4 Reasons You Need to MOVE

Click here to view the original post.

Yesterday I loaded up in the truck and headed up to the transfer station to dump off some trash, dog hanging his head out the back window.  About a mile up the dirt road I ran into a neighbor who was taking a walk, I stopped and we chatted for about 10 minutes with no worries about any other vehicles coming or going.  I love living out here in the mountains and while there are risks and inconveneinces it is far superior to the subdivision life I lived before.  While I understand everyone is in a different place in their life here are, in my opinion, 4 reasons you need to leave the traditional life behind and move out into the wide open spaces.

1- People.  I’m not a big fan, I try to avoid them as much as possible.  For sure if I have to go “into town” and interact with folks I’ll play nice and I do have a tight group of community that I’m working with but generally I like to avoid crowds / traffic / people as much as possible.  Living out here provides the opportunity for me to disconnect as much as I want and control my interactions.  There are no cars driving by, no sounds of other folks, no stores or other commercial outlets within my AO.

2- Freedom of Maneuver.  I remember living in my subdivision, we had a stupid HOA which controlled what we could or could not do.  Permits for everything, licenses, local sheriff, township police, city police and state troopers always lurking in case you set off a firecracker at the wrong time or have a mischevious dog and your neighbor wants to report you.  Not so out here, I could (and have) literally walk out onto my deck and take a piss off of it in only my underwear with no worries.  Build a pole barn, set in some fence, take a shot at a target 500 yards across the gully to the other hillside.  Whatever, nobody cares….and oh by the way the law consists of the Sheriff and they might be 45 min away depending.

3- Self Reliance.  Living out here has been quite the learning experience and I enjoy the challenge.  From well water to a septic system, not being close to resupply for most things and surrounded by wild animals (bear, coyote, deer, elk, turkey et al) it has been a change.  We have had to work a bit harder at things but I value it and much prefer it to punching a button on my iphone and having it done for me.  I must clarify, in no way are we homesteaders but we are much further along than we used to be.

4- Personal Gratification.  I sit on my deck in the morning and watch the sun rise over the mountains and take it all in, so thankful for everything we have and hoping that we never ever take any of it for granted.

Final Thoughts

Living out here is not a panacea, we could still be suspectable to major or minor SHTF events (biggest being fire, water shortages).  Yet when it comes down to it I feel like we are much better off than we used to be, I was not a fan of being surrounded by neighbors in cheaply built homes and well manicured lawns.  At least out here we have the abilty to succeed and/or fail mostly on our own terms, and can do so in relative peace and quiet.  Right now the snow is falling hard and the wood stove is roaring, I wouldn’t go back to a 5000 square foot house in XYZ subdivision in whatever town for anything.  They can have it, all of it.


Step By Step Guide To Make A First Aid Kit

Click here to view the original post.

No adventure is without the risk of injury, which means no adventure seeker in this world is 100% safe. The adventurous outdoors can be fully exciting but completely unsafe at the same time if proper measures are not taken to prevent or cure unexpected injuries. Some of the most common harms are fractures, abrasions, lacerations, …

Continue reading

The post Step By Step Guide To Make A First Aid Kit appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

13 Delicious Foods for Gut Health that You’ll Love Eating

Click here to view the original post.

Gut health and a happy gut are important. There are foods for gut health that are delicious and easy to fit into your diet, and that’s good, because many people have trouble understanding how the healthy of your gastrointestinal tract affects just about every system in your body! Luckily, it’s easy to keep it well and happy.

The post 13 Delicious Foods for Gut Health that You’ll Love Eating appeared first on Just Plain Living.

27 Foods That Last For Decades

Click here to view the original post.

Food storage is a big and complicated topic, and for newbie preppers it can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why my advice to anyone stockpiling food for the first time is to start simple. Focus on foods that will last for years without any special preservation methods. For example, you could get some beans, sugar, …

Continue reading

The post 27 Foods That Last For Decades appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

15 Fruits and Veggies You Can Grow in Buckets

Click here to view the original post.

I’ve met many people who, although they’d love to have a garden, complain that they simply don’t have enough space. They live in apartments or small houses and have nothing more than a balcony or back porch, so they assume gardening is impossible for them. They’re wrong. Like I always tell them, if you have …

Continue reading

The post 15 Fruits and Veggies You Can Grow in Buckets appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Reply: 9mm cylinder for revolvers

Click here to view the original post.


In regard to your recent article about some of the advantages of revolvers it is worth mentioning that Ruger and other manufacturers have 9mm revolvers in their lineup. Most, if not all, 9mm revolvers utilize moon clips to hold the rounds. Moon clips are easier to use than speed loaders or speed strips. Nine millimeter ammunition is more commonly available than .38 special and there are dozens of different loads. Maybe the greatest advantage to a 9mm revolver is the ability to have ammunition commonality with those Glock 9mms you recommend. Revolvers in 9mm are worth considering.

Best regards, K in Texas

Thanks. Yes, that’s a great point. Even better, with a 9mm cylinder you cover  9mm, and of course 38 special and 357 magnum.

9mm is cheap and the most likely handgun ammo to come across so it makes perfect sense for a SHTF gun.


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”

Why I Carry Knives

Click here to view the original post.

This is a very important topic of discussion. There are serious issues when it comes to self defense techniques. In fact, even with the quality of fighting techniques that have been exposed due to the UFC and MMA there are still somethings that need to be driven home. Ninjas don’t exist anymore because of guns. …

Continue reading

The post Why I Carry Knives appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Free PDF: Build a Generator From a Lawn Edger Motor

Click here to view the original post.

I think it is a cool idea to build a generator from a lawn edger motor, so much so that a few years ago I build a very similar generator from a lawn mower engine.  It works well, and was pretty simple to build I would imagine, from my experience on the similar project, that a man could do this in a single day if they had the materials close at hand. The basic generator (gas powered motor, alternator and battery only), can be used as a 12 volt power source. This is extremely useful for charging battery banks in

The post Free PDF: Build a Generator From a Lawn Edger Motor appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Book Review: Far Beyond Defensive Tactics

Click here to view the original post.

Far Beyond Defensive Tactics is one of the best defensive tactics books on the market. I have read, reread, dog-eared, and written in the margins of this book – then went out and bought a new copy just in case. I have personally used several of the concepts in this book in real life encounters within the walls of state prisons when I worked maximum security after I got out of the Marines. The information on how to get a combative drunk out from behind the wheel of his car was a story I adapted and used inside the prison to

The post Book Review: Far Beyond Defensive Tactics appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

You spent how much????

Click here to view the original post.

TIme for you to play with my poll……

Whaddya think you spend on average per year on stuff to advance your level of preparedness?’On average’…so if you bought a BOV this year, thats not really part of the average unless you buy one every year, capice? And we’re talking items specifically towards your level of preparedness. ‘Dual use’ stuff doesn’t count…think of it this way, it’s specifically an item you bought for preparedness if you wouuldn’t have bought it otherwise.

How much do you spend per year on things that you would consider specifically purchased to advance your level of preparedness?
  • 0% – ( 0 votes )

  • 0% – ( 0 votes )

  • 0% – ( 0 votes )

  • 100% – ( 2 votes )

  • 0% – ( 0 votes )

  • 0% – ( 0 votes )

    The Best Martial Arts for Self Defense…And the Worst!

    Click here to view the original post.

    There are many reasons why one should learn martial arts, with self-defense ranking pretty high up on the list.

    But like everything else, not all martial arts disciplines are equal when it comes to fending off harm and protecting loved ones. Yes it’s often true that many of them share a common form of self-defense technique or weapon training, but it would be a mistake to assume that martial arts and self-defense are the same.

    Quick Navigation

      A. Defining Martial Arts, Establishing Assumptions
        1) Definition of Martial Arts
        2) Considering Force Multipliers
        3) Multiple Attackers & Defending Others
      B. Most Effective (& Least) List
        1) Most Effective
         – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
         – Boxing
         – Mixed Martial Arts
         – Krav Maga
         – Karate

         – Jeet Kune Do
         – Traditional Japanese Jiu
    – Judo
         – Wing Chun
        2) Least Effective
         – Aikido
         – Tai Chi
         – Capoeira
         – Taekwondo
      C. Final Words



    Self-defense techniques and martial arts disciplines both tap into your physical strength. Constant practice with both will allow you to forge a stronger mind-body link. They both increase confidence and are usually catalysts of greater change happening within the psyche. There are specific techniques to learn. Almost all martial arts discipline have a foundation that’s based on self-defense and “non-fighting”.

    Self-defense can come in many forms and many weapons. The most effective weapon depends on several threat elements, which include experience, how many needs to be defended and the nature of the threat itself. The gist applies to martial arts as well- one martial art discipline may be better suited for stronger threats while another discipline is excellent against armed attackers, for example.

    A. Defining Martial Arts, and Establishing “Assumptions”

    1) Definition of Martial Arts

    “Various sports or skills, mainly of Japanese origin, that originated as forms of self-defense or attack, such as judo, karate, and kendo.”  Martial arts are often mistakenly categorized as a traditional Asian or European discipline that follows closely in line, and adheres to its’ respective culture.  As defined by multiple authoritative sources, we see that martial arts is much more encompassing by including sports or even “skills” into the mix.   That’s a big field of possibilities for what defines a martial art.  Lets now explore what they are.   

    2) Force Multipliers 

    In this article we’ll leave out the use of weapons such as knives, guns, and other modern gadgets and rely on our own hands and feet.   Force multipliers, i.e., guns, OC spray and tasers, in trained hands, are hands down the most effective tools for self defense today.  In this post we are studying martial arts as isolated tools, and inserting the assumption that we are forced to defend ourselves without essential force multipliers. We’ll focus more on which martial arts disciplines will give you the best skill set in the self-defense aspect. We’ll also leave out tactical team defense, or the art of defending individuals other than yourself.  Both of the former topics will be discussed in future posts.  It’s worth noting now, however, that in most realistic self defense situations, all the possible tools and skill sets will likely be, and ideally used simultaneously in a synergistic way against active threats.  

    3) Self-Defense with  Multiple Attackers, and Defending Others

    Human society will likely collapse in chaos and people will do anything in order to survive when the world goes down in flames. Hence, self-defense and the ability to defend your loved ones will be a significant factor down the stretch.  We must make the distinction now that defending yourself from multiple attackers as compared to defending yourself from a single attacker is a different challenge altogether, as is defending yourself and multiple team members/loved ones/family where more coordination and tactical skills and planning are added to the mix.  In this post, we will  remove the factor of defending multiple members of your party from single and multiple attackers for the sake of argument, (as they are to be left as subjects of future in-depth posts), to allow for a more thorough study of each martial art in single person defense encounters.  



    B. The Most And Least Effective Martial Arts For Self-Defense

    Here’s a list of the most and least effective disciplines when it comes to defending yourself from any type of harm. Keep in mind that each self-defense situation may be unique and require specific skillsets or techniques to become truly effective. Which discipline has the widest and the most useful range? Which martial art is a jack-of-all-trades and which discipline shines in specific situations but not in others?

    1) The Most Effective List (In No Particular Order)

    It’s one of the best martial arts in the list as it gives the user a complete repertoire of techniques they can use to disable a threat. Some might say it’s a descendant of the ancient martial arts Judo as it requires the threat to be on the ground.

    BJJ first exploded into the scene in the world of MMA. The Gracie family were the earliest practitioners of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; Royce Gracie used BBJ exclusively to defeat his opponents in the octagon ring. Today, BJJ is still a popular fighting option in the MMA circle.

    Locks, chokes and ground-pounding is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s theme. It’s good for street fighting and is a very capable discipline in its own right. Some of the techniques you’ll be learning include takedowns and other forms of submissions made up of cranks, locks and chokes.

    In all other things Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an excellent medium for training the body and increasing physical strength and stamina, all of which are useful in emergency situations. The most immediate weaknesses of this discipline include group fighting, dealing with armed attackers and zero striking techniques. BJJ can dominate the threat once they’re on the ground but you’ll have to have immense physical strength to do so.

    Useful for 2 or more attackers? Rating 2/5. It’s best used in 1-on-1 situations as the other attacker may take advantage of the fact that you’re on the ground with the first threat.


    Boxing primarily focuses on punches as the sole source of offense. The feet are mainly used for side-stepping, dodging and footwork. The great thing about boxing is that it’s relatively easy to learn and you’ll need just a few equipment to start.

    Boxing is simple yet effective. It’s simple-minded in its approach that you can become adept in punching in no time. More than that, you’ll discover that there’s more to boxing than punches. Peel away and you’ll add to your repertoire of self-defense in other aspects, i.e., darting in and out from danger, moving quickly and striking when the time is right.

    You’ll learn how to deliver different types of punches with precision and in different ranges. You’ll learn how to block (if unarmed) and evade (if armed). To get the most out of using boxing as self-defense you’ll need to condition your body to deliver powerful punches and gain experience sparring with opponents.

    Your senses become sharper the more you practice boxing. Reaction time becomes faster and you’ll be able to make sound decisions under duress. This kind of street sense will be invaluable if you’re facing threats or experiencing an emergency situation.

    Boxing has one of the toughest training regimen in this list, but you can expect great results once it’s completed. Sessions include press-ups, skipping, bag work and sparring. Self-defense applications in boxing become obvious once you’re in self-defense mode. What’s more, you’ll have the stamina and the strength to take on a group of threats either one by one or simultaneously.

    Useful for 2 or more attackers? Rating 4/5. You’ll be able to handle multiple attackers if you move smart and punch with precision.


    • Mixed Martial Arts

    MMA is a global phenomenon featuring flashy strikes, explosive takedowns and a variety of chokes and arm locks. But beware the physical toil on your body if you want to take up this discipline. Like boxing, mixed martial arts will tax your body as you do endless sparring with strikes and grapples thrown in.

    The good thing about MMA is that your physical performance will increase across the board. Strength, stamina, speed and reflexes become better than what they were before. Sometimes this improvement will be all you need to stop an attacker dead in his tracks. MMA will show its weakness when you’re out in the streets. There’s no defense for weapons and it’s a poor choice for taking on multiple threats. Like the sport, it’s flashy if you somehow disarmed your threat or take them out with one punch.

    Useful for 2 or more attackers? Rating 2/5. You’ll become faster, stronger and able to move much faster but there aren’t any techniques for taking on multiple attackers.


    The Krav Maga system has become somewhat synonymous with the word “self-defense”. In Hebrew, Krav Maga means “contact fighting” and is recognized as the official self-defense discipline of the Israeli Defense Forces. Imi Lichtenfeld, the discipline’s creator has called the system “Art of Staying Alive”. Plus, it’s totally defense-oriented. Krav Maga is a distillation of Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and a host of other martial arts.

    The techniques outlined in Krav Maga appear complex but they are relatively simple to execute. You’ll need to practice on reflex and let instinct take over to master this discipline. Anyone can learn the techniques in Krav Maga regardless of height, weight or gender.

    There are 3 basic pillars to follow: Neutralize, Simultaneous Attack and Defense and Attacking Vulnerabilities. Most of the techniques in Krav Maga are meant to move weapons away or disable it altogether to lessen the risk of getting hurt. Then, you’ll learn how to meld both attack and defense in one quick move to surprise and debilitate the attacker. Vulnerabilities in the human anatomy are targeted- the neck, groin, throat and eyes become fair game. Much like street fighting, there’s no etiquette or rules of engagement in a life or death situation. Survival is a priority and you use everything to get the edge.

    The only downside to being taught Krav Maga is that it may not be the same one that’s taught by the true experts. There are hardcore versions and “lite” versions that are more boxercise than Krav Maga. No self-defense list should be without Krav Maga- it’s that good! You’ll learn how to disarm a man with a threatening knife or a gunman in just a second. There’s striking techniques and grappling techniques that round out the things you can learn from the discipline. Once you learn Krav Maga you’ll stand a greater chance at survival than doing nothing.

    Useful for 2 or more attackers? Rating 4/5. You can do it if you’re quick and precise in your movements. The plus side is that you’ll have the training and the reflexes to think ahead and counter every move.


    Karate, one of the oldest and the most popular martial arts is a well-rounded discipline that incorporates plenty of punching, kicking, grappling and stances. If your idol was Mr. Miyagi in Karate Kid, then it makes sense that you’d choose Karate as your discipline for self-defense.

    Karate is solid in all regards. Some of the best blocks you’ll learn are here. Same goes for kicks, punches and throws, which could be useful in close-quarter situations. Keep in mind that not all of the karate moves you’ll be learning are for self-defense alone. So if you’re just picking out the ones that could get you out of a pinch, then the adage “simple moves are the best” can be applied here.

    Learning karate is relatively easy and it doesn’t cost much to train. You’ll learn how to think calmly and not get overwhelmed in emergency situations. You’ll learn to react faster and save precious seconds in survival scenarios. Karate shines in self-defense scenarios when you use power kicks and straight-yet-effective strikes to down the attacker.

    If not, there’s the more complicated elbow and knee strikes, spear hands and others. When you learn karate you’ll gain formidable weapons in the form of your arms and legs. To be truly effective you’ll need to increase your physical strength and become as fit as possible.

    Karate works well if you’re facing off against human threats and in instances where people are attacking you. The discipline shows you how to neutralize held weapons such as guns and knives at close range and how to deal damage using precise strikes to various weak points in the body.

    Useful for 2 or more attackers? Rating 4/5. You can strike quickly and down several threats without expending too much energy.


    Roughly translated as “Way Of The Intercepting Fist”, Jeet Kune Do’s founder is none other than the legendary Bruce Lee. While it’s one of the most practiced martial arts in the world, there’s quite a bit of confusion as what this discipline offers the practitioner.

    Jeet Kune Do was largely believed to be more of a philosophical journey than an actual martial arts discipline. Bruce Lee started out training in the art of Wing Chun under Ip Man. He then traveled around the world and gained real combat experience while studying and coming in contact with other martial art systems. The culmination of Bruce Lee’s journey resulted in the discipline known as JKD.

    JKD schools have instructors that are well-versed in many disciplines. The book that Bruce Lee wrote about Jeet Kune Do is astounding. There are technical improvements on borrowed moves and sound reasoning on original theories. The discipline also hosts plenty of strategies that fare well against one or more attackers.

    It’s probably safe to say that no two Jeet Kune Do schools are alike, but they all share the same solid foundation as taught by its creator. You can be sure to learn many combat strategies, striking techniques and a variety of unique moves you can use for self-defense. JKD is best for those who have plenty of time and wish to compile the best techniques for a one-of-a-kind style.

    Because Jeet Kune Do is deep there are many moves you can use for a variety of self-defense scenarios. The trick is to find the right one and train for it as hard as you can.

    Useful for 2 or more attackers? Rating 4/5. There are specific move, skills and techniques you can use to defend against multiple threats.


    Jujutsu is a culmination of several different martial arts disciplines, i.e., Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Aikido, Judo, etc. In English, Jujutsu means “the Art of Softness” but the techniques and the strikes are anything but. This martial art started in Japan and was one of the fighting techniques taught to samurais. It may be hard to picture a samurai without a sword, but sometimes their weapons get lost while in the battlefield. The Japanese thought about adding a martial art that could prove to be as deadly as a samurai with a blade, and thus Jujutsu was born.

    The whole system revolves around the concept of using your enemies’ force and throwing it right back at them with deadly force. A Jujutsu fighter has the ability to redirect the attacker’s momentum and energy where they wish, often making the attack harmless and giving the Jujutsu user an opportunity to counterattack.

    You’ll need to really get in close, though. Most of the self-defense techniques taught in Jujutsu are joint locks and throws. Most use them both in rapid succession to bring the threat down to the ground in a second. Jujutsu shines where there’s plenty of space to move about. Plus, you won’t have to worry about your attacker being armed or unarmed. In tight confines, the throws and locking become less effective. Still practitioners will have the ability to bring down attackers even if they’re bigger or heavier.

    Useful for 2 or more attackers? Rating 3/5. You can’t perform a throw if both attack at the same time.


    Judo is a close-contact discipline that makes its appearance in the Olympic sports. At its core, Judo has a variety of self-defense moves, with plenty of arm locks, chokes, pins and throws and zero striking, kicking and punching. At first glance it may seem like Judo is an inherently poor self-defense system but the discipline tells you otherwise.

    Judo is excellent for self-defense as your sole objective is to throw your attacker to the ground. It may not sound much, but a forceful throw to the ground can cause serious injuries and neutralize the threat. Plus, most of the time Judo practitioners try to knock their opponent’s feet from under them while the latter do their best to stay upright. It can prove to be super effective if your attacker has no idea on how you’ll defend yourself.

    Judo is deadly once you’re able to get in close and grab your attacker. While it may not be useful in situations where there’s a distance between you and the threat, it works every single time when you find yourself in close quarters.

    Useful for 2 or more attackers? Rating 3/5. You’ll be hard-pressed to throw 2 or more people to the ground at the same time.


    Wing Chun might be the most popular martial art today because of the movie trilogy Ip Man, but in terms of self-defense it stands up well against the others in the list.

    Like Karate, Wing Chun relies on expending the least amount of energy while delivering direct, laser-like strikes that feel like the opponent is getting hit with a pole’s end. Solid straight punches and a few effective kicks are all you need from Wing Chun to be good at self-defense. So if you don’t have much time to practice a slew of martial arts techniques, then Wing Chun could be for you.

    The precision striking works well in many self-defense scenarios. If you need to deal significant amount of damage to one area, i.e., the face, the groin and other sensitive areas, then practicing Wing Chun delivers to this end. There are not a lot of moves to disarm attackers, but the discipline relies on bringing down the threat in as few seconds as possible.

    Useful for 2 or more attackers? Rating 3/5. You can strike with precision but you’ll need to get a favorable position first.


    2) The Least Effective List

    • Aikido

    The core teaching of Aikido is that physical confrontations are to be avoided at all costs. While this may be fine for you, the attacker may not exactly have peaceful negotiations in mind. This makes Aikido one of the least effective disciplines one can use for self-defense.

    Aikido’s whole self-defense arsenal is composed of wrist locks and falling without harm. Punching and kicking are not allowed. Instead of using the opponent’s energy against him you channel the energy within you. Sure, you can enroll in Aikido class for other benefits, but you won’t be able to use them in self-defense and in emergency situations.

    All is not lost with Aikido. Physical exercises increase your balance, coordination and reflexes. You also sharpen your innate sense of timing, flexibility and posture.


    Tai Chi is a slow-moving, low impact exercise routine that makes the practitioner go through a series of “poses” that mimic actions. One example is the move “crane spreading his wings” and a martial arts technique that “boxes both ears”. Moving is slow and breathing is deliberately done in the same manner. While doing Tai Chi you focus your attention on your inner self and bodily sensations.

    Tai Chi sounds exactly as it is- slow and offers no defense at all. The practitioner goes through the paces like a snail and executes the katas using dynamic resistance. While there are some who would say that the practitioner could accelerate the motions for self-defense purposes, lack of sparring or actual experience could prove to be a rude awakening. You’ll quickly realize that Tai Chi just isn’t meant as a tool for self-defense.

    Advocates may say that practitioners could use their opponent’s energy and topple them that way, but there’s no technique or move set that could be used to evade or counter their attacker’s movements. Moreover, “fights” are more like choreographed dancing than real fighting. Tai Chi shines when used in non-violence and for bettering the self. Practitioners combat illnesses, become more relaxed, relieved and free of stress after each session. Tai Chi is in fact often used to treat many health problems and is seen more as a miracle health exercise than a martial arts discipline.


    Capoeira is a martial arts discipline originating from Brazil and Africa. It was created by African slaves while they were in Brazil during the 1500s era. At the surface Capoeira looks like an intricate dance but it actually benefits the body, especially the hamstrings, the buttocks and the quadriceps. A typical Capoeira dance sequence involves cartwheeling, kicking and spinning, which looks impressive, but sadly it’s the same as with Taekwando.

    Dance fighting just isn’t applicable in life or death situations or when you’re faced by an attacker with the intent to harm or kill. The weaknesses of the martial art was quickly revealed in the beaches of Brazil. Ultimately, it was labeled as being impractical for self-defense. Brazil believed that Capoeira was their dominant martial art until Jiu Jitsu came along. Needless to say, Capoeira ended quickly while MMA and other disciplines dominated the battlefield.

    Capoeira is great for those who want to combine martial arts with the exercise benefits of dancing. Your muscles get worked out and your body becomes more flexible. What’s more, you gain a sense of body rhythm and harmony.

    Taekwondo is a martial arts discipline that may be seen as flashy, and sometimes this translates to not being that very useful when it comes to real life. Martial arts experts often say that Taekwondo is impractical as a form of self-defense.

    There’s one saving grace to Taekwondo as a self-defense tool. You’ll need your legs to be much faster than your arms and opt for straightforward moves instead of high-flying ones. If you can execute one kick and down the attacker, then great. Otherwise, reserve the high-spinning kicks for when you need to get the judges’ approval. The hands are also used for this martial art but at a far less frequency than the legs.

    Taekwondo is excellent for self-improvement purposes. The discipline stretches out your muscles (especially the leg area) and lends suppleness and flexibility. You can get fit and lose weight with Taekwondo. Just don’t expect close-combat practice such as chokes, grabs or throws and you’ll be fine. The fact that this martial arts discipline concentrates on leg attacks doesn’t it a go-to system you can rely on for defense.


    C. Final Words on Martial Arts

    It’s safe to say that there is no one martial art that will protect you from all of the unique self defense scenarios that you may encounter, due the fact that all self defense situations are not created equally, nor are the victims within them.  It could be argued, and has been by experts everywhere, that for single attack self defense encounters against untrained opponents, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA are the favorites.  The reason why is that both disciplines make the best use of the laws of physics by utilizing leveraging and efficiency of movement techniques.   

    Everyone has different physical strengths that allow for different types of martial art skills.  It’s the job of the defender to know yourself, your physical limitations and capabilities, and gain some insight into how you might react in an self defense emergency.  Using that knowledge you can better equip yourself with the necessary skills to survive a defense encounter, and go train.  

    The post The Best Martial Arts for Self Defense…And the Worst! appeared first on Geek Prepper.

    Best Secondary Carry Weapons

    Click here to view the original post.


    Carrying a backup gun isn’t exactly common practice. I don’t do it as much as I probably should, but I do takea backup weapon occasionally. My threat analysis usually drives my decision making. When I’m going to a place, I’ll think about the layout of the building, the surrounding area, crime trends in the area, and so on. From there, I’ll decide what I’m carrying.

    Some people will disagree with me and say that you should always be prepared for the absolute worst-case scenario no matter what, and I can see where they’re coming from. However, for me, I decide based on my threat analysis.

    More often than not, I don’t carry a backup weapon. However, I’ve realized more recentlythat I should do this more. If nothing else, it gives you some additional ammunition and a second weapon in case your primary malfunctions.

    I’ve come to realize that my backup weapon is so easy to conceal, there’s no reason not just to grab it. Plus, some will argue it’s easier to draw your backup weapon than to reload your primary.

    While the discussion about whether or not you should carry a backup weapon could go on for days, we will focus this article on potential choices for you to bringas your backup.

    My general idea of a backup weapon is a subcompact weapon. For me, I carry my backup firearm in a pants pocket. If you want to pack two bigger guns, you’re going to have to think about some different approaches. This article’s primaryfocus centers on subcompacts.

    Here’s a couple of my favorites, in no particular order.

    Ruger LCP II

    Starting this list off is the Ruger LCP II. This tiny .380 is available in a few different colors, and you can get it with a built-inCrimson Trace laser sight. I like the version that has included Hogue grips, but any of them will do.

    It measures 5.17 inches long and 3.71 inches tall. It’s less than an inch wideand weighs barely over 10 ounces. As you can see, this is an ideal candidate for pocket carry. In fact, it comes with a pocket holster.

    The pistol is decent quality overall, especially when considering how small it is. It is durableand offers a solid grip. It has an attachable finger grip extension, which can improve the ergonomics of the weapon.

    The sights are easy to use, and the weapon offers some decent safety features. The trigger is decent overall, and the gunshoots reliably.

    Regarding cons, there isn’t much to mention that you wouldn’t expect. All of these weapons are very small, so shooting them is less than enjoyable. However, other than that, the Ruger is a great option.

    I also like the Ruger LCR, if you’re interested in revolvers.

    Taurus TCP

    The Taurus TCP is another pocket .380. The weapon is nearly identical in size to the Ruger LCP II. They are close enough in size that you won’t be able to notice it. The firearmis tinyand lightweight.

    Many people will see a Taurus on a list and immediately question it. In most circumstances, I would entirely agree with them. However, do a little research, and you’ll see how durable and reliable this weapon is. Between the incrediblyinexpensive price and the excellent durability, this is the secondary weapon that I currently carry the most.

    The price of this weapon is extremely affordable. I picked mine up for about half of the MSRP. Look around, and you can find these at a very reasonable cost. However, this one doesn’t come with a holster asthe Ruger does, so you will have to buy yourself a pocket holster.

    One of the cons of this weapon is that it doesn’t have any safeties. It mainly has a hex key to act asa child safety precaution, but you won’t be able to turn this on and off comfortably. Make sure you’re storing this weapon properly if you’ve got any kids.

    Unrelated to the TCP, I also recommend checking out the Taurus Curve. It’s a unique gun that you can realistically carry without a holster, due to the shape of the weapon. However, I don’t know much about the durability of this weapon, so I’m not sure how I would like it compared to the TCP.

    Walther PPK

    Now this one is an absolute classic. You can’t help but feel like James Bond when you pick this weapon up. However, the firearm is more than just a cool looking classic gun. It assuredly is an excellent weapon.

    The gun measures 6.1 inches long and 3.8 inches tall. As you can see, it’s slightly larger than the previous two weapons, so it’s a little more enjoyable to shoot. It’s as easy to conceal and carryand may bea better choice for some people.

    The weapon shoots .380, just like the last two. Concerning ergonomics, the grip is pretty decent, and the optional extended magazine can also help to improve your grip. The built-insights are easy to use, and I found that I can shoot decently with this one.

    Compared to the other two weapons, the Walther is very different. The previous two guns are both striker-fired semiautomatic pistols. The Walther is hammer-fired, which is not very common in smaller weapons. I prefer hammer-fired though, because it’s more reliable and safer.

    Speaking of safety, this one also has an external thumb safety. Some people will love this, especially considering that the weapon will be sitting in your pocket.

    There are a few things I don’t love about the Walther. It has a lot more steel than the Ruger or the Taurus, so it’s nearly twice as heavy. It’s also quite a bit more expensive.

    Glock 42

    No weapon list is complete without a Glock. Glocks have become some of the most common weapons out there, and for a good reason.

    The Glock 42 measures 5.94 inches long and 4.13 inches tall. Similar to the Ruger and the Taurus, it is incredibly light, because it’s made of mostly polymer.

    Because it’s a Glock, this weapon is very durable and reliable. That goes without saying. The sights are easy to use, and the trigger is decent, especially compared to some of the other triggers on other pocket weapons.

    The Glock 42 is also extremely easy to use, maintain, and modify. There are few internal parts, so there’s next to nothing that can go wrong with it. If you’re not a Glock fan, you should really check one out. They are excellent quality weapons.

    Compared to some of the other weapons mentioned, the Glock is a little expensive. However, it is not nearly as expensive as the Walther. Other Glock cons include the fact that they aren’t exactly the nicest looking weapons. But I’m not sure that matters in a serious

    Having the right backup weapon could be a lifesaver.



    7 Preps Everyone Overlooks – Do You Have These 7 Items?

    Click here to view the original post.

    We are always looking for gaps and holes. As preppers there is a serious desire to be ready for anything. When an article pops up on the radar that claims to contain 7 overlooked preps, its nearly impossible to not click and dig into. The great news about this life is that, until it all …

    Continue reading

    The post 7 Preps Everyone Overlooks – Do You Have These 7 Items? appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

    7 Preps Everyone Overlooks – Do You Have These 7 Items?

    We are always looking for gaps and holes. As preppers there is a serious desire to be ready for anything. When an article pops up on the radar that claims to contain 7 overlooked preps, its nearly impossible to not click and dig into. The great news about this life is that, until it all …

    Continue reading

    The post 7 Preps Everyone Overlooks – Do You Have These 7 Items? appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

    Bitcoins, Beer and the Student Loan Disaster

    Click here to view the original post.

    How much of this should the American taxpayer subsidize?

    A large percentage of the $1.48 trillion student loan debt accumulated by Americans was never spent on tuition at all. Instead, much of that money went towards everything from beer, Bitcoin, spring break shenanigans and exotic reptiles.

    More than one in five; or 21.2% of college students, surveyed by The Student Loan Report admitted to spending student loan money on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC). That speculation is risky because Bitcoins lost almost 65% of their value between December 2017 and April 2018. A Bitcoin was trading at $19,205.11 on December 17, 2017, and $6,701.40 on April 5, 2018, data from Coinbase indicates.

    Disturbingly, buying cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH) might be the most responsible thing college students are actually doing with their money. If they hold onto these digital coins, they stand to make money if prices recover.

    How Colleges are Bribing Students with Student Loan Debt

    Many more students are spending student loan funds on stuff like beer, Spring Break trips, video games, cable TV, big-screen TV sets, Uber rides, pets, bar tabs, pizza, fast food, new smartphones, or payments on new cars.

    Such spending is possible because of the way student-loan money is paid to colleges. Under the current system, colleges do not send the lenders a bill for tuition. Instead, the lender sends the college a lump-sum payment to cover the tuition and living expenses.

    The college takes the tuition out of the loan money and sends the rest to the student in the form of a check or electronic payment. The student is free to spend the money on whatever he or she wants. Anybody who has ever seen Animal House will know why handing cash to a 20-year old college student is always a bad idea.

    Another abuse of the current system is that it appears to give colleges the ability to bribe students with cash. The somewhat shocking aspect is that the “bribes” are being financed with the students’ future earnings.

    The Student Loan Disaster is Much Worse Than You Think

    The average member of the Class of 2016 owed $37,172 in student loans about graduation, StudentLoanHero.com estimated. That amount was a 6% increase over 2015.
    Around 44 million Americans owed $1.48 trillion in student loan debt in January 2018. That figure was more than double the federal deficit which was $640 billion in 2017 and the amount of credit card debt owed by Americans which is estimated to be close to $620 billion.

    Student loans are problematic and potentially catastrophic because they cannot be written off through bankruptcy. That means a person has to pay it off, no matter how broke they are or how old the debt is.
    Some people have even had their Social Security benefits garnished because of unpaid student loans. Social Security retirement benefits can be garnished for delinquent student loans as well.

    Unfortunately, the number of people defaulting on student loans is increasing rapidly. Around 11.5% of people who began repayment on student loans on October 1, 2013, were in default by September 30, 2016, The Chicago Tribune estimated. No estimate on how much of that debt was used to finance beer, spring break parties or cryptocurrency investments was available.

    Could a congressman run for office by promising to eliminate the “college loans gone wild” program?


    Gunsmithing The 2nd Amendment & What To Stock

    Click here to view the original post.

    Gunsmithing The 2nd Amendment & What To Stock

    Gunsmithing The 2nd Amendment & What To Stock Up On.
    Dane… “The Gunmetal Armory” Audio player provided!

    This week on the Gunmetal Armory, the Mistress of Metal will be joining me. We are going to be giving away one of the nicest prizes ever on the show Thursday night. It is the Sawyer Gravity Feed Water Filter System. We will choose one lucky winner to receive this awesome piece of prepper gear.

    Continue reading Gunsmithing The 2nd Amendment & What To Stock at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

    Podcast #175: Our Off-Grid Beginning

    Click here to view the original post.

    April 20th, 2018: In today’s show I take you on a spring walk and talk with you about our journey to off-grid living and our early days while we were living in a canvas wall tent and building our home.  My book How To Embrace An Off-Grid Living:  Our Journey & A Step-By-Step Look At The […]

    The post Podcast #175: Our Off-Grid Beginning appeared first on Trayer Wilderness.

    6 Amazing Home Security Plants

    Click here to view the original post.


    If you’ve ever tangled with a berry patch or accidentally backed into a Spanish Dagger, then you know how painful they can be. When strategically placed, plants can act as an efficientform of home security defense without having to invest a lot of money.

    When creating a fortress of solitude, most people think about building a fence to keep unwanted visitors out. However, plants make a much better defense for home security. Fences tend to draw curiosity, while plants seem to go unnoticed. That is until someone tries to walk through them! Here are six plants you need to plant for a natural home security system.

    #1- Century Plants (Agave Americana

    Some plants can provide an extra “layer” for extreme home security.

    Commonly called a Century Plant or Sentry Plant, unlike its name suggest, it typically only lives 10-30 years. This home security plant has firm green leaves that grow 3-5 ft long with massivespikes and a tip that can easily pierce the skin.

    The Century Plant thrives in drought conditions and spreads freely. The leaves are pale green and look beautiful in landscaping. Virtually disease free, this plant is easy to grow and maintain.

    #2- Spanish Dagger (Yucca Gloriosa)

    The Spanish Dagger is another evergreen that is easy to grow in warm climates. The long, stiff pointy leaves make this the perfect plant for home security.

    When we were planning our home security garden, a friend recommended the Spanish Dagger. All we did was took a machete to the stalk of the plant, pulled back a couple of the leaves and we stuck it in the ground. Within no time, wehad a realhome security defense garden. As they grow tall, their weight will make them fall over, andthen they will root and spread.

    Often a focal point in tropical gardens, the Spanish Dagger is visually pleasing and a deterrent to trespassers.

    #3- Osage Orange Tree (Maclura Pomifera)

    When I asked my fellow homesteading friends about plant security, many of them recommended the Osage Orange Tree. Osage Orange is a fast-growing tree that was used in place of barbed wire during the early 19th century.

    The Osage Orange Tree produces a strong timber that resists rot and outlasts most lumber. Outside of its ability to grow fast, this unique tree produces many sharp, steel strong thorns that make it the perfect tree for home security.

    #4- Rose Bushes

    “A rose is a rose” indeed, but every rose has a thorn, anda rose bush is an excellent plant for home security when placed in the right location. The woody, thorny branches offer a painful sting which can spread disease and infection.

    From miniature to climbing, roses grow in almost any climate which makesthem the ideal plant for home security.

    #5- Berry Bushes

    How about a home security system that feeds you? Now you won’t see ADT making that claim! Many berry plants like gooseberries, blackberries, and raspberries all produce delicious fruit that are high in antioxidants, but more importantly– thorns. Berries are fast growing and hardy to zone 3. From trellising to hedgerow, berries can be incorporated into any landscape and may be used for both home security and food.

    #6- Citrus Trees

    Another home security tree that has the added benefit of food are citrus trees. Several lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit trees produce thorns along their trunks, branches, and twigs.

    We have several citrus trees on our property, andthe thorns are like no other. We have them planted below our bedroom windows with plenty of room to grow. We chose this placefor two reasons. One, for security. Anyone not knowing about the 3″ long, piercing thorns are in for a treat if they try to enter through our windows. Two, our house provides our citrus trees with radiant heat which helps them thrive.

    Where To Plant Your Home Security Plants

    As I mentioned above, placement is imperative when planting for home security.

    The Osage Orange Tree makes an excellent perimeter tree. Creating a fast-growing hedgerow, the Osage Orange will be your first line of defense.

    Plant your home security plants below every window (making sure the residents still have a safe escape in case of emergency) and byevery point of entry.

    The climbing roses and berry bushes will do an excellent job of protecting you when planted below upper-levelwindows.

    And finally, Spanish Daggers mixed with Century Plants make the perfect home security hedge closer to the home.

    Add aesthetics and security to your home with the protection that only nature can provide. No one will ever know you have a secret fortress.


    5 Keys to Food Security in Extreme Weather, for Home Gardeners

    Click here to view the original post.

    Back in August 2015, I wrote a post about the findings of a joint task force of experts from the U.K. and U.S. The group had released recommendations for Extreme Weather and Resilience of the Global Food System. You can read the original post on food security here: 

    Read More: “Extreme Weather and Food Resilience for Home Growers”

    Quite frankly, that report was pretty scary. It detailed all sorts of reasons why our global food supply was in serious jeopardy. When that report was released in 2015, I had noted how relevant it was in light of a number of catastrophic weather events going on at the time, wreaking havoc on crops and raising food prices in some areas.

    Now, just a couple of years later, the situation has become even worse. Hurricanes, mudslides, drought-related fires, disrupted weather patterns, wars, and more have caused crazy fluctuations in food supplies around the world.

    In March 2017, the Food Security Information Network (FSIN) released a Global Report on Food Crises 2017.1)http://www.fao.org/3/a-br323e.pdf In that report, they indicated that the number of people suffering from severe food insecurity had increased by 35% since the release of the 2015 report.

    Quite a bit of that lack of food security was related to conflict. However, catastrophic weather events like droughts had also driven up the costs of staple foods, making them unaffordable for large groups of people.

    If you think this can only happen in poor, war-torn countries, then consider this. In the U.S. in 2017, there were at least 16 weather events that cost over a billion dollars each and resulted in losses of crops, livestock, and other resources, as well as of homes, businesses, personal property, and lives.2)https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/events/US/2017 In 2016, there were 15 of these weather catastrophes; in 2015, there were 9; in 2014, there were 8; and in 2013, there were 9.

    It might be too early to say that 15-16 catastrophic, billion-dollar weather events is the new normal for the U.S. However, new data modeling shows that there are real risks that both the U.S. and China might simultaneously experience catastrophic crop losses that could drive up prices and send more countries into food famine in the coming decades.3)https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/15/climate-change-food-famine-study

    In 2017, due to a weakened dollar, food prices in the U.S. increased by 8.2%.4)https://www.thebalance.com/why-are-food-prices-rising-causes-of-food-price-inflation-3306099 That trend hopefully won’t continue in 2018, but between weather and world volatility, isn’t it better to bank on building your own food security independent of global markets and events?

    We think so, too! So, we want to give you some ideas to help you build your own food security at home.

    Food Security Recommendation #1: Understand Your Risks

    Building on the ideas from our earlier post on “Extreme Weather and Food Resilience for Home Growers,” it’s really important to know the risks for your area and plan your gardening practices to be resilient even when disaster hits.

    Many  governments and global non-governmental organizations have made predictive models for the likely regional effects of climate change available. You can use these models to identify trends in your area. Here are a few example models available:

    Even if you don’t live in one of these areas, a quick Internet search for “climate change impacts” for your area should give good results. This search may link to articles about impacts as well as to modeling tools. Focus on search hits from government or academic websites for more comprehensive, peer-reviewed climate change data.

    Food Security Recommendation #2: Consider Using Permaculture-Based Landscape Design

    There have been so many weather-related disasters recently that it is hard to know what to prepare for anymore. In California, extreme dry weather and winds made for a devastating fire season. Then, the loss of vegetation from the fire season led to severe mudslides during torrential rains. Parts of Australia have also been suffering similar catastrophic cycles of drought and flooding.

    In Western North Carolina where I live—a locale that we chose specifically because it is expected to be less impacted by climate change (e.g., sea levels rising, coastal hurricanes, etc.)—we’ve had extended dry periods followed by heavy rains that led to lots of vegetation losses in our area.

    Drought-flood cycles are extremely damaging to plant life. In dry periods, plant roots dehydrate and shrivel. Soil also shrinks from water loss. Then when heavy rains come, the soil and roots no longer have the water-holding capacity they once did. Rather than the rain being absorbed, it sits on top of dry, compacted soils in flat areas, causing flooding. Or it moves downhill, taking topsoil and vegetation with it as it goes, causing mudslides and flash flooding in other areas.

    When you use permaculture design in planning your foodscapes, you take into account these kinds of cycles of drought and heavy rain that would otherwise be damaging to vegetation. In fact, you make them work for you. Simple solutions like catching and storing water high on your land can help you better weather the cycles of drought and flood.

    By applying permaculture principles, you can help safeguard your food security by making your landscape more resilient to weather extremes and diversifying your food supply to ensure you get good yields regardless of weather.

    To get an idea of how permaculture works, check out this tour of Zaytuna Farm given by Geoff Lawton.

    Also, if you want a short but powerful introduction to what permaculture can do in extreme landscapes, check out these titles by Sepp Holzer:

    Food Security Recommendation #3: Manage Your Microclimates

    Every property has microclimates. For example, in North America, it will almost always be a bit warmer along the edges of a south-sloping blacktop driveway. This is because the path of the sun will cast more sun on southern-facing slopes. They are literally like sun scoops, catching its rays.

    food security - blacktop asphalt

    “Closeup of pavement with grass” by User:Angel caboodle is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

    Additionally, dark colors absorb more heat than light colors. If you painted that same driveway white, it would still be warmer due to its southern slope. However, the white paint would reflect light and heat away from the driveway and would keep that same area cooler than with a blacktop driveway.

    The physical mass of blacktop asphalt material also acts as a heat sink. It draws in heat during the day and releases  it back into surrounding areas as air temperatures cool at night. The same driveway made with light-colored concrete might not absorb quite as much heat as an asphalt driveway due to its color. However, it would still act as a heat sink by virtue of its mass.

    The shade of a large oak tree creates a cooler area than the dappled shade of a pruned fruit tree. Large bodies of water will help regulate extreme temperatures. A wide, stone knee wall around a raised bed will insulate the soil inside better than thin wood boards because of its mass. Boulders in your landscape are also heat sinks. Even things like black trash cans can impact temperatures directly around their vicinity.

    Gaining a basic understanding of how colors attract light waves, learning how different kinds of mass (rocks, soil, trees, etc.) store heat and divert wind, and knowing the path of the sun at different times of the year in your area can help you use microclimates to moderate the effects of extreme cold and heat. Using your slopes, like north-facing slopes to keep things cooler and south-facing slopes to heat things up, can also help. Working with shade patterns to minimize or maximize sun exposure can help moderate hot and cold temperature extremes.

    For example, I live in USDA planting Zone 7a. With the extreme cold weather we’ve had this year, our conditions were closer to Zone 5.  Some of my plants—like rosemary, which is hardy to zone 7—were killed by the cold. After our last risk of frost passes, I plan to replant rosemary bushes in front of our south-facing house and mulch them with dark stones. In that location, even if we have Zone 5 conditions again, my rosemary should make it just because the heat mass from our house and the stones, the southward orientation, and the wind protection give it the right microclimate.

    Cold frames, greenhouses, and underground areas (e.g., walipinis) are also good ways to create microclimates on your property to ensure longer and more secure food production in extreme conditions. Check out this post from Marjory to learn about building your own underground greenhouse.

    Read More: “Underground Walipini Pit Greenhouse Construction”

    Food Security Recommendation #4: Go Big on Organic Matter in Your Soil

    If I pour a bucket of water over some of the heavy clay soil in my landscape, water runs off on slopes. In flat or cratered areas, it sits on top, eventually making a big muddy mess that becomes algae-covered if we don’t have enough wind or sun to dry it out.

    If I pour a bucket of water over the same approximate amount of area in one of my vegetable garden beds, loaded with compost, the bucket of water soaks in. Even on sloped beds, the water sinks and stays put rather than running off.

    Soils that are high in organic matter are more porous and spacious than compacted soils.

    If you try the same experiment with sand, the water will also soak in as it did in my garden bed. Unfortunately, it won’t stay there. Come back a few hours later and that water will be gone, which means it is not stored in the root zone for later use by plants.

    Soils that are high in organic matter also preserve moisture better than sandy soils.

    In order to hold water in your soil during droughts and catch it during heavy rains, you need a lot of organic matter in your soil. Here are a few easy ways you can up your organic matter quotient at home.

    1. Add compost.
    2. Mulch with things like wood chips, straw, old hay, grass clippings, and mulched leaves.
    3. Plant, then chop and drop cover crops like grain grasses, clover, mustard, or chicory.
    4. Use no-till or minimal till practices and leave decaying roots and plant matter in the soil.

    Check out these TGN posts to learn more about these methods.

    “No Till Gardening: Homesteading Basics (VIDEO)”

    “Build Your Compost Pile Right On Your Garden Beds!”

    “From Weeds to WOW: The Weed Island”

    “No Bare Soil! Vegetable Garden Cover Crops”

    Adding organic matter not only slows the flow of water in your landscape and sinks it deeper into plant roots, but it actually sinks carbon dioxide, too.

    Yes! Building soil that is higher in organic matter can actually help solve our CO2 problem. And solving our CO2 problem will moderate the disastrous effects of climate change and can mitigate future weather extremes. (No, this one answer won’t solve all our problems—but if lots of us do it, it will help!)

    Food Security Recommendation #5: Remember ABC—Always Be Cover-cropping

    Plant roots are like plumbing for your soil. They create little channels that help divert water down into the earth so it can be accessed by the plant and other biological soil inhabitants. By growing something in your soil at all times, you keep those pathways open for water to filter down into the soil.

    For annual growing areas, planting cover crops in off seasons is critical. However, even for the rest of your landscape, having some sort of cover crop is necessary for extreme weather resilience.

    Many of us grow lawns as our primary perennial cover crop. Traditional lawns, though, are shallow-rooted and do not contribute much to soil health. Growing grasses with deeper root systems like perennial rye and other prairie- or meadow-type grasses can be even more beautiful and give you deep roots to help sink water further into your soil.

    Using vegetative perennials (i.e., that die back in the winter) with expansive root systems is also a great way to prevent soil erosion and build biomass in your landscape. Yarrow, Russian comfrey, curly dock, burdock, vetches, and even invasives like mints are useful for covering bare soil in a hurry. Since these plants lose their leaves each year and can be heavily pruned in the growing season, they make great green manure or mulch plants, too. Tap-rooted trees like black locust and paw paw also drill water and air down deep into your soil.

    In addition, having a continuous cover of plants (or leaves from those plants) keeps your soil cooler on hot days and warmer on cool days. This protects all the biological life in your soil like bacteria, fungi, worms, and more so that they can work year-round. Their continued hard work means that your soil will get better year after year so that your plants will have more disease resistance and resilience during bad weather streaks.

    Bare soil  = No biological life = More pests, more diseases, and greater weather sensitivity for your plants

    Covered soil = Year-round biological workers = Healthier plants better adapted to your weather extremes

    If you are willing to do the research and the work, there are plenty of things you can do to mitigate your risks from a changing climate and more volatile weather patterns. These ideas are barely the tip of the iceberg (which is lucky for us since glaciers are now melting at an alarming rate)!

    What about you? What other ways are you safeguarding your food security against extreme weather patterns?

    Subscribe to TGN's bi-weekly newsletter

    The Grow Network is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for our team to earn fees for recommending our favorite products! We may earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you, should you purchase an item after clicking one of our links. Thanks for supporting TGN!


    References   [ + ]

    1. http://www.fao.org/3/a-br323e.pdf
    2. https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/events/US/2017
    3. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/15/climate-change-food-famine-study
    4. https://www.thebalance.com/why-are-food-prices-rising-causes-of-food-price-inflation-3306099

    The post 5 Keys to Food Security in Extreme Weather, for Home Gardeners appeared first on The Grow Network.

    Hardiness Zone Map and Frost Dates for your Growing Season

    Click here to view the original post.

    Your growing season is basically determined by your climate. Growing season factors include your geographical location, elevation, temperature range, first and last frost dates, daylight hours, and rainfall. The growing season is often summarized as the days between first and last frost. In parts of the northern United States this might be roughly April/May to about October. In milder regions it might be roughly February/March to November or longer. Here are a few online tools to help determine finer details of your growing season.   Planting Zones The USDA Agricultural Research Service updated and revised their Hardiness Zones Map for

    Original source: Hardiness Zone Map and Frost Dates for your Growing Season

    Best Prepping for Your Garage

    Click here to view the original post.

    Your garage is a great space to start thinking about your prepping efforts. Any space is just too valuable to be wasted, a good prepper knows that. But have you ever thought that you could be making smarter use of space to make room for more supplies? What about the fact that it could be …

    Continue reading

    The post Best Prepping for Your Garage appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

    The Lost Art of Map Reading – Part 1

    Click here to view the original post.

    We could start this here article with a big long section on the importance of understanding how to read a map. However, I fear that that would take up every bit of the word count I have available. The number one reason, I am sure we preppers are all aware of, is the fact that … Read more…

    The post The Lost Art of Map Reading – Part 1 was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.