Rain, thunderstorms and solar panels?

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Spring time in Idaho is going strong with lots of storms rolling through daily or every other day this week.  Makes finishing up the garden beds tough but the yard is filled with the smells of drying firewood, lilacs, roses and the clean earthy smell of dirt ready to be planted!

While the weather has been a bit iffy this week I did get out to Mom’s place and got her bathroom towel rack, toilet roll and hand towel ring installed.  The job went great as I had my little level and took my time to make everything stayed level and properly placed each step of the way rather than trying to get the job done as quickly as possible.  Honestly by taking my time and doing it “right” was probably faster, easier and I got a much better looking end product.

I have been watching a lot of videos about restoring old boats and people building homes and measuring, testing/dry fitting, making simple models and starting over to get stuff correct is apart of the process for most DIYers that get things built correctly.  Goodness knows I have dealt with stuff in my home that so badly half-assed, even I knew the job was badly done.  I know many people have issues with vinyl/metal siding but if the job is done well the end product will not only look good but it will be good for the long term.  Perhaps people are being polite, but everyone that sees the new windows and siding asks how much it cost and who did the work, as they want to do something similar in the future.  Overall it really does not matter what other people think.  I think my home looks great and the yard and garden are getting to “looking great”.  If my house isn’t quite as pretty on the inside as others, in time I’ll install the new kitchen butcher block counter tops and appliances to fit the kitchen.  Once I can afford to get all the plumbing fixed and up to date.

Mom bought a bathroom cabinet that was supposed to go over the toilet but it was a $45.00 piece of junk! The back board was literally cardboard and it used only a thin sheet of painted particle board to attach the cabinet to the wall.  Storing anything in this cabinet could cause it to fail and crack a toilet or bonk you in the head at any time.  Mom and I will go yard sales and the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store and look for a solid bathroom cabinet to install.

Mom did get her front yard looking very good with her new tools. She trimmed up all the rose and shaped the bushes, planted some lavender and got most of her containers filled with plants.  Gosh just mowing clearing out the weeds and getting some water on the grass really made the front yard come to life in just a couple of weeks.  I may have a great score as a neighbor is installing a cedar fence and is taking down most of the old chain link fence, hardware and gates. The neighbor will let me have all of old chain link fence for free and this should help repair both my fence and Mom’s fence.  Perhaps it will give us a start on getting some new ones installed around Mom’s property.  This is a WIN/WIN for all of us. My neighbors save the cost/effort of getting rid of the old fence and Mom and I get to repair our fences.

I had a couple of guys stop by to give a quote on a solar panel install.  I told them I had just did a major home improvement so I would not be looking at an install this year.  I don’t want to waste anyone’s time but they wanted to come and talk about it so hey why not get an idea of what is needed if I get panels?  They were very nice people and even they seemed to think that any system they could install would have marginal savings at best based on payback.  A $5,000.00 tax break is not a lot of help when you are already not paying income taxes because of low yearly income.  I was correct that a 3-5 KW solar panel array would take care of most if not all of my electrical needs.  I also learned that adding the windows and new siding along with not powering Mom’s chicken house has dropped my electrical costs by at least 20-30% per month.  I think I’m going to see quite a bit of savings this summer cooling season compared to last year.

Two big cost coming up as the Kia needs a brake job. I always have a chatter with using the brakes at high speed and was assured the brakes were good,  but now it is very bad.  The Kia needs some maintenance done via Les Schwab. Just basic stuff that goes with owning a car.  For a 15 year old car I’m doing great as I don’t put a lot of mileage on a vehicle.  The other cost I need to take down the big tree in my front yard.  That will cost at least $500-1000 to remove.  It is an elm but I may get a little firewood to mitigate the cost.  The joys of home ownership!

 

Watergun: grips

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Set of grip screws arrived today. Had some cheesey plastic P35 grips laying around, so no extra cost there. Also had a couple crappy USA Brand P35 mags sitting around that I never got around to throwing out. (USA mags are unbelievably worthless.) Took the followers out and put them into he mags that rose form the depths with the Watergun. Result: functioning magazines.So, all thats left is replace the parts for the rear sight and get the gun coated with something.

Evaluating and Managing Risk 2: SWOT and Risk Management

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This series the second post in our series on evaluating and managing risk. In this post we will discuss a methodology for assessing and managing risk. We are going to look at strategic planning and risk management today. For strategic planning we will specifically examine SWOT analysis. For risk management we will use the US Army Risk Management model. I was going to do these the other way speaking more about risk management specifically first. The reason I am not is that logically one could use some kind of strategic planning method to get the big picture then use risk management to drill down into that piece. I think these two methods could complement each other well.

First we will look at SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. This is a strategic planning technique, predominantly used in business, to see how different factors will aid and hinder in reaching organizational objectives.

 

This handy chart is used for SWOT analysis. The first column (vertical) is factors that are helpful and the second column is harmful. The top row (horizontal) is internal and the lower one is external.

The goals of SWOT are easily captured in another handy chart.

 

Using SWOT we want to match our strengths against opportunities while minimizing our weaknesses and avoiding threats. It is also a good way to look at whether our unique situation is well suited for the goal/ mission. An opportunity I am well suited to take advantage of might not work for our buddy Zero and conversely an opportunity that would be perfect for him might not work for me. I am not going to write a lot more about this because while I have worked with it in school I haven’t really used it professionally so my experience is a bit thin. I would rather toss out the ideas and yet you, if you want, do your own research than unintentionally send you down the wrong path.

Next we will look at the US Army Risk Management model. I will use this model because it is the one I am the most familiar with. Some folks in the blogosphere have written about it but honestly I don’t think they had any actual experience with it and thus their articles were a rewording of some overview they found on google. Not saying they were wrong but simply that their discussions lacked the experience that comes from practical implementation of the topic.

Risk Management has 5 steps:

Identify Hazards

Assess hazards

Develop Controls and Make Risk Decisions

Implement Controls

Supervise and Evaluate

 

Core Principles of RM are:

Risk management should be integrated into all activities. This is important because the actually risky stuff is typically related to boring day to day things in part because we do them so frequently. Complacency is a serious problem.

Accept no unnecessary risk. We should try to mitigate as much risk as is practical.

Apply the RM process cyclically and continuously

To expand on the core steps. We will also do a walk through Risk Management for an event. We will do riding a motorcycle.

Identify Hazards: Taking a step back one might say “The hazards of what?” I would reply with “Your life.”

We need to apply the RM model generally to our lives to see what all could go wrong resulting in injury, death, loss/ damage of equipment or any other negative consequences such as financial loss (including the opportunity cost of an action). I would submit to you that a general assessment for your life is important. Additionally you could apply the RM process to specific events such as a trip or activity.

So we have to identify hazards for our life. Experience would show that a normal person has risks of injury while operating/ traveling in motor vehicles, risk of injury doing certain jobs/ tasks, risk of criminal actions, risk of natural disasters, etc plus of course pandemics, foreign invasions, grid down TEOTWAWKI collapses, Zombies, etc.

I would say that a big mistake people make is by arbitrarily narrowing the hazards they choose to assess. They tend to do this by drawing some magical line between normal life shit and ‘preparedness’. I recall a very famous survivalist who mentioned keeping a spare computer for the family hauler in a tin foil package in the trunk in case of am EMP but didn’t carry a concealed handgun! Not naming names but he entirely missed the point. I believe this was in part because he looked at preparedness or its less politically correct, maybe more racist, cousin survivalism as some discrete thing for extreme unlikely situations.

We need to look holistically at identifying the hazards that might impact our lives.  

To our scenario. The hazards of riding a motorcycle would be accidents or getting run over by a car.

Next we will Assess Hazards.

We want to rank hazards in terms of its probability and severity.

7 Brute Ways To Protect Yourself From Barbarian Hoards in a Collapse

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ReadyNutrition Readers, we did a segment on some positive actions and strategies of the Roman Army to incorporate into your SHTF battle plans.  But what about the barbarians?  Yes, the Roman war machine was the penultimate fighting unit down to the individual level.  It was after the Republic (and then Empire) decayed through overextension, greed, corruption, and moral turpitude that the Legions lost their effectiveness.  By the early 5th century C.E., the Legions were a shadow of their past.

This brings us to the barbarians.  The term was an all-encompassing one that meant “foreigners,” more than anything else…specifically to non-Romans.   Those who were not Roman citizens, is the most accurate rendition.  By the middle of the 4th century, the Legions depended heavily on conscripts from Gaul (now France), the Germanic tribes, and many nations such as Greece and Spain.  With service, Roman citizenship was obtained, along with grants of land.  This became a two-edged sword, however: the discharged auxiliaries of the foreign nations returned to their homelands.

The Barbarians and Their Effective Fighting Skills

They brought back to their tribes and clans the knowledge of the fighting ways of the Legions, incorporating many of their tactics into their own ways of fighting.  To a point.  These barbarian tribes had many effective ways of fighting peculiar to themselves that proved of great merit…lessons we can incorporate into what we do today.

Let’s list some of these ancient tribesmen and some of the tactics that enabled them to succeed, and we’ll draw a correlation as to how we may emulate some of these tactics.

  1. The Saxons: They are the ancestors of the Germans today. Indeed, Saxony is a famous geographical area in Germany between the Elbe and Rhine rivers.   The most common weapons of these people were spears: a lighter one for throwing a long distance, and a heavier one for close-in combat.  In Saxon poetry the spear was referred to as the aesc (which is derived from the make of the shaft, fashioned from ash wood.  The aesc-berend was the “spear-bearer,” the term given to a Saxon fighting man.  Saxon warriors (contrary to Hollywood portrayal) did not all have chain mail: they had thick embossed leather armor, as well as hides.  They did have helmets of iron and plates of horn with nose-guards.  Their infantry traveled lightly, and swords were not as widespread as commonly portrayed.  The Saxons gathered about warrior chiefs and kings, giving him their loyalty and in return they received a share of what was taken in conquest in the form of arms, monies, and livestock.
  2. The Vikings: the term coming from the word vikingr, an ancient Norse word that means “sea rover” and the Scandinavian nations such as Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark were the points of origin of these warriors. They relied on their raids on narrow, sturdily built, and swift long ships.  These Northmen interacted with the Romans by trading and occasionally by mutual visitation.  It was not until after the Empire had fallen that the Northmen assumed the “Viking” mantle and began their raids throughout Europe that lasted for several centuries.  A warrior culture, they had the Jomsvikings…the elite of their warrior tribes who trained incessantly for the raiding seasons and lived for battle.  These Jomsvikings were supported by the communities they lived near within compounds.  They were without wives for the period they served in this manner and concentrated their focus upon hand-to-hand combat in preparation for raids.
  3. The Britons: The peoples of the British Isles were conquered and occupied for several centuries by the Romans, but eventually Roman rule disintegrated as the Legions departed in 406 C.E., leaving all their forts, edifices, and infrastructure intact. The Britons were masters of the chariot and proficient with spear and lasso.  Often their chariots would act as a “shock unit” and ride into closely packed formations of infantry to disorganize the ranks and then create gaps through which their own infantry could penetrate.
  4. The Huns: the ancestors of the modern-day inhabitants of Hungary and the steppes and plains of western and central Asia, the Huns were the consummate horsemen of their day. They rode, ate, slept, and lived (among other things) on the back of a horse.  They were excellent archers and spearmen, and their ferocity was so great as to cause entire nations of Germanic tribes in the area of what is now known as the Black Sea to come stampeding onto Roman territory to escape the Huns.  These Huns had a habit of killing just about everyone who did not submit to them, and many of those who did.  They could ride great distances and appear seemingly out of nowhere to battle with vigor and endurance.  It took the combined efforts of the Romans and the Visigoths to stop them from conquering all of Europe.

7 Brute Ways To Protect Yourself From Barbarian Hoards in a Collapse

So, what can we learn from all of this?  Let’s go over it, then.

  1. It is better to be lightly armed and completely proficient in the use of weapons than be encumbered by a bunch of gear that may just slow you down [Saxons].
  2. A lightning raid executed perfectly will shock, demoralize, and defeat an opponent who is unprepared for it [Vikings].
  3. Train without ceasing, and train to the peak of your proficiency [Vikings].
  4. Vehicles have a distinct advantage over infantry if employed properly [Britons].
  5. Find a good leader whose aims exemplify those of the group…a leader with ability, humility, and humanity…who is not afraid to lead by example [Saxons, Vikings].
  6. Speed and timing in an engagement are very difficult to counter by your enemy if you have mastered them and mastered their employment in an unpredictable manner [Huns].
  7. Violence of action in an engagement often carries the day: 100% commitment with vigor. [Vikings, Huns]

Although appearing outwardly disorganized, these people had structure to their societies, and their cultures have contributed much to the mindset and makeup of the world today.  They supplanted the Roman Empire with their vigor and tenacity.  We can learn much by studying them: their seriousness, their stern demeanor and taciturn ways.  Chances are these are some qualities that have been passed on to you, their descendants that you might never have been aware of unless you studied them.  They have much to teach us, if we pay attention to what they did and some of the positive aspects of their lives.  So, raise those drinking horns high, and take a step back in time to study their history…your own family’s history, in many cases…and translate it into a tool for today…as it is also the history of all of us.  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

OUTDOOR LIVING WITH ONLY A SURVIVAL KNIFE: IS IT POSSIBLE?

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The outdoor lifestyle is not for everyone, let’s be honest. This lifestyle requires a little bit of grit and determination and taking on the wild is not for everyone. I spend a lot of my free time browsing the web, looking for tips on how to make life in the wild more fun. Easy is …

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New Computer Enroute!

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Hey Folks. I’ve given up trying to work around or unscrew my current computer. Pulled the trigger on a new one which will be here early next week. So the post I planned to do today will be up then.  

Sewing & Mending Kit Essentials For Preppers (And Everyone Else!)

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It seems like no one wants to carry this skill on. It could be the cheap clothing and our societies desire to throw away the things we could repair. Its just the reality of the times. That said, there are times when sewing can make a situation much better. There was a time when at …

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Emergency Procedures During Travel

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While most of us have a number of preps and plans that are conducive to being at the home, you will not have those things when you travel. We travel more than ever before. Some Americans are tethered to travel based on their professional life. That’s just the reality of how we do business. You …

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Book Review: The Tactical Pistol

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Big-city cop and gunfight veteran Gabe Suarez teaches you the most vital lessons and techniques for prevailing in any situation where you must draw your weapon. Chapters in The Tactical Pistol include The Dynamics of a Gunfight, The Rules of Close-Quarter Combat, Holding Hostiles at Gunpoint and more. This is not the only Suarez book I have reviewed because he has written several books worth reviewing.  I particularly like his book on the combative perspective. This particular book builds upon the mindset lessons of the combative perspective by showing specific pistol techniques that you should master. This is not the only

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Free PDF: Fuel From Farms

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Fuel From Farms was republished to help fill the information void that exists with regards to fermentation ethanol. Fuel from Farms tackles the subject of fermentation ethanol in a balanced and reasoned way, with an emphasis on small scale production using farm crops as the source of raw materials. This book will provide you with an array of facts so that you can make informed judgments. Farms and businesses all across the nation can take part in one of the most exciting endeavors of this new decade. We are in the midst of a transition from an economy that is

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Book Review: 1984

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Along with Atlas Shrugged,  1984 is one of my “go-to” philosophical fiction books that I read to keep myself grounded when I get to feeling that the majority of people do not share my belief that we are heading in the wrong direction. I find it telling that some of our governmental czars and their agencies sound just like some of the organizations in this document. This book is a lot darker than atlas shrugged, the movie was not nearly as well done as the Shrugged series, but it is a lot easier to read. Both authors have first hand experience

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Interviewing Preppers – Omega Survival

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It’s common to feel alone when you have a preparedness mindset. It’s been my experience that preppers value education, being self-reliant, developing skills, and being capable of helping in stressful situations. However, many people act like having an emergency kit is a foreign concept. For example, I was […]

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You Don’t Need To Be Wealthy to Homestead

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What are the criteria for a homestead? The truth of the matter is you can define it anyway you like. It doesn’t have to be some 20 acre plot of land that is miels away fro everyone else and is completely off grid. That is one form of homesteading. Across the nation there is a …

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The Toxic Environment — Some Place The Blame 100% on Capitalism

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This is a topic I will revisit several times and beef up this page.  

Because things overall suck right now, people tend to blame all of the systems that are in place.    When in fact there is a very targeted approach by the powers that be, to “make everything suck”, to make everyone hate each other, to create chaos and then pull power and wealth from that chaos.   To install a One World Government.

Many people and governments now recognize the above fact, and are fighting against it, as any freedom loving individual should.     Russia is one, it will be almost impossible to “turn” Russia.    Whilst western countries have been distracted and weakened, Russia has created a new level up of weaponry using nuclear propulsion and hypersonic “gliders” which nullify other countries abilities to stop and attack or to protect their own “assets”.    Scary?   Maybe.    A sharp blow to the NWO ability to take Russia out militarily?   Yes.    A soft coup won’t work on Russia.

——————————————————–    Capitalism

4 Common Capitalism Myths Debunked

https://fee.org/articles/4-common-capitalism-myths-debunked/

The term Marx coined stuck and has led to some confusion about why markets actually work.
 One of the most disappointing things I face as a college professor is the lack of understanding most students have regarding capitalism. The simple fact is, despite its importance to our daily lives, relatively few people have a strong grasp of what causes economic growth and why markets are so central to continuously rising standards of living.
In my teaching, I have encountered several myths or misperceptions about capitalism from students as well as individuals outside the classroom. Dispelling these myths has become a focus of much of my teaching.

Myth #1: Capitalism Was “Created”

One of the most pervasive misunderstandings about capitalism is the idea that it was created by someone. Some of this can be attributed to the language used to describe Adam Smith’s role in explaining the market process. The common reference to Smith as “the father of modern economics” can lead people to assume that he in some way created the market system. It is also not unreasonable to conclude that, since socialism is generally reliant on planning, many would assume that capitalism is as well.
Markets arise out of our human qualities.

However, as Friedrich Hayek explained, the market system is not really “created” as much as it is a system that evolves out of human interaction and discovery. Similar to language, the market economy was not created by a single individual or group but evolved over a long period based on the interactions of many people. The rules and institutions which support the market economy arose from these interactions.This notion of a spontaneous order emerging out of the individual actions of millions of people, and the discovery of rules and institutions that will facilitate the continual progress of this order, may be the most important aspect of capitalism. It succeeds because it arises out of humanity itself.
Unlike socialism, which attempts to impose rules and institutions regardless of their conformity to human nature or desires, markets arise out of our human qualities. And the rules and institutions that facilitate the ability of markets to perform are discovered as we discover ourselves and in the way we interact with one another.

Myth #2: Capitalism Creates Poverty

This may be the most pernicious of all the misunderstandings I encounter regarding markets. The idea that absent market capitalism would create greater shared wealth within society continues to permeate the thinking of a great deal of people. This is despite mounting evidence that, as markets are used by more and more countries, global poverty is steadily decreasing.
All developed countries have market-based economies.

Importantly, the evidence is clear that this decline in poverty has happened as countries have come to embrace market capitalism as the way forward – especially China and India. As other countries see the success of these two previously very poor countries and begin following their lead, we can expect to see poverty in the rest of the developing world significantly reduced as well.In the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith explained how markets, by continuously expanding the range of goods and services to an ever-increasing number of people, would produce what he called “universal opulence.” However, since Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels first launched their frontal assault on capitalism, many intellectuals, entertainers, and even politicians have embraced the idea that capitalism causes poverty, or at least prevents people from escaping it, and more disturbingly, that socialism leads to greater prosperity for the masses.
It’s not surprising, then, that these ideas filter down to the public-at-large. But this idea that capitalism leads to poverty for the masses while socialism leads to their prosperity is exactly opposite to all the evidence we have.
All developed countries have market-based economies. Those developing countries seeing the greatest growth have adopted market principles. Contrast this with countries that have fully adopted socialism, such as Venezuela or North Korea. It is troubling that incoming students do not understand this.

Myth #3: Capitalism Is about Capital

The underlying foundation of capitalism is human freedom.

The term “capitalism” was coined by Marx as a pejorative towards market-based economies. The term stuck and has led to some confusion about why markets actually work. As economic historian Deidre McCloskey has noted, people at all times have attempted to amass capital (land, resources, and money). But those collective attempts didn’t lead to the type of society-wide economic growth we have seen since 1800.The underlying foundation of capitalism is human freedom. As Adam Smith recognized, when individuals are permitted to pursue their self-interest through markets, they are amazingly good at finding ways of bettering not only themselves but society as well.
Equally important, as economist Joseph Schumpeter explained, out of this freedom arises a continuous process of improvement – what he called “creative destruction.” It is this constant innovation – discovering and bringing to market new products and services, finding ways of improving existing products and services, and finding more efficient ways to create these products and services – that truly drives economic growth and increases standards of living.
The fact is, while the accumulation of capital is a feature of a market economy, it’s certainly not exclusive to it. It is individual freedom and the innovation that arises from it that drives the engine of capitalism.

Myth #4: Capitalism Creates “Winners” and “Losers”

While it is true that some individuals and firms succeed while others do not in capitalism, this also is hardly an exclusive feature of markets. All economic systems have some individuals who succeed and others who fail in one form or another.
Over the long run, society in its entirety benefits as a result of markets. 

However, capitalism is different in this regard in two important ways. First, capitalism increases the number of “winners.” Unlike other systems, capitalism reduces the barriers to entry into market activity for larger numbers of individuals. The resulting competition provides greater opportunities for success (both great and small) than in any other system. Second, over the long run, society in its entirety benefits as a result of markets. This is because markets, as mentioned above, bring more goods and services within reach of more people than any other system.
Markets also produce products and services that improve our lives in ways that our ancestors could never have dreamed. Just consider all the things that exist today, that didn’t a mere thirty years ago. The simple fact is that today even the poorest modern Americans have more goods and services at their disposal than kings and queens did just two hundred years ago.
So, although individual firms may fail, and individual people may not gain great wealth, the fact is that, over the long-run, we all win by enjoying better living standards than previous generations.

We Need Better Education

If the United States is going to continue to see its economy grow and the living standards of its citizens improve, it is important that students are taught the basics of the economic system that has allowed them to experience Adam Smith’s “universal opulence.” Without this basic knowledge, they’re easily led to believe the myths I’ve mentioned and to vote for politicians and policies that will ultimately undermine the very system that has made their lives significantly better than their ancestors, as well as better than most of their contemporaries across the globe.

Summer Solution For Stings and Bites

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solutions for stings and bites

Wasp stings are acidic which means an alkaline pain solution.

Insect bites can be painful. So can stings from many poisonous plants. Now that its summer, its important to have some alternative solutions for stings and bites.

Some of this is because their venom or juice is either highly acidic or highly alkaline. For example, the sting from stinging nettle, ants, and bees is extremely acidic.

So, it makes good sense that you can relieve the pain by quickly applying something alkaline to the sting site. Some commonly available alkaline compounds are bicarbonate of soda (more widely known as baking soda) and soap.

Wasp stings are alkaline, so you’ll need something acidic to counteract their pain. Vinegar is an excellent and safe acid to use as an off-the-grid solutions for stings and bites. If the sting happens when you’re outside enjoying a picnic, head for the pickle juice.

Scorpion stings vary greatly in their seriousness, even within the United States. Some small scorpions in the Southeast U.S. have stings that are only about as serious and painful as a wasp sting, while some of the larger scorpions in Arizona and down into Mexico can be lethal if they sting you. If you are stung by one of the dangerous variety, the only cure I’m aware of is the anti-venom available from hospitals – so that’s where you should head as fast as possible, especially if the person stung is a child or senior citizen. If the scorpion is one of the nuisance variety, you can experiment a bit if you don’t show any signs of being allergic to the venom. If you do show symptoms of allergy, again, head to the hospital. Since scorpion venom is acidic, you’ll need the alkaline solutions in your”just in case” bag.

One curious thing about scorpion venom.  It has a very high acid content which means lots of protons which connect to neurons which then dramtically amp up the intensity of the messages sent to the brain.  So the acid content gives the venom a kind of “push” by forcing ion channels to open wide and “communicate” in a very special way.  Basically, the acid kick makes it hurt like hell.

When I’m uncertain, I mix an acid (vinegar) with something alkaline (baking soda) and hope for the best. Alternatively, you could experiment with small amounts of alkaline and acidic substances in isolation to see which makes the pain worse and which makes it better. Then apply a considerable amount of the one that works.

For simple bites, you can use several things. Fresh lime or lemon juice can be rubbed on the bite. So can raw garlic or even a salt type paste.

What seems to work very well, if done immediately after the bite or sting, is to soak a small cotton pack with apple cider vinegar and on top of that, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda. The mixture of this acid and base will cause a bubbling reaction immediately on the cotton pad. Take the pad and place it directly over the bite with the baking soda and vinegar against the skin for several minutes.

As I mentioned, this will usually work well for minor stings and bites. However, if you are prone to allergic reactions from insect stings or bites and experience abnormal swelling or difficulty in breathing, it’s best to get medical help as soon as possible.

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Survival Debate: Which Dog is the King of Survival

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Mans best friend has long walked in our wake and helped us with a number of tasks. if you think that a survival dog is about having a creature that will attack and sacrifice itself to save you, you are missing the point of having a dog. You need only look through history to see …

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Top 5 Crank Flashlights For Emergency Survival

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crank flashlight

No survival kit is complete without a crank flashlight. There are a few elements you should consider before purchasing your own. Take a look at your rankings to find the best crank flashlight in your price range. Planning for the unexpected is the only way to make sure you and your family are prepared for every […]

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Clipping Chicken Wings-How And Why You Should

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Those little egg factories in the backyard are a vital piece of the puzzle to your homestead or just your self reliance goals. Chickens can add a lot of things to your family experience and your food sourcing. They can add a serious amount of frustration, if you are not careful. How you treat your …

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Preparedness Alert: Hawaiians Caught Totally Unprepared for Volcanic Dangers

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unprepared

Recent volcanic eruption leaves many Hawaiians totally unprepared for toxic gases and other power grid threats.

Residents of Hawaii’s Big Island were caught completely unprepared for dangers from the Kilauea Volcano that included toxic gases, ash, and power-grid blackouts.

Only one store in the town of Pahoa just a few miles from Kilauea sells respirator masks needed to protect residents from the dangerous dust, smoke, and toxic gases created by the eruption, KITV ABC 4 reported. The phones at Pahoa Auto Parts rang for 14 hours straight on May 11 as desperate residents searching for masks called.

Most of the callers and shoppers went empty handed because the masks sold out almost instantly, manager Mike Metcalf revealed. Cartridges needed to make the respirator masks were also sold out increasing the danger.

Toxic Air is the Deadliest Threat from Volcanoes

A respirator mask is a must-have during a volcanic eruption because the greatest dangers are in the air.
Toxic gases such as sulfur dioxide were spewing out of 21 fissures around Kilauea, CNN reported. Sulfur dioxide can burn lungs, eyes and the skin. It can also cause serious health problems for people with asthma, and breathing troubles. Children are at greater risk from sulfur dioxide poisoning than adults.

The air quality around Kilauea was so bad the County of Hawaii issued a Condition Red air quality alert and ordered residents to leave on May 14. Sulfur dioxide is not the only danger in the air around volcanos. The Shrub Mud Volcano in Alaska released another poisonous gas; carbon monoxide, into the air during eruptions in the 1990s. Eruptions can spew out deadly hot ash and dust. Autopsies revealed that most of the people killed by the 1980 eruption of Oregon’s Mt. Helens died by directly breathing in hot ash. Those people might have survived had they worn respirators.

Lava can set wildfires that create smoke and extremely unhealthy air quality. Fires are one of the greatest dangers from volcanoes because they move a lot faster than lava.

Manmade gases are also a threat, kava from Kilauea is threatening the Puna Geothermal Venture a power plant that uses geothermal steam to make electricity, Science Alert reported. The fear is that quakes and lava triggered by Kilauea will release 60,000 gallons of toxic and flammable chemicals stored at the plant. This means that any industrial, military or commercial facility near a volcano is a potential threat.

Everyone who lives near a volcano needs to keep respirator masks and cartridges on hand. It is also a good idea to have a backup electricity source because volcanic eruptions can damage, destroy, or shutdown electric power plants and lines as is happening in Hawaii.

There are 169 Active Volcanoes in America

Many Americans outside of Hawaii live with the danger of volcanoes. There are 169 active volcanoes in the United States the US Geographic Survey (USGS) reported. Contrary to popular belief many of those volcanoes have erupted within the past 200 years.
There are 19 volcanoes in the state of Oregon alone. The most dangerous of those Mount Hood, just 75 miles south of Portland, last erupted in 1866.

The Mount Lassen Volcano in Shasta County in Northern California last erupted in 1917 or 101 years ago. Lassen is considered the sixth most dangerous volcano in the United States by the USGS, The Portland Oregonian reported. The second most dangerous volcano in the United States is Mount Rainier just South of Seattle and Tacoma, last erupted in 1894.

The most dangerous volcano in the Mainland United States is Mount Saint Helens in Oregon which last erupted in 2005. 57 people were killed and 250 homes were destroyed, by an eruption of Mount Saint Helens in 1980, just 38 years ago. Disturbingly many of those people died because they refused to obey an order to evacuate.

Is There a Volcano in Your Neighborhood?

There are 10 volcanos in the mainland United States that the USGS lists as “very high threats.” Those high-threat volcanoes are: Lassen, Long Valley and Mount Shasta in California; Mount Baker, Mount Rainer, Mount St. Helens, and Glacier Peak in Washington State, Mount Hood, Mount Newberry, Crater Lake, and the South Sister in Oregon.

The Yellowstone Super Volcano in Wyoming is listed as a high threat volcano by the USGS. Also named high threats are Clear Lake, Inyo Craters, Medicine Lake, and the Mono Craters in Northern California and Mount Adams in Washington State.
The volcano danger in the Rocky Mountains and Southwest is far greater than most people believe. The USGS has identified moderate threat volcanos in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. There are also low threat volcanoes in Idaho.

If you want to see if there is a volcano in your neighborhood the USGS’s list of America’s actives volcanos is available in PDF format here: https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2005/1164/2005-1164.pdf

There are many places online where you can buy emergency respirator masks and cartridges. A quick internet search can find emergency respirators for as little as $12.68 on websites like Amazon.

Are You Unprepared?

Are you prepared for threats specific to the area you live in? Sadly, most Americans are not. Learn from this incident. Don’t wait. Be smarter than your “sheeple” neighbors. Buy the supplies and gear you need to survive now. Once an emergency like this one in Hawaii occurs, it’s almost always too late.

The post Preparedness Alert: Hawaiians Caught Totally Unprepared for Volcanic Dangers appeared first on Off The Grid News.

Don’t Forget To Plant A Backyard “Potato Pharmacy” This Year

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backyard potato pharmacy

It’s easy to grow and harvest potatoes for your backyard potato pharmacy from the soil.

Potatoes are one of those basic vegetables that have crossed cultures in the last 400 years, and no wonder! They can be baked, fried, boiled, mashed and mixed with other things. They can be a hearty part of soups and stews. If your vegetable budget is limited, potatoes provide vitamins and minerals, and can even have first-aid applications.

Native to the northern part of South America, they have become a staple across the world. But everyone should know that there are also a number of benefits and uses for potatoes that are not so commonly known. All reasons you should plant your very own backyard potato pharmacy.

Here Are Just A few “Backyard Potato Pharmacy” Uses And Benefits:

Chock full of Vitamins: Vitamin C and antioxidants help reduce cell damage and can even help prevent macular degeneration. Potatoes are high in vitamin C, antioxidants, vitamin A and vitamin B. To preserve the vitamins, cook the potatoes in their jackets – steam or microwave is best.

Save that Potato Water If You Get Constipated: When you boil potatoes, some of the vitamins leach into the water. If you drain them, you are draining off part of the vitamins. If you are feeling constipated, mix 2 tablespoons of potato water and 2 tablespoons of honey and drink it down to get things moving along. Drink before eating breakfast for a better outlook on the rest of the day.

Boost your Mood: If you are having a dreary day, potatoes can make it better. Seriously! Cozy some mashed potatoes up to a meal with turkey. The turkey is high in tryptophan, and the carbs in the potatoes trigger a nice insulin release (unless you eat too many) which fast-tracks tryptophan, giving it a nice quick ride to your brain, where it helps release serotonin, the neurotransmitter that helps regulate your mood.

Relieve Itchy Skin: Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is an itchy, red rash that sometimes goes with hay fever and other allergic reactions. You can relieve it by grating a potato, dip a bit of gauze bandaging in the potato juice to reduce the inflammation.

First Aid for Splinters: Grate or slice a potato, and bind it over a stubborn splinter. Alternatively, hollow out a place in a whole potato, and stick the finger or toe that has a sliver inside the potato. Leave the potato poultice on overnight, and the splinter should come out quickly and easily.

First Aid for Burns: Take the “ow!” out of minor burns by applying cold potato water or grated potato to draw out the heat.

Eliminate Dark Eye Circles: Put grated potato in a piece of thin cloth, and place it over your eyes – one sack to each eye. Relax for at least 15 minutes with the grated potato in place. Repeat daily, and the circles should start to fade.

Fast First-Aid for Boils: Boils are a painful condition, but potatoes can really help. Grate the potato, and apply the wet potato right on the boil. Chemicals that naturally occur in potatoes will help bring the boil to a head and leach out the infection. Keep the potato on the boil for 10 to 20 minutes, and then clean it thoroughly. Repeat twice daily.

 

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The Problem with Customer Loyalty Cards

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For those of us concerned with privacy (and we should all be), I recommend that we limit the use of affinity or customer loyalty cards. These cards are used by companies to “reward” loyal customers with special deals.

Why limit our use of these cards? Although affinity/loyalty cards can be great ways to get special deals, these deals do come at the cost of allowing the company to collect information on you, such as your shopping habits, purchase history, product preferences, days/times you prefer to shop, and which store locations you frequent. They tie this information to your name, address, phone numbers, and email accounts, along with any other information they can find out about you. If you use credit or debit cards to make your purchases with, those accounts are tied to your affinity card file, which in turn gives the company access to your credit history and all the information contained therein. You would be stunned how much personal and private information companies acquire from you through those affinity cards.  

All this information is used by the company to both build customer loyalty, and to market products to you (in other words, to manipulate you into buying more stuff from them). This data may also be shared with its vendors and affiliated businesses, sold to other companies, or potentially stolen by company employees or outside hackers. It could also be obtained by law enforcement and other government agencies, often without the need for a warrant (depends on the individual company – ALL companies will comply with a warrant-backed request, some will comply even with requests without a warrant). 


The personal data companies mine on you is worth far more money to them than any profit lost from the special deals they offer you. You must decide for yourself if the money you save with these deals is worth giving up a portion of your privacy. Its an individual decision, but one you should make with full knowledge of the potential consequences.

I got rid of most of my affinity cards years ago. Today, I only have one, and it does not have my real name or address attached to it (and I only pay with cash so there is no credit/debit card attached to it either). This allows me to get the in-store specials. But since they don’t have my mailing address, I don’t get any of their flyers or coupons by mail, so I probably miss out on a few deals. 
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Follow me on GAB at  https://gab.ai/TimGamble

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Gallons of Rainwater Collection from a Tarp or other Square Footage

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When it rains, there’s a stunning amount of water that falls from the sky! Rainwater collection adds up very quickly for every square foot that you’re able to capture from water runoff. To put it in perspective I’m going to use an ordinary Tarp of various sizes to give you an idea how much rainwater that you could potentially collect.   Note: A great prep item is an ordinary tarp (lots of uses). Even a small 5×7 foot tarp can collect a lot of rain! For example, by using a few lengths of cordage, tie up the tarp corners to

Original source: Gallons of Rainwater Collection from a Tarp or other Square Footage

The Social Network!

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The Social Network
James Walton “I Am Liberty ” Audio player below!

Are you concerned about social media? Do you wonder about your privacy on sites like Twitter and Facebook? It has been made painfully clear that these businesses aren’t afraid to silence those they disagree with and promote those they do not. On this show we explore the ever growing world of social media and how it has changed our lives.

Continue reading The Social Network! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

The Social Network!

The Social Network
James Walton “I Am Liberty ” Audio player below!

Are you concerned about social media? Do you wonder about your privacy on sites like Twitter and Facebook? It has been made painfully clear that these businesses aren’t afraid to silence those they disagree with and promote those they do not. On this show we explore the ever growing world of social media and how it has changed our lives.

Continue reading The Social Network! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Building Your Family’s Natural Home Medicine Cabinet

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home medicine

Begin to prepare now by stockpiling time-tested treatments.

In a post-collapse survival situation having recourse to your own private, natural home medicine cabinet will be critical. You can begin to prepare now by stockpiling time-tested treatments that will allow you to delay or even avoid a trip to the Doctor. Included in the ailments you can treat on your own are: sore throats, infections, toothaches, back aches, stomach pains, chest pains, fever, cough and headaches. Here are some easily obtainable items that can go a long way toward treating the most common health problems.

Sore Throats

Sore throats are a common symptom of several diseases and are especially common in children. Usually these ailments are minor and will cure themselves in a few days. What is needed is a way to relieve the symptoms and prevent the infection from becoming worse. One of the basics in your home medicine cabinet will be the staple baking soda.  Gargling rinses of salt water, baking soda, green tea extract or garlic can all provide relief and help kill the streptococcus bacteria that are multiplying in your throat. Begin gargling as soon as you feel the first signs of a sore throat (usually a tickle) and continue until the symptoms disappear.

Inflammation

Inflammation can range from simple soreness after muscular exertion to chronic diseases such as arthritis. Nature provides us with several treatments for inflammation that allow us to avoid the side effects associated with man-made inflammatory drugs. Among its many other positive health effects, resveratrol has been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory. This is the ingredient that gives red wine its health benefits and is now available in capsule form. SAMe, available in health food stores, is also a good treatment for inflammation. It can help with the pain brought on by osteoarthritis and has proved as effective as the leading arthritis medication, Celebrex.

Headaches,

Headaches are a common problem caused by numerous conditions and it can be extremely difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. A recurring headache could signal the existence of something more serious, but most headaches are caused by tension, dehydration and other minor problems. Magnesium supplements can help alleviate many of these minor headaches. Other supplements that can help are iron and CoQ10. Women are especially susceptible to iron deficiency and often suffer from headaches during menstruation.

Chronic Sinus Infections

This condition is usually caused by a fungal infection. It is fairly common in people who spend a lot of time in the waters of humid environments. Oil of oregano is a simple, natural product that can help fight this fungal infection. Oil of oregano can be found in health food stores in capsule form.

Intestinal Gas

Activated charcoal is very effective at eliminating gas and should be kept in all medical kits for use in cases of accidental poisoning. Fennel seed, common in Indian cuisine, is also effective in calming the stomach and intestines, and aiding in digestion.

Check out these herbs for natural healing and growing your home medicine cabinet!

Indigestion and Heartburn

These conditions are most commonly caused by lifestyle, diet and nutrient deficiencies. Avoiding alcohol, spicy foods and over-the-counter pain medications will alleviate most symptoms. Mastic gum capsules and Quercetin are two supplements that can help with heartburn. Quercetin is a natural antihistamine found in red onions and red apple peel that can also be effective in relieving seasonal allergies.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an effective treatment for many types of infections, especially colds, flu, respiratory and middle ear infections. An hour of sunlight a day can produce 10,000 IU of vitamin D. If you can’t get the sun exposure, supplements can give you the needed dosage. Children are especially susceptible to vitamin D deficiency.

Bronchitis

Sulfur, which was commonly used to treat and prevent infection before antibiotics, is still an effective treatment and can be purchased over the counter. Sulfur supplements can be found in health food stores. An especially effective form is called N-acetyl Cisteine (NAC).

Hydrogen Peroxide

No home medical kit is complete without this simple, highly useful substance. Besides being effective in cleaning wounds, it can also be used to treat gum disease, toothaches, sore throats and ear infections. At the first sign of an ear infection, begin rinsing the ear with peroxide several times a day. Remember that ear infections in children can be serious and must be monitored closely.

Toothaches

The old treatment of using cloves to treat toothaches is still one of the most effective treatments, even in a world of thousands of man-made medicines. Depending on your condition, a clove or clove oil can be applied to a bad tooth to ease the pain until the problem can be treated. Clove oil has been shown to be as effective as benzocaine in treating dental pain.

Food Poisoning

Food safety should always be practiced, but even the best efforts can’t always prevent food contamination and food poisoning. This is a serious condition and needs to be treated quickly. To prevent food-borne bacteria, use a variety of powerful spices such as garlic, chile, onion, oregano and allspice. If you contract food poisoning, natural antibiotics must be taken. Garlic and oil of oregano are both effective in treating food poisoning and don’t lead to drug resistance the way man-made antibiotics do.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea can be a serious health threat if not controlled. Pepto Bismol or Milk of Magnesia are still some of the best substances available. This is often enough to cure the diarrhea, or at least slow it down long enough to allow you to get further treatment. Remember to drink plenty of fluids when you have diarrhea.

Many trips to the doctor can be avoided by either practicing prevention or by using a few simple home remedies. Start putting together a home medical kit and continue learning about holistic medicine and prevention. Though there are times when a doctor is needed, there are many other times when we can treat ourselves and our families. Once the health care system is overburdened with millions of additional patients, home treatment will become increasingly important.

What If There Was No Dentists?  

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Quick And Easy Beefy Slow Cooker Soup Recipe

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This is a quick and easy beefy slow cooker soup that’s a family recipe made by my sister Carol. She has been learning to use her food storage on a regular basis since retiring. This recipe can be made in a slow cooker to set and forget. It’s a really hearty soup, and almost all of the ingredients can be what you have in your refrigerator, pantry, freezer or food storage containers. You can never have too many slow cookers, right? Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker, 6-Quart

Carol: “Most of the items for this stew/soup came from my dehydrated/freeze-dried food storage, but I did add other items from my pantry. My goal is to learn to use my food storage so that in an emergency I’m not caught off guard trying to figure out what to do with what I have.”

My goal is to use my food storage on a regular basis so I can make sure nothing has gone rancid or bad, which I have experienced, and it wasn’t pretty. Several women in my church (including me) took large cans and filled them with crackers, granola bars, a juice can, and other emergency items for a 72-hour kit. The cans were sealed and put on a shelf to be opened at the end of the year (if not used before that in an emergency.) At the end of the year, I opened my can and was totally shocked to see that the can of juice had leaked, destroying everything in the storage can. This would have been disastrous if I’d been counting on using the items in an emergency.

I tried the freeze dried green beans and onion flakes today. I put the green beans and onion flakes in the same bowl and covered with tepid water. I waited about 5 minutes and drained them. I sprayed a frying pan with vegetable spray and sautéed the cubed precooked bacon from Costco until almost crisp. I then dumped the green beans and onions in the frying pan and sprinkled some olive oil on top. It was so easy! I love the fact that they tasted like fresh green beans, NOT canned!

Beefy Slow Cooker Soup

  • 1 pound ground beef cooked (stew meat or leftover roast would work, too)
  • 1/2 cup dehydrated carrots
  • 1-1/2 cups dehydrated cubed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup or less dehydrated celery
  • 1/4 cup or less dehydrated onion
  • 3 Tablespoons dehydrated garlic
  • 1/2 cup freeze-dried corn
  • 3 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1 small jar of mild or medium salsa (I used mild)
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • Seasonings of your choice (I added chili powder, red pepper flakes, basil)
  • Any leftover vegetables like greens beans
  • 5-7 cups of water (or less for a stew, more for a soup)
  1. Dump it all in a slow cooker and cook on low for about 6 hours. This could also be cooked on the stove top, but the slow cooker works great because you can set it and forget.

Thanks to my awesome sister, Carol for sharing this recipe today! Do you love cooking a slow cooker soup as much as I do? Bring on the set and forget dinners! Make some dinner rolls and enjoy breaking bread with friends.

Dinner Rolls 

My favorite things:

Cuisinart PSC-350 3-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

OXO Good Grips Brushed Stainless Steel Ladle

Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight with Integrated Solar Panel

Goal Zero 90109 Solo V2 Solar Flashlight

Goal Zero (21013) Switch 10 USB Recharger and Solar Panel Multi-Tool Kit

The post Quick And Easy Beefy Slow Cooker Soup Recipe appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Picking The Perfect Firearm For Your Child

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Image source: KIFN

Spend time researching the right firearm for your child.

I will always remember my first firearm. I was 12 years old, and the firearm was a Marlin model 98 .22 long rifle. The rifle-fed from a tubular magazine in the butt stock. It had been my Uncle’s, as had the .12 Gauge break action that was handed down to me. Both guns were old, had little sentimental value since my Uncle was alive and were notoriously unreliable (had not been properly taken care of).

My Dad, not wanting his son to have inferior firearms, went to the local gun shop and picked me up a Remington 870 Express .12 gauge. I opened the package the 870 came in that Christmas. I pulled back the wrapping paper to reveal those beautiful green letters that spelled “Remington,” and I knew it was going to be a good Christmas! I was taller than most boys my age and I could easily handle the .12 gauge. In fact, I lugged that shotgun all through my beginning hunting years as I pursued turkey and deer in upstate New York. To this day it still accompanies me in the field every year for turkey. I’ll never get rid of that shotgun.

The Right Firearm

As a hunter, shooter and firearms instructor I have folks ask me all the time, “What gun should I purchase for my child?” As a father of three, with my oldest just now closing in on the age where they will get their own firearm, I can say there are 50 different answers to this question. My wife and I both hunt and shoot and our children have shown strong interest in both sports.

After teaching young folks how to shoot for years and taking youngsters into the woods on their first hunt on many occasions, I have some very strong opinions. Here are my top picks for a youngster’s first firearm.

Wholesome Entertainment And Christian Heroes For Christian Kids!

The .22

1. Davey Crickett .22 long rifle built by Keystone Arms. This is a great rifle for a little one to start shooting at around the age of six. It is smooth, easy to operate and has a solid cross bolt safety. I like the single shot .22 for first-timers because the process of loading a single shot is a great way to instill firearms safety in your child. And your child is going to have to learn to make every shot count. Single shot rifles also are a great way to conserve ammunition in an ever-changing world. One nice little gimmick about these rifles is they come in several different color options, so a boy can go for black or laminate, and a gal can go for pink.

Price Tag: Around $100-$120

2. Remington 572. The iconic Remington pump .22 has been in production for 60 years. Built like a tank and with a silky-smooth action, this is a perfect .22 for the older child/teenager. It costs a pretty penny as .22s go, but this is a rifle your child will have their entire life and will probably be passed down for a few generations to come! This is not the rifle for a first-time shooter, but for an older child or your teen, there is no better choice out there.

Price Tag: Around $550

The Shotgun

In my opinion, a child needs to be around 10 or 12 before being taught to shoot a shotgun. Sure, there are some children who start younger, but with the much stouter recoil it can be hard on young ones. Both of my choices are pump shotguns, as they allow for follow-up shots and their heavier weight reduces recoil for small shooters.

3. Mossberg 510 Youth 20 gauge. This is a great little shotgun. It has a 3-plus-1 capacity, adjustable shoulder stock that grows with your child and an assortment of chokes. You also can purchase an adult stock to install when junior gets bigger. I have found these shotguns to be very quick pointers and very handy in the woods. My wife has one with an adult butt stock and I have even borrowed it before for squirrel.  

Price Tag: Around $320

Teach children gun safety

Make teaching your children firearm safety a priority.

4. Remington 870 Express or Wingmaster in either .12 or .20 gauge. This shotgun has much more heft, is quite a bit larger and should only be considered for your growing teenager. For young ladies and smaller-statured teenage boys, a .20 gauge is a fine choice. For those strapping farm boys in your family, get the .12 gauge – they will thank you for it later on. The Express my father gave me has been with me for more than 20 years. The firearm is indestructible and has never failed me. If you want a prettier gun with superior fit and finish, get the Wingmaster model. Either option, this is a gun that will stay in the family.

Price Tag: Around $320

The Game Rifle

5. Rossi Single Shot Youth .223 Rifle. This is my first choice for a young child’s deer rifle. Yes, a .223 can kill up to a deer-sized critter. With this rifle there is no recoil, which is a very attractive thing for a youngster. No, it is not suitable for elk, moose, bear or anything larger than a whitetail. But if you want a first deer rifle, this can work well. It also is great for kids wanting to get into the shooting sports.

Price Tag: Around $250

6. Ruger American Rifle. This is a terrific, cheap and accurate rifle. The trigger is great and the accuracy and relatively-smooth action are also very good. Fitted with a decent optic, you will be very surprised with the rifle’s accuracy. For the older kid or teenager, this is a terrific choice for a first “real game rifle.” For a younger child, I would suggest a chambering in .7mm-08, which is one of the most effective and light kicking cartridges around. For a teenager, I would choose a .270 or .308 for a little heavier punch.

Price Tag: Around $350

What would you add to this list? Take away from the list? Share your opinion in the section below:

Pump Shotguns Have One BIG Advantage Over Other Shotguns. Read More Here..

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Can We Save Privacy by Treating Info Like Private Property?

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What happens with privacy over the next 10 years may very well dictate what we become as a people. Do we abandon our rights to privacy for convenience and advanced tech or do we scale back and focus on how to keep that precious privacy around? This is the biggest question of the 21st century …

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4 Tomato Planting Mistakes – How To Grow Great Tomatoes!

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By simply avoiding a few common tomato planting mistakes, you can be well on your way to growing and harvesting your best tomato crop ever this year! Tomatoes are one of the most beloved crops of the home vegetable gardener.

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Don’t Sleep Through The Harvest

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     As my body matures with age and my relationship with Jesus matures spiritually, I am less concerned with the trappings of this world. Oh, there was a time that it mattered if my salary was increasing, or how late the model of my car was, or even how many square feet was in my house. I was just as caught up in meeting the world’s standards as anyone else.
     But now I’m increasingly content with where I’m at on my life’s timeline — I’m no longer concerned with comparing myself to anyone other than Jesus. I know that makes me sound corny and like a Christian cliché. But I simply mean that outward appearances, or things the world counts as wealth, no longer satisfy me or entice me. And I find myself saddened when people I care about still measure their success in life by the things they’ve accumulated, or the status symbols they think define them.
     Case in point, we recently enjoyed a visit with a very good friend that we’ve known for 25 years. There was a time, before Mark and I answered the Lord’s invitation, when we were extremely close with him and his wife. We shared a lot of fun times together as well as the same outlook on life… struggling to chase after the “good life”; nice car, nice house, money in the bank, and “a secure future in the world”. In fact, we were blessed when they asked us to be godparents to their daughter.

     But then something changed along the way. Mark decided to follow his God-given talent as an artist, which meant trusting God for our security, which led to us seeking to become sincere followers of Jesus Christ, our Savior. All the while, our friends were focused on the things that marked what society called a successful lifestyle — a second home in the mountains; frequent travels to Europe and around the world; driving luxury cars; and enrolling their daughter in a private religious school. You guessed it; we no longer traveled in the same social circles, and they began to view our pursuit of Jesus as unappealing and restrictive.
     A recent conversation with our goddaughter, who is taking a year off from school to travel the world, revealed just what our image is like to them. As a pre-teen, she struggled with describing how she sees us… “really Christian; going to church; you know … in the Bible all the time”. In other words, not much fun, and certainly incapable of having anything in common with her family’s way of living.  Mind you, she had been enrolled in a prestigious private Christian school, but I’m afraid the only affirmation of Scripture she received was when her parents said to call us for an explanation of a particular theological concept. Needless to say, my heart hurt after that conversation.
     And while she and her mother are experiencing the excitement of ancient cities, museums, and cultures, her dad is back home in the States working to make this unique experience possible. And it was the recent visit with him that has brought me to write this post.
     He was explaining how well his company was doing and that he had provided well for his daughter. “Her college is paid for, she is set for life, and will never have to worry about anything”. My spirit leaped. Did I dare speak what the Holy Spirit just whispered to me, even at the risk it might offend him? I hesitated for just a moment, before deciding that their eternal souls were on the line, and I had to speak.
     “I’m going to say this because I love you and your family”. There was a silence that was palpable. “I know you have taken care of your daughter well, and she has everything this world can offer. But it’s what comes after this world that I’m concerned about. This life is temporary; seventy to eighty years, if we’re lucky. But eternity is forever. What are you giving her to prepare her for that?”
     There was a long silence. Then his response went something like this … “I have another friend; the wife of a colleague, who is close to God like you are. She even says she talks to God and he talks to her. But I never hear from God”. Ah, my dear friend, do you ever stop pursuing the riches of this world to listen for Him? Because, I promise you, He is trying to engage with you every minute! He then went on to talk about “all” the conflicts in the Bible, yet he could only mention a couple … the age of the earth and the dinosaurs; and how irrelevant and hard is the Old Testament to understand.
     An attempt to engage in an entry level discussion of Scripture was quickly rebuffed and the topic changed to how he was going to celebrate his upcoming 50th birthday by flying four couples to Europe for a week. It was clear that he had no desire to hear any testimony from us on how Jesus has impacted our life. I guess that me, Mark, and Jesus just aren’t exciting enough.
     Now, maybe you have friends or family like this — maybe not as wealthy as this — but definitely as blind and lost. Have you, like Mark and I, tried for years to reach them about their salvation, and feel like you’re failing?  Here’s the way I look at it … I have really become convicted that if I do not take advantage of every opportunity I have to share Jesus, and what He has done in my life and wants to do in theirs, then I cannot expect to see any change in the person. That doesn’t mean I am constantly on a religious soap box. But it does mean that when I am prompted by the Holy Spirit to speak into a person’s life, then I must plant the seed so He can water it.
     The times that I have resisted these promptings have resulted in a very clear reminder from my Lord, “But if you publicly deny that you know Me,I will also deny you before My heavenly Father”.  I believe that doesn’t just include the obvious case of blasphemy, but also encompasses missed opportunities to share our testimonies. You see, I really believe that a spiritual nudge from the Spirit is an opportunity for me to partner with Him in enlarging His Kingdom here on earth. I know without a doubt that God doesn’t want anyone to be lost. And I will admit that it is difficult to wrap my head around whether He knows who will [or will not] accept His invitation for eternal salvation before its even offered, but I do not want to stand before Jesus and hear Him say, “I was waiting for you to tell him/her about Me, but the moment was squandered, and the opportunity was lost”. What if I was the only one God put in their path? And then there is the thought, Why would I ever hesitate to share with anyone how He called to me and saved me from eternal separation from Him?
     So, if you are like me and despair over your inability to reach family or friends, remember that it is not you who do the saving work. Your job is to sow the seeds, even if they appear to fall on the wayside, or rocky ground, or among thorns. Only the Living Water can nourish them, and you will know that you have served the Kingdom as a worthy ambassador. Instead of worrying about whether the seed took root, or suffering an obvious rejection, keep looking for those circumstances in which you can host the Presence of God. Speak whenever prompted and trust that your efforts will not be in vain. You may not see results this side of heaven, but I savor the thought of surprising reunions in the glorious kingdom of our Father!

Proverbs 10:5   Know the importance of the season you’re in and a wise son you will be. But what a waste when an incompetent son sleeps through his day of opportunity!

Top Summer Jobs to Teach Teens Prepping Skills

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: Another guest contribution from valknut79 to The Prepper Journal. Is this another time-honored tradition being impacted by year-round school? I hope not as I learned much from summer jobs that ranged from loading 100-lbs. bags of borate onto rail-road cars during a United Mine Workers strike in Boron California, and being shot at by those same United Mine workers, to working in the accounting department at Max Factor Make-up, to driving a home delivery milk truck for Carnation. 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!

Any summer job will teach your children the basics: coming to work on time, the value of hard work and money, and how to behave more like an adult. The best summer jobs, however, can also teach preparedness skills that are essential for them to learn as they grow and mature into (hopefully) responsible adults.

Becoming a waiter, while certainly an option, will not teach them half as much as some jobs. As a waiter, you make money daily, so there is no element of planning. You’ll learn about the menu, and people, but not much else. Of course, you’ll spend most of your time indoors, rather than outside. You might learn about how to help clean dishes, and you should hopefully see an increase in politeness, but this is not an ideal job if you want to learn something that would be helpful if the SHTF. What should teens be doing instead?

Life-Guarding

Life guarding is the ideal summer job. Your teen will sit outside in the warm sun, paying mindful attention to all the swimmers in the pool, lake, or ocean.

The benefits of this job are endless, but they start for preparedness with the fact that, as a lifeguard, your teen will be expected to learn CPR and basic first aid skills. These are essential basic medical practices that will be of instant use in most preparedness scenarios, SHTF or otherwise. Many teens, especially those who take jobs lifeguarding at beaches, will learn to study topographical maps, and learn about undertow, current, reading weather data, and “feeling” the weather changes as a result of their job having so much to do with the outdoors.

Teens will also learn quite a bit about being prepared with the right tools for the job. If your teen is out lifeguarding and forgets their water bottle or sunscreen, they won’t be in imminent danger thanks to rotation, but forgetting will start to occur less and less often as they find themselves potnetially sunburnt or suffering from headaches due to dehydration.

Lifeguards also are expected to keep physically fit, and are frequently drilled in life-saving drills that require them to swim long distances carrying weight. If that doesn’t do it, then perhaps the thought of having to be seen in a bathing suit all day wil help motivate them to get off the couch and burn a few calories.

Outdoor Maintenance

When I was a teen, I spent three summers working outdoor maintenance at my large local library. My job duties entailed mowing lawns, trimming bushes, deadheading and planting flowers, as well as a few indoor projects for rainy days. This was one of my first forays into the world of gardening, as I had never really planted flowers since I was in third grade science. I had never refilled the gas tank on the lawn mower since I lived in an apartment, and I found I had quite a bit to learn about maintaining power tools, sharpening blades, and how to trim a bush without destroying the bush. I even got preemptive driving lessons on the riding lawnmower since I was too young for my driver’s license. When I was indoors, I rewired a set of lights with my boss’s help, and I replaced a large number of broken fixtures and spent lightbulbs.

All in all, these jobs exist everywhere, mostly in large government buildings or as a member of your city’s public works department, or privately at landscaping companies. There is a lot for kids to learn in these jobs in regards to maintaining tools, but also about plants and gardening.

Camp Counseling

A camp counselor job is one that requires a lot of responsibility. This is not a “first job” unless you likely start as a volunteer helper, but it can be one of the most rewarding jobs that you can do over the summer, and is the only one on this list that may not feel quite so much like a job.

Counselors are responsible for a large group of children, and while acitivities are often planned by coordinators, there’s a lot that goes into this job. It’s more than just sitting and watching youngsters play at the park. For counselors of the very young, you’ll have to manage a group of upwards of ten kids at a time, and make sure that they can play safely together without fighting, falling or making a mess. You also need to watch to make sure that none of them are wandering off, and that all of them are having a good time. A bored kid is a kid about to start trouble.

What I remember most about my time as a camp counselor was that you had to be ready for everything – a lesson all preppers would do well to remember. On Monday, Jack attempted to play hide and seek in the forest near the playground instead of in the playground itself. On Tuesday, Jill fell on the sidewalk and scraped her knee. On Wednesday, one counselor’s group was late leaving the cafeteria, and I needed to teach all my hungry six-year-olds how to play rock-paper-scissors while we waited for our turn at lunch.

As a counselor, you need to be full of games and activities, you need to be tough, demanding and respected by your kids, and you need to know a few basics. Any good counselor program will require counselors to know first aid, some will require CPR, and some will expect them to demonstrate good swimming because they’ll be the only lifeguard their pool has. Sleepaway camps will require your teen to deal with the emotional issues of homesickness and loneliness.

All in all, a camp counselor position teaches your teen a lot about kids and self-confidence. After all, if they can do this job, they’ll feel like they can do anything. Mostly, though, being a counselor is a chance for your teen to stretch their legs as a leader, and thrusts them into a position of power. They’ll learn, more quickly than you realize, that being a leader means being prepared, and that being prepared makes their life a lot easier.

Nursery Supplier

Garden nursuries are an intersting and intense business. In most parts of our country, they open in the spring, right around the time that college kids are planning their summer jobs, and have to make enough money during three or four months to live on and cover expenses for a full twelve month period.

One thing about teens is that their first job really defines many of their new interests. Quite unlike their schoolwork or their family activities, they are intrinsically motivated to learn as much as possible about the job and it’s business model. Many are proud of their jobs, and many learn more from these jobs than you’d possibly realize, and their first paycheck will often make their allowance seem like a very paltry sum indeed.

When my best friend worked for a local nursury, he learned a lot about plants, to the point where he could identify different types of trees and flowers, and identify seeds by look and feel alone. To this day, he can look at a seed and tell if it’s going to be a zucchini or a butternut squash, even though they look identical to me. In addition, he planted a garden in his backyard as a teenager, and planned his finances for the year according to the plan of the business – make money in those three months to last all year – he saved and budgeted well for an entire twelve month period.

In addition to these benefits, working at a local nursery requires hard work. Since they need to make hay during a short period, workers at these jobs work quickly, work hard, and often work very long hours. There is a lot of hauling, a lot of walking, and a sense that making small mistakes – like leaving the greenhouse doors open during a late spring freeze – can lead to serious consequences.

What better lesson can a young teen learn than that? What other jobs are perfect for teens that would help them learn prepper skills? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow The Prepper Journal on Facebook!

The post Top Summer Jobs to Teach Teens Prepping Skills appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Top Summer Jobs to Teach Teens Prepping Skills

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: Another guest contribution from valknut79 to The Prepper Journal. Is this another time-honored tradition being impacted by year-round school? I hope not as I learned much from summer jobs that ranged from loading 100-lbs. bags of borate onto rail-road cars during a United Mine Workers strike in Boron California, and being shot at by those same United Mine workers, to working in the accounting department at Max Factor Make-up, to driving a home delivery milk truck for Carnation. 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!

Any summer job will teach your children the basics: coming to work on time, the value of hard work and money, and how to behave more like an adult. The best summer jobs, however, can also teach preparedness skills that are essential for them to learn as they grow and mature into (hopefully) responsible adults.

Becoming a waiter, while certainly an option, will not teach them half as much as some jobs. As a waiter, you make money daily, so there is no element of planning. You’ll learn about the menu, and people, but not much else. Of course, you’ll spend most of your time indoors, rather than outside. You might learn about how to help clean dishes, and you should hopefully see an increase in politeness, but this is not an ideal job if you want to learn something that would be helpful if the SHTF. What should teens be doing instead?

Life-Guarding

Life guarding is the ideal summer job. Your teen will sit outside in the warm sun, paying mindful attention to all the swimmers in the pool, lake, or ocean.

The benefits of this job are endless, but they start for preparedness with the fact that, as a lifeguard, your teen will be expected to learn CPR and basic first aid skills. These are essential basic medical practices that will be of instant use in most preparedness scenarios, SHTF or otherwise. Many teens, especially those who take jobs lifeguarding at beaches, will learn to study topographical maps, and learn about undertow, current, reading weather data, and “feeling” the weather changes as a result of their job having so much to do with the outdoors.

Teens will also learn quite a bit about being prepared with the right tools for the job. If your teen is out lifeguarding and forgets their water bottle or sunscreen, they won’t be in imminent danger thanks to rotation, but forgetting will start to occur less and less often as they find themselves potnetially sunburnt or suffering from headaches due to dehydration.

Lifeguards also are expected to keep physically fit, and are frequently drilled in life-saving drills that require them to swim long distances carrying weight. If that doesn’t do it, then perhaps the thought of having to be seen in a bathing suit all day wil help motivate them to get off the couch and burn a few calories.

Outdoor Maintenance

When I was a teen, I spent three summers working outdoor maintenance at my large local library. My job duties entailed mowing lawns, trimming bushes, deadheading and planting flowers, as well as a few indoor projects for rainy days. This was one of my first forays into the world of gardening, as I had never really planted flowers since I was in third grade science. I had never refilled the gas tank on the lawn mower since I lived in an apartment, and I found I had quite a bit to learn about maintaining power tools, sharpening blades, and how to trim a bush without destroying the bush. I even got preemptive driving lessons on the riding lawnmower since I was too young for my driver’s license. When I was indoors, I rewired a set of lights with my boss’s help, and I replaced a large number of broken fixtures and spent lightbulbs.

All in all, these jobs exist everywhere, mostly in large government buildings or as a member of your city’s public works department, or privately at landscaping companies. There is a lot for kids to learn in these jobs in regards to maintaining tools, but also about plants and gardening.

Camp Counseling

A camp counselor job is one that requires a lot of responsibility. This is not a “first job” unless you likely start as a volunteer helper, but it can be one of the most rewarding jobs that you can do over the summer, and is the only one on this list that may not feel quite so much like a job.

Counselors are responsible for a large group of children, and while acitivities are often planned by coordinators, there’s a lot that goes into this job. It’s more than just sitting and watching youngsters play at the park. For counselors of the very young, you’ll have to manage a group of upwards of ten kids at a time, and make sure that they can play safely together without fighting, falling or making a mess. You also need to watch to make sure that none of them are wandering off, and that all of them are having a good time. A bored kid is a kid about to start trouble.

What I remember most about my time as a camp counselor was that you had to be ready for everything – a lesson all preppers would do well to remember. On Monday, Jack attempted to play hide and seek in the forest near the playground instead of in the playground itself. On Tuesday, Jill fell on the sidewalk and scraped her knee. On Wednesday, one counselor’s group was late leaving the cafeteria, and I needed to teach all my hungry six-year-olds how to play rock-paper-scissors while we waited for our turn at lunch.

As a counselor, you need to be full of games and activities, you need to be tough, demanding and respected by your kids, and you need to know a few basics. Any good counselor program will require counselors to know first aid, some will require CPR, and some will expect them to demonstrate good swimming because they’ll be the only lifeguard their pool has. Sleepaway camps will require your teen to deal with the emotional issues of homesickness and loneliness.

All in all, a camp counselor position teaches your teen a lot about kids and self-confidence. After all, if they can do this job, they’ll feel like they can do anything. Mostly, though, being a counselor is a chance for your teen to stretch their legs as a leader, and thrusts them into a position of power. They’ll learn, more quickly than you realize, that being a leader means being prepared, and that being prepared makes their life a lot easier.

Nursery Supplier

Garden nursuries are an intersting and intense business. In most parts of our country, they open in the spring, right around the time that college kids are planning their summer jobs, and have to make enough money during three or four months to live on and cover expenses for a full twelve month period.

One thing about teens is that their first job really defines many of their new interests. Quite unlike their schoolwork or their family activities, they are intrinsically motivated to learn as much as possible about the job and it’s business model. Many are proud of their jobs, and many learn more from these jobs than you’d possibly realize, and their first paycheck will often make their allowance seem like a very paltry sum indeed.

When my best friend worked for a local nursury, he learned a lot about plants, to the point where he could identify different types of trees and flowers, and identify seeds by look and feel alone. To this day, he can look at a seed and tell if it’s going to be a zucchini or a butternut squash, even though they look identical to me. In addition, he planted a garden in his backyard as a teenager, and planned his finances for the year according to the plan of the business – make money in those three months to last all year – he saved and budgeted well for an entire twelve month period.

In addition to these benefits, working at a local nursery requires hard work. Since they need to make hay during a short period, workers at these jobs work quickly, work hard, and often work very long hours. There is a lot of hauling, a lot of walking, and a sense that making small mistakes – like leaving the greenhouse doors open during a late spring freeze – can lead to serious consequences.

What better lesson can a young teen learn than that? What other jobs are perfect for teens that would help them learn prepper skills? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow The Prepper Journal on Facebook!

The post Top Summer Jobs to Teach Teens Prepping Skills appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Fire Extinguishers for Apartments

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Fire is one of the biggest threats to renters.   A small fire can turn into a large blaze in less than 30 seconds, according to Ready.gov.   A big thank you to one of our readers who suggested we discuss fire extinguishers for apartments. Where should you keep your fire extinguisher? You need a fire extinguisher anywhere there is a risk of fire:  near a furnace, a garage if flammable substances are stored, and the […]

The post Fire Extinguishers for Apartments appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

10 Easy and Delicious Camping / Bugout Recipes

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I like a strawberry millennium bar as much as the next guy, but there are times when you need hot food and meat-based protein. The more arduous the task and the more stressful the day, the more you want those fatty, warm, and filling meals. Bugging out can have many hang ups, but food is […]

The post 10 Easy and Delicious Camping / Bugout Recipes appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Interview With Jonathan Hollerman of Grid Down Consulting

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This week of the Survivalist Prepper Podcast I was honored to have Jonathan Hollerman on to talk about his books, what Grid Down Consulting is, and his thoughts on a number of situations we might face in a SHTF scenario. During the interview we went over quite a bit about what Jonathan does and why, […]

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