9 Things You Must Know When A Volcano Erupts

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Many people don’t realize that the ultra-fine nature of volcanic ash means that it can travel for hundreds to thousands of miles fairly quickly. Now it is a good time to think about how you will survive a volcanic eruption, or the fallout from one like Hawaii that may reach well into the west coast of the United States.

7 Takeaways From The Austin Bombings And Beyond

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Ever since the Unabomber began wreaking havoc, I have always wondered when our nation would be awash in bombings and bomb threats by various criminals and terrorists. Perhaps it is also the apparent simplicity and effectiveness of home made bombs or IEDs that made it so easy for me to see right through gun grabber nonsense about making our world a safer place by removing just one type of tool that can be used for killing.

School Perimeter Defense Systems: Financing, Building and Implementing

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While gun grabbers won’t talk about this story or admit it, the fact remains this event could have killed far more children than the ones slaughtered in Parkland and other gun related massacres put together. These very same gun grabbers will also go on sticking their heads in the sand and continue blaming guns even though a far greater threat may be overshadowing our schools and our nation.

How To Make An Efficient Air Purifier Using Box Fans

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People today that suffer from allergies and breathing problems already know that decreasing air quality is only making them sicker. On the other side of the equation, actually improving air quality in the home may seem like a hopeless task because it impossible to get rid of all the air leaks and drafts.

In most cases, these drafts aren’t the actual problem. Rather, it is the lack of good air flow throughout the building that allows dust, toxic gasses, and other pollutants to build up. This is just one of many reasons why you may benefit from building a DIY air purifier based on a box fan.

Why You Need to Purify the Air in Your Home

Even if you aren’t suffering any effects from air pollution, it is still important to make sure that you can remove any number of toxins in the air during a major crisis. For example, a major wild fire outbreak, gas attack, nuclear attack, and other problems will either force you to wear a gas mask all the time, or be able to control the air quality enough so that you do not need to wear a mask.

While the basic DIY air purifier described in this article will not filter out 100% of toxins all the time (this version filters out about 50 – 70% depending on the pollutant and the filter lifespan position), it will give you enough difference in air quality to manage a number of situations.

In addition, with a a few changes in the filter media and changes to the air flow in your home, it forms a vital basis for any air purification system that will have close to a 100% efficiency level.

DIY Box Fan Air Purifiers vs. Pre-Built

As a means of summary, DIY box fan air purifiers are more efficient and have greater potential for expansion across every comparable measure when compared to pre-built air purifiers that you commonly see in department stores. Have a look at how a 20 x 20 box fan can easily beat just about every model on the market for a fraction of the cost:

CFM (cubic feet per minute) – this is the amount of air that the unit is capable of circulating through the filter apparatus. The higher the CFM, the better. Most small air purifiers only produce about 100 CFM, while larger units designed for medium sized rooms will produce about 400 CFM.

By contrast, a 20 x 20 box fan on its highest setting will produce about 2500 CFM. You may lose around 400 – 500 CFM when using higher capacity filters, however even at that reduction, the CFM is easily 3 – 4 times more than the maximum output of more expensive options.

Filter surface area – in general the greater the surface area, the better the filter will be at capturing particles without clogging up or impeding air flow. Most conventional air purifiers on the market have decidedly puny air filters that measure well under 10” x 10”.

In fact, most purifiers have filters that are around 6” x 8” or 9”. On the other hand, when you fit a filter for a box fan, the most active area will extend across the entire diameter of the blades. In most cases, this is about 15 – 16” across (including the subtraction for the fan motor vent area).

This Device Easily Turns Air Into Water!

Here, you have double the surface area with good air movement across the area. Depending on how you arrange your filter layers, it is also very easy to double or even triple this extended surface area and even recapture some of the lost CFM.

Easy to customize – no matter whether you need to get rid of gasses and fumes with activated carbon, get rid of bacteria, or manage mold, pollen and mildew, there is likely to be a filter or combination of filters that will meet your needs.

While pleated filters tend to allow a larger surface area, do not overlook padded versions that offer excellent air flow, and sometimes a lower cost. By contrast, when you buy a conventional air purifier, you must also purchase the pre-made filters. If the manufacturer does not offer a permanent filter, an activated carbon pre-filter, or decides to stop making replacement filters altogether, you will be stuck with a useless unit.

Box fans and filters are much cheaper and last longer. Conventional air filters will cost a minimum of $60.00 off the shelf for a relatively small unit. On the other hand, a brand new box fan costs about $20.00.

A good quality 3M Merv 12 filter with an electrostatic grid costs about 15.00, and an activated carbon pre-filter costs between $10.00 and $20.00 depending on the brand and design. If you decide that you want a HEPA grade (Merv 13 and above), the cost per filter ranges between 12.00 per filter and up, depending on where you buy them and the quantity.

Your total cost for a DIY box fan filter can be as low as $40 – 50.00 (including incidentals like duct tape), or higher depending on the filter options. Insofar as filter changing costs, you will find that it is still much cheaper to buy furnace filters and variants of them without sacrificing on quality or air cleaning capacity.

Speaking of filter ratings, most air purifier manufacturers only state that the filter is a HEPA filter. While you may assume this means the filter is at a hospital grade or above, they may be using a filter that is barely above the top level filter you would use for your heating system.

On the other hand, when you buy filters for your box fan, you will always know the exact efficiency rating. Depending on the manufacturer, you may also be able to see the test results for each filter.

Filter Options and What They Mean

Before you decide on a specific filter or combination of filters, it is very important to know how they are rated and what you can expect.

Efficiency Ratings – this refers to the particle size that can be removed by the filter. Typically, the higher the efficiency rating, the more particles the filter can remove without becoming clogged up. Higher efficiency ratings also give you some information about the size of the particles that can be captured.

Filters with a higher efficiency rating can capture a higher percentage of smaller size particles. For example, a MERV 10 filter may capture as much as 70% of pollen and mold spores, but only 20% of bacteria, while a MERV 12 will capture as much as 90% of pollen and mold, but as much as 40% bacteria.

Even though both filters will be rated for capturing these particles, the higher MERV rating still means a better rate of capture. Aside from MERV ratings, you may also see some other scales being used such as FPR and MPR. Most filters will come with a handy guide for showing what each filter will remove.

You should still compare the scales to gain some ideas about the percentage of particles removed.

Pleated Filters and Pleat Sizes – as you may be aware, folds can greatly extend surface area without taking up more space in terms of length and width. As with your brain and intestinal tract, pleated filters also have double or better surface area as filters without pleats.

That being said, there is a delicate balance between having so many pleats they interfere with each other and ones that don’t take advantage of the maximum surface area expansion. The depth of the pleats is also very important. Deeper pleats can translate to longer lasting filters without necessarily sacrificing efficiency.

You are best served, however, with starting off with conventional 1/2” pleats, and then move up from there if you feel it is needed.

Pad Filters – these filters do not have pleats, and are usually made from various fibers. They are not as efficient as pleated filters, and usually do not go above MERV 8 or 9. These filters are good for pre-filtering, however the best quality will still come from pleated variants.

Electrostatic Grids – dust and many other airborne particles carry a weak electrical charge. When air passes over the metal electrostatic grid, it also generates a very weak charge that attracts airborne particles. This can draw in more particles faster and increase the overall efficiency of the filtering system.

If you are going to build your own filters or trim down rolls of pleated material, it is worth your while to buy media that has the electrostatic grid included.

Activated Carbon – if you are concerned about poison gasses, volatile organic compounds, automobile exhaust, and other fumes, filter media impregnated with activated carbon will be absolutely essential. Since the MERV ratings for these filters doesn’t exceed an 8 or 9, you will have to use it as a pre-filter.

Fortunately, MERV ratings don’t have anything to do with the overall efficiency of the carbon layer. It will still remove the same amount of gasses and toxins regardless of the percentage and size of solid or liquid particles removed by the supporting media.

Reusable Filters – at this time, it is very hard to find a good quality, inexpensive reusable filter with a guaranteed MERV efficiency rating. If you are committed to using reusable filters, try to see if you can find a company to custom manufacture some on your behalf.

This is an expensive option, however if you can get the quality you need in a filter that will last a lifetime, it will save money and concerns over stockpiling filters in the long run. Just make sure that you have a reliable system onhand to test the quality of the filter once you receive it, and that the company has a good reputation and warranty system.

Items and Tools You Will Need

Once you purchase the fan and filters, it will take very little in the way of tools and time to assemble a Box Fan Air Purifier. In most cases, you can complete the initial installation in about half an hour. Later on, when you change the filters, allow for an additional 10 minutes or so to vacuum out the motor and remove dust from the fan blades.

  • Duct tape
  • cardboard (you can use the box the fan came in for this part)
  • permanent marker
  • drafting compass
  • scissors
  • padded work gloves
  • fan (20 x 20 box fan, any model and manufacturer)
  • filters (depends on your needs and research findings). This article is based on the 3M MERV-12, 20 x 20 pleated filter and the WEB Absorber Cut to Fit 20 x 25 filter.

Building the Box Fan Air Purifier

Start off by unpacking the fan and making sure that it works. Run the fan on high speed for at least 48 hours to make sure it does not have an strange odors or burning smells. If you detect anything bitter, foul, or “electrical”, return the fan immediately and exchange it for another one.

A fan with a smelly motor at the beginning will continue to smell. It’s just not worth the effort to put up with it.

Next,

At the back of the fan, carefully measure the diameter of the motor vents.

It is very important to keep these vents open because the motor will get quite hot from constant operation. Covering the vents will only shorten the life of the fan and provide little in the way of useful filtration.

Take a drafting compass and make a circle on the cardboard large enough to cover the motor vents. Next, cut the cardboard into the shape of a circle. You now have a template to use for cutting the holes in any filter you decide to attach to the fan.

Attach a small piece of duct tape (or clear tape) to the template so that some of the sticky side touches template, and more sticky surface is exposed to the air. Place the template over the fan motor holes.

Lay the innermost filter on top of the fan and template. Make sure that the air flow arrows on the filter match the direction the air will flow through the fan. Press down slightly on the center of the filter. At this point, the template should stick to the filter. Simply lift the filter up and you will know exactly where to cut the hole into the filter.

Use a permanent marker to trace a circle around the template. When drawing the circle on pleated media, you only need to mark the top of the pleat.

Put on padded work gloves for the next few steps. The electrostatic grid on the filters is very thin and can cut into your skin easily. While these aren’t necessarily big wounds, it is still best to avoid them.

Remove the template and proceed to cut out the circle area from the filter with the scissors. The easiest way with pleats is to snip the top as far down as you can reach with the scissor. Next, flip the filter over and match the scissor snips on what is now the top surface of the pleat. Do not cut the electrostatic grid during this process.

Carefully reach into the pleated area, and pull the cut circle area through the electrostatic grid. Work the paper back and forth until you get a feel for how to pull on the paper to bring it through the grid without breaking the metal. If the paper feels to thick or bunches off, cut some off and continue pulling through another hole. When you are done, the filter should look like this:

If you are using a prefilter, you will also have to cut a hole in that one. Keep the first filter in place and fit the template back over the hole. Make sure some sticky tape is exposed.

Place the prefilter on top of the template so that it fits correctly on the fan.

if the filter is too large in length or width, use the scissors to cut it down to size.

Press the second filter down in the center region to engage the tape. Lift the filter and flip it over so you can see where the template is stuck.

As long as the filter is not pleated, you can just use the scissors to cut around the template.

Make sure the inner filter is in proper position.

Place outer filter on top so that the holes line up with the holes in the fan motor.

Place the grille that comes with the Web Absorber Cut to Fit pads over the two filters.

Take some duct tape and slice the strip down the middle about 1 ½ inches.and place it on the grille so that the slices are separated by the bars in the grille.

Fold the tape over the bars so that it sticks to itself, like this:

Finish off the taping by attaching it to the side of the fan. Use at least two pieces of tape for each side of the fan to ensure the filters stay in place.

Your DIY air purifier is now ready to use. Put it near heating vents, doorways, or other areas where dust and contaminated air are most likely to come in. Do not forget to change the filters at recommended intervals, or more often if they become soiled quickly.

During this process, always vacuum out the motor and fan blades so that dust does not build up. At the beginning, you may go through more filters simply because there may already be a sizeable build up of pollution that you are so used to you don’t notice it anymore.

Rest assured, however, as the air gets clearer and cleaner, you will definitely notice when the filters need changing!

Safety Precautions

As with any other electrical appliance, there is always the risk of overheating or a fire. You should never leave the fans unattended. If you must leave the house, even for a short time, close them down and unplug them.

Remember, even though you are allowing air flow for the motor, this is still not a listed “safe” application for a box fan. Never trust these devices to be unattended. As a final note of safety, use this design at your own risk. Results and outcomes may vary. Neither the author nor the publishers are responsible for any injuries or other damage that may result from using this design or recommendations.

When it comes to affordable and efficient air purification methods, I have found nothing that works as well as attaching regular heating system filters to the back of box fans. While there are some important precautions that must be observed, this system can work and produce clean air for years to come.

If you have experience already with this kind of system, or have tried other air purifiers, I would love to hear about your results and see if they match mine.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

5 Ways to Build a Cheap Emergency Shelter

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When your roof is leaking and your feet go through the floor boards, it may seem clear enough that your home won’t stand up to a hurricane or some other large scale disaster. On the other side of the equation, even if your home is newer, or you rent an apartment, that doesn’t mean you should rely exclusively on your current home during a major crisis.

Regardless of your current living situation, there are many times and places where an external shelter located on your property or near your home will be of more use than expected. Here are some ways you can build an emergency shelter on a limited budget.

Understand the Building Needs for Different Crisis Scenarios

Before you decide to try and build the cheapest emergency shelter possible, it is important to know which kind of emergencies you expect to get through while residing in the shelter. Have a look at some of the most common scenarios and how they may or may not change your building plans:

  • The best shelter for surviving a nuclear crisis will be one located underground. Just make sure that earth covers the top of the shelter as well as all around it. Underground shelters will also be the best for tornadoes.
  • Since water from hurricanes can sink deep into the ground, you may be in more danger underground than above. A shelter that will survive a hurricane must be able to withstand heavy winds and rain. Look into shelters that have rounded or dome like shapes as they will offer less resistance to the wind. This, in turn, means that it will be harder for the wind to pick up the shelter and destroy it.
  • Gas, disease, and similar attacks require a shelter that is as waterproof and air proof as possible. While it does not matter if the shelter is above ground or below, you will need to be able to filter the air and enrich it with oxygen. Ideally, shelters for these kinds of emergencies plus nuclear crisis should also include a decontamination area. If you go outside, it will be very important to have a place where you can remove your clothes and remove debris and other possible pollutants from your skin before entering the shelter.

Cheap Materials For Building Shelters Near Your Home

Chances are, you will be surprised how natural materials or ones you consider to be “junk” can be repurposed into making a durable emergency shelter. Here are some materials that you more than likely have on hand right now, can find abandoned with little effort, or can build up in a fairly short amount of time.

As you consider these items, remember that building a viable shelter isn’t just about the materials, it is about how you assemble and support them.

  • Old tires – old tires can be cut into any number of shapes that can be used to cover holes or build a waterproof layer. They can also provide flexibility to the shelter that may be of use during earthquakes, or when building an unusual design.
  • Plastic water bottles – of all the possible materials for building an emergency shelter, this one is the most overlooked, yet the most valuable. In fact, today, people are building full scale homes using plastic water bottles filled with dirt, sand, or water. They have excellent insulative properties and lend just enough support to other materials that would be difficult, if not impossible to turn into a permanent shelter.
  • Metal food cans – as with tires, you can use tin cans for covering different areas, as well as for strength. Do not forget that you can always cut these cans open, lay the flat, and then fold them into strips. This can make them useful for supporting different parts of the shelter as well as holding parts together. Metal food cans are also very useful for making solar heaters that can provide warmth for your shelter and hot water.
  • Canvas bags – when filled with sand or soil, the canvas bags are some of the most useful things you can use for building an emergency shelter. They are easy to stack up, and can provide a good bit of protection from the elements. They are also the best building material to shield from bullets.

Cost Cutting Without Losing Quality

When you are on a very tight budget, even a few extra dollars can be hard to eke out of your budget. For example, even though smaller sized water bottles may work well for an emergency shelter, there is no getting around the fact that buying water by the gallon is cheaper.

How To Build a Small Bunker in Your Backyard with $400

It does not pay to buy larger bottles in order to try and save money because your emergency shelter will not be as sturdy or reliable. This is just one area where cost cutting would create more problems than it solves.

On the other hand, there are some other places where you can safely cut costs without losing the benefits you want most from the shelter:

  • Try to build a smaller shelter or break it up into smaller modules. If you build the shelter in add-on modules, you may also improve the overall strength of the shelter, plus extend the cost of building the shelter over a longer period of time.
  • Canvass the local area to see if others have useful trash that they are willing to give you. You can also check out sites where high volumes of tires and other waste tend to collect with little or no attention from others. Abandoned lots, and other areas may be a good place to find items that can be repurposed for your shelter at no cost.
  • Look in second hand and thrift stores for canvas items that you can sew into bags for making sand bags.
  • Take a careful survey of natural materials. Even if you can’t find a beach or plenty of sand, do not overlook the soil in your back yard for filling plastic bottles or canvas bags.
  • Keep an eye on local public auctions. You never know when useful building materials may become available from one or more locations.

Where to Hide the Shelter

Hiding your shelter can be difficult for any number of reasons. To begin, people are bound to notice that you are doing something unusual. While keeping your building tasks out of plain sight will help with this problem, there are some others to consider.

Never overlook the possibility of electronic surveillance means during the building process and after the shelter is built and stocked with supplies. In fact, before you even buy or begin saving materials to make the shelter, you should make sure you know what kind of methods may be used to locate the shelter.

From there you can amend the design and then figure out the best location for hiding it. Here are some basic rules for making your shelter easier to hide:

  • Keep the shelter small or have a series of small shelters spread out so that no single site gains attention.
  • Make sure the shelter is properly disguised based on the surrounding terrain
  • Study how time of day, lighting effects, and weather patterns may reveal the existence of the shelter
  • Have multiple access points so that you can get from any area on the property to the shelter without being seen or observed
  • Use “hiding in plain view” with caution. You can use different shapes or several other methods to ensure people see the structure, but either don’t recognize what it is, or place no importance on it. As with any other kind of disguise, the shelter should blend in and look so normal it is forgotten. If you decide to go in the opposite direction, the shelter should look so strange it will be ignored as a point of blocking out irrelevant information.

Best Ways to Get to the Shelter in an Emergency

When disaster strikes, there is nothing worse than knowing safety is just a few feet away, yet you have no way to get there. In this case, if your house is no longer safe, you must still have a way to get to your emergency shelter and the supplies that will get you through the disaster. Here are some possible ways you can use to get to the shelter:

  • Make use of underground tunnels. Even if you have only a crawlway under your house, it will be worth your while to dig an underground tunnel that comes up in your emergency bunker. It does not matter if the shelter is above ground or below. If possible, you should make it your business to have access to the crawlway in each room on the downstairs level of your home. You should tunnel access points throughout the yard. At the very least, if you find a way to get outside, you can still use these entry and exit points to get to your shelter.
  • If your shelter is above ground, you may want to try accessing it directly instead of using an underground tunnel. This must be done so with caution so that no one sees where you are going or notices any kind of foot traffic leading to the shelter. When using above ground travel methods, do not forget to take advantage of trees or other objects that create blind spots. There are many ways to get from Point A to Point B without being seen if you know how to place objects around your yard, and then use them for cover in a time of need.
  • Tall trees in your yard and rope can also be used to move from limb to limb until you reach an appropriate access point.

Dugout Shelters

When it comes to saving money on an emergency effort, dugout shelters offer some of your best options. That being said, underground bunkers or shelters can be extremely dangerous if they aren’t built correctly or something else causes you to become trapped below ground.

You should have at least one underground shelter on your property so that you can use it if the situation calls for it.

Today, there are many different designs of dugout shelters to choose from. You can build something simple as a one room underground cavity braced with wooden beams. Alternatively, you can tunnel and go to different depths to create multiple rooms and structures.

As long as the soil in this area perks well and is solid, you should be able to build a fairly good shelter.

During the process of planning to build a dugout shelter, do not overlook digging deeper into bedrock. This is very important if the soil is very shallow and there is no other way to dig down deep enough. While it may cost a bit more to dig through the bedrock, reaching this level can open up opportunities to increase the stability of the shelter.

Dugout shelters can also be useful when it comes to saving on other parts of stocking and maintaining the shelter. For example, while you are choosing a location for the shelter, you should make sure you know about how underground water moves around and through your property.

Depending on the area, you may be fortunate enough to find an underground stream with clean water nearby, or some point where you can easily access the water table. Since clean water is necessary for both short and long term survival, being able to harness an underground source in your emergency shelter will be a huge advantage.

Fortified Living Brush Shelter

When combined with a secondary underground shelter, you will find that most of your emergency needs will be met more easily than if you built just one emergency shelter from some other material.

Typically, you will find that making shelters covered with still living trees, or bushes will also cost less than using other kinds of materials. These shelters have a number of other advantages that you might want to consider:

  • As you may be aware, homeless people are often drawn to derelict buildings or ones that seem to be abandoned. These very same people, however, aren’t likely to dig into a bunch of bushes covered in poison ivy or something else that looks equally unpleasant. By the time you factor in people that fear contact with insects in shrubs, you can have some peace of mind knowing that a living brush shelter will be overlooked.
  • Today, some preppers believe our society is likely to collapse at any moment. Others may think we have some time yet. Regardless of where you are on this continuum, there is a good chance that, as a homeowner, you are also paying property tax. Unlike recognizable shelter, you are likely to find that the tax assessor isn’t going to recognize a bunch of shrubs as living space let alone a building. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about a tax hike, securing permits, or other problems that can come up when building a more conventional bunker.
  • Living brush shelters can also hide plants that can be consumed for food and medicinal needs.

Sandbag and Concrete Shelters

As noted earlier, sandbag shelters are remarkably durable and can withstand many different kinds of attacks. No matter whether you are concerned about bullets or keeping out rioters, the walls of a sandbag shelter can keep just about anything out. In fact, even if you decide to build some other kind of shelter, fortifying it with sandbags will be to your advantage.

Insofar as cost, if you live near beach or have some other access point to free sand, it will cost you almost nothing to build this shelter type.

Using Plastic Bottles and Other Recyclable Materials

There is no question that a growing number of people believe some kind of major disaster is looming. At the same time, actively engaging in prepper activities and taking concrete steps can be both expensive and time consuming.

From this perspective, it is more than likely many people know they need to put building an emergency shelter as a top priority. However, like being trapped in a nightmare, it may be impossible to start working towards this goal.

Once you find yourself in a catastrophic situation, it is a good idea to make sure you know how to build a shelter from what others see as junk. While others are busy fighting and killing over more obviously useful resources, you can obtain things like used plastic bottles and turn them into a viable shelter.

In their simplest form, all you need to do is fill the bottles with dirt or water, and then use mud to seal the bottles together to form walls and ceilings.

At the very least, if you don’t feel drawn to building some other kind of shelter you can try this one as the basis for a greenhouse or part of a gazebo. The important thing is to know how to build walls using this construction material so that you can make use of it in a time of need when you have no choice but to make building an emergency shelter your top priority.

Sustainable Mobile or Knock Down Shelters

Aside from buying a tent that you can put in your yard for emergency shelter, it is also possible to build wall units that are collapsible and can be moved around with relative ease. For these shelters, look at different kinds of polymers or other lightweight materials.

If you need a larger shelter with a bit more substance than a tent, designing a knock down shelter may be a good option for you. When combined with brush piles or other natural disguises, the mobile nature of this shelter can provide some unexpected advantages.

That being said, do not forget that your supplies and stockpile will most likely need to be housed somewhere else. No matter how fast you can disassemble, pack, and move the main shelter, it is never a good idea to have to waste time on items inside can cannot simply be folded up and put away.

If you own a car, this is one of the easiest and cheapest things to turn into a place that you can turn to for emergency shelter. Just make sure that you give some thought to maintaining your privacy and preventing people from realizing that you are living in the vehicle.

Emergency shelters that will last form months to years can be built at a low cost if you focus on some creative or unusual options. You can also go with more conventional underground bunker designs and add fortifications as your budget allows.

Regardless of the first shelter type that you choose, it is also important to be ready to build a second one so that you can address as many emergency needs as possible without spending a fortune on just one design.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

10 Fundamentals Of Air Purification That Could Save Your Life

Watching the horrors of the fires in California is making more people than usual think about air quality and what to do about it in an emergency situation. Some of these people don’t realize that there is already unfolding crisis when air quality problems appear in the United States.

As asthma and other breathing related problems skyrocket, the question of how to purify air may become crucial. Learn how to purify the air in the event of some other crisis such as a major fire, gas, nuclear, or disease based crisis. Consider both DIY and pre-manufactured options to survive poor air quality.

Here are the ten things you should always keep in mind on this topic.

Finding Out What Needs to be Filtered Now

Before you start buying air purifying systems, find out what you need to filter out, following:

How much dust and “large” sized particulate is in the air?  If you can see a haze of dust, then you will more than likely need at least a MERV 5 or 6 prefilter in front of any other filter that you decide to buy for your system.  (MERV is an acronym that stands for Minimum Efficiency Rating Value.

The higher the number after the MERV designation, the smaller the particles and greater percent of them the filter is capable of removing from the air.  3M and some other brands use the MERV rating while other manufacturers use different designations.  In all of them, the higher the number, the better the filter.)

How much pollen, mold, and mildew spores are in the air?  You will either need to build an Arduino unit for detecting particles this size and slightly smaller, or purchase a pre-manufactured meter for this purpose.  While it takes some effort to learn how to assemble and program Arduino boards, they are also very versatile.

This means you can add different kinds of sensors to the board at a fraction of the cost of buying them separately.  When it comes to detecting gasses and toxins, you will find that Arduino controllers are truly your best and most affordable option.

If you are looking specifically for mold and mildew, you can also purchase testing strips or kits that can be used to capture spores from the air.  After you collect these samples, you can send the kit off to the lab to find out what kind of microbes are present.

While these kits are highly specific insofar as what is actually in the air, they are not reusable.  In addition, no matter what kind of mold or mildew you have growing in your home, the methods for getting them out of the air will be the same.

Since the Arduino system or a pre-manufactured sensor will alert you to the presence particles in the appropriate size range, this may be all you really need to know at this stage.

How much automobile exhaust, methane from waste dumps, and other chemicals are in the air.  In order to detect these gasses, you will need to build your own sensors using an Arduino board. Sadly, even a single device for a single gas can cost several hundred dollars pre-assembled.

By contrast, you will not spend more than 100.00 between the Arduino main board and an array of sensors that will cover most of the gasses that may be in the air right now.

Know What Air Quality Issues that May Occur During a Crisis

No matter how bad the air quality may seem right now, it can get much worse during a major crisis.   Consider that there are several cities in or near the major fires burning in California.  Even though the residents of these areas are accustomed to high levels of smog and other forms of air pollution, the addition of the smoke from the fires is causing many to evacuate.

In a similar fashion, even if you live in a rural area, or some place else with better air quality, there is a chance that a major fire would either force you to evacuate or attempt to clean the air.  Without a question, if you are determined to bug in, or build a survival shelter, then concerns about smoke from fires would be one main reason for focusing a good bit of attention on air purification.

Here are some other crisis related scenarios that would require a good air purification system:

Nuclear attacks where you must be able to filter out dust and other debris.  Since some of the dust may be smaller than pollen or other very small particles, you should be prepared to install at least a MERV 7 prefilter in front of others in the array, and then follow that with a MERV 14.

Remember, during normal operations you may only have one pre-filter in your system, but during a major crisis, a set of washable and reusable pre-filters will be very important when it comes to prolonging the life expectancy of the higher rated filters sitting behind it.

Gas or other chemical attacks.  Unlike pollen, dust, or other forms of debris, it is not possible to filter out gasses by using progressively smaller holes in a filter. Instead, you will need to use activated carbon or some other material that is capable of locking these gasses into the pores of the material.  For gas attacks, as well as most kinds of chemical pollution, you will need filters impregnated with activated carbon.

Biological warfare or germ attacks.  Getting these pathogens out of the air can be very difficult.  You will need at least a MERV 12 filter for the innermost layer of filters, or go as high as a MERV 14 or 15.  Since most hospitals use MERV 14 and above for air based pathogen control, this would be a good choice.

Just remember, however, once you go past MERV-13, even in a home built air purification system, the reduction in air flow may be enough to reduce the overall effectiveness of the system.  If you are going to use higher than a MERV-13, set aside just one or two units, and leave the ones with lower level filters for increasing air circulation.

Must Have Sufficient Air Flow

Did you know that the biggest problem in most homes is the lack of good air flow.  While you may be constantly trying to block off air leaks for the sake of improving heat efficiency, the actual air quality in the house is always going  to be lower than what is outdoors.

This Device Easily Turns Air Into Water!

By the time you factor in pollution buildup from various fumes, odors from normal household activities, and imbalances in humidity, controlling internal air quality may seem impossible.  On the other side of the equation, the hidden secret to most of these problems is as simple as improving air flow throughout the building.

Today, many people mistakenly believe that dedicated air purifiers, electrostatic systems on the central air system, and even de/humidifiers can all do the job without blowing lots of air around the rooms.  This, in turn leads to a situation where most people give up on these expensive systems because they see little or no benefit.

Interestingly enough, the average pre-fabricated air purifying system only puts out between 100 and 500 CFM. As you can see from the tables in these links, that may be enough to filter air in small rooms, but it may not be enough for survival needs let alone modern heavily polluted homes.

By contrast, the average box fan puts out a whopping 2500 CFM, which means that pairing it with the right filters will give you a much better solution.

Filtering out Toxic Gasses

As noted earlier, MERV ratings, and to some extent, even a robust air flow won’t do much when it comes to getting rid of toxic gasses.  While increased air flow can make the gasses easier to dissipate, you will still need something else to capture the gases.

Typically, activated carbon will offer you the ability to filter out the widest number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other toxic gasses.  These filters are also readily available in disposable form and will last for about three months.

For an added layer of purification, you may also want to experiment with the polymers and other materials that are used in gas masks.  In this case, you will need to get ahold of the filter media and then figure out how to make it into a suitable filter.

Remember, when it comes to filter efficiency, the size of the filter is every bit as important as the speed of air moving through it.  A 10” x 10” filter may work just as well as a 20” x 20”, however the smaller filter will fill up faster and either excessively impede air flow or become unable to retain gasses.

Dust, Pollen, and Mold

When you go to the store and look at different kinds of filters, you may be led to believe that the biggest filter will always remove the most particles.  There is, however, a second part to MERV and other efficiency ratings.

Essentially, just because a filter will trap some smaller particles, that doesn’t mean it will remove every particle in that size range that encounters the filter.  As a result, you will find that a MERV 8 or above will be rated for filtering out pollen, however it may only remove 50% of those particles.

By contrast, a MERV 12 may remove well over 80%.

This is just one of many reasons why working with pre-filters is so important when it comes to creating a viable air purifying system.  Since you can easily find lower MERV rating filters in the washable and reusable forms, it is best to use those as pre-filters so that you can extend the lifespan of the higher capacity disposable ones behind it.

Meters and Gauging Success

Once you build a series of meters for detecting indoor air quality issues, you should continue to use them to see if your system is actually working.  While some people will go by changes in how they feel, measurements are still very important for managing a crisis.

A nuclear bomb, a fire, or some other crisis generating event can cause air quality to decay faster than expected. In these situations, you will need the meters to tell you when it is safe to remove gas masks, as well as to gauge how well the system is doing with managing the crisis.

If you keep a good recording of readings on a daily basis, you will also have a chance of estimating the systems effectiveness in other situations.  As an added bonus, if you continue to measure the air quality after the system is built, it gives you a chance to improve efficiency as well as to test out different products to see which ones work best for  your situation.

Recycling and Rehabbing Used Filters

Pleated filters offer the best in terms of filtering out particles from the air, but it can be both expensive and difficult to obtain pleated media in a time after a major social collapse. This is just one of many reasons why you need to learn as much as possible about rehabbing and extending the life of both disposable and permanent air filters.

The main problem with extending the life of pleated filters is they can become a source of microbe contamination. They can also build up quite a bit of mold and mildew as the spores are captured in the filter. If you can find a chemical that won’t ruin the pleated material, but will kill off the micro organisms, it may help you extend the life of each filter.

As with water filters made with activated carbon, it may also be possible to rehab the carbon in air filter media. Failing that, you should know how to make your own charcoal, and then add it to a cleaned up pad based filter.

Remember that these filters can also be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. You will need to make sure you can thoroughly clean them in order to avoid this problem.

Providing Power for Air Filters

A standard box fan is likely to take less electricity than a conventional air purifier.  Sadly, when you have no electricity at all, the fans will be useless.  Unless you can generate enough electricity to power the fans, you may have to look for smaller fans that can be used with batteries.

In many other situations, you might want to consider using gravity powered fans or others that do not require electricity. While these devices may work well enough for generating small amounts of electricity or pushing some air around a room, they are not likely to have enough power to cycle enough air in a short period of time.

That being said, you can always experiment with different fan blade designs to see if you can come up with something that spins faster while using less energy.

What About Ozone Based Air Purifiers?

Aside from trapping particles and gasses, some people claim that ozone generators can also solve air quality problems. Sadly, there is little if any scientific evidence to back up these claims. Here are some of the main problems you may encounter when using an ozone based air purifier:

ozone can interact with other gasses in the air and form even more harmful compounds than the ones you are already dealing with. Because of all the pollution in the air these days, there is no telling what you may wind up breathing in. One thing is for certain, simply changing the composition of a gas molecule doesn’t get rid of it, let alone make it safer.

Ozone cannot actually destroy mold, pollen, dust, or other particles.  If you purchased an ion generator, that may cause larger particles to clump together and fall out of the air.  This is still not as efficient as conventional filter media and a fan.

Aside from creating dangerous chemicals, ozone itself can cause breathing problems.  In fact, if you have an air purifier with an ozone generator, it may be more than worth  your while to see if you can find something that doesn’t generate ozone.

Even in situations where ozone is credited with cleaning up some air problems, it takes months to years to see results. If you must get rid of radioactive dust or other hazardous materials in the air, even a few hours is a long time to sit around in a gas mask.  At least conventional filter media will get the job done in a more reasonable time frame.

Natural Air Purification Methods

Did you know that some plants are capable of removing formaldehyde, methane, and other toxic fumes from the air?  As an added bonus, plants are the only air filtration method available that can use the carbon dioxide removed from the air in order to produce much needed oxygen.

As a result, if you are concerned about air purification for survival shelters, plants may be a very important part of your system.

While some plants are more effective and efficient than others when it comes to filtering gasses, sufficient numbers of them can improve air quality without the need for buying and replacing more effective filters.  Unfortunately, plants won’t get rid of pollen, mildew, mold, and other particles that are also a part of air quality problems.

You can use plants to increase oxygen levels and decrease toxins, however a comprehensive air purifications system will still require filters and the capacity to circulate large volumes of air.

If you do enough research on air purification, you will soon find that it is similar to purifying water.  There is no such thing as one filter, chemical, or device that will satisfy all of your air purifying needs.  The best you can do is start off with a basic filter system and a batch of air cleaning house plants and work upward from there.

It is also very important to start off the process with a suitable set of meters and testing equipment so that you can see how much progress you are making, and how much of an impact various changes make to the air quality.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

10 Fundamentals Of Air Purification That Could Save Your Life

Click here to view the original post.

Watching the horrors of the fires in California is making more people than usual think about air quality and what to do about it in an emergency situation. Some of these people don’t realize that there is already unfolding crisis when air quality problems appear in the United States.

As asthma and other breathing related problems skyrocket, the question of how to purify air may become crucial. Learn how to purify the air in the event of some other crisis such as a major fire, gas, nuclear, or disease based crisis. Consider both DIY and pre-manufactured options to survive poor air quality.

Here are the ten things you should always keep in mind on this topic.

Finding Out What Needs to be Filtered Now

Before you start buying air purifying systems, find out what you need to filter out, following:

How much dust and “large” sized particulate is in the air?  If you can see a haze of dust, then you will more than likely need at least a MERV 5 or 6 prefilter in front of any other filter that you decide to buy for your system.  (MERV is an acronym that stands for Minimum Efficiency Rating Value.

The higher the number after the MERV designation, the smaller the particles and greater percent of them the filter is capable of removing from the air.  3M and some other brands use the MERV rating while other manufacturers use different designations.  In all of them, the higher the number, the better the filter.)

How much pollen, mold, and mildew spores are in the air?  You will either need to build an Arduino unit for detecting particles this size and slightly smaller, or purchase a pre-manufactured meter for this purpose.  While it takes some effort to learn how to assemble and program Arduino boards, they are also very versatile.

This means you can add different kinds of sensors to the board at a fraction of the cost of buying them separately.  When it comes to detecting gasses and toxins, you will find that Arduino controllers are truly your best and most affordable option.

If you are looking specifically for mold and mildew, you can also purchase testing strips or kits that can be used to capture spores from the air.  After you collect these samples, you can send the kit off to the lab to find out what kind of microbes are present.

While these kits are highly specific insofar as what is actually in the air, they are not reusable.  In addition, no matter what kind of mold or mildew you have growing in your home, the methods for getting them out of the air will be the same.

Since the Arduino system or a pre-manufactured sensor will alert you to the presence particles in the appropriate size range, this may be all you really need to know at this stage.

How much automobile exhaust, methane from waste dumps, and other chemicals are in the air.  In order to detect these gasses, you will need to build your own sensors using an Arduino board. Sadly, even a single device for a single gas can cost several hundred dollars pre-assembled.

By contrast, you will not spend more than 100.00 between the Arduino main board and an array of sensors that will cover most of the gasses that may be in the air right now.

Know What Air Quality Issues that May Occur During a Crisis

No matter how bad the air quality may seem right now, it can get much worse during a major crisis.   Consider that there are several cities in or near the major fires burning in California.  Even though the residents of these areas are accustomed to high levels of smog and other forms of air pollution, the addition of the smoke from the fires is causing many to evacuate.

In a similar fashion, even if you live in a rural area, or some place else with better air quality, there is a chance that a major fire would either force you to evacuate or attempt to clean the air.  Without a question, if you are determined to bug in, or build a survival shelter, then concerns about smoke from fires would be one main reason for focusing a good bit of attention on air purification.

Here are some other crisis related scenarios that would require a good air purification system:

Nuclear attacks where you must be able to filter out dust and other debris.  Since some of the dust may be smaller than pollen or other very small particles, you should be prepared to install at least a MERV 7 prefilter in front of others in the array, and then follow that with a MERV 14.

Remember, during normal operations you may only have one pre-filter in your system, but during a major crisis, a set of washable and reusable pre-filters will be very important when it comes to prolonging the life expectancy of the higher rated filters sitting behind it.

Gas or other chemical attacks.  Unlike pollen, dust, or other forms of debris, it is not possible to filter out gasses by using progressively smaller holes in a filter. Instead, you will need to use activated carbon or some other material that is capable of locking these gasses into the pores of the material.  For gas attacks, as well as most kinds of chemical pollution, you will need filters impregnated with activated carbon.

Biological warfare or germ attacks.  Getting these pathogens out of the air can be very difficult.  You will need at least a MERV 12 filter for the innermost layer of filters, or go as high as a MERV 14 or 15.  Since most hospitals use MERV 14 and above for air based pathogen control, this would be a good choice.

Just remember, however, once you go past MERV-13, even in a home built air purification system, the reduction in air flow may be enough to reduce the overall effectiveness of the system.  If you are going to use higher than a MERV-13, set aside just one or two units, and leave the ones with lower level filters for increasing air circulation.

Must Have Sufficient Air Flow

Did you know that the biggest problem in most homes is the lack of good air flow.  While you may be constantly trying to block off air leaks for the sake of improving heat efficiency, the actual air quality in the house is always going  to be lower than what is outdoors.

This Device Easily Turns Air Into Water!

By the time you factor in pollution buildup from various fumes, odors from normal household activities, and imbalances in humidity, controlling internal air quality may seem impossible.  On the other side of the equation, the hidden secret to most of these problems is as simple as improving air flow throughout the building.

Today, many people mistakenly believe that dedicated air purifiers, electrostatic systems on the central air system, and even de/humidifiers can all do the job without blowing lots of air around the rooms.  This, in turn leads to a situation where most people give up on these expensive systems because they see little or no benefit.

Interestingly enough, the average pre-fabricated air purifying system only puts out between 100 and 500 CFM. As you can see from the tables in these links, that may be enough to filter air in small rooms, but it may not be enough for survival needs let alone modern heavily polluted homes.

By contrast, the average box fan puts out a whopping 2500 CFM, which means that pairing it with the right filters will give you a much better solution.

Filtering out Toxic Gasses

As noted earlier, MERV ratings, and to some extent, even a robust air flow won’t do much when it comes to getting rid of toxic gasses.  While increased air flow can make the gasses easier to dissipate, you will still need something else to capture the gases.

Typically, activated carbon will offer you the ability to filter out the widest number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other toxic gasses.  These filters are also readily available in disposable form and will last for about three months.

For an added layer of purification, you may also want to experiment with the polymers and other materials that are used in gas masks.  In this case, you will need to get ahold of the filter media and then figure out how to make it into a suitable filter.

Remember, when it comes to filter efficiency, the size of the filter is every bit as important as the speed of air moving through it.  A 10” x 10” filter may work just as well as a 20” x 20”, however the smaller filter will fill up faster and either excessively impede air flow or become unable to retain gasses.

Dust, Pollen, and Mold

When you go to the store and look at different kinds of filters, you may be led to believe that the biggest filter will always remove the most particles.  There is, however, a second part to MERV and other efficiency ratings.

Essentially, just because a filter will trap some smaller particles, that doesn’t mean it will remove every particle in that size range that encounters the filter.  As a result, you will find that a MERV 8 or above will be rated for filtering out pollen, however it may only remove 50% of those particles.

By contrast, a MERV 12 may remove well over 80%.

This is just one of many reasons why working with pre-filters is so important when it comes to creating a viable air purifying system.  Since you can easily find lower MERV rating filters in the washable and reusable forms, it is best to use those as pre-filters so that you can extend the lifespan of the higher capacity disposable ones behind it.

Meters and Gauging Success

Once you build a series of meters for detecting indoor air quality issues, you should continue to use them to see if your system is actually working.  While some people will go by changes in how they feel, measurements are still very important for managing a crisis.

A nuclear bomb, a fire, or some other crisis generating event can cause air quality to decay faster than expected. In these situations, you will need the meters to tell you when it is safe to remove gas masks, as well as to gauge how well the system is doing with managing the crisis.

If you keep a good recording of readings on a daily basis, you will also have a chance of estimating the systems effectiveness in other situations.  As an added bonus, if you continue to measure the air quality after the system is built, it gives you a chance to improve efficiency as well as to test out different products to see which ones work best for  your situation.

Recycling and Rehabbing Used Filters

Pleated filters offer the best in terms of filtering out particles from the air, but it can be both expensive and difficult to obtain pleated media in a time after a major social collapse. This is just one of many reasons why you need to learn as much as possible about rehabbing and extending the life of both disposable and permanent air filters.

The main problem with extending the life of pleated filters is they can become a source of microbe contamination. They can also build up quite a bit of mold and mildew as the spores are captured in the filter. If you can find a chemical that won’t ruin the pleated material, but will kill off the micro organisms, it may help you extend the life of each filter.

As with water filters made with activated carbon, it may also be possible to rehab the carbon in air filter media. Failing that, you should know how to make your own charcoal, and then add it to a cleaned up pad based filter.

Remember that these filters can also be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. You will need to make sure you can thoroughly clean them in order to avoid this problem.

Providing Power for Air Filters

A standard box fan is likely to take less electricity than a conventional air purifier.  Sadly, when you have no electricity at all, the fans will be useless.  Unless you can generate enough electricity to power the fans, you may have to look for smaller fans that can be used with batteries.

In many other situations, you might want to consider using gravity powered fans or others that do not require electricity. While these devices may work well enough for generating small amounts of electricity or pushing some air around a room, they are not likely to have enough power to cycle enough air in a short period of time.

That being said, you can always experiment with different fan blade designs to see if you can come up with something that spins faster while using less energy.

What About Ozone Based Air Purifiers?

Aside from trapping particles and gasses, some people claim that ozone generators can also solve air quality problems. Sadly, there is little if any scientific evidence to back up these claims. Here are some of the main problems you may encounter when using an ozone based air purifier:

ozone can interact with other gasses in the air and form even more harmful compounds than the ones you are already dealing with. Because of all the pollution in the air these days, there is no telling what you may wind up breathing in. One thing is for certain, simply changing the composition of a gas molecule doesn’t get rid of it, let alone make it safer.

Ozone cannot actually destroy mold, pollen, dust, or other particles.  If you purchased an ion generator, that may cause larger particles to clump together and fall out of the air.  This is still not as efficient as conventional filter media and a fan.

Aside from creating dangerous chemicals, ozone itself can cause breathing problems.  In fact, if you have an air purifier with an ozone generator, it may be more than worth  your while to see if you can find something that doesn’t generate ozone.

Even in situations where ozone is credited with cleaning up some air problems, it takes months to years to see results. If you must get rid of radioactive dust or other hazardous materials in the air, even a few hours is a long time to sit around in a gas mask.  At least conventional filter media will get the job done in a more reasonable time frame.

Natural Air Purification Methods

Did you know that some plants are capable of removing formaldehyde, methane, and other toxic fumes from the air?  As an added bonus, plants are the only air filtration method available that can use the carbon dioxide removed from the air in order to produce much needed oxygen.

As a result, if you are concerned about air purification for survival shelters, plants may be a very important part of your system.

While some plants are more effective and efficient than others when it comes to filtering gasses, sufficient numbers of them can improve air quality without the need for buying and replacing more effective filters.  Unfortunately, plants won’t get rid of pollen, mildew, mold, and other particles that are also a part of air quality problems.

You can use plants to increase oxygen levels and decrease toxins, however a comprehensive air purifications system will still require filters and the capacity to circulate large volumes of air.

If you do enough research on air purification, you will soon find that it is similar to purifying water.  There is no such thing as one filter, chemical, or device that will satisfy all of your air purifying needs.  The best you can do is start off with a basic filter system and a batch of air cleaning house plants and work upward from there.

It is also very important to start off the process with a suitable set of meters and testing equipment so that you can see how much progress you are making, and how much of an impact various changes make to the air quality.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

10 Safe Ways To Waterproof Your Cellar

Click here to view the original post.

If you are planning to set up your cellar as a survival shelter or only using it for storage, then make sure it is as waterproof as possible.

Taking care of aging foundations, shifting land under the home, and getting rid of water build up can all be expensive. Water will always go to the lowest level, which means your below-ground basement will always be where it wants to go.

Before you commit to converting your cellar into a survival shelter, be sure you can keep out water and moisture. Here are 120 safe ways to do it!

Managing Foundation Issues from the Outside

Even though there are many ways to address leaking cellar floors and walls from the inside, see what you can do to prevent water from getting through these barriers in the first place.

How To Build a Small Bunker in Your Backyard with $400

Here are some of the most popular ways to address foundation problems from the outer side of the foundation:

Test the soil to see how water is flowing through your property and around the building. If the water is flowing towards the building, or pooling in a specific area, those problems must be addressed first.

For example, if you find that water is flowing in from the street and pooling around one corner of the home, you’ll need a french drain or some other method to redirect the water away from that corner so it will not get into the basement. Your house and the land around it are settling and shifting even if your basement seems dry and solid right now. Previously dry areas may suddenly become points where damage can mount up can cause the cellar to become damp.

Pay attention to how rainwater and snow melt gather and move around on the surface of your property. If the gutters have formed a hollow at the base, fill that hollow in so that the water moves away from the basement and foundation. Actually, make sure that any water draining off the house doesn’t collect in depressions along the side of the house.

Examine the outer structure of the foundation carefully for signs of cracks, mold, or other indicators that the walls may be susceptible to water getting in. When water freezes, it will expand.

If there is mold or moss growing on the foundation, or you see visible cracks, that means water sitting in the pores of the foundation material can freeze and cause even more damage over time. While your basement may still be dry and not show any signs of major dampness, these outer problems need to be addressed by repairing the cracks and sealing up foundation material as much as possible.

Flexible Sealant Materials

Today, there are many different kinds of waterproofing materials and sealants that can be used to block off moisture and water from getting into your basement.

For example, you can buy relatively thin sealants in gallon cans that also include mold and mildew killing chemicals. These sealants are useful if you already have these kinds of infestations in the basement, however they may need something more robust as an undercoat.

Heavier sealants including flexible rubber or polymer mixtures are likely to offer the best protection from water, especially if they can be used to seal up cracks or are able to penetrate deeply into porous materials.

Don’t overlook fiberglass or other compounds that are used for underwater or other even marine applications. While these compounds may cost a little bit more than conventional basement sealers, they are also capable of providing some additional strength to the structure.

Whether you decide to use products such as Flex Seal, PC-7, Bondo products, or basement sealer with Kilz, pre-treat all surfaces that the sealant will be applied to. Start off with a clean surface, so the sealant will adhere properly, or it will lead to chipping, cracking, or worse yet, water seeping down between the sealant and the surface that you covered.

Remove all debris and growths from the surfaces to be coated, and use primers that may be recommended with each product.

DIY Plastic Bottle Sealant

Maybe you have always kept up with repairs and maintenance for your basement and the surrounding land. Let’s say the area around your home is hit with a hurricane, earthquake, or something else that disrupts the basement.

At the same time, there is also a sufficient breakdown in the social structure that prevents you from buying the sealants required to stop moisture from flowing into the basement.

As bad as these circumstances are, you may still salvage the basement and your home if you act quickly enough. Modern plastic bottles are very easy to melt and turn into a liquid that can be spread onto walls and other surfaces. Melt the plastic in workable amounts and smear it onto areas where moisture is getting in. Roughen up the surface so that the plastic has a better chance of adhering as well as possible to the foundation materials.

This method will also work in a situation where a large scale social collapse makes it impossible to obtain any kind of construction or building repair materials. Regardless of how quickly these materials will vanish, you can more than likely still find plenty of plastic bottles to use as a sealant. Wear a gas mask to ensure you do not inhale the fumes from the plastic as it melts.

Other Sealants You Can Make From Natural Materials

You would be amazed at what nature has to offer in terms of making viable waterproofing sealant for your basement. Here are some additional materials to consider:

  • Pine pitch – boiling pine resin and turning it into waterproof pitch is an absolutely essential skill. You can use pine pitch as a glue as well as a waterproofing agent for many different purposes. This includes building a new shelter as well making repairs to your basement.
  • Even though vinegar (which you can ferment from apples and many other plant based foods) cannot be used as a waterproofing sealant, it is well known for its ability to get rid of mold and mildew. If you are having problems with a mold infestation and can’t find anything else, try using vinegar before you apply the sealant.
  • Try making rubber or latex from dandelions or other plants that have milky sap in their stems. Even though it can take a good bit of plant material to make enough rubber, you can work on it a little bit at a time. Do not forget that you do not need to make rubber that is hard enough to use on tires or in other high stress applications. As long as the rubber dries to form a waterproof barrier, it should be enough for your needs.

Improving Air Flow in the Basement

When it comes to driving out moisture and preventing buildup, you will find that air flow is very important: if vents to the basement are clogged with leaves or other debris, cleaning them out may make a significant difference.

If you find stubborn areas where moisture collects along a wall or the ceiling, try installing another vent in that area. You can also use fans to increase the overall air circulation in the basement.

During the process of studying the impact of air circulation in the basement, you should also take note of anything that generates heat or releases vapor in the process of operating. For example, if you have a water tank in the basement, does condensation build up on it when the water within is cold?

Any surface that allows for a water buildup or a reduction in temperature can create all kinds of problems in conjunction with poor air flow. Use fans and increased ventilation to solve these problems, or direct heat into the area to force the moisture to evaporate faster so that it can be pushed out faster via the increased air flow.

Internal vs. External Drain Pipes

Along with pipes and grading for removing standing water outside and inside the basement, you may also need to install drains.

For example, if water is collecting near the center of the basement floor, it may make more sense to drop it through a drain before moving into a pipe. If you have a dirt floor in the basement,or it is fairly easy to break through, this will also give you a chance to build access tunnels to emergency shelters located elsewhere on the property.

What About Desiccants?

As you progress in your efforts to waterproof your basement, monitor the moisture levels in the air, the air moisture level should be no higher than around 50%, to provide a comfortable environment that reduces the risk of promoting mold and mildew.

While the moisture content of the air will fluctuate through the day and based on external weather patterns, all of your waterproofing efforts will go to waste if you cannot control the air moisture.

If you are trying to manage temporary moisture problems such as ones caused by unusually heavy rains, desiccants can be of use to you. On the other hand, they should not be used on a constant basis as they can mask an underlying problem that quickly gets out of control.

But if you are relying desiccants to control moisture levels in the basement, you may not be able to get a hold of useful materials in a time of need. When you must rely on the basement as a sole means of shelter and storage for your stockpile, you have to keep the basement dry.

Preventing Damage from Burrowing Animals

You may already be focusing on removing tree roots and keeping other plants from helping water erode the foundation, but don’t overlook problems caused by burrowing animals or ones that dig into the ground. Moles, rodents, and animal that can disrupt the soil can act as a potential source of water being able to get into your basement.

If you didn’t pay attention to where and how field mice get into your home, and if you spot them in the kitchen, they may actually be chewing through wooden beams or other structures that connect the house to the foundation and the cellar. Then it is only a matter of time before those mouse holes begin allowing water and ice to get in and cause leaks in the basement.

If you only seal up the basement, it isn’t likely that you will find the source of the leak let alone find a viable means to repair it. Therefore, while you are removing trees, brush, and other plants, see if there are signs of rodents or other burrowing animals that also need to be removed or deterred.

When it comes to keeping burrowing animals away from the foundation of your home, rely on plants to deter rodents and burrowing animals as much as possible. No matter whether you decide to grow spearmint, onions, or other natural repellents for various species of vermin, the plants themselves will increase moisture levels around the foundation. If the plants aren’t actually resting against the foundation and you take good care to keep them properly trimmed, they may deter the varmint without adding yet another source of water to your basement.

Getting Rid of Termites and Other Insects

If you thought trees and rodents spelled disaster when it comes to waterproofing your basement, then you will be amazed at just how many problems can come from insects. Termites and several other insects that consume wood can easily damage beams and other parts of the house that rest on the foundation.

As the wood rots from being broken down, it will also keep more moisture in hidden areas of the foundation. As a result, if you see any signs of termites or other wood boring insect infestations, it is important to get rid of them as quickly as possible.

It is important to note that a good layer of sealant will keep water out, but that doesn’t mean it can withstand constant attacks from insects. In addition, if the insects have been chewing on the boards in your basement for some time, they are also likely to have laid millions of eggs. Unless you specifically use some kind of insecticide, there is little, if any point to addressing other aspects of waterproofing your basement.

Once you got rid of an insect infestation, consider how to prevent new insects from finding their way in and starting the whole mess over again. If you are taking refuge in your basement during a crisis situation, you’ll need to get rid of any insects that find their way in. Unfortunately, when you are living in close quarters, insecticides are not safe let alone a reasonable option.

Learn how to trap various kinds of insects, and how to repel them in the first place. Similar to rodents and other vermin, you can use various herbs that are either poisonous to certain insects, as well as other that will repel them. Add these herbs to others used for repelling vermin and you should notice a reduction in insect problems elsewhere in the house as well as in the basement.

The Cellar Ceiling is Also a Part of Waterproofing Considerations

There is a natural tendency to focus on the most obvious symptoms of a problem. In this case, seeing water collecting on the floor of your basement may mean that you are looking only at places where the water can come in from: holes in an access window, places where the foundation is damaged, or even areas with poor water drainage. These are all important aspects, but also take into account changes in the ceiling structure.

Aside from vermin and insects causing damage to wood, there are other things the ceiling can reveal. As the house shifts and settles, beams are warping, or changing their position in relation to each other. Correlate this with information about water collecting in the basement, and you’ll discover that more extensive work needs to be done to brace parts of the foundation.

Even if you still wind up applying sealants and building drains, repairing the foundation and adjusting the way the house sets on it’s important, especially if you expect the basement to remain liveable during a major crisis.

Finding leaks in the basement can make any home owner cringe. In some cases, the answers to your problems may be relatively inexpensive, while other options may mask the real problem, which will only make the situation worse. It can easily derail any plans you have for using the basement as an emergency shelter.

Whether you have leaks, mold, mildew, or even an unusual odor or sounds in the basement, address these issues as a comprehensive waterproofing plan. You need to have these matters resolved so you can use the basement as a survival shelter!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Medical Survival In The Wild: How To Make Mud Cast

You might be a healthy person and not prone to accidents, but a survival situation can change that. Travelling through unknown areas, coping with fatigue and stress, or running for your life will put your body at risk, so you can wind up with a broken bone or some other injury.

If you can’t get to a doctor, then you’ll have at least immobilize the injured area of your body until you can get help. Making a mud cast might get you out of trouble, so you make sure you know how to make one if nothing else is available.

Why to know how to make a mud cast? Whether you are camping, need to take refuge in a natural setting, or are somewhere where there’s no doctor around, mud casts may be your only option for immobilizing a broken bone.

This Timeless Collection of Forgotten Wisdom Will Help You Survive!

If you don’t feel like lugging around several pounds of plaster of paris, then you’ll need to know how to make a mud cast. Since you can use a mud cast in any situation where you would use a plaster cast to immobilize a broken bone, it is a valuable skill to learn with no monetary cost for special tools or supplies.

Why to Use Mud Cast

Aside from being the only material you might have on hand, there are some other advantages to immobilizing broken bones with a mud cast:

  • It offers solid support for broken limbs. Even if you break a leg or an ankle, the mud cast will be more than strong enough to support the broken parts of the bone and keep them from moving. Depending on the type of fracture, broken bone parts rubbing together can be very painful at best. At worst, these fractured ends can rub together and break off, which will only make repairing them more difficult.
  • Mud casts are much easier to work with compared to trying to immobilize broken bones with other natural materials. Unlike vines, branches flattened into splints, or or even leaf wrappings, you only have to apply the mud in layers to get the most benefit from it. If you are in pain or afraid of disrupting the bones, the relative lack of tugging, pulling, and other potentially disruptive actions makes mud cast application much better than other methods.
  • You can change the cast as often as needed since the materials for mud casts are fairly easy to locate. You can take the cast apart as often as you need to let air get at the covered areas. When done correctly, you can reduce the risk of skin infections and other problems that commonly occur when you cannot remove the cast as often as necessary for good skin health.

What to Beware of When Using Mud Cast

No matter how much you may need to immobilize a broken bone, you must also pay careful attention to the drawback associated with using a mud cast:

  • Mud cannot be formed without water, but water, in turn, is absolutely necessary for the growth of bacteria and other germs. No matter where you get the mud from, there is every chance that it will contain any number of disease bearing organisms. While most experts don’t recommend boiling the mud before using it, I would not rule it out as a vital safety precaution. This is especially important to consider if your skin is prone to breaking down, or if you have cuts and other skin openings that may come into contact with the mud in the area to be immobilized. Even if you don’t see or smell signs of mold, moss, or fungal organisms, that doesn’t mean they aren’t in the mud and capable of wreaking havoc once they get past the barrier of your skin.
  • If you thought plaster of paris casts were heavy, be prepared for mud casts to be much worse. Even though the cast will be about the same thickness as a mud cast, you can expect it to weight a lot more.
  • Be prepared to wait for the cast to dry. Remember, even if you find relatively heavy or drier mud, it can take several hours to dry out enough to support broken bones.
  • Depending on the mud type, it may have very little strength even if it is built up in layers. If you have ever removed caked dry mud from the bottom of a bowl or even your shoes, then you know just how easily it can break apart. Since mud deposits can vary drastically even from one mud puddle to the next, it will take some experience to figure out which ones will make the best cast, and how best to make use of the others.

How to Take Care of Wounds in Conjunction With a Mud Cast

Even with a plaster of paris cast, the lack of air flow around wounded sites can cause all kinds of problems. If you have open cuts in the area to be covered by the mud cast, try to lay down some kind of barrier that will prevent the mud from getting into the wound.

If you have antibacterial ointment available, you can also do that to reduce the risk of infection. Unfortunately, even if the open wounds are scabbed over, the increased moisture from sweat building up under the cast will still create a breeding ground for germs to multiply.

Use sticks and wraps to create tunnels for air to flow or other openings as long as they do not interfere with the ability of the cast to support the broken bones. In most, if not all cases, you will probably need to use a sling or some other additional support device to prevent the bones from moving or rubbing together.

What You Need to Have On Hand

If you have all the essentials in your bug out bag, then you should already have most of what you need to make a mud cast. Here is a basic list so that you can include these items in your bug out bag if they aren’t already present:

  • popsickle sticks or other materials that can be used to form splints
  • surgical gauze and tape
  • antibacterial ointment
  • bandages
  • towels or other padding material
  • material that can be used for a sling or other restraining device for arms or other areas that need to be secured close to the body in order to avoid further injury.
  • straps or other material that can be used to manipulate bones back into position if needed. Just make sure that you take a good quality first aid course and know how to pull and manipulate bones to bring them back into alignment before trying it in a crisis situation. When in doubt, you will be better served by simply immobilizing the bone and letting a doctor take care of it as soon as you find one.
  • A quart or more container to hold the mud that you gather from an appropriate source

Substitutes for Casting Materials in Nature

Let’s look at a situation where you ran from your home in such a hurry, you didn’t bring your bug out bag. Alternatively, your bug out bag is missing one or more essential elements that are needed to make a viable mud cast.

Here are some items in nature that you can use to substitute for things you will need:

  • Use tree branches and small limbs for making splints. Start off by selecting the straightest limbs you can find. Cut them down to a size that will enable you to immobilize the entire joint. It will also help to split the branches or limbs so that the affected area rests on a flat surface. If you cannot find branches or limbs that are wide enough for your need, lay thinner sticks together to form a flat surface. You can also tie them together to make a more solid foundation.
  • In place of gauze, you can use wide, long leaves from grass or other plants. Narrow, long leaves can also be used as long as you can wrap them around the affected are and the splint at least once or twice. When you get into using the leaves for holding the mud in place, see if you can shred the leaf a bit so that the mud has an easier chance of seeping through as it would with gauze.
  • Try using honey or other natural herbs in the area that have anti bacterial properties.
  • Leaves that have antibacterial properties can be used as bandages or coverings for areas that need to be protected from dirt and debris. Hold them in place with vines or other materials that will prevent them from slipping and sliding out of position.
  • Moss, leaves, and other soft materials can be used to pad around the splint as well as provide some relief from the weight of the cast. Make sure that the materials you choose are clean and free of insects.
  • In place of straps, longer, thicker vines can be used for pulling bones back into place and for other purposes.
  • Large leaves, depressions in rocks, and even a hole dug into the ground can be used as a place to hold mud that you retrieved from another location. Since you may wind up looking in several locations to find suitable mud, it is best to have a way to transport it to your campsite before trying to assemble the cast.

Where to Find the Mud

When it comes to finding the best mud for a cast, you will find that the term “mud” is something of a misnomer. Typically, you will be looking for material that is much closer to clay in terms of its plasticity and ability to be worked. As such, the mud you select will have a higher degree of organic matter in it, and will feel different from regular mud.

During the process of looking for suitable mud, take some of the material and let it dry out just enough so that it leaves very little residue on your hands. If you have ever worked with clay to make pinch pots or other objects, then you know that clay at this stage can still be bent and manipulated without creating cracks or other problems. By contrast, regular mud will crack easily at this stage and be completely useless insofar as forming it into usable objects.

The best places to find mud for making a cast are at the bottom of ponds or other areas where organic matter collects and easily mixes with soil over long periods of time. It should be noted that clay can take centuries to form to a point where it can be used for pottery making. You can still use “younger” or less well developed clays for making a mud cast. If you cannot find a clay like mud for the cast, you can still use regular mud, but it will be more difficult to manage and less likely to provide viable support for the areas that need to be immobilized.

How to Make a Basic Mud Cast

When all is said and done, making a mud cast is no more difficult than making a plaster cast. Here are the basic steps:

  • start off by making sure you have addressed any open wounds and set any bone fragments that you were able to take care of.
  • Use padding and a splint to provide support for the bones so that they have an additional layer of support. Worst comes to worst, even if the mud portion of the cast falls apart or fails for some other reason, the splint may be enough to keep the affected area immobilized and free from further injury.
  • Next, begin using thin layers of mud and leaves to hold it in place. If the day is breezy, then it will take less time for the layers to dry out. Do not let them dry completely, but do make sure that the water is wicking out properly from each layer of the cast. This may be a bit difficult if you are using leaves and forgot to make suitable holes in them because they will block the wicking action through the mud.
  • Once the cast is dry, finish off the process by using towels, vines, or anything else that can be fashioned into a harness that will hold the affected area as close as possible to your body. For example, if you broke an arm, you would make a sling that prevents your arm and cast from hanging downward or moving around freely at an uninjured area.

How to Remove a Mud Cast

Removing a mud cast is not so different from removing a plaster cast. You will still need to cut into the cast and then separate the parts to set the injured area free. If you used leaves and thin layers of mud, it may also be possible to simply grab a hold of some leaf material and then pull it away from the rest of the cast.

As the leaf puts pressure on the underside of the mud layer, it should break away easily. You may or may not be able to achieve the same results if you used gauze wrapping. If the fibers of the gauze became deeply enmeshed in the mud, the gauze is not likely to separate it into neat layers.

Alternatives You Can Make From Natural Materials

No matter if you are in the woods or a desert, or some other natural setting, there are few things that are similar to mud or plaster of paris that can be easily gathered and turned into a cast.

On the other hand, if you are in the woods, you can take advantage of pine sap to make pitch. This pitch, in turn, can be used to bind together layers of gauze. Try to keep the pine pitch as thin as possible, as you will find it can be difficult to remove.

Once you establish in a wooded setting, there are things you can make ahead of time to deal with broken bones. Aside from making pine pitch, experiment with maple syrup and turn it into a moldable material that will harden in place. If you already know how to make hard maple candy, then you will have a good start for figuring out how to make a cast from the same material.

Finally, do not forget about using other kinds of sap to make variants of latex, rubber, and other pliable materials. As long as you can find a way to apply a the material while it is soft, and then produce a hard shell, you will have the basis of a cast for broken bones.

In some cases, the ability of the material to stretch may also be of use, especially if you need to bind together splint material, or you need to prevent layers inside the cast from moving around too much.

During the course of trying to escape from a disaster, you may fall, or do something else that results in broken bones. No matter whether the bones are in an appendage, your ribs, hips, or shoulders, it is very important to find a way to immobilize the bones until you can get medical attention.

Mud casts have a number of drawbacks, they can still provide key support and relief when nothing else is available. This is an important skill to learn, as well as how to manage pitfalls so that you can make the most of this emergency medicine method.

When you don’t have access to hospitals and doctors, the only thing you can do to survive is relying on what nature provides you in order to stay alive!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Medical Survival In The Wild: How To Make Mud Cast

Click here to view the original post.

You might be a healthy person and not prone to accidents, but a survival situation can change that. Travelling through unknown areas, coping with fatigue and stress, or running for your life will put your body at risk, so you can wind up with a broken bone or some other injury.

If you can’t get to a doctor, then you’ll have at least immobilize the injured area of your body until you can get help. Making a mud cast might get you out of trouble, so you make sure you know how to make one if nothing else is available.

Why to know how to make a mud cast? Whether you are camping, need to take refuge in a natural setting, or are somewhere where there’s no doctor around, mud casts may be your only option for immobilizing a broken bone.

This Timeless Collection of Forgotten Wisdom Will Help You Survive!

If you don’t feel like lugging around several pounds of plaster of paris, then you’ll need to know how to make a mud cast. Since you can use a mud cast in any situation where you would use a plaster cast to immobilize a broken bone, it is a valuable skill to learn with no monetary cost for special tools or supplies.

Why to Use Mud Cast

Aside from being the only material you might have on hand, there are some other advantages to immobilizing broken bones with a mud cast:

  • It offers solid support for broken limbs. Even if you break a leg or an ankle, the mud cast will be more than strong enough to support the broken parts of the bone and keep them from moving. Depending on the type of fracture, broken bone parts rubbing together can be very painful at best. At worst, these fractured ends can rub together and break off, which will only make repairing them more difficult.
  • Mud casts are much easier to work with compared to trying to immobilize broken bones with other natural materials. Unlike vines, branches flattened into splints, or or even leaf wrappings, you only have to apply the mud in layers to get the most benefit from it. If you are in pain or afraid of disrupting the bones, the relative lack of tugging, pulling, and other potentially disruptive actions makes mud cast application much better than other methods.
  • You can change the cast as often as needed since the materials for mud casts are fairly easy to locate. You can take the cast apart as often as you need to let air get at the covered areas. When done correctly, you can reduce the risk of skin infections and other problems that commonly occur when you cannot remove the cast as often as necessary for good skin health.

What to Beware of When Using Mud Cast

No matter how much you may need to immobilize a broken bone, you must also pay careful attention to the drawback associated with using a mud cast:

  • Mud cannot be formed without water, but water, in turn, is absolutely necessary for the growth of bacteria and other germs. No matter where you get the mud from, there is every chance that it will contain any number of disease bearing organisms. While most experts don’t recommend boiling the mud before using it, I would not rule it out as a vital safety precaution. This is especially important to consider if your skin is prone to breaking down, or if you have cuts and other skin openings that may come into contact with the mud in the area to be immobilized. Even if you don’t see or smell signs of mold, moss, or fungal organisms, that doesn’t mean they aren’t in the mud and capable of wreaking havoc once they get past the barrier of your skin.
  • If you thought plaster of paris casts were heavy, be prepared for mud casts to be much worse. Even though the cast will be about the same thickness as a mud cast, you can expect it to weight a lot more.
  • Be prepared to wait for the cast to dry. Remember, even if you find relatively heavy or drier mud, it can take several hours to dry out enough to support broken bones.
  • Depending on the mud type, it may have very little strength even if it is built up in layers. If you have ever removed caked dry mud from the bottom of a bowl or even your shoes, then you know just how easily it can break apart. Since mud deposits can vary drastically even from one mud puddle to the next, it will take some experience to figure out which ones will make the best cast, and how best to make use of the others.

How to Take Care of Wounds in Conjunction With a Mud Cast

Even with a plaster of paris cast, the lack of air flow around wounded sites can cause all kinds of problems. If you have open cuts in the area to be covered by the mud cast, try to lay down some kind of barrier that will prevent the mud from getting into the wound.

If you have antibacterial ointment available, you can also do that to reduce the risk of infection. Unfortunately, even if the open wounds are scabbed over, the increased moisture from sweat building up under the cast will still create a breeding ground for germs to multiply.

Use sticks and wraps to create tunnels for air to flow or other openings as long as they do not interfere with the ability of the cast to support the broken bones. In most, if not all cases, you will probably need to use a sling or some other additional support device to prevent the bones from moving or rubbing together.

What You Need to Have On Hand

If you have all the essentials in your bug out bag, then you should already have most of what you need to make a mud cast. Here is a basic list so that you can include these items in your bug out bag if they aren’t already present:

  • popsickle sticks or other materials that can be used to form splints
  • surgical gauze and tape
  • antibacterial ointment
  • bandages
  • towels or other padding material
  • material that can be used for a sling or other restraining device for arms or other areas that need to be secured close to the body in order to avoid further injury.
  • straps or other material that can be used to manipulate bones back into position if needed. Just make sure that you take a good quality first aid course and know how to pull and manipulate bones to bring them back into alignment before trying it in a crisis situation. When in doubt, you will be better served by simply immobilizing the bone and letting a doctor take care of it as soon as you find one.
  • A quart or more container to hold the mud that you gather from an appropriate source

Substitutes for Casting Materials in Nature

Let’s look at a situation where you ran from your home in such a hurry, you didn’t bring your bug out bag. Alternatively, your bug out bag is missing one or more essential elements that are needed to make a viable mud cast.

Here are some items in nature that you can use to substitute for things you will need:

  • Use tree branches and small limbs for making splints. Start off by selecting the straightest limbs you can find. Cut them down to a size that will enable you to immobilize the entire joint. It will also help to split the branches or limbs so that the affected area rests on a flat surface. If you cannot find branches or limbs that are wide enough for your need, lay thinner sticks together to form a flat surface. You can also tie them together to make a more solid foundation.
  • In place of gauze, you can use wide, long leaves from grass or other plants. Narrow, long leaves can also be used as long as you can wrap them around the affected are and the splint at least once or twice. When you get into using the leaves for holding the mud in place, see if you can shred the leaf a bit so that the mud has an easier chance of seeping through as it would with gauze.
  • Try using honey or other natural herbs in the area that have anti bacterial properties.
  • Leaves that have antibacterial properties can be used as bandages or coverings for areas that need to be protected from dirt and debris. Hold them in place with vines or other materials that will prevent them from slipping and sliding out of position.
  • Moss, leaves, and other soft materials can be used to pad around the splint as well as provide some relief from the weight of the cast. Make sure that the materials you choose are clean and free of insects.
  • In place of straps, longer, thicker vines can be used for pulling bones back into place and for other purposes.
  • Large leaves, depressions in rocks, and even a hole dug into the ground can be used as a place to hold mud that you retrieved from another location. Since you may wind up looking in several locations to find suitable mud, it is best to have a way to transport it to your campsite before trying to assemble the cast.

Where to Find the Mud

When it comes to finding the best mud for a cast, you will find that the term “mud” is something of a misnomer. Typically, you will be looking for material that is much closer to clay in terms of its plasticity and ability to be worked. As such, the mud you select will have a higher degree of organic matter in it, and will feel different from regular mud.

During the process of looking for suitable mud, take some of the material and let it dry out just enough so that it leaves very little residue on your hands. If you have ever worked with clay to make pinch pots or other objects, then you know that clay at this stage can still be bent and manipulated without creating cracks or other problems. By contrast, regular mud will crack easily at this stage and be completely useless insofar as forming it into usable objects.

The best places to find mud for making a cast are at the bottom of ponds or other areas where organic matter collects and easily mixes with soil over long periods of time. It should be noted that clay can take centuries to form to a point where it can be used for pottery making. You can still use “younger” or less well developed clays for making a mud cast. If you cannot find a clay like mud for the cast, you can still use regular mud, but it will be more difficult to manage and less likely to provide viable support for the areas that need to be immobilized.

How to Make a Basic Mud Cast

When all is said and done, making a mud cast is no more difficult than making a plaster cast. Here are the basic steps:

  • start off by making sure you have addressed any open wounds and set any bone fragments that you were able to take care of.
  • Use padding and a splint to provide support for the bones so that they have an additional layer of support. Worst comes to worst, even if the mud portion of the cast falls apart or fails for some other reason, the splint may be enough to keep the affected area immobilized and free from further injury.
  • Next, begin using thin layers of mud and leaves to hold it in place. If the day is breezy, then it will take less time for the layers to dry out. Do not let them dry completely, but do make sure that the water is wicking out properly from each layer of the cast. This may be a bit difficult if you are using leaves and forgot to make suitable holes in them because they will block the wicking action through the mud.
  • Once the cast is dry, finish off the process by using towels, vines, or anything else that can be fashioned into a harness that will hold the affected area as close as possible to your body. For example, if you broke an arm, you would make a sling that prevents your arm and cast from hanging downward or moving around freely at an uninjured area.

How to Remove a Mud Cast

Removing a mud cast is not so different from removing a plaster cast. You will still need to cut into the cast and then separate the parts to set the injured area free. If you used leaves and thin layers of mud, it may also be possible to simply grab a hold of some leaf material and then pull it away from the rest of the cast.

As the leaf puts pressure on the underside of the mud layer, it should break away easily. You may or may not be able to achieve the same results if you used gauze wrapping. If the fibers of the gauze became deeply enmeshed in the mud, the gauze is not likely to separate it into neat layers.

Alternatives You Can Make From Natural Materials

No matter if you are in the woods or a desert, or some other natural setting, there are few things that are similar to mud or plaster of paris that can be easily gathered and turned into a cast.

On the other hand, if you are in the woods, you can take advantage of pine sap to make pitch. This pitch, in turn, can be used to bind together layers of gauze. Try to keep the pine pitch as thin as possible, as you will find it can be difficult to remove.

Once you establish in a wooded setting, there are things you can make ahead of time to deal with broken bones. Aside from making pine pitch, experiment with maple syrup and turn it into a moldable material that will harden in place. If you already know how to make hard maple candy, then you will have a good start for figuring out how to make a cast from the same material.

Finally, do not forget about using other kinds of sap to make variants of latex, rubber, and other pliable materials. As long as you can find a way to apply a the material while it is soft, and then produce a hard shell, you will have the basis of a cast for broken bones.

In some cases, the ability of the material to stretch may also be of use, especially if you need to bind together splint material, or you need to prevent layers inside the cast from moving around too much.

During the course of trying to escape from a disaster, you may fall, or do something else that results in broken bones. No matter whether the bones are in an appendage, your ribs, hips, or shoulders, it is very important to find a way to immobilize the bones until you can get medical attention.

Mud casts have a number of drawbacks, they can still provide key support and relief when nothing else is available. This is an important skill to learn, as well as how to manage pitfalls so that you can make the most of this emergency medicine method.

When you don’t have access to hospitals and doctors, the only thing you can do to survive is relying on what nature provides you in order to stay alive!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Make Your Survival Shelter Invisible With These 10 Tips

Click here to view the original post.

We are living in times when people believe that a growing economy and an increase in job opportunities equates to some strange kind of mayhem, destruction, and chaos. Also foreign adversaries are just as eager to cause problems no matter what we do to advance ourselves and our allies.

Combined with all the natural disasters that are increasing in rate and severity, prepping and complex survival scenario planning become more important than ever. Having a survival shelter helps you survive, and so is ensuring that others cannot find it.

Keep reading to find out how to keep your survival shelter our of sight!

1. Build the Shelter Underground

One of the easiest ways to make a survival shelter invisible is to build it underground. People that are looking for food, supplies, or other resources will usually look for buildings that may house what they are looking for.

If you build your shelter underground, there are some other advantages when it comes to keeping its location as secret as possible.

How To Build a Small Bunker in Your Backyard with $400

Underground shelters are some of the best when it comes to noise dampening, which is especially important if operating machinery underground, or having children living with you in the shelter. Remember, even one stray sound, no matter how faint, can reveal the presence of a shelter and people taking refuge in it. Minimizing this risk with an underground shelter will be an advantage.

Once you start tunneling underground, you can build the shelter a good distance away from the entry point, giving you plenty of room and options for making it harder to locate the shelter from above ground.

For example, you can use decoys as well as other methods to make people think they found your hiding place, even though you are still in a safe place with all of your supplies. Unfortunately, if you have only a small amount of land, creating decoys and distractions can be very difficult for above-ground shelters.

2. Choose Materials for Avoiding Radar and Other Sensors

Not so long ago, metal detectors and other devices were fairly expensive. Also, various kinds of radar devices and thermal heat signature detecting devices were either extremely expensive or unavailable to the public.

But today it isn’t impossible to build or get a hold of this equipment on your own, which means that protecting your shelter from electronic detection means may be more complicated than expected.

One of the most important things to do is make sure that thermal signatures such as bodies, heating systems, and other heat generating devices remain undetected while in operation. Also make sure that metals and other signatures are not easy to pick up in shapes that might interest those looking for supplies or anything else that can be used.

Underground shelters can shield from a lot of different devices, but there are others that can pick up cavities, metal signatures, and many other things that may reveal the location of your shelter or any decoys connected to it.

So if you decide on an underground shelter, make sure that you know how to break up the appearance of key signatures or find other ways to hide them, using paints that block or absorb certain frequencies, or other materials used to make the entire area look like an old debris field.

3. Choose Unusual Shapes

If you are building a shelter from scratch, unusual shapes that fit the landscape will offer the best insofar as invisibility. For example:

  • Terrain with a lot of boulders or outcroppings would be a good place to build something that looks like a natural cave. You can use stones from the local area for more of an effect. Just remember to avoid setting the rocks into an unnatural building pattern. It is also important to avoid squares, rectangles, circles, or anything else that doesn’t look like a random pile of rocks.
  • In a forest, build your shelter to look tall and narrow. If you are cutting down trees to clear a small area, you can build the house in a tall, cylinder shape, and then put bark around the outside of the shelter for a more realistic effect. Put vines along the outside of the structure or other plants that will grow and cover what should look like a dead tree trunk. This may be a fairly small shelter, and you can also build more than one to hide caches of good and supplies.
  • Underground shelters on grasslands will be best if they are as even as possible with the ground. Unless you enter and exit the shelter too much near the cavity, it should remain well hidden once the grass grows over it. Ground penetrating radars can still be a problem, so try building the shelter in odd shapes that look like an underground cave or something else that would be of no interest to people looking for you or your stockpile.
  • If you live near a waterfall or other area with running water, explore the possibility of building a shelter behind the waterfall, and research on underground mining and tunneling carried out by Cornish miners. When it comes to building an invisible shelter, very few people will even think to look under a pond or some other area deep below the surface of the running water.

4. Make the Shelter Amenable to Different Coverings

In any environment, brush, dust, and many other things will build up around items where people don’t clean up or move things around. When it comes to keeping your shelter invisible, making it look like no one is there is very important.

If you are using a conventional wood or brick structure for your shelter, make the walls, roof, and other surfaces amenable to different coverings, using vines, dust, and even garbage that may blow into your yard from time to time.

If you think of shelter coverings as being like a ghillie suit for buildings and shelters, then it may give you some good ideas about how best to hide your shelter from prying eyes. You want the shelter to blend into the landscape so that people don’t see it or recognize it for what it is.

Even breaking up the impression of straight lines in a shadow can make the difference. No matter how you look at it, coverings that break up light and shadows are bound to be as important as they are when you need to hide your physical presence in various settings.

5. Pros and Cons of Making the Shelter Look Abandoned and Unliveable

Making your shelter look derelict on the outside can have advantages and disadvantages.

On the positive side, people looking for expensive things to steal, food, weapons, or other valuables will more than likely look for buildings that are in better repair. If your home looks rich and expensive, then there must also be something worth stealing inside, so better looking buildings and their occupants will be looted and invaded first during a riot.

On the other side, in the later stages of a major crisis, most rioters and others will be homeless and looking for any place to stay. So homeless and desperate people will look for shelters that are the most run down to inhabit.

If they think the building is abandoned, the homeless will crawl into just about anything and build a fire or do something else to make the shelter more comfortable. Under these circumstances, homeless people passing through your area even now may decide to try and inhabit your survival shelter.

6. Disguise it To Look Like Something Else

Unless those searching for you have advanced radar or other detection systems, appearances can be your best weapon for making a shelter invisible. Aside from terrain specific shapes, there are some other ways to disguise the shelter to look like something else:

  • Never allow the outer walls of the structure to look like man-made formations. This means the shelter should have an irregular appearance with crooked outcroppings or plenty of areas that look like they will fall down at any moment.
  • Large enough cement sculptures or ones made from other materials can be used for very small external panic rooms or other shelters. They can also make a good place to hide trap doors to underground shelters. You can even use plastic bottles filled with sand, or many other materials that will simply look like a garden ornament or something else that isn’t related to a survival shelter. Even if you only build something that is 10’ x 10’, it may be enough to hide a trap door or a cache that you can live on for several days.
  • Building a shelter that looks like something else may be as simple as getting an old car frame from the junk yard. You can take this exterior and make it look like an ornate flower planter, or an unusual sculpture. While this “artwork” may be in plain view, people may not realize that the entire inside has been hollowed out and that there is enough space for you to sleep, cook, and even store away some supplies underground.
  • When it comes to disguising your shelter, creativity must also be balanced by effectiveness of the design. Depending on the neighborhood and the area, you may want something that will blend in and look normal. In other situations, you may want something novel that makes people think of anything but a shelter.

7. Use Smaller Modules Across the Property

When looters and thieves are looking for viable targets, they focus mainly on larger buildings that promise enough material to make it worth breaking in. This is just one of many reasons why you should always break up your stockpile into smaller groups of materials even if you aren’t interested in making your shelter invisible.

In some cases, if thieves find small items “hidden”, they may leave the rest of your stockpile alone.

When building a survival shelter, do not put all your focus on fitting everything into one location, but have two or three different shelters scattered throughout your property.

For example, you might make one small underground bunker, one above ground hidden in brush and brambles, and one in some other location. Even if people spot one, it is not likely they will look for a second and third shelter.

8. Avoid Telltale Signs Like Utility Pipes and Meters

Even if you have lived through a catastrophic hurricane, it can still be hard to believe that a bigger crisis will occur, or that extreme prepping is a matter of paranoia.

There may also be a level of prepping that you won’t go simply because you think the odds of a social collapse that spans decades is a matter of “if” as opposed to “when”. It also means that you may overlook critical things when it comes to concealing your survival shelter.

Inexpensive, Easy to Build Cellar Will Protect Your Life and Supplies in the Next Crisis

You might think that running water in the shelter, electricity, gas, and phone service are very important. While digging a well and placing the pipes underground would be suitable for concealment purposes, you might choose to simply hook up some pipes from your home and extend them into the secondary shelter. If anyone comes to your home, those pipes will be easy to spot and can lead other people right to your hiding place.

Burying those pipes underground may work better, but remember that the water meter outside your house will continue to run. All anyone has to do is see that meter moving to know that someone is living close by.

Power lines with meters attached and other utility wires can also make it easy to track the location of your shelter. Rather than take these chances, find a way to live without power as much as possible, and use communication means that don’t rely on cable or internet access.

Foxhole radios, bullroarers, and many other devices can be used for communications in a time of need. In fact, it would be better to have these systems on hand if more complicated equipment is wiped out as it was in Puerto Rico.

9. Avoid Obvious Pathways To or From the Shelter

As with power lines, obvious pathways worn into the grass or the surrounding area can alert others to the location of your shelter. Even trampling sand or soil can leave signs of packing that will make other people curious enough to investigate. If you are still adding provisions to the shelter, or need to access it on a routine basis, there are some things you can do to avoid the signs of pathways to and from the shelter:

  • use vines or ivies across paths instead of grass. The vines can be pushed out of the way easily enough with your foot, and then back into place after you are done working in the shelter.
  • For dirt or sand paths, carry a rake with you. Use the rake to loosen up the compaction created by your feet. Do not forget to use the back of the rake to smooth out the lines made by the rake.
  • You can also set up stepping stones all over the yard. When you need to get to and from the shelter, step only on the stones. Just make sure that the stones are set randomly enough that a trail isn’t easily visible.

10. Avoid the Shelter When Others are Watching

It’s obvious that you should never enter or exit your shelter when other people are watching. No matter whether you created a liveable “lawn ornament” using an old car frame or some other object, disappearing into it or exiting it will alert anyone watching that something is hidden in the structure.

If your shelter is hidden in the woods, ensure you haven’t been followed to the site. If you can do so without alerting others to your hideaway, install trail cameras around the area. This will help you find out if other people followed you, or if they are nosing around. Conceal the cameras as high off the ground as possible so that they escape detection.

When it comes to concealing your entrance and exit times, don’t rely on night time to cover your activities. Given the availability of night vision gear and cameras, you never really know what kind of surveillance is going on all around you. Visit the shelter in daylight hours, or at times when electronic surveillance devices may have the hardest time picking up on your presence. Experiment with night vision enabled cameras to see when they convert from color to black and white as well as lighting patterns that they may not easily work well in.

Concealing your survival shelter isn’t something you may be able to do as an afterthought. Instead, if you are making plans to build a new shelter, figure out how to build in features that will make it hard to spot by humans, tracking animals, and various kinds of surveillance and detection devices.

Stay up to date on all emerging technologies or tracking methods that might be used to find your survival shelter. Once you know what you are up against, you have a better chance to revise your shelter and ensure that it will stay invisible and safe!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

10 Essentials For Survival Heating During Blizzard

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It only takes one blizzard, excessive ice on power lines, or a computer board failure in the furnace system to leave you without heat at time when you need it most. And if you look around these days, you can easily imagine what a holiday at the North Pole feels like, so heating is the last thing you would want to lose.

Here are some things you can do to make sure you stay warm in a time when it may be difficult or impossible to use your primary heating system method.

1. Understanding How Heat Moves Around Your Home

Before you begin planning how to heat your home in a crisis, find out what kinds of advantages and limitations you are dealing with first: oddly shaped rooms, hallways, doors, and other structures can change the flow of air, and thus heat through your home. In some cases, the answers may surprise you and lead to changes in how you get the most out of alternative heating method placement.

Here are some things you should know about and experiment with:

  • If you have central heating, make sure that you know which order heat is delivered to the registers. Usually, the registers closest to the furnace will receive hot air first, while those further away may receive cooler air, si take advantage of register order. Instead of closing off a room that is very close to the boiler, use it more and close off rooms that are further away.
  • Take temperature readings at different heights, around corners, and in other odd room or hall arrangements, to make a good idea of how air enters and exits each room, then you can see how the temperature changes are affected by that air current. In some cases, using a small fan in one area will push the heat further into the room instead of building up in a corner. If you have cats, check where they are inclined to nap that aren’t directly related to air registers: these will be warm spots or have warmer drafts that you can take advantage of.
  • Find out where and how cold drafts influence the way heat moves through so you would know how to use alternative methods that may not supply as much heat. If the drafts are pushing air inward, put your heating source in front of the draft so that it moves the warmed air in along with the cold. You should still try to limit these drafts because the supply of colder air coming in is endless, while the heat produced by your system is limited.

2. Electricity and its Role in Winter Heating

Maybe you have plenty of oil or other heating fuel, you made sure all furnace heating system and maintenance needs were taken care of, and even have a “smart” thermostat or other “smart house” technologies that ensure is at an optimal temperature every room.

All this can lead you to believe you can’t lose your primary source of heat, but you would be wrong.

 

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The more complicated your heating system is, the more likely it is the system relies on electricity. The amount of electricity required to run blower fans, pump fuel into the furnace, ignite the fuel, and carry out other activities may be more than you provide.

If you don’t already have a tested system in place for generating power off-grid, then blizzards, ice storms, and other events will lead to serious power disruptions. Unless you can generate sufficient power, or your heating system does not require electricity, you must take into account alternative heating methods.

3. Preparing for an Electrical Outage

It can take years of trial and error, plus a range of equipment to generate enough electricity to live off the grid.

If you are especially low on funds, and need to prepare for winter power outages now, buy a generator, or household scale  batteries that can be charged and stored away for use during a storm. Your best option will be alternative fuels and heating devices, as well as good information on how to make the use of it.

4. Alternative Fuels to Have Onhand

If you are already reeling over the cost of home heating fuels such as wood, coal, oil, and gas, then you might wonder how to afford alternative fuels.  You can make some from household junk and you can buy other in small quantities and store away for a time of need.

Here are three alternative fuels that will work in just about any situation so long as you have adequate ventilation and can safely manage a fire.

Newspaper Logs

This is one of the easiest and cheapest to make: take newspapers, junk mail, and just about anything else made of paper (try to avoid glossy, plastic, or heavily dyed pages as they will smell bad when they burn) and tear it up into shreds. Next, soak the paper in water for a  few days to make it as soft as possible.

To make the brick shape, set the papers into a pan and squeeze the water out.  Once the bricks are dry, you can burn them just as you would wooden logs.

Candles

It is best to buy a wide range of candle sizes that can be used for different locations and needs. For candle heaters and similar radiative devices, you can use tea lights and votives. If you want to heat up a smaller area and get more light at the same time, use a taper.

Seven Day Candles or the larger jar candles may not offer much in the way of heat or light.  Aside from the fact that many of these candles are made with thinner wicks that don’t work well, the heat from them is usually trapped by the jar itself.

You can also make candles from just about anything that has fat or wax in it. This includes tubes of chap stick, cans of vegetable shortening, sticks of butter, crayons, or anything else that you can get some kind of wick into.

For smaller “candles” you can use toothpicks or other splinters of wood.  Rolled up paper will work well for shortening can candles and others that are larger in size.

Rubbing Alcohol

Even though it takes a lot of experience to make wood, or rubbing alcohol, you can still buy it at a fairly low price.  Just purchase a bottle or two each time you go shopping and store it away for a time of need.

5. Easy Devices You Can Buy or Build

You should have one kind of stove for each fuel that you are setting aside. Paper logs may be the easiest and cheapest fuel to make, but they will be useless if you have no safe place to burn them. Burn them in an outdoor open barrel, or set up a wood stove indoors with a proper chimney system.  Even though you can do quite a bit with lengths of stovepipe, they must still eventually attach to a suitable chimney.

Remember, down drafts and other problems can truly make burning these kinds of fuels indoors an art form. While dampers in the stove pipe may alleviate some of the problem, it still takes a bit of work and maintenance to use these systems safely and to the maximum benefit.

Here are some smaller, easy to manage devices that you can make or purchase for other kinds of alternative fuel:

Candle Heater

You can purchase prefabricated heaters made of clay flower pots, or you can make your own. If you decide to assemble your own, be sure to use zinc free washers, nuts, and bolts.

When heated, metal hardware with zinc in it can give of toxic fumes.  Since the candle heater can raise temperature of the metal to several hundred degrees, it will not be worth your safety and well being to use fittings that have zinc in them.

During the winter months, it is also very important to periodically dry out the ceramic pots in an oven.  This will reduce the moisture content and ensure that heat will flow through the pots more easily.

If you choose to make your own candle heater, do not forget to include a saucer cap on top of the flower pot array. Once the candle heater is going for about an hour, you will have more than enough heat to warm up food and beverages in heat safe bowls.

I do not recommend large, or heavy cookware. Anything light and thin that transmits heat easily will suit your needs better.

Rubbing Alcohol Stove

As with candle heaters, you can also purchase prefabricated rubbing alcohol stoves. Or, if you have some soda cans onhand, you can make one from those.  Since rubbing alcohol stoves are very efficient, do not be surprised at the amount of heat you will get from such a small device and a relatively small amount of rubbing alcohol. Do not forget you can also put a metal tripod over the rubbing alcohol stove and use it for cooking.  Overall, the rubbing alcohol stove will be more efficient in this area than the candle heater.

Propane Stove

Even though propane bottles cost more than rubbing alcohol, propane devices are very useful for emergency situations.  Propane stoves or heaters can be used for cooking meals, as well as providing heat.

Depending on the cylinder size and the setting of the stove or heater, you may get just a few hours from each cylinder or much more.

6. Backup Systems to Consider

If you have more time to work with, devise other systems that can be used without burning various kinds of fuel. You will also need to find a way to transport the heat into each area  of interest to you.

Compost Pile

Did you know that a medium to large compost pile can produce enough heat to warm up water in pipes buried in the pile? All you need to do is take a coil of plastic pipe and fill it up with water.

Regardless of the temperature outdoors or the weather conditions, your compost pile will always be producing heat at the core level. To get some of that heat into the house, continue the plastic line into your home and then pump the water around the room and back out to the compost pile again.

You can also add water radiators with metal fins to disburse the heat more readily as the water is piped around your home.  Try to limit your pump size to ones that will run on a 12 volt battery.

In an emergency, just keep a fresh and fully charged car battery or other deep cycle battery on hand to run the pump.

Solar Can Heater

If you have a sunny spot on a rooftop or in your yard, then you can generate a good bit of heat with a solar can heater since these devices only require an insulated box with a glass covering. Inside the box, set up series of plastic pipe, and then encase the pipes in cans.

After the main system is built, you can either run water through the pipes, or simply let hot air from the pipes vent into your home.

As with the compost pile, pumping water in will also give you the advantage of having hot water on hand in a time when none may be available because of the weather situation.

7. Managing Your Woodpile

When it comes to managing your wood pile, make sure the wood stays as dry as possible. If you are concerned about being trapped indoors during a blizzard or other severe weather, keep as much wood as possible near the house.

Keeping enough wood chopped and ready to burn for at least three weeks will always be to your advantage. You can also try to find a place in your home to supply at least one weeks worth of heat so that you can stay indoors as much as possible.

Many people don’t realize that you can burn less fuel without losing out on a lot of heat efficiency. Bank the fire every few hours so that the existing heat has a chance to circulate. Once the fire is burning well, don’t add other materials such as paper or cardboard.

If you are going to burn these materials, do so when you aren’t planning to burn wood until the embers from the other material are in a condition where they can be banked.

You can revive them easily enough with wood, however mixing fuel types can make the fire burn too fast or too slow and cause it to be less efficient.

8. Managing Oil and Other Fuel Lines

If the temperatures get cold enough, fuel lines might freeze up. Make sure that you know how to thaw the lines out safely, as well as how to tap the main tank so that you can keep some fuel onhand indoors.

Have a valve installed so that you can cut off the main fuel line, and attach a line inside the house that will draw from a bucket of fuel. Just be sure to monitor the system each time it is burning for the sake of safety and fire prevention.

9. Passive Methods for Pacing Fuel Consumption

You can block off windows at night, and then open the shades during sunlight hours to let heat in. Running ceiling fans can also help push warm air back down into the room where you need it most.

In the most extreme situations, you can also pitch a tent in one room of your home and stay in it to conserve as much body heat as possible. Take the time now to practice using candle heaters and other devices outside the tent, as well as how to get the most from them in a time of need.

Remember that hot food and beverages can also go a long way to preserving your core body temperature. Even if you cannot heat up a whole room using alternative methods, you may still be able to warm of food and beverages that will help you avoid freezing to death.

10. Emergency Survival Kit

Overall, building an emergency heating survival kit is not especially difficult. Here are the most important items to have onhand:

  • candle heater and candles
  • rubbing alcohol stove and fuel
  • hair dryer or other heat source for thawing water pipes
  • additive that can be mixed with heating fuel to prevent freezing in the first place
  • matches or other means of starting a fire
  • emergency heat retention blankets
  • tent
  • plenty of water for hydration
  • foods and beverages that can be heated up
  • solar powered coffee mug or other devices that  can be used to heat up water or soup without using electricity or a fire.

At this time, there is more debate than you might expect about whether or not the planet is heating up or cooling down. If you have ever seen the way ice melts in a beverage, then it may be easier to understand why some data points one way, while other studies indicate the opposite.

Regardless of how or why, the fact remains weather patterns are becoming more extreme, which means that you need to all you can to prepare for extreme cold and situations where your primary heating system fails.

Having a few devices and alternative fuels onhand may not seem like much, but it is more effective than doing nothing at all, or simply hoping for the best!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

10 Essentials For Your Pet’s Survival Kit

Many people trapped in place, as well as those evacuated from the recent hurricanes found that they were unable to care for their pets. In case of emergency, millions of pets are injured, abandoned, or lose their lives because their owners haven’t made a plan for their survival.

While human life is always important, you can still increase the odds of your pets surviving and thriving in both short and long term disaster scenarios.

Here are 10 essentials you should have assembled into a bug out bag or kit so that you and your pet will always be ready for any situation.

Food and Water

Unless your pet is on a very special diet, you should try to put together some extra food and water. For example, if you have a smaller animal that doesn’t eat much, it may not take much work to store away a few extra cans of food, or a small bag of dry food.

If you have a much larger animal that eats several pounds of food in just a few days, then you need extra planning. Since there are no nutrition dense MREs for animals, you will need to figure out a way to do what you can with a relatively limited food supply.

Here are some things you can do to feed your pet more easily during a major crisis.

Rely on Food Scraps

Introduce as many table scraps and other human foods as you can into your pet’s diet, but make sure that you don’t feed the animal foods that are poisonous to them.

There are several good lists online that will tell you what foods to avoid feeding animals based on their species. Contrary to popular belief, the biggest problem with feeding your pet human based foods is that their digestion gets accustomed to a specific kind of food.

When you make sudden changes, your pet may experience diarrhea or other problems that will pass once they adjust to the new food. The wider the selection of foods you feed your pet now, the better chance they will have of remaining healthy and strong when their own food is unavailable.

Once you are confident that your pet is accustomed to consuming human foods, you can pack similar foods for you and other humans that will be travelling with you.

Take into Account Caught Food

As with any other kind of food, the more chance your pet has to adapt to the different food types, the less risk they will have of developing digestive problems.

Giving your pet some human foods or hunted ones, and then stop and go back to feeding just commercial foods won’t be simple. As with your own body, conditioning for consuming different foods must be maintained by continually eating as much variety as possible.

Test if MREs work for Your Pet

If you are focusing mainly on MREs or other nutrient dense foods, make sure they are safe for your pet first. Remember that even humans can experience severe intestinal and other digestive problems because of the reduction in water content in these foods.

You may need to mix these foods with more water before feeding them to your pet, or find some other way to ensure they do not cause a serious medical problem.

Blankets and Bedding

Aside from providing a sense of security, blankets and bedding will be important for keeping your pet healthy. Whether it’s cold, or your pet gets wet, blankets and bedding can be a lifesaver.

Get your pet used to emergency blankets and other variants that you may have packed for your own use, since it would be easier to share these items with your pet if they are already accustomed to them.

Restraining Devices

Unless you are planning to bug out with a fish or some other animal that cannot live in open air, then you’ll need some kind of restraining device to keep your pet safe and under control at all times.

Even if your cat, rabbit, rat, ferret, chinchilla, or other mammalian pet usually travels in a carrier, you should also have a leash and harness available.

Cats can easily slip out of a collar, and given that most dislike leashes, you’ll need the harness for times when your cat needs to be out of the carrier.

If you have a dog, you may believe a collar and leash or a harness are enough of a restraining device.

But if you must stay in a shelter, or a rescuer will have to help you evacuate, a dog on a leash can be much harder to handle than one sitting in a carrier.

Your pet will be very stressed out by the situation, and if they are not used to so many strangers on top of everything else, it can spell disaster for you and anyone the dog encounters. It is best to have a carrier available so that the dog has a safe sanctuary and can also be handled with ease.

If your dog is too big, you should have a blanket or something else on hand that is large enough to wrap the dog up in. In an emergency situation where the dog is going to be in tight quarters, it will give you much better control than trying to work exclusively with a harness or collar.

Also, many dogs (and cats) calm down almost immediately when wrapped up in a blanket, which will also make transporting the dog in strange or close quarters a bit easier.

If you are trying to transport birds, make sure their flight feathers are properly clipped. As with cats, even though you may intend to transport birds in their cages, it is still very important to have a leash and harness. Be sure that your pet is comfortable with these devices so that they can have some time out of the cage.

Ownership and Vaccination Records

With so many fires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, you may wind up travelling across state lines in an effort to find safety. Also, if pets are going to be accepted in a nearby shelter, you’ll need to provide documents showing that your pet is vaccinated for rabies. that’s why you have to keep ownership and vaccination records in your pet’s survival kit.

While reviewing your pet’s vaccination records, ask about vaccination requirements to go across state lines, as well as for other states where your pet may travel. Make sure that you know all of the vaccination requirements for each state where you may go, as well as ones where you may be travelling through.

Many people don’t realize that laws surrounding specific pet breeds are getting as bad as gun type and accessory limits. You may own a pitbull that is legal in your state, but that doesn’t mean you can legally bring it into a city or state where they are outlawed.

Unless you have a letter from your doctor that the animal is medically necessary, it might not travel with your pet in time of need. Taking care of this problem is pretty simple.

If your pet gives you comfort and helps you manage stress, get a letter from your doctor stating that the pet is to be with you, including in public places, to ensure your pet can get into any shelter and travel across state lines. Since any animal deemed medically necessary is protected by federal law, states and cities cannot violate your rights just because of the animal’s breed or species.

Medical and Other Information Guides

Since veterinarians will also be concerned about trying to evacuate and taking care of their own families, you might not find a medical specialist to take care of your pet in case of disaster, so keep information available on how to treat ailments and injuries for your pets.

Learn how to recognize the signs of poisoning from common toxins, and whether you need to induce vomiting, or use some other means to ensure your pet survives the poisoning.

Learn basic anatomy and organ locations, bones and joints, and how best to immobilize them in the event of an injury. Learn how to treat wounds and stop bleeding, and how to use basic medical tools such as thermometers or other devices to better diagnose a problem.

You need to know what to do if your pet gets bitten by a snake, a poisonous insect, or something else that usually requires assistance from a veterinarian. Also, learn how to remove ticks, fleas, and other insects that can spread disease and cause other problems, and also how to clean ears, eyes, and other areas where dirt or insects can cause pain, injury, or loss of function.

Listings of Shelters, Rescues, and Other Sanctuaries

Preppers store away supplies and develop survival plans so that they wouldn’t rely on FEMA camps or similar arrangements. Even so, you might need to take refuge in some kind of shelter and many of these facilities won’t allow pets along even if you have enough food and adequate restraining devices.

Find out about shelters in your local area, and around that are willing to accommodate pets. If you have a federally registered service animal, you might bring that animal into any place of refuge as long as you have the letter from your doctor.

Tranquilizers

Does your dog bark at the sight of strangers around the house? Is your cat a whirl of claws and teeth any time you go near a veterinarian? You might accept these signs of distress, but they can be a problem when you and your pet must be in a strange place for days, weeks, or even months.

In a sense, pets are very much like young children. You can’t explain to them that they must remain calm or limit their aggressivity. Some difficult situations might appear when it may be best to simply give your pet a tranquilizer.

First, you can ask your vet for suitable medication, but there are also many over the counter herbal aides that have a sedative effect on animals. Pick one that is safe for your pet species and test it out before crisis, to make sure your pet is not allergic to it.

Finally, there products dedicated to calming animals without the use of drugs and herbs. Thundershirts and other products can keep your pet calm and also reduce the symptoms of stress. Try these products out before a crisis to see if they really have a calming effect on your pet.

Safe Herbs or Medications

Herbs can be used to treat a range of problems from a cold to managing wounds, pain, and other ailments. Make sure that you choose only herbs and medications that are safe for your pet.

Ask your veterinarian for a list of safe remedies as well as do some additional research online. In addition, your local pet store may also carry a number of products that may be of use.

Toys, Treats, and Comfort Items

As an adult, you may wear a religious item or carry something else that helps you feel calm even though it has no specific tangible purpose. Your pets will also derive a sense of calm from objects that have meaning – favorite toy, treats, or other items your pet associates with comfort and safety.

Don’t overlook your pet’s normal food and water dishes. If you are keeping a list of items to grab quickly in an evacuation, these two objects should be at the top of your list.

Euthanasia Tools or Drugs

Regardless of your pet’s age and current health condition, there’s always an increased risk of injury or disease during crisis. You focus on keeping your pet alive, but sometimes the animal might suffer with no possibility of recovery, and putting the pet out of its misery might be the best thing to do.

Even seasoned hunters are surprised to discover that there is a big emotional difference between taking the life of a game animal and killing a pet. Veterinarians will also tell you that euthanizing an animal is not always a smooth and easy process. That’s why you need both the means, tools, and skills necessary to do the job.

  • Many animals die from accidental poisoning, but don’t try to poison an animal as a means of euthanasia.
  • Most mammals will die fairly quickly if you insert a knife blade between the base of the skull and the first vertebrae. When combined with a tranquilizer or something that will cause your pet to lose consciousness, you reduce the amount of struggle and pain.
  • If you have a gun, then you can also shoot the animal. Here again, you might also want to use a tranquilizer so that there is less sign of physical pain.
  • Unless you are highly skilled at killing animals with clubs or other blunt instruments, don’t rely on them to euthanize your pet in time of need. Electricity, heart sticking, and gas are also cruel and inhumane no matter how you look at it.

Millions of animals are sitting in rescues and sanctuaries because their owners left them behind during hurricanes and other natural disasters. These owners didn’t think ahead, let alone prepare a survival kit for their pet.

It may take a little bit of work and planning to prepare for bringing a pet along during an evacuation, but saving your furry friend is well worth the effort!

banner_620x100_2

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

10 Essentials For Your Pet’s Survival Kit

Click here to view the original post.

Many people trapped in place, as well as those evacuated from the recent hurricanes found that they were unable to care for their pets. In case of emergency, millions of pets are injured, abandoned, or lose their lives because their owners haven’t made a plan for their survival.

While human life is always important, you can still increase the odds of your pets surviving and thriving in both short and long term disaster scenarios.

Here are 10 essentials you should have assembled into a bug out bag or kit so that you and your pet will always be ready for any situation.

Food and Water

Unless your pet is on a very special diet, you should try to put together some extra food and water. For example, if you have a smaller animal that doesn’t eat much, it may not take much work to store away a few extra cans of food, or a small bag of dry food.

If you have a much larger animal that eats several pounds of food in just a few days, then you need extra planning. Since there are no nutrition dense MREs for animals, you will need to figure out a way to do what you can with a relatively limited food supply.

Here are some things you can do to feed your pet more easily during a major crisis.

Rely on Food Scraps

Introduce as many table scraps and other human foods as you can into your pet’s diet, but make sure that you don’t feed the animal foods that are poisonous to them.

There are several good lists online that will tell you what foods to avoid feeding animals based on their species. Contrary to popular belief, the biggest problem with feeding your pet human based foods is that their digestion gets accustomed to a specific kind of food.

When you make sudden changes, your pet may experience diarrhea or other problems that will pass once they adjust to the new food. The wider the selection of foods you feed your pet now, the better chance they will have of remaining healthy and strong when their own food is unavailable.

Once you are confident that your pet is accustomed to consuming human foods, you can pack similar foods for you and other humans that will be travelling with you.

Take into Account Caught Food

As with any other kind of food, the more chance your pet has to adapt to the different food types, the less risk they will have of developing digestive problems.

Giving your pet some human foods or hunted ones, and then stop and go back to feeding just commercial foods won’t be simple. As with your own body, conditioning for consuming different foods must be maintained by continually eating as much variety as possible.

Test if MREs work for Your Pet

If you are focusing mainly on MREs or other nutrient dense foods, make sure they are safe for your pet first. Remember that even humans can experience severe intestinal and other digestive problems because of the reduction in water content in these foods.

You may need to mix these foods with more water before feeding them to your pet, or find some other way to ensure they do not cause a serious medical problem.

Blankets and Bedding

Aside from providing a sense of security, blankets and bedding will be important for keeping your pet healthy. Whether it’s cold, or your pet gets wet, blankets and bedding can be a lifesaver.

Get your pet used to emergency blankets and other variants that you may have packed for your own use, since it would be easier to share these items with your pet if they are already accustomed to them.

Restraining Devices

Unless you are planning to bug out with a fish or some other animal that cannot live in open air, then you’ll need some kind of restraining device to keep your pet safe and under control at all times.

Even if your cat, rabbit, rat, ferret, chinchilla, or other mammalian pet usually travels in a carrier, you should also have a leash and harness available.

Cats can easily slip out of a collar, and given that most dislike leashes, you’ll need the harness for times when your cat needs to be out of the carrier.

If you have a dog, you may believe a collar and leash or a harness are enough of a restraining device.

But if you must stay in a shelter, or a rescuer will have to help you evacuate, a dog on a leash can be much harder to handle than one sitting in a carrier.

Your pet will be very stressed out by the situation, and if they are not used to so many strangers on top of everything else, it can spell disaster for you and anyone the dog encounters. It is best to have a carrier available so that the dog has a safe sanctuary and can also be handled with ease.

If your dog is too big, you should have a blanket or something else on hand that is large enough to wrap the dog up in. In an emergency situation where the dog is going to be in tight quarters, it will give you much better control than trying to work exclusively with a harness or collar.

Also, many dogs (and cats) calm down almost immediately when wrapped up in a blanket, which will also make transporting the dog in strange or close quarters a bit easier.

If you are trying to transport birds, make sure their flight feathers are properly clipped. As with cats, even though you may intend to transport birds in their cages, it is still very important to have a leash and harness. Be sure that your pet is comfortable with these devices so that they can have some time out of the cage.

Ownership and Vaccination Records

With so many fires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, you may wind up travelling across state lines in an effort to find safety. Also, if pets are going to be accepted in a nearby shelter, you’ll need to provide documents showing that your pet is vaccinated for rabies. that’s why you have to keep ownership and vaccination records in your pet’s survival kit.

While reviewing your pet’s vaccination records, ask about vaccination requirements to go across state lines, as well as for other states where your pet may travel. Make sure that you know all of the vaccination requirements for each state where you may go, as well as ones where you may be travelling through.

Many people don’t realize that laws surrounding specific pet breeds are getting as bad as gun type and accessory limits. You may own a pitbull that is legal in your state, but that doesn’t mean you can legally bring it into a city or state where they are outlawed.

Unless you have a letter from your doctor that the animal is medically necessary, it might not travel with your pet in time of need. Taking care of this problem is pretty simple.

If your pet gives you comfort and helps you manage stress, get a letter from your doctor stating that the pet is to be with you, including in public places, to ensure your pet can get into any shelter and travel across state lines. Since any animal deemed medically necessary is protected by federal law, states and cities cannot violate your rights just because of the animal’s breed or species.

Medical and Other Information Guides

Since veterinarians will also be concerned about trying to evacuate and taking care of their own families, you might not find a medical specialist to take care of your pet in case of disaster, so keep information available on how to treat ailments and injuries for your pets.

Learn how to recognize the signs of poisoning from common toxins, and whether you need to induce vomiting, or use some other means to ensure your pet survives the poisoning.

Learn basic anatomy and organ locations, bones and joints, and how best to immobilize them in the event of an injury. Learn how to treat wounds and stop bleeding, and how to use basic medical tools such as thermometers or other devices to better diagnose a problem.

You need to know what to do if your pet gets bitten by a snake, a poisonous insect, or something else that usually requires assistance from a veterinarian. Also, learn how to remove ticks, fleas, and other insects that can spread disease and cause other problems, and also how to clean ears, eyes, and other areas where dirt or insects can cause pain, injury, or loss of function.

Listings of Shelters, Rescues, and Other Sanctuaries

Preppers store away supplies and develop survival plans so that they wouldn’t rely on FEMA camps or similar arrangements. Even so, you might need to take refuge in some kind of shelter and many of these facilities won’t allow pets along even if you have enough food and adequate restraining devices.

Find out about shelters in your local area, and around that are willing to accommodate pets. If you have a federally registered service animal, you might bring that animal into any place of refuge as long as you have the letter from your doctor.

Tranquilizers

Does your dog bark at the sight of strangers around the house? Is your cat a whirl of claws and teeth any time you go near a veterinarian? You might accept these signs of distress, but they can be a problem when you and your pet must be in a strange place for days, weeks, or even months.

In a sense, pets are very much like young children. You can’t explain to them that they must remain calm or limit their aggressivity. Some difficult situations might appear when it may be best to simply give your pet a tranquilizer.

First, you can ask your vet for suitable medication, but there are also many over the counter herbal aides that have a sedative effect on animals. Pick one that is safe for your pet species and test it out before crisis, to make sure your pet is not allergic to it.

Finally, there products dedicated to calming animals without the use of drugs and herbs. Thundershirts and other products can keep your pet calm and also reduce the symptoms of stress. Try these products out before a crisis to see if they really have a calming effect on your pet.

Safe Herbs or Medications

Herbs can be used to treat a range of problems from a cold to managing wounds, pain, and other ailments. Make sure that you choose only herbs and medications that are safe for your pet.

Ask your veterinarian for a list of safe remedies as well as do some additional research online. In addition, your local pet store may also carry a number of products that may be of use.

Toys, Treats, and Comfort Items

As an adult, you may wear a religious item or carry something else that helps you feel calm even though it has no specific tangible purpose. Your pets will also derive a sense of calm from objects that have meaning – favorite toy, treats, or other items your pet associates with comfort and safety.

Don’t overlook your pet’s normal food and water dishes. If you are keeping a list of items to grab quickly in an evacuation, these two objects should be at the top of your list.

Euthanasia Tools or Drugs

Regardless of your pet’s age and current health condition, there’s always an increased risk of injury or disease during crisis. You focus on keeping your pet alive, but sometimes the animal might suffer with no possibility of recovery, and putting the pet out of its misery might be the best thing to do.

Even seasoned hunters are surprised to discover that there is a big emotional difference between taking the life of a game animal and killing a pet. Veterinarians will also tell you that euthanizing an animal is not always a smooth and easy process. That’s why you need both the means, tools, and skills necessary to do the job.

  • Many animals die from accidental poisoning, but don’t try to poison an animal as a means of euthanasia.
  • Most mammals will die fairly quickly if you insert a knife blade between the base of the skull and the first vertebrae. When combined with a tranquilizer or something that will cause your pet to lose consciousness, you reduce the amount of struggle and pain.
  • If you have a gun, then you can also shoot the animal. Here again, you might also want to use a tranquilizer so that there is less sign of physical pain.
  • Unless you are highly skilled at killing animals with clubs or other blunt instruments, don’t rely on them to euthanize your pet in time of need. Electricity, heart sticking, and gas are also cruel and inhumane no matter how you look at it.

Millions of animals are sitting in rescues and sanctuaries because their owners left them behind during hurricanes and other natural disasters. These owners didn’t think ahead, let alone prepare a survival kit for their pet.

It may take a little bit of work and planning to prepare for bringing a pet along during an evacuation, but saving your furry friend is well worth the effort!

banner_620x100_2

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

10 Essentials For Your Pet’s Survival Kit

Many people trapped in place, as well as those evacuated from the recent hurricanes found that they were unable to care for their pets. In case of emergency, millions of pets are injured, abandoned, or lose their lives because their owners haven’t made a plan for their survival.

While human life is always important, you can still increase the odds of your pets surviving and thriving in both short and long term disaster scenarios.

Here are 10 essentials you should have assembled into a bug out bag or kit so that you and your pet will always be ready for any situation.

Food and Water

Unless your pet is on a very special diet, you should try to put together some extra food and water. For example, if you have a smaller animal that doesn’t eat much, it may not take much work to store away a few extra cans of food, or a small bag of dry food.

If you have a much larger animal that eats several pounds of food in just a few days, then you need extra planning. Since there are no nutrition dense MREs for animals, you will need to figure out a way to do what you can with a relatively limited food supply.

Here are some things you can do to feed your pet more easily during a major crisis.

Rely on Food Scraps

Introduce as many table scraps and other human foods as you can into your pet’s diet, but make sure that you don’t feed the animal foods that are poisonous to them.

There are several good lists online that will tell you what foods to avoid feeding animals based on their species. Contrary to popular belief, the biggest problem with feeding your pet human based foods is that their digestion gets accustomed to a specific kind of food.

When you make sudden changes, your pet may experience diarrhea or other problems that will pass once they adjust to the new food. The wider the selection of foods you feed your pet now, the better chance they will have of remaining healthy and strong when their own food is unavailable.

Once you are confident that your pet is accustomed to consuming human foods, you can pack similar foods for you and other humans that will be travelling with you.

Take into Account Caught Food

As with any other kind of food, the more chance your pet has to adapt to the different food types, the less risk they will have of developing digestive problems.

Giving your pet some human foods or hunted ones, and then stop and go back to feeding just commercial foods won’t be simple. As with your own body, conditioning for consuming different foods must be maintained by continually eating as much variety as possible.

Test if MREs work for Your Pet

If you are focusing mainly on MREs or other nutrient dense foods, make sure they are safe for your pet first. Remember that even humans can experience severe intestinal and other digestive problems because of the reduction in water content in these foods.

You may need to mix these foods with more water before feeding them to your pet, or find some other way to ensure they do not cause a serious medical problem.

Blankets and Bedding

Aside from providing a sense of security, blankets and bedding will be important for keeping your pet healthy. Whether it’s cold, or your pet gets wet, blankets and bedding can be a lifesaver.

Get your pet used to emergency blankets and other variants that you may have packed for your own use, since it would be easier to share these items with your pet if they are already accustomed to them.

Restraining Devices

Unless you are planning to bug out with a fish or some other animal that cannot live in open air, then you’ll need some kind of restraining device to keep your pet safe and under control at all times.

Even if your cat, rabbit, rat, ferret, chinchilla, or other mammalian pet usually travels in a carrier, you should also have a leash and harness available.

Cats can easily slip out of a collar, and given that most dislike leashes, you’ll need the harness for times when your cat needs to be out of the carrier.

If you have a dog, you may believe a collar and leash or a harness are enough of a restraining device.

But if you must stay in a shelter, or a rescuer will have to help you evacuate, a dog on a leash can be much harder to handle than one sitting in a carrier.

Your pet will be very stressed out by the situation, and if they are not used to so many strangers on top of everything else, it can spell disaster for you and anyone the dog encounters. It is best to have a carrier available so that the dog has a safe sanctuary and can also be handled with ease.

If your dog is too big, you should have a blanket or something else on hand that is large enough to wrap the dog up in. In an emergency situation where the dog is going to be in tight quarters, it will give you much better control than trying to work exclusively with a harness or collar.

Also, many dogs (and cats) calm down almost immediately when wrapped up in a blanket, which will also make transporting the dog in strange or close quarters a bit easier.

If you are trying to transport birds, make sure their flight feathers are properly clipped. As with cats, even though you may intend to transport birds in their cages, it is still very important to have a leash and harness. Be sure that your pet is comfortable with these devices so that they can have some time out of the cage.

Ownership and Vaccination Records

With so many fires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, you may wind up travelling across state lines in an effort to find safety. Also, if pets are going to be accepted in a nearby shelter, you’ll need to provide documents showing that your pet is vaccinated for rabies. that’s why you have to keep ownership and vaccination records in your pet’s survival kit.

While reviewing your pet’s vaccination records, ask about vaccination requirements to go across state lines, as well as for other states where your pet may travel. Make sure that you know all of the vaccination requirements for each state where you may go, as well as ones where you may be travelling through.

Many people don’t realize that laws surrounding specific pet breeds are getting as bad as gun type and accessory limits. You may own a pitbull that is legal in your state, but that doesn’t mean you can legally bring it into a city or state where they are outlawed.

Unless you have a letter from your doctor that the animal is medically necessary, it might not travel with your pet in time of need. Taking care of this problem is pretty simple.

If your pet gives you comfort and helps you manage stress, get a letter from your doctor stating that the pet is to be with you, including in public places, to ensure your pet can get into any shelter and travel across state lines. Since any animal deemed medically necessary is protected by federal law, states and cities cannot violate your rights just because of the animal’s breed or species.

Medical and Other Information Guides

Since veterinarians will also be concerned about trying to evacuate and taking care of their own families, you might not find a medical specialist to take care of your pet in case of disaster, so keep information available on how to treat ailments and injuries for your pets.

Learn how to recognize the signs of poisoning from common toxins, and whether you need to induce vomiting, or use some other means to ensure your pet survives the poisoning.

Learn basic anatomy and organ locations, bones and joints, and how best to immobilize them in the event of an injury. Learn how to treat wounds and stop bleeding, and how to use basic medical tools such as thermometers or other devices to better diagnose a problem.

You need to know what to do if your pet gets bitten by a snake, a poisonous insect, or something else that usually requires assistance from a veterinarian. Also, learn how to remove ticks, fleas, and other insects that can spread disease and cause other problems, and also how to clean ears, eyes, and other areas where dirt or insects can cause pain, injury, or loss of function.

Listings of Shelters, Rescues, and Other Sanctuaries

Preppers store away supplies and develop survival plans so that they wouldn’t rely on FEMA camps or similar arrangements. Even so, you might need to take refuge in some kind of shelter and many of these facilities won’t allow pets along even if you have enough food and adequate restraining devices.

Find out about shelters in your local area, and around that are willing to accommodate pets. If you have a federally registered service animal, you might bring that animal into any place of refuge as long as you have the letter from your doctor.

Tranquilizers

Does your dog bark at the sight of strangers around the house? Is your cat a whirl of claws and teeth any time you go near a veterinarian? You might accept these signs of distress, but they can be a problem when you and your pet must be in a strange place for days, weeks, or even months.

In a sense, pets are very much like young children. You can’t explain to them that they must remain calm or limit their aggressivity. Some difficult situations might appear when it may be best to simply give your pet a tranquilizer.

First, you can ask your vet for suitable medication, but there are also many over the counter herbal aides that have a sedative effect on animals. Pick one that is safe for your pet species and test it out before crisis, to make sure your pet is not allergic to it.

Finally, there products dedicated to calming animals without the use of drugs and herbs. Thundershirts and other products can keep your pet calm and also reduce the symptoms of stress. Try these products out before a crisis to see if they really have a calming effect on your pet.

Safe Herbs or Medications

Herbs can be used to treat a range of problems from a cold to managing wounds, pain, and other ailments. Make sure that you choose only herbs and medications that are safe for your pet.

Ask your veterinarian for a list of safe remedies as well as do some additional research online. In addition, your local pet store may also carry a number of products that may be of use.

Toys, Treats, and Comfort Items

As an adult, you may wear a religious item or carry something else that helps you feel calm even though it has no specific tangible purpose. Your pets will also derive a sense of calm from objects that have meaning – favorite toy, treats, or other items your pet associates with comfort and safety.

Don’t overlook your pet’s normal food and water dishes. If you are keeping a list of items to grab quickly in an evacuation, these two objects should be at the top of your list.

Euthanasia Tools or Drugs

Regardless of your pet’s age and current health condition, there’s always an increased risk of injury or disease during crisis. You focus on keeping your pet alive, but sometimes the animal might suffer with no possibility of recovery, and putting the pet out of its misery might be the best thing to do.

Even seasoned hunters are surprised to discover that there is a big emotional difference between taking the life of a game animal and killing a pet. Veterinarians will also tell you that euthanizing an animal is not always a smooth and easy process. That’s why you need both the means, tools, and skills necessary to do the job.

  • Many animals die from accidental poisoning, but don’t try to poison an animal as a means of euthanasia.
  • Most mammals will die fairly quickly if you insert a knife blade between the base of the skull and the first vertebrae. When combined with a tranquilizer or something that will cause your pet to lose consciousness, you reduce the amount of struggle and pain.
  • If you have a gun, then you can also shoot the animal. Here again, you might also want to use a tranquilizer so that there is less sign of physical pain.
  • Unless you are highly skilled at killing animals with clubs or other blunt instruments, don’t rely on them to euthanize your pet in time of need. Electricity, heart sticking, and gas are also cruel and inhumane no matter how you look at it.

Millions of animals are sitting in rescues and sanctuaries because their owners left them behind during hurricanes and other natural disasters. These owners didn’t think ahead, let alone prepare a survival kit for their pet.

It may take a little bit of work and planning to prepare for bringing a pet along during an evacuation, but saving your furry friend is well worth the effort!

banner_620x100_2

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Turn Your Cellar Into A Survival Shelter In 10 Steps

Click here to view the original post.

Modern threats continue to evolve, so it isn’t enough to simply store some food in your basement and hope that it will be enough to get you through the worst days of a disaster.

From nuclear contamination to massive epidemics caused by biowarfare agents, having a safe place to hide should be your primary concern. You might already have the best spot for this purpose, so you’ll need to put in a good bit of effort to turn your cellar into a survival shelter.

While these below ground rooms have many advantages, they can make your survival worse if not prepared with modern threats in mind.

Keep reading to find our how to make it fit for your survival needs!

Make Sure the Cellar is Sound

Before moving anything into the cellar or preparing it for survival needs, make sure that the basic structure is sound: the foundation is secure, and the ceiling and overhead structures will not give way.

Also, make sure the cellar is as free of dampness as possible.

Simply using Damp Rid or other moisture controllers may work for routine needs, but will not be of much help in a survival situation. You might spend weeks, or even months in the cellar, so you constantly need to try and manage dampness.

The cellar should also be free of mold, mildew, algae, and other signs of unwanted microorganisms, as their presence show the cellar is not fit to live in on long term. Mold can release toxic spores into the air and create numerous health risks.

If the cellar is not sound, and costs too much to repair, you better start a new one by digging out an underground bunker, then consider adding a tunnel that goes from the basement to the bunker. Aside from being cheaper, an underground bunker system is also much easier to expand as you build up your stockpile and think of new things to be included in your survival plans.

How To Build a Small Bunker in Your Backyard with $400

Manage Air Quality

One of the most important, yet overlooked parts of preparing a basement for survival revolves around ensuring air quality. Make sure that the cellar is air tight, because any air leaks can pose a serious hazard from nuclear fallout as well as infectious diseases and toxic gasses.

Once you are sure that the cellar is airtight, make sure that you can purify the air and restore oxygen to it. Use certain houseplants as well as air purifiers that are designed to release oxygen into the air.

Remember, most medical oxygen concentrators will not actually produce oxygen. Instead, they take air in, and simply let out more oxygen than other elements. If there is not enough oxygen in the air to begin with, these concentrators will be virtually useless.

You can still try keeping a few oxygen cylinders in the cellar, however they will not last more than a few hours.

Managing air quality must also include removing other toxins from the air. This includes exhaust fumes and anything else that may come in from the outside.

Activated carbon filters will offer the best means for cleaning the air. Do not forget, however, these filters must be replaced often to ensure a clean air supply. You should know how to make your own activated carbon, or reuse spent carbon, and then develop your own air filters.

Check Incoming Water Resource

Next to clean air, a reliable source of water is necessary. Don’t rely only on municipal or well water access in your cellar if a major social collapse occurs.

If you have municipal water, see if you can dig even a shallow well in the basement or nearby, and use hand pumps to move the water into the cellar. These pumps can be made from PVC, or you can purchase a metal pump that can pull water from further depths.

Don’t overlook the moisture already in the air, or any that may become available during living in the cellar. For example, as you can use fans and desiccants to concentrate water into a bucket, and then collect the evaporated water into a clean container.

You can also use a similar method to retrieve water from urine and any leftover water from cooking and washing. This is especially important if you have a small cellar and limited amounts of room for storing water or equipment that could be used to purify it.

Stay Safe with Food Storage

Technically speaking, you can get by for several days without food, as long as you have safe water to drink. If you were contaminated with nuclear radiation or have some other injury to deal with, nutritious food is going to be very important, especially in the first few days after a major crisis occurs.

This is just one of many reasons why you should store at least 2 – 4 weeks of food in the cellar. If you are short on space, try to store away MREs or other meals that are nutrient dense and require very little in the way of preparation.

When it comes to food storage, think well ahead to a time when you’ll begin putting your life back together, because once you emerge out of the celler, there will be no food available.

Even if you are fortunate enough to find a safe place to hunt and fish, you’ll still need to grow edibles for medicinal and food purposes. Store away a cache of heirloom seeds from as many plants as possible as well as instructions on how to grow them in conventional gardens, hydroponics arrangements, and indoors.

Plan Your Food Production

Not so long ago, sheltering in place for about 2 weeks would get you through most disasters. Today, bioweapons, larger numbers of people, and other problems may mean that you will need to stay in the cellar much longer.

When room and funds are limited, your next best option is to secure the means of growing sufficient amounts of food in the basement itself.

Here are three ways to produce biomass:

Sprouts

Basically you will be letting seeds from certain plants germinate, and then eat the sprouts when they are just a few days old. Choose plants that produce large numbers of seeds from a single plant (such as mustard), or large plants from a single seed (beans).

You will also need to be able to grow some plants to full maturity to produce enough seeds to consume. Since sprouts can produce several pounds of biomass from less than ¼ pound of seeds, it is well worth your while to explore this option.

Insect farms

Hundreds of ants, crickets, grubs, and other insects can be raised easily in shoe boxes and other small habitats. They can also live on kitchen scraps, or just about anything else depending on the insect species.

If the thought of consuming insects is troublesome, bear in mind that you are probably consuming almost a pound of insects a year from conventional food sources without realizing it. Insects easily get caught up in food production and processing machinery and find their way into the food supply.

To get started with consuming insects, grind them up into flour or something else that removes the visual effects of the insect it came from.

Mushrooms

These fungi easily grow in dark, cool, damp places. You can purchase mushroom kits with pre-seeded spores, as well as learn how to cultivate successive generations from those kits. You will need to practice mushroom growing skills, as it can be a bit dangerous to handle the spores.

Inexpensive, Easy to Build Cellar Will Protect Your Life and Supplies in the Next Crisis

Mind About Hygiene and Sanitation

One of the best additions you can make to your cellar is a composting toilet. This will make it possible to manage waste and recycle it for growing mushrooms or other edibles. Make sure that you research on the safety of these toilets, and how to manage them, because human waste carries many dangerous diseases and should be managed with care.

Make sure that you can wash clothes and keep your body as clean as possible while living in the cellar. Antibacterial wet wipes do not take up much room, so you should be able to store away enough of them to last for several months.

Insofar as washing clothes, you can use a 5-gallon bucket with a plunger agitator, or make a scrub bag with a washboard.

Insulate for Temperature Control

If you made the cellar airtight, then temperature control shouldn’t be very hard to do. Add extra insulation (sandbags work well and serve a second purpose of preventing bullet ricochets) to all the walls, floor, and ceiling, to help sound proof the cellar.

As the days and weeks go by, any people left above ground will be looking for food, water, and a safe shelter. If they hear sounds of life coming from your cellar, rest assured they will try to get in to see if there is anything of value. Never underestimate the determination or lack of integrity of panicking people that may form into loose bands of rioters or looters.

You will also need to prevent smoke or other signs of life from escaping out into the air around the cellar. Make sure that vents used for burning fuel are directed underground and in ways that they do not reach the surface near the cellar.

Unfortunately, this ventilation will be a necessary evil because you will already be in a closed space with a limited air supply. Even if you have carbon filters going around the clock to clean out toxins from the air, it may not be enough to keep up with fumes from burning various fuels. Try to see if you can use the heat from compost piles or other passive heating methods to heat the cellar.

Insofar as cooling, your quietest and safest options will revolve around 5-gallon bucket “air conditioners” and similar devices that require a minimal amount of electricity. You can also experiment with gravity fans or other devices that will run on mechanical energy instead of electricity.

Prepare Multiple Exits

Right now, you may not care much that there is only one way in and out of the cellar, but it could be a disaster in a time of need, especially if the cellar door is easily visible to others. If the cellar door is located inside the house, looters and others that break in can also find it and trap you where you are. These are just a few reasons why you need at least one secret exit out of the basement.

Cost wise, this may be one of the more expensive elements of converting your basement into a survival shelter. Among other things, you may need to drill through the floor to reach ground that can be dug out for a tunnel.

You’ll also need to fortify the tunnel so that the house doesn’t collapse. Ideally, the tunnel should come up somewhere along the boundary of your property, or some other area where you can come up to ground level without being seen. Disguise the entrance with shrubs, noxious plants such as poison ivy, or something else that others will avoid at all cost.

Defend Your Survival Cellar

No matter how hard you try, rioters or other bad people might discover your hiding place. You can use crossbows and develop zones of fire that will help you stave off attackers.

Depending on the size of the basement and the way it is set up, some guns types will be better than others. You’ll need a weapon that has suitable stopping power without tearing up the walls or other items stored in the cellar.

There are also ways to build trip wire alarm systems that will let you know if someone above ground has gotten too close to your shelter, or you can use your secret exit to get to ground level, and then do what is needed to solve the problem.

Don’t Skip Power and Communications

While taking up refuge in your cellar, finding out what is going on in the rest of the world is crucial. Crank radios can be of use, as can foxhole radios and small battery powered devices.

Limit power needs and devices to units that require the least amount of voltage and have rechargeable batteries. You won’t be able to use solar or wind power generation options, but don’t overlook bicycle generators, magnetic engines, and other devices that can be used to recharge batteries.

In fact, if there is one appliance that you should buy for your cellar, I would recommend a bicycle generator. Aside from producing a reasonable amount of electricity, it will help you stay in shape. Within just a few days of being in the basement, you will need the exercise if you expect to remain in any semblance of good condition.

Depending on the nature of the disaster, you may or may not want to reach out to others around you. It would still be a good idea to keep some basic tools nearby for this purpose. Banging on metal pipes will easily draw attention to your area, as will smoke signals.

Finally, if you can get above ground and want to reach a specific person, think about using a bullroarer. Make sure the person you are trying to contact knows to listen for your signal, and how to interpret the sounds.

Even as I write this, news is emerging that North Korea may be just as likely to use bioweapons as nuclear warheads. There are also many other disasters, both natural and manmade that may require retreating to a hardened shelter. In this case, your cellar is the perfect place to modify for this purpose! Be smart when planning your actions to survive disasters that are about to come!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Urban Survival: 10 Worst Places To Hide In The City If SHTF

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Even though the stock market is soaring, our nation is in more danger than ever because of extreme natural disasters and rogue factions itching to run riot.

Now consider these problems along with the very real potential for food shortages, an escalation of the war with North Korea, and general increases in contagious diseases.

No matter how much or little prepping you have done, the fact remains something can still catch you off guard at any time. If you are in a city, and need a place to hide, it is very easy to make a bad decision.

Have a look at 10 places you might go to without thinking, and wind up with even more problems than you had before.

Open Areas Above Ground

There are many situations where you will need to get out of the building you are in as quickly as possible. If there is a fire, flood, or the building is struck by some kind of bomb, then you have to get out before the building collapses.

Once you are clear of the building, the worst thing you can do is stay out in the open, as a lot of bad things can happen:

  • Debris and smoke from the building can easily fly in all directions and land on you.
  • If you ran outside because of an earthquake, surrounding buildings may also begin to cave in and send debris in all directions.
  • If the situation involves several buildings, other people will also be panicking and trying to get out of the buildings as fast as possible. You can easily be stampeded or injured as people try to get away from danger as quickly as possible.
  • Do not make the mistake of trying to get in your car and hoping it will shelter you. A car has an even weaker frame than a building. Falling debris can easily crush it and leave you trapped inside. In addition, if there is a bad enough panic, people may literally try to tear your vehicle apart or take other actions to prevent you from leaving the scene.

After you successfully leave a building that you feel is dangerous, the best thing you can do is get underground as quickly as possible.

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Find out in time which manhole covers in your city offer safe access tunnels or other areas to hide in. In general, service tunnels will be safer than subways or other popular public areas in situations where hostile forces are attempting to take over the city.

Upper Floors of Any Building

Unless you are dealing with a hurricane or other flood that prevents you from getting to the ground level, stay away from the upper floors of a building. The upper floors are always the weakest, and also the hardest to escape from on your own.

No matter whether you are afraid of your building being taken over by hostile forces, or you must escape a fire, once you reach the top floor, you can still wind up being trapped. If you must go to the upper floors of a building, try to have the following on hand:

  • A cell phone, pocket mirror, or something else you can use to signal that you need help
  • Heavy duty rope and hooks that you can use to attach the rope to another building. You will need to practice your skills to make it safely from one building to another.
  • An ax for breaking down walls or through roofs An ax can also be used for defense if nothing else is available.

Places With Easily to See Doors or Windows

The ability to get out of a building easily can also spell disaster if unwanted people can get to you and trap you in your location. If you are truly trying to hide from other people, the worst thing you can do is be anywhere near a door or window.

If there is a visible door or window that can be breached, people looking for you or anything of value will try to get in. If you have a panic room or a basement hiding place, maintain their exits without drawing unwanted attention:

  • Use poison ivy, nettles, and other noxious plants to cover secret entrances and exits. This includes exit points coming up from tunnels or other underground locations. Just remember to have coveralls and suitable tools for cutting the vegetation away so that you can make your escape with as little pain as possible.
  • Cover up a back door, side entrance, or window with faux siding. Repaint your home or take other steps to make the covering look as permanent as possible. You should still be able to knock the covering out with ease in time of need. Your goal is to make the window or exit invisible to outside observers. Even if neighbors do remember a window or door in that location, the covering will hopefully make people overlook the area since they will think it is closed off.
  • Try to make at least one exit tunnel in your basement or crawlway to a location at or near the boundary of your property. Be sure you know where all gas and other maintenance lines are so you do not tunnel in those areas.

Near Roadways or Other Traffic Areas

Regardless of the crisis type, people will be trying to escape in their vehicles, and the worst thing you can do is try to hide in a traffic jam or near a crowded roadway.

In these instances, road blocks, surveillance teams, and even hostile forces can see you and control you with relative ease. No matter whether you have plans to get out of the city, or you decide to stay close to home, it is never a good idea to be near roadways or heavy traffic.

If you must use roadways or be near them, you can choose one of two times:

  • First, if you are certain that you can get through a roadblock or other impediment with no problems, then do so when it would be normal for people like you to be passing through the area.
  • Second, you can try to slip through when there is a situation going on. If someone else panics or causes a disruption that leads to a grouping of people around an area away from a passage point, you can try to slip through.

Schools

One has only to look at the number of mass shootings in “gun free” school zones to know they are absolutely the most dangerous places on Earth. Aside from that, never forget that Timothy McVeigh and many others intent on mayhem these days don’t need guns to destroy schools.

People with criminal intent will go there first because they know they will have as much time as they want to carry out their sick plans before someone with a gun gets there to stop them at the scene or apprehend them later on. No matter where you go, if you are in a city and need a safe place to go, avoid schools at all cost.

While most people in the United States don’t give it much thought, schools are also likely to be the target of hostile takeover in a time of riots and other forms of severe national distress. Any criminal or terrorist will flock to a school first because it is poorly defended and helpless children in harm’s way makes for a huge media splash.

Schools are also not the best places to go in the event of a natural disaster. Even though they often have generators and the room to accommodate large numbers of people, many of these buildings are on the verge of being structurally unsound.

Check the maintenance records and needs of local schools, and you may be surprised to find out they may not hold up very well in the face of a hurricane or other severe weather condition. Without a question, if you are in an inner city area or other poor neighborhood, the schools may be in worse condition than other buildings in the area.

Hospitals

In many senses, hospitals are as dangerous as schools, and for the same reasons. Hospitals may have weak or failing building structures, and they also house vulnerable people whose condition may easily grab media attention.

While hospitals do have better security staffing than schools, it may still not be enough to overcome problems created by large numbers of people in panic mode. If the situation is bad enough, people may even try to storm the hospital to steal food, drugs, or anything else than can be of use.

At this time, we would all like to think that in time of need, hospitals will be safe from scavenging and other predatory behaviors because our culture has deeply ingrained values about the sanctity of a medical setting.

That being said, we also live in a culture of sick video games and the unhealthy crossing of many other boundaries. Do not be surprised if at some point hospitals also become prey to predation during times of crisis.

Depending on the situation, hospitals can also be places where you can catch some very dangerous diseases. Right now, hospitals do have better air filtering systems than you would find in other areas. On the other side of the equation, if the cause of the crisis is disease related, that also means people infected will go to the hospital for treatment.

As a result, if you are still healthy, going to the hospital may expose you to the disease unnecessarily.

Churches

When I was growing up, my mother always said “if you are in a bad way and have no place else to turn, go to the church”. While many of the things my mother said have withstood the test of time, I cannot help but question going to a church for safety in time of need.

As with schools, churches have become the target of lunatics and predators seeking to harm the unarmed and the vulnerable.

To add insult to injury, as our society slips closer and closer to complete mass disruption, it is possible that churches will be targeted just to kill off those who avow a specific faith. Our history as far back as time goes is one in which people are ruthlessly slaughtered for their beliefs and affiliations.

Depending on the type of crisis, going to a church for shelter may truly be the worst thing you can do. While a church may offer suitable shelter from a blizzard or other relatively short term situation, I don’t recommend it for matters where civil unrest is expected.

Above Ground Areas of Malls or Other Public Gathering Locations

Large numbers of people in malls or other large public shelters can pose a number of problems. First, under stressful situations, you never know what, when, or how a stampede will get started. As the waves of panic ripple through the crowd, it may be impossible for you to escape.

If you are dealing with any kind of hostile takeover, rest assured that occupying forces will always look to subdue the largest numbers of able bodied people as quickly as possible. This, in turn, means, they will go to the malls and other areas where large numbers of people will prevent evacuation and escape.

Needless to say, if you are concerned about air raids, bombings, or other hostile acts, the enemy will still seek to hit maximize casualties by hitting large and popular public areas.

It is important to remember that underground areas of malls may still provide a safe place to hide in the city. For example, older malls may actually have long forgotten bomb shelters in the basement, or other areas that are fortified enough to ensure some degree of safety.

Therefore, if you have malls nearby, make it a point to see if underground parking garages or other underground facilities housed in the mall may be of use in a time of need.

Temporary Camps

During crisis, there is a natural tendency for people to try and organize in order to regain stability as quickly as possible. Some say temporary camps may be useful in the first hours or days after some natural disasters.

Here are just a few problems that you might face if staying at a temporary shelter in a city for too long:

  • Within a fairly short period of time, criminals and other unsavory people will try to take advantage of the situation, trying to rob you or hurt you. Order can, and does, break down very quickly in temporary camps despite access to food and other basics.
  • As with hospitals, you may also wind up being exposed to many illnesses, which is especially important if the crisis occurs during the flu season or another time when communicable diseases are likely to spread quickly in tight quarters.
  • If extensive areas of the outer society collapse, you will be a sitting duck and forced to go wherever you are told to go. While this may not be a problem if it is our national guard, police, or FEMA officials directing you to a safer location, it can be a huge problem if an invading force or hostile insurgents take over the camp.

Overall, temporary camps set up for crisis management can be of help, especially if you have no bug out plans or do not know where to begin to put your life back together after a large scale crisis.

It is still worth your while to get out of the camp as quickly as possible so that you can avoid problems associated with living in such close contact with others.

Places Where You Do Not Blend in With Others

Many people believe there is safety in numbers. As long as you are wearing the same kinds of clothes and act the same as the local people, then it is possible for you to hide in plain sight even in a big city during a major crisis.

On the other hand, if you don’t fit into the local scenery, then you may become a target for just about anyone that decides they have a reason to attack you. The only way to make sure you will be safe merging into a crowd for any reason during a crisis is to practice your skills now.

Just because you live in a city, that doesn’t mean your local area cannot be hit by massive floods, fires, or hostile takeovers. In fact, if you are in a city during a major crisis, the sheer number of people trying to deal with the situation can easily work against you.

When facing these kinds of situations, you must always think objectively about possible places where you can go to be safe.

Avoiding the ten problem areas listed in this article, and you may have a better chance of survival and find a suitable shelter before it’s too late!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

The Best 10 Tips For Survival Camping In The Rain

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You might love walking in the rain, but it doesn’t mean you enjoy being stuck in the rain while camping. If you are in a situation where you are camping out of necessity, getting caught unprepared for rain storms can lead to illness and many other problems.

Survival camping in the rain does not require much equipment, but you will still need to know what to do to get the most out of the basics you should already have in your everyday carry (EDC) bag.

Important Items to Have Onhand

Whether you are camping in an open field, a forest, or some other outdoor setting, you need basic items onhand. Ideally, these items (and others) should be with you at all times, regardless of where you go, so you could use them for your survival.

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If you already have them in your pocket book or some other wearable EDC (they take up about 1 liter of space or the size of a medium fanny pack), then you are well on your way to being fully capable of camping comfortably and safely in the rain.

  • Your EDC bag should be waterproof. Failing that, everything in the bag should be kept in Ziploc freezer bags or some other waterproof container.
  • A printed instruction book – you can use anything from laminated index cards to a small notebook for storing important information on how to start fires, treat medical emergencies, purify water, and build a basic shelter. You can start with the basic topics in this article, and then build on the information to address other scenarios. Do not forget you can also print diagrams and other pictures from online resources and include them in the book.
  • A knife
  • Flashlight
  • Waterproof matches, tinder cloth, and tea lights
  • Paracord
  • Screwdriver kit
  • File or emory boards
  • Sewing kit
  • Bandages, gauze, tweezers, cotton swabs, tissues, and tape
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Medicines and herbs in accordance with your needs. Do not forget you can divide salves and powders into straws and seal both ends for single use packages.
  • Rubbing alcohol or swabs
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Heavy duty construction bags
  • Plastic shopping bags
  • Rice (approximately 2 cups stored in a waterproof bag)
  • Small packets of salt, sugar, electrolyte, and nutrition bars
  • Water
  • Compass
  • Water purifying straws
  • Solar powered battery charger
  • Dish towel
  • Pair of socks
  • Electronic devices in accordance with personal needs and preferences

Avoid Lightning

While you may be more concerned about getting away from all the rain, it is very important to make sure you remain safe from lightning.

Here are some basic tips:

  • Don’t use an umbrella or anything else metallic that will draw lightning to you.
  • If you have a tent, make sure it does not conduct electricity.
  • Don’t camp under trees or areas where lightning may jump onto you.
  • Try to stay in areas where shrubs or low growth is of uniform height
  • Don’t go to the high ground or any area where lightning will try to use you as the fastest path to the ground
  • Remain in the trench or safe area for at least ½ after you no longer see lightning or hear thunder.
  • Stay away from water, especially in ponds, mud puddles, or any other standing water. Even if lightning does not hit you, but does hit the water, it will still shock you and may kill you.
  • If you try to wait out the storm in a ditch or other depression in the ground, make sure water is not flowing in it. You may have to abandon the ditch if you see water starting to build up or flow. In this situation, stay as close to the ground as you can while moving to another area of safety.

Avoiding Flash Floods and Related Hazards

In some ways, staying safe from floods and mudslides while camping in the rain is just the opposite of staying safe from lightening. When it comes to floods, you will be seeking the high ground as much as possible.

The best way to avoid problems with flash floods and mudslides is to be familiar with the area you are in. Stay away from areas where flooding and mudslides occur.

If you are not familiar with the area, then make sure you know the signs of areas where floods and slides are likely. This might include studying signs of previous floods in creek beds, rock patterns, and other indicators that problems may develop during a rainstorm.

Waterproof Shelter

With a few hours and suitable natural resources, you can build a shelter that will last for several days and be waterproof. This includes making small A-frame shelters from saplings as well as using vines and other materials for thatching and walls.

Video first seen on Haven.

If you do not have tarp on hand to build simple shelters, you can still bind together large leaves or grasses to make a mat. This includes using rushes and reeds found near the edge of ponds and streams. Insofar as short term shelters, just about anything will do as long as you can braid or knot it to keep the pieces together.

Once you have a basic mat built, you can plug up any holes in the structure with a mixture of grass and mud. Alternatively, if there are pine trees nearby, you can collect the sap and make pitch out of it.

If you happen to find a small hill and have more time, you can also create a small dugout shelter. Just make sure that you fortify the walls and have a suitable exit in case the structure floods or leaks in the rain.

If the rain hits suddenly, you can use a large size construction bag as a poncho until you find a place sheltered enough to build a fire. Keep at least one bag ready for this purpose.

Just cut a hole for your head to fit through the bottom of the bag and then pull the bag on when needed. When cutting arm holes, make sure there is enough plastic to drape wide over your shoulders so that rain doesn’t drip into the sides of the bag.

If there is a breeze, or you must move around to accomplish some other task, simply use some paracord to tie the bag closer to your body.

Starting and Maintaining a Fire

From drying out clothes to keeping animals away, being able to build a fire in the rain is the most important thing you can do. If you are carrying waterproof matches, tinder cloth, and tea lights, most of the work of finding suitable burn materials will already be done. All you will need to do is find some dry wood for the fire.

This may include anything from saplings to the inner material of fallen tree trunks. To start a fire with what you have:

  • Use the waterproof matches to ignite the tinder cloth. Some people also use cotton balls or dryer lint soaked in petroleum jelly for this purpose.
  • A tea light will provide necessary fuel until smaller bits of kindling catch fire. If you do not have a tea light, try using a pine cone.
  • There are several different ways to stack the logs when building a fire . Try out different methods before you are caught in the rain to see which one you are most comfortable with.

Get Dry and Stay Dry

Once you have a decent fire going, dry out your clothes and remove as much dampness as possible from your skin. This is especially important if you are prone to taking chills, or catch colds easily.

If you have a small towel on hand, use that to dry off, and then use the fire to dry out your clothes.

Unless you have a shelter, staying dry can be difficult as long as it is still raining. A plastic bag poncho will still keep the worst of the rain off you, but it can also block off the movement of sweat away from your skin. As a result, you must be very careful to pay attention to when your clothes feel damp, or open the bag up to allow it to vent from time to time. Needless to say, you will not be able to use the bag as a covering when sitting by the fire.

Drying Out Electronic Devices

Unless you are camping during a complete social collapse, you might obtain cell service as long as your phone works. In addition, you may also need your phone to access other information, especially if you don’t have a set of printed notes with you.

If your cell phone or solar power charging kit got wet, start off by removing as much moisture as you can with cotton swabs and tissues. Do not forget to remove the battery and dry as much as you can in the battery compartment.

Be careful when drying off the gold contacts located on the battery as you do not want to inadvertently short it out. From there, if the device doesn’t start working when you reinstall the battery, store it in a bag of rice for 24 – 36 hours.

The rice will, hopefully, absorb enough moisture so that your device will work properly again.

Navigating in the Rain

Many people that go camping stay in one place while it is raining. While this may have advantages insofar as keeping a fire going and having a reliable shelter, it may not work in a survival situation.

If you must reach a distant location in a short period of time, you may not have hours or days to waste sitting in one location. You will also need food and water fairly quickly. Even if you aren’t going to move very far away from the campsite, you may still need to find your way around and back to it.

Video first seen on The Hidden Woodsmen.

When navigating in the rain, keep in mind a few things.

Use Laminated Maps

If you are traveling a distance, laminate your maps on both sides, with the edges sealed, and keep them in a waterproof bag.

There are few things worse than thinking your map is waterproof, only to lay it down on a damp surface and see it get soaked from the bottom. By the same token, a map that does not have sealed edges can also pick up moisture very quickly and carry it into the printed area.

Write Down Your Position

Always write down compass readings while moving away from the campsite, to have a better chance of backtracking to find your previous location. Remember, even if you only go a few feet away from the campsite, it can be very easy to get confused and wind up going in the wrong direction.

Leave Trail Markers

You can use anything from patterns of stones on the ground making arrows to carving markers in trees to help you find your way back to the campsite or some other area of interest.

Use a Walking Stick

In order to reduce the risk of falling or incurring other injuries, use a walking stick while it is raining and the ground is wet. Wet leaves with hidden mud under them can easily cause you to slip and fall, especially if you are traveling along a decline and hidden rocks slip out from under your feet.

Using a walking stick will also help you avoid stepping on snakes or other creatures that might be hiding in the leaves. If you are not a seasoned hiker or aren’t paying enough attention to where you put your feet, it is very easy to get startled, lose your balance, and wind up with sprains, cuts, bruises, or broken bones.

Put the Fire Out Before Leaving

Even if you are planning to return to the campsite, put the fire out before you go. It is never a good idea to leave a fire unattended regardless of the weather or how assured you feel that you will return in time to take care of a problem. It simply isn’t worth the risk to keep a fire going if you don’t have eyes on it at all times and are ready to put it out if something goes wrong.

Signaling Without Electronic Devices

Unfortunately, if it is raining, you will not be able to use a mirror to capture light from the sun and signal for help. If your cell phone isn’t working, that leaves using sound and smoke.

Here are some things you can try to draw helpers to your site:

  • Use the fire to generate a smoke signal. Make sure the fire is in an open area where as much smoke as possible will be seen by others.
  • Make a whistle from reeds or other hard, hollow stems. You can also use your knife to carve out a whistle that may send sound further out.
  • If you have been hunting, take skins from fish or animals and stretch them over a hollowed out tree stump. Next, simply beat on the skins to create a drum sound.
  • Make a bullroarer or similar device – these devices have been used for thousands of years and in cultures all over the world to send information over long distances. They are little more than thin pieces of wood attached to a rope. As the wood is spun, it makes a sound that can be heard for miles around.

Video first seen on Jungle Jay Adventures.

Managing Illness and Injuries

Overall, there isn’t much difference between managing illnesses in the rain and when the weather is clear. You will still need to keep wounds clean and dry.

If you have a sprained ankle or broken bone, you will still use the same methods to isolate them in order to prevent further damage. That all being said, when it rains, you may want to take some extra precautions to avoid getting sick.

For example, if you are comfortable with using garlic, ginger, or other herbs that reduce inflammation and kill off a wide range of bacteria, you may want to take them to stave off an infection.

Camping in the rain can come with a set of special challenges that you may not give much thought when the sun is shining. Even people that have gone camping before may not always think about keeping a set of tools in their EDC that can be used in case they are stuck in a situation where they must camp outdoors for survival purposes.

Today, you can look over your EDC gear and see if you have everything you need to survive camping for a day or more in the rain. If you do, then you will be well served by practicing your skills the next time it rains.

Even if you camp out in your backyard for a few hours, it will give you some good ideas about what skills you need to hone as well as how best to use the gear that you have on hand. Use any opportunity to practice your survival skills as this can save your life one day!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Surviving Winter: 10 Easy Ways To Cut Your Electricity Bills

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Each time you get your electric bill, it is sure to be a revolting experience. If you live in a highly regulated community, have little property to work with, or live in an apartment, it may seem like you will never find a way to generate sufficient electricity.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do with relative ease to cut your electric usage by 50% or more.

Target the Most Power Hungry Devices First

If you stop and think about where the most electricity is being used in your home, you’ll immediately name:

  • electric hot water heater
  • air conditioner
  • electric heaters
  • central heating blower
  • electric cooking stove
  • refrigerator
  • washer/dryer
  • dishwasher

As you look at this list, you may feel even more helpless because it may seem like there is no way to cut back on the usage of these appliances and still live comfortably. There are actually several ways to cut your electric usage from these devices with relatively little effort and almost no cost.

You may need to make a few adjustments to how you go about each day, it will be more than worth the effort.

Turn the Hot Water Heater on Only Once a Day

If you have an electric hot water heater, chances are it runs around the clock. Do you really need hot water at 2 am?  Is it really necessary for that heater to be going on and off all day long, even when you aren’t home or using the water at all?

Some people can afford the expense of a flash heater that produces hot water only as needed, you may find it necessary to improvise.

The easiest thing you can do is take a look at your power box. The hot water heater uses more current, so it has a circuit breaker all its own. If you cannot afford an electrician, or don’t’ have access to the hot water heater’s power switch, simply throw the circuit breaker that goes to the heater. When you need hot water, simply set the breaker so that current can flow to the heater again.

At the beginning, you will need to figure out how much time it takes for a tank of water to heat up.

For example, if it takes one hour to heat the water up, then you would turn the heater on one hour before you do the dishes, take a shower, or use the hot water for some other purpose. Once the water is hot enough or you are ready to use it, simply shut the heater back off.

Insulate the Hot Water Heater

If you aren’t comfortable with turning the hot water heater on and off, then you can at least insulate the heater. All you need is fireproof sheet insulation for this purpose. In fact, most hardware stores sell insulation for this purpose.

Depending on how cold the area is where the hot water heater is located, you may want to wrap the insulation around the heater more than once. Just make sure the insulation does not touch any electrical parts or areas that need to be left open for one reason or another.

As an additional note, if you do decide to turn the heater on and off manually, you can still increase your savings by insulating the heater. Whether the heater is located in a cold basement, or is in some other out of the way place, the insulation will reduce the amount of heat escaping from the unit.

This will also cut down on the amount of time required to heat the water, which, in turn, can only help reduce your electric bill.

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Use a Wet Fabric Barrier in Front of Box Fans

If you thought the hot water heater was an energy hog, chances are you don’t feel much better about the air conditioner.

So when temperatures soar into the 90’s or into the triple digits, then you will need to do something to cool down your home or risk getting very sick. In many cases, you can reduce your air conditioner usage by 30% or more by taking advantage of box fans and moisture.

Evaporating water leads to cooling until such a time when the air can no longer take in more water. This point is determined, in part, by the temperature of the air. If you are using box fans, you can increase the capacity for cooling by putting a screen of wet fabric in front of them. Use thin to sheer fabrics that will dry easily in the draft from the fan.

For the sake of saving space, and creating an increased flow of cool air, you can also try making an “air conditioner” from a 5 gallon bucket fan and a desktop fan.

fan should fit without falling

This design can be adapted to fit all different sized fans and areas.  In fact, if you are looking to build an air conditioner on a budget, you can even use buckets from the dollar store, and cheap fans from the flea market.

Take Advantage of Solar Window Sill Coffee

While you are in the process of taming major energy hogs such as the heating and cooling systems, look at any appliances you use as a matter of routine. Many people are truly amazed at how much electricity it takes to make a pot of coffee in an electric coffee maker, and then keep it warm.

Unless you are in a household where four or five people want a cup of coffee all at the same time, it will make more sense to brew your coffee on a window sill. There are a number of solar powered coffee makers that will produce a single cup of coffee, or keep it warm for several hours.

Just put these solar coffee makers in a windowsill and fill them with water and coffee.  Even if you still need a cup of coffee from a conventional coffee maker before the sun comes up, you can still use the solar powered coffee maker for the rest of the day.

If you don’t mind instant coffee, you don’t even need a dedicated window sill coffee maker to get a hot cup of coffee. Take a mason jar and paint it dull black. Set the jar in a small box made of aluminum foil, and let the heat and light from the sun land on the aluminum foil. As the sun hits the foil, it will bounce onto the blackened mason jar. The black paint will absorb the heat, which will warm up the water inside the vessel. Once the water is hot enough, all you need to do is add the coffee.

Solar Cooking in the Summer

Chances are, during the summer months, you won’t be as interested in hot meals. You may also exchange using the stove top and oven for the microwave. Even if you have a small, low wattage microwave, it will still use a good bit of power.

You can achieve the same results as you would get on your stove top or conventional oven by using a solar cooker. To get started, you can experiment with a cardboard box and some tinfoil. Later on, as you get accustomed to solar cooking, you may want to build something that remains in one place.

Aside from being healthier and cheaper than using a microwave, solar cookers can also be adapted for drying foods in bulk. If you have a garden, or go to local farms during peak crop seasons, this is the perfect way to dry foods for usage later on.

Try Thermos Cooking

Have you ever noticed that there is not taking the place of a bowl of oats, a plate of spaghetti, or a cup of hot soup? There is no reason to give up your crock pot, you can use thermos cooking for some meals, as well as for warming up others.

Video first seen on TheModernSurvivalist.

Basically, instead of cooking food or heating it up all the way on the stove, you let it finish to cook in an insulated vessel such as a thermos.

To get the most from this form of cooking, keep the following in mind:

  • Typically, you will save anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes of active heating time depending on the food type
  • Meat, eggs, and other foods that can carry disease should still be cooked to the proper internal temperature and for the proper duration.  While you may want to mix them with other foods for warm up, they should not be cooked using thermos cooking methods.  For the most part, you will be somewhat limited to pasta, grains, beans, and pre-cooked soups.
  • As pasta cooks, it continues to absorb water. You will have to watch carefully to make sure it doesn’t absorb too much water while it is sitting in the thermos.  Different pasta shapes will also absorb water at different rates.  Elbows tend to take longer to turn into mush than spaghetti strands, so it may be best to master them before moving onto other shapes.
  • A good quality thermos with good insulation will be more effective than a cheaper one. Remember, it is the insulative properties of the thermos that will enable the food to continue “cooking” using the heat already contained by the food.
  • You may need to use different sized thermoses based on the amount of food you plan on preparing.  Remember, air inside the thermos will also heat up. Therefore, if you don’t want the food to lose all of the heat it contains, it is best to use a smaller sized thermos for smaller amounts of food.

Insulate Your Refrigerator

If you have children at home, then you know just how much electricity is being used each time the refrigerator door is opened or closed. While you can’t do much of anything about this particular problem, you can take steps to make sure the cold temperatures are preserved as much as possible.

As with insulating the hot water heater, you will be amazed at how much electricity you can save when you insulate the refrigerator. In this case, you can save 10 – 20% of your total electric usage by adding insulation boards onto the sides and top of the refrigerator. Remember to insulate the doors to save even more.

When it comes to reducing the electrical usage for your refrigerator, it may also help to take a look at where it is located. For example, is it located near the stove, heat registers, or some other area where heat builds up? If so, move it to a colder or draftier part of the kitchen. Not only will the refrigerator will be in a naturally cooler place, it may even warm that corner up a bit with the heat released from the device’s operations.

Use Salt and Ice in the Freezer

Unlike your hot water heater, it isn’t so easy to simply shut the refrigerator off and remain confident that foods will remain at a safe temperature. A refrigerator or freezer may go for as much as 24 – 48 hours in an emergency situation, but it doesn’t mean you should make a habit of shutting the fridge off for this long.

On the other hand, there are some things you can do to keep foods frozen even if the temperature setting is a good bit higher than what you would normally use.

Once you get accustomed to this method, you may also be able to shut the refrigerator down altogether for a few hours at a time and still not have to worry about added electrical usage to regain a suitable temperature. Just make sure that the compressor unit and other parts will not be damaged by being shut off and on in this manner.

Storing foods in ice mixed with salt will keep them in good condition for several days even without electricity. When combined with insulating the outside of the refrigerator unit, you may be able to cut freezer usage by as much as 50%.

As an added bonus, since the freezer always takes more energy than the refrigerator, you can have peace of mind knowing that you cut back on a major part of electricity usage for this particular appliance. From there, all you will need to do is figure out how you will cut back on the refrigerator side of the unit.

Some options may include buying a very small, energy efficient refrigerator unit and insulating it to get the most from it so that you don’t have to worry about the larger unit taking up so much electricity.

Put Computers and Other Appliances on a Power Strip

Computers, printers, and all sorts of other electronic devices draw small amounts of current even if the power switch is shut off.  While it may not seem like much at first glance, it can add up to as much as $20.00 or more per year.

This constant flow of electricity through TVs, monitors, and other appliances can also wear out power switched and shorten the life of the device. The easiest and cheapest thing you can do is put all your appliances on a power strip, and then shut down the switch on the strip when you are done using the devices.

Today, you can also purchase good quality power strips with fuses and circuit breakers on them that will help protect your devices from brownouts and power surges.  If you decide to experiment with generating power later on, these power strips can truly be very handy and save you a bit of money.   Just be sure to replace them on a regular basis, as the surge protection parts can degrade over time and fail when you need them most.

As you set up your system of surge protectors, you may also want to add timers. Let’s say you decide to put the coffee maker, toaster, or other appliance commonly used for making breakfast on a power strip. An external timer that doesn’t use electricity to count down can still be used to make sure the device(s) have power so they start up at the proper time.

Trying to find ways to cut back on the electric bill can seem like a daunting task. Whether you are stymied by the power usage for large appliances or small ones, there are always ways to cut back without losing all that you gain from having electricity.

While you are formulating plans to generate power, you can still take these simple steps to save electricity and see how they work for you. Once your electric bill starts going down, you are sure to be more motivated than ever to see how much more you can cut, and then see how best to meet the electricity needs for what is left on your list.

Keep looking for new ways to reduce your costs, as it will help your long term prepping!

 

 

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

5 Essential Lighting Tips For Growing Food Indoors

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Many people are wondering when a “perfect storm” of problems will cause massive food shortages.

From ISIS infiltrators poisoning our food to large scale weather disruptions in key crop areas to financial system collapse, there is no such thing as an assured food supply in the years to come. Outdoor gardens, farms, and other places where food can be obtained are likely to be looted by desperate people.

While it may seem like a stretch to try and grow all needed food indoors, it is entirely possible. Even if you focus on micro greens or sprout farms, you still need to bring enough plants to maturity and through the seeding stage to grow enough food over long periods of time.

This means that you’ll need indoor lighting so that your food bearing plants are as healthy and productive as possible.

1. Light Colors and Ratios

Before discussing the best light colors (or wavelengths) for plants, it is important to understand the difference between the light color spectrum and the physical color spectrum.

The light color spectrum describes light in terms of the frequency of the wavelength emitted, while the physical color spectrum is often described by which frequencies are reflected by the material.

White light is the combination of all colors in the light spectrum while white objects repel or reflect all light frequencies black objects absorb all light. Since most plant leaves are green, they repel all light frequencies in the green range, while absorbing everything else.

The primary colors in the light color spectrum are Red, Green, and Blue; which is distinctly different from the physical primary colors: Red, Yellow, and Blue.

Since green is reflected by plant leaves, a full third of all sunlight is actually of no use to growing plants. The amount of light and intensity produced by the sun is still enough to avoid creating problems for plants, so long as they receive enough sunlight based on their specific needs.

Even though the amount of light produced by artificial lighting methods may seem incredibly bright to our eyes, at least one third or more will be discarded by plants depending on the actual light frequencies produced by the bulbs.

What appears to be “white” light from certain sources isn’t actually a full spectrum color and may have far too much green for good plant growth.

Incandescent and fluorescent bulbs not specifically designed with coatings that optimize the light frequencies emitted for good plant growth will be virtually useless no matter how many of them you pack into a specific area.

As an analogy, it can be said that using the wrong frequency for good plant growth is a bit like trying to address an illness like scurvy (caused by Vitamin C deficiency) by doubling or tripling carbohydrate intake.

Until the proper amount of Vitamin C is consumed, nothing else you eat will solve the problem. In a similar way, light is a form of food for plants, and must be delivered in the proper frequencies for optimal growth.

Discover the golden days’ practice for getting all you can eat food without buying from the supermarket!

To get the most from artificial lights, focus your efforts on blue and red light, as well as the ratio of blue to red for specific phases of plant growth.

Since this amount may be different for each species of plant, you may have to do some experimenting to figure out which light frequency ratios work best for your plants, as well as how to shift those ratios over the growing season.

Just as an example, however, one study done on tomatoes found that:

  • plants grew the fastest and produced the most leaves when the red to blue ratio was 19:1.
  • plants produced the most fruit when the red to blue ratio was 5:1.

2. Light Density

Have you ever tried to grow miniature roses indoors and wondered why it never seems to work? As small as these plants are compared to wild and full sized strains, it does not change the fact that roses require far more light intensity than many other plant types on Earth.

Even if you get the right ratio of red to blue light for roses, it doesn’t mean the plant will grow properly indoors. If the intensity, (or amount of light packed into a specific area) isn’t enough, the rose bush will still fail to grow properly, and will more than likely die.

Our eyes can be as easily fooled into wrong estimations of light intensity just as they can the actual colors actually being emitted by a light source. In this case, once again, the intensity of light that seems incredibly bright to your eyes may seem almost non-existent to the plant in terms of its nutritional needs.

When it comes to plants, the light intensity for plants varies widely. For example, a miniature rose may shrivel up and die in just a month or two on a sunny windowsill while parsley, violets, and other plants better adapted to lower light intensities will thrive.

Information about the general optimal light intensity for many food bearing plants is much easier to obtain than information on optimal light color ratios. All you need to do is look up whether plants do better in full sun, partial sun, or shade.

To get started on experimenting with indoor food growing, all you have to do is pick plants that prefer shade. Once you get your lighting system set up, you may be able to start working with plants that do well in partial shade.

While you can use a light meter to help gauge light intensity, you may also need to find a more specialized photometer to make sure that the intensity for each light frequency is correct for each plant species.

This will also take a good bit of trial and error as there is still not much information freely available on this topic. As more people work with indoor hydroponics and growing food indoors, this lack of information may change.

3. Light Duration for Growth Stages

Have you ever noticed that you feel crankier, more tired, or more stressed as the amount of daylight gets shorter? Aside from helping your body make Vitamin D, the amount of light you are exposed to each day also governs many other biological processes.

When you don’t have enough light, it can lead to illness and all sorts of other problems. While you may be able to cope with this readily enough when you are in your youth and middle ages, the later years of life may come with “sundown syndrome”, which may also get worse in the shift from fall to winter (decreasing light duration) versus the shift from spring to summer (increasing light duration).

If there is one area where humans and plants are similar, perhaps it can be said that optimal light duration is very important to both groups of organisms.

A plant will die in a matter of days if it receives no sunlight at all. Since plants also have many biological functions that are triggered by changes in light across the seasons, it is important to simulate this when trying to grow plants indoors.

Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Cold weather crops such as cauliflower or broccoli grow best while light duration is increasing. As a result, you may need to leave the lights on a little bit more each day to stimulate flower production.
  • Plants that take a longer amount of time to produce fruit or edible biomass may initially require an increase in light duration, and then actually need a decrease to stimulate either flowering or fruit production. A great deal depends on when the plants are normally expected to sprout during the year as well as when flowers and fruit are normally produced. For example, if you choose to grow tomatoes indoors and start them in November, you will still need to duplicate the increasing light duration common during the spring and summer months, and then decrease it for times when the duration of sunlight would actually be declining.

Many people that start off with indoor food gardening try to compensate for inadequate light intensity and color ratio by keeping the lights on 24/7. Consider this is about as useless as trying to work around the clock and expecting that having a light on at all times will help you stay awake.

As with your own body, plants also need a period of darkness each day in order to shift into different biological processes.

This may include making tissue repairs as well as management of cellular bioclocks that keep track of light duration as a means of determining when to trigger flower or fruit production. If you do not provide suitable dark hours for the plants, they will grow very poorly before dieing off.

4. Light Imbalances and Diseases

Aside from having a major impact on the plant itself, light also has a major impact on other organisms that may attack the plants.

For example, a disbalance in red, green, and blue ratios can easily create the perfect conditions for mold, mildew, fungal, and algae growth. While your plants are suffering from a lack of the proper ratio, it may be perfect for these organisms.

Since your plants will also be in a less than optimal health condition, it will also increase the chance they cannot fight off infections.

Today, there is a good bit of research being done on how plants communicate among each other. Did you know that a tree that is chopped down actually transmits this information to surrounding trees and plants within a matter of seconds?

Even though there is very little information on plant communications with insects and other organisms, it is entirely possible that pathogenic species are drawn to sick plants that emit signal that indicate they are weak or stressed. Without a question, improper lighting conditions stress plants and make them weaker.

Since many plants have both subtle and not so subtle (thorns or toxins in the leaves, stems and roots) defenses to deter predators, it should come as no surprise that a weakened plant will draw both disease bearing organisms and insects that are predatory to the species in question.

As a prepper, you must also consider seed production and the health of the next generation of plants. Chances are, you already realize that a fetus developing in a starving mother will more than likely be weak and sickly.

Starvation during these critical development times can also lead to an increase in genetic disorders and other problems. In a similar fashion, when plants do not get enough light, there is no telling what condition any seeds produced will be in.

This, in turn, means that you must always carefully test any new batches of seeds and keep records to see if they are as hearty and productive as the original seeds that were used in the first generation.

While many other factors may impact seed viability and the next generation of plants, do not discount the lighting conditions experienced by the plant that produced the seeds in the first place.

5. Pros and Cons of LED Grow Lights

Today, most indoor food production enthusiasts recognize the fact that LED lights can be very useful. Since there are many different kinds of LED lights on the market, however, it is important to understand the pros and cons of LEDs so that you have a better chance of picking the best ones for your needs.

Very Easy to Adjust Light Frequency Ratios

LEDs are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to produce light with different color frequencies.

As such, you can purchase strips of red and blue LEDs that enable you to change the ratio of red to blue with very little effort. You can purchase lights with a pre-set ratio of LEDs, as well as look for strips of single colors so that you can adjust them manually over the duration of the growing season.

Light Intensity Can be Adjusted With Less Heat Buildup

Even though you may need halogen bulbs or other high intensity lights for some plant species, these bulbs tend to produce a great deal of heat. Since light intensity also decreases rapidly with distance, there is a definite limitation for using CFLs, Halogens, and other light bulbs.

By contrast, LEDs produce far less heat, and can be placed much closer the plants. You can also place strips of LED bulbs closer together in order to increase light intensity.

Requires Less Electricity

In many cases, LED bulbs require as much as 80% less electricity for the same level of illumination.

LED Bulbs Contain Heavy Metals

If you thought problems associated with Mercury in CFLs was a problem, you may not realize that most LED bulbs contain Nickel and a range of other toxic metals. While one LED on your computer may not pose a health hazard, Nickel and other metals escaping from LEDs can increase problems with asthma and other breathing disorders.

Even if LEDs are rated for indoor use, there is no way to know if they are leaking metals into the air over time.

Needless to say, if you are planning to grow crops indoors in order to avoid ingesting pollutants, it will not be of much use to expose plants to toxic metal gases from LED bulbs sitting so close to them.

Hard to Spot Problems With Plants

If you have ever tried to see the difference between certain shades of pink and orange, or other similar colors in low light conditions, then you may already understand how easy it is for LEDs to skew your visual perception.

In this case, the red and blue light emitted by the LEDs may make it harder for you to see fungal, bacterial, and other infections in their early stages.

Be sure to close the LEDs and examine the plants under a different lighting source in order to spot these problems as quickly as possible. Needless to say, if the infestation is related to lighting, you may also need to make adjustments in order to avoid future problems.

Overall, you will find that finding the best lighting for indoor crop production can be a bit challenging. Unless you plan on setting up a series of mirrors and prisms to channel sunlight into your growing room, and then break it down to optimal frequencies, you will have to rely on different light types on the market.

While LEDs are emerging as the industry leader for growing plants indoors, you should still look at the main factors that determine optimal lighting before committing to just one source of illumination.

No matter whether you choose one type or a combination of bulb types, the fundamentals of color frequency, light intensity and duration must still be optimized for each plant and its growth cycle.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

References: 

http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/49/4/448.full

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/expert-answers/sundowning/faq-20058511

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/led-lightbulb-concerns/

This Is The Old Fashioned Way To Wash Your Clothes In A Stream

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A massive EMP or other event that eliminates electricity and municipal water supplies means you’ll have to find some other way to wash your clothes. Regardless of what is going on in your life and in the society around you, clean clothes are necessary for good health and proper hygiene.

If you have a stream of clean water nearby, or can reach one in a reasonable amount of time, you might use this resource for laundry, as well as many other water related needs.

Here are some tips for using streams to do laundry, as well as preserve the water for other purposes as much as possible.

Choosing the Best Place to do Laundry

There are five basic characteristics of a good location to do laundry.

Location should be as far downstream as possible from the area where you obtain water for drinking, cooking, and other needs. It should also be as far as possible away from areas where animals you plan to hunt may drink or use for their own needs.

Even though fast moving water can carry dirt and soap a long distance, the fact remains it will still add pollutants to the water and surrounding land. If you don’t want those items on your clothes, consider that you also don’t want to be consuming them with your beverages and food.

Water should be clean and fast moving. Fast moving water will make it easier to rinse clothes, and will also give you more options for automating the whole washing process. Needless to say, water that is muddy, full of algae, or other contaminants will not be suitable for washing clothes.

Choose an area where you can lean easily into the water without having to actually be in it while washing clothes. A stable rock outcrop or other location that leads into the water will give you a stable area to work, and also reduce the chance of slipping and falling in mud at the bottom of the stream.

Water should be deep enough to allow you to soak your clothes easily. It will also be of some help to choose an area where you can easily build a containment area to while you are working. You can use this area of slower moving water flow while using soap, and also for pre-soaking.

Washing Clothes Without Detergent

Many people are surprised that it is not always necessary to use soap or detergent to wash clothes.

Some people ruin their clothes, or shorten the lifespan of their garments by several years when they add too much soap. In fact, if you rinse out your clothes fully without using detergent or soap, you would find that more than half the “dirt” coming out is actually old laundry detergent. As a result, when you have nothing but a stream available for washing clothes, you can get clean clothes without using detergent or soap for routine cleaning.

To wash your clothes without using soap, you will need plenty of fast moving water and a means to ensure the garments are agitated as briskly as possible without tearing them apart.

Among other things, you can use a series of buckets and water traps to create plenty of agitation as well as sufficient water flow to get your clothes clean.

While using this kind of system, bear in mind that more delicate fabrics may only be able to tolerate a small amount of agitation. You can try using a less turbulent system, or make some detergent for these fragile fabrics.

Ways to Make Laundry Cleansing Agents

If you hunt any kind of mammal, you can combine some of the fat from the animal with lye made from potash. Try to choose ferns, or hardwood trees that will yield the highest amount of potassium in the ash.

A homemade liquid soap will get your clothes clean, however you can expect them to be quite stiff. You will need to use lavender, white vinegar, or other softening agents to create a detergent that leaves your clothes feeling more comfortable. Peppermint and aloe are also often used in laundry detergent to improve the odor and cleansing capacity. Overall, as with any other kind of laundry detergent, the less you use, the better.

This Timeless Collection of Forgotten Wisdom Will Help You Survive!

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always need to use a detergent based cleanser to get your clothes clean.

Here are a few natural alternatives that you can try. Bear in mind that you should not use these every single time you wash clothes because they can also be retained by the fabric and accelerate rotting. If you use lye based detergent one week, you may want to try one of these the next time you wash, and then go back to the lye soap the next time you wash.

  • Wash you clothes with baking soda. If you do not have baking soda on hand, you can make it from lye. Bear in mind, however, the chemical formula for baking soda is NaHCO3, which means it is best derived from sodium based lye, or NaOH. Potash, on the other hand, has a much higher potassium (K) content, so the “lye” made from potash carries the formula KOH. If you are going to try and make baking soda from potash, you will be best served by looking for plants like kelp and seaweed that have a higher sodium (Na) content.
  • Use essential oils. There are many formulas for pre-treating stains as well as washing that you can use depending on what plants are available in your area.
  • Try an EcoEgg – this fascinating device is easy to carry, and can do several hundred loads of laundry before it needs to be replaced. Since it works best with high levels of agitation, it may also be one of your best options for washing clothes in a stream.

Using Rocks as a Scrubber

One of the oldest methods for washing laundry in a stream requires little more than a large, smooth, clean rock, some detergent, and two buckets. In order to make the rock work as a scrubber, you must first start off by soaking the clothes in water and ensuring that the detergent is already mixed in with the clothes.

Next, you will need to take each garment and slam it into the clean rock. The garment should spread out as much as possible so that the impact with the rock dislodges as much dirt and soap as possible. Once you are done slamming the garment into the rock, you can go ahead and set it up for rinsing.

As you saw in the video on washing clothes without soap, you can get plenty of agitation from running water to get your clothes clean. What happens, though, when you encounter a slow moving stream, or you don’t have time to set up a bucket and water falling system to increase the water flow?

In these situations, you may still be able to adapt the sytem to use with rocks. For example, you can try tying rocks to one line or rope. In this case, palm sized, smooth, rounded rocks would work best for sturdy fabrics. Next, take another line and suspend your laundry from it. Place the two lines in the water together, and the rocks should beat into the clothes and increase the amount of agitation from the water.

Wood Based Agitators and Scrubbers

If you look at the history of devices used for laundry, you are bound to see many references to wooden paddles, poles, and scrubbing boards. Any one of these devices can be used with a fast moving stream of water. Even if you have only a few branches to work with, it is still possible to create a wash board that will provide a suitable surface for scrubbing clothes.

Make a Scrubbing Board and Bag

No matter whether you have to do just one load of laundry or several over the course of weeks and years, it can be a very time consuming and strenuous activity.

Therefore, even if you are in a crisis situation and settle down near the perfect stream for doing laundry, you may want to do something other than continue pounding your clothes against rocks. You may also grow tired of using wooden board or other methods that take a lot of time and labor. In a similar fashion, as time goes by, you may also need to look for a clothes washing method that is less harsh on delicate fabrics, as well as one that will conserve on soap and detergents.

As another advantage to consider, when washing your clothes in a bag, you can also avoid spilling soap and other debris into the stream. Instead, you can pour the dirty water into a hole, or some other location further away from the stream. Needless to say, if you must move away from the stream for other reasons, a scrubbing bag for laundry will also help you make the most of any water that you may have on hand.

Even though your current washing machine may use a hard tub, you can use a flexible, waterproof bag to wash your clothes. Unlike most other methods, this one will enable you to wash clothes using a minimal amount of soap and water. Here are a few ways that you can make a flexible, waterproof bag from natural resources:

  • Properly tanned animal hides can be made into waterproof bags. You can make the bags just about any size, however a 1 ½” x 2 ½” internal area will work best of 5 or 6 garments. Remember, you will have to push and punch the bag with your hands to agitate the clothes. A larger bag will only make this job hard to achieve.
  • Layers of pine pitch mixed with animal fat will also make a flexible, waterproof material. You will also need to make sure the seams are waterproof, and find a way to ensure the bag remains closed during the wash cycle.
  • Make Tincloth – if you have old canvas from a tent, or other suitable fabric, you can sew it into the shape of a bag, and then coat the fabric with equal parts linseed oil and beeswax. This will make a fireproof coating as well as a waterproof one. Be sure to coat both sides of the fabric as evenly as possible.

Once you have a waterproof bag, you will need to be able to open and close the bag easily without having to deal with leaks when the bag is sealed for washing. If you make the bag a few inches longer, you can probably get by with simply knotting the bag shut before washing. You may also want to try creating a clip that will hold the fabric together tightly enough so that no leaks will occur.

In order to get the most out of washing clothes in a bag, you will need to put something in the bag that will dislodge dirt and debris as the clothes are agitated. Wooden boards with slats will work well for this purpose.

Round out any rough or sharp areas so that they do not punch holes in the bag. You will also be well served by making different boards for different kinds of fabric. For example, if you are washing denim, or some other tough material, you can use a board with fairly large strips of wood and not worry about the fabric being damaged.

On the other hand, if you want to wash a summer weight cotton or something else that is more delicate, you might want to have a smoother surfaced board on hand.

Build a Waterwheel Box and Agitator

When it comes to simple, inexpensive, and low labor methods for doing laundry, you are likely to feel that a scrub bag will meet most of your needs. In fact, when compared to striking your clothes against rocks, or using a scrub board in an open stream, it is most certainly easier.

What happens, however, when you can’t move your arms much because the weather is too hot or cold, or you are injured?

Under these circumstances, you may want a system available where you can just throw the clothes into a box and let the stream do the vast majority of the work.

At its simplest, if you can build a water wheel and a box, it is possible to combine these devices to create a stream powered washing machine. Here are the basic steps:

  • Start off by building a waterwheel that will turn easily in the water. Leave an extended shaft on one end of the wheel.
  • Create a T joint so that you can attach an upper and lower shaft to the central one. Make sure there is enough room between the shafts so that the laundry can be picked up out of the water, and then fall off the shafts easily enough as they rotate. Depending on the speed of rotation, you may also want to set the upper and lower shafts so that they angle inward toward the center of rotation. This may help ensure the clothes fall off the shafts instead of just getting wrapped around them.
  • Next, make two boxes. One should have grates on it so that water can pass through easily. The other should fit inside the grated box and be waterproof.
  • Setup the waterwheel so that it sits outside the box, while the extended shaft sits inside the box. One of the shaft extensions should sit above the laundry and the water line.

To use this waterwheel washer, all you need to do is add clothes, soap, and water to the waterproof box. As the external wheel turns, it will also turn the internal shafts. They will, in turn, agitate the clothes and also keep the water in constant motion. Even though the shafts will not create a traditional back and forth agitation, they will still be entering and leaving the water, which will disrupt it considerably.

After you are done with the wash cycle, go ahead and remove the waterproof bucket. Water from the stream will flow in through the second bucket, and carry away the soap and dirt. This process should also go faster with the increased agitation provided by power from the waterwheel.

From extended camping trips to surviving hurricanes and major social collapse, the ability to do laundry is an obvious, yet often overlooked need.

While washing laundry in streams has been done for thousands of years, there are several ways to optimize in order to reduce the amount of water, labor, and detergent used.

As you consider different methods to experiment with, remember that sometimes building a simple device can make the difference between being able to have clean clothes even if you are injured or don’t have the strength to utilize more labor intense forms of doing laundry.

In the end, this what our ancestors use to do too!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

References:

http://www.cooksinfo.com/saleratus

20 Ways To Winterize Your Apartment On A Budget

Winterizing your apartment can be a chore even in the best of times, especially if you don’t want to complain to your landlord or create problems that will cost money if you move out.

On the other hand, dedicated apartment winterization products can be quite expensive.

If you are tired of high electric bills and drafty rooms, you can try these 20 inexpensive methods to winterize your apartment on a budget.

Find out Where the Drafts and Cold Spots Are

Before you start any winterization project, figure out where all the problem spots are. This will help you discover which areas need addressing so that you don’t waste time or money on areas that don’t require attention.

These simple tests can also be used to help you determine whether or not you were successful in deploying any given solution.

Drafts from the outside are likely to be the biggest cause of heat leaks in your apartment, so you will need to find out where they are so they won’t drain your heat out of the house and the money out of your pockets!

This smart device will help you slash an excess of 70% off your power bill overnight…

Start off by making sure all fans and incoming heat/cooling registers are closed off.  Next, light some incense and walk around your apartment. Pay attention to areas where the smoke moves, as well as which direction it is going. Make notes on a sticky note and put them where attention is needed. You could also note each area in a notebook so that you can follow each one more easily.

Temperature and humidity levels vary from one part of a room to another, so it will be to your advantage to see exactly how these changes develop over time. You can purchase inexpensive battery powered thermometer/barometer units and place at least 5 or 6 in each room.

Observe the temperature and water vapor changes over time to get a better feel for the air currents and circulation in the room. As you seal off leaks or make other changes, see how this affects the temperature and water vapor in each area.

Replace Energy Efficient Bulbs With Incandescent Bulbs

Even though incandescent bulbs require more electricity, they also release a good bit of heat. Therefore, when you use these bulbs at night, they will give you light, and also increase the temperature in the room.

If you cannot seal up a particular draft, the heat from the lamp will also result in warmer air being pushed inward instead of cold.

Remove Lamp Shades

When using incandescent light bulbs, it never hurts to remove the lamp shade. This will allow heat to escape all the way around the bulb and release it into the rest of the room faster.

Use Plastic Bags to Create Wall Hangings

Chances are, you have already heard about wall rugs or other fabric wall hangings that will cut off drafts from the outer walls. Unfortunately, even less than attractive wall hangings can be a bit expensive. To add insult to injury, if they are too heavy, you may not be able to install them without ruining the wall.

Rather than purchase pre-made wall hangings, you can use rope or “yarn” made from plastic shopping bags, and then braid that into mats, as the plastic will still trap cold air and act as an insulator. Just make sure you keep the wall hangings far enough away from lamps or other potential sources of heat, and also from light and power sockets that may emit sparks.

Cover Floors With Rag Rugs

If your apartment is on the first floor or in the basement, a good bit of cold may be coming up through the floor. While it is possible to find area rugs at a reasonable price, you can also make a heavy rug from old rags. Just cut the rags into strips and braid them, much as you would braid plastic bags for wall hangings.

Needless to say, if you are on the second floor or higher, it may actually be a bad idea to have rugs or floor insulators. As long as your downstairs neighbor is using heat in the apartment below, it may suit your needs to simply let it rise up through the floor boards.

World’s Smallest Battery Will Power Your House For More Than 2 Days!

That being said, you will still need to evaluate the impact of crawl spaces that may have air leaks from outside the building. Incense testing and thermometers will give you more information to work with.

Make Sure Heating Ducts and Registers are Clean

Dust and debris will always accumulate in central heating ducts. You can still try to eliminate some of the blockage by reaching down as far as you can to vacuum out any dust you can reach.

In a similar fashion, if the fins on heat registers are bent or warped, it is time to replace them. These fins help transmit heat, but they will be inefficient if they are bent or ruined.

Use Heavy Drapes or Curtains at Night

Since windows tend to be one of the biggest problems in the winter months, you will need to block them off and insulate them as much as possible during the evening hours. Use drapes, heavy curtains, or anything else that will block off as much air flow as possible.

Choose white or light colors because they do not absorb heat, so it will stay in the room. If you can’t afford heavy drapes, fill a trash bag with smaller shopping bags and fit it into the window.

Insulate the Ceiling

Regardless of the floor you live on, insulating the ceiling is very important because warm air always moves upward. Rather than let the heat escape, you can use foam insulating sheets or even tape plastic bags to the ceiling.

Just make sure no flammable material is near lamp fixtures, fans, or air registers.

Use Tin Foil to Keep Heat In

If you are using incandescent light bulbs, try putting some tin foil behind them. This will reflect more light and heat back into the room. Tin foil can also be used on walls near windows to help redirect light and heat into the room.

Simply put the tin foil up in areas where you see light hitting the wall.

Reverse the Direction of Your Ceiling Fan

During the summer months, ceiling fans will pull warm air upward and away from your living area. When you reverse the direction of the fan, warm air that has been rising will be pushed back down.

Just keep the fan set to low for the best effect.

Let the Sun in During Daylight Hours

If you pay attention to the movement of the sun around your apartment, you will see that there are times when a good bit of sun flows into each window. Open the curtains or drapes during these hours, and you will get a good bit of heat at no extra cost.

Don’t forget to shut the drapes when the sun moves out of an optimal position.

It is also possible to store some of the heat from the sun so that you can use it later on. Simply put hot water bottles or bricks on the windowsill at peak light hours. Even if the bricks or bottles only get a bit warm, they can still be carried to other parts of the apartment to cool off and release heat into the area.

Use Fireproof Material to Insulate Electric Outlets

As you test for air leaks in your apartment, you may be surprised to find some fairly large ones around electrical outlets and wall switches. Contrary to popular belief, there is something you can do to insulate these areas.

Most hardware stores sell fireproof insulating material that you can use safely around electricity boxes. Just remove the plastic face plate and follow the directions on the package.

Do not forget to throw the circuit breaker or pull the fuses so that no current is flowing through the box while you are working.

Increase or Maintain Water Vapor in the Air

When you increase heat in the air, it drives away moisture. Aside from making your apartment uncomfortably dry, the lack of moisture also reduces the capacity of the air to retain heat. Keep tubs of water near heating vents or near fans to increase the water vapor.

You can check on the results with barometer thermometer combos to see if cold spots improve from the addition of this water vapor.

Stop Air Drafts Around Doors

Next to windows, your biggest problems will come from doors. Air leaks can be stopped with folded up paper that you can remove and replace as needed. If you have especially large leaks under the door itself, you can use towels or rags to create a door “snake”.

Simply wedge the fabric under the door to keep warm air from escaping.

Place a Screen or Other Barrier Behind Doors

Doors can also be complicated because of the hinges. Since there can be a good bit of air space in this area and leaky molding, it will be to your advantage to find some way to block off these drafts.

If you cannot use caulking or other theorization aides, it may still be possible to place a screen or other barrier just inside the doorway. Just angle it so that the cold air cannot get as far into the room or move as quickly. Even though these screens will not completely cut off the draft, they will keep more of the cold in one area.

Insulate Windows With Plastic

There are many ways to insulate windows with plastic. First, you can use the pre-manufactured kits that make use of hair dryers to form-fit the plastic to your windows. You can also make window covers from clear vinyl, wood, and felt.

???????????????????????

If the molding is very new, or you don’t want to disrupt it, then simply use masking tape to hold the plastic in place. Use wood spaces under curtain rods to create an airtight seal that won’t leave marks on the molding or walls.

Use Foam or Caulking to Seal Window Cracks

Over the years, more than a few tenants have found themselves wishing they could caulk up an air leak in a window or door. At the same time, dealing with a landlord that doesn’t want this kind of work done by the tenant can create all kinds of problems.

Today, there are all kind of non-permanent foam and caulk products that can be used for this purpose. Just try them on a hidden area to make sure you can apply and remove the material easily.

Once you are certain you understand how the product works, you can go ahead and seal off all the cracks and problem areas. Later on, if you decide to move, all you have to do is take down the foam or caulk before leaving.

Make Sure Storm Windows and Doors are Closed

As simple as it may sound, you may not even realize that your screen windows have a second pane of glass that can be lowered over the screen during the winter months. If you do notice a second pane of glass, simply lower it into place to create an airspace between the inner window pane and the storm window.

Check on your storm door to see if it also has a pane of glass that can be lowered. It should be noted that lowering storm windows will help some, but will not cut off all drafts from windows and doors.

Loose molding, worn window tracks, and lost insulation between the window and the wall will still let heat escape. These issues will also have to be addressed by other means such as using caulk, plastic covering or wall hangings.

Run a Box Fan by Vents and Electric Heaters

Once you have a good sense of the air flow around each room in your apartment, you are bound to realize that most of the heat from air registers and radiators won’t go very far from the source. On the other hand, even using a box fan on a low setting will pull the air much further into the room without requiring more heating effort.

Set the fan up so that the motor side of the fan is facing the air register. In this orientation, the fan will be pulling warm air forward into the room as it is released from the register. You should feel a warm breeze in any direction that you point the fan.

Do not forget to allow enough room for the fan motor to have plenty of ventilation and access to cooler air. Even though the heat registers will not produce enough heat buildup to start a fire, a fan motor can produce a good bit of heat while it is running. It is best to leave a little bit of space in order to further extend the life of the motor.

If you are using an electric heater, you can cut down as much as 1/3 off the heater usage by putting a fan behind the heater. Just make sure the fan is pushing air from behind the heater and into the area that you want to warm up. High to medium settings can also be used on colder days and nights to create a warm draft instead of a cold one.

Use a Good Quality Filter on Furnace Inlets

Depending on where your apartment is located, you may have an inlet in your room that takes air into the furnace. Even though your landlord may supply the filter for this vent, it never hurts to see what kind is installed.

Since this vent is the main source of dust entry into the central heating system, it may be to your advantage to use a better filter. This will reduce the amount of clogging in the system that ultimately reduces the air flow in the registers.

Most, if not all air handler systems can handle at least a Merv 10 filter. By contrast, most of the blue fiberglass filters are, at best, a Merv 4 or 5.

If you have problems with odors in the apartment, see if you can get permission to install a Merv 9 filter with activated carbon in it. In most cases, your landlord will probably change the filter every three months. This is one place where you may need to ask permission to make a small change as part of your winterization plans.

You can winterize your apartment without spending a fortune or asking your landlord to make dozens of changes. In most cases, you can do these tasks in just a few minutes, or develop a new and rewarding hobby. And the best thing is, that it will save your budget too!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

20 Ways To Winterize Your Apartment On A Budget

Click here to view the original post.

Winterizing your apartment can be a chore even in the best of times, especially if you don’t want to complain to your landlord or create problems that will cost money if you move out.

On the other hand, dedicated apartment winterization products can be quite expensive.

If you are tired of high electric bills and drafty rooms, you can try these 20 inexpensive methods to winterize your apartment on a budget.

Find out Where the Drafts and Cold Spots Are

Before you start any winterization project, figure out where all the problem spots are. This will help you discover which areas need addressing so that you don’t waste time or money on areas that don’t require attention.

These simple tests can also be used to help you determine whether or not you were successful in deploying any given solution.

Drafts from the outside are likely to be the biggest cause of heat leaks in your apartment, so you will need to find out where they are so they won’t drain your heat out of the house and the money out of your pockets!

This smart device will help you slash an excess of 70% off your power bill overnight…

Start off by making sure all fans and incoming heat/cooling registers are closed off.  Next, light some incense and walk around your apartment. Pay attention to areas where the smoke moves, as well as which direction it is going. Make notes on a sticky note and put them where attention is needed. You could also note each area in a notebook so that you can follow each one more easily.

Temperature and humidity levels vary from one part of a room to another, so it will be to your advantage to see exactly how these changes develop over time. You can purchase inexpensive battery powered thermometer/barometer units and place at least 5 or 6 in each room.

Observe the temperature and water vapor changes over time to get a better feel for the air currents and circulation in the room. As you seal off leaks or make other changes, see how this affects the temperature and water vapor in each area.

Replace Energy Efficient Bulbs With Incandescent Bulbs

Even though incandescent bulbs require more electricity, they also release a good bit of heat. Therefore, when you use these bulbs at night, they will give you light, and also increase the temperature in the room.

If you cannot seal up a particular draft, the heat from the lamp will also result in warmer air being pushed inward instead of cold.

Remove Lamp Shades

When using incandescent light bulbs, it never hurts to remove the lamp shade. This will allow heat to escape all the way around the bulb and release it into the rest of the room faster.

Use Plastic Bags to Create Wall Hangings

Chances are, you have already heard about wall rugs or other fabric wall hangings that will cut off drafts from the outer walls. Unfortunately, even less than attractive wall hangings can be a bit expensive. To add insult to injury, if they are too heavy, you may not be able to install them without ruining the wall.

Rather than purchase pre-made wall hangings, you can use rope or “yarn” made from plastic shopping bags, and then braid that into mats, as the plastic will still trap cold air and act as an insulator. Just make sure you keep the wall hangings far enough away from lamps or other potential sources of heat, and also from light and power sockets that may emit sparks.

Cover Floors With Rag Rugs

If your apartment is on the first floor or in the basement, a good bit of cold may be coming up through the floor. While it is possible to find area rugs at a reasonable price, you can also make a heavy rug from old rags. Just cut the rags into strips and braid them, much as you would braid plastic bags for wall hangings.

Needless to say, if you are on the second floor or higher, it may actually be a bad idea to have rugs or floor insulators. As long as your downstairs neighbor is using heat in the apartment below, it may suit your needs to simply let it rise up through the floor boards.

World’s Smallest Battery Will Power Your House For More Than 2 Days!

That being said, you will still need to evaluate the impact of crawl spaces that may have air leaks from outside the building. Incense testing and thermometers will give you more information to work with.

Make Sure Heating Ducts and Registers are Clean

Dust and debris will always accumulate in central heating ducts. You can still try to eliminate some of the blockage by reaching down as far as you can to vacuum out any dust you can reach.

In a similar fashion, if the fins on heat registers are bent or warped, it is time to replace them. These fins help transmit heat, but they will be inefficient if they are bent or ruined.

Use Heavy Drapes or Curtains at Night

Since windows tend to be one of the biggest problems in the winter months, you will need to block them off and insulate them as much as possible during the evening hours. Use drapes, heavy curtains, or anything else that will block off as much air flow as possible.

Choose white or light colors because they do not absorb heat, so it will stay in the room. If you can’t afford heavy drapes, fill a trash bag with smaller shopping bags and fit it into the window.

Insulate the Ceiling

Regardless of the floor you live on, insulating the ceiling is very important because warm air always moves upward. Rather than let the heat escape, you can use foam insulating sheets or even tape plastic bags to the ceiling.

Just make sure no flammable material is near lamp fixtures, fans, or air registers.

Use Tin Foil to Keep Heat In

If you are using incandescent light bulbs, try putting some tin foil behind them. This will reflect more light and heat back into the room. Tin foil can also be used on walls near windows to help redirect light and heat into the room.

Simply put the tin foil up in areas where you see light hitting the wall.

Reverse the Direction of Your Ceiling Fan

During the summer months, ceiling fans will pull warm air upward and away from your living area. When you reverse the direction of the fan, warm air that has been rising will be pushed back down.

Just keep the fan set to low for the best effect.

Let the Sun in During Daylight Hours

If you pay attention to the movement of the sun around your apartment, you will see that there are times when a good bit of sun flows into each window. Open the curtains or drapes during these hours, and you will get a good bit of heat at no extra cost.

Don’t forget to shut the drapes when the sun moves out of an optimal position.

It is also possible to store some of the heat from the sun so that you can use it later on. Simply put hot water bottles or bricks on the windowsill at peak light hours. Even if the bricks or bottles only get a bit warm, they can still be carried to other parts of the apartment to cool off and release heat into the area.

Use Fireproof Material to Insulate Electric Outlets

As you test for air leaks in your apartment, you may be surprised to find some fairly large ones around electrical outlets and wall switches. Contrary to popular belief, there is something you can do to insulate these areas.

Most hardware stores sell fireproof insulating material that you can use safely around electricity boxes. Just remove the plastic face plate and follow the directions on the package.

Do not forget to throw the circuit breaker or pull the fuses so that no current is flowing through the box while you are working.

Increase or Maintain Water Vapor in the Air

When you increase heat in the air, it drives away moisture. Aside from making your apartment uncomfortably dry, the lack of moisture also reduces the capacity of the air to retain heat. Keep tubs of water near heating vents or near fans to increase the water vapor.

You can check on the results with barometer thermometer combos to see if cold spots improve from the addition of this water vapor.

Stop Air Drafts Around Doors

Next to windows, your biggest problems will come from doors. Air leaks can be stopped with folded up paper that you can remove and replace as needed. If you have especially large leaks under the door itself, you can use towels or rags to create a door “snake”.

Simply wedge the fabric under the door to keep warm air from escaping.

Place a Screen or Other Barrier Behind Doors

Doors can also be complicated because of the hinges. Since there can be a good bit of air space in this area and leaky molding, it will be to your advantage to find some way to block off these drafts.

If you cannot use caulking or other theorization aides, it may still be possible to place a screen or other barrier just inside the doorway. Just angle it so that the cold air cannot get as far into the room or move as quickly. Even though these screens will not completely cut off the draft, they will keep more of the cold in one area.

Insulate Windows With Plastic

There are many ways to insulate windows with plastic. First, you can use the pre-manufactured kits that make use of hair dryers to form-fit the plastic to your windows. You can also make window covers from clear vinyl, wood, and felt.

???????????????????????

If the molding is very new, or you don’t want to disrupt it, then simply use masking tape to hold the plastic in place. Use wood spaces under curtain rods to create an airtight seal that won’t leave marks on the molding or walls.

Use Foam or Caulking to Seal Window Cracks

Over the years, more than a few tenants have found themselves wishing they could caulk up an air leak in a window or door. At the same time, dealing with a landlord that doesn’t want this kind of work done by the tenant can create all kinds of problems.

Today, there are all kind of non-permanent foam and caulk products that can be used for this purpose. Just try them on a hidden area to make sure you can apply and remove the material easily.

Once you are certain you understand how the product works, you can go ahead and seal off all the cracks and problem areas. Later on, if you decide to move, all you have to do is take down the foam or caulk before leaving.

Make Sure Storm Windows and Doors are Closed

As simple as it may sound, you may not even realize that your screen windows have a second pane of glass that can be lowered over the screen during the winter months. If you do notice a second pane of glass, simply lower it into place to create an airspace between the inner window pane and the storm window.

Check on your storm door to see if it also has a pane of glass that can be lowered. It should be noted that lowering storm windows will help some, but will not cut off all drafts from windows and doors.

Loose molding, worn window tracks, and lost insulation between the window and the wall will still let heat escape. These issues will also have to be addressed by other means such as using caulk, plastic covering or wall hangings.

Run a Box Fan by Vents and Electric Heaters

Once you have a good sense of the air flow around each room in your apartment, you are bound to realize that most of the heat from air registers and radiators won’t go very far from the source. On the other hand, even using a box fan on a low setting will pull the air much further into the room without requiring more heating effort.

Set the fan up so that the motor side of the fan is facing the air register. In this orientation, the fan will be pulling warm air forward into the room as it is released from the register. You should feel a warm breeze in any direction that you point the fan.

Do not forget to allow enough room for the fan motor to have plenty of ventilation and access to cooler air. Even though the heat registers will not produce enough heat buildup to start a fire, a fan motor can produce a good bit of heat while it is running. It is best to leave a little bit of space in order to further extend the life of the motor.

If you are using an electric heater, you can cut down as much as 1/3 off the heater usage by putting a fan behind the heater. Just make sure the fan is pushing air from behind the heater and into the area that you want to warm up. High to medium settings can also be used on colder days and nights to create a warm draft instead of a cold one.

Use a Good Quality Filter on Furnace Inlets

Depending on where your apartment is located, you may have an inlet in your room that takes air into the furnace. Even though your landlord may supply the filter for this vent, it never hurts to see what kind is installed.

Since this vent is the main source of dust entry into the central heating system, it may be to your advantage to use a better filter. This will reduce the amount of clogging in the system that ultimately reduces the air flow in the registers.

Most, if not all air handler systems can handle at least a Merv 10 filter. By contrast, most of the blue fiberglass filters are, at best, a Merv 4 or 5.

If you have problems with odors in the apartment, see if you can get permission to install a Merv 9 filter with activated carbon in it. In most cases, your landlord will probably change the filter every three months. This is one place where you may need to ask permission to make a small change as part of your winterization plans.

You can winterize your apartment without spending a fortune or asking your landlord to make dozens of changes. In most cases, you can do these tasks in just a few minutes, or develop a new and rewarding hobby. And the best thing is, that it will save your budget too!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Surviving Off-grid: Use Pipes And Ducts To Generate Electricity

Click here to view the original post.

A prepper’s mind will always find ways to survive when others won’t see any way out of the crisis. When it comes to generating electricity, there are many unexplored options laying right around your own home.

If you have pipes with water flowing through them, there may be several ways to generate 12 volts or more of electricity with relatively little effort.

Even if the majority of pipes in your home are made of plastic, there are still ways to make use of them, as well as every tap and drain in your home. Depending on the optimizations that you choose, you might need running water to generate electricity.

Combine systems that require flowing water with ones that don’t, and you’ll always have electricity as long as your house is standing.

 

This smart device will help you slash an excess of 70% off your power bill overnight…

 

What to Beware Around Metal Plumbing Pipes

No matter whether a house is brand new, or has been around for several decades, there are always going to be changes that may not always be obvious. Even though all of the appliances and electrical features in your house work perfectly, shorts can develop that prevent the electricity from completing its journey back to the power plant.

As a result, this electricity may start flowing through metal pipes and other fixtures in your home. Contrary to popular belief, this situation is actually very common.

Before touching and examining metal pipes and other fixtures that aren’t connected to the electrical system, take some precautions. If you aren’t sure how to set up grounding for plumbing pipes, ask a plumber. Since the amperage carried through plumbing pipes can be high enough to injure or kill, be sure you know how to work around any and all metal pipes safely.

Use the Power of Moving Water in Vertical Pipes

If you have hot water in bathroom and kitchen faucets, this water goes through vertical pipes at some point on its journey through your home. Locate the pipes where the water flows from a higher point to a lower one. Aside from any pumping pressure from the water source, you will also have the benefit of gravity speeding the water’s rate of flow.

No matter whether these pipes are made of plastic or metal, you can cut into the pipe and insert a device with some kind of spinning rotor, blade, or wheel that has magnets attached to it. As the water passes over the wheel, it will cause it to spin. From there all you need to do is set up a system of coils outside the pipe that will generate electricity for you.

Depending on the length of the pipe, you may even be able to insert one device at the highest point on the pipe, and the second one further down. You’ll have to monitor the water flow rate to make sure you don’t slow it up too much with too many devices.

Also, optimize the blade or rotor design for the device. Since it is likely you will be building the device yourself, have a look at shell blade designs that are emerging for optimizing wind turbines. If you must build your own system, see if you can use fiberglass or other lightweight materials.

Just avoid placing these devices in lines or taps used for drinking or food preparation unless you are sure the materials pose no threat to your health. You should also look for the smallest magnets that will generate the strongest field.

Aside from using indoor pipes, you can also use gutters or other outdoor installations where water will move from an upper elevation to a lower one. While the power from these systems may be transitory, you should be able to harvest from at least two or three points along the tubing, plus from the exhaust spout.

Remember that these tube systems can be expanded with umbrellas or other objects to increase the water capture area. Once the water has exited the spout, you may also want to see if you can store it for use in the garden or some other purpose.

Video first seen on JohnnyQ90.

Take Advantage of Drains

Once you master generating power from vertical water pipes, start exploring the same kind of system for sink drains. To make this kind of system work, you’ll need to open up the device fairly often to remove debris or anything else in the drain water that will catch on the blades. Use a pre-filter or some kind of other trap so that the blades stay as clean as possible.

As a way of getting started, create a blade system that simply sits in the bottom of your sink. If you already have a fairly deep sink basin, you may have more than enough room to work with. In these cases, you will be looking more for blade designs that have a flatter profile than a shell or some of the newer optimizations emerging in the wind power market.

Since some sink drain pipes are made of metal, find out if they are already capable of conducting electricity. If they are, keep reading, because there are some small changes you can make around the drain that may give you a reasonable amount of electricity at very low cost. If all of the pipes are made of plastic, you can still use the water flow to generate electricity.

Getting Electricity from Taps and Shower Heads

There are two possible locations that you can use to generate power from taps and faucets.

 

This smart device will help you slash an excess of 70% off your power bill overnight…

 

First, you would have to cut into the pipe just below the valves that allow water into the faucet. Even though these areas are likely to have an upward water flow, they still have a good bit of pressure behind them.

In fact, if you have ever made the same mistake of trying to remove a faucet system without closing the water valves, you will find out just how much water pressure there is!

Chances are you already have regulators on your faucets that reduce the amount of water that you use. You can achieve the same goal, and spin a rotor if you change the regulator design.

While these devices may not yet exist on the market, you can still combine rubberized faucet attachments and fiberglass blades with magnets mounted on them to achieve your goal. Just make sure that the blade system is as light as possible, so that it spins as easily from any air in the pipes as well as from the moving water.

Securing Access to In-house Pipes

As a prepper, you already know the areas where you can store your stockpile in the walls of your home. While you are exploring these options, take note of the water pipes found in the walls. Whether they are made of plastic or metal, you could modify the pipes so that they are easy to see an access without having to get into the wall space. Alternatively, you can still leave access points in the wall and cover them with paintings for other items.

Overall, the device is used to generate electricity from water pipes do not require a great deal of maintenance as long as the water is clean. If there happens to be more debris than expected in the water, you will not want to have to take an entire wall apart every time a filter needs cleaning.

Also, be aware that mice, termites, and other vermin can live for decades in the walls of your home without being detected. Even if they don’t chew on parts of the device, they’re moving over or through the area may jar something loose.

These are just a few reasons why it is very important to have as much access to in-house pipes used for generating electricity as possible.

Set Up Workable Valve Systems

Indoor plumbing for free is a great deal of convenience and ease.

On the other hand, plumbing leaks can be some of the most aggravating and expensive problems to deal with. Any joint for cut in a pipe is a place where weaknesses can develop and evolve into leaks. There may also be other times when you need to close off the flow of water in a fairly small area to manage your electrical generating system.

All of these situations can be more easily managed when you have valves set up that will give you more control of the water flow. For example if you have a device lodged in the downward hot and cold pipes for your bathroom sink, it would be useful to have corresponding valves somewhere upwind from that point. If you do have a problem in that area, it will be very easy to close off all water flow from the sink without disrupting the toilet and the shower.

If the only valve in your home is sitting on the main water entrance, it can spell a great deal of trouble when you have to work in more localized areas. These valve systems can also be used to create alternate routes for the water flow.

This can be very helpful if you need to make modifications to your system, and don’t necessarily want to replace all of the pipes where you were inserting devices. In these cases all you would need to do is open one set of valves and close the other until you are ready to reverse them again.

Locating Metal Pipes and Avoiding Problems

Many people are surprised to find out just how many metal pipes exist beneath their yards and lawns. In order to find out more about pipes on your own property, you can use a metal detector. Try to purchase or rent a detector that also gives you some ideas about the kind of metal used to manufacture the pipes. This information will help you figure out the best way to get the most electricity from them.

Before using these pipes for generating electricity, know what is actually going through them. For example, if the pipe is for natural gas, don’t use it for any other purpose. These pipes can be very dangerous to disrupt, as well as to modify. On the other hand, if the water pipes flowing into your house are made of metal, there is no reason to avoid using them.

If your home has or previously had a septic tank and leach field system, the tank and leach field may have some metal fittings on it. Since these areas are likely to be saturated with debris from waste water, don’t disturb them let alone use them.

Insofar as locating metal pipes indoors, you are also likely to find gas pipes, as well as ones for transporting oil. Avoid using any pipe that carries any kind of fuel, as you never know when electrical devices will short out, build up heat, or generate sparks. This is also something you will need to be very careful about when building and placing your devices.

What You Need to Know About Grounded and Bonded Metals

Did you know that metal plumbing pipes are often grounded? Depending on the number of pipes in your home or underneath it, there are many ways to ground or bond all of the metals so that you don’t get a shock from them.

Some homes also use metal pipes in the plumbing system as a means to ground the electrical system. It is fair to say that as long as you have metal pipes anywhere in your home, there is a good chance that they are already conducting electricity. You may also find that steel cabinets or other large metal furnishings will also conduct electricity even if you aren’t aware of it.

Video first seen on Bryan Ropar.

Before you test to find out if metal pipes and furnishings are, in fact, conducting electricity, understand the differences between bonding, grounding, and earthing. It will help you recognize each of these methods for avoiding dangerous sharks. From there, there are two methods that you can use to determine if there is already some current flow in the pipes of your home:

  • First, you can drain the water from your pipes, and then use an OHM meter to see if there is any current flowing.
  • Second, you can use an EMF meter to see if there is a magnetic field around the pipes without draining the water from them. If you find a magnetic field, then there’s a viable means to receive electricity from the pipes. Regardless of the source of the magnetic field, you’ll be able to use it for your generating an electrical current.

Using Outdoor Buried Pipes

Once you locate underground pipes that are suitable for generating electricity, you may be surprised at just how easy it is to tap them for a viable amount of current. Just look at some of the designs for earth batteries in order to see how to make this work.

  • Start off by finding out what kind of metal the buried pipes are made from.
  • Next, locate a second type of metal that will create a difference in electrical potential. Do your best to choose a metal that will provide the largest amount of variance. Just about any kind of scrap metal will do, as long as it is the right kind.
  • Once the two metals and wires are in place, you should be able to get a steady amount of electricity from the system. Unlike many other electrical power generation systems, you will not need to be concerned about time of day, temperature, or other weather conditions.
  • Insofar as electrolyte, remember that moist soil itself can act in this capacity. You can still try using other electrolytes, or you can see if soil containing iron metabolizing bacteria can be used and require less maintenance.

When you are stressed about paying your utility bills, or concerned about the increasing risk of power loss, look for the answer to your problems in the walls of your home.

There are many ways to generate small amounts of electricity from both plastic and water pipes that can help you get on the path to energy independence.

Also explore the options and take advantage of safe metal pipes in your yard and under your lawn!

This article haa been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

References:

https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/injury-prevention-safety/electricity/electrical/electrical-safety-for-plumbers-metal-water-pipes-can-shock-you

http://www.ecmweb.com/bonding-amp-grounding/understanding-differences-between-bonding-grounding-and-earthing

https://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/103896/how-to-tell-if-water-pipes-are-grounded

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170209133509.htm

From Trash To Treasure: Make An Old Generator Work Again

Click here to view the original post.

Regardless of the device you are talking about, there are always going to be weak points that will lead to the device being discarded. When it comes to power generators, the part that actually produces the electricity may still work, even though the entire unit has been discarded.

If you can’t afford a brand new generator, or are concerned about the cost of fuel, finding a scrapped out generator might be a good start. Depending on the reason for it being discarded, you could modify it to turn solar or wind power into electricity.

From taking steps to get off the grid, to preparing for a major emergency such as we’re seeing in Puerto Rico and California, knowing how to convert a scrapped out generator is a skill that would provide you and your family a warm shelter.

Once you are successful in converting your own generator to harness solar and wind energy sources, there is every chance that you can turn this into a saleable trade and time of need.

Get a Shop or Repair Manual

Before you start taking any generator apart, you should have a shop manual or a repair guide available, as it will provide information on how to test out key parts of the generator, as well as the names of all the parts within the unit.

While you may not necessarily be concerned about getting the engine started, you may still need to make repairs on the portion that generates electricity. The manual should also give you accurate information on how to separate these units so that the electric generating portion will not be ruined in the process.

Whether you need to replace fuses, wires, or other parts of this unit, having the part numbers in hand will make it easier to find them through various resources. This includes looking for compatible parts from other scrapped out units, or even locating materials that you can use to fabricate your own.

This smart device will help you slash an excess of 70% off your power bill overnight…

In some ways, taking apart a generator isn’t so different from working with an automobile engine or even a lawn mower engine. If your intent is to take the device apart from the top down for the purposes of cleaning, refurbishing, or repair, the blow up diagrams in repair or shop manuals will always be of value.

From a purely practical standpoint, even if you’re careful when laying out the internal parts of a complex device, you might set them in the wrong place, or forget how to put them back where they belong. This is when the shop manual for repair guide becomes useful, as it offers you a map and help you make significant changes in order to harness solar and wind power.

At that point, you should already be well on the way to creating suitable notes so that you will never have problems during the repair, cleaning, or refurbishing processes.

Be Ready to Take Notes

Since a wind turbine spins, you may think that it is much easier to convert a generator to run on this source. This is true to some extent, but you should also take notes on the exact parts used to connect the generator part to the driving section of the wind turbine.

Also converting heat or light from solar power sources into a means of driving a generator will also require separate modules composed of several parts. If you don’t take notes on how these parts fit together, what they are, and how to take care of them, you may wind up having many problems later on.

Whether you need to oil a shaft that has close tolerances, or another part that may wear faster than expected, these notes will help you make repairs faster and also ensure that maintenance protocols are effective. This includes giving you a chance to choose different materials from ones that may have failed in your first efforts.

The Basic Parts of a Generator and How to Adapt Them

Before you begin taking the generator apart, think about the following modules, and how they will either work or not work with the new power source you are considering adapting the generator to work with.

Video first seen on Brags & Hayes, Inc.

The engine and fuel system

Since most generators available for consumers use internal combustion engines, it is very likely you will be removing this part of the generator and replace it with something else.

A great deal will depend on what renewable source of power you decide to use. For example, if you decide to work with biofuels or natural gas, it may still be possible to use the internal combustion engine with some modifications to the fuel input systems.

On the other hand, if you are going to work with solar or similar forms of power, an internal combustion engine will be of no use. In fact, you may actually wind up building a steam engine if the main power you are able to capture is heat.

Lubrication, cooling, and exhaust systems

For the most part, you will find that the exhaust system will apply mainly to the internal combustion engine. Therefore, if you are discarding the internal combustion engine, you will not need to worry about the existing exhaust system. Depending on the generator model, there may or may not be additional lubrication required for the alternator.

Since the alternator itself is optimized to work with a specific engine, you may want to make a more careful study of all moving parts inside the alternator. A non-optimized driving source can increase wear on the internal parts of the alternator and cause them to break down faster.

Lubricating these areas may or may not be of help. If lubrication reduces wear, however, it can mean the difference between a generator that lasts only a matter of days or weeks, and one that will serve you well for several years.

Insofar as the cooling system, it is very likely that the alternator will need a separate cooling system if it doesn’t already have one, or if the cooling system is heavily tied to the engine.

The alternator

At its simplest definition, the alternator is little more than a tightly wound coil of conductive wire (usually copper) surrounding a magnetic core. As the magnetic core spins, an electrical current is induced in the coil.

From there, leads extending from the coil deliver electricity to other locations. No matter what causes the magnetic core of the alternator to spin, the electrical current will still be generated. This in turn, means that the alternator is the most important part of the generator for your purposes.

Since coils can be very difficult to wrap in large volumes, it may not be possible to repair an excessively worn alternator core. Therefore, when you are evaluating a scrapped out generator, start by testing out the alternator part before it looking at other sections of it. If the alternator is burned out or it does not function properly, you’ll have to build your own coils and magnet system.

Do not forget that there can be a loss of efficiency in less compact designs, however it is more likely you can wrap less compact coils without using complex machinery and get some current from them.

The voltage regulator

This part of the generator takes output from the alternator and modifies it so that the voltage, or force of the current, remains stable over time. Depending on the generator, you may have outputs from the voltage regulator that provide DC at varying voltages, and outputs that provide AC.

As with the alternator, the voltage regulator should be one of the first things that you test out to see if it still works. If it doesn’t work, you may still be able to refurbish or repair it. A great deal depends on how much of the regulator relies on solid state chips, and if they can be replaced with older style electronic parts.

Later on, you may want to integrate a joule thief somewhere in the system, or some other device that will increase the output of the generator without compromising voltage stability.

The control panel

If you are looking at a relatively new generator, or one that has been built in the last few years, then the entire generator system is operated by a series of computers. This will also include computers used to run the engine and control his performance, as well as independent systems that govern the alternator and voltage regulator.

It may not be all that easy to bypass one computer module and simply go on using the others. A great deal will depend on the specific model you are working with, and what you find in the repair manual.

Aside from modifying the purely mechanical parts of the generator, you may also need to interface with the control panel, using Arduino or some other programmable chip system.

Alternative Fuel Options

If all parts of the generator are still working (as in may just need some cleaning or refurbishing), and you want to try the most simple modifications, your best option will be to look for alternative fuels for the engine.

Natural gas, biofuels, or anything else that can be burned in an internal combustion engine May suit your needs. Unfortunately, if you have a newer generator, you may need to make substantial changes to the air-fuel mixture system and anything that governs it.

For example, if the engine has fuel injectors, you will probably need to replace them with a carburetor. As with a conventional automobile, you may need to do extensive work to modify or remove all the parts downstream that are controlled by computer-driven module.

When it comes to fuel options, do not forget about manifold modifiers that use electrolysis to produce hydrogen. You may also want to look into adapters that will allow you to replace some of the fuel with water.

Historically speaking, these devices are very controversial, and many people claim they don’t work. That being said, if you are interested in experimenting with these devices, a scrapped out generator engine may be an ideal device to work with.

If you can improve fuel efficiency on your generator, you may have a better chance of producing the same results with your vehicle.

How to Use the Generator With Driving Power Forms

As noted earlier, the alternator portion of the generator produces electricity when a central shaft spins. This shaft can be driven by the rotation from wind turbine blades just as easily as it can be driven by a gasoline engine, a water wheel or just about anything else that produces a spinning motion.

When you take the generator apart, you’ll find that the central shaft is attached to the engine using a bolt or some other assembly.

You should still be able to modify it to accept a pulley, or some other adapter that will make it easier to spin the alternator shaft with some other source of power.

Even though they are very much in their infancy, using magnets to produce spin engines is something well worth considering. Did you know that you can take something as simple as two fidget spinners with magnets mounted on them and get them to spin for hour on end without any other power input?

From that perspective, if you can get large enough ball bearings a suitable frame and magnets, you may be able to get enough torque from this kind of system to spend the alternator.

As an even further advancement into experimental options, consider using sound and other vibrations to generate a spinning motion. Liquid mercury and other forms of gyroscopes may also offer some areas of investigation; provided you can get sufficient torque from them.

How to Use the Generator with Heat and Steam Engines

Unlike using solar panels to harness the power of the sun, you will find that driving a generator is a very different process. Typically, the easiest way to do this is to use heat captured from the sun to convert water into steam; and then used pressure from the steam to spin a turbine.

You can study designs for both ancient and modern steam engines to see which one is most feasible for you to build.

There are also several other kinds of heat engines that you can use to spin the alternator. Bear in mind, however, many of these systems are not mechanically strong.

For example, a rubber band heat engine may fall apart if it must apply anything more than a minimal amount of torque to spin a central shaft. As such, if you want to take advantage of these kinds of heat engines, it is very important to consider your materials carefully.

What About Multiple Input Options?

As you consider different systems for generating power, you’re going to find that there is no such thing as one system that will generate all the power that you need. You’re also likely to find that it takes a considerable amount of money and effort to build one system that is large enough to power an entire household.

On the other side of the equation, there are many smaller systems that can generate 12 volts of electricity or small enough amounts of torque to achieve this goal. If you are determined to use a scrapped out generator to produce larger amounts of voltage, it may make some sense to see if you can combine the smaller systems to drive the larger one.

Simple machines such as pulley and belt systems and other machines built on the fundamentals of physics may be of some help to you. Just remember that each time you add a new system, you will also lose some of the energy or torque in the process.

When it comes to using scavenged materials to produce electricity, scrapped out generators are probably some of the most fascinating because they were already successfully used for generating electricity.

As long as you can differentiate between all of the modules that make up a generator, and make repairs to the alternator and voltage regulator, tyou could use those parts in conjunction with solar, wind, water, or even magnetic engines. If you have a good handle on biofuels, then you may also want to see what you can do with the engine itself.

Aside from producing something workable, you will also be acquiring valuable skills and experiences that can be of use in forming a new career now, or as part of a marketable trade in time of need.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

From Trash To Treasure: Make An Old Generator Work Again

Regardless of the device you are talking about, there are always going to be weak points that will lead to the device being discarded. When it comes to power generators, the part that actually produces the electricity may still work, even though the entire unit has been discarded.

If you can’t afford a brand new generator, or are concerned about the cost of fuel, finding a scrapped out generator might be a good start. Depending on the reason for it being discarded, you could modify it to turn solar or wind power into electricity.

From taking steps to get off the grid, to preparing for a major emergency such as we’re seeing in Puerto Rico and California, knowing how to convert a scrapped out generator is a skill that would provide you and your family a warm shelter.

Once you are successful in converting your own generator to harness solar and wind energy sources, there is every chance that you can turn this into a saleable trade and time of need.

Get a Shop or Repair Manual

Before you start taking any generator apart, you should have a shop manual or a repair guide available, as it will provide information on how to test out key parts of the generator, as well as the names of all the parts within the unit.

While you may not necessarily be concerned about getting the engine started, you may still need to make repairs on the portion that generates electricity. The manual should also give you accurate information on how to separate these units so that the electric generating portion will not be ruined in the process.

Whether you need to replace fuses, wires, or other parts of this unit, having the part numbers in hand will make it easier to find them through various resources. This includes looking for compatible parts from other scrapped out units, or even locating materials that you can use to fabricate your own.

This smart device will help you slash an excess of 70% off your power bill overnight…

In some ways, taking apart a generator isn’t so different from working with an automobile engine or even a lawn mower engine. If your intent is to take the device apart from the top down for the purposes of cleaning, refurbishing, or repair, the blow up diagrams in repair or shop manuals will always be of value.

From a purely practical standpoint, even if you’re careful when laying out the internal parts of a complex device, you might set them in the wrong place, or forget how to put them back where they belong. This is when the shop manual for repair guide becomes useful, as it offers you a map and help you make significant changes in order to harness solar and wind power.

At that point, you should already be well on the way to creating suitable notes so that you will never have problems during the repair, cleaning, or refurbishing processes.

Be Ready to Take Notes

Since a wind turbine spins, you may think that it is much easier to convert a generator to run on this source. This is true to some extent, but you should also take notes on the exact parts used to connect the generator part to the driving section of the wind turbine.

Also converting heat or light from solar power sources into a means of driving a generator will also require separate modules composed of several parts. If you don’t take notes on how these parts fit together, what they are, and how to take care of them, you may wind up having many problems later on.

Whether you need to oil a shaft that has close tolerances, or another part that may wear faster than expected, these notes will help you make repairs faster and also ensure that maintenance protocols are effective. This includes giving you a chance to choose different materials from ones that may have failed in your first efforts.

The Basic Parts of a Generator and How to Adapt Them

Before you begin taking the generator apart, think about the following modules, and how they will either work or not work with the new power source you are considering adapting the generator to work with.

Video first seen on Brags & Hayes, Inc.

The engine and fuel system

Since most generators available for consumers use internal combustion engines, it is very likely you will be removing this part of the generator and replace it with something else.

A great deal will depend on what renewable source of power you decide to use. For example, if you decide to work with biofuels or natural gas, it may still be possible to use the internal combustion engine with some modifications to the fuel input systems.

On the other hand, if you are going to work with solar or similar forms of power, an internal combustion engine will be of no use. In fact, you may actually wind up building a steam engine if the main power you are able to capture is heat.

Lubrication, cooling, and exhaust systems

For the most part, you will find that the exhaust system will apply mainly to the internal combustion engine. Therefore, if you are discarding the internal combustion engine, you will not need to worry about the existing exhaust system. Depending on the generator model, there may or may not be additional lubrication required for the alternator.

Since the alternator itself is optimized to work with a specific engine, you may want to make a more careful study of all moving parts inside the alternator. A non-optimized driving source can increase wear on the internal parts of the alternator and cause them to break down faster.

Lubricating these areas may or may not be of help. If lubrication reduces wear, however, it can mean the difference between a generator that lasts only a matter of days or weeks, and one that will serve you well for several years.

Insofar as the cooling system, it is very likely that the alternator will need a separate cooling system if it doesn’t already have one, or if the cooling system is heavily tied to the engine.

The alternator

At its simplest definition, the alternator is little more than a tightly wound coil of conductive wire (usually copper) surrounding a magnetic core. As the magnetic core spins, an electrical current is induced in the coil.

From there, leads extending from the coil deliver electricity to other locations. No matter what causes the magnetic core of the alternator to spin, the electrical current will still be generated. This in turn, means that the alternator is the most important part of the generator for your purposes.

Since coils can be very difficult to wrap in large volumes, it may not be possible to repair an excessively worn alternator core. Therefore, when you are evaluating a scrapped out generator, start by testing out the alternator part before it looking at other sections of it. If the alternator is burned out or it does not function properly, you’ll have to build your own coils and magnet system.

Do not forget that there can be a loss of efficiency in less compact designs, however it is more likely you can wrap less compact coils without using complex machinery and get some current from them.

The voltage regulator

This part of the generator takes output from the alternator and modifies it so that the voltage, or force of the current, remains stable over time. Depending on the generator, you may have outputs from the voltage regulator that provide DC at varying voltages, and outputs that provide AC.

As with the alternator, the voltage regulator should be one of the first things that you test out to see if it still works. If it doesn’t work, you may still be able to refurbish or repair it. A great deal depends on how much of the regulator relies on solid state chips, and if they can be replaced with older style electronic parts.

Later on, you may want to integrate a joule thief somewhere in the system, or some other device that will increase the output of the generator without compromising voltage stability.

The control panel

If you are looking at a relatively new generator, or one that has been built in the last few years, then the entire generator system is operated by a series of computers. This will also include computers used to run the engine and control his performance, as well as independent systems that govern the alternator and voltage regulator.

It may not be all that easy to bypass one computer module and simply go on using the others. A great deal will depend on the specific model you are working with, and what you find in the repair manual.

Aside from modifying the purely mechanical parts of the generator, you may also need to interface with the control panel, using Arduino or some other programmable chip system.

Alternative Fuel Options

If all parts of the generator are still working (as in may just need some cleaning or refurbishing), and you want to try the most simple modifications, your best option will be to look for alternative fuels for the engine.

Natural gas, biofuels, or anything else that can be burned in an internal combustion engine May suit your needs. Unfortunately, if you have a newer generator, you may need to make substantial changes to the air-fuel mixture system and anything that governs it.

For example, if the engine has fuel injectors, you will probably need to replace them with a carburetor. As with a conventional automobile, you may need to do extensive work to modify or remove all the parts downstream that are controlled by computer-driven module.

When it comes to fuel options, do not forget about manifold modifiers that use electrolysis to produce hydrogen. You may also want to look into adapters that will allow you to replace some of the fuel with water.

Historically speaking, these devices are very controversial, and many people claim they don’t work. That being said, if you are interested in experimenting with these devices, a scrapped out generator engine may be an ideal device to work with.

If you can improve fuel efficiency on your generator, you may have a better chance of producing the same results with your vehicle.

How to Use the Generator With Driving Power Forms

As noted earlier, the alternator portion of the generator produces electricity when a central shaft spins. This shaft can be driven by the rotation from wind turbine blades just as easily as it can be driven by a gasoline engine, a water wheel or just about anything else that produces a spinning motion.

When you take the generator apart, you’ll find that the central shaft is attached to the engine using a bolt or some other assembly.

You should still be able to modify it to accept a pulley, or some other adapter that will make it easier to spin the alternator shaft with some other source of power.

Even though they are very much in their infancy, using magnets to produce spin engines is something well worth considering. Did you know that you can take something as simple as two fidget spinners with magnets mounted on them and get them to spin for hour on end without any other power input?

From that perspective, if you can get large enough ball bearings a suitable frame and magnets, you may be able to get enough torque from this kind of system to spend the alternator.

As an even further advancement into experimental options, consider using sound and other vibrations to generate a spinning motion. Liquid mercury and other forms of gyroscopes may also offer some areas of investigation; provided you can get sufficient torque from them.

How to Use the Generator with Heat and Steam Engines

Unlike using solar panels to harness the power of the sun, you will find that driving a generator is a very different process. Typically, the easiest way to do this is to use heat captured from the sun to convert water into steam; and then used pressure from the steam to spin a turbine.

You can study designs for both ancient and modern steam engines to see which one is most feasible for you to build.

There are also several other kinds of heat engines that you can use to spin the alternator. Bear in mind, however, many of these systems are not mechanically strong.

For example, a rubber band heat engine may fall apart if it must apply anything more than a minimal amount of torque to spin a central shaft. As such, if you want to take advantage of these kinds of heat engines, it is very important to consider your materials carefully.

What About Multiple Input Options?

As you consider different systems for generating power, you’re going to find that there is no such thing as one system that will generate all the power that you need. You’re also likely to find that it takes a considerable amount of money and effort to build one system that is large enough to power an entire household.

On the other side of the equation, there are many smaller systems that can generate 12 volts of electricity or small enough amounts of torque to achieve this goal. If you are determined to use a scrapped out generator to produce larger amounts of voltage, it may make some sense to see if you can combine the smaller systems to drive the larger one.

Simple machines such as pulley and belt systems and other machines built on the fundamentals of physics may be of some help to you. Just remember that each time you add a new system, you will also lose some of the energy or torque in the process.

When it comes to using scavenged materials to produce electricity, scrapped out generators are probably some of the most fascinating because they were already successfully used for generating electricity.

As long as you can differentiate between all of the modules that make up a generator, and make repairs to the alternator and voltage regulator, tyou could use those parts in conjunction with solar, wind, water, or even magnetic engines. If you have a good handle on biofuels, then you may also want to see what you can do with the engine itself.

Aside from producing something workable, you will also be acquiring valuable skills and experiences that can be of use in forming a new career now, or as part of a marketable trade in time of need.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

10 Uncommon Ways To Generate Electricity For Your Homestead

Click here to view the original post.

Did you know that there are some very simple ways to generate electricity that won’t cost a fortune? All you have to do is to keep to the basics of using something that spins a magnet to induce a flow of electrons through a metal coil.

In fact, if you focus on smaller scale designs and look around your home, you won’t believe how many junk items you have on hand that can easily generate 12 volts of electricity with just a little bit of modification.

If you build one system at a time and harness them together, you are able to power an entire household.

Have a look at 10 gadgets you have laying around right now that can be put to good use generating electricity!

CDs

Since CDs are light weight and durable, they can act as a basis for spinning magnets in many different systems. 

Here are just a few to consider:

  • CDs can be used to make Tesla Turbines that run on the flow of air or water. Just add magnets to either side of the turbine and make sure you have coils nearby that will produce electricity.
  • CDs are also easy to cut into a number of shapes. They can be used to make small fan blades that will turn small motors into wind turbines.
  • While you are looking at wind power systems, there are many new vertical blade, shell, and bladeless designs that are very efficient and will also work well for turning small motors. Since CDs are made from plastic, you can easily heat up parts of them to bend into different shapes as well as cut them into any form that you need. Whether you need to combine several CDs or use just one to complete your blade design, you will be starting with a flat, durable piece of material that can be altered easily enough.

Magnets

No matter what kind of electricity generating system you want to make, magnets are absolutely essential. If you don’t have magnets to mount on something that will spin, you won’t be able to induce electrons to flow through a coil of wire.

Fortunately, there are many places where you can get magnets. This includes taking apart old motors that may no longer have usable coils, as well as many other electronic devices.

 

This smart device will help you slash an excess of 70% off your power bill overnight…

 

You can also purchase magnets of all sizes and strengths and experiment with them to see which ones will give you the best performance with different kinds of equipment.

Old Circuit Board Parts

If you are looking for a treasure trove of parts to use for generating electricity, just about any old circuit board will do.  Make sure that you know the difference between AC and DC parts and keep them sorted out in your stockpile.

Here are some parts you should always set aside and then test out to see if they still work:

Capacitors

Ceramic disc, electrolytic, or film capacitors, they can all be used to store up electricity in a circuit and help streamline the output of your system. You should also make it a point to look for variable capacitors since they can be very useful for testing and fine tuning your devices.

Remember you can also make your own bottle capacitors.

Resistors

It may seem counter-intuitive, there are times when you will want to halt the flow of electricity through a circuit, or even redirect it.  Resistors are very important for controlling the flow of electricity so that you can protect other parts of the circuit and achieve your goals.

Diodes

Very important for controlling the flow of electricity through a circuit.

Transistors

They are essential for building control circuits as well as for boosting electricity output.

Relays

Capacitors can build up charges and discharge at predictable rates, but you may also need relays to trigger a change in a circuit path. You may not use them directly in generating power, but you’ll need relays as part of the interface that joins together diverse power generating sources so that you can run larger appliances or even your entire household.

Switches

Overall, you may not think small device switches are worth saving. Maybe you won’t focus on larger sized devices, while the smaller ones may still be useful for smaller boards that need special control for one reason or another.

Remember that safety is an important part of any power generating system. You should always be able to quickly, efficiently, and safely shut down any module in the system without harming yourself, the equipment, or anything attached to it. Switches are necessary for that purpose.

Fuses

As with switches, there is no way to substitute for well placed fuses on your circuit boards and within the power generating systems. Whether you make a mistake or a short occurs, fuses can truly save your life and also prevent your equipment from being ruined.

Do not try to cut corners and bypass fuses or leave them out of your designs.

The Board Itself

Even though each board may have a specific purpose, you can still use the pathways to take the place of wires. Just make sure that you know how to cut into the board to block off pathways that you have no intention of using.

If you do not have wires, but do have several small parts, this may be the most viable way to connect them together.

Computer Hard Drives

Many modern computers have “solid state” drives, but you can still get old junk computer parts that include hard drives featuring motors and solid metal disks inside. Aside from being fun to take apart, they are also a treasure trove for anyone looking for parts to generate electricity with.

Here are three parts you should aim to save:

  • The circuit board – there are many components that you will find useful. I wouldn’t personally recommend wasting time with the IC chips, but you could set them aside for other uses.
  • The motor – old hard drive motors are designed to spin heavy metal disks for hours on end at very high speeds. If you can get a good running motor, you could find a way to reverse it so that it will put electricity out instead of use it.
  • The metal plates – heavier plates are perfect for Tesla Turbines that will spin at higher speeds. They can also be stacked together and will not break apart as quickly as plastic CD versions.

Bicycles and Other Pedal Devices

Overall, you will find that bicycles are some of the most common devices used to generate electricity. All you need to do is make them stationary, and then attach a motor that is capable of producing electricity.

Video first seen on The Do It Yourself World.

You can also use mini exercise bikes or anything else with pedals that work in the same way as bicycle pedals.

Aside from using a motor, do not forget that you can also use pedals to turn CD based turbine blades or just about anything else you can attach a magnet to.

Appliance Motors

Computer hard drives are just one kind of household appliance that offers motors that may be of use to you. Blenders, food processors, can openers, and many other devices can be used to generate electricity as long as you have something to spin them with.

As with computer hard drive motors, you’ll also need to build rectifiers so that you can take the output and turn it into what you need to power other items.  If the device in question also has a power board connected to the motor, you could use it as part of the power conversion system.

When using appliance motors to generate electricity, remember how fast they normally spin, as well as the amount of load they can take. Some motors can rotate thousands of times per minute, others cannot.

If you exceed this speed or try to put too much weight on the motor, you may burn it out or wear it out faster than expected. Even though you may have a large supply of motors on-hand, learn how to preserve them and avoid ruining them so that you can make them last as long as possible in a time of need.

Fans

Whether you are looking at small battery powered fans or box sized fans, the motors and blades can be very useful for generating electricity. These motors are durable and designed to run for hours on end without overheating or needing maintenance.

If you are looking for systems that will generate larger amounts of electricity at one time, then box fan motors will work much better than hard drives or small appliance motors.

In addition, if you want a fast, easy way to get started with testing coils, a battery operated personal desk fan may be a good place. Just add some magnets to the blades, and then build your coils. Even though you will still need to power the fan with electricity, you can still use the blades to induce current in a coil.

Household Trash

Unlike other power generation methods, you will need to convert the trash into something else before you can use it to generate electricity.  There are four basic methods that you can use:

  • The simplest, and least efficient method is to burn the trash to produce heat. This includes turning paper into brick logs that will burn longer, and hopefully produce more heat.  You can use the heat to produce steam, which in turn can be used to spin a conventional turbine. Heat can also be used to spin a rubber band engine, which in turn, can be used for spinning magnets.
  • Depending on the type of trash, you can use it to make natural gas or methane, which can be used as fuel to power a generator. In this case, you would be using kitchen waste and other forms of organic scraps. While this method may be more efficient, do not forget you will also need to be able to store the gas.
  • If you don’t want to burn organic trash, you can use it to make compost. This will produce lower temperatures, but still enough to generate electricity. In this case, you would be using the heat from the compost pile to power a thermoelectric generator. All you need is a material that generates electricity based on the difference in temperature on one side of the material versus the other.  If you are curious about these materials, you may want to look at coffee pots such as the Power Pot and other camping equipment that use thermoelectric materials to generate electricity when they are heated up.
  • Although a stirling engine is technically a thermoelectric engine, it does not always rely on using special materials to drive the engine. Instead, you can use compressed air generated by heat to run the engine.

Video first seen on Kathryn Fourie.

Scrap Metal

Small amounts of metal and whole hunks of metal from engines can be used to generate electricity. Get two different kinds of metal and bury them with attached wires.  You can make small 12 volt cells in ice cube trays, or larger ones in your backyard.

Scrap metal can also be fashioned into many other things. In fact, if you are successful in building small prototypes of different kinds of wind turbine blades, you’ll need to turn to metal fabrication to make larger designs that will be durable enough to withstand higher speeds.

Here are some other ways you can use scrap metal:

  • Seeing the voltmeter budge for the first time can be an amazing experience. You may not pay much attention to whether or not your device will withstand the rain, cold, or other environmental factors. Metal is ideal for building cases and support structures for anything that will build up heat or need to be protected from the elements. You must also build your frameworks so that they can shield your devices as much as possible from EMPs.
  • Depending on your budget and interest in different kinds of equipment, melt scrap metal down and turn it into something else – everything from motor shafts to wire extrusions. Having the ability to forge and shape metal, will greatly expand your options for building power generation devices.

Wires

Wires are every bit as indispensable for generating electricity as magnets. You will need wire to make coils, as well as for connecting smaller power generation modules together.

Here are some places where you can find good quality wire:

Automobile Chassis

Whether you look in the junkyard or at rusty cars in an abandoned lot – chances are the wire harnesses are still intact. These are usually good quality, heavy wire that can be used for many purposes.

Motor Parts

Even if you can’t use the motors or other parts of old appliances, it never hurts to snip the power cords and save them. Later on, you can always remove the rubber coating and use the internal wire for various purposes.

Inside Abandoned Buildings

If you are able to get access to the walls or under the floorboards, there is a good chance you will find electric cables.  If they are coated in metal, you can always melt that metal down for something else.  The wire inside might be best used for constructing earth batteries, or other areas where heavy wire will be of value.

When it comes to repurposing gadgets to make electricity, you will only be limited by your imagination and determination.

Remember the fundamentals of making something spin, and then turning that spinning motion into a way to make a magnet move in relation to a coil. Once you are able to induce current in a coil, there is truly no stopping you from progressing to a point where you can power an entire household and beyond without the need for expensive solar panels or relying on pre-made fuels.

While this process requires time and effort, in the end, you’ll find it worth! Or you may find yourself looking for another reliable energy sources, in case of a blackout!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

10 Uncommon Ways To Generate Electricity For Your Homestead

Did you know that there are some very simple ways to generate electricity that won’t cost a fortune? All you have to do is to keep to the basics of using something that spins a magnet to induce a flow of electrons through a metal coil.

In fact, if you focus on smaller scale designs and look around your home, you won’t believe how many junk items you have on hand that can easily generate 12 volts of electricity with just a little bit of modification.

If you build one system at a time and harness them together, you are able to power an entire household.

Have a look at 10 gadgets you have laying around right now that can be put to good use generating electricity!

CDs

Since CDs are light weight and durable, they can act as a basis for spinning magnets in many different systems. 

Here are just a few to consider:

  • CDs can be used to make Tesla Turbines that run on the flow of air or water. Just add magnets to either side of the turbine and make sure you have coils nearby that will produce electricity.
  • CDs are also easy to cut into a number of shapes. They can be used to make small fan blades that will turn small motors into wind turbines.
  • While you are looking at wind power systems, there are many new vertical blade, shell, and bladeless designs that are very efficient and will also work well for turning small motors. Since CDs are made from plastic, you can easily heat up parts of them to bend into different shapes as well as cut them into any form that you need. Whether you need to combine several CDs or use just one to complete your blade design, you will be starting with a flat, durable piece of material that can be altered easily enough.

Magnets

No matter what kind of electricity generating system you want to make, magnets are absolutely essential. If you don’t have magnets to mount on something that will spin, you won’t be able to induce electrons to flow through a coil of wire.

Fortunately, there are many places where you can get magnets. This includes taking apart old motors that may no longer have usable coils, as well as many other electronic devices.

 

This smart device will help you slash an excess of 70% off your power bill overnight…

 

You can also purchase magnets of all sizes and strengths and experiment with them to see which ones will give you the best performance with different kinds of equipment.

Old Circuit Board Parts

If you are looking for a treasure trove of parts to use for generating electricity, just about any old circuit board will do.  Make sure that you know the difference between AC and DC parts and keep them sorted out in your stockpile.

Here are some parts you should always set aside and then test out to see if they still work:

Capacitors

Ceramic disc, electrolytic, or film capacitors, they can all be used to store up electricity in a circuit and help streamline the output of your system. You should also make it a point to look for variable capacitors since they can be very useful for testing and fine tuning your devices.

Remember you can also make your own bottle capacitors.

Resistors

It may seem counter-intuitive, there are times when you will want to halt the flow of electricity through a circuit, or even redirect it.  Resistors are very important for controlling the flow of electricity so that you can protect other parts of the circuit and achieve your goals.

Diodes

Very important for controlling the flow of electricity through a circuit.

Transistors

They are essential for building control circuits as well as for boosting electricity output.

Relays

Capacitors can build up charges and discharge at predictable rates, but you may also need relays to trigger a change in a circuit path. You may not use them directly in generating power, but you’ll need relays as part of the interface that joins together diverse power generating sources so that you can run larger appliances or even your entire household.

Switches

Overall, you may not think small device switches are worth saving. Maybe you won’t focus on larger sized devices, while the smaller ones may still be useful for smaller boards that need special control for one reason or another.

Remember that safety is an important part of any power generating system. You should always be able to quickly, efficiently, and safely shut down any module in the system without harming yourself, the equipment, or anything attached to it. Switches are necessary for that purpose.

Fuses

As with switches, there is no way to substitute for well placed fuses on your circuit boards and within the power generating systems. Whether you make a mistake or a short occurs, fuses can truly save your life and also prevent your equipment from being ruined.

Do not try to cut corners and bypass fuses or leave them out of your designs.

The Board Itself

Even though each board may have a specific purpose, you can still use the pathways to take the place of wires. Just make sure that you know how to cut into the board to block off pathways that you have no intention of using.

If you do not have wires, but do have several small parts, this may be the most viable way to connect them together.

Computer Hard Drives

Many modern computers have “solid state” drives, but you can still get old junk computer parts that include hard drives featuring motors and solid metal disks inside. Aside from being fun to take apart, they are also a treasure trove for anyone looking for parts to generate electricity with.

Here are three parts you should aim to save:

  • The circuit board – there are many components that you will find useful. I wouldn’t personally recommend wasting time with the IC chips, but you could set them aside for other uses.
  • The motor – old hard drive motors are designed to spin heavy metal disks for hours on end at very high speeds. If you can get a good running motor, you could find a way to reverse it so that it will put electricity out instead of use it.
  • The metal plates – heavier plates are perfect for Tesla Turbines that will spin at higher speeds. They can also be stacked together and will not break apart as quickly as plastic CD versions.

Bicycles and Other Pedal Devices

Overall, you will find that bicycles are some of the most common devices used to generate electricity. All you need to do is make them stationary, and then attach a motor that is capable of producing electricity.

Video first seen on The Do It Yourself World.

You can also use mini exercise bikes or anything else with pedals that work in the same way as bicycle pedals.

Aside from using a motor, do not forget that you can also use pedals to turn CD based turbine blades or just about anything else you can attach a magnet to.

Appliance Motors

Computer hard drives are just one kind of household appliance that offers motors that may be of use to you. Blenders, food processors, can openers, and many other devices can be used to generate electricity as long as you have something to spin them with.

As with computer hard drive motors, you’ll also need to build rectifiers so that you can take the output and turn it into what you need to power other items.  If the device in question also has a power board connected to the motor, you could use it as part of the power conversion system.

When using appliance motors to generate electricity, remember how fast they normally spin, as well as the amount of load they can take. Some motors can rotate thousands of times per minute, others cannot.

If you exceed this speed or try to put too much weight on the motor, you may burn it out or wear it out faster than expected. Even though you may have a large supply of motors on-hand, learn how to preserve them and avoid ruining them so that you can make them last as long as possible in a time of need.

Fans

Whether you are looking at small battery powered fans or box sized fans, the motors and blades can be very useful for generating electricity. These motors are durable and designed to run for hours on end without overheating or needing maintenance.

If you are looking for systems that will generate larger amounts of electricity at one time, then box fan motors will work much better than hard drives or small appliance motors.

In addition, if you want a fast, easy way to get started with testing coils, a battery operated personal desk fan may be a good place. Just add some magnets to the blades, and then build your coils. Even though you will still need to power the fan with electricity, you can still use the blades to induce current in a coil.

Household Trash

Unlike other power generation methods, you will need to convert the trash into something else before you can use it to generate electricity.  There are four basic methods that you can use:

  • The simplest, and least efficient method is to burn the trash to produce heat. This includes turning paper into brick logs that will burn longer, and hopefully produce more heat.  You can use the heat to produce steam, which in turn can be used to spin a conventional turbine. Heat can also be used to spin a rubber band engine, which in turn, can be used for spinning magnets.
  • Depending on the type of trash, you can use it to make natural gas or methane, which can be used as fuel to power a generator. In this case, you would be using kitchen waste and other forms of organic scraps. While this method may be more efficient, do not forget you will also need to be able to store the gas.
  • If you don’t want to burn organic trash, you can use it to make compost. This will produce lower temperatures, but still enough to generate electricity. In this case, you would be using the heat from the compost pile to power a thermoelectric generator. All you need is a material that generates electricity based on the difference in temperature on one side of the material versus the other.  If you are curious about these materials, you may want to look at coffee pots such as the Power Pot and other camping equipment that use thermoelectric materials to generate electricity when they are heated up.
  • Although a stirling engine is technically a thermoelectric engine, it does not always rely on using special materials to drive the engine. Instead, you can use compressed air generated by heat to run the engine.

Video first seen on Kathryn Fourie.

Scrap Metal

Small amounts of metal and whole hunks of metal from engines can be used to generate electricity. Get two different kinds of metal and bury them with attached wires.  You can make small 12 volt cells in ice cube trays, or larger ones in your backyard.

Scrap metal can also be fashioned into many other things. In fact, if you are successful in building small prototypes of different kinds of wind turbine blades, you’ll need to turn to metal fabrication to make larger designs that will be durable enough to withstand higher speeds.

Here are some other ways you can use scrap metal:

  • Seeing the voltmeter budge for the first time can be an amazing experience. You may not pay much attention to whether or not your device will withstand the rain, cold, or other environmental factors. Metal is ideal for building cases and support structures for anything that will build up heat or need to be protected from the elements. You must also build your frameworks so that they can shield your devices as much as possible from EMPs.
  • Depending on your budget and interest in different kinds of equipment, melt scrap metal down and turn it into something else – everything from motor shafts to wire extrusions. Having the ability to forge and shape metal, will greatly expand your options for building power generation devices.

Wires

Wires are every bit as indispensable for generating electricity as magnets. You will need wire to make coils, as well as for connecting smaller power generation modules together.

Here are some places where you can find good quality wire:

Automobile Chassis

Whether you look in the junkyard or at rusty cars in an abandoned lot – chances are the wire harnesses are still intact. These are usually good quality, heavy wire that can be used for many purposes.

Motor Parts

Even if you can’t use the motors or other parts of old appliances, it never hurts to snip the power cords and save them. Later on, you can always remove the rubber coating and use the internal wire for various purposes.

Inside Abandoned Buildings

If you are able to get access to the walls or under the floorboards, there is a good chance you will find electric cables.  If they are coated in metal, you can always melt that metal down for something else.  The wire inside might be best used for constructing earth batteries, or other areas where heavy wire will be of value.

When it comes to repurposing gadgets to make electricity, you will only be limited by your imagination and determination.

Remember the fundamentals of making something spin, and then turning that spinning motion into a way to make a magnet move in relation to a coil. Once you are able to induce current in a coil, there is truly no stopping you from progressing to a point where you can power an entire household and beyond without the need for expensive solar panels or relying on pre-made fuels.

While this process requires time and effort, in the end, you’ll find it worth! Or you may find yourself looking for another reliable energy sources, in case of a blackout!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Bugging In: These Smart Water Solutions Will Save Your Life

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If hunkering down is your choice, either due to your living circumstance, or simply to avoid the hordes on the highway, your bug-in bag should have all the essentials you need.

Anything less will not only waste your time, space and money, but will pin your hopes to a fool’s promise, endangering you and others too. And water is one of those issues that you just can’t take easily when bugging in.

You probably know that a single gallon of water weighs about 8 pounds and takes up quite a bit of space. If you are having problems keeping 1-2 gallons in your living space on a regular basis, you’ll find it almost impossible to store enough water away for your long term survival.

This is just one of many reasons why you should only store away 5-10 gallons of water to get you started in a crisis, and devote your prepping to smart management and finding ways to procure water. Pulling water from the air is one of the solutions, and there are several ways you can do it.

Once you pull the moisture from the air, you will still need to make sure it is fit for drinking and bathing. But all of these obstacles can be overcome with solutions that are small enough and easy enough to store in your bug in bag.

Keep reading to see how to solve the water problem when you’re bugging in!

6 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Water

Even though there are actually thousands of gallons of water sitting in the air around you, actually converting that water vapor into usable water can take a bit of effort.

 

This Device Easily Turns Air Into Water!

 

You still need to know how to conserve water and recycle it as much as possible. If you have to fine tune water production systems, you will have a bit more time to achieve that goal.

Use Dirty Water and Dosage for Flushing the Toilet

You might know already that the fastest and easiest way to cut back on toilet water usage is to gather water from other activities such as cooking and cleaning, and then simply dump it down the toilet.

On a day to day basis, you can also fill a ½ gallon milk container with water, cap it up, and set it in the toilet tank. This will take up area that would normally be taken up by water that would be used for flushing the toilet even though it isn’t necessarily needed.

You can add more milk jugs if you find that you want to reduce the amount of water used for flushing even more.

Smart Cooking Will Save Your Water

When preparing meals, combine as many things as possible so that you do not have to waste water. You can also reduce the amount of water used to cook many items by using lower cooking temperatures or other methods.

For example, if you want to make spaghetti or macaroni, try boiling just enough water to cover the pasta. Thermos cooking also offers a number of ways to reduce both the amount of water used to cook food and also the energy required.

Change Your Washing Routine

When it comes to washing your hands and face, there are a number of ways to save water that don’t necessarily rely on pre-moistened wipes or other stores that will run out.

To begin, instead of turning on the tap, and letting it run, pour water into a bowl instead. From there, dip your hands in the bowl and lather up. Once that is accomplished, take a towel or sponge to get the majority of the soap off your face.

Follow up with some additional splashes of water to get the remainder of the soap off your face. From start to finish, you should only need about ½ gallon versus 2 – 5 gallons for each minute that a faucet would be running. You can also use small bowls for brushing teeth and then a larger one for sponge baths.

Don’t Cut Off House Cleaning

Contrary to popular belief, don’t believe that all house cleaning will end in the post crisis world. If you do not keep floors, walls, furniture, and other internal landscape parts clean, you will soon be in a disease filled, hazardous environment.

From that perspective, toilets and sinks will still require water for cleaning. In the case of toilets, you can use leftover water from cooking or other cleaning chores, just as you would for flushing the toilet.

Grow Food that Doesn’t Rely Much on Water

If you are planning to bug in, then it makes sense that any food growing will occur indoors. First of all, switch to a low-water garden so you could grow your food with a minimum consumption of water.

There are also a number of growing methods that reduce reliance on water to well below what you would use in a conventional outdoor garden and also a container garden. This includes utilizing different potting arrangements and also tried and true ways to preserve moisture as much as possible.

For example, just because your container garden is indoors, that doesn’t mean you can’t use plastic mulches or other covers that will prevent water from evaporating back into the air.

Prevent Evaporation

There are also a number of misting techniques you can use when watering plants to ensure they get as much moisture as possible where it is actually needed. For some species of plants, this includes misting under the leaves, since this is where the leaf is actually able to take in the most water.

If the outdoors are dry enough, you will see tree leaves turn upside down so that those pores can take in the rain as quickly as possible. From that perspective, if you mist under the leaves instead of on top, the plant will get more water, and less will evaporate off the top areas that may have wax or some other natural coating to help prevent evaporation.

How Much Water Do You Need Each Day?

Before making any plans for pulling water from the air, you need to know how much water you’ll need per person. Under normal conditions, you can expect to use 80 – 100 gallons of water per day.

Here are some rough estimates to go by based on routine needs in a survival situation compared to routine times:

The Basic Ways to Pull Water from the Air or Ground

There are many people interested in pulling water from the air, or from brackish environments. Some of the most innovative methods are making use of wind turbines or with alternative blade forms.

Even though these systems tend to rely on condensers and coolants, they can still offer some useful insights. If you can design something based on these systems, or integrate passive heating and cooling into the design, you will spend less money and have a system that will work in any emergency type.

Remember that the ultimate survival water purifier and generator must have the following features:

  • It must use as little energy as possible
  • It must be easy to build and maintain
  • Must require a minimum of moving parts in order to reduce energy consumption and the need to replace parts
  • Must produce enough water on a daily basis for your needs
  • Must be portable or easy enough to move around in case you have to leave your current location or put the equipment in an area where it can gather more water.

Condensation Methods

These methods are designed to work when there is a sudden change in air temperature, which affects how much water vapor the air can hold. Typically, when temperatures drop, this will increase the odds of precipitation.

There are many different ways to use condensation methods to retrieve water from outdoor settings, however they may not yield as much water, if any from indoor locations. Regardless of the system that you use, the hours before sunrise are apt to yield the most water because they are the coolest hours of the day.

Pulling water from the earth is actually fairly easy. Just dig a hole and place a bowl, pot, or cup in the center of the hole. Next, spread some plastic sheeting across. Make sure that the edges of the plastic are sealed off. Use a rock in the center of the plastic so that the lowest point of the plastic is aimed into the cup or bowl. As the ground temperature changes, water vapor will rise up and be trapped by the plastic.

From there, the water droplets will roll down to the center point of the plastic and finally drop into the vessel waiting below. Depending on the moisture levels in the soil, you can collect as little as a cup or as much as several gallons of water in a single night.

Water stills can also be very useful if you have used cooking water or other water that needs to be purified before it can be used for consumption and bathing. Basically, in these systems, the water may be in a bowl, cup, or even housed in the ground as in the method listed above.

For this version, the plastic tent will have an upward high point instead of a low point. As the sun or other heat source causes an increased temperature inside the tent, water vapor rises up and encounters the top of the tent.

From there, water droplets adhere to the sides, and then to waiting cups along the inner ring of the plastic. This water will, or should be, free of chemicals, heavy metals, bacteria, salts, and minerals. Therefore, not only can you use this system to produce fresh water, you can also use it as a final stage for purifying any water that may be on hand.

As with other systems that use plastic, always make sure that the plastic remains clean and free of bacteria, mold, mildew, or other forms of soiling that can make the water unfit to drink.  For long term usage, you may prefer a glass tent, however this will weigh more and require additional support structures for daily needs.

Once you start your indoor container garden, simply enclose the entire area in plastic (basically you will be creating an indoor greenhouse), and then make depressions in the roof that will point to cups or pots waiting below.

This method is one of the most passive and easiest methods for gathering water from the air, and will also help conserve overall moisture used for growing food.

Desiccants

You probably know that silicon and table salt are two commonly available desiccants. If you are seeking to make water for consumption, bathing, or other purposes, then use salt as the desiccant in your system. If you look at some commercial atmospheric water generation systems, you will find that many different desiccants are used for this purpose.

When choosing the chemicals, consider how much energy it will require to remove the chemical from the water, and also how much water yield you will get with each desiccant when compared to table salt.

Air Pressurizers

These systems are somewhat similar to a modern air conditioner in the sense that they blow air over cold coils in order to reduce the air’s temperature, which causes moisture to drop into a waiting receptacle.

While these systems can pull a good bit of water from the air, the coolants can be quite expensive, as can the electricity required to run them. In a bug-in situation where you have limited power and resources, this system may not be a viable option.

Even if you can purchase a miniature system that runs on batteries or solar power, it will not produce as much water as other methods. It may also be very noisy and break down sooner rather than later.

Think in advance about how you can take advantage of new technologies and ideas to make your bug in location more suitable from a food, water, and breathable air perspective.

There are options open to you, and it only takes will to experiment with new materials and concepts to put up a comprehensive plan that would later save you and your family!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Survival Defense For Women: 10 Tricks Against Sexual Predators

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Contrary to popular belief, men who target women for harassment, stalking, rape, and other forms of sexual predation do not limit themselves to targeting strangers. In fact, a significant percentage of rapes are “date rapes”, and other situations where the woman actually knows her attacker.

If you are a woman, remain safe from sexual predators following these 10 tricks!

They will help you correctly asses the situations where you know the man in question, and will also give you hints on how to recognize malicious intent in strangers.

Avoid Traveling Alone

Sexual predators are similar to any other criminal in the sense that they will target those they perceive as the weakest. Typically, this means if you are traveling alone, a sexual predator will think you are an easy mark.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Whether you just go to the store, or go out for a short walk, try traveling with someone else. You never know if a stalker has been waiting for just the right moment, or a complete stranger with criminal intent may decide to attack you.

If you travel alone, here are some things you can do to remain as safe as possible.

Always remain in well-lit areas and as close to a group as possible.

When in a store, after you pay for your purchases, ask for an escort to your vehicle.

Have a running conversation with someone on your cell phone. Make sure the person knows where you are. If you suspect someone strange is around, tell the person you are talking with.

If a stranger approaches you, do not leave the safety of the place you are in. You can always take that person’s number, and contact them later on if you want to have coffee, lunch, or go on a date.

When in doubt, always, go back to “old fashioned” respect and do not allow yourself to be rushed or swayed by something that occurs “out of the blue”. Just because you don’t know who approached you, it doesn’t mean that person hasn’t been stalking you, or doesn’t know who you are.

Considering the increasing number of date rapes and other forms of sexual predation, wait until you gather some facts before you go anywhere with that person.

Be Careful With Makeup, Jewelry, and Clothing Choices

As Western and Islamic cultures continue to meet and find places of disagreement, it is often said that the Islamic treatment of women is far worse than anything you would find in the United States of America. Irresponsible flashing of expensive jewelry, or wearing garments inappropriate for a specific settings, can spell trouble for a woman.

There are also specific meanings for makeup choices that cannot be ignored. What a woman wears or her body language could never be an excuse for sexual harassment or rape, but when you are in a public setting or with people of the opposite gender, it has an impact on the situation. You will always be best served by wearing clothes that are respectful of your body and your goals.

Aside from avoiding wearing expensive jewelry or clothes that make you look like you are for sale, it never hurts to wear clothes that you can defend yourself in.

For example, if you are fan of high heels, do not hesitate to wear heels that are sturdy enough and sharp enough to cause some damage to an attacker’s foot.

You should be able to run comfortably, and have confidence that the shoes will not fall apart or you’d twist an ankle when you need to kick or move for self-defense.

Blue jeans or pants are always going to be easier to defend yourself in, especially if they are loose fitting and do not restrict motion in your legs and hips.

Try to avoid garments that will wrap around your arms or legs or in some way prevent you from moving freely and easily.

While a long flowing scarf or shawl can be used to disguise the motion of your hands and arms, it can also be used to strangle you. Therefore it is still best to avoid garments that are too drapey, or can be used to restrict your movements if an attacker grabs them.

If you wear clothes that are not easy to defend yourself in, make sure that you are with someone you trust completely, and that you are safe in the setting you will be in. There is a big difference between traveling to a family member’s home for a holiday dinner and going to a restaurant in an area with a high crime rate.

In the latter case, no matter how much you may trust the person you are with, there is still a risk because of the setting you are going into. Even though wearing sensible clothes based on your location will not necessarily prevent an attack, it may still give you an edge when it comes to defending yourself and preventing a sexual attack.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings and Self Defense Training

Sexual predators are also similar to other criminals in the sense that they will look for people that aren’t really paying attention to what’s going on around them.

Situational awareness is one of the most important things you can do for yourself; both to stave off a sexual predator as well as any other kind of criminal. While there are no concrete answers for why it works, the fact remains when people are aware that you know they are around, and that you see them, it seems to deter criminal activity.

Today, many people think they know what situation awareness, is yet they are sadly ignorant. It’s about a lot more than knowing how to use window glass to see what’s going on around you, as well as other well-known tricks.

There is a specific body language that you must use, as well as how you look at people. Even if you think you are very proficient insofar as knowing what’s going on around you, and conveying that fact, you will be well served by taking a class in self-defense. These classes can and should teach you the difference between awareness and hyper-vigilance.

Typically, if you appear nervous, or transmit signals that you are unsure of yourself, it can put you in danger, even though the predator knows you see them. You should also learn some basic techniques for getting away from an attacker regardless of whether or not you are carrying a weapon.

Keep a Record of Suspicious Activity

As noted earlier, many women are surprised when they know the person that attacks them. Even if the situation isn’t a date rape or one in which the woman knows the man personally, they may recognize the attacker by sight.

It is always very important to listen to your instincts. If you pay attention, when you see a man for the first time, you may feel a specific repulsion, or a sense that something isn’t right.

In this era of cell phones with good quality cameras, it only takes a second to snap a picture and make a note to yourself. Later on you can always ask your friends or other people that you trust if they know the individual or if they have seen him around.

You may be surprised to find out that you aren’t the only one that has a strange sense about the man in question. This act alone, can also raise awareness for other women that may be at risk from this individual.

Just remember to conceal your actions as much as possible when taking the picture, as you don’t want to convey interest or create a situation where the potential predator can open a conversation with you or try to pursue you.

Keep Your Technologies Updated

Not so long ago, you would have been technologically advanced if you had a “panic button” on the keyless entry device for your vehicle that would cause the horn to honk. If you weren’t that close to your vehicle it was completely useless.

Today there are several technologies that women can take advantage of to stay safe and just about any setting. Here are a few important ones to consider.

Location Trackers

These devices can be kept on a keychain or in your pocket. As long as they have a SIM card in them, they will transmit your location. You can also choose devices that will let other people hear what is going on around you.

Simply leave this information with a friend or someone else that you trust, so that if you go missing, that person can give the necessary information about how to find you.

Undercover Colors

This is a special nail polish that will change colors when dipped into a drink that has known date rape drugs in it. Even if you make a mistake and go out with someone that has this kind of intent, finding out about the drugs before you swallow them can save you from disaster.

Video first seen on FOX 10 Phoenix.

Know the Signs You are Being Followed

Depending on the skill of your potential attacker, you may or may not detect if you are being followed. In the end, always assume that you are being followed, especially if you have a strange sense about a man in your area. When in doubt, walk into a public place where other people may act as a deterrent.

Here are some clues that may help you to determine if you are being followed, however this list is not exhaustive.

If you speed up or slow down your walking pace, the person following you may also adjust his pace.

When looking into a window that reveals the man behind you, or into a mirror, you may notice that they are staring at you or focused on you in some way.

While walking along a street, or through a mall, or even in a store, go to an area where you would not expect this man to follow (a restroom area, a lingerie department, or someplace else where it may seem strange). Pay careful attention: if the man is especially sloppy, he may follow you right into an area that isn’t normal for men to enter.

If you have a more experienced stalker on your hands, the man may stop short of the department you’re heading into or the store you are aiming for. Spend some time in that area, and while you are browsing around, look to see if he is nearby or watching. Don’t assume you are safe, just because the man seems to have walked by your area, or is someplace else yet still in visual distance.

Your litmus test, if you are in a store, should be if the man is visible at or near the checkout area. This includes outside or any other area where it would be easy for him to spot you again and follow you.

Before an actual attack occurs, any criminal or predator must get within 1 to 2 feet of you. Some men may try to advance quickly, while others may try to casually approach and start a conversation. Always be ready to defend yourself without appearing hyper vigilant or nervous.

Social Background Check Before You Go on a Date

Your greatest defense against getting involved with sexual predator is the experiences of other women. No matter whether you are new in an area, or away at college among strangers, immerse in the female social network around you. Include in your network women that know the area, and have a good sense of who the men around are.

Even if you have had several conversations with a specific man, and think you will be safe, remember that date rapists have some very polished social skills. As a result, they are very good at biding their time, and they will attack when you least expect it.

If the man in question is a relative stranger to the area, try to find out about other women in the area and where the man lived before. Try to find contacts that know the man in question for at least five to ten years. Female family members, former romantic partners, and others familiar with the man in question can all be a big help to you.

At the very least, try to establish a connection with your potential date on social networking sites, and review friend lists and conversations. If you cannot see the man’s friend list, or feel that information is being hidden from you, do not enter into a dating situation.

While this may seem extreme, remember that abuser doesn’t change just because they move from one area to another. Old social connections that may have kept up on social networking can still offer valuable clues and give you a chance to avoid a very nasty situation.

Make Self and Mutual Respect a Relationship Foundation

Do you remember the days when words like respect and morals had a tangible cultural meaning? Many women considers themselves “liberated” and look down on a man that wants to hold a car door open for them, etc., we have lost cultural signs of respect for ourselves and the opposite gender.

As corny as it may seem, without these ingrained cultural cues, it becomes difficult to read the intentions of people around you and remain within acceptable relationship boundaries. While most men may not enter a relationship with the intent to sexually abuse or harm their partner, the lack of cultural guidelines and self-discipline might lead to that.

No woman should enter into a date or relationship without the clear understanding that both parties must establish respect for themselves and each other. Even though this won’t necessarily guarantee your safety from a sexual predator, it can help you to avoid making some serious mistakes while playing the field.

Demand Reduced Legal Restrictions on Women for Self Defense Scenarios

Did you know a woman can face criminal charges if she brandishes a gun even though she is afraid she may be raped or attacked? These are just some of the many gun control laws that serve to intimidate and harm a woman’s right to protect herself.

Because women are at such a high risk from sexual predators, and also because men know women are less likely to carry a gun, it is absolutely necessary to significantly lower the “shoot don’t shoot” standards for women who carry guns.

The bottom line is, if a woman feels she is threatened with any kind of physical harm, she should be allowed to stand her ground, brandish her gun and to use it as she sees fit without fear of facing criminal charges.

Sadly, more than a few women have avoided being raped or murdered, yet wound up in prison because gun control laws dictated they somehow committed a crime. This problem can only be addressed through getting rid of these laws, and to set unfairly convicted women free; plus pay them for wrongful conviction.

Today, sexual predation on women is reaching epidemic proportions. Knowing how to defend yourself is crucial, as well as knowing how to prevent a situation from happening.

Would you know what to do to stay safe? Would you know how to survive an attacker?

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

6 Simple Tricks To Survive An Urban Wildfire

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Truly horrific fires occurred over the last decades and centuries. Right now, the situation in California is grabbing a great deal of attention because so many people believed it would never happen this quickly and while other areas of our nation are underwater from hurricanes.

Our environment continues to change, so you can expect more massive fires in areas where they may not have happened before. That’s why you need to be ready to escape from massive fire no matter where you live.

If you are prepping on a budget, you might not afford expensive options. But there are things you can do to protect your assets in case of a huge fire like those that California is facing right now, and be ready to leave your home in your search for safety.

Keep reading for the tips that might change your life in case of an urban fire!

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

1. Protect Documents and Digital Media with Fire Retardant Packages

When it comes to safeguarding important documents, many people immediately think of using a safe. But safes are not the beginning and ending story when it comes to fireproofing. In fact, the vast majority of “fireproof” safes on the market cannot withstand a fire for more than an hour or two at most.

So if you leave the safe behind while evacuating a massive fire, everything inside might be destroyed upon returning to the site. Rather than invest your money in a  large fireproof safe, buy one or more small fireproof boxes that you can pick up quickly and put in your vehicle. You’ll have a better chance of moving them to a place of safety without losing the benefits of a fireproof container.

If you are looking for the lightest weight, and most budget-friendly option, choose fire retardant pouches or envelopes. They are usually lined with fiberglass and will not catch fire unless the surrounding temperature reaches 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Before you select a pouch, check the information from the manufacturer about the temperatures that it can withstand, as well as if the pouch is waterproof. A fire retardant pouch is still like a safe in the sense that if the temperatures get too high, the items inside the safe or pouch may still be destroyed by high temperatures even if the flames never touch them.

Fireproof pouches are still very useful to put in a bug out bag or anywhere in your vehicle where you might want to keep important documents that you will need in the event of an evacuation.

Aside from paper documents you can also store cash, USB drives, an emergency smartphone for accessing important files, and other small devices that may be of use to you during the evacuation and afterwards.

Digitizing as many of your documents as possible and storing them on portable drives will also be of immense benefit. Digitize photos, scan books, or anything else made from paper that you don’t want to lose in a fire.

When combined with EMP proof bags kept inside the fireproof pouch, you will add the ability to protect your electronic devices and media from this problem as well as fires and floods.

2. Always Have a Bug Out Bag Ready and in Your Vehicle

Even if you live in a place where you don’t think you would have to evacuate from a fire, it is still absolutely necessary to have a bug out bag packed and ready to go in your vehicle.

Packing a bug out bag in preparation for evacuating a massive fire is not so different from any other situation. You will still need tools and materials on hand that you can use to:

  • purify water
  • obtain food
  • control your air quality
  • manage medical needs
  • defend yourself
  • send and receive information and communicate

At the beginning your tools may be as simple as a mirror, a magnifying glass, a bandana, water cleaning straws, a sewing kit, a knife, a flash light, and a solar powered battery charger.

If you are on prescription drugs, have at least a month’s fresh supply ready to use in your bug-out bag. If you use herbs or essential oils for medicinal purposes you should also have those already prepared and in your bug-out bag.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Finally,  insofar as the most minimal preparations, have at least one day’s worth of water and food in the pack itself plus a change of clothes, wet wipes for cleaning, and a plastic water bottle. Include edible electrolyte solution (such as Pedialyte), protein powder, and daily vitamins.

Should you find yourself in a situation where you cannot hunt or obtain food some other way; these light weight, inexpensive items can get you through for some time.

It will also help to keep at least 5 days worth of food and water in your vehicle at all times – MREs or other similar pre-packed meals, or store away canned and dry goods that can withstand being in a vehicle for long periods of time without spoiling.

If you do not have room for dozens of plastic bottles filled with water (keep a minimum of four for each person, though to get started), there are collapsible versions on the market geared specifically for preppers.

Choose the clearest bottles that you can find, so that you can set them in the sun if necessary, and use them for UV water purification.

3. Make Sure You Can Access Live Traffic Updates

A fire of immense size – like California fires – can change direction very quickly, meaning that a road you thought would be open may actually be in flames while you are on the move.

You should always watch the fire itself, the smoke from it, and the wind directions, but you still need live traffic updates for your area. These updates will tell you if the road several miles ahead becomes closed off, as well as the possibility of roads that are still open and safe for you to take.

Usually, it is foolhardy to use your smartphone or other distracting electronic equipment while you are driving. But live satellite maps and other views of the region would show you exactly where a massive fire is heading, and it can save you from getting cut off from a vital road way or another path to safety.

Look for apps that can be used for this purpose. Choose a safe time of day to practice with them so that you can integrate them more easily while you are evacuating.

Also, have at least one backup cellular and data sim from a different provider, and at least one unlocked WIFI phone on hand. You should always know how to install the SIMs or operate the phone without one.

4. Do Not Delay Evacuation

Large fires are similar to hurricanes and other environmental disasters in the sense that the sooner you leave the area the better.

Leaving early gives you a better chance to reach a safe location, and it will also help you avoid all of the traffic and other problems associated with large numbers of people trying to evacuate at the same time.

While you may be tempted to wait until an official order comes through to evacuate, it may be better to leave sooner.  Ideally, you should be packed and ready to go as far as needed before a fire even threatens your area.

5. Be Able to Reach, and Thrive in at Least 4 Safe Locations

In these difficult times you might not put even a few dollars away each time you get paid. But it will be even worse if you have no money to travel with and a fire is due to hit your area. One of the best things that you can do for yourself right now prioritize setting aside some travel money. You should have at least enough money to reach four pre-designated safe areas both nearby and at a distance.

Large-scale fires can quickly travel over hundreds of miles, so be prepared to leave the state that you live in, and remain in a distant location for some time. You can use anything from prepaid debit cards that you continue to add money to, or simply set cash aside in a safe place.

As many people have found in Texas and other areas hit by natural disasters, it can take months to years before the insurance companies pay out on the claims, and don’t assume that they’ll pay any faster just because you lost everything in a large scale fire. So, when you  evacuate, be prepared to begin a new life wherever you wind up.

Here are some options that you can try to work with so that you can get back on your feet as quickly as possible while you are waiting for things to resolve in the area where the fire hits.

  • Discuss with friends and family the possibility that your home will be destroyed, and find out who can give you shelter in a time of need. Offer reciprocal shelter in case they are also looking at fires or other natural disasters that can strike their area.
  • Whatever your job or means of support is, either begin liquidating your assets, or look for some other way to make money.  If you have a hobby or any viable skills that aren’t currently being used at a job, think about starting a sideline business.
  • Once you know of friends or family that can take you in a time of need, begin studying the employment, schools, housing, and other aspects of the community. The more you learn about each area, the easier it will be to fit in once you arrive.

If you can’t stay with anyone, then look for alternative forms of shelter in a safe location. Depending on your credit rating, you might get an apartment or some other form of permanent shelter. You can also try long-term stay hotels or other forms of housing where credit checks and job checks are not necessary.

Make sure that you can afford to live in these places until you secure a job or other means of support. Ideally, you will have a sideline income in place before a fire hits that you can rely on no matter where you go.

If you have children, make sure that you know where they are at in their studies, and they can start over again as quickly and easily as possible. Prepare digital versions of their textbooks or anything else that they might need for study, including age and grade appropriate websites where they can obtain study materials.

In addition, once you have your four areas picked out, use social networking and other resources to help your children meet other children in the area. Sometimes having a friend online can make it easier to fit in once your child is physically in the new school area.

Worst comes to worst, your child will have a broader network of friends, which can be useful in helping your child feel comfortable with people from other areas.

6. Disperse Valuables Before a Fire Hits

If you only had one hour to pick all of the things of value in your home to bring along, you might be surprised at how many things you would miss once it’s too late to save them. Aside from things that you really don’t care about and don’t mind selling off, there are keepsakes and other valuables that cannot be replaced, nor can they be judged by monetary value.

Find a way to secure these keepsakes, in a place where it would be highly unlikely for large-scale fires to develop. You can rent a storage shed in another state, or if you have enough land, try to bury your valuables deep underground (note, this is distinctly different from living safely underground in the presence of a massive fire).

Building a fireproof underground shelter that will last for years can be difficult and time-consuming. Look at different building plans, and choose the best materials  before starting the building.

Going through all of your valuables can be difficult and challenging. Once you are done with the process, however, evacuation will be much easier, since they will already be in a safe place. Unlike others who will be dealing with the emotional burden of losing so many valuables, you’ll already be past that point, and better able to focus on starting over again.

When you are facing a large-scale fire, don’t give up on yourself, or your capacity to manage the situation. Make sure that you are ready to evacuate, and to pick up your life as quickly as possible no matter where you wind up.

That’s what being a survivor is all about! Are you able to do it?

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Best 5 Options For Off Grid Batteries To Choose From

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As renewable fuel technologies develop, more and more people are looking to use them in order to reduce reliance on commercial electricity and other fuels.

But both options can be quite expensive if you simply buy pre-fabricated power generation equipment and batteries for storage. That’s why our reader’s question makes a lot of sense:

“Have you any info about batteries for solar off grid? Especially inexpensive alternatives?

Joe”

Before you make a decision about which batteries to buy, think about all your options and try a few things out first.

Keep reading to find out more!

1. Pre-Fab Large Scale Batteries

Aside from being expensive, pre-fabricated large scale batteries will be ruined by an EMP blast if they are hooked up to wires or any equipment that can transmit the pulse to the battery.

Even if you use DIY windmills or other power generating equipment that can be easily repaired after an EMP, these batteries may still leave you without electricity. Therefore, it may not make sense to invest a lot of money in these batteries or put all your reliance on them for future power storage needs.

World’s Smallest Battery Will Power Your House For More Than 2 Days!

Here are some other things you should know about large scale batteries so that you can have a clearer insight into how they compare to something you might build on your own.

Edison Batteries

Even though Edison batteries are some of the best insofar as deep cycling and constant use, they can also be very unreliable and break down easily.

Over the years, Edison Batteries have been discarded and may be very cheap to find in junk yards and scrap metal stations. If you can refurbish one and get it to work reliably, this will be your cheapest option. You can also make your own Edison batteries and make sure they are built to tolerate repairs.

Tesla Batteries

As with other Lithium Ion batteries, the Tesla Battery cannot be deep cycled as much as an Edison battery. They are also fairly new on the market, so there is relatively little information on how easy or difficult it is to repair them and the cost.

While a Tesla battery may appear more reliable in the short term, that does not mean it is better for long term needs, or that will be reliable enough in a time of major social crisis.

Flooded Lead Acid Batteries (FLA)

As with Edison batteries, the FLA batteries have been around for decades. They were also some of the first used for off gridding power needs.

These batteries tend to have problems in colder weather, and may break down under constant deep cycling. That being said, if you are looking for a budget battery that has plenty of field experience, FLAs might be your best bet in the pre-fabs.

Lithium Ion Batteries

Even though lithium ion batteries are smaller and more durable than flooded lead acid batteries, they can still easily be damaged if something goes wrong with the inverters and controllers. Since they are also relatively new on the market, it is hard to say if they will last as long as older battery designs.

As with Tesla batteries, if a Lithium Ion battery breaks down, it is doubtful you will be able to repair it.

Lead-Carbon Batteries

These are relatively new batteries that use lead for the positive side of the battery, and activated carbon for the negative side. They are supposed to last much longer than Lithium Ion batteries and will take a lot more wear and tear.

While they are maintenance free batteries, you also will not be able to repair them if something goes wrong.

Flow Batteries

This is also a relatively new battery type that stores two electrochemical liquids in separate containers. From there, they are introduced into a central vessel separated by a membrane. As electrical charges build up, the electrons can be drawn off for use.

“Recharging” the battery is as simple as feeding energy into one tank or the other. These batteries are useful for meeting expanding energy needs because you only need to add larger storage tanks and equipment to upgrade the battery. Even though the electrochemical fluids can last for decades, they still require pumps to move them around.

2. Small Scale Pre-Fab Batteries

There are many ways to scavenge lithium ion batteries from cell phones, tablets, and other devices, but some other small scale pre-fabricated batteries may also be of some interest to you.

As with larger batteries, these will also be destroyed during an EMP if the battery is hooked up to a device that is susceptible or one where the pulse can be transmitted by wire to the battery.

On the other hand, since these batteries are much smaller and lighter in weight, it is also easier to build Faraday Cages to store spare batteries. Just don’t forget to rotate the batteries on a regular basis with the ones you are using for routine use so that they don’t deteriorate from lack of use.

World’s Smallest Battery Will Power Your House For More Than 2 Days!

You will also need to look for less power hungry appliances and devices so that you can use the smaller batteries more efficiently. Insofar as collecting power from generating sources, it will be of immense benefit to build smaller modules and then feed the power from each module into the smaller batteries.

If you are interested in exploring diverse power sources, or can produce limited amounts of power using different devices, then these batteries may be an ideal answer for you. For larger appliances, it may also be of use to shift to natural gas or some other fuel source instead of relying on electricity.

NiMH

These small, rechargeable batteries are used in high drain devices such as cameras. They will last a long time, and can withstand both deep cycling and a range of temperatures. Unfortunately, they cannot be repaired and can also be quite expensive to purchase.

Cotton Batteries

Even though Ryden Batteries are still not on the market, there is every indicator that they will be available for both large scale and small applications. As innovative as these batteries are, they do rely on complex technology for manufacture, and are not likely to be repairable.

Automobile Batteries

Standard wet cell and gel cell batteries can be used for low drain applications. They can also be scavenged and refurbished as long as the metal plates in the battery are still in good condition. Just remember that the average life of most automobile batteries is 2 – 5 years.

Even if there are plenty of batteries available now, you may find very few viable scavenge options within just a few years after a major social crisis occurs.

Photosynthesis Based Batteries

These batteries require a special pot, a plant, and some water. As the plant absorbs sunlight and carries out photosynthesis, an electrical current is generated. Even though these batteries are expensive and do not make much electricity, they can last for decades and require very little in the way of refurbishing or repair.

Gold Nano Batteries

The manipulation of molecular structures at that level is truly leading to some amazing innovations in batteries. For example, gold nano wires can be used to make a battery that can be recharged well over 200,000 times without showing wear or breaking down.

While these batteries are not yet on the market, they may quickly become popular with people that want reliable batteries that will last for a long time.

Graphene Batteries

Even though graphene was forgotten about for decades, it is still possible to make it at home. That being said, actually making a functional graphene battery takes considerably more effort. Today, graphene batteries are rapidly taking over, and being used to replace lithium ion batteries.

You can purchase small batteries as well as larger ones that can be used to power a motor vehicle. These batteries are known for durability as well as the capacity to work well in high drain situations. They also recharge in minutes when compared to lithium ion and other batteries.

Nano Batteries

Today, there are many batteries and power generation devices that take advantage of molecular manipulation to create lattices, honeycombs, and other patterns that accelerate energy flow, or achieve some other goal. Nano technology is also being used to create new materials that have characteristics that are very different from the parent material by virtue of how the atoms and molecules are arranged. This is distinctly different from chemical reactions that cause an exchange of electrons, or replace atoms and molecules for others of interest.

Many batteries are using these materials for making batteries, but the battery itself is not necessarily referred to as a “nano battery”. Rather, this designation is meant for batteries that are made up of tiny batteries that are joined together to make a larger battery. They tend to be more efficient and charge faster because the electrons do not have to travel as far.

If you are interested in the smallest possible size battery with the largest amount of power, nano batteries should be at the top of your list. Perhaps at some point, nano technology will even provide some answers for EMP proofing and deliver a battery that will not be damaged if an attached device transfers the pulse to it.

3. DIY Smaller Modules Using Simple Systems

If you build these batteries correctly, they can produce anywhere from 1 to 12 volts, which makes them comparable to small scale pre-fab batteries.

These batteries will be the best for long term prepping as you will be able to make them from scavenged materials in nature as well as from junk piles or other locations. Their main drawback revolves around the need for trial and error as well as the limitations on the amount of electricity you can store with them.

As with small scale pre-fab batteries, you may need to make smaller power generation systems such as CD Tesla Turbines or other devices that will generate smaller amounts of electricity that can be combined to power larger devices.

Flywheel Battery

Unlike conventional batteries, a flywheel battery stores mechanical energy instead of electricity. Since many power generators rely on mechanical motion to produce electricity, you should be able to do the same with a flywheel system.

Aside from being able to build these batteries from many different materials, you can also adapt them to different sizes. This includes expanding to large scale batteries.

Other Mechanical Batteries

Twisting ropes, variations of the ancient Chinese Trip Hammer, and even springs can be used to store mechanical energy and then convert it to electricity when needed.

Electrolyte Batteries

Salt water, and many other electrolyte solutions can be used to make wet cell batteries that will store and release electricity.

These batteries may require a good bit of maintenance, and you will always have to be concerned with replacing the electrolyte once it breaks down.

Even though you can also scale these batteries to larger sizes, it may not be worthwhile because of electrolyte availability, or what it will take to produce more.

Natural Batteries

Potatoes, lemons, mud, and even copper pennies can be used to generate and store electrical charges. Even though these batteries won’t last for very long or generate much electricity, they can be used in an emergency situation.

Video first seen on Two-Point-Four.

Leyden Jar

You can make a Leyden Jar from little more than a glass jar and some tin foil. Even though the Leyden Jar seems primitive by modern standards, it can still build up thousands of volts of electricity and work reliably for years on end.

You can also add salt water to the Leyden Jar to increase the amount of electricity it can store. Unlike other batteries, you store and concentrate static electricity to make it of use for a wide range of applications.

Aluminum Graphite Batteries

These batteries do not hold as much electricity as lithium ion batteries, but you may be able to make them from scavenged parts.

Since they recharge faster, you may also find them useful for low drain devices and other applications. Because these batteries do recharge very quickly, researchers are looking for ways to bring them to the market.

4. DIY Larger Scale Batteries

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on batteries that will power a household. Here are two battery types that you can build from scraps that will last for years and serve your needs well.

Even though it will take some hard work to set them up, it will be well worth the effort. Unlike pre-fab batteries, these will last a long time, require little or no maintenance, and are very easy to refill or repair as needed.

Earth Batteries

These batteries are some of the easiest and most versatile batteries that you can make from scavenged material and a place to bury it.

All you need is some soil, two different kinds of metal, and some wire. You can build small versions of Earth Batteries in ice cube trays, or larger ones in your backyard.

Video first seen on MrTeslonian

If you want to increase the yield from these batteries, just add salt water or some other electrolyte. Insofar a ease of building, you will find that no complex tools are required.

They are also very easy to repair and fairly easy to maintain. Start off with a small version and then put several of them together before creating underground versions.

Salt Water Batteries

While salt water batteries were available on the market, the company that made them, Aquinon, filed bankruptcy earlier this year. It is difficult to say at this time if salt water batteries will continue to be available on the market. It is also very hard to say how useful or durable a DIY version of a salt water battery will be.

That being said, if you live near an ocean or have access to plenty of salt, this may be a good option for you to pursue.

5. Highly Unconventional DIY Batteries

Chances are, if you are a fan of Nikola Tesla, then you know that he was working on finding ways to generate electricity from the Earth. He was also very interested in transmitting electricity through the air.

While Earth Batteries may be far weaker than what Tesla envisioned, modern researchers are making some headway on transmitting electricity through the air. For example, devices exist now that utilize ultrasound, which is then converted to sound signals, and then transmitted to a receiver.

The receiver converts the sound to electricity, which powers the device. If you do some research, you will find many devices that work on similar principles, yet have never made it to the consumer markets. As such, you can adapt these ideas for your own use and see what you can come up with.

Each year, it seems like the types of batteries for off grid power usage expand in some interesting ways. Not so long ago, your choices were limited to Edison, FLA, and Lithium Ion Batteries.

Today, you can still take these batteries into consideration, or you can pursue DIY and unconventional models that will also serve your needs at a lower cost.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

Further Reading

http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/130380-future-batteries-coming-soon-charge-in-seconds-last-months-and-power-over-the-air

https://realgoods.com/solar-renewable-energy/deep-cycle-batteries/flooded-lead-acid

https://seekingalpha.com/article/115257-lead-carbon-a-game-changer-for-alternative-energy-storage

http://energystorage.org/energy-storage/storage-technology-comparisons/flow-batteries

http://graphene-battery.net/graphene.htm

Take These 8 Steps To Control Allergies Without Medicines

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It is no secret that increasing levels of pollution in the water, air, and food are leading to a higher percentage of people developing “allergies”.

Modern science claims that it is our immune systems at fault, and therefore needs blocking with dangerous drugs, but perhaps look at this situation from the other way around.

In this case, our body’s immune system has “good reason” to reject chemicals that cause cancer, heart problems, or other diseases.

From that perspective, it becomes possible to look for methods to control allergies without using medicines.

Detecting, eliminating, and healing from the consequences of allergic triggers can be tedious and time consuming.

Still it may be best to consider before even more people succumb to “allergies” that may indicate environmental problems instead of biological dysfunctions.

Be Open Minded When Searching for Triggers

When searching for allergy triggers, start off by viewing your body as a holistic system in the sense that problems in one area can trigger symptoms elsewhere.

For example, a food allergy can trigger breathing problems, headaches, or other issues that aren’t clearly “digestive” in nature.

Therefore, when you go for allergy testing, make sure that you are tested for as many possible triggers in as many areas as possible.

Get a copy of the results and keep them handy in a binder where you can make additional notes.

As you will see later on in this article, molecules from things you are allergic to can appear in some very strange and unexpected places. This, in turn, means that you will have to do some very careful research to find out exactly what is triggering your allergic responses and then figure out how best to avoid them.

Start the Trigger Elimination Process With Dairy

Did you know one of the biggest and fastest growing causes of allergy in the United States is dairy products?

As such, if you are looking for the biggest place to eliminate the most triggers, starting with cutting out all dairy may be a good place to start. Now let’s have a look at why.

This is How Our Ancestors Grew Their Own Food and Survived Crisis!

Even if you have never been on a farm or helped raise dairy cows, you already know that lactating cows consuming onions will produce milk that smells of onion. While we are often told that milk is a food designed to feed newborn mammals, the fact remains mammalian mothers also pass many other things along with the milk.

This includes:

The kind of molecules from foods that are consumed by the cow

In this case, chemicals from the onion are not as easily digested, and get passed along in the milk.

Now let’s say you are allergic to sulfur (which is in the oil from onions that the cows do not digest easily), and you buy milk from a cow that has consumed onions. Let’s also say the milk has been homogenized, pasteurized, and modified in order to produce the same flavor from one carton to another.

As a result, even though you would normally be able to smell or taste the sulfur, you are unable to because of all this masking. Logically speaking, even though sulfur is not listed on the carton of milk as an ingredient, it may, in fact be in milk itself.

In order to find out if there are hidden allergens in dairy products, you must start off by finding out what you are allergic to. Do some research at feedipedia.org to find out if things you are allergic to are being fed to dairy cows.

Remember, it may not be the entire food you are allergic to, but just one or two molecules that get passed into the milk. This includes items that you normally don’t consider as food, but may be fed to dairy cows such as wood chips. If you are allergic to the pollen from a specific tree, then seeing wood or other material from that tree may still be putting you into contact with problematic molecules from that tree’s pollen.

Proteins and other materials from foods that are used in vaccines

At this time there is considerable controversy over whether or not vaccines can cause food allergies in children. Since dairy proteins are used in some vaccines, it is worth a try to stop consuming dairy products to see if it helps.

Hidden vaccines, medicines, and other chemicals fed to dairy cows

As with hidden food molecules from other sources masked in the milk, you may also be consuming traces of antibiotics, injected hormones, and many other things that may be triggering allergic responses once you consume them through the milk.

Keep Track of Improvements and Changes

Once you decide on an allergy trigger to eliminate, be sure to record the date and how you feel. Take notes daily for at least three months. If you notice improvements in your health, make note of these. In some cases, the improvements may be indirectly related, or not as much as expected because your body needs to heal.

While some claim that you will reach maximum improvement in 1 – 2 months, swollen or inflamed tissue can take months to heal. If you sprain your ankle on the ice or sprain your ankle the exact same way on some other surface, it will take the same time to heal.

It does not always matter where the tissue injury comes from, it only matters that it needs a certain amount of time to heal before you see the full benefit.

How to Filter and Avoid Air Based Triggers

There are all kinds of toxic odors around you from automobiles, factories, and even homes that burn various fuels for heat and cooking. In fact, if you could test an air sample from your home, you would find that it is full of micro particles of dust, mold, smoke debris, and all kinds of gases.

Even though you can breathe it in and have become adapted to the odor, that does not mean your lungs are immune to injury from these air pollutants.

Each time you go into a store, you’re exposed to airborne toxins and carcinogenic molecules released by air fresheners, soaps, perfumes, and other body care products. Even if you don’t use a particular product, if you can smell it in the air, it is, in fact, having an impact on your body, and may be causing harm to your lungs and immune system.

Since it can be expensive and tedious to isolate every single gas or particulate matter in the air around you, the best thing you can do is filter your air as much as possible.

At home, you can use activated carbon and near-HEPA grade furnace filters to clean the air as much as possible.

You can also wear face masks that contain activated carbon when you go out in order to eliminate store based odors, auto exhaust fumes, and other air borne toxins that may be triggering allergic reactions. Wearing a mask (and latex/vinyl gloves) will also reduce your chances of getting the flu, colds, and other illnesses during peak seasons for these diseases.

Dig Deeper on Vaccines

Did you know that vaccines for Adenovirus, and mist versions of the flu shot contain monosodium glutamate (MSG)?

Aside from this, many other vaccines contain sucrose, molecules from milk, pork, beef, eggs, soy, and other things that are either food or commonly found as food additives.

Chances are you also realize that allergies to these foods, and illnesses from them were virtually unheard of even a few decades ago.

While there are many possible factors causing the rise in allergies and cancer, there is no question that immune system “problems” are at the bottom of them, just as surely as the immune system is part of the equation for asthma and “allergies”.

From this perspective, the rise in all these diseases corresponds uncomfortably well with the increases in vaccines and vaccinations.

There is no doubt that vaccines are important for preventing deadly diseases like tetanus. On the other side of the equation, there is truly more than one way to make a vaccine.

Do your research on the different formularies available and demand one that you feel will do the least damage just in case there is a viable, yet currently controversial link between receiving vaccines and developing allergies to some of the ingredients injected at the same time as the offending pathogen.

Understand the Role of Pollution

Your body is made up completely of atoms and molecules that have been part of the Earth since its formation. Even though there are things that are poisonous or harmful to your body, nothing compares to the toxic load generated by molecules that would never form naturally or on their own.

Today, man-made chemicals pollute every aspect of our world. To add insult to injury, when you start combining these chemicals (such as in dumps), or other areas where they can mix, there is no telling what impact they have once you encounter them. There may not even be a tests for your allergy simply because researchers don’t even know that certain molecules exist.

From that perspective, it’s important to be careful about purifying washing, bathing, and drinking water. Do what you can to make sure the air you breathe and food you eat are as free of pollutants as possible.

Find ways to keep your garments free of contamination and make sure that you can prevent debris from getting into your home. If this all sounds like advice for nuclear decontamination, you would not be far off in your estimation!

Understand the Drugs and Therapies You are On

Over the years, researchers claim they have made great strides in understanding how the immune system works, and how to control it to achieve better results. One has only to look at the history of the appendix to understand how far off researchers may be even as they continue to develop drugs based on what may be faulty knowledge.

Consider that not so long ago, the appendix was considered a “vestigal organ” that has no real purpose in the modern human body. As such, it is often removed or thought of as having no role other than to cause problems when it becomes infected.

More recently, it has been discovered that the appendix helps ensure the balance of bacteria in the intestines remains in favor of good bacteria. This alone has many implications for good health and a well functioning immune system. Some researchers also speculate that the appendix may play a heavier role than expected in the immune response process.

Allergies are often thought of as “inflammation”, and that one part of the immune system is responsible for all the problems. This part of the immune system is also thought to have no particular or important use in the human body, so modern therapies aim to either block it or knock it out altogether.

Given the “mistakes” in scientific conclusions that happened with the appendix, isn’t it possible that the same kind of mistake is being made with the parts of the immune system that create allergic responses?

As stated earlier, it is entirely possible our bodies have good reason for responding to certain things as poison. While we may not see anything on the surface, hidden poisons, toxins, carcinogens, and other dangerous molecules may be detected by the immune system.

Before you try to control your allergies without drugs, be aware of what you are on, and if it is safe to stop therapy. In some cases, missing a single shot can spell death or serious illness because your immune system will be thrown into chaos. Once you know that you can safely get off these drugs, make a plan with your doctor and make sure that you get all the right information.

This includes consulting with the following doctors on all drugs that you are taking:

  • an endocrinologist (especially if you are taking any kind of steroid)
  • an immunologist
  • a hematologist
  • an allergy specialist
  • a dietitian that specializes in eliminating specific foods without sacrificing good nutrition
  • a specialist for the organ system for every other drug you are on that isn’t related to treatment for allergies
  • a licensed specialist for any herbal supplements you may be taking

Before you make a decision, take notes on all the answers that you got and then do your own research. Make an effort to find out where the conflicts come from. Rule out any that may come from lack of more detailed knowledge about a specific drug and its impact on organs you hadn’t considered to be part of your problem.

Go back and ask more questions and see if you can get a viable consensus that agrees with research derived from creditable resources such as the WHO and NIH. Once you have a consensus, then you have a better chance of getting off drugs for allergies safely and effectively.

Use Your Rights to Demand Change

One of the most important and impressive things about capitalism is you have a right to spend your money as you choose. If you find that products are dangerous or harmful, there should never be a law that says you have to buy them or consume them instead of something else.

Today, many aspects of modern medicine are driven by money. While doctors may still have good intentions, they are also bound by money and making as much of it as possible. Now is the time to use your political rights to demand better scientific research and accountability. It is also time to refuse to buy into anything that prevents capitalism from getting rid of bad or dangerous drugs or procedures.

More than a few people suffering from allergies today are surprised to find that controlling the problem seems to be getting harder and more expensive. Without a careful study of pollutants, hidden ingredients, and drugs used to treat immune related disorders, you’ll have a very hard time managing your allergies using natural methods.

If you start with some of the bigger, or key triggers, it will give you a basis for moving forward.

Regardless of whether you are concerned about drug availability during a major social collapse, want to cut costs associated with prescription drugs, or simply want to feel good without always focusing on being ill, then even small steps can and should encourage you to move forward.

And hopefully succeed in treating your allergies as well as many other conditions without using drugs!

****Disclaimer: This article is not intended to, nor does it take the place of competent medical advice. See a qualified, licensed medical doctor and always do your own research.****

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

10 Ways To Repurpose A Lawn Mower Engine

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Have you ever noticed that the body of your lawnmower wears out long before the engine? If so, then you may even have a few extra engines laying around, but have no idea what to do with them.

There are several ways to reuse a lawn mower engine to meet a range of off gridding and survival goals. Whether you use an engine that was sitting in your garage for years on end, or you happen to find one abandoned by someone that saw no use for it, there is a chance you can use it for any of the following purposes.

Here’s how!

Build a Generator

From surviving the aftermath of a hurricane to trying to cut back on your electric bill, you would be amazed at how much electricity you can get from a lawn mower engine.

Depending on the horsepower of the engine, you could power household lights, and perhaps a few smaller, low drain appliances. For example, if you have RV or other 12 volt appliances on hand, you should be able to run them with ease.

Unless you convert the lawn mower engine to run on some other fuel, you will need gasoline. Fortunately, you will need far less than what you would need if you were running a conventional generator.

Even if you do not get as much power from the lawn mower engine, it will still get you through though times as long as you pair it with energy conserving appliances.

This smart device will help you slash an excess of 70% off your power bill overnight…

Power Transport Vehicles

Let’s say an EMP blast has wiped out most computers, and most cars and other vehicles that rely on computer are unable to run. If you have a lawn mower engine that doesn’t have any computerized or electronic parts, you can use it to power smaller vehicles.

Here are just a few options you may want to consider:

  • Bicycles – the lightweight frames and large wheels make it possible for even a small lawnmower engine to power the bike at a fairly good speed. For the sake of balance, you may want to add training wheels on the back wheel of the bike. Don’t forget to make sure that you can still use the brakes and turn the bike easily while the engine is running. You can also power tricycles using a lawnmower engine.
  • Motor bikes – even though motor bikes and scooters may not move as fast, they will still get you from one place to another.
  • ATVs, Go Carts, and Other Small Vehicles – You can power just about any light weight vehicle suitable for carrying one person with a lawn mower engine. This includes designing your own vehicles that will incorporate elements that you feel will be most important during a major crisis. This may even include a small side cart where you can put supplies, larger tires, or even tracks for navigating off road and in rough terrain. You may also want to include other design elements that will help you navigate in the snow or ice if you will be traveling in areas where these forms of precipitation will lead to problems. Just remember not to exceed the weight bearing capacity of the engine you are using to power the vehicle.

Power a Wheelchair

Even outside of a crisis situation, many people that need wheelchairs cannot afford motorized versions.

While these people may be able to get around a small room using a manual wheelchair, the lack of a motorized transport device makes it impossible for them to go the park or enjoy other activities in places where a motorized wheelchair may not be available.

In order to use a lawn mower engine to power a wheelchair, you would need to start off by building a suitable frame. Depending on the person, you can build a recumbent design, or something that looks more like a conventional motor driven wheelchair.

Regardless of the design you choose, a motorized wheelchair driven by a lawn mower engine is not suitable for use indoors or other areas with poor ventilation. As with any other gasoline driven engine, a running lawn mower engine still gives off carbon monoxide and other toxic gasses.

Build a Power Wheelbarrow

More than a few people interested in gardening these days live on very small pieces of land, or have medical conditions that make it very hard to tend a conventional garden. If you have a small deck or porch, a power wheelbarrow can be of immense benefit in setting up a container garden.

Among other things, you can fill it up with soil or compost and bring it to the site where you intend to plant. As long as the wheelbarrow has suitable wheels, it will be able to travel from one area to another with relative ease.

Video first seen on Roy Rickstrew.

When powering wheelbarrow with a lawnmower engine, it will more than likely have to run on at least three wheels. If you include longer handles for leverage, keep the single wheel in the front. This will enable you to use the wheelbarrow as a manual design as well as a motorized one.

If you plan on bringing soil and compost indoors to grow plants in a single room, it will still be best to have the lawn mower engine turned off.

During the process of building a power wheelbarrow, you’ll still need some way to steer the device even though you will not be sitting in it.

Your best option is likely to be an Arduino controller that has a remote controller on it. For the most part, once you know how to use Arduino to control a remote control car model, you can adapt the same methods for controlling a power wheelbarrow.

Power an Air Compressor

If you have ever worked with hand tools, then you were sure to be amazed at the ease and convenience associated with power tools. While you may need to go back to hand saws and other simple devices in a time of need, chances are you still love jig saws, circular saws, drills, and rotary tools.

As wonderful as these tools may be, many people that have used compressed air tools tend to think of conventional power tools as nice, but primitive. If you are serious about repairing cars or working materials that require a lot of force to manage, you are likely to want to use compressed air tools.

One of the most disappointing things is an air compressor connected to a tiny tank that won’t give you compressed air or time to get much of anything done. The most useful air compressors with big tanks or the capacity to deliver air without going to a tank can be expensive and bulky, so it makes sense to make an air compressor from an old lawn mower engine.

As with generating electricity, you will find that just about anything that spins can be combined with other parts and materials to compress air.

 

This smart device will help you slash an excess of 70% off your power bill overnight…

 

Power a Small Boat

As you look at the scenes of devastation in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, it becomes clear that transport over land may not be the only cause for concern during a crisis.

Small conventional boats can be powered by lawn mower engines. It will will take some extra fitting to ensure the lawn mower engine doesn’t get wet, however it is well worth the effort, especially if you have to travel a significant distance in order to get to some kind of safety. The boat will have to be fairly small for this to work, and consider keeping it at home in a garage or some other area where you can get to it easily if needed.

Aside from conventional boats, consider adapting a lawnmower engine to run an air boat. If you take a careful look, in particular, at the pictures from Texas, you will find these boats are very important and useful when there is a lot of flooding combined with the potential for excessive amounts of underwater debris.

As with navigating through swamps or marshes, an airboat may be a much better choice if you are in a city or other suburban area and need to get out through flooded streets.

Build a Rotary Tool

Even though most people use hand held rotary tools without a stand, it is also possible to use them while suspended to a platform. Since a lawnmower engine can deliver plenty of power to spin a central shaft, it can be used to take the place of many different kinds of rotary tools. This includes:

  • Drill presses, screwdrivers, and power drills. Even though you cannot simply lift the lawn mower engine by hand for the smaller hand drilling devices, you can still use an extension that will deliver the spinning motion to a tool that you hold in your hand. For example, Dremel, Foredom, and other rotary tool manufacturers all make flexible shafts that fit onto the main rotary appliance while it it is mounted on a platform.
  • Polishers – you can use rotary tools to polish everything from metal and stone to wood. You will still need the proper grits and pastes to create smooth, even polishing effects.
  • Stone or Metal cutting and embossing – if you are interested in creating stone or metal art, it always helps to have a rotary device that can cut through these materials. In addition, you can also adapt rotary tools to polish and sharpen knives or other metal equipment that you buy or make yourself.

Depending on how you line up the equipment extending from the shaft, you may also be able to make a very crude wood and metal working lathe. Just be aware of the fact that the platform for this kind of application can be very tedious to design and will need to withstand a good bit of vibration without moving. You will also need proper tools for forming the items being spun by the lathe.

Power for Water Irrigation and Transport

If you own a homestead, you may have ponds or streams on the land that can be used for irrigation. If you have to get the water to move uphill or around complex land features, you’ll need pumps or other devices to ensure adequate water movement.

Combine a lawnmower engine with an Archimedes Screw or other devices in order transport water during times when the flow is too slow for your needs. This may also include pumping water up from shallow wells or other underground resources.

Even though it is true that there is no place for water to go during a major flood scenario, there are just as many other times when you can direct the water away from your home and property and have a reasonable expectation that it won’t just come right back. Therefore, converting a lawn mower engine to be used as a sump pump or other water draining device also makes a good bit of sense.

Many people going off grid often find themselves wondering how they can capture rainwater and deliver it inside their homes as efficiently as possible. If you need a low budget option, try using a lawn mower engine converted for pumping water so that you can move water from the rain trap through pipes to a tank inside your home.

Depending on where the tank’s lowest point is in relation to the other pipes, you can still get a reasonable amount of water pressure for household needs, or you may still need to add extra smaller sized water pumps around the house.

Power Heavy Lifting and Towing Equipment

As a budget conscious prepper, you might think that you will only have simple devices such as rope hoists and levers to move heavy equipment around.

On the other side of the equation, the spinning shaft of a lawn mower can be used to power hoists and pulley systems. Just convert the motion of the lawn mower shaft so that it wraps the rope around a reel, then you’ll have to work out a method to release the rope once the weight is removed from it.

Unless you feel like creating some type of transmission, it will be very difficult to create a “reverse” motion with the lawnmower engine.

You may be surprised at the number of times you will need to haul something big and heavy from one place to another. For example, if you are clearing trees or need to move bulky logs, you could create a cart and then attach a pulley system to it.

From there, you can attach the lawn mower engine to the cart, and then use the pulley system to drag the object from one place to another. As with any other moving device, you must also be able to stop the cart from moving forward, and you must also be able to lock the wheels in place for stationary use.

Learn the Fundamentals of Engine Cleaning and Repair

Today, more than a few people are interested in retrofitting cars or putting older ones back on the road. But as these vehicles become scarcer, you may be forced to try and refurbish a vehicle that has serious engine problems.

A lawn mower engine has the same kind of piston and cylinder system as a conventional gas engine, so you can take it apart and learn the basics on a much smaller device. As you go through this process, learn and practice good disassembly and assembly practices as well as learn how to clean and evaluate parts.

You won’t be spending thousands of dollars on a vehicle, and then find out that you do not have the skills necessary to rebuild the engine. While there will still be a learning curve in transiting from lawn mower engines to old style automobile gasoline engines, it will not be as steep or complicated.

Over the years, many people have thrown out perfectly good lawn mower engines because they saw no other use for them. But lawn mower engines are small, durable, and reliable. With just a little bit of adaption, they can be used to meet a range of homesteading and survival needs.

No matter whether you start adapting lawn mower engines to other uses as a matter of hobby or necessity, you are sure to learn a lot, and enjoy a lower budget useful task at the same time.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Nuclear Prepping On Fast Forward: 10 Cheap & Easy To-Dos

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North Korea doesn’t have the power to wipe out the United States. They can take a lot of lives and make us uncomfortable, but they won’t be able to destroy us.

Our nation still faces a nuclear crisis; and it may come right from our own nuclear power plants.

No matter what nation you look at these days, there are hackers that can turn our power plants against us. This is an imminent threat that can disburse lethal radiation to just about every corner of our nation.

If you have been putting off nuclear prepping because it seems useless or expensive, then you may be wondering if there is something you can do right away. Keep reading to find out!

Here are 10 things you can do in just a few minutes to 48 hours to secure your survival in the outer bands of a nuclear crisis zone from the time the event occurs to 5 days past the main event.

Know Where the Nuclear Shelters are in Your Area

One of the first things you should do is find out where the local blast shelters and fallout shelters are located. You can try doing a web search for this information in relation to your local area, and also ask at your town or city clerk’s office.

Since the United States has become remarkably lax in this area, you may not get any viable answers.

 

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

 

If you find that you cannot get the address and information on a viable nuclear shelter, then start looking around for places that might make a viable shelter in time of need. Old brick churches, schools, or other sturdy buildings with solid basements might be of some use.

Do not overlook underground parking garages or other places where you can put a lot of heavy material between you and the radiation. If you find a viable place, but no plans have been made to store water, food, and other supplies, now might be a good time to approach the owner and get some volunteer efforts going in that direction.

Given the current state of the news, you may find people are more amenable to these ideas than they would have been even a year ago.

Have a Plan for Getting Underground and Test It

It is often said that most people living in a city will be doomed if a nuclear bomb is detonated. On the other hand, if the city buildings survive, there is every chance the lower and underground levels of the buildings may be suitable for a fallout shelter.

Therefore, if you live in a city, locate at least five buildings with basements that you can get into quickly in a time of need. Try to space out the buildings so that you can get to them in under five minutes on foot.

If you have to approach a building owner or superintendent to make these arrangements, do not forget to add extra supplies. Unfortunately, people can become very untrustworthy in a time of need, however you may still find others that will honor their agreements.

No matter whether you live in a rural area or a location in the city where you can dig into the ground, build a small fallout shelter that you can reach in a matter of minutes. There are several resources online that you can use for starter plans to build everything from a foxhole design to larger ones.

When building your shelter, you must make sure you have at least 3 feet (6 – 7 feet is better if you can manage it) of well packed soil around you and above you. Just remember to make sure there is also enough room in the shelter to store at least 5 days of water, food, and anything you may decide to take along to another area.

If you are looking to build the shelter in less than 24 hours, you can also add a vent shaft, however the air will need to be pulled in through a MIRV 16 filter or better in order to remove as much radioactive dust as possible.

Be Able to Calculate When and Where to Go

As soon as you find out there is a nuclear blast and that you are in the radiation zone, get underground or put as much material between you and the blast site as possible. When you find the safest possible shelter, you’ll need to stay there for about 5 days.

When it comes to short term, fast prepping for a nuclear disaster, you will find the time after this much more challenging. Even though the most immediate threats from heavy doses of radiation will be over, you must still contend with all the contaminated things in your area. This includes food, water, tools, and anything else that would normally be of use in time of need.

Insofar as where to go after emerging from your blast/fallout shelter, it will depend largely on where the blast occurred and what else is going on in surrounding areas.

If you are dealing with a single nuclear power plant, you must know where the radioactive fallout is most likely to be carried by wind and water currents. Heading away from the projected fallout zone will be your best bet.

Make sure you know where all the nuclear power plants are within a 500 mile radius of locality. Some college campuses also have nuclear reactors for research purposes, so make sure that you know where those are in case they also get hacked.

Listen to the radio and find out what other areas are contaminated so that you have a better chance of picking a safe area. Take geographic features such as mountains and fresh water resources into consideration when deciding where you will go.

At the current time, relatively few analysts think that North Korea has a vehicle capable of reaching the eastern areas of the United States. Most also think North Korea has not yet developed a MERV device, so it is likely you will be dealing with a single detonation as opposed to a localized pattern.

On the other hand, a strike far enough into the west coast can still bring a lot of radiation to the eastern areas in a matter of a day or two. It is important to know how to get to the mountains or other areas where air and water currents from the west will be mainly blocked out.

Prepare for Radiation Sickness

You can start preparing for radiation sickness by having potassium iodide tablets on hand. Even though you will not need them until a nuclear event happens, it is still important to have them on hand. If you live close enough to a nuclear power plant, they may give them out for free if you ask for them.

There are also some vitamins (E and C) that can help reduce the effects of nuclear radiation, however they are best taken beforehand. Do not take more than the recommended amounts of these vitamins as some can be poisonous if you take too much.

See our articles on foods and vitamins for prepping to see what you need to be consuming right now, as well as which foods are best to store. Fortunately, the most useful vitamins for nuclear prepping can be found in a good quality multi-vitamin.

Just make sure that you include a new bottle in your food cache so that you have an uncontaminated supply at your shelter location.

Overall, treatment for radiation sickness will entail managing symptoms such as nausea, vomit, cough, and bleeding. To keep things as simple as possible, buy extra of any OTC medications you use for the most common symptoms and keep them in your shelter area. This includes any herbal remedies that you may already have experience with.

There are also some medications you can use to remove radiation from your body if you become exposed to it. The cheapest and easiest to obtain will be activated carbon capsules and zeolite capsules. When using zeolites, bear in mind, however, that it can be carcinogenic. Try not to use zeolites for a prolonged period of time.

Build a Radiation Detector

The fastest and cheapest way to build a radiation detector is to follow the designs for a Kearny Fallout Meter.

Try to build at least three or four of them, and place them in different areas. Once you know how to read the meters, it will be easier to determine when radiation levels are elevated in your area.

If you have some extra money, you can also buy a device that will attach to your cell phone that will act like a Geiger counter.

Secure a 5 Day Food Supply

One of the most important things you can do is store away at least five days worth of food. Stick to canned, dried, or powdered foods that do not require heating.

At least half of your food choices should be items that will shield your body from radiation or remove it from your body. It may also help to store away a few MREs for more balance. Sadly, I would not necessarily recommend putting food in a bug out bag, as it will get contaminated by radiation while you are moving to a place of safety.

Store your foods in your fallout shelter, and the remainder under at least 6 feet of dirt, and then retrieve when it is safe to do so.

Water Cleaning During a Nuclear Disaster

The cheapest way to remove nuclear radiation from water is to use uncontaminated dirt. Zeolites and activated carbon will also remove some radiation. Later on, when you emerge from your shelter, the best thing you can do is distill the water.

Even though this will not remove tritium, it will still get rid of all the other nuclear contaminants. It is also very important to have a 5 day supply of bottled water in your fallout shelter.

The plastic bottles will shield the water from the radiation. Be sure to wipe all dust off the bottles so that you do no contaminate the water with any fallout that may have gotten into the shelter.

Secure Decontamination and Hygiene Essentials

With the exception of Gamma radiation, almost all other radiation will be trapped by your clothes. Therefore, it is very important to have a change of clothes in your shelter.

The most effective decontamination is a long shower and scrubbing with lye soap. Since it is not likely you will be able to create an underground piping system for this purpose in a day, your best bet will be to make sure as much of your skin and hair as possible remain covered with white fabric.

Include a bandanna or scarf (preferably sari cloth as it can also double as a water filter) that you can quickly and easily slip over your nose and mouth to block out as much dust as possible. Even weaker Alpha and Beta radiation particles can wreak havoc if they get into your body via your mouth or nose.

Insofar as hygiene, store away wet wipes and other aides for keeping yourself as clean as possible without using water.It will also be useful to store away bags that can be used for urine and stool as you will not want them building up in the shelter. These can be pushed into an adjoining tunnel from your living area, and then sealed off with dirt or a door.

As much as you may be tempted to find a way to put these bags above ground, I do not recommend it. They can leave you open to detection by people above ground. You will also be exposed to radiation each time you emerge from the earth.

Be Ready to Defend Yourself

If you have a gun and ammo, you will be ahead of the game. That being said, it is also important to store away knives and anything else you can use as a weapon. Try to practice basic self defense moves now and do what you can to brush up on your situation awareness skills. Even 15 minutes of practice each day can be of benefit.

Depending on where you live and the severity of the blast in your area, it is possible that people will be roving around while you are still underground. These people are likely to be looking for food, medicine, and water. Even if they are suffering from radiation sickness and have just a few days to live, do not be surprised if they try to get into your shelter to steal from you.

Do what you can to disguise your shelter so that no one can find it once you enter it. If you have neighbors, it will be best to dig and work on your shelter during night hours or other times when no one knows what you are doing.

Communications and Gathering Information

Other than medical devices, your phone and radios are the most common electronic survival tools that will be damaged by an EMP.

Be sure to put an unlocked smart phone, a mobile SIM (Freedom Pop gives you free minutes and time every month), and backup computer files in an EMP proof bag, and store them in your shelter.

Even if cell service and internet go down, you can still use the phone for accessing digital files. Most web pages can be easily saved as PDF files, and it is also possible to download many useful YouTube videos for viewing offline. Build your library now of information that you may need while you are in the shelter, and once you emerge.

It is also important to store away a radio that gets AM and FM bands. If the radio is based on transistors or IC circuits, it should also go in an EMP proof bag. Include a solar battery charger and sufficient rechargeable (and fully charged) batteries to last 5 days for all your devices.

You may not be able to use the solar charger during the first five days of a nuclear crisis, but you can use it once you emerge from your shelter. Since crank radios can be quite expensive, you may be better served by storing away simple materials that you can use to build a foxhole radio and a simple transmitter.

Right now there are several things you can integrate into your daily life to prepare for a nuclear emergency. There are also some cheap, fast things you can do in a weekend that will put you well ahead of anyone else that makes no effort at all this direction.

While these suggestions will not take you much past five days, they are an important start that will give you an advantage that can still be wielded once you emerge from your shelter.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

References:

https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/natural-remedies-for-radiation-exposure/

http://www.oism.org/nwss/s73p919.htm 

Top 10 Rules To Follow When Choosing Protective Clothing

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Whether you are planning to go camping, do some yard work, or live outdoors, you’ll need appropriate clothing. From extreme temperatures to injuries, health risks, and even dangers posed by other people, these specific fabrics and garment will keep you safe.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to buy new clothes or even ones that are pre-made, and stockpile them for a crisis situation.

Focus on these 10 questions about material and fit, and you can easily find good quality clothing that will remain in good condition over time.

Is It Easy to Wear in Layers?

If you are expecting to be outdoors in cold weather, it is very tempting to look for the thickest, heaviest garments that you can find. While a certain amount of density in the fabric is important, the ability to have air spaces is also vital for retaining heat.

Choosing thinner garments that you can wear in layers creates air space, and also gives you a greater range of temperatures that you can feel comfortable in.

When choosing garments for layering, you must also pay attention to the garment size and how easy it will be to shift it comfortably between layers, or eliminate altogether.

You may need to buy a ½ to a full size bigger as you reach the outer layers. If at all possible, see if you can try on all the layers at once to see if they feel comfortable and don’t limit your range of motion.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Does the Fabric Wick Well?

No matter what the temperature and humidity conditions are, your body is going to release sweat. If you are active and moving around a lot, your body will release even more sweat in order to cool down.

A buildup of moisture next to your skin can cause several problems including:

  • an increased risk of skin breakdown, especially in areas where garments rub into your skin
  • an increased risk of infection in any are where the outer layer of skin has been compromised
  • because your body produces sweat in order to cool down, you may lose vital heat if too much moisture stays near your skin. Even if you are in very cold temperatures, the sweat your body produces will cause this cooling effect and spell disaster. Fabrics that wick away moisture will help keep your core body temperature stable.

Will the Fabric Resist Tearing?

You might be going through dense underbrush, or areas where there are apt to be thorns that would scratch your skin if your garments didn’t protect you properly.

A scratch from a thorn or a shrub branch may not seem like more than an inconvenience, but your skin can infect if left unattended. This is especially important if you’re traveling through damp areas or other places where mold, bacteria, mildew, and other pathogens can be introduced into the opening in your skin.

To add insult to injury, if your clothes do not wick correctly, or are uncomfortable to wear, these problems can also make the skin wound even worse.

Choose at least one outer layer garment that is as tear resistant as possible, to prevent this kind of problems. Look for lightweight clothes that are designed to be worn outdoors and a name brand that have a good reputation for producing tear free garments.

Remember, even if you cannot afford new garments, it is not all that difficult to create a loose fitting shirt and pants from suitable material. You may also be very surprised at what you will find at estate sales, yard sales, and flea markets.

How Will the Colors Affect Heat Absorption?

You know that white blocks energy and black absorbs, but you may not give it much though when choosing clothes for outdoor wear. If you are going to be out in colder weather, have an outer layer garment that is black or some other dark color.

On the other hand, if you expect to be out in warmer or hot weather, wear something white or light colored. Bright colors will also absorb heat from the sun, so it is best to reserve them for cooler or mid-range temperatures.

When you are planning an outdoor excursion, make sure you have at least one white, one black, and one neutral color so that you can switch them on and off as needed for your outer garment layers.

Also, if you need different sizes for the inner layers, take along at least one white garment so you can wear it as a single inner layer if you happen to be in hotter temperatures and need to remove all but one layer.

Choose a garment that has long sleeves or legs so that you can still protect yourself from injuries created by thorns, underbrush, or insects.

Can I Adjust the Visibility of this Garment?

Regardless of whether you hunt or not, you may be at risk of being shot or injured in the woods if you aren’t aware of where people are hunting.

You may also come across intentional poachers or those who are hunting out of extreme need outside of legally defined hunting seasons. That’s why it’s best to wear clothes that will ensure you are easy to see and that you will also not be mistaken for game.

Typically, blaze orange is the best color for wearing in an area where hunting will occur because it will not be as easily mistaken for colors found on certain animals.

On the other hand, you might need to escape from a city during crisis or prefer other people be unable to spot you. In these situations, wearing blaze colors, or even white might spell disaster. If your prime concern is visibility, wear a neutral color for the terrain you are traveling through.

For example, you might choose a dark green for the woods, or a tan for desert terrain. If you find that you want to be seen easily, then carry blaze orange arm bands, patches, scarfs, or other coverings that you can easily affix to any outer garment.

What Temperature Ranges is it Best Worn in?

Many people think that layering garments means you can simply wear the same garments all year round, but just add or subtract layers as needed. This won’t always work because different fabrics have different densities to their weaving that make them suitable for some temperatures and not others.

Pay attention to the fabric type and density so that you know which garments may work better for the season. You can still keep one or two items on hand that will fit a mid range, however the rest should be divided between materials suitable for hot or colder temperatures.

Here are some common fabrics and the temperatures they will work best in:

  • Linen – hot weather – this fabric breathes and wicks well, dries fast, and is also lightweight.
  • Cotton – depends on the weight. Lighter weight cotton can be used for summer and hot weather, and then use heavier weights for mid range temperatures. Never use cotton for cold weather or any temperature where you must preserve core body temperature because it sucks up sweat easily and will pull heat from your body with the sweat.
  • Polyester – cold weather – use for inner layers to build air spaces. This fabric does not breathe well, so try to keep it away from your skin.
  • Wool – cold weather. Is a good insulator and also dries quickly.
  • Nylon – use as an outer layer for keeping dry and as a wind breaker. Nylon also doesn’t breathe well and should be reserved for outer layers that can be opened up easily to improve air circulation.

Is it Waterproof?

Aside from needing to find out if an outer layer of clothing will withstand rain and other forms of moisture, you have to evaluate the same information for inner layers of outdoor clothing.

While you will want at least one garment to wear when it rains or you need to keep excess moisture out, it will not be a good idea to have waterproof material on any of the inner layers of your outdoor clothing.

Typically, waterproof garments do not wick well, and they will also prevent moisture that has been released by your skin from escaping, which can cause hypothermia in cold weather, and increase the risk of infections because of poor air circulation.

Does it Cover Me Properly for Woods and Rough Terrain?

Have you ever been outdoors in hot weather and didn’t even want to wear a T-shirt? If so, then you may also be tempted to wear the lightest and skimpiest thing you can find to go in the woods.

Unfortunately, this can be a recipe for disaster because:

  • As you travel through underbrush, you will inevitably brush into brambles, thorns, and twigs. These can easily cut your skin and leave an opening for infection.
  • Ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects are drawn to anything that might look like a meal. In this case, they can easily land on the back of your neck, upper leg, or other areas where you won’t notice them until it’s too late. The best way to prevent Lyme disease and many other insect borne illnesses it make sure the bugs can’t land on your skin to begin with. Insofar as clothing choice, your best option is to wear garments that cover as much of your skin as possible.
  • Many people think they can just spray insect repellent on their skin and clothing, and then avoid wearing clothes that cover their skin. These sprays are expensive and exposing you to dangerous poisons that can have long term health consequences, are not likely to be available in the post crisis world. Choose and wear clothes that will cover your skin properly now so that you won’t have to adapt later on.

Can I Adjust the Garment to Keep Out Ticks and Other Insects?

Aside from choosing garments with long sleeves and legs, make sure you can use rubber bands, velcro, or something else to seal off sleeve and pants cuffs.

Add a lightweight turtleneck stop shell in order to prevent insects from landing on the back of your neck. If you cannot find one for sale in a suitable fabric, you will find they are very easy to make.

Make sure they are properly secured and sealed to the garment below them so insects cannot crawl in.

How Well Will it Protect from UV Radiation?

Are you the type that packs the sunscreen away as soon as summertime is over? If so, then you need to use fabrics that have a proven SPF rating for outer layer wear all year round. As long as there is sunlight available, UV rays can reach your skin and cause damage. Even if it is a cloudy day or a very cold one, it is important to wear UV proof clothing.

Contrary to popular belief, fabric garments will not automatically block out all UV. To perform a quick test, hold the fabric up to the light. If you can see any light at all shining through, then the garment will allow UV to reach your skin.

Since you will be buying lighter weight garments to create layers, this test is extremely important all year round. To be on the safe side, choose at least one outer layer garment from a reputable company that gives an SPF rating on the label.

As with choosing garments that can be adjusted for keeping insects away, choosing garments that protect your skin from UV can help in a major social collapse scenario. Why worry about buying sunscreen when you can use these garments to do the same job. You can increase the lifespan of your sunscreen stockpile until you figure out a way to make your own using natural materials.

If you visit any department store or mall, you will find all kinds of expensive “outdoor” gear, and find yourself wondering what to buy. Try starting off with lighter weight garments that can be worn in layers, and then focus on color, visibility, waterproofing, UV protection, and insect management.

Asking ten simple questions about each garment, and thinking about how you will use it, will also help you evaluate garments in other places.

No matter whether you visit a second hand store, flea market, or decide to sew the garments, you will have confidence in evaluating the garment and fabric within the context of your needs as opposed to always relying on name brands and testimonials.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

How To Travel On Rough Terrain If You Are Disabled

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When you don’t have the full use of your arms, legs, hands, or feet, getting through rough terrain seems impossible. But you still might have to do it, and go through flooded streets, woods without nature trails, or other places that you would normally avoid because of your limited range of motion.

Don’t give up! There are devices that may be useful in a major crisis. In fact, even if you aren’t disabled, these methods and devices may help you one day, so you’d better keep some in your stockpile.

Keep reading to discover them!

How to Get Down a Hill With Foot, Knee, or Leg Impairments

If you have ever sprained an ankle or injured a knee, then you know that the pain and limitations in mobility can last for several weeks.

If you never gave disabilities a thought, then you will have a harder time dealing with a leg or knee injury. In particular, getting down a hill or other decline may seem impossible if you don’t have a full range of motion.

Doctors won’t be there to save you! This guide will tell you what to do instead!

Here are a few solutions for getting down safely and reduce the risk of increasing the injury even more:

  • If you sprained your ankle within a few hours of approaching the hill, you will need to put a temporary support on it. You can make one from duct tape as well as other wrappings. Just make sure you wrap your ankle as loosely as possible.
  • You can also make a knee brace using wrapping material, however you should practice this skill before trusting it on your knees in an actual situation. Purchase a good quality knee brace with velcro adjustments that will protect your knees and also reduce the risk of doing more harm because of incorrect wrapping.
  • When going down a hill, many people make the mistake of either trying to go down face forward or backwards. Your best option is to stand sideways in relation to the decline and work you way across and then slowly downward. This will give you support with one leg without putting all your forward momentum on the foot that is moving down the hill. If you happen to land your foot on a loose rock or soil, this can save you from injury and also reduce the risk of making an existing injury even worse.
  • Always use a walking stick to use as a brace for the leg, ankle, or foot that is injured. Practice walking with the staff, and also test it out on hills and rugged surfaces. It may feel a bit strange at first, but once you adapt your gait to the walking stick it will be much easier.
  • A sturdy walking stick can help you move faster, and also makes a good weapon if you happen to need it. In fact, if you are alone and out in the wild, you can also sharpen on end of the walking stick to make a spear, or even attach knapped rock arrow heads. If you have a knife, you can also attach that to one end of the walking stick as a weapon or hunting tool.

How to Get Down a Hill if You Cannot Walk at All

If you are unable to walk at all, then you will need to sit down and inch your way down the hill, or you will need to lay down and roll slowly. Before making these efforts, try to immobilize the injured area and pad it as much as possible. Practice rolling or inching on flat ground first so that you can shore up any areas that need additional support and padding.

When immobilizing your legs, never tie them or bind them together. Even if both legs are injured or unable to move, tying them together can leave you at great risk. You are better off taking more time to pad each leg properly and then work slowly down the hill so that you jar your legs as little as possible.

If you have been using crutches, it would not be a good idea to try and get down the hill while standing upright. Even if you stand so that one side faces the decline, you will still be putting a lot of weight on the forward moving crutch, and may topple over more easily than expected.

Using Action Trackchairs: Pros and Cons

More people are becoming wheelchair bound because of other medical conditions that don’t necessarily have to do with a physical injury. And if you have suffered a major illness or have undergone a surgery followed by a complex recovery period, you might also need a wheelchair temporarily.

As with so many other things, a large scale disaster isn’t going to wait for you to be strong enough to leave the wheelchair and travel as quickly and easily as you need. While most wheelchairs on the market work well enough in stores, at home, and on fairly flat surfaces, they are virtually useless on rugged trails or areas where terrain is rough.

The Actiontrack chair utilizes tracks (like a tank) instead of wheels like a conventional wheelchair. It can go in many places that would cause a conventional wheelchair to get stuck, or even tip over.

For example, the Actiontrack can be driven onto a beach, and can also go a small way into water.

As with tanks that rely on a track system, these chairs can be used off regular paths and on much rougher terrain than conventional wheelchairs. Since they are also motor powered, they are useful for people that have limited upper body strength or cannot otherwise push themselves along in a manual wheelchair.

Aside from helping you get from one place to another, some Actiontrack models will also support your weight if you need to stand up. These models are ideal if you intend to hunt, need to reach for vines, or have to carry out other tasks that cannot easily be accomplished from a seated position.

While there are many benefits to owning an Actiontrack chair, they can be very expensive. If you do not have an actual disability that requires this kind of device, then it doesn’t belong in your prepper budget.

On the other hand, given what this chair can help you do, it may prove useful as a bug out vehicle for cities or other areas where you still need to carry over 100 pounds worth of items and need to get through broken streets or other areas where walking may be difficult even for someone that has a full range of motion.

If you have a disability, cannot navigate easily, and can demonstrate financial need, the manufacturer of this mobility aide may be able to give you a reduction in cost. You will need to go to the site and fill out an application and see if help is available for you.

The Action Mobility Foundation may also have some other suggestions that will help you raise the money needed to buy one of these devices.

Tools and Supplies to Keep On Hand

Surprisingly enough, some of items you need to keep in hand in case of an issue that limits navigation aren’t expensive and can be used for other purposes. Here are the main items, as well as some others you might want to consider:

  • Athletic cloth tape – can be used to stabilize joints as well as improvised devices made from items in nature. For example, if you need to make a crutch and don’t have any vines to bind the pieces together, you can use athletic tape to do the job.
  • Popsicle sticks and slat boards – can be used to stabilize fractures in fingers and arms. They can also be used to immobilize joints that have been badly sprained so that you don’t injure them more.
  • Knives, a small saw, and other cutting tools – you can use these to cut small boards to size, trim tree limbs, or carry out other tasks required for making mobility aides or repair them. These devices should already be part of your every day carry because they will be of use in many areas of survival. Even if you carry just a credit card sized EDC multi-tool it will be better than nothing.
  • Pain reliever – you can choose from anti-inflammatory herbs as well as pain killers that will reduce swelling as the primary means of reducing pain.
  • Disposable hot and cold packs – to use these packs, all you have to do is punch them to release heat or cause them to become cold. These are ideal for managing injuries that need cold or hot treatment in order to feel better, speed healing, or reduce the risk of injury.
  • Towels – you can use towels for a wide range of mobility related needs including providing moist heat for an injury, wound management, and cleaning.
  • Knee braces – they are especially useful if you already have older injuries, are overweight, or may develop a condition that will cause you to fall more easily as you age. While knee braces will not prevent a fall per se, they can help ensure your knees don’t get damaged even more.
  • Back and abdominal support braces – these devices are very important for preventing hernias and other injuries associated with heavy lifting. During crisis, you may be doubling or even tripling the amount of physical activity you carry out in a single day, and you are also likely to be lifting, pulling, and pushing weights that are well beyond your usual comfort range, and there is always a risk of under-developing smaller muscles in gym workouts. You can easily develop muscle tears and other problems even if you lift weights and seem fine right now. Even a minor twist or turn in an unusual direction can spell trouble. Back and abdominal braces can reduce the impact of increased weight combined with motions you aren’t accustomed to.
  • Folding cane – these canes are lightweight and can easily fit into any bug out bag. Choose one that you can easily adapt for a spear or knife, and you will also have a weapon, fishing pole, or other hunting aide. Aside from increasing mobility options, these devices are truly limitless in adaption options for survival needs.
  • Rollating wheelchair – these chairs offer a combination for a wheelchair and a rolling walker. You can use them to sit down when you are tired, or for walking in areas where it is harder to get a wheelchair to move. These devices are also narrower than a conventional wheelchair, so they can also get into more areas. A rollating wheelchair has smaller wheels, and it can be a bit difficult to adjust to these chairs because they weigh less, which may make you feel like they aren’t as stable.
  • Travois or similar – they can be used to carry items if you have a shoulder, neck, upper back, arm, or hand injury. You can customize the travois so that it has a harness that rests across your hips so that there is no weight on your shoulders or arms. If you do not want to carry collapsible poles that can be made into a travois, at last carry some rope that can be used to tie tree limbs together. Even if you never wind up dealing with a shoulder, upper back, neck, arm, or hand injury, you can still use this device to carry heavy objects. For example, if you catch deer, you can use a travois to haul the carcass to a safe location where you can finish processing it.
  • Goggles and helmet – even though these are technically defined as safety devices, they are important for stabilizing and protecting mobility and range of motion. For example, a well constructed helmet can help protect your neck from injury as well as reduce the risk of a head injury if you fall or something lands on your head. Goggles are also very important for protecting your sight, especially if you need to work with tools or materials that can shatter or send harmful chemicals into your eyes.
  • Fireproof and chemical proof gloves – both types are important, especially during the initial and post crisis stages. An accident that causes acid or lye to reach your hands can easily prevent you from carrying items and using your hands to carry out other survival tasks. No matter how much you practice with different tools, stress and unusual circumstances will still bring along risks you weren’t as prepared for as you thought you were. Appropriate gloves can limit damage in the first place, and protect existing injuries in situations where you have no choice but to use your hands.

Carrying Materials with Arm, Hand, or Shoulder Impairments

As with knee or ankle injuries, you can use splints and joint immobilizers to reduce further injury and give you at least some ability to move objects around.

If you have upper body, arm, shoulder, elbow, or hand injuries, you can also use ropes and lassos and then create a harness that falls across your hips.

Always try to limit lifting items as much as possible, and use your hands and arms for finer work such as tying knots or carrying out other tasks that will allow you to use your hips and legs for dragging objects along instead of carrying them.

No matter how carefully you prepare for disaster, you never know how your body will age, let alone if you will incur some injury that limits mobility.

While you may be focusing a good bit on doing this properly so that you reduce the risk of injury, it never hurts to have a backup plan. Having some additional tools and skills related to managing mobility issues can mean the difference between life and death.

Also, you should always be prepared to face a medical emergency that could reduce your mobility!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

How To Travel On Rough Terrain If You Are Disabled

When you don’t have the full use of your arms, legs, hands, or feet, getting through rough terrain seems impossible. But you still might have to do it, and go through flooded streets, woods without nature trails, or other places that you would normally avoid because of your limited range of motion.

Don’t give up! There are devices that may be useful in a major crisis. In fact, even if you aren’t disabled, these methods and devices may help you one day, so you’d better keep some in your stockpile.

Keep reading to discover them!

How to Get Down a Hill With Foot, Knee, or Leg Impairments

If you have ever sprained an ankle or injured a knee, then you know that the pain and limitations in mobility can last for several weeks.

If you never gave disabilities a thought, then you will have a harder time dealing with a leg or knee injury. In particular, getting down a hill or other decline may seem impossible if you don’t have a full range of motion.

Doctors won’t be there to save you! This guide will tell you what to do instead!

Here are a few solutions for getting down safely and reduce the risk of increasing the injury even more:

  • If you sprained your ankle within a few hours of approaching the hill, you will need to put a temporary support on it. You can make one from duct tape as well as other wrappings. Just make sure you wrap your ankle as loosely as possible.
  • You can also make a knee brace using wrapping material, however you should practice this skill before trusting it on your knees in an actual situation. Purchase a good quality knee brace with velcro adjustments that will protect your knees and also reduce the risk of doing more harm because of incorrect wrapping.
  • When going down a hill, many people make the mistake of either trying to go down face forward or backwards. Your best option is to stand sideways in relation to the decline and work you way across and then slowly downward. This will give you support with one leg without putting all your forward momentum on the foot that is moving down the hill. If you happen to land your foot on a loose rock or soil, this can save you from injury and also reduce the risk of making an existing injury even worse.
  • Always use a walking stick to use as a brace for the leg, ankle, or foot that is injured. Practice walking with the staff, and also test it out on hills and rugged surfaces. It may feel a bit strange at first, but once you adapt your gait to the walking stick it will be much easier.
  • A sturdy walking stick can help you move faster, and also makes a good weapon if you happen to need it. In fact, if you are alone and out in the wild, you can also sharpen on end of the walking stick to make a spear, or even attach knapped rock arrow heads. If you have a knife, you can also attach that to one end of the walking stick as a weapon or hunting tool.

How to Get Down a Hill if You Cannot Walk at All

If you are unable to walk at all, then you will need to sit down and inch your way down the hill, or you will need to lay down and roll slowly. Before making these efforts, try to immobilize the injured area and pad it as much as possible. Practice rolling or inching on flat ground first so that you can shore up any areas that need additional support and padding.

When immobilizing your legs, never tie them or bind them together. Even if both legs are injured or unable to move, tying them together can leave you at great risk. You are better off taking more time to pad each leg properly and then work slowly down the hill so that you jar your legs as little as possible.

If you have been using crutches, it would not be a good idea to try and get down the hill while standing upright. Even if you stand so that one side faces the decline, you will still be putting a lot of weight on the forward moving crutch, and may topple over more easily than expected.

Using Action Trackchairs: Pros and Cons

More people are becoming wheelchair bound because of other medical conditions that don’t necessarily have to do with a physical injury. And if you have suffered a major illness or have undergone a surgery followed by a complex recovery period, you might also need a wheelchair temporarily.

As with so many other things, a large scale disaster isn’t going to wait for you to be strong enough to leave the wheelchair and travel as quickly and easily as you need. While most wheelchairs on the market work well enough in stores, at home, and on fairly flat surfaces, they are virtually useless on rugged trails or areas where terrain is rough.

The Actiontrack chair utilizes tracks (like a tank) instead of wheels like a conventional wheelchair. It can go in many places that would cause a conventional wheelchair to get stuck, or even tip over.

For example, the Actiontrack can be driven onto a beach, and can also go a small way into water.

As with tanks that rely on a track system, these chairs can be used off regular paths and on much rougher terrain than conventional wheelchairs. Since they are also motor powered, they are useful for people that have limited upper body strength or cannot otherwise push themselves along in a manual wheelchair.

Aside from helping you get from one place to another, some Actiontrack models will also support your weight if you need to stand up. These models are ideal if you intend to hunt, need to reach for vines, or have to carry out other tasks that cannot easily be accomplished from a seated position.

While there are many benefits to owning an Actiontrack chair, they can be very expensive. If you do not have an actual disability that requires this kind of device, then it doesn’t belong in your prepper budget.

On the other hand, given what this chair can help you do, it may prove useful as a bug out vehicle for cities or other areas where you still need to carry over 100 pounds worth of items and need to get through broken streets or other areas where walking may be difficult even for someone that has a full range of motion.

If you have a disability, cannot navigate easily, and can demonstrate financial need, the manufacturer of this mobility aide may be able to give you a reduction in cost. You will need to go to the site and fill out an application and see if help is available for you.

The Action Mobility Foundation may also have some other suggestions that will help you raise the money needed to buy one of these devices.

Tools and Supplies to Keep On Hand

Surprisingly enough, some of items you need to keep in hand in case of an issue that limits navigation aren’t expensive and can be used for other purposes. Here are the main items, as well as some others you might want to consider:

  • Athletic cloth tape – can be used to stabilize joints as well as improvised devices made from items in nature. For example, if you need to make a crutch and don’t have any vines to bind the pieces together, you can use athletic tape to do the job.
  • Popsicle sticks and slat boards – can be used to stabilize fractures in fingers and arms. They can also be used to immobilize joints that have been badly sprained so that you don’t injure them more.
  • Knives, a small saw, and other cutting tools – you can use these to cut small boards to size, trim tree limbs, or carry out other tasks required for making mobility aides or repair them. These devices should already be part of your every day carry because they will be of use in many areas of survival. Even if you carry just a credit card sized EDC multi-tool it will be better than nothing.
  • Pain reliever – you can choose from anti-inflammatory herbs as well as pain killers that will reduce swelling as the primary means of reducing pain.
  • Disposable hot and cold packs – to use these packs, all you have to do is punch them to release heat or cause them to become cold. These are ideal for managing injuries that need cold or hot treatment in order to feel better, speed healing, or reduce the risk of injury.
  • Towels – you can use towels for a wide range of mobility related needs including providing moist heat for an injury, wound management, and cleaning.
  • Knee braces – they are especially useful if you already have older injuries, are overweight, or may develop a condition that will cause you to fall more easily as you age. While knee braces will not prevent a fall per se, they can help ensure your knees don’t get damaged even more.
  • Back and abdominal support braces – these devices are very important for preventing hernias and other injuries associated with heavy lifting. During crisis, you may be doubling or even tripling the amount of physical activity you carry out in a single day, and you are also likely to be lifting, pulling, and pushing weights that are well beyond your usual comfort range, and there is always a risk of under-developing smaller muscles in gym workouts. You can easily develop muscle tears and other problems even if you lift weights and seem fine right now. Even a minor twist or turn in an unusual direction can spell trouble. Back and abdominal braces can reduce the impact of increased weight combined with motions you aren’t accustomed to.
  • Folding cane – these canes are lightweight and can easily fit into any bug out bag. Choose one that you can easily adapt for a spear or knife, and you will also have a weapon, fishing pole, or other hunting aide. Aside from increasing mobility options, these devices are truly limitless in adaption options for survival needs.
  • Rollating wheelchair – these chairs offer a combination for a wheelchair and a rolling walker. You can use them to sit down when you are tired, or for walking in areas where it is harder to get a wheelchair to move. These devices are also narrower than a conventional wheelchair, so they can also get into more areas. A rollating wheelchair has smaller wheels, and it can be a bit difficult to adjust to these chairs because they weigh less, which may make you feel like they aren’t as stable.
  • Travois or similar – they can be used to carry items if you have a shoulder, neck, upper back, arm, or hand injury. You can customize the travois so that it has a harness that rests across your hips so that there is no weight on your shoulders or arms. If you do not want to carry collapsible poles that can be made into a travois, at last carry some rope that can be used to tie tree limbs together. Even if you never wind up dealing with a shoulder, upper back, neck, arm, or hand injury, you can still use this device to carry heavy objects. For example, if you catch deer, you can use a travois to haul the carcass to a safe location where you can finish processing it.
  • Goggles and helmet – even though these are technically defined as safety devices, they are important for stabilizing and protecting mobility and range of motion. For example, a well constructed helmet can help protect your neck from injury as well as reduce the risk of a head injury if you fall or something lands on your head. Goggles are also very important for protecting your sight, especially if you need to work with tools or materials that can shatter or send harmful chemicals into your eyes.
  • Fireproof and chemical proof gloves – both types are important, especially during the initial and post crisis stages. An accident that causes acid or lye to reach your hands can easily prevent you from carrying items and using your hands to carry out other survival tasks. No matter how much you practice with different tools, stress and unusual circumstances will still bring along risks you weren’t as prepared for as you thought you were. Appropriate gloves can limit damage in the first place, and protect existing injuries in situations where you have no choice but to use your hands.

Carrying Materials with Arm, Hand, or Shoulder Impairments

As with knee or ankle injuries, you can use splints and joint immobilizers to reduce further injury and give you at least some ability to move objects around.

If you have upper body, arm, shoulder, elbow, or hand injuries, you can also use ropes and lassos and then create a harness that falls across your hips.

Always try to limit lifting items as much as possible, and use your hands and arms for finer work such as tying knots or carrying out other tasks that will allow you to use your hips and legs for dragging objects along instead of carrying them.

No matter how carefully you prepare for disaster, you never know how your body will age, let alone if you will incur some injury that limits mobility.

While you may be focusing a good bit on doing this properly so that you reduce the risk of injury, it never hurts to have a backup plan. Having some additional tools and skills related to managing mobility issues can mean the difference between life and death.

Also, you should always be prepared to face a medical emergency that could reduce your mobility!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

10 Essentials For Surviving In The Wilderness At Night

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You are convinced that it could never happen to you, don’t you? But there is no escaping the fact that you might be stuck out in the wilderness at night.

If you have no experience with camping, or have spent little time in the woods, this can be a frightening and dangerous experience.

Even if you are completely alone, knowing how to do these ten things can keep you safe and in good condition.

If you ever have to survive some sort of disaster and decide to stay in a wooded area, you will be much closer to being able to stay in this setting for weeks, or even months if needed.

Be Mentally and Emotionally Prepared

You emotional and mental preparedness for surviving in the wild should start before you find yourself in the woods and have to face the experience.

Remember, nature is not your enemy. The woods and its inhabitants usually kill or maim only in the course of trying to survive, defend themselves from predators, and raise their young. As long as you do not interfere, you can live comfortably in the woods regardless of the time of day.

If you are reading this and know nothing of living in or traveling through the wilderness, start learning from now. Read articles, go camping with experienced groups of people, and do all you can to gather factual and accurate information on how to live in the woods and understand its inhabitants.

The more you know about living in these conditions, the less you will fear them. The less fear you have, the easier it will be to go about taking care of basic needs if you must stay in a wilderness setting at night.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Maintain Appropriate Body Temperature

As with any other place, temperatures are apt to drop at night. If you did not bring extra clothing, or the right kinds of clothes, you will need to find some other way to keep warm. Here are a few things that can save you:

Plastic Bags

Always keep a construction grade plastic bag with you, it will be large enough to line with leaves or other insulating material to sleep in.

Remember to leave some room open even around your body so that sweat evaporates properly and air continues to circulate around your skin. In extreme cold temperatures, moisture near your skin can cause your core temperature to drop to dangerous levels.

Build a Fire

Learn how to build a fire safely and effectively, including how to build a fire in the rain. Pack a tea light, and remember to search for pine cones. Both will make excellent tinder material.

Don’t forget to bring along a fire starter such as waterproof matches or some other type of fire starter that you feel comfortable with.

Cover Yourself with Leaves

As long as the leaves aren’t damp and are free of bugs, mold, and mildew, they will keep you warmer than not covering with anything at all.

Find and Purify Water to Stay Hydrated

Maybe you aren’t lost, and still expect to arrive back in a populated area in a few hours. Even though you may not think much about water, it is still need it on hand and to stay hydrated all the time.

When you are stressed out, engaging in more intense physical activities, or dealing with increased temperature changes, your body will release more sweat, and also use more water for other vital processes.

So you need clean water on hand and use it when you are trying to survive in the wilderness especially if overnight. Ideally, you should be able to purify at least ½ to one gallon of water for your overnight needs.

Here are some things you can keep with you as well as skills to develop:

  • Know how to capture water from leaves, earth, and rainfall.
  • Keep a long tube sock, bone char, some sand, and activated carbon in your travel gear at all times. You can use them to make a filter to remove chemical contaminants and debris from the water. It is also important to have some kind of vessel to boil the water in so that you can kill off any pathogens that may be in the water.
  • There are also filtering water straws available that come with a complete water cleaning system. Just make sure you drink through the straws, and you will have clean water.
  • Carry water purifying tablets. Be sure to always know the limitations of these tablets so that you can use other systems if needed.
  • Learn how to make charcoal and bone char.
  • Contrary to popular belief, boiling water alone will not produce clean water. It will only concentrate heavy metals and other poisons, making the water more dangerous to drink. If you are concerned about removing pathogens from the water, it is better to put the water in a clear plastic bottle and let it sit in the sun for a few hours. UV from the sun will kill the pathogens without causing water to evaporate.

Obtain Food

You might be too stressed to eat, but it have to know how to get food in the wilderness during the night hours. Since many animals are more active at night, you can try hunting them, or set traps.

If you happen to be near a pond, you can set traps for fish, or try to hunt for frogs.

When hunting at night, always be aware that the animals you are hunting may also be prey for another animal in the woods. That animal, in turn, may decide you are competition and hunt you instead.

Before you go into any wilderness setting, always know how the local food chain works so that you can steer clear of predators and still take the game you need for survival.

As with any other time of day, lichens, moss, berries, and fruit will still be available. Learn the Universal edibility test, and practice using it so that you can avoid being poisoned.

If you decide to carry food with you, choose high calorie items that do not require heating. You can also bring along a few ready to eat meals that come with warming packets if you want a more complete meal. Even if you only have enough packets to last for two or three days, it will be enough until you are able to gather food on your own.

Shelter From Storms, Wind, and Other Bad Weather

Aside from being colder, you may also wind up dealing with rain, wind, or other weather elements that you will not want to be out in.

As long as you have a knife (or a sharp edge on a rock) branches, vines (or long stemmed plants), leaves available you can make a shelter that will keep you dry and warm.

Here are some other things you can try:

Look for a Cave

Caves offer plenty of protection, however they are also likely to be dens for bats, bears, and other animals that won’t want you spending the night with them.

If you do decide to spend the night in a cave, make sure you check all passages and all areas of the cave to make sure you aren’t taking up space in another animal’s territory. This includes snakes, spiders, and other animals that can hide easily under rocks and in shaded areas that you might overlook.

Dig a Hole in the Ground

Dig a small hole or depression in the ground, and then put leaves over it. Try to build up the sides a bit to prevent rain from flowing in. This makeshift shelter will not last more than a few hours, but it will get you through the night.

Tree Trunk Protection

Look for a hollow in a tree trunk, or at the base of an uprooted tree. These areas will shelter you from the wind and rain, depending on the direction it is coming from.

As with caves, make sure there are no animals and insects already living there that might cause you problems. In this case, you would be looking for squirrels, raccoon, snakes, and biting insects known to live in or near rotting wood or in tree trunks.

Discourage Predatory Animals and Prevent Insect Bites

For the most part, if you know how to build a fire and can keep it going through the night, predatory animals will stay away from you.

On the other side the equation, many insects are drawn to light, and will gravitate to the fire. You will need to experiment to find the best distance from the fire to avoid falling outside its light, be close enough to stay warm, and still not be swarmed by insects (that will be killed off eventually by the flames).

Insofar as discouraging predatory animals, you will need to know which ones are usually in the area, and also how best to deter them if they appear. Some animals may run away if you yell, while others may decide to attack. A good understanding of animal psychology is essential.

In order to prevent insect bites at night, your best option will be to wear long sleeved shirts and pants. Make sure that all cuffs are sealed off with rubber bands and that the hems of your pants are also tucked into your socks.

To protect your face and neck from insect bites, take a wide brimmed hat and attach some fine webbed fabric over it. Let the fabric drape down to just below your neck, and then make sure it seals to your shirt. Do not put the fabric too close to your face or neck, or the insects will just find a way to bite through it.

Manage Hygiene and Sanitation

Even though you can washing your hands and face with wet wipes, it never hurts to carry a small bar of lye soap and some towels with you.

In particular, if you are spending the night in the woods because of a nuclear disaster, you will need the lye soap for washing off any dust or debris from your skin.

Managing sanitation is also very important because predators can find your urine and stool even if you bury them. Make sure you stay away from areas where water and food are likely to be found, as predators will check there first for prey.

Take Care of Routine and Emergency Medical Needs

Even if you don’t have any injuries, or don’t feel sick, it is still important to know what to do and have some tools on hand. Here are some things you should carry and skills you should learn:

  • know the signs of food poisoning or allergy. Keep Benadryl with you and an epi pen. If you suspect you ate something poisonous, make sure you know how to vomit it back out if it is still in your stomach, or use activated charcoal to try and absorb it and move it out of your system.
  • Always know how to make a tourniquet, splints, and wraps for joint support.
  • Keep essential oils, herbs, and at least a week’s supply of any medications you may be taking onhand. It also never hurts to know what plants in the woods might be useful for taking the place of your medications if the need arises.
  • Know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself, just in case you are alone and swallow something the wrong way.
  • Understand water safety and know how to build a flotation device so that you don’t wind up drowning.

Be Able to Signal for Help

If you were traveling, got lost, and left travel plans, there is a chance searchers will be looking for you. Depending on the weather conditions, rescuers may or may not try to look for you at night. If you built a fire (use a triangle shape), knowing how to create a smoke signal may be of some help.

In addition, if you happen to hear a random chopper overhead, you can try to get their attention with the fire, a flashlight, red laser, or flares if you have them.

Remain Concealed if Needed

During a state of emergency or some kind of major social disruption, you may decide that you’d prefer to avoid the attention of rioters or anyone else that could hurt you. Under these circumstances, building a fire for any reasons is not likely to be an option.

By the same token, sheltering on the ground is also apt to be a problem. Try concealing yourself in a tree or some other location where people aren’t likely to look. If you must stay on the ground, make it a point to cover yourself with leaves or stay in a bunch of brambles so that you are harder to see.

Here are some other things to consider:

  • know how to stay perfectly quiet. People pursuing you may have dogs or other tracking animals trained to pick up on even the slightest sound that you make.
  • Tracking animals can also pick up on your scent. Never pick a place to rest near where you have buried waste, eaten, or carried out some other task.
  • Learn how to use backtracks and other tricks to ensure an animal following your scent cannot pick up your trail.
  • People tracking you may also use thermal profile systems or metal finders to locate you and anything you are carrying. It is very important to know how to break up your thermal profile. Try to avoid lumping all metal objects together in your camping gear, or carry as few metallic objects as possible to keep avoid being detected.

Much of surviving in the wilderness at night is about common sense. You will still need some basic tools such as a knife, fire starting gear, heavy plastic bags, and drinking water bottles to make things a bit easier.

As with anything else, even if you start off with a few tools that you know how to use, and then build on your skill and knowledge levels, it will be easier to spend a night in the wilderness, and come to enjoy the experience as many hikers and campers do.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

10 Essentials For Surviving In The Wilderness At Night

You are convinced that it could never happen to you, don’t you? But there is no escaping the fact that you might be stuck out in the wilderness at night.

If you have no experience with camping, or have spent little time in the woods, this can be a frightening and dangerous experience.

Even if you are completely alone, knowing how to do these ten things can keep you safe and in good condition.

If you ever have to survive some sort of disaster and decide to stay in a wooded area, you will be much closer to being able to stay in this setting for weeks, or even months if needed.

Be Mentally and Emotionally Prepared

You emotional and mental preparedness for surviving in the wild should start before you find yourself in the woods and have to face the experience.

Remember, nature is not your enemy. The woods and its inhabitants usually kill or maim only in the course of trying to survive, defend themselves from predators, and raise their young. As long as you do not interfere, you can live comfortably in the woods regardless of the time of day.

If you are reading this and know nothing of living in or traveling through the wilderness, start learning from now. Read articles, go camping with experienced groups of people, and do all you can to gather factual and accurate information on how to live in the woods and understand its inhabitants.

The more you know about living in these conditions, the less you will fear them. The less fear you have, the easier it will be to go about taking care of basic needs if you must stay in a wilderness setting at night.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Maintain Appropriate Body Temperature

As with any other place, temperatures are apt to drop at night. If you did not bring extra clothing, or the right kinds of clothes, you will need to find some other way to keep warm. Here are a few things that can save you:

Plastic Bags

Always keep a construction grade plastic bag with you, it will be large enough to line with leaves or other insulating material to sleep in.

Remember to leave some room open even around your body so that sweat evaporates properly and air continues to circulate around your skin. In extreme cold temperatures, moisture near your skin can cause your core temperature to drop to dangerous levels.

Build a Fire

Learn how to build a fire safely and effectively, including how to build a fire in the rain. Pack a tea light, and remember to search for pine cones. Both will make excellent tinder material.

Don’t forget to bring along a fire starter such as waterproof matches or some other type of fire starter that you feel comfortable with.

Cover Yourself with Leaves

As long as the leaves aren’t damp and are free of bugs, mold, and mildew, they will keep you warmer than not covering with anything at all.

Find and Purify Water to Stay Hydrated

Maybe you aren’t lost, and still expect to arrive back in a populated area in a few hours. Even though you may not think much about water, it is still need it on hand and to stay hydrated all the time.

When you are stressed out, engaging in more intense physical activities, or dealing with increased temperature changes, your body will release more sweat, and also use more water for other vital processes.

So you need clean water on hand and use it when you are trying to survive in the wilderness especially if overnight. Ideally, you should be able to purify at least ½ to one gallon of water for your overnight needs.

Here are some things you can keep with you as well as skills to develop:

  • Know how to capture water from leaves, earth, and rainfall.
  • Keep a long tube sock, bone char, some sand, and activated carbon in your travel gear at all times. You can use them to make a filter to remove chemical contaminants and debris from the water. It is also important to have some kind of vessel to boil the water in so that you can kill off any pathogens that may be in the water.
  • There are also filtering water straws available that come with a complete water cleaning system. Just make sure you drink through the straws, and you will have clean water.
  • Carry water purifying tablets. Be sure to always know the limitations of these tablets so that you can use other systems if needed.
  • Learn how to make charcoal and bone char.
  • Contrary to popular belief, boiling water alone will not produce clean water. It will only concentrate heavy metals and other poisons, making the water more dangerous to drink. If you are concerned about removing pathogens from the water, it is better to put the water in a clear plastic bottle and let it sit in the sun for a few hours. UV from the sun will kill the pathogens without causing water to evaporate.

Obtain Food

You might be too stressed to eat, but it have to know how to get food in the wilderness during the night hours. Since many animals are more active at night, you can try hunting them, or set traps.

If you happen to be near a pond, you can set traps for fish, or try to hunt for frogs.

When hunting at night, always be aware that the animals you are hunting may also be prey for another animal in the woods. That animal, in turn, may decide you are competition and hunt you instead.

Before you go into any wilderness setting, always know how the local food chain works so that you can steer clear of predators and still take the game you need for survival.

As with any other time of day, lichens, moss, berries, and fruit will still be available. Learn the Universal edibility test, and practice using it so that you can avoid being poisoned.

If you decide to carry food with you, choose high calorie items that do not require heating. You can also bring along a few ready to eat meals that come with warming packets if you want a more complete meal. Even if you only have enough packets to last for two or three days, it will be enough until you are able to gather food on your own.

Shelter From Storms, Wind, and Other Bad Weather

Aside from being colder, you may also wind up dealing with rain, wind, or other weather elements that you will not want to be out in.

As long as you have a knife (or a sharp edge on a rock) branches, vines (or long stemmed plants), leaves available you can make a shelter that will keep you dry and warm.

Here are some other things you can try:

Look for a Cave

Caves offer plenty of protection, however they are also likely to be dens for bats, bears, and other animals that won’t want you spending the night with them.

If you do decide to spend the night in a cave, make sure you check all passages and all areas of the cave to make sure you aren’t taking up space in another animal’s territory. This includes snakes, spiders, and other animals that can hide easily under rocks and in shaded areas that you might overlook.

Dig a Hole in the Ground

Dig a small hole or depression in the ground, and then put leaves over it. Try to build up the sides a bit to prevent rain from flowing in. This makeshift shelter will not last more than a few hours, but it will get you through the night.

Tree Trunk Protection

Look for a hollow in a tree trunk, or at the base of an uprooted tree. These areas will shelter you from the wind and rain, depending on the direction it is coming from.

As with caves, make sure there are no animals and insects already living there that might cause you problems. In this case, you would be looking for squirrels, raccoon, snakes, and biting insects known to live in or near rotting wood or in tree trunks.

Discourage Predatory Animals and Prevent Insect Bites

For the most part, if you know how to build a fire and can keep it going through the night, predatory animals will stay away from you.

On the other side the equation, many insects are drawn to light, and will gravitate to the fire. You will need to experiment to find the best distance from the fire to avoid falling outside its light, be close enough to stay warm, and still not be swarmed by insects (that will be killed off eventually by the flames).

Insofar as discouraging predatory animals, you will need to know which ones are usually in the area, and also how best to deter them if they appear. Some animals may run away if you yell, while others may decide to attack. A good understanding of animal psychology is essential.

In order to prevent insect bites at night, your best option will be to wear long sleeved shirts and pants. Make sure that all cuffs are sealed off with rubber bands and that the hems of your pants are also tucked into your socks.

To protect your face and neck from insect bites, take a wide brimmed hat and attach some fine webbed fabric over it. Let the fabric drape down to just below your neck, and then make sure it seals to your shirt. Do not put the fabric too close to your face or neck, or the insects will just find a way to bite through it.

Manage Hygiene and Sanitation

Even though you can washing your hands and face with wet wipes, it never hurts to carry a small bar of lye soap and some towels with you.

In particular, if you are spending the night in the woods because of a nuclear disaster, you will need the lye soap for washing off any dust or debris from your skin.

Managing sanitation is also very important because predators can find your urine and stool even if you bury them. Make sure you stay away from areas where water and food are likely to be found, as predators will check there first for prey.

Take Care of Routine and Emergency Medical Needs

Even if you don’t have any injuries, or don’t feel sick, it is still important to know what to do and have some tools on hand. Here are some things you should carry and skills you should learn:

  • know the signs of food poisoning or allergy. Keep Benadryl with you and an epi pen. If you suspect you ate something poisonous, make sure you know how to vomit it back out if it is still in your stomach, or use activated charcoal to try and absorb it and move it out of your system.
  • Always know how to make a tourniquet, splints, and wraps for joint support.
  • Keep essential oils, herbs, and at least a week’s supply of any medications you may be taking onhand. It also never hurts to know what plants in the woods might be useful for taking the place of your medications if the need arises.
  • Know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself, just in case you are alone and swallow something the wrong way.
  • Understand water safety and know how to build a flotation device so that you don’t wind up drowning.

Be Able to Signal for Help

If you were traveling, got lost, and left travel plans, there is a chance searchers will be looking for you. Depending on the weather conditions, rescuers may or may not try to look for you at night. If you built a fire (use a triangle shape), knowing how to create a smoke signal may be of some help.

In addition, if you happen to hear a random chopper overhead, you can try to get their attention with the fire, a flashlight, red laser, or flares if you have them.

Remain Concealed if Needed

During a state of emergency or some kind of major social disruption, you may decide that you’d prefer to avoid the attention of rioters or anyone else that could hurt you. Under these circumstances, building a fire for any reasons is not likely to be an option.

By the same token, sheltering on the ground is also apt to be a problem. Try concealing yourself in a tree or some other location where people aren’t likely to look. If you must stay on the ground, make it a point to cover yourself with leaves or stay in a bunch of brambles so that you are harder to see.

Here are some other things to consider:

  • know how to stay perfectly quiet. People pursuing you may have dogs or other tracking animals trained to pick up on even the slightest sound that you make.
  • Tracking animals can also pick up on your scent. Never pick a place to rest near where you have buried waste, eaten, or carried out some other task.
  • Learn how to use backtracks and other tricks to ensure an animal following your scent cannot pick up your trail.
  • People tracking you may also use thermal profile systems or metal finders to locate you and anything you are carrying. It is very important to know how to break up your thermal profile. Try to avoid lumping all metal objects together in your camping gear, or carry as few metallic objects as possible to keep avoid being detected.

Much of surviving in the wilderness at night is about common sense. You will still need some basic tools such as a knife, fire starting gear, heavy plastic bags, and drinking water bottles to make things a bit easier.

As with anything else, even if you start off with a few tools that you know how to use, and then build on your skill and knowledge levels, it will be easier to spend a night in the wilderness, and come to enjoy the experience as many hikers and campers do.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Survival Defense: How To Build Targets For Shooting Drills

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Membership at a shooting range, plus covering the cost of ammo if you have to purchase it from the facility instead of bring your own, can be pretty expensive these days.

If you want to practice surprise drills in the dark hours of the morning to help with managing adrenalin response, during bad weather, or low lighting, it may not be possible at the range.

On the other hand, if you expect to defend yourself efficiently with a gun, there is no substitute for practice, including live fire drills and situational drills that you would be able to carry out at a range.

But if you have enough land, it makes sense for you to build your own wooden targets for shooting drills, and use them whenever you want. 

Here are some tips for building wooden targets as well as getting the most out of them!

Best Materials for Building Targets

Depending on the design of the target, you can only make the frame from wood, or make some of the other parts. Using wood that is suitable for outdoor use would be best – cedar or pine – however you can expect them to split easily. Choose a soft, less dense wood that is already treated for outdoor use.

  • Most wooden frames for shooting targets can be built using 2 x 6 or 2 x 4 studs.
  • You can use old paneling, veneer, composite board, or even cardboard for the areas of the target that you plan to hit.
  • Try to limit the amount of metal used to hold the stand together because a bullet can ricochet off those areas if they are hit. Use PVC tubing or plastic collars to hold the wooden frame together and as a mounting for the actual target.

How to Choose a Stand Design

There are hundreds, if not thousands of wooden shooting target stands that can be built for home use. In most cases, you can separate the stand design into the target area and the support frame. There are literally millions of target images and materials that you can use (check the resources at the end of the article), the frame itself will usually be one of the following designs:

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Square Frame

At the beginning, most shooters keep their practice stands as simple as possible. You can assemble a wooden stand in just a few minutes with little more than a two upright frames, a base, and one across the top of the stand to form a rectangle. Simply add an additional brace or an area to hold the actual target, and you will be ready to shoot.

Center Stand Frame

The second frame you can build is one that uses a wooden base and a pole or beam that extends from the center. You can use a triangular shape for the base, or use one similar what you might use for a square frame.

These frames can be used for more mobile targets such as ones that will pop up, or ones that will spin.

A Frame

The third frame type looks something like A frame saw horses that you might use to prop up large boards for cutting. You would use these for suspending rope or other materials that a target might move across from one end to the other. They can also be used for suspending other targets that swing back and forth or ones that might flip up or down.

Shooting accurately, efficiently, and with confidence is about far more than hitting a stationary target. As a result, you find that a simple stand will not be enough for your home practice needs. Even though you can still use it to break in new weapons or to work on getting rid of bad shooting habits, you will still need to develop more complex targets. Here are a few things you may want to incorporate into your stands if you are an intermediate or advanced shooter:

  • build a stand that accommodates a counterweight so that the stand will pop back up after it has been hit.
  • Build a stand with multiple shot areas, and then add smaller targets that will turn at random moments. You can easily turn these into “shoot don’t shoot” drills simply by putting different images on each side of the target. As these mini targets spin randomly in the wind, you would have to evaluate whether to shoot or not, and then do so accurately.
  • Make sure you can adjust the height of the stand so that you can put one or more targets at different heights.

Advantages of Pop Up and Pop Out Stands

Even though pop up and pop out stands are harder to build, they can help you develop muscle memory, teach you to pay attention to details before you pull the trigger, and also help you practice basic accuracy skills. Both designs are important to work with, even if you don’t have room for a Hogan’s Alley or cannot accommodate several stations.

To build a Pop Up stand, you can try building one that uses a cord as a trigger. For example, you can build a model where cord is pulled by someone standing behind the shooter. Since the shooter never knows when the cord will be pulled, there is an element of surprise that is not present when shooting at a stationary paper target.

If you want to practice shooting by yourself, you might want to try adapting this system so that a motor acts to pull the cord at random times, and then sets releases the cord so the target is pulled back down after a few seconds.

Pop out stands or ones that move across an area vertically or horizontally will always require a motor as part of the assembly. These stands are also useful for incorporating gunshot sounds, flashing lights, or something else that will startle you as the image pops or floats into view.

Build a timer system that may only produce sounds, but no image so that you do learn more about when to hold fire and when to pull the trigger.

Video first seen on m henry.

When building these designs, include targets that make you think about whether to shoot or not.

Remember that if you are in an active shooter situation, you’ll have to distinguish between innocent bystanders and a criminal threat in less than a second. Maybe another concealed weapon carrier is on the scene and making the same evaluation. Both of you will have to recognize that the other is no threat, and neutralize the criminal that created the situation in the first place.

Once you know how to shoot a gun and have practiced enough to get the feel of it, practice “shoot don’t shoot” scenarios. There are few things worse than that moment when you are in a situation, and everything leaves your mind but the understanding you must fire.

If you do not teach yourself from the beginning to evaluate the target, you may not know what you hit or why, even though you aimed and fired perfectly.

Four Essential Target Patterns

When building a target stand, you should keep the following shooting goals in mind:

  • improve basic shooting skills when standing, sitting, or laying down in stationary positions as well as when moving.
  • Ensure that you develop skills related to situation awareness.
  • Always be able to drill on “shoot don’t shoot” so that you do not hit an innocent bystander or someone else that is not the reason you drew the gun in the first place.
  • Once you get past basic shooting, you should also build stands with loud sounds, flashing lights, or anything else that will startle you and produce an adrenalin surge so that you can practice handling that aspect of a shootout.

Keeping these three goals in mind, here are four target patterns that you can use for your wooden platforms:

Dot Torture Targets

This target is ideal for stationary work, and can also be adapted later on for shoot don’t shoot. To adapt the target, make it larger, and then set the dots so that they can spin to reveal either targets to be shot at, or ones that you should refrain firing on. If you add drawing exercises and time the drills, it will add variety and dimension to your practice.

Silhouette Targets

Silhouette targets are very important for improving accuracy insofar as shooting at a critical area as well as making sure that you can cluster your shots in a critical area. These targets can also be easily adapted for “shoot don’t shoot” as well as added to different kinds of platforms.

They are also perfect if you expand to a Hogan’s Alley or decide to expand your range in other ways.

Bobber Targets

These are similar to pop-up targets in the sense that you will have to hit a moving target instead of a still one.

They are also easily adapted to shoot no shoot scenarios. For added complexity, try adding a second bobber so that you have to keep track of two moving targets, one of which may or may not be the one you should be shooting at.

Spinning Targets

As you can see in the video link, these targets are actually fairly easy to make from wood. You can also use wood to create the spokes and locations for the actual target that you intend to hit. This target can also lend itself well to shoot don’t shoot practicing as long as you are able to get the target itself to spin.

Adding a window so that you can only shoot one target at a time as it comes into view may also be useful. When building a spinning target, also try spinning the wheel in a horizontal plane and then hang the targets down at different lengths. As they come into view, you would have to adjust the height of your shots as well as the side to side motions.

If you are interested in an even more advanced target for a single station, take the center support and build it with a cam at the bottom that will cause the center pole to raise and lower. This will also adjust the height of the targets and ensure that you practice wider range of motion in the vertical plane.

Video first seen on Drew Fisher.

Safe Target Stands and Building a Safer Range

Wood is often a favored material for creating shooting stand frames because it is durable, cheap, and less inclined to produce a ricochet if the bullet hits it. That being said, there are some things that you must be especially careful of when building a wooden stand:

  • Always be careful about edges or corners that will produce a ricochet. This is especially important for any target with moving parts. It is best to build any moving area out of cardboard or paper so that the bullet will go through, even if it hits at an angle.
  • Use as little metal as possible when building the frame, and use plastic collars instead, wooden pins, or wood joint constructions that do not require a metal fastener. Even though these joints may take a bit more work to create, the stand may be safer in the long run.
  • Make sure that there is enough room between you and the target. If the bullet doesn’t hit the target, but hits the wooden frame or a base, there is a chance that splinters or other small pieces of wood will fly all over the place. While this is unavoidable, you should still have plenty of room between you and the target so that the debris doesn’t hit you.
  • Never construct a target without building a proper backstop and side stops to catch bullets and debris from the target. You will also be well served by creating a wall that you can stand behind while shooting. Aside from protecting you from debris, the wall can also serve as a place to practice taking cover and shooting from a concealed position.
  • When it comes to building a safer range, always make sure that you have a storage area for important safety equipment such as shooting glasses and ear protection. At the very least, if you have a space near the range to keep these items, you won’t be inclined to forget them while you are gathering up your other gear for the range. This is also a good place to keep a gun cleaning kit and other accessories that will be useful after you are done practicing.

Overall, you’ll find that building wooden targets for shooting practice isn’t especially difficult. You can save time, money, and also expand many other options when using these targets.

While you can start with simple, fundamental stationary targets, it is even more important to advance to designs that build “shoot don’t shoot” into muscle memory as well as practice shooting at different angles, heights, and positions.

If you are serious about defending yourself and your family with a gun, practicing with more complex wooden shooting targets can improve your skills, and make you a more efficient shooter when it comes to handling an encounter with a criminal. Keep practicing to improve your skills and survive any situation!

 

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Resources:

myoutdoorplans.com/stand/target-stand-plans/

baconfatlabs.com/2012/10/steel-target-stands-for-the-dallas-area-blogshoot-2/

pistol-training.com/drills/dot-torture

Did You Nail That Wild Turkey? Here’s How To Do It

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When it comes to hunting, many people think of turkeys as being traditional. Hunting turkeys is not especially difficult, you must still observe some basic rules and take certain precautions.

Whether you are interested in a holiday meal, or another animal to add to your list of game to take for survival needs, learning to hunt turkeys properly will save you from hunger.

Here are some basic things to keep in mind as well as some skills you must master.

How Risky Hunting Wild Turkeys Is?

There are two main sources of danger you will encounter when hunting turkeys. First, these animals can be stronger and more aggressive than expected. If you do not kill them with one shot, or are not certain they are dead, they will attack when you approach and try to pick them up.

A wild turkeys wings are quite strong, as are their claws. Before you attempt to pick a wild turkey up after trying to kill it, prod it several times with a long pole to make sure it is truly dead.

The small size of a turkey’s head makes it fairly hard to hit, so you better aim at the body. If you are aiming for the vital organs, hit above the drumstick and towards the back. A shot that connects with the spine will disable the bird and hopefully keep it from flying off. As you approach the bird, shoot it in the head to make sure it is dead.

The second source of danger when hunting turkeys is other hunters. Since turkeys also move very fast, some hunters may fire in the direction of a turkey call, or as soon as they see something moving in the brush.  More than a few hunters have gotten shot while hunting turkeys because someone thought a bird was approaching and not a human.

But you can stay safe from other hunters during turkey season if you follow a few tips:

  • Wear blaze orange or some other color distinctly different from turkey colors. Avoid red, white, and blue as the red and white can easily be mistaken for turkey colors. Since blue can be perceived as black or brown under certain lighting conditions, also avoid this color.
  • If you decide to wear camo colors or a ghillie suit, make sure you have at least a few patches of blaze orange visible so that other hunters can recognize you are a person and not a turkey hiding in the brush.
  • Avoid stalking wild turkeys. Even though you may be tempted to go to them or try to find them, remember other hunters may be making turkey calls to an animal you are also looking for. If they see something moving in that general direction, they may think you are the turkey too.
  • If you are using decoys, make sure you are never in the line of fire related to the decoy. Remember, another hunter may see the decoy and think it is a real turkey. If you are behind the decoy, you could get shot.
  • When hunting with a group, make sure that everyone knows what areas they will be working in, and try to avoid overlaps or moving into other hunter’s territory. Even someone in your own party can make a mistake and shoot too quickly.
  • Practice turkey “shoot don’t shoot” skills all year long. As silly as it sounds, take the time to drill in the woods with targets that will give you the chance to distinguish between animal targets and humans that you should not shoot. Building muscle memory that includes holding up and not shooting at the last second is every bit as important as aim and accuracy when it comes to turkey hunting. No matter whether you hunt turkeys with a gun or crossbow, these drills can save a life, including your own.

Best Weapons for Hunting Turkeys

When hunting turkeys, shotguns have the advantage of easily cutting through any underbrush, vines, or other material that may stand between you and the turkey.

Here are some characteristics of a shotgun that is good for turkey hunting:

  • Should be a 12 or 20 gauge shotgun. Use 12 gauge only if you are sure that the bird will come in fairly close, and you will not have to contend with underbrush or anything else that might reduce the impact of the shot.
  • Use a gun that has camo coloring, or a dark colored flat finish. Turkeys can see in full color, and will easily pick up the outline of a shotgun based on its color. Turkeys can also spot blaze orange and other hunter safety colors with ease. If you do not move around, the turkey might dismiss this odd color in their environment. It is better to have a wary turkey take longer to approach than have a hunter shoot at you because you aren’t wearing blaze.
  • Most turkey hunters prefer a shotgun with a shorter barrel and tight chokes.

Recently, hunters are paying more attention to crossbows because they offer silence and compatible kill power to shotguns. Usually, most crossbows will work for turkey hunting as long as they have camo covering on them that prevent them from being spotted easily.

On the other side of the equation, your choice of ammo is somewhat limited because turkeys have relatively small areas where you can deliver a fatal blow. Most hunters prefer to hit the spine, as it means the turkey will have a lesser chance of escaping. Broadhead arrows will deliver plenty of impact and cut deeply into the spine or any other part of the animal that you hit.

Best Seasons and Times for Hunting Turkeys

As with any other game animal, there are times when you can legally hunt, and times when you cannot. Typically, the seasons that are off limits are those in which game animals are breeding or raising their young.

You’ll have no choice but to hunt during these times in a critical survival situation, but still avoid it. Killing turkeys when they are raising young will limit your opportunity to hunt the next generation for food.

Today, you can hunt turkeys during the spring and fall in most areas that allow it. Pay attention to the dates in your local areas, as well as any place else that you might be passing through. When in doubt, make sure that you know the breeding and rearing season for any animal that you may wind up hunting on a subsistence basis.

During the fall season, turkeys move around most of the day. Some hunters prefer to hunt turkeys in the early morning, just as they do any other animal, while others prefer the afternoon, around 2 pm. Most turkey hunters will also hunt spring turkeys in the early to late afternoon.

Even though turkeys are a traditional Thanksgiving meal, most hunters avoid hunting turkeys in the fall. During this season, you are more likely to attract younger birds that are less than a year old, so they will have less meat and size on them.

If you are looking for easier animals to take from a strategy perspective, the younger spring birds are definitely less experienced. If you are new to turkey hunting, starting out in the fall may be a good option for you.

Calling Turkeys and Other Methods

If you are used to other kinds of hunting, you may be very surprised to find that hunting turkeys rarely involves stalking them. Aside from safety issues, the fact is turkeys pick up on motion in their environment with uncanny ease.  Therefore, if you are stalking a turkey, there is every chance they will run away from you. On the other hand, if you are still and make sounds like those of another turkey, they will come right to you.

During the process of hunting turkeys, you can still stalk groups of them to a point. In this case, you will always be interested in places where they gather for water and food. All you need to do is sneak up on a flock, scare them into flight, and then shoot them.  Surprisingly enough, if you make sounds like a turkey after startling the flock, some will come back to investigate.

Important Turkey Calls and Decoys

As you learn more about turkey psychology and traits, you may be amazed at what they will fall for when compared to deer or other animals. In this case, there are several sounds that will lure a turkey right to you, or direct it to an area where you can shoot it with ease. Here are some to consider:

  • Insofar as sounds a turkey makes, nothing will draw a gobbler (male turkey) faster than the sound of a hen calling. Since turkeys are not monogamous, they will always be on the lookout for females that they can breed with. Gobblers will also follow females around, which means if a hen comes into view, a male is not far behind.
  • In order to call in a hen turkey, all you need to do is gobble like a male during the spring season. The hens will be drawn to the sound of the male, who will be listening for the females to respond.
  • During the spring season, gobblers are more highly attuned than usual for the sound of a female. Therefore, you also use just about any loud banging sound or whistle to make them curious enough to approach. Some hunters prefer to use owl sounds, or even coyote as a means to lure turkeys.
  • One of the most important turkey calls you can master is the turkey yelp. It is used by both males and females to let other turkeys know where they are. In particular, during the spring season, hens will yelp to let gobblers know they are about to fly down from their roost. Since male turkeys are very interested in mating with any available female, they will rush towards that sound as quickly as possible.
  • Since many turkeys will change from a yelp to a cackle when they leave the roost, it is important to follow up the yelp with a cackle. If a gobbler is waiting to move towards a female, it may not do so until it hears this second sound.
  • Clucking is also a very important turkey call. It is used by both males and females to signal when they are about to go eat, or are moving off from one area to another. While the cluck can have many different meanings, it is still something that will draw curious birds to where you are waiting for them.
  • The putt sound is used to signal the presence of danger. Turkeys will run away from this sound. If you have a blind set up and a fire zone, it is possible to send turkeys away from where you are hiding, and right into your optimal zone of fire. That being said, it may take some work and patience to make this call work for you.
  • During the fall season, young turkeys will make a specific call when they don’t know where their mother is. You can use the “kee kee” and “kee kee run”, and then listen to see if an adult answers. If you use this call, adult turkeys may also come towards you.
  • If all else fails, you can try using the cutting sound. A female turkey will use this call when a male does not answer and she is feeling impatient. Most hunters use this one with caution because a gobbler may be approaching, and this sound may cause him to move away instead.

What to Do After You Kill a Turkey

If you have ever gone hunting or fishing, then you know that finding, targeting, and killing the animal is only the beginning of a long process that finally leads to getting something to eat. When it comes to turkeys, you will more than likely want to do some field dressing in order to preserve the meat and other usable parts.

Once you take the turkey back home, you will need to finish the process so that you can make the meat last as long as possible.

Here are the basic steps for field dressing a turkey:

  • During hunting season, you will need to put your tag on the bird and bring it to the game warden for counting. Usually, you won’t be allowed to remove the comb, feathers, or feet until the animal has been counted and noted as part of your quota.
  • Next, you will to pluck the feathers, cut the wings, and remove the tail.
  • Remove the feet and head. Try to cut the head from the neck as close to the jaws as possible since there is plenty of good meat on the neck.
  • Once the bird is down to skin and beheaded, you can go ahead and start cleaning out the insides. Make one cut on the abdominal side of the tail end of the bird. You should be able to pull out everything but the crop in one clump. Be sure to separate out the heart, gizzard, and liver. Each of these organs are edible and will provide vital nutrients in time of need.
  • Next, cut another slit near the neck to pull out the crop. This is not edible and should be buried along with the head. While some people keep turkey claws, that is up to you. The tail feathers can also be of use if you wish to save them.
  • Finally, rinse out the carcass and wrap it up so that it does not draw flies or other insects.
  • Once you get home, finish butchering and put the meat in the freezer. You can also cut turkey meat into thin strips and make jerky or smoke it if you do not have refrigeration or freezers available.

Many hunters look upon turkey hunting as a secondary interest when compared to deer, bear, or other animals. Turkey hunting can still be very important for preppers that want as many options for their meat supply as possible.

When approached with caution and the right tools during the right seasons, you will find turkey hunting fairly easy and achievable. At the very least, if you are limited in range of motion, or don’t want to stalk animals, there is nothing quite like a turkey coming to you when you make the right calls.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

How To Recognize And Use Mushrooms For Food And Fire

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Many people that find themselves in the woods with no edible resources other than mushrooms may be tempted to give them a try. It’s not easy to know exactly which species of mushroom is safe to eat, and which ones can kill you. Making a mistake can kill you, so you really have to know what you’re doing.

On the other hand, you won’t be hurt if you burn the wrong type of mushroom, but knowing what to choose to start a fire will help you for sure.

Take a moment and get a few tips on how to recognize and use this natural resource for food and fire!

General Characteristics of Most Poisonous Mushrooms

Simply assuming that mushrooms eaten by animals will also be edible to humans is a mistake. Consider that humans can consume chocolate with absolutely no ill effect (and may even consider chocolate medicinal and downright miraculously curative), yet dogs can die if they eat even small amounts of chocolate. By the same token, animals can eat mushrooms that have chemicals in them that are poisonous to humans.

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Here are some general guidelines you can use to avoid many mushrooms that are poisonous to humans:

  • Avoid mushrooms that are red colored or have red on them. These mushrooms are like many other living things in nature. Their bright colors are meant as a warning to stay away from them.
  • Some white or dull colored mushrooms are also some of the most deadly. Mushrooms with a bulbous base, or a skirt around the stem can also be poisonous. You should also avoid mushrooms with white gills.
  • If you touch the gills on a Milkcap mushroom, it will emit liquid or “milk”. Even though some mushrooms in this family are safe to eat, most are toxic. It is best to avoid all of them until you know which ones are safe and which ones aren’t in the area you are traveling through.

If you have ever tried to survive on foods gathered from nature, then you know that experimenting with unknown food types is vital. With the exception of mushrooms, you can use the Universal Edibility Test to determine if the item is safe to eat.

The poisons some mushrooms house can take days, or even weeks to kill. Some poisons may slowly attack and destroy your liver, while others will cause toxic, and eventually fatal buildups in other organs. Other mushrooms cause hallucinations, which can lead to accidents, injury, and death. Since just one bite of a poisonous mushroom can get you killed, you just can’t rely on these tests to evaluate them as a food source.

Start Your Own Mushroom Identification Table

If you can get a field guide for the area you are foraging in, they can help you identify mushrooms that are safe to eat, and build your list into a table based on the mushrooms that you encounter.

Here are the basic fields your table should have, or the questions you should be able to answer about each mushroom that you encounter. Keep a few pages for spore prints (once you know how to make them safely) or other tests that will help you compare patterns later on.

  • What season are you encountering the mushroom in? As with many plants, fungi also have set temperature, humidity, and lighting requirements. In some cases, a poisonous strain that looks like a safe one may pop up during a different season. While it is possible for them to overlap if temperatures are unstable, you can still count this data and compare it with other features.
  • Where is the mushroom growing? Contrary to popular belief, mushrooms won’t grow in just any place with sufficient dead material to live on. For example, some mushroom species will only live on a certain tree type, and cannot be raised in fields, or on other wood types or parts of the same tree. Also, edible mushrooms may differ from poisonous counterparts because they grow on different kinds of dead material.
  • How are the mushrooms growing in relation to each other? In some cases, edible mushrooms may grow in a ring, while poisonous ones grow in tufts, or vice versa. Pay attention to where each mushroom of the same strain is in relation to the others. You’ll still need to rely on other tests, as you never know if an animal or something else came along and disrupted the original growing pattern of the mushroom crop.
  • What color is the exposed side of the mushroom cap? What does its texture look and feel like?
  • How big is the mushroom cap? If you have ever watched mushrooms crop up overnight, then you may already know that some emerge as small buttons that quickly form wider, flat cap shapes. Others will emerge almost fully sized and then fall apart within a matter of days. There is still a maximum size for various mushroom species that you can use to help try and identify them.
  • If the mushroom has gills or other markings underneath, what is their pattern? You may notice forks in the gills, or other shapes that will help you distinguish between a poisonous mushroom and a safe one. Make note of how the gills or underside parts feel. Are they brittle or do they bend easily? Do they appear close together? Are the underside structures attached to the stem?
  • What color are the gills, or if the mushroom does not have gills, what color is in the area where the gills would be?
  • Does the mushroom have a bulb at its base? Does it have a ring around the stem?
  • Is the mushroom brightly colored or red?
  • How does the mushroom smell? Does it have a pleasant “mushroomy” odor, or does it smell acrid, like iodine, otherwise unpleasant? (In many cases, pleasant smelling mushrooms are more likely safe to eat. Still, every person’s sense of smell is different, and some people may consider iodine a pleasant smell and actually be nauseated by the odor of an edible mushroom).
  • Pay attention to how the mushroom’s flesh changes color when cut or bruised. If you have some lye available, you can expose some mushroom flesh to it. In some instances, the color change and what the color changes to may be the best test you can use to confirm which species of mushroom you are dealing with.
  • What color are the spore prints? While it can take several hours for the spores to drop onto paper, they will give you some very important information that will help you identify the mushroom you are dealing with.
  • As with potatoes and some other foods we take for granted as being edible, some mushrooms need to be cooked in order to be edible. When scavenging for edible mushrooms, list this information as well so that you know how to prepare the mushroom safely after harvesting it.

14920747 – collection of edible mushrooms on white background

How to Choose Fungus for Starting Fires

Humans have been using mushrooms for survival for thousands of years. Certain kinds of mushrooms were widely favored for medicine, food, and even starting fires.

Knowing the characteristics of polypore mushrooms can give you an enormous advantage if you need to start a fire, or carry a smoldering ember from one place to another. There are also other strains of mushrooms for the same purpose, but they may not be as effective.

Do you wonder how to recognize a polypore? This mushroom type usually grows on rotting wood. You’ll notice ridges of hard material growing out from tree trunks, as well as near areas where the tree trunk is covered with moss.

Polypores usually have hard, almost woody caps that may have a smooth or rough texture. They may also be brown, gray, or multi-colored.

Some polypores also look like “shelves” extending from the surface they are growing on. Depending on the species of mushroom, they can grow quickly, while others may take years to produce a good sized cap.

If you look underneath the cap of a polypore, you will more than likely find tubes or pores instead of gills.

Even though the polypores grow on tree trunks, there are others that grow on or near the roots of trees. In many cases, these mushrooms form a symbiotic relationship with the trees: they can help the tree communicate with other trees in the area by sending certain chemical signals.

Mushrooms can also cleanse the soil of contaminants, or change the pH to one that is more amenable to the the tree species in question. Polypores may also offer increased resistance to disease, insects, and other organisms that might otherwise cause damage to the roots of the trees.

As you learn more about these kinds of polypores, you may be surprised at how many uses humans have for them.

Basic Steps for Starting a Fire With Mushrooms

Overall, you will find that it isn’t especially hard to start a fire using polypore mushrooms. Here are the steps you will need to take:

Start off by locating some woody polypore mushrooms. Do not be concerned if they have a hard outer surface that cannot be broken or cracked easily.

Take a knife or other sharp object, and dig into the cap. You should reach a soft interior that feels something like felt. Pull off the hard outer shell of the cap until you have the felty inner surface to work with.

Next, you can shred the inner soft part of the cap, or cut it into thin slices. You may also want to crush the soft part to make something of a chunky powder. If you can, try to set aside some slightly thicker slices. Later on, once you have the fire going, you can use these bits to make charcoal, and also something similar to tinder cloth.

To start a fire using mushrooms, simply use your favorite sparking method and then use the mushrooms for tinder. Even though the mushroom will smolder quite a bit, surrounding dry tinder will ignite easily enough.

Other Ways to Use Fungus for Starting Fires

Today, many people interested in survival and off gridding make it a point to study as many different ways to start a fire as possible. Human history is also filled with a number of interesting, albeit strange methods and devices. In this case, lets have a look at how the Vikings used Polypores to start fires, and also carry the embers need to start a new fire from one location to another.

As with most other methods used to build fires with polypores, the Vikings also started off by separating the hard outer shell from the soft interior. Next, they cut this cut the softer part into thin slices, and then beat them until the became soft and pliable.

After using a method similar to what you would use to make tinder cloth, only with the mushroom bits, the Vikings went on to boil the mushroom bits in urine. Since urine has sodium nitrate in it, the resulting charred mushroom ignited more easily. It would also smolder for days on end, which made it safer and easier to carry from one location to another.

If you don’t go camping very often, or have not had to try and live in the woods for a prolonged period of time, it is easy enough to dismiss mushrooms as a source of survival food and fire.

On the other hand, mushrooms are some of the oldest and most resilient organisms on the planet. This, in turn means that many catastrophic disasters that will wipe out other organisms may not do much damage to mushrooms.

It might take some work and effort to learn how to classify mushrooms, it will be well worth it. They might save your life one day!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

6 Things You Must Know When Choosing A Biofilter

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If you are interested in building a homestead or want to live as well as possible while all the world is falling apart, you’ll have to face the challenge of sewage and waste disposal. On the other hand, there are so many pollutants in the air, ground, and water, that you will need a way to manage harmful toxins and chemicals on your own.

Biofilters can be used to manage these and other problems.

Do you know what to be aware of when buying a biofilter? Here’s what you should know before any acquisition. Keep reading!

What is a Biofilter?

If you have ever kept an aquarium or fish pond, then you may already be acquainted with the concept of a biofilter. Basically, these filters rely partly on mechanical media to remove debris, toxic gasses, and other pollutants from a surrounding substance that is pumped through the media.

The filter media is also used as a growing place for bacteria that can break down even more chemicals and turn them into something less dangerous. For example, in an aquarium or pond, nitrifying bacteria break down ammonia excreted by fish and turn it into nitrates. The nitrates, in turn, are used by plants which release oxygen into the water.

Modern biofilters for aquariums and ponds still rely on the same bacteria to keep the water clean and in as good a condition as possible for the fish living in it. Other biofilters are emerging to take care of many other needs.

Some use other kinds of bacteria, while others use fungi and other micro organisms. Since different chemicals and molecules require different micro-organisms to break them down, you will find that each filter has a specific purpose and may not be usable for other applications.

This proven-to-work portable device which provides clean fresh water 24/7! 

What a Biofilter Will and Won’t Clean

Basically, a biofilter can break down or “clean” just about anything that can be metabolized by the micro organisms living in the filter. Many are only available to businesses, government, or other commercial consumers, but biofilters for different purposes are making their way to the masses.

If you wonder what kinds of micro organisms are used for such a dirty job and what could they deliver, here are a few examples:

  • Bacteria that break down sludge and sewage – these biofilters are available to consumers at all levels. For example, you can buy sludge removers for drains as well as for septic systems. There are also composting toilets available that utilize these kinds of bacteria.
  • Bacteria used in hydroponics, ponds, and aquarium systems – you get these bacteria “for free” along with any fish you might buy, and there are also jump start bacteria that you can use to establish them even faster in a new aquarium or hydroponic setup. In addition, there are newer and more powerful biofilter/pump systems arriving on the market that take even more advantage of these filters to accommodate larger aquariums and volumes of water.
  • Bacteria that break down plastics – these bacteria are very important for dealing with plastic waste that you don’t want to bury or have leaching into the soil. These bacteria and appropriate media are not readily available to the public, but you can expect to see these devices making their way onto the market as the technology gets cheaper.
  • Bacteria and fungi that break down volatile organic compounds – these biofilters are not widely available. They are designed, however, to break down paints and toxic gaseous pollutants in the air. You may not be able to buy a biofilter for air filtration, but you could make your own. In this case, you can make a fairly large on using a fan to move contaminated air into a pipe that leads under a bed of peat, wood chips, straw, or other appropriate media. Today, these filters are being used on commercial farms that are located near residential areas affected by the odor from animals living on the farms. You can also build a similar system for a homestead, especially if you are going to keep large animals in a relatively small or enclosed area. You can still use the same fan and pipe arrangement for pushing contaminated air into a location where it will be exposed to the micro organisms in the filter.
  • Other filters for water, or mud (soil that has been liquefied enough to pass through the filter). Even though these filters may not be readily available, you can still get pumps that will move thick mud or sludge around. From there, you may devise your own screens and media, as you would for making a biofilter for the air.
  • Bacteria that break down radioactive materials – these bacteria are still being studied and researched to see if they can be used to manage nuclear waste sites as well as other locations that need to be cleaned up. Sadly, while many people are at risk from exposure to nuclear radiation and debris, it is not likely that appropriate bacteria and filter systems will be made available to the public anytime soon. Since these bacteria are also rare and notoriously difficult to find, it may not be possible to obtain them from natural settings.

How Different Filter Parts Work Together

Consider the power and durability of the pump that will be used to take the contaminated materials and move them through the filter media.

A weak pump will not work as quickly, and may also burn out as the media fills up or begins to clog from debris buildup. Overall, the stronger the motor, the better it will be. Even if you push the filter to its maximum limit, a stronger motor gives you room to expand as well as reduce the risk of break downs.

Filter size is also important. Larger filters media beds can accommodate more bacteria and also process more material at one time. This reduces the speed at which clogs will develop. A larger filter surface are can also reduce impact on the pump and filter because it has more area to pull a “smaller” amount of material through.

Ease of Cleaning the Filter

When people hear about biofilters, they often start off by thinking that the filter should never, or rarely need cleaning. For example, in an aquarium filter using floss, you may even have been told that the floss only needs to be rinsed from time to time.

While some filters last for a long time without clogging, others need a bit more care. In fact, if you don’t clean a biofilter, the clogging can easily damage the pump and motor as well as kill off the organisms that you need for breaking down toxins.

Since you will also need to avoid killing off the bacteria or fungi employed while cleaning the filter, ease of maintenance is important. Most filters on the market today use drop in cartridges or screens that can be rinsed out, but they can also be quite messy to work with, especially if they have been immersed in water or mud.

Take the time to look at the filter schematics before you buy.

If a floor model is available, find out if you can test assemble and disassemble a unit to see how you feel about it. There are few things worse than trying to install new filter media when the clamps get stuck, or some vital part is stuck in a place that is hard to see or reach. Spend a bit more on a filter that is easy to care for than a cheaper one that is harder to maintain.

Is it Possible to DIY Replacements and Repairs?

Some biofilters have flexible media, while others require special cartridges that cannot be substituted.

For example, if you are considering buying a biofilter for a pond, it may require special cartridges that cannot be rebuilt or substituted with something that you make yourself. Other filters have non-DIY cartridges because the media the micro organisms grow on may not be readily available at the consumer level. Some may require special plastic films, while others may only grow in special chemical solutions that are housed maintained in some kind of ceramic matrix.

Either way, this can pose a problem for off gridders and preppers that want to be completely sufficient. It can also pose a problem for anyone that buys a system, and then find out that they can no longer obtain filters for a unit that still works perfectly in every other way. These are just a few reasons why you should shop around for a filter that you can make replacement cartridges for if needed.

If you do some research on biofilters, you will find out that some are fairly easy to make.

Let’s say you want to use a biofilter to process pond water. As you browse through listings for these devices, you may find there are several dozen models on the market, each with a different size cartridge.

When building your own system, you can always find a motor and pump that will match the models you are looking at, and then build a canister that will accommodate multiple sized filter cartridges. Even if building a custom canister doesn’t save you money, at least you will still be able to keep the system going even if the preferred cartridges are not available.

In this case, a custom canister can also be of immense help if you want to make sure you can use alternative media.

For example, there is no such thing as an aquarium, pond, or hydroponics filter that can’t use floss fiber or a sponge as the supporting material for nitrifying bacteria. Even if you have to fold up old fabric or loosely woven sari cloth, it can be used as a matrix for the bacteria.

You can also use prefilters featuring tighter or looser weaves so that you disrupt as little bacteria as possible when you need to change these filters.

No matter how careful you are about choosing durable biofilter with a good quality motor and pump, eventually it will fail. Under these circumstances, you are best served by having a filter that has a pump and motor in an easily accessible location.

If you can’t do the repairs yourself, look for a filter with a bit more flexibility, able to swap out different motors and pumps and still have them fit in the casing.

Powering the Biofilter

Electric pumps and motors are very convenient devices, and when it comes to household current usage, they can also take quite a bit of current: the larger and stronger the device, the more power it will need.

If you don’t have a viable source of electricity, your biofilters will also stop working. This is just one of many reasons why you should think about pump mechanisms that will work without electricity. Here are some other options:

  • for pumping water you can use an Archimedes screw or a ram pump. You’ll need larger or more loosely packed filters and then let the water drain down into a catching receptacle before feeding it back into a pipe for use in the house.
  • Instead of using electric fans to push air into a filter, try gravity fans.
  • If you must process large amounts of mud or sewage, choose either a water wheel or some other device that can operate a non-electrical pump.
  • Depending on the devices you have at hand, you could generate small amounts of electricity. Instead of powering one large device, build networks of smaller systems able to effectively use the power you have at hand. Let’s say you can generate 12 volts of power with a solar backpack or some DIY solar system. Let’s also say you have built 4 of them, and can easily build several more. Rather than try to operate one large fan, pump or motor, focus on smaller motors that can run on what you have. From there, you may need to make smaller filters and clean them more often, however they will still get the job done.

As more people become interested in prepping and off gridding, biofilters are also emerging as a technology of interest. Whatever you need to clean – clean water, air, or soil, biofilters could be the solution.

Just remember that each item you want to clean may require a different filter because each toxin you need to break down may require a different micro organism that has specific growth requirements.

Having a wide range of biofilters onhand and knowing how to choose the proper one will help you a lot. You need clean water, so be sure you’ll be able to provide it for you and your family!

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

References:

https://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/manure-management-and-air-quality/air-quality/biofilter-design-information/

11 Ways To Stay Warm When You Have No Shelter

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Have you noticed the skyrocketing rate of homelessness that keeps growing since Obamacare and other harmful systems drain jobs, money, and energy from the economy?

Once the final blow comes that spells the beginning of large scale social collapse, the ability to find a shelter will be as scarce as food and water supplies.

Many preppers think they will be able to get into the woods and build shelters, or find some other means to avoid living exclusively outdoors. It will be even worse: a sheer number of problems might lead to illness and disability that will prevent you from building or effectively managing an existing shelter.

You don’t believe you may wind up homeless and disabled so you still need to know how to stay warm when you have no shelter and can’t build much of a fire.

Wear Clothing in Layers

When you know it is going to be cold, you may be tempted to wear the heaviest garments you can find, thinking that weight and dense fabric equate to warmth. On the other hand, the best way to keep heat in close to your body is to have more air pockets that within the clothing itself.

Wearing clothes in layers gives you better air pockets than wearing just one thick garment.

When layering your garments, choose materials that wick moisture away from your body for the innermost layers.  This will enable moisture to be pulled away from your skin, which will reduce the amount of cooling caused by sweat and evaporation from your skin.

Materials in the outer layers should focus more on acting as wind breakers and moisture blocks. Plastics, vinyl, or other non-permeable materials will work well for the outermost layer.

Make sure the outermost layers are large enough to leave some air space between each garment. Remember, you are aiming to keep warm trapped near your body, not simply press a bunch of garments together in order to mimic thicker fabric.

Wear Black or Dark Colors

No matter what you are doing, black, or dark materials will absorb heat and radiation while white or shiny ones will deflect it. Typically, when it is cold, wearing dark colors will enable the fabrics to absorb heat from the sun or any other source of heat that reaches you.

Wear Extra Socks and Large Shoes

As with layering your garments, the best way to keep your feet warm is to wear layers of socks.

Once again, you will need to choose socks that wick better for the inner layers. This will reduce the risk of foot infections from excess moisture as well as help keep your feet warm and comfortable.

Until you’ve walked several miles on a daily basis, you may not realize that bigger shoes truly are more comfortable than ones that seem to “fit just right”. Always look for shoes that have a little extra room in the toes and around the widest part of your foot.

Larger shoes give you more room to layer socks, and they will also reduce problems associated with callouses and foot cramps. If you find that you have too much room around your ankles, just go ahead and wrap them in some fabric and put a brace behind your heels.

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Pay Attention to Your Extremities

No matter how warm you manage to keep the core of your body, your arms, legs, hands, feet, and head are going to feel cold a lot faster. These are also the parts of your body that will develop frost bite fastest, so keep them as warm as possible.

To keep temperatures more, slip something thin and flexible into your gloves and shoes that will retain heat. This may be as simple as tin foil or anything else that warms up quickly and can be reused with little effort.

You can also use layers of fabric, plastic, or vinyl to keep heat in as much as possible. Just remember, though for hands and feet, you may need to loosen the plastic from time to time in order to let moisture escape.

Keep Your Head Well Covered

Fur and hair are both excellent insulators, but on the other hand, as an extremity, your head is also an area of your body where you will lose a lot of heat.

Here are some inexpensive things you can do to prevent heat from escaping from your head and neck area in cold weather:

  • Wear a hat with a face mask that you can tuck into the neck area of your innermost garments, to keep the heat close to your body and also help redistribute it if needed. You can easily knit or crochet a hat like this and make it custom fit for your needs.
  • The outermost shell of your garments should have a hood that can be used as a wind breaker and water barrier.
  • Make sure you can cover your nose and mouth to keep them as warm as possible. A black towel or anything else that will keep the cold out can be used for this purpose. You’ll need to leave some openings for ventilation, but you can still reduce heat loss by arranging the garment folds to keep most of the heat near your face.

Use Plastic as an Insulator

Anything from plastic grocery bags to trash bags, and even plastic table cloths can all be used as insulators.  When using plastic as an insulator against the cold remember to:

  • Choose plastics that are as durable as possible. Even though smaller sized trash bags may be cheaper, the larger construction strength bags are almost as heavy as black plastic commonly used for killing weeds. Heavier plastic will last longer and develop fewer weak points created as you move around.
  • Use black or other dark colored plastic as it will help retain heat from the sun or any other external source that you can find.
  • Make sure that you can vent moisture easily from the plastic on a routine basis without losing heat.  For example, if you have a flat sheet of plastic, arrange the layers so you can loosen different areas easily and let the moisture out from them without losing heat in other areas.
  • Avoid using tape or anything else that will pull on the plastic or create holes when you have to loosen the plastic. If you do need to secure the plastic, use light weight rope or even yarn to  form a seal between the plastic and your inner garments.
  • Avoid using plastic right next to your body because water evaporation from your skin can spell disaster and lead to both skin infections and increased risk of frost bite.

Control Moisture

Even though wearing layers of garments can help with moisture control, you should also know what parts of your body are going to sweat the most and cause problems.

For example, if you sweat a lot between your shoulder blades or tend to have sweaty feet, you must always pay extra attention to these areas. Among other things, you can try using an extra towel in these areas, and then change it out every few hours for a dry one.

Avoid using chemical antiperspirants as they can easily irritate your skin even more.  They also may not be easily replaced, which will leave you with another problem on your hands. If you are dealing with a social collapse or a scenario where you cannot buy something to replace what was used, chemicals like this will be a waste of time.

Hot Water Bottles or Other Devices

When it comes to retaining heat, few materials absorb it or hold it as well as water.  Therefore, hot water bottles offer a good way to retain heat near your body and also store any heat you can get from an external source.

A hot water bottle can serve to keep you warm and also meet other needs. In particular, today, you can buy a batch of collapsible, clear plastic, flexible water bottles that can be used to store water and also purify it. All you have to do is leave the bottles in the sun and let them heat up.

If the weather is especially cold, use a cardboard solar oven to increase heat capture.  Once they are warm enough, simply insert them into different layers of clothes. Since you can buy different sized bottles, it is possible to find ones that will suit your needs.

Balloons will also work in a pinch, however you may not be able to get more than one or two uses from them.  They also cannot be used for killing off bacteria in water because UV rays from the sun may not be able to get through the material as easily as they can through clear plastic.

Eat High Calorie or Fatty Foods

If you have ever been on an extended hike, or had to do a lot of physical work in one day, you also increased your caloric intake to meet those needs. Your body uses a tremendous amount of energy when you are out in cold temperatures. Choose foods that your body can turn into energy very quickly, as well ones that will help you stay warm.

This includes fatty foods as well as ones that are fried. If you are looking for the perfect excuse to eat some bacon, fried chicken, or anything else that is usually off the menu because of caloric concerns, being out in the cold with no shelter is a good excuse!

Insofar as food stores, you can also store away foods high in carbohydrates and consume them at regular intervals.

Along with high calorie foods, drink plenty of water. Even if you are feeling cold or chilly, your body is still doing a lot of work to try and maintain a safe temperature, which means you will be using a lot of water, and also sweating more than you might expect.

Keeping hydrated will prevent you from getting sick and also help you stay warmer as your body will be able to carry out necessary tasks as efficiently as possible.

Travel During Night Hours

As simple as it may sound, traveling during night hours is a simple, cost effective way to stay warm.  Since temperatures are warmer during the day hours, you can use this time to sleep or rest, as the sun and other resources will give you some extra heat.

This is also a good time to stay stationary and heat up water bottles or harness other heat sources that you happen to have come across in your travels.

Chances are you already know that your body temperature drops when you are sleeping.  If you are already out in the cold, this can spell disaster. On the other hand, when you are awake and moving around, your body produces more heat. Therefore, when you travel at night, you are producing more heat at time when less is available from the sun.

Build a Portable Solar Heater and Solar Cooker

No matter how cold it may be, the sun will still rise and provide heat for a few hours each day.  Here are two things you can adapt for your needs even if you do not have shelter:

  • You can make a solar heater from tin cans and a few scraps of wood and glass. Simply substitute the wood and glass for lighter weight metal and clear plastic, and you will have a portable solar heater. Count on using about 15 – 20 empty cans. You can pipe warm water or warm air in as close to your body as possible. You can use flexible plastic airline tubing (½ inch will work) in the layers of your clothes to transport both water and air, and a battery operated pump for more efficient circulation. If you are in one location during the day, this can truly be one of the most important pieces of equipment you have on hand.
  • A cardboard box solar cooker.  You can use this device to heat up everything from your dinner and water bottles to bricks and rocks that can be used to retain heat.

When you cannot start a fire and have no shelter, it can be very dangerous for you to be out in the cold weather. While you may not want to think about being homeless or what will drive you to this situation, it is still very important to know how to stay warm without shelter and a fire.

You can devote some of your survival budget to a set of garments and gear that can be used to keep you as warm and comfortable as possible even when the temperatures are freezing and you have nothing else to work with.

You’ll always find a way to survive if you have the will to practice your skills and prepare for survival!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia

What It Takes To Survive When Meeting The Wolves

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If you are trying to live off the land, or have to because the world nearly ended, you’ll face the wilderness and its challenges. One of them is encountering a pack of wolves.

What you do when you meet the wolves? First, you’ll try to remember everything you’ve ever heard and learned about surviving them.

This is why you need this article. Knowing how to recognize their intent, as well as how to escape the encounter will save you. Keep reading, then keep it in your mind!

How to Tell When Wolves are Around

The population of wolves in some areas are increasing to the point where more people are coming into contact with them.

Since wolves tend to be afraid of people, they might hide themselves as soon as they sense your presence, so you might not see them immediately. It can take days to weeks to discover if you are in a wolf pack’s territory

But there are still a few things you can use to determine if wolves have been around:

  • Keep an eye out for their tracks. Wolves usually have bigger feet the coyotes and most dogs. They also walk so that all four paws make a fairly straight line, while dogs tend to waver. If you notice tracks in the snow, wolves that follow the leader will put their paws in the same track as the leader.

  • Wolf kill sites are also fairly easy to spot. Their prey will be ripped apart, and picked fairly clean. You may also see signs of crushed bones with bite marks that indicate the wolves bit through the bones. Even if the wolves did not eat the prey for some reason, there is a chance they will come back to the site, even months later. If you see a wolf kill, proceed with caution, and always be careful in this area.
  • Once you locate a kill site, you may also spot locations off the trail where the wolves were sleeping.
  • Since wolves eat bones and fur, their scat often contains remains of these materials.
  • Watch for the presence of crows circling. Unlike many other animals, wolves usually won’t try to chase crows out of their territory. If you see crows circling, there is a chance they are at the site of a wolf kill, and are waiting for their chance to feast. In addition, wolves will also scavenge off already dead carcasses. They also watch the behavior of the crows, and may follow them to a kill that they will want to take advantage of. Even if you do not see wolves in the area, it is best to stay away from any location where you see crows circling, as it may mean wolves are there, or soon will be.

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It Spells Danger

With time and experience in nature, you will more than likely learn how to spot wolf kills. An unconsumed carcass can mean more danger than you expect, especially if it looks like a lone wolf made the kill.

Sadly, rabies epidemics are reaching greater proportions among wolves every year. As with dogs, cats, and other mammals, wolves are highly susceptible to this disease.

Since a wolf pack’s territory can reach over 600 miles, even a single wolf has the potential to reach out and spread this disease to many other animals. Typically, a rabid wolf will either leave the pack or be driven from it.

As they roam around, they will make several kills, and then not eat the meat from them. Therefore, if you see a wolf kill, it is important to be wary of other animals as well as the wolves themselves.

Rabies can be a tricky disease to spot in the early stages, and you will not want to come down with it because you ate an animal that has this disease.

What Each Animals Position in the Pack Means

Wolves are highly social animals that travel together in family groups.

Even though there is no such thing as a wolf that serves as a leader, there is a male and female alpha for each pack that the rest of the wolves will follow. The alphas are also the ones most likely to mate and rear pups successfully to adulthood. In addition, as long as an alpha male and female mated pair are alive, they will remain monogamous.

If the genetic relationship is too close between the alphas, the male may mate with one of the betas instead.

A wolf pack can have between 8 and 15 members, and most wolves fall somewhere between the alphas and the omega and are referred to as beta. These wolves may be male or female, although the male alpha may chase off males that will, in turn, form their own packs.

Depending on the age or other characteristics of the alphas, the beta wolves may become alphas, or switch back and forth at any time. Typically, the change of command is fairly peaceful, although wolves can fight physically. In most cases, wolves achieve alpha status, however, though personality and communication.

Finally, the lowest ranking wolf in the pack is the omega. These may be the youngest wolves in the pack, and are often treated with the most aggression by the others. It’s not unusual for omegas to eventually leave the pack and try to form their own.

Even though wolves are relatively peaceful among members of their own pack, they will join together and defend their territory from other wolves as well as other animals. In fact, they will even gather and attack bears, cougars, and other animals closer to the top of the food chain. This includes humans.

How to Escape if Wolves Approach You

Generally, there are two basic kinds of wild animal attacks:

  • There are attacks that occur because the animal is frightened or seeks to protect its young. In these cases, you are usually best served by making yourself as small as quiet as possible so that the animal will leave you alone. If you make noise with these kinds of animals, throw things at them, or make yourself appear larger, there is a much higher chance they will attack and kill you.
  • The other kind of animal attack that occurs revolves around animals that clearly want you out of their territory because they consider themselves superior or dominant. Wolves fall into this category. If you do not assert your right to be in the area, the wolves will seek to surround you, kill you, and possibly have you for dinner.

Let’s see how these two situations apply to wolves.

When you have wolves approaching, it may be very tempting to try and run away. Remember that wolves run faster than you, and it will be impossible to escape them. To make matters worse, once you turn your back on them, they will charge on you all the faster.

Consider that dogs also have a similar instinct when it comes to perceiving the difference between prey and something that is dominant over them. Dogs will chase cars, humans, and other animals because anything that is fleeing away from them is fair game. The very act of fleeing triggers, in dogs and wolves, predatory instincts even if what they are pursuing is actually bigger and stronger than them.

Instead of running away, the best thing you can do is make yourself seem as big and threatening as possible. You can yell, jump up and down, throw things, and make other loud noises.

Advancing aggressively may also cause the wolves to pause, but you will still need to keep moving backwards while keeping the wolves in front of you. In some cases, this may be enough to cause the wolves to stop, and hopefully go away. Even if the wolves begin to move off, never turn your back on them. Just keep moving backwards slowly and at a steady pace.

One of the most important things you can do in an encounter with wolves is make sure that you keep eye contact with them without staring. Remember, among themselves, it is body language and psychological means that are used to achieve dominance, not physical conflict.

Avoid allowing the wolves to circle behind you. Towards that end, you must always be aware of where each wolf in the pack is, and how it is moving in relation to the others and you. If at all possible, move towards an area, such as a gate, where you can go through, but the wolves will be unable to get behind you, and, eventually, unable to follow you.

STAY CALM. Wolves have an incredible sense of smell, and can literally smell fear. If they catch a smell that indicates fear, they will perceive you as prey and may just decide to attack.

To escape the wolves completely, you will need to back up until you find a useful way to get a way from the wolves – climbing a tree, getting into a vehicle, or getting into some other shelter that the wolves cannot get into.

If the pack is hungry, or want to eat you later on, they may stay around for a good while, or try to get at you. Unless you completely leave the area, count yourself still in danger. No matter whether the wolves appear again in hours, days, or weeks, you must never forget that another, and more dangerous encounter may occur.

If you survive an initial encounter with wolves, but your safe area is surrounded, you will need to find some weapons to protect yourself with. Among other things, you can try building a fire. You should also know how to make spears, throwing knives, and other weapons that can be used to kill or injure the wolves. Needless to say, if you can make contact with others, it will be a good idea to alert them to your situation and ask for help.

When a Wolf Attacks

No matter how hard you try, it may not be possible to avoid being attacked by wolves. As with dogs and other related animals, a wolf will seek to knock you down and bite. Wolves will also attack as a group, which makes it much harder to defend yourself. Nevertheless, here are some things to do for your salvation:

  • Always remember to carry a heavy stick, rocks, or other weapons with you. If a wolf begins charge at you, then you may have to kill it if you are able.
  • If you do not have a weapon, back up against a tree or anything else that will protect your back. Jump up onto a large boulder to give yourself a height advantage.
  • Never simply give up and let the wolves tear you apart. Keep yelling, kicking, grabbing, and biting if you are able. As with any other animal, a wolf’s throat and eyes are vulnerable to attack. Grab one just below the jaw if you can, and dig hard into their throat with your fingers. Even if the wolf is fighting you, it may be possible to keep its teeth away from your body. You may also be able to use its body to shield you from the other animals.
  • If you fall or wind up on the ground, once again, do what you can to reach the wolf’s throat. Once you have control of its airway, bring your feet up and kick into its ribs and abdomen repeatedly. Watch how a cat will respond to an attack, and it should give you some ideas. As always, make sure your head remains tucked closed to your chest, and that your throat and neck are as protected as possible.

Other Things to Avoid

Most of attacks occur because someone, somewhere may have fed the wolves or done something else to cause them to lose their fear of humans.

Avoid feeding wolves or encouraging them to be around humans. No matter how much of an “animal person” you may think you are, there is a time and a place where these actions are irresponsible and endanger you as well as others.

This includes endangering the wolves themselves because once people learn an attack has occurred, there will be a move to hunt down and slaughter the entire pack.

Remember, the wolves did not ask for your presence, and if you or other encourage them, they will do as their nature dictates. It is one thing to encourage a wolf that lives in captivity or has a documented and accepted close contact with humans and seeking to do this with adult wolves in the wild.

For the most part, you will find that wolves are truly beautiful and intelligent creatures as long as you understand their role and yours in nature. But if you happen to encounter wolves, or are attacked by them, the situation can be extremely dangerous.

You have to think fast to find the best way to survive. Would you know how to do it?

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Resources:

http://www.wolfcountry.net/information/WolfPack.html

Survival Defense: How To Keep These Weak Spots Safe

Click here to view the original post.

Fighting off an attacker isn’t just about hitting your opponent hard enough to make them stop trying to hurt you. It is also about making sure that any blows sent your way don’t harm important parts of your body.

When you are in this kind of fight, some of your efforts will aim defending vital body parts even if you’re also trying to strike your opponent. Staying safe comes first!

Here are five body parts that you must defend regardless of the nature of the attack. While not using other body parts will spell trouble, harming these five parts can cause permanent injury or loss of life. Keep reading!

But before going any further, there’s a DISCLAIMER that we should insist on.

Reading this article, or others, or watching videos is not enough to prepare you for an attack. You must practice these moves constantly so that you don’t panic or suffer from other adrenalin response related issues. Practice will also help you build speed, precision, and power behind each move.

In a fight, you may have, at most, 1 to 2 seconds (and that includes situations where you maintained good and accurate situation awareness and/or didn’t stray into a dangerous location) to make a good move and neutralize your opponent enough to stop them long enough to escape or prevent further attack if you decide to remain on the scene.

Watch Your Head

Aside from avoiding damage to your eyes, ears, and nose, protecting your head also helps you avoid loss of consciousness.

Pay attention to how the attacker moves. Usually, if someone is going to punch or use a small knife, their arm will move inward.

If the person moves towards the center of your body, move in the opposite direction instead of trying to “escape” by moving in the same direction or “away”. Even though this may feel like you are putting your head in line with being struck, it may throw off the attacker’s aim.

Remember, the attacker will expect you to startle and move your head away, and may already be compensating for that move so that they hit as squarely as possible.

If the blow cannot be avoided, try to move so that your forehead takes the blow instead of your nose, jaws, or eyes. This may be as simple as suddenly squatting down or using some other means to reduce the height of your head as quickly as possible.

You can also turn this move into the prelude to striking at the attacker’s legs by rolling into them, or smashing into their groin, knees, or other stable or sensitive areas. Clench your neck so that if a blow does land, it will not knock your head back and cause further damage to your neck.

In some cases, an attacker might throw a rock or something else heavy to your head or face. If you can’t move out of the way fast enough, cover your eyes and nose with your arms. Or, if you are already on the ground, tuck your head between your knees, and then cover the back of your neck with your arms.

Click here to get your guide to a layered survival defense!

Protect Your Neck

While your neck is a relatively small target, it is also a key one that many assailants will aim for first, so strengthen this part of your body as much as possible. Neck exercises won’t prevent you from choking, but additional strength in this area makes it easier to defend against any head and jaw blows that reach you.

If an attack is coming, keep your chin tucked in so that it is harder to reach your throat. Throughout the encounter, do not arc your head back, as it gives the attacker a perfect chance to grab your neck.

Make it a point to keep your arms and hands close enough to your head and neck so that you can block incoming blows easily, and also attack sensitive nerve junctions in the attacker’s arms.

Having your hands and arms ready to defend this region can also give you fast access to any other targets that open up on the attacker’s body as they try to strike. Remember, to land blows to your head, neck, and jaw, the attacker must reach in towards you.

There are many maneuvers to destabilize the attacker and send them flying past you as well as ones that can be used to attack in a more direct fashion. Remain calm and you will see the openings that will help you stave off the attack with as little injury as possible.

It may also help to keep your body in a position where one shoulder or the other is pointed towards the attacker. To make it work, however, you have to attack without revealing your intentions by rotating into an optimal position.

Once someone grabs ahold of your neck, it is still possible to escape, however you will need to use these maneuvers in a matter of seconds:

  • If the attacker is trying to choke you from the front, he/she will more than likely be looking to crush your throat.
  • To get out of this attack, put your hands together as if in prayer, and bring them up hard and fast between your attacker’s arms.
  • As your arms contact the inner arm area of your attacker, you can try gouging your elbows into the pressure points in the bicep and also midway up the forearm.

From there, you can use different pressure points to inflict maximum pain to the attacker, however they may not be enough to enable you to escape. Here are just a few options:

  • Continue the motion until your hands grasp the side of the attacker’s head. Next, lock your hands, and gouge your thumbs into the attacker’s eyes as hard as you can. If you cannot reach the side of attacker’s head, then just poke your fingers into their eyes.
  • You can also try sticking your thumbs hard into the mandibular nerve just below the ear, twist your thumbs, and pull forward. If you do this maneuver right, it will cause immense pain and cause the attacker to gag. It can also dislocate the attacker’s jaw if you pull forward hard enough.
  • The area just under the nose is also a trigger point for immense pain if you hit it just right. Needless to say, you can always aim for the attacker’s nose and try to break it. These maneuvers may not work as well because your attacker may try to bite you.
  • When working with nerve points, no matter where they are on the body, do not give up if the first blow or attempt doesn’t neutralize the attacker. In many cases, hitting a second time will neutralize the attacker because the nerve was weakened by the first blow, and may give in completely with the second one. If all else fails, try again; although if you practice diligently, two should be enough because you will know where to hit and have a well honed technique to work with.

Once you have inflicted some pain to the attacker, knee male attacker’s in the groin, perform a headbutt, or use other methods to break the attacker’s hold.

If you are a woman wearing high heels, you can also place the outside of your foot against the attacker’s inner leg, and stamp down hard. Practice this maneuver so that you have a good idea of how to jam your heel into the attacker’s ankle bone.

Don’t aim for the attacker’s foot, as they may be wearing steel toed boots, or something else that will make your heel less effective. On the other hand, even an ankle covered in a boot can be impacted with this method.

Don’t Drop Your Jaw!

A blow that lands squarely on your jaw can render you unconscious and lead to permanent injury.

While tucking your jaw into your neck can protect both vital areas, there are some additional things you must do to prevent damage to your jaw.

As simple as it sounds, keep your jaw as tightly clenched as possible. If a blow does land on your jaw, this will reduce the risk of breaking your jaw, and also help reduce damage to your teeth. A clenched jaw also moves less, which means that there is less chance of being knocked unconscious.

Warming up your jaw with a few exercises can also help reduce injury. But if you are caught unawares, you will not have time to prepare your jaw muscles.

On the other hand, if you have a good level of situation awareness, you will probably have one minute or two needed for these exercises. Individuals that have experience with gaining control of adrenalin responses may also use these exercises as a trigger that will help them prepare mentally and emotionally for conflict.

Solar Plexus and Abdomen

This is one part of your body where some of your defense can be grounded in exercises done before you ever get into a fight. Strong, non-bloated, abdominal muscles will be able to take a blow with less injury and pain.

There are many exercises and methods you can use to build up this core area of your body. Aside from improving the chance of recovering faster from a blow to this part of the body, any move you make will have more power behind it.

If you need to defend against a knife attack or some other weapon other than hands and fists, you will need to use more offensive moves than you would for breaking an attack to your neck.

Here are a few things you can try. Instead of dropping your arms and hands from their defensive position near your head and neck, use your feet and legs instead. Among other things, you can continue pivoting and moving so that your side remains facing the attacker.

If the attacker gets too close, you can pivot slightly towards them and use your knees or feet to attack their shin, groin, or knees. As with blows to the face, someone with a knife may expect you to continue pivoting away rather than take a chance of being stabbed or struck with a weapon.

The opposite move may throw your attacker off for a fraction of a second as long as you don’t give away what you are about to do. Needless to say, if you can kick the knife away or disable their arms first, you will be in a better position.

As you pivot, look for an opening where you can grab the attackers outstretched arm and pull them forward. If at all possible, try to combine this with stamping on the foot, or using your knee to kick behind their knee in order to drop them to the ground.

These actions must be taken very quickly, as they will leave your head and neck unprotected. If you practice enough different kicks and rolls, you can use different maneuvers that still keep your hands free for defending your head and neck.

Back/Spine

Unlike other vital parts of your body, you can harm your back or spine more with improper technique than your attacker can with primary blows. A as a general guide, you better keep your back away from your attacker. If you are facing multiple attackers, put your back against a wall so that none of them can get behind you.

It is crucial to practice falling, rolling, and other techniques used during an attack scenario. No matter how much you practice, or how hard you train, you can expect to find yourself on the ground. To protect your back, knowing how to break a fall and roll will:

  • protect your back and neck much better than simply landing where ever and how ever the fight sends you
  • can also move you away from the attacker
  • can be used to set yourself in a position where you can attack your adversary.

Once on the ground, do not expect to get up immediately, and do not expect your attacker to simply stand around and wait for you to get back up. It may be necessary to kick, or roll out of the way to get into a better position or avoid other blows.

When you watch a skilled martial artist or other fighter, everything they do seems effortless. On the other side of the equation, each move they make is based on careful analysis that happens very quickly because they have the strength, muscle memory, and experience to carry out these moves as efficiently as possible.

Learning about different moves that can protect vital parts of your body will definitely help you face an attacker, but you must also take the next step and find a qualified trainer and a safe place to practice.

Survival defense is one of the skills that you just can’t miss if you want to keep yourself and your family alive. Click the banner for more!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

References:

http://www.policemag.com/channel/patrol/articles/2016/04/gaining-compliance-with-targeted-pressure.aspx

This Is How To Build A Rubber Band Engine

The rubber band engine is cheap and easy to make, and can be adapted easily enough to run on heat from a solar capture device.

This type of engine isn’t the most efficient device, but if you have been looking into power generation systems, then you already know that most systems are inefficient.

To generate a reasonable amount of electricity, the device either has to be very large or made from materials that are very expensive. Add in the cost of batteries and voltage regulators, and it may seem impossible to gain energy independence.

But why wouldn’t give this little fellow a chance and try to make one for your homestead?

How Does a Rubber Band Engine Work?

I have long been a fan of work with smaller devices that generate small amounts of energy, and then pooling that electricity to gain a reasonable amount of power.

While the rates may vary considerably, as well as the amount of heat required, most solid objects will expand when you heat them and contract when they cool. Rubber is like water in the sense that it will also expand as it cools and contract as it heats up. Unlike water, however, it takes much less heat to cause rubber to contract. Therefore, when arranged in combination with metals or other materials, heating up rubber will cause an object to disbalance. This “disbalancing” will cause the object to spin. As the object spins, you can use that motion to generate electricity with magnets and coils.

GREEN ENERGY – Click Here to find out how you can build your own energy generator.

Will Something Other Than Rubber Bands Work?

Thinking about materials that you can easily obtain, there are no substitutes that will work as well as rubber bands, or be as cheap to obtain in this particular energy generating design.

There are some things you can try and also look for as new technologies emerge:

  • Metals expand and contract at different rates. Therefore, it is possible to obtain alloys that expand much faster when heated, and also cools and contracts faster when away from a heat source. Unfortunately, it may take a bit more energy than it would take to create the same amount of change in a rubber band.
  • If you decide to work with metal alloys, try and see if a spring shape works better than something similar to rubber bands. As the spring relaxes and tenses, some additional capacity to turn the wheel may be produced from this shape.
  • Water is the only other readily available substance that expands as it turns to ice, and then contracts as it shifts from ice back to water. It takes a good bit of energy to cause water to shift between its four phases of solid, water, gas, and triple state. Nevertheless, if you work with smaller quantities of water and generate small amounts of steam that are held in tubes, it may be possible to push a wheel out of balance in a way similar to one of the most basic rubber band engine designs.
  • As research continues on nano-technologies and other studies that lead to development of new materials, it is entirely possible that some solid will emerge that behaves like rubber. If this material turns out to be more durable than rubber bands, then it may be worthwhile to see if you can obtain some and try to build a power generating engine with it.

As a prepper, you may feel a bit frustrated because this particular engine relies on a commodity that may not be available after SHTF.

There are ways to make rubber on your own from various plants, and once you design your first rubber band engine, experiment with growing plants that produce a sap that can be turned into rubber (dandelions, for example). You may have to make thicker bands in order to produce the same level of durability as you will get from commercial rubber bands, it is still worth the effort.

Video first seen on Adam Micolich

Different Ways to Build the Basic Engine

When building a rubber band heat engine, you will need to make sure that you control the amount of heat reaching the rubber bands. Too much heat can damage the rubber bands, so you will usually find that “less is better”.

You will also need to decide whether you will use a bath of warm water, or simply heat up the air around the rubber bands in order to make them contract. Even though you can use anything from old bicycle wheels to cardboard to build the frame for the rubber bands, the engine must have the following parts no matter whether you decide to heat up air or water:

  • rubber bands
  • a central shaft
  • one or more disks that can be mounted to a central shaft. This disk will also have to act as a support for the rubber bands. It will also need to be sturdy enough so that you can mount magnets on it.
  • a means to shield one half of the rubber bands from heat so they expand as quickly as possible
  • a way to heat up the air or water

Of all the designs featured on the Heat Engines page, the design by William E. Wiegand will probably lend itself the best to a wide range of power sources.

It also has a fairly large vertical frame, so there is also plenty of room for adding coils. Needless to say, for anyone interested in making a small central coil, this may also be an ideal way to build an electric motor that runs on heat.

X Powering Methods for a Rubber Engine

Many people are surprised to find out that a rubber band engine is very easy to power. A candle, or even incandescent light bulb will provide enough heat to cause the rubber bands to contract.

In fact, just about any source of heat, even if it is generated as a secondary process (for example, heat thrown off from a running engine) can be used to power the rubber band engine. Just make sure that you can shield the rest of the device so that the central disk keeps spinning.

Here are just a few simple things you can use to power the rubber band engine that will serve a dual purpose:

Candle heater

Set a candle heater to one side of the rubber band engine. As you will recall, this simple device requires little more than a few clay pots and zinc free washers. With 4 tea lights, you can heat up a small room for 2 – 3 hours and run the rubber band engine at the same time.

Alcohol, and Rocket stoves

Why not generate some electricity while you are cooking on these versatile stoves? As with the candle heater, just set the rubber band engine to one side of the stove where it will receive sufficient heat. Camp fires, and any other stove that throws off heat can be used for the same purpose.

Using a rubber band engine instead of materials that generate electricity based on thermal transfer will be cheaper and easier to develop into larger applications in the long run.

Other Sources

If you are serious about breaking away from commercial electricity or other commercial power sources, then you will already realize that solar and wind power offer you the best options. These systems have been hijacked by dirty and expensive “green” technologies, there is still a lot you can do at the consumer level to take advantage of them.

The sun produces plenty of heat that can be concentrated, and stored so that you can run the rubber band engine in many different kinds of weather.

Here are just a few devices you can make from stuff in your trash can or around the yard and use to power the rubber band engine:

Solar can heater

This device uses little more than old food cans, a wooden frame, some glass or plastic, and pipes in the center of each can. Basically, in this system, the cans are exposed to the sunlight, and cause the air or water in the central tubes to heat up.

From there, all you have to do is let the hot air flow into a room in your home, or let the hot water circulate in a water radiator. To run the rubber band engine, it is just as easy to make a second set of pipes that will blow hot air directly onto the engine.

Solar cooker

These devices can produce temperatures hot enough to cook meat, boil water, and bake bread. Just set up a metal coil in the bottom of the solar cooker and set the other end under a metal plate on one side of the rubber band engine. Do not forget to check the temperatures often so that you do not over heat the rubber bands.

Shiny object

The simplest and easiest way to concentrate heat from the sun is to use a shiny object that bounces sunlight onto a piece of metal. As the metal heats up, the radiant energy will disburse near the rubber band engine.

When experimenting with this system, be careful to watch as the sun shifts so that the mirror does not wind up bouncing heat onto dry grass or something else that can catch fire. It can take only a few seconds for to start a fire this way, and a matter of minutes for it to go out of control.

Plastic solar lenses

Water absorbs a lot of heat, and can also hold onto it for a reasonable amount of time. If you are interested in purifying water, then you may already know that clear plastic solar lenses or even a simple clear plastic bottle are very important for this purpose. If you let a contained source of water heat up, then you can also use that heat to power the rubber band engine.

As with the solar cooker, you will more than likely need to use some type of metal to transfer the heat from the collector to one side of the rubber band engine. You can also use styrofoam or other insulators on the metal so that as little heat as possible is lost on the way to the rubber band engine.

Needless to say, if you choose to build a rubber band engine that is designed to work with warm water, then you will not need to concern yourself with transporting the heat to another location.

Friction

Most people will tell you that friction is a necessary evil at best, but friction also generates heat. If you are interested in harnessing wind power to power the rubber band engine, you may look for ways to generate friction as the bladed (or bladeless depending on the design you choose) system turns. You can still use oils and other lubricants to reduce wear on parts, and still gain plenty of heat from friction generated by the parts passing each other. It may be as simple as adding a band around standard wind turbine blades (or make them smaller to compensate for the added wind power to overcome drag) that will produce friction.

How to Get Electricity From the Rubber Band Engine

Once you master assembling coils and magnets to generate electricity, using the rubber band engine will not be much different. Even though you may be tempted to make a central coil, do not forget these coil types are harder to wind. Magnets also weigh less and can be distributed more easily, so I still recommend using them on the spinning area of any given power generation system and then leave the coils stationary.

When generating electricity using rubber bands, remember that a rubber band does not have a lot of strength. Even if you can get the wheel spinning quite fast, it will take several modules going on at one time to generate significant amounts of power.

You are better off building ten smaller units that spin faster than one unit that does not move as well or breaks down quickly because of the wear and tear on the rubber bands.

Finally, as with any other power generation system, you will still need some way to even out the current produced, and then store it for later use. You can use anything from earth batteries to store electricity to twisting ropes that can be used later on to spin the wheel in the opposite direction and produce more electricity.

If you have some rubber bands sitting on your desk or in a drawer somewhere, you may not realize that these flimsy objects may be a key to generating electricity, even if they only produce a few volts of electricity, but enough to power smart phones, flashlights, or other useful small devices.

They are also a perfect way to gain a good introduction into harnessing solar power, or even how to build units that can be combined to generate even more power.

Click the banner below for more!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

References:

http://the-mostly.ru/misc/heat_engines.html

This Is How To Build A Rubber Band Engine

Click here to view the original post.

The rubber band engine is cheap and easy to make, and can be adapted easily enough to run on heat from a solar capture device.

This type of engine isn’t the most efficient device, but if you have been looking into power generation systems, then you already know that most systems are inefficient.

To generate a reasonable amount of electricity, the device either has to be very large or made from materials that are very expensive. Add in the cost of batteries and voltage regulators, and it may seem impossible to gain energy independence.

But why wouldn’t give this little fellow a chance and try to make one for your homestead?

How Does a Rubber Band Engine Work?

I have long been a fan of work with smaller devices that generate small amounts of energy, and then pooling that electricity to gain a reasonable amount of power.

While the rates may vary considerably, as well as the amount of heat required, most solid objects will expand when you heat them and contract when they cool. Rubber is like water in the sense that it will also expand as it cools and contract as it heats up. Unlike water, however, it takes much less heat to cause rubber to contract. Therefore, when arranged in combination with metals or other materials, heating up rubber will cause an object to disbalance. This “disbalancing” will cause the object to spin. As the object spins, you can use that motion to generate electricity with magnets and coils.

GREEN ENERGY – Click Here to find out how you can build your own energy generator.

Will Something Other Than Rubber Bands Work?

Thinking about materials that you can easily obtain, there are no substitutes that will work as well as rubber bands, or be as cheap to obtain in this particular energy generating design.

There are some things you can try and also look for as new technologies emerge:

  • Metals expand and contract at different rates. Therefore, it is possible to obtain alloys that expand much faster when heated, and also cools and contracts faster when away from a heat source. Unfortunately, it may take a bit more energy than it would take to create the same amount of change in a rubber band.
  • If you decide to work with metal alloys, try and see if a spring shape works better than something similar to rubber bands. As the spring relaxes and tenses, some additional capacity to turn the wheel may be produced from this shape.
  • Water is the only other readily available substance that expands as it turns to ice, and then contracts as it shifts from ice back to water. It takes a good bit of energy to cause water to shift between its four phases of solid, water, gas, and triple state. Nevertheless, if you work with smaller quantities of water and generate small amounts of steam that are held in tubes, it may be possible to push a wheel out of balance in a way similar to one of the most basic rubber band engine designs.
  • As research continues on nano-technologies and other studies that lead to development of new materials, it is entirely possible that some solid will emerge that behaves like rubber. If this material turns out to be more durable than rubber bands, then it may be worthwhile to see if you can obtain some and try to build a power generating engine with it.

As a prepper, you may feel a bit frustrated because this particular engine relies on a commodity that may not be available after SHTF.

There are ways to make rubber on your own from various plants, and once you design your first rubber band engine, experiment with growing plants that produce a sap that can be turned into rubber (dandelions, for example). You may have to make thicker bands in order to produce the same level of durability as you will get from commercial rubber bands, it is still worth the effort.

Video first seen on Adam Micolich

Different Ways to Build the Basic Engine

When building a rubber band heat engine, you will need to make sure that you control the amount of heat reaching the rubber bands. Too much heat can damage the rubber bands, so you will usually find that “less is better”.

You will also need to decide whether you will use a bath of warm water, or simply heat up the air around the rubber bands in order to make them contract. Even though you can use anything from old bicycle wheels to cardboard to build the frame for the rubber bands, the engine must have the following parts no matter whether you decide to heat up air or water:

  • rubber bands
  • a central shaft
  • one or more disks that can be mounted to a central shaft. This disk will also have to act as a support for the rubber bands. It will also need to be sturdy enough so that you can mount magnets on it.
  • a means to shield one half of the rubber bands from heat so they expand as quickly as possible
  • a way to heat up the air or water

Of all the designs featured on the Heat Engines page, the design by William E. Wiegand will probably lend itself the best to a wide range of power sources.

It also has a fairly large vertical frame, so there is also plenty of room for adding coils. Needless to say, for anyone interested in making a small central coil, this may also be an ideal way to build an electric motor that runs on heat.

X Powering Methods for a Rubber Engine

Many people are surprised to find out that a rubber band engine is very easy to power. A candle, or even incandescent light bulb will provide enough heat to cause the rubber bands to contract.

In fact, just about any source of heat, even if it is generated as a secondary process (for example, heat thrown off from a running engine) can be used to power the rubber band engine. Just make sure that you can shield the rest of the device so that the central disk keeps spinning.

Here are just a few simple things you can use to power the rubber band engine that will serve a dual purpose:

Candle heater

Set a candle heater to one side of the rubber band engine. As you will recall, this simple device requires little more than a few clay pots and zinc free washers. With 4 tea lights, you can heat up a small room for 2 – 3 hours and run the rubber band engine at the same time.

Alcohol, and Rocket stoves

Why not generate some electricity while you are cooking on these versatile stoves? As with the candle heater, just set the rubber band engine to one side of the stove where it will receive sufficient heat. Camp fires, and any other stove that throws off heat can be used for the same purpose.

Using a rubber band engine instead of materials that generate electricity based on thermal transfer will be cheaper and easier to develop into larger applications in the long run.

Other Sources

If you are serious about breaking away from commercial electricity or other commercial power sources, then you will already realize that solar and wind power offer you the best options. These systems have been hijacked by dirty and expensive “green” technologies, there is still a lot you can do at the consumer level to take advantage of them.

The sun produces plenty of heat that can be concentrated, and stored so that you can run the rubber band engine in many different kinds of weather.

Here are just a few devices you can make from stuff in your trash can or around the yard and use to power the rubber band engine:

Solar can heater

This device uses little more than old food cans, a wooden frame, some glass or plastic, and pipes in the center of each can. Basically, in this system, the cans are exposed to the sunlight, and cause the air or water in the central tubes to heat up.

From there, all you have to do is let the hot air flow into a room in your home, or let the hot water circulate in a water radiator. To run the rubber band engine, it is just as easy to make a second set of pipes that will blow hot air directly onto the engine.

Solar cooker

These devices can produce temperatures hot enough to cook meat, boil water, and bake bread. Just set up a metal coil in the bottom of the solar cooker and set the other end under a metal plate on one side of the rubber band engine. Do not forget to check the temperatures often so that you do not over heat the rubber bands.

Shiny object

The simplest and easiest way to concentrate heat from the sun is to use a shiny object that bounces sunlight onto a piece of metal. As the metal heats up, the radiant energy will disburse near the rubber band engine.

When experimenting with this system, be careful to watch as the sun shifts so that the mirror does not wind up bouncing heat onto dry grass or something else that can catch fire. It can take only a few seconds for to start a fire this way, and a matter of minutes for it to go out of control.

Plastic solar lenses

Water absorbs a lot of heat, and can also hold onto it for a reasonable amount of time. If you are interested in purifying water, then you may already know that clear plastic solar lenses or even a simple clear plastic bottle are very important for this purpose. If you let a contained source of water heat up, then you can also use that heat to power the rubber band engine.

As with the solar cooker, you will more than likely need to use some type of metal to transfer the heat from the collector to one side of the rubber band engine. You can also use styrofoam or other insulators on the metal so that as little heat as possible is lost on the way to the rubber band engine.

Needless to say, if you choose to build a rubber band engine that is designed to work with warm water, then you will not need to concern yourself with transporting the heat to another location.

Friction

Most people will tell you that friction is a necessary evil at best, but friction also generates heat. If you are interested in harnessing wind power to power the rubber band engine, you may look for ways to generate friction as the bladed (or bladeless depending on the design you choose) system turns. You can still use oils and other lubricants to reduce wear on parts, and still gain plenty of heat from friction generated by the parts passing each other. It may be as simple as adding a band around standard wind turbine blades (or make them smaller to compensate for the added wind power to overcome drag) that will produce friction.

How to Get Electricity From the Rubber Band Engine

Once you master assembling coils and magnets to generate electricity, using the rubber band engine will not be much different. Even though you may be tempted to make a central coil, do not forget these coil types are harder to wind. Magnets also weigh less and can be distributed more easily, so I still recommend using them on the spinning area of any given power generation system and then leave the coils stationary.

When generating electricity using rubber bands, remember that a rubber band does not have a lot of strength. Even if you can get the wheel spinning quite fast, it will take several modules going on at one time to generate significant amounts of power.

You are better off building ten smaller units that spin faster than one unit that does not move as well or breaks down quickly because of the wear and tear on the rubber bands.

Finally, as with any other power generation system, you will still need some way to even out the current produced, and then store it for later use. You can use anything from earth batteries to store electricity to twisting ropes that can be used later on to spin the wheel in the opposite direction and produce more electricity.

If you have some rubber bands sitting on your desk or in a drawer somewhere, you may not realize that these flimsy objects may be a key to generating electricity, even if they only produce a few volts of electricity, but enough to power smart phones, flashlights, or other useful small devices.

They are also a perfect way to gain a good introduction into harnessing solar power, or even how to build units that can be combined to generate even more power.

Click the banner below for more!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

References:

http://the-mostly.ru/misc/heat_engines.html

This Is How To Build A Rubber Band Engine

The rubber band engine is cheap and easy to make, and can be adapted easily enough to run on heat from a solar capture device.

This type of engine isn’t the most efficient device, but if you have been looking into power generation systems, then you already know that most systems are inefficient.

To generate a reasonable amount of electricity, the device either has to be very large or made from materials that are very expensive. Add in the cost of batteries and voltage regulators, and it may seem impossible to gain energy independence.

But why wouldn’t give this little fellow a chance and try to make one for your homestead?

How Does a Rubber Band Engine Work?

I have long been a fan of work with smaller devices that generate small amounts of energy, and then pooling that electricity to gain a reasonable amount of power.

While the rates may vary considerably, as well as the amount of heat required, most solid objects will expand when you heat them and contract when they cool. Rubber is like water in the sense that it will also expand as it cools and contract as it heats up. Unlike water, however, it takes much less heat to cause rubber to contract. Therefore, when arranged in combination with metals or other materials, heating up rubber will cause an object to disbalance. This “disbalancing” will cause the object to spin. As the object spins, you can use that motion to generate electricity with magnets and coils.

GREEN ENERGY – Click Here to find out how you can build your own energy generator.

Will Something Other Than Rubber Bands Work?

Thinking about materials that you can easily obtain, there are no substitutes that will work as well as rubber bands, or be as cheap to obtain in this particular energy generating design.

There are some things you can try and also look for as new technologies emerge:

  • Metals expand and contract at different rates. Therefore, it is possible to obtain alloys that expand much faster when heated, and also cools and contracts faster when away from a heat source. Unfortunately, it may take a bit more energy than it would take to create the same amount of change in a rubber band.
  • If you decide to work with metal alloys, try and see if a spring shape works better than something similar to rubber bands. As the spring relaxes and tenses, some additional capacity to turn the wheel may be produced from this shape.
  • Water is the only other readily available substance that expands as it turns to ice, and then contracts as it shifts from ice back to water. It takes a good bit of energy to cause water to shift between its four phases of solid, water, gas, and triple state. Nevertheless, if you work with smaller quantities of water and generate small amounts of steam that are held in tubes, it may be possible to push a wheel out of balance in a way similar to one of the most basic rubber band engine designs.
  • As research continues on nano-technologies and other studies that lead to development of new materials, it is entirely possible that some solid will emerge that behaves like rubber. If this material turns out to be more durable than rubber bands, then it may be worthwhile to see if you can obtain some and try to build a power generating engine with it.

As a prepper, you may feel a bit frustrated because this particular engine relies on a commodity that may not be available after SHTF.

There are ways to make rubber on your own from various plants, and once you design your first rubber band engine, experiment with growing plants that produce a sap that can be turned into rubber (dandelions, for example). You may have to make thicker bands in order to produce the same level of durability as you will get from commercial rubber bands, it is still worth the effort.

Video first seen on Adam Micolich

Different Ways to Build the Basic Engine

When building a rubber band heat engine, you will need to make sure that you control the amount of heat reaching the rubber bands. Too much heat can damage the rubber bands, so you will usually find that “less is better”.

You will also need to decide whether you will use a bath of warm water, or simply heat up the air around the rubber bands in order to make them contract. Even though you can use anything from old bicycle wheels to cardboard to build the frame for the rubber bands, the engine must have the following parts no matter whether you decide to heat up air or water:

  • rubber bands
  • a central shaft
  • one or more disks that can be mounted to a central shaft. This disk will also have to act as a support for the rubber bands. It will also need to be sturdy enough so that you can mount magnets on it.
  • a means to shield one half of the rubber bands from heat so they expand as quickly as possible
  • a way to heat up the air or water

Of all the designs featured on the Heat Engines page, the design by William E. Wiegand will probably lend itself the best to a wide range of power sources.

It also has a fairly large vertical frame, so there is also plenty of room for adding coils. Needless to say, for anyone interested in making a small central coil, this may also be an ideal way to build an electric motor that runs on heat.

X Powering Methods for a Rubber Engine

Many people are surprised to find out that a rubber band engine is very easy to power. A candle, or even incandescent light bulb will provide enough heat to cause the rubber bands to contract.

In fact, just about any source of heat, even if it is generated as a secondary process (for example, heat thrown off from a running engine) can be used to power the rubber band engine. Just make sure that you can shield the rest of the device so that the central disk keeps spinning.

Here are just a few simple things you can use to power the rubber band engine that will serve a dual purpose:

Candle heater

Set a candle heater to one side of the rubber band engine. As you will recall, this simple device requires little more than a few clay pots and zinc free washers. With 4 tea lights, you can heat up a small room for 2 – 3 hours and run the rubber band engine at the same time.

Alcohol, and Rocket stoves

Why not generate some electricity while you are cooking on these versatile stoves? As with the candle heater, just set the rubber band engine to one side of the stove where it will receive sufficient heat. Camp fires, and any other stove that throws off heat can be used for the same purpose.

Using a rubber band engine instead of materials that generate electricity based on thermal transfer will be cheaper and easier to develop into larger applications in the long run.

Other Sources

If you are serious about breaking away from commercial electricity or other commercial power sources, then you will already realize that solar and wind power offer you the best options. These systems have been hijacked by dirty and expensive “green” technologies, there is still a lot you can do at the consumer level to take advantage of them.

The sun produces plenty of heat that can be concentrated, and stored so that you can run the rubber band engine in many different kinds of weather.

Here are just a few devices you can make from stuff in your trash can or around the yard and use to power the rubber band engine:

Solar can heater

This device uses little more than old food cans, a wooden frame, some glass or plastic, and pipes in the center of each can. Basically, in this system, the cans are exposed to the sunlight, and cause the air or water in the central tubes to heat up.

From there, all you have to do is let the hot air flow into a room in your home, or let the hot water circulate in a water radiator. To run the rubber band engine, it is just as easy to make a second set of pipes that will blow hot air directly onto the engine.

Solar cooker

These devices can produce temperatures hot enough to cook meat, boil water, and bake bread. Just set up a metal coil in the bottom of the solar cooker and set the other end under a metal plate on one side of the rubber band engine. Do not forget to check the temperatures often so that you do not over heat the rubber bands.

Shiny object

The simplest and easiest way to concentrate heat from the sun is to use a shiny object that bounces sunlight onto a piece of metal. As the metal heats up, the radiant energy will disburse near the rubber band engine.

When experimenting with this system, be careful to watch as the sun shifts so that the mirror does not wind up bouncing heat onto dry grass or something else that can catch fire. It can take only a few seconds for to start a fire this way, and a matter of minutes for it to go out of control.

Plastic solar lenses

Water absorbs a lot of heat, and can also hold onto it for a reasonable amount of time. If you are interested in purifying water, then you may already know that clear plastic solar lenses or even a simple clear plastic bottle are very important for this purpose. If you let a contained source of water heat up, then you can also use that heat to power the rubber band engine.

As with the solar cooker, you will more than likely need to use some type of metal to transfer the heat from the collector to one side of the rubber band engine. You can also use styrofoam or other insulators on the metal so that as little heat as possible is lost on the way to the rubber band engine.

Needless to say, if you choose to build a rubber band engine that is designed to work with warm water, then you will not need to concern yourself with transporting the heat to another location.

Friction

Most people will tell you that friction is a necessary evil at best, but friction also generates heat. If you are interested in harnessing wind power to power the rubber band engine, you may look for ways to generate friction as the bladed (or bladeless depending on the design you choose) system turns. You can still use oils and other lubricants to reduce wear on parts, and still gain plenty of heat from friction generated by the parts passing each other. It may be as simple as adding a band around standard wind turbine blades (or make them smaller to compensate for the added wind power to overcome drag) that will produce friction.

How to Get Electricity From the Rubber Band Engine

Once you master assembling coils and magnets to generate electricity, using the rubber band engine will not be much different. Even though you may be tempted to make a central coil, do not forget these coil types are harder to wind. Magnets also weigh less and can be distributed more easily, so I still recommend using them on the spinning area of any given power generation system and then leave the coils stationary.

When generating electricity using rubber bands, remember that a rubber band does not have a lot of strength. Even if you can get the wheel spinning quite fast, it will take several modules going on at one time to generate significant amounts of power.

You are better off building ten smaller units that spin faster than one unit that does not move as well or breaks down quickly because of the wear and tear on the rubber bands.

Finally, as with any other power generation system, you will still need some way to even out the current produced, and then store it for later use. You can use anything from earth batteries to store electricity to twisting ropes that can be used later on to spin the wheel in the opposite direction and produce more electricity.

If you have some rubber bands sitting on your desk or in a drawer somewhere, you may not realize that these flimsy objects may be a key to generating electricity, even if they only produce a few volts of electricity, but enough to power smart phones, flashlights, or other useful small devices.

They are also a perfect way to gain a good introduction into harnessing solar power, or even how to build units that can be combined to generate even more power.

Click the banner below for more!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

References:

http://the-mostly.ru/misc/heat_engines.html

Uncommon Off-grid Survival: How to Get Electricity from Mud

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It is no secret that anything from EMP blast and natural phenomena to outright sabotage from inside the country can lead to large scale disruptions in the power grid.

You have at least a few electronic devices that you’ll need to operate until you have made a full adjustment to living without electricity. Regardless of whether you need to access data on the memory chip for your smart phone, health monitoring tools, or even a battery powered radio, you should know how to generate electricity using as many methods as possible.

Overall, generating electricity or other sources of power from mud may be a viable option.

GREEN ENERGY – Click Here to find out how you can build your own energy generator.

How Does Generating Power From Mud Differ From Earth Batteries?

How is this type of generator different from other devices made from similar materials? How a mud based electricity generator differs from an earth battery? Here are the main things to remember:

  • An Earth battery does not require salt or any other electrolyte. You can add salt to increase the amount of electricity produced. On the other hand, generating electricity with mud always requires the addition of salt.
  • To use an earth battery, you can take the soil from any location and it will still work. If you want to generate electricity using mud, you must make use of mud from areas rich in bacteria that do not rely on oxygen. Most people use mud found at the bottom of ponds or other areas that have been under fresh water for some time.
  • When generating electricity from mud, the bacteria responsible for making the electricity must have food. While waste or sewage can be used for this purpose, some bacteria may also require the addition of glucose or sugar. An earth battery does not require living organisms to generate or store electricity, so there is never a need to add food. At most, you will only need to add regular water from time to time in order to keep the soil slightly moist.

How Does Generating Power From Mud Differ From Using Electrolytes?

Even though generating power from mud requires salt, it does not work quite the same way as an electrolyte battery. The bacteria themselves charge up one side of the fuel cell as a part of their biological function.

On the other hand, an electrolyte battery works because molecules break down into ions when mixed with water. These ions gravitate to the different metals at different rates, which produces an electrical charge.

Over the years, many different methods have been used to generate electricity from electrolytes. If you are near the ocean, you won’t need much more than access to salt water and two different metal types that will serve as electrodes. With a few minor modifications, you can also make wet capacitors using similar materials.

If you are going to work with higher voltages, you might need to make this kind of capacitor both for storing electricity and making sure you can create and even discharge once the power is gathered in one location.

Alternatively, if you have pennies made 1983 or later, you will already have two perfectly good metals in the same coin for making an electrolyte battery. All you will need to do is sand off some of the copper from one side of each penny in order to expose the zinc.

Next, make a sandwich of cardboard disks dipped in salt water and add pennies between each set of disks. You can make approximately one volt of electricity for every penny you combine with the salt water and cardboard disks.

Should I Use the Mud Cell to Generate Electricity?

Overall, you will find that a mud cell generates relatively small amounts of electricity when compared to the size of the device. Something is better than nothing, so it will still take a lot of work to multiply that electricity and be able to use it even to produce the same voltage as you would get from a AAA battery.

You can most certainly try building a mud cell power generator to see how it works, and then try to adapt it to produce more power.

Here’s what you need to achieve to produce more electricity:

  • Find some way to get existing bacteria to boost their metabolism 200 – 300 times the current rate.
  • Get the bacteria to multiply faster.
  • To generate electricity, the bacteria actually form networks of conductive “bridges” or “wires” in the growing medium. At this time, it is not known if the bacteria themselves are producing the most optimal pattern for conducting electricity from one place to another. Changing the pattern may improve efficiency and it may also boost the amount of current produced by the generator.
  • Find a way to make the cells smaller: see if you can use a more liquefied mud cell, and then irrigate it with a steady flow of nutrient rich water. Provide some kind of growing film for the bacteria so they aren’t washed away each time the mud cell is bathed in water. Even though nanotechnologies may be outside of your available list of materials, they may one day be useful for making an optimized structure for the bacteria to live in and generate electricity across. This leads to a smaller footprint for each cell, as well as higher levels of efficiency.
  • Get equipment that will help you find out the answers to several questions: a microscope and access to white papers on nanotechnology, conductive material molecular structures, and other materials may be of use to you.

Basic Steps for Building a Mud Cell Energy Generator

To make a microbial fuel cell, start off by gathering the right kind of mud. Dig around in the bottom of a pond that has been around for a few years, and pull up some of the black mud at the bottom. This mud will be rich in the kind of bacteria that can be used to generate electricity.

Next, you will need some salt, water, agar, and PVC pipe. Mix the salt, water, and agar together, and then fill the pipe with them. Once the agar cools, it should be hard enough so that it will not spill out of the tube.

The agar acts as a repository for salt, which restores the ionic balance as electricity is drawn from the cell. You can also try cardboard dipped in salt water or other methods for making the salt bridge.

The microbial fuel cell requires two chambers that are connected by the agar filled PVC pipe. Make sure the seals connecting the chambers are waterproof, and that you can easily replace the salt bridge, so that you can refill or make changes to the ingredients in the other chambers as needed.

After you connect the containers with the salt bridge, fill one container part of the way with mud and insert an electrode. Since the electrode will need a fairly wide surface area, make one from regular wire, and then attach an aluminum mesh to it. Finish filling up the container.

Your next step will be to fill the remaining chamber with distilled water and salt. As with the first chamber, install an electrode and some wire.

You can also insert some air tubing that will be used to run an air pump that will aerate the solution in the water chamber.

If you want to increase the amount of air going into the chamber and ensure more stays in the water, try using an aquarium air stone. If you do not aerate the water in the second chamber, it will produce hydrogen gas.

Depending on the activity levels of the bacteria, you may notice a small amount of voltage immediately. It may still take days, or even weeks for the bacteria to rebuild their transport structure and produce more electricity.

Video first seen on CCS Microbial Fuel Cell

Are there any Other Uses for a Mud Cell?

Many inner city areas are soon to become areas where gas mains will explode and skyscrapers will tumble to the ground. Land with clean water and soil is rapidly becoming something that simply cannot be bought in an area with good weather conditions.

Aside from pointing to inevitable massive depopulation, it also means that if you want a homestead, you may have to settle for land that isn’t as clean or as safe as you would want it to be. This, in return, means that you will need some way to clean the soil. While mud batteries may not do much to generate electricity, they can do a great deal to increase the rate at which other bacteria remove toxins from the soil.

Therefore, if you are interested in owning a homestead, or know that you are already dealing with contaminated soil, you may want to experiment with these batteries to see if they will be of use to you.

Like many others, over the years, I have tossed around the idea of living completely free of electricity and electronic devices. While I have arrived at the sad conclusion these devices may be necessary for years to decades after a major crash, I still give a lot of thought to using as little electricity as possible. Since electricity is used for everything from cooking to home heating/cooling, this also means other fuel types must be considered.

Mud batteries can be used to generate hydrogen and biofuels. Typically, this process only requires carbon dioxide and sunlight. There is a good bit of research going on at this time to determine if this means of making butanol, a biofuel, can replace corn, beets, and other crops normally used for food.

Many people prefer cooking with electric stoves because they are safer, but just about everyone agrees that gas stoves produce better tasting food. You can build a gas stove to run on natural gas or methane, so don’t be surprised that this fuel is of immense interest to off gridders and preppers.

The bacteria that generate methane and natural gas also form similar structures within the growing medium that allow for the transport of electricity. As a result, even if you decide the mud battery is not a feasible option, you could check if the best bacteria for this method will also produce larger amounts of natural gas.

Aside from saving on soil depletion, this method may even be used one day to produce sugars suitable for addition in foods. In fact, bacteria are being used to make omega fatty acids that are added into organic milk. The bacteria strain may be different from the ones used to generate electricity, but never underestimate what mud and different methods for getting bacteria to produce various chemicals can do.

Right now, mainstream media continues to avoid covering topics like the Fukushima disaster, and other issues related to the leaking of nuclear materials into rivers and oceans. Virtually everyone points to other factors and blames them for the rises in cancer rates and other diseases that may well have an origin in hidden exposure to ionized radiation in the groundwater.

The same strains of bacteria used to generate electricity are also capable of removing uranium from ground water. If you are building a homestead near an area exposed to nuclear waste or materials, these bacteria may help. There may even be a way to develop a strain of bacteria that can be used to remove tritium from potable water supplies.

Once you begin exploring how electrically active bacteria work, it seems entirely possible this property can be used to remove tritium from non-radioactive water molecules.

In the case of making electricity from mud, the hydrogen generated by this process may be of more use as a fuel to power some other device that will deliver more electricity or some other useful form of power.

When it comes to generating electricity, cost, availability, and ease of assembly must always be your primary focus points. If you cannot generate enough electricity directly from any given application, see what else you can obtain that may be useful.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

References:

http://sciencing.com/making-electricity-salt-water-4883969.html

http://theconversation.com/mud-power-how-bacteria-can-turn-waste-into-electricity-3677

4 Ways To Make An Ionized Radiation Detector

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As ISIS continues to move into Europe and Asiatic countries, they will gain access to materials that emit ionizing radiation. Aging nuclear power plants, aging missiles, and radioactive dumps all pose a threat to our health and well being without even being in the hands of an enemy nation or terrorist group.

That’s why you need a reliable means to detect nuclear radiation on a routine basis, and you can even build yourself such a device, as an alternative to store bough Geiger counters.

Here’s what you need to know about different ways to build an ionizing radiation detector and how much it will cost to operate and maintain the equipment.

Radiation Types – The Difference Really Counts

Ionizing radiation comes in 5 basic forms. For the sake of simplicity, it is easiest to rate them by what they can and cannot pass through. Ideally, you should be able to detect at least alpha and gamma rays, as they span the range of particles you would need to be most concerned about as someone trying to survive a nuclear event.

Alpha

Alpha carries the least amount of energy. It can be stopped by a sheet of paper. These particles are still very dangerous if swallowed or inhaled. Even alpha particles are the easiest to stop, they are also some of the hardest forms of ionizing radiation to detect. Typically, it will take a conventional Geiger counter to detect alpha particles. There are some DIY explorers that claim they are able to detect this form of radiation with modified photo diodes and transistors.

 

Beta

These particles carry more energy than Alpha particles. They can be stopped by aluminum foil, thin boards of wood, and other fairly lightweight material. Beta particles can also be very dangerous if swallowed or inhaled.

 

X-rays

You are more than likely familiar with these particles because they are routinely used in medical imaging studies. As with other forms of ionizing radiation, they are derived from unstable atoms that break apart and release rays of energy. X-rays cannot penetrate bone or thicker metal plates.

Typically, even the thickness of most metal pendants is enough to stop X-rays from passing through. Some talcum powders and other body powders can also stop a good percentage of X-rays from passing into the body.

 

Gamma

Of all the radiation types that can be released by a nuclear power plant, a nuclear bomb, or from nuclear waste, gamma rays are the most dangerous. They carry a good bit of power and can only be stopped by lead, iron, or other metal shields. Gamma rays can be detected readily enough by photo diodes and other alternative ionizing radiation detectors.

Worst comes to worst, this is the form of radiation you should be most concerned with detecting. If you know there is gamma radiation present, and can track the changes in the amount, then you can estimate when beta and alpha particles will also be gone.

 

Neutrons

Since this is one of the three main parts of an atom, it is also one of the most dangerous because other atoms can absorb it and become unstable.  Once the host atom becomes unstable, it can also release radiation, or become “radioactive”.  Neutrons can only be stopped by large amounts of water, concrete, or other substances that contain a large amount of hydrogen.

Bear in mind, however, these substances will also become unstable and release radiation to some extent. Overall, it is not easy to detect neutrons. Fortunately, relatively few are released from an atomic explosion when compared to other particles.

This guide will help you survive more than an EMP!

Pros and Cons of Making a Conventional Geiger Counter

Modern electronics has made a lot of advances in terms of changing from vacuum tube based technologies to solid state devices. Some forms of ionizing radiation still require a vacuum tube and high voltages.

While a Geiger counter is still the most reliable device for detecting the widest range of radiation types, it can be very expensive to make.

The vacuum tube can be damaged by incorrect voltages, or need to be replaced for other reasons. Since this is also the most expensive part of the detector, it is fairly easy to see why most people don’t try to build, let alone maintain a conventional Geiger counter for use on a routine basis.

How to Use Arduino or Cell Phone to Make a Geiger Counter

Building a Geiger counter with Arduino isn’t so different from building anything else. You will need to start with a main board and then add the appropriate sensors and output devices. With Arduino you have the choice of using a gas tube like a regular geiger counter, or you can use a solid state version.

Build the tube version (choose a dosimeter/geiger counter kit that has the LCD shield and tube bundled with it) and keep it on hand for situations where you suspect there is a need for detecting all particles emitted by a nuclear event. You may also be able to use conventional tubes that weren’t originally designed for use with an Arduino board. Just make sure that you know their voltage requirements and how to test if they actually work.

There are many tubes available from different countries. As a result, you will need to do some research on each tube and learn from people in forums dedicated to building various kinds of Geiger counters.

You can also build the version that relies on a solid state sensor. This one is sturdier and uses less power. You can simply set up nuclear watch stations that report around the clock.  I would also recommend adding an additional board to the Arduino main board that will accommodate a memory chip.

This will enable you record sampling data around the clock so that you can upload it to your computer and compare it over time. As you learn what the normal radiation levels are in your area, you can always set the sensor to beep or give some other type of alarm when the levels are too high.

You can also try adding an wireless remote system or even one that will report directly to your smart phone. If you live near a nuclear power plant, or any other area that houses any kind of radioactive material, it is very important to have these kinds of records so that you have a better sense of what is going on around you.

For an even simpler and cheaper option, you can purchase a solid state radiation sensor that will plug into the sound jack on your cell phone. As with Geiger counter tubes, there are a few different models available. Take some time to study the apps that control them so that you can find one that meets your sampling and data recording needs.

Video first on Gooferking Science

Kearny Fallout Meters

Of all the ways to detect radiation, the Kearny Fallout Meter (KFM) is one of the cheapest and simplest. If you don’t know how to maintain the meter, it can produce some unreliable results.  In order to make this meter, you only need some tin foil, a tin can, some paper, charging wires, and a means to give a static charge to the foil leaves.

Make a Gamma Radiation Detector Using a Photo Diode

Making a radiation detector using a photo diode will cost about the same as using an Arduino kit. The advantage to building it using this method is you will have complete control of all the parts. Once you have the main elements figured out, you can also look for ways to convert from solid state parts to ones that will better withstand an EMP.

Video first seen on vk2zay

The Tin Can Ion Chamber Radiation Detector

If you choose a sensor to add to your cell phone, it will only cost around $30.00, while a good Arduino system may cost as much as $150.00. Building  your own conventional Geiger counter could cost several hundred dollars by the time you purchase the tube, build the power supply and other supporting parts.

There are some down and dirty ways to build a radiation detector for under $10.00 with items from around your house. While there are several videos and DIY forms that claim these radiation detectors work, it may be hard to test that out and get viable answer.

Video first seen on bionerd23

Unlike the Kearny Fallout Meter that has a long history of validation, other forms of tin can radiation detectors may or may not work as described.

If you are on a tight budget and want something to start with, here are the basic steps.

  • To start off, you will need a metal can (soda cans work well) with an interior that conducts electricity; some tin foil, a 4.7K ohm resistor, some wire, a 9 volt battery and attachment clip, a multi-meter, and an NPN  transistor. You can also use any transistor that is over 1.0 K ohm. If you are scavenging for parts, or included them in your bug out gear, variable resistors may also be good to start with. Since this meter is highly susceptible to false readings caused by electromagnetic fields (even if you move around or change body position, the meter numbers will change), you may be find a different resistor setting works for different occasions.
  • There are two main kinds of solid state transistors; PNP  and NPN. If you scavenged a transistor, it is very important to make sure you have the right kind, and also that it is still in good working order. You can use the ohm setting on your multi-meter to achieve both goals. Once you are certain that you have a suitable transistor, you can begin assembling the radiation detector.
  • Make sure the top of the can is open. Next, drill a hole in the center of the bottom of the can.
  • Pull the leads of the transistor apart so that they do not touch each other. Solder some wire onto the collector and emitter leads. Make sure that the wires never touch each other or the can.  Transistors can be shorted out very easily if the leads cross or anything that extends from them.
  • Solder bare wire to the base lead of the transistor and then stick it through the hole that you drilled in the bottom of the can. The bare wire should reach to the opening of the can, but not touch the tin foil.
  • The wire for the transistor emitter connects to the negative lead for the battery tester. The collector lead should be connected to the negative lead for the battery.
  • Take one side of the diode and solder it to the outside of the can. The other side of the diode connects to the positive lead on the multi-meter and the positive side of the battery.
  • In order to reduce stray electromagnetic impulses from impacting the sensor, you will need to cover the open part of the can with tin foil.

To operate the meter, attach a 9 volt battery to the adapter and turn on the multi-meter. Start off with the highest voltage setting so that you don’t inadvertently short out the meter. Later on, once you know the circuit works, you can use a lower setting so that you get a more accurate reading.

To test the meter, you can try purchasing radioactive rocks. Just make sure you know how to store them properly so that you do not inadvertently wind up with radiation poisoning.

There are also a number of kits available that have limited amounts of radioactive material in them. If there is gamma radiation present, the meter will show a much higher reading than it will for electromagnetic interference or background radiation.

As with any other DIY project, you will need to experiment with different materials so that you are accustomed to seeing what sets the meter off and whether or not you need to be concerned about it.

In these challenging times, there are many ways and places where you and your loved ones may come into contact with ionized radiation. If you want to limit your exposure, know when to bug out, or even know whether the area is contaminated, being able to test for radiation is very important.

While you may not be able to afford a conventional Geiger counter, there are several less expensive alternatives. This includes making your own Kearny Fallout Meter, as well as an ion detection chamber.

As you improve your skills with building electronic devices, you can try building a detector that uses a photo diode as the main sensor, or better yet, a detector that uses an Arduino board and compatible output devices.

Regardless of the method you choose to start with, it is very important to test each device out and practice with it as often as possible. This will make it much easier to be confident of your findings in both nuclear emergencies and situations where the truth about increased ion radiation levels in your area is being hidden from you.

 

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

Resources:

www.geigercounter.org/radioactivity/geiger-counter.htm

docs.google.com/file/d/0ByoWete4B3xtYmI3ZmUwYmEtZjM2ZS00MjkzLWJlNGQtZWU3NTczZDVmMWZl/edit?hl=en&authkey=CPzd3Bk&pli=1

opengeiger.de/index_en.html

Surviving A Fall: Tips To Do It Right

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While falls can be very surprising, knowing what to do and practicing those techniques can save your life and minimize injuries.

Chances are, you know of at least one or two people that think nothing of sky diving, bungee jumping, or performing stunts that entail knowing how to fall correctly.

For the rest of us, however, even falling from a standing position can be a fearful matter. For at risk populations, even a minimal fall can cause broken bones or other serious injuries.

Learning how to survive different kinds of fall is very important so here is where to start from.

Greater Heights Onto the Ground

If you go hiking, you have climbed up a few hills, or perhaps even ventured onto an outcropping that gave way on you. Also, if you live in an apartment building, in the worst case scenario, you may wind up falling out a window, or worse yet, be pushed through one.

Even though any of these situations can lead to extensive injury, you may still be able to survive a long fall  if you use the following strategy:

  • Break your fall as much as possible. Reach out for anything that you can grab onto, even if it doesn’t look like it will hold your weight. Anything that you grab onto will absorb some of the energy from the fall. If nothing is available, try to bump your body into the side of the building, or anything else that you can brush against. This won’t absorb as much energy as grabbing onto something, but it is better than nothing.
  • Regardless of the height you are falling from, it is also important to try and orient your feet so that they point to the ground. This will set you up so that the greatest amount of impact will be on your hips and legs instead of your head or vital organs. In addition, when your feet are pointing to the ground, you can bend your knees slightly, which will have a significant reduction in how hard you actually hit the ground.
  • Finally, you will need to make sure your body is as relaxed as possible. Any muscle or joint that is tense at the time of impact is likely to be torn. As much as you may want to tense up, going limp is truly the best thing you can do. Practice using trigger words that create an immediate release in body tension so that you can use them in any situation.

 3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

On the Ice or Uneven Pavement

Chances are you’ve slipped on a wet floor, broken pavement, or even ice at some point in your life. If you were lucky, your injuries were minimal and you were able to go on with your life.

There are many people today that are susceptible to broken bones or other serious injuries that can happen when you fall.

Learning how to break your fall from short distances is every bit as important as learning how to manage long falls.

Here are the basic steps you should follow:

  • Unlike a long fall, you won’t have time to orient your body or try to break your fall. As such, your best option will be to go limp so that you reduce the force of impact as much as possible.
  • Land on your side with your head tucked in for safety. Try not to land on your knees, hands, back, or chin. All of these positions can lead to broken bones, strains, and other injuries.
  • Try to curl yourself up into a ball so that you can roll. During a short fall, you can spread out the force of the impact by using it up in a roll. This effectively gives a wider surface area, so there is less force going through your body. There are many techniques for rolling. For example, you may have learned to simply squat, tuck your head into your chest and roll in grade school gym classes.  Today, you can also go for martial arts training and learn many different techniques. If you meet some kind of adversary that tries to push you to the ground, you will learn how to use rolls as an evasive maneuver.
  • It is also very important to avoid sharp or dangerous objects that can do damage if you land on them. Try to push your body so that you don’t land on these items.

Video first seen on GMB Fitness.

From a Bike

While falling from a stationary base such as a building or the ground is dangerous, falling from a moving object is even worse. For example, if you fall from a bicycle, your injuries will be even worse because the momentum of the bike will serve to throw you even further.

There are four ways that you can be thrown from the bike, and also four techniques you can use to reduce injury as much as possible:

  • Over the Handle Bars – if you are thrown to the front of the bike, it is very important  to tuck your head into your chest and extend your leading arm. This is the arm that will absorb most of the impact of the fall. As soon as you impact with the ground, it is very important to start rolling onto your leading arm shoulder and continue until you stop. It is also important to note that your bike may also have been thrown forward, and is likely to land on top of you. Shield your head, face, neck, and back as much as possible by curling into a ball and lay on your back.
  • Over the High Side – you can also be thrown from your bike if the front wheel comes off the ground and the frame starts to twist.  For this type of fall, your body will be propelled sideways and may hit a building or the sharp part of the curb. Release your hands from the handles and make sure that your feet are not tangled up in the pedals.  The best you can do with this situation is tuck your head in and curl yourself up into a ball. Let your body go limp so that when you do land, you will do as little damage as possible to your body.
  • From the Low Side – if your bike falls sideways, your body will be dragged along with it. In this situation,  you will also more than likely slide along the pavement until the bike (and you) come to a stop. To minimize injury in this situation, try to get your lowermost shoulder aimed at the ground as it provides a broader base for the impact to spread on.  You can also try putting your feet out in front of you in order to slow your momentum as much as possible.
  • Slow Sideways Fall – to the outside observer, this fall may not look very serious because it happens so slowly. Unfortunately, that lack of speed does not give you a chance to reduce the force of the impact by rolling.  If your bike falls sideways slowly, lean away from the ground as much as possible. Let the bike fall to the ground as you try to stand up.  As the bike hits the ground and moves your body along, once again roll onto your shoulder and then your back. This maneuver can keep you from breaking a hip or elbow.

From a Moving Vehicle

As with being thrown from a bike, there aren’t many ways to avoid injuries if you are thrown from a car. In fact, you will have more to be concerned with because the speeds involved may be higher, and the vehicle will land on top of you.

That being said, you can still try to use the following strategies to minimize your injuries and save your life:

  • Make sure that your elbows and knees are as well padded as possible. If you are driving with someone that you don’t know, or you are concerned for some other reason, it never hurts to wear knee and elbow pads.
  • It is also very important to pay attention to traffic and the road even if you aren’t the one driving. Depending on the rate of travel, you should be able to determine that a crash is happening within 3 to 5 seconds of the actual crash. If you know how to jump from a vehicle, you will need to use this time frame to do so. While this is a dangerous maneuver at low speeds, it may be a bit safer than being thrown from the vehicle. Sadly, even if you are wearing a seat belt, the impact of the crash can still cause you to slip out of the belt, and then out of the vehicle.
  • No matter whether you are thrown from the vehicle or jump out, going limp is very important. You will also need to roll so that you minimize the impact as much as possible. In this case, you may have to roll several times so that you break as few bones as possible. Rolling a few extra times may also help you to avoid having the car land on top of you.
  • Once you stop moving, try to get out of the way. Put something like a tree or anything else that will catch the car and stop it before it reaches your position.

Into a Pool or  Calm Water

While you may not give it much though, there is a huge difference between diving into a pool on purpose and being thrown into one or fall in by accident. When you are surprised by the loss of balance, it is all too easy to do things that will lead to drowning.

Here are some important steps to take if you realize that you are going to fall into a pool or some other type of calm water:

  • Inhale. If your lungs are empty when you hit the water, you will have less time to get to the surface before you are forced to take air in.
  • As with any other fall, let your body go limp so that you impact the water with as little force as possible. Even though you may not be falling from a great height, the surface tension of the water will still provide some resistance.
  • Once you are in the water, try to spread your arms and legs out and turn over on your back. Your face should be pointing upward. If you do not know which direction is up, exhale a little bit and observe which direction the bubbles go in. Since they will always go up, simply turn yourself in that direction. When your body is laying flat and spread out, it is possible to float up to the surface. Alternatively, if you already have your bearings, you can start swimming towards the surface.

Greater Heights into Water

A long fall into water is one of the most dangerous situations you can find yourself in. No matter whether you are ejected from a plane, fall over a cliff, or even off a bridge, there are still some things you can do to try and survive the fall.  Unlike other situations, getting into a proper position may not save your life.

Right now you may be inclined to think that, as a liquid, water should make a nice soft cushion to land on. As a liquid, however, water has surface tension that keeps it somewhat in place. If your body falls into water from a great height, the water molecules can’t get out of your way fast enough. As a result, landing on water is just as bad, if not worse, than landing on concrete.

It is also important to note that when you take a long fall into water, there may not be anything to help break your fall along the way. Breezes and wind can push your body off course. If the air happens to be moving in a down draft, it can push you towards the water even faster and harder. No matter how hard you try to position yourself, it is all too easy to get pushed off course or into the wrong orientation.

That being said, you can still try the following steps in time of need.  This is not something to practice, however just keep this information in mind in case it is needed.

  • As with any  other fall, let your body go as limp as possible.
  • Orient  your body so that your body is bent as if you are sitting in a car seat. Your feet should be positioned so they hit the water first. The idea is to have as small a body area as possible hitting the water so that less water needs to be pushed out of the way. Bending at your knees and hips also takes the direct line of impact away from your major organs.

Even though falls can cause a lot of injuries, there is a chance to survive them. Knowing how to position your body based on the type of fall is very important.

You should also practice different kinds of falls and rolling techniques so that you do them as well as possible when needed.

Will you be able to protect your own in a life or death scenario?

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

11 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Moving Off-Grid

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I don’t know about you, but I would love to own about 25 acres of land in the middle of nowhere and live solely on what I develop from the land itself.

The sad fact is, most of people caught in a crisis will either live in bands of scavengers or wind up dead.

Even those fortunate enough to live on a homestead or in a dedicated survival group are apt to find themselves being attacked by anyone desperate enough to try and steal from them.

If you can afford to purchase land and live off grid, it offers a better standard of living and added peace and comfort in a time when just about everything else is falling apart. If you intend to succeed at moving off grid, there are 10 mistakes you must avoid at all cost.

Not Accounting for Weather Conditions and Radiation Threats

Even though you may rarely hear about nuclear events, there are ongoing situations like Fukushima, as well as potential ones that can make your homestead as dangerous as it is worthless.

For example, if you purchase or have land in California or anywhere along the western coast of the United States, including Canada, ionized radiation from Fukushima is more than likely contaminating the land, air, and water already.

While it may not seem like much now, or at “low levels”, the fact remains that the leak at the Fukushima reactors is still releasing radioactive waste into the ocean, and the currents are still bringing that radiation to the western shore of the United States.

Aside from Fukushima, every location within 100 miles of a nuclear power plant or nuclear waste facility should be avoided at all cost. If there is a major waterway such as a river that connects one nuclear are to within 100 miles of your planned homestead site, it is best to avoid the area or consider how you will best escape problems caused by nuclear contamination.

Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and droughts are all becoming more common. Make sure that you pay careful attention to how the weather patterns are changing. It does not matter what the media says is causing these changes or what they say they mean.

All that matters is you pick a safe location or know how to handle changing weather patterns in the area that you choose.

Not Having a Means of Income

Taxes, emergencies, and adapting to an off grid life can all cost a good bit of money. Even if you can meet basic needs from the land itself, it never hurts to have enough contact with the rest of the world so that you can make some money.

Together with this, you also need to diversify your currency stockpile. While cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can be very dangerous, it may still come in handy to have some money in this form of currency.

Just make sure that you never put so much into these currencies that it will cause problems if the currency fails.

Lack of Experience with Growing Food Underground

If there is one common factor in all ultimate survival shelters and homesteads, building underground is it. Not only will an underground shelter protect you from nuclear radiation, it can also shield you from just about everything except earthquakes. When built correctly, an underground homestead can last for generations and remain in good condition.

The lack of light and free moving air underground can be fatal. If you do not have sufficient experience with growing foods and herbal remedies underground, then you will need to gain these skills as well as make sure that you can repair or replace every part of the lighting system used to grow plants.

Make sure that you also have a good grounding in disease management.

This old forgotten secrets helped our parents survive!

Inability to Generate Power or Communicate

Today, far too many people think that they can follow the traditions of the Amish or other groups that have never become accustomed to electricity and petroleum based fuels.

While these people do have some valid ideas about many important areas of off grid living, they do not know how to manage the kinds of waste that exist in the world today. Without electricity, it will be harder than you expect to deal with environmental toxins.

Because we have become a “global economy”, and a “global human environment”, what happens in one part of the world cannot be ignored. You will still need radios and other communications systems so that you can find out about larger scale threats and then find ways to manage them as the situation develops.

No matter how much you may want to think you can make it in the world alone, the fact remains just as many others may have the same idea. Unless you know where they are and what they are doing, you will be in very serious danger of building a false utopia that will crash around your ears.

At the very least, make sure that you know how to generate electricity underground and using solar and wind based methods.

You should also know how to build a foxhole radio and a spark gap transmitter. It is also very important to know how to build electronic communications devices with or without solid state technologies.

Lack of Knowledge and Ability to Manage Sanitation Issues

Chances are, if you have been doing your research on prepping and off grid issues, then you already know that poor sanitation can lead to serious disease outbreaks.

While a composting toilet may seem very useful, you must still consider what to do with bathing water, kitchen garbage, disposal of old paint or other chemicals, and managing nuisance insects if you are not able manage sanitation properly. In addition, if you decide to build a septic system, then you will still have to pump out the tank or find some other way to manage this aspect of sanitation.

Overall, you should focus on systems that recycle as much as possible without the use of dangerous or toxic chemicals. Always remember that the land you have is all that you have. If you ruin it, there won’t be a way to replace it, and there may not be a way to fix the problem.

You can try composting toilets, compost generators for kitchen waste, and conversion of other waste into some kind of fuel.

For more ideas on other kinds of waste, look to Sweden, where less than 1% of household waste winds up in landfills. Reducing your reliance on the local rubbish company is also something you can start doing now.

As you become more proficient in this area, you will have at least one part of your off grid skills in good order.

Lack of Medical Knowledge and Skills

Considering the rampant and continuous scandal around modern health care, it should come as no surprise that people are becoming more nervous about every aspect of treating diseases. While there are some parts of modern medicine that are valuable and cannot be replaced or duplicated, there are still some very important things you can do for yourself.

Perhaps most important, as an off gridder, you will need to understand and take advantage of the relationship between good health and lifestyle choices.

While your “national pride” may say have another hot dog that may have human remains in it, or your mouth may water for cheeses and meat filled with pesticide and antibiotics, in the end these decisions can cost your life and your well being.

By the same token, not getting enough exercise, not paying attention to air quality, smoking, drinking alcohol in excess, and using “recreational drugs” will all take a toll on your well being.

If you are going to live off grid, you won’t have the time to deal with health problems from these choices let alone live comfortably.

It is also very important to educate yourself as much as possible about emergency medicine, herbal remedies, and any side effects that may come from the drugs you are using right now.

Do what you can to use holistic methods and lifestyle improvements. Aside from learning a lot about how your body works, you may also gain enough improvement to reduce your reliance on drugs that will eventually stop working or cause more harm than expected to organs outside of the system being treated.

Lack of Self and Property Defense Equipment and Skills

I must admit there are definitely days when I wish I could go live on a few acres of land and never need to worry about all the crime and other hazards that come with living in a more populated setting. Quite frankly, believing that safety will automatically come when you isolate from others is a huge mistake.

Among other things, you may have to deal with criminals passing through the area looking to hide out, as well as others looking to commit some kind of crime. Unless you can defend yourself and your property even in these times, there is every chance you will wind up dead.

Inability to Store and Prepare Foods

As simple and obvious as it may sound, many people that plan to live off grid don’t know how to store and prepare foods. For example, many people think canning is easy because they see many recipes online, and the standard supplies are available in the department store each fall.

The truth is, canning takes a good bit of practice and skill. You must carefully time the water baths, and also know how to manage the hot bottles at the precise moment when they are ready to be sealed down.

Unfortunately, as with many other areas of off gridding, there is a lot of wrong and outright unsafe information around. While you can give things like oven canning, dehydration, and and vacuum sealing a try, it is still best to know how to smoke and dry foods.

It is also very important to make sure you have an effective and efficient food inventory system so that you don’t wind up eating something that is too old and may have become contaminated because of improper storage. This is especially important to consider if you are planning to use oxygen absorbers or other systems that will lead to different kinds of bacterial growth.

Perhaps it can be said that you would be better off taking a risk of a discernible mold or fungus growing rather than a deadly botulism strain that won’t be as easy to pick up on.

Inability to Obtain and Purify Water

People that go camping or spend a lot of time outdoors may think they know all there is to know about obtaining and purifying water. While there are many valid methods for both tasks, the fact remains modern “potable” water supplies are incredibly dangerous.

Aside from medications, fluoride, and nuclear waste being found in most surface level water, heavy metal contamination is also a serious problem. In fact, unless you go down to the south pole and melt off some glacier ice, chances are you don’t have access to clean, let alone safe water.

For some people, the short answer is to distill all water used for drinking and cooking. Even though distilling will get rid of pathogens and most chemicals, it will not get rid of tritium.

In addition, drinking distilled water over weeks or months increases your risk of electrolyte and mineral depletion. Therefore, you will need to know how to compensate for this loss using foods and other beverages.

Today, many people also give very little thought to the safety and cleanliness of the water they wash with. Many chemicals can be absorbed by the skin, or wind up being absorbed through mucus membranes.

It may take a lot more work to purify all water that you use for bathing and washing, however it will be well worth the effort in the long run.

Inability to Make Clothes

Even if you normally go to the goodwill store for second hand clothes, chances are you have more garments than you know what to do with.

When you have to tend your own farm, or carry out a lot of intensive physical labor chores, your garments are bound to wear out much faster. To add insult to injury, the detergents you use to wash you garments can also spell disaster. Sadly, there are many recipes online for “natural laundry detergent” that can actually ruin your clothes in a very short period of time.

The best thing you can do to solve this problem is make sure that you know how to make your own clothes from the ground up. Learn how to grow cotton, sheer sheep, and spin these fibers into fabric or yarn.

At the very least, even if you do make a mistake on washing and garment care, or your clothes get ruined for some other reason, you will be able to make new ones.

There is no question that off grid living comes with many rewards and opportunities. If you are going to live comfortably and peacefully, however, there are a number of common mistakes that you need to avoid. Take the time to learn and practice as many skills as possible so that you are ready for any situation that comes up. Even if you wind up needing to rely on goods and services for a short period of time, make it your business to learn what you need to know so that you don’t wind up having to look to others because of repeated failures.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Car Crush Survival: Do You Know What To Do?

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No matter whether you are the driver or passenger in a vehicle, a car accident can be a very traumatic experience.

Even if the accident is minor, you may have hidden injuries, or you may become trapped in the vehicle. Or things could go worse and you might need to get out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.

While every accident is a little bit different, here are just a few basic things you should keep in mind about how to get free from the car and survive the crush.

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Driving Safe is not Enough: How to Reduce the Damage

Knowing what to do prior to an imminent crash can save your life and also mean the difference between minor injuries and ones that leave you in pain or disabled for the rest of your life.

While you may not have much time to act, these simple things can give you the best chance of survival.

Wear Your Seat Belt Properly

Over the years, more than a few people have railed against using seat belts because they feel the government should not tell them how to live their lives. While I am not a big fan of “nanny state” thinking, there is a time when common sense must prevail. As a matter of simplicity, the laws of physics aren’t going to stop working just because you don’t like government interference.

In this case, “a body in motion tends to stay in motion”. If you aren’t wearing a seat belt at the time of a crash, your body will continue to be propelled in the direction of motion even though the vehicle has stopped.

Use the Steering Wheel to Minimize Damage

You can still use the steering wheel and the crumple zones of the vehicle to minimize damage from the crash as much as possible. Depending on the situation, you may start out with as much as 4 seconds. Count on at least ¾ second before you actually see the vehicle move in the direction you turned the wheel.

Keep Both Hands on the Wheel

Insofar as protecting yourself from damage in the crash, there are some techniques you can use. First, always drive with your hands, wrists, and forearms in alignment. A bent or limp wrist can easily be shoved against the steering wheel and broken. In addition, a limp wrist also gives you less support and control in those seconds when you need it most.

Be Careful when Using the Horn

Consider what you do when you are sleeping soundly and someone throws a bucket of water in your face. This is how a distracted driver’s mind works. Their primary focus and main involvement revolves around talking on the phone or sending a text.

At best, if you hit the horn, it will take them time to respond as they shift gears away from the phone and back to driving. At worst, a distracted driver may freeze up or do something else unpredictable.

Safety Tips for the Passengers

As a front passenger, properly belted into your seat, the best thing you can do is push your body into the seat and make as much contact as possible. The larger the surface area, the more room there is for the impact force to diffuse.

If seating in the back, try to choose the middle seat. Excluding the increased safety associated with air bags and seat belts in the front of the vehicle, the middle back seat is the safest in the vehicle.

One Second After: Status Check

If you have ever been in an accident, there is no mistaking how those first seconds of awareness will feel. No matter whether you lose consciousness, are slightly dazed, or are simply startled by the “bump” or “tap” that got your attention, the reality that you were in an accident can take time to settle in.

You have to realize that what you thought was a slight tap could have turned your vehicle upside down, or sent it crashing into a guardrail or worse. In these first few seconds to minutes, it is very important to stay as still as possible.

Before you move, try to take note of the following:

  • The actual position of your body. Are you crumpled up, arms at odd angles, or is your head drooped over onto your chest?
  • What do you see? Are you looking out the windshield, a side window, or is everything dark inside the vehicle?
  • What do you smell? Is there a smell of gas in the air, dust, or something burning?
  • What do you hear? Are there sounds of sirens, voices, or other sounds that might indicate someone is trying to get you out of the vehicle?

During those first few seconds, it is entirely possible you will not feel any pain. Do not be fooled by this. As your senses return and you become aware of the situation, you may feel a great deal of pain, along with coughing, dizziness, nausea, too hot, too cold, or even shaky. It can take seconds to minutes for this to subside.

If you move around too much or start thrashing around trying to escape, you can make wounds worse, or cause broken bones to scrape against each other. The key to this time is to stay still and make each movement count.

While you may be tempted to see if you can open the vehicle door, or try some other escape maneuver, the first thing you must do is make sure you are calm and composed. Take some deep breaths if you are able, and give yourself a chance to adjust to the shock of your situation.

Even if you smell gasoline or something burning, you must not panic. Get control of yourself and you will escape faster and with less effort than if you are in a panic.

Getting Out of the Crushed Car

There is no such thing as a car accident that won’t cause you to feel upset and distressed. In some cases, it will be absolutely necessary to try and escape from the vehicle if you want to remain alive. Having the proper tools on hand is every bit as important as knowing what to do.

But most of all, what you need to survive is trigger words and the right mindset. When you have only minutes to escape, it is best to know how to achieve calm in a matter of seconds. A few sessions of self hypnosis and the choice of an activating keyword or image can give you this calm in any situation. Gain this tool and practice it often so that you have confidence in your ability to control yourself and think clearly.

After you have secured relatively dust free air, regained composure, called for help, and assessed your situation, and medical condition, it is time to see about getting out of the vehicle. Here are the basic steps to follow:

  • If you have cuts or gashes, try to bind them up with plastic ties and cloth. Even a plastic bag will do if you have nothing else to stop the bleeding and prevent the wounds from picking up dust and dirt as you move.
  • Cut yourself free of the seat belt if you cannot reach the release button or it does not work. Don’t forget to brace yourself if you are upside down or in a position where you are going to fall once the belt is no longer holding you in place.
  • See if you can open the vehicle door nearest to you. If you cannot and there is a risk of fire or sinking, then break the window nearest you in order to get out of the vehicle. In situations where there is less immediate risk, you can see if another door will open. When breaking a car window, it will produce very sharp glass shards. It is best to avoid having to break the window and try to crawl through all those bits of glass unless you have no other choice.

More than a few sources recommend gathering up your personal belongings before trying to exit the vehicle. While this may be somewhat appropriate advice if the crash is minor, I feel it can cost your life if there is a high risk of the vehicle catching fire or sinking.

If danger is that imminent, you will be best served by focusing on getting out of the seat belt and then out of the vehicle window if necessary. Remember, nothing is as important as your life, and that objects can all be replaced later on. Unless there is another person in the vehicle that also needs to escape, focus on your own well being.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

10 Foods To Eat And Grow For Nuclear Prepping

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Radiation cancer treatments, nuclear bombs, nuclear power plants, and nuclear waste dump exposure seem very different, but they all emit ionizing radiation. No matter where radioactive particles come from, they will still do predictable damage to the cells, tissues, and organs of your body.

Today, there is a growing field of interest in which foods can be used to shield cells from the effects of nuclear radiation and perhaps even speed up healing after exposure.

Here are ten foods that you should consider eating more of, and growing to reduce the damaging effect of radiation.

Potatoes

Your thyroid is one of the most sensitive organs when it comes to radiation poisoning. This occurs mainly because radioactive iodine is taken up very quickly by the thyroid. You can get potassium iodine tablets for use after exposure to ionizing radiation, but make sure you get plenty of iodine in your diet too.

Surprisingly, potato skins carry high amounts of iodine, and potatoes are also rich in potassium and other important key nutrients for overall good health.

Potatoes are one of the easiest crops to grow. You can use conventional methods, or grow them in containers. For example, a 4′ x 4′ square area will yield over 100 pounds of potatoes if you continue to pile soil up as the potato roots develop. Read our article about how to make a potato pot to find out more about growing this vegetable.

You can grow potatoes in everything from trash cans to old washing machine tubs as long as you have enough soil and good drainage. Make sure you have access hatches in the container so that you can harvest potatoes once they are big enough and ready to consume.

Strawberries

Strawberries are also a good source of iodine and carry other important nutrients, and they are very easy to grow in hanging baskets, on a windowsill, or out in the garden. When choosing strawberry plants, there are three kinds you can buy:

  • everbearing strawberries – as long as the temperature and conditions are right, these plants will produce several crops of berries per season.
  • June bearing strawberries – as their name implies, these plants produce only one crop; usually in June. The berries are usually bigger and you will get more at one time.
  • Wild strawberries – these are usually small berries that are produced just once a year. They are truly second to none in terms of sweetness, however they are much smaller than the June and ever bearing berries.

Cranberries

Cranberries have the added benefit of being a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which can help protect cells from ionizing radiation. Cranberries are also rich in other antioxidants and phytonutrients that are known to help fight cancer.

Contrary to popular belief, cranberries can grow well in raised beds, if the soil is acidic, and that the plants get enough water. If your goal is growing cranberries in a container, try the raised beds first so that you know more about what to expect in terms of how this plant will grow in your geographic location. Once you know the basics, transfer what you learned to other growing methods.

Navy Beans

When combined with other beans, navy beans provide almost all the different amino acids and proteins required for good nutrition.

Navy beans also carry a good amount of iron, which your body needs to make blood. This is especially important if you do not have read meat available or other sources of easily digestible iron.

As with other legumes, beans are important for any garden because they help fix nitrogen into the soil. If you are interested in a sustainable garden geared towards nuclear survival, navy beans should be at the top of your list. Here’s a Survivopedia article on how to grow beans for survival.

When choosing seeds for Navy Beans, buy only heirloom, non-hybrid, non-gmo, certified organic seeds. Beans tend to grow quickly, which makes them an ideal test plant for long term survival needs. If you can propagate navy beans from one generation to the next, you will be a long way towards ensuring that you can keep viable seed supplies going without having to buy them.

Oranges

For decades, a great deal has been written on whether or not Vitamin C can fight cancer.

Newer research on people undergoing radiation therapy for cancer suggests that Vitamin C actually shields healthy cells from the toxic effects of radiation.

This finding was used to treat workers at Fukushima before they went into the damaged reactor as well as during their active working time.

Follow up research indicated that workers at the plant who received intravenous Vitamin C had less DNA mutation. In addition, those who were not treated beforehand, but received therapy after showing evidence of DNA mutation experienced a reduction in mutation.

Even though many foods contain Vitamin C, oranges are the best source. A single orange each day provides approximately 90% of the recommended daily allowance. Since oranges are rich in many other nutrients, it is also an ideal prepper food.

Oranges can be grown indoors and in containers in just about any climate. Just make sure they are kept warm enough and receive plenty of sunlight. If you must purchase hybrid trees, learn how to propagate from cuttings so that you can keep them going for as long as possible.

Red Peppers

If you are hesitant about growing oranges, red peppers are an excellent alternative for your nuclear prepping garden.

Red bell peppers also contain a good amount of Vitamin C, as well as Vitamin E. Aside from grape seeds, they also offer higher amounts of quercetin than many other plants, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent and fight cancer. Newer research also suggests that the ability to bind free radicals is key to reducing the effect of ionizing radiation within cells. Therefore, when you consume peppers, you are getting at least three important cellular shields.

Here’s a comprehensive Survivopedia article about growing peppers.

If you already know how to grow green bell peppers, just let them ripen a bit longer and you will have red peppers. They can be grown outdoors, in containers, and also in hydroponic setups. Since peppers are also easily propagated from seeds, you can also practice pollination methods and creating good seed stores from one generation to the next.

When growing peppers, do not forget that the germination and flowering stage can be tricky. Peppers are notorious for germinating slowly, especially if the soil temperature is too warm or too cold. You will also have to pay careful attention to soil temperature and moisture when the plants flower. If it is too hot or cold, the plant will drop the flowers even if they have been pollinated.

This is what you need to know for survival when there’s no doctor around!

Sunflower Seeds

While many people focus on Vitamin C as a cancer fighting and radiation shielding agent, Vitamin E is also very important. Even though researchers say that Vitamin E must be paired with Pentoxifylline (a drug used to make blood more liquid in order to reduce muscle cramps) for maximum effect, it may still be useful by itself.

Many other vitamins can be consumed at higher than the recommended daily allowance, Vitamin E can be toxic at higher levels. That being said, making sure you get the recommended amount each day can still give your cells an important cellular shield against radiation.

It will only take ¼ cup of shelled seeds to meet your daily needs. In addition, sunflower seeds are also packed with other antioxidants and important nutrients that will improve overall health. Aside from being a good food to have on hand for nuclear prepping, sunflower seeds also yield more oil than other plant sources. If you are looking for a safe alternative to other vegetable oils, learning how to make sunflower oil will be of use to you.

If you are looking for the easiest, fastest growing plant for Vitamin E, sunflowers will be your best option. There are many different varieties of sunflowers, as well as many sizes.

Even though these plants grow best outdoors and in the ground, you can try large, deep containers. Sunflower plants can also act as a good support for climbing bean plants as long as their roots still have plenty of room to spread out.

These huge, furry-leafed plants can be very hearty; however they will droop quickly without sufficient water. Make sure they also have plenty of sunlight and good air flow around the plants.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a key source of Vitamin E, while the pumpkins are an excellent source of B vitamins, A, C, and Potassium. If you also tend to favor fried squash flowers, these easy to grow plants will provide you with a tasty, nutritious treat at every stage of growth.

Pumpkins grow quite well in containers, if the vines have plenty of room to spread, and that they will not be disturbed. If a vine has a pumpkin on it, do not touch it. Even moving the vine a few inches will cause the pumpkin to die off. You can also try growing pumpkins in hanging baskets if you don’t have enough ground space for the vines.

Turmeric

This delicious, spicy root is a member of the ginger family, and has an excellent reputation for fighting cancer, and as an anti-inflammatory. It also has several nutrients in it that shield cells from ionizing radiation, while others can reverse DNA damage caused by radiation and promote cell healing.

Overall, if there is one plant that you should learn how to grow and propagate, turmeric is it. This plant is an excellent herb for treating and preventing illness created by nuclear exposure as well as other problems.

You will find that turmeric is not that hard to grow. If you choose to grow it in a shallow container, make sure that there is good drainage. Since the roots tend to grow sideways instead of down, they favor a wider pot as opposed to a deeper one. Save roots with rhizomes on them so that you can propagate them.

As useful as turmeric is, it is not easily absorbed by the body. You will also need to grow black pepper, as this herb contains a molecule, Piperine, which helps reduce the speed at which turmeric is flushed from the body. Piperine can also increase the absorption of other herbal remedies and nutrients. You can  purchase black pepper seeds, however it will take some time and practice to grow this plant.

Spirulina

Today, just about everyone interested in a healthy diet option has heard of spirulina. Aside from being filled with important nutrients, it has molecules in it that can bind to heavy metals and other toxins. Even if you are exposed to radioactive dust or other debris, spirulina can help your body get rid of it faster.

All you need to grow spirulina is some alkaline water, a good source of light and some dry spirulina to get the colonies started. While growing algae is one of the easiest things, there are many different kinds, and some are poisonous or may produce toxins. Make sure that you can tell the difference between spirulina and other algaes that may decide to colonize your growing area.

Plenty of algae will grow on fish waste; just be sure to choose fish that are safe for human consumption. Many fish available to hobbyists can carry dangerous diseases including tuberculosis and intestinal parasites. It is best to purchase fish from a trusted source and then do all you can to make sure they remain free of infections that can easily harbor in the algae beds as much as within the fish.

Cocoa

If you love chocolate, you will be happy to hear that it contains reservatrol, a molecule that has a proven track record for preventing radiation damage to chromosomes. Much of the chocolate available to consumers has little, if any nutritional value, so you will have to grow cocoa plants and then harvest the cocoa beans.

As long as you can provide humid, tropical conditions, these plants will grow well enough in an indoor setting. If you are new to gardening, practice with easier plants until you are a master of controlling temperature, humidity, and air flow in just about any setting.

As we learn more about the effects of ionizing radiation in cancer therapies, many foods are proving to shield healthy cells from damage. You can use this information to help select plants that will be part of your prepper garden as well when choosing the best foods for staving off radiation sickness.

No matter whether the radiation comes from a power plant nearby or a nuclear bomb, you can survive the nuclear threat and thrive.

Survival

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Off-grid Survival: How To Generate Energy In The Desert

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When people think of deserts, they picture extremely dry terrains with intolerable heat in the day that is quickly changed to extremely cold temperatures at night.

Despite this harsh environment, some energy generating methods may work better than others. Actually, electricity can be generated in these areas regardless of whether there is a crisis or not.

Bear in mind, however, that along with any given crisis situation, you will also have to account for characteristics of the land and its inhabitants.

Be Aware About the Risks!

Large scale solar power is a key to energy independence here in the United States, and desert areas seem to be the best place for solar panels and equipment. But those with an interest in off gridding and survival also get led the wrong way.

There are many problems you might go into when trying to generate power in the desert:

High Temperatures Increase Risk of Fire

Motors, gears, engines, and other machines all generate heat as one surface moves against another one, in locations where temperatures are already high, which means they will catch fire much faster. Solar panels in the desert lead to endless numbers of massive fires that kill off habitats and spell immense levels of danger to anyone living near them.

Military bases located near the panels have also complained about how excess heat from large scale solar interferes with planes landing and taking off. At the personal, survivor level, a solar cooker may work really well, but you will also have to keep the temperature from going too high.

Small scale, home based solar panels are also known to come with an increased fire risk, which means more water may be required than you will be able to obtain in a desert setting.

Not Enough Water

To generate electricity using heat from solar installations will take large amounts of water. In fact, it is estimated that large scale solar installations use almost as much water as refining crude and fracking. Cattle, horses, and all kinds of wild animals die because there is not enough water in the desert for both the use of solar power and sustaining living organisms.

Poisonous snakes are plentiful in desert. No matter whether you use a wind turbine, solar panels, or other devices, rest assured that rattlers and other poisonous snakes will be drawn to your home and power generating facilities. Never forget that many snakes can also burrow underground and pose other hazards as you try to build or maintain both large and small scale power generating equipment.

Sand and Sandstorms May Ruin Equipment

Sand is a highly abrasive and can easily damage wind turbine blades and just about anything else. In addition, sand particles can easily clog up motors and just about anything else that works best when free of dust and debris. All kinds of equipment (including battery systems and generators) need special protection to work properly in a desert environment.

High Variance in Temperatures

High variance in temperatures will make it difficult to use body power generation systems. No matter whether it is too hot to move around during the day hours or too cold at night, even a lightweight system will prove virtually useless in a desert setting.

The Hidden Advantages

As with any other terrain and situation, there are things that can make the desert a kind of place where you may feel that challenges are outweighed by the problems you will encounter. Here are some of them:

  • Contrary to popular belief, desert areas do not get more sun than other areas. The terrain and temperatures are so inhospitable, the human population is very low. If you can manage to live comfortably there, you won’t be as concerned about defending your power generating equipment from thieves.
  • In most scenarios, your first instincts include trying to harness solar or wind power, and unlike other areas, you’ll have very few tall objects to compete with. Even though the amount of sun and wind reaching the desert is the same as everywhere else, you will actually have a much easier time accessing it.
  • Passive heating and cooling systems can be turned into power generators with less effort. Since temperatures vary extensively in a 24 hour period, you can use the transition points for a number of applications that would not work as well in other settings.
  • Overall, you’ll need to generate less energy than in other settings. Cooking can easily be accomplished without using electricity or conventional fuels, and you may not need conventional fuel, electricity to heat for cooling the buildings. Outside of medical, communication devices, and refrigeration for foods, there will be very little need for large amounts of electricity in a desert setting, which means that smaller scale DIY based electricity generating systems may work perfectly in this setting.
  • Minimal corrosion and rust. When you have motors and other metallic objects, one of your greatest problems will be the development of rust and other forms of corrosion. In a desert setting, motors and other objects of metal will rarely, if ever rust out. Just remember that flying bits of sand can still damage equipment, and that you’ll still have maintain your system from being ruined.

5 Small Scale Power Systems

Solar panels and wind turbines are primitive at best, cost a lot of money, and may not withstand the test of time let alone be capable of producing electricity after a major crisis. On the other hand, newer devices with fewer moving parts and degradable materials may well work in desert.

While some of these technologies may not yet be available to consumers, keep them in mind and see what becomes available as time goes by.

Thermocoupling or Heat Junction Systems

Basically, these systems generate electricity when heat moves from a warmer substance to a cooler one. In this case, as the energy moves from one substance to another, it also generates an electrical charge. For example, you can take copper and iron wires and generate electricity when heat transfers from one metal to the other.

Steam Generators

Since deserts offer higher temperatures, generating steam can be done on small scale levels and be successful. You can use something as simple as a modified solar oven to heat up water, or use more complex systems based on large scale technologies. Your next step will be to use the steam blasts to turn a turbine, which will have magnets attached to it.

As the turbine spins, the magnets will also spin and cause electricity to flow in a nearby coil. Just remember that water is limited in the desert, so you will have to make sure that you can conserve and reuse what you have in the system as much as possible.

Air Based Generators

Simply heating up air will not work the same way as converting from water to steam. Even though heating up air causes it to expand, the force generated is not as much as you can get with steam because vaporized water is still denser than air.

To take advantage of air pressure, it is much easier to simply take air at lower temperatures, compress it, and then release it through a nozzle. If you are interested in using a pneumatic type of system, combine gravity operated motors to compress the air, and then release it onto a lightweight turbine.

Aerogels

This is a fairly new technology that relies on nano particles and strands to create ultrathin pieces of matter.

For example, zinc dioxide, can be shaped into very thin hairs that will behave differently than large quantities of the same material. Zinc Oxide at the nano level will push electrons along a nano wire instead of releasing heat when the wires are placed in a silicon aerogel.

While this research is very much in its infancy, there are many other materials, including low viscosity liquids that might be made into sandwich layers that might function like zinc oxide and silicon. Unfortunately, we actually know very little about all of the materials that are available in a desert environment as well as how they may be used in a similar fashion.

Rubber Band Heat Engine

One of the most fascinating things in a desert terrain is just how much of a temperature difference there is between areas exposed to the sun and those in the shade. With a minimal amount of effort, you can use that temperature difference to drive a rubber band heat engine.

You can generate a bit of extra heat using a solar cooker, or keeping some other heat retainer near the end of the wheel where the rubber band is supposed to contract. As with other power generation methods, you will always seek to convert this spinning energy into electricity using magnets and coils.

Video first seen on Dan Bruton.

Large Scale Systems You Can Build

Solar Power

Unless you have a fairly large group of people that require electricity, large scale solar systems would cost more than they are worth in a desert setting. For example, if you choose to try and build or maintain solar panels, the glare from them will easily capture attention for miles around.

This can spell disaster in the post crisis world, as well in the pre-crisis world where there is a constant push to prevent people from living off the grid.

Wind Power

Aside from wind turbines that require towers, there are some new turbines that can sit close to the ground. You could learn more about wind turbines that produce power when a pole is shaken. No matter whether sand or wind hits the pole, it will still generate electricity from the motion.

Hydroelectric Power

If you live in an area where you can get water from the ocean or another large body of water, it may be possible to generate power by transporting that water through underground pipes that house turbines at certain intervals.

This particular system is already being used in Israel, and even at low flow levels, produces about half the power of a hydroelectric dam. Just search for the Leviathan Hydroelectric project and give some thought to how it might work in a desert region closer to home.

If you are planning on building a bug out location in desert terrain, this may be even more incentive to establish yourself near a body of water.

Some desert regions have as much, if not more water flowing beneath the surface than you would find in other areas. Before purchasing land or deciding on any given area, be sure to study the water tables so that you know how deep you would have to drill for water.

If you happen to find a place with plenty of water, it may just be possible to create a pipe system that will generate more power with less problems than you would encounter with wind or solar generation methods.

Alternatives to Electricity

While generating electricity may be more of a challenge than expected in a desert environment, there are still many alternatives that will not work as well in other regions. For example, passive heating and cooling systems in a desert setting work well because of the rapid change in temperature between shade and full sun as well as between day and night.

Here are some other things you can use in a desert that may work better here than in other climates:

Solar Cooking and Cooling Devices

In most areas, your ability to use solar cookers during the day and solar coolers at night will depend on clear skies. Since it rarely rains in the desert, there are also very few cloudy days to worry about. As such, you can build both smaller and larger scale solar cookers to meet your food preparation needs.

You can also achieve good temperature reduction at night by simply aiming the solar collector at a clear area of sky.

Water Purification

In most settings, you will always be looking for enough fuel to purify water. On the other hand, in a desert setting, full sunlight can easily kill off any bacteria in the water in a minimal amount of time. If you need to distill the water in order to remove heavy metals or other chemical contaminants, you will also have plenty of heat available for this task.

Evaporative Refrigeration

The ability of Zeer pots to cool off materials in the inner chamber depends on how much water can be moved from the inner area to the outer one. Since desert air is very hot and dry, you will actually achieve a greater cooling effect than you would in cooler, moister climates.

You can also expand on this design to take advantage of other materials that wick water easily in order to build larger refrigerator units.

Solar Lenses

When you need to concentrate heat for cooking, purifying water, or some other task, you may not be willing to wait an hour or more for the appropriate temperature to be reached. There are many lenses on the market that are designed to harness sunlight to produce several hundred degrees of heat in a matter of minutes.

Just be sure to operate these lenses in areas where they will not create fires. Even a low-grade magnifying glass can start fires in much cooler temperatures.

Food Storage Alternatives

The heat of a desert setting is more than enough to cause many different kinds of foods to spoil. On the other hand, there is nothing quite like hot, dry desert air for drying foods. No matter whether you grow fruits and vegetables indoors or hunt the for meat, all of these foods can be easily preserved by simply laying them out to dry.

Individuals that use electric food driers and other gadgets are sure to be surprised at how much better the foods taste, as well as how much easier the process is.

Obtaining Water

You will more than likely need an electric water pump if you have a well in the desert. Since these wells may go down several hundred to several thousands feet, a hand pump may not be a viable option. You could also have a pond or other nearby source of surface level water to draw water from with a ram pump or Archimedes Screw.

Or you could have a system that can draw water from the air, but it’s not likely to draw enough to meet your needs.

Under the circumstances, keep in mind a few things when obtaining water without using electricity:

  • making sure that any and all water is used and reused as much as possible, including taking waste water and dumping it into a sand pit during the early morning hours. Next place plastic over the pit with a rock in the center of the plastic. You can capture clean water in a pot or bucket as the moisture evaporates and hits the plastic instead of escaping into the air.
  • Setting up rain barrels and cisterns that can be used to capture any rain that does happen to fall. You can also set up large tarps so that you cover as much area as possible. Rains in the desert tend to be very intense, and they will also depart as quickly as they arrive. As such, you will need to capture the water quickly, and then store it in a location where it will not evaporate before you have a chance to use it. You will still need to purify the water before you use it in order to make sure it is as clean as possible.

Generating power in a desert setting will come with many challenges. If you find yourself in the desert and know that you must survive there for some time, there is no reason for your life and well-being to be threatened by lack of electricity.

You can take advantage of many alternatives to using power that may be impractical or far less feasible in other settings.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

References

phys.org/news/2014-03-electricity.html

instructables.com/id/How-to-Build-a-Rubber-Band-Heat-Engine/

How To Generate Energy In The Desert

Click here to view the original post.

When people think of deserts, they picture extremely dry terrains with intolerable heat in the day that is quickly changed to extremely cold temperatures at night.

Despite this harsh environment, some energy generating methods may work better than others. Actually, electricity can be generated in these areas regardless of whether there is a crisis or not.

Bear in mind, however, that along with any given crisis situation, you will also have to account for characteristics of the land and its inhabitants.

Be Aware About the Risks!

Large scale solar power is a key to energy independence here in the United States, and desert areas seem to be the best place for solar panels and equipment. But those with an interest in off gridding and survival also get led the wrong way.

There are many problems you might go into when trying to generate power in the desert:

High Temperatures Increase Risk of Fire

Motors, gears, engines, and other machines all generate heat as one surface moves against another one, in locations where temperatures are already high, which means they will catch fire much faster. Solar panels in the desert lead to endless numbers of massive fires that kill off habitats and spell immense levels of danger to anyone living near them.

Military bases located near the panels have also complained about how excess heat from large scale solar interferes with planes landing and taking off. At the personal, survivor level, a solar cooker may work really well, but you will also have to keep the temperature from going too high.

Small scale, home based solar panels are also known to come with an increased fire risk, which means more water may be required than you will be able to obtain in a desert setting.

Not Enough Water

To generate electricity using heat from solar installations will take large amounts of water. In fact, it is estimated that large scale solar installations use almost as much water as refining crude and fracking. Cattle, horses, and all kinds of wild animals die because there is not enough water in the desert for both the use of solar power and sustaining living organisms.

Poisonous snakes are plentiful in desert. No matter whether you use a wind turbine, solar panels, or other devices, rest assured that rattlers and other poisonous snakes will be drawn to your home and power generating facilities. Never forget that many snakes can also burrow underground and pose other hazards as you try to build or maintain both large and small scale power generating equipment.

Sand and Sandstorms May Ruin Equipment

Sand is a highly abrasive and can easily damage wind turbine blades and just about anything else. In addition, sand particles can easily clog up motors and just about anything else that works best when free of dust and debris. All kinds of equipment (including battery systems and generators) need special protection to work properly in a desert environment.

High Variance in Temperatures

High variance in temperatures will make it difficult to use body power generation systems. No matter whether it is too hot to move around during the day hours or too cold at night, even a lightweight system will prove virtually useless in a desert setting.

The Hidden Advantages

As with any other terrain and situation, there are things that can make the desert a kind of place where you may feel that challenges are outweighed by the problems you will encounter. Here are some of them:

  • Contrary to popular belief, desert areas do not get more sun than other areas. The terrain and temperatures are so inhospitable, the human population is very low. If you can manage to live comfortably there, you won’t be as concerned about defending your power generating equipment from thieves.
  • In most scenarios, your first instincts include trying to harness solar or wind power, and unlike other areas, you’ll have very few tall objects to compete with. Even though the amount of sun and wind reaching the desert is the same as everywhere else, you will actually have a much easier time accessing it.
  • Passive heating and cooling systems can be turned into power generators with less effort. Since temperatures vary extensively in a 24 hour period, you can use the transition points for a number of applications that would not work as well in other settings.
  • Overall, you’ll need to generate less energy than in other settings. Cooking can easily be accomplished without using electricity or conventional fuels, and you may not need conventional fuel, electricity to heat for cooling the buildings. Outside of medical, communication devices, and refrigeration for foods, there will be very little need for large amounts of electricity in a desert setting, which means that smaller scale DIY based electricity generating systems may work perfectly in this setting.
  • Minimal corrosion and rust. When you have motors and other metallic objects, one of your greatest problems will be the development of rust and other forms of corrosion. In a desert setting, motors and other objects of metal will rarely, if ever rust out. Just remember that flying bits of sand can still damage equipment, and that you’ll still have maintain your system from being ruined.

5 Small Scale Power Systems

Solar panels and wind turbines are primitive at best, cost a lot of money, and may not withstand the test of time let alone be capable of producing electricity after a major crisis. On the other hand, newer devices with fewer moving parts and degradable materials may well work in desert.

While some of these technologies may not yet be available to consumers, keep them in mind and see what becomes available as time goes by.

Thermocoupling or Heat Junction Systems

Basically, these systems generate electricity when heat moves from a warmer substance to a cooler one. In this case, as the energy moves from one substance to another, it also generates an electrical charge. For example, you can take copper and iron wires and generate electricity when heat transfers from one metal to the other.

Steam Generators

Since deserts offer higher temperatures, generating steam can be done on small scale levels and be successful. You can use something as simple as a modified solar oven to heat up water, or use more complex systems based on large scale technologies. Your next step will be to use the steam blasts to turn a turbine, which will have magnets attached to it.

As the turbine spins, the magnets will also spin and cause electricity to flow in a nearby coil. Just remember that water is limited in the desert, so you will have to make sure that you can conserve and reuse what you have in the system as much as possible.

Air Based Generators

Simply heating up air will not work the same way as converting from water to steam. Even though heating up air causes it to expand, the force generated is not as much as you can get with steam because vaporized water is still denser than air.

To take advantage of air pressure, it is much easier to simply take air at lower temperatures, compress it, and then release it through a nozzle. If you are interested in using a pneumatic type of system, combine gravity operated motors to compress the air, and then release it onto a lightweight turbine.

Aerogels

This is a fairly new technology that relies on nano particles and strands to create ultrathin pieces of matter.

For example, zinc dioxide, can be shaped into very thin hairs that will behave differently than large quantities of the same material. Zinc Oxide at the nano level will push electrons along a nano wire instead of releasing heat when the wires are placed in a silicon aerogel.

While this research is very much in its infancy, there are many other materials, including low viscosity liquids that might be made into sandwich layers that might function like zinc oxide and silicon. Unfortunately, we actually know very little about all of the materials that are available in a desert environment as well as how they may be used in a similar fashion.

Rubber Band Heat Engine

One of the most fascinating things in a desert terrain is just how much of a temperature difference there is between areas exposed to the sun and those in the shade. With a minimal amount of effort, you can use that temperature difference to drive a rubber band heat engine.

You can generate a bit of extra heat using a solar cooker, or keeping some other heat retainer near the end of the wheel where the rubber band is supposed to contract. As with other power generation methods, you will always seek to convert this spinning energy into electricity using magnets and coils.

Video first seen on Dan Bruton.

Large Scale Systems You Can Build

Solar Power

Unless you have a fairly large group of people that require electricity, large scale solar systems would cost more than they are worth in a desert setting. For example, if you choose to try and build or maintain solar panels, the glare from them will easily capture attention for miles around.

This can spell disaster in the post crisis world, as well in the pre-crisis world where there is a constant push to prevent people from living off the grid.

Wind Power

Aside from wind turbines that require towers, there are some new turbines that can sit close to the ground. You could learn more about wind turbines that produce power when a pole is shaken. No matter whether sand or wind hits the pole, it will still generate electricity from the motion.

Hydroelectric Power

If you live in an area where you can get water from the ocean or another large body of water, it may be possible to generate power by transporting that water through underground pipes that house turbines at certain intervals.

This particular system is already being used in Israel, and even at low flow levels, produces about half the power of a hydroelectric dam. Just search for the Leviathan Hydroelectric project and give some thought to how it might work in a desert region closer to home.

If you are planning on building a bug out location in desert terrain, this may be even more incentive to establish yourself near a body of water.

Some desert regions have as much, if not more water flowing beneath the surface than you would find in other areas. Before purchasing land or deciding on any given area, be sure to study the water tables so that you know how deep you would have to drill for water.

If you happen to find a place with plenty of water, it may just be possible to create a pipe system that will generate more power with less problems than you would encounter with wind or solar generation methods.

Alternatives to Electricity

While generating electricity may be more of a challenge than expected in a desert environment, there are still many alternatives that will not work as well in other regions. For example, passive heating and cooling systems in a desert setting work well because of the rapid change in temperature between shade and full sun as well as between day and night.

Here are some other things you can use in a desert that may work better here than in other climates:

Solar Cooking and Cooling Devices

In most areas, your ability to use solar cookers during the day and solar coolers at night will depend on clear skies. Since it rarely rains in the desert, there are also very few cloudy days to worry about. As such, you can build both smaller and larger scale solar cookers to meet your food preparation needs.

You can also achieve good temperature reduction at night by simply aiming the solar collector at a clear area of sky.

Water Purification

In most settings, you will always be looking for enough fuel to purify water. On the other hand, in a desert setting, full sunlight can easily kill off any bacteria in the water in a minimal amount of time. If you need to distill the water in order to remove heavy metals or other chemical contaminants, you will also have plenty of heat available for this task.

Evaporative Refrigeration

The ability of Zeer pots to cool off materials in the inner chamber depends on how much water can be moved from the inner area to the outer one. Since desert air is very hot and dry, you will actually achieve a greater cooling effect than you would in cooler, moister climates.

You can also expand on this design to take advantage of other materials that wick water easily in order to build larger refrigerator units.

Solar Lenses

When you need to concentrate heat for cooking, purifying water, or some other task, you may not be willing to wait an hour or more for the appropriate temperature to be reached. There are many lenses on the market that are designed to harness sunlight to produce several hundred degrees of heat in a matter of minutes.

Just be sure to operate these lenses in areas where they will not create fires. Even a low-grade magnifying glass can start fires in much cooler temperatures.

Food Storage Alternatives

The heat of a desert setting is more than enough to cause many different kinds of foods to spoil. On the other hand, there is nothing quite like hot, dry desert air for drying foods. No matter whether you grow fruits and vegetables indoors or hunt the for meat, all of these foods can be easily preserved by simply laying them out to dry.

Individuals that use electric food driers and other gadgets are sure to be surprised at how much better the foods taste, as well as how much easier the process is.

Obtaining Water

You will more than likely need an electric water pump if you have a well in the desert. Since these wells may go down several hundred to several thousands feet, a hand pump may not be a viable option. You could also have a pond or other nearby source of surface level water to draw water from with a ram pump or Archimedes Screw.

Or you could have a system that can draw water from the air, but it’s not likely to draw enough to meet your needs.

Under the circumstances, keep in mind a few things when obtaining water without using electricity:

  • making sure that any and all water is used and reused as much as possible, including taking waste water and dumping it into a sand pit during the early morning hours. Next place plastic over the pit with a rock in the center of the plastic. You can capture clean water in a pot or bucket as the moisture evaporates and hits the plastic instead of escaping into the air.
  • Setting up rain barrels and cisterns that can be used to capture any rain that does happen to fall. You can also set up large tarps so that you cover as much area as possible. Rains in the desert tend to be very intense, and they will also depart as quickly as they arrive. As such, you will need to capture the water quickly, and then store it in a location where it will not evaporate before you have a chance to use it. You will still need to purify the water before you use it in order to make sure it is as clean as possible.

Generating power in a desert setting will come with many challenges. If you find yourself in the desert and know that you must survive there for some time, there is no reason for your life and well-being to be threatened by lack of electricity.

You can take advantage of many alternatives to using power that may be impractical or far less feasible in other settings.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

References

phys.org/news/2014-03-electricity.html

instructables.com/id/How-to-Build-a-Rubber-Band-Heat-Engine/

Start A Metalworking Business By Building A Forge

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Many advances in human society and culture occurred as different groups learned how to mine metal ore and turn it into useful tools.

You need farm tools, weapons, or machines to carry out various tasks, so keep on hand what you need for metal working. If you know how build and use a forge, you’ll have a valuable skill to barter, but also a good start for a business that can help you survive nowadays.

There are several ways to build a forge that will meet most of your needs. Aim to build at least one forge and learn how to use it so that you have a better chance of being able to make and repair metal items in the future.

What is a Forge?

At it’s simplest, a forge is not much more than a place where you can heat metals up in order to soften them for further working. If you define a forge as all the things that you will need to heat, shape, and temper the metal, then there are a few more parts to consider.

For the sake of this article, I am defining a forge as the equipment you use to heat metals only.

Every Forge Must Have These Parts

You need to obtain and maintain a specific temperature to make metal items that will be durable and useful. As a result, there are some parts that every forge must have in order to achieve maximum temperature without compromising safety:

  • A place to burn fuel. If the forge is going to use coal, this area might be an open pit or tub lined with fireproof material. Forges that use gas or liquid based fuels may have a cylindrical or square shaped fireproof chamber surrounded by a metal jacket. It should be noted that coal burning forges are better for situations where you need to heat large amounts of metal or produce an unusually large shape such as a sword. Since gas fired forges produce a more even heat and are easier to operate, they are usually better for knives or other small items. That being said, if you are looking to build a highly adaptable forge, coal fired ones will be more suitable for your needs.
  • Fuel Inlet – for simple coal forges, you might simply layer some coal in the bottom of the pit, and when more fuel is needed, simply drop it into the burn area. If you are going to use natural gas or propane, then the fuel might be fed into a central chamber via a pipe and nozzle. In a similar fashion, if you are going to use a liquid fuel form, you will most likely want to pipe it in and be able to control the flow via a nozzle.
  • Air Inlet or Tuyere – since burning fuel requires oxygen, the forge must also have a means for introducing larger amounts of air. This is usually done via a tube or pipe extending into the main burn area.
  • Bellows – in order to reach and maintain higher temperatures, more air needs to get into the burn area in a shorter period of time. Bellows are used to push the air into this area as quickly as possible. Coal burning forges might have the Tuyere located under the burn area, and then a pipe would lead from the bellows so that air comes up from the bottom. Gas burning forges usually have a blower or fan that is used for the same purpose.

Materials in Nature You Can Use to Build a Coal Fired Forge

No matter how experienced you may be as a prepper, there are bound to be things that don’t seem very useful right now that will turn out to be very important later on. A metal forge is one of those items that can easily be left out of your plans, or just as bad, left behind if you have to evacuate.

If you are in a situation where you absolutely need a forge, here are some natural materials you can use to build each part of a coal forge:

  • Burn Pit – a pit or even a hole in the ground can serve as a burn pit. You can line the pit with rocks and small stones so that it retains heat better.
  • Air Inlet – create something like a Dakota Firepit design so that you have an easy way to introduce air into the burn area.
  • Bellows – the simplest form of bellows will only force air into the fire when the handles are compressed. On the other hand, if you are going to forge metal, the supply of air must be steady, yet easy to adjust as your working needs change.

There are two forms of bellows that will be suitable for this task. First, the double-acting bellows is not so different from the simpler form.

You will need animal hide, leather, and other soft material to make the bag and attach the pipe, paddle, piston, valves, and handles. The pipe is a simple hollow tube that you can make from wood, bone, or even sturdy reeds or bamboo. Finally, you can make the paddle, piston, valves, and handles from wood harvested from trees.

The second form of bellows is known as a Fuigo Box Bellows. Unlike the Double Acting Bellows, this form does not require a bag. You can make everything but the sealing from wood.

Video first seen on Cut Marks

How to Make a Gas Fired Coffee Can Forge

As a prepper, I find no end to the usefulness of institution sized, or #10 food cans. From making large bins for storing devices to building stoves, there is truly no end to what these sturdy cans can be repurposed for. In this case, they serve as the beginning material for a forge that you can make knives, spear points, and many other useful items with.

Here are the basic instructions:

  • Start off by making sure the can is clean and dry.
  • Most people do not remove the bottom can lid, however having one end of the can closed limits the amount of room you have for heating metal. I recommend removing the bottom lid so that you can extend the metal past the back. While you may have to move the metal back and forth to keep it heating evenly, it is better than having a forge that is too small for anything larger than a 2 -3 inch item.
  • Next, attach a base to where the bottom of forge will be. It should be big enough and wide enough so that the can will not roll over. Be sure to use fireproof material. The base should also be sturdy enough so that it will no collapse under the weight of the can, the lining, and any other attachments you will be adding to the can. If at all possible, try to make the base wider than the size of the can opening. When you are working with metal in such a cramped area, it is all too easy to bump the metal or the tongs holding it into the sides of the can. If the base is not sturdy enough or tips easily, it can make for a disaster as well as more than a few injuries. While many videos and “how-to” guides show coffee can forges with substantially narrower bases, it is better to be on the safe side and realize that accidents can and will happen, especially when you are in a stressful situation or working with unfamiliar equipment.
  • Take a propane torch and measure the tip of it. You will need a metal pipe that is large enough so that the tip of the torch can fit through it easily.
  • Once you locate a suitable metal pipe, drill a hole in the can to accommodate it. If you removed the bottom lid of the can, it might be best to put the hole near the center of the can so that heat will radiate evenly to the front and back of the can. Attach the pipe to the can. The hole should be in an area where you can easily place the torch into the pipe and not have it or the can tip over. If necessary, add a cinder blocks or something else beneath the base of the can so that the torch tip will be at the right height in relation to to the can.
  • Even though a natural gas or propane flame produces quite a bit of heat, tin cans aren’t very good at retaining heat. Therefore, you will need to line the inside of the can with fireproof material. Plaster of Paris, cement, and even mud will work as insulators. When lining the can with an insulator, do not forget to leave the hole open for the torch inlet. Try not to get insulating material in the pipe used for this purpose.

Video first seen on Andrew W

How to Make a Gas Fired Forge From Natural Materials

It is fair to say that a coal fired forge is easier to make mainly because you don’t have to be overly concerned about constructing a viable fire pit. While you will always have to be concerned about the size of the pit in order to conserve fuel, at least you will not have to spend as much time forming a more robust enclosure.

Overall, I would most recommend using fired clay or adobe to make the enclosure for a gas fired forge. When making the enclosure, do not forget that clay shrinks well over 20% from its original size as it loses water. It is better to make the enclosure a bit bigger so that you don’t wind up starting all over again.

Here are some basic rules for making a clay enclosure that can be fired successfully without the benefits of a modern kiln and all it’s heating controls:

  • As with any other clay construction that must be fired, always avoid making air pockets in the clay. Pay extra attention to joining areas and overlaps where air pockets are likely to form.
  • Don’t forget to poke holes in the clay so that it heats evenly. Since it will be much harder to control the speed at which temperatures change in a field kiln, these holes can reduce the risk of the entire vessel cracking.
  • Always make sure the clay is as dry as possible. While moisture isn’t quite as dangerous as air to a clay object being fired, it can still lead to war page and cracking, especially if some areas are thicker than others.
  • Try to make the clay thickness as even as possible throughout the vessel.

You can also make the enclosure from slabs of stone and then join them together with mud or adobe. It will take less work than making a clay vessel, however, you must choose the rocks carefully. Porous rocks can retain water and air that will cause them to explode when heated. They may also release toxic gases that can kill you or leave you with severe health problems. Learn about which rock types can be heated safely, and make sure you know how to recognize them in any terrain.

At the same time, you can also learn more about which rocks carry metal ores or point to veins of ore. This is especially important if you wind up in a situation where you don’t have much metal to work with, or the metal is of the wrong type for your needs.

How to Find Fuel for the Forge

You can use charcoal in a coal fired forge as long as you have enough air flowing through from the bellows. Even if you do not have coal, you can still turn wood or other materials into charcoal and use them in the forge.

Insofar as natural gas fired forges, try getting natural gas from large compost piles or septic waste systems, but it can be difficult to store this type of gas and also ensure that you remain safe. You’ll also need suitable piping and a valve system so that you can control the gas flow. To make these, you will need softer metal ores, or, you can start out with a coal fired forge to make these items, and then build the gas forge.

While forges aren’t especially complicated in terms of the equipment used, they are vital for building and repairing metal items.

No matter how far back society slides, the path back up to a more modern lifestyle cannot happen without metallurgy skills. At the very least, if you have metal forging skills, you and your descendants will have a better chance of surviving and thriving after a major disaster scenario.

Grab your tools and start practicing your skills!

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

References:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Coffee-Can-Forge/

6 Ways You Can Build a Water Pump

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Most people today rely on municipal water supplies, but they are not beyond the risk of water shortages. In fact, as more areas deal with uncontrollable forest fires and droughts, you can expect the water crisis to get even worse.

Potable water supplies are more and more contaminated with dangerous drugs, commercial pollutants, and other unwanted additives that need to be filtered out.

If you have your own water pump, you take control of your water supply and also make it easier to obtain water regardless of the situation you find yourself in. But if you don’t have one, you should learn how to build it.

And here’s what you need to learn about it!

PVC Hand Pump for Wells

If you have a well that has water within 25 feet of the surface of the ground, a manual hand pump is one of the best options.

The simplest and cheapest form you can make is made of PVC pipe and shaped like a “T”. To make a “T” shaped pump from PVC you will need:

  • PVC tubing – if you must make a manual well pump in a natural setting, you could use a hollowed out tree limb. Even though it will rot out fairly quickly, this pump will still buy some time until you can find something that will not rot or corrode easily.
  • Check Valves – at its simplest, a check valve allows water to flow only in one direction. You can make a check valve by cutting a rubber sphere in half and inserting it into the main PVC tube. If you have no plastic or actual check valves available, try making them from plant based rubber.
  • O-rings – most people use rubber o-rings for preventing leaks in a manual water pump. In a time of need, you can also use leather, or make the rings from plant based rubber.

Video first seen on Grant Thompson – “The King of Random”.

Reciprocating Displacement Pumps

These are the more traditional looking manual pumps that you may be accustomed to: they have a long handle off to the side of the main shaft that you raise and lower, and there is a piston inside the pipe that fits very close to the sides.

As you move the handle, it creates a vacuum in the pipe as the piston moves upward. As long as water can get into the pipe, then it will be pulled upward until it reaches a spout for the water to flow out of. When you move the handle again, the rod attached to it sends it back down the pipe.

For the most part, you will find these pumps easier to make using natural materials. As with the PVC hand pump, you can still use a hollowed out log until you can make pipe from a more durable material. The handle and bar attached to the piston can also be made from wood.

While you can also make the piston from wood, you will need to wrap something around it that will make a tight seal. You can use plant based rubber or just about anything else that will withstand being immersed in water and will also form a tight seal with the pipe.

Remember, you may need a thicker seal layer as well as find some means to make sure the inner surface of the pipe is as smooth and even as possible.

This proven-to-work portable device provides clean fresh water 24/7! 

Archimedes Screw for Surface and Underground Water

As its name implies, the Archimedes Screw makes use of the angle of a helix to move water from a lower level to a higher one.

Here are the basic parts you will need to build an Archimedes Screw:

  • A pipe that extends into the water. The bottom of this pipe will always have to be below the water level.
  • A screw-like structure that fits into the pipe. Unlike a screw, this form needs to have deeper blades that rise at an angle up the length of the shaft. The lowermost part of the screw must also be submerged in water.
  • You will also need a crank or something else attached to the upper part of the screw to make it turn. Historically speaking, animal labor was commonly used to turn the screw. More modern versions make use of motors.
  • A sealant that prevents water from slipping back downward while not seizing against the wall of the chamber. This is especially important if you need to use animal or human labor to keep the pump turning. While some 20 – 50% leakage may not be a problem if you have a motor and plenty of power at your disposal, it can spell disaster if your resources are more limited. Use a rubber edging on the screw itself, and then perhaps coating the wall of the surrounding pipe with food safe silicon or some other lubricant. This would give you a better seal and still enable the screw to turn with the minimal amount of resistance.

Unlike many other pump listed in this article, it can move water over large distances or from great depths. As long as you have the power to turn the screw, and the material that you’re using is durable enough, you can deliver water to just about any location.

Historically, screw designs were made from fairly weighty metals that required a lot of energy to move. Today, there are many fiberglass compounds that are almost as durable as metal, and will not be ruined by exposure to water. If you can m