How Big Data will make your world unrecognizable

Click here to view the original post.

It is tough to comprehend how something you can’t see or touch is going to existentially change the human race.  From the way you interact with the world, to economics and politics, big data is going to change your understanding of reality.  Technologies like cloud computing, the internet of things, big data, and fast data …

Continue reading »

Seven Problems Older Preppers Face

Click here to view the original post.

Seven Problems that Older Preppers Face via Preparedness Advice

The older I get the more I see problems that older preppers face. Since prepping hit the mainstream back in 2008-09, we all have a good 8-9 years under our belts. My own kids were just 8 and 6 when my wife and I started prepping, and now our oldest is making college plans. Time flies.

I know you all plan to be that rare exception that is still able to walk long distances in your 90’s and not taking any medication. If that happens, then good for you! You were blessed with some amazing genes. Unfortunately, that will likely not be the case for most people, even the most devout prepper. Most of us end up facing some type of serious limiting medical problems. Many are dependent on medications, have mobility problems or cognitive problems, even after living a healthy lifestyle for decades. You may be the rare exception but you don’t know what will happen tomorrow.

So what are some of the problems older preppers face?

  1. Medications — this is a big one. Extra prescription medications are hard to get already. I know people who are on medication that keeps them alive. Without those drugs, they would be dead within a few days. Here are some ideas that may help you stock up on important medications.  15 Over the Counter Medications Preppers need to Stock , So You Need Prescription Medications,  More on, So You Need Prescription Medications

    problems that older preppers face

    These will no longer be available

  1. Mobility — While I have not had any mobility problems yet, it seems like many of the people around me are. Last year we discovered that my fairly young wife had degenerative arthritis in her hip joint and required a total hip replacement. Suddenly, she was having to use a walker to get around the house, and I realized the importance of having access to things like walkers, crutches, canes, and wheelchairs. They are often in garage sales, very cheap, and can be stored in the attic or an outbuilding as they don’t necessarily need to be protected from the elements.
  1. Cognitive Challenges — Aging results in normal changes in cognition. Three specific changes occur: reduced processing speed, greater tendency to be distracted and reduced capacity to process and remember new information (working memory). Many of us have seen this happen with grandparents and older parents. You may have to write notes to remind them of things and just, in general, be more patient.
  1. Visual Challenges — Many older adults have problems with vision. About 2/3 of adults with vision problems are older than 65. Make sure you keep your eyeglasses up to date and have extra pairs. You have cataracts, get them fixed at your first opportunity as the surgery will be covered by insurance and Medicare. My wife depends on reading glasses and she has stocked up on at least a dozen extra pairs.
  1. Hearing Challenges – Hearing loss is common in older adults, affecting 1 in 3 people older than 60 and half of those older than 85. This is a hard one to prepare for, long-term, as hearing aids will be useless without batteries. By all means, stock up on as many batteries as you can and store them in their original packaging at room temperature. When you communicate with hard of hearing people, face them directly when talking to them. Speak loudly and clearly. I have hearing problems, and if someone is not facing me, it is much harder to understand them.
  1. Bed supplies – You may need oversize diapers, rubber sheets, bedpans, and porta potties to assist someone who is unable to make bathroom trips on their own. This would be a good time to stock up on hospital quality cleaning supplies, like these handy wipes and nitrile gloves.
  1. Over the counter medications – Here is a list of 15 Over the Counter Medications Preppers need to Stock. This is a list that everyone should have regardless of your age.

Our partner site, The Survival Mom, has an excellent article with more suggestions for preparing for old age as preppers or for caring for aging loved ones. You can read that article at this link.

The problems that older preppers face can be quite serious. For instance, what do you do with your parents who are in a nursing home and require 24-hour care? Homecare nursing is something to learn and prepare for. These are decisions that are best made ahead of time. You may even consider asking them what they would want you to do.

Remember you can’t stock everything for every contingency, just do the best you can, but plan ahead, if not for yourself then for aging parents and other loved ones.

The post Seven Problems Older Preppers Face appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

Protecting Your Home or Camp with Early Warning Systems, Part 1

Click here to view the original post.
early warning sytems

A good dog can be both an early warning system and a deterrent.

In a real emergency, it doesn’t matter whether you are bugging in or out, you may need to be warned of intruders.  Today many of us sit at home with the doors locked, window closed and air conditioning keeping the temperature under control.  After a disaster, we may have to keep all our window open, to try to stay cool.  This eliminates some of the security we normally have.  If you have people, who are trying to take advantage of the situation by looting you may need to rig up some early warning systems.

Fortunately there are many simple ways to give you early warning of intruders.  Dogs are great, one of the best early warning systems.  Often smaller dogs are more alert and will be quicker to bark.  Get your dog ahead of time and get to understand your dog’s reactions.  With a bit of training your dog can be a very effective early warning system.  In addition, depending on the type of dog they can discourage prowlers.

One of the simplest early warning systems is to set up tripwires.  Tripwire systems are very simple to put up and use.  You just have to be sure that the tripwires blend in well with the surrounding.  Some types of fishing lines works well, you can get fishing line in different colors.

early warning systems

Fishing line should blend in.

These can be used at your home, bugout location or in a campsite.  They can be as simple as a tin can hanging on a line with rocks in it and trip wires.  Because my hearing is not very good, I recommend cowbells.  You can often find them in thrift stores or garage sales and they make lots of noise.  I recently saw cowbells on sale at a local feed store for $2 each.  Depending on the size of the cowbells, they can be quite loud and may scare someone off.  Just remember if you have one tripped you need to make changes to your layout, they may come back.

Using YoYo fishing traps for early warning systems.

They are a spring-loaded wheel with approximately 12 ft of 60 lb test line with a swivel on the end.  For most uses, you tie the reel to a tree or other solid anchor point.  You then stretch out the line, which turns the wheel compressing the spring.  When you get as much line as you want out, there is a small latch that you place in one of the notches in the wheel.  When the line is disturbed, it trips the latch and the spring-loaded wheel reels in the fish.  You would normally add more line to the trap.

early warning systems

YoYo fishing reels or traps

However, they have an alternate use.  They will work well as early warning systems.  Simply take a can full of rocks and stretch the string across the area you wish to protect.  Set the string at ankle height so that any disturbance will trigger the YoYo fishing reel. You can add fishing line to lengthen the string.  When the YoYo fishing reel retracts, it will cause the can to fall or shake, warning you that someone is in the area.  There are many other ways that you can use this to trigger a warning, even using it to trigger electronic devices.

ealry warning system

A jar hanging from a door knob

Another simple alarm that can be used in your home or even a motel room is to put an empty glass jar upside down on your doorknob.  This will fall (and make a loud noise, except on carpet) should someone turn the doorknob. (Warning- the bottle can break leaving glass fragments on the floor).  A soda can filled with loose change balanced on the doorknob will make a lot of noise if someone attempts to enter.  Windows also easy to trap with cans of change or jars.

You will notice that these are all noise making devices; I am not recommending any devices that can cause bodily harm. These are just a few of the many possible ways you can rig early warning systems to help protect you from intruders.  Today we have just discussed low tech methods, in the future we will post an article on higher tech methods.

Howard

pc-iceberg

The post Protecting Your Home or Camp with Early Warning Systems, Part 1 appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

Free Manuals: Military Manuals & Books About Knot-Tying

Click here to view the original post.

Here are some free downloads of various books on knots and military manuals that you may find useful. You may want to consider downloading them to an older laptop and sticking it in a Faraday Bag. This will let you keep them handy, even in a worst-case scenario, without the expense of printing them.

Knot-tying

Essential Fishing Knots

Pioneering Knots and Lashings

Ropes-Knots-Ladders-Lashings-Anchorages

Knots, Splices, Attachments and Ladders

Knots, Splices and Rope Work

Knots-for-Mountaineering-Camping-Climbing-Utility-Rescue-Etc

Free military manuals

Arctic SubArctic SurvivalB-GL-323-003-FP-001

Basic Food Preparation

Canadian Military Field Craft

Marine Land Navigation

Mountain Operations FM3976

Pressure Points Military Hand to Hand Combat Guide

TC 31 – Special Forces Caching Techniques 

Terrain Analysis

Topographic Operations

US Army fm31 70 Basic Cold Weather Manual

US Army Combatives hand to hand combat FM-325-150

US Army Field Manual FM 3-19.15, Civil Disturbance Operations 

US Army Map Reading and Land Navigation

Army stp21-1 Soldiers Manual of Common Tasks Warrior Skills Level 1

US Army stp21-24 Soldiers Manual of Common Tasks Warrior Skills Level-2-3-and-4

US Marine Corps Hand to Hand Combat

US Marine Corp Pistol Markmanship

pc-iceberg

The post Free Manuals: Military Manuals & Books About Knot-Tying appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

Survival Communities make great sense, but are difficult to operate. Fortitude Ranch provides an approach to make them feasible.

Click here to view the original post.

We all know that pooling resources and getting the cooperation of a large number of people provides the best means of surviving a major disaster that leads to a halt in economic activity or loss of law and order. Unfortunately, trying to get people to agree on policies, leadership, and how much everyone should invest […]

The post Survival Communities make great sense, but are difficult to operate. Fortitude Ranch provides an approach to make them feasible. appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Survival Communities make great sense, but are difficult to operate. Fortitude Ranch provides an approach to make them feasible.

We all know that pooling resources and getting the cooperation of a large number of people provides the best means of surviving a major disaster that leads to a halt in economic activity or loss of law and order. Unfortunately, trying to get people to agree on policies, leadership, and how much everyone should invest […]

The post Survival Communities make great sense, but are difficult to operate. Fortitude Ranch provides an approach to make them feasible. appeared first on American Preppers Network.

How to Make Bannock Bread

Click here to view the original post.

As my wife will verify, I do a lot of things in the kitchen, but baking is not normally one of them. Well yesterday, I felt like baking some fresh bread so I decided to make some bannock. Learning how to make bannock has been on my list of things to learn for a while.

How to Make Bannock Bread

Bannock seems to have originated in Scotland, but it became very popular in the wilds of Canada and the American West. It is easy to make and does not even require a pan to cook it. Kids would enjoy learning how to make Bannock bread, as it can be cooked directly on the hot coals.

I cheated a bit and made mine in the kitchen on the stove.  It is an easy way to have hot fresh bread in under thirty minutes. You’ll need the following ingredients.

  • 2 cups of flour (white or wheat) I used one of each.
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder, I used one without aluminum in it.
  • 1-2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • Enough water to mix into stiff dough.
how to make bannock bread

The uncooked patty in the pan

Throw the ingredients into a bowl and mix; you want the dough stiff enough to stick together. The dough was formed into a large patty between 1 and 2 inches thick.  I then threw it in a cast iron frying pan that I had heated some oil in. The dough cooked on one side until I could flip it like a pancake. The backside was then cooked until I could stick a fork in it and it came out clean.  The bread was hot, fresh and delicious.

The bannock may have a few burned spots on the exterior by the time it is cooked, but it will be good on the interior. Now the same recipe can be used outdoors without a pan. Just lay your bread patty directly on the hot coals. When the bottom is done, flip it. When the bread is finished brush the ashes off and enjoy.

how to make bannock bread

The finished bannock ready to come out of pan.

You can make variations of this bread by adding raisins or other dried fruits. Bannock bread cooks fast and requires less fuel than other forms. The pioneers knew how to cook Bannock bread and now you do, too! Enjoy!

Howard

The post How to Make Bannock Bread appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

Ultralight doesn’t have to be Expensive

Many people mistakenly believe going ultralight is expensive. While it can be, more often than not it is less expensive than your non-ultralight counterparts.

Here are some quick action steps you can do today to lighten your pack as well as saving you some money before you make the decision to buy.

The first obvious thing you can do is get rid of things.

The post Ultralight doesn’t have to be Expensive appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Ultralight doesn’t have to be Expensive

Click here to view the original post.

Many people mistakenly believe going ultralight is expensive. While it can be, more often than not it is less expensive than your non-ultralight counterparts.

Here are some quick action steps you can do today to lighten your pack as well as saving you some money before you make the decision to buy.

The first obvious thing you can do is get rid of things.

The post Ultralight doesn’t have to be Expensive appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Cooking & Eating Wild Mustard

wild mustardLearn about the plants in your area. I live in Northern California and every spring you see acres of yellow flowers.  Most people ignore them, but a few know that you are looking at wild mustard.  They are good to eat and you can make mustard from them.

Some people eat the flowering tops just before they open.  They are cooked like broccoli.  My wife was raised eating the leaves.  The tender young leaves are used for cooked greens or in salads.

To Cook, wash the greens well and cook in salted water. Wild mustard can be somewhat sharp when raw and somewhat bitter when cooked. Blanching it or boiling it in water for a few minutes will remove the bitterness (the longer you boil the less bitter it’ll be).   It can be used like spinach in any recipe.

The seeds are black and can be used to make mustard.  They can also be used in pickling. We are going to experiment with making mustard and will post the recipe in the future.

Chickens and the rabbits love the dried stalks as a treat in the spring and summer.

Wild Mustard grows in most of the U.S. You will see it in the spring to early summer.

Mustard plants are most easily identified by their small and plentiful yellow flowers, growing in clusters atop a long stem.  If you look carefully at this picture, you’ll see that each of the flowers has four small yellow petals, and they’re in a cluster

If you have any doubts as to the identity of the plants I recommend you review the video at the following link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXqYbWMBzqM

A good rule in foraging for wild plants is to always find a local expert to learn from, there are lots of poisonous plants out there.

Howard

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post Cooking & Eating Wild Mustard appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

Cooking & Eating Wild Mustard

Click here to view the original post.

wild mustardLearn about the plants in your area. I live in Northern California and every spring you see acres of yellow flowers.  Most people ignore them, but a few know that you are looking at wild mustard.  They are good to eat and you can make mustard from them.

Some people eat the flowering tops just before they open.  They are cooked like broccoli.  My wife was raised eating the leaves.  The tender young leaves are used for cooked greens or in salads.

To Cook, wash the greens well and cook in salted water. Wild mustard can be somewhat sharp when raw and somewhat bitter when cooked. Blanching it or boiling it in water for a few minutes will remove the bitterness (the longer you boil the less bitter it’ll be).   It can be used like spinach in any recipe.

The seeds are black and can be used to make mustard.  They can also be used in pickling. We are going to experiment with making mustard and will post the recipe in the future.

Chickens and the rabbits love the dried stalks as a treat in the spring and summer.

Wild Mustard grows in most of the U.S. You will see it in the spring to early summer.

Mustard plants are most easily identified by their small and plentiful yellow flowers, growing in clusters atop a long stem.  If you look carefully at this picture, you’ll see that each of the flowers has four small yellow petals, and they’re in a cluster

If you have any doubts as to the identity of the plants I recommend you review the video at the following link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXqYbWMBzqM

A good rule in foraging for wild plants is to always find a local expert to learn from, there are lots of poisonous plants out there.

Howard

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post Cooking & Eating Wild Mustard appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

The Shelf Life of Dry Sausages

Click here to view the original post.
dry sausages

Notice all the non refrigerated meats hanging up.

There is a deli not to far from me that stocks nice Italian style dry sausages.  They look and taste delicious.  I have noticed that he always has them hanging up without refrigeration.  I have not been able to get a straight answer as to how long the sausage will store.  But I have talked to people who claim it will store for several years.

Now dry sausage has been used for thousands of years as a way to preserve meat.  The problem is that we don’t always know what changes have been made in the recipes in the name of quicker and easier production.  Many of our food processers have modified their recipes so that the sausages have shorter shelf lives.

I have been doing some research on this subject but have not come up with anything firm that I am willing to bet my family on.  The United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) puts out the following information.
“Dry and semi-dry sausages are possibly the largest category of dried meats, particularly in the United States. These products can be fermented by bacterial growth for preservation and to produce the typical tangy flavor. Alternatively, they may be cultured with lactic acid — much as cheese, pickle, and yogurt makers do — to eliminate the fermentation phase and shorten the process. They are, with a few exceptions, cooked.

Fermentation is one of the oldest methods of preserving meats. Dry sausages — such as pepperoni, and semi-dry sausages such as Lebanon bologna and summer sausage, have had a good safety record for hundreds of years.

In this procedure, a mixture of curing ingredients, such as salt and sodium nitrite, and a “starter” culture of lactic acid-bacteria, is mixed with chopped and ground meat, placed in casings, fermented and then dried by a carefully controlled, long, continuous air-drying process. The amount of acid produced during fermentation and the lack of moisture in the finished product after drying typically have been shown to cause pathogenic bacteria to die.

Dry sausages require more time to make than other types of sausages and are a more concentrated form of meat. Dried sausages range from 60% to 80% of their original weight before drying.

Semi-dry sausages are usually heated in the smokehouse to fully cook the product and partially dry it. Semi-dry sausages are semi-soft sausages with good keeping qualities due to their lactic acid fermentation and sometimes heavy application of smoke. Some are mildly seasoned and some are quite spicy and strongly flavored.

What are examples of dry and semi-dry sausages?
Dry sausages include:

  • Sopressata (a name of a salami)
  • pepperoni (not cooked, air dried)
  • Genoa Salami (Italian, usually made from pork but may have a small amount of beef; it is moistened with wine or grape juice and seasoned with garlic
  • Semi-dry sausages include:
  • summer sausage
  • Lebanon bologna
  • Cervelat
  • Thuringer

Are any Sausages Shelf Stable?
Some dry sausages are shelf stable (in other words, they do not need to be refrigerated or frozen to be stored safely). Dry sausages require more production time than other types of sausage and result in a concentrated form of meat. If the product is shelf stable and ready to eat, the product is not required to have a safe handling statement, cooking directions or a “Keep Refrigerated” statement. (this is an indicator to watch for, Howard)

Should people “At Risk” eat dry sausages?

Because dry sausages are not cooked, people “at risk” (older adults, very young children, pregnant women and those with immune systems weakened by disease or organ transplants) might want to avoid eating them. The bacterium E. coli O157:H7 can survive the process of dry fermenting, and in 1994, some children became ill after eating dry cured salami containing the bacteria.

After the outbreak, FSIS developed specific processing rules for making dry sausages that must be followed or the product must be heat treated. These products are included in the FSIS microbial sampling program for E. coli O157:H7, and in 1997, FSIS began to test fermented sausages for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.

Dates on Packaged Sausages
Although dating is a voluntary program and not required by the Federal government, if a date is used it must state what the date means. The product can be used after the date, provided it was stored safely.

“Sell By” date – tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires.

“Best if Used By” date – date by which product should be used for best flavor and quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.

“Use-By” date – the last date recommended for use of the product while at peak quality.”

FSIS says that whole hard/dry sausages may be stored 6 weeks in your pantry and indefinitely in the refrigerator.  After opening, they should be used in 3 weeks even if stored in the refrigerator.

Now I am looking for more and better information on this subject.  Do any of you have information or experience with storing dry sausages?  If so would you be willing to share the information with us?

Howard

pc-iceberg

The post The Shelf Life of Dry Sausages appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

Sugardine, a Great Homemade Antiseptic

Click here to view the original post.

sugardineI try to put up a new post every day, but occasionally there are posts that I think are important enough to be repeated. This post on sugardine is a good example.  It is something that everyone should know and due to the turnover of readers, many of you may not have seen it.  Sugardine is easy to make and most of us already have sugar in our storage.

For thousands of years people have survived without the use of antibiotics.  Many early treatments for infected wounds involved honey.  Both the Smith Papyrus of 1700 B.C. and the Ebers Papyrus of 1500 B.C. describe the treatment of severe wounds and burns with coagulated milk and honey held in place by a muslin bandage.  Later granulated sugar was used to treat sores in both horse and humans.  Today a mixture known as sugardine in widely used to treat sores and wounds on horses.  It has proved to be effective and is inexpensive.

Sugar by itself has been used and shown to be effective in the  treatment for infected wounds.

sugardineBut sugardine, a mixture of iodine and sugar has proved to be more effective.  The American Farriers Journal Special Management Report #1…Using Sugar To Treat Those Nasty Wounds stated the following.  “One study was done over a 5-year period in which 605 human patients were treated exclusively with sugardine. In nearly all cases, these patients (whose injuries included ulcers, cat scratches and gunshot wounds) healed more rapidly with sugardine than any alternative method of treatment”.  This is a link to information on the study.

You can purchase various sugardine mixtures at many places that sell medications for horses and other animals or you make it yourself.

Ingredients for sugardine.

  • Table Sugar
  • 10% povidone iodine (or the more expensive but easier to find betadine)

Procedure:

  1. Mix one part 10% povidone iodine to two parts white sugar.

Add more or less sugar to make it the consistency of thick honey or peanut butter.

Put the sugardine in a container with a tight fitting lid.  The mixture will need stirring now and then but it will never go bad.

It is my understanding that with a large open wound you pack it with sugardine and then bandage it.  Please understand that I am not a Doctor and have had no specialized medical training.  Any suggestion I have made in this post are only for a situation in which modern medicine is not longer available.

I remember when I was child, whenever you got a cut or scrape your parents treated it with an antiseptic.  Today I no longer see it emphasized as much.  But as soon as the antibiotics go in short supply, people will need to go back to this practice.  So be sure to stock up on antiseptics.

Howard

The post Sugardine, a Great Homemade Antiseptic appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

The Versatile Stinging Nettle Plant

Click here to view the original post.

Stinging nettles grow throughout most of the United States. They are common and easy to identify and pick as long as you wear a long sleeve shirt, long pants and have a good pair of gloves. Of course a good quality, authoritative book on foraging like this one goes a long way to insure you’e picking the right plant.

How to use stinging nettles as an edible

This edible plant has a flavor similar to spinach when cooked, and they are well worth harvesting when you can as they are rich in vitamins A, C, iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium. Native Americans harvested stinging nettles and used them as a cooked plant in spring when other food plants were scarce. Depending on where you live, you might also find them as early as January.

The stinging chemicals from the plant can be removed if you soak them in water or cook them. This allows the plant to be handled and eaten without incidence of stinging. After stinging nettles enter their flowering and seed setting stages, the leaves develop gritty particles, which can irritate the urinary tract.

At its peak season, the stinging nettle contains up to 25% protein, dry weight, which is high for a leafy green vegetable. The young leaves are edible and make a very good pot herb. The leaves can also be dried and be used to make an herbal tea or used in stews and soups. Nettle soup is a common use of the plant in parts of Europe.

Using stinging nettle for medicinal purposes

The stinging nettle has many medicinal properties. Rather than collecting the plant, drying it, and then using it for medicinal purposes, I highly recommend buying it in capsule form in order to know exactly how much you are taking.

Some of the ways it may help with health issues are:

  • Blood purifier and diuretic.
  • Primary use has been for allergies (usually taken in capsule form).
  • Used for urinary problems and rheumatic problems.
  • Used for anemia, arthritis, food or pollen allergies, head and chest colds, relief of asthma and bronchial cough, hay fever, and prostratitis.
  • The tea with honey and lemon is used as a stimulant.
  • Increases flow of milk in nursing mothers.
  • Makes an astringent gargle for sore throats and mouthwash for bleeding gums.
  • Tea used as a rinse for dandruff.
  • Joint pain — My mother-in-law swears by it.

The following information is from WEB MD it shows the interaction with prescription medicines.

Lithium interacts with STINGING NETTLE

Stinging nettle might have an effect like a water pill or “diuretic.” Taking stinging nettle might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with stinging nettle

Stinging nettle above ground parts might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking stinging nettle along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) interacts with stinging nettle

Stinging nettle above ground parts seem to decrease blood pressure. Taking stinging nettle along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.

Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.

Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with stinging nettle

Large amounts of stinging nettle above ground parts might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking stinging nettle along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.

Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.

Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with stinging nettle

Stinging nettle above ground parts contain large amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is used by the body to help blood clot. Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. By helping the blood clot, stinging nettle might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.

As with any plant be sure of its identity before you use it. Herbal remedies can interact with pharmaceutical medications and you should advise your doctor if you include these remedies in your daily routine.

 

The post The Versatile Stinging Nettle Plant appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

The Many Uses of Borax

Click here to view the original post.

Sodium tetraborate decahydrate, commonly known as borax, is a natural mineral made of sodium, boron, oxygen and water, and is a good thing to have in your storage. It has many uses in your home, and if kept in a dry location, the shelf life of borax is virtually unlimited.

Borax and pest control

  • Keep roaches, waterbugs, and ants away by sprinkling a combination of equal parts all-natural borax and sugar.
  • Keep the mice out by sprinkling borax on the floor along the wall.
  • Kill fleas by sprinkling borax on your carpet.  Leave it for an hour and vacuum it up thoroughly.
  • Combine cornmeal with borax. Pour into shallow dishes and place them in areas where pests are a problem.

General uses for borax

  • Make an all-purpose cleaner by mixing 2 tablespoons borax and 2 cups hot water in a spray bottle.
  • You can remove oxidation from metals with borax. The ingredient is also used as a flux in welding.
  • As a laundry detergent, add one cup of borax to each load and significantly boost your cleaning power.
  • Make your own dishwasher detergent by mixing 1 tablespoons borax and 1 tablespoons baking soda.
  • For removing urine odors from a mattress, wet the mattress rub in borax with a damp cloth. Let dry, then vacuum up the remaining residue.
  • Just 1/2 cup of borax poured down drains will help unclog them.
  • Pour 1 cup of borax into toilet bowls at night and in the morning, scrub bowl with a toilet brush.
  • A paste of water and borax can scrub away sticky residue from adhesives.

Borax for homemade candle wicks

This is an unusual application of borax but will help homemade candles produce less ash and smoke.

  • Dissolve 2 tbsp. table salt and 4 tbsp. borax in 1 1/2 c. warm water.
  • Soak a 1-foot length of regular cotton kite string or twine in the solution for 15 minutes.
  • Hang the string with a clothespin for five days to be sure it is completely dry.
  • Use a paper clip to dip the string in melted wax three or four times, coating it completely. Hang it up to dry as before.
  • Store wicks rolled up in a newspaper.

Is borax toxic?

Safety Source for Pest Management states the following regarding uses and toxicity.

“While exposure to boric acid has been linked to adverse health effects, experts agree that careful application offers a safe and effective alternative without the indoor air problems associated with sprays. Boron is a naturally-occurring element in the earth’s crust and background levels even circulate in the human bloodstream. Boric acid’s exposure risks are minimal because of its method of application.

However, while boric acid has become one of the chemicals of choice for many urban pest control programs, it can be toxic. EPA considers boric acid as a moderately acutely toxic due to acute effects including oral and dermal toxicity, and eye and skin irritation. EPA’s reregistration document states that a subchronic borax feeding study using dogs resulted in blood and metabolism disorders as well as effects to the testes, endocrine system, brain weight, and size ratios among various organs and glands. In chronic oncogenicity studies using mice, rats and beagle dogs, boric acid and borax were found not to be carcinogenic; however, testicular effects and decreases in body weight resulted at high dose levels. EPA has classified boric acid as a “Group E” carcinogen, indicating that it shows “evidence of noncarcinogenicity” for humans. In reproductive and developmental toxicity studies using rats, mice and rabbits, maternal liver and kidney effects and decreased weight gain as well as decreased fetal body weights were observed. In two studies, at the highest dose levels, no litters were produced. Prenatal mortality occurred at the highest dose levels in the rabbit study. Boric acid does not cause mutagenicity (U.S. EPA 1993).”

This is a good item to keep in your storage, just use some common sense. It is inexpensive and readily available in most grocery stores. You’ll find it in the laundry soap aisle.

pc-iceberg

 

The post The Many Uses of Borax appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

How to Choose a Good Campsite As a Bug Out Location

Click here to view the original post.

It seems that these days the internet is filled with articles about bugging out. It sounds like many of you have decided that this is a better cause of action than bugging in. That very well may be the best choice for you. The question remains, though, if you are planning on bugging out, even as a last resort, where are you bugging out to? Do you have a bug out location that is stocked and ready or are you going to be one of many looking for a semi-permanent campsite?

If you are among the group that will be looking for a campsite, here are some suggestions that may help you.

  • Avoid privately owned land, if possible. National and State parks, forests and wildlife refuges are all possibilities. The park rangers will probably be home taking care of their families in a dire scenario. This also means there won’t be any law enforcement, so choose your location carefully.
  • Get out of sight of roads, railroad tracks, and other areas where people are likely to be traveling. A very detailed map of the area, including topography, will help you identify spots that are far enough away from highly trafficked areas and yet be accessible for everyone in the group or family, including children.
  • Keep any fires that you have to start small or better yet use a Dakota fire hole. Be aware of giving away your position not just by a campfire but also sounds and smells. Begin now to learn about noise discipline. Also think about how you’ll prepare food without tell-tale scents giving away your position. (A Sun Oven, in particular, is one cooking device that is tightly sealed and does a good job of keeping cooking smells confined. Once the oven is opened, however, and your food is finished, all bets are off.)
  • Defensibility — The campsite should be surrounded by natural obstacles, limiting access. High ground is preferable, for visibility. However, visibility works both ways. Don’t get silhouetted. Once you’ve found a spot that works for you, you can always add “man made” obstacles, such as large boulders, felled trees, and the like. After a rainstorm or two, they will very likely blend in with everything else and the man-made aspect won’t be obvious.
  • Think wildfire. Always take this into consideration during fire season. Make sure you have a way to evacuate, if needed. This puts you in a dilemma — do you stake your campsite far from any human contact and, thus, limit virtually any evacuation route or stay nearer to civilization in case the worst happens? It will have to be your call and could also depend on the season and current weather conditions.
  • Stay out of low-lying, green, grassy areas. These will collect water if it rains and the ground may be damp, although they may appear at first to be an idyllic location. You will also be easy to spot. However, camping near one of these meadows may be helpful when hunting wildlife, since they provide grazing areas for deer, rabbits, and other mammals.
  • Camp uphill from streams or rivers. This will protect you from flash floods and sudden rises in water levels created by releases from dams. Keep in mind that water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon, and you’ll need at least one gallon per day for each person in your group. For me, access to a reliable and convenient water source trumps just about everything else on this list.
  • Look for protection from wind and storms.
  • Check the site for poisonous plants, dangers of falling rocks, overhanging branches and animals, and teach your kids and grandkids what to avoid.
  • Stay back from standing water to avoid insects pests like mosquitoes. Stocking up on mosquito pellets and mosquito netting would be a wise move.
  • Look for a flat place for your bed and campfire.
  • Is there a good source of firewood and kindling?
  • Check for food sources: edible plants, animals, fish.
  • Check for the availability of good water, but don’t be too close. Water will attract people, bugs and wildlife. Be aware that others, once finding a water source, my decide to camp there as well.
  • In the winter, it will be colder in the bottom of ravines and valley or near low-lying rivers. Camping 20 – 30 feet higher can make the difference of several degrees.
  • If your gear is in bright colors make sure there is enough brush and grass around to camouflage them, but if you have the choice, from now on only buy gear that will blend in.
  • Keep your cooking area separate from your sleeping area. Odors will attract wildlife and possibly people.

People can walk right by a well hidden campsite.

Now I have given you a list of all the best options for choosing a campsite for a (temporary) bug out location. If you have to hide from people, you may have to make some hard choices and break many of these rules. Personally, I will bug in until it becomes more dangerous to stay than to leave.  The roads will be a rough place. For me setting up a semi permanent or permanent campsite is one of my last options. Keep in mind, that as members of your group/family age, you’ll have other issues to take into consideration.

 

 

The post How to Choose a Good Campsite As a Bug Out Location appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

How to Choose the Right Backpack

Click here to view the original post.

Backpacking season is in full swing, with many folks being on the trail since March and April, en route to completing their thru-hikes. Some of these folks are seasoned hiking veterans and have dialed in their packs for maximum carry efficiency and load, while others are learning along the way, tweaking and changing as they go along. A few things to keep in mind before buying your pack will help prevent you from tweaking, changing, and wasting money on a pack which is ill fitting and painful to carry.

Choose your gear before you choose your pack.

The post How to Choose the Right Backpack appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Hike Your Own Hike

After last week’s gear shakedown, I knew I would have to hike my own hike. And the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.

If you’ve spent any amount of time in the hiking and backpacking community, you’ll have undoubtedly heard the phrase “hike your own hike.” It basically means keep your nose out other people’s business and worry about your own.

We’d been planning this shakedown for a couple of weeks. It was our chance to gauge what did and didn’t work. Walking twelve miles, half going uphill, seemed like a great way to test us and our load out.

The post Hike Your Own Hike appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Hike Your Own Hike

Click here to view the original post.

After last week’s gear shakedown, I knew I would have to hike my own hike. And the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.

If you’ve spent any amount of time in the hiking and backpacking community, you’ll have undoubtedly heard the phrase “hike your own hike.” It basically means keep your nose out other people’s business and worry about your own.

We’d been planning this shakedown for a couple of weeks. It was our chance to gauge what did and didn’t work. Walking twelve miles, half going uphill, seemed like a great way to test us and our load out.

The post Hike Your Own Hike appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

4s Approach to Clothing for Hiking and Backpacking

Click here to view the original post.

Clothing and Layering systems for outdoor adventures have been discussed ad nauseum. Rightly so, it is a first defense essential against heat and cold exposure. No matter how many times it is discussed, it still seems to confuse people.

Your clothing’s primary function is to keep you warm, dry, and offer protection from the sun. Their secondary function are to protect you from insects and small scrapes. There is a delicate balance which must be observed when deciding on your clothing. Putting on a heavy jacket while covering miles on a hiking trip, while keeping you toasty, can cause you to perspire making you wet from the inside which ultimately works against you.

The post 4s Approach to Clothing for Hiking and Backpacking appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

A Hike to Say Thank You for Your Service

Click here to view the original post.

When my daughter deployed to Afghanistan earlier this year, I knew I had to do something in support of her service. It had to be something meaningful to her and me, something special.

She was only seventeen and still in high school when she decided to serve her country. She would leave for basic training two months after graduating high school and then graduate basic training on her eighteenth birthday.

The post A Hike to Say Thank You for Your Service appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

5 Primitive Skills That Will Come in Handy When SHTF

Click here to view the original post.

If you’ve been part of the prepping community for any length of time you know that when SHTF, life is going to change substantially. You may have an EDC and a BOB and even a bug out location ready and waiting for disaster to strike. But have you really taken the time to think about … Read more…

The post 5 Primitive Skills That Will Come in Handy When SHTF was written by Admin and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Preventing Tick Borne Diseases

Click here to view the original post.

It’s Monday morning and you’re returning to work, all smiles, after a wonderful weekend backpacking with friends. By Wednesday, all of a sudden, you’re not feeling so well. You’re feeling a bit of nausea and weakness. Sitting around for too long also makes you experience joint pain. “What could it be?” you ask yourself. “Maybe I’m catching some sort of bug from one of my co-workers,” you tell yourself. While that may be true, it is likelier you’ve brought a stowaway with you from your weekend adventures and you’re experiencing classic symptoms of a tick-borne disease.

With backpacking and hiking season in full swing, it is important to know tick season is also in full swing. And these little stowaways are quietly lying waiting to hitch a ride on an unsuspecting soul.

The post Preventing Tick Borne Diseases appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

View Ranger Mobile Phone Navigation App

Click here to view the original post.

For about a year now, I’ve been using View Ranger Navigation on my Galaxy phone. And while there are no shortages of navigation apps out there, This app just really called out to me with some of it’s features.

Available for both android and apple, this app is free for download. One of the key points I liked about this app, unlike others, is I didn’t have to set up an account to use it. Of course to really enjoy all of the features registration is needed. But the key features are all available without registration.

The post View Ranger Mobile Phone Navigation App appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

3 Excellent Weapons for Survival

Click here to view the original post.

Even without a natural disaster or SHTF event, deadly situations arise unexpectedly. Confirmation of this is available via the home invasions, rapes, muggings, and other violent crimes flooding police scanners weekly. The right weapons for survival on hand can catch an opponent off guard and give you and your family members time to get away … Read more…

The post 3 Excellent Weapons for Survival was written by Admin and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Drinking Too Much Water Nearly Killed Me

Click here to view the original post.

“Drinking too much water nearly killed me!”

That’s how the story started on a first-aid course I was teaching. I was into the middle of my spiel on hyponatremia (water intoxication) when one of the students blurted out that statement.

“It occurred on an organized long distance bike ride,” he continued. “We were riding along a ridge and I started to feel sick and was developing a headache. I thought I was just dehydrated and needed to rest, so I drank more water, but the headache was getting worse. I knew something was wrong and needed to go to the hospital. Luckily I wasn’t alone on the ride and an aid station was near by.

The post Drinking Too Much Water Nearly Killed Me appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

The Importance of Rest in the Back Country

I was fairly new to the business and eager to make connections and keep clients happy by being available when they needed me. I had already booked a project and now a different client was contacting me for a different project all together. The first job would end about 3 a.m. and the second one begin about 7 a.m. that same morning. I was young and full of myself, so I agreed to do the second one. Needless to say, I was a wreck. I couldn’t think clearly, I was moving slowly and I was caught dozing off a couple of times. Not a good way to keep a client happy.

That little experience is not unusual. People are doing it all the time, with reckless abandon, and getting into fatal accidents.

The post The Importance of Rest in the Back Country appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

The Importance of Rest in the Back Country

Click here to view the original post.

I was fairly new to the business and eager to make connections and keep clients happy by being available when they needed me. I had already booked a project and now a different client was contacting me for a different project all together. The first job would end about 3 a.m. and the second one begin about 7 a.m. that same morning. I was young and full of myself, so I agreed to do the second one. Needless to say, I was a wreck. I couldn’t think clearly, I was moving slowly and I was caught dozing off a couple of times. Not a good way to keep a client happy.

That little experience is not unusual. People are doing it all the time, with reckless abandon, and getting into fatal accidents.

The post The Importance of Rest in the Back Country appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

The Importance of Rest in the Back Country

I was fairly new to the business and eager to make connections and keep clients happy by being available when they needed me. I had already booked a project and now a different client was contacting me for a different project all together. The first job would end about 3 a.m. and the second one begin about 7 a.m. that same morning. I was young and full of myself, so I agreed to do the second one. Needless to say, I was a wreck. I couldn’t think clearly, I was moving slowly and I was caught dozing off a couple of times. Not a good way to keep a client happy.

That little experience is not unusual. People are doing it all the time, with reckless abandon, and getting into fatal accidents.

The post The Importance of Rest in the Back Country appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

The 10 Essentials Revised and Improved

Click here to view the original post.

Developed in the 1930s, by Seattle based Mountaineers club, “The 10 Essentials” were items listed as needed to respond positively to backcountry emergencies and accidents. Over time, the list morphed from an item approach to a systems approach, an improvement, but still fundamentally lacking in some regards. With some critical thinking and a couple of tweaks, however, the list can be solid.

The classic 10 essentials are

The post The 10 Essentials Revised and Improved appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Early Morning Hike Checking Out Useful Plants

Click here to view the original post.

By 3:30 a.m. I was already tossing and turning. After laying in bed for a while, I finally decided to get up. It was 4:00 a.m. by now and I was getting in the shower, ready to start my day. Funny thing is I really had no where to be, or anything really to do. I just wanted to get up and get ready. I guess It’s not entirely abnormal. I’m usually up between 4:30 and 5:30 every morning.

After checking some emails, I headed out the door and on my way to the convenient store for my usual morning stop. By now it was 5:oo a.m.

“Hmmm! Guess I’ll head over to the local hiking trail and get an early morning hike in,” I thought… Off I went.

The post Early Morning Hike Checking Out Useful Plants appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Chicken Fried Steak Throwdown

Click here to view the original post.

I loves me some chicken fried steak. And I try to make it a point to have some in my travels across the states. I’ve not yet found what I would call the Cadillac of chicken fried steaks, but I’ve sure had some tasty meals in my search.

Now there’s one cowboy’s chicken fried I’m eager to try, cuz if you can beat Bobby Flay in a head to head throw down, I’m bet’n it’s gonna be the best I’ve ever had.

Sum y’all may’ve never hear of him, but he sure seems to be a household name round the cowboy culture.

Okay hoe’d up. Let me reboot. Trying to write in a cowboyish tone is giv’n me a headache.

Kent Rollins, rather cowboy Kent Rollins, is a bonafide chuckwagon cook, and if watching his videos don’t put you in a bushcrafting mood, I’m not quite sure what else will.

Born and raised near Hollis Oklahoma, Kent has been a cowboy all his life. He’s…. Ah hell let me just provide the blurb from his website, kentrollins.com

The post Chicken Fried Steak Throwdown appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Ham-O-Can Redux: The Operator G1 from Hardened Power Systems

Click here to view the original post.

Call it a radio go box or Ham-O-Can, the Operator G1 by Hardened Power Systems IS the Ham-O-Can…only better.  The original Ham-O-Can video is here.  This comms box is one awesome piece of kit.  Check it out: Products in the video: HPS Operator G1 Midland MXT 105 Operator Magnetic Kickstands New 15 Watt Midland MXT …

Continue reading »

The Website Has Changed. Here’s Why

Click here to view the original post.

If you’ve followed this site and this is your first visit in some time, you’ll notice quite the change in look. Aside from the overall look and feel, I made a conscience decision to close down the online store.

The decision to close the online store really had nothing to do with sales, more the confliction with my core philosophy. Here I am the guy whom always admonishes the pervasiveness of gear hype and aggrandizing, yet I’m not behaving in a manner congruent with my beliefs. I’ve all but rid myself of all my outdoor gear, as an affront to the mainstream idea you need this widget or that gadget, yet here I am selling those very chachkies. Who was I kidding? Every time a sale would come through I would feel guilt. I was not being true to my beliefs; moreover, I was conceding to an ideology I do not believe in.

Christian Noble, of Master Woodsman, some time ago wrote, “I hate gear. Outside of doing what its supposed to do, it really gets in the way… physically, psychologically, and especially financially.”

The post The Website Has Changed. Here’s Why appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Buy Experiences Not Things

Click here to view the original post.

The concept of “buy experiences not things” is not new. Studies have been conducted and countless articles written about the idea.

I’ve just returned from the PNW (Pacific Northwest). The memories I bring back will last me a lifetime, but aside from my clothes and hygiene kit, I couldn’t tell you what else I packed to save my life. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I could tell you what I had, but I couldn’t detail on which day I wore or used what. More importantly, in no way did I ever feel anymore exhilarated and excited or my day improved because I wore or adorned a specific item. I couldn’t tell you what clothes my colleagues wore or what knives they used while we were together. But What I can tell you are the stories we shared, the laughs we had and the places we visited.

The post Buy Experiences Not Things appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

I’d Rather be Caught Dead Than Caught with a Ferro Rod

Click here to view the original post.

“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.

Try making hardtack: A great, cheap addition to your survival gear

Click here to view the original post.

 

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.

Hardtack can have different ingredients to make it more flavorable.

Hardtack can have different ingredients to make it more flavorable.

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!

A hardtack biscuit

A modern hardtack biscuit

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

Hardtack was a durable, if bland-tasting, field ration.

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.

Army Hardtack Recipe
  • 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.

Swedish Hardtack

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

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.

 

null

The COMPLETE How To Build The Ultimate Bug Out Vehicle

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

Exploring the High Desert

Click here to view the original post.

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,

The post Exploring the High Desert appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Henbit, Plant of the Week

Click here to view the original post.

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.

The post Henbit, Plant of the Week appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Not Carrying a Knife for Wilderness Survival

Click here to view the original post.

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.

The post Not Carrying a Knife for Wilderness Survival appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Wild Plant Scout Trip 17JAN17

Click here to view the original post.

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 post Wild Plant Scout Trip 17JAN17 appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Plant These Edible Flowers in Your Garden Now

Click here to view the original post.

Plant These Edible Flowers in Your Garden Now via Preparedness Advice

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!

Angelica Anise Hyssop
Apple blossom Artichoke
Arugula Bachelor Buttons/Cornflower
Banana Basil
Borage Calendula
Carnation Chamomile
Chicory Chives
Chrysanthemum Cilantro/Coriander
Citrus Clover
Dandelion Daylily
Dianthus Dill
Elderberry English daisy
Fennel Freesia
Fuschia Geraniums
Gladiolas Hibiscus
Honeysuckle Hollyhock
Hyssop Jasmine
Johnny Jump Up Lavender
Lemon verbena Lilac
Linden Mallow
Marigold Marjoram
Mint Mustard
Nasturtium Oregano
Okra Onion
Orange blossom Pansy
Passionflower Pineapple sage
Primrose Radish
Red clover Redbud
Rose Rosemary
Rose of Sharon Runner bean
Safflower Sage
Savory Scented Geranium
Snapdragon Society garlic
Squash blossom Sunflower
Sweet Marigold Sweet William
Thyme Tuberous Begonia
Tulip Viola
Violet Winter Savory
Yucca

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.

The post Plant These Edible Flowers in Your Garden Now appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

Check, Call, Care The 3 Steps of Survival

Click here to view the original post.

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.

The post Check, Call, Care The 3 Steps of Survival appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

My EDC

Click here to view the original post.

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

The post My EDC appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Schrade SCHF51M Frontier Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife Review

Click here to view the original post.

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.

Condor Bushcraft Basic Knife Review

Click here to view the original post.

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 post Condor Bushcraft Basic Knife Review appeared first on Survival Hacks – Survival Resources.

Condor Nessmuk Knife Review

Click here to view the original post.

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 post Condor Nessmuk Knife Review appeared first on Survival Hacks – Survival Resources.

Condor Kephart Survival Knife Review

Click here to view the original post.

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 post Condor Kephart Survival Knife Review appeared first on Survival Hacks – Survival Resources.

Condor Bushlore Bushcraft Knife Review

Click here to view the original post.

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 […]

The post Condor Bushlore Bushcraft Knife Review appeared first on Survival Hacks – Survival Resources.

Joshua Tree Day Trip

Click here to view the original post.

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 post Joshua Tree Day Trip appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Zen Action Steps for a more Enjoyable Hike

Click here to view the original post.

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

The post Zen Action Steps for a more Enjoyable Hike appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

2017 Spring has Begun in Southern California

Click here to view the original post.

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.

The post 2017 Spring has Begun in Southern California appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Uncommon Items for Your Bug Out Bag

Click here to view the original post.

swim goggles

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.

#1. Floss

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).

#7. Tweezers

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.

#8. Condoms

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?

The post Uncommon Items for Your Bug Out Bag appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

2016 A Year of Change

Click here to view the original post.

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

The post 2016 A Year of Change appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Alternative Weapons for Self-Defense and Survival

Click here to view the original post.

lanchaku

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.

Deterrent Weapons

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
  • Keys
  • 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.

Defensive Weapons

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.

Spears

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.

Slingshots

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.

Flare Guns

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.

The post Alternative Weapons for Self-Defense and Survival appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

The Survival Expert Paradox

Click here to view the original post.

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.

The post The Survival Expert Paradox appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Free Manuals to Download on Survival and Edible Plants

Click here to view the original post.

 

Free Manuals to Download on Survival and Edible Plants via Preparedness Advice

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.

Urban Preparation Kit, Part 1, On Body Kit

Traps and Snares

Wilderness Survival Skills

Surviving Terrorism

Wilderness Survival

Survival Water Purification

Preserving Game Meats

Nuclear War Survival Skills

How to Build a Debris Hut

HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan

Combat Survival Evasion

Cold Weather Survival: A Way of Life

Cold Weather Survival

Camp Life in the Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making

Alpine Living for SAR

Aids to Survival

Woodstravel

FM 21-76 US ARMY SURVIVAL MANUAL

Survival In Cold Weather Areas

Survival, Evasion and Recovery

NEWER US Army Survival Manual

Marines Individual Terrorism Survival

USMC Winter Survival Course

Wilderness Evasion: A Guide to Hiding Out and Eluding Pursuit in Remote Areas

USMC Summer Survival Course

Free Manuals on Edible & Medicinal Plants

WHO Monographs on Selected Medicinal Plants

WHO Monographs on Selected Medicinal Plants Volume 2

WHO Monographs on Selected Medicinal Plants Volume 3

WHO Monographs on Selected Medicinal Plants Volume 4

Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada

Survival Medicine

Survival: How to Make Herbal Preparations

Edible Medicinal Plants

Medicinal Plants in Folk Tradition

PDR for Herbal Medicines

Healing Pets With Alternative Medicine

Ethnobotany of the Forest Indians

Edible Wild Plants

Edible and Medicinal Plants

Plant Powers, Poisons, and Herb Craft

A Taste of Heritage: Crow Indian Recipes & Herbal Medicine

Common Edible Mushrooms — Be careful here. It’s recommended that you never eat a wild mushroom without personal instruction with an expert forager/herbalist.

A Complete Handbook of Nature Cure

pc-iceberg

The post Free Manuals to Download on Survival and Edible Plants appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

Survival Uses for Bandanas

Click here to view the original post.

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.

NECK GAITER

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.

COOL COMPRESS

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.

TOURNIQUET

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.

BANDAGE

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.
WEAPON SLING

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.

STRIPS/CORDAGE

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.

FOR SIGNALING

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.

RAG/NAPKIN/WASHCLOTH

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?

MASK

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.

GUN CLOTH

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.

NOISE REDUCER

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.

MAKESHIFT STRAP

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.

HANDKERCHIEF

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.

TINDER

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.

FISHING NET

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.

MAKESHIFT HAT

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.

PILLOW

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.

CONCLUSION

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.

The post Survival Uses for Bandanas appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.