Conflicted – Proving Himself – What Would You Do?

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CONFLICTED SURVIVAL GAME:

BEFORE THE SHTF!

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

 

SCENARIO – You and your group have been surviving well after the collapse, but other people weren’t so lucky.  From time to time, someone finds your group and begs for food.

Today, however, a man is asking for a test to prove himself worthy to be part of your group.  What would you tell him?

 

READ: Without this, All Your Preps and Training are for Naught During SHTF

 

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

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

 

Peace,
Todd

 

7 Tips to Survive a Chemical Weapons Attack

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Have you ever thought about how you could improve your chances of surviving a chemical weapons attack? Chemical attacks have become all too common recently, with the chemical attack strikes in Syria by the Assad regime, the inherent risks of chemical weapons attacks and exposures have become magnified […]

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Off-Grid Anvil, Man’s Oldest and Most Valuable Tool

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Did you know that we were using anvils in the stone age? What an amazing thing to consider. Of course they were made of, well, stone but having that hard surface to work on was a very important thing for man through the ages. There are many benefits that come along with owning and anvil …

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Recovering A Liver Shot Deer

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In the event that you’ve shot a deer previously while hunting, you’re most likely comfortable with the general grouping of occasions. Going from shooting the liver to the recovery of the liver can take negligible hours, depending on several points. It’s dependably a probability that we could lose a sight of the injured liver, which will lead to many sleepless nights. This guide will help you in recovering a liver shot deer so you can increase your reputation by becoming a better hunter. Tracking Stages Ideally, for your sake, you are going through this article before you make the shot.

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Easiest Way to Cut Bamboo

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I have been collecting bamboo for a new dome at the land, and hand cutting it was SLOW.  I decided to try my weed-eater with the blade attachment with the blade pictured to the left and I found it was the easiest way to cut bamboo that I know. I haven’t found a faster way to cut bamboo, and it allows me to cut the stobs of bamboo very close to the ground so that I don’t step all over them and trip. Once my bamboo dries out and stops shrinking I am going to cut rings of PVC and

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Making a Foam Gun (playing with foam)

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I have been researching cement options for my new bamboo dome, I wanted something lightweight to cover it, and having something cheap would also help. I quickly found a lot of information on using a small amount of cement slurry mixed with a very thick soap foam could create a product called aircrete. Aircrete has been known and used as an expensive specialty product for nearly 100 years, but a recently a couple of innovators have build (and sell plans and parts) to make DIY foam guns for the small builder. Basically you need an air compressor, a reservoir and

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Free PDF: Wrinkles Hints to Sportsmen and Travelers

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Wrinkles Hints to Sportsmen and Travelers is an interesting book on outdoor dress, equipment and camplife in 1874. The Introduction of the book says this: Having been often applied to for information concerning the most suitable Dress, the most efficient Arms, and the best equipment for a Sportsman, I have endeavored, in the following pages, to concentrate my ideas on these points for the benefit of the uninitiated. I have also added a description of the different modes of hunting the fiercer denizens of the Forest, and sundry practical hints upon traveling and campaigning, that may be useful to those

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Free PDF: Wrinkles Hints to Sportsmen and Travelers

Wrinkles Hints to Sportsmen and Travelers is an interesting book on outdoor dress, equipment and camplife in 1874. The Introduction of the book says this: Having been often applied to for information concerning the most suitable Dress, the most efficient Arms, and the best equipment for a Sportsman, I have endeavored, in the following pages, to concentrate my ideas on these points for the benefit of the uninitiated. I have also added a description of the different modes of hunting the fiercer denizens of the Forest, and sundry practical hints upon traveling and campaigning, that may be useful to those

The post Free PDF: Wrinkles Hints to Sportsmen and Travelers appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Yogurt Starter Cultures – Pack of 3 Freeze-dried Culture Sachets for Pure Acidophilus Yogurt

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I have made yogurt before, but this is the first time I used a commercial starter.  Last time I just used left over yogurt.  I found this three pack of yogurt starter culture for 4.50 on amazon (prime so no shipping). This pure bacterial blend of cultures was made in laboratory environment away from additives, maltodextrin, gluten and GMO foods.  It is suitable for vegans, and those on those on the SCD diet. I like it because it is very inexpensive, is good quality, and can be re-cultured indefinitely.  In my thermophillic culture video I show how. I tried a

The post Yogurt Starter Cultures – Pack of 3 Freeze-dried Culture Sachets for Pure Acidophilus Yogurt appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Bolt Rifle vs. Semi-Auto Rifle: Which Option Is Better For Precision?

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Our rifles are important. Ever since their inception humans have kept a rifle close because of the great balance that it provides. Imagine, with one weapon we balanced the scales against nature, invasion and despotic governments. It is  for this reason the rifle is with us all the time and still remains an important part …

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Building Community? Warning Signs of People to Avoid

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 There is a fair amount of talk within the prepper/survivalist community about building community.  Much of this talk revolves around how to find folks to build community with. In this article I want to come at the idea of community from a different direction – who you need to exclude from your community and why. Almost nothing will doom a group faster than a toxic or disruptive individual. Avoid the following problem folks (even if they are your wife’s cousin). 

Warning Signs of People to Avoid
1- Addictions.   Addictions of any kind – drugs, alcohol, gambling, TV, etc – are a MAJOR warning sign.  These people are not in control of their lives – their addiction is in control. They will create chaos and ultimately be a danger to other group members. Avoid anyone with any form of addiction. Pray for them. Offer to help them find assistance in overcoming their addiction. But do not make them a part of your group until they have successfully and completely overcome their addiction.


2- Mental Illness.  I’m not referring to people who are a little unusual, or that “march to a different drummer.” Rather, I’m referring to those individuals who have actual long-term mental health issues. Avoid them. Remember, at some point during the crisis, their meds will run out. Besides, the stress and chaos of a crisis will likely make their illness even more serious. This might seem heartless, but including them in the group will put everyone else in the group at risk. You can help people without making them part of your group. Pray for them. Help them find assistance and treatment for their illness before a crisis hits.  But, don’t bring them into the group until their mental health issue is brought under control without the need for drugs.

But what about my 8-year-old son who has epilepsy? What about my 77-year-old Mother who has Alzheimer’s? I am not telling you to abandon close family members who need help. You will need to make special accommodations to your plans for them, but don’t abandon them. This advice is about bringing in strangers and other outsiders into your group. Your first responsibility is your household, family & true friends, not strangers or even distant relations.


3- Bizarre or Unusual Requests Early On.   If you are just getting to know someone and they suddenly hit you with a bizarre or very unusual request, tread carefully. These people don’t understand boundaries, and probably have additional underlying problems. 

Examples of bizarre requests might be to borrow a significant sum of money, or to keep a major secret they inexplicably told you about, or to quickly make a serious commitment, or to do something illegal or unethical. Those are the type of requests you might make of a life-long best friend, not of someone you have only recently met. Beware.

4- Dishonesty.  Its one thing (and probably a good thing) to be guarded with personal information, and concerned with maintaining privacy.  We should all be that way. However, it is something else entirely to outright lie. Don’t expect someone to completely open up to you and tell you everything about their life, especially early on. But you should expect them to be honest in what they do tell you. 

5- Chaos in Their Personal Life.  A lack of stability in their life may be a major warning sign.  If they bounce in and out of work often or spend large stretches of time unemployed  – it is probably a bad sign. Same goes for other areas of their lives – friendships, relationships, living arrangements, and so on. Do they bounce in and out of relationships often? Does their life seem full of drama where things seem to constantly go wrong and they always seem to have problems of one sort or another? A chaotic life now will certainly carry over to a chaotic life after SHTF,  Of course context matters, so use common sense. Anyone can be laid off from work, or go through a rough patch in their relationships.  However, constant chaos is not normal.  Look for trends within their life, not one time events.

6- Don’t Share Your Values and Worldview.  If they don’t share your same worldview, values, and religious & political beliefs, then they won’t be a good fit for your group or community. Minor differences of opinion are okay, but major differences on important topics will hinder group dynamics. In fact, a major crisis or SHTF event will only exacerbate these differences. 
——————

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Best Inflatable Fishing Boats On The Market Right Now

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Inflatable Fishing BoatsThe Ultimate Guide To Inflatable Fishing Boats

When I was a kid, our fishing options were limited.

We could fish from the bank or drag our old aluminum Jon boat from the barn out to the pond.

And if our aspirations took us farther than the farm pond, we had to get help.

It took at least two strong adults to lift the boat to the top of my parent’s minivan and strap it down for the ride.

Once we arrived, it was time to wrestle the boat out to the water.

By the time we finished loading and launching, we’d made enough noise to scare all the fish in the lake.

Every time, I thought, “there has to be a better way!”

The past few summers, I’ve been doing my fishing from inflatable fishing boats.

The versatility, access, and cost have finally allowed me to fish remote, awe-inspiringly ponds and lakes.

All without the headaches of a Jon boat!

So in this article, we’re going to deep dive into inflatable fishing boats, specifically:

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

An Inflatable Boat For Fishing

WHAT EXACTLY IS AN INFLATABLE FISHING BOAT?


An inflatable fishing boat is a fairly simple idea but it comes in many shapes, forms, and sizes.

Some are glorified innertubes. Other’s have a nice set of oars. While some can support a small outboard motor.

For example, there are:

  • Float Tubes
  • Stand Up Paddle Boards
  • Sit On Top Kayaks
  • Sit Inside Kayaks
  • Small Pontoon Boats
  • Rafts
  • Dinghys

These are all inflatable boats, but as you can tell, they are very different in design. As long as it is a boat that you fill up with air – it’s considered inflatable (no matter the design).

However, for it to be an inflatable fishing boat, it must also have design features with fishermen in mind.

The truth is, you can fish in anything from an old inner tube to a fully rigged whitewater raft.

So that’s what an inflatable fishing boat is – an inflatable boat made for fishing.

Man Fighting Fish In Inflatable Boat

5 GREAT REASONS TO GET AN INFLATABLE FISHING BOAT


1 – Lightweight & Portable

The most obvious reason is the lightweight and portable construction.

NO more struggling to get a small aluminum fishing boat out of the garage.

Imagine carrying a package the size of a large duffle bag to the next fishing hole.

STOP wrestling a Jon boat on top of the car.

Just toss that duffle bag into the trunk with your survival tent and other weekend camping gear; easy!

And if you’re into survival and preparedness, you can put your inflatable boat in your bug out vehicle. No separate trailer necessary.

2 – Skip The Busy Boat Ramp

Speaking of traveling, they make driving far easier and keeps your boat safer during travel.

SKIP the busy parking at a boat ramp.

No more wait your turn to get down to the water. Instead, go straight to the beach with your pump and get started!

Never waste an hour (or more) in the parking lot again; get fishing within minutes of arrival.

3 – Gain Your Driveway / Garage Space Back

Between fishing trips, a conventional fishing boat takes up a lot of storage space.

Inflatable fishing boats can pack down to a size that fits under the bed, in a spare closet, or on a shelf in the garage.

This means you can stop filling up your driveway or garage with a boat and trailer.

Even apartment dwellers can have a fishing boat at the ready for a weekend trip to the lake!

4 – They Don’t Scare The Fish Away

Lastly, there’s one benefit a lot of people overlook.

Inflatable fishing boats are QUIET!

If you drop something in the bottom of an aluminum boat, every fish in the lake will hear that bang.

Some fish easily startle.

Any unexpected noise can cause them to stop biting and to seek calmer, quieter areas.

But, if you drop something in an inflatable fishing boat, it quietly bounces.

The same goes for any rocks or logs you happen to bump into – no loud bang, just gentle a bounce.

5 – Very Affordable (especially for a fishing boat)

Lastly, most inflatables are much less expensive than conventional fishing boats.

If you’re just getting into boat fishing, it’s hard to justify the cost of a $15,000 bass boat.

But there are inflatable options for nearly every budget.

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

Inflatable Boat For Sea Fishing

KEY FEATURES OF INFLATABLE FISHING BOATS


There are some specific features common to fishing inflatables.

Understanding these features will help you narrow down your choices.

On Board Storage

Every regular fisherman knows fishing takes knowledge, patience, and the proper gear.

Sure, you can get away with a single rod, line, hook, and worm. But you increase your chances of success with more options.

Local bait shops understand this.

That’s why they offer thousands of different fishing options:

  • Rods (various lengths, and rod strength)
  • Line (different test weights, materials)
  • Bait/Hooks (live baits, artificial baits)
  • Tools (plyers, live wells, etc.)

Even the flyfishing purists can get loaded down with gear. Filling all their vest pockets with various flies, line clippers, and other odds and ends.

Managing all this gear in a boat can be a challenge. So the best fishing inflatables have storage built into the boat.

At the very least, rod holders keep your expensive rods and reels clear of the oars. And they also allow you to have a troll line out as you paddle.

Extra zipper compartments are great for small items. While a roll-top drybag or watertight box can keep your keys, wallet, and camera safe.

You’ll also want to have room for an emergency survival kit and key survival gear. Especially if you plan to fish alone in the remote wilderness.

Stability

It’s far easier to fight an active fish if you can stand up and move around a bit.

For this reason, the better inflatables are designed for stability.

This often means a broader beam to prevent a sideways roll.

This stability allows you to shift your weight from one edge to the other without capsizing.

It can also mean the boat paddles a little slower than a narrower profile boat.

But it’s a price most fishermen gladly pay to avoid falling in the drink while fighting their catch.

Maneuverability

When you’re out on the water, being able to maneuver the boat quickly can help in a wide range of situations.

In general, a shorter length boat will turn more rapidly and with less effort.

This allows you to slip around trees and work your way through twisting channels in the weeds in calm lakes.

Or it can help you dodge rocks and strainers if you choose to fish whitewater rivers.

Without a doubt, shorter boats can’t reach the same speeds as longer boats.

But being able to steer clear of obstacles – saving you from an unexpected swim!

Durability

The vinyl used in discount stores inflatable boats is incredibly thin. The material struggles to stand up to fishing excursions.

Hooks, fish spines, sharp rocks, and even the gravel on a launch pad can spell disaster for those weak materials.

The best fishing inflatables are made of heavy-duty materials.

They are often reinforced with fabric, to withstand the abuse of fishing.

Yet, even so, compared to an aluminum boat, you must treat an inflatable boat with a bit more caution.

So shouldn’t drop, drag, slam, beat, kick your inflatable like you can a Jon boat.

And while they are not as indestructible as aluminum boats, they will last with a bit of care.

Also, keep a patch kit handy, just in case.. Especially if your favorite fishing hole happens to have lots of sharp rocks or submerged logs.

These obstacles can poke a hole at an inopportune time.

INFLATABLE FISHING BOAT TYPES (with recommendations)


The market for inflatable fishing boats is growing fast. Which is great but all those options come with much confusion.

It seems like there are as many inflatable fishing boat options as there are fishermen.

But the right inflatable fishing boat for you depends on a number of factors:

  • The type of water (pond, lake, river, ocean)
  • Fishing technique (bobber, casting, fly)
  • Group size (single, family)
  • Kind of fish (catfish, bluegill, bass)

Float Tube Fishing Boat

When fishing solo in flat water or gentle streams, a float tube is a great option.

Float tube models range from a covered inner tube to a more modern U-shaped tube.

This design offers a wide range of seat options, rod and gear storage, and safety features.

In this inflatable fishing boat, you sit up to your waist in the water in a seat suspended inside the tubes.

Since much of your body is in the water the whole time, a float tube is best for warm waters. However, cooler water fishing is possible if you wear waders with the float tube.

Float tubes are among the lightest and most portable fishing inflatables.

Making them popular among fishermen in backcountry lakes.

One drawback of the float tube -you propel the boat by kicking your feet. This leaves you with limited maneuverability.

Any sort of current can make things a real challenge and expect slow progress in calm waters.


Classic Accessories Cumberland Inflatable Fishing Float Tube

This is one of the best float tube fishing boats for backpacking into the remote wilderness!

Why? First off, it has a 350-pound max capacity, but only weighs 14 lbs.

That means it’s ideal to take along to the remote backwaters. It even comes with adjustable carrying straps.

This inflatable tube rig also has a thick padded seat with an adjustable backrest. Keeping you comfortable and your main body up out of the water. 

There’s also 2 fishing rod holders and 2  large cargo pockets.

Plus, it’s tough as hell.

Because it has an Abrasion-resistant PVC bottom and hydrodynamic hull shape.

Finally, there’s a large mesh stripping apron right in front of you. So you can work on your line and lure with ease. It includes an integrated fish ruler as well.

Check Out Today’s Price




Stand Up Paddleboard Fishing Boat

Yes, you can fish from a stand-up paddleboard (SUP). But you must have an exceptional balance to pull off the feat.

For those gifted individuals, the SUP provides lightweight, portable fishing. Nearly as much as a float tube.

But this options provides some real advantages over a float tube.

It gives you a higher viewpoint, better propulsion, and less contact with the water (if you don’t fall off)!

Some SUPs come with rod holders, others rely on accessory rod holders.

It’s popular to have a small waterproof deck bag on the nose of the board for gear, keys, etc.

SUPs are great for flat water. But, there are some designs made for rivers, with shorter, more maneuverable shapes.


Aqua Marina Drift Fishing Inflatable Stand-up Paddle Board

The Aqua Marina Inflatable SUP is made with anglers in mind.

This rig is more stable than your regular stand up paddle board because it has 2 independent side chambers. 

It has built-in rod holders and elastic bungee cords to keep your tackle box secure.

Finally, you also get a fishing cooler with this SUP. The cooler is the perfect size and height for this paddle board and also has a built-in seat.

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Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 Inflatable FishSUP

This decked out fishing paddle board is the top of the line in the inflatable SUPs for fishermen.

Once inflated, this rig is 12’6″ long, 40″ wide and 6″ thick. Making it extremely buoyant and stable.

The deck size provides a huge surface area to get your rod ready and to fight aggressive fish.

It’s a lightweight fishing machine you can roll up and fit into a backpack! 

But you can also add your own small trolling motor and it even includes a swivel seat.

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Sit On Top Kayak Fishing Boat

One of the most popular kayak styles for fishing, a sit-on-top.

This type of inflatable fishing boat as the distinct advantage of being able to recover if you tip over.

That’s because the boat has no real “interior.”

Just flip a sit-on-top upright and climb back inside without having to bail water.

For those new to kayaking, this makes it far easier to feel confident. Since you can self-rescue if something happens on the water.

They’re also more maneuverable than float tubes or SUPs, especially in river waters. But they’re not designed for intense rapids.

The main drawback being you’re in constant, direct contact with water.

So cold water fishing can be uncomfortable without a wetsuit.

But, for warm water, gentle river fishing, you won’t do much better than a sit-on-top kayak!


Sevylor QuickPak Coverless Sit-On-Top Kayak

This grab-and-go kayak only takes 5 minutes to set up.

It measures at 8 feet 7 inches in length and 3 feet wide. Allowing it to hold up to 400 lbs.

Don’t worry about this rig leaking due to it’s integrated”Airtight System” design.

Finally, it comes with dual tracking fins for easier maneuverability!

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Sit Inside Kayak Fishing Boat

If your fishing trends more towards rivers and some rapids, a sit-inside kayak is a great solution.

Some sit-inside boats are designed with a self-bailing floor. These can shed water after capsizing.

This makes it easier to get back inside and under control after capsizing.

They’re usually more stable than other kayaks since the paddler sits lower in the boat.

It also has higher sides and more floatation for whitewater.


Elkton Outdoors 2 Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak

This inflatable kayak is set up for fishing on just about any water – calm or rough.

This 2 person inflatable kayak can be ready in minutes. And blows up to 9 feet 8 inches in length and nearly 3 feet in width.

This kayak is made with 18 gauge rip resistant 1000D PVC.

Making it highly resistant to tearing due to fishing hooks or sharp obstacles.

Plus, it includes the following accessories:

  • 2 adjustable seats
  • 6-rod holders (2 verticles / 4 trolling)
  • 2 sets of double-sided oars
  • a double action pump with a carry bag

Finally, with 3 separate removable air chambers, you can quickly make adjustments or repairs.

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Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak

This sit inside inflatable kayak is made from 24 gauge PVC construction. It also has a tarpaulin bottom and polyester cover.

Multiple chambers mean you won’t sink if one of the chambers gets punctured.

However, with Sevylor’s “Airtight System” it’s guaranteed not to leak!

This is an excellent kayak to customize and add all your favorite fishing accessories.

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Pontoon Fishing Boat

This is a hybrid between a catamaran and a whitewater raft.

A pontoon is a GREAT option for fishing while on your next whitewater adventure!

The wide stance of the cataraft provides a considerable amount of stability. And the rowing frame allows for exceptional maneuverability and lots of gear storage.

Often enough storage for overnight camping gear.

Many come with accessory bags and even coolers and dry boxes!

Catarafts are bulky. They’re also cost more versus other inflatable fishing boats.

But for the right person, the benefits far outweigh these concerns.

A cataraft sits above the water. This makes it ideal for all water temps and most whitewater conditions.

They’re also far more comfortable for the rower than other inflatables. Since they include a well-supported seat and footrests for leverage.

Some pontoons even come with an anchor!

That way you can position yourself for excellent fishing, even in a strong current.


Classic Accessories Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon Boat

This impressive rig comes with a seat mount and adjustable footrest to accommodate everyone; short or tall.

It has a versatile rod holder that can be mounted in six different positions.

This pontoon rig is tough due to its powder-coated steel tube frame.

You also get two – 7-foot aluminum oars to help you navigate choppy rapids.

Hold your position even in fast currents with a smart anchor system that includes pulley controls.

Finally, store all your gear and supplies in the rear storage platform, 2 insulated drink holders, and 20 pockets!

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Aquos Inflatable Pontoon Boat

This is one hell of a fishing pontoon boat with an aluminum desk for standing; ideal for the bass fisherman out there.

This impressive rig features a large platform. Big enough for two anglers, yet still packs up easily and can fit into a car. So no trailer needed!

It has four individual chambers (including the two extra reinforced chambers) to provide exceptional buoyancy. 

This is enough stability to allow two anglers to stand on the same side; it won’t capsize.

With full-size aluminum floorboards and stainless steel guard bar, this fishing boat can be modified as much as you desire.

It comes with a  360-degree swivel seat. One that offers plenty of back support and generous cushions.

Finally, you can (and should) add a motor to this inflatable fishing boat. It has an engine capacity of up to 6 hp and a 79 pounds maximum weight.

Check Out Today’s Price



Raft Fishing Boat

If you’re fishing with more than one person, it’s difficult to find a small inflatable that fits everyone.

At this point, you have to get a bit larger, and the choice often leads to rafts.

Unfortunately, rafts tend to be the most variable in construction and durability. From sub-$100 boats to whitewater rafts costing over $5000.

You can find different rafts at nearly any price point.

For a few days a summer on a calm lake, many of the lower price rafts may suit your needs.

If you spend weeks every year on rougher waters, you’ll find durability issues on the lower end of the spectrum.

In this case, you’ll want to upgrade to a whitewater raft with a rowing frame.

You can even get a fishing platform frame for many of the specialty whitewater rafts.

These specialty rafts provide balance and a stable platform for casting and fighting.

These higher-end rafts also come at a weight cost.

One of the most important reasons for getting an inflatable fishing boat in the first place.

But the can still make sense for the right person, just make sure to account for that before you get one.


Intex Seahawk 4, 4-Person Inflatable Boat

This boat can fit up to 4, making it perfect to take the family fishing out on a lake.

Overall it measures 11 feet by 4 feet and can hold up to 814 pounds!

It’s made with super-tough 30-gauge PVC vinyl.

Making its construction resists abrasion and impacts.

Includes 2 air chambers for safety and 2 fishing rod holders at the rear.

It comes with welded oarlocks, oar holders, and a set of oars.

Or mount a small motor to the back of this boat instead.

Between the low price of this raft and the ability to customize it – it an awesome entry rig.

Check Out Today’s Price




AIRE Tributary Twelve HD Self-Bailing Raft

Maybe you need something even bigger. Then you’ll need this beast of an inflatable raft!

This raft is 12 feet 4 inches long and 5 feet wide – allowing it to hold up to 6 – 200 lbs. adults.

The welded PVC outer shell seams and the internal urethane bladders are the foundation of this highly durable self-bailing raft.

Three main tube air chambers provide a safety margin in case of an accident, and zippered tubes allow for easy access to the bladders in case repairs are needed.

This is more of a whitewater raft than a fishing rig but, it can fit a large group in choppy water.

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Dinghy

Finally, there are inflatable dinghy’s if you need extreme power propulsion.

This is an excellent option for larger lakes and coastal waters.

These inflatables are designed to hold a small to medium outboard motor on a rigid transom.

Many also include a reinforced floor, solid thwarts, and seats.

Plus, some have full oarlocks for rowing in close quarters or if you run out of gas.

Dinghies keep the occupants relatively dry – far more so than most inflatables.

This alone makes them the best bet for cold, coastal ocean waters.

Many designs also feature several grip points and rope handles,

These help swimmers get back into the boat in an emergency.

Inflatable dinghy designs rarely seem to have fishing specific features. However, most support accessory rod holders and other add-ons.

Due to their agility in harbors, inflatable dinghies are favorite tenders for sailboats.

They can land and launch from all but the steepest beaches, which can be helpful in an emergency.


Goplus 2 or 4-Person Inflatable Dinghy Boat 

You can get this Dinghy in a 7.5-foot or 10-foot configuration.

This inflatable dinghy is made of 3 layers of 0.9mm PVC making it saline-alkali and sunshine resistance.

It includes a wooden hard deck for standing and can hold up to 400 lbs.

It has 3 separate chambers for safety in case one gets damaged.

Other features include:

  • a light keel
  • marine plywood transom mounts
  • thick anti-collision strips (around the entire boat)
  • marine sealant to resist leaks
  • heavy duty grab and go rope

You can mount up to a 10 HP motor on this rig.

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Newport 8-Feet 10-Inch Dana Inflatable Dinghy

The Newport Dana Dinghy is made with US Coast Guard rated 3x layer .9mm/1100D UV Coated PVC, and glued with advanced German engineered adhesives.

It comes with:

  • sturdy carrying handles
  • 3 stainless steel bow D-rings
  • self-bailing drain plug
  • Marine plywood transom mount
  •  Easy-Reach Grab Rope

This boat can hold up to a 10HP engine and speeds over 20 mph (conditions depending).

Check Out Today’s Price

Here’s a video showing an inflatable dinghy fishing setup:



WRAP UP


Inflatable fishing boats have made considerable advances in the past few years.

They’re moving from a novelty fishing option to an excellent tool for all serious fishermen.

Their lower cost, lightweight design, and compact storage make them an attractive option.

Just make sure you have a good pump!

Jason K.

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

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

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

The post Best Inflatable Fishing Boats On The Market Right Now appeared first on Skilled Survival.

Big Sale On Diatomaceous Earth

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Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth could be the single best way in the world to get rid of Japanese Beetles.

Gardening season is finally here. Have you stocked up on all of your essential supplies like tomato stakes and plenty of potting soil? There’s one “must have” gardening item you may be forgetting…

You need an all-natural bug killer that’s perfectly safe for humans and pets.

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is a bug-killer that is 100% organic and non-toxic! And yet, it still works time after time after time. It is becoming a popular way to kill bugs without using dangerous insecticides. It’s safe and non-toxic, unlike most pest control treatments and bug sprays.

For the next 48 hours only, you can get a FREE 1-pound bag of God’s Miracle Dust for every 5-pound bag you purchase!

Simply go here and enter coupon code BATTLE to take advantage of this limited time offer.

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Bug Out Tip: Walk Your Bag

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The bug out is a last resort. It is an important option that can mean the difference between life and death. That is something that should be considered and overall should be practiced. I think Americans are starting to understand the importance of packing the bug out bag. Where I think we all fall short …

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Sourdough Starter Made Simple – Create Your Own Heirloom Culture

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sourdough starter

Sourdough bread is the oldest form of leavened bread in the world.

Sourdough Starter Made Simple

Sourdough bread is the oldest form of leavened bread in the world, dating back to ancient Egypt. Sourdough uses a lactobacillus and yeast culture rather than cultivated yeasts as a leavening agent. The lactic acid created as a by-product of the lactobacilli gives sourdough bread its distinctive tangy flavor, while the yeast provides the leavening and digests the byproducts of the lactobacilli.

Unlike cultivated yeasts, sourdough “starters” with homegrown lactobacilli are very easy to start and maintain at home. Once begun, sourdough starters can live for years or even for generations. Many bakeries or other restaurants that bake their own bread keep the same sourdough starter for as long as the restaurant remains open to ensure that their bread keeps the same unique flavor. Sourdough starters have even been passed down from grandparents to parents to children as family heirlooms.

How Does It Work?

While it may sound off-putting, the truth is that all sorts of microorganisms naturally live in flour, including the two that are important to a sourdough starter. When a starter is nurtured properly, the yeast and lactobacilli will eventually grow a strong symbiotic colony and kill off any other bacteria in the process. It can take several days for the right bacteria to take hold, and until that time your starter may give off an unpleasant smell and generally resemble something you don’t particularly want to use for cooking.

Your skin also contributes some bacteria to the process. This is one cooking activity for which you do not want the most sterile ingredients and tools possible. Whole grain flours are better since they naturally contain more bacteria, and you do not want to sterilize your flour before you begin or your starter will not go anywhere.

Growing Your Sourdough Starter

There is both a simple way and a more complicated way to grow a sourdough starter, although in truth neither way is immensely difficult. The complicated method mostly involves a great deal of time and patience, and possibly some trial and error.

The first method involves taking a small amount of unbaked sourdough for your base since this dough will already contain live cultures of lactobacilli and yeast. This dough can come from a sourdough that you purchase, or from a starter or dough that you snitch from an acquaintance. With healthy cultures already at home in this dough, all you have to do is keep feeding it.

To start a new culture you will need to make a brand-new dough out of a flour and water base and wait for a culture to begin to form. You should be able to grow a good culture in about a week’s time if you keep your dough under the right conditions.

While there are many different methods of beginning a sourdough starter, I have found that this method detailed on the website Sourdough Home is a great resource. The website also has a couple of other methods that sourdough bakers can try, but the Professor Calvel recipe is a tasty and reliable place to start.

This method takes about two and a half days to grow a sourdough starter, and bakers will need wheat flour, rye flour, salt, water, and dried malt extract. Do not use distilled water for your starter, since the minerals naturally found in water are important for helping your starter to grow. If your tap water smells or tastes funny, use bottled water for your starter.

This particular recipe uses both whole wheat and rye flour, and most starter recipes you will find also opt for rye, wheat, or a combination rather than white flour. However, you do not need to use the same type of flour to bake your bread as you used for your starter; for example, you can make a white sourdough loaf using a starter fed with rye.

Starters need time to grow and to eliminate unwanted bacteria, so you should only bake with starters that are at least one week old – preferably older. Starters should also be healthy, as demonstrated by their ability to more or less double in size each time you feed them.

Maintaining Your Sourdough Starter

Keeping a sourdough starter is not unlike keeping a very low maintenance pet. In fact, your lactobacilli culture is alive and needs some of the same care that you would give to a more traditional pet. It may seem bizarre to carefully cultivate a strain of bacteria when we work so hard to eradicate bacteria in most areas of our homes, but these little cultures are special. Keep them healthy and happy, and you will have the key to great bread for as long as you choose!

Your sourdough starter needs food and water and must be kept at an appropriate temperature. There are a couple of options for your starter during the first few months: it can be kept in a relatively warm place and fed twice a day, or you can choose to start keeping your culture in the refrigerator after the first week, in which case you only need to feed it once every two to four weeks. Keeping the culture warm at first is the recommended method, but those who can’t or won’t put that much time toward their starter should still be able to create a decent starter in the refrigerator.

When you feed your starter, you want to give it the same amount of flour as you have starter. In other words, one cup of starter should be fed one cup of flour. At the same time, you want to add approximately two-thirds that amount of water: 2/3 cup for one cup of starter. If you are using weight measurements instead of volume measurements, add equal parts flour and water.

Since the goal is for the starter to double in size after you have already doubled it with the feeding, you can imagine how quickly a starter would grow in size if left unchecked. To avoid an exponential explosion of starter, it is best to discard a portion of your starter each time you feed it. You may choose to keep one or two cups of starter at a time.

If there are periods of time when you will not be using your starter, or if you are wary of the amount of flour it takes to feed a hungry starter twice a day, it is possible to store your starter in the refrigerator, or even in the freezer. As we have already discussed, it is highly recommended that you do not refrigerate your starter until it has had time to mature over a period of one to three months.

Before you use your starter again, you will need to remove it from the refrigerator and revive it. Feed the starter and allow it to return to room temperature. Once it has reached that temperature, resume the twice-a-day feeding schedule until the starter had regained the ability to double its size after a feeding. Keep in mind that you do not need to revive your entire starter in order to have some to use. You can take a relatively small amount of starter – say, one teaspoon – from your starter container while leaving the rest in the refrigerator. You can continue to feed the bulk of the starter on the two-to-four-week refrigeration schedule.

You may also like to read How to Make Butter in an Emergency!

 

 

©2018  Off the Grid News

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The Incredible Household and Garden Benefits Of Diatomaceous Earth

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What are the benefits of diatomaceous earth?

Where does Diatomaceous Earth Come From?

benefits of diatomaceous earth

The actual benefits of diatomaceous earth are unknown to most Americans.

You aren’t going to find diatomaceous earth in your backyard, or most likely anywhere on land, for that matter, regardless of how much you dig. The secret to diatomaceous earth is that it comes from the seabed. Diatomaceous earth finds its source far below the oceans waters, deep in streams and lakes. It is created when sea organisms, so small they can’t be seen with the naked eye, die and fossilize, mixing with the nutrient-rich ground. You could say that the ocean and lake beds are God’s compost pile. Some diatomaceous earth is found where oceans, rivers and lakes once stood but have long since dried up. In those cases, the diatomaceous earth is often far below the earth’s surface, covered by eons of buildup, and impossible for anyone to reach without deep drilling and excavating tools.

Types of Diatomaceous Earth

Excavated diatomaceous earth is sold in two forms: industrial and food-grade. Industrial- grade diatomaceous earth is made for commercial products, and most often in pool filters. You need to buy food-grade diatomaceous earth for both dietary additive and pest control for pets and in gardens.

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is an excellent cleansing additive for digestion and colon health. It helps get rid of parasites by gently scrubbing the intestines, and is extremely absorbent so it gathers up bacteria, virus, fungi and detoxifies the system by getting rid of buildups of pesticide, metals and drugs (prescription or otherwise) in the system.

Diatomaceous Earth Makeup

The largest component in diatomaceous earth is silica, the same natural product found in commercial fiber additives to help you regulate your digestive tract. Although diatomaceous earth contains up to 85% silica, it also has as many as 20 minerals for a very well-rounded health aide that is known to help reduce age spots, increase lung elasticity, and rejuvenate skin and digestion. It is easy to take by simply mixing a tablespoon or two with juice, water or right into foods as you prepare them. It is tasteless so it won’t change the composition of your meals.

Pest Remover

One of the biggest benefits of diatomaceous earth to homesteaders is its pest repellant capacities. Just rub it on your dogs, cats, horses and other livestock for a great way to ward off fleas, ticks and lice. It also works as a great natural and safe de-wormer when given internally. You can encourage your animals to eat it by mixing it in with their feeds.

It makes your fingernails stronger and healthier, your hair shinier, produces healthier teeth and gums as well as helping some conditions such as arthritis.

Where to Find Diatomaceous Earth

Food grade diatomaceous earth is easily found in health stores, the drug area of most department stores, and online. Diatomaceous earth can also be found in gardening catalogs. Do not buy industrial, or pool-grade diatomaceous earth. Although it comes from the same source, it has been leeched of its nutrient value in order to get a higher concentration of silica for pool filters.

How to Use Diatomaceous Earth in your Garden

Mix it in water for a great spray-on insecticide, or sprinkle on or around plants to get rid of aphids, slugs, beetles, earwigs, flea beetles, thrips and other pests. You can also use diatomaceous earth sprinkled on the floor of your home, or on furniture to repel fleas if you end up with a flea problem.

Using the wet mix is best because it reduces the likelihood of inhalation, which can be very harmful to your lungs. Wear a dust mask when sprinkling dry diatomaceous earth in your home, on your animals or on your food.

Is There No Limit to the Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth?

Nope, not really. It’s an amazing product with lots of uses. You can even use it in baths, or mixed with water to form a paste for a delightful and refreshing facial scrub. Diatomaceous earth is truly one of God’s wonders.

You can read more about a good way to beat garden pests in our free e-book “Diatomaceous Revolution” here.

The post The Incredible Household and Garden Benefits Of Diatomaceous Earth appeared first on Off The Grid News.

Geraniums: Grow These Prolific & Colorful Flowers In Your Garden

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The post Geraniums: Grow These Prolific & Colorful Flowers In Your Garden is by Lorin Nielsen and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Brightly-colored in shades ranging from common pinks and reds through deep dusky blues and violets, geraniums are a common sight in most gardens today. The term “geranium” itself is a bit misleading, because there’s actually two separate genuses that are considered geraniums. But we’ll go into that in more detail shortly! Whether you are simply … Read more

The post Geraniums: Grow These Prolific & Colorful Flowers In Your Garden is by Lorin Nielsen and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Do You Feel Like You’re Being Positioned For What May Come?

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How many of you have a “sixth sense” that what you are doing (preparedness) is as though you’re being positioned for what may come? Do you feel that what you’re doing is “meant to be”? Guided? Is it as though unseen forces or intuition is leading you to be ready for something that’s coming, or that could come? Despite how things may seem to be going along smoothly right now, is your gut instinct messaging your brain that you still need to be getting ready? I’ve asked the question in several different ways… I’m after your opinion whether or not

Original source: Do You Feel Like You’re Being Positioned For What May Come?

The AK Family of Rifles: A Primer

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by Chad

In the U.S., the AK family of rifles has enjoyed considerable, if controversial, popularity among civilians and American enthusiasm for it is today higher than ever. The AK-47 and its variants are the iconic rifle of the Russian Federation, the former U.S.S.R. and a host of former Communist Bloc states. It is found in the hands of fighters and farmers in nearly every corner of the developed and undeveloped world.

The Kalashnikov family of rifles is renowned for ruggedness, simplicity and punch. It has been produced both by official and unauthorized manufacture across the globe in such vast numbers that today its numbers are literally countless. Whether or not you are considering an AK variant for your own purposes or dismissing it as the firearm of our enemies, it is in your best interest to learn the ins and outs of the globe’s most plentiful assault rifle, including its semi-automatic commercial cousins.

In this article we’ll examine the AK family in basic detail, covering the design history in brief, and major variants with their cartridges, operation and considerations for use and equipage. We’ll bust a few myths, and hopefully leave you with a better understanding of this most ubiquitous of rifles.

The AK-47: Design History and Evolution

The AK family of rifles was first properly conceived in 1947, by Mikhail Kalashnikov, one of the 20th century’s most prolific and respected small arm designers. In his youth, Kalashnikov was attracted to all kinds of machinery, and worked as a mechanic. During World War II, after conscription into the Red Army in 1938, Kalashnikov was made a tank mechanic owing to his engineering skills and small stature.

Later he was promoted to tank commander, and after being wounded in the Battle of Bryansk was recuperating in a hospital in 1942 when he overheard fellow soldiers lament the shortcomings of the Red Army’s issued rifles. Dismayed at their opinion of their weapons, Kalashnikov then had the idea to design a new one, one that would eliminate these shortcomings to give his fellow soldiers an effective battlefield weapon to compete with other nations. This idea would evolve into the basis of the AK-47.

The Soviet leadership during World War II was greatly impressed by the German progenitor of assault rifles, the Sturmgewehr 44. Chambered for an intermediate cartridge, this new weapon combined the accuracy and range of a rifle, with the maneuverability and firepower of a submachine gun.

The Soviets wanted something comparable, and badly, and so in 1944 devised an intermediate cartridge of their own, the 7.62x39mm. Kalashnikov, after much design and refinement, and several rounds of competition and trials against more experienced designers of small arms finalized his rifle design, chambering the new Soviet cartridge in the year of 1947, and calling it the Avtomat Kalashnikova, literally Kalashnikov’s Automatic Rifle, model of 1947.

The AK-47 later entered army trials in 1948, but was not formally adopted until 1949. Initial production was hampered by some difficulties and design revisions: the very first AK-47’s, the Type 1’s, were made of stamped steel receivers, but challenges with welding and alignment during manufacture led to the adoption of a second type, with a milled steel receiver. It was much heavier, but lent itself better to immediate production owing to the existence of the needed milling machinery and tooling. Thanks to these changes and other snags, the rifle did not see widespread distribution to the army until around 1956.

It is here that we encounter our first major variation of the AK family; the heavy, milled steel receivers are the archetypal AK-47, specifically the Types 2 and 3. They are easily identified by appearance, their lack of rivets on the receiver, heft and a distinctive milled rectangular lightening cut on both sides of the receiver over the magazine well.

The AK-47 was upgraded in the year of 1959, going back to a stamped sheet steel receiver, a slanted brake on the muzzle, internal changes to prevent the rifle from firing when the bolt was out of battery. This revision, the Type 4, is better known as the Avtomat Kalashnikova Modernizirovanniy, or AKM, the “M” meaning modernized.

The AKM and its variants are far and away the most plentiful and widespread, being the most commonly encountered today whether or not of licensed production. The AKM is easily identified by its light, riveted and stamped receiver, which also has a small pill-shaped detent just above the magazine well.

The AKM served as the basis of the AK-74, developed in the early 1970’s by Kalashnikov, and is identical in operation and function to the AKM, and differs predominately in its new chambering: the 5.45x39mm, designed to compete with the then new American M16 and its light, fast 5.56 x 45mm cartridge.

The AK-74 and its derivatives are today the main infantry assault rifle of most former U.S.S.R. countries.

A Note on Verbiage

Speaking strictly for American users, most will use “AK-47” or “47” as shorthand for any AK variant chambered in the original 7.62mm cartridge. Most will likewise use “AK-74” or “74” as shorthand for referencing a gun chambered in 5.45mm. “AK” or “Kalashnikov” is used broadly to refer to any rifle in the AK family, or a specific rifle. Individual countries or companies model names will usually be entirely different.

The total number of models, variants and country-specific permutations of the AK family of rifles is nothing short of mind-boggling, and beyond the scope of this article. Instead of making this a historical or reference work, I’ll instead paint with a broader brush and cover things pertaining to the AK-47/AKM and AK-74 designs at large.

The topics we cover will be applicable to the families of rifles as a whole, and will help you make informed decisions about selection and employment, if applicable.

Design Elements and Controls

The AK action is typified by a handful of hallmarks: great reliability and ruggedness in all conditions, a long-stroke gas pistol system, a distinctively slanted or vertical gas block, generous tolerances between moving parts, a large curved magazine and a large, somewhat unwieldy safety and selector lever on the right side of the receiver.

The entirety of the AK design is designed to enable cheap and quick production, and greatly simplified training in its manual of arms. Furniture can be made of any combination of wood, plastic, or metal, in a wide array of colors or finishes.

AK sights are a simple rear notch and hooded front post. The rear notch is usually graduated to allow adjustment for target distance without tools. Windage and elevation adjustment for zeroing is achieved with the front sight, being threaded for elevation and on a driftable base to allow for windage adjustment. This will typically require a tool for the purpose.

The AK, while renowned for its simple design and ease of manufacture also varies wildly in quality from country to country, or manufacturer to manufacturer. One of the most pervasive myths about the AK is that it simply will not break or malfunction as long as it is an AK, and that one hammered together by untrained laborers in a nameless town with no electricity will shoot and shoot and shoot until the end of time.

Like anything else, especially with guns, you get what you pay for, and an AK variant from a maker that is known for fine quality materials and fitment will be a far better and more reliable rifle than one dredged as parts from some undeveloped country and assembled by minimum wage workers. Do not believe the idea that you can pay $350 or $400 for a commercial AK in the U.S. and come away with a quality gun by virtue of it being an AK.

AK magazines are either made of metal or plastics, and vary greatly in their quality and reliability depending on pattern and country of origin. Due to the sheer number of variation between both guns and magazines, you will run into more occurrences of fitting and functionality problems here than, say, with an AR or G3 rifle.

Identification of AK magazines is another sub-article in itself, but let it be said you should give the same care and consideration to selecting your magazines as you do your rifle. 7.62x39mm magazines are easily ID’d against their similar 5.45mm cousins due to their more pronounced curvature.

Insertion of the AK magazine is accomplished by hooking the front tab of the magazine into a lug at the front of the magazine well and then rocking it reward until it engages the magazine release with a pronounced click. This operation will be very fiddly for those used to straight-insertion designs until practiced.

The magazine release is a lever directly behind the magazine well on the underside of the receiver. To remove the magazine, the thumb presses this lever toward the muzzle as the magazine is rocked forward out of the magazine well.

The selector lever of the AK is 3 position: Fully up is Safe, the middle position is Automatic, and fully down is Single, or Semi-Automatic. The design ideology was that a user under serious stress will swipe the selector from safe all the way down to single, and placing the gun on automatic requires a deliberate action.

The selector functions as a dust cover, sealing the receiver when on safe and preventing the bolt from cycling reward enough to strip and chamber a cartridge. Operation of the selector is challenging for right handed shooters, and typically mandates breaking of the firing grip entirely if not using an aftermarket selector lever.

A few countries versions have a modified selector lever that is also engaged by the shooting hand thumb, and consists of a lever on the left side of the receiver just above the pistol grip. This lever is typically forward for Safe, and Rear for Single, with the middle position being Automatic. Operation of this lever is slaved to the main selector lever on the right side of the receiver.

The charging handle protrudes directly from the bolt on the right side of the action, reciprocates with the bolt upon firing and can be grasped with either hand for cycling depending on the technique used.

The AK trigger is unremarkable, save for its typically middling pull. Some variations of the AK are known for a phenomenon known as “trigger slap,” where the trigger is somewhat violently reset by the reciprocating action, and causing discomfort or even pain to the shooter’s trigger finger.

The AK typically does not have a bolt lock, and the bolt not lock open after the last round is fired, and relies either on a notch in the selector lever for achieving this manually or a certain type of magazine equipped with a follower that will restrain the bolt in its reward position after the last round is fired. Using such a device, the bolt will close if the magazine is removed.

Loading and Unloading

To load any AK, follow the steps below. The following assumes you are starting with no magazine in the gun, and the selector off safe.

  1. Insert a loaded magazine at proper angle, rocking from front to rear until it engages.
  2. Grasping the charging handle with either hand, pull the bolt all the way to the rear, then release, letting it go home under full spring power.
  3. Rifle is now loaded and ready to fire. Engage safety if not firing immediately.

The unloading procedure is the reverse. Extra care must be taken during unloading of an AK compared as you must disengage the safety to retract the bolt enough to eject any cartridge in the chamber.

  1. Remove magazine by grasping magazine and pressing magazine release forward with thumb. Magazine is rocked from back to front out of magazine well.
  2. Move selector off of Safe position.
  3. Grasping the charging handle with either hand, pull the bolt all the way to the rear, observe for ejection of chambered cartridge.
  4. Release bolt, or engage bolt hold-open if featured.
  5. Rifle is now unloaded.

Cartridge Performance: Which Should You Choose?

The 7.62x39mm and 5.45x39mm are completely different cartridges. The venerable 7.62mm, with a projectile weight of 120gr. – 155gr. And muzzle velocity of 2,100fps- 2,430fps falls somewhere between the U.S.’s domestic .300 Blackout and .30-30 Winchester in performance. The .300 Blackout has a slightly better ballistic coefficient but is typically slower with a similar weight of bullet, while the .30-30 Win. can push heavier projectiles faster than the 7.62mm across all loads.

The 5.45x39mm’s closest domestic analogue is the 5.56x45mm, having been designed by Russia to compete with the 5.56mm after they took a good, long look at U.S. employment of that cartridge in Vietnam. The 5.45x39mm uses bullets weighing anywhere from 52gr. to 64gr., with muzzle velocities between 2,800fps and 3,200fps. The inspiration for this cartridge is obvious when ballistic data is compared to the 5.56x45mm.

The 7.62mm, while punchy with good penetration and performance against intermediate barriers, has a ballistic shortcoming in its significant drop at even close-mid range. The average 123gr. Bullet fired by an AK with a muzzle velocity of around 2400 feet per second will drop approximately 42 inches at 350 yards, and will have shed around 1000fps if velocity. That is almost 4 feet!

In comparison, the 5.45mm 7N6 standard load, firing a 53gr. bullet will only drop 28inches at the same distance. The 5.45mm thanks to its superior velocity and ballistic coefficient is much “flatter” shooting at typical engagement distances. Either will serve well for an anti-personnel rifle, but the 5.45mm has far less recoil than the 7.62mm, is significantly lighter, and has better effectiveness with most loads against a human target than the 7.62. Modern armies and agencies have moved away from .30 caliber rifles in the intervening decades for a reason!

Neither7.62 or 5.45 is known for accuracy, but this is mostly due to the majority of AK’s not being particularly accurate rifles, not because the cartridges are inherently inaccurate. Modern commercial ammo fired from another rifle, or even a high-end commercial AK variant can produce excellent groups all the way out to 300 yards and beyond, with many commercial loads being capable of producing around a 1 ½  MOA group at 100 yards.

Your biggest advantage selecting the 7.62mm in the US is going to be cheap and plentiful ammunition. If you do not mind the added weight and recoil, the 7.62 still serves well even today, and modern, high-performance bullets make it significantly more effective than with legacy loads.

5.45mm ammo is not nearly as easy to procure, especially since the ATF banned importation of common surplus military loads from Europe and Asia, but is available and affordable if one is willing to order quantity online. The lighter recoil, and flatter trajectory make the AK-74 a joy to use, and if optimized for accuracy, a real competitor against nearly any Western rifle.

Optimization

A plethora of domestic and foreign aftermarket performance parts and modifications exist for the AK family of rifles, from tuned triggers to stocks, grips and extended handguards. Muzzle devices and extended controls are common, as are optic mounts. You will find modern AK’s equipped with everything one would expect to see on a fighting rifle: lights, lasers, foregrips, IR illuminators and more.

The issue with this newfound modularity is that of weight. Russians historically place weight-savings very low on their priority list when designing small arms and the AK is no different. An AK is a fairly heavy gun when loaded. It is even heavier when saddled with modern accoutrement, and a 7.62 gun can easily tip the scales at 10lbs plus.

The issue of optics mounting is more a problem of expectation than execution. Americans are used to simply mounting an optic to the top of the receiver of most guns, and expecting that rigid receiver to hold zero. Considering the AK’s entire receiver top cover is removable for disassembly and is far from an optically consistent fit, you have a couple of choices:

1.) Install an optics rail in a more rigid location, typically in front of the trunnion over the gas tube. This omits the use of most magnified optics.
2.) Utilize an AK specific side-rail mounted optics base. Contrary to popular opinion, a quality mount on an in-spec rail is very rugged, and not likely to lose zero, but it will necessitate either a cheek riser or more of a “chin-weld” on the stock to see through the optic.
3.) Gamble on some abominable Gun-Show Special replacement top-cover with a rail welded on and set screws to increase rigidity. Pray it works, then curse when it inevitably fails.

#3 is always poor decision unless the solution is from a high-end, AK-centric manufacturer. Numbers 1 and 2 are both acceptable depending on what optic is desired.

When preparing to purchase and install mods and accessories for an AK, you must keep in mind that the sheer number of variations means some parts are designed only for country or regional specific variants. Other parts which should be “bolt-on” will still require a degree of hand fitting to install. Things like trigger and hammer installation are just not as simple or as fool-proof as the installation on an AR. They are typically achievable for the average user, but may require a different approach or tools than normal. When in doubt, consult the manufacturer of either component or rifle.

Considerations for Domestic Use

If you buy a quality rifle and decent ammunition, you should expect a very high degree of reliability out of your AK, certainly comparable to most Western standbys. Do not expect to buy a dirt cheap $300 import parts-kit gun and get a 25,000 service life out of it; people that try to convince you otherwise citing that they “never had a problem” with their “flawless” cheapy have not even put 500 rounds through theirs. As I mentioned above, an AK is not invincible or trouble-free just by virtue of being an AK. Quality speaks. Seek it.

The AK is noticeably less ergonomic than the AR-15 family of rifles, specifically the safety, very short fixed or folding stock that lacks adjustable length of pull, and cramped stock handguards. Manipulations like reloads and taking the rifle off safe will be slower and more prone to error compared to an AR without practice. This is not to say that you cannot obtain a high degree of speed with an AK. You certainly can, but the AR and other western designs simply make some actions easier to accomplish.

A sort of elephant in the room may be the AK’s status as the “Bad Guys’ Gun.” This is probably too much to unpack in this article, but I will give you my thoughts and opinions on the matter and let you make your own decision. First, the AK is also the “Good Guys’ Gun” and serves in one guise or another as the primary infantry rifle of several allied or friendly nations, or as the basis of their domestic variant. I believe technology is agnostic in this regard, and the AK has only the cultural value we assign to it.

Second, the gun culture in the U.S. reflects, well, the rest of our culture: most Americans value merit over nationality, and we happily assimilate foreign people and products that offer benefits or improve our lives. A huge swath of U.S. manufacturers, gunsmith, customizers and gun owners have seen fit to enshrine the AK here and make it a part of our landscape.

The AK’s popularity is booming, and the commercial sector is responding in kind, thanks to a grassroots effort by enthusiasts. More quality domestic AK’s are available now than ever, along with a host of high-performance upgrades. A well-tuned AK is as much a hot-rod as any high-end AR.

All that being said, one must still stop to consider a more subtle issue. This is a rifle that has been depicted on targets, in movies and other media, constantly, and I do mean constantly as being the weapon of bad guys. I mentioned it above, but how would this possibly affect someone’s perception of the person who wields it?

I do not mean to insinuate that, for instance, using an AK in an otherwise righteous home-defense shooting would create any undue legal trouble if the rifle was legal, but I do worry about a case of mistaken identity if a cop or someone else happens upon me in some unknown situation, wielding the distinctive silhouette of an AK, one that he has no doubt engaged many, many times on the target range in practice of just such an occasion. This is admittedly probably only a plausible issue in times of serious societal unrest or worse.

I could be way, way out of my lane with that line of reasoning, and it will take a much smarter person than me to sift that for truthfulness, but there it is.

Bottom Line: If you like or prefer an AK for whatever reason, and spend the money and time to both invest in a good one and train with it like you mean it, it will serve you well, and is able to accomplish well most things you could ask of any general purpose intermediate caliber rifle.

Conclusion

The AK family of rifles is the world’s most ubiquitous and plentiful rifle, bar none. From the mind of a wounded tanker, the AK-47 spawned innumerable variations in the aftermath of World War II, and has been present in nearly every major conflict of the 20th and 21st centuries. If you love the AK loathe it, you’d be best served to know how to make the world’s most popular rifle work for you.

What’s your opinion of the AK? Do you prefer yours in 5.45mm or 7.62? Let us know down in the comments section!

From Whom Do We Seek Favor? And Whom Do We Fear?

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     We’ve all experienced it. Our faith is under constant attack by the Enemy, our culture, and even our families and fellow Believers. If our hearts are truly seeking the Lord, and those attacks come, we may begin to question whether we are steady in our walk with Him.  The next thing we know, we find ourselves seeking or desiring the favor of man in our faith lives, which can be a distraction from the fear of the Lord. But why is it so important to be cognizant of this fact; and how does it affect our journey and relationship with the Lord? If I could sum it up in one word, it would be validation. But I’d like to unpack my theory for you and share where my own self-examination has taken me.
     When it comes to our faith, and if we are seeking the favor of man, what is that really telling us? Is our identity in Christ enough for us, or do we need the approval of man to feel like our path is straight? Let’s start with Proverbs 29:25 to see if we can get the answers.  And I’d like to give you several translations so we begin with a clear picture:
  

The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in and puts his confidence in the Lord will be exalted and safe.
(Amplified)
Fear and intimidation is a trap that holds you back.
    But when you place your confidence in the Lord,
you will be seated in the high place. (Passion)
Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety. (New Living Translation)
   
     Can you see the implications? The fear of man is a snare (a trap) because it holds you back from walking in confidence in your true identity, seated in the high place (the heavenly realms as stated in Ephesians 2:6). When you are seated with Christ, you are united with Him, and there’s no safer or more secure place to be. 
     But what happens to us as we seek to grow our relationship with Christ? The Enemy comes in and lays a trap for us. As we receive wisdom and revelation from the Lord [through the Holy Spirit], we may get opposing views from people, or correction from Leadership. It leaves you with feelings of doubt … did I really hear from the Holy Spirit? And that can be a lonely place to be. We feel separated, not only from our fellow Christians, but maybe even from God, Himself, because now there has been a disruption in that divine communication, and we’ve taken our focus off Him and the favor we’ve received from Him to seek the favor of fellow men. Because, let’s face it everyone wants to be accepted.

     And that’s the real meaning of “favor” — acceptance; the reaction of a perceived superior to an inferior; presence and power. But whose favor do you really want? Whose Presence and Power do you want to walk in? And who do you fear more?  We know what we fear from men — rejection and disapproval. But do we really understand the Fear of the Lord? That it is awe-inspired reverence and worshiping Him? Obedience and submissive wonder?

     When we let man dictate [or influence] our identity, we are going to seek acceptance and approval from this world.  If we’ve been hurt by the Church (and that is a very real problem today), do we find our safety and security with others who have experienced similar hurts — or do we trust and believe that we are seated with Christ in the heavenlies; that our identity is secure in Him? Do we meet to lick our wounds (or as my husband says, “commiserate over our bandaids”)? Do we find comfort and validation in our kinship with fellow victims? Or do we look for our approval from the Lord and walk in our kinship with Him?
     I can tell you that I have been guilty of taking my eyes off the commission Christ has given me [and off Him, as my Commissioner]. It’s so natural to want that gratification of knowing someone values you, and let’s face it — the devil will always provide that someone if it means you will step back from seeking more of the Lord, which results in lost momentum in your relationship with Him! 
     I know that I walk in an unconventional assignment from Jesus. And I have experienced negative feedback from fellow Christians when what I was seeing and hearing from God seemed so darn clear! The natural instinct is to seek a carnal affirmation to make your soul feel better [i.e., your emotions and mind]. But whenever I’ve taken my eyes off Jesus and what He was showing me, I’ve gotten stuck in that moment of hurt. The Word says it perfectly … Fear and intimidation is a trap that holds you back.  My spirit grieved because I was fearing man more than I was fearing God; seeking man’s favor instead of praising God for the favor He has given me in my unique assignment.
     Here’s the thing … we all have unique assignments! God didn’t make us cookie cutter images of each other. He made us each in His own image! So, as you look around you, that should give you a pretty good idea of how BIG and AWESOME our God is, and make you realize that seeing the favor of man can be an exhaustive endeavor!
     BUT, you can receive the favor of God when you fear Him! Stated another way, you can receive His approval when you walk in His Presence and Power by obeying Him in the assignment He has given you!
     I want to ask you the question that Job asks in 4:6 …. Is not your fear of God your confidence?  Shouldn’t we all find our validation from seeking His face and Presence, and obeying His commandments through the use of His Power? Shouldn’t that be enough to feel confident about who we are? If like me, you have battled through the fear of man in order to get to your walk in the fear of the Lord, then you know this promise found in Psalm 40:4, Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who makes the Lord his trust. When we can trust the Lord’s opinion over man’s, we can walk in confidence; knowing we are fully approved and secure in our identity. We no longer look from side to side for our validation, but only upwards. And I promise you, you will know His acceptance and approval. His validation is true and eternal!
Psalm 37:5-6    Open up before God, keep nothing back; He’ll do whatever needs to be done: He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon.
     

Democrats Say Gun Control Will Be Instituted After Trump Impeachment

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Will Democrats win the house, impeach Trump and institute broad gun control laws?

 Gun Comtrol After Trump Impeachment?

Democrats might be in a position to impeach President Trump, raise taxes, and impose gun control nationwide as early as January 2019. The party is in a good position to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November’s election.

The party needs only to flip 24 Republican-controlled seats to get a majority in the House. There will be 48 competitive House races in November.

To make matters, worse Republicans will be defending seats in 25 districts that Hillary Clinton (D-New York) carried in the 2016 Presidential election, The New York Times pointed out. Republicans might have a tough race because just 12 Democrats will be defending seats in districts that President Donald J. Trump (R-New York) won.

Republicans will have a harder time in the fall because they will have fewer incumbent representatives; who have an easier time winning elections. Around 40 Republican Representatives; including Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), are not seeking re-election, The Atlantic noted. Only 20 Democrats are leaving the House.

Only one prominent Dem, Rep. Keith Ellison (Minnesota), is not seeking reelection. Several top Republicans including US Representative Darrell Issa (California) are retiring.

California Might Give Democrats the House

The Democrats’ chances of controlling the House improved after their establishment candidates did well in California’s “jungle primary” on June 5. In the “jungle primary,” all the candidates from all the parties appear on the same ballot, – the ones with the most votes face each other in the general election.

There were so many Democrats on the ballot that some observers thought only Republicans would win. Instead, Democrats secured slots on the ballot in all 53 California districts, including seven contested districts they are likely to win in November, The Washington Post reported.

Democrats Want Trump Impeached

An impeachment attempt is likely if Democrats control the house because around 71% of Democratic voters favor impeachment, a Quinnipiac Poll found in April.

House Democrats have already tried to impeach Trump, 58 of them voted for articles of impeachment filed by U.S. Representative Al Green (D-Texas) in December 2017, The Hill reported. Those Democrats favored impeachment even though their leader Nancy Pelosi (California) opposed it.

A vote of impeachment in the house would not remove Trump because impeachment would have to be approved by the Senate. Impeachment would probably fail in the Senate because most observers think Republicans will retain control of that body.

Republicans will have an easier time in the Senate because they only need to win two races to retain control – unlike the House. Five Democrats are facing reelection in states Trump won in 2016, Bloomberg noted.

Democrats Probably Can’t Impeach Trump But They Can Cause Political Chaos

Impeachment would probably fail if Democrats controlled the Senate because it would require a vote of 67 Senators or two-thirds of that body. Democrats would have to prove Trump did something very bad to get that level of support.

Even if impeachment efforts failed they would lead to political chaos. There would be a brutal legislative battle that would make political divisions far worse. Tempers would fare on both sides of the aisle which can lead to violence. Trump’s election and inauguration triggered rioting, so impeachment would spark more riots.

Unfortunately, Democrats might risk such violence because they might figure impeachment would help them win more races in 2020 including the presidency. They would hope to inflame enough of their voters to win a majority in the Electoral College – which is how Trump won in 2016.

Other Reasons Gun Owners Should Be Scared Of a Democratic House

Beyond impeachment, there is a lot of other havoc that a Democratic House of Representatives can wreak.

The Constitution gives the House the power to write the budget, so it can raise taxes and increase spending. A Democratic House would have the power to defund President Trump’s projects like the Border Wall and to end his increases to the military budget.

The house can force the president to sign the budget by passing massive funding bills that include the entire government. Such bills can contain spending the president opposes, and essential items like pay for the armed forces. The president would have to sign the bill to keep the military operating.

Beyond the budget Democrats have plans for additional gun control; including a ban on semiautomatic weapons (assault weapons) and a national background check requirement, The Hill reported. Disturbingly, some Republicans such as U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (Florida) also favor more gun control. That means Second Amendment rights might be under threat if Democrats took the House.

Watch the House races carefully because Democratic success might lead to chaos in Washington and violence across America. The political divisions and popular anger in America might get far worse after November 6, 2018.

The post Democrats Say Gun Control Will Be Instituted After Trump Impeachment appeared first on Off The Grid News.

84 Guns Recently Found By the TSA in Carry-On Bags

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Have you ever wondered what types of guns the people around you are carrying. If you are careful you can pretty simply notice when someone is carrying. Most people don’t notice but people are carrying guns all around them. Its just that most people don’t see past their smart phone to care to take notice. …

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Summer Kitchen In A Suitcase?

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During last year’s Home Grown Food Summit, the president of SUN OVENS International, Paul Munsen, very kindly donated not one, but two SUN OVENS for us to give away as prizes.

But it was a bit crazy: Nikki, who manages all of our incoming e-mail, was bombarded with inquiries about this particular prize.

Easy outdoor kitchen: cook with the sun using a sun oven!

(And about the Survival Still . . . but I’ll come back to that in another post.)

Anyway, people were asking Nikki so many questions about how the SUN OVEN works, that I contacted Paul and asked him to ship me one so I could create my own video review of it!

You can watch me unbox a SUN OVEN and cook with it for the first time here:

Once I tried it, I could immediately appreciate why SUN OVENS have been on the market for more than 30 years now.

This is a quality product.

And in the middle of a Texas summer, I gotta tell you, I really appreciate being able to cook outdoors with it.

Easy outdoor kitchen: cook with the sun using a sun oven!
Easy outdoor kitchen: cook with the sun using a sun oven!

If you’re interested in learning more about the SUN OVEN and how it can benefit your family, Paul will be hosting a really great workshop for our TGN Community next week:

Review of the Sun Oven

Spring Into Summer: Harness the Sun to Save Money & Live Naturally

Thursday, June 21, 2018

6:00 p.m. PST / 7:00 p.m. MDT / 8:00 p.m. CST / 9:00 p.m. EST

A 60-minute online class with live Q&A

FREE TO ATTEND . . . but you must register here:

https://www.sunoven.com/grow-network-registration

Hope you can make it!

Easy outdoor kitchen: cook with the sun using a sun oven!

P.S. Don’t forget . . . . Paul has spoken at the last two Home Grown Food Summits, so if you’d like to geek out and prepare some questions IN ADVANCE for him, you can always rewatch the presentations if you purchased lifetime access to these events (Lifetime access is no longer available, but if you already own them, you can rewatch them!):

  1. “Harnessing Solar Energy on the Homestead” was his presentation at the 2017 Home Grown Food Summit.
  2. And “Cooking With the Power of the Sun” was his presentation at the 2016 Home Grown Food Summit.

P.P.S. You won’t want to miss this webinar. Paul has promised to cover topics that will include how to:

  • Use a SUN OVEN in ways that go beyond just cooking, like pasteurizing water, dehydrating, and sterilizing potting soil.
  • Bake, boil, steam, and roast complete meals (that’ll never burn!).
  • Naturally dehydrate fruits and vegetables, or make jerky.
  • Reduce your utility bills (and keep your kitchen cooler!) while enjoying baked roasts and breads all summer long.
  • Naturally kill bug infestations in grains or dried foods.

And so much more.

Again, you can register for this FREE class here: https://www.sunoven.com/grow-network-registration

Plus, you’ll see on the registration page that Paul is giving everyone who registers a FREE COPY of his e-Book “Emerging from the Emergency,” a 120-page disaster preparedness guide that helps you plan to survive any tragedy or disaster.

So make sure you download a copy of that, too!

(This review of the SUN OVEN was originally published on July 17, 2017—but the 2018 workshop really is happening next week! 🙂

 

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Relieve Pain Fast With Easy To Use But Little Know Kitchen Remedies

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relieve pain

There are so many remedies that relieve pain, many of them hidden in plain sight.

Pain, bites and injuries occur unexpectedly. Make sure that you seek out the following remedies as first aid for pain. Use them if other solutions are unavailable. Furthermore, you may find that these remedies work so well in helping relieve pain that you won’t need other healing agents.

Pantry Staples For Pain Relief

  • Vinegar provides soothing relief for a variety of maladies. My favorite vinegar to use is apple cider vinegar, but use whatever kind you have on hand. To relieve a toothache, simply swish some undiluted vinegar in your mouth and then spit it out. In addition, use vinegar as a cold compress to soothe headaches. Add vinegar to bath water to relax overworked muscles and reduce itchiness. Drink a tablespoon of diluted vinegar to quickly relieve heartburn.
  • Honey. Use honey as an antibacterial bandage to provide comfort to abraded skin. Moreover, it reduces inflammation and prevents infection.
  • Baking soda relieves inflammation, pain and the itchiness of insect stings. Make a thick paste by combining baking soda with water or honey. Apply the blend to the affected area. For occasional use of heartburn and gas, mix one-half teaspoon of baking soda with a half cup of warm water and drink it for immediate relief. Only use baking soda internally on occasion.

The hidden secrets of making herbal medicines…right at your fingertips!

Herbs And Spices Relieve Pain

  • Nutmeg relieves pain from mouth sores and toothaches. Simply sprinkle the powder on the affected area. If you suffer from sore gums, mix one-fourth of a teaspoon of powdered nutmeg with warm water. Then, swish it around in your mouth.
  • Cloves have been used by dentists to provide numbing relief of toothache pain. Sprinkle a little powdered nutmeg directly on the affected tooth and gum. Rub it in with your finger. As a bonus, cloves contain antibacterial properties which decrease inflammation and infection.
  • Sage makes an outstanding gargle for sore throats. Combine one teaspoonful of sage with a teaspoonful of salt. Add one cup of warm water. Finally, gargle as often as necessary to relieve pain, swelling, and congestion.
  • Thyme contains potent antimicrobial compounds. Sprinkle a tablespoonful of thyme over a pan of steaming water the next time you suffer from pain due to clogged sinuses. Place a towel, tent-like, over your head and the pan. Inhale the healing vapors. Consequently, your headache will be relieved.
  • Parsley ground up with a mortar and pestle or in a blender, can be applied directly to a swollen breast to relieve engorgement or mastitis.
  • Tea bags contain tannins. Tannins shrink swollen painful tissues. Try placing a tea bag which has been soaked in cold water over a burn or sting to relieve pain. Tea bags applied to the eyelids reduce discomfort and puffiness. Use tea bags to staunch bleeding and relieve pain from minor cuts and scratches. While green tea is effective, black tea is a better choice because of its higher content of tannins.

Healing Produce

  • Cabbage juice is an old-time stomach ulcer remedy. With a juicer, extract cabbage juice and drink it. In addition to providing pain relief, cabbage juice, consumed several times daily, heals stomach ulcers.
  • Garlic juice, combined with slightly warm olive oil, is an outstanding remedy for ear pain. Try it when children awaken in the middle of the night crying because of ear pain. Lightly crush a clove of garlic. Combine the garlic with one-eighth of a cup of warm olive oil and shake it together. Strain out the garlic and compost it. Using a dropper, apply a few drops of the garlic olive oil blend to the affected ear. Do not use this remedy if you suspect the person has a ruptured eardrum or has tubes in his ears. This remedy is also great for pets who suffer from mites or ear infections.
  • Corn silk is my favorite remedy for urinary tract discomfort. Use the fresh silk from one ear of corn. Place the silk in a cup. Pour one cup of boiling water over the corn silk. Place a cover on the cup. Let the silk infuse for 20 minutes. Strain out the silk and drink the mild, slightly corn-flavored tea. The next time that you urinate, feelings of burning and urgency will be reduced or eliminated. I consider this remedy to be among the most reliable natural remedies available for pain relief. Drink several cups of corn silk tea throughout the day.

Use kitchen remedies for minor ailments. If symptoms are not relieved quickly, consult with a healthcare provider. Nevertheless, do not delay in getting professional help if serious illness or injury is suspected.

You may also enjoy reading an additional Off The Grid News article: Child-Safe Kitchen Remedies For The Cold And Flu

Are there other kitchen remedies you use for pain? Tell us in the comments section below. 

Sign up for Off The Grid News’ weekly email and stay informed about all things off-grid.

The post Relieve Pain Fast With Easy To Use But Little Know Kitchen Remedies appeared first on Off The Grid News.

Privacy Nightmare: Smartphone Makers And Facebook’s Secret Agreement

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Huge privacy breach as Facebook became social media leader.

There is a frightening reason why Facebook got to be the biggest communications medium in human history. Apple, Amazon, Samsung, Microsoft, Blackberry, and other major phone makers shared the personal data of users with the Social Network.
Up to 60 companies shared data about smartphone users with Facebook in secret partnerships, The New York Times revealed. The partnerships lasted for over 10 years and only ended in April 2018.

The data shared might have included details of intimate relationships, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and data about events attended, The Times claimed. The users did not know that their data was being shared with Facebook.

Your Data is being shared with Facebook whether you want it or not

The Times found: “They can obtain data about a user’s Facebook friends, even those who have denied Facebook permission to share information with any third parties.”

Former Facebook engineers and security experts were shocked at the amount of data the company had access to. Many of Facebook’s most popular features were apparently based on the data.

Facebook used the data to make a version of its popular website for smartphones. The Times did not say whether Facebook used the data to design its other products like WhatsApp and Instagram.
The secret partnerships only came to light at a closed-door hearing of a German parliamentary committee in April, The Times revealed. At that meeting, Facebook’s vice president for global public policy, Joel Kaplan admitted the partnerships existed.

There is No Privacy on Facebook

Facebook’s mobile phone app will have 1.38 billion users worldwide by the end of 2018, Statista estimated. Another Facebook product the social messaging solution WhatsApp had 1.7 billion users worldwide in December 2017.

That means Facebook might have as many 3.08 billion users worldwide making it the largest media in history. That means Mark Zuckerberg is the greatest media tycoon who ever lived, he can reach more people than the world’s TV networks or newspapers.

That is frightening because Zuckerberg is the man who once said, “privacy is no longer a social norm.” Zuckerberg is worth an estimated $78 billion. Facebook is extremely lucrative; the social network had $43.956 billion in the bank on March 31, 2018.

How to Guard and Protect your Privacy in the Age of Facebook

There are few things that you can do to preserve privacy in the age of Facebook. Some of them include:
• Use a smartphone made by Motorola or LG, those companies are not on the list of companies that shared data with Facebook.

• Do not use Facebook on your phone because there is no way to know how Zuckerberg is tracking you through it.

• Do not use Facebook or its subsidiaries such as WhatsApp and Instagram.

• Use an encrypted social media such as Telegram which might be safer than Facebook. Telegram is so secure that governments in Russia and Iran tried to ban it. The governments wanted to ban Telegram because they were unable to read users’ messages.

• Only use Facebook for business purposes.

• Do not use Apple phones, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov alleged that Apple blocked updates designed to make the product more secure. Durov claimed Apple took that action at the behest of Russian censors.
Silicon Valley has no respect for your privacy or security. If you want privacy, you should consider unplugging from its products completely.

 

 

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Prepper Must-Haves: Shipping Pallets

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

There are probably 1,001 uses for wooden shipping pallets besides sticking them in a burn barrel. We can regularly source them for free or for very low cost by talking to distribution centers and contractor supply stores about their breakage piles, eyeballing the dumpster areas of shopping centers and warehouses, or checking sites like Craigslist and Freecycle.

Spin around online and you can find all sorts of projects and builds for people of all skill levels. They can make our lives easier and seriously cut our costs in many cases. A free item with that much potential makes them an automatic must-have in my book. I’m mostly going to talk about simple builds this time around, but pallets also get turned into pretty impressive structures, gardens, and furniture.

Pallets come in several standard sizes and a handful of configurations. While the type can matter for some of our projects due to the number, cut, and spacing of boards, for the most part applications are pretty universal. For details about shipping pallet types and sizes, check out this site http://www.airseacontainers.com/blog/most-common-shipping-pallet-measurements/.

Disassembled = Board Lumber

Remember, once disassembled, our pallets are just lumber. That opens up the whole world of projects. Rifle racks for the range or safes, food storage shelves, bird houses and playhouses; anything we’d repair or build can be done with pallets.

Those boards also have use in hiding some of the “ugly” around our homes. We can use them to sheath everything from our water storage totes and barrels, to whatever containers we’re planting in.

We can also double up our pallet boards for a little more durability and strength if we want. I mention this because some stuff is heavy and would do better with a 2×4 than 1×4. (I tend to live in the “abundance of caution” and JIC world for the most part, although I’ll dispel that and make heads spin in the next section.)

Safe or Unsafe

How “safe” the various treatments used on pallets is for us depends on our intended use, even if we’re worried about chemicals. Most articles and videos will tell you that only HT-Heat treated pallets are safe, although others include debarked (DB) and the “safe” EPAL European designator. I’m not going to hand my kids lead pacifiers or mix up powdered milk or pony drenches in bleach bottles, but I also don’t get too wrapped around the axle on some fronts. This is one of them.

If you consume Big Ag meats (supermarket to Outback or Whataburger), farmed or bottom-feeder fish, “normal” supermarket eggs and dairy, soda or anything in the center aisles made with corn or soy, or if you drive 3 hours/week, burn trash, touch cash and then your face/food, smoke (anything), handle lead (ammo), sit by campfires, live in a city, microwave food in plastic, use rain catchment without serious decontamination filters, have dark irrigation hoses or foam mattresses, or buy commercial animal feed … don’t sweat those markers too much.

One, you’re more likely to die from a vehicular accident, and be hospitalized from supermarket leafy greens or infection contracted in the hospital than from one more of the ubiquitous chemicals around us. Two, those chemicals mostly only become available as our pallets (or anything) decays. That means tiny increments released over time (vice chugging a can of stain). Chemicals mostly head downward with moisture, with only some outward contact spreading outward – only fractions of them are available for possible uptake. Only fractions of that then ends up in the seeds and fruits we eat.

All that said, the warnings about chem-treated pallets originate from garden methods using them, then became universal “rules”. (Pallet garden potentials are so numerous, I’m not even going to talk about them here – they rate an entire article.)

Point is, don’t blanketly accept conventional wisdoms without thinking them through. They may not even apply (or are total bunk). Some stuff, for some/many people, is worth stressing. Some stuff isn’t.

Water Storage

Speaking of safe and unsafe, the conventional wisdom is that we don’t want to store plastic containers, particularly of water, on concrete due to the chemical interaction that allows contaminants to enter our foods. There’s some hot-not and storage-duration wiggle room, and while I tend to err on the side of caution in this case (and when it comes to previous milk containers), there’s some myth-truth proposals here http://www.preparednesspro.com/myths-and-facts-of-water-storage to spur analytical thinking.

For the most part, I don’t really see how laying cardboard, 2×4’s, or 1×4’s under plastic barrels and buckets destabilizes them unless somebody gets really cute (or stingy). Personally, I’m a big believer in keeping stuff up off the floor, period. Even beyond chemical interaction concerns, being able to stack stuff also comes in handy, both to maximize storage space and in some cases to make it easier to use.

One point to note about water in particular is that it’s heavy. Not only does that apply to any rack we use, it also applies to container sizes. The older I get and more injuries I accumulate and heal, the more I’m willing to downsize. That includes containers for dry goods and water.

It’s just easier to build structures for, pull down, move, clean, and refill a 3-6 gallon bucket than a 35-55 gallon barrel. About the only remaining exceptions in my various storage are wheeled trash cans.

*Those are not food safe, either, if it’s a concern – told you I’d make heads spin. (Most of my trash cans hold mylar-bagged foods and animal evac feed and supplies; some are wash/laundry water catchment).

As-Is Uses

There’s lots pallets can do for us even if we’re not yet DIY-ers, and lots that requires minimal building skills. For one, just getting stuff off the ground, as mentioned above. That can be hay, mulch, bagged amendments, toolboxes in our sheds or outdoors, food storage buckets and barrels, or creating elevated resting platforms and feeding stations in pens or pastures that tend to get muddy.

They can help keep our boots cleaner – and to some degree limit the risk of slipping in wet and icy weather – by creating walkways, and prevent ATVs, Gators, carts, and bikes from bogging down or tearing ruts on trails and in gardens. They can also decrease or eliminate risks and wetness from ditches and seasonal streams, making getting around faster and easier.

Steps & Rails

If we’re on a tight budget, we might find we can use a boost as well as a stepping stone. We might also decide that a step or hill is a little too much for us as we age, get pregnant, or face injury. Pallets can help us there, too, and it tends to be a ridiculously easy build.

Go easy on how high we go with these things – I’ve seen some crazy. They are wood and even treated, they are eventually going to rot and crack, and need replaced. Also, make sure you anchor these things together and to the ground.

If you want or need steps or a sidewalk past mud, a hand rail is usually a fantastic idea, even if it’s just posts somebody can snag. We can turn other pallets into those rails to increase safety and ease.  

Simple Builds

There are plenty of other simple builds out there that at most require splitting, hanging, or trimming an as-is pallet to size, adding some screws or in some cases a hinge, a few hooks, and some cord or chain. The ease makes pallets a valuable learning tool (and confidence boost) for preppers who are just dipping their toe into DIY. The in-expense also means if there’s a screw-up, no big. Scrap lumber is handy to have around.

Some of the simplest ways to use pallets is just to slap three or four of them together to make a work bench, desk, countertop, or table. Flip that on its side, link a few in series, and you’ve got a leaf mold or compost heap. With a sturdy wall or a couple of convenient trees and $3-10 in hardware, and you can make one or two pallets into a permanent or Murphy-bed style station that functions as a desk, a table, or a workbench, indoors or out.

With some additional screws and hooks or disassembled boards, we can use a wall or those handy trees to hang our tools in a shed or outside the garage. We can also hang them from the sides of our tables or benches.

For a really simple build, just fix a handful of shipping pallets together with deck screws (flip-flop which side is up as you stack to increase shelf depth). Add caster wheels and it’s a rolling storage shelf or workbench.

With some cinder blocks or some 4x4s, we can create shelving with very little building experience, using whole pallets, pallets that are cut in half to make shallower widths, or disassembled boards. (Remember: even a pint canning jar is heavy on its own and holds another pound worth of liquids or foods – use healthy boards and consider doubling them up.)

Another super-simple build using just deck screws is stacking a few pallets and adding one perpendicular to form an L shape. Set that on some cinder blocks and top with a mattress, seat cushions, or pads and you’ve got a bench seat or day bed. Some additional lumber or blocks creates storage spaces for totes, baskets, or drawers salvaged from a wrecked dresser or filing cabinet.

If you’re after some inexpensive yard, starter-home, or bug-out location furniture, the sky is the limit and the internet is just full of ideas. Personally, I’m not much for the rustic pallet look, but with a coat of paint or whitewash, our pallets can get prettier if and where it matters.

Fencing & Pens

Another fantastic use for pallets that requires little DIY experience is fencing for our dooryards, gardens, and animals, to protect trees, or just to increase our privacy a little. We can use them pretty much as-is and connect them to each other, standard fenceposts, or poles we make our or a neighbor’s overgrown saplings and trimmings. We can also pull a board or two from each to cut at an angle and drive into the ground for stability or to use as an overlapping connector between pallets.

If heights of 18-24” work instead of 3-4’, we can very quickly halve our pallets and double the area we enclose. We can also totally or partly disassemble them and churn out top-rail or a 2-3 rail plank fencing, or do some extra cutting for an HOA-acceptable picket fence.

If we have problems with raccoons reaching through our poultry and rabbit fencing, we can brace whole or half-height pallets against our existing runs to add depth. Likewise, they can create a buffer to allow some grazing but keep chickens and goats from eating something to the trunk or roots.

We can also take pallets apart and reassemble them in a solid wall if our birds/hares like to do dumb stuff like huddle in a corner where something can get its claws through – there’s little worse than a disassembled critter the predator couldn’t even get out to eat.

I said I wasn’t going to talk about pallet gardens, but when it comes to fencing, that’s actually one of the benefits they offer. Pallet fences allow us to grow vertically either on the protected inside or on the outside of critter pens where our critters can’t reach, or both.

Pallets for Preppers

Pallets can be an excellent step into the world of DIY for beginners, as well as help everybody save money. Gardens, livestock feeders, and sheds are big enough categories to really rate their own articles, but there’s so much more. If you’ve got a need, see if somebody has a how-to using pallets, but don’t forget that pallets are also just board lumber waiting to be sanded.

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Sustainable Prepping: 5 Alternative Energy Types for When the SHTF

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There are actually a lot of different types of energy sources to tap into after a disaster strikes. One of the major differences is that unless you have formed some kind of intentional community or have a group of like-minded individuals in your area, you will be the engineer, the mechanic, and the maintenance man all rolled into one. To digress just a bit, this is why shows such as “The Colony” (the reality show, not the aliens), and “Doomsday Preppers” are productive for the introduction of ideas. Those ideas need to be researched and employed, in that order.

Let’s cover some methods to generate energy and provide power, and discuss the positive and negative aspects of each one.

  1. Wood:  absolutely a mainstay after disaster strikes. I’ve written several pieces on the benefits of wood stoves: for cooking, boiling water for washing, laundry, and drinking, and of course, for heat. For those with a fireplace and no woodstove, a set of Dutch ovens (cast-iron cookware) and a kettle that can be hung within it are good for starters. There are also racks out there for hanging laundry and taking advantage of the heat from the fireplace or the woodstove. The main problems with the woodstove are fuel and security. First, you need to lay in a good supply of wood long before either the winter and/or the disaster strikes. Secondly, the wood fire produces smoke, something that cannot be concealed, and this will alert others to your location.
  2. Solar:  It’s always worthwhile to throw some panels up on the roof, as these can give at least a trickle charge, if not power everything you have. Undertaking this is fairly uncomplicated. During your spring, summer, and fall months, you’ll get a lot out of it. Winter is a different matter: not just for the snow, but also for the gray days where you won’t receive that much light. There are even solar generators with high-capacity lithium power packs or portable solar panels you can take with you in your bug-out bag.
  3. Wind: There are plenty of kits out there that will enable you to throw up one or more windmills, and these can take up the slack for the solar panels on days that there is not much in the way of the sun. Windmills also need to be maintained a little more, as they can be damaged or have a breakdown from the moving parts.
  4. Bicycle Generator: Please take note: this is a generator that runs from pedal power, as in a stationary exercise bicycle that doesn’t move…just turns that front wheel. The wheel provides the power to turn a generator flywheel. There are many different plans and kits available here, as well. Basically, all you need is a generator of some type, a belt to rig up on the front wheel of the bicycle, a voltage regulator (so you don’t overload/blow out your battery), and the battery itself.
  5. Wood Gassifier: this contraption is made from a container holding a heat source (fire) that in turn heats another container filled with wood pieces. The resulting wood gas is then channeled to the carburetor of an engine and directly used by that engine for fuel to run on. The fuel tank is bypassed, as the wood produces a gas. The engine then turns a flywheel that is hooked up to an alternator, and your power is then produced…that can charge a battery array. There are plans all over the Internet for these gassifiers.

The time to begin undertaking these projects is now, prior to needing them. One other problem has to do with the human element, an element more inhumane than anything else. Local building codes, community and residential codes, inspectors, permits, and the usual “conga line” of loser-bureaucrats coming out to steal your money and prevent you from doing anything…these are sure to materialize. You may have to build everything and not employ it until after a disaster hits. Not to mention “friendly,” nosy, intrusive, vicious, snooping neighbors will swoop in to denounce you or cause you other forms of trouble. I’ve written about these “gems” before in the past: more deadly to deal with after the S hits the fan than the disaster itself.

Those are some basics, and you need to do some research and figure out which one (or ones) can be viable for you. There are plenty of resources out there all over the Internet, as well as in your local library or county extension office. Take some time working with each to come up with the best possible courses of action. Then when the time comes, if you’ve prepared, you’ll be able to sing the song, “I’ve got the power,” although it will be getting kind of hectic. You’ll be able to handle it.  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

Walking on Sunshine: Natural Health!

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Walking on Sunshine: Natural Health!

Walking on Sunshine: Natural Health!
Lynna “A Preppers Path ” Audio player below!

Hey all you preppers out there the sun is shining at least up here in the wilds of the north. Temperatures are climbing and the golden rays of sunshine are flooding the landscape. A perfect time to get outside and enjoy. It’s easy enough to fill a page with all the positives of sunshine. However, are you aware how important the sun is for our bodies.

Continue reading Walking on Sunshine: Natural Health! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.