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Years ago, I used to have a friend who was a somewhat well-known character in computing circles. One day, in his home that he had wired and re-wired many times to accommodate his expanding home-technology fetish, a couple wires started smoking and started a small fire within the wall of the house. My friend punched a small hole in the wall, ran a garden hose in, and put out the fire. I asked why he didnt simply call the fire department. He replied that if the fire department arrived they would have torn apart the entire wall, despite his protests, and basically destroyed the place to get to the fire. He figured his small hole in the wall would give him enough access and patch up pretty easily.

New York has quite the diamond/jewelry district. When a burglar alarm goes off, the cops respond but aren’t permitted entry to the store (by previous agreement). The reason is because if a handful of cops run into an unattended jewelry store in the middle of the night looking for someone, the odds are fairly high their pockets will be bulging on the way out.

So, what do these two stories have in common? In both cases, someone determined that the value provided by having ‘official’ response to an emergency was not worth the suspected risk.

I was thinking about that as the plumber was installing a new shutoff valve in my house today. I was thinking about having a line run off the house water line to a small hose bib tucked under the stairs or under the kitchen sink. Purpose? Indoor firefighting. I keep a goodly supply of fairly substantial fire extinguishers around…but if my kerosene heater ignites something in a major way, a flat hose coiled under the sink might come in handy. I’m certainly in no hurry to have civil authorities in my house for any reason. Last thing I want is the fire department responding to a grease fire that got away from me and them passing a note to the feds about an unusually large amount of ammo in some guys basement.

Not sure of the merits, though. I mean, it sounds like a good idea on its face. A compact coil of hose in an out-of-the-way spot ready to go at a moments notice. But I suppose I could get the same effect if I just ran into the yard and threaded the garden hose through the window. Not sure. Whaddya think? Brilliant? Good Idea? Meh? Stupid? Idiotic?

This poll is about to
start on 02-06-2018 00:00:09
and will end on 03-06-2018 23:59:59

Congratulations, May Certification Graduates!

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Congratulations to the following Community members on completing one or more of our Certifications in May!

As many of you know, one of the perks of membership in our Honors Lab is FREE access to several amazing certifications in our Honors Lab area—and lots more are in the works.

These Certifications dive deep. They’re essentially multi-lesson master classes, full of practical know-how so you can immediately start reaping benefits for yourself, your family, and your garden.

(And if you’re not an Honors Lab member yet, you can gain access to these Certifications + lots more perks of membership by joining today. Click here to learn more!)


Backyard Chickens for Egg Production Certification

Backyard Chickens for Egg Production 

In this awesome certification, TGN blogger (and homesteader extraordinaire!) Tasha Greer covers everything from breed selection and coop design to flock health and egg storage — plus lots more….

Congratulations to the following Honors Lab members on completing this Certification:

  • Brian Moyers
  • Nanciann Lamontagne
  • Sharon Companion
  • Suzette Carlin


Bio-Intensive Gardening Certification 

Bio-Intensive Gardening Certification

This 8-week course teaches the principles of bio-intensive gardening—one of the easiest, most sustainable ways to produce big, delicious fruits and vegetables!

It covers everything from starting and transplanting seedlings to the basics of garden beds and soil, and from making compost to garden maintenance. There’s even a section on harvesting and processing grains!

Congratulations to the following Honors Lab members for completing the Bio-Intensive Gardening Certification in May!

  • Downing
  • Nanciann Lamontagne


Home Medicine 101 Certification

Home Medicine 101 Certification

The Home Medicine 101 Certification is a perennial favorite in the Honors Lab!

This eight-week class teaches you how to remedy:

  • Burns, stings, and rashes,
  • Wounds and lacerations,
  • Coughs and colds,
  • Fevers,
  • Indigestion,
  • Anxiety and insomnia,
  • Muscle pain, and
  • Topical infections …

… with readily available plants you may already have growing in your backyard!

Congratulations to the following Community members on completing Home Medicine 101:

  • david jones
  • ginaBacigalupo Zappia
  • goldenangel0819760
  • JessicaPatel
  • Kerry Lowe
  • MarilynSunia
  • Nanciann Lamontagne
  • Nelly P
  • Ray Harney
  • Shelli Haun
  • Sherriamaro


Instant Master Gardener Certification

Instant Master Gardener Certification

In just 8 lessons, The Grow Network’s Instant Master Gardener Certification reveals gardening secrets, tips, and tricks that most people spend years discovering.

Lessons include:

  1. “The Secret to a Green Thumb”
  2. “How Much Land Do You Need?”
  3. “The Power of Herbs”
  4. “The Easiest Way to Prepare a Garden Bed”
  5. “Three Facts About Seeds Every Master Gardener Knows”
  6. “Transplanting Baby Plants”
  7. “The Four HUGE Advantages of Backyard Food Production”
  8. “A Homemade Fertilizer So Powerful, You Could Create a Business Out of It”

Congrats to the following Honors Lab members for completing this powerful certification in May:

  • ChimneyFieldFarm
  • Daviddulock
  • Diane Massey
  • jbartlett
  • Nanciann Lamontagne
  • Whtwtrldy


Saving Quality Seeds Certification

Saving Quality Seeds

Learn how to save seeds that will ensure an abundant harvest in years to come with the in-depth information in TGN’s Saving Quality Seeds Certification.

This 7-lesson Certification teaches which plants are easiest to save seeds from, how to plan your garden with seed-saving in mind, how to do a garden soil inventory, the basics of dry and wet harvesting, the best way to store seed, how to determine seed quality—and more!

Congratulations to the following Honors Lab members on completing this Certification:

  • Nanciann Lamontagne
  • Suzette Carlin

We’ve also got several more certifications in the works, including “Making Medicine,” “Growing Mushrooms,” “Raising Ducks,” “Beekeeping,” and “Growing Medical Marijuana.” We’re working with some fantastic experts on these, so you’ll definitely want to check them out in the Honors Lab once they’re ready. Exciting stuff! 🙂


The post Congratulations, May Certification Graduates! appeared first on The Grow Network.

Amish People And Amish Life: Six Great “Life Lessons” We Should Learn

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amish people

Amish people

Visitors to my neighborhood in central Maine are often startled by the presence of Amish people.  Locals, though, are accustomed to the yellow road signs with black silhouettes of horse-drawn buggies, tracks of bicycle tires and horse hooves in the snow on the shoulder, and the sight of women in bonnets and long dresses in line at the local grocery store. The handful of families that arrived eight years ago have grown into a sizeable and thriving group which coexists well within the greater community.

As neighbors, friends, vendors and customers, the Amish provide an integral niche in the lives of other residents.  Sharing a region with the Amish is rewarding. They are my go-to for organic livestock grain, barn boots, fresh vegetables and kitchen gadgets, as well as the source for my full-sized wood cook stove.

I am a regular customer at an Amish dairy farm, as well. I drive out to the milk room every Saturday to pick up rich raw Jersey milk, leave off clean jars to be filled for next week, and drop my money into an open plastic bucket on the shelf.

Customers for ready-made buildings, bicycle repair, and charcuterie also seek out Amish businesses. But commerce goes both ways. The Amish buy from local merchants, hire drivers for transportation, provide education at agricultural events, and contribute to municipal building projects.

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Living in close proximity to Amish people as I do, it is easy to observe the way they live. I often admire the large homes with tidy no-nonsense yards as I pass by, or smile at the sight of school-aged children helping parents hang laundry on the line or hauling firewood. While they are certainly human and by no means perfect, they do portray a highly venerable lifestyle.

My experiences with Amish people have led me to believe that there are many positive things to be said for the way they live their lives. Following are six ways that I think they are doing it right.

1. The community is everything. A friend told me a story of how, when she first arrived from out-of-state for the purpose of living sustainably, she told an Amish woman she encountered of her plans. “Oh my dear,” the Amish woman said gently, touching my friend’s arm, “you need community in order to do that.”

As a homesteader, I cannot agree more with that statement. Living on the land is a tough row to hoe for a single household. The sense of isolation and the feeling of being overwhelmed are two of the most common reasons people consider giving up homesteading.

6 Ways Amish Life Is Just Plain Better

Technology is a tool, not a master.

Amish people band together for building homes and barns, tending animals and gardens, supporting one another’s economic endeavors, completing household and culinary tasks, and spiritual solidarity. They buy land and build homes in clusters that support their sense of collective cooperation in a way that much of mainstream society no longer does.

2. Technology is a tool, not a master. Contrary to popular belief, Amish people do use modern technology. They have very localized rules, enabling some groups to use technology more or differently than do other groups. I have seen Amish people ride buses, hire cars, keep telephones in outside buildings, operate chainsaws, and shop at big box stores. The line in the sand might be defined at that which keeps them adequately separated from those who do not share their beliefs.

I wonder if it is also a question of what serves whom—they seek to use that which will serve their needs and reject that which may come to control them.

3. Comfort and value trump trendy and superficial. When I see Amish people, they appear neat and put-together, in clothes that fit well and do not have holes or missing buttons. But while they do take pride in their appearance in that way—and I assume that most individuals try to look their best—they do not embrace mainstream trends.

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I see fun holey rubber clogs on their feet, but no designer bags on their arms. It seems that value is measured by actual pragmatic use instead of by what is perceived as valuable to others.

6 Ways Amish Life Is Just Plain Better

Community is at the center of Amish life.

4. They are not slaves to society’s expectations. Many Americans hate to let society control them, but most do not reject the insidious pressure to do so as well as the Amish. No big screen TVs. No fancy cars. No cruises. Nobody waxing or tanning beds. No political correctness. No four-star restaurants. No smartphones. No social media. All those things that mainstream culture tries to tell us we cannot live without? The Amish live without them.

At first glance, the Amish lifestyle seems restrictive. But when the absence of having to keep up with the Joneses is taken into account, maybe their lives are ones of freedom, not restriction.

5. They do not expect anything for free. Amish people work hard and expect to be paid accordingly, but do not ask to be paid extra. They ask nothing of the greater public and nothing of the government. They pay taxes like everyone does, and occasionally grumble about them like everyone does. But I would be surprised to see many Amish people applying for state benefits.

6. They do not lose sleep over politics. Without television or social media in their lives, many issues that flood mainstream airwaves can be lost on the Amish. Whether or not Sarah Palin knows about foreign affairs or whether Hillary Clinton used a specific email account to send sensitive documents—none of that matters to those solely focused on home and family. Amish people do hold strong opinions on many subjects, but do not get caught up into distant controversies.

It is true that no one culture has all the answers, and no single way of doing things is right for everyone. But the Amish do practice a lifestyle admired by many, and I count myself as fortunate to share my neighborhood with them. I appreciate the value they bring to the community, and I love the ways they do things right.

Do you agree or disagree? What would you add to this story? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Are You Prepared For Blackouts This Winter? Read More Here.

The post Amish People And Amish Life: Six Great “Life Lessons” We Should Learn appeared first on Off The Grid News.

Free Form Friday

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On a positive note it is Friday. Its hot and sunny here, definitely feels like summer.

In no particular order:

-Grades came in and I got an A and an A-. So, unless somehow I missed a class or something, the masters program should be complete. That is good. Hopefully it pays off in the long run but at least now I am done.

-A positive side of all the shooting I have been doing in the last year or so is that I have rotated a bunch of older ammo out. Lots of random boxes which had been around for awhile have gotten shot up. Don’t worry I am replacing it, if not 1:1 (somehow I ended up with a bunch of #8 shot I have no need to replace, etc) at least generally.

-I do not believe in constantly changing gear. Find something that works and stick with it. Replace stuff when it wears out or if something significantly better comes along.

-Carry the same guns in the same ways. For example I concealed carry AIWB. If I am carrying outside the waistband, which is defacto openly (not to be confused with ‘open carry’ like the guy who has to show off his Kel Tech, XD or 1911 in a shitty holster and scare soccer moms at the grocery store) in a heavier gear for training or whatever it is on my strong side hip. I shoot Glocks. The guy who carries a Glock appendix today and a 1911 at 3:30 tomorrow then a Beretta 92 in a shoulder holster this weekend is just asking for trouble. He has to remember under stress where the gun is and what gun. He also has to (though he probably doesn’t train or practice) train with all these different guns. Furthermore constantly changing guns makes having systems difficult. I have Glock 9mm mags all over the place. They are on my pistol belt, my PC/ chest rig, in the glove box, in my kits, etc. If I traded pistols every other week during the course of normal life I might find myself with the wrong stuff.

-Along these lines I am not a fan of the idea of having a dozen different sets of gear. The guys who have a different set of stuff for IDPA, another for 3 gun, etc, etc. These days I have 3 active systems: a CC set up, a pistol belt and a chest rig. I own different stuff and have multiples of fairly similar stuff but I don’t want to be thinking about whether this is the set up that has flaps on the pouches or tab pulls or friction retention or the one where the mags are here or there or whatever.

-Along these lines my current fighting load (civilian context) is an old TT pistol belt with a costa leg rig and a safariland holster. There is a medical kit on there as well. I would like to add a fixed blade knife but haven’t figured out exactly which way that will go yet.

I have fiddled with this setup before and generally like it. Its sufficient for any realistic home defense type situation and most training. Admittedly it is ad hoc from stuff I had on hand. I think a dedicated gear belt (which is also thicker and heavier) is the way to go over carrying this type of load on a rigger belt which also holds up my pants. So after an iteration or two I am back to this. If the concept sticks I will start window shopping to potentially upgrade the components down the road.

For the rare moments when this isn’t sufficient I have a chest rig, mostly to hold more rifle mags. It can be used alone or mounted to a plate carrier. When mounted to a PC I keep the straps handy in case there is a need for modularity.

The combination of a pistol belt and chest rig/ PC gives a lot of modularity. I think it is the way to go.

-If you can have a duty sized pistol and a smaller one that are different sized versions of each other that is ideal. A Glock 26 and 19 (or M&P/ .40/.45 equivalent) is a great example of this. You get the same trigger, sights and controls all the time. The upwards compatible mags are huge too.

-Along these lines I am looking hard at getting a Glock 26.

-If you all have any questions or ideas for posts you want please let me know. I will try as much as I can to accommodate you. Remember this is your chance to have content you want here.

The Best TSA-Approved Multi-Tools For Survival Or Self-Defense

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Traveling can be fun, but going through the Transportation Security Administrations checkpoints can leave you feeling exploited and defenseless.  The TSA’s rules are constantly changing, and it can be difficult to know what you are allowed to have on a plane.  Because of this, we’ve broken down the best survival and self-defense tools TSA will allow in this handy guide.

All of the tools shown below are 100% TSA approved, meaning they will allow you to carry them in your carry-on bag on a flight without hassle. Unless things change again. (I had half plastic, half metal baby fingernail clippers seized from me once.)

Just in case the TSA gets overzealous, you can prevent your multitool from being stolen from you. One travel hack that works for some is to open up all the tools and place it in the change tray. If that doesn’t do the trick, another quick tip is to pack an envelope with pre-paid postage. That way, if you run into any problems, you can avoid confiscation by mailing it home or to a friend instead.

*All images courtesy of Amazon

1. Gerber Shard Keychain Tool

Backed by a titanium nitride coating to help prevent corrosion, this shard keychain includes a wire stripper, bottle opener, lanyard hole and more. It also comes with flat and Phillips head screwdrivers. It’s small and easy to carry. The Shard, made with a unique keyhole, can easily attach to a split ring or key ring, which lets you keep the multi-tool handy at all times.

Size: 3.1 x 1.3 x 0.6 inches and weighs .0.32 oz., with lightweight easy to grab-and-go functionality you should imagine from a great keychain multi-tool.

The best news is that this little tool won’t break the bank either.  You grab this one for $6.95 on Amazon.

2. Gerber Dime Multi-Tool Travel, Bladeless

This handy multi-tool includes needle nose pliers, wire cutters, scissors, a zipper hook, small and medium flat screwdrivers, tweezers, a bottle opener and much, much more. Built by Gerber again, it’s definitely one heck of a quality carry-on tool. This tool is bladeless for travel-friendly use, features a butterfly open design, with comfortable ergonomic handles, stainless steel construction, and a convenient keychain ring.

Size: 0.7 x 5.5 x 6 inches

This handy tool will cost you $14.95 on Amazon.

3. TREAD Wearable Tool

Made in the United States, this multitool is “ready for anything. With the functionality of a Leatherman, all in one stylish package, The Tread’s modular design is fully customizable to fit your needs and your wrist. The Tread is fully adjustable to fit your wrist. Simply add or remove links in quarter-inch and half-inch increments to fit.  It also has a variety of box wrenches, hex drives, flat and Phillips screwdrivers, oxygen tank wrench, carbide glass breaker, sim card pick, cutting hook, socket drive adapter, and bottle opener. This one is meant to be worn everywhere, not just on the airplane. 

Size: 3.9 x 5.9 x 9.4 inches

This one will set you back a bit coming in at $174.95 on Amazon.  However, it comes with a 25-year limited warranty.

4. Piranha 2 Multi-Purpose Pocket Tool

The Piranha 2 multi-purpose pocket tool features  7 tools, which include a scraper, bottle opener, 1/4″ hex bit driver, medium screwdriver, open wrench (English), box wrench (Metric), and box opener.

Size: 4.9 x 2 x 1.1 inches

This one is not as pricey as the wearable tool.  Amazon has it listed for $14.99.

5. Leatherman Style PS Multi-Tool

The Style PS is the ultimate pocket-sized multitool. Put it in your pocket, clip it on your bag, and even take it when you travel right in your carry on bag. It’s lightweight and compact size makes it easy to take with you anywhere. The Style PS features spring-action needlenose and regular pliers, spring-action wire cutters and scissors, flat and Phillips screwdriver, tweezers, nail file, and combination carabiner and bottle opener. Style PS also only requires one hand to open and use all the tools.

Size: 3.1 x 2 x 1.3 inches

The Style PS is selling for $29.95 on Amazon

6. NiteIze DooHicKey

This keychain multitool is inexpensive and can tighten bolts and screws or open a bottle. It features a box Cutter, a bottle opener, wrench (.25”, .3125”, and .375”), ruler (inches and centimeters), carabiner, and flathead screwdriver.

Size: 2.6” x .7” x .1”

You can snag one of these on Amazon for only $3.98!

7. Zootility Tools Wildcard

This folding credit card knife is TSA-approved. Made entirely of heat treated stainless steel, it features a replaceable blade, built-in screwdrivers, a pry-bar, and a bottle opener.  Since it’s the size of credit card, it also easily slides into your wallet.  Zootility WildCard™  knife is TSA compliant, however, if you get in a confiscation situation, you can just surrender the blade, and keep the handle, which features built-in screwdrivers, a pry-bar, and bottle opener, making it the ultimate tool for everyday carry and replace the blade later. 

Size: 2.2 x 3.2 x 0.1 inches

This multi-tool is available on Amazon for $35.00

*All Amazon prices are current to when this article was written and may change after publication.


This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Make Your Own Compost Tea for the Healthiest Plants

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You’re probably pretty familiar with composting but you may also want to make make an organic liquid  fertilizer. Compost tea is one of the most powerful nutrients you can give your plants, and they will replay you in healthier plants and more abundant harvests! Solid matter compost takes a while to break down in the …

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How To Use The Kelly Kettle Outside For Emergencies Or Camping

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This is for all my new readers, this is an awesome emergency stove or a great stove for camping! You probably know by now I have to know the ins and outs of everything that has to do with emergency preparedness. The Kelly Kettle can be used for camping, hiking and for an unforeseen emergency when we lose power.

Bingo…that works for me! It’s great when a product can be used in so many different situations.

Stainless Steel or Aluminum Kelly Kettle

The Kelly Kettle comes in aluminum or stainless steel. I decided on the stainless steel. I prefer to buy something right the first time and not have to replace it down the road. I also wanted one that would be larger and serve a few more people. I decided on the Ultimate Stainless Scout Camp Kit. I am going to share with you how each part works. This is really the most reliable ultra fast camping kettle for the outdoors. It’s very light and extremely durable and works even in extreme weather conditions. No batteries…love it!

Kelly Kettle

No Propane, Gas or Liquid Fuel

Oh my gosh, I love that this does not need any propane, gas or liquid fuel. Place a few wads of newspaper in the bottom of the base unit. Next, I can scrounge for twigs, pine cones, etc. and start a small fire in the base with a match or fire starter. I went over to the golf course near my home and gathered up some pine cones from the ground. Yep, FREE fuel for this unit! Now I will be gathering pine cones on a regular basis to store in my garage. We added some dry branches and small leaves and the fire started so quickly!

Kelly Kettle Base

Double Walled Kelly Kettle Stove

Next you place the main double walled stove on the base as shown above. Here’s the deal, I could not figure out how this unit worked because I did not realize it had a double walled pitcher built in, so to speak. Yep, I get it now. The flue/chimney top  is at the top where you can add more twigs and pine cones. You can see the opening on the right side where you can add water.

Boil Water In Kelly Kettle

Boil 37.2 ounces of liquid in minutes

This Scout Kelly Kettle boils 1.1 liters (37.2 oz) in minutes. You can see how to lift the Kelly Kettle off the base with the handle at a 90-degree angle. You then set the unit on a flat surface and use the attached orange stopper (which should always be removed before lighting the kettle) to pour water in a pan or cup.

Kelly Kettle Orange Stopper

Ready To Cook With The Kelly Kettle

Now we are ready to cook. Kelly Kettle has a pan bracket that has two pieces and you hook them together and insert them into the chimney flue to set your pans on the top to start cooking your food.

Cooking In A Kelly Kettle

Finish Cooking On Grill

Snack Ramen at its best…I had a package and added it to the boiling water in the pan. Easy, peasy. The large Kelly Kettle cook set comes with a grill, pan, lid and a handle to lift the pan when cooking. You will remove the top double walled unit and place your mugs or pan to finish cooking or reheat your drinks.

Kelly Kettle Grill

Kelly Kettle Hobo Stove Accessory

Hobo Stove Accessory

Hobo Stove On Base

Kelly Hobo Stove Accessory

The Best Stainless Steel Cups with Silicone Lip Saver

Okay, I have never seen a silicone lip saver…just saying, this is the best thing I have ever seen for a hot cup to save your lips!

Kelly Kettle Cups Silicone Lips

Everything Stores In This Bag

Kelly Kettle Bag

I highly recommend one of these stoves for several reasons. It is compact and can be used year round. The fact that I can gather pine cones, twigs and leaves and my newspapers for fuel is a HUGE plus for me. Here’s to being prepared for the unexpected.

Dinner rolls by Linda

The post How To Use The Kelly Kettle Outside For Emergencies Or Camping appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Best Non-Lethal Self Defense Tools For Your EDC

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There is a story that goes along with gun ownership and EDC of a firearm that rarely gets told. You know, we carry because we want to be able to protect ourselves and the ones we love if things get crazy. The threats are real and there is no denying that. What we rarely hear …

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INCH Bag – Build the Perfect “I’m Never Coming Home” Bag

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The INCH bag is something. It really is a ting that you need to wrap your head around. There are some serious issues when it comes to the idea of never coming home and for those of you who don’t know that is what the INCH bag is for. I’m Never Coming Home. Its a …

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The post INCH Bag – Build the Perfect “I’m Never Coming Home” Bag appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Powering Your Emergency Electronics

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No matter how you feel about electronics, they are here and they bring benefits. Now, its up to you to decide if neglecting them is the right decision. I think its not. You are giving up exponential power if you decide to forgo all electronics for the highly unlikely situation when none of them work. …

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$1,000 Fine For Stacking His Firewood The Wrong Way

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More and more municipalities are now using fine money as a revenue source.

fine money

Since many towns are now using fine money as revenue enhancement, making sure you stack wood “the government way” could save you a lot of money.

The city of Doraville, Georgia, issued a warrant for Jeff Thornton’s arrest and fined him $1,000. Thornton’s “crime”? He stacked his firewood the wrong way in his backyard.

Thornton eventually went to court and pleaded the fine down to $300. Nevertheless, they still placed him on probation for 12 months, as the Institute for Justice (IOJ) reported. Furthermore, Thornton was one of many Doraville residents that the city hit with fines in their “policing for profit” scheme, the IOJ alleged.

Doraville code requires firewood to be neatly stacked in four by eight piles. In addition, any deviation can lead to a ticket and a fine. The municipality cited Thornton, but he did not realize he had violated the code until the city issued an arrest warrant for him.

Doraville’s courts and law enforcement exist primarily to collect fine money and to finance the city government. A lawsuit filed by the IOJ has alleged this disturbing fact. The city of Doraville is a suburb of Atlanta. The municipality raked in $3.4 million in fine money between August 2016 and August 2017, Reason reported. The IOJ estimated that fine money makes up between a fifth and a third of Doraville’s budget.

“Doraville’s city council heavily relies on these revenues to balance the city’s budget,” the IOJ stated. The firm detailed this fact in a lawsuit they filed in federal court.

Law Enforcement Personnel

“Moreover, Doraville law enforcement personnel—who are paid from Doraville’s revenues and serve at the ultimate pleasure of its City Council—have an incentive to ticket and prosecute to raise revenue,” The IOJ complaint states.

Disturbingly, the fine Thornton received was not issued by a city official. Instead, a private company hired by the city delivered the penalty, the Institute’s lawsuit alleges. Both the contractors and city employees, such as police officers, have a strong incentive to write tickets and charge fines. This is simply because the fine money helps cover their salaries, the IOJ maintained.

Six Months’ Probation For High Weeds

Thornton was one of many Doraville residents that the city fined to raise revenue, the IOJ claimed. Another victim was Hilda Bruckler, whom the municipal court sentenced to six months of probation for: (1) “Rotted wood on house and chipping paint on fascia boards”,  (2) “High weeds in backyard and ivy on tree and vines on house”,  and (3) “Driveway in a state of disrepair.”

“Driveway in disrepair” apparently means there were some cracks in Bruckler’s driveway. Under the terms of the probation, Bruckler could not drink any alcohol whatsoever and had to report to a probation officer.

Bruckler had to take out a home equity loan in order to fix the driveway and siding. She also hired a lawyer with her own money to fight the city’s actions.

The IOJ contends that Doraville is violating the 14thAmendment’s guarantee of due process by relying on fines for revenue. The hope is to get a court injunction against the city and to force it to find a new source of revenues.

The IOJ has been successful in similar lawsuits against other municipalities including Pagedale, Missouri, and Charlestown, Indiana. The Institute for Justice is a public interest law firm that often sues governments over alleged violations of property rights.


The post $1,000 Fine For Stacking His Firewood The Wrong Way appeared first on Off The Grid News.

But Out Tip: Walk Your Bag

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Several years ago when I sat back on my porch, looking out into the woods, I came to the realization that if I got lost in there or was dumped off, I would not know the basics for me to survive. I quickly went to the all knowing internet and found the idea of a “bug out bag”. Watching and reading I quickly latched on to this idea. A bag that would contain the essentials of survival. Something that if things got rough and I had this bag I could leave the dangerous area and be able to survive for at least 72 hours. Countless videos and blogs laid out all the items one would need to optimize your bug out bag but one thing the majority failed to convey was the importance of Walking Your Bag.

By Grimm, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache


Everyone is telling you what to put in your bag and how much of those items. Some are stuffing it in an old high school book bag, others in some tacticool pack with or without a frame. Is the type of pack important? Yes. Are the items inside important? Yes, but what good are either of them if you cannot get them to your safe area. When I first started being a survivalist I went with a well built bag from Triple Aught. No frame and I loaded it up with all the gear that I thought was necessary. My shoulders quickly found out that 20 to 25lbs of gear was all they could take for a multi mile hike. I also found out that where I lashed or stowed equipment mattered. Many of these lessons I learned by walking my bag so now let me explain.

Test Run

Walking Your Bag is like a test run. Not everyone has the time or place to go out and bug out, camp, or practice a survival scenario, that’s life. I do believe everyone has some time to pick up their bag, strap it on, and go for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a hike in the woods. If you are trying to leave a city it will be many miles before you see woods. Put on your pack and walk the distance that you feel is necessary for you to find a safe area for your particular scenario. Mind you I would suggest you don’t have arrows, bullets, and knives hanging off of you but pack all your food and especially water. Water is very heavy at roughly 9lbs a gallon. Feel how the bag/pack sits on you. What aches? What chafes? Does something get caught, rattle or make you off balance? Can you achieve the distance that you intended? These are all discoveries that you can make, adjust and fix long before you have to set out on a real and unforgiving survival situation.

Related: 7 Tips For Your Bug Out Bag

Since my early bug out days I have changed my pack once and I have walked it many times. Each time making adjustments and learning. Will everything be perfect when I go out on my next Bug Out trip? No, but at least I know what to expect and what can be mitigated. I know where to stow things to minimize fatigue. I know at roughly what mile the hips or shoulders will start to ache. I know how much weight I can carry for a particular distance. Knowing these things gives me the power to make informed decisions and how to adapt and endure in an ever changing  survival situation. So do yourself a favor and Walk Your Bag.

Watch Bug Out Tip Video (B.O.T. Video)

The post But Out Tip: Walk Your Bag appeared first on SurvivalCache.

Double Your Survival Garden Production By Adding Key Nutrients

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survival garden

Adding the right nutrients to your survival garden can make a big difference in your harvest.

If you’re planting a survival garden this year, this could be one of the most helpful things you do.

It’s a well-known fact that America’s soil no longer delivers the nutrients most vegetables need. You can blame modern farming, backyard overplanting, or even your local soil conditions. The fact of the matter is that each crop season offers your plants and your family less nutrition than before. On one level, you already know your soil needs a boost. You add water and then you mulch.

You put down strong doses of mass-market chemical fertilizers to bolster weak plants and skimpy blossoms. And you watch, wait, and hope your garden turns out as you planned. And, as you might expect, inherent problems with the soil mean lots of disappointment at harvest time.

Undernourished gardens spit out nutrient-poor produce. You may be counting on your backyard survival garden to give you the vegetables and greens you need to stay healthy. Nonetheless, modern plants don’t deliver. They’re low on potassium, iron, and critical phytonutrients – making us all in need of a significant vitamin boost.

A Healthy Survival Garden Might Be An Illusion

A basket full of fresh garden produce ought to be the picture of healthful living. However, that healthy garden is just an illusion for many modern green thumbs.

Over the last several decades, critical soil nutrients have been used up faster than they’ve been replenished all across the country. The soil that’s left can’t deliver the vitamin power your plants need to grow genuinely healthy vegetables and greens. You see it easily in puny plants and stunted vegetables. Nevertheless, the hard science is even worse than what you can see with your naked eye:

• Trace minerals in soil diminished by up to 76% between 1940 and 1991. Government studies compiled this data, which was published by the Journal of Complementary Medicine.
• 43 crops lost massive amounts of protein, calcium, phosphorous, iron, riboflavin and ascorbic acid between 1950 and 1999. This information is according to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
• Changing climates across the country have altered planting cycles, so much so that in 2012 the USDA had to update its spring planting guidelines. Notwithstanding, the longer growing season means your garden has to give more each year, increasing depletion rates.

As a result, over the last 100 years, the nutritional value of garden produce has plummeted by as much as 85% in some areas. Due to soil depletion, even a balanced diet full of garden foods doesn’t give you all the vitamins and nutrients you need to be healthy. You can stack your plants high with vegetables… stuff salad down your kids’ throats like crazy… but it won’t do any good. Despite what you think you are eating, you are munching away at foods that contain no real nutritional value. They may fill you up temporarily, but these poor plants no longer have the power to nourish your body. It doesn’t matter how pretty they look on your plate.

There is a clear disconnect between the nutrition you think your vegetables and greens deliver and what your body actually receives. This discrepancy contributes to a whole host of health problems. Vitamin deficiencies are serious business, causing everything from chronic fatigue and inflammation to memory loss. Mainstream doctors push “better nutrition” as a way to fix these kinds of problems. Still, how can you eat better when the food on your plate isn’t what you think? No wonder the nutraceutical market has grown to $87 billion in annual sales. Americans are trying to make up for what their food lacks by purchasing more and more!

You can live that life – choking down expensive pills day after day in an attempt to stay healthy – or you can fight back against poor soil and nutritionally worthless plants. For less than $30, you can give your whole survival garden a “vitamin shot” as it grows. This catalyst will replenish your garden soil and put nutrition back into your diet.

A Superfood For Plants

The name of this superfood “vitamin shot” is ProtoGrow, an all-natural multivitamin for plants. It works as the ultimate supplement for anyone who wants better growth, bigger produce, and plants that have the nutritional value they should.

• ProtoGrow is 100% natural and safe, made from North Atlantic fish emulsion and sea kelp – absolutely no harsh artificial chemicals included!
• Mixed with water and applied directly, ProtoGrow adds iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, boron, quercetin, lycopene, and other critical minerals and micro-nutrients back into the soil
• Plants perk up after the first application, growing noticeably more robust and colorful as they drink in a full range of essential nutrients
• A healthier diet allows each plant to reach its full potential, giving you larger sizes and higher yields

Just like you, your plants are what they eat. In nutrient-poor soil, they will struggle to thrive and grow. What does come out of your survival garden is the puny product of a long struggle to find enough to eat. When your plants do get the nutrition they need, the results will be a night-and-day difference in size and quality.

Nutrient-Rich Results That Produce Delicious Tasing Vegetables

The real beneficiary of all this nutrition isn’t your garden, of course – it’s you! When your plants are well fed, they grow up into delicious, nutrient-dense greens. These veggies will taste just as good as they look. ProtoGrow will give you a magazine spread garden regarding plant size and color. Nevertheless, the envy of your neighbors is nothing compared to the reality of having something good on your dinner table night after night.

There’s a deep satisfaction to eating food you’ve grown yourself – especially when it’s healthy food that’s packed with flavor and nutrition. ProtoGrow will have you going back to your garden for seconds and maybe even thirds. It’ll also have you looking forward to eating your quality canned goods this winter. Don’t let your garden starve – and don’t deprive yourself of wholesome, all-natural nutrition. Feed your plants the superfood they need so you and your family can get the nutrients you need from your backyard.  ProtoGrow is currently on sale at the Grow Like Crazy website.

The post Double Your Survival Garden Production By Adding Key Nutrients appeared first on Off The Grid News.

Summertime “Muscle Pain” Solutions For Off-The-Grid Living

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muscle pain

Summertime muscle pain doesn’t have to slow you down.

With summer back in full force, lots of folks are working and playing outside, using joints and muscles that “lay dormant” all winter. As a result, a lot of muscle injuries and subsequent muscle pain occur. The downside, of course, is one little muscle strain can take you out of action for the entire summer. If that happens, you can get the rocking chair ready and spend the warm weather on the sidelines, or you can look for a few off-the grid-ways to get back in the game.

Here’s one muscle pain idea: DMSO

The DMSO story isn’t well known by most Americans, including most doctors and medical professionals. Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) is a by-product of the papermaking industry. Discovered in Germany back in 1800s century, the sulfur substance became the subject of intense scientific interest because it’s ability to penetrate membranes, including skin.

Scientists found DMSO to be a remarkable “transportation device” that carries small molecules rapidly through membranes.  Since then, experts have discovered many benefits as well as risks associated with using DMSO to treat all kinds of conditions. Researchers continue to study this remarkable substance for that very reason.

The Basics:

DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) is a clear, colorless, slightly oily liquid that carries a bit of sulfur smell. As stated, it possesses the unique property of quickly moving small molecules into the skin’s fatty membranes and then into the bloodstream. Research has also proven it to be efficacious in many different health applications. DMSO by itself can reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain. It can quicken the healing process, preserve tissue, and it can be a godsend to individuals suffering from acute pain. DMSO can relieve severe pain, typically from sports injuries, in as little as 5 minutes to half an hour.

In Addition to muscle pain, here are a few other potential applications.

athletic injuries
back pain and disc problems
cancer pain
cardiovascular diseases
cerebral edema
fractures (pain)
frozen shoulder
gouty arthritis
interstitial cystitis
joint pain
multiple sclerosis
muscle spasms, including nighttime muscle cramps
Peyronie’s disease
phantom limb pain
post-operative pain
pruritis ani
respiratory disorders
rheumatoid arthritis
sprains, strains
trauma injuries
urinary tract disorders
varicose veins
It’s important to understand that DMSO is not considered a cure by our government for any of the conditions mentioned above.

Off-The-Grid Muscle Pain: Just In Case

Because we live in a fragile and vulnerable society, every forward-thinking and preparation-minded household should have a bottle of 99.9% pure DMSO on hand, just in case you can’t get medical help in a crisis. Health food retailers sell DMSO in both liquid and gel form. Some liquid DMSO preparations come pre-diluted with distilled water. It seems to work best, in most conditions, when you can find it in 70 to 90% concentrations – either 70% DMSO and 30% distilled water, or 90% DMSO and 10% distilled water. (Some healthcare experts classify burns as the only injuries which appear to respond well to a 100% solution.) Also remember, once you dilute DMSO with water, a chemical reaction takes place and the mixture gets warm. Don’t worry though, this is normal.

Spread DMSO straight onto the skin’s surface. Use your fingers or even a cotton ball or swab. Many users suggest dabbing DMSO onto a zone, but rubbing it on has been proven to enhance the absorption time by up to fifty percent. A typical application is 1-3 teaspoons. For acute injuries, apply DMSO every couple of hours for six to eight hours following the injury. For the upcoming five days or along the lines of that, use the product once every 4 to 6 hours.

Important warning. DMSO will carry almost anything into your bloodstream. This is both good and bad. It’s okay if you’re trying to get rid of muscle pain. It’s bad if you expose the DMSO treated area to poisons. Here a sad “real life” example. A farmer had hurt his back earlier in the day. He came back to the house for lunch and while he was there, he treated his injured back area with DMSO. He then took off his shirt and went back to work spraying pesticides on his farm. Long story short, he died tragically because the DMSO carried the farm pesticides into his bloodstream. So be warned… this is powerful stuff.

Many health stores now carry DMSO labeled as “laboratory grade” 99.9% pure. Distributors and manufacturers generally mark DMSO for use as a solvent to avoid FDA issues.

As we look at alternative pain solutions, especially in case of a crisis, it’s important to consider many off-the-grid solutions and using all possible tools at our disposale.

The post Summertime “Muscle Pain” Solutions For Off-The-Grid Living appeared first on Off The Grid News.

Survival Medicine Hour: School Safety Solutions, Fungal Infections, More

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Survival Medicine Hour: School Safety Solutions, Fungal Infections, More



Recently, Joe Alton MD wrote about school safety solutions in the wake of mass killings perpetrated by the disgruntled and deranged. Some of these strategies aren’t expensive, and those that are should make you ask: How much is it worth to save the lives of our young people by aborting these murderers? Find out what simple changes would lead to a much safer environment for our young people in these uncertain times.



Plus, Joe and Amy Alton tackle a questions from a listener in Germany that asks about how to deal with fungal infections in situations where modern pharmaceuticals aren’t available. All this and more on the latest Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy!

To listen, click below:


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

Joe and Amy Alton

The Altons

The Altons

Follow them on twitter @preppershow, Facebook at Doom and Bloom(tm) and YouTube at DrBones NurseAmy Channel, and check out their medical kits, books, and other supplies at store.doomandbloom.net!

Some Alton medical kits


Free PDF: General Chemistry for Colleges (1916)

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General Chemistry for Colleges was written by Alexander Smith, Professor of Chemistry and Head of the Department at Columbia University.  It was published in New York in 1916. As the Author states in his preface: The present work differs from the Author’s “Introduction to General Inorganic Chemistry” in being intended for pupils who can devote less time to the study of the science, and whose needs can be satisfied by a less extensive course. It resembles the larger work in the arrangement of the contents and in the general method of treatment. The matter, and particularly the theoretical matter, however,

The post Free PDF: General Chemistry for Colleges (1916) appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Wilderness Survival Mistakes You Should Avoid Making

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The amount of time you spend in a wilderness survival situation will depend on how often you prepare for a wilderness survival situation. While it is important to get out into the woods and practice skills, you must also be careful that these practice sessions don’t turn into survival disasters! With minimal skills you can …

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The post Wilderness Survival Mistakes You Should Avoid Making appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Do You Taste Plastic From Bottled Water Kept In A Hot Car?

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How many of you have kept plastic water bottles in your car during the summer? What does the water taste like after sitting in the heat of a warm or hot vehicle (even after it has cooled down)? Answer: Plastic. Even though today’s plastic water bottles are BPA free, the fact that you can taste plastic after it has warmed up is probably not a very good thing. When these plastic water bottles heat up, something happens which apparently causes molecular leaching into the water to some extent. Note: I’ve never noticed the taste of plastic in water bottles that

Original source: Do You Taste Plastic From Bottled Water Kept In A Hot Car?

How to Make a # 10 Can Oven

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How are you with your hands? You know, it may seem like an old question but what can you do with your hands before they start to blister and bleed. Moreover, how innovative can you be with your mind and what can you fashion from scraps. These skills all lead back to your ability to …

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The post How to Make a # 10 Can Oven appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

A Fresh Look At The Church And Deliverance

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Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could He die, and only by dying could He break the power of the devil, who hadthe power of death.Only in this way could He set free [deliver] all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.  (Hebrews 2:14-15) 

      I’ve made it no secret that I see Jesus’s ministry on earth as the role model [and evidence] for the ministry of Deliverance and Inner Healing. As He stated [and I have reiterated countless times], He “came to set the captives free”. And what did He set us free from? Ultimately, Death and the fear of dying, as the verses in Hebrews state. And why are we subject to Death? It’s the debt we owe God for our sinful nature; paid for by the blood of Christ on the Cross.
     But there are other aspects of the “sin slavery” that He delivers us from, too. We see that in the four Gospels: He is able to deliver us from sickness — sickness that invades the body, the soul, and the spirit. We can be delivered of physical illnesses, demonic torments to our minds and emotions, and wounds to our spirits [caused by our own sins, or those who have sinned against us].
     The Early Church recognized the full spectrum of what Jesus came to do and pay for. But down through the centuries, that message has been diluted and reduced to “being saved from eternal death”. Maybe it’s time we take another [closer] look at what the Bible has to say, and the factors that hinder our belief in the validity of Deliverance today.
     Let me start by saying that I love it when I stumble across the writings or a podcast from another Christ-follower whose revelation from Scripture supports what God has put on my heart. And when that person is unafraid of being criticized for standing up for what he or she believes is God’s Truth [and can back it up with Scripture], then I am willing to listen. So I was excited when I heard a recent show by New York Pastor Alexander Pagani. He is, to say the least, unconventional in his history — born in the Bronx and Saved in prison — just the kind of “misfit” that Jesus found to be so useful in sharing His message. But the Pastor presented a very insightful argument for why the Modern Church has such a problem with Deliverance. And because I have experienced some of the same resistance, I wanted to take another look at our combined experiences and share some of my additional thoughts on the subject.
    Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set us free—not partially, but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past.  Legalism.  I suppose this shouldn’t be such a surprise when one considers that the language of the Bible centers a lot around legal terms — debt; judgment; redemption (The act of freeing someone by paying a purchase price); justification (a legal term that describes a spiritual transaction where God [the JUDGE] declares those who trust in Christ and what He has done for them on the Cross to be acceptable before Him); and of course, “The Law”, which is most purposefully expressed through “the Law of Moses” (the Ten Commandments and includes the many rules of religious observance given in the first five books of the Old Testament).
     But, when considered Biblically, the Law of Moses is quite strict and comes with consequences; it didn’t center around the love of God, from the standpoint that He had to institute some strict boundaries to cleanse the Israelites from the idolatry and paganism they experienced during 430 years in Egypt.  It was a system of religious responses based on human actions. Think, “An eye for an eye”. Deliverance, on the other hand, is a legal exchange, not a religious experience. Today, in the 21st Century, and due to God’s immense love for us, our debt for sin was paid for on the Cross, and our rescue, or deliverance, or redemption are all legal transactions where Jesus trades His Blood for our freedom.  
     But here’s what modern legalism in the Church gets us: we still tend to blame the flesh when it could be a demon contributing to our sin. And here’s how the devil uses that mindset to deceive the Church: he either convinces the Church that he doesn’t exist; or convinces the Church that demons don’t exist. An argument I often hear is that those who believe in Deliverance see a demon around every corner. But I agree with Pastor Pagani, who says, “That warning is misdirected. We don’t blame the devil or demons enough!”
    Once again legalism in the church is a tool that the Enemy uses to corrupt the real legal aspect of our Deliverance. If we accept that “legal ground” is the permission to act, then we Christians need to be cognizant of the grounds by which we legally give the devil the right to act in our lives — among the most prominent are overt SIN; participation in the OCCULT; UNFORGIVENESS; and the LIES we believe from the Enemy. 
     Depression, Doubt, Guilt, Fear, Anger, Shame, Unbelief, Lust, Pornography, Addiction, etc., etc. are all manifestations of legal ground given to the devil. If we want to remove these spiritual strongholds from our lives, then we have to remove the legal ground they claim. How do you do that? By confessing your sins, forgiving debts, renouncing the lies the Enemy whispers, and cancelling those claims in the Name of Jesus and by His Blood. Legalism in the Church will see those defeated seasons in your life as “suffering” for Christ– you must work harder at overcoming your sinful state. But Deliverance, in the true model of Christ, sees Jesus doing the work because of the love of the Father. 
     There is another element in the Church that is closely tied to Legalism when it comes to the role of Deliverance in the Church. It’s called Tradition. I often wonder…. is the Church willing to receive a “fresh wind of revelation”? I am always amazed at the willingness of some Christians to cling to some denominational doctrine that does not speak to the season and age in which we live. Why is it so difficult to consider that God’s revelation has been progressing through the ages? That He reveals more and more of Himself as He blows fresh winds of revelation into our modern circumstances?
     Let me ask you a question … Has how we respond to the common cold progressed or evolved through the years? Do we still prescribe to Ben Franklin’s theory of sleeping naked with the windows open to remove “the putrid air of a closed room” as the way to avoid a cold? Or have we progressed to the use of decongestants, cough suppressants, antihistamines, washing our hands, and doses of Vitamin C as viable solutions? The point I’m trying to make is that if some methods of relieving the common cold are in need of being updated, can we at least agree that our Church models for relieving the effects of sin in our lives may need to be updated, too? 
     Now, let’s go another step or two with this concept. Look how technology has advanced in just our lifetimes. The rapid expansion of technology reaching into our lives has skyrocketed. From the rotary phone of my childhood to the Smartphone that is a mini-computer in your hand, the human race has progressed in their knowledge and abilities. Don’t you think that Satan, who is a counterfeiter, has been able to evolve his methods of spiritual attack to match the speed with which we are learning how to war in the spirit through Deliverance? My point here being that just as we have updated our medical protocols, perhaps we should be paying attention to updating our models of Deliverance, too — that is, if our Church is even doing Deliverance!

     I will tell you that since the Lord brought this ministry to Mark and I a short four years ago, we have seen the discovery of ever more sinister ways in which the devil and his demons have contrived to keep people in bondage. Simply rebuking a demon and casting it out may not be enough anymore to stop the devil’s torment. Just as mankind is exploring genetic manipulation, so is the Enemy. Just as our wireless devices connect at different frequencies, the devil has found a way to corrupt those frequencies for his evil purposes. I know this may all sound like nothing you’ve read in the Bible, but that’s where we have to make sure that we don’t let the religious mindset of Tradition and traditional understanding leave us unguarded and unprepared to battle in the spirit.
    As Pastor Pagani said in his thick Bronx accent, “Tradition makes us get stuck on the Black letters on the white pages [in the Bible]. The white is the essence of the Bible!” In other words, don’t just cling to the outward appearance of Scripture, but seek to understand the substance; the heart of the passage; the essence! Remember, that when accused of breaking the traditions of the Sabbath by healing a man on that holy day, Jesus’s response was, Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly. 
     We are living in an ever-changing world. And the devil is matching us step for step. He is never going to quit trying to kill, steal, or destroy our lives in Christ. So that means his methods of torment and devouring are advancing as rapidly as our existence. We must be ever mindful to not give up legal ground, or get stuck in outdated traditions that give the Enemy of God the opportunity to take our freedom [in Christ] that our Lord paid for.  It’s not too late to get updated on how to bring in the Lord’s harvest. We laborers can use the help!

Galatians 5:1     “Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set us free—not partially, but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past”.


Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy

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by Todd Walker

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

School is out for summer. Here’s a look in the rear view mirror at our first year of Project Based Learning at RISE Academy.

Our students and staff wish to thank each of you for the encouraging words, moral support, and following our journey of Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance! Below is a pictorial recap (picture-heavy) of the skills, projects, and links to more in-depth posts for those interested in learning these skills.

Cutting Tool Safety and Use

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Carving tent stakes.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Aware of his “blood circle”

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

How to safely chop kindling.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

The draw knife was a hit with the students.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Cutting rounds for “burn and scrape” spoons and bowls.

Related Links:

Outdoor Classroom Construction

Early in the school year, we decided to build an outdoor classroom. Nothing too fancy but functional for our needs. Students used math skills to square corners, learned to read a tape measure (fractions), and lashed the bamboo structure together. Their lashings held fast even through Hurricane Irma.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

A lot of square lashings were tied.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

A few of the crew.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Raising the roof

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

The roof secured

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The Science of Fire

We have a joke around school when I’m asked, “What are we doing today?” My typical response is, “Cutting and burning stuff.” You may not get it, but fire takes center stage in the life of our outdoor classroom. Learning to use fire as a tool is paramount for outdoor living and education.

Fire by Friction

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Double teaming the bow drill.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

A hand drill coal blown into flame.

Related Links: 

Fire by Spark Ignition

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Birthing fire from flint and steel

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Practicing flint and steel ignition under an emergency tarp.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Ferro rod fire in the rain

Related Link: 

Fire by Solar Ignition

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Mr. Andrews demonstrating solar ignition

Practical Tools and Crafts

Burn and Scrape Containers

This may be the most mesmerizing of all the skills students learned.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Showing off burned bowls.

Bark Containers

Students used Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) bark to craft traditional containers.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Stitching sides with artificial sinew.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

A grape-vine was used as the rim on this basket.

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Hoko Knife

A simple way to introduce primitive technology to students is to make a Hoko knife. This stone cutting tool was discovered on the Hoko River archeological site in Washington State. A landslide destroyed the native fishing village about 2,700 years ago preserving artifacts of their material culture.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

The flint flake compressed in a split stick with natural cordage.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Some were wrapped with modern cordage (tarred mariner’s line).

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Pine Pitch Glue

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Pine pitch, charcoal, and a variety of containers to hold the glue.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Crushed charcoal added to the mix.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Heating the pitch glue low and slow.

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Natural Cordage

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Reverse twist cordage from cattail leaves.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Cordage made from a variety of natural materials.

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What’s an atlatl?

A simple dart-throwing stick with a handle on one end and spur (male end) or socket (female end) on the other end. The dart, a flexible spear, mates with the spur/socket when thrown. Typically about two feet long, an atlatl employs leverage to extend the arm’s length to propel a dart further and with more velocity than when thrown using only the arm.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Notice the bend in the dart shaft when thrown.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

She was proud of her accurate throws.

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Campfire Cooking

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Cooking over an open fire.

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Ms. Byrd enjoying s’mores before Christmas break.

Related Link:

I’ve also created a RISE Academy Playlist on our YouTube channel. if you’d like to see our students Doing the Stuff, click on the video link below:

Many Thanks!

The things we have to learn before we do them, we learn by doing them.

~ Aristotle

We cannot thank you enough for all the support and encouragement you’ve given our students whom you’ve never met! The full impact of this journey in experiential education may never be known. It’s difficult to quantify. But you can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voice.

Some of you have asked how you might help in more tangible ways. Stay tuned for updates on becoming a partner/sponsor with RISE Academy. Until then…

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

~ Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestYouTubeInstagram, and Facebook… and over at our Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there…

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright © by Survival Sherpa: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Photo and Video Credits: Many of the photos were taken by Mr. Chris Andrews (teacher) and various RISE students. Video footage was shot mainly by students and guided by Mr. Michael Chapman (teacher).

Our First Year of Building Self-Reliance Skills at RISE Academy ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Prepping for Disaster: 10 Must-Have Items Everyone Forgets

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Written by Kylie Sophia Fitch Emergency preparedness is more important than ever. You don’t need to live in Tornado Alley to prepare for a disaster or home emergency—they can strike anyone, anywhere. In fact, a survey conducted by Allstate in 2014 found that 92% of Americans have survived a natural disaster of some kind. But despite the frequency of these events, fewer than 10% of Americans have taken basic preparedness steps like practicing an evacuation. After a disaster strikes, it’s […]

The post Prepping for Disaster: 10 Must-Have Items Everyone Forgets appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

Class of ’93

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I did not like high school and I would not have went to my class of ’93 graduation if I could have gotten my diploma otherwise – They refused to tell me if I would even have one in the folder – said I would have to come to find out…. Anyway, the feeling was mutual between the administration and myself. They gave me a diploma so I could leave town and join the Marines… I wanted very badly to be in Explosive Ordnance Disposal, but after my timed firework display I ended up as a Tank Mechanic. The laughing

The post Class of ’93 appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

First Aid in Case of Electric Shock

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest contribution from Preston Felix to The Prepper Journal on a topic we could all face in everyday life or in a disaster. And, as always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

Electrical injuries can be devastating. An electric shock can cause extensive damage to the body both externally and to the organs. In severe cases, death is immediate. In all others, it is imperative to get the victim the help they need immediately. Not only do they need quick transport to a hospital, the first responders quick actions can mean the difference between recovery and devastation.

What makes all of this even more complicated is that helping an electric shock victim can be extremely hazardous. If the electrical source is still active, entering the area or touching the victim could result in another injured person. If you are helping a shock victim, take these steps first to protect yourself.

FIRST: Assess the area to make sure you will not come in contact with the electrical source when approaching the victim

Second: Shut off the electrical source if it can be done safely

Third: Be careful if the victim is still in contact with the electrical source. Do not touch them with your bare hands. Use a non conducting object that is made of wood, cardboard or plastic to move them away from the source. 

Once you have done this, call 911 or ask someone to do so, in fact order someone to call – never assume that someone has called 911. They may be making the same assumption as well. Report everything you can to the 911 operator, including any hazards that remain in the area.

Assess The Patient And Begin CPR if Needed


First check for responsiveness. If they are unconscious, shake them and shout out at them. If they are not responsive check for a heart rate and breathing. If needed, start CPR right away. Do not stop once you start unless the person begins breathing on their own and shows a pulse. When they arrive, an EMT or paramedic will take over from you.

CPR is an important skill that everyone should have. If you are not certified contact your local fire station or hospital to see if they offer classes. If it’s been awhile since you have certified, consider taking a refresher course. CPR techniques have changed throughout the years.

When you administer CPR you give a shock victim the opportunity to survive until they can be seen by medical professionals. You may also be able to stave off long term, devastating injuries such as brain damage from lack of oxygen. There are certainly no guarantees, but your quick action makes survival much more likely.

Assess And Treat For Other Injuries following the ABC – Airways, bleeding and circulation.

Helping With Other Injuries

Next you want to be concerned with shock, internal injuries, burns, bleeding, seizures, and respiratory issues. Since you are not a medical professional you cannot do much about internal injuries. However, you can be aware that they may exist. A patient who appears fine may suddenly deteriorate due to organ failure or internal bleeding. The same applies with respiratory issues. Monitor for them and be ready to use mouth to mouth resuscitation. Be prepared.

You can help with shock, burns, bleeding, and seizures. First, deal with any severe bleeding. A patient may be losing blood from the shock injury itself or the resulting fall. Apply pressure to wounds. If the bleeding involves an extremity, try to hold the limb so that it is elevated above the heart. Do not use a tourniquet unless you are absolutely confidence that it is needed and you know exactly what you are doing.

An electrical shock victim is in real danger of going into shock. This can be deadly. Have the victim lay down. Prop their feet slightly if possible. Keep them calm. Be watchful for signs like sweating or cold clammy skin.

If the injured person has seizures. Don’t attempt to hold them down or anything similar. Instead, move any dangerous objects out of their way so they do not strike their head or otherwise injure themselves. Be prepared to tell medical professionals the number, type, and duration of seizures the patient has.

The shock victim will almost certainly have burns. If they are severely injured, you will likely be too busy to attend to burns. If the burn is minor treat it as any other burn.

If they are more severe, be careful. You could make things worse. Don’t use water or ice. Don’t apply medication or ointment. Don’t attempt to remove clothes from a burn victim. Don’t cover the victim with a towel or blanket. Instead, use a sterile bandage to cover burned skin that is exposed. Then wait for the professionals to come. You may loosen or cut away clothing that is not touching the burn injury.

Victims Who Appear Uninjured


In some cases, the victim of electric shock may claim to feel fine. Insist that they be checked out anyway. While being awake and feeling okay are good signs, there could be internal injuries that have not manifested yet. Keep the victim calm and still until they can be assessed by a professional. It is better to get the all clear than not to have pursued help at all. Do not allow a victim to drive or leave without getting help. They may have hidden injuries. Stay with them until you know for sure.

Be Aware of Long Term Impacts

Electrical shock can result in cardiac issues, concussions, post concussion syndrome, and other issues. If you are responsible for caring for someone after an electric shock injury, encourage them to follow through with their own provider for more information. Their doctor may want to assess them when they find out about the shock injury.

Conclusion: Prevention is Key

The various types of electric shock injury can be horrifying in their severity. This is truly an injury where prevention is key. Learn to recognize and avoid electrical hazards. Keep your workplace and home safe. Insist that everyone behaves appropriately around electricity as well. Nobody is too young to learn about electrical safety.

Keep electrical items at home or on the job in good shape. If you have to work with electricity, turn off breakers and follow other precautions.

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The post First Aid in Case of Electric Shock appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Kydex Vs Leather Holsters For IWB Carry

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Carrying a gun is a serious decision. It Should never be taken lightly. Every detail including training and licensing has been completed. You have considered the size, brand, and caliber carefully before even carrying and concealing your weapon. How much time did you put into picking the right holster? Most people spend their time learning about their gun and what type of bullets are best for home defense. Hopefully after that practicing is at the top of this list before you start carrying. Next is to simply pick a holster at random ignoring the very thing protecting your weapon, your

The post Kydex Vs Leather Holsters For IWB Carry appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Survival Pistols & Fortification!

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Survival Pistols & Fortification
Host: Dane… “The Gunmetal Armory” Audio player provided!

This episode the GMA we hit the ground running, probably trip, and fall on our faces. But then we get back up and give you a great show.

We are talking about Survival Pistols, moreover, which pistols are ideally suited for a survival situation, for an armory, and which ones are best for a long term apocalyptic scenario.

Continue reading Survival Pistols & Fortification! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

10 Survival Skills You Need To Know

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A camping trip is not only a fascinating journey with a fun company, guitars, and tents. Any pedestrian tour, even short and easy is a trial of physical and spiritual forces, first of all. Civilization has turned a human into an over-subtle creature unable to survive in severe conditions of wild nature. The modern traveler … Read more…

The post 10 Survival Skills You Need To Know was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.