Electric cars are gaining prevalence on the roads throughout the world. Check out this video to find out why they are not the answer, without even knowing the question. In the video I mentioned a letter. If you would like to see THR work with Tesla on a complete off the grid system, it is …
It is an exciting time in solar power. Storage is shifting from Lead Acid batteries to Lithium Ion. Panels are appearing everywhere in all shapes, sizes, and forms. What happens when you don’t have the space or funds for a large system? What can you do with smaller solar power systems? It turns out the …
“I’d rather be caught dead than caught with a ferro rod!” That was the comment I made to a fellow instructor this past weekend. To him, however, it came as no surprise. He knows I have a rather oblique and critical view of the survival industry. “It’s not that I think the ferro rod doesn’t work,” I said. “It works well for what it is and is great bushcraft tool. The problem I have with it is it’s billing. It is billed as the ultimate emergency fire starting tool. It creates the mind set of the be all end all of fire starting when in reality it violates my basic tenet of survival—Can a five year old do it?”
He listened on in silence as we walked down the trail. I can only think he was thinking, “Oh boy, here goes Alan again on one of his wild rants”
“You know, Rob,” I said. “I’ve run thousands of students.
The post I’d Rather be Caught Dead Than Caught with a Ferro Rod appeared first on outdoor self reliance.
Looking for a way to use up surplus flour, or make a cheap trail food or durable survival ration? One answer may be hardtack, a baked, unleavened wheat cracker. As a survival food, hardtack has a proven track record.
by Leon Pantenburg
Vicksburg, MS: My gray-clad brothers-in-arms and I hunkered down to eat. In the morning, we would do battle with those “heathen Yankee horde” Civil War re-enactors at Champions Hill, between Jackson and Vicksburg, Mississippi.
I was “under cover” on assignment for the Vicksburg Post to photograph the battle, one of the biggest re-enactments of the year. Except for the Nikon safely hidden in my haversack, my gear, weapons and accouterments were authentic in every way.
Since I was working for the Post, I had to represent the home team and be a Confederate. (This probably caused a minor earth tremor in Ruthven, Iowa, as my great-great-grandfather, James Hallowell, 92th Illinois Infantry, rolled in his grave!)
My only excuse was that like most Confederate soldiers, I had been drafted, thought “The Cause” was illogical, had no choice about being there, and wanted to go home!
I ‘d learned a lot about being a Civil War infantryman in one short, sweltering afternoon: the food was absolutely awful; our wool uniforms were too hot, and felt like you were wearing a sweatsuit: the Kepi-style caps provided no sun protection and the canteens were too small.
The Sargent, sensing my discontent (because of my constant whining and complaining) picked on me. He proclaimed to all within hearing distance that I was a “slacker,” and called me a “baboon” when I dropped my canteen during drill. As darkness fell, the re-enactors would sleep under wool blankets, not to stay warm, but to fight off mosquitoes.
But the food was the worst. Dinner was a piece of hardtack, a fatty piece of bacon toasted on a bayonet over a campfire; horrible boiled coffee brewed in my tin cup and a wormy-looking apple. After eating my meager meal, I was ready to either desert or form a raiding party to attack the Yankees and get some real food!
Hardtack is one of the original trail and emergency foods, and it is worth considering if you are a prepper or are interested in wilderness or urban survival.
The advantage is that hardtack is easy to make, transports easily and will last a reasonably long time if stored in appropriate containers. The disadvantage is the bland taste, and traditional toughness.
Even after yeast was discovered by the Egyptians, there was a purpose for unleavened breads. It was easy to carry and durable, so it was standard fare for hunters and warriors. Centuries later, Christopher Columbus took unleavened bread on his journeys.
Hardtack remained a staple in the New World. During the early settlement of North America, the exploration of the continent, the American Revolution, and on through the American
Civil War, armies were kept alive with hardtack. A basic concept in war is that the side that keeps its soldiers from going hungry will probably win.
Hardtack is also reasonably nutritious. Wheat flour is more than 10% protein and includes Vitamin B. During emergencies, people can live for quite a while on just bread and water. Although raw flour is hard to digest, in the form of hard bread, it is edible.
No one has determined just when, or how, during the American Civil War, hard bread began to be referred to as hardtack. Apparently, it was first called hardtack by the Union Army of the Potomac; although the name spread to other units, it was generally referred to as hard bread by the armies of the West.
Regardless of the time frame, if you’re a history buff, prepper or hard-core survivalist, you should consider including hardtack in your emergency food supplies or survival kit. A guaranteed conversation starter at any campfire, campout or outdoor event, hardtack can have a useful place in today’s survival kit.
(It only takes a few additional ingredients to turbocharge the nutritional value of hardtack. To each cup of flour in the recipe, add one tablespoon of soy flour, one teaspoon of wheat germ and one teaspoon of powdered milk. There is no difference in the taste, and these ingredients combine to make the bread a complete protein.)
There are many versions and varieties of hardtack recipes: Try some of these to start out.
- 4 cups flour (preferably whole wheat)
- 4 teaspoons salt
- Water (about 2 cups)
- Pre-heat oven to 375° F
- Makes about 10 pieces
After cutting the squares, press a pattern of four rows of four holes into each square, using a nail or other such object. Do not punch through the dough. The appearance you want is similar to that of a modern saltine cracker. Turn each square over and do the same thing to the other side.
Place the squares on an ungreased cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Turn each piece over and bake for another 30 minutes. The crackers should be slightly brown on both sides.
The fresh crackers are easily broken, but as they dry, they harden and assume the consistency of fired brick.
I cup water
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 tbsp. honey
3 cups rye flour (or 1 1/2 cups rye & 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour)
1 1/2 tbsp. brewer’s yeast (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt
Mix liquids together. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients. Combine the mixtures, stirring to moisten throughout. Form a ball. On a floured surface, flatten the dough, and roll out thinly. Cut into squares and prick each cracker with the tines of a fork a couple of times. Transfer to lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 425° F for around 8 minutes, checking to be sure not to over-brown. It is best served warm.
Mix: two cups of all-purpose flour and a half teaspoon of salt. Use more salt for authenticity. Mix by hand. Add a teaspoon of shortening and a half cup of water, stirred in a little at a time to form a very stiff dough. Beat the dough to a half inch thickness with a clean top mallet or rifle butt. Fold the sheet of dough into six layers. Continue to beat and to fold the dough a half dozen times until it is elastic. Roll the dough out to a half-inch thickness before cutting it with a floured biscuit cutter or bayonet. Bake for about a half hour in a 325° F oven.
The basic ingredients are flour, salt and water. General directions are also similar: Dissolve the salt in water and work it into flour using your hands. The dough should be firm and pliable but not sticky or dry. Flatten the dough onto a cookie sheet to about 1/4 inch thick, and cut into squares 3 inches by 3 inches. Pierce each square with 16 holes about ½ inch apart. Bake in oven until edges are brown or dough is hard.
Preheat the oven to 400° F For each cup of flour add 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix salt and flour with just enough water to bind. Bake 20-25 minutes. The longer you bake the hardtack, the more authentic it will appear.
A Sailor’s Diet
- 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned or quick oats.
- 3 cups unbleached flour.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.
- 1 teaspoon baking soda.
In a separate container, mix:
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk.
- 3 tablespoons honey.
- 1/2 cup melted bacon drippings or shortening.
Combine the two sets of ingredients. When the dough is thoroughly mixed, roll it out on a floured board to a thickness of about a quarter inch. Cut out circles of dough with a large drinking glass dipped in flour and put them on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 5 1/2 minutes at 450° F.
Let the hardtack cool on a wire rack before serving with jam or jelly.
We’ve been on this series for some time and here it is, the COMPLETE How To Build The Ultimate Bug Out Vehicle. Bug Out Vehicles, they can mean different things to different people. Not all “bug outs” may be permanent, some could be. In this video we talk about the fundamentals of building a bug …
I knew with all the rains the high desert and it’s rolling hills would be turning beautiful shades of green. And yesterday I had the opportunity to explore an area of the high desert I’ve been meaning to get to for some time.
The drive up to Agua Dulce was uneventful, other than the winds attempting to blow my vehicle sideways. The winds are fairly predictable, however. Mornings and afternoons are typically much more windy as the sun’s rays warm up the air hovering just above the earth’s surface. The warming air then rises and is displaced by the cooler air that sits higher in the atmosphere. This is what causes the winds. As late afternoon approaches and the temperatures drop, the sun no longer warms up the air as it did earlier in the day and their is no warm air to rise causing winds. [I digress]
As I drove to my destination, just a coupe of miles from Vasquez Rocks,
We’re slightly over a month into Winter and already, here in Southern California, we are seeing wild greens popping up. And one of the most noticeable early bloomers, amongst many, is henbit (Lamium amplexicaule). And certainly yesterday, during my wild plants class, this little mint was making its appearance in a grand way. It was growing so rampant, it was difficult getting around it without trampling it. Fortunately, this abundance just provided more pickings for a wild green salad.
Henbit often goes unnoticed, as it blends into the background of growing grasses and other wild plants. But this small low growing European native is found throughout North America and its mild sweet taste makes a welcome addition to any wild salad. And once recognized, you will notice this plant growing in a lot of places you may frequent. It prefers light dry soil as well as cultivated soil. It is often found along roadsides, in pastures, yards and gardens. In my case, it grows rampant in my backyard, but is just as easily found in areas I hike.
Henbit is in the mint family and shares the typical mint characteristics—square stem and opposite leaves. It is often confused for purple dead nettle (Lamium purpureum), but is indeed different.
We spent the series looking at how to build a good foundation for your Ultimate Bug Out Vehicle, now we take a look at the gear. Everyone will have a different set of challenges to overcome in their own personal choices on how to outfit a vehicle. This is how I built mine and let …
On a recent walkabout, one of the students asked where my knife was. I paused the walk, turned towards the group and said, “I don’t have one”
“You mean you forgot it?” the student asked
“No, I mean I don’t carry one.” I replied while I noticed his riding on his hip. As I looked about, I noticed others had their knives on them as well, not all but some.
“Not even when you’re in the outdoors?” another asked
I guess I must not be following the mold of what an outdoors person is supposed to have or not have when hiking along.
“Actually, no. Outside of teaching classes which involve the use of a knife, like carving, cutting and sharpening, I don’t carry a knife at all.” I responded.
I set out earlier today on a scout of one of my favorite local haunts. It’s an area I frequently conduct classes at. The area is a riparian zone and very rich with a diverse flora.
I entered the dirt parking lot and noticed three other vehicles parked, but no one around. I gathered they were on a hike along the trail that parallels the creek.
Exiting the vehicle I heard a sound I’ve never heard there before, the sound of a roaring river. No way, I thought, as I walked over to what was supposed to be a creek. The creek was a roaring river. The area in the photo is typically a dribble, very easily crossed by stepping on small stones to get across; not today, however.
The first edible flower I ever ate was a nasturtium. We had giant nasturtium plants growing in our herb garden, nearly taking over, in fact, and decided we would start consuming the orange and yellow blossoms and leaves. They have a peppery flavor with a little bit of a kick. It’s always fun to discover plants in your own backyard you can eat.
Nasturtiums aren’t the only edible flower that is commonly found in backyards and growing wild. Here is a list of some of the most common. This list is by no means complete, but is meant to be a starting point for further study of the flowers you have in your yard. Just because you see the name of a flower on this list, do not assume you can run right out and start eating them.
First, do a bit of research on the flower, make sure you have it correctly identified. This foraging book is one of my favorites and the author is a well-known foraging expert. Second, make sure you know which parts can be eaten. If you are interested in learning to identify edible plants like the ones on this list or growing a garden with all the herbs, vegetables, and edible flowers you could possibly want, check out this book and this book.
Interestingly, as you learn more about foraging in your backyard and elsewhere, you’ll find that not every part of a plant is edible. It’s important to have some fundamental foraging knowledge before you start picking random plants and eating them!
|Johnny Jump Up||Lavender|
|Rose of Sharon||Runner bean|
|Sweet Marigold||Sweet William|
It’s good to know that the flowers of these plants are edible because they’re a source of nutrition and flavor that would otherwise go to waste. Sample a single petal, or small piece of a petal, before assuming you’re going to like the flavor. Get a good foraging book or two, preferably one with a few recipes to get you started. Try drying the petals and seeping them in hot water to make teas or chopping up the edible blossoms, leaves, too, if edible, and adding them to biscuit batter or on sandwiches and in salads.
The beauty of this very long list is that there is something to be found in every growing region, from deserts to the coldest climate areas. Many of these flowers will be found in the wild, such as wild violets. I’ve made a printable checklist of these flowers so you can have a copy on hand to keep with you as you forage.
In the future, I plan to write posts on some of the flowers on this list along with pictures and identifying information, as well as a few edible weeds. However if you have these in your yard you don’t need to wait for me. Learn about the plants in your yard or area today.
Updated by Noah, January 14, 2017.
Anyone who’s ever taken a Red Cross CPR course has undoubtedly heard of Check, Call, Care. It is the foundation for dealing with a true survival situation.
Though many people dislike him, Bear Grylls has a similar survival philosophy, granted it is not exactly the same. Regardless, his emphasis is the same. Grylls approach is Protection, Rescue, Water, and Food. Protect yourself from immediate danger—exposure, animals, injuries, etc. Signal for rescue and finally keep hydrated and fed until rescue arrives.
So, how can Check, Call, Care be expanded into our wilderness adventure plans? It’s actually very easy.
It is difficult to quantify the perfect EDC. Our ever changing lifestyle is a big factor in what determines the perfect EDC. In essence, the perfect EDC is dynamic and fluid, never right and never wrong.
I’ve always been very reserved speaking about my EDC. Several years ago, however, I made a video of what I EDC’ed at the time. Like anything else you publish online, it was met with some criticism, but meh, I wasn’t bothered by it. It was based on what I was doing on a daily basis, it served it’s purpose. As time went on, interests and jobs changed, so did my EDC. My EDC changed dynamically to meet the needs of that new interest or job. Often times I would take things out or add things in, but there was
I have to start out by saying, that I really respect Taylor Brands – the current owner of Schrade knives. Since their acquisition of the company, they’re really listening to the consumer and they’re constantly improving design. What’s more impressive, is the fact that they’re keeping the price LOW! The new 2016 line could be the […]
The post Schrade SCHF51M Frontier Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife Review appeared first on Survival Hacks – Survival Resources.
At first look, it could very well be confused for a steak knife – but it’s much more than that! The design is actually very similar to the Leuku knives carried by the Sami people. While the Leuku’s are generally a larger knife, it’s the very definition of a bushcraft knife. They use these for chopping, woodcrafting, butchering, […]
The Nessmuk is based on George Washington Sears‘ (A.K.A – Nessmuk) design of what he thought was the best knife a woodsman could possibly carry. Nessmuk was an avid woodsman, and his popular book Woodcraft and Camping was (and still is) considered a “manual” for outdoorsman all across the globe. I highly recommend picking up a copy, […]
The Kephart is another quality, budget offering from Condor. It’s based on the original design from Horace Kephart, who was an avid woodsman and author for the early days of Field and Stream magazine, as well as several books shown here. Specs and Review Link Blade Length: 4 1/2″ Blade Thickness: 1/8″ Overall Length: 9″ Blade […]
The Condor Tool and Knife Company offers a huge selection of affordable cutting tools. The company traces it’s history all the way back to 1787 in Germany, while the majority of it’s current products are now produced in El Salvador. You can find tons of reviews on YouTube and several popular forums. Blade Length: 4 […]
Joshua Tree is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Visiting there feels like you’ve landed on another planet. At least that’s the feeling I have every time I visit, today was no different.
I headed out early this morning for a meet and greet with one of the directors of Joshua Tree and to recon the area I will be teaching a two day survival course in March.
The drive there was uneventful. The rolling hills coming into Cherry Valley were already turning green, a welcome sight. San Gorgonio Mountain was covered in snow which made for a picturesque backdrop.
The beginning of any new year is always filled with well intended resolutions. Kicking off the new year with a nice hike through the woods is certainly good food for the soul.
Before you set out on your hike, here are some Zen action steps you can use to really help make your hike more enjoyable.
Do not consume alcohol the night before— There is nothing worse than attempting to go hike with a hangover, no matter how minor it is. If you drink, you might actually talk yourself out of going the next day. Cloudiness and being hungover keep you from being in the moment.
Watch what and how much you eat— Eating too much or the wrong kinds of food
Yesterday, Jan 2, I went on my first hike of the year. And while much of the country is still seasonally dormant, Southern California is coming alive.
I often kid with people and tell them SoCal has only two seasons, green and brown. For the most part, it seems to be true. Our green season can begin as early as December, when the first good rain fall typically begins. Often times, by Late March and April many areas begin turning brown. I guess one could say some of SoCal begins it’s Spring in December and it’s Summer by April. In the area I enjoy, February is peak Spring. [I digress]
The day was beautiful. The ominous clouds set a backdrop stark in contrast to what we are used to—Sunny Days.
We all know what our bug-out bag essentials are, right? 90% of the items we packed are pretty much the same for all of us… but what about the other 10%?
In this article I want to give you a list of “uncommon” survival items that some people have in their backpacks. Not just because it’s fun but because I want to give you some fresh ideas on what to pack. If, by the end of this article, I get you to say “Yeah, that sounds like a great idea, I’m gonna add item number 7!”… then the article is useful and I haven’t written it for nothing. If I fail, feel free to share your own weird survival items in a comment below so you can improve on this list.
Caveat: I’m not saying you need to start packing all these items. These are just a few ideas that may or may not make sense to your particular situation. Your bug-out bag essentials should have priority and you should always keep your backpack as light as possible by only packing what you need.
Floss is lightweight, takes very little space and hard to find post-collapse. But the really cool thing about is that it has a bunch of other uses, such as tying things up, to use it as fishing rod and so on.
#2. A hand-crank chainsaw
Hand crank chainsaws are ultralight, compact and can be used in both rural and urban scenarios. You never know when you come across a tree that your car is helpless against.
#3. Fishing net
Do you have rivers near your location? A net might bring you much needed food besides the little you’ve already packed.
#4. A hand fan
If high temperatures are a concern, a hand fan might be a lifesaver. Small, compact, lightweight and cheap – perfect for a BOB.
#5. A razor
A razor has many more uses besides shaving (which won’t be a priority when disaster strikes, anyway).
#6. A foldable skateboard
Skateboards allow you to travel at speeds of over 10 miles per hour while walking is usually done at about 3mph. The fact that you can also fold it means you can put it in your bug out bag (though I have a feeling you’ll take it for a spin every once in a while).
Cutting your nails without tweezers is hard. They take little space, they’re dirt cheap and might be unavailable when the brown stuff hits the fan. You might want to consider putting them in a Ziploc bag to avoid water getting to it and getting it all rusty.
Condoms have many uses besides the obvious one: they allow you to carry water, they can be used as a flotation device or even as a lens to start a fire (by filling them with water).
#9. Swim goggles
I’m not trying to scare you by telling you you’re gonna end up in a river somewhere, fighting for your life but, if you do have to cross one, wouldn’t it be better if you were equipped?
Besides, you can use these googles in other situations, such as when there’s tear gas or when you give your kid the important task of trying to spark a fire.
#10. An alarm clock
I know a bug-out bag is supposed to be as light as possible but some people think an alarm clock could be useful. This is NOT something I personally pack (or intend to) but maybe you want to…
#11. A Frisbee
Frisbees have more uses than just for playing. You can use them to sit on or to prepare food on them for example.
#12. Fly fishing lures
You’re gonna want to fish, at least that’s what most bug-out scenarios suggest…
#13. Pipe cutter
This could be really useful in urban scenarios where you’ll encounter a lot of pipes. Let’s not forget that PVC pipes have a lot of uses pre and post-disaster as long as you can cut them to the desired length.
#14. Paper clips
There are dozens of uses for paper clips, from lock picking to using them as a worm hook, zipper pulls or even to make a small chain. You may also want to keep them in your edc kit, your car’s BOB, your get home bag and so on.
#15. An extra pair of underwear
Needless to say, you may not have the luxury of having your wardrobe with your when it hits the fan. But an even bigger question is, what will you do if the only pair of underwear when bugging out is the one you’re already wearing?
Put an extra pair of underwear in your bug-out bag. In fact, make that two, and you can thank me after SHTF.
Ok, those were it. I realize I could have added a lot more of these unusual items but I tried to stick to the ones that you will actually need. Take this article with a grain of salt and, if you feel the need to add some of these items, how about you build a second BOB with non-essentials that you may or may not be able to take with you as you evacuate?
With 2016 firmly in the rear view mirror, I look forward to the road that is 2017.
Like anything else, we are in a constant state of change, even if it means all some of us are doing is sitting on the couch, staring at the clock, and watching the seconds slip by. How we choose to pass the time determines our path and helps shape our personal growth. Sometimes decisions and actions must be made which help clear the road for that growth. Often times, however, those decisions and action can be divergent from everyone else, or even evolved from some of your own long held beliefs.
It is no mystery I have a far different, even controversial at times, wilderness survival and preparedness philosophy than the community as a whole. And though we share the desire for the same end result—stay alive—in order to be true to myself, I’ve had to carve my own unfettered path, free of biases and ideologies.
November 2015 would be the last time I logged into facebook, spending just enough time there to hit the account delete button
For most people, stockpiling weapons for hunting and self-defense in a survival situation means choosing the best combination of firearms and bladed weapons. But there are some people for whom firearms aren’t a feasible or desired choice. If you’re one of those people who prefers not to use firearms for hunting and self-defense, if you want a backup to your blade, or if you are unable to use firearms for some reason, below are a list of alternative weapons you can consider.
No conversation about alternative weapons would be complete without pointing out the usefulness of deterrent weapons. Sometimes the best way to win a fight is simply not to stick around long enough to lose. The weapons in this section can be useful to deter or distract your opponent so you can escape safely.
Use deterrent weapons in a survival situation you’re not planning to stick around to defend your territory, and your only goal is to distract your opponent long enough to get away. Sometimes your only option is to grab whatever item is closest to you. But if you don’t have any practical self-defense or hand to hand combat training, you will want to make getting training a top priority.
- Pepper Spray, Bee, or Wasp Spray
- Dirt or Sand
- A ball bat, shovel or metal rake
- Bleach or Cleaning Solutions
- Boiling Water or Cast Iron Pan
Air Soft Guns
If you are seeking non-lethal alternatives to firearms, you might consider one of the many airsoft guns on the market or even one of the airsoft guns you can make yourself. Airsoft guns are lightweight, quieter than a traditional firearm, and ammunition is accessible and inexpensive to stockpile. An airsoft gun will not kill or maim your opponent, but it can be used to distract them long enough for you to get out of reach.
Bows and Compound Bows
These are long-range weapons and a good alternative in a survival situation. They are used primarily for hunting, but if you are skilled in its use, it can be used to defend your territory. Bows and Compound bows are one of the cheapest weapons to make, obtain and own because with the right know-how and practice; you can make your arrows and even a bow from natural materials.
Of course, there are also more modern crossbows you can purchase that release arrows with a trigger, but it may not pay to channel Darryl Dixon in a survival situation once Martial Law is declared. Confiscation of all firearms and recognizable weapons is likely early on. Far better to have the skill and knowledge to make your own for hunting and self-defense once you reach your bug out location.
Although it may seem antiquated, the spear was probably one of the most widely used weapons in history and are still useful for self-defense, hunting, and even fishing. Spears can be thrown to hit a target farther off or thrust into an opponent at close range. They require more strength and practice than other alternative weapons but can be made entirely from materials found in the wilderness if needed.
A slingshot is another great alternate weapon during a survival situation. The huge benefits of using a slingshot as an alternative weapon are that it is relatively easy for most people to use, you can make one yourself using just a few materials. Use a Y-shaped branch and stock up or scavenge surgical tubing, a bicycle tube or thera-band strips.
Consider one of these 14 slingshot designs by Jorg Sprave of The Slingshot Channel. He even includes one you can make yourself and one specifically for self-defense that includes a flashlight and a canister of pepper spray.
A rocket flare fired from a flare gun signals for help during an emergency, but the benefit of this as an alternative weapon is that it’s not a target during a weapons confiscation raid. There aren’t many opponents who will give you much trouble if you shoot them in the stomach or chest with a ball of fire from a rocket flare gun.
Obviously, there are many more alternative weapons to firearms for a survival situation. To choose the best weapon to use to protect yourself and your family following a SHTF event, consider your options carefully. Make sure you review the pros and cons of any alternative weapon you choose and take the time to learn and practice using it so you will be confident in its use when it matters most.
With so many variables in play, the idea of survival expert has always made me cringe. To call yourself a survival expert has always made me feel you’re a jackass. Oh and be sure I’ve had more than my fair share of encounters with you survival donkeys.
I recently came across an article [here] on the Survival Sherpa website succinctly describing the relation between survival and expert:
My buddy Tommy runs a popular Facebook group and put an interesting spin on this disturbing online trend… something I’d never thought of but makes total sense.
Everybody likes to get something for free and here’s a huge collection of free manuals for you to download. I have not had a chance to review all of them so I can’t say that everything they suggest is accurate. Many of them are hundreds of pages long, so take your time reviewing them and making note of the books or pages in books that you may want to print out.
Free Manuals on Edible & Medicinal Plants
Common Edible Mushrooms — Be careful here. It’s recommended that you never eat a wild mushroom without personal instruction with an expert forager/herbalist.
The post Free Manuals to Download on Survival and Edible Plants appeared first on Preparedness Advice.
The bandana is an item that is on practically every list of recommended survival gear, and for good reason. It’s incredibly lightweight and has many different uses in survival situations. For this reason, it’s a good idea to carry several in your survival kit, and not just one. To give you an idea of just how versatile a bandana really is, here are a list of uses.
Perhaps the most obvious use is as a neck gaiter. In cold weather, this will help to keep your neck warm, while in the summer, it can help to protect your neck from a sunburn. Hypo and hyperthermia are not to be messed with.
When you have a headache, soaking a bandana in water and then setting it over your head will alleviate pain if you don’t have proper medications such as ibuprofen. This is also something you should do if you have a fever and need to bring your temperature down.
If you or someone in your group sustains any kind of an open wound on a leg or an arm, you’ll want to fashion a tourniquet above it, to inhibit the flow of blood. Tying a bandana tightly above the site of the wound will work great for this.
Of course, perhaps the simplest medical use for a bandana would be to just use it as a bandage over an open wound. Place a clean bandana over it and then tie it down either with a cord or another bandana.
FIRST AID SLING
A tourniquet and a bandage aren’t the only first aid uses a bandana can have. You can also use it as a sling in the event of a fracture. You have to tie the corners of two bandanas together or tie the bandana to a cord for it to be long enough to wrap around your neck, but it will work.
TO TIE A SPLINT
Instead of a sling, you may have to use your bandana to tie a splint around a broken arm or leg to help heal the fracture. Find two sticks and place them on either side of the fractured limb, and then tie them in place with the bandana.
It may be primitive, but a simple bandana and stone may be what gets you dinner. If you’re going to rely on a sling for hunting game, or for defending yourself for that matter, it’s imperative that you know how to use it. For this reason, collect a pile of stones and spend a few hours training yourself in using your bandana as a sling until you get the gist.
Simply cut up a bandana into smaller and thinner strips to serve as cords. Obviously you won’t be able to put it back together. This technique should arguably only be used if A, you have another bandana to fall back on, and B, you have absolutely nothing else to use as cordage.
A brightly colored bandana may not be the most effective signal in the world (smoke signaling or a mirror reflecting the sunlight will be better), but it’s still better than nothing if you need to get someone’s attention quickly.
This is likely how you will find yourself using your bandana most of the time. There are many reasons for why you would want a rag or a washcloth in a survival situation, the vast majority of which have to do with cleaning and personal hygiene. Assuming that you don’t have an actual rag with you, can you think of anything that would serve this purpose better than a bandana?
While images of old western outlaws with bandanas over their faces may come to mind here, what we’re referring to here is using your bandana as a means to protect your mouth and your nose from inhaling anything they shouldn’t: smoke, toxic chemicals, or dust.
It’s imperative that your firearms be well taken care of for them to work properly. If you have any with you in a survival situation, you’ll want to wipe and dry them down daily to prevent rust or corrosion from setting in. However, this will always be more difficult if you’re stuck in the wild with limited resources. Fortunately, a bandana will work excellently as an alternative to a normal gun rag. While you can use your whole bandana to wipe down the exterior of the gun, you can also cut it down into smaller strips or patches to wipe the internals.
All of the metal gear in your backpack can make a lot of noise when it’s all clanging together, but you can strategically place your bandana(s) in between those metal items to reduce the noise as much as possible. This will be key if you’re hunting game and need to be as quiet and stealthy as you can.
If any of the straps on your backpack break, you may think this means you now have to actually carry your backpack in your arms. Fortunately, an ordinary bandana will serve as an excellent remedy. Simply tie your bandana tightly to the two ends of the strap that broke and you should be set.
It’s not the most pleasant use for a bandana by any means, but if you don’t have disposable tissues with you to serve as a handkerchief, there’s always your bandana.
This means that you’ll be sacrificing your bandana obviously, but if you need fire desperately to cook food or warm yourself and you can’t seem to get anything going, it could be worth it. Cut the bandana into small pieces and thin strips. If it’s dry, it should take a flame easily, but even if it doesn’t, you can soak it something flammable such as Vaseline, hand sanitizer, or chap stick, and it should convert a spark into a flame almost instantly. You won’t want to sacrifice your entire bandana for this use, so it may be wise to just cut a single thin strip and then leave the rest of the bandana intact.
You can use your bandana as a net to catch fish in a stream. Either tie the four corners the bandana to the end of a stick, or tie two corners between two sticks and then wade through the stream when you find a fish. While it may be difficult to catch a single fish with this method, you should be able to catch several if you come across a school of small minnows, for example.
The main purpose to wearing a hat in a survival situation is to keep your head warm, especially in a cold climate. But if you don’t have a hat, the next best option will be to simply tie a bandana around it.
Folding up a bandana, or tying the four corners and then filling it up with a few leaves, will be better than nothing if you need a pillow to help you get a good night’s sleep and conserve your energy for the next day.
As you can hopefully see by now, there’s perfectly food reason for why most survival checklists have a bandana near or at the top of the list. Bandanas are just so small, lightweight, and cheap that there’s practically zero reason not to include at least one of them in your bug out bag, get home bag, inch bag and even as part of your edc kit. Better yet, you should try and include at least two or three so that you always have backups.
Today, I’m going to be reviewing the Fallkniven A1. I don’t normally review stainless steel fixed blade knives, because I was a die-hard high carbon steel guy. Don’t get me wrong – I still love high carbon steel, but this knife is a wonderfully crafted and insanely strong cutting tool that would be right at home […]
I hope everyone is enjoying the Winter Survival series! If you need to catch up, here are the links for Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. In this article, I want to talk about survival vehicle prep – or why you should prepare your vehicle for the winter weather ahead. You don’t have to be extreme […]
Quick Company History The Ontario Knife Company was formed by three gentleman in Ontario County, New York in 1889. Their early production knives were manufactured with a water-run grindstone, loaded up in a pushcart and sold throughout the neighboring countryside. In 1902, the company moved to it’s current location in Franklinville. The company went through […]
Quick Company History TOPS Knives was founded in 1998. They set out with a mission to create the highest quality knives around. They classify their knives as “tools designed and built using the extensive knowledge and real life experiences of many Operators with backgrounds in Military, Law Enforcement, outdoor professions, and Martial Arts”. They have […]
Quick Company History TOPS Knives was founded in 1998. They set out with a mission to create the highest-quality knives around. They classify their knives as “tools designed and built using the extensive knowledge and real life experiences of many Operators with backgrounds in Military, Law Enforcement, outdoor professions, and Martial Arts”. They have worked […]
I have to start out by saying, that I really respect Taylor Brands – the current owner of Schrade knives. Since their acquisition of the company, they’re really listening to the consumer and they’re constantly improving design. What’s more impressive, is the fact that they’re keeping the price LOW! The new 2016 line could be the […]
Mora’s are definitely one of the most popular knives in the bushcraft and survival scene – and for good reason. The most important reason, for anyone, is the cost. Every model that they offer is super affordable. They’re also insanely tough, even though they’re not a full tang knife. They even feature some of the […]
Ok everyone, I hope you’ve enjoyed the series so far. In part 3 we’re going to discuss food and water storage. As I mention in the article, I’m writing a food storage article right now that’s going to be huge. But for now, this is some basic stuff for anyone to consider…nothing over the top. […]
The post Winter Weather Survival – Food Storage and Water Treatment appeared first on Survival Hacks – Survival Resources.
Hey guys, I hope you enjoyed the first part of the winter survival series. Again, I’d like to thank you for coming by and if you have any comments just leave them below and make a conversation happen. We just ask that you keep things relative and healthy! I look forward to hearing from you. […]
Preparing for the Winter Season Depending on your geographical location…preparing for possible winter weather emergencies should be standard practice. Early predictions from weather experts call for above average snowfall for nearly half of the country for the 2015-16 winter season. Click on the image below for a link to the Farmer’s Almanac discussing particular […]
Since I’ve been on such a knife kick lately, I thought I’d write up a Becker BK2 review. Ethan Becker is an avid outdoorsman and the man behind this popular design. The Becker line is also manufactured right here in the USA by Ka-Bar, which is an iconic and reputable company. The BK2 is claimed by many to […]
Ah, yes, Biased Assimilation. That polarization which occurs when your beliefs become your religion and any new contradicting evidence is ignored, or twisted in a way which supports your beliefs.
This election cycle, actually all election cycles, proved biased assimilation is alive and well. Biased assimilation is that cerebral disorder which prevents us from being objective. If we have a firm belief in one party over the other, because of biased assimilation, we tend to follow news and events which favor that party, and dismiss news and organizations which may contradict our views, regardless if they are correct. Of course, this biased assimilation is not only reserved for politics. Every segment of society, including bushcraft and survival, suffers from it. Biased Assimilation, is that fault which makes people look like idiots. It is that fault which prevents people from being objective and take in new information
As an example, It is a well known fact people in the survival community hold in high reverence the ferrocerium rod (ferro rod). So convinced are they the ferro rod is the epitome emergency fire starting tool, they are quick to dismiss or make excuses for its shortcomings. Often times, they will attack and dismiss the more common and easier to use every day items in defense of their precious ferro rod.
Over the counter medications are well worth stocking. Many of them were originally prescription medications and some still are but in larger strengths. Most preppers are on a budget, so take advantage of coupons and store sales to stock up. Keep in mind that all medications should be stored in cool, dark, and dry locations to maximize their effectiveness.
These over the counter medications can be used to treat many conditions including: headache, fever, sore throats, dehydration, ear ache, menstrual cramps, heartburn, arthritis, ulcers, diarrhea, allergies, hives, congestion, dizziness, mild anxiety, nausea, vomiting, poison ivy, athlete’s foot, ringworm, eczema, insomnia, backache, gout, diaper rash, yeast infections, and many more common illnesses.
I recommend that you keep an eye on the OTC meds most commonly used in your household and stock up on those first. If you come across a bargain on one OTC or another but your family would rarely use it, buy it anyway. Family health conditions change and it might come in handy for barter. Also, go ahead and buy disolving tablets and liquid forms of the medications you use most often, if you have kids or grandkids.
Also highly recommended is a dependable medical reference book to guide you with medicine choices, side effects, and dosage amounts. The last thing you will need in a crisis is for a loved one, or yourself, to have a severe reaction due to a OTC medicine. The Pill Book is a reliable reference book, and I favor this book for information about medical care when there is no doctor available and you have to be your family’s medic.
15 Over the counter medications
1. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
Ibuprofen can be used to treat pain and inflammation, including headaches, earaches, sore throats, sinus pain, stiff neck, muscle strains, menstrual cramps, arthritis and back pain. It is useful for reducing fevers, but is not good for most stomach pains.
2. Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Acetaminophen is used for many of the same conditions as Ibuprofen, however it will not reduce inflammation. It can be rotated on a 3-hour basis with Ibuprofen when pain is severe. Combined with ibuprofen it will work similar to codeine to reduce more severe pain. This should only be done on the advice of a Doctor.
3. Aspirin, 325mg
In addition to Ibuprofen and acetaminophen you should stock Aspirin. Aspirin has been used since the late 19th century as a pain-reliever, fever reducer, and anti-inflammatory. However it also has the ability to thin blood. So it can be used to treat people who need anti-coagulants or have heart problems. Read this article, How Aspirin and Willow Bark are Similar, for more information.
4. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
An inexpensive antihistamine, diphenhydramine is primarily used for drainage due to respiratory infections and nasal allergies, in both adults and children. It is also indicated for allergies, hives and itching, including itchy rashes such as poison ivy. This will make some people sleepy.
5. Loratadine (Claritin, Alavert)
This is an antihistamine that is useful for treating allergies. It does not make people sleepy. Stock dissolving tablets for children and the elderly.
6. Loperamide (Imodium)
A very effective over the counter medication for diarrhea. It has been said that a single Imodium, throw into a swimming pool, could turn the water to cement, but this is not true! Stock it in both adult and children’s strengths.
7. Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)
Pseudoephedrine is effective at relieving congestion in both the upper and lower respiratory tract due to infections, allergies, chemical irritations, and mild asthma or bronchitis. Not recommended for children under 6.
8. Meclizine (Bonine, Dramamine)
This antiemetic drug is available in both over the counter medications and by prescription. It relieves nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, and vertigo-like dizziness. I use the over the counter form for vertigo and it helps.
9. Ranitidine (Zantac) Omeprazole 20-40mg (Prilosec) Cimetidine 200-800mg (Tagamet)
All of these over the counter medications are available for the treatment of heartburn, ulcers, and other acid-reducing conditions. Ranitidine is inexpensive and well tolerated. If you find yourself experiencing stomach pains from prolonged use of a pain reliever, these medicines can help protect your stomach.
10. Hydrocortisone cream
The 1% version of hydrocortisone is the strongest over the counter steroid cream available. It is safe for use in both adults and children in treating inflamed and/or itchy rashes such as eczema, poison ivy, diaper rash, and other minor genital irritations.
11. Triple Antibiotic Ointment (Neosporin, Bacitracin, Bactroban)
Triple antibiotic ointment is normally applied at the site of injuries to prevent infections. It should be noted that triple antibiotic ointment won’t cure a deep infections.
12. Clotrimazole (Lotrimin), Miconazole (Monistat)
These antifungal medications can be used to treat Athlete’s feet (tinea pedis), vaginal infections (monilia), ringworm , and jock itch (tinea cruris).
13. Mucinex (Also known as Glyceryl Guaiacolate or formerly Guaifenesin)
This is a drug, which reduces the thickness of mucus secretions. In respiratory infections it helps your body to expel phlegm. It is available in liquid or tablet form.
14. Calamine lotion
This is useful for the treatment of poison ivy or oak. These conditions may become much more common after a disaster, due to spending more time outdoors.
15. Gatorade powder
While this would not normally be listed with over the counter medications, it can be effective for rehydration.
The above over the counter medications will let you treat many different conditions and not cost you an arm and a leg. Watch the sales and buy generics whenever you can. Remember I am not a doctor and am not giving you medical advice, use these medications as directed on the packaging or as advised by your doctor.
This article updated by Noah, 11/27/16.
The post 15 Over the Counter Medications Preppers Need to Stock appeared first on Preparedness Advice.
And just like that the vein in my neck started to pulsate. I sat their with a look of disbelief. Did I hear correctly? Are you asking me to address you by your title? You smug sob. How is your title relevant to the matter? Your attempt to postulate outside of the appropriate setting causes me to have absolutely zero respect for you. And now anything you say next will only be challenged and have zero value. So much for what I thought was going to be a mutual exchange of information.
This happened not long ago, when I had to go visit my son’s school over an incident which occurred in the classroom. I thought I was going to have an amicable discussion with the principal, but when I greeted her
one day a fox happened across a vine of grapes growing across the top of a roof. On the vine were growing grapes. Though try and try as he may, the fox could not reach the grapes. The fox finally stopped and concluded the grapes were probably no good anyway and walked away. This is a classic example of cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive dissonance is the discomfort one feels when having to contradicting beliefs. In order to quell the disharmony, one postures in a way that creates more internal harmony. The fox convinced himself the grapes were no good in order to not feel discomfort in his lack of ability to reach the grapes. Similarly, a person who buys an expensive car might come up with virtues about the car which may help negate the fact the car is uncomfortable on long trips. When it comes to gear, one may take solace in the fact an item only cost a few dollars as way to make up for the item being dented or bruised. Surely had one paid full retail would the dent or bruise be unacceptable. Cognitive biases are often used to help firm a position and reduce dissonance.
Cognitive Biases prevent rational thinking and often lead to illogical behavior, so to are how many decisions made when assembling gear in the name of being prepared and survival.
Many people swear by mini kits. They are the last line of defense against ones survivability. It is the kit used when all other options are exhausted, or one’s primary kit has been ripped away
Parts List and Schematic HERE This is the fifth video in the “How To Build The Ultimate Bug Out Series”. Lots of you folks asked us to include a “stealth mode” of sorts in our bug out vehicle, in fact, enough of you asked that we actually did it. “Stealth Driving” is just what it …
Ok, ok, so you might ask yourself: what can you compromise on when it comes to survival and preparedness? A lot of things, particularly when it comes to using everyday items to solve problems or when you’re solving redundancy issues. If you already have a veritable flashlight collection, it doesn’t matter if your 6th one is from a Maglite or some knock-off.
But some things you should never compromise on, because your life and the life of your family may depend on them. Let’s talk about those for a moment.
I know some people are tempted to drink water from a river that looks clean, but that doesn’t mean it’s full of bacteria. If shelter can be improvised, clean water cannot. Keep a water bottle in your bug out bag, one inside your car and always keep a portable water filter at hand. If you’re bugging in, you should think about additional ways to obtain it, such boiling it on a small propane stove (to kill bacteria) and even stock up on refills for those Brita water filters that remove some heavy metals.
Imagine this: you’re speeding on the highway, anxious to get to your BOL when, all of the sudden you’re stopped by a gang of thugs. What do you do?
We’ve seen this in Europe recently: the African and Middle-Eastern migrants that were forced to live in a camp near Calais, France, would constantly attack trucks and even a school bus at one point. Do you know what to do if that happens to you? Do you have the reaction time to defend your family, or will you freak out?
I think people are misled by “survival documentaries” where they depict bugging out as being a walk in the park. Maybe it will be, or maybe it won’t.
Just look at the atrocities happening to the migrants on their journey form the Middle East to Europe. Rape, starvation – those camps are anything but safe, and we’ve seen something similar during Katrina when average folks and thugs alike were all crammed in the Louisiana Superdome – eye witnesses said it was horrible.
Stories from migrant and FEMA camps are more than enough for us to realize that our freedom should not be compromised. It’s better to be out there in the woods than taken into detention camps where, in theory at least, you’ll be safer and have access to supplies.
During Katrina, it was only a matter of time until all the food they had there started to rot, (after they ran out of electricity). Supplies are never enough and, sanitation and hygiene are always a problem when large numbers of people are crammed together into tight places. Now, I’m not saying you should run around through the woods when there’s a hurricane, but if you do it right, no disaster should ever take you by surprise and cause you to share a room with thugs and rapists.
Your Bug Out Vehicle
Believe me, the LAST thing you want is to for it to stop working when you’re desperate to get to you your bug out location. Sure, you can always go on foot, but that could take days and will be exhausting to say the least. Besides, when you’re in your car, it’s a little difficult for people to physically harm you.
That being said, you need a solid bug out vehicle that’s always equipped and always in good shape. One other thing you should do if you have the budget is bulletproof it. Things like using run flat tires, installing bulletproof windows and even steel-plated armor for the exterior.
Knives, guns, primitive weapons – all of these need to work flawlessly. With a little bit of research, you can find plenty of quality items at the right price. The Internet is full of scams but also of reviews on forums, blogs and on Amazon – real people sharing their experiences with every product.
Speaking of knives, one thing you should probably do is have two of them. A larger, bushcraft knife that you can rely on for rough tasks (including chopping wood) and a second, smaller one that you can keep as a back-up. Swedish company Mora makes very good carbon steel budget knives.
I wish I had some memorable ending for this article, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you take survival and preparedness and that you never try to cut corners.
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst is the thing that sums up well everything you read on this page, and what it means is, you should never cut corners when your life and the life of your family is at stake.
Sure, you may try to wing it with some aspects of survival, such as stockpiling less in favor of having the skills to acquire food and water, but some things are just too important not to do them right.
The Early Days:
Over 5 years ago my best friend Dan Bacon and I decided to get into the survival business.
Dan was very knowledgeable about survival and military gear and I was an avid outdoorsman that was good at internet marketing.
Dan was out of work and I was running several other businesses so I decided that I would give him a shot at running a business. So Dan’s Depot was born, and we couldn’t be more excited. A few months later we had a warehouse in Elizabethtown KY, full of gear and we were off to the races.
2012 was a challenging year for Dan’s Depot. After only a few months of sales, the warehouse was a mess. Dan never ran a warehouse before and was struggling to keep up with orders. He was also trying to create content, videos, and ship products. He was overwhelmed and needed help. So I decided to grow our team and move the warehouse to a larger location in Lexington Ky.
Our team was comprised of many old friends and people that I knew needed work.
Nate Cheeley was one of my best friends from high school and was now running the warehouse. Jeff Baldwin, another good friend from high school was helping me with marketing and e-commerce. Lee Hester was an award-winning marketing director and was brought on to guide our marketing team. Ethan McDaniel was a friend from church that was helping us with Social media. Adrian Knight was another friend that was helping us with our customer service. Dr E was another friend from church that made guest appearances now and then and was writing medical articles for us. Mike Puente and Vince Jamero were outsourced employees that helped us with development and design. Mary J Humes was working on our content and kept a constant supply of articles on our blog and social media. We hired Craig Caudill, the founder of Nature reliance School. He started working for us writing content, doing videos and helping us create new products and services.
Our sales were higher than ever and the survival industry was booming. Craig helped us come up with our own survival kits.
The big Crash:
Everything thing seemed like it was going well and the business looked to be profitable by the end of 2013. That is when my other main business, Longley Marketing, took a nosedive. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was making the majority of my income from Search Engine Optimization and Google just made some big changes. These changes put most of my business friends out of business overnight. Thankfully we had enough to pay the bills but not enough to keep Dan’s team fully funded. So I had some tough decisions to make about Dan’s Depot and the future of the company
Moving to NY and More Changes for Dan’s Depot:
Things just weren’t picking up so I decided to downsize the business and run lean. Also, my dad and grandfather were having health issues back in NY. So my wife and I packed our bags and moved to Upstate NY to be with my family. It was a difficult decision to make and when we moved we took the Dan’s Depot inventory with us. My team now consisted of Dan, Craig, my cousin Jason, myself, Mike and Vince. We cut things back quite a bit but were still not very profitable. Dan’s Depot was paying everyone but me and I was running out of money pretty quickly. So we tried for another year but couldn’t make it work, so we downsized again. This time it was just Craig and myself working with Mike. Dan had went back to work as an electrician and helped me out now and then and Craig, Mike, and I were working on the business when we could.
Finally, in 2015 I had to let Craig go and I temporarily closed Dan’s Depot. I would make posts now and then on social media but wasn’t able to get things going. Dan’s Depot seemed like a big failure. I was still very passionate about the survival and outdoors industry but just wasn’t sure where to take the brand.
Closing Down Dan’s Depot:
In the spring of 2016, Dan told me that he was going to join the Army. I tried to talk him out of it a few times as he was 34 with 5 kids, but he was determined and enlisted in the fall. This was the final nail in the coffin. It was then that I decided to close Dan’s Depot for good. Dan will always be one of my best friends and I love him to death.
I appreciate all of his hard work on Dan’s Depot and wish him the best of luck in the military. I also appreciate all the loyal customers that we have had over the years and thank you for your business.
Where to go from here?
So now what? I still love the outdoor and survival industry and enjoy helping others be prepared. Also, I am not the type of person that gives up easily. After doing some thinking, praying, and soul searching. I decided to re-brand Dan’s Depot as Omega Gear.
About Matt Longley and Omega Gear
I am a father of 3 amazing little boys, Caleb, Ryan and Andrew. Jennifer, my loving wife of 8 years, is a wonderful person and an excellent cook. We love to sing and are both strong Christians. Since we moved to Upstate NY we built a new house, grew a large garden, and can and dehydrate our food. Between keeping up with our country home, gardening and raising 3 kids, we have been pretty busy. Lately, I have been learning more about carpentry and blacksmithing with a future goal of building timber framed cabins.
My goal for Omega Gear is to focus on high-quality survival gear. I plan to do product reviews, how-to videos, and sell some products here and there. I have several knives that I have been manufacturing with a German friend of mine that are really nice and I also have been sewing some of my own survival gear from high quality, ultralight materials. I am excited about the future of Omega Gear and look forward to serving you for many more years to come.
It has been a while since I have written a new post, since I have been enjoying a bit of time off, as well as working on new projects. One thing that I am very pleased with is that Noah has taken good care of this blog. Information continues to be widely shared and you are getting to see some different points of view.
I have been working on revising and updating the second edition of my book, “Emergency Preparedness and More, A Manual on Food Storage and Survival“. I’m happy to announce that it is now available on Amazon.
The second edition contains approximated 100 new pages, plus updates to many more. It consists of 23 chapters that cover a wide variety of survival topics, such as figuring out the amounts and types of foods needed in order to be self-sufficient and how to package this food for long-term storage. After reading this book, you will be able to answer important questions that include:
- How do you cook your food without electricity?
- What type of medical supplies should you have on hand?
- Do you know how to purify your drinking water if the water system fails?
- How should you navigate precious metal trading?
All of this and more is included in this easy to read book.
In addition, I am working on a new book that deals with a different area of prepping. This should be coming out in the spring. You will hear more about this later. While I will never start another new blog, I intend to stay somewhat active in helping people. I do have a Facebook page Peppers Books and Info, in which I share posts from some of my favorite blogs, like The Survival Mom and of course Preparedness Advice
You will see occasional posts from me on this blog in the future. In the mean time, I wish you all well and may God Bless you.
Few people have ever heard of Thomas Gray, let alone heard of his work, yet one of his coined phrases is as common as cars are on the street. In his “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College,” This 1700s poet was responsible for the phrase “ignorance is bliss.” More correctly, in his ode it reads “Where ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise.” Simply translated; if someone is happy not knowing the truth, it would be foolish to tell them the truth and burden them with the knowledge. As an example; If I see someone, a child perhaps, caught up in joy and happiness, is it wise I tell them their pet died? Eventually, yes, though I dare not inform them at that moment, for fear of ruining their bliss.
Though grateful for the knowledge I’ve acquired throughout the years, I sometimes wonder would I have been better off not knowing some things? The angst I’ve experienced leading up to certain events was often worse than the event itself. In hindsight, I wish I wouldn’t have known before some misfortunes that lay ahead. Instead, I would have rather dealt with it when it unfolded. Of course, this is not true for all events. It is often prudent to know of certain things before they happen, so one can better prepare. Ahh, but there in lies the paradox. One can get caught in the mire of analysis over something that is supposed to be fun and relaxing. This analysis paralysis can lead to paranoia and take the joy out of what was supposed to fun and now plagued it with uncertainties and doubts.
It’s no secret that the maneuvers on Wall-Street as well as in stock markets around the world are not only killing the middle class, but they also caused the financial bubble we’re in right now that is about to burst. Many of us (myself included) are concerned about a financial disaster that will cause entire … Read more…
This “movie trailer” for the Homesteading Summit was JUST RELEASED!
It’s a pretty inspiring 50,000 ft view of what you can expect in the week ahead, watching the Mother Earth News Homesteading Summit!
This 100% online event is set to kick off this coming Monday, October 31st.
35+ speaker, over 7 full days.
Covering topics that include modern homesteading, growing your own food, raising healthy livestock, sustainable off-grid living, and so much more.
Watch the movie trailer above!
And when you’re ready:
Sign up to watch the Mother Earth News Homesteading Summit here:
Everyone is welcome, and it’s complete free!
But don’t delay, you wan’t to register before October 31st!
The other day I received this e-mail on siphoning gas from cars:
“While doing some maintenance work on my gasoline powered electrical generator, the thought struck me that back in the old days, and in case of an emergency, one could always siphon gasoline out of their car’s gasoline tank and use it to run things like generators. However, that seems to be not the case nowadays. I tried inserting a conventional siphon hose into my tank but it “bottomed-out” on some obstruction before it touched any gasoline. I looked under the hood of my car (2001 Toyota Highlander) for a place where I could tie into my fuel line. I found none.
A cursory examination of the bottom of my fuel tank revealed no drain plug. So, I went to a local auto parts store and asked the folks if they had anything to siphon or pump fuel from the tank on any modern car or pickup truck. They had no suggestions.”
In the past, I can remember when we used to siphon gas out our cars to fuel our lawn mowers or other small engines. Siphoning gas out of the older vehicles was easy, but when was the last time you tried to siphon gas out of a car? It has been years since I have tried. In a real disaster, like an EMP strike, obtaining gas from damaged vehicles may be necessary to keep older vehicles running. This got me to wondering how to siphon gas from the new cars.
NOTE: Wondering if any vehicles will still be operating after an EMP? Be sure to read my note at the bottom of this article. If you’ve read One Second After, you may be surprised by my findings.
A little research into modern-day siphoning, revealed that all new cars have an anti-rollover valve on all the openings into a gas tank. These valves also act as a siphon prevention system, which is the reason why nearly all the siphon devices and pumps sold these days are useless. However, there is a way to do it without damaging the vehicle if you have the right tools. Most gas thieves today simply drill a hole in the gas tank, take what they can, and let the rest run out on the ground. But there is another way.
The anti-rollover valve is a ball or butterfly valve. This leaves enough room for gas to flow through the fueling tube into the tank, but if the car flips over and gas begins to flow the other direction, the ball moves to the inlet and blocks the gas from escaping or the butterfly flap closes.
The trick to siphoning gas without damaging the vehicle is to use a small diameter, stiff hose like the ¼-inch hose that runs to your refrigerator icemaker. Cut the end at a sharp angle and spin, or “corkscrew”, the hose as you insert it. It may take you a few tries to master this. Now, siphoning gas through this small tube by gravity is slow and can take up to eight minutes for a gallon of gas. If you can find a small hose with a hand pump like this one, it can go much faster.
You may want to carry a larger hose for vehicles that will accept it. Just remember that stealing gas in illegal and should be avoided.
ABOUT THOSE VEHICLES…
Most every reader of One Second After is convinced that virtually every vehicle on the road will suddenly stall and be incapacitated forever. Dr. Arthur T. Bradley, NASA electronic engineer and author of Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms, disagrees. He says there are so many variables that will affect whether or not the electromagnetic surge will damage vehicles that he believes only 30% or so will be damaged. The rest may experience a slight glitch and then resume running. This doesn’t mean transportation will be a piece of cake in a post-EMP world. With millions of vehicles stranded on every type of road, bridge, and tunnel imaginable, transportation would still be difficult.
This article updated 10-24-16.
The post Siphoning Gasoline from Newer Vehicles without Damaging Them appeared first on Preparedness Advice.
Not knowing if I am ever going to complete the book I started writing two years ago, I decided to release this from what has already been written. Additionally, I actually did a video on it a few years ago which I will post at the end of this article. But at least with the article, one can get a much clearer description of how it all goes together.
You ever watch the scenes in the movie “The Rundown”, with Dwayne Jonson, where he gets lifted into a tree by a snare? How about “Return of the Jedi” when Chewbacca grabs that chunk of meat and triggers a net trap, sending him and the crew up into the tree? I’ve always loved traps of that style. In the bushcraft world, traps that would work on that scale simply aren’t realistic, because the Achilles hill of all spring type traps is the anchor. More often than not, an anchor is buried into the ground—a peg of sorts.
“That’s all your house is, it’s a place to keep your stuff, while you go out and get more stuff. Sometimes you gotta move and get a bigger house. Why? Too much stuff”
Those were the words George Carlin uttered as part of his famed “Stuff” routine in 1986 [Video Below]. And while on the eve of my move, I keep hearing his words in my head. I feel like I have too much stuff, albeit not nearly as much stuff as all the stuff other people have. Forget about the fact that in the last two years, save for my fishing rods, I’ve gotten rid of all my outdoor gear—dutch ovens, backpacks, outdoorsy clothing, lanterns, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, tents, etc.— all of my stuff still takes up two boxes each about two feet by two feet by ten inches high and yet I still feel like it’s too much stuff.
While I’m no minimalist, by the extreme definition, I’ve always been spartan and get easily annoyed with stuff just sitting there not being used. I don’t collect, keep or save things for the sake of memories and emotions. Things for me must serve a useful purpose, not satiate or elicit an emotion. Things must make sense in use, not just create a use for it to make sense— “Without purpose, there is no purpose.” Sure, I like the ideology of certain things, but rarely will I act on an ideology without thinking it through logically. In the event I do act impulsively, driven by ideology, and purchase something, I soon after end up getting rid of the item, or return it.
You can survive 2 weeks without food, around 4 days without water, and only minutes without air.
So if you’re looking for reasons to have the best gas mask on hand to save your life or just need one for home projects, you only really need one, and that’s your life my friend.
But where are you going to find these masks with the best quality and also for the best price? Also how will you know that what you’ve paid is really buying the best? After all, you’ve probably never bought gas masks before, so we’ve done the research for you and polled buyers who shared the good the bad and the ugly to tell us which gas masks were the best!
Quick list of what we’ll be looking at
Why would you need a gas mask?
That might be a naive question, but it’s one you should ask yourself if you’re willing to spend the money on one, right? So why do you need one, are you preparing for biological warfare, volcanic ash covering the earth, wildfires polluting the air? You need to know these things in order to make the best buying decision.
We forget that us humans can do a lot of stuff to mess up our breathing quality. Whether that’s woodworking in a not so ventilated area, doing inspections in places that are less than sanitary, or painting the inside/outside of the house with a spray gun.
Having a gas mask can come in handy if you’re a handy man ;)
This is the most pressing of all the possibilities of needing a gas mask. With the invention of mustard gas in the first world war, the deadliness of man made gases hasn’t subsided much.
And with the development of technology there are some pretty nasty things that can be done with a gas canister. From planting diseases, causing blindness, and a host of other unpleasantries, a gas mask would be a handy thing to have just in case.
Among all the natural disasters that loom over our heads on a daily basis, the threat of a volcanic explosion or sulfuric geyser going off in certain parts of the world are a threat to the air we breathe. Literally.
Just the explosion from one of these natural forces would be enough to decimate a population surrounding it, but it’s the after effects that the majority of the world needs to be ready for. Because these forces will spout all sorts of noxious fumes into the atmosphere, the winds will carry them far and wide, and before we know it the air is so thick with soot or gas that we can’t breathe to save our lives.
If you’re a firefighter of any kind (thank you for your service first and foremost!), you know the dangers of smoke inhalation. The masks the firefighters wear aren’t to keep their faces cool or just to complete the outfit, their masks supply life giving oxygen because the air has been sucked out by the fire or the smoke is too thick to breathe.
Yes it is attached to an air tank, but for a brief time you’ll be able to survive with a mask filled with condensed air.
And since our planet is starving for water more and more each year, the threat of wildfires is increasing exponentially.
What makes a gas mask the best?
There’s a lot to consider when buying your mask, and the fact that movies and tv have made them almost comical and a parody makes it hard to find one that actually works and isn’t just a prop. However, there are a few things that are easily distinguishable when surveying the best ones.
Make sure it’s NBC marked/approved
NBC (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical) approval is paramount when buying your mask. As we said earlier, most masks are just props now so make sure yours meets these requirements. If it is truly NBC approved there should be designated spots for WORKING respirators.
If there’s just a solid case, then you know you don’t have the real thing.
Ease of use to use a gas mask
This sounds basic, but it’s important. There are parents in the gulf war who killed their children because they didn’t realize they had to remove the cover on the carbon filter of the mask.
You don’t just strap it on when you think one of the kids are sick, even though we’ve all been there, but you keep it safe and decontaminated so it’s ready for when it really counts. Like when it’s been broadcasted that a natural disaster has happened miles away and you have time to prepare.
One thing to keep in mind is that the gas mask won’t work if you’re already exposed before you put it on in a chemical warfare situation.
Does your mask have a one use filter?
To keep masks from becoming contaminated after use, some producers make these masks for one use and that’s it. While that’s smart it might not be that cost efficient for the consumer. So when you’re shopping around make sure you find masks that are reusable.
Obviously all the masks that we will be recommending are for multiple uses.
SAS Safety 7650-61 Opti-Fit Full-face APR Respirator
For most people, the silicone finish on the sides of the face piece sealed the deal for comfort when wearing the mask for long periods of time. The nose guard helps to reduce the fogging in the face mask. This is an extremely popular choice if you’re doing some DIY stuff around the house, when it comes to saving your life in a natural disaster, there’s been no real tests done.
The debate on if this mask is truly a comfortable fit while wearing glasses rages on, but from what we’ve seen from those who’ve bought it, the overwhelming majority haven’t had a problem with the fit while wearing glasses. Click here to get yours
3M Full Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6700, Respiratory Protection
When it comes to reusability and an increased field of view, no one does it better than 3M! The wrapped shape of the mask surrounds your face and makes peripheral vision a possibility when wearing a gas mask. Also the facets for air filters on either side allow you to just switch filters when needed, and not replace the whole mask.
While the shape contours to your face, the mask itself can be rather stiff. Not so stiff that it’s meant to fit only one person, but stiff enough to cause some discomfort and make the seal around the face compromised. Wearing glasses with this mask is not recommended with the stiffness. Click here to get yours.
SGP Israeli Style Civilian Protective Gas Mask
The israeli style gas mask is usually what people think of when they think disaster preparedness. For one it’s one of the most popular because of the price. At under $20, whereas most useful masks are over $100, the israeli gas mask is the bare bones in functional gas masks. And if you’re goal is to terrify the neighbors then this should do the trick!
One problem people have been having when they buy these masks from amazon is that the air filters are expired. Which isn’t good business, but also doesn’t render the mask useless, all you have to do is go buy a new air filter which should cost less than the mask itself. Click here to get yours
“Really, you’re going to wrap a rag around your head and call it useful?”
Said the first person who ever saw me wear my shemgah on a hunt in Montana.
First of all I think we should clarify that the shemgah really is a useful item to have in your tool belt. And even though it’s become a bit of a trendy item in the last few years, that doesn’t defeat it’s usefulness as a multifunctional item.
The correct pronunciation of it is schmog, and we’d like to shed some light on the utility of this piece of clothing, where it came from, how it could help, and most of all HOW TO TIE THE DARN THING! That gave us all fits more than anything in the beginning.
Want to test one out already?
Where did the shemgah come from?
It might be fairly obvious that this headwear came from the middle east, as most of the people who are seen wearing it are there. And due to their desert climate this thing really comes in handy over there to keep your head safe from the sun. They typically use it like a bandana to shield the tops of their heads and the rest of their face from the harsh effects of the sun, leaving their eyes just enough room to see straight ahead.
Since they first encountered it, many other nations militaries have adopted the useful headwrap. Like Britain, Australia, and the United States to name a few.
What are the shemgah’s uses?
Usually multiple countries militaries don’t adopt the same garb just because it looked cool on their troops. Nope, the shemgah’s functionality as a tool and piece of clothing is almost limitless!
Image source: prepareforshtf.com
Most of all this garment is worn as a head dress to guard the wearer from harsh winds, the sun, temperatures, and as camouflage. In the middle east sand storms are a common problem, and if you don’t have anything to protect your exposed skin when you’re caught in one of these it can feel like you’re having broken glass thrown at you at tremendous speeds!
Which is where the shemgah was used by the locals and adopted by the militaries that came through as time passed.
As it was mentioned earlier, the added benefit of camouflage comes with this handy piece of cloth. Mostly in that it breaks up the natural shape of a human head on shoulders. Even though we like to think of ourselves as smart creatures, humans are pretty basic. We recognize shapes, colors, sounds, and the like.
If you confuse the shape at a distance it becomes almost unrecognizable. For instance we learned with Bear Grylls that if you’re able to distort the outline of just your shoulders and up, you might as well be invisible walking through the jungle.
If you don’t believe then try for yourselves. Have someone stick branches and leaves down the back of their shirt, wear cloth to cover most of the head, and have that person walk towards you from an unknown time and direction. Odds are you will hear them before you see them.
That’s because when you look for people you’re looking for shape, and if the shape you see doesn’t match what your brain knows to be a persons shape, then you won’t recognize it.
Extra cordage or a filter
If using the shemgah to stop bleeding becomes more important than camouflage or comfort then it makes for a great tourniquet! Especially if you get one that’s made of quality materials.
Also if you reach a pool of water but need something to filter out the large bits then just unwrap the shemagh and go to work! As you can see there’s an almost unlimited number of uses for this thing, and having one around wouldn’t be a bad idea at all.
How to tie a shemgah
This can get pretty confusing to explain with just text, so we’re going to pass this one to Creek Stewart, who is a fantastic bushman and just happened to write a guest post for art of manliness on this topic!
Clearly it doesn’t take too much work to figure out how to make one of these things work. I mean if it came down to it, you could probably just wrap it around your head and call it a day.
image source: Amazon.com
Hopefully we’ve done an alright job of informing you of this “new” article of clothing known as a shemagh, and explained how it could fit into your must haves as a disaster preparedness individual. Because whether you’re prepping for a flood, volcano, emp, or whatever, eye protection, camouflage, and warmth are all going to be needed when the shtf!
You can pick one up at amazon if you like. And we’ve done the heavy lifting of finding the best value for your money so…
Looking for the best shemagh for the money?
This one has the survive the wild seal of approval. Whether that means a lot to you is dependant on your experience with us, and hopefully your experience with this article was a good one 😉
Have a great day!
When you own one of the best selling concealed carry handguns on the market, it’s pretty obvious that there will be even more options for holsters for that weapon.
But which one is the best, like really the best?
We’ve scoured the web, been in contact with military vets, law enforcement officers, defense contractors, and a few other questionable careers involving guns to say the least. And while most of them boast the obvious truth that this is the best handgun to own, the right holster for your gun is a different story.
We’re going to explain how we determine what is truly the BEST holster later, because that is a very subjective term, but we feel that the criteria we use to whittle this list down to 5 contenders makes it a pretty safe bet for the average concealed carry individual.
Quick list of what we’ll be looking at
New to concealed carry or gun ownership?
image source: Outdoor Hub
Since we know not everyone reading this is a seasoned army vet, or law enforcement officer, we understand that there might be some questions. Like why you need a holster in the first place, will these holsters work for other glocks/guns, what makes these concealed carry holsters the “best”?
So in this section we’re going to go over our reasoning and answer a few common questions new gun owners and concealed carry licensees have.
Why do I need a holster for a concealed carry?
It’s true, technically you don’t NEED a holster to carry, but it makes that process a whole lot safer!
All you have to do is ask Aquib Talib why you should always have a holster. The Broncos cornerback had apparently gotten too drunk with his hand gun, (that he didn’t have a permit for) floating around in his waist band, and it went off! The bullet entered through his right thigh, and exited his right calf.
Avoiding shooting yourself in the foot is more than an expression when it comes to carrying a deadly weapon on your person.
Image Source: Omaha Outdoors
What’s the most comfortable spot to carry?
Truth be told, I don’t think anyone has ever added an extra two inches to the inside of their waistband and ever felt more comfortable.
But the waist is the most comfortable and accessible of the places to carry.
You can get ankle holsters, body rigs, and other other body holsters, but accessibility is key when carrying the weapon. After all you’re carrying it because you want to use it, right? Hopefully you don’t view this as a way to add resistance training to your life.
So carry it on your hip or in the small of your back for the best comfort.
What makes a holster the “best”?
image source: Alien Gear Holsters
We love answering questions like this, because it’s not enough to give something a title of the “best” this or that. There needs to be evidence and criteria that establishes whatever it is as being the obvious BEST choice.
When we selected these holsters we were looking at customer’s reviews on comfort, quality, and ease of access. These are the things that seemed to seal the deal when it comes to buying a concealed carry holster.
Gould & Goodrich Trouser Holster
The G&G trouser holster is a great travel holster, or busy person’s holster. The leather makes for a comfortable fit, and won’t pinch or scrape the way plastic/metal concealed carry holsters would.
It has a snug fit that some have complained about, but in reality you want your weapon to be secured and not able to fall out if you get tossed around a bit. The snug fit could also be from the leather. And once the leather is broken in you won’t have much trouble from it.
One concern though is that this holster only has one clip on it, and if you enjoy carrying at 3 or 6 o’clock that could be problematic. The single clip is suited for carrying between 3 & 6, that position in between allows more freedom for the single clip. But if that’s a deal breaker then move on.
It’s not worth the discomfort or altering your draw position. Click here to get yours
Alien Gear-Cloak Tuck
Well the good news is this holster is on the third generation of this holster, so all the bugs have been mostly worked out. The double clip design is meant for comfort in all positions, from 2 to 6 o’clock. This holster molds well and is fitted to the glock 19 like a glove!
The only complaint that we’ve found on this holster is the difficulty to fit other generations of glocks into the holster, or questioning why the glock 26 gen 4 doesn’t fit. So if you’re reading this article then you obviously only care about the glock 19, so that’s all sorted out.
By the awards this company has won with this holster, it’s really a great buy. And while it’s not the cheapest, it’s certainly worth every penny! Click here to get yours
Concealment Express- KYDEX
The Concealment Express is another single clip holster that has the glove like fit to keep your glock 19 as flush to your side as possible.
Now this is a fantastic holster, but there is one complaint we’ve had over and over about it, and that’s that the edges that touch your skin haven’t been filed down. And that’s something you can take care of yourself no problem, just thought you should know before you bought it and thought we recommended a painful holster :)
Other than a sharp edge, this is a great holster and the clip on this sucker is serious business! There’s not much of a chance at all of it slipping or moving around. Click here to get yours
This is hands down the best concealed carry holster if you’re on a budget with your glock 19. It’s the minimum viable concealed holster that will serve it’s purpose with no frills or special features. Which is what most people are looking for.
However, there is one neat feature it has that some other holsters have that comes in handy. And that’s the ability to adjust the amount of resistance it takes to pull your glock from the holster. This may seem like a small thing, but if you’ve been used to pulling from a holster with a firm grip, and now you’re having to adjust to a tighter holster it could be bad in the situation you need to use it.
Aside from that this holster is exactly what you would need in a concealed carry holster for your glock 19. It’s not fancy, but it doesn’t need to be to serve it’s purpose. Click here to get yours
Our last shout out for the best concealed carry holster goes to the blade-tech company with their klipt holster. This single clip concealed carry holster ensures trigger safety when the glock is properly inserted into the holster with an audible click and lock. This prevents any unnecessary misfires that could result in damaged legs or other valuable body parts…*wink wink*
One complaint we do have about this item is the fact that the clip extends an inch and a half out from the gun. Which isn’t bad if you’re going to be wearing baggy clothes, but for those who want a truly invisible carry, this might not be your holster of choice.
And our one take away that we loved about it was the almost spandex fit the holster had on the gun. Only coming one quarter of an inch off the gun, that makes for a pretty comfortable wearing experience. Even though, yes the clip still comes out farther than it should, it’s a pretty comfortable holster. Click here to get yours.
Some people need a cup of coffee. Others go for a run. Some go straight to the kitchen for some bacon and eggs. These are some of the morning rituals many go through upon waking. For me, I can not get my day started without a shower and a shave. I won’t even venture into the kitchen, den, or any other part of the house without first taking a shower and shaving. It doesn’t matter if I have no where to go and all I wish to do is watch television. It doesn’t matter if I showered before bed. Shower, shaving and getting dressed is first in the morning. It is a ritual which sets the tone of my mood for the day. If I can’t have a shower, at the least I need to have a wet wipe bath. Come hell or high water though I have to shave. That scruffy feeling about my neck, from a day old growth, is a no go. So fanatic I am with that, I often shave twice a day. It doesn’t matter if I am growing a beard. The neck, however, will be shaved religiously, as well as my head. To that end, my grooming ritual can be challenged when I am camping. None the less, It must be done, or I am in a foul mood until it can happen. It is paramount in establishing my PMA (Positive Mental Attitude). After a good smooth and clean shave, I feel unstoppable and anything is possible… That is not hyperbole. As a result, I tend to spare no expense in my pursuit for shaving nirvana. Weird, right? At the same time, however, the expense has to make sense.
So far in the video series we’ve used a Jeep Cherokee..but not everyone has a Jeep Cherokee. That’s why we’ve created the Vehicle Application Guide. This opens up a number of vehicles with which you can follow along. In the video series we talk about what we did, why we did it, and how it …
When was the last time you cooked a raccoon? For most people that would be never. Yet for many years, raccoons were on the menu for the Native Americans and the pioneers. In parts of the south, raccoon hunting is still popular.
Raccoons have a wide range, living all over North America. They are easy to trap; my neighbor has caught quite a few when trapping to cut down the skunk population. He uses live traps and most of the time just releases the raccoons. These traps are humane and quite inexpensive.
But raccoons are edible, and if cooked right, they’re quite tasty. Most of us aren’t used to eating many wild animals with deer and elk being the major 2 exceptions. This book explains not only how to cook many different types of wild game but how to butcher them as well. It would be a good addition to your collection of survival related books.
When you dress the raccoon, be sure and remove the brown bean shaped glands under each front leg and on both sides of the spine. Then remove as much visible fat as possible. Then go ahead and roast it or make a stew. Here is a recipe for roast raccoon.
- 1 raccoon cleaned and cut up
- ½ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup cooking oil
- 2 medium onions peeled and sliced
- 2 bay leaves
Set several boney pieces aside and bread the rest in the flour seasoned with the salt and pepper. Then brown the pieces in the cooking oil in a good frying pan. Drain off the excess oil. Put the meat in a roasting pan; add the onions and bay leaves. Cover and bake for two hours at 350 f or until tender.
Take the boney pieces that you set aside and cover them with water. Simmer the pieces until the attached meat is tender. Use this broth to make gravy.
As with any animal, if it looks sick or in poor condition do not eat it or skin it. Raccoons do carry rabies.
Are You Storing The Right Foods As A Prepper?
When it comes knowing the best foods to stockpile or bug out bag food for an emergency being a prepper means you kind of have to have this information locked down. But if you don’t then you’ve come to the right source my friend!
We’re going to go over the best foods to keep on hand for an emergency, and why they should be a staple in your house hold. Also at the end we’ll give you two ways and resources to make your own dried food for storage.
What’s the best way to store meals long term?
Well this all depends on what you’re storing, but we’re going to look at this question from a general bird’s eye view. We’re going to assume you’re storing pre packaged meals that were shipped to you, or that you’ve canned some food and it’s air tight.
The reason you need to store the food air tight, is because oxygen is what is used to feed molds and plant life that doesn’t need to be living in your food before you use it. So you’re going to need to do something to remedy that, whether it’s using a vacuum sealer, or oxygen packs to remove the air, it needs to happen.
Mylar bags for dry foods (grains, berries, etc.)
Mylar bags are great for storing dry foods like rice, flour, dried berries, and the like. These bags are more space efficient than jars, and can hold more as well. And when it comes to ease of sealing the mylar bag is the king!
All it takes to seal your bags is an iron most of the time. All you do is leave about 6″ above the food and iron it like you would a shirt, and there you have an air tight seal!
All you have to do is add some oxygen packs inside or use your sealer to pull the air out before you iron that bad boy shut.
Clever storage for prepackaged emergency food
Depending on which is more valuable to you, time or money, will determine if you choose to buy pre packaged foods from emergency food storage companies.
If you’re someone who chooses to purchase their food instead of making it themselves, you’re going to need to get a little more creative, since most of those products aren’t exactly built to save space. So finding hiding spots in your house is going to be optimal.
What determines the BEST purchasable emergency food?
This term is thrown around a lot on the internet, the best this or the top that, but what does that mean and who gets to decide it?
Well we want you to be educated before you spend your money, so we’re going to go over OUR criteria for the best emergency food storage options.
Does it require reheating?
Science has come a long way, and with all the advances there are ways to not have to microwave or heat your emergency food over an open flame to enjoy a hot meal. Some companies have found a way to use chemical reactions to get your food piping hot with just water!
That’s right, what’s used to usually cool stuff down is causing your food to be heated.
This may not be a huge necessity to all, but the moral boost that comes with a hot meal is worth the extra expense in our opinion. I mean who wants to have spent a whole day in a bad situation, and sit down to a cold or room temperature meal?? You’re going to feel much better if you’re able to have a hot to warm meal at the end of a long day.
How many ingredients?
It’s not a good idea to get anything that takes more than water and some time to make.
If you’re spending money on these products you want to know that they’ve taken the hardest part about preparing a good meal out of the equation, finding the right combination of flavors. You want to just add water and be good to go.
#1 Pre Made Dehydrated Meals
we’re going to start with the most obvious of facts, if you have food on hand that tastes good then that’s what you want to go with. And if your looking for a supplier of emergency foods then we recommend prepare wise food storage, you’re not going to beat the taste and price with a stick!
#2 Dehydrated Foods
You might say to yourself that you can’t afford dehydrated food supplies, and that’s true for most people right now. Thankfully later in this article we will show you how to freeze dry your own foods to get the best flavor and nutritional value.
Just know that there’s nothing better and cheaper to keep on hand than some home made dehydrated meats, fruits and veggies!
#3 Meal Replacement Bars
I’m going get a few sideways looks from others in the prepping community for saying this, but I’ll say it, MEAL REPLACEMENT BARS AREN’T THAT BAD! I’m not sure why people try to convince others that a product with a multiple year shelf life is such a bad thing to stockpile for emergencies.
It has everything that you’ll need and takes up less space than a can of pork n’ beans. Our favorite is the cookie dough quest bar.
#4 Canned Food
This should be your last alternative, not just for health reason but for the fact that store bought canned food takes up more space than it’s worth. If you want to keep canned food in the house then that’s fine, make sure you can it yourself and get the most out of every jar or can. But it’s still not that great of an idea.
Mainly for the fact that should there be any bacteria in can and it’s not sealed air tight, then the food you’ve just worked so hard to preserve is now going to be useless or harmful if ingested.
I’m sure the question that looms in the back of ever prepper’s mind at some point or another is the thought that you might run out of food, or that the food you’ve worked so hard to preserve has spoiled and you’re now starting over. To avoid this sinking feeling we’re going to go over the facts with you that we’ve gleaned from experts in the field, such as offgridsurvival.com and survivallife.com. So get ready for another incredible and informative article!
Sun Drying Foods To Preserve Them
The recent article published by offgridsurvival.com on sun drying foods is one of the most useful resources we’ve found lately when it comes to using natural resource to preserve food. Along with being very low cost, this method is also pretty hands off, all you have to do is wait for a nice sunny day. Now you’ll need to invest a little time and resources to build a suitable sun drier to accommodate the produce and meat you’ll be preserving, but other than that all this requires is patients.
See the article here for an in depth look into the process and how to of the sun drying process. But just know that this is a fantastic way to bring out the flavors in your food when preserving them, and not having to spend time and money on vacuum sealing jar after jar will save you a lot of back ache! As always the authors over at offgridsurvival.com are on point with their opinions and facts of what will and won’t work. These aren’t just whimsical notions of what would be nice to do, these are tried and true practices to ensure that you and your family will have food when the time comes!
How To Cook And Store Food Outside
This amazing resource from survivallife.com is just what the modern outdoor bushman ordered! Not only will you learn how to cook in the first place, which is nice considering that most men nowadays don’t know how to properly grill a hamburger, but you’ll learn the steps to preserve the meat that you prepare and ensure that you and your family will have it when you need it.
In this book the author from Survival Life goes over how you’ll learn to cook and preserve ANY type of meat out there.How to build your own solar oven, which come in real handy when the grid goes down and you don’t have any way to cook some of the larger items you might find, like a turkey from a looted grocery store or a large animal that you were able to bring down. Unless you take the time to learn from the resources in this book all the raw meat in the world wouldn’t make much difference to yours and your families survival.
So how much are your families lives worth to you?
Are they worth enough to get you off your butt and take some action to make sure that when the grid goes down or the money runs out, that you and your loved ones won’t have to worry and fear like everyone else? If their lives are worth anything then hopefully you’ll go visit these experts and put the practices they suggest into action to create a better future. As always it’s a pleasure to serve you, have a great day!
The post Top 4 Best Emergency Foods And Kits To Stockpile For An Emergency appeared first on From Desk Jockey To Survival Junkie.
Why would you pay someone else to make food you’re not sure if you’ll want to eat forever?
Freeze dried food companies are great if you have the extra money to outsource that part of your food prep. But the reality is that we don’t all have 20k to drop on preprepared meals, and it might not even be food that you like!
So why not turn YOUR favorite meals and snacks into freeze dried foods that can be preserved for when the shtf?
We’re going to go over the DIY way to freeze dry foods at home to prepare for the time when food might not be as available. There are a few proven ways to safely and easily freeze dry foods at home, and a few myths that we’ll bust so that you don’t make costly mistakes!
Quick list of what we’ll need and go over
Why freeze dry food at all???
One of the reasons you might want to freeze dry food is because you know that the safe bubble we live in where food is plentiful isn’t going to last forever, and you want to make sure that you and the ones you care about are well taken care of when the bubble bursts. Or you have tried company made freeze dried food, and you know that you’re food tastes better and you’d rather eat your cooking than theirs.
Freeze dried beef stew in a jar, image source: tulsathrivestoreblog.blogspot.com
You can go to sites like mountain house meals, wise company, and others to get prepackaged freeze dried meals that are pretty dang good.
But that costs money. And you landed on this page because you’re wanting to get the benefits of freeze drying food without paying someone else to do it.
Lowest Budget Option: Using Your Freezer To Freeze Dry Food
This option is probably the place to begin if you don’t have much of a budget.
However this method is going to take some practice to get right, and it takes a lot longer than the other methods we’re going to go over. But it works and that’s what matters!
You’ll be a little limited by this method because you’ll need the food to be cut into smaller pieces, so no runny foods with sauces. You’ll want to stick with meats and fruits to get the best results.
Step 1: Make it small for the first freeze
Once the food is cooked you’ll want to cut it into small pieces (about 1.5″ by 1.5″), this is so that the food freezes and dries faster. Then you’ll place the food on a rack or surface with holes to minimize the surface area of the food touching the base so that all the water can escape.
Step 2: Start the deep freeze
When you put the food in your freezer for the first few hours that will form the freeze on the outside, after that the real magic begins!
You’re going to need to leave the food in the freezer for multiple weeks to get all of the moisture out of the foods. The best way to speed this project up is to remove everything from the freezer so that your food is all that’s being frozen and the moisture can evaporate easily.
Step 3: Test your freeze dried food
There’s no way to tell by looking if your food has been successfully freeze dried, but there is one way to test if for sure. That’s to take one piece out of the freezer and let it thaw.
If the food turns black then you know it’s not ready, but if it keeps it’s color then you’ve done it! Now to get the food back to life all you have to do is add water and eat! 🙂
Moderate Budget Option: Using Dry Ice To Freeze Dry Food
If you have the spare cash to make it happen, using dry ice to freeze dry food is one of the best and most effective ways to do it without buying equipment.
This method of freeze drying food is much quicker than using your refrigerator to get the job done. And you’ll have a lot less prep, in that you can put the food into a box with the dry ice, put that in the freezer and forget about it until it’s time to take it out.
Image source: backdoorsurvival.com
Step 1: Get your prep work done
This method requires a few more tools than just cutting and placing in the freezer. First you’re going to want to prepare the food you’re wanting to freeze dry, again don’t do anything with watery sauces. You can use molds to make food pastes into little edible cakes, but don’t get too fancy.
Get a container that has a volume twice the size of what you’re wanting to freeze dry. This will create enough space for the moisture to escape. Next put the food or molds into plastic bags, seal them and place them in the container.
Then place the container in the freezer.
Step 2: How to tell when it’s ready
The best part about this method is that you have evidence of when the freeze drying is complete, and that is that there will be no more dry ice in the container. This process should take less than 24 hours, so make sure you have time to dedicate to make sure the food doesn’t spoil.
Because once the ice is gone you’ll need to seal the food in air tight packages, preferably mylar bags, to prevent light getting through and the fact that mylar is a thick material that will seal and protect your food.
Step 3: Sealing the food
Like it was stated earlier, you’re going to need to seal the food before it’s safe to store for a long time. The best way to do that is with a vacuum sealer and press.
Without taking this step you’re risking all the hard work you’ve put in going to waste, so make sure it you’re going to freeze dry your food this way that you follow through with this step!
Image source: survival-mastery.com
Fastest Option: Using A Machine To Freeze Dry Food
If you have the money to spend then this is by far the best and most effective way to freeze dry your food at home!
The Best Freeze Drying Machines
So you want to learn how to whittle, eh? Well this guest post will get you on the road from beginner to bearded whittling master!
Most people wouldn’t think it, but woodcarving is an outlet for artistic expression, and is surprisingly relaxing! There are several styles of woodcarving, but the most convenient one is whittling.
How is it convenient?
Whittling is a low barrier to entry hobby that can yield projects that are actually useful. One of the main ingredients to begin can be very inexpensive, and the other is supplied in abundance throughout the earth. Other woodcarving techniques need more than just one knife and some wood.
Much similar to all other art forms, to begin you will need the necessary equipment. For whittling, all that is needed is a knife and wood. Don’t spend too much time on what knife to buy though, beginners never start off with the best of the best. If you do not know how to use it, it is as useless as a poorly made knife.
Although, there are details to know so you can spot a good whittling knife from a bad one.
A few important characteristics which make up the best whittling knife are steel type, tang, and equipment care. An ideal blade material is carbon steel, this holds great edge retention for soft and hard woods. The tang refers to the length of the blade inside the handle. Partial tangs tend to be unreliable, so the best choice is a full tang blade. During wood carving projects it is good practice to sharpen and hone the tools and manage consistent knife maintenance.
A good wood to begin with must have a fine, even grain and free of wooden knots. Typically, people who are just beginning start with basswood, but it’s not just for beginners. In fact, a lot of the most experienced wood carvers use basswood to carve their projects, and add a stain when they’re finished for color.
Before jumping into shaving wood without knowing how to use the tools first, there are safety precautions which need to be acknowledged to protect yourself, the wood, and the wood carving equipment.
Sharpen the blade’s edge
It seems pretty obvious to be careful around sharp knives, but actually it’s much more dangerous to carve wood with a blade that isn’t sharp. The damage on a blunt knife will render it incapable of using, if it is used the amount of tension required to cut wood is extremely unsafe. The blade will easily slip and end up causing real injuries that could have been completely avoided.
Create a safe environment
Projects always vary in size, but regardless how big or small it is the work environment needs to have all obstructing objects removed. This also includes not working around people and animals. A great way to decide if an area is safe if there is nothing surrounding you in arms length.
Cut with the grain
Wood grains are the the strands of lines running parallel to one another on the surface of wood. Whittling requires the blade to shave material following this grain, that way the wood carver can make smooth, controlled cuts without much tension. Basically, let the knife carve the wood, do not force it to. Carving against the grain not only causes the wood to splint and chip, but the blade will also make tough cuts that are prone to injury accidents.
To find out which way the grain is facing, cut along the surface of the wood. If the blade loges deeper into the wood and breaks off, as opposed to it curling pieces, then that’s not the way the grain is facing.
There aren’t many guidelines that don’t exceed past common sense, that being said it is always a good idea to take extra steps toward safety by using a thumb guard while working on a project.
Basic Whittling Cuts
Now that we have an idea on how to handle our tools and to do before starting to carve, we need to understand the basic cuts that create the foundation of a good whittler. Each separate style requires different hand positioning, and all serve a purpose to a specific cut.
Push Cut –
This cut is used to remove large portions of wood material, typically used when starting a project to help work toward shaping an object. Grab hold of the handle of the blade with the spine facing your body, angle the blade toward the wood (the more dramatic the angle, the more wood comes out) and push along the object.
Pairing Cut –
A lot similar to the hand positioning when pairing an apple, it is used for removing small amount of wood from the project to define edges, and smoothing them out. Position the knife along your fingers and curl your fingers along the spine while bracing the wood with your thumb. Slowly pull the blade towards your thumb until the piece of wood is removed.
Thumb Push Cut –
This style demonstrates absolute blade control for the most important and delicate slices. It could be used in instances when carving small pieces, faces, or other important features. Support the knife in the same positioning as a push cut while grabbing the object with the other hand. Rest the thumb of the hand holding the project on the spine of the blade, and use the to push the blade along the wood.
There are a couple other styles of cuts for whittling, but these are the most important to completing a woodcarving project. Each require a mixture of time, patience, and practice to learn each of these cutting styles.
Whittling isn’t for everyone, some people enjoy other woodcarving techniques that are more advanced and artist which you can find at
But this inexpensive alternative is where most people who are interested in wood carving start. Having the tools to start carving isn’t enough though, using the provided safety measures and getting hand safety equipment helps protect you from any potential accidents. Eventually, you’ll be able to branch out to other types of wood and even be able to make something from wood found on the ground!
The post Beginner’s Whittling Guide: The Knives, Woods, & Skills You’ll Need appeared first on From Desk Jockey To Survival Junkie.
This won’t happen again, you mutter to yourself as you walk away from the range.
It might have been raining a bit that day, or maybe the cold weather got to your bare skin. Either way you don’t want to suffer the humiliation of missing multiple targets.
I mean heaven forbid that inaccuracy happens in the field…
What Are The Best Shooting Gloves When Using A Pistol?
Living the dangerous lifestyle our officers do, or even the casual weekend warrior, is difficult in itself. But when it comes to protecting the source of most of your activity when shooting, your hands, this is an area you don’t want to cut corners or you might be a few degrees off..In this article we’re going to go through the 4 best shooting gloves for pistols that we’ve found to fit the needs of an active weekend warrior shooter or law enforcement lifestyle.
Our quick recommendations
What Makes A Great Tactical/Shooting Glove?
When picking out the best shooting gloves for a pistol there are some things to consider more than picking out a generic pair of shooting gloves.
What’s the fit like?
You don’t want to fat finger a shot off when you reach for your gun, right? That’s why when you’re picking out the right glove for you you want to make sure it’s a pretty snug fit throughout your hand. You don’t want your hand to slide around in the glove more than necessary.
On the other hand, pun intended, you don’t want a latex fit as that would take away from the weather protection.
So find a good balance in the snug fit and weather protection.
Is it an all weather glove?
Just because it’s a “tactical” glove doesn’t mean that it’s resistant to all elements.
Some gloves are strictly for grip and have little to no weatherproofing, so make sure you look at all the features of the glove to make sure it fits YOUR situation before picking out a generic one.
What’s the caliber of your pistol?
Don’t get suckered into thinking that if you need a glove to handle the recoil of your gun that you’re a weenie. Anyone who’s ever shot anything more than a gloc knows that after a clip or two that gun beats your hands up.
So it’s wise to get a glove that can handle the recoil, and has padding in the right places to protect your hands when shooting multiple clips.
If you’re looking for the best of the best in all around warmth and protection, then the FREETO Mens Tactical Gloves are a home run for sure! And with multiple layers of synthetic and durable materials, this glove will keep you warm as you go through the toughest of shooting experiences. From punching pavement to punching thugs this glove will take a beating and give it right back to the would be assailant!
Molded hard knuckle protects against extreme impact and abrasion injuries. Reinforced palm to absorb impact and vibration when you fall or have to catch something heavy. Anatomically design for an exceptional fit. Creating an exceptional fit with superior dexterity. Fits for tasks that require fine motor skills,such as Shooting, or driving. Material is lightweight and breathable so your hands stay comfortable in any environment. So it is also ideal choice for shooters and hunters. Nylon webbing design for a secure fit. With easy on and off flexibility
The price might be a bit high for these gloves, especially since they run small. So if you don’t know that they run small you could waste time (more money) trying to find the right size. So make sure you know you’re size and how to order them.
These gloves are meant to handle anything from wear and tear on sharp or jagged surfaces, all the way to being flame retardant and water proof. These gloves are battle tested and will give you everything you could possibly need in a shooting glove.
Features of these great glove include:
- Classic Black Half Tactical Gloves, L size, suitable for shooting, parkour, riding and tactical activities! (It’s the Asian size, you better to choose one bigger size.)
- Protecting your hands during tough situation is critical but especially when facing the Military Combat or Tactical Scenario
- Made from high quality material which offers long lasting durability; More anti-slip material in the palm to protect hands in a better way
- With thickened pad on the back of hand, it can well protect your hands and provide the maximum tactility
- Flexible and responsive. Provides exceptional dexterity and flexibility when shooting, and for other tasks that require fine motor skills
Mechanix tactical gear was designed with the military in mind, so you can bet that anything they release to civilians is going to be top notch!
First of all the index finger impact guard is one of the best features about this glove. Because it’s separate from the rest of the knuckles, the index finger moves freely, allowing easier access to the trigger guard without sacrificing protection. Also the thermal plastic rubber on the back of the glove will keep your hands safe from those empty shells coming out!
The palm padding on these gloves were designed to withstand M4 fire with limited hand fatigue after 3 consecutive clips. So you’re certainly not going to walk away from the range shaking your wrist out after firing your pistol with one of these things on.
As a shooter or law enforcer you’re going to need to have a pair of gloves that can keep your hands warm even when they’re clutched on the cold steel of your pistol. There would be no worse feeling than having that worst situation in your sites that means life or death for a family, and missing because your hands were shaking due to the cold.
The Specialist Neoprene Glove is our most popular duty glove. Designed specifically for all-weather gun use, this glove is an essential piece of equipment for all men and women of Law Enforcement and wild game hunters. The palm is made of Synsi-feel™ synthetic leather, which provides excellent grip and accurate feel. For maximum grip, Toughtek™ non-slip patches are sewn onto the palm and all fingertips except the index finger, to facilitate the best possible trigger control. A Velcro® closure keeps it comfortably and firmly in place. The Specialist Neoprene Glove feels like a second skin, with unmatched flexibility, dexterity and grip.
The post Never Miss Again: Best Shooting Gloves For Pistols appeared first on From Desk Jockey To Survival Junkie.
I have on several occasions suggested that the 275-gallon IBC totes are a good solution for storing water in a location in which you plan to stay during an emergency. These totes and a reliable way to make sure the water is pure enough to drink could save lives. Several people have asked me how to get the water out of these large totes.
As you may know, the IBC totes have a valve and a spout at the bottom. The valve is plastic, and while it seems to work okay, I wouldn’t trust it for everyday use. However, the spout is threaded with standard 2-inch pipe threads, and this makes it possible to create your own fitting for a faucet.
I make a simple fitting consisting of:
- 2″ Female Adapter, Slip x FPT, PVC Schedule 40
- 2″ x ¾” Reducer Bushing, SP x FPT, PVC Schedule 40
- One ¾” brass faucet with hose bib
You will also need some PVC schedule 40-pipe glue and a roll of Teflon tape. Glue the reducing bushing into the female adapter with PVC glue. Screw the faucet into the reducing bushing using the Teflon tape. When this is ready, screw the whole fitting onto the spout of the IBC tote.
This gives you two valves at the bottom, the built-in plastic one and the faucet. If the plastic valve fails, you still have the faucet. With the faucet, you can control the water flow and connect a garden hose if needed. I always keep a water hose that is approved for domestic water. You can get them at a good RV supplier. This style of fitting can be used on any large water tank that has threaded fittings at or near the bottom
If you have any questions about the size of the threads, take the ring that holds the cover on the spout to the plumbing supply with you.
While the IBC totes are heavy, weighing around 2300 pounds when full, they have a small footprint on the ground. They only require a space approximately 48 x 40 inches in size and they can be stacked up to three high. They are 46 inch high, so you can double stack them in many garages.
If you buy them used, just make sure you know what has been stored in them.
The post DIY Fittings for Emptying IBC Totes & Other Large Water Storage Containers appeared first on Preparedness Advice.
In the last part (if you missed it) of the series, we talked about tires. In this part of the series, we need to make room for the tires and make sure the vehicle’s suspension will be “heavy duty” enough to help carry the additional weight of our bug out gear. The folks at ARB …
“Yea, I just paid shipping and they sent it to me…”
The first time I came across one of these offers I couldn’t believe it, especially since the first product I saw (the waterproof matches) actually worked like it was advertised. It’s not often you find a company that just gives these nifty products away.
So we’re going to go over the free products that are being given away that are worth your time.
We say “worth your time” because there are free products being given away that aren’t worth even paying shipping for. We’ll also go over why these products are free and if there’s any catch that comes with them.
Quick list of free survival gear
Spoiler alert, the one “catch” people complain about is that they paid shipping. Let’s be honest though, these products are useful and high enough quality that they could easily charge $20 for them. And strangely more people would pay it, because there’s no skepticism about paying a price instead of figuring out if you’re being “played” or “scammed”.
So let’s get into what you came here for, the free stuff and the information behind the free stuff!
Why are they giving these products away?
That’s usually the first question that goes through people’s minds, right? I mean it doesn’t take a masters degree in business to figure out that if you’re giving products away that cost money to make you’re not going to be in business very long.
So why do they do it?
Because they want access to you, and to use it as a sign of good faith. It’s a lot like an ethical bribe to get to know you. They offer you a high quality product and you interact with their company enough to get to know them. And odds are that you’ll go back to them for information or more free products.
I know I did!
Survivallife.com is the best at using this. Mostly because they have an extensive budget and have other areas of business that pay for their ability to give away stuff for free. Our site doesn’t have this budget unfortunately, otherwise we would love to give our readers loads of free stuff.
Why do they charge shipping?
From what we understand it’s counted as a loss in the first place to give products away that they’ve paid for, it’s another to give that person an extra $5-$10 in shipping. So it seems fair to ask the person who’s getting a sweet deal to show a little incentive to get something they want.
Are these products worth it?
Most of these products can be used everyday in some way or another. The others, like the EDT Multitool, are for specific emergency situations. So the short answer to this question is a resounding HELL YEA!
The best free survival gear
The post Free Survival Gear: Find Out Who’s Giving Stuff Away appeared first on From Desk Jockey To Survival Junkie.
For the dedicated prepper, prepping goes far beyond food and water.
As you well know there are an infinite number of scenarios that you may be required to respond to. Which is why it is almost inevitable for you to start looking at acquiring self-defense weapons for your home.
If you live in the country, you will certainly need your own defense system for your family.
However, purchasing weapons automatically gives you the added responsibility of securing them. Making sure your kids don’t access them unsupervised and hurt themselves, or that someone else, like a robber, can use them against you. Luckily, there are plenty of weapon and gun storage solutions available to you depending on yours needs.
Regardless of federal or state laws requiring you to, it ‘s a good idea to keep your weapons secure. This can seem pretty vague, what is secure? How easily accessible do you want them to be? The answers you have to these questions will direct you to either a locker that requires combinations or keys to open or racks that make it easy to grab your weapon in emergencies, everyone’s situation and needs are different.
If you have a family, especially young children, you will want to get something that prevents your kids’ unsupervised access to your weapons. The safest solution for this would be a full on safe like this one.
Safes like these are especially good for rural families because rifles and shotguns are the defense weapons of choice in the country. And for good reason, if you haven’t decided what type of firearms to purchase for rural home defense, take a good look at rifles and shotguns. They can offer a lot of customization, accuracy and spread in the case of shotguns. Not to mention they are some of the easiest weapons to obtain because State laws often don’t require you to obtain a permit to buy them.
Many of these good quality weapon storage systems have customizable options, allowing you to change and reconfigure your storage to accommodate different size weapons. They also have accessories such as ammo shelves and taser charging capability.
Whichever type of storage system you choose, you will be able to rest easy knowing that you have the weapons you need close at hand, but that they are also safe from theft and accidents.
By now, some of you may have noticed my overall absence from the community, not that it matters in the grand scheme of things. I’m just another voice frequently lost in the sea of rhetoric and bull shit. However, I’m probably considered one of the OGs of my time. I entered the fray at a time when survival was experiencing a renaissance, nearly 25 years ago. I’ve seen and been a part of much of the hype, all these years, often to my chagrin. I’ve been around during the inception of what is reality survival television. I’ve also been around to witness the twisted thinking it has created.
So tired I grew of all the bull shit spawned within the community, a few years ago I made a decision to distance myself from it.
Two years ago, I decided to write a book. The intent was to have it released last year, but I put it on hold. Though most of it is complete, pictures included, I’m not sure I will ever complete it, primarily because I’ve lost interest in the project. That said, I am including the rough draft (non edited) intro of the book here, because while for the last year I’ve been more and more absent from the community, It is interesting to note how those undertones of ire made it into the book. The intro gives an insight into how I’ve been feeling for a few years.
Top 3 Best Backpacking Food Brands
If your mission is to hike the appalachian trail then you’re going to need more than a few poptarts and granola bars to get you through. Which is why we took the time to dive into these companies and find what it is about these brands that sets them apart from other freeze dried food suppliers, please enjoy
Mountain House Review
Mountain House has done a superb job of providing mass quantities of food to backpackers and preppers alike. And with their 12 Year Taste Guarantee they’re certainly putting their money where their mouth is! They also have a great variety of foods, ranging from delicious cinnamon apples to a family sized portion of beef stroganoff!
They haven’t yet won any awards for flavors and satisfaction, but that’s not to say that their meals aren’t tasty to some. This might just indicate that they have an area or two to work on. But all in all Mountain House has some absolutely incredible products and should be on your list of backpacking foods to try!
Wise Company Freeze Dried Food Review
Now if you’re looking for true variety in selection and taste then this is the backpacking food company for you! And with guarantee in best quality food storage and 25 year flavor guarantee this company isn’t afraid to let you know that when you’re buying this product, you’re buying the best. They also allow you to buy in stock in order to save money, their packages range from 4 day supplies all the way up to one year supplies!
The only issue we’ve found, if you can really call it an “issue”, is with the fact that this brand typically falls under the best foods for preppers category. Which means if you’re a backpacker looking for reviews of this product, you’ll need to sort through some reviews in order to find the backpacking reviews of this product rather than the preppers reviews. But all in all it’s a great fit for both!
Valley Food Storage Review
In our very humble opinion we’ve saved the best for last, in the company Valley Food Storage! This company goes above and beyond to provide the best quality foods to their customers, and in a way that will stand the test of time with flavors intact. With gluten free products and dairy free as well, this company goes above and beyond to service their customers. Whether providing the best backpacking food or the best food for preppers, Valley Food Storage takes the cake, the freeze dried cake that is
With food that is made and processed in the USA as well it gives this company a leg up in most people’s eyes. And with the same 25 year guarantee as other companies they’re willing to prove that they have a quality product that will stand the test of time to keep you going!
We’re not sure if there’s much that we would change about this company if we could, from the amazing products and customer consideration to the delivery time, this company has gone above and beyond to make sure their customers are taken care of in every way possible!
What Are The Top 10 Survival Items?
Before you get into a survival situation I’m sure you want to be prepared, which is kind of why you landed on this article right? You want to know the 10 items to have with you when faced with a survival situation that will all but guarantee your safety and survival. With minimal interaction with bears of course. And that is what we aim to give you! In this article we’ll break down the items you’ll need, as well as why these particular items were selected. So strap in and let’s get down to business!
TASTY Survival Food
I’m pretty sure we’ve established that if you aren’t a Daniel Boone, then you will need to come prepared for a survival situation. Don’t get me wrong though, if you want to challenge yourself and find the food to keep you going then more power to you! But more than likely you’re a person who’s willing to reach into their survival backpack and pull out a ready to eat meal rather than track a rabbit in the HOPES of catching it. Nevermind the fact that you’ll need to skin and clean the rabbit to eat it safely, so again it’s up to you adventurer. We recommend Mountain House as a go to in backpack meals. We’ve done a post already that outlines how amazing this company is and how their products are beyond compare so do yourself a favor and check them out!
Every pouch in every stackable and portable Mountain House Best Seller’s Kit has a proven 12+ year shelf life, so it is good to have on hand just in case of an emergency or for when you may need to feed a large audience.
Who is Mountain House?
For nearly 50 years, Mountain House adventure meals have consistently been the premier choice of
campers, backpackers, and survival experts. Born out of freeze dried meals we make for the United States Special Forces, Mountain House food has proven history of reliability and most importantly, delicious flavor. With just-add-water preparation and no-mess cleanup, Mountain House is the perfect camping food or backpacking food. And with our unique packaging technology our delicious meals have a 12+ year shelf-life – making them the perfect emergency preparedness or survival food. From the bottom of the deepest ocean, to the tops of the tallest mountains, to the battlefield and back, Mountain House is the food people trust when failure is not an option. Consistently chosen as the best tasting food among outdoor and survival brands, Mountain House is the best camping, backpacking and survival food money can buy.
How To Have CLEAN Water Anywhere
If there’s one resource your lacking that can slow you down in a matter of hours it’s water, and if you get dirty water it’s worse than not having any at all. Which is why we recommend keeping a personal water filter/straw with you on every outdoor adventure whether it’s for survival or not. It just makes sense to keep something like this with you when you’re outside for long periods of time, because you never know how fast or how much water you’ll go through in a given situation.
And what’s even more amazing is that this product has been tested at Intertek Labs in Columbus Ohio to show 99.9% filtration removal (Highest Certifiable Level) for tested VIRUS, STAPH and BACTERIA. The triple Filtration to 0.05 microns, thanks to UF Filtration, Carbon Filtration and mesh – 4 times more efficient than the competition at 0.2 microns. Dual Filters (Ultra and Carbon) are removable and can be cleaned or replaced by purchasing on Amazon as needed. Plus, comes with 4 extra mesh filters!
Your New Favorite Survival Knife
This multi tool survival knife is the perfect addition to any survival backpack and list of best survival items! This multitool survival knife by Blade Driver is perfect if you’re out on your bike and need to make a few quick fixes, or if you’re stranded and need a sturdy knife to get things done with. And unlike other knives, this knife has a steel blade AND handle! So if you need a cutting edge and a solid hammering tool then this is your knife.
The durability of this high quality knife made with a steel blade and frame shows when you pick it up, it boasts a solid 4.8 ounces so it’s not going to break or bend any time soon! This knife is every bit of useful and this is truly a multipurpose or multi-use knife with 10 commonly used tools incorporated, including a flashlight. The best part is it comes with a 100% no questions asked lifetime guarantee so you have no risk! The ability to fold, built in clip, and sheath with belt loop, means endless carry options and maximum portability. The portablity and versatile makes your multi-use knife perfect for nearly all situations
Here’s The Most Popular First Aid Kit You’ll Find
There’s nothing that can end a care free feeling faster in the woods than noticing that the small cut you got earlier is burning and redness is spreading quickly on your skin. An infected cut in the wilderness is nothing to mess with and should be handled with caution and extreme attention to detail. Which is why you would want to keep a first aid kit like this one on your person when in the wild for fun or adventure.
“This Is What You’ll Find Inside”
Antiseptic cleansing wipes (6 pcs), Alcohol prep pad (10 pcs), Butterfly closure strips (6 pcs), Extra large adhesive bandage (4 pc), Adhesive bandages (25 pcs), Antibacterial Ointment (4 pcs) Knuckle adhesive bandage (3 pcs), Fingertip adhesive bandage (3 pcs), Gauze swab (3 pcs), 1 disposable cold compress, First aid tape (1 roll), Cotton tip applicator (10 pcs), Abdominal pad (1 pc), Disposable vinyl gloves (1 pair), Slim rescue howler whistle (1 pc), Compass (1pc), Moleskin blister relief (1 pc), Triangular bandages (1 pc), Emergency blanket (1 pc), 1 glow stick, Disposable raincoat (1 pc), Scissors (1 pc), PBT conforming bandage 5×3.6cm (1 roll), CPR facemask (1 pc), Metal tweezers (1 pc), Razor Blade (1 pc), Sewing Kit (1), Safety Pins (1), Sting Relief Pads (4)
Now For The Best Wilderness Shelter Quickly
As we’ve said before, you can attempt the Daniel Boone lifestyle if you wish, but it makes more sense to bring shelter with you (sleeping bag) just in case you need it instead of wasting time and energy to make one. Now granted you will want covering when you lay your sleeping bag out, just in case it rains and to keep the critters off of you as well. But if you know your shelter making skills aren’t up to par then make sure this is included in your survival backpack!
List Of The Top 8 Budget Survival Items
Before you get into a survival situation I’m sure you want to be prepared, which is kind of why you landed on this article right? You want to know the 8 items to have on a budget with you when faced with a survival situation that will all but guarantee your safety and survival.
With minimal interaction with bears of course.
And that is what we aim to give you! In this article we’ll break down the items you’ll need, as well as why these particular items were selected for those on a budget. So strap in and let’s get down to business!
Quick list of what we’ll be looking at
Why we chose what we did
The basic needs- Food, Water, Shelter, and Fire
We wanted to make sure you had everything you needed and nothing that would weigh you down. That’s why you might notice that a few of these items are multipurpose, this will conserve space and still give you all the tools you need to survive.
You will be able to manage all your basic needs with this list.
And we’re assuming here that you’re willing to do what it takes to survive, in particular, killing something to get some food. This is the hardest part of survival for some, but it’s a necessary evil. Otherwise we would have just suggested you get some protein bars and survive on that. But there’s no telling how your body will react to that food after a period of time, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
When it comes to selecting the best survival items for a tight budget you need to balance the quality of your stuff with the price. And since you usually get what you pay for you want to look for the producers who are putting on stellar deals!
And with the internet being as great a shopping mall as it is, it’s not hard to find a new company starting out, or a brand that’s trying to gain exposure by giving stuff away. That’s what we focussed on when selecting these items
What are your needs for the survival items?
Some of these items might not be the best choice for you, and some you might not be able to live without. It’s up to you to determine your situation and what you deem necessary to have for a survival situation.
Your geographic location
When we say your geographic location, we’re mainly focused on the type of area you’re living in. Is it wooded, grassy, tundra, or desert? All of these are going to factor in as to what should be on your personal survival list.
Your experience in the wild
We would like to emphasize that our site is geared mostly toward the desk jockey and not the survivalist extraordinaire. So we made this list assuming that the person using it is pretty inexperienced in the ways of surviving in the bush.
But if you’re someone who spends many a night underneath the stars with nothing more than a tin can and your pocket knife, then that’s all you’ll probably need.
However if you’re someone who’s used to being a fully domesticated home dweller, you’re going to want everything on this list and then some! It would do you well actually to get out into the wild a few times to make sure you’ve got the mental capacity to handle it every once in awhile.
How To Have CLEAN Water Anywhere
You might notice there’s no water filter on the list, and that’s to send a message. You should ALWAYS have a water filter of some kind with you, whether it’s a filter made with what’s around you, or one you can buy at the store, like a survival straw.
You need to have a filter or the knowledge of how to make one all the time.
If there’s one resource you’re lacking that can slow you down in a matter of hours it’s water, and if you get dirty water it’s worse than not having any at all. Which is why we recommend keeping a personal water filter/straw with you on every outdoor adventure whether it’s for survival or not.
It just makes sense to keep something like this with you when you’re outside for long periods of time, because you never know how fast or how much water you’ll go through in a given situation.
And what’s even more amazing is that this product has been tested at Intertek Labs in Columbus Ohio to show 99.9% filtration removal (Highest Certifiable Level) for tested VIRUS, STAPH and BACTERIA. The triple Filtration to 0.05 microns, thanks to UF Filtration, Carbon Filtration and mesh – 4 times more efficient than the competition at 0.2 microns.
Are You Looking For The Best Rain Jacket?
Because we’ve put together a list of 5 rain jackets that will keep you warm and dry on your backpacking adventures, wherever they may take you.
There’s nothing that could make you more miserable than being wet in addition to already being cold, which is why we took the time to find jackets that will keep you warm as well as provide a water tight seal.
So get ready to pick one of the jackets that will keep you warm and dry for years to come!
The brand of Columbia is known for their expertise in the backpacking arena, so it makes sense that they are at the top of the list of rain jacket providers for every situation. This jacket is guaranteed water proof as well as breathable, which are two things that most rain jackets aren’t.
We’ve tested a seemingly great jacket from Aigle, only to find that while the water seal and water proof attributes were there, the inside of the jacket was wet and steamy and most of all uncomfortable.
However Columbia uses Omni-Tech. Omni-Tech provides premium waterproof protection works by keeping outside elements from getting in, while still allowing moisture vapors to move away from the skin. Omni-Shield® helps you stay clean and dry by resisting liquids from absorbing into the yarns and staining the garment. So it’s sleek enough to wear in public as well as hike through the jungles of the Philippines!
The original New Englander Rain Jacket made exclusively by Charles River Apparel.
The essential rainwear jacket; wind and waterproof with heat-sealed seams to keep wind and rain out. Polyurethane shell fabric bonded to a woven backing to provide additional fabric strength.
Lined with mesh for air-flow and taffeta nylon in sleeves for easy on/off. Hood and open hem with shock cord drawstrings. Adjustable cuffs to seal out the elements.
Vented front chest vented for breathability and comfort. When looking for quality apparel, look to Charles River Apparel. Charles River Apparel infuses their clothing with technology, performance, and contemporary style. Traditional New England value brings innovation to everything they make: innovation in how it fits, to the way it feels. Charles River Apparel offers function that performs and fashion that lasts. After more than 30 years of leading quality, the family-owned business pushes into the future with their eyes on the horizon of innovation. “Look Good. Feel Good. Charles River Apparel.”
Carhartt Men’s Surrey Coat
The company of Carhartt is one of roughneck outfitting and durable outdoor wear, from being able to clothe welders and oilfield workers, this company dresses some of the most extreme environments you’ll ever witness. All of this makes Carhartt an exceptional brand to consider for having a jacket that can stand up to most any weather anywhere!
Constructed of rugged .50-mm, polyester-backed pvc (polyvinyl chloride) fabric, the carhartt surrey coat stands up to driving rains and strong winds. Waterproof and wind resistant, it’s built carhartt tough; the seams are electronically welded and the major seams are also sewn for extra strength. For added protection, the coat’s engineered with a double-front storm placket with inside and outside protective flaps, and neoprene inner-sleeve cuffs with adjustable hook-and-loop closures. The left-chest pocket and two lower-front pockets also protect items from wetness; all feature hook-and-loop closures. When weather threatens, pull up the snap on/off detachable hood. Elbows are also reinforced for strength.
The rain jacket from White Sierra is a basic rendition of a classic rain coat with a minimalist design that gets the job done, and gets it done well.
While White Sierra is another new comer to the outdoor clothing world they have earned their keep as being incredibly high quality clothing suppliers with impeccable customer service if you should ever need to contact them!
The White Sierra Men’s Trabagon Rain Jacket offers complete protection against the elements in a lightweight package. The polyester micro ripstop fabric is fully seam-taped and treated with a Teflon DWR finish for total waterproof, breathable protection. Mesh venting at the back yoke allows for even greater ventilation to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable. This jacket packs down into front pocket for ease of travel.Back yoke with mesh venting.Zip secure hand pockets.One-hand, quick-draw hem seals out the elements.Attached hood.Adjustable cuffs.Avg. length: 29″.Import.
Viking Men’s, Thor Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
The Professional products in the Viking series are constructed of Trilobal Rip-Stop polyester, which creates high quality outerwear for the working Professional who has need of an extra-tough duty garment.
Trilobal Rip-Stop Polyester offers superior abrasion, rip, tear and snag resistance versus fabrics almost twice its thickness. It is constructed of triple- twined Polyester thread, which creates cross-sections of fibers, forming tiny cells that increase the cut and abrasion resistance of the garment, while effectively stopping any rips and snags from spreading to the next cell.
This Professional THOR Jacket is extremely heavy duty: Each seam is fully taped and heat sealed, as well as being triple sewn for extra durability.
This jacket is excellent for weather protection, as it is compatible with any of the Viking thermal liners (see our fleece liners, ThermoMAXX liner, or our soft shell). These jackets can all be worn separately, or a thermal liner will zip and snap into the Professional THOR to create an extra warm, waterproof jacket. This jacket also comes with a heavy duty front zipper, covered by a double overlapping storm flap (for weather protection), a chin guard, an adjustable 3-piece peaked removable hood and the jacket comes with a comfort fleece collar. Feel confident when standing up against the elements in your Viking Professional THOR jacket.
Are You Looking For The Best Backpacking Underwear Brand?
Well we’ve done the research to bring you the best brands of underwear to keep you warm on your long backpacking trips, as well as the most breathable pairs to make sure you’re not drowning in your own sweat in warmer climates. Nothing is worse than freezing to death on the cold treks in climates that are less than forgiving. And since you loose most of your body heat through your skin directly, it would make sense to insulate yourself as close to the surface as possible. So here’s the list of the 5 best brands for backpacking underwear!
Carhartt Men’s Base Force
Carhartt is a rugged outdoor brand that has solidified themselves as the go to supplier for clothing that can stand up to the elements, be it hot or cold. These long legged underwear are no exception to this standard at
all! The full leg coverage basically guarantees you will be kept warm in the coldest of environments, and the breathability of the material is second to none when it comes to not turning your underwear into a sauna!
Super cold can be super harsh. But when you wake up and look out your frosty window, you laugh at super cold. And that’s because the first thing you do after you put on your base force cotton super-cold weather crewneck top is put on this bottom. They go together like pulled pork and bbq sauce. As with the carhartt crewneck cotton top, it’s made of 9.5-ounce, 100-percent cotton ring-spun knit. It wicks away sweat. In other words, it helps keep you dry while you’re sweating in the shivering cold. Stain breaker technology helps release stains in the wash. You’ve got reinforced stitching, rib-knit cuffs to keep in warmth, a Tagless neck label, and a carhartt logo and force logo. Wear it proudly.
When it comes to providing the ultimate quality in active underwear for men, whether it’s hiking or sprinting on the track, ExOfficio is a brand that will outfit you in the highest quality briefs possible. These briefs move with you and don’t bind thanks to the nylon material, and are tight enough at the same time to not slip and move up your leg to make the rest of your trip a fight against keeping the shorts down! If you’re looking for active underwear that fits almost every situation in active warm climates, then these are your go to.
The active fit, ultralight mesh, and smooth fabric waistband make the Sport mesh the most comfortable performance underwear you’ll ever put on. Whether you’re cycling in bolivia, trekking through Thailand, or trail running in your home range, the Sport mesh will keep you cool, fresh, and comfortable.
If a less restricted range of motion is more of your style then you’re going to love the Icebreaker brand of briefs. This company is the best at using the latest in heat conserving tech in their clothing! If you’ve done your research on this company you’ll know that they use wool from sheep that live in arctic conditions and need to get in the water and dry off as quick as possible. These traits lend themselves incredibly well to a hikers or backpackers need in underwear! The warmth provided from these materials almost seems to emanate from the articles of clothing themselves.
The Anatomica Briefs from Icebreaker’s Premium Underwear collection are made from their lightest, finest Bodyfit150 fabric. With a satin jacquard waistband and a closed contoured pouch that shifts to the left, these stylish briefs are as comfortable as they are sexy.
As a primary supplier of skiing gear, ColdPruf has proved they’re worth their salt when it comes to making dependable clothing that can keep you warm in bitterly cold weather. These long legging underwear are perfect for moving around thanks to the Polypropylene material that gives a close fit but doesn’t bind or pinch with quick movement.
The ENTHUSIAST is a single layer garment made of 100% Polypropylene. This design will give you a close, comfortable fit without restriction. The ENTHUSIAST is lightweight and has been designed to give thermal protection in Cold to Very Cold Weather with Medium to High Activity. THE ENTHUSIAST – SINGLE LAYER WARMTH AND MOISTURE MANAGEMENT PERFORMANCE.
Makina is making a stamp on the outdoor clothing scene FAST, this company is combining cost efficient materials with high quality product to make a tag team formula that beats the competition they have left. The odor resistent polyester blend is not only great at keeping you dry, but also smelling great for the long haul at the same time. Which is important on those long backpacking trips!
Makino is a professional outdoor sports brand which was founded in 2004,specializing to provide high quality and cost-effective outdoor products.The products are designed in mountaineering, rock climbing, hiking, camping and other outdoor sports. Combined with the natural environment of outdoor sports, comfort , fashion And other elements to create a professional and popular outdoor equipment style.
I’ll bet that a lot of you are trying to decide between attending your dentist appointment or watching this video. Watch the video. Tires are a critical choice when building a bug out vehicle. Overlook or buy the wrong tires and it your day at some point in the future might head very south. Choosing …
More than 100 people were injured this morning and at least one dead in a Hoboken New Jersey train crash. The commuter train crashed during rush hour impacting the terminal at full speed, breaking through a wall, and collapsing the roof of the building. Authorities still have not determined the cause of the crash.
Witnesses say that the train did not even appear to slow down before reaching the terminal. “It never slowed down” one passenger said. “We all went flying” said another. After the impact passengers and bystanders in a panic rushed to exit the train and terminal. Some were still trapped from the fallen debris.
From Fox News:
One emergency worker described a “horrendous exploding noise” and said passengers were crawling from the scene on their hands and knees. “We ran over and there were a lot of people kicking out windows trying to exit the train,” the man, identified only as Mike, told WABC. “…The second half of the first car was completely destroyed.”
Emergency Workers At The Scene of the Hoboken New Jersey Train Crash
The post Hoboken New Jersey Train Crash Injures 100 or more appeared first on American Preppers Network.
The Oregon Trail was an exhausting, sometimes treacherous, 2,000-mile journey that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon and locations in between. Over half a million stalwart souls were brave enough to leave the relative comfort of civilization at that time and venture off into strange and unknown lands.
We know a surprising amount of the Oregon Trail experience because so many travelers wrote journals, sent letters home, and even wrote books and newspaper articles. True Accounts of Life in a Covered Wagon and Ox-Team Days on the Oregon Trail are vivid, first-person accounts of this harrowing journey.
Most of these pioneers traveled by covered wagons, which were pulled by oxen and horses. Those wagons carried not only passengers and a few personal belongings, but over 1000 pounds of food! They were hoping to add to those food stores with hunting, fishing, and foraging, but none of that was guaranteed, so they had to give careful consideration to the most essential food items.
The journey from beginning to end took from 4 to 6 months. When you think about how much food your family consumes in that time frame, it’s a lot of food.
Packing food for the Oregon Trail
From historical documents, the following was the recommended amounts of food per adult
The recommended amount of food to take per adult was 150 pounds of flour, 20 pounds of corn meal, 50 pounds of bacon, 40 pounds of sugar, 10 pounds of coffee, 15 pounds of dried fruit, 5 pounds of salt, half a pound of saleratus (baking soda, baking powder leavening mix), 2 pounds of tea, 5 pounds of rice, and 15 pounds of beans.
These provisions were usually kept in water-tight containers or barrels to minimize spoilage. The usual meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner along the trail was bacon, beans, and coffee, with biscuits or bread. The typical cost of food for four people for six months was about $150. In today’s dollars, that would be about $3000.
The amount of food required was lessened if beef cattle, calves, or sheep were taken for a walking food supply. Prior to the 1870s, there were vast herds of buffalo in Nebraska which provided fresh meat and jerky for the trip. In general, wild game could not be depended on for a regular source of food, but when found it was relished as a welcome change in a monotonous diet. Travelers could hunt antelope, buffalo, sage hens, trout, and occasionally elk, bear, duck, geese, salmon and deer along the trail. Most travelers carried a rifle or shotgun and ammunition for hunting game and for protection against snakes and Indian attacks.
When they got to the Snake River and Columbia River areas they would often trade with the Indians for salmon. The Indians in Oregon traded potatoes and other vegetables they had learned to grow from the missionaries. Some families took along milk cows, goats, and chickens (penned in crates tied to the wagons). Additional food like pickles, canned butter, cheese, or pickled eggs were occasionally carried, but canned goods were expensive and food preservation was primitive, so few items could be safely kept for the four to six month duration of the trip.
Cooking along the trail was done over a campfire. No cookbooks were used, so pioneer cooks used the feel of dough, the look of cooked beans, and the smell of a hot dish to get their cooking just right. I describe it as an art form in this article.
Fuels used were wood, buffalo chips, willow or sagebrush. Flint and steel were used to start fires. Some carried matches in water-tight containers. Fire was borrowed from a neighbor for ease of starting, and who could blame them? Life on the trail was hard enough without having to make a fire from scratch every single time.
Cooking required simple cooking utensils such as butcher knives, large spoons, spatulas, ladles, Dutch ovens, pots and pans, grills, spits, coffee pots and an iron tripod to suspend the pans and pots over the fire. Some brought small stoves, but these were often jettisoned along the way as being too heavy and unnecessary.
Wooden or canvas buckets were brought for carrying water, and most travelers carried canteens or water bags for daily use. A ten gallon water barrel was needed, but it was usually kept nearly empty to minimize weight (some water had to be kept in it to prevent it from drying out and losing its water tightness). It was only filled for long waterless stretches. Some brought a new invention: an India Rubber combination mattress and water carrier.
Clothing and equipment*
Tobacco was popular, both for personal use and for trading with Indians and other pioneers. Each person brought at least two changes of clothes and multiple pairs of boots (two to three pairs often wore out on the trip). About 25 pounds of soap was recommended for a party of four for bathing and washing clothes. A washboard and tub was usually brought for washing clothes. Wash days typically occurred once or twice a month or less, depending on availability of good grass, water and fuel.
Most wagons carried tents for sleeping, though in good weather, most would sleep outside. A thin, fold-up mattress, blankets, pillows, canvas or rubber gutta percha ground covers were used for sleeping. Sometimes an unfolded feather bed mattress was brought for the wagon if there were pregnant women or very young children along. The wagons had no springs, and the ride along the trail was very rough. Despite modern depictions, almost nobody actually rode in the wagons; it was too dusty, too rough, and hard on the livestock.
Travelers brought books, Bibles, trail guides, and writing quills, ink and paper for letters. About one person in 200 kept a diary.
Belts and folding knives were carried by nearly all men and boys. Awls, scissors, pins, needles and thread for mending were required, reminding us that basic sewing skills ar essential for survival. Spare leather was used for repairs to shoes, harnesses, and other equipment. Some used goggles to keep dust out of the eyes. Storage boxes were ideally the same height so they could be arranged to give a flat surface inside the wagon for a sleeping platform.
Saddles, bridles, hobbles, and ropes were needed if the party had a horse or riding mule, and many men did. Extra harnesses and spare wagon parts were often carried. Most carried steel shoes for oxen, mules or horses. Tar was carried to help repair an injured ox’s hoof.
Goods, supplies and equipment were often shared by fellow travelers. Items that were forgotten, broken, or worn out could be bought from a fellow traveler, a post or a fort along the way. New iron shoes for horses, mules, and oxen were put on by blacksmiths found along the way. Equipment repairs and other goods could be procured from blacksmith shops established at some forts and some ferries. Emergency supplies, repairs, and livestock were often provided by local residents in Oregon, California, and Utah for late travelers on the trail who were hurrying to beat the snow.
Non-essential items were often abandoned to lighten the load or in case of emergency. Many travelers would salvage discarded items, picking up essentials, or leaving their behind their lower quality item when a better one was found abandoned along the road. Some profited by collecting discarded items and hauling them back to jumping off places and reselling them.
In the early years Mormons sent scavenging parties back along the trail to salvage as much iron and other supplies as possible and haul it to Salt Lake City, where supplies of all kinds were needed. Others would use discarded wagons, wheels and furniture as firewood. During the 1849 gold rush, Fort Laramie was known as “Camp Sacrifice” because of the large amounts merchandise discarded nearby. Travelers had pushed along the relatively easy path to Fort Laramie with their luxury items but discarded them before the difficult mountain crossing ahead and after discovering that many items could be purchased at the forts or located for free along the way. Some travelers carried their excess goods to Salt Lake City to be sold.
Professional tools used by blacksmiths, carpenters, and farmers were carried by nearly all. Shovels, crow bars, picks, hoes, mattocks, saws, hammers, axes and hatchets were used to clear or make a road through trees or brush, cut down the banks to cross a wash or steep banked stream, build a raft or bridge, or repair the wagon. In general as little road work as possible was done. Travel was often along the top of ridges to avoid the brush and washes common in many valleys.
A different food list was made by the from Joel Palmer’s guide that would include for each adult:
- two hundred pounds of flour
- thirty pounds of pilot bread
- seventy-five pounds of bacon
- ten pounds of rice
- five pounds of coffee
- two pounds of tea
- twenty-five pounds of sugar
- half a bushel of dried beans
- one bushel of dried fruit
- two pound of saleratus [baking soda]
- ten pounds of salt
- half a bushel of corn meal
- half a bushel of corn, parched and ground
- a small keg of vinegar should also be taken
If you missed PART 1, click here. So, you’ve decided that you want to build yourself a bug out vehicle to get yourself out of Dodge if the fecal matter hits the rotary oscillator. What vehicle do you start with? Well, certain vehicles are definitely better than others, but why? In the second part of …
There’s always that bunch of bowhunters who are more successful than the others. Visit any club or archery pro shop and you’ll note that there’s a group of bowhunters who tag the trophy bucks regularly. These great hunters may not be able to get the wall hanger every year, but they’re able to hunt down the monster bucks with ease. They always leave the average bowhunter drooling with envy.
So, what’s special about these successful bowhunters? Or what does it take to become a successful bowhunter?
Lately, we’ve had a chance to interact with the professional guides, pro shop owners, booking agents, and outfitters. We were able to ask them the burning question- what qualities do their best bowhunters possess that make them so successful in the woods?
The responses were amazing. We’ve compiled a list of these qualities to help bring out the best in your bowhunting skills in the woods.
Ready to learn what will make you become a successful bowhunter for food?
Here’s what we found out:
#1 Go Where The Bucks Are…
…not where you hope to find them. One of the grave mistakes killing your bowhunting career is hunting the deer in the wrong places. Lucky bowhunters do things differently. They set up their hunting spots in areas where the bucks are currently feeding, rutting or bedding.
On the contrary, some bowhunters will tend to hang around a particular hardwood ridge or farm, because they spotted a buck there a year (or more) ago. They scout for a sign- and even if the tell-tale signs are scarce in the region, they’ll hunt it anyway.
The secret to successful bowhunting for food is moving like the deer. If the game’s primary source of food changes, you’ll also need to look for the new food supply and make it your new hunting spot.
Nothing good will come out of hunting in a corn field that has already been plowed under. Likewise, there’s no need to hunt in hardwood ridge in a season with poor mast crop.
#2 Understand The Rut
Successful bowhunters also fully understand the various phases of the rut. They’re not afraid to change their hunting tactics as the deer season unfolds.
They know how to successfully set up on the food sources in the early season, and will quickly switch to hunting scrape lines the instant they notice them on the forest floor.
Even more important, these bowhunters know where to search for the essential food sources and can quickly determine where the scrape lines will be- long before the bucks lay them down.
By the time the deer season reaches climax, these hunters will again change their tactics and start chasing the does.
All this sounds corny, right? But if you spend some quality time in the woods, you’ll be able to predict the game’s next move and escalate your chances of bagging more and more deer. This is a quality lacking in most bowhunters out there.
#3 Practice! Practice! Practice!
Time to get out of your comfort zone! The surest way to sharpen your bowhunting skills is consistent practice. Yes, go to your backyard, set up a fixed target point, and start shooting your arrows. Trust me; there can never be a better way to hone your shooting skills.
The more you practice, the more you become a pro at it. Don’t settle for what you can already do. Rather, break the mold. Go for more! Instead of 30 yards, try shooting 70!
One more thing: When practicing, imagine yourself in a real-life situation- in the woods with a buck or turkey in your bow range. Allocate approximately 4-5 seconds for settling your pin and shooting at your target. Make target acquisition a few seconds task.
Practice blind shooting technique. That is, shoot the arrows quickly and intuitively so as to develop muscle memory. This will help prepare your mind to act instinctively when you’re under pressure.
#4 Patience is the Key
It goes without saying that bowhunting for food is a waiting game. In other terms, this is not the thing for the impatient hunters out there.
Take for example the Ontario hunters. They’ve access to over 100,000 acres of hunting grounds. They enjoy huge deer populations. But they understand that the deer does not grow on the trees. They wait in their stands all day long, during the rut. If a young buck comes around, they’ll let it go, knowing very well that the mature buck will come calling in a moment. They’ve got the patience to wait for what they want and will end up scoring the big thing!
If you can’t adopt this simple habit, then all the practicing will be useless.
#5 Can You Read Topographical Maps?
Another surprising thing we came to understand about the successful bowhunters is that they know how to read the topographical maps. They do it like the average Joe will read a newspaper. And this places them a step ahead of the unsuccessful hunters.
How the maps help you become a better bowhunter?
The moment you learn how to study and interpret the brown squiggly lines in the woods, you’ll be able to locate natural features that harbor the game, or guide them as they move around the forest.
For example, you can quickly identify a feeding area by finding a water source, an abandoned orchard, clear-cuts, a hummock inside a swamp and so on.
#6 Keep It Simple!
One more thing we learned from the elite bowhunters is that they strive to keep their hunting gear simple. Their bows are not equipped with all sorts of doodads and gizmos.
Most of them will only tie a simple thread to their bows to aid in keeping tabs on the changing winds instead of buying fake feathers or cans of talcum powder for the same job.
The surveyor’s orange tape is enough for them to mark the blood trails instead of the electric flash sensor.
But don’t get me wrong. In keeping it simple, you’re only eliminating what you don’t need. And carrying what you need to down that whitetail you’re targeting in your hunting spot. For example, you don’t want to forget your single pin bow sight; otherwise, your accuracy will be doomed.
Bringing It All Together
It’s not too late to become a successful bowhunter for food. You only need to change your ways of doing things in the woods today. Discard your poor hunting habits and adopt the better ones. Lear to be patient, hunt where the game is, understand the rut, practice consistently and remember to keep it simple.
In no time, you’ll be having a fun time bagging every deer or turkey you target in the woods.
Jennifer is the founder of BuckWithBow, a great blog that focuses on helping you learn how to hunt deer with a bow. As an experienced bow hunter, she will guide you through the Do’s and Don’ts of the bowhunting world and transform you into a better hunter. Whether you are an experienced bow hunter or an absolute beginner, you will find BuckWithBow a gem!
The post Bowhunting For Food: Follow These 6 Powerful Tips For Ultimate Success appeared first on From Desk Jockey To Survival Junkie.
(September 18th, 2016 New York)- After several explosions throughout New Jersey and New York and stabbings in Minnesota, a very tired looking Hillary Clinton chided opponent Donald Trump to the press about prematurely deducing the explosions were the results of a bomb. Mrs. Clinton prematurely ended the press conference when questions turned to her health. Buried in …
What is a bug out vehicle? Let’s face it, search for information on bug out vehicles. What you will find is crap. Lots of folks out there want to know the how/what/when/where’s of creating their own bug out vehicle. You found the right place. Welcome to the Tin Hat Ranch’s series on how to …
Now, I won’t say that I am cheap, but I never like to see waste. I use everything that I can. As many of you know, the shelf life of cooking oils is not indefinite, so the other day I found some olive oil that was out of date. I got to thinking about alternate uses for rancid cooking oils. Here is the list of uses for old oil.
Lubricant and rust preventative. It can be used for everything from squeaky hinges to oiling your tools. In a pinch, it would work to protect your firearms.
Lamp oil. Oil lamps are a good alternate use for rancid oils. They are easy to make and put out about the same amount of light as a candle. Having a selection of oil lamps is a very good prep and lamp oil, like this brand, isn’t too expensive.
Furniture Conditioner and Polishing Agent. Cooking oils can makes a great wood furniture polish and conditioner. I have used it on butcher block in the past. Combine equal parts oil with vinegar for an amazing mixture that can make old, scratched furniture look almost new.
Olive oil softens and preserves leather. You can also use it on leather to help restore suppleness, and protect the leather.
Get paint off your hands. Rub some oil into your skin, let it sink in for 5 minutes, and then wash thoroughly with soap.
Protect rattan and wicker furniture. It helps keep rattan and wicker furniture from cracking. Just gently rub some warm oil into the furniture with a soft cloth.
Making soap. Rancid oils can be used to make lye soaps. This book is a classic for basic soapmaking information and instructions. This would be a good skill to have for TEOTWAWKI.
Animal feed. Dogs and cats do not appear to be bothered by rancid oils. Add a little to their food and it will improve their coats.
Making Diesel. Old cooking oils can be processed and burned in diesel engines.
These are the alternate uses for rancid cooking oil that I came up with after a few minutes of thought. I am sure there are many more. Every now and then, somebody I know wants to get rid of old cooking oils. I tell them to mark it as not fit for human consumption and keep it. It may come in handy someday.
If you’re wondering why it’s not a good idea to eat rancid oil, read this.
Try to find multiple uses for everything you store.
Do you want to improve your standard of living without spending too much? Homesteading demands hard work. Fortunately, people who have been successful with various homestead hacks have shared some of the hacks that can save you time and loads of money. Also, some of these hacks may help you in certain survival situations you may encounter in future.
This list of top 5 hacks for homesteading with almost no money can improve your life for the better.
Lots of gallons of water are wasted daily through flushing toilets. This is a small change that can make a big difference to not only conserve water but also save you money. Also, the use of a water bottle can solve the situation by displacing half a gallon less water while allowing you to get the same flush pressure.
However, you need a bottle that is lightweight, yet weighs enough to stay still in the tank. Putting some water in the bottle then putting it into the tank to displace some water can save lots of water per day. This is a small hack that can make a big difference.
We would love to eat eggs every day, but sometimes the hens lay periodically. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t eat eggs at all times. You need to develop this hack that will help you preserve eggs. You need a container to freeze the eggs such as an ice tray, a muffin tin, silicon baking cups or plastic egg holders. You need to beat the eggs in the cups then freeze them.
It’s important to know that it’s difficult to separate them once frozen which is why you should plan on their use ahead of time. For instance, you may need to separate the whites from the yolks. You should keep these in a freezing bag and label it. These eggs can be preserved for up to a year.
When you need to use them, avoid putting them in a microwave to thaw them as this is cooking them. You only need the room temperature to thaw them which requires about 1-2 hours.
Crayons as Candles
Most homes have survival tools, and people don’t even realize it. In an emergency, a crayon can illuminate a place for 15-30 minutes depending on size. These crayons, however, need to be nontoxic although most are nontoxic nowadays.
You should then look for a small plate or just a place to stand the crayons. Use a match to light the crayon and melt some wax off the top of the place and stick the crayon in an upright position just like in candles. If you’re taking the kids for a hike you can try it, watch the kids being entertained and light up the campsite.
Use Free Containers to Grow Seedlings
In the winter, you may want to enjoy gardening while still indoors. There is a way to do that. Purchasing starter pots are quite expensive, but this doesn’t have to be the obstacle anymore. With this idea, you can even use newspapers to make biodegradable seed pots. The side of the pot will depend on with the size of the newspaper.
We all know how the process of germination is important; it’s where a seed develops into a healthy plant. For germination to be ideal, you have to learn the right way to germinate a seed. The basics include watering the seed, allowing it to breathe, keeping it in a lit place and keeping it temperate. Once the seedlings become ready, you can transfer them to your garden or greenhouse.
Lanterns Using Soda Bottles Combined with Candles
Do not throw out an empty soda or beer bottle that you find lying around. It may help you in a survival situation when used with a candle. You only need to keep the candle inside the bottle and improvise a lantern that offers a fair amount of light. This replaces the need for a flashlight, but even a tactical flashlight can conserve energy as opposed to house lights. Jack Neely writes more about that here.
Anybody who owns property has various options to consider. You may be surprised at various homestead hacks around you as a creative solution to an existing problem.
About the Author
Jack Neely is a fitness expert, survivalist, and world traveler. He’s been in several life or death situations, and he’s making an effort to spread his knowledge around the web to help others survive these situations as well. He’s also on the content team at The Tactical Guru.
We know that the big one is coming. We prepare ourselves to survive by having enough food & water, medical supplies and other things on hand but we also need to protect ourselves from all.
Protecting yourself and your Family at home from violence, intruders, Terrorist groups and more has become one of the highest priorities these days. So what areas should one begin to protect? Entry ways & Windows! There are various ways intruders can penetrate a home or business but most common are Doors and Windows. Violators will most likely act quickly by blasting down a door or shooting down windows. It is important to know what economical Bullet Resistant materials to use and how to easily install them. Here is what you can use to make a normal door Bullet Resistant.
Triad Security Solutions has developed a UL Level 3 Bullet Resistant Door Guard that can be installed on any normal door in 15 minutes making it bullet resistant. The BR Door Guard covers 75% of a standard size door and covers the most important areas that a gunman will most likely shoot at. The BR Door Guard shown below absorbed 120 bullets shot from a 38 special, 9mm, 357 mag, 40 caliber, 44 mag and 12 gauge slug and pellet. None of these rounds penetrated the BR Door Guard.
This same product has been made available to public and private schools, colleges to protect the students and teachers from a Gunman.
Triad Security Solutions also outfitted the cabin area with the same Level 3 Bullet resistant material for Jim Delozier’s well known
Triad built the BR Door Guard to be affordable for everyone. Unlike Level 3 Bullet Resistant Doors that cost from $4,500 – $7,500 installed, the BR Door Guard retails for $1,399.00. The Door Guard comes with (10) TamperPruf Security Screw and (10) predrilled holes for easy and quick installation. Wood grain laminate is used to cover the BR Material and can be painted or stained to fit home or office décor.
As an introductory offer Triad is offering American Preppers Network members a 10% discount ($140.00) and FREE Shipping ($100.00).
Recently I was asked the following question by someone who wants to install a 5000-watt generator to run their home in case of a power failure:
What is the best choice for fuel, propane, gasoline or diesel?
This reader is leaning towards getting a propane-powered generator. The choices are confusing, and a guide like this one can help the newcomer to the world of generators make the best choice.
I have been doing some research on the subject and here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of all three fuels for generators: gasoline, diesel, and propane.
|Propane:**See propane notes below.||
Propane produces 92,000 BTU’s per gallon, gasoline is capable of producing 114,000 BTU’s per gallon, and diesel is capable of producing 129,500 BTU’s per gallon. This means that it will take more propane per hour that either gasoline or diesel to run a generator.
How much propane will my generator burn per hour?
- It requires 2 horsepower to produce 1000 watts of energy per hour under load
- Under load each horsepower consumes 10000 BTU per hour
- Propane contains 92,000 BTU per gallon
- Propane weights 4.2 pounds per gallon
Using these factors how long can a 5000-watt generator run on a 500 gallon propane tank at 50 capacity.
- 10 horse power at 50% would use 5 HP to generate 2500 watts of electricity
- 5HP X 10,000 BTU would consume 50,000 BTU per hour
- 500 gallons X 92,000 = 46,000,000 BTU of energy in a full 500 gallon tank
- 46,000,000 BTU divided by 50,000 BTU = 920
- A 500-gallon tank that is full would run a 500-watt generator at ½ capacity for 920 hours.
After comparing the various fuels, I would probably go with propane for a large generator in a fixed setting. I would want a minimum of a 1000 gallon tank. For small generators I would go with a tri-fuel generator. Tri-fuel generators burn propane, gasoline and natural gas.
If you choose to purchase a large generator you need to weight the cost versus the benefits. Is running a generator worth the cost? Another consideration is how much fuel you are able to store. Propane tanks store indefinitely, which is another reason the propane generator is a good choice.
The post Propane-Powered Generators: Are They the Best Choice? appeared first on Preparedness Advice.
Two days ago, I made a pretty bold statement—A knife is likely the least important tool for a wilderness survival kit. That statement wasn’t exactly made in haste. It’s something that had been brewing inside of me for quite some time.
For several years, I, too, carried a knife—always a folder and sometimes a fixed blade too. At the same time, however, I was fairly observant of my daily doings, along with those of others who carried knives. I began realizing many people, myself included, would hardly use a knife at all, save for the occasional need to cut up food, or a piece of cord. How odd, I thought. That person has a four hundred dollar knife and the entire time we’ve been out here, several days mind you, the only thing he’s done is
This certainly will shake the foundation by which some of you have based your ideals on, but it is worth discussing and examining with a critical eye. For some of you, it will mean nothing and you will go on with the popular norm. Others may actually put some common sense into play and rethink your survival kit. And yet others will say I am preaching to the choir and their views will be congruent to mine.
What if I said your knife is quite possibly the least important tool in your wilderness survival kit? Yes I can already feel the ire brewing within some of you. I mean here you are having possibly spent a few hundred dollars on your prized possession that is the cornerstone of your kit and I’m telling you your money was ill spent, that is unless, of course, you already have your most important base covered, at which point spend all the money you want on your survival knife.
Delicious and good for you
The other day while out looking for edible plants, I came across some cones from the digger pines, also sometimes called gray pines. These cones were still intact and had not dropped their seeds, often called pine nuts.
I spent a bit of time and opened one. The digger pines have one of the harder cones and you will need a hammer or a big rock to open them. However, it is worth it you can get a good handful of nuts from one cone.
The individual seeds or nuts then need to be removed from their shell. This is a bit of work and a good pair of pliers will be a big help. If you don’t have the right kind of pliers, I used a Gerber Multi-tool I had with me and this worked just fine. Unshelled pine nuts have a long shelf life if kept dry and refrigerated. Shelled nuts (and unshelled nuts in warm conditions) deteriorate rapidly, becoming rancid within a few weeks or even days in warm humid conditions
There are about twenty species of pines that produce seeds large enough to be worth harvesting. In North America, the main species are three of the pinyon pines, Colorado Pinyon , Single-leaf Pinyon, and Mexican Pinyon. Eight other pinyon species are used to a small extent — the Gray Pine or digger pine, Coulter Pine, Torrey Pine , Sugar Pine and Parry Pinyon.
The following information on how the Native Americans collected pine nuts is from this website, Pine Nut.
- The pine nut is large and an excellent food source. It is, however, relatively difficult to harvest and requires a substantial group effort to do so. The pine nut harvest began in the late summer and lasted into the fall. It was essentially the last big food-gathering opportunity of the year before retirement into winter lowland quarters. It occurred at intermediate elevations in arid upland hills where junipers and pinions tend to grow. It was a significant social occasion, and most Great Basin people held these regions to be sacred ground. If you don’t happen to live near a source of pine nuts, you can buy them in bulk.
- Over the last two thousand years, the pine nut sustained these peoples. The pine nuts required substantial processing and, then, they could be stored for later use. Utilization of pine nuts required technological innovations. While nuts can easily be picked from the ground-fallen cones of the pinyon pine (pinus monophyllia), they are rarely good for human consumption by that time and the crop has been substantially reduced by insects and small mammals.
- The pine nut came to be a useful staple food because only after the people learned how to harvest the nut prior to the final ripening stage of the cone. The technology for achieving a pine-nut harvest was messy and complex, and it was practiced communally. In fact, pine-nut harvest defined the great social time of the year, being the greatest gathering of the people in the concentrated areas of sacred lowland pinyon forest. People went to the forests in the early fall before the cones had fully ripened and dropped. They began with “first fruit” celebrations that confirmed the sacred significance of the food and established their respect for the forests.
- When harvest began, the men pulled cones from the trees using tools made from large willow branches equipped with a sturdy V-shaped hook at the end. Women and children piled the cones in burden baskets (usually large conical wicker baskets carried on one’s back with a cordage band across the forehead). At this point, the cones were just at the point of opening and were usually full of pine pitch.
- In camps surrounding the forest harvesting grounds, the pine cones were processed. This began by roasting the pine cones around hot coals, turning them often, to cause them to open up. Then, the cones could be beaten lightly to cause the nuts to fall out. When a supply of nuts was available, these required further processing since the nuts were covered by a soft brown shell. Cracking this shell would be difficult and would injure the fruit inside The nuts were processed by placing them on a basketry tray with hot coals from the fire. Once introduced together, the whole mass was kept in constant motion, throwing them up and swirling the tray, until the shells were roasted to a hard, crisp dark brown. The coals were removed at this point and the nuts were poured onto a grinding stone where they were lightly pounded with a mano until all of the shells had cracked and falled free of the inner fruit.
- Cracked pinenuts are yellow-orange, translucent and soft. They can be eaten at this point and are delicious. Far more pine nuts were harvested than could be eaten raw so they needed to be processed further. At this point, the nuts were returned to a winnowing tray and thrown repeatedly into the air to allow the cracked shells to be carried off by the wind. When the shells were all gone, hot coals were returned to the tray and the roasting process was repeated until the nuts were dry and hard, somewhat darker in color.
- At this point, the nuts could be stored in large basketry storage containers for later use. Dried nuts could still be eaten without further processing but the usual procedure was to make a pine-nut flour by grinding them. They were returned to the grinding stone and the mano was used to pound them lightly until they were well fragmented. Grinding was achieved with small amounts quickly so that the fine flour could be pushed off the metate forward into a bowl or onto a tray. A soap-root brush light be used to move the pine-nut flour on the tray. When enough flour was available, it could be warmed in water to make a thick paste; then the paste could be reduced, by dilution, to make whatever consistency was desired. While pine-nut mush may not sound especially appealing, addition of berries, various leafy vegetables, and/or ground meat or fish made it a feast.
Different tribes and cultures collected the nuts by different methods. Here is a small excerpt from the book, Survival Skill of Native California, by Paul D Campbell. If you live in California, I strongly suggest you get a copy of this book.
I suggest that you investigate the pine trees that live if your area and see if you can gather the seeds for food.