is good and who is not, who is trusted and who is a scammer, what area is safe

If you need to go out on the 10th day in order to trade something maybe you are doing something wrong?

 

 

 

More from Selco 

More information about Selco

Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution.

In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today.

He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations like Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months.

Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.

Read more of Selco’s articles here: https://shtfschool.com/blog/

And take advantage of a deep and profound insight into his knowledge and advice by signing up for the outstanding and unrivaled online course. More details here: https://shtfschool.com/survival-boot-camp/

Daisy Luther

About the Author

Daisy Luther

Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, leaving all links intact, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio. Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. Daisy is the publisher of The Cheapskate’s Guide to the Galaxy, a monthly frugality newsletter, and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. She is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find Daisy onFacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

Core Goals Standing the Test of Time!

Click here to view the original post.

Core Goals Standing the Test of Time!

Core Goals Standing the Test of Time.
Host: James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio player below!

What has I AM Liberty become? Over these 6 years the show has gone from a strange learning experiment to a tactical and targeted effort to affect the nation the best way the host sees fit. As I write this I wonder if this show is just a vehicle for my own expression and will it change as much as I do over the years?

Continue reading Core Goals Standing the Test of Time! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Send A Fast And Effective SOS: 2 Simple DIY Techniques

Click here to view the original post.

Some of you are surely thinking, “Cache is writing about kites … he’s lost it for sure this time!”

But don’t give up reading because you might miss some lifesaving tricks.  There are environments where traditional ‘last mile’ signal devices are less-effective.

Briefly:

  • Traditional ‘last mile’ signals can be impossible to see through a forest canopy or in a small watercraft in rough seas.
  • Kites are easy to make from supplies you probably have in your survival kit.
  • MRE heaters are a source of hydrogen gas and can be used to turn a lightweight bivvy sack into a signal balloon.

Disclaimer – Like many survival projects, this one can be dangerous. Specifically, it involves pointy objects, MRE heaters (scalding hot water) and hydrogen gas, which is both caustic and explosive. So, if you decide to construct the balloon, please use sound judgement and keep it away from any sources of flame. So, sorry … no smoking. And do not mix the hot-air and hydrogen balloon designs or you may pay dearly for the oversight.

Jungle, Tropical and Coastal Rainforest Environments

On my last trip to Brazil, I noticed that many traditional “last mile” visual signaling devices, such as signal mirrors, would not have worked well under the jungle canopy even if you climbed a tree or managed to find a clearing. Climbing a hill would be about your only shot with a mirror, but there are multiple problems with that.

First, you cannot see hills and mountains easily in dense jungle, so you do not know if you are walking up a hill or a mountain. Second, traveling uphill contravenes traditional survival wisdom unless you have a working radio.

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

Lastly, even if you are successful, unless you are signaling to aircraft or someone who is somehow not underneath the canopy, nobody will be able to see your signals!

Maritime Environment

Last spring, I had the privilege of interviewing Jose Salvador Alvarenga, who survived adrift at sea for an incredible 428 days. Salvador drifted from the west coast of Mexico to the Marshall Islands, North of Australia.

During his drift, he saw many container ships as he drifted through shipping lanes, but with only a mirror, he could not attract their attention. On one maddening occasion, be was close enough to see them fishing off the back of the container vessel and he tried to get their attention, but they just waved, kept on fishing and motored right on by.

Visual signals do not work well in rough seas where rafts and small boats that lack a tall mast or superstructures are only momentarily visible as they crest a wave and then disappear back into a trough.

Another issue with craft that are low to the water is that the distance at which they fall below the horizon is much shorter than it would be for a taller craft.

In a maritime environment, a kite or balloon flying high above your raft could be seen at far greater distances, which is a key advantage when you are trying to be found and communicate that you are in distress in the vast expanse of the ocean.

In any case, when lost at sea, constructing a radar reflector and getting it up as high as you can is time and resources well spent since so many vessels have radar. If you do not have a radar reflector, one can be constructed by creating three slotted, Mylar-covered wire or cardboard frames, one for each dimension, and assembling them to radiate from a central point along each axis.

Kites

A kite flown in the middle of the nowhere is going to create the same curiosity factor as a balloon and one that is signal orange is immediately identifiable as a distress signal. Write SOS on it in large, contrasting letters and your message will be clear.

About all you could do from here is to add some retroreflective or IR-reflective tape to it or a small strobe such as an APALS. Just keep in mind that a wet string could conduct electricity from a lightening strike. All you need is a breeze and someone to see the kite and you are in business.

A kite can be flow for many hours and is reusable and field-repairable.

How to Build a Kite

Building a kite is easy.

  • Form a lower-case letter ‘t’ with two lightweight sticks or similar suitable material. The central stick or spine should be 1/5th longer than the crossmember. Lash them together securely in the ‘t’-shape.
  • Run cordage between the members to create the characteristic ‘diamond’ shape of a kite, notching the ends of the sticks so the thread stays put.
  • Lay the kite shape on a signal orange emergency blanket and draw a diamond shape a couple inches larger than the kite in each direction.
  • Fold the sides around the frame and secure them with 100 MPH tape so that the blanket is taught on the frame.
  • Attach a line to the intersection of the two sticks. Poke a small hole in the material and pass the line through the hole. The line should match the length of the crossmember. Run thread from the top and both sides of the ‘t’ to the tip of that string. This point is where the line will be attached.
  • Cut a strip of fabric or Mylar for the tail that is 6x that length of the spine. Feed the tail between the fabric and spine at the bottom of the kite and tie it at the mid-point forming a double tail. If all you have is Mylar and the tail is too light, add length and tie bows in it to create more drag.
  • Write ‘SOS’ on the kite is bold, block letters.
  • Attach the line.

Supplies Useful for Building a Kite – I am going to stick to supplies carried in survival kits or which can likely be procured from the environment.

Signal Orange Emergency Blanket – I prefer to carry aluminized polyethylene emergency blankets because Mylar is noisier and more fragile, but this is an application where Mylar may be superior since it is extremely light weight. If you do not have an emergency blanket, a lightweight trash bag or emergency poncho would probably also work.

Two Lightweight Sticks – To form the frame of the kite.

Kevlar Thread, 60-80 Lbs Test – This will be used to tie the kite to the framework and as a kite line. I carry Olive Kevlar thread in this test range because is so multiuse, but an inner nylon strand of para cord would work as well. Unfortunately, a long length of para cord takes up more space than survivalists are willing to commit to pocket survival kit, so you may have to tie multiple inner stands together if para cord is what you prefer to carry.

Sharpie Mini – A sharpie mini is small, but can draw large block letters with little effort and the felt tip is easier on the paper-thin material the kite is made of.

Knife or Scissors – To cut the fabric, string, sticks and tail and notch the sticks.

100 MPH Tape – To secure the fabric to itself when stretched tight across the frame.

Balloons

Unless you are in a part of the world that floats balloons in the middle of nowhere, balloons can be effective signals. Sure, they are not effective in windy weather, but kites are as long as the wind is not blowing too hard and anything out of the ordinary draws curiosity … especially out in the middle of nowhere.

I have stumbled upon a couple of crashed balloons in my adventures. They turned out to have been lifted by school kids, but even on the ground, on both occasions, the reflective Mylar caught my eye and made me curious enough to hike out to them and send the tags back to the kids.

I imagine they were surprised

Surface-to-Air Recovery System (STARS) and Skyhook

Balloons and the military have a long and storied history. From artillery observation balloons to signaling balloons to surface-to-air recovery systems.

One of my mentors in survival was Lt. Colonel Charles ‘Chuck’ Jurgensen who served with 1st SFOD Delta (Delta Force). I imagine he was also a CIA operative, judging by where he was and details of some of the many war stories he related to me over the years, but he never suggested that he worked for the CIA.

The man operated in some far-flung parts of the world and did some crazy things and one of them was using a surface to air recovery system.

The system was called the Fulton Surface-To-Air Recovery System (STARS) in development and named Skyhook once it was ready for operational use and sounds like something right out of a James Bond film. In fact, Skyhook was featured in Thunderball, The Green Berets and Black Knight.

A rescue package is air dropped to the operator, who dons a harness and sends a line up into the air on a helium balloon. Then a specially-outfitted C-130 with a V-shaped yoke on the font of the plane, snags the line which is anchored to the plane and fed into to a winch.

The cargo, in case Chuck, attached to the line, is yanked up into the air and reeled into the back of the aircraft as it flies over. It takes 5-6 minutes to reel you in as you are dragged through the air behind the plane at 125mph. Chuck said it was a wild ride.

Well, his actual words were more along the lines of, “You couldn’t have driven a toothpick up my @$$ with a sledge hammer!”

Commercial Products

BCB – I have seen a couple of commercial signaling balloons over the years. One is the commercially-available BCB product called the Location Marker Balloon (LMB). The LMB was designed for military operations in jungle terrain and weighs less than 2 pounds, which seems heavy for a balloon, but that is military gear for you.

This may be hard for some of my younger readers to appreciate, but it is nice to have signal devices that do not rely on batteries. The balloon is over a meter across and is radar reflective. It is inflated with an included helium cylinder and can carry chemical light sticks, of which two are included.

The LMB can be seen from 10 miles, and is visible at night if IR chemlights and night vision goggles are used. Since it floats above the jungle canopy, it should not be visible to enemy ground forces without the aid of air support. The balloon can also lift a radio antenna of up to 80 grams above the canopy.

Rescue Me Balloon – It appears a company is trying to bring a product to market that incorporates a signal strobe called the Rescue Me Balloon, but I see that crowdfunding attempts have not been successful yet. Perhaps they will be for sale in the future.

Field Expedient Signal Balloons

When I was a kid, I built a balloon out of a paper plate, some birthday candles, pins, string and tape.

Even though I launched in Arizona, where it can be difficult to get lift with only hot air, it gained altitude to about double the height of the power lines and made a little over half a block distance before it crashed into a power line, caught fire and fell into a neighbor’s yard … not necessarily in that order.

While the design we affectionately named the ‘Hindenburg’ was not a success on all accounts, it definitely attracted some attention, which is the point of signaling. You could build this design if that is all you had materials for, but I am going to test another design that will hopefully be more reusable and stay aloft a lot longer.

I intend to use materials I carry in my survival kit, like the kite design, so I’ll see if I can’t fill an orange bivvy sack with hydrogen gas. To generate the hydrogen, I’ll use MRE heaters.

If I can manage to capture the hydrogen without capturing too much water vapor, it should float, but we’ll see. In theory, it should work because a single MRE heater can put out up to 10 liters of hydrogen. I have never heard of anyone attempting this, but I would like to put it to the test.

Survival is the king of all DIY pursuits so there is only one way to find out.

Signal balloons should be tethered so they can indicate your location. An improvised balloon may not indicate your location for a long time, but many solutions to survival problems are less than ideal, but still end up getting the job done.

Survival Kit Supplies Useful for Building an Improvised Signal Balloon

Signal Orange Bivvy Sack

Candles – Heat source. Some folks carry ‘trick’ wind-resistant birthday candles in survival kits. I carry small candles that are only slightly larger than birthday candles and made of beeswax, which has many survival-related uses.

I also carry a multi-wick candle in a tin in cold weather, which I will use to heat the air inside the bag before launch. This way, the smaller candles only need to keep the air hot. I will experiment with heating the air and reusing the balloon versus sending up a heat source.

Aluminum Sheeting– Aluminum foil will serve as a lightweight basket to carry the candles which will be our heat source. I carry thick aluminum sheeting to fold into a pot, use as a reflector and many other uses, but will use heavy duty aluminum foil here since it is cheaper and lighter.

Leader Wire – A loop of thin wire or light grass may be useful to hold the wall of the balloon away from the heat source. I carry 60 Lbs test, 7-strand, stainless steel, knot-able, coated leader wire, but any lightweight wire that can hold a shape would work.

Kevlar Thread, 60-80 Lbs Test – This will be used as a guy line to guide the balloon past branches and suspend the basket from the balloon.

Sharpie Mini – As noted under kites.

100 MPH Tape – 100 MPH tape will attach threads to the balloon to suspend the basket.

Paper – Include a note on water-resistant paper and include the date, your position, name and contact information. Balloons are typically a one-shot deal and sometimes are not found for a long time, so you would not want to trigger a search long after you have been found or recovered yourself on your own if the guy line breaks or gets burned through.

MRE Heaters – Helium is not the only lighter than air gas out there and since MRE heaters produce hydrogen gas and I carry one in my survival kit for a number of reasons, I will see how many I would need to float a balloon.

Surgical Tubing – As predicted, not only was steam was a problem, but so was the heat generated by the MRE Heaters, so I had to capture the hydrogen in a drum liner attached to the bivvy with surgical tubing, which I pinched off until the contents of the trash bag was sufficiently cool that the water vapor condensed back into water, after which, I un-pinched the tubing and transferred the gas.

I used Aluminum foil to protect the drum liner from the MRE heaters and to introduce the water to the MRE heaters without any gas escaping, I sealed an MRE hot beverage bag inside the drum liner and introduced the water after evacuating the air and sealing everything up tight!

I carry surgical tubing to access water in crevices, attach it to my pen to make a bellows tube so I don’t inhale smoke when stoking my fire, to propel my fling spear, to drive otter boards, as a backup tourniquet, pressure dressing and many other uses.

Drum Liner – See above. Common survival kit item with near-unlimited uses.

MRE Hot Beverage Bag – See above. I modify MRE hot beverage bags with 100 MPH tape and grommets and use them for treating water by various methods, carrying water, as waterproof wound dressings, floats, bobbers, hot water bottles and much more.

Aluminum Foil – See above or and in the section on kites.

 

Send A Fast And Effective SOS: 2 Simple DIY Techniques

Some of you are surely thinking, “Cache is writing about kites … he’s lost it for sure this time!”

But don’t give up reading because you might miss some lifesaving tricks.  There are environments where traditional ‘last mile’ signal devices are less-effective.

Briefly:

  • Traditional ‘last mile’ signals can be impossible to see through a forest canopy or in a small watercraft in rough seas.
  • Kites are easy to make from supplies you probably have in your survival kit.
  • MRE heaters are a source of hydrogen gas and can be used to turn a lightweight bivvy sack into a signal balloon.

Disclaimer – Like many survival projects, this one can be dangerous. Specifically, it involves pointy objects, MRE heaters (scalding hot water) and hydrogen gas, which is both caustic and explosive. So, if you decide to construct the balloon, please use sound judgement and keep it away from any sources of flame. So, sorry … no smoking. And do not mix the hot-air and hydrogen balloon designs or you may pay dearly for the oversight.

Jungle, Tropical and Coastal Rainforest Environments

On my last trip to Brazil, I noticed that many traditional “last mile” visual signaling devices, such as signal mirrors, would not have worked well under the jungle canopy even if you climbed a tree or managed to find a clearing. Climbing a hill would be about your only shot with a mirror, but there are multiple problems with that.

First, you cannot see hills and mountains easily in dense jungle, so you do not know if you are walking up a hill or a mountain. Second, traveling uphill contravenes traditional survival wisdom unless you have a working radio.

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

Lastly, even if you are successful, unless you are signaling to aircraft or someone who is somehow not underneath the canopy, nobody will be able to see your signals!

Maritime Environment

Last spring, I had the privilege of interviewing Jose Salvador Alvarenga, who survived adrift at sea for an incredible 428 days. Salvador drifted from the west coast of Mexico to the Marshall Islands, North of Australia.

During his drift, he saw many container ships as he drifted through shipping lanes, but with only a mirror, he could not attract their attention. On one maddening occasion, be was close enough to see them fishing off the back of the container vessel and he tried to get their attention, but they just waved, kept on fishing and motored right on by.

Visual signals do not work well in rough seas where rafts and small boats that lack a tall mast or superstructures are only momentarily visible as they crest a wave and then disappear back into a trough.

Another issue with craft that are low to the water is that the distance at which they fall below the horizon is much shorter than it would be for a taller craft.

In a maritime environment, a kite or balloon flying high above your raft could be seen at far greater distances, which is a key advantage when you are trying to be found and communicate that you are in distress in the vast expanse of the ocean.

In any case, when lost at sea, constructing a radar reflector and getting it up as high as you can is time and resources well spent since so many vessels have radar. If you do not have a radar reflector, one can be constructed by creating three slotted, Mylar-covered wire or cardboard frames, one for each dimension, and assembling them to radiate from a central point along each axis.

Kites

A kite flown in the middle of the nowhere is going to create the same curiosity factor as a balloon and one that is signal orange is immediately identifiable as a distress signal. Write SOS on it in large, contrasting letters and your message will be clear.

About all you could do from here is to add some retroreflective or IR-reflective tape to it or a small strobe such as an APALS. Just keep in mind that a wet string could conduct electricity from a lightening strike. All you need is a breeze and someone to see the kite and you are in business.

A kite can be flow for many hours and is reusable and field-repairable.

How to Build a Kite

Building a kite is easy.

  • Form a lower-case letter ‘t’ with two lightweight sticks or similar suitable material. The central stick or spine should be 1/5th longer than the crossmember. Lash them together securely in the ‘t’-shape.
  • Run cordage between the members to create the characteristic ‘diamond’ shape of a kite, notching the ends of the sticks so the thread stays put.
  • Lay the kite shape on a signal orange emergency blanket and draw a diamond shape a couple inches larger than the kite in each direction.
  • Fold the sides around the frame and secure them with 100 MPH tape so that the blanket is taught on the frame.
  • Attach a line to the intersection of the two sticks. Poke a small hole in the material and pass the line through the hole. The line should match the length of the crossmember. Run thread from the top and both sides of the ‘t’ to the tip of that string. This point is where the line will be attached.
  • Cut a strip of fabric or Mylar for the tail that is 6x that length of the spine. Feed the tail between the fabric and spine at the bottom of the kite and tie it at the mid-point forming a double tail. If all you have is Mylar and the tail is too light, add length and tie bows in it to create more drag.
  • Write ‘SOS’ on the kite is bold, block letters.
  • Attach the line.

Supplies Useful for Building a Kite – I am going to stick to supplies carried in survival kits or which can likely be procured from the environment.

Signal Orange Emergency Blanket – I prefer to carry aluminized polyethylene emergency blankets because Mylar is noisier and more fragile, but this is an application where Mylar may be superior since it is extremely light weight. If you do not have an emergency blanket, a lightweight trash bag or emergency poncho would probably also work.

Two Lightweight Sticks – To form the frame of the kite.

Kevlar Thread, 60-80 Lbs Test – This will be used to tie the kite to the framework and as a kite line. I carry Olive Kevlar thread in this test range because is so multiuse, but an inner nylon strand of para cord would work as well. Unfortunately, a long length of para cord takes up more space than survivalists are willing to commit to pocket survival kit, so you may have to tie multiple inner stands together if para cord is what you prefer to carry.

Sharpie Mini – A sharpie mini is small, but can draw large block letters with little effort and the felt tip is easier on the paper-thin material the kite is made of.

Knife or Scissors – To cut the fabric, string, sticks and tail and notch the sticks.

100 MPH Tape – To secure the fabric to itself when stretched tight across the frame.

Balloons

Unless you are in a part of the world that floats balloons in the middle of nowhere, balloons can be effective signals. Sure, they are not effective in windy weather, but kites are as long as the wind is not blowing too hard and anything out of the ordinary draws curiosity … especially out in the middle of nowhere.

I have stumbled upon a couple of crashed balloons in my adventures. They turned out to have been lifted by school kids, but even on the ground, on both occasions, the reflective Mylar caught my eye and made me curious enough to hike out to them and send the tags back to the kids.

I imagine they were surprised

Surface-to-Air Recovery System (STARS) and Skyhook

Balloons and the military have a long and storied history. From artillery observation balloons to signaling balloons to surface-to-air recovery systems.

One of my mentors in survival was Lt. Colonel Charles ‘Chuck’ Jurgensen who served with 1st SFOD Delta (Delta Force). I imagine he was also a CIA operative, judging by where he was and details of some of the many war stories he related to me over the years, but he never suggested that he worked for the CIA.

The man operated in some far-flung parts of the world and did some crazy things and one of them was using a surface to air recovery system.

The system was called the Fulton Surface-To-Air Recovery System (STARS) in development and named Skyhook once it was ready for operational use and sounds like something right out of a James Bond film. In fact, Skyhook was featured in Thunderball, The Green Berets and Black Knight.

A rescue package is air dropped to the operator, who dons a harness and sends a line up into the air on a helium balloon. Then a specially-outfitted C-130 with a V-shaped yoke on the font of the plane, snags the line which is anchored to the plane and fed into to a winch.

The cargo, in case Chuck, attached to the line, is yanked up into the air and reeled into the back of the aircraft as it flies over. It takes 5-6 minutes to reel you in as you are dragged through the air behind the plane at 125mph. Chuck said it was a wild ride.

Well, his actual words were more along the lines of, “You couldn’t have driven a toothpick up my @$$ with a sledge hammer!”

Commercial Products

BCB – I have seen a couple of commercial signaling balloons over the years. One is the commercially-available BCB product called the Location Marker Balloon (LMB). The LMB was designed for military operations in jungle terrain and weighs less than 2 pounds, which seems heavy for a balloon, but that is military gear for you.

This may be hard for some of my younger readers to appreciate, but it is nice to have signal devices that do not rely on batteries. The balloon is over a meter across and is radar reflective. It is inflated with an included helium cylinder and can carry chemical light sticks, of which two are included.

The LMB can be seen from 10 miles, and is visible at night if IR chemlights and night vision goggles are used. Since it floats above the jungle canopy, it should not be visible to enemy ground forces without the aid of air support. The balloon can also lift a radio antenna of up to 80 grams above the canopy.

Rescue Me Balloon – It appears a company is trying to bring a product to market that incorporates a signal strobe called the Rescue Me Balloon, but I see that crowdfunding attempts have not been successful yet. Perhaps they will be for sale in the future.

Field Expedient Signal Balloons

When I was a kid, I built a balloon out of a paper plate, some birthday candles, pins, string and tape.

Even though I launched in Arizona, where it can be difficult to get lift with only hot air, it gained altitude to about double the height of the power lines and made a little over half a block distance before it crashed into a power line, caught fire and fell into a neighbor’s yard … not necessarily in that order.

While the design we affectionately named the ‘Hindenburg’ was not a success on all accounts, it definitely attracted some attention, which is the point of signaling. You could build this design if that is all you had materials for, but I am going to test another design that will hopefully be more reusable and stay aloft a lot longer.

I intend to use materials I carry in my survival kit, like the kite design, so I’ll see if I can’t fill an orange bivvy sack with hydrogen gas. To generate the hydrogen, I’ll use MRE heaters.

If I can manage to capture the hydrogen without capturing too much water vapor, it should float, but we’ll see. In theory, it should work because a single MRE heater can put out up to 10 liters of hydrogen. I have never heard of anyone attempting this, but I would like to put it to the test.

Survival is the king of all DIY pursuits so there is only one way to find out.

Signal balloons should be tethered so they can indicate your location. An improvised balloon may not indicate your location for a long time, but many solutions to survival problems are less than ideal, but still end up getting the job done.

Survival Kit Supplies Useful for Building an Improvised Signal Balloon

Signal Orange Bivvy Sack

Candles – Heat source. Some folks carry ‘trick’ wind-resistant birthday candles in survival kits. I carry small candles that are only slightly larger than birthday candles and made of beeswax, which has many survival-related uses.

I also carry a multi-wick candle in a tin in cold weather, which I will use to heat the air inside the bag before launch. This way, the smaller candles only need to keep the air hot. I will experiment with heating the air and reusing the balloon versus sending up a heat source.

Aluminum Sheeting– Aluminum foil will serve as a lightweight basket to carry the candles which will be our heat source. I carry thick aluminum sheeting to fold into a pot, use as a reflector and many other uses, but will use heavy duty aluminum foil here since it is cheaper and lighter.

Leader Wire – A loop of thin wire or light grass may be useful to hold the wall of the balloon away from the heat source. I carry 60 Lbs test, 7-strand, stainless steel, knot-able, coated leader wire, but any lightweight wire that can hold a shape would work.

Kevlar Thread, 60-80 Lbs Test – This will be used as a guy line to guide the balloon past branches and suspend the basket from the balloon.

Sharpie Mini – As noted under kites.

100 MPH Tape – 100 MPH tape will attach threads to the balloon to suspend the basket.

Paper – Include a note on water-resistant paper and include the date, your position, name and contact information. Balloons are typically a one-shot deal and sometimes are not found for a long time, so you would not want to trigger a search long after you have been found or recovered yourself on your own if the guy line breaks or gets burned through.

MRE Heaters – Helium is not the only lighter than air gas out there and since MRE heaters produce hydrogen gas and I carry one in my survival kit for a number of reasons, I will see how many I would need to float a balloon.

Surgical Tubing – As predicted, not only was steam was a problem, but so was the heat generated by the MRE Heaters, so I had to capture the hydrogen in a drum liner attached to the bivvy with surgical tubing, which I pinched off until the contents of the trash bag was sufficiently cool that the water vapor condensed back into water, after which, I un-pinched the tubing and transferred the gas.

I used Aluminum foil to protect the drum liner from the MRE heaters and to introduce the water to the MRE heaters without any gas escaping, I sealed an MRE hot beverage bag inside the drum liner and introduced the water after evacuating the air and sealing everything up tight!

I carry surgical tubing to access water in crevices, attach it to my pen to make a bellows tube so I don’t inhale smoke when stoking my fire, to propel my fling spear, to drive otter boards, as a backup tourniquet, pressure dressing and many other uses.

Drum Liner – See above. Common survival kit item with near-unlimited uses.

MRE Hot Beverage Bag – See above. I modify MRE hot beverage bags with 100 MPH tape and grommets and use them for treating water by various methods, carrying water, as waterproof wound dressings, floats, bobbers, hot water bottles and much more.

Aluminum Foil – See above or and in the section on kites.

 

7 Terrifying Realities Of Long-Term Blackouts (That You’ve Probably Never Considered)

Click here to view the original post.

Before we get into our list, lets first describe exactly what is meant by a long-term blackout. Ready.gov does not characterize power outages by short and long term. They merely

The post 7 Terrifying Realities Of Long-Term Blackouts (That You’ve Probably Never Considered) appeared first on Ask a Prepper.

Using Row Covers To Protect The Garden From Pests And Frost

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If you have struggled with frost and pests in the garden, then row covers might just be the answer! Row covers are a quick, easy, and a fairly inexpensive solution to protecting vegetables from pests, frost and disease. For us,

The post Using Row Covers To Protect The Garden From Pests And Frost appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Meeting folks

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The local two-year college here (what we used to politely call a vo-tech back in the day) has a class on building ‘sustainable’ housing and other greenie nonsense. One of their projects was building tool shed tiny house as a project and then auctioning it off. Here’s the link to the failed auction. And heres a link the school’s attempt to pimp it. So the thing is sitting on a trailer in the parking lot of the school, and since I have never really gotten a close look at on of these things, I hopped up on the trailer and started looking through the glass in the door. After a few minutes a guy came by and and started looking as well.

He said he was curious too, and we got to chatting. He was saying how it would be a nice place to drop out in the hills somewhere because it would ‘not be easily noticed’. Hmmmm. Okay, the survivalist version of gaydar starts tracking….We start talking about the the relative size of the place and I comment that by staying below a certain square footage, it falls below the threshold at which the local zoning nazis start throwing their weight around. And he says, “Yeah, its kinda like the 80% lower of houses.”

Radar lock.

And then the conversation turns a few degrees in the preparedness direction and the next thing you know we’re chatting about all the fun ways to put this thing on top of a buried cargo container and blah, bah, blah.

And that’s how it happens. No secret handshakes, no hanky code, no mumbled sacred phrases, no subtle hand signals…. just shooting the breeze, tossing out a casual comment, and seeing what the response is.

Or maybe he just noticed the pop can thermos in my hand that said “Cmdr. 0” on it. (In my defense, someone gave me that…it’s not the sorta thing I’d have done on my own.)

By the way, the school seems to think that someone would have bid $30 grand for that gussied up tool shed. You could stuff it with hookers and cocaine and it still wouldn’t be worth thirty large. I’d give you five grand and you can keep the trailer. For thirty grand you couuld probably build a real cabin where you’re not crapping in composting toilet like some sort of overgrown tabby squatting in a litter box.

Kim Jong Woops: North Korea Accidentally Hit Their OWN CITY With A Missile

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Kim Jong Woops: North Korea Accidentally Hit Their OWN CITY With A Missile Just another sad day for the people of North Korea. We are so far removed from living under a despot like this that its tough to even understand what an existence is like in North Korea. You live to appease the state. …

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Practical Preparedness: Sanity Savers

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

Sanity is important. Really. It’s easy to think that in a disaster we’ll just make do because we won’t have any choice. That’s adding a lot of stress to our bodies and minds in an already stressful situation.

People die and are brutalized as a result of today’s stresses, and various reactions to them. We are not all going to be immune should something occur – income loss, natural disaster, or nation-altering event. However, we can make some sanity-saving preparations to ease those stresses rather than increase them.

Curtains

We’re used to a great deal of privacy in most Western cultures. It’s no longer the norm to have 3+ generations in a single household. It’s no longer the norm to have even a nuclear family live without separate bedrooms and usually at least one family room to choose from and “get away”.

People make it through boomerang children and sudden house sharing. Flip side: Consider how many conflicts (and separations) occur when folks retire. Sometimes, two people are “suddenly” exposed to each other 24/7/365 and discover they actually only liked each other in small doses.

When we share tighter spaces, or share with more people than usual, conflicts tend to arise. Being able to retain even a minor visual escape from fidgets and from annoyances can be huge.

Cubbies can be arranged for tiny reading nooks, as well as to create smaller rooms or block off a bunk to provide some escape space. All we need to maintain some privacy and individual space are some sheets or fabric, and some screws, screw-in hooks, or some heavy-duty staples. You might also want to snag something like garden mesh or tulle that can be doubled up to provide a visual barrier but not block as much airflow.

Ear Plugs

As with getting out of sight, getting away from sounds can be enormously sanity saving. I prefer the Rite Aid-brand of soft orange foamies ($5-$8/50). They fit a variety of canals, fluff out fast, aren’t scratchy, and you can sleep on your side. They can also be used in conjunction with over-the-ear and around-the-ear headsets, which can further reduce the intrusion of outside noises.

Music & Headsets

Many of us like music, but don’t want to hear somebody learning to play the harmonica and singing may require those earplugs. Within my family, various infidels think Skillet is a pan, Pitbull is a breed, Celtic Woman is plural, FFDP=5FDP, and it’s normal to howl to country music. There’s audio torture in there for pretty much everybody.

Happily, we have options that will allow us to all dance to the beat of our own drummers.

There are umpteen music and video download services for smart phone or tablet. MP3 players have become wicked inexpensive. Phones are media storage devices, giving those old electronics we replace frequently new life. Terabyte external hard drives not much bigger than a wallet run $10-$20. They all fit compactly in Ziploc and EMP boxes and shields http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/default.aspx?catid=1006.

Even more happily, there are these handy things called “headsets”. This is different from earbuds. Headsets go over your ears or fit all the way around the ear, sealing off even more of the outside world. Plus, you can wear earplugs with a headset.

You’ll want to make sure you’re also stocking multiple power options. There are rocket stoves that can produce electricity. Small solar chargers are inexpensive. Some are barely bigger than an old flip phone, some are the size of smart phones and tablets, and some that are still in the $20-$50 range take up the space of a laptop – some of which expand to 2-3x times that for collection. Most will handle cell phones and mp3 players easily.

Cough Drops & Syrup

It may seem ridiculous, but somebody repeatedly hacking really will get on others’ nerves. It can also be disruptive to sleep – theirs and others’. Sleep deprivation is one of those things that generates emotional outbursts and bad decisions. It’s an easy fix.

Books, Games & Entertainment

Don’t ignore entertainments just because you think you’ll be working and then sleeping, and won’t need light or distractions. We watched and listened to stories and played sports and games even during pretty tough, lean periods of history.

There are compact card versions of a lot of board games, quickie fun like Man Bites Dog, and games like Qwixx that can cross purpose into Farkle, Yahtzee, and other dice games with some pre-printed instructions. We can create holiday, seasonal, and educational versions of Pictionary, Last Word, BINGO, and Scattergories. (Budget extender: home-print prompts and draw for letters instead of buying the game/alphabet die.) Notebook-sized dry erase boards provide reusable playing and scorekeeping.

Books run the gamut from the usual suspects (crosswords, Sudoku, search-a-word, “Brain Busters”) to fiction in line with family’s TV or gaming interests. Large-print versions will be easier to read in dim light. Some of the free papers in front of supermarkets have a puzzle page (don’t forget to snag the next addition for answers, and pencils).

There’s nothing wrong with adding books to our electronic media, but have some hardcopies.

Places like Oriental Trading Co. can be great for nabbing tiny jigsaw puzzles, finger-fidgets, all kinds of crafts, brain teasers, small activities, dominos, and bead mazes, for less than $5-$10 per lot of 4-24. Watch for their free shipping with no purchase limit specials ahead of holidays.

You can have jigsaw puzzles made out of favorite photos, or print your own. A dozen with their pictures fit in a shirt box. Some Nerf or airsoft guns and home-printed targets can make for an all-ages pirate or zombie party. Indoor bowling sets, non-pokey dartboards, mini indoor basketball goals, homemade bean-bag tosses, and similar are all ways to keep boredom and stress from boiling over even if we’re not trapped by weather or in a bunker/compound situation.

If there are adults and adolescents, don’t forget the condoms. Especially if you don’t plan for other entertainments.

Vices

For some, books, games, movies, music, and the internet are vices. For others, it’s nicotine or booze, chocolate or caffeine, popcorn or chips. Some people are pretty well addicted to their sports, watching or playing. Socializing and shopping will be a hard loss for others.

Loss leads to stress, and we’re already looking at stressful situations. We can either add to losses, or mitigate some. People “Jonesing is only going to further stress them and those around them.

Vices can absolutely be poor choices, especially in contained spaces. Still, weigh them out. Some aren’t so bad. Many addiction vices can be stocked for an initial transition period. Other types can be stocked to be a once-in-a-while treat or easily, inexpensively indulged.

Cool-Downs

Heat can be the straw that breaks a camel’s back. Heat can also cause actual medical stress, so combating it checks extra boxes.

One easy, fairly inexpensive helper are battery-operated fans. Some of them are tiny little AA and AAA mini’s we clip to strollers and dashboards. Box fans come in 6”-10” and 12”-20” ranges, running off 4-8 AA or 1-4 C or D batteries. Many can now be charged directly via USB.

Some of them generate a fair bit of breeze, which can help tremendously with perceived temperature. Even the less-effective ones can help a little. You can increase effectiveness by sticking something cool or cold in front of them, like a frozen water bottle, wet sponge, or one of those crack-cool ice packs (especially wrapped in a damp cloth).

Dunk-snap bandanas and soak-activated neck coolers (those start to get slimy after multiple uses) can also help significantly.

Exercise

The loss of friends and family, the loss of purpose after losing a job or retiring, loss of social outlets, and injuries already cause people to spiral into depression. It’s a common problem as-is, and is fairly guaranteed to increase if our worlds are ripped away. Anything that can fight it will be a big help – exercise is one of those things.

Exercise also helps with stress. It’s going to be a necessary outlet for active folks who are suddenly “trapped”. It allows some to release some of their frustrations – some, not everyone. It can also ease anxiety.

Physical therapy and senior citizen exercises can be helpful even for young, healthy bodies. We can leave mat space for calisthenics and Pilates, have chairs sturdy enough for exercise props, and stock resistance bands. There’s also the option of sticking a bike on a rack – which has the advantages of potentially being connected to a grinder, a laundry machine, or a generator. Hand bikes, rowers, or reclining bikes have their own advantages.

I personally wouldn’t install a boxing bag or treadmill somewhere everybody has to hear it getting pounded, since that’s only going to create more conflict and frustration.

Dealing with Conflicts

Anytime you increase stress, problems are going to start showing up. It’s not like preexisting issues go away, either. Especially in situations where you’re doubling-up in homes, living in RV or camping conditions, or in a bunker-barracks scenario, conflicts are going to arise.

Study, train, and stock material related to anger management, stress, grief processing, PTSD, forgiveness, passive-aggressive tendencies, abuse/assault, compromise, divorce, loss specifically related to parents and kids and miscarriages, for-real conflict resolution, and both assertiveness and sensitivity training. Get training on listening – specifically listening to family members – for as many as can attend.

We see divorces, PTSD, business partnership dissolutions, and family meltdowns every day. Thinking that high-stress will only bring our people closer, not crack some and create fissures, is delusional.

 

Sensitivities

Sensory Processing/ Perception Disorder can manifest in a range of ways. Some “feel” and “see” certain sounds – sometimes like corduroy rubbing in the ear, or that awful sensation of a pencil eraser’s metal scraping paper and desk. I don’t actually recognize background noises – clocks ticking, ceiling fans whirring, dogs panting, conversations behind a door, and rubbing of a callous are as prominent to me as face-to-face words. It has advantages and frustrations.

Other common and regularly undiagnosed sensitivities include misophonia (triggered by picking at nails, whistling breath, chewing, sucking on teeth, flicking and tapping pencils, thumbing pages of books) and misokenisia (many of the same, plus twiddling thumbs, jerking feet, bouncing knees, etc., especially when the repetitive motion is at the verge of peripheral vision).

It’s not just “get over it” territory or being appalled by bad table manners and fidgets. The mis-wired brain triggers extreme flight-fight reactions. It can make sufferers want to cry, scream, or stab someone. People have grit their teeth so hard they crack fillings, and dug nails so hard into their own thighs and earlobes that they draw blood.

Providing escapes and being cognizant of bad habits, sensitivities to bad habits, and finding resolutions is going to be important. Especially since being trapped for a long winter already causes people to go postal (hello, cabin fever) and so many people have weapons handy.

Other sensitivities to note now, especially for tight, closed quarters, are things like somebody wheezing from Vick’s or Aspercreme, somebody sneezing and sniffling until aerosol deodorizers dissipate (and that person not covering their mouth/nose properly), regular detergents making somebody itch, improper hand washing (“Gross!” & “Don’t touch food/dishes!” tiffs), and the smell of certain cleaners turning somebody’s stomach. There’s usually a work-around.

Anytime there’s nowhere to flee – trapped together by a hurricane or frigid weather, or in a bunker-type situation – the reaction to stressors is going to be to fight.

Pay attention, learn sensitivities ahead of time, and figure out ways to prevent and mitigate them. Distractions and mini-escapes will help tremendously.

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7 Steps To Prepare Your Garden For Spring

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It is that time of year when again we see a gardening opportunity, the old plants are almost dead, but you know that on the bright side new life can begin. To maximize the season, start the project green garden early on. There is more to do than just watering lawn and waiting for things to sprout, if you want the best view of your garden then take the time to try these 7 Steps To Prepare Your Garden For Spring. #1. Choose your site Before going overboard in planning, determine first whether your current garden area really is in

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Money and Control: Why the FDA is Cracking Down on Natural Medicine Supplies

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If you are an avid believer in alternative medicine, you need to be aware of a growing concern. In January, the FDA had a press conference stressing the importance of ‘protecting public health,” and is moving to pass a policy to reduce the “increase in safety concerns, including serious adverse events” resulting from homeopathic products”, the FDA says.

With a record number of people turning to homeopathy, as well as the recent “war on opioids” in the news, the FDA decided to announce new policies on the use of homeopathic drugs.

“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reportedly declared that “virtually all” homeopathic drugs are illegal. Reports that the FDA is cracking down on the use of natural medicines have been circulating for a while. However, in a recently released “guidance document,” the FDA is now quoted as saying that homeopathic drugs are considered “new drugs” that are allegedly being sold illegally. The FDA released its new guidance document last month, and sources in support of the use of homeopathic drugs are still attempting to translate what the FDA is calling a “draft guidance” that’s been released for “comment purposes only.”

Source

“We respect that some individuals want to use alternative treatments, but the FDA has a responsibility to protect the public from products that may not deliver any benefit and have the potential to cause harm,” states the FDA. This more aggressive stance toward homeopathic drugs was done in order to “protect the public from dangerous products.”  Homeopathic products, especially those sold to treat infants and children, those containing ingredients with significant safety concerns (such as belladonna, and those sold for serious conditions such as opioid addiction, heart disease, and cancer) are under the most scrutiny.

Why the FDA Wants to Crack Down on your Holistic Supplies

While the FDA  has long criticized homeopathy for not having enough scientific evidence to support its claim of improving health and for some homeopathic products being dangerous to the public, some wonder if the FDA has ulterior motives and if this is coming into play now for a specific reason.

First, now that Obamacare is no longer mandatory, there is a tremendous backlash from the healthcare industry, the insurance industry, and the pharmaceutical industry. Secondly, prescription drugs are one of the fastest-growing categories of medical costs thanks to lobbyists and bought-and-paid-for politicians and with homeopathy becoming an up and coming market niche in recent years (reaching into the billions of dollars), perhaps the FDA wants to ensure they get a piece of the pie or monopolize and control the market entirely.

Big Pharma Wants Your Business

As a citizenry, we have been living in a drug-dependent culture…prescribed in the light of day by an established medical hierarchy not wanting to lose its “cash cow.”  We’re talking hundreds of billions of dollars here! With more people coming to the realization that these expensive, debilitating, synthesized, FDA-approved pharmaceuticals are in fact the snake oil they’re being warned about, they are opting out and finding more natural medicinal treatments. This means that the FDA and Big Pharma is losing out.

Moreover, Europe is still reeling under the auspices of the “Codex Alimentarius” designed to do the same thing: regulate holistic and herbal supplements into oblivion.  I have written numerous articles on how to come up with kits and supplies to tailor to the individual needs of your family members.  I have also written several articles on antibiotics, and how to find such things from sources that most may not take notice of, such as pet stores and pet supply websites.

As such, it would behoove you to stock up on as much as you need before all of this is signed into laws that restrict you from obtaining what you need. Don’t take the chance of being caught without the essentials.  Get back to your basics and re-read what has been written in the archives if you haven’t printed it out.  Once you read it again and formulate a plan, take action.  When you find out what supplies you need, I recommend going to the Natural Health stores and buying what you can and find out about markdown items.  Another thing you can do is arrange with the owner or manager to give you a discount if you buy a large quantity.  They’ll do it if you use some PR, especially if you’ve been shopping there for a while.

Another thing you may want (and this would probably only be for those of you who have fostered a one-on-one relationship with the proprietor) is get them to special order certain things you wish at cost, just as a favor to you.  Remember: unless you attempt it, it can’t be done.  The worst thing they can say is “no,” and that’s not the end of the world.  So, maybe you don’t need to do this all in one fell swoop, but it may be wise to get a hold of what you need and stock up on it now.  Today’s “talk” of banning something is tomorrow’s ban.  Fight that good fight and fight it smart.  JJ out!

 

Additional Information:

Read the FDA press statement on this issue here

Make Your Own Tinctures

When The Meds Run Out, These are The Natural Alternatives That Could Save Your Life

30 Most Popular Herbs for Natural Medicine

Natural First Aid: 5 Items To Put In Your Emergency Medical Kit Today

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Fighting The Flu and Staying Healthy (Part 2)

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And we are back for the second half of our podcast on fighting the flu. If you haven’t listened to part 1 of fighting the flu and Staying Healthy, we talked about sanitation, hygiene, your diet, and a few other topics. This flu season has been a tough one. The flu this year has caused […]

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