Bringing the Collapse to Life W/ Author Shelby Gallagher

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Bringing the Collapse to Life W/ Author Shelby Gallagher
James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio player below!

On this show we have an author with us. This is a big statement because, to me, there are few people who can see the collapse like authors. When I say “see” I am not giving the credit that’s due. As an author you must use all your senses and bring the collapse to life under your pen.

Continue reading Bringing the Collapse to Life W/ Author Shelby Gallagher at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

How to Remove Blood From Clothing

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This is a bit of a morbid topic but there is more than one reason that I brought this to you. You see, there are lots of things that could potentially get blood on your clothing in a post apocalyptic world. It doesn’t even mean that you have had violent contact with other people. While …

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The post How to Remove Blood From Clothing appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Gasoline Siphon Pump – 3 Excellent Choices

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How many of you at one time or another wished you had a gasoline siphon pump? Ever got a mouthful of gas doing this? Read on… There are plenty of scenarios where it may be useful to transfer gasoline from one tank to another. – Siphon or pump the gas from another tank – Winterizing / drain gas tanks / run engine till stall – Lawn mowers, tractors, snow blower, ATV, etc.. – Get gas from another vehicle – Transfer gas from car to can or lawn mower – Empty stale gas – Siphon gas from car into your generator

Original source: Gasoline Siphon Pump – 3 Excellent Choices

When Planning & Planting Fruit Trees, Pay Attention to Pollination

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When Planning & Planting Fruit Trees, Pay Attention to Pollination Its interesting, when you buy a home one of the first things people think about is where they will grow the tomatoes or the flowers. If you are into growing food there is no reason why you would not want to start looking into trees. …

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The post When Planning & Planting Fruit Trees, Pay Attention to Pollination appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Make your Own Laurel Oil and Benefits of Using it

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All across American there are people who are suffering from incredible dependence on medications. There are thousands of Americans who are dying from opioid dependency. There are some serious issues when it comes to relying completely on medicines that are divvied out by the medical establishment.  As a people we have really lost all of …

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The post Make your Own Laurel Oil and Benefits of Using it appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Growing Asparagus – How To Plant, Harvest and Maintain A Great Crop!

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When it comes to growing asparagus at home, a little work now can pay delicious home-grown dividends in the years to come. Asparagus is a wondrous perennial crop that can produce for 20 years or more from a single planting.

The post Growing Asparagus – How To Plant, Harvest and Maintain A Great Crop! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

The Incredible and Efficient Use of a Bicycle as a Bug Out Vehicle (Part 1)

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Editor’s note: This article was written by one of our most beloved readers and opinion leader, Left Coast Chuck. I want to start off by saying that I have no

The post The Incredible and Efficient Use of a Bicycle as a Bug Out Vehicle (Part 1) appeared first on Ask a Prepper.

Never Lose Another Garden Tool With This Super-Simple Hack

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How many times have I been out in the garden, needed my widger, and had to spend precious minutes hunting for it … and then even more minutes trying to remember why I needed it in the first place?!

The same thing used to happen to me when I needed to make a note of something—and then realized that the notebook I use to jot down my gardening records was half an acre away in my house! Between the urge to “just finish one more thing first” and the fact that one of my kids inevitably needed me for something the second I stepped foot in the door, I didn’t always remember to update my records after all.

But this simple gardening trick changed all that. I first learned it from one of my organic gardening heroes, John Dromgoole. (In fact, if you saw my TGN On The Road interview with John in the Honors Lab this month, you already heard this tip!)

It’s one of those “why didn’t I think of this?” hacks that will keep your garden tools and records high, dry, and—most importantly—right at your fingertips when you need them most!

Check it out here:


The post Never Lose Another Garden Tool With This Super-Simple Hack appeared first on The Grow Network.

7 Tips To Deal With The Most Common Handgun Malfunctions

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Written by  Glen Artis The handgun has been around for centuries. And since the introduction of the first semi-automatic handgun in 1892, this firearm has undergone numerous technological advancements. Today’s handguns are the most sophisticated in the history of handguns. But in spite of this, modern handguns are still vulnerable to malfunctions. In fact, most if not all handgun users have experienced a malfunction at some point that rendered their guns temporarily inoperable. And while some of us may cuss […]

The post 7 Tips To Deal With The Most Common Handgun Malfunctions appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

Urban Preppers: Five Things You Should Know About Community Gardens

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest contribution from Sarah to The Prepper Journal. All things garden and growing your own food this week as planting time is upon us.  And, as always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

Community gardens have grown globally in recent years, from 1960’s onward. Perhaps, this is due to the growing number of us living in skyscrapers in cities, with little opportunity to take in the fresh air and get our hands dirty. Or perhaps it is because, in an increasingly digital world, we long for something to bring us together in the real world. Regardless of the reason why, community gardens have become more popular, and here are five things you need to know about them.

What is a Community Garden?

A community garden is any plot of land that is used by a number of people, either by separating the plot into individual lots or sharing the plot as one large lot, for gardening.

There are many community gardens across the world, and most are used as:

  • Gathering places
  • Showcases for ecological and art awareness, and
  • Food production

More European-style gardens consist of allotments where individuals or families can grow their own food or flowers, although these have normally evolved from “victory gardens” from the Second World War.

Plot sizes can vary from as tiny as 1.5 squared meters (4’ 9” x 4’ 9”) in inner city gardens or art gardens to as large as 15 squared meters (49’ x 49’).

Communal gardens have a variety of uses, such as:

  • Providing green space
  • Providing habitats for smaller creatures
  • Growing flowers rather than food
  • Providing education to local schools
  • Providing gardens for those who otherwise wouldn’t have a garden, such as the homeless, the elderly or recent immigrants.

The Right Gardening Tools

Before getting started in gardening, it’s important to have the right tools. This will make your time much more productive, and could actually be beneficial to your health! How many of us remember our moms and dads digging out flower beds or weeding the garden, and then being full of aches and pains for a few days? It all comes down to having the right tools.

You shouldn’t have to worry too much about heavy machinery. Most community gardens will supply training and guidance on using specialized tools. In one garden I recently visited, they even had a community table saw to build fences and wooden containers! In others, I’ve also seen that they provide access to a lawn mower for large plots with plenty of grass, and chainsaws or tree pruners for plots with large trees.

However, you should still have a variety of your own tools best suited to your own needs, such as:

  • A reliable string trimmer, if your garden doesn’t allow for “free growing” and prefers the look of neatly trimmed yards with food or flowers growing within
  • A heavy-duty garden brush, to clean up any mess you would make on paths etc
  • A rake, to help you spread evenly compost or soil
  • A composter or rubbish bin, although there may be a community composter or bin you can use
  • Garden clothing such as boots or gardening gloves
  • A bird feeder or table, to give the surrounding nature a helping hand
  • Plant food, grass seed, bark or compost depending on what you would like to use your plot for
  • Pest control or weed killer, although some gardens do not allow you to use chemicals
  • Starter plants or seeds
  • Depending on the weather in your country, you may need your own hose, but this could be provided.

You don’t have to have everything on this list, or you may think of other things you might want. The important thing is to get out there and have a great time.

Types of Gardens

There are four main types of gardens, which are:

Neighborhood Gardens – The most common garden, where people work together to grow fruits and vegetables. The plots inside them are usually rented for a small fee.

Residential Gardens – These gardens are used by the people in block communities, assisted living and affordable housing in cities or towns. They are organised and maintained by the people living there.


Institutional Gardens – These are attached to public businesses such as hospitals or private communities like prisons to improve mental health and physical health as well as providing skills for employment.

Demonstration Gardens – These have educational purposes, and often offer classes about gardening, and can help in setting up a community garden.

Administration of Community Gardens

Most community gardens are:

  • Inclusive
  • Diverse
  • Pro-democracy
  • Community-driven

But all gardens have an organization structure of some kind. This depends on whether the garden is “top down” e.g. a management team at the top, or “grass roots” e.g. the individual members make the decisions. Either way, you’ll find one that suits your style.

Health Benefits

Everyone knows that keeping physically active helps keep us healthy. However, community gardens have also been linked to various factors such as:

  • Reduced rates of obesity
  • Availability of affordable fruits and vegetables
  • Consumption of fruits and vegetables

So there you have it, community gardens are great for you, your family, your community, and the local wildlife. So if you haven’t joined a garden yet, why not do it now?

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The post Urban Preppers: Five Things You Should Know About Community Gardens appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

DIY Solar Water Distiller! – Simple Solar Water Distilling – Easy DIY (for Survival/SHTF)

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3 days. You will die if you don’t have access to clean water in three days. Of course, the problem with that is you can take the risk of drinking unclean water. That could result in death as well. There are many ways that you can filter and purify water. Still, there is always room …

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The post DIY Solar Water Distiller! – Simple Solar Water Distilling – Easy DIY (for Survival/SHTF) appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Home Defense Debate: Handgun or Shotgun?

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Should you use a handgun or a shotgun as your primary home defensive firearm? Short answer: Both, if you can. Just have a shotgun under your bed and a pistol on your nightstand. But if you don’t own any firearms yet and don’t have the budget to buy both, you will have to choose between […]

The post Home Defense Debate: Handgun or Shotgun? appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Get Home Bags, Everyday Carry, and Car Kits

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In this installment of our prepping supplies series we go over get home bags, EDC (Everyday Carry) and what you should have in your car or automobile. We didn’t spend much time on get home bags and EDC gear because we have 2 detailed articles and podcast (linked to above) that go into much more […]

The post Get Home Bags, Everyday Carry, and Car Kits appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

Conflicted: – Can’t Go On! – What Would You Do?

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Conflicted Survival Game:



Conflicted is a Survival Game.  Each card in the deck has a scenario that will stretch how you would respond in an SHTF situation.  What would you do?  Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!


SCENARIO – One of your friends tells you that he can’t live in this world anymore, and he has confessed to you that he wants to commit suicide.  Talks with his wife and kids who are still alive and depend on him seem to do nothing to change his mind.

The children are too young and his wife too depressed to be of any help with this situation.  As the leader of your group, what would you do with this member and his family?


READ: Personality Preparedness


Don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

If you are interested in purchasing your own Conflicted Survival Game Cards  – CLICK HERE.



The Globalists Are Showing Their Hands Including Their Democratic Assets, and Media Assets

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All three abused law enforcement resources to protect Democrat political assets.

  1. The Cohen raid, 
  2. Flynn’s prosecution and the 
  3. Clinton immunity agreements protected, 


  1. Fusion GPS, 
  2. Susan Rice and 
  3. Huma Abedin, as well as other related figures. 

But protecting them was also a matter of self-protection for the key FBI and DOJ people who had been doing their bidding. Clintonworld and Fusion GPS had injected the materials into the government on which the illegal investigation of Trump was based. And Rice, Power and others had then abused the materials that came out the other end.

Free PDF: Feeds & Feeding

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Feeds & Feeding has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work. Feeds and Feeding was published in March 1898 and was received with immediate and widespread favor by practical stockmen, as well as professors and students of

The post Free PDF: Feeds & Feeding appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Book Review: Cooking With Home Storage

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Cooking With Home Storage is one of the first prepping books I bought, and one of the few books that I have bought more than once. The authors, Layton and Tate are masters of home food storage. I would recommend a prepper buying any book on this subject written by either of these smart ladies. They are the food storage equivalent to Jeff Copper in Firearms. Cooking With Home Storage has useful guides to long term food storage, great recipes, and other tips to make life a little easier, and more comfortable. You would be well served with having this book

The post Book Review: Cooking With Home Storage appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Facebook and Sugar = Bad, Chocolate and Coffee = Good

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stock here–

really quite stoked to plant out my microfarm next week and the next.   Access to high quality Non-

GMO, organic food is invaluable.   Some people ask me “is it worth it”?   I don’t want to laugh in their face, but it’s hard to not do so.  

If it is possible to produce your own food, and you don’t do it, you are an idiot.   Especially with huge inflation coming, that inflation won’t target big screen TV’s by the way.   

The “average” compensation at Facebook is almost a QUARTER MILLION!!!   Do you think workers there might do anything the higher ups tell them to do?

And here, processed sugar, shown to dumb down kids.

 BUT CHOCOLATE GOOD!    yeah!!!!!!!

Funny though, only 1 person in 50 can define “inflammation” although we all know it is bad.

Preparing Your Home For The 2018 Wildfires

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A dry 2018 could put many homes in the path of dangreous wildfires.

Everybody needs to prepare for wildfires because the danger from such destructive blazes is growing dramatically. The wildfire danger has increased by 49% in the last ten years, Wildfire Today reported.

2017 was the second worst year for wildfires in US history, Wildfire Today said. Fires destroyed 9.781 million acres in the United States last year – nearly twice the area burned in 2016.

2018 might be equally as bad or worse than 2017, news stories indicate. One state, Colorado, experienced two big fires during the week of April 16.

The 117 Fire south of Colorado Springs destroyed 23 homes and consumed 40,800 acres on April 17, The Denver Post reported. Another blaze closed a major transportation artery, Interstate 70, near Fruita in Western Colorado on April 19, Fox 31 News disclosed.

How To Protect Your Property From Wild Fires

The bad news is that there is no way to protect property from wildfires completely. Despite this reality, there are many steps you can take to make your home, farm, cabin, or business more fire-resistant.

Steps to make your property fire-resistant include:

  • Create a firebreak around buildings, vehicles, propane tanks, woodpiles, and anything else you want to protect.

The firebreak should cover what U.S. Forest Service fire scientist Jack Cohen called the ignition zone, which is the distance that flames can jump. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has recommended this course of action.

  • The NFPA recommends the following firebreaks:
  • Keep all trees, bushes, and shrubs at least five feet away from buildings and vehicles. There should be no branches or bushes touching any structure on your property.
  • Make sure that the forest or brush is at least ten feet or farther from buildings.
  • Keep grass and weeds on your property cut as short as possible.
  • Clear out any debris or any other unused item that can burn. This list would include deadwood, weeds, trash, litter, building supplies, unused firewood, lumber, junk vehicles (they contain flammable parts including batteries, tires, rubber hoses, and seats), and any container that might hold flammable liquids.
  • Keep trash in covered metal containers such as cans or a dumpster. Plastic dumpsters can burn, so consider paying extra for a big metal one.
  • If possible, get rid of your propane tank and switch to natural gas. Propane tanks can explode and make fires worse.
  • If there is no natural gas in your area, consider burying your propane tank or moving it 20 to 30 feet from buildings. Do the same with tanks for gasoline and diesel fuel.
  • Make sure that you store propane tanks for grills away from the house. A good suggestion is to keep the propane tank in the garage or the barn when you are not grilling.
  • Replace wooden shake shingles with a metal or tile roof. Shake shingles will burn, especially if they are dried out by the sun. If you want more electricity, consider installing a Tesla Solar Roof with tiles that double as solar cells.
  • If your house has wooden walls, consider covering them with aluminum siding or tiles.
  • The next time you re-roof, replace the asphalt shingles with tile or metal, as these are more fire-resistant.
  • If you have a swimming pool, stock tank, or pond on your property, keep it filled with water. Firefighters will be more likely to protect your property if they have an easy-to-reach source of water.
  • Consider building a swimming pool, stock tank, or pond to supply firefighting water.
  • Be careful with backup power systems and electric or hybrid vehicles. Many of them contain lithium-ion batteries that can explode if they overheat.
  • Conduct target practice as far from your buildings as possible, or better yet, go to a shooting range. Target shooting is a significant cause of wildfires, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reported. Therefore, it would be a good idea to postpone target practice when fire danger is high.
  • Join your local volunteer fire department. You can learn valuable skills, get access to firefighting and life-saving equipment, and increase the manpower available for fighting wildfires in your area. Something to consider is that firefighters receive advanced warning of emergencies like fires in your area.

Making your property as fire-resistant as possible is the best way to prepare for fire season.

More information about firebreaks is available here:

More Vegetables In Less Space With “3-D Gardening”

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     Vertical gardening is perfect when space is an issue.

Spring is in the air, and that means gardening at our house. Like many folks out there, gardening is part of our annual ritual. Also, like many folks, we enjoy raising our food and believe there are many health benefits in doing so. Even though we try to grow as much food as we can, our annual production never seems to be as high as we’d like. We always ask the question, “How can we grow more?” One approach we are taking this year to boost our harvest is to incorporate more vertical gardening.

Vertical gardening has become a favorite growing method as many people face the same dilemma that my family and I do. We all have limited space and want maximum return. Although you can’t necessarily have it both ways, you can increase your production by getting creative with your space. Vertical gardening is a creative way to create more space in your backyard, community garden, or even a patio. Take a small 10’x10’ patio for example.

If you only used the 10’x10’ patio for growing, you would have 100 square feet of space to work. Not much. If you use vertical gardening, however, you use the square footage above the patio as well. For example, if you used the space eight feet above your patio, that could transform your small patio into a decent garden. By doing so, you would potentially create an additional 700 square feet of space to grow food. Essentially, vertical gardening is looking at your garden as a 3-dimensional ecosystem, rather than as a 2-dimensional piece of flat earth. Vertical gardening opens up a world of possibilities.

Although there are many ways to achieve a vertical garden, you can start by selecting crops that are best suited for vertical growth. If the idea of growing more food in a small space sounds intriguing, you might look at these five crops that excel in vertical gardening.

Pole Beans

Of course, pole beans are the first crop any vertical gardener has to consider. The upward reaching vines have been used for centuries to climb up other plants. They are one of the famed vegetables in the three sisters gardening philosophy. Beans, of course, don’t need to grow up corn stalks to utilize space. Many folks use a variety of structures to grow pole beans upon. If you get creative, you can use fences, lattice, cattle panels, or even upside-down tomato cages. All they need is a frame of some kind to grow on. If you are looking to use vertical space, pole beans should be one of your very first choices.


While planning our vertical garden, we were surprised to learn how many people are using vertical space to grow strawberries. Although you might think this ground covering plant wouldn’t be ideal for hanging in the air, you’d be surprised to learn otherwise. People use all sorts of bags, crates, and other containers to grow strawberries exceptionally well. One popular method is to build a milk crate tower for strawberries. Even if you only plant on three sides, an average milk crate offers over 500 inches of growing space. When stacking these crates, the sky is the limit regarding how much space you want to create.


Since we were surprised to learn how well strawberries grew vertically, we were skeptical that we could produce watermelons in the same fashion. It didn’t make sense that you could have substantial melons suspended in the air. Little did we know that watermelons can conveniently be grown vertically as well. As long as they are given adequate support and trained, this ground blanketing crop will crawl up sturdy support. This method helps to overcome one of the biggest downfalls of watermelon. Usually, watermelons take up too much space for a person with a small garden. You just can’t devote the required area to a plant that won’t produce that much food. Grown vertically, though, you might be able to justify having some of these tasty melons in your small garden.


The cucumber is another crop that people are successfully experimenting with in vertical gardening. Cucumbers have the same downfall that watermelons have, in that they take up a great deal of ground space. However, like a watermelon, if you give adequate support to a cucumber, it will also grow up into space. Many folks who are growing cucumbers vertically do seem to be spending more time training this crop to develop upwards. If you have a panel or fence, just tie it off at a few points, and the plant will reach up and up, saving you space on the ground.


The final member of this list of vertical gardening crops is a tomato. Tomatoes have been a favorite crop to grow vertically for years now. In order to meet the needs of gardeners, companies have been cranking out a variety of hanging bags to grow tomatoes in. You can watch this corny infomercial featuring a hanging tomato bag to see the basic idea. Although the infomercial is pretty cliché, it does highlight the fact that tomatoes can be grown vertically to create more growing space.

Let’s face it, most of us wish we had more space to grow things. In reality, though, a more extensive growing area is not always an option. We have to get creative with our approach if we want to maximize our harvest. One way to get creative is through vertical gardening. Personally, my family has already made plans to vertically incorporate several of these crops into our garden this year. We’ve had to think creatively about our property, what we want to grow, and what is a good fit for us. By doing so, we hope to maximize our space and get more produce this year. Vertical gardening can cost a little more if you have to buy supplies. Over time though, those costs should dissipate. In the end, if you believe that growing your crops is the healthiest and best way to eat, the gain is worth the price. As spring marches onwards, take the time to see if any of these vertically-growing crops can help your garden produce more.



25 Best Cool Camping Gear For Your Next Adventure

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The Ultimate List Of Cool Camping Gear

Once you’ve got all your camping essentials taken care of, it’s time to start adding some cool camping gear.

Cool camping gear that will make your next camping experience bit more convenient, comfortable, and fun.

Sometimes cool camping gear is new gadgets that were not around a few years ago. While other times its camping gear that’s stood the test and remains worthy of your attention to this day.

This article is Skilled Survival’s cool camping gear list – all those cool items you should take on your next camping adventure.

Here’s a sneak peek at the gear we’re about to cover:

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Solo Camping / Bonfire Stove

From compact backpacking stoves to a large portable fire pit, Solo Stove has it all.

Solo Stove’s been making high-quality stainless steel campfire tools for years.

They’ve earned a reputation for smart engineering behind their fuel-efficient designs. The high-temperature combustion means you use less wood, get more heat, and don’t have as much smoke.

Just think about the last campfire you had with smoke blowing in your face. Being forced to move your chair around every 5 minutes.

But with the Solo Stove Bonfire, that’s a thing of the past.

Plus, they’re specifically designed to place your large skillets over for cooking.

RTIC Coolers

RTIC prides itself on offering high-quality coolers at a fantastic price.

A RTIC cooler can pack out an entire elk – and 3” of insulation can keep ice on your beverages for a week!

They’re built using the same roto-molding process as whitewater kayaks. And they’re designed to resist bears break-ins!

RTIC coolers can even be pad-locked closed to keep everything ELSE out as well.

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Survival Frog Solar Power Bank

Survival Frogs PowerBank Solar Charger

Without power, a lot of our favorite survival tools will stop to function. Radios, GPS, flashlights – you NEED a backup plan to keep them charged and working.

A good solar charger can provide you with a steady stream of power. And a battery pack can allow you to store that power for when you need it most.

The only thing better would be to combine the two – and that’s what the Solar Power Bank does!

No more connecting the charger to a battery, just put it out in the sun until it’s charged and then use it when you need power!

Crazy Creek Chairs

Camping is all about relaxing in the great outdoors. And relaxing means being comfortable.

How can you be comfortable in your tent or your campsite if you don’t have a seat?

Instead, look no further than Crazy Creek Chairs.

I saw my first Crazy Creek Chair over 20 years ago. But the company keeps putting out new refinements and updates, and they’re better than ever.

The Crazy Creek Chair is excellent for hanging out at your campsite. Or on the beach, but it really shines as a canoe seat, where it makes long days paddling much more comfortable.

With enough padding and an adjustable back, you can fine tune a Crazy Creek Chair for any situation.

Survival Frog FireLaces

When it comes to survival tools, it’s always a good plan to have a few backup items in your everyday carry kit.

But if you can do so by replacing something you already carry AND serves dual purposes, all the better.

The Survival Frog FireLaces combine a paracord-style shoelace with “ferrocerium” tips. Just strike these tips against any sharp steel edge and produce a shower of white-hot sparks.

With no moving parts, fuel, batteries, and waterproof, this a no-brainer bootlace replacement!

Aqua-tainer / Water Brick

When it comes to bulk water storage, there’s a reason The Aqua-trainer ends up in so many campsites.

They’re inexpensive (under $20/ea), lightweight (about 1lb), and high-capacity (7gal).

Plus, they have a reversible tap that stows away for protection during transport. And a wide opening for quick filling and easy cleaning.

Another great option for campsite water storage is the Water Brick.

Water Bricks StackedAnd while the Water Brick weighs slightly more and the capacity per brick is not as large; they’re stackable!

So for storing water in your home for emergencies, several Water Bricks in your basement is the way to go.

Then for camping trips, grab a few from your basement using the built-in handle.

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Survival Frog Neck Knife

Survival Neck KnifeI couldn’t possibly list all the uses of a knife around the campground. It’s one of those tools you’ll use every single day for a variety of tasks.

But not all knives are created equal.

I prefer the durability of a full-tang fixed blade knife over a pocket knife. But these knives can be a pain to carry. That’s why you should consider wearing a neck knife.

The Survival Frog Neck Knife puts a compact, full-tang survival knife on a chain around your neck. This access allows you have a useful sharp blade at hand whenever you need it.

Survival Frog’s Neck Knife Sheath also contains a signal mirror, compass, blade sharpener, and fire striker.

It’s a whole pile of survival tools in a tiny package you can carry at all times.

Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire GPS Watch

Garmin has been around for decades, making mapping software and equipment. But their new Fenix 5 GPS watch is a top of the line survival watch.

The built-in barometric altimeter tracks your elevation and predicts changes in the weather.

The connected features tie into your other electronic devices (i.e., your smartphone). And the large full-color display makes it easy to track your progress at a glance.

All this tech is packed into a stainless steel and sapphire glass case that’s water resistant to 100m. So you know it’ll be functioning under the worst of conditions!

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AIDIER Reflective Nylon Guyline Cord

In the middle of the night, it’s hard to find your way around camp without waking everyone up. Especially on one of those midnight bathroom trips.

They can be a real disaster!

That’s why you should swap out your tent guylines with reflective ones from AIDIER.

They’ve got reflective strands in the sheath, making them pop out in the beam of even the weakest flashlight.

The 2.5mm diameter cord is strong enough for tents, clotheslines, and repairs around camp.

Pro-tip: a small loop of reflective cord on zipper pulls makes them easy to find as well.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock

Relaxing in a hammock in camp is one of the great pleasures of the wilderness!

Sleeping in one can give you a great alternative to damp or rocky ground.

But that depends on getting a comfortable, lightweight hammock.

The ENO DoubleNest packs down to the size of a softball and weighs a little over a pound, but holds up to 400lbs!

The optional bug screen and rain fly make a full hammock camping setup simple and easy to set up in a hurry.

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 Survival Frog Tesla Lighter

tesla lighter-double coil

Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of windproof lighters and found them all to be more “wind-resistant” than anything. The Tesla Lighter is a different breed – a flame-free, smoke-free, fuel-less lighter.

Try as hard as you want; you can’t blow out the twin plasma arcs. Instead, they produce easy fire starts to all types of natural kindling.

The compact Tesla Lighter is an excellent addition to your everyday carry tools. And a single charge (via USB) is enough to start hundreds of campfires!

Western Mountaineering Down Bootie

At the end of a long day on the trail, what’s the first thing you want to do? For me, it’s to get out of my damp boots and into something dry and warm.

This often means lightweight sandals. But sandals don’t offer any protection from the environment or the frigid cold.

Instead, reach for these insulated down booties from Western Mountaineering.

These will keep your feet warm and dry while you do chores around camp.

They have durable rubberized nylon soles that are slip-resistant. Plus, the thermal foam insole and the thick layer of 800-fill down insulation will keep your toes warm.

Your feet will thank you!

Survival Frog Pocket Jumper

Pocket Jumper

There are few feelings worse than having a dead battery in the remote wilderness. You’re now stranded miles from home.

In the past, you’d hope and pray for a generous stranger to give you a jump with jumper cables.

But those days are over; now you can rely on yourself with a Survival Frog Pocket Jumper!

In a package about the size of a small paperback book, you’ll find a battery pack and a set of compact alligator clips.

Don’t let the compact size fool you; it’s got enough juice to jump start even a large pickup truck.

Plus, The Pocket Jumper also has a useful flashlight, a signaling mode, and can power small USB devices!

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Gear Aid Tenacious Tape

When you depend on your gear day in and day out, it’s going to see some wear and tear.

Eventually, you’ll have to throw a few stitches in to mend a hole. But this leaves an ugly repair which likely won’t keep the elements out.

Tenacious Tape is a far better alternative to your Frankenstein stitches. It will seal rips and tears in all kinds of fabrics fast and without resorting to needle and thread.

The patches are water resistant, durable, and you can carry enough for several repairs in a tiny kit.

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JetBoil Flash Cooking System

When you’re moving fast and light, you don’t always have space (or weight) in your pack for a lot of cooking options.

The JetBoil Flash is a compact, self-contained cooking system. It includes a compact, electric starter and insulated heat exchanging cooking cup.

The JetBoil System runs on easy-to-find iso-butane fuel canisters and will boil a liter of water in under 2 minutes!

At just over a pound and the size of a water bottle, you can fit the entire JetBoil system into the smallest corner of your pack.

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Survival Frog Emergency Solar Air Lantern

A few years ago, I bought a Survival Frog Emergency Air Lantern for a camping trip to a mountain lake.

It was high summer, and fire conditions meant a complete ban on campfires. So we wanted some light in camp after sunset.

Well after dark, a lost kayaker paddled up to our site, with a couple of solar lanterns sitting in the empty fire ring. She had seen our “campfire” from across the lake and couldn’t find any other way back to her friends.

This little inflatable light not only lets allowed us prep and clean up after dinner in the dark. But served as a beacon for someone in real need of help!

It’s now a standard part of my camping essentials, and we always leave one lit on the beach in camp.

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Sportsman Industries Pocket Chainsaw

Last winter, I was heading home from a ski trip and came across a couple of small downed trees in the road.

They were too high to drive over even in my Jeep, and I couldn’t pull them out of the way.

Eventually, I cleared them with the axe in my survival gear. But it took a long time (even with a sharp survival axe) and left me wishing I had a compact saw in the kit.

I ran across this pocket chainsaw a few weeks later and put it to good use. It’s a better option than an axe for awkward angles and doesn’t need fuel or batteries to run.

It packs down into a small nylon bag and takes almost no space in my glovebox. It was an inexpensive addition that has saved me at least one cold night out since!

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Lodge Dutch Oven

Campground meals become much more appealing when you move beyond just freeze-dried foods.

One of the most versatile camp kitchen tools is a cast iron dutch oven and a tripod over the campfire.

Everything from soup and stew to freshly baked bread comes out delicious! Pick an 8 to 10qt dutch oven to cook for a crowd.

If you take care of the cast iron, you’ll be able to hand it down to your grandkids!

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Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad

The Klymit Sleeping Pad is one of the most popular camping pads on the market right now, and for a good reason. It provides nearly 2.5” of comfort at about 1lb – and packs down to only 3” x 8”.

The chamber design limits air movement. And it also reduces “dead” spots for side sleepers – where your shoulder or hip hits the ground.

The design also includes “side rails,” larger champers meant to keep you from sliding off the pad at night. And at only 10-15 breaths, the Static V2 also inflates fast, so you’re not wasting time (or breath) setting up camp!

For colder climates, the insulated ones have 3X the R-value. Making sure you stay toasty and comfortable even on frostiest of nights!

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Survival Frog Pocket Light

Solar Pocket Light

Multi-use items are the backbone of any good survival kit – and that goes double for electronics.

This compact pocket lantern can serve as a flashlight for close up work and a lantern for an entire campsite.

The Pocket Light charges from either solar or any USB power outlet – and can be used as a power bank to charge small devices.

For a lightweight package about the size of a hockey puck, that’s a lot of functionality in a small space!

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Dr. Bronners Soap

Dr. Bronners Liquid Soap

Soap? Seriously? Soaps not “cool camping gear”, right? This soap is!

I’ve heard more than one person refer to Dr. Bronner’s as “the soap with the crazy labels.”

While it’s true, there’s some interesting philosophy on the labels. Dr. Bronner’s soap is made with all natural ingredients and is safe to use around water sources.

It forms a great lather, cuts through kitchen grease as easily as it cleans hair. It also doesn’t irritate sensitive skin and rinses clean.

Before you buy an expensive “camp soap,” look for either liquid or bar soap from Dr. Bronners for your campsite.

Frontiersman Bear Spray

Ever hear the joke:

“Backpackers wear bells and carry pepper spray to ward off bears. Black bear scat is full of seeds, but grizzly bear scat is full of bells and smells like pepper.”

All joking aside, pepper spray has proven to be a reliable bear deterrent.

But not just any cheap, off-the-shelf brand will do.

You need the highest strength formula you can find and a spray canister with a long distance range. That way you can ward off an approaching animal from further away.

Of course, if it works for grizzlies, Sabre Frontiersman Bear Spray will work on human threats as well!

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Survival Frog Quick Heat Handwarmer

Electric Hand Warmer

What’s one item that’s often buried deep down in the bottom of most survival caches? A set of disposable hand and foot warmers.

At about $1 each, they’re easy to pick up, but they’re not all that reliable.

If you’re lucky, their airtight wrappers are still sealed, and they haven’t gone bad. But you’ve got no way to know without trying them.

The team at Survival Frog got tired of the uncertainty and developed a reusable hand warmer. One that provides heat and can be quickly recharged anywhere you have power.

Better yet, with three heat settings and quick warm-up time, it’s easy to pick the level you need. No disposable hand warmer can do that!

Coleman Classic Propane Stove

The Coleman “suitcase” stove has been around for decades and has proved it’s worth. Chances are your parents cooked dinner over one before you were even born.

They’re nearly indestructible due to their simple construction.

Their standard green propane cans are easy to find. And adapters allow the use of bulk BBQ propane canisters for long-term use.

The new models put out more heat than ever before (up to 22,000 BTUs!). And the fine tune control allows you to cook without burning your food.

If you’ve got the space in your vehicle or at a cabin, you can’t beat a Coleman Classic propane stove.

Cool Camping Gear Wrap Up

This is a quick rundown of some of our favorite camping tools – but we’d love to hear from you! What other new cool camping gear and gadgets are on your list?

Leave us a comment and we may just add it to this list!

Jason K.

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

The post 25 Best Cool Camping Gear For Your Next Adventure appeared first on Skilled Survival.

Helpful Anti-Inflammatory Herbs When You Can’t Use NSAIDs

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gardening back pain

Opt for alternative treatments that are safer than NSAIDs when you’re in pain

When people are in pain, they automatically reach out for pain relievers. The most common pain relievers used are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). While NSAIDs are useful in providing comfort to many people, recent studies suggest that intake of NSAIDs increases the risk of developing heart problems. It also has severe effects on the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract.

While there may be other types of pain meds that you can try as an alternative for NSAIDs, you can opt for alternative treatments that are safer and have minimal side effects on the body. One such alternative treatment is anti-inflammatory herbs.  Below are some potent anti-inflammatory herbs that give you other options for your treatment.

White Willow Bark

White willow bark contains salicin that is converted into salicylic acid by the liver. Unlike the salicylic acid in regular aspirin, its effects are minimal.  The mechanism behind how the white willow bark works is similar to that of aspirin in that it blocks the inflammatory prostaglandins, which are hormones that cause pain. While it is useful in reducing pain, it is more expensive than aspirin, but you only need 240mg/day to feel better.

White willow bark exists in many forms such as tablets, tinctures, powder, and capsules. For most ailments, take two tablets or capsules of white willow bark three times a day, totaling from 60mg to 120mg of salicin. If you opt for tinctures and powder, take at least one tablespoon twice a day to get the same effect.


Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory herbs related to the ginger family. It contains the compound curcumin, a pigment that gives turmeric a deep yellow look. It has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat various maladies aside from inflammation, such as to treat wounds and digestion problems.

Curcumin is not only a potent anti-inflammatory agent, but it also has antioxidant and antineoplastic effects.  Several studies suggest that curcumin in turmeric is an effective treatment for cystic fibrosis. It has also been suggested that it can help treat chronic degenerative diseases, cancer, and arthritis.

To get the most benefit from turmeric, a dosage of between 400 and 600 milligrams taken three times a day is enough. Since turmeric is a culinary spice, you can add it to soups and stews to enjoy its health benefits.

If you are using fresh turmeric root, a one-inch root slice infused in warm water is excellent for relieving pain. A tablespoon of powdered turmeric can also be mixed in a cup of water or taking two capsules daily will give the same therapeutic effects. Research also cites that adding a dash of ground black pepper can improve the efficacy of curcumin. Making a topical paste by mixing one-part turmeric powder and one-part water applied on the affected area can also give relief. If you opt for turmeric supplements, choose those that contain black pepper. Moreover, make sure that it contains 95% curcuminoids for better efficacy.

Green Tea

Green tea is touted to have protective effects for the body against cancer due to its high antioxidant properties. Green tea contains compounds called catechins and epigallocatechin-3 gallate that inhibit the degradation of cartilage. Thus, it possesses protective qualities against arthritis. Because of its efficacy, it is called the “the Asian paradox” as people who consume green tea on a regular basis have fewer risks for developing heart diseases.

Taking three green tea capsules every day can help improve your symptoms. While there are green tea capsules that you can consume, consuming it as tea will also give you the same results. Create a green tea infusion by mixing a tablespoon of loose green tea leaves in a pot of warm water. You can also use a tea bag if you don’t have loose tea leaves to achieve the same effects.


Frankincense (Boswellia serrata) resin possesses high anti-inflammatory compounds. It can inhibit the leukotriene biosynthesis that affects and perpetuates inflammatory diseases. The gum resin from frankincense is used to treat arthritis. It also contains boswellic acid, an active anti-inflammatory agent. Studies suggest that a combination of frankincense and turmeric extracts can increase the efficacy of the two herbs.

While it is difficult to obtain frankincense resin in the market, it is mostly available in the form of essential oil. If you can get a tincture of frankincense oil that is already pre-mixed, then it will make your life a lot easier. If what you have is an essential oil, mix 25 drops of frankincense oil in a 100mL carrier oil (coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil). Give a good stir and apply directly onto the affected area.

Red Wine Grapes

Red grapes contain a tremendous amount of resveratrol, which is a plant-based polyphenol that has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Fruits that are red and blue in color contain high amounts of this compound. This compound is generally found in the skin of the fruit as it serves as a phytoalexin that protects the plants from infection. Aside from its anti-inflammatory effects, resveratrol also has anti-mutagenic effects that can help protect DNA against unwanted and harmful mutations.

Resveratrol is used to treat arthritic joint pain and osteoarthritis, plus it helps protect the brain and heart functions. While it is available in capsule form supplements, you can benefit from including more grapes and colorful fruits in your diet. There is no standard dosing according to available literature, but you can gain the benefits by taking two tablets daily.

Chili Pepper

All types of chili peppers (Capsicum annum) contain adequate amounts of the compound capsaicin. This compound is responsible for the heat of the chili pepper. In fact, the compound makes up 12% of the small chili pepper. Capsaicin produces a selective, natural and regional anesthesia that causes the degeneration of capsaicin-sensitive nociceptive nerve endings.

Many topical medications used to treat arthritic pain contain adequate amounts of capsaicin. You don’t have to force yourself to eat chili peppers to get capsaicin, especially if you dislike eating spicy foods. Capsaicin is now available in tablet or capsule form. There is no exact dosage of how much capsaicin you need to take, but you can take two capsules daily for best results. You can also try capsaicin topical lotion. Put a small dollop of the lotion onto the affected area and gently massage until the pain subsides.

Many anti-inflammatory herbs such as these help with pain relief, especially if you are trying to stay away from NSAIDs.  With these herbs, you will be able to experience comfort without worrying about the side effects.

Any Short Term Event Is Survivable – But Long Term For The Unprepared?

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“Any short term event is very survivable, even for the unprepared. Only the very stupid or very unlucky will die in a short term event.” That quote was from a comment here many years ago regarding items that would disappear first following a SHTF event. It got me to thinking about the following question: If the event that occurs will clearly result in long term SHTF (even clearly realized by the unprepared), what will be the likely order of unfolding events and timeline? What will be the items to disappear first? What will “the unprepared” and the mainstream population do

Original source: Any Short Term Event Is Survivable – But Long Term For The Unprepared?

Last Trip to the Supermarket-80 Items to Get

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by Megan

If you are one of those people who are aware and paying attention, you may have some advanced notice that the S is about to hit the fan. If you’re like most preppers you are already stocking up on the supplies you know you will need. But it never hurts to add to your stockpile with one last trip to the supermarket if you get the chance and if you can get there and back before the majority of people around you start to panic.

Below is a detailed shopping list of 80 items to get while the getting is good on that last trip to the supermarket. Obviously you may not be able to get all of these items and many of them you will already have in your stockpile. When SHTF and you’re in the grocery store, it can be easy to overlook items that might be useful later.

  1. Manual Can Openers will be in short supply after a SHTF event as many people have adopted the convenience of electric powered can openers. Get several of these, a couple for you and some to barter for something else down the road.
  2. Bottled Water is always on the shopping list for a SHTF event. No matter how much water you may have stored, grabbing extra bottled water is never a bad idea.
  3. Hand Sanitizer is something you can never have too much of. Water and soap may be in short supply. Using hand sanitizer for washing hands when you can will help conserve soap and water for when you really need it.
  4. Aluminum Foil is great to have on hand for many things but especially for cooking. There are over 40 different things you can cook in aluminum foil.
  5. Instant Coffee is great thing to grab extra of on your last trip to the supermarket. Even if you don’t drink coffee, you can use it to barter for something you do need from someone who is a coffee lover.
  6. Baby Wipes are a wonderful thing to have around when water is scarce or you just need to conserve water. Use them to clean hands and face or to wash
  7. Goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris and tear gas are always a good idea.
  8. Canned Meat such as tuna fish, sardines, spam, or chicken is a great thing to grab on your last trip to the supermarket. You can never have too much in your stockpile.
  9. Bug Repellent following any kind of natural disaster or SHTF event will be critical to maintaining your comfort level as well as preventing diseases.
  10. Paper Plates, Cups, Bowls aren’t a necessity following a SHTF event but will be great to have on hand if you can grab them on your last trip to the supermarket. You can conserve water by not having to wash as many dishes and you can burn them to reduce the amount of trash and prevent attracting rodents.
  11. Plastic Silverware is always a great thing to have on hand if you can get it. Conserve water by using plastic silverware instead of utensils that need to be washed after every meal.
  12. Slingshots might not be available at every supermarket but if you see them, definitely grab them up. You can use these to hunt, to defend yourself, or even to barter for something else you need.
  13. Electrical Tape has many different uses and you can never have too much of this in your stockpile.
  14. Sewing Kit is great to have on hand so that you can repair or patch clothing as well as use for sutures if necessary.
  15. Glow Sticks won’t provide immense light but they will provide enough light for you to see to walk through the woods or around your home in the dark without wasting lamp oil or battery power.
  16. Condiments may not seem like a necessity but they are great to have on hand to help make otherwise bland food taste better.
  17. Maps of the local area as well as the neighboring towns and states. If you need to evacuate or bug out, knowing where you’re going and the best route to get there will be critical.
  18. Rope/Paracord will be invaluable following a SHTF event so make sure you pick up any extra that you can find on your last trip to the supermarket.
  19. Shoelaces have a multitude of different uses and are great to have on hand. Broken shoelaces mean shoes don’t fit snug and this leads to greater risk for blisters and injuries.
  20. Socks are another thing that are great to have extra of. Socks are more difficult to sew and wearing shoes or boots without them can lead to injuries. It doesn’t hurt to have several extra pair in your BOB or stockpile.
  21. Replacement Auto Supplies are definitely something you want to grab extra of on your last trip to the supermarket. Grab things such as fuses, motor oil, wiper fluid, spark plugs, headlight bulbs, etc. so you can keep your car running yourself.
  22. Car Chargers will be great to have on hand following a SHTF event that takes out the power grid. Use them to charge your phone so you can access any information you have stored there. Also use the adapter and wiring to DIY a charger for other things too if you have the knowledge.
  23. Condoms are going to come in handy not only to prevent pregnancy during and after a SHTF event but also for carrying water, creating a moisture-proof protection for a wound, etc.
  24. Ear Plugs might come in handy if you need to use your firearm indoors to defend your home and family against intruders. These are also great for children to help block out noises and help them sleep through the night or catch a nap during the daytime.
  25. Books will come in handy during and after a SHTF event to help you to identify edible or medicinal plants, perform first aid treatments, learn additional survival skills, and even just to help pass the time and keep your spirits high.
  26. Games such as playing cards, dice, chess, or checkers, will come in handy to keep children and others entertained, especially if you’re stuck indoors for a long period of time.
  27. Repair kit for glasses is a must have item, especially if you need your glasses to see!
  28. Vitamins can go a long way toward keeping you and your family healthy when your food supply becomes lean. The healthier you stay, the better chance you have of surviving whatever comes next.
  29. Pet Food is something that is important to have on hand, especially if you have a pet who is picky about what they will and won’t eat. Make sure you grab some extra on your last trip to the supermarket.
  30. Baking Soda is one of those ingredients that has so many uses that it’s always good to have this on hand.
  31. Spices such as Cinnamon, Turmeric, Garlic, and many others are not only great for cooking, but they have medicinal properties as well that can help keep you healthy.
  32. Calendars aren’t exactly a necessity, but they will come in handy for those who want to keep track of time.
  33. Clocks that wind up will be a must have item to keep track of how many hours you have before dark, how long you’ve been traveling, etc.
  34. Hard Candy is not only something that can boost morale and distract your body from feeling hungry but it’s great for bartering with to get other items that you need.
  35. Cooking Oil will be something to keep on hand not only, so you can make delicious meals for your family but used cooking oil can be recycled into fuel for heating or even your modified vehicle.
  36. Yeast doesn’t have a long shelf life but it’s vital for making breads and other pastries.
  37. Lip Balm will be vital for comfort when you have to spend long hours exposed to the weather.
  38. Dental Supplies will be a critical resource following a SHTF event because dental professionals won’t be easily accessible.
  39. Plastic Zip Ties have a ton of different uses so grab extras of these on your last trip to the supermarket.
  40. Bandages and other first aid supplies will be critical to survival following a SHTF event. You’ll want to get OTC pain relievers and triple antibiotic ointment as well if you can.
  41. Tools like hand saws, axes, screwdrivers and hammers will come in handy for survival tasks you need to get done. Having extras of these also puts you in the position to barter these for something else you need later.
  42. Extra Batteries for Cordless Drill are a great thing to have extras of if you can get them and if you have a solar powered charging system already set up at home.
  43. Lanterns that are solar powered or battery operated are a good thing to grab extra of on that last trip to the supermarket.
  44. Lantern fuel is a necessity if you plan to use propane or oil fueled lanterns.
  45. Sunscreen is something that can protect you from serious sunburn when you have to be exposed to the sun for long periods of time.
  46. Whistles of any kind could come in handy to signal for help or communicate with other group members.
  47. Cigarettes will become scarce when stores are closed down and shipping has stopped. Even if you don’t smoke, grab some of these to use to barter with someone who has the nicotine addiction, so you can get something else you need later.
  48. Ziploc bags are something that are great to have in your stockpile. They can be used to carry water, to waterproof your devices and other valuables, or even just to organize supplies in a bug out bag.
  49. Toilet Paper is one of the things you won’t want to be without following a SHTF event. There are alternatives of course but having extra TP can also be a bartering item.
  50. Feminine Hygiene Supplies have several uses other than their intended one.
  51. Lysol Spray and Disinfecting Wipes will be a vital thing to have on hand to help prevent infection.
  52. Lighters will be useful since the ability to start a fire is a critical resource.
  53. Non-GMO Seeds are something you’ll want to have on hand following an extended SHTF event so you can grow your own food from year to year.
  54. Activated Charcoal is something to have on hand not just for an upset stomach but also to induce vomiting in case of poisoning.
  55. Fishing Line and Hooks are great to include in your stockpile so that you can have the equipment needed to catch your dinner from nearby water sources.
  56. Calamine Lotion will come in handy if you come across poison ivy or poison sumac while in the woods but also for those annoying insect bites.
  57. Sugar is something that can have a decent shelf life if you know a bit about preserving dry goods. Although it’s possible to survive without sugar of course, you’ll be happy to have it to sweeten your coffee after a long day of physical labor.
  58. Flour is one of those things that takes a lot of time to grind yourself even if you have access to the grains. Save yourself some time and get as much of this on your last trip to the supermarket as you can get.
  59. Table Salt/Pickling Salt is useful for cooking but especially for preserving food to give it a longer shelf life.
  60. Cotton Balls can be used for many different things but especially as fire starters when soaked with a little Vaseline or rubbing alcohol.
  61. Candles will come in handy following a SHTF event that takes out the power grid, so you can never have too many of these.
  62. Baking Powder is one of those cooking ingredients you need to make food from scratch so grab these if you see them on your last trip to the supermarket.
  63. Cream of Tartar is another of those ingredients that is used to make a ton of different foods from scratch.
  64. Batteries will be a must have resource following a SHTF event. Get as many of these as you can in a variety of sizes.
  65. Bleach is helpful for keeping things clean and sanitary but also for purifying water so grab a couple extra gallons of this on your last trip to the supermarket.
  66. Coconut Oil has a multitude of uses and it has a fairly long shelf life if kept cool.
  67. Clothesline and Clothes Pins
  68. Bungee Cords are one of those things you don’t need until you need them so make sure you have at least a few of these in your stockpile.
  69. Cookbooks are something to grab on your last trip to the supermarket, especially if you’ve gotten used to convenience foods. You need to know how to make the basic recipes from scratch and you can’t afford to waste food by guessing and getting it wrong.
  70. WD-40 and/or Silicone Spray is a multi-purpose lubricant to have in your stockpile.
  71. Crowbars can be used to pry open locked or warped doors, to lift objects, or even as a weapon to defend yourself if need be.
  72. N99 Masks are something you can never have too many of. Humans can only live up to 3 minutes without fresh air so make sure you have plenty of these available following a SHTF event.
  73. Window Plastic is great to have following a SHTF situation. Not only can you use it to insulate windows and trap heat into your home, but you could use it to create a temporary greenhouse, distill water, etc.
  74. Meat Thermometers are something that will be a vital resource, especially if the grid is down and you need to cook with an alternative power source. Eating meat that hasn’t gotten to the proper internal temperature when cooking can be deadly.
  75. Strainer or Colander is useful to have for cooking, but it can also be used to help filter water, as a makeshift basket for foraging, or even to catch fish.
  76. Steel Wool can be used for scrubbing obviously but it also makes a great fire starter when used with a 9-volt battery.
  77. Vaseline is another one of those items that is handy to have. Use it as lip balm in a pinch, use it to help keep moisture in your skin and protect it when you are continually exposed to extreme weather, or dip cotton balls into it to make a fire starter.
  78. Plastic Tarps of course have a multitude of uses including creating a temporary shelter and sectioning off smaller areas of your home that can be heated more easily.
  79. Blue Coat is an antibacterial/antifungal ointment or spray typically used for animal wounds. It can work great for minor cuts and wounds on people if other first aid supplies are not available.
  80. Hand crank or solar powered weather radio will be a vital resource if you don’t already have one in your stockpile.

Which of these things would you prioritize on your last trip to the supermarket before SHTF? Is there something you would be looking for that we didn’t include here? Let us know in the comments below.

EWG’s 2018 Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Lists (and Why “Experts” Are Telling Us to Ignore Them)

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It’s that time of the year again! EWG has announced it’s annual “Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen” list of the foods that are the most contaminated with pesticides. Meanwhile, nutrition … Read the rest

The post EWG’s 2018 Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Lists (and Why “Experts” Are Telling Us to Ignore Them) appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

How Much Is Your Stuff Costing You Every Month?

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How much stuff is in your house, your garage, or your shed? I saw a TV show on Sunday that spotlighted a speaker talking about stuff. He talked about some of us having our garages overflowing with so much stuff that we must park our car or truck outside. He gave statistics about carports, single-car garages, two-car garages and three-car garages. I can’t remember the stats, but I had to laugh and giggle at all of them. Yes, I am part of the statistic since I have a three car garage, but one stall is full of my emergency prep stuff so parking a car there isn’t an option!!

We have a three-car garage, although that third stall would have to be for a very small car. That’s where I store my emergency preps on heavy-duty Costco shelves you can only buy online and they have extra sturdy wheels. We can park two cars in the double-car side. Thank goodness we only have one car because whoever designed these garage stalls must not have had very big cars, or medium cars, only small cars. Very small cars. You get the picture.


I have talked about decluttering our stuff for a few years now. I guess because I just had a garage sale on Saturday with our junk and made a whopping $16.00. I will NEVER have a garage sale again. I decided to donate everything leftover to the local thrift store. Now, my friend made over $200.00 so that was a good day for her. I’m still decluttering, I think it never ends.

I have made a point to explain when I give something to one of my daughters that they could use and I no longer need, that they need to get rid of something. I don’t want them to overload their homes. I have to laugh because the last time a few of my kids came to visit one of my grandsons said: “My mom is a hoarder.” First of all, she is not a hoarder like you see on the TV shows. No way. But, I have learned a lot from my older grandkids that are worth considering. They don’t want things. Nope, nada. They want to live a more simplified life. I’m very proud of them for that. They don’t want stuff. Proud grandma here.

Our Stuff

I decided to break down how much our stuff is costing us every month to have around the house. Some of you may have your homes paid off, your rent may go up or down, every situation is different. I want you to think about how much you spend on rent, your house payment, taxes, and insurance. Look around your home or apartment, you may have a couch, a lounge chair, tables, chairs, bar stools, beds, clothes, towels, food storage, emergency preps (had to throw that those in), shoes, socks, computers and so much other stuff. Take your payment and utilities and divide the amount by the square footage of your home. It may be a little or a lot. Does it matter? It’s all about the budget. So each room costs so much to “store” our items.

I went so far as to figure out how much a certain bedroom cost us. I think of my daughter who lives in California since she is the one people always love to stay with. She loves the company, but with the price of renting a home there, it would have cost her $500.00 more each month to accommodate the guests if they only needed one bedroom. I told her to have them bring sleeping bags when they visit and skip the larger more expensive apartment. For the short time the guests stay they can sleep on the couches and floor, particularly the kids.

Storage Units

I have counseled former clients to get rid of those pricey storage units. Often the reason people rent them is that they can’t make a decision about which items they need to keep, so they “store” their stuff. Or maybe they think they may need those items someday, so they can’t part with them. A typical 10′ by 10′ unit is approximately $165.00 a month where I live. Now they can be more expensive if you need climate-controlled units.

Here’s the deal, I am not saying get rid of your belongings, let’s be clear here. I just want us to think about how much that storage unit would cost us to store our stuff for say five years at $165.00 a month, that equals $9900.00! YIKES! Sometimes those units are worth it if you are building a new home and need a place to keep the items until you move in. But if you look at the numbers, does it make sense to continue to store and make payments for long periods? You need to decide that for yourself, but often the rent paid is higher than the value of the items being stored.

Why We Hold Onto Stuff

  1. I can’t part with my belongings, I may need them one day.
  2. I know someone who has every “Rolling Stone” magazine for the last 20 years or more.
  3. I don’t want to do a Garage Sale.
  4. I don’t have time to sell the stuff.
  5. I’ll go through the stuff in a few months. Then the months turn into years. And so does the payment.
  6. These items are going to be worth a lot of money one day.
  7. These items are too sentimental to give away.
  8. It’s too overwhelming to go through all this stuff.
  9. DVD’s, CD’s, and gadgets we accumulate that could probably be found on Netflix or Apple Store.
  10. Books, magazines we can’t part with for some reason.
  11. Old VHS tapes that bring back the good old days.
  12. Empty shoe boxes that can come in handy some day.
  13. I don’t know where to start when it comes to getting rid of things.

I hope today this post makes you think a little about what it costs to store/house our stuff. Life is good, enjoy a simple life. May God bless your family. Stay well and stay safe.

Get Organized by Linda

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Clutter picture: AdobeStock_27654526 by Sixninepixels

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Hog Processing: Skinning, Scalding, Scraping, and Eviscerating

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CAUTION: This article, and the photos in it, include graphic details about hog processing. If you are disturbed by information and images of this nature, please use your own discretion when determining whether to read further.

This is part 3 in a multipart series on slaughtering pigs on the homestead. In previous posts, I wrote about preparations for the slaughter and making the kill. You can read the previous entries here:

Read More: “Preparing for a Pig Slaughter”

Read More: “Pig Slaughter”

Now, we are moving on to hog processing. Here’s a quick overview of the basic steps that we’ll cover in this post:

  • Step #1: Choose How You’ll Handle the Pig Hide
    • Option #1: Remove the Hide
    • Option #2: Remove the Hair
  • Step #2: Remove the Head
  • Step #3: Disconnect the Rectum
  • Step #4: Risks in Evisceration (Gutting)
  • Step #5: Remove Internal Organs
  • Step #6: Chill the Carcass

Step #1: Choose How You’ll Handle the Pig Hide

Option #1: Remove the Hide

After you make the kill, you have a few choices about how to handle the pig hide. Some people prefer to skin a pig. This is probably the fastest, easiest method and requires fewer tools. However, if you want to use the pig skin for curing, in your bone stock, to make pork rinds, or to make leather, you’ll want to remove the hair first (see “Option 2: Remove the Hair” below for more details).

I have never removed a whole hide on a pig. I have skinned other animals, and it is easy as long as you are comfortable using a sharp knife. I prefer to remove the head and tail before skinning. Then, you need to cut a few openings through the skin, like seams, and use the tip of your knife to gently separate the skin from the muscles and fat.

I start skinning at the feet by opening a seam around the hooves and along the inside of the legs and working the skin free from the muscles with the knife. Next, I make a slit from the neck to the pelvis on the bellyside and work the skin away from the muscles until it is loose on both sides (like flaps). Your cuts should only be skin deep—don’t cut into the belly yet.

In male animals, you need to separate the penis and urethra from the skin. The penis area is visible, and you can find the urethra by feeling around with your fingers starting from the penis. The urethra feels like semi-hard tubing or  straw. Cut around the penis and under the urethra until it is free from the skin.

Don’t disconnect the urethra from the rest of the urinary tract yet.  You’ll remove it later when you eviscerate.

If the pig is hanging by the hind legs, work the skin over the hind quarters and down the back, then move on to the sides, and finish with the front shoulders. Using this method, gravity works for you and the hide comes off in one piece.

Option #2: Remove the Hair

There are a couple of different ways to remove hair. Both involve scraping the hair off the pig after heating the skin to loosen the hair follicles.

Straw Scalding to Remove the Hair

A few years back I wrote a blog series about our first pig slaughter. We had a lot of awesome reader comments and suggestions on hog processing. One of the ideas came from Anne. She said:

We raised and butchered many pigs growing up. Instead of the scalding to get hair off we burned straw to singe it off and then scraped. Laid the pig on a bed of straw first and did the burning and scraping in sections.

Glen also chimed in with his experience:

Instead of heating water to scald the hog, we buried it in straw and set that afire. You found that some areas weren’t sufficiently scalded to allow for easy scraping, and we had a similar situation. Whereas you spent “a lot of time, elbow grease, and [disposable razor blades],” we hit the stubborn areas with the flame from a propane torch to make them scrape-able with normal effort. Don’t overdo the flame, burning through the skin into the meat! Just fan the torch over the stubborn areas enough to make the scraping work with reasonable effort, similar to the properly scalded areas.

I haven’t tried this method yet. But, I wanted to share Anne’s and Glen’s experience since this also seems to be an effective and common way to remove hair.

Water Scalding to Remove Hair

Water scalding is our method for softening the hair follicles. We heat a tub of water to 155°F. We use a hoist to raise and lower the pig carcass into the water. For smaller pigs, you can use a 55 gallon drum. For pigs over 225 pounds, though, you probably need something larger.

We modified an old oil drum to make it work like a big bath tub. This took a lot of cutting and welding. But, the shape allows us to put multiple propane burners under the tub to heat the water faster. You can use any kind of vessel that holds water, fits your pig, and is safe to heat.

The key to a good scald is to get the water uniformly to about 155°F before you lower your pig into it. Use a paddle or a 2×4 to stir the tub and mix warm water over the burners with cool water near the surface. We also made an insulated lid to fit our tub so that our water heats faster and retains more heat between pigs.

You need a way to lift your pigs into the water. Friends of ours use their front loader. We use a manual engine hoist rigged over a scaffold.

You need a way to attach your pig to your hoist. We make a slit between the hind ankle bone and the tendon. Then we push each side of a gambrel through the slits.  We also use a gambrel on the front hooves as a directional to help lift and lower our pig safely into the water.

We lay chains over both sides of our tub in the water under the pig. Then we use the chains to agitate the pig in the water, if necessary, to keep the hide from sticking to the hot metal of the scalding vat and to readjust if some areas aren’t underwater.

Air temperature impacts scalding time. Also, every hide is different. Start pulling on patches of hair after about 2 minutes of soaking onward. As soon as the hair is easy to pull out, raise the pig out of the water and immediately start scraping. Scalding too long sets the hair.

Also, keep a bucket handy. If areas of skin start to cool before you get them scraped, pour hot water from the scalding tub over the area to warm it up.

Pig Slaughter -Scraping

Photo by Tim Miles


When you get a good scald, scraping is easy using a tool called a bell scraper. It’s not very sharp and the handle and the cupped shape of the blade work well to scrape the hair without ripping the skin.

We scrape the hams, back, belly, and jowl areas first while the scraping is easiest. After we have our key areas hair-free, then we work on the hocks, the rest of the head, and the front shoulders. Removing the hair on these parts of the hide is less critical for our later processing.

For tough patches, we use flat razors or even dull knives to fine-tune our scraping job. Once the carcass is scraped, hose off  residual hair and hang the carcass at a height that makes it convenient for you to squat down and remove the head.

Photo by Tim Miles

Step #2: Remove the Head

To remove the head, you need to cut a ring through all the meat and ligature down to the bone. We cut high on the back of the head so we leave more meat with the shoulder area. We cut below the jowl meat on the nose side so we can make bacon from the jowls.

After you have cut through to the bone all around, have one person hold the carcass steady while another twists the head by holding the ears. The head will twist off. You can manage this alone, but it’s easier with two people.

If the head doesn’t come off with twisting, you probably still have some meat or ligature to cut through. You should not have to saw through the spine to remove the head.

Step #3: Disconnect the Rectum

Hang your carcass at a height where you can easily reach the anus.

Pigs have chubby cheeks—and yes, I mean butt cheeks. This makes it hard to get your hands where you need them to cut out the rectum and tie up the anus. The first thing I do is cut through the pelvis bone on the belly side of the pig to give myself more space to work.

As a rule, cut meat with a knife and bone with a saw. I slice through the meat covering the pelvis bone and then saw through the pelvis bone. Similar to a human pelvis, the organs are behind the pelvis bone. As long as you aim your saw toward the sky through the legs of your pig and stop sawing as soon as you break through the bone, you won’t hit anything dangerous.

Also, similar to a human stomach, there is a layer of fat underneath the skin area just above the pelvis, so as long as you don’t cut through the fat while you are starting this process, that is a fairly safe zone, too.

With the pelvis bone cut, I cut a wide round hole around the anus to make sure I don’t hit anything important. Then I connect the line I started at the pelvis bone up to my circle cut around the anus. This way you can see the shape of the rectum (the poop pipe connected to the anus) and avoid puncturing it. You can use your fingers and the tip of your knife to cut the connective tissue holding the rectum in place.

Work carefully with your knife until the rectum is freed and can be pulled up a couple of inches to allow you to tie it off with twine to prevent spillage. Do not remove the rectum at this point, the goal is just to free it up so you can pull it through with the other internal organs from the belly side.

Pig Slaughter - Tasha Gutting

Photo by Tim Miles

Step #4: Risks in Evisceration (Gutting)

When we first started processing pigs, I was terrified of evisceration. Every article I read about hog processing emphasized not to accidentally cut the intestines like it was a criminal act.

There are some bad things that could be lurking in your pig’s intestinal tract. Bacteria and parasites like Salmonella, Campylobacter, Trichinella spiralis, Toxoplasma gondii, Listeria monocytogenes, methicillin‐resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli can all be found in a pig’s gut.

In fact, except for Trichinella spiralis and Toxoplasma gondii, which have mostly been eradicated from modern pork production, these bad things are commonly and routinely found in retail pork products from your grocery store or local butcher! Yet, despite being the most consumed meat worldwide, pork products have lower rates of foodborne illness than other meats.1)

Pork products are only relatively safe to eat because they are chilled, well-cooked, or long-cured prior to consumption. As long as you apply the same processes to your pork products at home, your risks are the same at home as they are at the grocery store. Even if you bust a gut!

Busting a gut is stinky and messy. It also makes extra work because you will want to carefully hose off your carcass. So, do be careful, just don’t be paranoid! And keep a hose handy just in case.

Step #5: Remove Internal Organs

Pigs have large chest cavities and a lot of ribs. Before we begin cutting through the belly to free up the organs, we like to cut through the breastbone. Like you do with the pelvis, slice through the skin and muscle tissue over the hard sternum. Then use a saw to cut through the breastbone. Keep your saw parallel to the breastbone and stop sawing once you break through the bone.

As explained in the skinning section, in male pigs the penile area and urethra needs to be freed up and moved aside before you start cutting into the belly to get to the organs.

Now, get your gut bucket ready. Position it under the neck area of the pig, between your legs, while you face the belly. Insert your knife carefully under the fat and tissue where you cut the pelvis. Face your knife blade back out toward you from underneath the pig’s belly fat and skin so it is facing away from the organs. Cup your hand around your knife, to use the back of your hand to hold back the organs inside your pig and prevent punctures. Then cut a seam down the belly.

As you start to unzip the pig, the organs will start to fall toward you. Direct them toward the bucket between your legs. Once your seam connects to where you cut the breast bone, use your fingers and your knife to rip and cut any connective tissue and free up the organs. There are shiny whitish diaphragms on either side of the ribs along the back that need to be cut free with a knife and scraped out. Otherwise most other organs you can work free with your hands and occasional cutting.

We keep the kidneys, heart, caul fat, lungs, and liver (remove the gall bladder). I separate those out as I come across them and put them in a different bucket.

For our friends who use a front loader in their pig slaughter, they don’t use a gut bucket. They drop the viscera on the ground and scoop them up later with their front loader and bury them.

The important thing is to have a plan for how you will dispose of the parts you don’t want to eat. We dig a large trench in advance and bury the organs right after processing to avoid drawing unwanted animals to our slaughter area.

Step #6: Chill the Carcass

At this point, you have a hanging pig carcass that has been split from sternum to anus. The carcass will still be warm,  especially if you scalded the pig. To make butchering easier, you want to chill the meat and allow the fat to firm up.

Most people try to process when the overnight temperatures will be close to refrigerator temperatures so they can allow their pig to hang outside or in an unheated outbuilding to chill.

Make sure to chill your pig in a location where it won’t be bothered by other animals like coyotes. Hanging high, under lights, or in shelters can help.

We Want to Hear From You!

Have you processed a pig?  Do you have any tricks to share?  Are you thinking about it? What are your concerns? Please use the comments section below to share your views and experiences or to ask any questions.

Also, if you’d like to read more on hog processing before we move on in the series, you can check out my earlier posts from my first time processing pigs:

Read More: “Part 1: Raising Hogs”

Read More: “Part 2: Hog Killin’”

Read More: “Part 3: Hog Cookin’”


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The Tools and Information Preppers Need for Emergency Communications

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by Anonymous 411

In the role of Information Specialist of a prepper group you may or may not also be the Communications Specialist (radio operator) of the group. Either way, … Read the rest

The post The Tools and Information Preppers Need for Emergency Communications appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Flat-lander or Climber?

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: As Preppers one of the things we should all be prepared for is the reality, though still a subject of debate among journalists, junk-scientists and outright morons (by the clinical definition) that the world is indeed, not flat. In a situation where getting out of Dodge is a must we have to be prepared for where the trail leads us and sometimes that is up, and up in places that might make one dizzy well, looking up at…so when Chris Richardson offered this article I happily said yes. There are people who do this for the challenge, both physical and mental, as well as the exhilaration of conquering something that looks daunting from many angles. The “because it was there” mentality, which I think we all understand, and if it is in our path as we try and bug-out well, this applies as well.

I for one can claim to have climbed Half-Dome in Yosemite National Park. In reality I came up the back-path which has a steel cable line up that you can tether or steady yourself with. I did not climb the sheer face, which has been conquered by blind climbers and handicapped climbers of all stripes. I still felt a sense of accomplishment, along with the many others around me, and seeing a thunderhead rolling in while I had nothing to hold onto near the top of that granite peak other than a grounded-STEEL cable was a bonus thrill I will never forget. Since I am here writing you already know my decent was faster than the storms approach. So Chris, thanks and a tip of the hat…

Packing for a mountain climbing trip is always exciting. The trip is soon coming, and our patience quickly fades away. On the other hand, we, mountain climbers must preserve that quality and leverage it throughout our trips.

Safety comes first, no matter what. When you start packing, you should be extremely careful not to miss anything important, anything that may prove to be beneficial in unpredictably and dangerous circumstances.

Well, in today’s post, we’re listing the 10 most important things you must procure and pack before leaving for the exciting trip that’s ahead of you.


1.    First Aid Kit

Again, first things first. Every mountain climber should wear a first aid kit that contains plasters, tape, bandages, gauze, and other supplies. You have no excuse for not carrying one. Skip the first aid kit and your life may be in great danger. And just as important is knowing every item in that kit and what to do with it and what NOT to do with it. Remember also to include any meds you normally require and instructions on their administration, in case others have to take care of you. You would not want them mistaking YOUR blood thinner for some generic pain med they give out to someone with a muscle strain.

2.    Quality Clothes

You’ll need the standard climbing clothes, obviously, although you shouldn’t neglect the warm socks, a warm hat, and the gloves. Mittens, compared to gloves, provide less dexterity but they are a bit warmer. Depending on your trip’s necessities, choose the ones that fit you best. Also, ensure that all the clothes you buy are the highest quality you can find. Don’t be afraid to invest in your hobby! And always make the first climb in these togs at least their second wearing. Do some basic movement with them on before to make sure they don’t bind or limit movement. Better to find this out in your local woods or trails than on a 55 degree pitch.

3.    Supplies

You need a lot of water to hydrate, and you’ll need to ensure that you’re never lacking it. When you’re out of water, that’s bad because your body’s less strong and more susceptible to illnesses. Water, at 8 lbs. a gallon is a considerable weight to budget for but perhaps the most important one.

Healthy food, even though most of it is dispersible, could significantly improve the quality of your trip. When you eat right, you think, feel, and act right.

4.    Map

half dome, 3/25/05, 12:53 PM, 8C, 8368×12000 (380+0), 150%, Repro 1.8 v2, 1/30 s, R85.7, G77.8, B103.2

Every mountain climber should carry a map. You never start a journey before you know where you’re heading to. Find the destination and count all your decisions and movements until you get there. Also, if bad weather is coming, you will feel safe knowing that you know where the safety points are placed. Otherwise, good luck dealing with the storm during a windy night! While electronics (GPS transponders, cell phones), and all are GREAT, a physical map does not lose its signal, does not need to be recharged and does not go out of date generally.

5.    Torch (Flashlight on this side of the Pond)

This is the essential tool you need to take to enable your vision during the night. Don’t forget about adding it to your essential bag! With spare batteries.

6.    Compass

Understand the compass and leverage it together with the map. Without knowing where North, West, South, and East is, you won’t know where to head even if you have the map! Every prepper should have basic compass skills and have taken a class in map reading and have a real compass as opposed to a compass app.

7.    Pen Knife

It will be very difficult to go on a mountain trip without a penknife. This particular object has numerous uses and will save your life from both a theoretical and a practical point of view. You knife choice is personal but this is one tool to not “go cheap” on as it has so many uses.

8.    Waterproof Matches/Lighter

Never run out of light! To make a fire or burn a torch, you’ll always need to have a windproof lighter and some waterproof matches. Up there, there are minimum chances of meeting another climber and asking for some in case you run out.

9.    Whistle

Unpredictable things happen, we make mistakes, and emergencies arise. In these cases, we must draw the attention and ask for help in the best possible ways. Up there, you can’t rely on your phone because there might be no signal. Therefore, you should always carry a loud whistle in your survival kit for all the unwanted situations. Like a good knife, this should be a part of your EDC that you take along when climbing.


Number one rule: don’t neglect the essentials. Every time you’re going to climb, prepare your trip ahead with much care. There’s no point in going if you’re not taking the necessary precautions to come back. Never neglect the basics that you must carry and your journeys shall stay safe.

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How to Skin, Butcher, and Cook Wild Game

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Are you one of the many preppers who plan on bugging out to the woods after the SHTF? I’ve heard many people say they plan on doing this (both in person and online), and most of them think they will hunt for food while they’re at it. This always makes me cringe. First of all, […]

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Lessons from the Roman Army for Post-SHTF Combat Operations

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Alright, we have done a couple of articles on “Knowing Yourself,” and “Knowing Your Enemy.”  Now that everyone knows one another, let’s take it to another level.  As a single individual, as a family member, or operating in a group, after it hits the fan, you will have to fight eventually.  You will not be able to avoid it and hunker down until the cavalry comes, because it will be in your neighborhood and the cavalry isn’t coming to your rescue.

We’ve discussed Fabian Tactics in previous articles.  These were based on the exploits of Quintus Fabius Maximus in the First Punic War between Carthage and Rome. “Hit and Run” tactics exemplify their description: strike a numerically superior larger force at a time and place of your choosing, and then break contact.  Fade back into the forest, hide, and avoid further combat until the next engagement of your choice.

Lessons from the Roman Army for Post-SHTF Combat Operations

Let’s “fix” ‘em: set the enemy up and zap ‘em!  Let’s do a few things that the Romans were famous for…using these techniques here and now.

  1. Choose the Ground: Yes, you choose the place you will engage them.  Along with this, you pick the time of day, the formation of the attack, the objective, and the criteria for withdrawal.  You choose it.  As an individual, you would be sniping.  As a group (depending on your numbers and composition), you can engage in operations limited by your size.  Choosing the ground means also to actively recon the enemy and not allow him to choose it and catch you unawares.
  2. Prep the Ground: The Roman Army were masters of this task. They scouted the area and with thorough intel, they knew where their enemies were, actions these people planned on taking, and avenues of approach.  They cut timber and created obstacles of logs interlaced with natural “barbed wire” in the form of thorns and thistles…along with spikes and stakes, to limit enemy cavalry.  Long before William Wallace of “Braveheart” was ever a thought, the Roman legions spread out hay soaked with pitch and oil in areas where enemy foot soldiers would move, and applied flaming arrows when the time was right.  They always took the high ground when possible, and used the natural terrain features (cliffs, rivers, etc.) to form boundaries to help them channel the enemy.
  3. Always Fight with the Sun at your Back: The Romans positioned themselves and attacked to place the sun in the eyes of their enemies. I know, I know: the enemy has “Ray-Bans,” right?  No, it worked for the Viet Cong as well.  When they’re looking into the sun, they’re at a severe disadvantage.  Use the sun.  Use the terrain.  Live with the land and live.
  4. “SPECVLATORES”- the Speculatores…the deep-cover operatives…the Special Forces and Reconnaissance warriors of the Roman Empire. You need operatives in your “unit” with the ability to do “deep penetration” of an enemy’s defenses…whether in their midst unsuspectingly or observing them from a nearby locale…operating on their own ground unbeknownst to them.  You need one or two people who can get the job done…and provide you with the deep-cover intel you’ll need to make decisions.
  5. Alliances – “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Not always so, but you can use such rifts to your advantage…with other groups who your enemy is at odds with.  Here is where diplomacy, teamwork, and political acumen/savvy comes into play.  These “non-combat” skills are just as important to “fixing” your enemy as any of the actual missions you will undertake to defeat him.  Be skilled at making alliances, and do not make them just for the sake of socializing.  It is an art that we will cover more in-depth in future pieces.
  6. Feed Them Disinformation: Yes, the Romans were very adept at sending messages or planting information that was false. This regarded their strengths, their movements, supplies, and reinforcements.  Sun Tzu was not the only one with a knowledge of how to monopolize disinformation, and he wasn’t the first to employ it.
  7. Lure Them and “Stake” ‘Em – the Roman Army would plant different things out in front of an approaching enemy force in order to delay and distract them…making them ripe for an attack or ambush. You can do the same, and make it fall “in line” with the enemy you’ll be facing.  Quick question: How many of you have Russian or Chinese canned delicacies, such as Borscht or caviar for the former, or imported Chinese canned foods and fineries for the latter?  Because you may be able to use it to lure such if they ever come to this country…and set a trap on or in it, or place shooters in an overwatch position overlooking it.  Because you may need prisoners, and what better way to lure them in than with a carton of their own cigarettes, their own liquor that they would think to be safe?      Be advised: SAVE YOUR RECEIPTS FROM THE STORE YOU BOUGHT IT!  This is because in the times to come if anyone ever suspects you of collaborating with them…you can show the receipts that you bought it all long before the conflict began, and give them an explanation of why you bought it all.  This may keep you from being shot by your own countrymen.
  8. The Violence of Action in a Controlled Manner – the Romans did not win their mastery over all of Europe and most of the Middle East by conducting drill and ceremony. They were trained, skilled killers and understood that the thing that made the Empire possible was the discipline and aggression of the individual legionnaire.
  9. A Perfect Chain of Command – Modern militaries all have a chain of command and an order of succession for someone to fill the “vacancy” at all levels when a commander “buys the farm,” so to speak. You need to enable each member of your team to be able to step into the shoes and position of the leader and take charge to continue with the mission.
  10. Discipline: this encompasses all areas. A “guerrilla fighter,” whether fighting off marauders from a neighboring town post SHTF, or a tyrannical, oppressive government, or a foreign invader…the guerrilla needs to be disciplined.  Physical toughness, adherence to standard operating procedures (SOP’s), a cool head and iron nerves, and endurance…the ability to keep this up for years…to go the distance.  These are the things that the Romans kept focused upon and central to their legions for many centuries.

In conclusion, small unit tactics are more than just a matter of either superior arms or numerical advantages.  They are based on common sense and knowing how to plan out your objectives, as well as a plan of attack.  You will have to be the “David” going against the Goliath, and although not shirking from battle, picking the time and place of your engagement, and the conditions and standards you will set to achieve those objectives.  It is no guarantee of success, but you are guaranteed to perform better with the proper planning, training, and clarity of purpose prior to a battle.  It can mean the difference between success and failure, life or death.  In this vein, I highly encourage you to study more about the Roman Army and the warfare in ancient times.  Take the time to clean the tarnished pitcher and you may just find a silver piece made by Revere.  The knowledge is there: seek after it and make your future rather than just allowing it to happen to you.  That’s what it’s all about.  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

The Lost Art Of Map Reading – Part 2

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In part one, we discussed what is on, and just how a topographical map can really be useful (especially with EMP attacks and grid failures constantly threatening our extremely “advanced” world). In part two of The Lost Art of Map Reading, we will explore more into how the compass and map work together, and just … Read more…

The post The Lost Art Of Map Reading – Part 2 was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Weekly Watchman & Current Events – April 24, 2018

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Current Events and Bible Prophecy – Prepped & Aware!


This weekly post provides you with a select section of Current Events and Prophecy Update videos from current prophecy teachers. Be prayerful and line everything up against the Word of God.

But when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near!  Luke 21:28 HCSB

Disclaimer: I don’t agree with everything I post here.  However, I try to keep an open mind and definitely don’t want to be like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day that had the Son of God right in front of them, but didn’t recognize Him because He didn’t come the way they thought He would come!  Stay Alert!

In this week’s WW:

  • John Haller’s Prophecy Update “Lighting the Fuse″ – 4/22/18
  • JD Farag – Mid-East Prophecy Update – April 22, 2018
  • Amir Tsarfati – Middle East Current Events Update – April 21, 2018.
  • Jacob Prasch – This Week in Prophecy – April 21, 2018
  • Calvary Melbourne Australia – TO COVER EARTH IN SATELLITES – 4/22/18
  • Jason A – Unexplained Events are Happening Worldwide!


John Haller’s Prophecy Update “Lighting the Fuse″ – 4/22/18


JD Farag – Mid-East Prophecy Update – April 22, 2018


Amir Tsarfati – Middle East Current Events Update – April 21, 2018.


Jacob Prasch – This Week in Prophecy – April 21, 2018


Calvary Melbourne Australia – TO COVER EARTH IN SATELLITES – 4/22/18


Jason A – Unexplained Events are Happening Worldwide!



SHTF Rifle Selection

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Hey FerFAL,

So I’ve read the book and blog and first of all thanks for helping me to start prepping realistically and focusing my training on my defensive handgun that I CCW anywhere I can, and I understand that it’s what I’m goin to use 95 percent of the time.

But I have questions on what rifle.

I currently have an AK that I have had for awhile and it has been nothing but perfectly reliable. I know you recommend the AK but you also state all types of importation stops or gets expensive and the vast majority of ammo in 7.62×39 is imported from Russia and things are not good between the US and Russia right now so I get worried about a lack of imports. American made 7.62×39 is so expensive I might as well go 308 which I have been considering.

Basically I don’t have a very good stock of ammo for the AK and I might be able to get a thousand rounds or two in the near future (maybe) but then after importation issues after an economic collapse means I couldn’t get anymore or it would be expensive. Do you think I should switch to an AR in 5.56 or maybe another rifle in 308? And start stocking up on either of those or should I just keep stocking up as much 7.62×39 before the crisis? Does all types of ammo get pretty hard to get?

There is just a significant amount of domestically produced 5.56 and 308 as well and I wanted your opinion as I know the
rifle is the least likely thing to use in defense but I try to keep it near when I can.

I also have a friend that lives 30 miles outside the city in a small sub division that is becoming my bug out spot and I’ve considered stashing the rifles there as well as they would be more needed I feel, and it is fairly open spaces but I know I won’t be picking them off from afar. But most likely I will be at my house for the crisis.

I apologize for the long message this has just been bugging me and although I prefer the AK and enjoy it the most out of any weapon I’ve ever used I want to be as prepared as I can be and I trust your advice on this. I also have a wife that has her own handgun that she keeps with here and she doesn’t mind using the rifle she just prefers her handgun and because of her size she much prefers AR15s when it comes to rifles so if I had one she would be more inclined to use it but I don’t know how important that consideration is.

Thank you again for hearing me out and helping me with this.


Hi Connor,

Thanks for your email and sorry for the delay in replying.

The AK47 has several advantages from a survival and preparedness point of view. Its tough as nails, reliable as they come, simple, easy to maintain and fires cheap powerful 7.62 caliber ammo. 7.62x39mm is somewhat similar to 30-30, which means its good enough for deer size game hunting as well. The Ak74 is a similar platform but fires smaller 5.45 ammo which is even cheaper. 7.62x39mm is still cheap to buy in bulk and one of the best bang per buck deals.

Having said this every American should own an AR15 platform gun as well. Granted, no they cant be made in some dirt hut with a hammer and some scrap metal, but given the enormous popularity they enjoy it makes sense to have one too.

I’m not much of a fan of the direct gas impingement system it uses but they have their attributes too. Light, great ergonomics, customizable, easy to put optics, easy to handle and very accurate. Not my first choice as the last, end of the world gun and if I did go with an AR, I’d go for a Short Stroke Piston model. But the truth is that knowing your gun well and servicing it properly your AR will do everything you need it to do. 223 ammo is a bit more expensive but it is very common, used by police and military.

I would certainly keep your AK and throw in a couple cases more of ammo for a rainy day. But the way the market is right now with very good prices and given that your wife likes the AR as well, I’d grab a couple ARs too, as funds allow. You don’t have to buy the fanciest gun either. The S&W M&P15 Sport II retails for around $600 NIB. Throw a Vortex Sparc AR Red Dot or better yet, an Aimpoint Micro and you’re good to go.

Colt M4 Magpul carbine with Aimpoint Micro and rear backup iron sights (BUIS). The front sight is a JP Adjustable Gas System.

If you want a true battle rifle then yes, a 308W is what you want. In my mind that’s an FAL. A lot of that depends on the location and situations you plan on using it in, but in general intermediate caliber carbines are lighter, faster and just more handy and make more sense.

Aimpoint 200170 Micro, T-2 2 MOA W/Standard Mount

Aimpoint 200170 Micro, T-2 2 MOA W/Standard Mount

As you said, your CCW, your handgun, that’s the gun you are far more likely to ever use. If you ever need a rifle and you happen to have it with you, then an AR or AK will both serve you well.

So, answering your questions: I’d sure keep the AK and calmly shop around for extra ammo, try to put 500 -1,000 rounds away for a “rainy day”. This could be the rifle you eventually keep stashed at your friend’s location as a backup.

I would also keep an eye out for a good deal on an AR. Eventually, as funds allow, get one for each of you. Having two of the same means you have a backup since you both will know how to operate it, and in a hurry either one of you can use either rifle, share mags, ammo, parts.

I know all of this sounds expensive (and it is) but don’t hurry. You already have the important part which is your CCW and you also have the AK, so there’s no rush. Take your time, buy slowly and invest in quality gear. My Colt M4 isnt the most fancy AR but its a solid gun that can be trusted, same for the Aimpoint Red Dot (which is worth every cent). Having said that if it goes beyond your budget the M&P15 Sport II combined with a Vortex red dot is also a solid combo.

The AR is a good platform to learn on and use for practical shooting competition. If your wife likes AR15 more then go with that as your main long arm. Yes, I’d say this is an important consideration. Worst case scenario if something happens it’s an extremely popular platform and ammo will always be available for it, even if the supply of cheap import ammo dries up.

Hope that helps.

Kind regards,


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”

Trump Is Going To Do About 70% to 80% of USA Related Actions Very Well

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Sometimes I get a comment on blogs or news sites to the effect of “What the heck has Trump even done of any good.”

So this is not a complete list — But a quick list of the obvious things that have come to mind.

Anyone want to add to it, or rebut any of it?   

Maybe you want to have a section on really shitty things he has done?   Keep it real and specific, anyone launching into “vulgar” or “unfit” will get no respect on this website.

NWO pushback, all by itself, is enough to justify a title of awesome.  

Protecting 2A against a tyrannical government which was getting worse is a big one, and in light of self protection needed during a period of intentional division of American by the richest most powerful people on the planet. 

Out of Paris — huge they want to extract $20T and Bloomberg is pimping out $4.5M as if that “keeps us in it”.

Out of crappy trade agreements that have been designed to enslave America with debt form buying crappy shit we don’t need anyway.

Securing the borders and starting to eliminate those here illegally.    Essential to the existence of, can I call it a nation/state.

Elimination of the EPA water grab for controlling every water body within a “significant nexus” of any navigable body of water.    Significant Nexus basically means we can make up anything we want and control anyone’s water in any way including forcing them to spend money and time to manage that water the way WE see fit.   navigable means that you could float a kayak on it on the rainiest day of the year.    i.e. a large puddle.   

Book Review: Country Beans

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I picked up Country Beans just to buy something is a really cool store I visited in East Tennessee. I am sure glad I did. This book is the same book I used to make the Tofu and bean milk, as well as the bean flour I used to bake the bread, which opened the door to the acorn flour I used to make the bannock. This book covers lots of material – from how to reduce gas, how to speed up the bean cooking process, and how to turn beans into a variety of other things. Who knew you

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Free PDF: Village Technology Handbook

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This is another fine work to come out of the CD3WD set.  I can’t speak enough about the quality of this program, and I wish that it did not dissolve after the death of the founder. From the Foreword of the VITA Manual: The Village Technology Handbook has been an important tool for development workers and do-it-yourselfers for 25 years. First published in 1963 under the auspices of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Handbook has gone through eight major printings. Versions in French and Spanish, as well as English, are on shelves in bookstores, on desks in government

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Botrytis Cinerea: How to Prevent and Control It (2018 Update)

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The post Botrytis Cinerea: How to Prevent and Control It (2018 Update) is by Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

If you’ve ever checked on your garden and found weird, grey, fuzzy looking spores on your plants, chances are you’ve run into botrytis cinerea. This common fungal pathogen goes by many other names as well. Grey mold, ghost spot, ash mold, or botrytis bunch rot are just a few! But to most of us, it’s … Read more

The post Botrytis Cinerea: How to Prevent and Control It (2018 Update) is by Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.


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Now, I’m going to say the word exercise, and don’t run away!

I know, I know, you’re going to say you get enough exercise every day with your job. I mean, all the stuff we do during the day, does that not count as exercise? Well for most of us no, it does not.
Now exercising is not all about weight control.

Let’s look at some reasons why we want to exercise.
1. It will help you relieve stress
2. You’ll sleep better
3. It can help you have more energy
4. Improves your memory
5. Improve posture
6. Become more confident
7. Get sick less often
8. White help you live longer
9. Make you stronger
10. Increase your endurance
11. Control your weight
12. Improve your mood
13. Help you meet new people
14. Help relieve some pain
15. Help with digestion

These are just some of the reasons why we should exercise.

Check with your doctor before you start doing any exercises. We wouldn’t want you to start having chest pains, while you’re trying to get healthy!

When we talk about exercise, it’s not all weightlifting and sit ups. There are many forms of exercise, then it can even be done from sitting in a chair.

1. Swimming
2. Yoga
3. Pilates
4. Bodyweight training
5. Resistant band training
6. Walking
7. Cycling
8. Aerobics

These are just a few of the ways to exercise. The idea is to move your body.

I know is not as cool, as running and gunning, or parkour. Let’s face the facts, that I am over 50 years of age, not in the greatest shape, and just can’t do that anymore. I know there’s a few of you out there like me.
So where do we start how do we get this going? Will start by talking to your doctor first. Then let’s start out with stretching. That creaking and cracking you’re going to hear, is not the floor! Walking has to be one of my favorites. Walk around the flea market, walk around expos, walk around antique stores. These are some of my favorite places to go where I’m indoors and in a nice climate. I can go to the bathroom and I can have a drink when I want!

A lot of these exercises you can do at home in the privacy of your own house. Get the kids involved. Get your friends and family involved. Or simply hide out with the shades drawn so nobody can see you!

You’ve got to get your body in shape if you really want to be self-reliant.

Years ago, at an expo in Kentucky, I made the comment to the crowd that the only thing they could depend on to get them out of a bad situation was their own 2 feet. As we found out during 9/11, people had to walk. There wasn’t any jumping into the bug out vehicle, and driving out. Just think about that , and if you can’t walk out, maybe you need to be able to roll yourself out!

The post Exercise appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

Suburbs & Rural Paradise Being Overrun By Exodus Out Of Blue Cities?

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I just read an article over on TheHill talking about “The great exodus out of America’s blue cities”. It got me to wondering about the general exodus of people leaving their cities, their regions, their states, in search of lesser cost of living, lesser tax burden, lesser regulations, and better quality of life. Are these people trending towards particular areas, regions, or states where they may inadvertently (or on purpose) ‘push’ their city ideals in their new locations? Eventually, city and state taxes, fees, and regulations become so burdensome that people and corporations jump ship. The nation’s blue states, cities

Original source: Suburbs & Rural Paradise Being Overrun By Exodus Out Of Blue Cities?

Judge Freaks Out On Defendant Who Then Dies From The Courtroom Trauma

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Judges have an enormous amount of power, especially in their own courtrooms, where they often become transformed into cheap imitation kings and queens. And, when it comes to “all things law” they are in fact… the ultimate authority.

Worse yet, their own private emotions and mental health usually set the tone for the days or weeks proceedings ahead. True, judges are supposed to be neutral in the pursuit of justice. But once a judge’s impatience and latent “lust for power” kicks in, the results are predictably pathetic.

In the video above, pay close attention to the interaction between judge Ehrlich, a Broward County Circuit Judge and Sandra Twiggs, a mom who was in court facing misdemeanor charges for fighting with her daughter over what direction air from the family fan should flow. Two people. One fan. Hot day. Big problem.

Surly Judge Runs Out Of Patience

Watch Judge Ehrlich berate Twiggs who is confined to a wheelchair. Judge Ehrlich doesn’t seem to care that the defendant needs oxygen, not just to breath but to speak as well. Twiggs’s family has said she suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and needed a breathing treatment.

The real abuse begins when Twiggs attempts to give Judge Ehrlich the detailed information that the Judge asked for, but then for some reason seemed unwilling to listen. Frustrated, she turns to public defender Howard Finkelstein.

“Will you say something into the mic so that she can hear you and you’re able to give her directions about propriety in the court?” The judge states.

Then it’s “you’ve said too much” as Twiggs attempts to answer a different question. “I’m not going to spend all day with her interrupting me” she said complaining to Finkelstein.

Twiggs was held and then released without bond.  Twiggs has no criminal background or history.

Twiggs Found Dead In Her Home

Tragically, Twiggs was discovered dead in her bed by her sister the next day. Her family and friends are despondent by her passing as well as the treatment in court she recieved.

Carolyn Porter, a friend of Twiggs said: “She came home so devastated she could not catch her breath.” Twiggs had obviously been traumatized by her day in court.

Porter also told the Miami Herald that once Twiggs was discharged from jail and taken straight home, she was hungry, dizzy and couldn’t catch her breath. To add insult to injury, Twiggs couldn’t get her medications while in the jail, Porter said.

Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein called the whole ordeal “aggressive and tyrannical behavior and revealed her lack of emotional fitness to sit on the bench.”

“All that was required was a bit of patience, and a little bit of respect to allow this lady to talk, to collect herself and to breathe.”

So what do you think?

Is it possible to get justice anymore?

News, History, and Narrative Oh My!

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News, History, and Narrative Oh My!
Allen Getz ” Behind The Headlines ” Audio player below!

For the second broadcast of Behind the Lines, we will examine the concept called history. After a short review of the subject matter of the previous episode (The Entity Known as News), we will tie the concept of news into this idea/discipline known as history. The premise regarding the term will center upon its definition, its focus, and how the interpretation thereof influences society.

Continue reading News, History, and Narrative Oh My! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Ruger PC9…the original

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Where there’s a will (and poor impulse control) there’s a way.

I’ve been wanting an original Ruger PC9 for several years now. They discontinued them a few years back and the prices skyrocketed. It was getting to the point that all the ones I found on GunBroker were traveling at an altitude of about $800-1000. This is simply stupid money for a carbine that virtually no one bought when it first came out, is simple blowback, and takes a proprietary magazine for a gun that is most commonly found in gun buyback bins and evidence lockers.

But..I wanted one.

I figured that with the reintroduction of the greatly evolved version of the PC9 the prices for the original ones might go down. It appears they have. This particular carbine, with one soon-to-be-thrown-away USA Brand magazine, was $500. Now, for $75 less I could have bought a brand new Ruger PC9 takedown that takes Glock magazines. So..why this original one? Well, mostly because I’ve a dozen P-series 9mm’s tucked away in the safe and I want a carbine to go with them. I think that two pistols, the carbine, half a case of ammo, a dozen magazines, a couple holsters, a cleaning kit, and some other support gear will fit nicely in a Pelican case to tuck away somewhere for that (very) rainy day.

I still very much plan on getting the new PC9 takedown carbines, especially since they use Glock mags and would therefore make an excellent companion to my Glock pistols. But getting the original carbine was on my list and the opportunity finally came together.

It is interesting to note that despite the small size of the carbine, it is deceptively heavy. Not surprising since it is, basically, just a modern version of the Winchester Model 1907….with a rather large counterweight housed in the forend of the gun. In fact, looking at exploded diagrams between the two, it’s hard not to think someone at Ruger might have played with the 1907 and thought “Time for a reboot”.

By the way, for you youngun’s out there, Marlin also had their hat in the ring with a pistol-mag-compatible carbine…the Camp 9 and Camp 45. The former took S&W mags and the latter took 1911 mags. One guess which model commands big bucks today. They were great guns, with Old-Marlin quality, but had a slight design flaw where, once the plastic buffer at the back of the stock ate itself from use, the reciprocation of the bolt beat the stock to pieces. (Aftermarket buffers are available.) After replacing a ton of stocks under warranty, and with the Assault Weapons ban coming in, Marlin dropped both guns. The 9mm turn up far more frequently than the .45 ACP….people hold onto those things with both hands.

As long as we’re flogging this particular deceased equine, I’ll also point that in the last twenty years we’ve had a handful of other pistol-caliber carbines that took popular(ish) handgun mags…incudingbut not limited to: KelTec, JR Carbine, HiPoint, Spanish ‘Destroyer’, Beretta, a handful of AR-ish 9mms that took Glock mags, and a host of pistol-to-carbine conversions.

But…while some of those are better than the Ruger, none of them take the same magazine as the Ruger…and that’s the bell I was trying to ring.

The Grow Networks Newest Summit – Home Medicine

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Registration is open and FREE tickets are now available for Marjory Wildcraft’s:
Home Medicine Summit 2018

Marjory has gathered 42+ experts who promise to set you free of drugstores by showing you how to be NATURALLY healthy… for pennies on the dollar.

The speaker lineup includes big names like:

Mike Adams, Ronnie Cummins, Sally Fallon, Sayer Ji, Nick Polizzi, Melinda Meyer, Joel Salatin, Eric Zielinski, Howard Garrett, Justin Rhodes, Paul Wheaton…

… Just to name a few!

If this will be your first time attending an online summit, you should know:

It’s a 100% online event, FREE for you to attend.

It kicks off Monday, May 14th.

And it will run 24 hours a day,
for 7 full days with 2 encore days.

There will be over 55 hours of video presentations for you to enjoy, covering topics that include:

The Big Organic Rip Off: why it’s not as healthy as you think!

Making your own probiotics–CHEAP + EASY!

100% NATURAL remedies for stress, anxiety, and depression. (Safe alternatives to prescription medications.)

How to save $1000s in funeral costs.

How to make your own miraculous CBD “hemp oil” … and use it as medicine, without getting high!

Foods that are BETTER than anti-inflammatory drugs!

Is Turmeric actually DANGEROUS to consume? What nobody is telling you…

Why perimeter shopping at the grocery store isn’t a good strategy any more.

The power of saying “no” … and how to do it!
… And that’s just the beginning!

But I must warn you:

Even though this event takes place 100% online, so you can watch it all from home…

And it’s completely free for you to attend…

You MUST register + reserve your seat here:

Register & Get Your FREE Ticket Here

Because only registered attendees will get the complete schedule, with instructions for watching!

So don’t wait and miss out…

Claim your free ticket now, while it’s fresh in your mind. Mark your calendar from May 14th to May 22nd.

And I’ll see YOU on the inside!

P.S. Before you email me about this …

… Yes, Marjory is promising to make recordings of the entire event available for purchase.

(The videos, MP3s, and transcripts.)

So if you have schedule conflicts, and you can’t watch it during the week of May 14th, you can grab the recordings and watch it on your own schedule.

You’re not obligated to make this purchase.

Because again, this 100% online event is FREE to attend.0

But not everyone has 55+ hours to watch during the week.

So the recordings ensure you won’t miss it.

Again – register & get all the details here.

Rhubarb Crisp Recipe – Just Like Grandma Used To Make!

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As I was scrolling through my Grandmother’s file of recipe index cards, I came across her Rhubarb Crisp Recipe. I smiled as I looked at her pretty cursive handwriting that listed out the ingredients and instructions, wondering if years from

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God Has Equipped Us!

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     I remember when I was a first-year Journalism major at the University of Texas.  Among the first things you’re taught about writing is the five W’s: Who, What, When, Where and Why. At this very elementary stage, our professor was equipping us to become good news reporters. But my first assignment was to cover a speech given by Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the activist and founder of American Atheists who led the movement to ban prayer in American schools. Even though I wasn’t yet saved, there was something so distasteful about her, that I lost the desire for becoming a reporter and decided I only wanted to write about things that interested me.
      Although I didn’t embrace that curriculum, I saw the value in being prepared to carry out the assignment; to be trained for that particular purpose, and to be ready and willing to do what was necessary to finish the task. In other words, how important it is know Whom you serve in this life; What your assignment is; When you are ready to act [and how]; Where you are to serve your God; and Why you’ve been called.            
     It’s been nearly four years since God made it clear to Mark and me that He was going to equip us to serve Him according to His will. That word “equip” means He is going to give us the answers to the Who, What, When, Where and Why of our service.  Hebrews 13:20-21 says that the God of peace will equip you with every good thing to carry out His will, accomplishing in us that which is pleasing in His sight — all through Jesus Christ. The Amplified versions says God will strengthen you [making you complete and perfect as you ought to be].
     When it comes to equipping us to be servants of the Most High God, it is obvious that Father God is the One who does the assignment of the task, and the strengthening for the accomplishing of that task. It is is not us. It is Christ through us. And the task is not based on who we are or what we can do, because it is certainly not determined by our pedigrees, our influence, or our IQ. It is based on Who He is and What He can do. In addition, What is being equipped is His will– His good and perfect and acceptable will; whatever He needs done to achieve His purpose of reconciliation with mankind. When He equips is a two-part proposition; when He decides we’re ready, and when we surrender to His will. The Why is easy… to declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness and into His wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9); to give us everything we need for living a godly life through Him who called us for His own glory (2 Peter 1:3).
     This covers the basic and fundamental theology of God equipping us. But perhaps an even more significant aspect of this truth is How does God equip us? I think the most obvious answer (and the most Biblical one) is through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that there are varieties of gifts, but only One [Holy Spirit] who grants them and empowers them individually as He chooses. I want to make it clear that it is my belief that since all the gifts are present in the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is present in all believers, then all believers have all the gifts available to them. And since we are to have a relationship with the Holy Spirit, I do not find it unreasonable to think that we can ask the Holy Spirit for gifts that we discern we need in a particular situation. It doesn’t matter whether it is faith, or healing, or wisdom, or a word of knowledge, or a miracle, or prophecy, or tongues, or the interpretation of tonguesthey are all gifts available through the Holy Spirit who empowers them. They are given to us. We should use them.
     God also equips us to serve His Kingdom by using our experiences with Him in this world to enable us to share His grace and mercy with others. Nothing encourages another human being more than our testimony of how God helped us through a difficult time in our life, whether it be health-related, soul-shattering, or a spiritual attack. He equips us by giving us a testimony that changes lives. 
    The bottom line is that everything we are able to accomplish for the Kingdom on earth [which is our mandate from our Savior] is not because of our own efforts, but because God has equipped us to carry out His purpose for our life. We are His workmanship — spiritually transformed, renewed, and ready to be used. He has set our paths before us, and we are fully capable of walking in them, if we trust and walk in obedience. He is our storehouse, our source, and our constant supply. We need never fear of being up to any challenge, because He will supply our every need, when we need it. Thank you, Father, for calling me and equipping me. Thank you for encouraging me and strengthening me, and may I never forget that I need You to help me answer Your call. And may my service forever glorify Your magnificent Name!

Philippians 1:6   I’m fully convinced that the One who began this glorious work in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you and will put His finishing touches to it until the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ!


Pokeweed: The Weed, the Myth, the Legend

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This article on pokeweed is part of a series on weed gardens and identifying and using the plants you’ll often find there. For other articles in the series, please click here.

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) is a milestone plant for many foragers. It’s the first plant that many of us eat that could also kill us.

Don’t get me wrong. Correctly prepared, pokeweed is absolutely safe. It’s also highly nutritious and delicious. But it’s a rare person who doesn’t feel at least a little trepidation when cooking and eating it for the first time.

Pokeweed = Poison?

My most vivid memory of pokeweed isn’t from painting with the berries as a child, or from the smell coming from the boiling pot in my grandmother’s kitchen. It’s from just last year. Our (then) 2-year-old came up to me with a big purple-stained grin on his face.

“Have you been eating elderberries again?” I asked him.

He shook his head and led me to a tall pokeweed plant. I saw that berries were missing. Lots of them. One of us might have said a swear word. I’ll let you guess who.

It’s funny how panic will totally wreck your ability to think. My mind was racing to recall everything I knew about pokeweed, but all I was getting was the word “poison.”

I took several slow, deep breaths to calm myself. Gradually, my brain started to work again. The berry is the least poisonous part of the plant. The juice from the berry is safe. It’s the seed that’s poisonous 1) The seeds are designed to pass safely through the digestive tract so that the plant can spread. So unless he chewed up the seeds, any poisons would likely remain safely locked away. And at this age, our boy was more of a gulper than a chewer.

My wife and I decided to wait and see if any symptoms developed. As it turned out, he was fine. He never had any problems with the pokeberries at all.

That day, two things happened:

  1. One was that I cut down all of the pokeweed plants in our yard.
  2. The other was that I became skeptical of the oft-repeated claims of 10 berries (or even 1 berry 2)The Essential Herb-Drug-Vitamin Interaction Guide: The Safe Way to Use Medication and Supplements Together. George T. Grossberg M.D., and Barry Fox. Publisher: Harmony. 2008.) being enough to poison a child.

One study tried to determine the lethal dose of pokeberries for mice. What the researchers found was that it was impossible to give the mice a large enough dose to kill them. After three doses, one per hour, of as much as the mice’s bellies could hold, some finally died. The equivalent amount for an adult, male human would be about 45 pounds (20 kilograms).3) Just for the record, 45 pounds of water would also kill an adult, male human.4)

Of course I wouldn’t recommend you eat a big bowlful of the berries. Humans may not be very much like mice. But this study does give credence to some people’s claims of having eaten pokeberry pie.

Let’s Eat Some Pokeweed!

Our grandparents would have thought all this caution and fear was far overblown. For them, pokeweed was a mundane food—a staple of spring. But at some point that familiarity with our wild, native plants began to dwindle, and now pokeweed is something of a daredevil food for aspiring foragers. Let’s take back our horticultural heritage and eat some pokeweed (after preparing it correctly, of course).

This video should help:

Plant Identification

Adult plants are the easiest to identify, so let’s start there. Mature pokeweed (also called poke salad, poke sallet, pokeberry, and others) stands 5–10 feet (1.5–3 meters) tall.

Pokeweed leaf close

The leaves are alternate,5)Alternate: A leaf pattern in which leaves appear back and forth or in a spiraling pattern on a stem. large (4–10 inches or 10–25 centimeters), toothless, oval- or lance-shaped, fairly succulent, somewhat wavy along the edges, and prominently veined.

They also make a neat, rubbery sound when you rub a handful of them together.

The flowers are white, pink, or green; grow on a pink stem; and form a drooping, finger-shaped cluster. Flowers appear in spring through summer and turn into glossy, deep purple-to-black berries toward the end of summer and into fall. The berries are about the size of a pea and are flattened at the top and bottom. A mature pokeweed stem is red or magenta, darker near the base, and has a mostly hollow core.

Pokeweed has a perennial root, with the aboveground parts dying back every winter. The dead stalk can remain through the winter and are one of the easiest ways for beginners to safely ID young plants. Mark the location of a dead stalk and come back in the spring to harvest the new stalks growing where it stood. Once you do this several times, you’ll start to recognize the young leaves by sight even without the older stalk to give it away.


Overall, the mature plant is very easy to identify, though it might be confused with elderberry. Elderberry does not have alternate leaves, and the berries grow in an umbel,6)Umbel: A flat, disk-shaped or umbrella-shaped cluster of flower. rather than a spike.

The berry clusters resemble wild cherries, though cherries don’t have that garish stem color, their leaves are toothed, and they grow on a tree.

Some people say that pokeweed is a grape lookalike. I don’t see it, myself. But if you’re having trouble, remember that grapes grow on a vine. Pokeweed does not.

Where to Find Pokeweed

Pokeweed is native to the U.S., growing throughout most of the contiguous states, except for in the Rocky Mountain States and North and South Dakota. It can also be found in the eastern provinces of Canada and has been naturalized in the Mediterranean region.

It prefers damp woodlands and open area.

Birds help spread the seeds in their droppings, as well. You can often find pokeweed shoots beneath popular perches. Try fence rows.

Harvesting Pokeweed

The conventional wisdom is to harvest leaves and stems from young plants, no more than 6-10 inches (15-25 centimeters) tall.7)Peterson Field Guides. Edible Wild Plants: Eastern/Central North America. Lee Allen Peterson.

Pokeweed young plant

Berries can be harvested whenever they are ripe, from summer into fall.

I do not recommend harvesting the root, as it contains the highest concentration of poison. (However, those who do opt to take the risk typically harvest the root in the fall, after the main stalk has died back.)

Some people harvest from taller plants, even taking the newer growth from mature pokeweed. Depending on your level of sensitivity to the plant and your level of experience, this might or might not be a good idea.

The Pokeweed Boogeyman

And this would probably be a good time to talk about the pokeweed boogeyman.

In my opinion, the poisonous nature of pokeweed has been exaggerated. People tend to repeat warnings about poisonous plants without verifying them. This can cause errors or exaggerations to be perpetuated until they assume the rank of “fact.” This seems to be what has happened with pokeweed.8)

Don’t misunderstand me. Pokeweed is poisonous and has killed people. You have to respect it, and you have to use it correctly. But the level of fear exceeds the reality.9)Herbal Antibiotics, 2nd Edition: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-resistant Bacteria. Stephen Harrod Buhner. Storey Publishing, LLC. 2012.

To further muddy the waters, some people are more sensitive to the toxins in pokeweed than others.

  • For example, the plant juice causes dermatitis in some people (like my wife) and not in others (like myself).
  • Some people get a stomachache if they boil the leaves only once, while others may have no ill effects and always boil once.
  • I’ve even seen a man claim that he saved the cooking water for use in soups. That one’s a bit much for me, but you can see how the claims of pokeweed’s relative toxicity might get confused.

A Common-Sense Caution

So what’s a forager to do?

Go slowly.

Just cook a little bit your first time, and use one of the longer boiling methods described below. The next time, you can cook more.

Just use your own wisdom, listen to your body, and don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. In all likelihood, you’ll be fixin’ a big mess of greens in no time.

Culinary Uses: Cooking and Eating Pokeweed

Nutritionally, pokeweed is a powerhouse plant. It’s a dynamite source of vitamins A and C, and a good source of calcium and iron, too.10) But how do you get to that nutrition without poisoning yourself?

Poke leaves are boiled before eating. Opinions differ as to how long they must be boiled and in how many changes of water. This is how I do it:

  1. Boil the leaves for 1 minute.
  2. Pour out the water and bring new water to a boil.
  3. Now boil the leaves for another full minute.
  4. Change out the water and boil for 15 minutes.

The whole process looks like this:

Boil 1 minute –> Change water –> Boil 1 minute –> Change water –> Boil 15 minutes

Remember, your timer doesn’t start until the water reaches a full boil. You can keep a second pot of water boiling so that you don’t have to wait for the water to heat up every time.

If you want to err on the cautious side, you can always boil it longer. Two boils of 15 minutes each, or three boils of 10 minutes each, are common cooking protocols.

Serve with salt, pepper, and butter. Some people like to add vinegar or olive oil, as well. I like to add a pinch of brown sugar. My way isn’t the healthiest, but it gets the kids to eat it. Another popular option is to toss the cooked pokeweed into a pan and scramble it with eggs. I like to add barbecue sauce. (Try it, then tell me if I’m crazy!)

Young shoots can be peeled, breaded in cornmeal, and fried. Some people boil them first, but many (including myself) don’t. Another option is to boil and then pickle the stalks. I’ve never tried this one, but it sounds tasty.

Medicinal Uses: Properties and Contraindications

Used correctly, pokeweed is a powerful medicinal plant. However, the margins of safety are smaller than with most popular herbs.

The berry is the safest part of the plant to use medicinally. The root, while a very powerful medicine, is also the most poisonous. Use caution, and get in touch with an experienced herbalist before experimenting with it yourself.

Pokeweed has a wide variety of medicinal uses, both traditional and modern. Most of these likely stem from its antiviral, lymphatic, and anti-inflammatory properties.


Pokeweed has terrifically potent antiviral properties against a wide range of viruses, including SARS and coronavirus. Pokeweed is a powerful lymphatic-system stimulant, helping to prevent cytokine storms.11)Cytokine Storm: A potentially fatal, hyper-inflammatory, immune response often linked to certain viruses. Isolated compounds from the pokeweed plant have even been used to inactivate the HIV virus in rats, rendering them HIV-negative.12)Herbal Antivirals: Natural Remedies for Emerging & Resistant Viral Infections. Stephen Harrod Buhner. Storey Publishing, LLC. 2013. That’s a lot of antiviral potential.

Pokeweed is also strongly anti-inflammatory, and has a long history as an arthritis herb.13)Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to 550 Key Herbs with all their Uses as Remedies for Common Ailments. Andrew Chevallier. DK Adult. 2000. Some people take 1 berry a day to ease their symptoms. Others use the root in powder or tincture14)Tincture: A preparation in herbal medicine wherein the medicinal components of a plant are pulled into a solution of alcohol, vinegar, or glycerin and administered by dropper. form. One suggested dose of root powder is 60–100 milligrams.15)The Essential Herb-Drug-Vitamin Interaction Guide: The Safe Way to Use Medication and Supplements Together. George T. Grossberg M.D., and Barry Fox. Publisher: Harmony. 2008. A 1:5 tincture of the dried root in 50% alcohol has also been suggested with a dose of 5–15 drops up to 3 times a day.16)Herbal Antibiotics, 2nd Edition: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-resistant Bacteria. Stephen Harrod Buhner. Storey Publishing, LLC. 2012. 

Again, use caution and seek a trained expert before putting any of this into your body.


Pokeweed has the potential to interact with drugs that have sedative properties. Possible side effects include lowered blood pressure, confusion, weakness, blurred vision, nausea, difficulty breathing, and death.17)The Essential Herb-Drug-Vitamin Interaction Guide: The Safe Way to Use Medication and Supplements Together. George T. Grossberg M.D., and Barry Fox. Publisher: Harmony. 2008. Pregnant women should not use pokeweed.18)Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to 550 Key Herbs with all their Uses as Remedies for Common Ailments. Andrew Chevallier. DK Adult. 2000.

If you’re looking for similar effects from safer plants, try skullcap or cleavers as alternatives.19)Herbal Antivirals: Natural Remedies for Emerging & Resistant Viral Infections. Stephen Harrod Buhner. Storey Publishing, LLC. 2013. Red root also has some similar properties, though it has safety issues, as well.

Hopefully I’ve scared you just the right amount—not so much that I scared you away, but not so little that you jump in with abandon. Pokeweed is a powerful, nutritious, delicious plant that is safe when it’s given proper respect, and dangerous when it’s not.

What are your experiences with pokeweed? Were they good or bad? Have any of you every tried pokeberry pie and lived to tell the tale? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments.

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Psst! Our Lawyer Wants You to Read This Big, Bad Medical Disclaimer –> The contents of this article, made available via The Grow Network (TGN), are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice; the Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information provided by TGN. Reliance on any information provided by this article is solely at your own risk. And, of course, never eat a wild plant without first checking with a local expert.

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References   [ + ]

2. The Essential Herb-Drug-Vitamin Interaction Guide: The Safe Way to Use Medication and Supplements Together. George T. Grossberg M.D., and Barry Fox. Publisher: Harmony. 2008.
3, 8.
5. Alternate: A leaf pattern in which leaves appear back and forth or in a spiraling pattern on a stem.
6. Umbel: A flat, disk-shaped or umbrella-shaped cluster of flower.
7. Peterson Field Guides. Edible Wild Plants: Eastern/Central North America. Lee Allen Peterson.
9, 16. Herbal Antibiotics, 2nd Edition: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-resistant Bacteria. Stephen Harrod Buhner. Storey Publishing, LLC. 2012.
11. Cytokine Storm: A potentially fatal, hyper-inflammatory, immune response often linked to certain viruses.
12, 19. Herbal Antivirals: Natural Remedies for Emerging & Resistant Viral Infections. Stephen Harrod Buhner. Storey Publishing, LLC. 2013.
13, 18. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to 550 Key Herbs with all their Uses as Remedies for Common Ailments. Andrew Chevallier. DK Adult. 2000.
14. Tincture: A preparation in herbal medicine wherein the medicinal components of a plant are pulled into a solution of alcohol, vinegar, or glycerin and administered by dropper.
15, 17. The Essential Herb-Drug-Vitamin Interaction Guide: The Safe Way to Use Medication and Supplements Together. George T. Grossberg M.D., and Barry Fox. Publisher: Harmony. 2008.

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Orchestrate Your Orchard for Success

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest contribution from Nigel to The Prepper Journal. With Spring even breaking across our norther border with Canada the time to be doing this is NOW, or as soon as possible anyway. And, as always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

Orchards are a great way to get ready for long-term survival. They are sturdier than most crops, and don’t need to be replanted. They can offer a large amount of produce for a relatively low input of energy, and the options are broad in most climates.

Especially in cold areas, orchards can provide food that supplies vital nutrients and keeps longer than most vegetables. Apples, for instance, can be wrapped in newspaper, straw or other carbon-based material and stored for months on end without losing their flavor and nutritional value. Stored fruit easily can or cook down for a flavorful addition to the potentially meager meals of winter. Fruit from your own orchard can be a great addition to your other food stores.

By planting a variety of types of trees in your orchard, you reduce the risk of losing most or all of your crop if a parasite or dry spell occurs. Dwaft trees in your orchard can mean that you get more varieties in a small space and also extend your harvest season. Having a variety of fruits will prevent boredom, too.

Caring for a Variety of Fruit Trees

While it is nice to have the variety, peaches, pears, apples, cherries, and nectarines all have different needs. If you are further south, you might have citrus trees that are even more specific in their care. Most people know to trim their trees back slightly in the fall. You should also clean up any fallen fruit- if it is diseased or develops certain fungi, it can “mummify” and infect your trees in the spring. You should also clean up leaves, especially if you have cool summers- leaves can keep mold and fungus spores alive over winter.

In the spring, there is a little more work to do.


Now is the time to add compost and reinforce your tree wells. Fish and tea compost is beneficial at this early stage of the game, although shredded leaves and trimmings are also helpful. Be sure not to apply this too thick, or it can instigate mold issues.

You can also apply copper or neem oil to trees at this time. Coat the leaves and branches alike in an even layer. This will go a long way towards preventing disease and insect infestation.

Fruit from the previous season shouldn’t be used as fertilizer. You might use it for your vegetable garden. However, when applied to the type of tree it came from, mummified fruit is likely to start disease or encourage insects to move in.


The simplest first step is to whitewash the trunks of your fruit trees. They were protected from the stronger summer rays of the sun in the previous year, but the spring can be difficult. The lack of thick shading from leaves opens up trunks and larger branches to sunburn. You can use a traditional paint or you can use specially formulated or homemade paint. The goal is to add a physical barrier between the trunk and the sun.

You should also use this time to trim away any diseased or damaged wood. Shoots near the base can harbor borers, which will kill an orchard in a short amount of time. Dying wood can also hold disease and should be removed.

Pruning and Trimming: Emergency Cutting

With the exception of peaches, fruit trees should be trimmed and pruned during the dormant season. However, taking care of any “emergency pruning” in spring is essential to the success of any tree. Taking a day to trim away any wayward growth in the spring can increase your harvest by almost double, because energy and nutrition aren’t being redirected to unnecessary branches and offshoots instead of your fruit.

Only allow growths at strong angles to grow. Branches at very wide or narrow angles invite splitting due to fruit weight or weather later on, and make it difficult for fruit to hang in such a way that the greatest number can reach maturity. Aim for angles of 10 or 2 o’ clock, with the main trunk being 12 on the clock.

Similarly, if you are allowing buds to grow, stay within an inch of the bud. If you cut a branch down too close to the bud, it will likely grow in an unwanted direction. You will then have to trim it, losing both your original branch and the desired bud. If you cut too far from the bud, the branch will grow back, eating up resources the tree could use elsewhere.

Finally, trim at the point where a sprout is aimed in the direction you desire. It will continue to grow in this direction. Using these general guidelines will provide optimum shaping.

In case of a power outage, the best pruning tools are either a manual pruner saw or gas-powered pole saw. Electric tools require the additional, fuel-wasting step of a generator were there a disaster- your fuel will last longer than a power plant will likely stay on. Gas-run pruners and saws make your work easy without gambling that they could be rendered essentially useless with one outage. However, if you have an alternative electricity source like solar power you may opt for an electric pole saw option.

Pruning and Trimming: Peach Trees

Peach trees will need a stronger saw, as their wood is fairly dense. However, the rules for cutting back and shaping peach trees is very similar to other fruit trees. Aim for 10 or 2 o’clock angles, cut an inch from the bud, and cut in the direction you desire growth.

Peach trees are unique in that if you cut them before they bud, their production will suffer. Winter pruning signals distress to a peach tree, and it will divert resources to fixing this “problem” rather than growing fruit. Instead, waiting until spring means the tree has already begun the start of the fruiting process (budding) and will more readily accept pruning.


Again resist the temptation to use trimmings from your pruning days as compost material. You should similarly avoid adding leaves from your trees, unless they are thoroughly broken down. Otherwise, you create a breeding ground for diseases that can wipe out a tree or an orchard.

Instead, use a chipper mulcher to chip completely dry pruning. These can be placed around the tree to help it retain moisture in the summer. Leave a space between the trunk and the mulch of a few inches at least, so that you do not smother the tree or encourage mold.

Starting or Expanding an Orchard

When starting or expanding an orchard it can be tempting to plan the seeds of fruit that you have on hand. Maybe the seeds of fruit you purchased from the market or even from one of your existing trees. This can be hit and miss and is not usually advisable. Modern day fruit trees are a Frankenstein’s monster of different hybrids and often a graft of a good fruit baring variety on a different but good hardy root system variety. If you are new to fruit trees it is easier to buy and plant them as bare rooted fruit trees. If you want a DIY approach to propagating fruit trees you may want to learn about grafting.


Grafting can increase your orchard’s pollination options and increase fruiting success. Grafting different varieties to an existing tree can also give you a wider variety of flavor options in your harvest. However, grafts need a clean cut. The smoother and more even the branch stem and the adjoining graft are, the more likely they are to succeed. While your sugar or sap glue mixture will connect the two parts, a greater contact surface area means a higher rate of success.

Overall, your spring work will likely require about a day for each five to ten trees you have. Larger trees take more time, so plan accordingly. It is important to do this before the last frost but after budding, so plan accordingly.

Author bio: Nigel William writes about topics like camping, survival, gardening, DIY, and home improvement among other things.

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Two new garden beds are complete!

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The 10 foot long by 32 in wide and 6 inch tall raised beds are complete. I added 6 cu. ft. of garden soil and 3 cu. ft. of steer manure compost mix to fill the beds.  I need to run the tiller one more time to make sure all of the soil is mixed well and ready to plant.  I added in the wood mulch between the beds so I no longer have to walk in the garden to till or weed the garden.  That should make weeding easier during the season and working the garden in the off-season should be less of a chore.  I have room for one more of the new raised beds but I need to wait until the 1st of May to buy all the materials needed for that bed.

Tucker the peke tilled up the kiddie pool, so it is ready for leaf lettuce/ greens and spinach. I am gifting Mom my small (2 ft x 4 ft.) beds to start a garden at her new place.  This not a perfect solution but it is a good start for her garden area.  Heck if her herb garden does okay and she can make a small salad garden she will save money and eat good food through the summer.  Right now my garden area will be the main focus for growth and harvest.  Mom will be doing  container gardening until she figures out the Micro-climates around her new house.  It looks like I have a few volunteer plants/trees and Mom wants to plant a volunteer maple I found in my yard.  Once the holly bushes start producing seed berries we can get those plant growing to make a wind break around her land.

I’m a bit late starting plants indoors but the weather forecast is looking great so I can start plants like lettuce, carrots, radishes, cauliflower and broccoli by seed in one bed.  I want to add a root crop bed for for beets, parsnips turnips and colarabi.  The last built bed will be the hot loving plants like tomatoes, peppers, onions and such like plants.  I am still trying the 3 sisters garden in my southern exposed beds. I think what the plants need is more soil mounded up and less watering compared to last year.

I love the new little fence posts I got from D&B (local farm store).  These posts are made for an electric fence but they work great with temporary plastic garden fencing. The spike at the bottom of the post is easy to “step” into the ground a couple of zip ties attaches the fence to the post and it easy to use two posts to make a gateway/access to your garden.  Using just a few of these posts made the temp. fence faster and easier to install and has kept Tucker the peke from digging in the new garden beds.  One thing about Tucker, he loves digging in freshly turned beds!  I did leave his digging spot under the walnut trees alone.

I will start plants indoors for a second/fall planting in the beds. I still need a frame for frost protection these beds are designed to work as a cold frame in the future.  That should extend my growing season by a few weeks. Once the backyard area is cleaned up and a little luck,  I might be able to build my hard side green house this fall.

I’m still using containers for several plants like my potatoes, strawberry, raspberries and blackberries.  Some plants spread and some plants take some time to find a happy spot in the yard. Large container plantings work great for plants and if you have limited space for growing.  Comfrey is a great medicinal plant but it can take over a garden.  It really grows great in a kiddie pool with very minimal attention. Sunchokes grow great in poor soil and are great for choking out poor soil weeds.  But they can also spread.  I did not plant the grapes in my yard and it has been a lot of work to learn how to keep them cut back and under some control.  I have literally taken a small chain saw to cut back the grape vines, holly and lilac trees.  It is some work to cut them back so be aware of how much effort you are willing to keep plants cut back and healthy.  If you love those plants you can transplant them from the containers into a spot in your yard.  From my experience those plants will grow the way they want and not the way you want the plants to grow.

The making dog food thing is going well over all thought there has been a glitches.  As I have written before the green bean as vegetable matter in dog food is not a fix for an overweight dog.  I still put down a quality dry dog food kibble so the pups can get basic food basics and vitamins.  The dogs really seem to like the peas & carrot mix for the veggies.  They did eat the green beans when not offer an alternative.  I’m trying out several recipes and ingredient mixes and the dogs preferred the beef, broccoli and barley mix over the chicken, white rice and green beans.  Of course I also have empty doggie food bowls no matter the mix.  Before I had to throw out wet canned dog food that got all crusty and dried out.  While I do have canned dog food as back ups it is nice that I can simply cook up a new batch of dog food from my fridge/pantry and not buy dog food from the local mega-mart.

There is a huge difference between what I want to have and what I need to have.  As money and time allows I’m working on the need to haves first this summer.

Vehicle Attack in Toronto – Nine people are dead, 16 Injured after Van Attack

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Toronto Police have confirmed that nine people are dead and 16 more are are injured after a man purposely drove a rented Ryder van into pedestrians in the city’s Yonge and Finch area […]

The post Vehicle Attack in Toronto – Nine people are dead, 16 Injured after Van Attack appeared first on Off Grid Survival – Wilderness & Urban Survival Skills.

How to Stockpile for Your Motorcycle

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There’s a huge number of articles on bug out bags and how to pack a bug out 4v4 vehicle. But few talk about motorcycles and what should load on them. Maybee they’re not as popular as cars, bust still, they deserve a lot of attention. The items selection is smaller (meaning you have to be picky about what …

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If Fukushima Has Decimated The Ocean — Why Hasn’t the Price of Fish Gone Up

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Its a valid point, one worthy of a deep dive.   

I took a stab at it the other week, with a report on farmed fish.   And please, before you buy into the “marketing plan” for Tilipia, in which the marketing genious wanted to take a shit water garbage fish and market it “exotic asian”, please study it, there is a basic “meat” issue that make Tilipia really bad. 

Will you pay more for “wild” fish?    You should if you want to eat fish at all.

Kind of related?    Poor immune system function, morbiidty, directly affected by radiation.

And Majia continues to expose insults to our environment

Fish farming, unsavory business.



Why isn’t the price of fish rising?
Is it possible that cloned fish is being sold to keep prices down?
I believe the masses won’t notice the death of the Pacific until the price of fish rises substantially.
It’s all about money these days.


fish haul appears to be quite high. Fukushima didnt kill the ocean yet! But several fisheries are closed. Tax payers subsidize the impacted industry. Fish farming is overtaking wild fish catch as the main source.
There are nearly five million fishing boats scouring the ocean. Average consumption of fish flesh is nearly 40 lb per year per person. Governing bodies have somehow decided that this huge killing of fish is sustainable.
Its like a science fiction nightmare…an overpopulating species figures out how to spread nets and consume the living world. 100 million tons is a lot of life going down ape-mans gullet into the sewer. Indeed 80 per cent of the world’s fish stocks for which assessment information is available are reported as fully exploited or overexploited
With reports of coastal decimation (Durnford, Blanch), and the incredible mortality events of multiple aquatic animals, its indeed a mystery that the fishery catches seem unaffected. How could this be?×382.jpg
And the plastic garbage gyre is growing rapidly
Plastic patch in Pacific Ocean growing rapidly, study shows
It was known since Chernobyl that plankton absorb nuke fallout, die and bring it to the bottom. This reduced otherwise more dire impacts from Fukushima.


fish continued….it is shown that bottom feeders are considerably more contaminated. The death of fallout impacted plankton gave way to new blooms. Toxic algae blooms apparently increased. Nevertheless, the food chain continued.
An analogy could be made of a sick person. He lays in the hospital bed mortally ill but scientists take a count of the number of live organs and cells and declare the patient is sustainable.
The obvious reality that escapes scientists; you cant kill and poison everything and expect life to roll along as usual. Its amazing many fish catches remain
95 percent decline of anchovie and sardine means the base of the food chain has dropped out. Management is dont in courts. It is beyond imagination that a 95% decimation of the feed fish wont have a ripple of similar magnitude throught the chain of life.
We can briefly visit economics. Fishing is less exploitative to PEOPLE than many industries, yet we can still see that the end purchaser must work 3.4 times what he would if he were directly getting the fish, in order to pay the system of processing and middle man profit margins. Would you rather fish for an hour or work three and a half hours at your job in order to eat?
Commercial fishing…


One can see the burden placed on consumers by the system. Commercial fishing vessels in 2012 landed about 4.6 million metric tons of tuna worldwide. The estimated dock value, or amount paid to fishermen, was US $12.2 billion. The end value, paid by consumers is $41.6 billion. Looking at data on interest payments and other economic metric shows that people work 3/4 of their lives just to carry bankers, wall street and middle men on their backs.
So enough economics…back to fish. Its a mystery how fishery hauls can apparently be unaffected by a crash of sardine and anchovie.
One thing is that data doesnt always tell the story…


95 percent decline of anchovie and sardine means the base of the food chain has dropped out. Management is done in courts, an indicator of political forces often divorced from natural reality. It is beyond imagination that a 95% decimation of the feed fish wont have a ripple of similar magnitude throughout the chain of life.
Basing the health of a fishery on fish hauls may not be accurate. Increased numbers of commercial fishing boats and more aggressive catch techniques may confound the picture. The largest catch could be the last one
Data varies….what is reported and data ruled upon may differ from reality.
Catch reconstructions reveal that global marine fisheries catches are higher than reported and declining
For any scientist or policy maker to assume the future is stable and even rosy, against the background of increasing pollution, nuclear disasters, overfishing and rising population is sheer lunacy. History shows that crashes are catastrophic and unanticipated. Well I anticipate it…

Book Review: Defiance

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All too often prepper fiction ends all rosy, with the hero saving the day. Now, there are occasions for Walter Mitty fantasies, but Defiance is not for those occasions. This novel is about a soviet sneak attack based upon some unknown biological or chemical agent that incapacitates the government in a single surprise attack. – The book does not get in detail as is is just a plot device to explain how communists are now running our country (it could have been an election instead). The hero has been locked up in a reeducation camp – he is released and then

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

Free PDF: Storage Barrel

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I don’t know where this Storage Barrel PDF originated, but it is a pretty good idea.  I am a big believer in emergency kits, I have then in my car, my house, my land, my momma’s house, and few not to be named…  My first 72 hour kit was a red cross kit in a corrugated box. After a few years and practice runs the box was toast and the kit moved to a 5 gallon bucket.  This was much sturdier and allowed the case itself to be useful. 5 gallon buckets can be used for so much during a

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Free PDF: Storage Barrel

I don’t know where this Storage Barrel PDF originated, but it is a pretty good idea.  I am a big believer in emergency kits, I have then in my car, my house, my land, my momma’s house, and few not to be named…  My first 72 hour kit was a red cross kit in a corrugated box. After a few years and practice runs the box was toast and the kit moved to a 5 gallon bucket.  This was much sturdier and allowed the case itself to be useful. 5 gallon buckets can be used for so much during a

The post Free PDF: Storage Barrel appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

A Flashlight That Runs On Water

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We are always trying out new gadgets. Love to find new items that are great for a survival situation. These are going in our bug-out bags. The American Red Cross Blackout Buddy H2O water-activated, emergency light, pack of 3, Work great. We were surprised about how bright they actually are. Put a drop of water in the bottom and it lights up!! The only bad thing is it stays lit for about 3 days!

Something to put in car, bug-out bag, or anywhere to have a quick light.

Yeti Responds to the NRA Lynch Mob in Email saying they Support the Second Amendment

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In a collective freakout from morons like Dana Loesch and her Steroid Freak Hipster Husband, the Lynch mob went into overdrive this weekend with threats of boycotts because supposedly Yeti Coolers now hates gun owners. […]

The post Yeti Responds to the NRA Lynch Mob in Email saying they Support the Second Amendment appeared first on Off Grid Survival – Wilderness & Urban Survival Skills.

Will Volkswagen’s 82 Billion Dollar Bet On Electric Cars Crush Tesla?

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German carmaker makes enormous investment in electric cars. Do they know something the rest of us don’t?

It is Volkswagen (OTC: VLKAY) and not Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) that holds the electric-vehicle future. If just one-third of VW’s electric ambitions bear fruit, Tesla is doomed.

The German-auto giant plans to spend $82.5 billion on electrification; an unidentified source told Reuters. Fortune reported in November 2017 that VW has as many as 80 electric models on the drawing board. Note: Volkswagen itself refused to comment on this rumor which means it is nothing but speculation.

Some important specifics that indicate the rumor might be true include:

  • Those plans will include five electric models in China by 2025, Volkswagen China CEO Jochem Heizmann told The Financial Times. Production of the first VW electric vehicles in the People’s Republic is supposed to begin in 2018.
  • Volkswagen plans to start building its first all-electric vehicle in the United States by 2020, Electrek reported. They will build the I.D. Crozz Concept sport utility vehicle (SUV) in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a Volkswagen press release stated.
  • A second electric vehicle, the e-Golf hot hatchback, will also be built at Chattanooga at some point in the future.
  • Production of the e-Golf in Germany will be doubled to meet demand.
  • Volkswagen plans to market two electric cars in California: the e-Golf and the ID Cross by 2019, Green Car Reports revealed.
  • VW subsidiary Electrify America announced that it would build 500 fast-charging stations across the United States by June 2019, The Verge reported. Chargers will be installed at dealerships, and on highways, Porsche Cars North America CEO Klaus Zellme told Automotive News.
  • Volkswagen subsidiary Porsche is planning two electric models: the Mission E and an electric SUV based on the Cross Turismo, The Verge Both vehicles are scheduled to be on the market in 2020.
  • Volkswagen is so committed to electrics that it will change its logo to reflect a commitment to electrics, Bloomberg reported.
  • Volkswagen will need up to 40 factories producing enough batteries to hold a gigawatt (one billion watts) of electricity by 2030, CNN reported. Each would be the equivalent of one of Tesla’s gigafactories. VW will need 150 gigawatts of electricity to power all the cars it wants to electrify, CNN claimed.
  • Volkswagen’s Scania division has invested 10€ ($12.5 billion) in They plan to build a gigafactory battery-production facility and lab at Västerås, Sweden, Electrek reported.
  • Volkswagen’s MAN subsidiary is testing an electric semi-tractor, Clean Technica reported.
  • Volkswagen might have plans to electrify all 300 of its models by 2030, Electrek claimed.

Volkswagen Has The Money To Electrify

Volkswagen has the money to electrify as the automaker had $45.18 billion in cash and short-term investments on December 31, 2017, YCharts reported. That number was up from $43.3 billion in December 2016.

This fact means Volkswagen can pay for much, or perhaps all of its electric ambitions with the money it has in the bank. There will be no need to borrow or issue additional stock.

Volkswagen also reported a net income of $12.75 billion and earning $19.96 billion in cash from financing on December 31, 2017. Those funds came from annual revenues of $260.62 billion at the end of 2017. That number was up from $240.48 billion in December 2016, and $236.67 billion in December 2015.

Revenue figures indicate that VW has recovered quickly from the “dieselgate” scandal. The December 2017 annual revenue of $260.62 billion almost matches the December 2014 revenue number of $268.63 billion. If this continues, Volkswagen’s revenues will exceed the September 2014 high of $270.15 billion sometime next year.

To add icing to the electric cake, Volkswagen reported $506.508 billion in assets on December 31, 2017. That means it should have no trouble borrowing money if it needs to finance new plants or equipment to electrify.

Volkswagen not only has the money to electrify, but it also has the resources to borrow the money and develop the technology needed to make EVs a reality. That gives it an advantage Tesla will never be able to match: money.

Tesla Has No Money

Tesla Motors reported an “annual net income” of -$1.961 billion on December 31, 2017. That means it lost nearly two billion dollars during the year instead of making money.

Elon Musk’s company reported an “annual operating income” of -$1.632 billion on December 31, 2017. That means Tesla lost $1.632 billion from its operations.

Disturbingly, Tesla’s actual losses might be far more substantial, as the company reported an annual “free cash flow” of -$4.142 billion on December 31, 2017. That means Tesla may have lost more than $4 billion from its operations in 2017.

Tesla Is Not Making Any Money From Its Operations

Tesla Motors also reported an “investing cash flow” of around -$4.19 billion and an operating cash flow of -$60.65 million, which sounds incredibly low on the same day. There was one positive cash flow number at Tesla: it had a financing cash flow of $4.415 billion. This amount comes from the borrowing and financing of cars the company sells.

The bottom line is that Tesla is not making any money from its operations. Despite the losses, it had some money in the bank in the form of $3.523 billion in cash and short-term investments on December 31, 2017. This figure is low for the auto industry; the Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) reported cash and short-term investments of $38.927 billion on the same day.

A disturbing conclusion that one can make here is that the money Tesla has in the bank came from the financing cash flow. That is, it might be money that Elon Musk borrowed. It might explain why Tesla has so little money in the bank, when the ailing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE: FCAU) reported having $15.756 billion cash and short-term investments on New Year’s Eve in 2017.

Tesla Cannot Compete With Volkswagen

Here are a few nonfinancial numbers that prove Tesla clearly cannot compete with Volkswagen:

  • Volkswagen operates 120 production plants in Europe alone. This statistic is an undercount because the figure does not include the VW factories in North and South America, Asia, and elsewhere.
  • Tesla has two automobile production facilities: a large plant in Freemont, California, and a small facility in the Netherlands. A third factory in China is still on the drawing board.
  • Volkswagen currently manufactures around 44,170 vehicles every week worldwide.
  • News stories indicate that Musk will be struggling to manufacture 6,000 cars a week by June 2018. Elon himself admitted that the company is stuck in “production hell,” Wired reported.
  • Volkswagen plans to increase production at its factory in Zwickau, Saxony, to 1,500 cars a day in the near future, Electrek reported. That means one VW factory can produce more than twice as many cars a week as Tesla’s maximum production.

A glance at the Volkswagen Group reveals that the $294.57 Tesla share price from April 19, 2018 was pure fantasy. The company lacks the resources to justify that price. The same data shows that Volkswagen AG (ETR: VOW3) was undervalued at $212.

Skeptics will wonder what the future of Tesla is. The simple answer is that Tesla will collapse and its remains will be gobbled up by another automaker. There are too many customers and too much high-quality technology at Tesla for a competitor like Tata Motors (NYSE: TTM) or Volkswagen to pass up. The Tesla brand will survive, but Elon Musk’s company will disappear.

I would not be surprised to see Tesla join the Volkswagen Group at some point in the future. Smart investors will ignore Tesla and buy through traditional automakers like VW.

8 tips first time gun buyers need to know BEFORE they buy

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With all the political hubbub out there about firearms, I know that there are MANY people who do not own a firearm, but are now seriously considering getting one. And to those people, I strongly urge you to do so. Our 2nd amendment rights are under attack. So now is the time to exercise your […]

The post 8 tips first time gun buyers need to know BEFORE they buy appeared first on Plan and Prepared.

Lyme Disease Part 3

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Lyme Disease Part 3

Lyme Disease Part 3
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio player below!

Lyme disease, aka borreliosis, causes a range of symptoms and can lead to life-threatening conditions. Common Lyme symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, fibromyalgia-like pain, trouble sleeping, and difficulty with focus and memory. Left untreated, which is common, Lyme can move deep into the body, into the central nervous system, heart, and eyes.

Listen to this broadcast or download “Lyme Disease Part 3” in player below!

Continue reading Lyme Disease Part 3 at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Lyme Disease Part 3

Lyme Disease Part 3

Lyme Disease Part 3
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio player below!

Lyme disease, aka borreliosis, causes a range of symptoms and can lead to life-threatening conditions. Common Lyme symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, fibromyalgia-like pain, trouble sleeping, and difficulty with focus and memory. Left untreated, which is common, Lyme can move deep into the body, into the central nervous system, heart, and eyes.

Listen to this broadcast or download “Lyme Disease Part 3” in player below!

Continue reading Lyme Disease Part 3 at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Lyme Disease Part 3

Lyme Disease Part 3

Lyme Disease Part 3
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio player below!

Lyme disease, aka borreliosis, causes a range of symptoms and can lead to life-threatening conditions. Common Lyme symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, fibromyalgia-like pain, trouble sleeping, and difficulty with focus and memory. Left untreated, which is common, Lyme can move deep into the body, into the central nervous system, heart, and eyes.

Listen to this broadcast or download “Lyme Disease Part 3” in player below!

Continue reading Lyme Disease Part 3 at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Camping Gear List & Checklist of Necessary Things + Nice To Have

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When you go camping, what gear do you take with you? I know that some of your camping gear list choices will vary depending on what kind of camping you’re doing (self contained multi-day hiking excursion vs. ‘base camp’). But that’s okay. I’m curious to put together a general camping gear list, including necessary things (and also things that may not be ‘necessary’ but nice to have!). Plus, regardless of whether you’re tent camping or ‘roughing it’ in a trailer 😉 there are lots of common items to take along. When all suggestions are in, I’ll make a camping gear

Original source: Camping Gear List & Checklist of Necessary Things + Nice To Have

Movie Monday – Pioneer Quest (By Popular Demand)

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Pioneer Quest Episode 1

Two couples assume the lives of early settlers to the West. Using only the resources and tools of the period, they will attempt to build homes, raise livestock, hunt and grow crops

This episode introduces viewers to hundreds of candidates who volunteered to spend an entire year living as 1870s settlers, and profiles both the intense selection process used to select the two couples and their move onto the Manitoba prairie.

 These films are presented as an exception to the copyright act as fair dealing for the purpose of research, private study, education, parody or satire. See bill c-42 article 29.

The Home Apothecary: Herbal Medicine, With Recipes

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How are my amazing Apartment Homesteaders doing so far?! Y’all are seriously ROCK STARS.

Please accept another one of my virtual high fives! 🙂

You’ve made the switch to…

Well. Done.

You’re well on your way to a sustainable lifestyle in your apartment homestead. Now it’s time to take control of your personal health and wellness through the use of natural, pharm-free medicines you can grow yourself or source sustainably.

Why Herbal Medicine?

Alternative, herbal medicine—becoming your own “apartment apothecary”—is absolutely vital to your life as an apartment homesteader.

You’ve probably seen the commercials at some point—the “buy this medication” commercials that say they’ll cure psoriasis or help reduce the risk of heart failure or help male members of the species get “ready for action” in 3.2 seconds flat.

But then they list 20 different side effects from that same medicine and you can’t help but stare at the TV with the same look you had last time you watched an ill-funded community theatre play….

Pharmaceuticals are formulated to tackle one problem and one problem only, and that is what the FDA allows them to print on the label: “This medication may help with pain management.” And that is followed with the warnings: “Excessive use of this medication may cause liver failure.”

Wait. WHAT?! Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

We already talked about how eating local, pesticide-free food can help you save money at the doctor and pharmacy.

But the switch to herbal medicine is about so much more than saving money.

It’s about cultivating your own wellness through the use of plants (the kind grown in Nature), not toxic chemicals (…grown in a…um…petri dish?). Why not take your apartment homesteading a step further and teach yourself to be your own pharmacy with natural, sustainable alternatives?

What to Expect With Herbal Medicine

I’ve talked to so many people who tried the “herbal medicine” thing and went quickly back to pharmaceuticals because the herbal remedies “didn’t work.”

And I understand why that happened. We’ve been conditioned to assume medicine works instantly—that they get rid of our headaches, cure our sinus infections, or get rid of our yeast infections as soon as the pill, cream, or spray reaches our skin or blood.

When an antibiotic doesn’t work the first time, we’ve been taught to get a second one to knock out the infection. If one round doesn’t work, we throw more at it. Which makes sense … oh wait—no, it doesn’t!

Herbal medicine is not a “quick fix” like the aspirin or Pepto-Bismol most of us are used to.

Herbal remedies create a lifetime of health and wellness by healing your body and helping each system in your body work the way it was intended to.

Alternative medicine is individualized, holistic care for a lifetime of personal health and wellness.

The goal is to find herbal remedies that work for you. The beauty of alternative medicine is the process of finding what works best for you specifically.

Start with the herbs and plants listed in the next section to start cultivating your own best alternative medicine cabinet and be on the road to your own personal, holistic health and wellness routine.

Natural Medicines to Grow Yourself and How to Use Them

If you’re visiting The Grow Network for the first time, I urge you to click around on the blog in the “Medicine” section while you’re here. The network of gardeners, homesteaders, and writers here has done some absolutely amazing work in alternative medicine already. My list below comes from the wealth of knowledge this network has already provided.

Want to learn even more about herbal remedies and all other aspects of apartment and modern homesteading? Sign up for the Lab!

Marjory published her list of the top 15 antibiotic alternatives in this blog post. I want to reiterate her list and talk about how you can grow some of those 15 super plants and use them in your own alternative medicine practice.


Marjory will instruct you on everything you need to know about the wonder that is garlic, and you can even get your free copy of “The Miracle of Garlic: Your First Home Medicine” here.

As Apartment Homesteaders, we can grow garlic in containers in our patio gardens. Make sure you give them plenty of room to stretch out in the soil in a container that is around 18 inches deep and 12 inches wide.1)For instructions on how to grow garlic in containers:

Check out this video from TGN’s 2016 Home Grown Food Summit on how to grow great garlic!


One of the most visited sections of the pharmacy is the Cold and Flu section. Sinus “yuck” sufferers, get out of the pharmacy and into the garden!

If you’re like the women in my family, you know how nasty the winter sinus infection can be. The only time I’ve had to take antibiotics is for sinus infections, but Echinacea is an herbal alternative that can help knock out the sinus yuck without the harmful side effects of pharmaceutical antibiotics.

You can grow Echinacea in a pot on your garden patio.2)For instructions on how to grow Echinacea in a pot:

But where most people dry Echinacea, recent studies have shown that fresh Echinacea has far more power to treat colds than the dried plant.3)See,,20251749,00.html

Echinacea Tea Recipe

You can make a simple fresh Echinacea tea to drink during the cold and flu season by simply adding 1/2 cup of fresh Echinacea to 8 ounces of water. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat for a few minutes, then add the Echinacea. Simmer covered for 15 minutes. Strain and add 1-2 tablespoons of raw, local honey. (The honey is especially helpful for a sore throat and a cough).4)Find Echinacea tea and other recipes for using Echinacea medicinally here:

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper has shown itself worthy to replace over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen—especially for muscle and joint pain.

This is another area of the pharmacy that is overused; acetaminophen and ibuprofen have droves of loyal consumers who take the medicines daily in an attempt to heal chronic pain. But they have side effects like liver damage and ulcers, so we need a natural alternative like cayenne pepper to replace the medicines we take for pain relief.

You can grow cayenne peppers in your patio garden or in a small pot indoors.5)For instructions on how to grow cayenne peppers: Then, simply dry your peppers in the oven on parchment-lined cookie sheets.

Cut the peppers into chunks so they dry faster and place them in the oven at about 200°F for 1–3 hours until dry. You can then grind them into a powder to use in this simple pain salve recipe:6)Recipe from

Pain Salve Recipe

1/2 c. olive oil
2 T. cayenne powder
1/2 oz. beeswax

Infuse the olive oil with the cayenne powder using a double boiler technique. Strain through a cheesecloth. Then melt the beeswax and stir in the cayenne-infused olive oil. Pour the liquid mixture into jars or tins. Let it cool.

You can rub this salve directly onto the painful area. Not only does it allow you to avoid the dangerous side effects of over-the-counter pain medicines, but it may also work quicker than the oral pain relievers because it reaches the area of pain immediately without having to go through your blood stream to get there.


Turmeric, a bright orange root, is a great one to add to your garden for dietary and medicinal uses on your apartment homestead.

Turmeric has been shown to help mobilize fat in the body and may help reduce bad cholesterol.

High cholesterol is something many American adults struggle with, and too many of us depend on cholesterol medication to keep us out of the hospital for cholesterol-related issues. You can grow turmeric on your patio or indoors and harvest for treating a whole host of other health issues, as well—from inflammatory bowel disease to gall stones.7)For instruction on how to grow turmeric in a pot:

Live in the Midwest like I do? Here’s how to grow turmeric and ginger in the Midwest.

One of my favorite ways to use turmeric is in a tea.8)For turmeric tea recipe:

Turmeric Tea Recipe

Boil four cups of water, add one teaspoon of ground turmeric, and reduce the heat to simmer for 10 minutes.9)Learn how to make turmeric powder: Then, strain the tea and add honey or lemon to taste. You can also add a pinch of black pepper for increased absorption. 


Ginger is another plant you can grow fairly easily indoors on your apartment homestead.10)For instruction on how to grow ginger indoors:

Ginger has been shown to have antiviral effects as well as antibacterial properties. Replace Pepto-Bismol, Imodium, Nauzene, and other medicines for stomach upset with ginger.

Ginger is one of my favorites to use when I suffer from stomach bugs. This is another one I like to take in tea form.

Ginger Tea Recipe

Simply steep between 1 and 1-1/2 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger in boiling water for about 10 minutes; then, strain and sip.11)For the ginger tea recipe: 

Essential Oils: Round Out Your Medicine Cabinet

We’ve talked about the power of essential oils before, but we can’t have a chapter on alternative medicine without talking about essential oils!

Essential oils are super-concentrated plant extracts. They can be used to replace any and all over-the-counter medicines. And while many herbal remedies can take a little while to work, some essential oils can work almost instantly to reduce the symptoms of our maladies.

While you won’t be able to grow all the plants you need to create every herbal or alternative medicine in your apartment homestead, purchasing therapeutic-grade essential oils can help round out your apartment medicine cabinet. 

Two of My Favorite Natural Remedies

In my own alternative medicine journey, I’ve had the most difficulty replacing over-the-counter medicine in treatment of the common cold. Here are two of the best recipes I’ve found for natural alternatives to cough drops and cough syrup.

Honey and Essential Oils Lozenges Recipe

2 c. raw, local honey
20 drops Thieves essential oil blend*
20 drops lemon essential oil
5 drops oregano essential oil

Heat honey in a pot until candy thermometer reads 300°F (the “hard crack” stage). Stir constantly. Remove from heat and continue stirring until it cools slightly and starts to thicken. Make sure it is not still boiling continuously before adding your essential oils. Stir the oils in.

Then, in candy molds or on parchment paper, spoon out cough-drop-sized amounts of the honey/oils mixture. Allow to cool completely to room temperature. Store at room temperature.

* Thieves essential oil contains cinnamon, clove, lemon, eucalyptus radiata, and rosemary essential oils. I buy mine from Young Living, although you could theoretically make it yourself.

Simple Cough Syrup Recipe

2 c. water
8 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 c. fresh ginger root, finely chopped
1 c. raw, local honey
1 fresh lemon, juiced
1/8 t. cayenne pepper

Simmer thyme and ginger in water in a small pot over medium heat until the water is reduced by half. Allow to cool completely; then strain the herbs. Return the tea to the pot and whisk in honey, lemon, and cayenne pepper (which you hopefully grew yourself!).

Store in an airtight container.12)I got this recipe from the Traditional Cooking School, but I adapted it so I could make it without an instant pot: Take one tablespoon to soothe sore throat and calm your cough.

Check out other TGN posts on alternative medicine to arm yourself with all the tools you need to be your own apartment apothecary!


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(This article was originally published on December 9, 2017.)


References   [ + ]

1. For instructions on how to grow garlic in containers:
2. For instructions on how to grow Echinacea in a pot:
3. See,,20251749,00.html
4. Find Echinacea tea and other recipes for using Echinacea medicinally here:
5. For instructions on how to grow cayenne peppers:
6. Recipe from
7. For instruction on how to grow turmeric in a pot:
8. For turmeric tea recipe:
9. Learn how to make turmeric powder:
10. For instruction on how to grow ginger indoors:
11. For the ginger tea recipe:
12. I got this recipe from the Traditional Cooking School, but I adapted it so I could make it without an instant pot:

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