Accuracy Standards- Rifles

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Thinking in groups of people can kind of move in cycles. This is true in meat space social networks as well as internet ones. Internet ones are different because we tend to be reading things instead of having conversations. So while Bob, Jim and Jill might have a conversation here Harry, Sally and Frank can hear the same thing the next day. Anyway…..

The American Partisan folks and I seem to be thinking a lot alike lately. American Partisan wrote a good post on practical carbine accuracy. Their points about practical field shooting being different from a nice day on the range with a rest being different are totally valid but that isn’t where I am going.

I am reminded of the old construction saying that there is fast, good and cheap but you only get to pick two. (So you can have fast and good but it won’t be cheap, or cheap and good but it won’t be fast, etc) In this context we would have accurate, reliable and affordable. Admittedly that is an over simplification. With rifles we also have the variable of weight but then we are getting pretty far down into the weeds with concept of use and such.

The important question at hand is how much accuracy do we need. I suppose we would have to categorize rifles into a couple concepts of use. Categories need to be defined.

Fighting rifle. A magazine fed semi automatic rifle used for personal combat. Ranges will vary but in a non military context 3-50 meters are most common with occasional shots closer to 100m.

(Seriously cases where a civilian or cop is shooting past100m or so are at best rare. Off hand I can not think of any though admittedly I haven’t proactively looked. If you know of any please shoot me breakdowns of the stories.)

Precision rifle. Scoped rifle used for shooting at longer distances or situations where a high degree of accuracy is needed. Call it a sniper rifle or a hunting rifle, whatever.

Accuracy Standards:

Fighting rifle- 4 MOA

Precision rifle- 2 MOA


Fighting rifle- 4 MOA. Why 4 MOA? That is a solid head shot at 100 meters. At 300 meters its a 12 inch circle which is a very good chest shot. At 600 meters it is a 24 inch circle which probably puts the round in someone’s torso.

4 MOA is also, if I recall, the contract standard for the Colt M4 rifles we carry at work. Someone probably did the same kind of thinking I did in the previous paragraph.

I would argue that a 4 MOA rifle will do anything you can reasonably expect out of a fighting rifle.

Pretty much any serviceable rifle will shoot this. If an AR can’t shoot 4 MOA something is wrong with it. (though typically AR issues manifest themselves more in reliability than accuracy). Most AK’s can shoot under 4 MOA. Every AK I have personally fired can meet or exceed this.

Precision rifle: What just 2 MOA? That is a shot on a partially concealed head at 100 meters or a full head at 200. That keeps you in good torso shots (12″ is a pretty vital circle when centered on the sternum) out to 600. Honestly unless you are a legitimate military sniper or some sort of championship high power guy an honest 2 MOA rifle will out shoot you.

Reliability- For fighting weapons reliability is obviously important. Nothing is absolute and mechanical devices sometimes fail. However if your gun is failing regularly then you need to address the issue.

In firearms (at least in the modern era, I can’t speak to before that) there is traditionally an inverse relationship between reliability and accuracy. To make a gun more reliable you increase clearances between parts to allow for dirt/ sand/ carbon build up/ etc. Bigger clearances mean movement between parts which ultimately means less predictability in where the bullet goes AKA wider shot group. Think about say an AKM. On the other hand especially with precision machining capabilities now available it is easy to make for really tight clearances which means less movement and more accuracy. However the gun is less reliable because those tight spaces between parts offer little room for dirt/ sand/ carbon build up.

1911’s are a good case for this. A mil spec 1911, even a new one, has some play between parts, that in part makes them reasonably reliable. I probably make fun of 1911’s sometimes but a Colt or Springfield will work fine if you have reasonable expectations. Even those shot out WWII guns will typically run. However accuracy is nothing to write home about. On the other hand a target model 1911will be a lot more accurate. The modern ability to make parts accurate to a tiny fraction of an inch allows this. However the same super tight build that makes the gun accurate means it is a lot less reliable. This brings us back to the good fast and cheap. You can have accurate, reliable and affordable but you only get to pick 2. A $700 1911 can be accurate or reliable. Now a $3,000 super fancy boutique production Ed Brown/ Nighthawk/ Wilson Combat will be accurate and reliable but cheap is out the window.

It is easy to exceed both of these numbers. Finding standard production AR’s that shoot 2 MOA is easy. These days really accurate bolt action rifles are out there also. There is a pretty good chance that the Hunters Special Rem/ Sav/ Moss package with a scope on sale at Wally World is a 1 MOA rifle. There are a lot of reliable options at a variety of different price points.

The point I am striving for here is that the odds are high whatever guns you have are accurate enough so quit worrying about that. Put the time/ energy/ money into worrying if the meatsack behind the gun can do its part.



Planning and Building a Bee-Friendly Backyard

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Like most of you, I have a love/hate relationship with bees. I hate their stings, and thank goodness, no one in my family is allergic to them, but I love their role in nature, acting as the major pollinator. Without them, many different species of plants and animals wouldn’t survive and one way to support them […]

Self Defence. Possessing any object specifically for the purpose of self-defence, lethal or non-lethal, is a criminal offence in Australia.

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Possessing any object specifically for the purpose of self-defence, lethal or non-lethal, is a criminal offence in Australia. There are many women, raped and/or murdered, who would have been liable to prosecution had they been carrying anything that might have saved them.

Home Invasions & Assaults 2018

MAY 31 2018 – 2:47PM

Teens arrested over Tahmoor home invasion.

Teen arrested over two ‘frightening’ attacks on women in Sydney’s west

11 May 2018 — 4:58pm

A man allegedly throws rocks at police in Darlington after attempted break-in

WA Police hunt for man in relation to sexual assault

Investigation continues into Margaret River massacre

Judge cries in court while sentencing woman who killed abusive partner

CCTV of missing 12-year-old moments before he was pulled into car

Another home invasion!

Man on the run after assaulting 12-year-old girl

Another home invasion! Eight-year-old girl ‘assaulted after man climbs into bedroom window’

Home Invasions. New Victoria police taskforce targeting wayward teens in home invasion crackdown

Masked men threaten family with machetes and tomahawk in home invasion

Home Invasion. Man charged over death of young mum found next to baby

Police release CCTV of Elizabeth South home invasion in which a bullet was fired into a bedroom


THE VICTIM of a terrifying home invasion has recalled the moment three thugs stormed her home and held a doona over her head.It comes as police make a fresh appeal for public assistance following the aggravated burglary and false imprisonment in Cairnlea in

Nine charged with murder over stabbing death of woman

‘I was screaming blood-curdling screams’: Brave woman speaks of shock sex attack

Lake Macquarie Police District officers charge man, 44, over alleged axe attack of man, 73, in Rathmines this morning

Man threatened with gun and knife during Hornsby home invasion

Armed Home Invasion. A TEENAGE boy has been charged with armed robbery after an alleged break-in at an Armidale NSW house.

Man kicked in head in Sydney home invasion

NSW meat cleaver home invasion injures two

20th of May 2018

Woman repeatedly sexually assaulted on train 22 May 2018

Home Invasion. Oxley police investigate firearm theft in Narrabri. MAY 22 2018

Murderer on bail for violent home invasion

22nd May 2018

Investigation underway following home invasion in Colyton

Monday 21 May 2018

MAY 24 2018 – 12:23PM

Man charged after home invasion

Elderly man in intensive care after invasion at Gosnells property

May 23rd 2018.


25th May 2018.

12:30PM: Police have arrested a man in relation to a number of alleged assaults in Kennington on Friday and Saturday. 26th May 2018.

Man arrested at Prospect service station over home invasion involving meat cleaver

May 25, 2018 7:49pm

‘We’ll come back and chop you up’: Man threatened with machete in home invasion

8:15pm May 25, 2018

After murdering his pregnant partner, killer drove to a police station in a crazed state

26 May 2018 — 12:00am

Woman stabbed, man charged in Adelaide

26 May 2018

Employee locks robber in store during armed hold-up

26 May 2018

Man ‘punched food delivery driver’ as he dropped off order

27 May 2018

Teens hit man with spanner after being caught stealing two bottles of coke

WA police hunt for armed, dangerous man

MAY 27 2018 – 12:27PM

Women terrorised by truck driver armed with hammer in road rage attack

28 May 2018

Mum’s horror after finding naked stranger inside home

27th May 2018.

Police search for trio following Bunnings axe robbery

28th May 2018.

Trio raid pub with machete, samurai sword in terrifying hold-up

28th May 2018

Home Invasion. Woolsthorpe home in Leman Road burgled.

MAY 29 2018 – 12:38PM

MAY 29 2018 – 8:00AM

Man stabbed in home invasion at Figtree.

MAY 29 2018 – 8:00AM

Outlaw motorcycle gang associates charged after home invasion, TAS

29th May 2018.

Hamilton South Home Invasion.

29th May 2018.

Man slashed with machete during home invasion

A man has suffered serious injuries after being slashed with a machete when two masked intruders broke into his home overnight.

29th May 2018.

Heartbroken neighbour, 92, pays tribute to friend bashed to death IN A HOME INVASION!

30 May 2018

Man charged after allegedly attacking women 

30th May 2018.

Gunman surrenders to police after Mackay CBD lockdown

May 31, 2018 6:53am

‘Stop filming and help out’: Message after brutal bashing

30 May 2018.

Three men with sawn-off shotgun steal cash in targeted Holt home invasion

  31 May 2018 

Home invasion & Car jacking. Man arrested after woman dies, man stabbed in NSW

1 June 2018

Bega stabbing: Woman dies, grandson under police guard in hospital

2 June 2018 — 8:53am

Two charged over assault on elderly couple in Perth’s southern suburbs

2 June 2018 — 10:04am

Home Invasion. Pensioner speaks out after home burgled

Friday, 1 June 2018 6:18PM

Delivery driver allegedly bashed and threatened with gun

2 June 2018.

Man under police guard in hospital after stabbing

2 June 2018.

Two stabbed, 12 arrested after massive brawl outside party

3 June 2018.

Hatchet used in a Murgon home invasion

4th Jun 2018 11:53 AM | Updated: 12:57 PM

Two charged over Merewether home invasion, taxi robbery JUNE 5 2018 – 7:02AM

Same man could be responsible for two sex attacks on women

5 June 2018

Man stabbed in Sydney’s CBD while waiting for a bus

Updated6 June 2018 — 3:26pmfirst published at 2:59pm

Man refused bail after stand-off with police following alleged assault

7 June 2018 — 7:34am

Man bail refused for serious offences. Home Invasion.

JUNE 6 2018 – 4:30PM

Home invasion. June 7th 2018.

Man jailed for fatal bashing of stranger

7 June 2018

Man charged with ‘bashing war veteran with baseball bat’

7 June 2018

JUNE 7 2018 – 4:30PM

Two men with handguns in armed home invasion at Woolooware JUNE 7 2018 – 4:30PM

Horrifying details emerge of radio host’s home invasion

3:56pm June 7th, 2018

Man stabbed multiple times in Sydney brawl

9 June 2018

Two women tied up during violent Kingston home invasion

June 8, 2018 3:29pm

Great-grandfather refuses to hand over cash in armed robbery

9 June 2018.

Man robs Elizabeth East supermarket with machete, two car chases in Murray Bridge terminated following erratic driving

June 10, 2018 8:57am

Two home invasions on violent night in Adelaide

June 12, 2018 2:52pm

One charged, another on the run after violent Midland home invasion

11 June 2018 — 5:27pm

Magistrate’s husband assault & ‘threatened family’

5:01pm Jun 12, 2018

Uber driver to face trial over teen rape allegation

12 June 2018

Girl, 12, sexually assaulted over five hours after being taken into bushland

13 June 2018

Carlton North death: Police release images of man in grey hoodie. She was raped and killed Tuesday night.

13 June 2018 — 6:35pm

Woman tells of sex assault near where woman’s body found this morning

13 June 2018 — 2:33pm

Disabled pensioner brutally bashed

A father of seven has told how he was brutally bashed by two men armed with a metal pole during a home invasion at Davoren Park.

12th of June 2018.

Three charged over terrifying home invasion

14 June 2018

Home invasion & police ramming! 13 year old girl at home alone!

11:01AM June 14, 2018

A Mother assaulted at beach.

14 June 2018

Chilling video shows two children running from feared abduction attempt

14 June 2018

Anthracnose: Preventing Leaf Spots and Blights On Your Plants

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The post Anthracnose: Preventing Leaf Spots and Blights On Your Plants is by Lorin Nielsen and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

We all know when leaves begin to get spotted, there’s a problem. While there’s a lot of causes, today we’ll focus in on one particular one: anthracnose. This fungal disease is widespread, affecting all sorts of plants from fruits and vegetables through grains, trees (both fruiting and non-fruiting) and ornamental plants. It is not generally … Read more

The post Anthracnose: Preventing Leaf Spots and Blights On Your Plants is by Lorin Nielsen and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Can Silver Break The Chains?

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One of the great prepper conspiracies is the idea that the silver market is highly manipulated. Its hard not to believe this because of the fact that silver is priced so low by the ounce and is such a widely used metal. When you look at the comparison between silver and things like gold and …

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Heat-Related Illness

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Heat-Related Illness


Extremes of heat and cold are part and parcel of a long-term survival scenario. In long-term survival settings or even in normal times, you may find yourself without shelter to protect you from the elements.  If you don’t take the weather into account, you have made it your enemy; it’ll be something you regret very quickly.

In the heat of summer, you might encounter someone suffering from the ill effects of overheating, otherwise known as hyperthermia.  Even in cold weather, significant physical exertion in an over-dressed and under-hydrated individual could be life-threatening.

Heat-related illness runs the spectrum from simple muscle cramps to shock. If mild to moderate, the condition is referred to as “heat exhaustion”. If severe, “heat stroke”. Heat exhaustion usually does not result in permanent damage, but heat stroke does; indeed, it can permanently disable or even kill its victim.  The effects of very high body core temperatures constitute a medical emergency that must be diagnosed and treated promptly.

The risk of heat stroke correlates strongly to the “heat index”, a measurement of the effects of air temperature combined with high humidity.  Above 60% relative humidity, loss of heat by perspiration is impaired, increasing the risk of hyperthermia.  Exposure to full sun increases the reported heat index by as much as 10-15 degrees F. In other words, the equivalent of being out in much hotter weather.

Simply having muscle cramps or a fainting spell does not necessarily signify a major heat-related medical event. You will see “heat cramps” often in children that have been running around on a hot day.  Getting them out of the sun, massaging the affected muscles, and providing hydration will usually resolve the problem.

A significant rise in the body’s core temperature is required to make the diagnosis of heat exhaustion. As many heat-related symptoms mimic other conditions, you should include an accurate thermometer as part of your medical supplies.

In addition to muscle cramps and/or fainting, heat exhaustion is characterized by:

  • Confusion
  • Rapid pulse
  • Flushing
  • Profuse sweating
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Temperature elevation up to 105 degrees F

If no action is taken to cool the victim, heat stroke may ensue. Heat stroke, in addition to all the possible signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion, will manifest as loss of consciousness, seizures, or even bleeding (seen in the urine or vomit).  Breathing becomes rapid and shallow. You’ll notice that the skin turns red, not necessarily because it is burned, but because the blood vessels are dilating in an effort to dissipate some of the heat.

The skin will likely be hot to the touch, but in some circumstances, the patient’s skin may actually seem cool.  A person in shock may feel “cold and clammy”, but it’s important to realize that it is the body core temperature that is elevated. Taking a reading with your thermometer will reveal the patient’s true status.

Heat stroke differs from heat exhaustion in that sweating might be absent. This is a significant change, as the body uses sweating as a mechanism to cool itself down. Once the core reaches a temperature of about 106 degrees, thermoregulation breaks down and the body’s ability to use sweating as a natural temperature regulator fails. In heat stroke, the body core can rise to 110 degrees Fahrenheit or more. If not dealt with quickly, expect shock and organ failure, with death as the final outcome.

When overheated patients are no longer able to cool themselves, it is up to their rescuers to do the job. If hyperthermia is suspected, the victim should immediately:

  • Be removed from the heat source (for example, the sun).
  • Have their clothing removed.
  • Be drenched with cool water (or ice, if available).
  • Have their legs elevated above the level of their heart (the shock position).
  • Be fanned or otherwise ventilated to help with heat evaporation.
  • Have moist cold compresses placed in the neck, armpit and groin areas.

Why the neck, armpit and groin? Major blood vessels pass close to the skin in these areas, and you will more efficiently cool the body core. In the wilderness, immersion in a cold stream may be all you have in terms of a cooling strategy. This is a worthwhile option as long as you are closely monitoring your patient.

Oral rehydration is useful to replace fluids lost, but only if the patient is awake and alert. If your patient has altered mental status, fluids may enter their airways. This is called “aspiration” and makes the situation much worse.

You might think that acetaminophen or ibuprofen could help to lower temperatures, but this is actually not the case.  These medications are meant to lower fevers caused by an infection, and they don’t work as well if the fever was not caused by one.

Hyperthermia is largely preventable with some planning. Wear clothing appropriate for the weather.  Tightly swaddling an infant with blankets, simply because that is “what’s done” with a baby, is a recipe for disaster in hot weather. Have everyone wear a head covering. A bandanna soaked in water, for example, would be effective against the heat. Much of the sweating we do comes from our face and head, so towel off frequently to aid in heat evaporation.

If you can avoid dehydration, you will likely avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Work or exercise in hot weather (especially by someone in poor physical condition) will easily cause a person to lose body water content.  Consider at least a pint or two of fluids (preferably Gatorade or another electrolyte-rich product) per hour while working in the sun. Keep a close eye on the elderly, who are at high risk for heat-related illness.

Carefully planning your outdoor work in the summer heat and keeping up with fluids will be a major step in keeping healthy and avoiding heat-related illness.  Monitor the workload (and the workers) and you’ll stay out of trouble.

Joe Alton MD

Fill those holes in your medical supplies with kits and individual items from Nurse Amy’s entire line at!

The Best investment in home security you’ll ever make

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They have been around for a while but if you haven’t looked into installing a home security camera, you really should.

Having an alarm is a great idea and you should have one installed, no doubt. Also hardening you home with a good front door, locks, etc.

But no matter what you do, the truth is that with enough time (and it usually takes them surprisingly little) any criminal can break into your home.

Wifi security cameras are worth their weight in gold. Not only can they notify you with their motion detection feature that someone broke in, you can also check to see whats going on inside your house while you are away. You can set it up so that is notifies you to your cellphone, sends a picture or video of whatever triggered the alarm or even listen and speak through it to whoever is inside. They are a must have for your home and for any property that is left vacant during extended periods of time. Maybe the best thing about these cameras is not just letting you know someone broke in so that you can call the police, even describe the burglars, but that it allows you to capture images of them for future identification.

Zmodo Wireless Two-Way Audio HD Home Security Camera (2 Pack) with Night Vision $39.99

This one is the #1 seller, has top reviews in Amazon and should do fine, but look around for other models in case something else fits your needs better.

That’s all guys. Just a very high value tool in case you don’t have one already. Not a lot of money and in general they are pretty simple and fast to install and set up with your phone.

Take care.


Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”


Frozen Salmon Tonight? You Might Be Dining On Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

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frozen salmon

Many salmon farms that produce the “frozen salmon” we see in our grocery stores are a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

If you are serving your family frozen salmon from a “big box” supermarket, you might be exposing them to deadly antibiotic-resistant super bacteria.
The cheap frozen salmon sold at most American supermarkets and big-box stores is not raised naturally. Instead, it is raised in giant farms in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Chile. Chile’s aquaculture farms are the source of most of America’s salmon.

Those salmon farms are a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria; such as E.coli, Oceana reported. The salmon are fed vast amounts of antibiotics to keep them “healthy;” and raised in filthy water that is filled with feces, dead fish, and uneaten food. Other deadly chemicals including pesticides are dumped into the water to keep the fish looking healthy.

“Densely packed fish swim in a snowstorm of antibiotics, uneaten feed, feces and de-lousing chemicals,” Oceana’s Allison Guy wrote. “It’s a perfect recipe for brewing up drug-resistant bacteria.”


Breeding Super Bacteria In Frozen Salmon

“Conditions on these farms favor the selection of genetic mutations that protect bacteria from antibiotics,” Guy wrote. “Bacteria that win the mutation lottery can then divide and spread unchecked, in a microscopic version of survival of the fittest.”

The bacteria found in the waters at the fish farms include Ebola. Many of the salmon are infected with bacteria such as piscirickettsiosis. Instead of cleaning up the farms, the farmers simply dump more antibiotics so they can raise more salmon.

The antibiotic-resistant superbugs can spread to other fish in the ocean through a process called horizontal gene transfer. During that process, DNA spreads to other kinds of bacteria that affect fish in the wild. Those fish can be caught by fishermen and sold in your supermarket.

Horizontal gene transfer can spread antibiotic-resistant genes to bacteria that can infect humans. The transfer can occur in a person’s intestinal tract, Felipe Cabello an expert on antimicrobial resistance in marine environments at New York Medical College told Oceana.

That means a person can develop antibiotic infection by simply eating or just handling the salmon, Cabello said. That can lead to outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant bacteria including E.coli.
Bacteria resistant to Florfenicol, the most popular antibiotic on Chilean salmon farms, are also resistant to the powerful drugs of last resort doctors use to treat antibiotic-resistant infections in people. That means doctors might have no means of treating such an infection.


Protecting Your Family From Disease Resistant Antibiotic Bacteria In Frozen Salmon

The obvious way to protect your family is to not eat or serve frozen salmon. If you want to buy salmon purchase fresh wild-caught salmon from the butcher counter at your supermarket.
There are two major national grocers; Target and Whole Foods, that refuse to sell Chilean salmon. Target even refuses to sell any farmed salmon and Whole Foods sells farmed salmon from Europe – where fewer antibiotics are used.

Checking the country of origin can offer some protection. Farm-raised salmon from Norway is safer than the Chilean Salmon because aquaculture in that country uses less than a tenth of the antibiotics used in Chile.
A good rule of thumb is not to buy any fish that does not list the country of origin. Avoiding cheaper frozen fish is an excellent idea because much it comes from aquaculture.
The best way to give your family a safe source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids not contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria is to raise your own fish. Building a fish pond on your property is a great way to give your family an Off-the-Grid source of safe, natural protein.

Another salmon problem is the development of GMO “Frankin-Fish.” This issue too, is worthy of concern.

Understanding where your food comes from can play a big role in protecting your family from antibiotic-resistant bacteria and other potential food dangers.


The post Frozen Salmon Tonight? You Might Be Dining On Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria appeared first on Off The Grid News.

Olive Oil Is A True Mediterranean “Health And Healing” Miracle

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olive oil

Olive oil is well known among chefs, but it has a number of other fantastic off-the grid uses.

Homer the Greek poet coined olive oil “liquid gold,” and that label is just as apt today as it was centuries ago. Now, though, modern science has “discovered” that olive oil can enhance the health and appearance of your skin, improve your long-term memory, lower your blood sugar and blood pressure, and cut your risk for just about every chronic disease under the sun. And that is just the tip of the olive branch!

Toss A Toothache Away. Mix 3 drops of olive oil with 1 drop of clove oil, and use a cotton swab to dab the mixture onto your aching tooth. Leave it in place until the pain is gone, and then rinse your mouth with clear water.

Lubricate Your Plumbing. Just take 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil first thing in the morning and a second tablespoon an hour after eating dinner. Within a day or so, things will be moving right along.

Soothe Sunburned Skin. Olive oil can save the day by reducing sunburn pain, keeping your skin hydrated, and helping prevent peeling. For best results, apply the oil immediately after you’ve been exposed to the sun. Make sure you wait at least a few hours before you wash, so the lubricant has plenty of time to penetrate your skin.

Ease Eczema Flare-Ups. Olive oil is packed with important antioxidants that reduce inflammation. It’s a key ingredient in many commercial products that are designed to relieve eczema and other skin irritations. Gently rub on about 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil per square inch of affected skin, and let the oil penetrate before putting on any clothing. For an extra-intensive treatment, cover your oiled skin with plastic wrap, and leave it on overnight. Wear old pajamas and be sure to cover your bed with a large towel to protect your bedding.

Rub Away Aches and Pains. No matter what’s causing the discomfort in your muscles, joints, and tendons – a sports injury, arthritis, or simply a long day of working in the yard – extra virgin olive oil can help ease the pain. Just heat 1 cup of it in the microwave, or in a pan over very low heat, until the oil is comfortably warm to touch. If you like, add 3 or 4 drops of appropriate essential oil. Then massage the healer into your ailing body parts.

Strike Oil for Sinus Relief. Is sinus congestion driving you up a wall? Pour 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into a bowl, and mix in 3 or 4 drops of peppermint oil. Massage the mixture onto your nose, cheekbones, temples, and forehead. Almost immediately, you should feel your sinuses beginning to clear up. Repeat 2 or 3 times a day as needed, until you are breathing freely again. Note: You can substitute eucalyptus, lavender, or rosemary oil. If you have not used it before, test a drop or two on your wrist to make sure you aren’t allergic or hypersensitive to it.

Fade Scars. A small amount of oil can be placed onto the marks every day. You won’t see results overnight, but with time they should vanish, or at least greatly diminish in appearance.

Minimize Wrinkles.  Each night at bedtime, massage oil into the lined areas of your face and neck. Then, in the morning, just wash the oil off with lukewarm water, then splash your skin with cold water and gently pat dry.

Olive oil has many more uses and no known side effects or drug interactions. But oil is also very slippery, so use caution when getting into and out of tub or shower if you are using an oil treatment.

The post Olive Oil Is A True Mediterranean “Health And Healing” Miracle appeared first on Off The Grid News.

World Leaders Are Worried About The Global Economy, The World Is On Fire

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The signs are all around us. Its hard to argue with countries, financial heads and so many others telling us that there is a storm coming. It would seem that we are facing the inevitable task of battling something like this and coming out whole on the other side. What is most alarming is that …

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Free PDF: Elementary Chemistry Theoretical & Practical (1850 & 1857)

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Today I have two PDF Documents, Elementary Chemistry Theoretical & Practical (1850 & 1857) 1850 Preface: The approbation with which the former editions of this Manual of Chemistry have been received by teachers and students will, it is hoped, be extended to the present. Having been carefully revised by its author but a short time before his death, and published under the superintendence of his friend, Dr. Bence Jones, it is full and complete up to the date of publication. The task of the American editor has been to add such new matter as may have since appeared, and to

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Tips for Traveling Prepared

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Are you the type of prepper who has to travel a lot? For some Americans it takes a tremendous amount of travel to make a living.  We live in a world economy and there are people who jump on planes everyday to pay the bills. However you feel about that kind of life there is …

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Volcanic “Cycle” In Hawaii Supports Nukepro Hypothesis of Cosmic Gamma Rays Nucleation of Magma

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I will claim this hypothesis as my own.   Seems like it could be proven pretty well by looking at historical data, even geological data for long term evidence. 

GCRs Galactic Cosmic Rays (Gamma Rays) do nucleate cloud formation and greatly affect earth weather and temperature.    Now it seems clear that they also affect volcanic processes, Magma, and also Earthquakes.    Recent activity in Hawaii shows
1) A quiet day re earthquakes
2) A building day of swarms of EQ 100 to 200 over 2.5
3) A large volcanic earthquake, or they like to call it volcanic eruption although I think that is mostly some type of excuse to down play scary “earthquakes” by the USGS.    I haven’t figure out the motivation yet.


These 5.3 to 5.6 “Eruptions” all happen in the wee hours of the morning, and none of this is publicized by the USGS as a proper warning.    Why is that?

They are also downplaying the likelihood of the Hilina Slump.   I can see why….. people would freak out.    And if it happens, its pretty much game over for 90% of the island chain, maybe Kauai gets somewhat spared, but a 1000′ Tsunani is a serious thing.   Downplay the chances…..

State Raids Farmer’s Home After He Tried to Comply with Gun Laws

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gun laws

Farm home of gun owner was raided after attempted t to comply with state gun laws.

Jeffrey Scott Kirschenmann is facing felony charges because he tried to obey gun laws. The California Department of Justice admitted it raided Kirschenmann’s home because he tried to register a gun through the state website, court documents revealed.
Kirschenmann is facing 12 felony charges; including possessing an assault rifle, possessing silencers, and possessing a multi-burst trigger activator. Kirschenmann, the CEO of Scott Kirschenmann Farms, Inc., would face up to three years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted under California Penal Code 30600.
Authorities began investigating Kirschenmann after he sent a state website pictures of an allegedly illegally modified AR15 semiautomatic rifle, TV KGET reported. Instead of helping Kirschenmann, the state raided his house and confiscated a dozen guns, 230 rounds of ammunition, and two silencers.

Obey State Gun Laws Get Raided and Arrested

Ironically, Kirschenmann would have been able to keep the guns if he had simply ignored the state law. The state only found out about the guns when he tried to register them.
Kirschenmann is apparently a wealthy man who lives in an expensive gated community near Bakersfield. His company has made a fortune selling potatoes to Frito Lay to make potato chips. Kirschenmann is a member of a “prominent California farming family.” Kirschenmann is currently free on $150,000 bail.
It is not safe for gun owners to register firearms with California’s Department of Justice, retired Kern County Sheriff’s Office Commander Joe Pilkington told KGET. Pilkington recommended that owners of semiautomatic weapons talk to a federally licensed firearms dealer or an attorney who is familiar with state law before registering their guns.
Pilkington is a court-recognized firearms expert who is very familiar with California’s gun laws. All California gun owners have to register all semiautomatic weapons by June 30, under new state law.

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Droning On

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What are we going to do with all this tech? Drones were merely toys at one point. Now they are highly sophisticated weapons of war that have the capability of striking targets from great distances. They are being used by police to stop crime and God only knows what the unscrupulous have planned using drones. …

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Fathers Survival Wisdom!

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Fathers Survival Wisdom!
James Walton “I Am Liberty ” Audio player below!

As we sit on the threshold of another Father’s Day it calls into question the idea of what fathers teach their sons and what skills you might have learned from your father as you grew up. That is most often the measure of your relationship with your father. It is hard to have a great relationship with a father who never taught you anything.

Continue reading Fathers Survival Wisdom! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Hunting in Harsh Conditions

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The idea of harsh hunting conditions is something we rarely consider. Even people who hunt in places that are freezing cold or completely soaking with rain, they prepare for that. They also have chosen that situation. Its an interesting thing when you consider it. The vast majority of us are hunting in pre prepped, scouted …

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5 Big Vegetable Garden Tips To Keep Plants Healthy All Summer Long!

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Now that the garden is in, its time to keep it looking great with a few mid-summer vegetable garden tips! So much work goes into spring planting we sometimes forget that once summer arrives, there is still work to do.

The post 5 Big Vegetable Garden Tips To Keep Plants Healthy All Summer Long! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

WSPR (Weak Signal Propagation Reporter) Stand Alone Beacon

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We have all read the book or watched the movie where the lone survival puts out his last and desperate message over a radio beacon. This message is often left on repeat and he or she heads back out to figure out how to stay alive for one more week and hope to hear from …

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Garden Thoughts

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Yesterday, I picked some more goodies from my small test garden and it just struck me how wonderful and complex Mother Nature is. My Green Bell Peppers, Jalapeño Peppers, and Cherry Tomatoes grew from seeds. Seeds that their DNA goes back probably thousands of years. But every year, these plants reproduce themselves ‘perfectly’ again and again creating food for humans and animals to eat. All they ask for is some good dirt, food, and water, they do the rest!

I truly hope Politicians, Big AG and GMO doesn’t screw up this cycle in search of profits. The outcome could cause global starvation.

39 New Handguns to Get Excited About for Summer 2018

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Ahhh. It is so nice to know that our second Amendment is so well installed in our society that we have a billion dollar gun industry that is creating the very best weapons on the market and the average American has the ability to buy and shoot these guns. There is something incredible about the …

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Being Around A Chronic Complainer Is Bad For Your Health

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“The world has doesn’t care about you, me, or anyone else. It’s up to each and everyone of us to dictate our own path.” That quote from a recent MSB comment says it all. It’s so true. I learned that lesson a very long time ago. Interestingly, although the statement is very logical and common sensible, lots of people just don’t get it. They apparently do not realize that to complain does no good whatsoever and will NOT change one’s position in life. Not at all. In fact, it will likely worsen one’s position in life! What they don’t realize

Original source: Being Around A Chronic Complainer Is Bad For Your Health

Everyone Starts Somewhere – How to Prep for the Future After a Disaster

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest contribution from Laure Marie Johnson to The Prepper Journal. Everyone has to start somewhere and the most quoted on this matter is of course Confucius (551 B.C. to 479 B.C.), also known as Kong Qui or K’ung Fu-tzu. As a Chinese philosopher, teacher and political figure his teachings are preserved in the Analects. He obviously was a practical man, one who knew that nothing is ever accomplished unless it is broken down into practical steps AND that first step is taken. So, with that in minds, here are some first steps from Laure in a planned journey for those who are new to prepping.

As you know Preppers are people who prepare for an impending disaster. They gather the basic supplies needed to survive while that disaster is happening around them. With food, water, a first aid kit, and other necessities, most people should be able to make it through their current situation. However, what most preppers fail to do is prepare for life after the disaster. How can people prep for what comes after the impending doom has come to an end and left the world in shambles? Some specialty equipment and supplies are going to be necessary. You’ll need far more than the basics kept in most typical packs.

Purchase Welding Gear


I have almost always had a pair of welding gloves but I have never welded anything. I have then to handle things that are too hot for my delicate little fingers. A radiator cap after a boil-over – yes, safety dictates that we wait until it has cooled BUT releasing the steam slowly, and more quickly, shortens the length of time we are hobbled on the roadside and minimizes the danger of further cracks and leaks from over-pressurized lines and hoses. And yes, my vehicles have the more modern systems BUT even those plastic caps can result in burns. Cutting down some iron fencing recently, in 105 degree temperature, changing the blade on my saw was a job for welders gloves. Somewhat clumsy but better than the expensive specialized designer heat gloves that can almost do the same job and who I payed so much for I don’t want them stained. Living in the desert you can dispatch a scorpion with welders gloves safely.

And if you do weld when they are indispensable to make repairs after damage has been done or weld together some metal to make something useful again or unique to help in your circumstances. Things your should have on hand are welding gloves, safety glasses, not to mention the welder itself, if you have a power source or fuels. Just because there are troubling times doesn’t mean people shouldn’t use precautions when handling equipment. Gloves and glasses help keep you protected while they work.

Gather Gardening Supplies

The food kept in the average prepper’s pack will only last so long. If people are left in a world they need to rebuild, no new food will be available unless people have the ability to make it. Beginning Preppers should gather gardening supplies to have waiting so they can grow their own fruits and vegetables if necessary. A good bag of soil is important to ensure the food can grow. Some seed packets of various options are also vital. While they aren’t completely necessary, some gardening tools and gloves will make the process easier as well as reading the many articles here on The Prepper Journal on gardening and food growing and storage.

Buy Canning Jars

The food grown in a personal garden will never remain edible if people don’t use precautionary measures for keeping them safe to eat. Fruits and vegetables especially go bad quickly, and without a refrigeration system there wouldn’t be much of a chance to preserve them for any longer. Canning jars are ideal in this situation. Preppers should buy as many canning jars as they can to store for later use, as these jars act as a preservation method for food items. Mason jars with screw-like tops seal foods inside and keep them edible for months or longer. The jars can remain sealed until the contents are ready to be consumed at a later date.

Get Weather Prediction Tools

Most people wouldn’t think twice about the weather when there are more pressing matters on the mind. However, people nowadays rely on meteorologists on the weather channel or an app on their phone to tell them what the weather will be like each day. If a tornado is about to sweep through the city or a hurricane is on its way, people are still going to need to know this so they can prepare.

Without someone to tell them, people are going to need to have weather prediction tools available so they know when to expect major weather problems that could be even more deadly than the original disaster they just went through. Weather prediction is just one of the top survival skills people need to have. A barometer, thermometer, and anemometer, or a portable radar system should be included on a prepper’s packing list.

Have Monitors and Filtration Systems

Depending on the damage left behind, many homes and buildings could now have carbon monoxide pouring into the air. Water sources could be filled with bacteria. There may be damaged electrical wires producing sparks. People need to have proper monitors and filtration systems that can help them handle safety issues such as these that arise. A water filtration system is key to ensure survivors can filter out any contaminants and have a safe drinking source. Monitors that help detect carbon monoxide should also be kept on hand, as well as voltage testers that let people know if there is a strong electrical current nearby.

Pack Camouflage Clothing

(Editors Note: the hat is a FAIL!)

Most people realize they should have some changes of clothes packed and ready to go in case of an emergency. They often think about the need for comfortable clothes that they’ll be able to move in easier, but fail to acknowledge the colors and patterns they should be choosing. It’s best to have dark-colored or camouflage clothing that will make it easier to hide from others. Staying hidden at times may be the best way to stay safe in the situation. Brightly colored clothes should never be included in a prepper’s pack.

Get a Sewing Kit

Clothes don’t last forever, especially if people are wearing the same ones over and over again while living in the wilderness. A sewing kit could come in handy to repair holes and keep the clothes people do have in the best condition possible. Warmth is vital when living off the land, so having holy clothes with no way to repair or replace them could be troublesome.

Learn Some Valuable Skills

Surviving a disaster takes more than having the right equipment and supplies. People also need the skills necessary to survive. Knowing how to start a fire, how to administer basic medical care, which berries are poisonous, and how to hunt are just a few valuable skills people should work toward achieving. You never know when a certain skill could come in handy, so it’s best to become a jack of all trades and become well-versed in all areas of work. Without knowing when a disaster could strike, it’s important people start using all the time they can to make advancements in their learning.

Being fully prepared for a disaster is more than gathering granola bars and bottles of water. A truly disastrous event could change the world as we know it, making advanced supplies far more necessary to keep on hand and at the ready. With welding gear, gardening supplies, canning jars, weather prediction tools, monitors and filtration systems, camouflage clothes, a sewing kit, and some valuable life skills, preppers will be as prepared as possible to begin rebuilding life after the catastrophe.

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From Bacon to Baby Backs: Hog Butchering at Home

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

This is part four in a multi-part series on processing pigs at home. If you’ve been following along, in the previous posts, we’ve covered preparing for the slaughter, making the kill, and post-kill processing including hair removal, evisceration, and head removal.  We are now onto the hog butchering process.

In case you missed those earlier posts, here are the links:

Article #1: “Preparing for a Pig Slaughter”

Article #2: “The Pig Slaughter”

Article #3: “Hog Processing: Skinning, Scalding, Scraping, and Eviscerating”

Hog Butchering While the Carcass Is Hanging

Now, it’s time to turn a carcass into useful meat cuts on the homestead. At the grocery store, you usually find tenderloin, pork chop, Boston butt or shoulder roasts, precooked hams, presliced cured bacon, and baby back ribs.

You can certainly try to duplicate these cuts at home. However, when you process at home, you have more options about how to make your cuts. Since we only process a few pigs a year, we try new techniques for making roasts, ribs, and chops each time. But, there are a few key cuts we always make.

1. Make the Belly Cut

The first cut we make is to remove the belly. Doing this makes it easier to remove the tenderloins and to cut the carcass in half.

Pig ribs are very similar in shape to human ribs. They start wide near the sternum, then taper toward the waist. The belly area, which can be used for bacon, is basically the fat-covered muscle area that runs between the two sides of the ribs and in the bone-free area between the ribs and pelvis.

Some bacon lovers even cut up and over the ribs and use the back meat for bacon. This works well with market-style pigs like Yorkshires. However, with our pasture-raised Berkshires, there’s just not enough fat marbling to make good bacon from that area.

The only tricky part about removing the belly is that as the ribs begin to widen, there are soft-floating ribs that are tender enough to slice with a knife. Sometimes, in our eagerness to get more bacon, we cut too close to those floating ribs and end up with bits of them in our belly cut.

In the photo below, you can see where I cleared them on the first belly I removed, but nicked the first one on the other side and had to readjust my knife before continuing to remove the belly.

The non-skin side of the belly is covered with a layer of fat called leaf-lard. Use your fingers to pry that layer of fat off the meat. You can render that separately for use as “pastry lard” (if you have enough of it). Or just lump it in with the rest of your lard trim for later use.

Once you have removed both sides of the belly, next up is the tenderloin.

2. Remove the Tenderloins

The tenderloin is the most tender cut of meat because those particular muscles don’t get as much use as areas like the shoulders. They are located inside the carcass, on either side of the back bone near the hind legs. Some people call them filets because of their fish-like shape.

Tenderloins should be removed before you begin to halve the carcass. Once you locate them, gently cut around the connective tissue holding them in place. Work slowly so you can get every bit of this delicate cut.

3. Split the Carcass

Now you are ready to split the carcass into halves. Cut a line down the skin and meat side of the back as a guide. Then saw from the inside of the carcass following the spinal cord. If you get off course, back your saw up and straighten your cut.

Now that you’ve got your carcass cut into manageable pieces, you can take it off the gambrels and over to your work table. This is easiest if you have two people, each taking a side, and remove the halves simultaneously. If you have to do this alone, put a tarp down to catch the other half of the carcass in case it slides off the gambrel when you remove the first side.

Hog Butchering on a Tabletop

For the rest of this process, we use a stainless steel table and keep a few large cutting boards handy to cube trim for sausage and clean up roasts.

1. Remove the Hocks and Trotters

Hocks and trotters come off first for us. We use a knife to cut at the knee joints and a saw to go through the bone.

We aren’t so fond of eating these, so we use them as treats for dogs or chickens.  They don’t mind the hair and skin, so we don’t bother scraping these areas.

2. Separate the Hams

We cure and cold-smoke our hams so they can be stored without refrigeration. For country ham curing, we like to keep just a short hock on the ham (as shown in the photo above and below).  For prosciutto-style hams, we just remove the trotter (foot) and leave the hock long.

I like to rotate the ham around the hip joint to find the narrow point for separating the ham. Leave the ribs facing down on the table and roll the skin side of the ham in the opposite direction. Cut around the meat to the bone. Then use a saw to cut through the bone.

The last step is to trim up the ham to make the front face mostly smooth for curing.  Any scraps of meat or fat you remove can be put in a trim pile for use in sausage or as cubed meat for stewing.

3. Remove the Back Fat and Skin

From this point forward, there are lots of different ways to butcher a pig. I love pork skins. So, I try to remove the skin and back fat in large slabs. I put the skin-side down and use my knife to separate the skin from the meat.

Once I have a large slab, I trim off any residual meat for my sausage meat pile. I put the fat in our freezer to chill it, because that makes it easier to remove the fat from the skin.

4. Cut the Pork Loin

After you have removed the fat and skin, you can see the long strip of muscle that runs along the spine next to the ribs. This is the loin.

We’re not big fans of pork chops, so we usually cut this into 3-4 roasts. We prefer to use the fat for lard and sausage, so we don’t leave much on the loin.

5. Separate the Ribs

We love our ribs, and pigs can have between 15 and 17 of them. We have no problem sucking meat off the bone or even off the floating ribs.

We like to cut what we call “dinosaur ribs.” Basically, we separate the shoulder from the ribs. Usually though, we break the shoulder area about 4-5 ribs down from the neck.

We use the saw to cut off the spine so we can fit the ribs in our pot. We follow the spine closely, though, rather than cutting down the center of the ribs to make classic baby back ribs.

6. Cut the Shoulder and Picnic

The shoulder is the area above the front leg or picnic. The meat in the front leg has lots of silver skin and is not very tender. We usually cut that up and use it for sausage. Then, we cut multiple 2-pound roasts from around the shoulder blade.

For one of our shoulders, though, we kept the leg with the shoulder, removed the skin, and slow roasted that entire primal cut. We also saved another one to try cooking in a hot smoker in order to make a several-month supply of prepared pulled pork to enjoy all summer long.


As you are making all these cuts, you’ll be able to cut trim from odd-shaped roasts, areas around the bones, and in spots where the meat has more ligature. You will also be able to cut extra fat from your belly cut, the back, and around some of the muscles. As we are making our other cuts, we also cut all that trim into pieces that fit into our grinder and throw the fat into one bowl and the meat into another to use for sausage later.

The bones that we cut from the meat—such as the spine, shoulder blade, and front leg bones—go into the stockpot for making bone stock.  Extra bits of skin that aren’t used for pork rinds also go into the stock to make gelatin. You can read more about how we make bone stock here:

Read More: “Benefits of Bone Broth: Myth or Magical Mystery?”

Hog Butchering in Warm Weather

In cold weather, we can allow our pig to hang overnight to chill the meat. This makes hog butchering a lot easier. However, when processing in late spring (as in this photo series), we have to work quickly to get everything safely processed.

We have a marine cooler lined with frozen bottles of water sitting in the shade ready to hold cuts.

We don’t use ice because we don’t want our meat cuts—like the belly or hams—to take up extra water before we cure them. We keep a fan blowing in the area where we are working to keep insects away.

My partner, Matt, and I, work as a team. As one of us butchers, the other immediately takes the cuts and puts them in the cooler if more processing is necessary. Roasts and ready-to-cook cuts are immediately packaged and put straight into the freezer.

Fall or early winter is certainly our preferred time to butcher. But there are ways to make processing safe at home even in warmer temperatures.

Now that we’ve got hog butchering wrapped up, our next installment in this series will be on some post-butchering preparations, like making country ham and bacon. In the meantime, I am going to go cook up those tenderloins and savor the flavor of pork that’s been raised, processed, and prepared at home.

How about you? Do you have any hog butchering techniques, cuts, or preparations you prefer? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Five Habits that Will Help you Prepare for Most Emergencies

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This post is by Bernie Carr, Many people are still reeling from the after-effects of the last disasters.  Nearly  10 months after Hurricane Harvey, I still see piles of debris from devastated neighborhoods.  This time around another active season is predicted, while a new storm has already hit in Florida.  Many residents in the Big Island of Hawaii are threatened by the erupting volcano and many neighborhoods have had to be evacuated.  People are taking a fresh interest in […]

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9 Improvised Hunting Weapons for Fish and Game in the Wild

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We always assume we’ll have a rifle when hunting, but in a survival situation, we may be lucky to have a pocket knife. A rifle is the standard, contemporary tool or weapon for almost any hunting situation. It’s a highly sophisticated weapon customized with scopes and by caliber for a variety of game species and […]

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Is There a “Right” Way to Be a Prepper?

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As preppers, some of us have an uneasy feeling from time to time about how prepared we are, compared to how prepared we need to be. To me this seems completely natural, especially when you consider how things change daily, and how some of these disaster scenarios increase or decrease on our threat radar. This […]

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“Extreme Simplicity: Homesteading in the City”

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EXTREME SIMPLICITY: Homesteading in the City

[Nyerges is the author of over 20 books, and leads classes through the School of Self-reliance. He can be reached at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or]

When Dolores and I purchased a run-down house in Highland Park in 1986, we  worked towards our goal of “living lightly on the earth,” even though we had a small budget and lived in a small suburban Los Angeles home.

We were doing what our Appalachian friend used to describe as “living country in the city.”  We pursued all aspects of self-reliance, and wrote about it. Starting as soon as we moved in to our new home in 1986, we began task by task with limited income.  We were never fans of a front lawn, so one of our first tasks was to invite a tree pruner to dump a load of woodchips in the front lawn area. We used our front lawn  to grow food and fruit trees. We recycled our wash water into the yard, using the simplest of technologies.  We collected rain water, had chickens, a duck, bees, and a pig.  Eventually, we installed solar water heating, and enough solar panels and inverter to power at least part of our home. We installed a wood stove, fueled mostly by “scrap wood,”  and we planted fruit trees and food everywhere.

One of the problems we found with our home was that it was very hot indoors during the summer. So we installed metal security doors at the front and rear, and were able to leave the doors open all night for the breeze. We also painted the roof with a white elastomeric product which reflected sunlight, and produced an indoor temperature of about 15 to 20 degrees cooler in the summer.

At that time, I was writing articles for Mother Earth News, Wilderness Way, American Survival Guide, and various other magazines and newspapers.  Sometime in 1999, I got a call from an editor at Mother Earth News. They wanted to know if I could write an overview article about the methods of “alternate health” that Dolores and I practiced.  I said yes.  They then said, good, and we’d like to come out there from New York and take pictures of you in your home and put you on the cover.  We said yes.  The article came out, all about herbs and healthful living, and the ancient healing methods of Hippocrates.  We got a lot of attention about what we considered very normal, something that everyone should be doing.

Shortly after that issue of Mother Earth News was published, we got a call from a book publisher who asked if we could turn that health article into a book. Of course, we said yes. But when we eventually submitted the manuscript to the publisher, they said, hmmm, not exactly what we were looking for.  [That book, “Integral Health,” is still unpublished, though I use it frequently as the basis for lectures]. They wanted a complete summary of all sorts of “alternative health” methods, though they had not told us that in the beginning.  So we talked about it, and they asked us if we could just write about how we live our life in Los Angeles, which we did, and it became “Extreme Simplicity: Homesteading in the City.”

We described our efforts to do “integral gardening” on every bit of usable land, to produce food (for people and wildlife), medicines, fragrance, shade, and useful tools. We described how we worked to use as little electricity as possible (for heating, cooling, everything), how to recycle everything, and how to waste very little.

Though the book has a lot of “how to,” it’s also full of personal stories and rich reading of the learning we experienced along the way. There is a section on recycling, and a unique section about the economics of self-reliance, my favorite chapter.

“Extreme Simplicity” is still in print, and still prompting conversations.  It’s available wherever books are sold, from Amazon, and from the store at School of Self-Reliance, Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041; or






Many people today believe that they’re spending all their time working, yet with very little in return. Unfortunately, such realizations may come too late to be remedied.

We think that the Amish people have the right idea when they keep their schools and work close to home. They don’t have to go a long way to a job, thereby avoiding wasted time and energy, unnecessary expenses, and disconnection from their community. They can protect their families from undesirable influence, and there is the added bonus of having youngsters nearby where they can learn a trade from an early age. The Amish are firmly committed to valuing “quality of life” over all the stuff that our modern society deems important or indispensable – car, home entertainment system, fancy clothes, foods bought for “convenience” and prestige rather than fresh garden flavor and nutritional value.



Once, during a period of homelessness before we were married, Christopher was engulfed in thoughts of “poor me” and “I’m destitute,” and he could scarcely see a way out of the darkness. Dolores provided him with a simple set of practical tools that anyone can use if only they choose to do so. Here are four “magic” ways to improve your financial situation:

    1. Never waste anything.

    2. Continually improve your personal honesty.

    3. Leave every situation or circumstance better than you found it.

    4. Tithe to the church (or organization) of your choice.

We know that these are genuine practical solutions. We have heard people say that they cannot make these efforts – such as tithing, or improving an environment – because “we are poor.” Our perspective is that they have their reasoning backwards. They are poor because they do not engage themselves in the world in these ways. Logical thinking leads to erroneous conclusions when the premise is false.



1. You can do without some electrical devices.

This will probably involve changing your behavior, for instance, thinking twice before switching on an electrical tool or appliance when a non-electric alternative will work just as well or better.

2. You can learn to use your existing devices more efficiently.

 This step, too, requires changes in habit, but once you’ve understood the extra expenses caused by inefficiency and waste, you’ll feel good about it – plus you’ll save money by practicing efficiency.

3. You can purchase new appliances that render your household inherently more energy efficient.

 This step requires initial outlays of money, and in some cases higher short-term expenses, but with certain especially wasteful appliances, the best way to save energy and money is to immediately replace the old, wasteful model.



Our freestanding fireplace has completely transformed our home. We would strongly encourage anyone without one already to seriously consider installing one. On very cold nights, we had been using those small electric heaters that really drive up your electric bill. The fireplace made the house really feel like a home, and we now are uncertain how we got along without it.

In our case, the transition to wood heating was fairly easy, because we had plenty of firewood readily available. We were actually doing a neighbor a favor by cleaning up and carting off large amounts of dead and fallen wood from his property. Our first season of firewood came entirely from our weekly cleaning of his yard, just for the cost of our labor. How’s that for a win-win situation?