Hatsan Escort AutoDefend 14″ : Great value shotgun!

A good shotgun is a formidable firearm. From birds to hogs, devastating stopping power for defensive use and tons of fun just blasting stuff up with cheap shells no other gun compares to a shotgun’s versatility.

Pump shotguns add to that toughness and reliability, which are highly desirable traits in a gun. They do have an important drawback in my opinion, which is not being semi auto and missing those fast follow up shots with the pull of the trigger.

So what would be an ideal shotgun? A short, handy, reliable auto shotgun that runs well with everything you feed it.

Well, that’s what I was hoping for with my Hatsan Escort AutoDefend.  So far, I haven’t been disappointed. Gas operated “smart valve” . 14” barrel, 4+1 rounds of 12ga, front rail ready to a tactical light. And it cost me 390 bucks NIB.

Hatsan are made in Turkey and some folks incorrectly assume it’s a poorly made cheap gun.
Affordable? Sure, but its well-made and mine has been very reliable so far only having one failure to fully eject with a 28gr shell. The gun was bought brand new so it still needs a few hundred rounds more in to be broken in properly. +30gr shells have been very reliable and work the action with authority.

Not only is this type of gun about ideal for home defense, it’s a ton of fun to shoot. The first Hatsan I used was an 20” model that I used for a shotgun practical shooting class. That gun was also very reliable and made me take a closer look at the brand.

If you have a Hatsan floating around in your local gun store and the guys there cant get them sold, give it a try. For the price, it’s a very competitive auto shotgun.


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”

What did you do for your preparedness this week? (2018-03-17)

  This weekly post is an open-forum, though preferably focusing on what we all did this week for our prepping & preparedness. Comment and voice your thoughts, opinions, accomplishments, concerns, or questions for others on any general topic of preparedness. The purpose for this weekly open-forum is for any off-topic conversation during the week. Keep up to date with recent comments from ALL articles.   A Call To Action (Support Modern Survival Blog) As many of you know, the tech giant monopolies of the internet are quite apparently actively engaging in political censorship. For websites and social media accounts that

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Winning the Prepper Lottery

Winning the Prepper Lottery

Winning the Prepper Lottery
Micheal Kline “Reality Check” Audio player below!

In this show we are going to be playing a little bit of fantasy. Sometimes you need to take a break from the doom and gloom and have fun. So tonight we are not going to be teaching a skill or cool prepper tool. Tonight we are going to talk about what we would buy if we won the lottery.

Continue reading Winning the Prepper Lottery at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Christians Celebrating Passover

     It is extremely exciting for me to see more and more Christians celebrating the Passover Feast. That wasn’t the case when my heart was first awakened to the seven appointed feasts of the Lord over five years ago.
     It was then that Mark and I decided to begin a deep study on how Scripture said they applied to us, as Christians. When speaking of the Feasts, the Lord said, Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as an ordinance forever”. It quickly became apparent that all of the seven feasts pointed not only to the historical experiences of the nation of Israel, but to those who called themselves “the children of Abraham”. Since Abraham is the father of our faith, too, then these Feasts of the Lord must also have great significance for us.  
     As we approach the first of the Feasts, I would like to share a basic understanding of Passover and why it has such special meaning to both the Jewish and Christian faiths. In Leviticus 23, God commands Moses to tell the children of Israel, “The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts… to be proclaimed at their appointed times… and to be followed by all generations.”  Since we have been adopted and grafted into His chosen people, we are also the children of Israel.  I am encouraged that so many Christians are now seeing the picture that these feasts show us of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and are agreeing to approach these sacred times as humble seekers of God’s revelations.

     We know that this approaching Passover “season” and the feasts of Pesach, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits have all been incorporated into the celebration of Passover, and reference to Passover means all three of these feasts.  In 2018, Passover will be celebrated from sundown Friday, March 30th, to sundown on Saturday, April 7th. If you are celebrating as a church or a small gathering, I pray that God will recognize your desire to please Him in this effort and that He will bless your assembly.

     We all know the Passover story from the Sixth chapter of Exodus.  We know the story of the Lord sending Moses to lead the children of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land, and we know that Pharaoh refused to let them go.  After sending the nine plagues that did not touch Pharaoh’s heart, the Lord said the firstborn males of every house would die unless the door frame of that house was covered with the blood of a perfect lamb.  That night the Lord “passed over” those homes that were covered with the blood of the lamb, and Pharaoh, losing his own son, let the people of Israel go.  Passover was to be a lasting ordinance (and memorial) for generations to come.

     The Passover Seder meal commemorates the Israelite’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt nearly 3500 years ago..  Jesus honored the Passover while on earth, and I believe that it was at this Seder meal that He spoke the words in today’s closing verse.  But what significance does it have for us?  First, we have to understand the significance of what was served at this Seder and why Jesus wanted to experience this meal with His disciples.
     First, there must be served a perfect lamb, without blemish.  It must be sacrificed and served in remembrance of the blood of the lamb that allowed them to leave Egypt.  You may be aware that Egypt has always symbolized bondage and slavery to sin.   During this very Seder meal, Jesus reveals that He is the Sacrificial Lamb that delivers us from the bondage of sin.
     The only type of bread eaten during the eight days of Passover was unleavened bread or Matzah.  It was made with flour and water only, no leaven or yeast, in remembrance of their hasty departure from Egypt.  They had to have a form of sustenance that would last and not spoil.  They were specifically instructed that the bread was to be striped and pierced during baking.  This is a picture that should remind us that Jesus was striped (scourged) and pierced for us; and that He is the “living bread from Heaven.”
     Also, in the Jewish Seder, there is a ritual in which the matzah or unleavened bread is broken, hidden, found, bought for a price, and then eaten to end the meal.  This is not only a picture of the Jewish experience during their captivity in Egypt and their Exodus … read the actions again that are taken with the bread … but Jesus is also telling His disciples (and us), “I was broken, hidden, found, bought for a price.”  When he breaks the unleavened bread in Luke 22:19, and says, ““This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me”, He is saying “I did that for you, and I am the only sustenance you need.”  

     The Passover meal also included bitter herbs, so that the Jews would remember the harshness and bitterness of slavery, so that their freedom (symbolically, from sin) would taste sweeter.  Jesus wished His disciples (and us) to see that our freedom from sin is sweeter, too.  We no longer have to taste the bitterness of sin because of what He did for us on the cross.  But the presence of the bitter herbs at the Passover meal should be a reminder of the temptation of sin.  It is real and distasteful. 

     Finally, the Passover meal always included wine, four cups to be exact, in remembrance of the redemption from Egypt (Exodus 6:6-8) in which God told the Israelites, “”I will lead you forth… I will deliver you… I will ransom you… I will take you to Me….”.  

     In this particular Passover Seder, Luke 22:20 reveals that “Likewise He also took the cup after supper (The Third Cup), saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.”  This cup of wine was to be drunk in remembrance of that third part of the covenant God made with them when He brought them out of Israel … I will ransom you.   Jesus is showing them (and us) that yes, God ransomed them from Egypt and the Pharaoh; but now He, Jesus, is the new covenant that ransoms. His blood ransoms us, and He says it right there in the Scripture!
     So the Passover Seder, which had been observed for nearly a century and a half, and religiously observed by Jesus, who was a Jew, is a picture of the Lord’s Supper that night in the upper room before His crucifixion, burial, and resurrection a few days later.  The celebration of the Feast of First Fruits completes the picture.

      The Lord instructed the Israelites on how to conduct the Feast of First Fruits: the people offered the first ripe sheaf (their first fruit) of barley to the Lord as an act of dedicating the harvest to Him.  On Passover, a marked sheaf of grain was bundled and left standing in the field.  On the next day, the first day of Unleavened Bread, the sheaf was cut and prepared for the offering on the third day.  

On this third day, which was the actual Feast day, the priest waved the sheaf before the Lord.  They then began counting 50 days until Pentecost, which is the next feast to be celebrated.  
     It is easy to see the picture of Jesus in the Feast of First Fruits.  It is a picture of Jesus’s resurrection, which Christians celebrate as Easter, (with all of its Constantine influences).  His resurrection is the first fruit of God’s redemption of mankind …. and we see a picture of “things to come” … the harvest and promise of the future resurrection of believers.  
     So we now have the historical significance of the Passover Seder.  We have the meaning behind Pesach and the Exodus; we know the significance of the unleavened bread and the first fruits of the harvest.  We see the picture of what God did for the Israelites, and what Christ has done for us, in the Seder Meal and what is eaten.  And we see the picture of His death and resurrection in that somber assembly at the Last (Passover) Supper.  And most importantly, I hope we see that we are called to observe these Feasts by our Lord, in remembrance of what He has done for those He calls His own, both Jewish and Christian.   Jesus may have instituted the Lord’s Supper from rituals of the Passover Seder, but neither negates the other.  I believe that it pleases the Lord for us to be obedient to His command to observe the Feasts; to see that they point to Christ; and to worship His Son’s death, burial and resurrection as the fulfillment of the promises of these Feasts.  
     In the spirit of praise and worship, I say “Pesach Same’ach (Happy Passover), and I hope you will be blessed by observing the first of the Lord’s ordained Feasts!
Next post I will share how our Home Church celebrates this solemn, yet joyous occasion.
Luke 22:14-16      When Jesus arrived at the upper room, He took His place at the table along with all the apostles. Then He told them, “I have longed with passion and desire to eat this Passover lamb with you before I endure my sufferings. I promise you that the next time we eat this, we will be together in the banquet of God’s kingdom realm.”


How to Survive a Civil War in America

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

The last battle fought on US soil was, arguably, the Aleutian Islands Campaign, which took place during the World War II, in the year 1942. Japanese Expeditionary forces landed on the islands of Attu and Kiska. However, if you define US soil as including “US territories” then the Philippines Campaign (1944–45) might be considered the last war fought on “US soil”. The wars that have occurred in our homeland have been the American Revolution (War of Independence), the War of 1812, the US Civil War – which I will challenge later, The Spanish-American War and there are disputes as to whether the Mexican-American War or the French and Indian Wars (as well as other colonist-native disputes) are considered ‘wars’ at all. We will leave that to the pundits.


So war at home has really been the stuff of movies for the past several generations.

As Preppers it is one of the things we may consider within the realm of possibilities. We certainly all prepare for a loss of the rule of law in emergencies, immediately perhaps, long-term possibly. And preparing for a war has similarities with preparing for any emergency situation, whether caused by man or nature. We consider it an important step toward staying healthy and as comfortable as possible during an unexpected event. As a result a wide range of specialty supplies are available, but the simplest supplies are often the most versatile in a life-threatening situation. Hopefully this simple guide can help you find out which supplies are essential in the event of a war on yours or our home soil.

Basic Supplies

Food and medicine are nonnegotiable supplies if you need to shelter in place. Food supplies can include a variety of nonperishable items, such as rice, beans and legumes, flour, cornmeal, and canned goods. If you use a rotating system, you can easily begin building your food supply without worrying about the food expiring or going bad before you use it.

To rotate food supplies, simply purchase the things you normally buy in bulk quantities, and continue purchasing the food on a regular basis. Use the food according to its purchase date to prevent spoilage. Some types of food, such as freeze-dried meals, have an extremely long shelf life. Choose freeze-dried food if it is in your budget, and store it in a secure location that is cool and dry to preserve it for an emergency.

Bug-Out Bags

Bug-out bags are backpacks,or a similar bag, that are packed with essential supplies, allowing you to easily grab the bag and go if you need to leave home in an emergency. The bags should contain food, water, medicine, clothing, and personal supplies, such as prescription medicines or an extra set of prescription eyeglasses. It should have a 72-hour supply for each member of your family/group.

To make the bag lighter and more portable, opt for high-calorie food options that have a longer shelf life. For instance, two-thousand-calorie bars can be lifesaving when you are on the move.

Make sure you have extra ammo packed in your bug-out bag if you plan on taking a gun with you. Extra 22lr ammo is a must-have if you want to live off the land by hunting for smaller game like rabbits, and squirrels.

Investing in water purifiers for each person is also recommended.

Water Purifiers

Water-purifying straws are lightweight, long-lasting, and completely portable, making them ideal for your bug-out bags. The straws allow you to drink directly from almost any water source without worrying about contaminants – as long as you read and follow the directions. Most water-purifying straws have a removable filter that allows you to easily reuse the straw for an extended time.

To make the straws last longer in a survival situation, add an extra filter for each purifying straw to each bag. The filters are small and lightweight to make them easy to carry in your backpack, and each one can provide dozens of gallons of clean water. You can also use water-purifying straws at home.

Always Be Prepared

Building your bug-out bags and emergency supplies is an important step toward preparing for any emergency, even a civil war in America. Food, water, medical supplies, and plenty of ammo are the basic supplies you need for a long-term survival situation on home soil. Add to this planning, and an understanding of the situation, which will be harder than it sounds. We are down to few, if any, reliable sources for “news” as it is, in our normal world. Now imagine a SHTF civil war where misinformation is everywhere. Every person with a ham transmitter can set and spring traps for those trying to gleam even a little intel on the situation, safe places and supply sources. In some aspects the movies and TV shows do reflect the reality that will come to pass, except for the fact that their main characters always survive.

One of my favorite books about the reality of war is Normal Mailer’s “The Naked and the Dead”.  A great read, a dose of reality in a glamorized world.

Now, About That Civil War (Editor)

The very definition of a “civil war” is that it is a war to change the government of a country, a war, by definition, between citizens of the same country. By this definition the War Between the States was a civil war. However, the South did NOT fight to change the government of the country as a whole or in any state NOT a member of the Confederacy. It fought to succeed its members from the United States and form a separate nation. Right, wrong or indifferent it was not a civil war but a separatist war, and while many will write this off as “splitting hairs” it goes to the very core of KNOWING history and LEARNING from history.

The South had a singular guiding principal – to save and continue their economic model, period. Throw all the sugar coating and spin on it that you want, THAT was their singular purpose. The North, represented by Lincoln, also had a singular goal – to preserve the union at all costs, period, which was also an economic purpose. Many fought on both sides for their own reasons but these were the opposing models that could not be negotiated into an acceptable compromise, resulting in 600,000 Americans dying on American soil to preserve the union. As students of history you most likely already knew this, as a student of history my life experience has been that “lessons learned” is more an oxymoron than a reality and we suffer as a result, and my whole reason for splitting this hair. Stepping off the soapbox now.

Follow The Prepper Journal on Facebook! …and have a safe St. Patrick’s Day!

The post How to Survive a Civil War in America appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

How to Organize Emergency Food Supply

Preppers battle lots of things. Possibly the court of public opinion being their greatest enemy. While we have a group of people who are trying to warn the world about the coming disasters, the public laughs it off and carries on in ignorance. Another, less diabolical, prepper enemy is space. In order to be prepared …

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5 Quick And Easy Desserts Anyone Can Make

I have 5 quick and easy desserts anyone can make to share with you today. I know graduations, weddings, baby showers, wedding showers and other special events are right around the corner for a lot of people, and people will love to eat these recipes! I bet they’ll even ask you for the recipe. I don’t know about you, but I would rather have a homemade dessert over a store purchased one every time. In Southern Utah, strawberries will start being shipped in from California, so get ready to use these easy desserts for your next party.

I grow strawberries, but they won’t be ready to harvest for at least 60 days from today. These easy desserts are from my friends and family and they have made the rounds for over 40 years. It’s so funny that some of the recipes call for ingredients that I doubt you can still buy, so I have had to modify them a bit. Easy desserts equal homemade goodness!

5 Easy Desserts

1. Fruit Tart/Cake

easy desserts

This is an easy cake to make from scratch. I like this one because you typically always have the ingredients in your home. This is the pan I use: Tart/Flan Cake Pan


1/2 cup butter or one cube

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

Vanilla or banana instant pudding or whipping cream

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the ingredients into a medium-size mixing bowl, except for the pudding or whipping cream. Grease a tart/cake pan and spread the mixture as evenly as possible. The dough/mixture is quite sticky. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Wait ten minutes and turn the cake onto a large plate or cake platter. Let the cake cool. Fill the tart cake with whipping cream or pudding to cover completely. Next, you place sliced fruit all over the pudding or the whipping. I love strawberries, raspberries, sliced bananas, sliced Kiwi, Mandarin oranges or sliced peaches. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and serve.

Printable recipe: Recipe by Food Storage Moms

2. Fluffy Cake With Strawberries

easy desserts


White cake mix

1-pint of whipping cream

1-8-ounce package of cream cheese

1 cup of powdered sugar

1 large package of strawberry Danish Dessert (use 1-1/2 cups water instead of 2 cups)

Fresh strawberries sliced, as many as you like

1-pint of whipping cream (whipped) to garnish the pieces when served


Prepare a white cake mix, as directed, in a greased 9-inch by 13-inch cake pan. Cool. Cream the package of cream cheese and powdered sugar. Fold in the whipping cream. Spread this layer over the cake. Next, you place the fresh strawberries over the whipping cream mixture. Cook the Danish dessert and cool slightly then spread over the strawberries. Refrigerate the cake. Place a dollop of whipping cream on each serving. Yummy!

Printable recipe: Recipe by Food Storage Moms

3. Cake Roll

easy desserts

This is one of my all-time favorite easy desserts to use fresh fruit in season, yummy!!!


3/4 cup flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the eggs until they are frothy. Add the sugar and mix until thick. Fold in the dry ingredients. Add the vanilla. Grease a cookie sheet and cover the cookie sheet with waxed paper. Grease the waxed paper. Spread the batter evenly on the cookie sheet and bake for 13 minutes. Turn the cake upside down on a kitchen towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Peel off the waxed paper and roll the cake up with the towel while hot. Cool. Spread with filling and roll back up. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and refrigerate until cold. Please note: you can use food coloring to make all different colors of cake with different fillings.

Fillings: Lemon pudding, Danish dessert with strawberries or raspberries, vanilla or banana pudding, ice cream (soften the ice cream then spread on cake and put the cake in the freezer) keep the other cake rolls in the refrigerator until ready to serve covered with plastic wrap.

PRINTABLE recipe: Recipe by Food Storage Moms

4. Linda’s Peach Glaze Cake

easy desserts

This is the same cake recipe as above but with freshly sliced peaches with a homemade peach glaze.


1/2 cup butter or one cube

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

Whipping Cream


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place all of the ingredients into a medium-size mixing bowl. Grease a flan/tart cake pan and spread the mixture as evenly as possible. The dough/mixture is quite sticky. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Wait ten minutes and turn the cake onto a large plate or cake platter.

Homemade Peach Glaze:

6-7 sliced peaches-mash some peaches to make one cup and set the cup aside

1/2 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon butter


Combine the one cup of mashed peaches with the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Let the glaze simmer until clear. Remove from stove and stir in the butter. Let cool before assembling the fruit on flan/tart cake and then scoop the glaze carefully over the sliced peaches. Garnish with whipped cream.

PRINTABLE recipe: Recipe by Food Storage Moms

5. Sour Cream Pound Cake

easy desserts

This is an old old old family recipe from my great-grandmother. It’s perfect served with strawberries and whipped cream. Bundt pan or 10-inch Fluted Pan


1 cup butter at room temperature

3 cups sugar

6 eggs at room temperature (separate the whites from the yolks)

1 cup sour cream

3 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon soda

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. The recipe says to sift (I never do) the flour and salt together for a minimum of three times. Cream the butter with sugar, add one yolk at a time beating one minute after each egg. Add the vanilla, flour, sour cream, baking soda, and salt. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture above. Bake in a greased 10-inch fluted pan for 1-1/4 hours to 1-1/2 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for ten minutes before inverting on a cake platter.

PRINTABLE recipe: Recipe by Food Storage Moms

I wanted to share these easy desserts today because I’m getting ready to plant some more seeds and waiting until there is no danger to set my tomato plants outside. Have you started a garden where you live?

It’s a great time to make some easy desserts, right? Let me know what you are baking this week. May God bless you and your family.

Flan Cake by Linda

Copyright pictures:

Fruit Tart: AdobeStock_143557521 by M Studio

Strawberry Cake: AdobeStock_138836654 by beats

Cake Rolls: AdobeStock_65238124 by Munandme

Pound Cake: AdobeStock_34081036 by Rojo Images

The post 5 Quick And Easy Desserts Anyone Can Make appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

10 Gardening Tips for Growing Market-Worthy Tomatoes

There is nothing like seeing clumps of repining super-sized tomatoes on the vine – That’s the sign of a happy, growing garden. But tomatoes can be problematic and prone to certain issues. Blossom end rot, nutritional deficiencies, blight, and invasive hornworms are just a few of the problems a gardener may have when growing tomatoes. Many of these issues can be corrected early on by giving the tomato the right growing conditions.

10 Gardening Tips for Growing the Juiciest Tomatoes

Some of the most popular types of tomato varieties planted are the beefsteak tomato, Celebrity, Early Girl, and the Cherry Tomatoes. The tomato plant can grow up to 6 feet tall and requires trellising or support. Tomatoes typically take about 85 days to harvest. And to get those big, delicious red orbs to grow, it requires a lot of nutrients.

Choose a fertilizer that has a balanced ratio of the three major elements, such as 10-10-10, or where the middle number (phosphorus) is larger than the first number (nitrogen), such as 2-3-1. Tomatoes are heavy feeders and usually do need fertilizer unless your soil is very rich.

Use some o these gardening tips to ensure your tomato harvest is the best one yet!

1. Choose the right varieties. 

There are many types of tomato varieties to choose from. One that I always recommend is the heirloom varieties. These seeds have been around for generations and were bred for flavor, adaptability and growing performance. As well, many of these seeds are open-pollinated and the seeds can be saved for the next harvest. This ensures you have plenty of tomatoes to eat fresh, preserve or make delicious sauces with.

2. Location, location, location!

Tomatoes love bright locations where they receive 10 hours or more of sunlight. Full morning sun is always the best location, but tomatoes will do well with some afternoon sun too. As well, ensure that you have properly spaced your plants.

3. Plant tomatoes in multiple locations 

When you alternate where you plant your tomatoes, it helps to diminish the risk of soil-borne diseases such as bacterial spot and early blight. One of my favorite gardening resources, Carrots Love Tomatoes: The Secrets to Companion Planting taught me that when you plant companion plants near each other, it also helps to reduce soil-borne diseases, as well as, encourage beneficial bugs to hang around. Here is a list of companion plants for your tomatoes.

  • Asparagus
  • Basil
  • Beans
  • Borage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Dill
  • Lettuce
  • Melons
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Thyme

4. Plant them deep!

When you plant your tomato seedlings deep, it helps the plant develop a better root system. The extra roots will strengthen the plant so that it can support more fruit and survive hot weather. Gardeners recommend you planting your seedlings up to the first true leaves. If you have heavy soil and cannot dig your hole deeper, you can lay the plant on its side, and cover with dirt (ensure that the hole is at least 5 or 6 inches deep when buried).

 5. Prune your tomatoes

I realize that many feel this step is optional, but it really helps. By pruning off any non-fruiting branches, it directs the tomato plant’s energy into growing more tomatoes. Every three weeks, I will prune my tomato plants in the early morning. Doing this step in the morning will help reduce any plant stress.

 6. Fertilize! 

Tomatoes are heavy feeders and require lots of nutrients to produce all of those lovely tomatoes. Adding a layer of balanced organic fertilizer like 8-8-8 during the transplanting process will help shield plants from stress and encourage root growth. When plants begin to put out fruit, fertilize every two or three weeks with fertilizer and then water it in. As well, consider giving your plants some compost tea. Compost tea takes the beneficial bacteria and fungus present in compost and exponentially increases them through aeration and sugars. These bacteria and fungus are critical to root establishment – and the more bacteria you have in your soil, the better. This all-around plant booster helps foliage, increases root development, feeds the soil – you can’t go wrong! I usually make some compost tea once a month to help my plants.

7. Give them some support

Certain tomato varieties can grow to 6 feet high and will require a trellis, staking or tomato cage. The trellis system keeps ripe fruit off the ground, so it’s less susceptible to disease and is easier to harvest. Any garden center will have tomato cages and trellises. The best time to add stakes is during the time you are transplanting. This cuts down on damaging root systems later on.

 8. Water them correctly

Tomatoes need consistent moisture to produce even growth and ripe, juicy fruits. Therefore, water tomatoes deep! To check to see if tomatoes need watering, insert your index fingers two inches in the soil. If the soil is dry, then you need to water. Water the tomatoes when the soil dries to a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Doing so will cut down on tomato blight. As well, do your best to keep leaves dry. In addition, adding one inch of mulching material around the growing tomatoes will help reduce water evaporation from the soil and reduce weeds in the garden.

9. Plant more!

Succession planting in three-week intervals will keep you loaded with tomatoes throughout the growing season. As soon as you plant your seedlings, start a new batch of seeds. I usually plant tomatoes two or three times during the summer months.

10. Harvest as soon as they show their colors

Keep an eye on your growing tomatoes and harvest as soon as they color up fully. Birds and other wildlife love tomatoes as much as we do, so pick them as soon as their color comes. You can also pick your tomatoes a little early and allow it to ripen on your kitchen windowsill.

When you give tomatoes the right environment to grow, they will reward you three fold! These tips will ensure that your tomato crop will be the best crop yet.

Check out our open-pollinated and organically grown tomato seeds!

Happy gardening!


This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

35 Emergency Foods You Should Stockpile

Anyone who’s ever stockpiled food knows how difficult it can be to get started. There are so many choices! Some people make the mistake of only stockpiling a few staples: rice, beans, flour, sugar, and the like. The problem with that is if the day comes when you have to live off of those foods, …

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2018 Preparedness Goals

Here we are halfway through March but I suppose it’s not too late to post about preparedness goals for this year.  At a time when things seems to be going well it’s often easy to place preps on the back shelf because hey, could spend that money on something other than supplies and would rather head downtown than spend a day working on some skills.  I’m sure we’ve all fallen victim to a little complacency but it’s essential that in some respect we keep plugging along.  What follows are a few of my goals for 2018.

Wood Gathering / Networking

In the year and some change that I’ve lived here in the mountains I’ve gone through roughly 5 cord of wood.  Being busy and also with plenty of locals who split and deliver it per specs, I’m sort of ashamed to say that I’ve purchased all of it and had it delivered.  Sure, the stacking sucks but that’s the easy part.

I’ve met a nice like minded individual who frequents a large ranch every month or so, assists with bringing down trees / splitting and stocking the barn.  They need another good man he tells me, all the dry wood you can haul once the day is out.  I like that plan and am not opposed to hard work, will definitely be participating going forward.

Long Range AR10 Dope

You already know this story.  Spend some money tinkering and build a nice rifle, load catridges for it…barely shoot it (safe queen).  I do train quite a bit with my M4 and especially pistol(s) but have neglected my AR10, I need to get out and get some data on it this year and there are no shortages of places I can get out to 500+ yards.  Fortunately I’ve found another buddy who has a chrono and also loads, we are going to head out together soon.

Concealed Carry: Full Steam Ahead

2017 was a great year for training, I hosted quite a few pistol and rifle courses as well as traveling to the east coast to train with my recently retired GB (Green Beret) buddy to hone my skills.  2018 will mean more courses but I’ve already secured a space and have gone full steam into teaching and certifying for CCW.  I enjoy empowering responsible citizens and helping to make them more self sufficient.

Wood Stove Cleaning

I need to clean my stove after the weather warms up, I paid around $250 for a chimney sweep crew to come out and inspect / clean it last season and after observing them I think I’ll be good to go.  Climbing up on the roof shouldn’t be an issue, one man up top shoving the brush down and another at the stove with a shop vac.  Just one of those self reliance things that I never had to do before but want to pick up on.

Gasoline Storage

Currently I have four 5 gallon containers and a 5 gallon safety can which stays in the back of my truck.  I’d like to have all safety cans stored in a lockable container but once again, there are costs involved with that.  Each one is around $50, x 4 and a $300 or so locker.  All in due time but I’d feel much better about that setup than my current one.

More Wood Working Projects

Last year I picked up a compound miter saw and table saw to compliment my other tools and have been hitting several projects around the house.  Everything from small tables to exterior well covers, I really enjoy buiding these sorts of things and hope to do more in the future.

The Bottom Line

Life has changed since moving out to the mountains but it’s all been for the best.  The conveniences are less, the drives to town are longer and the *somewhat* isolation is real.  I enjoy it and am happy to share it with my family.  2018 will be another year where we continue to gain more skills and prepare for something that may or may not come.  It’s the way we choose to live and are definitely thankful for it.


Alaska Radiation Survey from 2016 Results Have Never Been Reported and No Mention Now

stock here.   I have been bird dogging this for years.   Amazed that in 2011 summer, they did sampling and found that the radiation levels from Fukushima, in Alaska, had gone up as much as the 3 nuclear bomb tests they did on this island.   

Triple nuked by Fukushima.

Then then “plan” was to wait 5 years until 2016 to test the sea plants and animals again.

They made a plan for the plan, and apparently carried out that plan, but now they have failed to report the results.  

The results are as I expected, the bio-multiplication, the concentration factor, was so high that they simply had to cover up the results.   

———————————— Shameful, and criminal in nature.


You can see “some” of their testing on this general aggregator site….


————————————– So why the lack of reporting of the 2016 monitoring event?   Here is my article on the 2011 monitoring event.

The bottom line….Fukushima had the same impact from 2000 miles away, that a large nuclear bomb would have going off at ground zero.    Read it, hard to believe, but true.   They did in fact have three large nuclear bombs go off here, so the comparison is easy, and unusual in the ability to make the comparison.    Sheesh, bombs just have like 16 pounds of uranium and plutonium.    Fukushima had over 200,000 lbs.   

7 Tips for Seed Starting Success

Are you impatiently waiting to get your spring garden started?

I sure am. This month, we had a few warm teaser days and all I could think about was getting out in the garden and playing in the dirt. Well, guess what? Even though spring is 32 days away, we don’t have to sit idle any more! Seed starting is a great way to get a jump start on spring planting, save some money and get your gardening fix!

Starting seeds indoors isn’t all that difficult but, there are a few tricks that can ensure an abundance of healthy plants.

Here are 7 tips for seed starting success:

1. Plan before you plant.

Decide on the vegetables to grow. I always choose vegetables my family loves to eat. Also, you might choose plants that are difficult to find in the local nurseries or too expensive to buy.

Remember, not all seeds need to be started indoors. Vegetables like lettuce, carrots, beets, and peas do well in the cool weather and it’s better to direct sow them into the ground as soon as it’s warm and workable. I recommend you don’t waste your indoor space starting these seeds.

2. Read the seed packages.

You can learn a lot just by reading your seed packets. For example, did you know that some seeds need presoaking before planting? And some need to be chilled in the fridge? While most seeds do fine planted straight from the package into the ground, there are a few that need special treatment.

In addition to special needs, the seed packages will tell you how deep to plant and how many days it will take them to germinate.

3. Don’t start seeds too early or too late.

For successful seed starting, timing is important. Start too early and your plants will become root bound, forcing you to do transplant into larger pots. Start too late and your plants won’t be ready in time for outdoor planting.

The first step to proper timing is find your plant hardiness zone and the average last spring frost date for your area. If you need help figuring it out, ask your local cooperative extension. Also, ask them if they have a seed starting calendar. Last year, I found an awesome vegetable planting guide for the state of Virginia, including recommended planting dates on the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s site. Your state may have something similar. Another helpful tool is an online planning calendar. There are plenty of downloadable calendars out there on the web, but the most comprehensive one I’ve seen so far is the free garden planning calculator offered by Seeds for Generations. All you need to know is your average last frost date and the calculator does the work for you figuring out the important dates. Pretty cool!

7 Tips for Seed Starting Success

4. Start seeds in the right containers.

There’s no shortage of options for seed starting containers but some are better than others. For example, I’m not a fan of peat pots. Moisture control is difficult. The pot soaks up the moisture from the soil, and while the pot appears wet, the soil is actually dry. Plastic pots are my favorite seed starting containers. You can buy pots or trays specifically for seed starting (I use and love these reusuable ones!) or you can repurpose your yogurt cups, sour cream containers, lettuce or rotisserie chicken bins. If you go this route, be sure your container is at least 3 inches deep and make drainage holes in the bottom.

Lastly, always start with clean containers! If you are reusing containers, wash them with a bleach mixture made with 1 part bleach to 9 parts water before soaking in the bleach solution for 15 minutes. Then allow them to air dry completely before you use them.

5. Don’t use regular potting soil.

Light and porous soil works best for seed starting. Regular potting soil tends to be too heavy and dense. Same with your backyard soil, which also carries many disease organisms that makes it even more difficult for healthy germination. According to Gardener’s Supply Company, the best soil mix for seed starting is not really soil at all.

It’s a growing medium comprised of sphagnum peat moss and small amounts of vermiculite and/or perlite. This blend helps ensure a consistently moist environment to encourage good germination. It is also light enough to provide lots of wiggle room for tiny roots. Just as importantly, it has been sterilized to eliminate bacteria and fungus which can cause problems such as — damping off, — a disease that kills seedlings.

Buy seed starting mix (I use Jiffy’s Organic Seed Starting Mix.) or you can make your own.

6. Use grow lights.

Mike the Gardener of AveragePersonGardening.com says using grow lights can make the world of difference in seed starting. I agree. The first year I tried to start seeds, I set them in front of the only south facing window in my home. The result was some very sad looking plants. So, the next year I started seeds under grow lights and had much better luck. According to Mike, here’s the reason why:

Your vegetable seeds are going to want bright light. I am sure you have heard of the term “leggy” before. What that means is that your vegetable plants (after the vegetable seeds have germinated) are not getting enough light, so your vegetable plants are “stretching” towards to closest light source. This will produce a stem on your vegetable plants that are long and weak.

When starting seeds, Mike advises us to use fluorescent lights, keep the lights on for 12-14 hours a day and to always keep grow lights 3 inches above the plants. Read all of Mike the Gardener’s grow light advice here in Use Grow Lights to Start Seeds.

7. Keep the seeds moist.

Seeds need to be kept evenly moist in the germination phase. If you over-water, you run the risk of having diseased and moldy plants. If you under-water, you’ll have no plants at all!

One trick for keeping the soil’s moisture level consistent is to create a mini greenhouse environment. Loosely cover your containers with clear plastic—a plastic tray cover or plastic food wrap—until the seeds germinate and pop through the soil’s surface. But, be sure to poke holes in the plastic with a toothpick or take it off the containers for a short time every day to provide air flow, preventing too humid of an environment.

Lastly, I’ve found watering from the bottom is the best way to keep the soil moist. Set your containers in a tray and fill the tray with an inch or two of water. The soil will “wick up” the water through the pot’s drain holes. When the soil is moist to your finger’s touch, remove the remaining water from the tray.

What About You?

How has your experience starting seeds been? Do you have any seed starting secrets? Share your tips with us in the comment section below.

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Is Expired Food Safe to Eat?

Last week, I went through my pantry, trying to get an idea of how much food storage I have. By the time the organizing session was complete, a dozen or so “expired” items sat on my kitchen counter.

In the past, I didn’t hesitate to throw a can in the trash if it was expired. And according to an article on Urban Survival Site, I’m not the only one tossing the goods. More than 75% (and some studies claim it’s as high as 90%) of us believe that food is unsafe to eat after the expiration date. This time, though, I’ve decided to change my ways and put the expired items back on the shelf.


Because it turns out that none of those dates stamped on canned goods have to do with safety. A recent report by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic claims that expiration dates aren’t regulated like we would believe. There is no standardized system for expiration dates.

The study found manufacturers determine for themselves how to set dates, if they want to put a date on packaging, what kind of date they will use, and what that date means.

So what do those dates mean?

Well, it gets confusing because there are several different types of dates used on packages—like “sell-by”, “best if used by”, “best before”, and “use-by”. Here’s how the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines of each of these dates:

Types of Dates

A “Sell-By” date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires.
A “Best if Used By (or Before)” date is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
A “Use-By” date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product.
“Closed or coded dates” are packing numbers for use by the manufacturer.

And here’s what the USDA has to say about expiration date safety:

Safety After Date Expires: Except for “use-by” dates, product dates don’t always pertain to home storage and use after purchase. “Use-by” dates usually refer to best quality and are not safety dates. Even if the date expires during home storage, a product should be safe, wholesome and of good quality if handled properly.

The only exception to this is the “use-by” date on infant formula, which is mandated by the Food and Drug Administration.

The bottom line is after the expiration date, the food may not be as fresh and it may have lost some of it’s nutritional value, but generally, it is safe to eat.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking—if you can’t rely on the date, how do you know when the food is unsafe to eat?

The simple answer is open it and inspect it. If it smells bad, looks off-color or has a funny taste, get rid of it. And don’t eat the food from rusty, bulging, dented or otherwise damaged cans.

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50 Backyard Beekeeping Resources for Beginners

Don’t you hate how you feel when you have no idea of what you’re doing?

I do. It’s incredibly frustrating.

Before I began backyard beekeeping, I knew I would experience that feeling a lot unless I had help. I enrolled in bee school, (which was awesome!), but once my bees arrived, I had forgotten a lot of what we discussed in class. Thankfully, there are so many resources for beekeepers out there! Along with a beekeeper mentor, backyard beekeeping resources like organizations, books, websites and blogs can really save a “newbee” beekeeper.

Here are some of my favorite resources:


YouTube Channels:


Beekeeping Publications:

Magazines and Online Magazines:

(The following magazines publish articles about beekeeping along with other homesteading topics.)

Beekeeping Websites:


(The following bloggers are beekeepers who write about beekeeping along with other homesteading topics. For each blog, I’ve highlighted my favorite article. )

Beekeepers’ Facebook Groups:

Do you have a favorite backyard beekeeping resource?

If you have a favorite book, website, YouTube Channel, blog or whatever and it’s not on my list, please add it in the comments below. Together, we can make one fantastic list of resources for beginner beekeepers!

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Scavenging: The Art Of Survival And Resourcefulness When The SHTF

One topic that doesn’t get enough play in the prepping world is adaptability. Those who have the power to adapt will last longer in this world. This has been the truth since the beginning. In the human realm its not always the strongest that survive. Those who can adapt and survive the times by any …

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What is Permaculture? Plus 12 More of Your Permaculture Questions Answered

Would you like a garden that produces bountiful harvest year after year without back-breaking effort?

Of course! Who wouldn’t?

Last fall, I sat in on a lecture by Rick Austin, author of Secret Garden of Survival. Rick showed the class one picture after another of a forest-like garden filled with every fruit and vegetable imaginable and said once planted, the garden pretty much took care of itself.

Amazing, I thought. I have to do this at our mountain house!

A month or so later, I’d thought I figured out the best spot for a food forest and called a tree removal company. The week the bulldozers were scheduled to raze a half acre of our wooded land, I met Joshua Deel of Barefoot Farms & Permaculture. Whether you consider it a coincidence or an act of God, it was perfect timing.

Turns out Josh is a certified permaculture designer and the owner of Sustainable Design Solutions and do you know what he said when I told him of my landscaping plans?

“Wait!! Don’t do it! Permaculture is so much more than a food forest.”

I immediately cancelled the construction crew demolition and over the last month, Josh has been busy creating a design to turn the mountain house into a permaculture homestead.

The more I learn about permaculture, the more excited I get. My goal today is to share some of that excitement and show you why I think permaculture is the way of the future.

Josh has graciously agreed to help by answering some of the most common questions about permaculture.

What is permaculture?

As the founder of permaculture, Bill Mollison, says, “Permaculture is about design, values, ethics and a personal responsibility for earth care.”

Permaculture is the intentional design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems, which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people—whole human habitats—providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. The philosophy behind permaculture is one of working with, rather than against, nature; of looking at systems in all their functions rather than asking only one yield of them and thereby allowing systems to demonstrate their own complexities and maturation. This requires a multi-disciplinary approach integrating ecology, agriculture, architecture, and construction.

What is Permaculture? Plus 12 More of Your Permaculture Questions Answered

Why should I care about permaculture?

Without permanent agriculture there is no possibility of a stable social order. Period. Soil degradation is at the core of environmental, even social, problems we face. Our present system of agriculture and land clearing for agriculture either remove soil or deplete it. The only way to change what we as a culture and society have created in history and change the problems that persist in the present is to partner with ecosystems and design for ecosystem interactions that will build soil, and ultimately a permanent culture as well! We can design for the futures we want to have and want our posterity to enjoy by changing the present paradigm, designing ecology-based societies instead of consumer-based ones.

What are the benefits of permaculture?

Permaculture offers an alternative paradigm to the current system of pending crises in food, fuel and energy, economics, politics, etc. It changes the social system in that it makes people define where their resources- what their needs are for food and support systems- come from within their region or biosphere. Permaculture design can establish secure whole human habitats that are both resilient and regenerative, supplying for all our needs! This kind of human habitat offers numerous health and lifestyle benefits, including the expansion of time density- that is, meaningful life experiences increase exponentially and overall quality of life enhances!

What are some examples of permaculture in practice?

Permaculture is being practiced and demonstrated in virtually every climate around the world no matter how extreme. One amazing demonstration of this is the “Greening the Desert” project in the Middle East:

Permaculture is also practiced on any scale, from the very small urban or city space to the larger rural agricultural scale and even broader macrospaces such as entire landscape rehabilitation projects as the Loess Plateau in China (nearly 9 million acres!). Permaculture is also employed in holistic aid relief projects globally.

Is this just some New Age method of gardening with fancy terms like food forests?

Again, permaculture is an ethics based design science that supplies all our needs and benefits the environment. Permaculture isn’t a metaphysical practice, although it learns from the lessons offered by things like local traditions and techniques as well as cultures and customs. It is primarily concerned with assembling conceptual, material, and strategic components in a pattern which functions to benefit life in all its forms. This can certainly be achieved by learning from traditions and techniques that work in one landscape and climate as well as those that worked closely with nature. The ethics that give permaculture its footing are:

  1. Earth Care—this includes all living and non-living things, land, water, animals, air, etc.
  2. People Care—to promote self-reliance and community responsibility.
  3. Return of Surplus—this is to pass on anything surplus to our needs for the aims above (this is not to be achieved through government coercion, but voluntarily).

What’s the difference between permaculture and sustainability?

Sustainability needs to be demystified. Simply, sustainability is an energy audit of a system. A sustainable system produces more energy than it consumes, so that there is enough in surplus to maintain and replace that system over the lifetime of it’s components. In other words, the system is just replacing itself, there’s no real increase. Sustainability is the minimum requirement of permaculture, and in order to gain an increased surplus you have to link to living systems because living systems get their energy from the sun, a free resource! Permaculture looks to gain a surplus in order to increase diversity and fertility of the system while providing our needs. We look beyond sustainability towards abundance!

Do I need a lot of land to get started in permaculture?

Not at all! You can practice permaculture right where you are—even if it’s at your place of employment (even in a cubicle!). In fact, we know that the smaller the space, the higher the production per square foot will be! This is because efforts will be more intensive or concentrated.

Do I need animals to practice permaculture?

It depends. In context of the previous questions, one begins to see the scope of permaculture, its holistic nature and application. An example here would be a garden. There are different approaches to garden pests. One pest-negative approach applies chemicals and uses other such applications to eradicate them. A permaculture practitioner would simply design for an integrated pest management system that offers beneficial predator habitat (such as frogs, various birds, and other beneficial creatures) that is plant positive and offers chaos in cooperative confusion to eliminate unwanted pests. Once the pests are removed in this approach (usually eaten by a beneficial predator), they are re-deposited to the site in the form of fertilizing excrements. The first approach requires costly off-site inputs and harsh additives; the latter approach simply works with nature in an intentional design that is truly sustainable (a closed loop!). Besides, we don’t have “pest problems” we have “site deficiencies”. This is the answer to the question: what is my site lacking? Perhaps, its animals.

What is Permaculture? Plus 12 More of Your Permaculture Questions Answered

What does permaculture have to do with being prepared?

Permaculture designed human habitats are adaptive, resilient, abundant, and secure places in a future of peak oil, climate instability, and deepening economic insolvency. This is at the heart of preparedness, to be adaptive, resilient, and secure while enjoying true abundance.

How can I start incorporating permaculture into my life—or home, garden, community—right now?

This is a great question! There are many ways to start doing this, today even. The first step is becoming educated about the practice, and the best way to do this is taking a 72hr. Permaculture Design Certification course (commonly referred to as the PDC). A great book, was written on how to transition to a permaculture lifestyle. To read it, click here.

I’m not great at gardening. How can permaculture help me?

That’s okay, you don’t have to be a great gardener, or architect, or builder, or landscaper, or highly educated, or a person of great financial means to practice permaculture. Again, permaculture is concerned with so much more than gardening. It is a holistic, whole system approach to designing our human habitats. It gives us a mainframe way of thinking and observing. Within permaculture are many disparate disciplines and sciences, and this doesn’t mean you have to be an expert in all of these areas- in fact it’ll take a lifetime (and then some) to master all of these. Simply, you need to gain the mainframe understanding of how to design ecologically sound systems and how the various disciplines (gardening, earthworks, landscaping, etc.) are arranged within permaculture design, and then enjoy the learning process of applying the vast disciplines necessary to implement your plan.

Money’s tight. Does that mean permaculture isn’t for me?

Not at all! There are so many free resources online, DIY sites, and work-trade programs where you exchange labor for permaculture training that will give you the skills and know-how necessary to get started in permaculture.

Where can I go to find more information?
There are numerous websites, but some of the best include:

permies.com is great for DIY resources, videos, tutorials, etc.
permaculturenews.com is excellent for daily articles and the news feed.
permacultureglobal.com is a global forum for people practicing permaculture, demonstration sites, permaculture aid work, and training courses.
geofflawton.com Geoff Lawton is one of the premier permaculture designers today and offers top quality courses and videos.
thebarefootfarm.com is our farm website, which has all of our contact information and tabs for services we offer in permaculture consultation, design, and implementation as well as educational tours, workshops, and PDC courses. Don’t hesitate to touch base with us. We’d love to hear from you!

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Getting Rid of Rodents

Its very important that you understand the threats of the post collapse world. We think of marauders with metal face masks that want to steel our good and our women. It is easier for us to get motivated behind some Mad Max style situation with evil bosses and people that are a serious human challenge. …

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It’s not “The Sun Stupid” It’s Really Cosmic Rays AND the Sun — Man Caused Global Warming Is A HOAX~!


The connection between cosmic rays,
clouds and climate

1. The cosmoclimatological hypothesis
– Origin of cosmic rays
– Linking cosmic rays to climate
– Presentation of the hypothesis

2. The final piece of the puzzle
– The microphysical mechanism, theoretically
and experimentally
– How relevant is cosmic rays for climate in the
real atmosphere?

3. Conclusion


How to Make Bread in a Crock-Pot

f you’ve ever had homemade bread, you know how amazing it tastes! Soft, warm, and fluffy! You’ll wonder what that stuff in the bread isle really is 🙂

Baking your own bread seems intimidating to some people, but once you get the hang of it (and really, its not that hard at all!) you’ll never want to buy bread again! You can make sandwich bread, cut big, thick slices for toast, have dinner rolls, tortillas, French bread loaves, sourdough, hot dog buns, hamburger buns…. I could go on. Just remember to factor in the aroma tease. You know, the one where you have to sacrifice your first loaf of homemade bread to the family right as it comes out of the oven because it smells so dang good. They won’t be able to wait until dinner, much less let it last all week!

Today, I’m going to teach you the easiest way ever to bake a loaf of bread: In the crockpot! That’s right, you read correctly. The deliciousness of homemade bread combined with the ease and convenience of your crockpot. I first heard about this method on The Kitchn, and when I tried it myself, I couldn’t believe how well the bread turned out and how easy it was. So if you’ve never made your own bread, this is a great gateway method to baking your own bread at home.

Baking in the crockpot allows the bread to rise and bake at the same time instead of the long, drawn out process of waiting hours for the bread to rise, punching it down, rising again, and then baking for another half hour or so. Baking in the crock pot takes about 2 hours, start to finish! Maybe two and a half.

How Does it Work?

Choose Your Bread Recipe. You can use virtually any recipe you choose, but my favorite one, and the one I tried, is this one, made with bread flour. It’s been one of my favorites since day 1. Note: You’ll need just one loaf of bread for this method. If your recipe makes 2 loafs or even 4, you’ll need to half or quarter the recipe OR bake the loaves separately in the crockpot.

The Recipe

1 (0.25 ounce) package OR 2 ¼ Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast

1 ¼ Cups warm (not hot) water

1 ½ Tablespoons sugar

½ Tablespoon salt

1 Tablespoon shortening

3 Cups unbleached bread flour, sifted if desired

The Directions

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Allow yeast to sit for 10 minutes to proof. (Proofing just means that if you have little bubbles in the yeast water after 10 minutes, your yeast is good! If no bubbles, start over with new yeast. Otherwise your bread won’t rise properly)

How to Make Bread in a Crockpot

Add sugar, salt and shortening, and stir until dissolved.

How to Make Bread in a Crockpot

Add flour a half cup at a time and stir until smooth before adding more. When the dough cleans the bowl (meaning it doesn’t stick to the sides and forms a ball easily) you know you have the right amount of flour in your bread dough. After all 3 cups of flour are added, if your dough is still very sticky, you might need to add another ¼ Cup or ½ Cup of flour until the consistency is right. Knead dough for 4-6 minutes (this is where a stand mixer comes in VERY handy) or until dough is smooth and elastic. Newbie tip: Kneading is just extra mixing to make the dough light and fluffy; however, less is more. If you over work the dough it can make your bread tough and dense. So I like to err on the side of caution and stick to the lesser end of kneading time.

How to Make Bread in a Crockpot

Now is where the crock pot comes in and makes your life so much easier! The original recipe requires that you place the dough in a warm spot and let it rise for an hour and a half or so until doubled. Then punch it down, cover it, and let it rise for another 30 minutes. THEN, you get to roll it out, shape it into a loaf, let it rise AGAIN for another 30 minutes, and finally, you get to bake it. But with your crock pot you get to scrap all of that! Instead, turn your crock pot on high and line it with parchment paper to prevent sticking.

How to Make Bread in a Crockpot

Roll the dough into a ball and place it in the warm crockpot. Put the lid on and leave it alone! (If you have a larger, oval shaped crock pot, you can actually put the dough in a bread loaf pan and put the whole pan in your crock pot. I, however, have a smaller crock pot so I went with the round bread loaf.)

How to Make Bread in a Crockpot

Check it in about an hour and see how it’s doing, then every 30 minutes or so until you think it’s done. You can check by putting an instant read thermometer into the center. When the thermometer reads between 190 and 200 degrees, it’s done!  Mine took about 2 hours and 15 minutes. I also noticed the edges were getting a little brown so I flipped it upside down for the last 30 minutes so it wouldn’t burn.  The time and browning will be different for every crock pot so you might have a trial loaf or two before you get it down.

(After about an hour of cooking/rising)

How to Make Bread in a Crockpot

(I accidentally pulled out the parchment paper when I flipped it over. Oops! But now it’s pretty much done!)
Once done, place your bread on a towel or cooling rack to cool (or slice warm and serve to your mouth-watering family hehe)

How to Make Bread in a Crockpot

How to Make Bread in a Crockpot

You’ll notice that crock pot bread is a little bit different than bread baked in an oven. For instance, because it rises and bakes at the same time, it won’t be AS fluffy and light, but instead will be a thicker, more dense loaf. It also may be a little bit more flat, but it still tastes heavenly! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

A Few More Recipes…

Here are a few other great bread recipes for you to try out! (Crock pot or not) Hope you enjoy them!

Best Wheat Bread Recipe from Food Storage Made Easy

English Muffins from Lil Suburban Homestead

Quick Basic Biscuit Recipe from Survival Common Sense

Artisan Freeform Loaf from Apartment Prepper

A whole section of Bread Recipes at Cookes Frontier

Homemade Bread from The Backyard Pioneer

Honey Whole Wheat Buttermilk Sandwich Bread from Melissa K Norris

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes from Pioneering Today

Freshly Ground Whole Wheat Bread for a Bread Machine by Are We Crazy or What?

Focaccia Flax Bread by Whole New Mom

A Bread Recipe Roundup by Common Sense Homesteading

Sweet Rolls by Mom Prepares

Homemade Tortillas by Homestead and Survival

40 Minute Hamburger Buns at Taste of Home

Homemade Hotdog Buns from Joy the Baker

What About You?

Do you make your own bread or bread products at home? What are your favorite recipes?

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Campers: Do They Make Good Bug Out Vehicles?

If you plan on bugging out with a family and reaching a location that is over 20 miles away, you should really consider a bugout vehicle. If your family is capable of covering a mile in an hour, probably more, in distress you should be prepared that it will take you two. Traveling on foot …

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Beekeeping 101: 5 Things to Do Before Your Bees Arrive

Note: Beekeeping 101: 5 Things to Do Before Your Bees Arrive is part of the 30 Ways of Homesteading series. You can read more about the series at the end of this article.

30 Ways of Homesteading (Arador)

Thinking about getting bees? Awesome!!

At the time of this post, I’ve just finished installing the last of three packages of bees. There are two hives at our mountain house and one at the community garden in town. Here are my girls down at the garden…

Beekeeping 101: 5 Things To Do Before Your Bees Arrive (Arador)

It’s exciting!! I just know you’re going to love beekeeping, too. However, to get to this point, there are some important steps you need to take. And to make it easier for you, let me share what I’ve learned so far. Consider it a little Beekeeping 101. 🙂

Before you pick up bees from a supplier, there are five things you need to do:

1. Ask yourself important questions.

Why do you want to keep bees? Examine your motivation for getting into beekeeping. Do you just want bees to pollinate your garden or are you hoping to become a honey distributor?

Are you allergic to bee stings? There’s really no way around it. You will get stung at some point. Some swelling, itching and redness are normal reactions to bee stings, however a small percentage of people will have a life threatening allergic reaction. If you or someone in your family has a severe bee sting allergy, this probably isn’t the hobby for you. If you’re unsure whether or not you’re allergic, it’s a good idea to get tested by an allergist.

Are you committed to beekeeping? Beekeeping isn’t considered a time intensive hobby, but during your first year, you will inspecting your hives frequently, as this will help you learn more about your bees. Also, be realistic about the time you have. Don’t go all out and start with more hives than you can manage.

What will your neighbors think? If your neighbors are opposed to your new hobby, you may just need to explain basic beekeeping to get them to come around. For example, the community garden where my bees are located is on a church’s property. (A church with a weekday preschool program!) It took a little educating and some convincing but ultimately the bees won. If your neighbors are so against your bees and are making your life miserable, you may have to find a different location for the bees or not get started in beekeeping at all.

2. Get Educated

Backyard Beekeeper - Arador Start by reading books and watching videos about beekeeping. The best books I’ve read are Beekeeping for Dummies by Howland Blackiston and Kim Flottum’s The Backyard Beekeeper.

Then, take a class. Call your local Cooperative Extension and ask about beekeeping classes or google beekeeper associations in your state. Most associations offer a beginner beekeeper class and some will even pair you with a mentor once you complete the class.

Also, educate yourself on the local ordinances. Check with your town or city government and find out if beekeeping allowed. In some places, it’s illegal to have hives (usually in urban communities). Other communities allow hives, but have a restriction on the number allowed. And some places require you to register as a beekeeper or obtain a permit.

3. Order your bees early.

Yes, that’s right. Ordering your bees is on the list of things to do before your bees arrive because if you don’t order early enough, there’s a good chance you may not have bees arriving at all!

At the bee school I attended, the instructor handed out a list of recommended bee suppliers on the first night (another benefit to taking a class) and said, “Order your bees now.” Yikes! I still hadn’t completely made up my mind if I wanted to get into beekeeping and now, I had to order bees!?! But, the students who didn’t follow his advice were out of luck. The suppliers ran out of bees.

The best time of year to get bees is early spring but you need to place your order well ahead. During the winter, usually 4 months or so before spring delivery dates, contact your supplier and get your order in.

4. Buy beekeeping equipment.

There are several different styles of hives. The most common hive is the Langstroth hive. All the equipment suppliers will sell the components for the Langstroth but not all manufacturers’ equipment matches. It’s best to choose a supplier you like and stick with them. (Both books I mentioned above list the names and contact info for equipment suppliers.) I purchased my hives from brushymountainbeefarm.com. They were super patient and helpful answering all my beginner questions. Also, they make it easier for beginners by offering 8 or 10-frame beginner kits, and of course, you can always order items separately.

Either way, here is the equipment you need for a Langstroth hive:

  • hive bottom board
  • hive body (Also called a brood box or deep super. Another option is to use two medium supers instead of one deep. They are easier to handle when full of bees and honey.)
  • shallow super
  • inner cover
  • telescoping top
  • 9 1/8” frames (I prefer pre-assembled frames.)
  • 5 3/8” frames (I prefer pre-assembled frames.)
  • 8 1/2” crimp wire wax foundation
  • 4 3/4” crimp wire wax foundation
  • entrance reducer
  • entrance feeder (or another feeder of your choice)
  • hive tool
  • bee brush
  • smoker
  • veil
  • gloves
  • jacket or full bee protection suit

You’ll also need a hive stand to get your hive up off the ground. Cinderblocks are a good inexpensive option and pallets work as well.

Here’s a video that shows you how all the equipment fits together…

5. Set up your hive.

If you didn’t purchase pre-painted boxes, then the first thing you need to do is paint the outside of the hive body, telescoping top (wood only) and bottom board with an exterior latex paint or a natural sealant.

Next, install the wax foundation on your frames. Watch this video to see how it’s done:

Then, ready your location to receive bees. Don’t wait until the package of bees is in your hands before you get all the location logistics worked out because things rarely go as planned. Decide on the best place for your hive and set up the hive stand. Gather all your equipment and have it ready. And it doesn’t hurt to practice lighting your smoker once or twice before the big day. 🙂

If you’re just getting started in beekeeping, I’d love to hear from you! What questions do you have? What have you learned so far? Tell me how it’s going for you in the comments below.

30 Ways of Homesteading (Arador)

What is the 30 Ways of Homesteading series?

The Prepared Bloggers Network is a group of bloggers who are living a preparedness and self-reliant lifestyle. We got together to bring you a month’s worth of information on homesteading.

Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by growing your own food, home preservation of foodstuffs, and it may even involve the small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale. Most importantly, homesteading is not defined by where someone lives, such as the city or the country, but by the lifestyle choices they make.

We are passionate about what we do and we each have our own way of achieving self-sufficiency. Grab your favorite drink and enjoy reading about the 30 Ways of Homesteading!

Crops on the Homestead

Straw Bale Gardening from PreparednessMama

Crop Rotation for the Backyard Homesteader from Imperfectly Happy

Benefits of Growing Fruit from SchneiderPeeps

Succession Planting: More Food in the Same Space from 104 Homestead

Crops to Grow for Food Storage from Grow A Good Life

Winter Gardening Series from Our Stoney Acres

How To Build a Raised Garden Bed For Under $12 from Frugal Mama and The Sprout

How to Save Carrot Seeds from Food Storage and Survival

Animals on the Homestead

Getting Your Bees Started from Game and Garden

Homesteading How-To: Bees from Tennessee Homestead

How to Get Ready for Chicks from The Homesteading Hippy

Selecting a Goat Breed for Your Homestead from Chickens Are a Gateway Animal

Adding New Poultry and Livestock from Timber Creek Farm

Beekeeping 101: 5 Things To Do Before Your Bees Arrive from Home Ready Home

How to Prepare for Baby Goats from Homestead Lady

How to Prevent and Naturally Treat Mastitis in the Family Milk Cow from North Country Farmer

Tips to Raising Livestock from Melissa K. Norris

Raising Baby Chicks – Top 5 Chicken Supplies from Easy Homestead

Making the Homestead Work for You – Infrastructure

Ways to Homestead in a Deed Restricted Community from Blue Jean Mama

Building a Homestead from the Ground Up from Beyond Off Grid

DIY Rainwater Catchment System from Survival Prepper Joe

Finding Our Homestead Land from Simply Living Simply

I Wish I Was A Real Homesteader by Little Blog on the Homestead

Endless Fencing Projects from Pasture Deficit Disorder

Essential Homesteading Tools: From Kitchen To Field from Trayer Wilderness

Homesteading Legal Issues from The 7 P’s Blog

Why We Love Small Space Homesteading In Suburbia from Lil’ Suburban Homestead

Preserving and Using the Bounty from the Homestead

How to Dehydrate Corn & Frozen Vegetables from Mom With a Prep

How to Make Soap from Blue Yonder Urban Farms

How to Render Pig Fat from Mama Kautz

How to Make Your Own Stew Starter from Homestead Dreamer

Why You Should Grow and Preserve Rhubarb! from Living Life in Rural Iowa

It’s a Matter of Having A Root Cellar…When You Don’t Have One from A Matter of Preparedness

The post Beekeeping 101: 5 Things to Do Before Your Bees Arrive appeared first on Arador.

Antiseptic Healing Cream For Your Prepper First Aid Supplies

When it comes to guns there is an endless debate on what a prepper should have. When it comes to bags the same could be said. In fact, there is a usually a knock down drag out debate about everything that we do or purchase. How we put together our preparedness plans even can come …

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Book Review: Outliers

This isn’t a “prepper” book per se, but Outliers is about success, and from a long view – prepping is about success during tough times. Outliers consists of “case studies” and the lessons learned from them. It talks about how being at the right place at the right time is important, but useless without having the proper background and training. The choices I have made in my life may preclude me from doing certain things – I will never be President or a rock star, but those choices prepare me to be successful in other areas of my life. One

The post Book Review: Outliers appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Free PDF: Are You Ready

The Are You Ready guide has been prepared for direct dissemination to the general public and is based on the most reliable hazard awareness and emergency education information available at the time of publication, including advances in scientific knowledge, more accurate technical language, and the latest physical research on what happens in disasters. This publication is, however, too brief to cover every factor, situation, or difference in buildings, infrastructure, or other environmental features that might be of inter- est. To help you explore your interest further, additional sources of information have been included. The guide has been designed to help the citizens

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Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan?

Note: This post is part of the Prepared Blogger‘s 30 Days of Preparedness series to celebrate National Preparedness Month.

Day 4: Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan?

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, you have a one in four chance of experiencing a house fire large enough to need to call for firefighters’ assistance.

Does that statistic surprise you? It sure surprised me. I didn’t get serious about being ready for home fires until a house in my neighborhood burnt to the ground. When that happened, I realized a home fire really could happen to my family and it would be devastating.

Fires are caused by a number of reasons. Cooking, electrical malfunctions, smoking, appliances, candles and children are the most common causes of home fires. You can take all the steps to prevent a house fire, but unfortunately it can still happen. That’s why you need a fire escape plan.

Your family’s plan should be a three-part plan:

1. Buy fire safety equipment.

Every home should have fire safety equipment, both to help detect a fire emergency and assist you in dealing with one. There’s a lot of gear out there but at the very least, make sure your home has the basics:

2. Plan your escape.

According to the NFPA, once the smoke detector alarm sounds, you have as little as two minutes to get out of your house safely. Developing an escape plan now will help your family get out of the house quickly in the event of a real emergency. Get everyone involved in the planning. Even the kids. Now is the time to bounce ideas off of one another and ask questions.

Draw a floor plan of your home, including all the doors and window. Go room to room and figure out two ways to escape. Draw the routes on the map. Next, check all the windows and doors to make sure they open easily. Can your children open them without your assistance?

Then sit down together and review the plan. Where is the outside the home meeting place? Does everyone understand what they should do if there’s a fire? Talk to your little ones about how important it is not to hide from firemen. If there’s a chance they could be afraid of firefighters, call your local fire department and set up a meeting so your kids have the chance to see firement dressed in their full protective gear. Lastly, if there is a family member with a disability that would prevent him from escaping on his own, assign someone to help.

3. Practice your plan regularly.

If you’re thinking it can’t be hard to get out of the house, remember in a fire, your house can look very different when it’s filled with smoke. Plus, in any emergency situation, panic creeps in and tries to take over, making it difficult to stop and think.

At least twice a year conduct home fire drills. To help you remember to do it, schedule your drills in the spring and fall on the same days you change your clocks. Run your drills during the daytime and try to make them as real as possible. What would happen if one of the main exits was blocked? How about more than one? After each drill, hold a family meeting and discuss how it went. What worked? What should be done differently next time? As soon as you feel like everyone has a good handle on daytime drills, conduct nighttime drills.

Don’t put it off any longer. Get your plan together today. That way, you’ll be sure your family has the best possible chance of getting out of the house quickly in a fire emergency.

Be Safe!

P.S. Be sure to check out the rest of the 30 Days of Preparedness series:

30 Days of Preparedness (Arador)

Thanks for joining the Prepared Bloggers as we work our way through 30 Days of Preparedness. September is National Preparedness Month so you will find everything you need to get your preparedness knowledge and skills into shape.

Take one post each day, learn as much as you can about the topic and make it a part of your preparedness plan.

Day 1 – Ready, Set, Get Prepared! Welcome to 30 Days of Preparedness from PreparednessMama

Day 2 – The Family Meeting Place and Escape from Laughingbear Adventures

Day 3 – I’m Safe! How to Communicate with Family in an Emergency from PreparednessMama

Day 4 – Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan? from Home Ready Home

Day 5 – Preparedness For Pets from The Busy B Homemaker

Day 6 – The Escape Exercise from Laughingbear Adventures

Day 7 – It all Falls Apart Without Mental Preparedness from PreparednessMama

Day 8 – It’s a Matter of Emergency Kits from A Matter of Preparedness

Day 9 – Nine Great Emergency Light Sources Other Than Flashlights from Food Storage & Survival

Day 10 – Cooking Without Power from Mama Kautz

Day 11 – The Importance of a Shelter & Staying Warm and Dry from Trayer Wilderness

Day 12 – The Importance of Having The Right Tools In Your Pack from Trayer Wilderness

Day 13 – Practice Living Without Electricity from Food Storage Made Easy

Day 14 – How We Choose The Right Gear – (including the MultiFlame Tool) from Trayer Wilderness

Day 15 – Water Storage & Purification from The Busy B Homemaker

Day 16 – Food and Water for a 72 Hour “Go Bag” from Homestead Dreamer

Day 17 – 8 Foods You Should Be Storing and How from Melissa K Norris

Day 18 – Planning Your Pantry from The Organic Prepper

Day 19 – Stocking Up on Non-Food Items from Living in Rural Iowa

Day 20 – Dutch Oven Cooking: Off-Grid Before Off-Grid Was Cool from The Backyard Pioneer

Day 21 – Pressure Canning the Harvest from Timber Creek Farm

Day 22 – Personal Protection & Awareness from Living in Rural Iowa

Day 23 – KISS First Aid from Herbal Prepper

Day 24 – Mommy, I have to go Potty! from Mom With a Prep

Day 25 – Fire Starting 101: The Why and How of Lighting a Fire for Survival from Food Storage & Survival

Day 26 – How to Filter and Purify Water from Prepared Housewives

Day 27 – How To Make A Shelter from Trayer Wilderness

Day 28 – Put Your Preps to the Test with 24 Hours Unplugged from The Organic Prepper

Day 29 – What Is Char and Why You Should Have It To Start A Fire from Trayer Wilderness

Day 30 – How To Utilize Bushcraft Skills and Forage From The Wild from Trayer Wilderness

The post Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan? appeared first on Arador.

Barter For Survival: Top Ten Barter Items Every Prepper Should Have

The barter is not something that must wait till the collapse. Its just a forgotten art. its just something we stopped doing. That said, there are some serious situations in  collapse that could call for a solid barter. In fact, you could argue that recovery depends on channels of respectful barter. This could be the …

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5 Best Funnels for Deer Hunting

Now if you are a hunter or new to hunting the very first knowledge is not just going out to the woods with a gun and shot a deer down. As much as coordinating a state or a project needs execution of a plan, so does a deer hunting. Let’s say you and your friends decided to leave the busy lifestyle of the city and out to embrace the wilderness of the nature for a few days. One of your excursion itinerary includes Deer hunting and you must be wondering how would it be like to hunt a deer. It’s

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Debt Cancer: More Than 80 Percent Of American Adults Owe Somebody Else Money

Debt is a trap. It can be serious issue for many Americans. You will struggle to get out from under serious debt. That is just how that works. You will find yourself stuck at a job you hate because of the piles of debt that have anchored you there. If you think that debt goes …

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Survival Medicine Hour: Wound Cleaning, Medical Backpacks, More


dealing with open wounds

dealing with open wounds

The right equipment is important for anyone to do a job efficiently. You wouldn’t expect a steak knife to cut a tree down better than a saw, or see a hunter have the same success with a catapult as opposed to a rifle. The same goes for the containers you put supplies in, especially one you have to carry with you while bugging out or away from your retreat. The right medical backpack allows you to work effectively as a medic, while giving you the ability to have plenty of materials and minimizing back problems. Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy discuss what goes into choosing a good medical backpack.

A loaded first aid kit with medical supplies for trauma,burns, sprains and strains and other medical issues

Picking the right medic bag

Plus, some basics of wound cleaning off the grid. In normal times, you can pass off a person with a wound to a hospital, but after a disaster, it’s your responsibility to see the wound to full recovery. That means diligent and strict attention to wound cleaning. We talk about some strategies for wound care off the grid that will decrease the risk of wound infections and increase the chances for survival.

All this and more on the Survival Medicine Hour with Joe and Amy Alton!

To listen in, click below:


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

Joe and Amy Alton

Dr Bones/Nurse Amy

Dr Bones/Nurse Amy

Follow us on Twitter @preppershow, Facebook at Doom and Bloom’s page, and YouTube at DrBones NurseAmy channel

Plus, get a copy of the Survival Medicine Handbook’s award-winning Third Edition at Amazon.com

2017 Book Excellence Award Winner in Medicine

2017 Book Excellence Award Winner in Medicine

Calling 911

The following post has some very good information about calling 911.  In my county of roughly 100,000 citizens the emergency call center receives over 300,000 calls a year. 
The following post is from www.wikihow.com.
911 is meant to connect you to help. In some areas, it is for serious emergencies only. In other areas, it is for anytime you want police or fire to respond. KNOW what the expectation is in your area. If you are not sure, call them and let them know it is not an emergency. They can let you know if you should be calling a different number.

Get on the line, and let the 911 dispatcher know what the call is about. Answer any questions they have as best you can, and stay on the line follow any instructions they give you while waiting for help to arrive.

They will ask questions to assess the level of response and the speed of response that is needed.

Be ready to tell them: – Your name – The number you are calling from and a call back number if that is different. – Where you are and where help is needed. Not all cell phones or VOIP based land lines give accurate locations. If it is not an address, you need to be aware of how they can find you, even if that means that you get them to a location that they can find and have a person to direct them the rest of the way. – Who needs help – What help is needed. If this is an emergency, tell them everything you know (how they got injured, what is injured, their level of alertness, any medical issues that are known). This is what they use to determine if a squad car can casually cruise through the area or if they need to get police, fire, ambulance all headed out with lights and sirens.

Stay on the line. They may ask you for updates or put an emergency res-ponder on the line to give you assistance in handling things before they get to you.  For more info on this topic go to:

Calling 911

The following post has some very good information about calling 911.  In my county of roughly 100,000 citizens the emergency call center receives over 300,000 calls a year. 
The following post is from www.wikihow.com.
911 is meant to connect you to help. In some areas, it is for serious emergencies only. In other areas, it is for anytime you want police or fire to respond. KNOW what the expectation is in your area. If you are not sure, call them and let them know it is not an emergency. They can let you know if you should be calling a different number.

Get on the line, and let the 911 dispatcher know what the call is about. Answer any questions they have as best you can, and stay on the line follow any instructions they give you while waiting for help to arrive.

They will ask questions to assess the level of response and the speed of response that is needed.

Be ready to tell them: – Your name – The number you are calling from and a call back number if that is different. – Where you are and where help is needed. Not all cell phones or VOIP based land lines give accurate locations. If it is not an address, you need to be aware of how they can find you, even if that means that you get them to a location that they can find and have a person to direct them the rest of the way. – Who needs help – What help is needed. If this is an emergency, tell them everything you know (how they got injured, what is injured, their level of alertness, any medical issues that are known). This is what they use to determine if a squad car can casually cruise through the area or if they need to get police, fire, ambulance all headed out with lights and sirens.

Stay on the line. They may ask you for updates or put an emergency res-ponder on the line to give you assistance in handling things before they get to you.  For more info on this topic go to:

Volcanic Activity And Earthquakes In The Ring Of Fire Spark Fears Of ‘The BIG ONE’

The earth has long been a lava billowing monster. In its early days it was pretty much that exclusively. It can be said that our whole existence and all of our advancements are merely because the earth has decided to to take it easy for a while. If and when the earth starts to quake …

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These Bottled Water Brands Are LOADED with THOUSANDS of Plastic Particles: Is Your Favorite on the List?

by Daisy Luther

Many people try to make a better choice by drinking bottled water instead of tap water since the municipal water from our faucets is loaded with all Read the rest

The post These Bottled Water Brands Are LOADED with THOUSANDS of Plastic Particles: Is Your Favorite on the List? appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Podcast #172: Staying The Course

March 16th, 2018: In today’s show I discuss the importance of staying the course.  We are almost through the first quarter of the year and I am sure many of you have already experienced some of life’s ups and downs, but these things in our lives are present to shape us and build us into strong […]

The post Podcast #172: Staying The Course appeared first on Trayer Wilderness.

Escape and Evasion Tactics for When S Really Hits the Fan

If (and when) things go south, you find yourself in a total doomsday situation (or perhaps some politician pisses off the wrong country, and everything turns to Red Dawn: Real Life Edition), understanding specific and efficient escape and evasion tactics can be highly critical. Often, it can feel as though we each create our own … Read more…

The post Escape and Evasion Tactics for When S Really Hits the Fan was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Clive Maund: Dollar Looks to Head Much Lower

How could the dollar do anything but get worse off.  There is no currency of its kind that is so laden with debt. Over 20 trillion to be exact, and growing. Still, we live in this make believe world where this debt laden paper has real value. How long will the boat stay afloat. When …

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Cold-Weather Chicken Care: How to Keep Chicken Water From Freezing

In my neck of the woods, winter weather is almost behind us. But some parts of the globe are still up to their ears in some of the worst winter weather conditions they’ve had so far. So, as our final post in our cold-weather chicken care series, I want to offer up a few solutions for how to keep chicken water from freezing even when the temperatures plummet.

In case you missed our earlier posts on cold-weather chicken care, you can check them out here.

Cold-Weather Chicken Care: 11 Quick Ideas to Improve Chicken Comfort

Cold-Weather Chicken Care: The Tale of the Frostbitten Chicken and Lessons Learned About Prevention and Treatment

Cold-Weather Chicken Care: Cold-Hardy Chicken Breeds

Now for some ideas to warm up your chicken water!

On-Grid Solutions

If I lived in a place where dealing with frozen water was a regular issue, I would most definitely get some power to my coop and use some kind of electric heat to keep my chicken water flowing. Plug-and-play devicesonce you have a reliable electricity source installedare about the most headache-free way of keeping chicken water from freezing in extreme conditions.

Even after you have electricity, you still have some decisions to make on which devices will work best for your purposes.

The Heated Coop

If you are giving your chickens supplemental heat and light to keep them laying in winter, and you have an insulated coop, then you likely just need to keep your water bowl close to your heat source.

If you are thinking about going this route, brooder lamps are a classic go-to for winter heat. But newer technologies like chicken-safe heat walls may require less maintenance, and are definitely better from a fire-safety perspective.

Heating Units That Work With Your Existing Watering Devices

If you have a lot of chicken-watering devices and just want to find a solution that works with what you’ve already got in place, consider these.

Fount heaters, which are basically heated pedestals, can be used with your existing self-watering founts and poultry waterers. They can also work well with the nipple-style bucket watering devices. They often look like an upside down pie tin with an electric cord. A high-quality unit will usually cost around $50.

DIY Fount/Bucket Cinder Block Heater

You can also make your own fount pedestal heater for around $10-$15 using a concrete block, paving stone, lamp socket with cord, mounting bracket, and a 60 or 100 watt bulb. Alternatively, you can use an extension cord and a plugable light socket.

The lamp socket you buy should be rated for use with a 100-watt light bulb. Also make sure you get a good fit between your cinder block and your paving stone to ensure that no water can drip into your light socket and create an electrical fire hazard.

Assemble the light kit, mount the light inside the block, and cover the block with the paving stone. Some people will drill holes to run the cord through the concrete block or will buy notched cinder blocks and use a file to deepen the notch to pass the cord through. If you have an elevated wood floor, you can also just drill a hole in your floor, run the cable through the hole, and set the open bottom of the cinder block over your light.

Plug in your cord. Turn the lamp on. Put your waterer on top of the paving stone. And voilà! The lamp will heat the paving stone and the paving stone will heat your watering device. The concrete barrier also provides some degree of fire protection.

You can build this in just a couple of minutes. In many cases, a 60-watt light bulb will be sufficient to keep the water flowing. But depending on your temperatures and the density of the paver top you choose, you may need to upgrade to a 100-watt light bulb to fully heat your water. As with any DIY project of this nature, you must keep a close eye on your homemade heater to make sure there are no safety issues until you are completely confident that your setup is working well.

Submersible Water Heaters

In addition to pedestal heaters, you can also modify your existing watering systems using a submersible deicer. These work particularly well for watering systems that have easy-access openings at the top. They can range in price from $15-$50 depending on design and quality. Many chicken keepers who live in extreme cold opt for higher-end heating models because they tend to last longer and end up costing less over time.

If you have larger water systems, like Marjory’s 55-gallon drums, then you would need to opt for a higher-powered submersible device. Make sure the device you choose is rated for the number of gallons you plan to heat.

To learn more about Marjory’s watering systems, check out this video:

(video) Simple And Effective Watering Systems For Small Livestock

Watering Devices With Integrated Heaters

For about the same price as high-quality submersible or fount water heaters, you can buy watering devices with built-in heaters.

This one is not my favorite method because I like to fill up my water containers in my house on cold days and bring a fresh container to my chickens as needed. So, I keep several watering devices ready to fill on my porch and just swap them out as needed. That means I’d have to buy three or four of these waterers with built-in heaters, and that’s a lot more expensive than just plugging in one fount base heater and using my regular fount water containers or buckets.

If your coop is close to your water source, though, then using a watering device with an integrated heater might be right for you.

There are lots more on-grid options for heating chicken water, but these are a few of the more common, tried-and-true methods to consider.

Off-Grid Solutions

Not all of us are able to run electricity to our coops. Luckily, there are some good off-grid solutions to keeping chicken water from freezing. Some of the ideas that follow are geared more towards us hard-core off-gridders who love to tinker and push our homesteading limits. But even if they seem a bit out there, most of these can be adapted to your average suburban backyard.

Easy Fixes: Double-Wall Waterers, the Saltwater Trick, Placement, and Insulation

Depending on your conditions, you may be able to keep water from freezing longer with a few easy fixes.

Metal, double-walled chicken waterers have better insulation and may keep water from freezing a bit longer than your standard single-walled waterers.

Saltwater has a higher freezing point than fresh water. By submerging a plastic bottle filled with saltwater inside your chicken waterer, you can increase the freezing point of the surrounding water. Make sure your submerged bottle is well-sealed and does not leak into your fresh water, though, or you may overload your chickens on sodium.

By using a dark-colored waterer and placing it in sunlight, it will absorb more heat and be less likely to freeze even in cold temperatures. I like to use blue or black buckets or black rubber concrete mixer containers set against a south-facing wall on top of dark-gray gravel. The dark containers draw the sunlight. The wall and gravel act as heat sinks, absorbing heat and releasing it back to my water container even when the sun slips behind the clouds or horizon.

Create an insulated water area in your coop, such as by making a bagged wood-shaving igloo. If you use wood chips in your coop anyway, just stock up and use the box-shaped bags as building blocks. Or, create a permanent insulated watering nook inside your coop to buy you lots of time between waterings. Similarly to protecting your pipes, buying appropriate insulation and creating a more weatherproof space for water access might even get you through extended subfreezing conditions.

Keep in mind, if you change your chicken water area in cold weather, you want to make sure they know where to find it. I like to leave a fermented scratch trail to the new water station as both a cold-weather treat and a training device.

Longer-Lasting Lake Effect: Use Large, Deep Containers Filled With Warm Water

In cold weather, I give my chickens warm water. I do this because they love it, and because I discovered that it actually buys me time in bitter cold before I have to bring out fresh water again. Here’s why.

When I use large buckets filled with warm water, the water at the surface actually freezes a bit faster than when I use cool water. This is something called the Mpemba effect. And it’s the reason why you can make ice cubes faster if you fill your tray with warm rather than cold water. However, once that surface-layer freezing occurs, that ice layer actually insulates the water underneath, keeping it from freezing. The ice layer will become thicker over time, but it will happen at a much slower rate than if you had the same volume of water in a shallower container.

With their powerful beaks, my chickens will then just break through the ice as needed to get to the fresh water below. Frankly, my chickens love breaking the ice, so this adds a bit of bonus entertainment for them in less-than-pleasant weather conditions.

Even during a string of single-digit days, this little trick meant I only needed to water once in the morning when I let my chickens out and once again in the afternoon when they were doing their heavy pre-roost eating.

Overnight, in cold weather, I remove access to food in the coop and do not try to offer water again until morning.

Keep in mind that chickens are not designed to be water animals. So make sure whatever container you give them can be easily accessed from the ground and does not create a risk for drowning.

If you are a really hard-core off-gridder and have the space, then you may just want to let nature do the work for you with our next suggestion.

The Drip Effect: Offer Constant Drip Water Sources

We have a spring-fed pond that always has at least one section that continues to flow even in our coldest weather. If it does start to ice up around the flow point, I’ll just break that area up with a shovel and keep it flowing longer.

Even if you don’t have a spring-fed water source, you can use this idea to keep water flowing in your coop. By using a bit of grit, you can jam up a nipple feeder to keep it dripping. Make sure to put some kind of collection receptacle below it to collect the constant flow so you don’t get ice patches in your coop.

Similarly, if you set up your watering system with ball valves, you can create a small wedge with a pebble in your valve suction so that the water keeps flowing in. This is like what happens when your toilet handle is breaking and the toilet keeps on running after you flush. If chickens don’t keep up with the flow, then you may need to set your water bucket or bowl in an overflow box full of absorbent material like wood shavings or sawdust.

In both of these scenarios, water will be constantly dripping, so you will need to keep a close eye on it to make sure your watering system doesn’t run out of water or overflow your collection areas.

The Underground Winter Coop

Now, this idea is speculative. I haven’t tried it. But, since we all know a well-built root cellar will keep liquids from freezing, adding an underground component to your coop should also work great to give chickens a suitably warm location for year-round water.

Keep in mind that a cellar will only work if you dig it well below your frost line. So make sure you find out the cellar specifications for your area before you build. Also, you need to take special precautions in your design to avoid potential flooding in your wet season or structural failure over time.

Now, a chicken cellar is probably only worth considering in extreme cold, or if you have a lot of time and are looking for a fun project to tackle.

Here’s one more idea that takes a bit of work, but also gives you great compost in the end.

Watering Chickens the Jean Pain Way

A Jean Pain Mound is basically a giant compost pile of wood chips with a heat-safe coil of tubing buried inside. (The method also calls for a methane digester—but that’s not necessary for chicken watering.) When the compost heats up, cold water is drawn through the coil and forced up through the pile where it comes out hot on the other side. This is called a thermal siphon.

Now, Jean Pain used this method with a really large pile to heat his whole house and also to trap methane gas. But you can also use this concept with smaller piles—like, say, your standard 4′ x 4′ compost pile.

During the winter, when I am giving my goats extra bedding materials and hay rations, I clean their barn thoroughly every 3-4 weeks. That gives me enough material to build a 4′ x 4′ compost pile in just a day. Since the chickens love to hang out on this pile anyhow, I discovered that I could make a divot in the center of the pile after it starts composting, insert a bucket, and keep water from freezing for several days. As the pile shrinks, I top it off, dig a new divot, and insert my bucket.

If you wanted to take this idea up a notch, you could install a thermal siphon that feeds into a bucket from a storage receptacle using a ball valve. The water may come out too hot to drink direct from the siphon, but thanks to Mpemba effect, it will also cool rapidly.

If you are really clever, you could even go further and create a repeating loop with a watering nipple system by harnessing the natural heating and cooling cycles of the water in relation to the thermal siphon. You’d just need to make sure to place your nipples at a point in your loop where the water is cooled enough to drink.

Check out this tutorial from Cornell University to get a basic idea of how to use compost piles to harness heat. Then you’ll be ready to start designing your own creative methods for turning that information into a winter water supply for your coop!

Learn More: http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/2012/10/01/compost-power/

There are literally hundreds of ways to supply your chickens with warm water, even in freezing conditions. I’ve just covered a few to get your creative juices flowing. If you have a wacky, innovative idea for watering your chickens in winter, please share your ideas with our readers using the comments section below.

Now, as winter eases into spring, be on the lookout for more posts on chicken care—including ways to effectively use chickens in your garden and more!


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The post Cold-Weather Chicken Care: How to Keep Chicken Water From Freezing appeared first on The Grow Network.

Stoves (Kerosene, Propane, Butane, Alcohol, Wood) For Cooking Preparedness

Guest article by Chuck Findlay This comes from a life-long ‘stoveaholic’ that has way too many stoves and is not at all in recovery. The addiction is life-long and in full bloom with no hope for recovery. I have been an avid tent camper my whole life, from the time I could walk to today (57-years old) I have had all kinds of camping gear. That includes stoves that ran on all kinds of fuel. The stoves I have are butane, gasoline-white gas, propane, wood, and kerosene. Most of them are small backpack stoves and are not made to serve

The post Stoves (Kerosene, Propane, Butane, Alcohol, Wood) For Cooking Preparedness appeared first on Modern Survival Blog.

Merry Pranksters go Off-Grid and try to Eat Free

Ben and Danny with empty wallets

Ben & Danny – Not tight-wads, more empty-wads

Ben and Danny (pictured) are two of the merriest pranksters on the green scene. They have been spending some time in London and kindly agreed to take time off from their own work in order to help out on the off-grid web site. In their first film they see how hard it is to eat free in Britain’s capital city.

Over the next few weeks they will be making videos on all sorts of issues important to our readers – from water supply to van dwelling to mental health.

In their first video, I send them off to see how hard it was for them to eat for free in London. The answer is – its tough, and slightly disgusting. They are remarkably resilient duo but the tasks I set them are hard to endure and over the months ahead, will test the relationship between us to its limit.

See what you think of the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gxtr19jR6w

Things were very different in my day. As a young man in London I was able to eat free 24/7 in a permanent round of openings, closings, community events and commercial freebies.

Post-Brexit London is a much tawdrier place, and Ben & Danny’s films will reflect that I think. Ben and Danny are both highly motivated by the new paradigm of minimising your carbon footprint, living without impacting on the earth, and keeping yourself outside the system – I am very proud to have them as our new Ambassadors in London.

I look forward to hearing what you think in comments – or write to me at nick@off-grid.net.

The post Merry Pranksters go Off-Grid and try to Eat Free appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Home Security – One Preppers Experience

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest submission from Valknut79 to The Prepper Journal. The next Prepper Writing Contest Award is coming! As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

Home security has become a major issue in my life. Last year, I detailed my experience of having a near break-in for this website , and since then, I’ve done quite a bit more learning about how to set up our suburban stronghold for emergency situations.

I’ve hired a consultant to meet with me, talked with friends in the military and made friends with a police officer to pick his brain, and this is what I’ve come to learn about the world of creating a safe stronghold for now, and for after the SHTF.

First, your home must be safe, but it also needs to be livable, and affordable. Livable in the sense that, yes, it would be safer to build a home with no windows, but it would also be impossible to sell when the time comes to move, and few people would be able to live happily in that kind of environment. It’s obviously better to build your home out of steel, with bullet resistant glass windows, cameras throughout, and traps set for any unknown bad guys, but that’s financially impossible for the vast majority of individuals.

That said, I repeat, your home must be safe. The easiest way to make it safe while still making it livable is to create designated zones throughout your home and your property that have different levels of inherent safety. We’ll start from the highest security level and work down to the lowest, documenting some, if not all of the considerations that you’ll want to have.

Level 1: The Panic Room

Let’s say that a gang of well-armed thugs breaks in to your home, with the intention of not just stealing all of your stuff, but with the intention of harming you and your family. Where do you go? This area of your house is the “panic room” or the “dying room” – the place where you feel most prepared to defend the safety of your family, where the only way that your attacker is getting to you or them is over your dead body.


A panic room should be located centrally within your home, on the ground level, preferably in a location that has only one point of entrance – through the door you entered through – with no windows. Since this is a room that you’ll likely only use in dire emergency, you need to have a weapons cabinet, and some kind of furniture that you can use for cover. Minimal supplies are needed: some water and some first aid, maybe a snack. If you’re stuck in the panic room for long enough to require more than that, you’re probably not going to make it out at all.

Having some form of quick communication is important in this room. If you have a landline phone, make sure that this room is a part of your network. If you have nearby family members or neighbors you trust, you can set up a pair of walkies-talkies that would allow you to get the word out about your safety. Have a backup cell phone with battery pack for a final option, but that can be iffy – it’s true that any cell phone, even ones that are not current with a network, can call 911 for emergencies, but poor long-term battery storage and longer load times for starting up the phone, as well as limiting basement signal strength can be problematic.


The door is the most defining feature of this room. As all of my consultants and new friends pointed out, interior doors are not meant for anything other than being a screen for privacy. A quality exterior door, while it may look really out of place, takes up almost the same amount of space, and provides ten to fifteen times the amount of protection. To install this, you might need a handyman if you’ve never hung a door, and it may require some slight reconfiguration of the beams near the door to accommodate the slightly larger size, but the safety boost is substantial. Installing a quality lock will buy you precious minutes as you prepare for your final stand. There’s quite a bit more to doors in the next section, but suffice it to say that a standard interior door make of plastic and foam is not going to keep anyone out.

Our panic room is where we keep our safe, our weapons, our file cabinets of important paperwork, and some of our in-home water storage, but nothing else. This needs to be a place that is reserved for emergency, or it may fall into disrepair.

Level 2: Your Home

The remaining areas of your home are your second level of defense – an area where you are well-defended, and have some strong safety features, but where you can still conduct your daily life. Because the interior of your home is where you’re going to spend the majority of your time away from work, it must have substantially better security and defense features than your backyard and immediate outdoor surroundings (Level 3) or your wider outdoor area or neighborhood (Level 4).

As your home will be your primary defense from not only a human attack, but also from storms or other natural disasters, it is essential that you maintain your home’s structural integrity. Three tasks should be taken on with regularity: a formal inspection of your home’s siding and roofing, an energy audit, and thorough maintenance of trees and other obstructions.

The inspection will identify areas where your siding or roofing needs repair or replacement, and, if you get a very good inspector, he can assess the property for potential hazards like areas where flooding could occur. Fixes here are not cheap, but the fact is that very few people have their homes inspected after purchasing them, and as homes change over time, there is value in updating the knowledge of how well your home is doing, and how those repairs you’ve made are holding up.

The energy audit will help to identify cost-savings opportunities for installing power-saving features (new lightbulbs, insulation, windows or doors), but perhaps just as importantly, it can identify areas of leakage around your home – tiny holes that will likely go undiscovered by inspectors which can turn into major issues, such as allowing pests into your home, or where ventilation that is supposed to direct fumes away from your property instead deposit them back into your home in the attic or into your utility room. When we had our energy audit, we were able to identify that the dryer hoses that were supposed to point to the outdoors had slipped out of place, allowing our moist air that was supposed to discharge out to partially discharge in between our walls, causing water damage to the inside of our drywall. We were also able to finally plug the two mouse holes that were underneath our siding, allowing the vermin in.

Finally, the maintenance of trees or other outdoor obstructions future-proofs against a storm that could take out your trees and deposit them on your roof. Doing annual maintenance is significantly easier than replacing the bones of your house.

Smoke detectors, a carbon monoxide detector, and some fire extinguisher complete your basic disaster prep.

In addition to protecting from damage, you must also protect from the human element. The basic defense against intruders is a strong set of doors and windows. Your home is not a bank safe, and this is not a movie scene where the robbers will try to drill through the sides. Intruders will want to enter through the front or rear doors of your property, and will use windows if they want to be stealthy. They’re not going to drill through your home’s siding.

For your front door, make sure it is a solid wood, wood or fiberglass door, and ensure that it has a good lock, deadbolt and latch. Some of the latches your can purchase from stores are metal-coated, but platic on the inside, so getting something heavy is ideal, even if you have to pay more.

In addition to the locking mechanisms, you can purchase metal plating that you install on your doorframe that can help reduce an intruder’s ability to kick in your door. The wooden frame will break under stiff, sudden pressure, but a properly installed metal frame can make that nearly impossible.

It’s possible to purchase horizontal bars that you can install on the interior of your door that you can hide next to your door, and install in an emergency that would prevent the door from opening inwardly, although this may be better suited to use only in your panic room, as it looks a little out of place in a traditional home.

In addition to a solid locking system, I think that a large peephole is a must. There is a newer style of peephole available in which the apeture on the inside of your home is about two and a half inches wide, while the exterior peephole is obscured using mirrors. You can see everything more clearly, at a wide angle, so you can more easily identify who is outside at your door. Video doorbells are an option for today that certainly has a certain “cool factor,” but these are of no use in a grid-down situation, and they can be hacked. The advantage of using them for now is that potential intruders will not know if you’re home or not, as you can answer your door without opening it from any location using a phone app.

A sliding patio door is significantly less safe than a French door system, which would be ideal. It’s possible to get locks for the top and bottom of patio doors, as well as the much less secure handle lock. In addition, you may wish to get a thick wooden dowel rod that sits in the well of the opening door to prevent opening. It won’t stop someone from breaking through, but the noise that causes makes it a bad choice for most burglars.

All of the securty on your door is likely overkill, but makes your home a fortress. Once an intruder figures out that they can’t get in, then they’ll go for the next point of entry – your windows. These are significantly less easy to defend than your door, but you can get some basic security features that can go a long way. First, invest in good windows. Newer windows make it difficult to open them from the outside, often come with quality built-in locks, and multiple panes of glass that can make them slightly more difficult to break. This isn’t much defense, but it’s something. It’s also possible to install a shatterproofing film on your windows, and this is recommended for any ground floor windows. Again, it won’t make much of a difference if someone truly wants to break in and cause harm, but it should provide a little more defense, and outside of barricading or boarding up your windows, there’s not a lot more you can do to protect them.

If you live in a hurricane or tornado zone, you probably already have suitable window coverings that you can fit on in case of a storm. If you don’t live in those locations, fashioning these might be something to consider in an SHTF situation. If nothing else, blackout curtains that you can hang from your interior windows to mask the occupants does provide a substantial amount of privacy if you don’t want others to know if you’re home, how many people there are, or what you’re doing in your home. If you have backup power during an outage, for instance, these may allow you to enjoy a normal life without alerting the neighbors to the fact that you have electricity.

Once the basics are taken care of, invest in a security system.

Before purchasing a security system, do a basic assessment of your home. If you wanted to break in, where would you do it? Count the number of windows that are accessible from the ground level, and any in your backyard that can be reached from a ladder. Add one for every door to the outside, including your patio door. This is the number of sensors you’re going to need, along with an alarm.

Installing your own security system is a breeze. Mount your alarm in a central location. It’s just a matter of matching up your pieces and screwing them into the doorframe or windowsill. You connect them to a central monitoring system, whether it’s a smarthome setup or a specific device designed to control the setup. An app on your phone should take care of the rest.

Using a security system does require vigilance. It’s easy to forget that it’s there, and forget to arm it when you leave. Of course, it’s also possible to forget to disarm it when coming home, and be welcomed into your house with a loud blaring siren. If this happens too often, you may decide to avoid using the system all together. That said, the most important part of the security system is not the setup, but rather, the sign that comes with it. Yes, this is a blatant advertisement that you’ve installed something to lookout for when breaking into your home, but if you were a burgular, you’d likely avoid the homes that went through the effort and instead target the homes without a system at all. If you know that you’re not the type to follow through with the arming and disarming of the security system, then the sign at least is quite helpful.

Should you install a camera system? That is something that each reader will have to decide for themselves. First consider that installing cameras throughout your home that are wired to a central monitoring device is a much more substantial project than the security system. Of course, there are wireless cameras, though these can be hacked, and many transmit the images they take to the internet, which is something that I never feel safe with. Some systems have professional monitoring, in which someone is possibly looking in on what you’re doing inside your home. Aside from that, when I wrote a piece on having my home potentially burgularized earlier this year, I had a camera setup that caught a decent view of the perpetrators faces, and the police couldn’t do very much with those images – unless someone is murdered, it is unlikely that your local police will use facial recognition software or a criminal database to identify your attackers. That said, a camera mounted in a high spot along your roof could be a very strong deterrant for would-be burgulars, and you can use cameras very easily to identify any attackers who are breaking into your garage, shed or other outbuildings on your property.

Level 3: Your Immediate Area

The immediate area around your home is a space that is, by nature, difficult to define. For our family, in a suburban home that is fairly well spaced out, we’ve decided that this area is essentially our backyard. Other families may decide that this is too wide or a net, or too small, depending on what areas of your property you and your family decide to use.

Why choose the backyard? This is where the majority of our family’s long-term preps are held – our gardens (for growing new food), our garage (where camping supplies and bug-out bags are stored), our rain barrels (for extremely long-term water storage), our grill and firepit (for electricity-free cooking and heat), and our root cellar (for storing what we grow but cannot immediately eat). Other families may have some livestock areas that they wish to include, or outbuildings like a greenhouse, shed or guest house that they may wish to include in their Level 3 protection area.

Defining the Level 3 area is based on which areas of your property you could limit yourself and your families’ movements to in case of emergency. If we needed to stay home without leaving, we’d use the inside of our home and our backyard – there’s no need for us to go anywhere else in dealing with common emergencies, so long as we can stay at home. We could tend to our gardens, find water, cook food, have access to all of our essential supplies, and our daughter could play in a relatively safe environment.

What makes this environment safe?

We are meticulous about putting away tools. A screwdriver, knife or power tool left out could make a weapon for an intruder. A ladder that is forgotten and left outside could tempt an intruder to try a second or third floor window – one which you may not have protected with your security system, and which you can be less vigilant about locking, especially if you frequently open it to enjoy a breeze. If an intruder decides that they are going to try and break in from a level 3 area of protection, then they will not find what they need to make their job easier on my property.

Secondly, we maintain our privacy with a solid composite wood fence. Our fence is made of six-foot-tall full panels, with no gaps showing in between, and has a decorative lattice on top which increases the height by a good 8 inches. Some security experts believe that having a fence is not the greatest idea on certain types of properties, particularly if you are attempting to hide your presence entirely, as it draws attention to an area where you may wish to maintain secrecy. For the majority of properties, however, a fence allows you to go about your business in relative secrecy. One of our neighbors kept a small chicken coop in her backyard against local regulations, and was not caught for many years because she was able to hide it behind a solid fence. You won’t need to worry about anyone spying on your children playing in the backyard, you won’t need to worry about neighbors noticing your orderly and prolific survival gardens, and intruders cannot be certain if you or your dogs are currently occupying the space without revealing their position. Privacy is an important weapon, as it introduces a “fear of the unknown” element to your property.

Chain link fencing provides no privacy, and can be easily climbed. Vinyl fences are basically just opaque sheets of plastic – they provide the privacy you’ll need, but they can be knocked over quite easily and wear out in just a few years. Wood fences are certainly high quality, but require annual maintenance. I think that the clear winner in terms of strength and the amount of maintenance they require over a lifetime is composite wood. It is as strong as wood, and doesn’t need to be painted or sealed to maintain it’s integrity. If someone wants to breach your fence, they’ll be able to, but you certainly wouldn’t want it to be easy.

Our fence has a gate to the side of the house and the driveway. On the panel right next to the fence, we hung two signs: “Beware of Dog” and “No Tresspassing.” We do have a dog (more on animals later), but even if we did not, we’d still have the sign, as it is another technique to deter would-be intruders who may not be comfortable dealing with an animal of unknown size and ferocity. The “No Tresspassing” sign functions similarly to the “Beware of Dog” while being more general, and is just a reinforcement against troublesome teens looking for a shortcut through our yard to get to the park, or too-eager salesmen who don’t respect privacy like they should.

You’ll note that as we step down in security levels, we lose a lot of options – intruders can climb any fence, knock down any panels, and it’s not as difficult to break into gate locks. Storms can easily penetrate the area, but many of the basics from level two remain important in level three, and it is recommended that you put a padlock on your gate if you have one, and keep all doors that lead into your home or your outbuildings locked as well, despite the added safety that the fence can provide.

Level 4: Your Greater Area

For those with an urban or suburban property, your “greater area” probably just means your front yard. For those with a sprawling rural property, this includes all of your land, and often some of the surrounding countryside. If you live in a gated community, condominum or apartment, you may want to include your entire neighborhood.

Let’s talk about the rural areas first, as these are more difficult to deal with. If you raise livestock, or plant corn or wheat fields, then you need to use the land, and you need to put up some kind of fence in parts to help keep your livestock in. With crops, a fence is not strictly necessary, but may serve as a reminder that the crops are not free for the taking – they belong to someone who is willing to claim them. In these situations, a 6 foot tall composite fence is out of the question, and a simple ranch fence is going to suffice. If nothing else, a fence may serve as a reminder to potential passersby and squatters that the property has been claimed, and that someone may be living there.

Again, fencing your property in this way does cause some attention to be drawn to your home base, and it is certainly worth considering if you’d like to drop the concept in lieu of maintaining a secret compound. Signage, like a “Private Property” or “No Trespassing” signs, are also something to consider, and are by no means necessary, but are something that may be valuable if you live in an area with people coming by.

An alternative to fencing would be to set up a tripwire system, which would be particularly effective in a forested environment. The tripwires are simply taut wires low to the ground, between trees or rocks, connected to some kind of device, be it a trap or a loud, noisemaker. This will alert you to their presence, and probably scare them half to death, and it allows you to defend your property if they do decide to move forwards. Traps, if they catch people, can open you up to some significant liability, even if they are trespassing, so you may wish to investigate some local laws if you want to install anything truly dangerous.

For practical purposes, it is essential that people be allowed to approach your property. Whether it’s a friendly neighbor looking to borrow a cup of sugar, or a mailman delivering a package to your doorstep, or even an insurance adjuster, electrical company worker, or county tax analyst, it wouldn’t be wise to snare them or drop them into a pit during an everyday exchange prior to TEOTWAWKI. Because of this, you need to take a good look at the Level 4 area you wish to protect, and identify where it starts, where it ends, and how you want people to approach your compound.

Secrecy, such as an unmarked, well-hidden home, is certainly one form of dealing with people, but requires a very specific type of property – likely a homestead or a permanent bug-out shelter where you likely don’t live full-time, and probably something with a great deal of land surrounding it, and a good number of trees or other obstructions. For everyone else you need to define your area with various physical features.

Your fence is a good place to start, particularly if it is a ranch fence system, a chain link, or something that allows you great visibility. Almost no normal people will jump your fence to approach your property when they could simply walk around to the path you’ve built in your landscaping. If they decide to do this, you certainly can prepare for defense. Other good path blockers include a low row of bushes or flowers outlining the edge of your property, or a row of trees, although this latter option does limit your visibility.

The goal for an outline border should be to naturally funnel visitors, friendly or otherwise, to a specific, well-lit path towards your well-protected front door. Whatever you choose should be enough to deter people from walking across your lawn or, really, in any other area they want to, and to force them to approach from a direction of your choosing. The border you choose should be tall enough to be noticed, difficult to step over, well-kept enough that visitors don’t think it to be accidental, and low enough that it provides little cover – you want to be able to see you visitors coming, and not be surprised by someone crouching behind the rosebush.

Outside of lower-level windows, it is advisable to plant a bush directly in front of the window that would prevent interlopers from looking in and/or having a steady stance from which they could remove or enter the windows. Spiked bushes are a first choice, while dense, wooded bushes like a yew or arbrovitae would make a good second choice. These bushes should be trimmed low enough that you can get a full view of the front of your property from the inside window. Not only does this provide good securty, but it’s also a fairly common and well-liked look for most suburban homes, and it won’t hurt your property value.

Pathways are important feature as well. A smooth paved path from the sidewalk to the porch or front door landing is certainly an option, but a rougher, more natural path made with stone gravel forces people to walk more slowly to avoid the small tripping hazards that is “naturally” implied. A winding path, one that takes visitors across the path of your front window, will allow you to see visitors before they ring the doorbell, and will delay a visitors’ arrival at your doorstep by a few seconds. We remodeled our property to include a path with one long wind that runs from our driveway up to the front door, and we used one side of the path as a small flower and herb garden, and we noticed that neighbors and postal workers both lingered over the small garden and walked carefully to respect what we had planted, and it allowed us the added peace of mind of knowing that we have extra time to respond to potential threats knocking at our door.

Paths around the remainder of your property are less important than the one that approaches your home, and may even be something you wish to obscure as much as possible. Any time you step down in level, but particularly from Level 3 to Level 4, you are subjecting yourself to a greater lack of security. If your attackers know where you’re going, such as from a side gate from your backyard to a stream or river on your property, they can see the path just as well as you can, allowing them to plan a strike.

In order to see someone approaching your home at night, it is advisable to ensure that the areas you want to funnel guests to and from in your front yard are well-lit. Security lighting, which goes on during the night time whenver something passes in front of the sensor, is a powerful tool, as it provides visibility and has a certain scare effect for burgulars that may dissuade them. As these lights do turn off, it is in your interest to also have a decent amount of switch-operated lights if you do happen to see something you want to investigate further. In our home, outdoor lights are put on timed switches inside, so that they automatically come on at night, and we don’t need to think about making sure that we’ve set them on.

Other Security Considerations

When our home was almost broken into early this year, our locks were not the thing that kept the intruders outside, it was Golem, our 90 pound American Bulldog. He is a sweetheart, and had the intruders made it inside, he was as likely to nuzzle them as strike, but his large frame and powerful jaw make him an imposing force, as does his strong hearty bark. The would-be burgulars heard one warning bark from him, saw him sitting in the kitchen, and ran as fast as they could. Golem is not an attack dog, and he’s certainly not trained to fight. He doesn’t need to be. He’s big, he’s a little scary, and he is one of our home’s most important security features. Think of a dog as an “always on” monitor that can roam the house or the yard, and who is always fiercely loyal to those who treat him well. I believe that a dog’s effectiveness as a security measure is directly proportional to his size and his “scare factor”, so I do not consider smaller dogs nearly as good of an option.

Smart home devices are all the rage, and are more frequently being used for home security, including digital locks and door handles, security systems, and smart lighting systems that you can use outside. Smart homes, like wifi cameras, and any other devices which connect to the internet, can be hacked, and using the more popular ecosystems (Samsung Smartthings, Echo, Google Home) are probably more likely to be hacked. The only hack for a keyed deadbolt is to have the key, which makes it much more secure.

Have you changed the locks in your home since you bought it? When you purchase a new home, the former owners are supposed to turn over all old keys, but they may not have. If you purchased your home while the former owners were under duress, in a short sale or foreclosure situation for example, they may not particularly like you living in their home. In addition, if your former home’s owner gave an emergency key to a trusted neighbor, or hid an exterior key to the home hidden somewhere, like underneath a rock in the garden, then it’s possible that more keys exist that you don’t know about.

Traps or weaponry can also be used in an SHTF situation, deployed around your home and on your formerly welcoming pathway. Two nails bent and twisted around each other creates a weapon called a caltrop, which can be scattered around your property to catch in the boots and shoes of intruders, or to puncture tires. If you want to set up a snare or fall trap, then this is possible as well. Like other advice regarding traps, some jurisdictions will punish the property owner for harm done to anyone on that property, whether they’re supposed to be there or not. See this article for some legal clarification on intruders and your ability to set traps and defend your home.

Security, as defined above, is not simply a measure of how strong your defenses are, but how much smarter you are than an attacker. Concepts like privacy curtains, masking the number of people who are home at any given time, are just as important, if not more important, than having the most secure locks, the most indestructible fencing materials, or the best panic room. Certainly, having good locks on your doors is a boon, but if intruders have no intention of breaking into your home because of good signage, a threatening dog, or a security system sign on your front lawn, then that is just as good.

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New Jersey Prepares To Raise Taxes On “Almost Everything” As It Nears Financial Disaster

When we think of  financial collapse its often part of some giant, nation crushing event that effects all Americans. While this is a possibility down the line its important that you understand what is truly going on. The American economic collapse will not look like a end of the world scenario at first. Instead it …

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How $5 a Week Can Get Your Family 379 Pounds of Food

If you’re a prepper on a budget, you’ll find this video by The Green Prepper very interesting. In it, he proves that a little money and patience can lead to a huge stockpile of food. You just have to be consistent. He created a document (which you can download here) that has a schedule of […]

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Windy at Mom’s place this week.

The wind was blowing so hard at Mom’s place it was rocking the Kia mini-van back and forth when it was parked!  So we did not get the tarp and wire up on the chicken pen.  I did get a few of jobs done inside of of the house.  I’m hoping we get a few days of less wind so we can finish up the chickens pen/run. Eventually we hope to get some of the seed from  Holly bushes I have in my yard and start making a few windbreaks out in Mom pasture.  Mom has a few starts on a couple of trees that will provide shade eventually.  A good thing about my holly is does not need the great soil to start growing.

Mom’s new cable modem/router is installed so she won’t have to pay the monthly rental fee to cable company for a modem.  We got a Netgear C3700 wireless cable modem for $43.00 from newegg.com and it was simple to set up if you are used to working with routers and modems.  I just plugged in the modem, set up the basic home Wireless LAN and then called Cableone to activate the internet.  I have to say for an all in one cable modem/wireless router the Netgear does the job at a great price.  I still need to setup Mom’s kindle and Roku to connect to the internet but that should be simple sit down job at her place.

Mom and I finagled one more set of blinds into place.  One of the brackets got broken and so I had to make do on with a bracket I had on hand.  This replacement bracket is not holding the blind in place securely so it will need to be replaced once the money is available. Mom had some great blinds she got at a yard sale but the windows in her house are all goofy sizes so of course the did not fit.  The house has a freaking huge window that is over a 100+ inches wide that has posed a challenge for hanging a curtain rod.  Mom has a track curtain rod that will fit but I have never hung one of those rods and all the hanging parts are in a bag with no instructions.  Thank goodness for youtube because I found a vid that shows how to install those rods, plus how to place the hooks in the bracket to help insulate the window and block out light.  Now all I have to do is make sure we have all the parts, test fit the rod to the brackets and if that works we can install the rod and Mom will have a bit of privacy and the curtains will help insulate the windows.

We are getting stuff done but when have about 3-4 hours of physical energy and a 30 minute one way commute along with all those household chores of cleaning, firewood, animals and lack of money can make the progress of jobs getting done, seems a little slow and frustrating. Once we get stuff organized and can start building stuff for the future we will feel a a lot more positive about how things are going.  Right now we are stuck on seeing all the things we can’t get done rather than seeing all that we have done.

Hell we can choose to use any good wood we find and burn or trash any bad wood around Mom’s place.  I bought a gallon of chainsaw oil and gave Mom about 12 oz. for her small chain saw.  If we go all out we will cut that little pile of wood in under an hour.  If the wood does not look like it is full of nails so it it will be good for burning but we hope to reuse it.

At Mom’s place there is a lot of wood stacked and we don’t know if it usable for projects or it just needs to be turned into firewood or sent to a landfill. We need to see what we can salvage and what needs to get trash. I want to get Mom at least a couple of raised beds started at her place if only to start improving the soil via as a modified compost bin to add organic matter to the abused soil.
Gosh the only soil we have worked with is the stuff filled with trash.  I did try and stake stuff in the pasture and the dirt is harder than the back of God’s head that does not mean all the soil is that dense/hard.  Never add sand to clay soil or you will end up with a bad version of concrete.  Heck I screwed up improving my soil adding sand to clay soil before listening to some people, then I started using wood mulch paths rather than concrete walkways and started building up the soil with organic matter. At least now I know a little bit about building raised beds, soil and water management.  Now the problem is the lack of funds to getting gardens started at both houses.

I will be building a new sort of raised bed to maximize food growth rather than ease of use.  But It may well work out to be an easy to work garden.  I figure I’ll need to invest a couple of hundred dollars on this new raised bed system but I should get a longer growing season and more output this year.  Mom is going to help with my beds and we will start on building her raised beds, compost bin and building soil this year.  Mom will do some container gardening and start prepping her land for next year.

Any sort of gardening takes planning, preparation, physical work and time.  I despise straw mulch as it does not break down in a year in the garden, but I love wood mulch pathways and using wood mulch to eliminate weeds in the alley way garden that has very poor soil.  It is not that straw mulch is bad it simply is not the best choice for my type of gardening.

TL: DR we are building raised beds eventually.


Trying to order more fire wood

If you heat with firewood and don’t cut the wood yourself you must be proactive and get your wood as early as possible.  While I skated by this last season I was a bit panicked about having enough wood on hand after the winter of 2016/2017.  That has become my “worst case scenario”.  While I was not fond of the kiln dried pine wood as it sucked up moisture like a sponge as it dried it was not a bad wood to burn.  While not a long lasting burn, the pine was easy to start a fire and it burned hot and fast.  So the pine started longer burning wood and eliminated any chill to the house once the fire was started in the wood stove.

Here in the west Douglas fir is the go to fire wood but getting it cut, split and delivered is a challenge.  For hardwoods we sort of depend on the cuttings of Fruit trees like apple and cherry wood.  If you have a wood stove in the west and you don’t cut your own firewood get a good supplier on speed dial.  If you start early you will get the best wood and not have to worry when October/November rolls around.  Build a few simple wood racks and any wood you don’t use this year has another few months to season and dry.

Now there are no below 0 F. temps and I can start a fire in the AM if it is brisk along with starting a fire at night that heats up the house over night.  With the new easy to use fire starters getting a morning fire started in the AM is darn simple if not always easy.  With the new windows and the insulated vinyl siding installed, the house holds heat this winter. I don’t really have to “bank” the fire any more at night.  Just warm up the house and at worst it might get as cold as 64 degrees F. in the back part of the house.  Fire up the wood stove and it hit 70 degrees F. in an hour.

Now that Mom has her own home.  I can work on cutting down my electric bill/load again. If I can get below Idaho power’s break point of the lowest tier user I can save a ton of money .  I tend to be a night owl so I may set the timer for the A/C unit to turn on after 9 PM when electric rates are cheaper.

Giant whales found dead up & down Pacific NW coast – ENE Archive

Giant whales found dead up & down Pacific NW coast, scientists ‘baffled’ over surge — 25+ carcasses reported in past month — Gov’t: “Troubling… Definitely a pulse of deaths” — Experts: “Alarming spike… Exceptionally rare to see a dead humpback” — Concerns about unidentified pathogen (PHOTOS)

Published: August 13th, 2015 at 3:54 pm ET
By ENENews
Email Article Email Article


Vancouver Sun, Aug 13, 2015 (emphasis added): Four B.C. whale deaths in a week baffle scientists; Necropsies hope to provide answers as carcasses continue to pop up… four dead humpback whales in B.C. waters in a single week, just as Alaska is experiencing a surge of whale deaths, has scientists searching for a possible connection21 humpback and fin whales have been found dead in southeast Alaska during the past month, according to Paul Cottrell, Pacific marine mammal coordinator for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “It’s definitely a pulse of deathsand something that we’re going to keep our eye on,” Cottrell said. No cause has been pinpointed for any of the deaths… “These samples are very important… to see if there’s any relationship — whether there’s a pathogen that may be causing this,” Cottrell said… Media reports have suggested [one]  died after becoming entangled in fishing gear, but Cottrell said it is far too early to come to that conclusion… The scientists also noticed woundson the whale’s body… “if there’s anthropogenic or human-caused thingsaffecting the recovery, those are things that we want to know about.”
CTV, Aug 12, 2015: … Cottrell said the number of recent discoveries is troubling. “It’s definitely a pulse and it’s something we are concerned about… We’rehoping we don’t get any more.”
Globe & Mail, Aug 12, 2015: A humpback whale that washed up dead on the shore of British Columbia’s northern coast last week was the fourth to die in a week in the province’s coastal waters… a smaller humpback [was found] near Haida Gwaii on Tuesday, and at least two more were reported to be seen floating lifeless in the water within the last seven days… The uptick in reported whale deaths [coincides with] 21 deaths of fin whales and humpback whales in the past two months in [Alaska]… Max Bakken, a field technician for Pacific Wild [is] alarmed at the spikein humpback deaths…
CBC News, Aug 12, 2015: Last Friday Spirit Bear Adventures wildlife guide Philip Charles got a call that a humpback whale was drifting… He set off with a team from Pacific Wild Conservation to Nowish Bay where they found the massive animal washed up dead… “It is exceptionally rare to see a dead humpback whale, especially in this relatively intact state,” said Charles…
Paul Cottrell, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada: “It’s a concern and it’s something that we’re watching… We’re hoping that if there is something out therethat’s common,we can find what that is.”
Reuters, Aug 6, 2015: … a humpback whale [was] found dead in Washington state’s Grays Harbor on Monday, [NOAA’s Vera Trainer] said.
Cascadia Research Collective, Aug 12, 2015: Last week Cascadia Research, WA Dept of Fish and Wildlife, and the Westport Aquarium examined a 46-foot adult female humpback whale that washed ashore… Cause of death could not be determined
Westport Aquarium, Aug 4, 2015: Yesterday sure was a big day and here’s a big reason. Westport Aquarium staff helped Cascadia Research and WDFW on the necropsy of a 50′ female Humpback whale that stranded near Markham…

Last week in Northern California: “Can’t believe it’s happened again” on San Francisco coast — Mysterious whale deaths baffling scientists — Officials: An “inexplicable” trend (VIDEO)

Gluten Free Buckwheat – an Amazing Not-Grain

Gluten Free Buckwheat – an Amazing Not-Grain Is Buckwheat Gluten Free? YES! Our daughter has severe gluten allergies, so we’re always on the lookout for healthy non-gluten foods. Gluten free buckwheat is one of our favorites, (and all buckwheat is GF)! With the wide ranging epidemic of gluten intolerance, that’s important to know, especially if …

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Ron Paul: Tariffs Will Cost American Jobs, Hurt American Consumers & Lower Our Living Standards

Things are being shaken up like never before in our economy. Whether you are a fan of the president or not, you have to agree that we have never seen someone press other countries for the benefit of America the way he has. Now, that could all spell disaster in the future or it could …

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Australians No Longer Care About Other Australians. Brainwashed by the Australian government?

Homeless people are people with no permanent home, they sleep in cars, family garages, in doss houses or perhaps a family member’s home.

People living rough live on park benches under bridges, anywhere they can find where they hope they will be safe.

The Australian government DOES NOT CARE about these people, & the majority of Australian citizens do not care about these people. Just think about that, is this what we have become as a nation, as a people? Do we have no honour at all? No caring attitude towards fellow Australians in need?

We have the power to put things right, it is quite obvious that the government is not governing Australia properly, it is quite obvious that the care & welfare of the Australian people is not their priority. Oh you may be fine, you may have a good job & a nice home so why should you care about other Australians who have nothing?! What does this say about you as a person who is not willing to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

The ABS Census data released yesterday reveals a 37% increase in homelessness. In 2011 the number of people experiencing homelessness in NSW was 28,191. In 2016 this has jumped to 37,715.

The number of people in overcrowded dwellings in NSW has increased by 74% since the last census.

The number of homeless women has increased across all age ranges with the largest increase in women aged between 25-34 years (55% increase since 2011) and 65-74 years (78% since 2011).

Further information can be found on the ABS website

NSW Snap shot:

37,715 people were experiencing homelessness on the night of the 2016 Census (an increase of 37%)

The number of homeless women has increased across all age ranges with the largest increase in women aged between 25-34 years (55% increase since 2011) and 65-74 years (78% since 2011).

2,588 were sleeping rough (an increase of 35% since 2011)

16,821 were living in overcrowded conditions

The rate of homelessness for young people aged 19-24 increased by 92% since 2006 and is twice that of the general population

The rate of older people experiencing homelessness has increased by 24%

74,000 clients were supported by homelessness services in 2016/17 (43% increase since 2013/14)

2 in 5 clients did not receive crisis or other accommodation despite requesting it in 2016/17

2 in 3 clients who were homeless prior to accessing a service had no long term accommodation at the end of support in 2016/17.


The Demanding Path to Battle School Shootings

Are we going to shake this epidemic of school shootings? It seems like there is no way to escape the horrors of these school shootings. We have simple answers and they don’t seem to be getting us anywhere. In fact, they seem to be making us even more angry  at each other. We get ugly …

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Book Review: On Scene Guide for Crisis Negotiators

According to author Frederick J. Lanceley—one of the world’s foremost crisis negotiation authorities—negotiators must train and train regularly. For just as the legal field constantly evolves, so does the field of crisis negotiation. The new edition of On Scene Guide for Crisis Negotiators reflects this fact. A bestseller in its first edition, this book offers practical advice with regard to the theory, procedures, and techniques of crisis and suicide intervention and hostage negotiation. Two new chapters in the second edition cover negotiation with people under the influence of drugs or alcohol and how first responders can contain a situation until a

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Free PDF: Alone in the Wilderness

This Alone in the Wilderness by Knowles is not the same as the Dick Proenneke video that PBS uses to get viewer subscriptions twice a year. This is a separate and different book describing Knowles experience living alone in the Canadian wilds on the shore of Lake Megantic. The Proenneke video shows his life in Alaska. This is well written book, and would be pretty interesting to a boy that likes hunting and camping.  There is outdoor skills you can learn from this document, but it is not a how to book. This book is a documentary of the author’s

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“Nuclear Blast to your Front!  React!” – How the Army Trains to Survive an ‘Atomic Battlefield’

The title of this article is the exact preparatory command (situation), and the command of execution given to us in the Army to drill a nuclear attack.  Readers, we all hope every day that our “society does not come to a screeching halt via a nuclear attack.  But what if it does?  OK, we’ve “gamed” it from a perspective that you haven’t become a shadow-silhouette on a burned wall and been vaporized…that you’re not living in a “ground zero” targeted area.  If you are, then you have several options beforehand: if there’s warning, bug out and get out of the blast area, or move out of the area to a place that is not a target.

Their will be skeptics, and their ilk that will ask a litany of questions like: “How are you gonna save everyone?”, “What about those who can’t afford property…?”,  “Yeah, like we’re going to get warning!”


Survival is not a guarantee.

Are you’re willing to examine your lifestyle and do what it takes?  Make the necessary changes and act?  That is called “adaptation,” and it is what has enabled the species to survive…the minority who emerge from the rubble when the skeptical majority are dead.  We’re talking “hardball,” here, and it is “sink or swim,” although we don’t shoot for that…we want others to make it through…but there comes a time when you must cut your losses and take care of you and yours.

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

If you’re willing to do what it takes (sometimes in the face of skepticism and even ridicule) and go “against the grain,” you may give yourself the edge helping you survive.

Enough said there.  What if the worst does happen, and you happen to be five to ten miles away from a blast?  Skeptics, we do have information that will work besides the results of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: the “Atomic Soldiers” of the United States armed forces.  Yes, during the 1950’s, whole battalions were emplaced in the southwestern deserts of the U.S. and subjected to be the “test” subjects of nuclear explosions.  Those tests were real, and the results they generated were real.  We don’t want it to have been for nothing: take the knowledge they earned, and use it.

The U.S. Army Training Tips for Surviving an Atomic Battlefield

FM 21-75, a publication of the Department of the Army, entitled “Combat Training of the Individual Soldier and Patrolling” was released in June of 1957Chapter 7 is the point of focus, entitled “Survival on the Atomic Battlefield.”  This 10-page chapter enumerates many good techniques of what to do that can be adapted to civilian life and society when the split-second decision time comes down the pike.  Excellent diagrams relevant to situations: in the open, flat on the ground, behind a small rise, in a ditch, behind a wall, and in a prepared shelter of some kind.

We’ll condense some of it for those who may not be able to pick up one of these into some finer points, and add other:

  1. Think and act fast. Seek the closest available protection.  Do not try to reach distant shelter initially.
  2. Remain in that initial posture for protection for at least 10 seconds to avoid the blast, heat, and debris.
  3. If you’re in the open, flatten and face in the direction of the explosion with your face down against the ground and covering over your head and face with your hands/forearms
  4. You need to seek shelter within the first 12 to 24 hours, as radioactive particles in the form of dust will settle back down to earth in-line with wind and weather patterns.
  5. Radiation begins to deteriorate rapidly, however, you need to make plans of being in a permanent and shielded shelter with enough supplies to last for a month.
  6. The more shielding/earth/material between yourself and the detonation, the better a chance you will have to make it…and this also includes fallout…it is mass that blocks radiation from penetration.
  7. BIGGIE! Prior to anything happening during your routine/daily tasks, study everything around you before an attack!   This means to know where your fallout shelters (prior to Clinton nixing the Civil Defense program in ’96) are located in your area…know where strong basements and other areas to shelter in place are located.

Recommended Prep: Anti-Radiation Pills

Seem farfetched?  Rest assured, these steps are warranted.  Personally, I am not placing my fate or that of my family in the hands of politicians or attempting to court public favor or acceptance of what I have done…and my steps are all my own…not to be revealed to anyone.  You’ll have to weigh it in your own mind.  There’s plenty of literature out there.  We have mentioned Cresson Kearney’s Nuclear War Survival Skills plenty of times.  Another good resource is Bruce D. Clayton’s book “Life After Doomsday.”

The more you study and prepare, the better you’ll make the odds work for you…if you survive the initial attack.  In the end, the responsibility to act lies with you, and all the supplies, equipment, and even training in the world will not substitute for being able to make a timely decision and act upon it.  Should that fateful day arrive, the time to prepare for it is beforehand: don’t be left without a chair when the music stops.  Stay in that good fight.  JJ out!

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

How to Survive A Boil Notice

Our water is the most precious part of our  day. It is often the most neglected as well. We use our taps everyday but we rarely consider just how incredible the delivery system is. We do not understand that in many countries, people have to walk for miles to procure their daily water. That water …

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Why A 30-Day Food Stockpile Is Never Enough

Being a prepper or modern homesteader is all about preparedness and self-sufficiency – for today, next week and next month.

But there’s a difference between short-term and long-term survival. For example, if the grid went down for several months and society collapsed, would you be prepared? Could you survive beyond 30 days?

On this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio we discuss long-term survival strategies with Jim Cobb, a preparedness expert and the author of several books, including Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide: Food, Shelter, Security, Off-the-Grid Power and More Life-Saving Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living.


Jim tells us:

  • How to ensure you have enough food for the long hall.
  • Why storing jugs of water alone is not sufficient for survival.
  • Which types of natural medicines you’ll need to learn about.
  • How to find hand tools of yesteryear that will work even without electricity.

If you’re wanting to take your preparations to the next level – and truly be read for survival — then this week’s show is for you!


Best Snow Shovel: Our Top Picks To Clear Your Drifts

The post Best Snow Shovel: Our Top Picks To Clear Your Drifts is by Lorin Nielsen and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

If you only have a little area to clear, you don’t necessarily need a snow blower. At that point, it’s time to find a quality shovel. But what’s the best snow shovel for your needs? Are there actually any differences, and is any type better than all the rest? Today we’ll go over everything you … Read more

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Why Every Prepper Group Needs an Information Specialist (and How to Start Collecting Information)

by Anonymous 411

Many preppers gather into groups of like-minded people to provide skills and equipment they themselves don’t have. One position or skill that is often overlooked is that … Read the rest

The post Why Every Prepper Group Needs an Information Specialist (and How to Start Collecting Information) appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Knife Blade Material for Great Knives

Blade material decides the effectiveness and durability of a knife. The materials used for a blade will usually depend on the price a person pays for it, and the purpose it was designed for.  Whether it’s used as a tool or a weapon, there are different alloys and materials used to determine the quality and reliability of your knife. Kinds of Blade Material There are many different kinds of blade material, but they are typically made of alloys. With modern alloy materials, knives have become sharper and more durable than ever. Knife Center is a popular online knife store that

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Good Sense in Responsible Antibiotic use on the Homestead

This is a guest post, I don’t necessarily agree with every guest author’s ideas, but I welcome their thoughts.  For me I think common sense is important.  Modern Medicine is a business, and many remedies and cures are not used because they can’t make a patented therefore aren’t financially worth taking through the FDA compliance process.  I also think the total disregard of modern medicine for homeopathic remedies can cause death also.  I go to the doctor when appropriate and I use herbal remedies when appropriate.  Both have a place on the homestead. Good Sense in Responsible Antibiotic use on

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How To Make Your Own Fishing Net

While some prefer to purchase a fishing net, some people enjoy the relaxation that comes from making their own. If you are like me then knowing how to make your own fishing net is something you find to be a neat skill to have. If a do it yourself net is what you’re after, there are several things you should keep in mind. In this article, we are going to look at a few things to consider, the materials you will need, and the steps to making a net that you can use for your next fishing trip. Here is

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Should a Prepper Carry a Neck Knife?

Should a Prepper Carry a Neck Knife?  That is a good question.  In the guest post below the author will discuss some pros and cons.  For myself, as the owner of this site I wanted to add my thoughts as I carried a neck knife everyday for 15 years – even in places that did not allow concealed weapons (its a tool right)… For utility and easy carry a neck knife is hard to beat.  If you have a good design.  I have tried bad designs of heavier knives and friction fit sheaths and ended up loosing my knife.  For

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How to choose Binoculars

Here is an info-graphic on how to choose binoculars from Binoculars Today.  I hope this is useful to you.  I don’t normally post infographics, but this one seems to have some useful information for you. It talks about what the numbers like 109×50 mean.  It also gives some information on lens coatings and prism types. This info gives some good basic information, but if you want to know more you can visit their website, or look at the book I linked to at the top left of this article. When I was an older boy scout we organized a large

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Do Dogs Help To Make Your Child Emotionally Intelligent?

Studies have shown that emotional intelligence is a better measure of the academic success of a child than his economic or family background. Raising a child is way more important than raising a pup. Dogs are trainable and show predictable behaviors, but a child has a complex mind with a variety of emotions–that are hard to manage at times. Mostly, parents emphasize on the development of higher IQ levels in their children. However, practically saying, high EQ (Emotional Intelligence) levels are crucial for academic and social success.  So as a parent and a dog owner I wanted to know do

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The One Simple Secret To An Amazing Weed Free Vegetable Garden

If there is one simple secret that can make all the difference in growing a productive, low maintenance, high producing, weed free vegetable garden – it is using mulch. But even of more importance – its about using the right

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Not So United Nations

The United Nations has been problematic for us here in the USA since its inception in 1945. While its original purpose was predominantly that of maintaining international peace, it has become largely focused on promoting social progress, one of its secondary purposes.

In A Split Second Your Life Can Change

We must be prepared for so many things because in a split second your life can change. It may be a job loss, a car accident, a serious illness, or an unexpected accident when you are at home. We have all had someone affected by some of these situations and it’s heartbreaking. You may think you have a handle on everything and BAM, your life can change instantly. This is why we must all share with our adult or married kids certain things that are critical if you find yourself in a life or death predicament.

I know I can hear some of you say, there is no way I’m sharing with my family certain things about my bank accounts, my retirement accounts, blah blah blah. I get it, I really do. But for me, my daughters know everything because I have worked at a bank and I do not want my accounts to be taken by the government from inactivity.


I’m sure you know what I’m talking about when the newspaper or online notices post names in the state where you live looking for individuals that have money sitting in bank accounts that are dwindling from inactivity. Or property that is owned and considered by the state to be abandoned. I look every year but my name is never there.

The reason I’m writing this post today is to make people aware of what happens to the family if YOU are hurt or incapacitated. If you are the breadwinner, does your family know where you bank?  Do they know if you have a mortgage and where it is paid? Do you have loans or other obligations set up for automatic payments? Do you know where the utilities are paid? Is your health insurance paid monthly, quarterly or yearly?

What about the car or home insurance, is it paid? Do you know who the agents are, etc? If something happened where your family member is in a hospital with no way to communicate, could you make the payments that are scheduled and do so on time? If the family member died, do you know how to keep the home front going until insurance kicks in?

This brings me to another item, TERM Life Insurance. Maybe some of you have it or maybe you don’t believe in life insurance. I see donations being made to help others, that is so nice, I understand helping others. BUT, we must be self-reliant and purchase life insurance if you have a family, especially if you have kids at home. Term insurance is purchased for a particular term, like 10 or 2o years and the premium is based on your age, current health and lifestyle, along with some family health history issues. When the term period is up and you go to buy another policy more than likely it will cost more since you’re older and more likely to have health issues.

Here’s the deal, it’s cheap if you are young and healthy. Once you get a disease or have a something like a heart attack you may be uninsurable. Please buy life insurance to at least help the family that’s left behind because of an accident, or serious illness. Typically where you work offers a group plan with a bargain price on life insurance.

When Mark and I had children at home, we bought enough life insurance to cover our home mortgage and income for at least three years. This amount would cover Mark’s income and life insurance on me. Should I die first it would cover daycare for our daughters. It was cheap. Now universal life or whole life insurance is another story. They are like putting money into a savings account on a regular monthly basis. The premiums stay the same over time based on the amount of coverage you purchased initially. The good thing is you can build up what is known as “cash value” which can be borrowed against in case of emergency. The cost of this insurance is higher because of the cash value factor and because the risk of death goes up with age but the premiums don’t.

I have a friend where her husband died unexpectedly and the wife had no idea where or how the bills were paid, where her mortgage was held, she didn’t even have a cell phone of her own. Her whole life was turned upside down in a matter of minutes after her husband was gone. She had four young children. Luckily, her husband had purchased life insurance. It’s been a blessing to her and the kids.

I have also seen just the opposite, the family did not have any life insurance and the kids had to be handed off to family members and the wife had to go back to work with small children at home. This may be a very touchy question to ask a family member to see if they have taken advantage of the group policies available through their work. I’m not an insurance agent or expert, but someone who has insurance and feels it is important. Sit down with someone who is licensed to sell the various types of life insurance and make sure you budget something so you and your family have some protection.

If you are uncomfortable asking, just wait until they are left without the spouse’s income. It’s a nightmare, I know from experience because I have helped neighbors figure it out. It’s not fun, we must be self-reliant, please do not count on donations, we must take care of our own family.

Life Can Change

Here is a list of things that you may have to do if someone you love dies or is hurt and unable to communicate for days, weeks or even months.

  1. Pay the mortgage payments as well as the homeowner’s insurance and property taxes.
  2. Make sure your/their health insurance is paid in a timely matter.
  3. Vehicle insurance and property taxes must be paid on time.
  4. Pay the utility bills or they may be cut off.
  5. Please share with your family where your life insurance policies are and who the agents are.
  6. You may want an adult child on your bank accounts if you are getting older, they can then help you when needed.
  7. Set up automatic payments for all bills that need to be paid monthly, quarterly or yearly.

Have a folder with bank account numbers and retirement income sources. My FREE printable binder has the sheets ready for you to download and fill them in as needed. I pray you will never have to deal with a life-changing emergency, but the chances are you will. Please be prepared in this way so you can sleep at night knowing your family is well taken care of if something happens to you.

May God bless you and your family to be healthy, and safe.

Emergency Binder by Linda

First Aid Kit

Solar Flashlight

Copyright pictures:

Ambulance: AdobeStock_121610 by Aaron Kohr

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Meet Elena Upton, Local Changemaker

Elena Upton, Local Changemaker

Elena Upton
Local Changemaker

Website: ElenaUpton.com

Follow on Social Media: Mastering Alternative Medicine (Facebook)

Fast Fact: Elena’s first book, Mastering Alternative Medicine: Your Family’s Guide to Wellness, is set to release this spring. Find all the details and more great tips on her website!


Tell us a bit about your background—your heritage, where you grew up, and what first drew your attention to the world of natural remedies?

I am a native of New England, and my family ancestry is Italian. You know what that means . . . good food!

My paternal grandparents had a garden, and my grandfather made his own wine. He also owned small neighborhood grocery stores (five at one point). I remember them as being no more than probably 500–600 square feet and jam-packed with fruits and vegetables and imported Italian grocery products.

I would go into the store up the hill from my house after school and, of course, make my way to the little ice cream cooler. He kept a box of change by the register for those who needed a little extra, and I’d pick out a nickel to buy a frozen treat.

I also remember he had a large notebook with names and numbers scribbled in it. He said it was for “credit.” The locals would come in and pick up food staples they needed and run a tab, promising to come back later to pay.

This didn’t connect me with natural medicine specifically, but it gave me a foundation for good, healthy food and a sense of taking care of the community.

Was there a particular “Aha!” moment in your family’s medical history that you’d consider a true turning point away from traditional treatment methods?

The “Aha!” moment that changed my life forever was a ski trip to Colorado with my husband and sons in 1988.

We were visiting my husband’s former college roommate, George, when his wife, Colleen, pulled out a little white box filled with vials. She referenced a booklet, opened one of the vials, and popped a few little pills into her mouth.

She had been getting noticeably sick with a cold. Within an hour or so, though, there was no sign of the cold continuing to materialize.

I asked her what had been in the box, and she said homeopathy.

I had never even heard the word before!

She went on to explain that it was natural medicine from Germany. It is made from tiny expressions of plant, animal, and mineral substances that act as “information” for the body to follow to heal itself.

I thought that was the most amazing thing I had ever heard! When we went back to Massachusetts, I immediately went to the library to research homeopathy. (There was no World Wide Web then.)

The reason I was so interested was because I was developing some health issues, my husband had health issues, and both my sons had their own health problems cropping up. It seemed whatever conventional medical intervention we were given only suppressed the problem or made it worse. I wanted to know what this magical medicine was and why I’d never heard of it.

Soon after, my husband was transferred to California, and my good friend’s family was also transferred there. At our first West Coast reunion, my friend mentioned learning about homeopathy in Ohio and had a prospectus in her hand for The British Institute of Homeopathy. They had opened a satellite school in Los Angeles. Needless to say, we both enrolled. This was the beginning of a decade of formal training in homeopathy.

My health immediately improved with the use of homeopathy. My husband’s lifelong allergies were gone, and my son’s chronic, seasonal bronchitis cleared. I never looked back.

You’re a strong believer in “food as your first medicine.” How has your diet and that of your family evolved since the days before your homeopathic training?

Wholesome, fresh food was always my first medicine with the rich experience from my family.

The piece of the puzzle that came next, once I was deeply ingrained in the holistic medical community, was developing an understanding of how our food sources had deteriorated with the use of preservatives, the introduction of fungicides into “modern” farming, and the advent of GMO seeds.

What studies/training did you undergo to lead to your role today as a homeopath, author, lecturer and product development specialist?

When you study homeopathy, or any other form of holistic medicine (naturopathic, acupuncture and Chinese medicine, chiropractic, etc.), you gain insight into working with the whole person mentally, emotionally, and physically.

This includes their energetic body.

It is a huge departure from the Western model of medicine, with its use of pharmaceutical drugs and invasive procedures. Instead, there is a respect for the innate intelligence of the body to heal itself, if given the correct information. This information comes in the form of clean, nutritious food and natural-based medicines.

My earliest experiences included a Canadian naturopathic doctor who came to work with me in the clinic I opened after finishing school. He had trained in Germany and opened my eyes to many modalities beyond homeopathy.

We found herbs, supplements, and homeopathic remedies to be a winning combination.

In addition, my older son became a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist (yes, I’m very proud!), and we have clients we work with together. He can read their pulse, use needles to direct or unblock energy, fix structural issues, etc., and homeopathy adds another dimension.

Sometimes, when someone is stuck in a certain health pattern and not making the expected progress, I treat with a homeopathic remedy that reaches the emotional blockages, and Bam!, their physical issues clear up.

Grief is, by far, the largest block to healing.

You make an especially ardent case against commonly used antibiotics. Please explain the research behind this movement and the top alternative treatments you credit with keeping you and your family off of antibiotics for 30 years now.

Before antibiotics (and before vaccines were introduced in response to epidemics), there was homeopathy.

It is over 230 years old and is the second largest system of medicine in the world—everywhere but America.

In my upcoming book, Mastering Alternative Medicine: Your Family’s Guide to Wellness, I briefly explain the history of homeopathy and how this inexpensive, safe medicine has been systematically driven out. The space here simply doesn’t allow me to explain the volume of research that exists for homeopathic remedies and the true facts about people saved from smallpox and other diseases when conventional medicine failed.

Armed with a reference guide and a homeopathic kit, you can stop many illnesses in their tracks before they even develop.

Examples include using Euphrasia as soon as symptoms of conjunctivitis (pink eye) arise; Hydrastis for sinusitis, and adding Sanguinaria if it’s chronic; mercurius solubilis or mercurius vivus for tonsillitis; hepar sulph calcarea for dental abscesses; Allium cepa for hay fever; Aconitum and Bryonia (or Gelsemium, depending on symptoms) for the common cold or flu; Belladonna or ferrum phos (depending on symptoms) for fever; and Nux vomica for acid reflux.

I could go on with pages and pages of natural solutions, and this is exactly the subject of my book. Listed above is just a small sampling of the FDA-approved remedies you can buy for $6 to $8 in any health food store or pharmacy or online. (I have an extensive reference section in the book on how to source the remedies you need.)

Not everyone has an opportunity to grow their own food or healing herbs. Even if you do, there are important natural remedies we all should know about sitting on a shelf in your health food store. Just as it takes effort to grow your own food, it takes effort to find health solutions not readily spoken about in mainstream society.

Please tell us how your new book came about and the personal research that fueled it.

For nearly 30 years, I have studied homeopathy and other holistic modalities.

It never gets old to see how quickly people improve (with no side effects) when they use remedies from nature.

I have gathered data, researched, and studied with medical professionals who have found another way . . . a safe way to stay healthy. It was a natural transition to pull it all together and share information you’ll never hear on the nightly news or from your insurance-mandated doctor.

It is your right to keep your family and yourself as healthy as possible. Bringing holistic medicine into your life may be what you are looking for, as it was for me.

Can you offer any last piece of healthy living advice that would be of interest to our Grow Network community?

I would like to stress that, because of the source of homeopathic remedies, they are safe for pregnant women, infants, and the elderly, as well as animals and plants. In essence, when you feed the body what it needs—clean, organic food and clean, natural medicine—it responds in kind.


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Active Shooter Primer

Maybe you think you know exactly how to deal with an active shooter. Maybe you have taken the FEMA training online. Perhaps you even teach Run, Hide, Fight to the people in your office. If that is the case, you are doing a great thing. These shootings are part of our culture now. You man …

Continue reading

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Eating Healthy While Camping

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: Another guest submission from Michael Everett to The Prepper Journal. Get ready – the next Prepper Writing Contest is coming! As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

Camping allows you to exercise, re-energize and enjoy yourself away from your busy and stressful schedules. A psychical connection with nature helps to relax your mind and heal the body. Most campers will agree that you’ll have the best experience if you eat healthy. Are you ready for a camping adventure? You shouldn’t compromise your eating habits while at the campsite. You can be outdoors for a weekend or several days and still eat healthy. The basic advice is to plan well before leaving.

Planning ahead will ensure you eat healthy and maintain a healthy body. You don’t want to lose or gain unnecessary weight just because you were camping. Here we are giving you some simple ideas to make your camping easy and fun.

Create A Plan In Preparation For Camping


Planning before the actual camping will ensure you have everything in place on the camping day. First, consider the number of days you will outdoors. Next, consider the foods in your diet. Then write a menu. Some people might see this as unnecessary, but it’s actually quite necessary. When writing the menu, including all the foods that you require and those that can be carried outdoors. And exclude ALL the foods that tend to “not sit well with you” even when you are home and have access to multiple bathrooms.

Precook Your Meals


Take some time to precook your food at home before your travel. Precooking your meals will save you time when you are away. You’ll also have flexible time to enjoy the campsite rather than cooking. Remember you want to relax, stay cool and enjoy yourself away from home. In this case, you will realize that precooking your meals will make a very big difference.

Depending on the nature of the camping site, you may have limited access to utensils, cooking supplies and even a reliable heat source. Apart from saving you time and stress, precooking your meals will also help you to maximize on the nutrients. You can include nutrient-dense foods in your diet. Better foods will make getting that campfire smell out of your clothes and gear easier.

When precooking your meals, use can use the right recipes, create your own spin that’ll ensure you include enough nutrients in your meals. At home you will have sufficient and ample time in your kitchen, better equipped no doubt, than any forest or campsite. Try to include various foods from all food groups in each meal. These food groups include protein and dairy, fruits, grains and vegetables. Perishable foods can be included in your meals, but remember to use a dependable fridge or cooler. Alternatively, you can vacuum seal perishable foods, refrigerate them properly and consume them at your leisure. Your food can be kept in the tent safely to prevent damage by mice. However, if you are bear country, then food storage and preparation take on a new and significantly different meaning.

Carry Some Snacks


A camping trip includes fun activities that require you and other use more energy. Hiking, swimming, mountain climbing and outdoor activities all require extra fuels for the body. You can pack some snacks in preparation for the extra nutrition needed. You can shop for some nutritious snacks to include in the diet. Another idea is to make homemade snacks and carry them along. BTW, any trail mix that does NOT include M&M’s is a poser. Just the normal snacks that you prepare at home can be carried for the outdoor event. The common fruits like pineapples, watermelon, grapes, pears and apples can be sliced and packed ready for the camping adventure, and most come dried. You can also think of things like celery and carrots when making snacks. The idea is to make nutritious snacks that will give you enough energy during the camping adventure.

Make Sure To Include Fiber 

Some of the foods that people tend to prepare and carry to the campsite have little fiber. Foods like processed meat, packaged snacks and campfire treats have low fiber. You should consider fiber in your meals to prevent constipation, especially when camping. When precooking your meals and making snacks, remember to include good sources of fiber such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits. If you want to avoid fresh fruits, you can pack dried fruits. Each serving should have enough volume of fiber to help you prevent constipation.

Manage Calories In Your Meals And Snacks


Some foods might have high-calorie content while others have low-calorie content. Very high-calorie content is usually not healthy because it might cause an unwanted spike in your blood sugar as well as that undesirable increase in body weight. On the other hand, very low calorie “rabbit food” might not give your body the needed nutrients. Dried fruits and nuts are good sources of both fat and protein. All the foods that have been suggested in this article are good for a healthy diet. But it is good to be aware of the calorie content in your packed meals. Your foods should have ideal nutritional value to make your camping adventure fruitful.

Remember To Stay Hydrated Throughout The Camping Adventure

Keeping your body hydrated is always good. During hot summer months you should hydrate your body sufficiently but don’t be fooled by colder temps, colder is drier in most places and fluid loss is always present. Staying hydrated will curb your hunger in between meals and promote all of your normal body functions. If the temperatures are very high, you will want to hydrate your body more. Water is the best source for body hydration. Other good sources to hydrate your body are electrolyte-rich sports drinks  and juices. If possible carry sufficient water to the campsite and avoid high-sugar drinks because they will increase unnecessary calories in your diet.

Final Thought On Eating Healthy While Camping

When planning a camping trip, don’t just neglect your eating habits. Remember you need enough energy for the camping activities. As you may have noticed, there is a ton of nutritious meals as well as snacks that can make your camping enjoyable and healthy. Simply plan your meals in advance and consider the nutritional value of the foods you require to stay healthy throughout the camping season. Remember to rely on a campfire to stay warm while camping. Are you ready for camping? Prepare some healthy meals and make the event memorable.

Author’s Bio:

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

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Bug Out Bag Kit (Checklist – Packing)

I was recently asked the following questions regarding the Bug Out Bag and bug out bag packing.   When you travel, what top 3 survival items do you bring besides the common stuff everybody brings? It depends! Well, I suppose it partially depends on what’s considered common stuff that everybody brings. And it also depends on where I’m going and how long I will be away. Additionally, if I could “only” bring 3 items my answer would be different. That said, I always bring the following 3 items regardless of where or how long. 1. Knife 2. Fire kit 3.

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